2600, the Hacker Quarterly, is a staple among certain hackish sets. I am kind of surprised that only now, according to Cory at BoingBoing, is the magazine experimenting with a digital edition. I guess the key distinction is that releasing it on the Kindle is a commercial electronic edition, complete with the promise of Amazon taking care of all the transactional hassles of selling digital copies. My sense is that producing and distributing 2600 is still very hands on for its publisher, Emmanuel Goldstein. I suspect it is also a key funding source for his other projects, like Hackers on Planet Earth.
We know a lot of you will want us to offer the magazine for other ebook readers as well and this is something we’re actively working on. Keep in mind that this is the beginning of the process for us and things take time to develop. If we do well here, we can devote that much more time to expanding to other platforms. Many people have requested the Kindle platform, so that’s where we’re beginning. How we do here will determine how worthwhile it will be to invest in additional platforms. If the response is anything like the requests we’ve received, we expect progress on these fronts really soon.
Count this post as a vote for an ePub edition. It isn’t clear from Amazon’s page or the announcement on the 2600 site whether the Kindle edition is locked down with DRM. Given Amazon’s past stance, I suspect so hence my real surprise. But as Emmanuel has written, this is just the start of the magazine’s experiments with electronic publishing. Hopefully many other folks will also ask for a DRM-free, open format version like ePub.
If you own a Kindle or use the Kindle software on other mobile devices do read the whole announcement as there are some glitches about which you need to be aware. The UK search function isn’t finding the magazine on the site, so you’ll need to use the link provided. You also cannot currently get a proper subscription, though Goldstein is working on that.
2600 Magazine on Kindle, BoingBoing