While the idea of a DIY magazine is not new — dozens are available, ranging from big home improvement projects to crafts — Make is unique in targeting its articles towards the Internet crowd. The quarterly is more of a book than a standard magazine; the format is about 6″ x 9″, and its close to 200 full-color pages are perfect-bound.
The magazine itself is wonderfully designed, keeping up with O’Reilly’s high standards. Layout is clean and efficient, and projects are presented with ample illustrations, clear instructions, and useful sidebar information. They range in skill, but overall there is something for just about any level of experience. There’s an article that teaches how to solder and unsolder, along with a more advanced one for making a magnetic stripe reader for figuring out what info exactly is being stored in your credit, ATM and customer loyalty cards. Other highlights include building a platform for taking photos from a kite, and a cheap, simple but remarkably efficient steady-cam holder for home video fanatics.
Along with the workshop features, there are many reviews of unusual gadgets and tools, sure to appeal to those who think blasting out clogged toilets with compressed CO2 is a pretty neat idea (don’t call me to help you clean up, pal). Profiles on entrepreneurs, inventors, intriguing product development, and much more, make this something that will easily fill up the 3 months between issues.
The subscription is a bit pricey in comparison to other, more-frequent DIY magazines — $35/year, 4 issues. But each issue is really a book that is easily worth the $8 or so. Even if you’re not the tinkering type, Make‘s other features provide plenty of fascinating reading.