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TOPIC: [news] PCworld reviews ComicRack (22-Apr-2010)

[news] PCworld reviews ComicRack (22-Apr-2010) 7 years 5 months ago #7254

  • 600WPMPO
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PCWorld recently reviewed ComicRack and had some kind words of praise for us.

Editorial Review of ComicRack

ComicRack is a powerful and free program which lets you read downloaded comics in many formats, including the popular .CBR and .CBZ formats. The odds are good that if you recognize those file types, you will want this program.

We all know Rule 34 of the Internet, but there's another rule, not named or numbered as far as I know: "If you discover you need a program to do something, odds are, someone's written it." So it is with Comic Rack. I recently discovered a site which hosts legal downloads of out-of-copyright Golden Age comics, and after grabbing a few, I realized I needed a better way to read and organize my suddenly growing collection. Thus, I discovered ComicRack.

ComicRack aspires to be "iTunes for your comics," and it shares some features with that program. It's both an organizer and a viewer, letting you create libraries and filtered lists of your comics, as well as displaying them for viewing, with many choices as to page layout and display features, including a right-to-left "manga mode", page rotation, and much more. Indeed, "And much more..." is sort of the catch phrase of Comic Rack.

ComicRack is not just feature-rich, it's feature-Bill-Gates-rich. The number of options is incredible. Just to pick one example, on the "Pages" tab, you can set the type of each page to any of 11 categories, such as "Front Cover," "Story," or "Advertising," then filter the pages menu to just show particular categories. There's always something new to discover as you dig through the menus and dialog boxes. You'll need to dig, too, which brings us to the downsides of the program.

A labor of love and a one-man show, ComicRack is supported by an enthusiastic community. Any imaginable feature, and a few I never thought of, is crammed in. However, as with many such programs, enthusiasm for coding doesn't translate into enthusiasm for the tedious work of documenting, and the online wiki which serves as the manual is painfully sparse. It's a cardinal rule of interface design that the user should never be surprised, but ComicRack is full of surprises. Panes and lists appear and disappear almost randomly, and while you can work out the rules and the options which control them with a little effort, it can take a while to get to the point where you can load and read your comics without finding some aspect of the interface doing something you don't expect.

ComicRack is 100% free software, though, and that forgives many sins. Donations are encouraged but not required. ComicRack is regularly updated and supported, with an active community. I strongly recommend checking it out if you download comics to read on your computer. And if you're looking for a source of legal comics to download, check out GoldenAgeComics.co.uk.

Note: This program is donationware. It is free to try, but the author accepts and encourages donations towards further development.

--Ian Harac
Now Playing: The ComicRack Manual (Online)

See my new comics & gadgets on: Tumblr!
Last Edit: 7 years 5 months ago by 600WPMPO. Reason: added link
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Re:[news] PCworld reviews ComicRack (22-Apr-2010) 7 years 5 months ago #7256

  • Alan Scott
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I'm really glad to see that the writer loved it overall, but as I've taken up the mantel of the Wiki I was bummed that it's sparse content found it's way to the review. The wiki's much better now but I will have to get it done soon so that future reviews do not suffer from it. On the whole though, great review for CR, congrats cYo!
... The failure to appreciate... is perfectly understandable, because the readership never evaluates old material in the context of the cultural climate in which it was created, or the state of the art at the time it was created.
Marty Pasko
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Re:[news] PCworld reviews ComicRack (22-Apr-2010) 7 years 5 months ago #7259

  • Drybonz
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Hey, that's awesome... congratulations, cYo. :)
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Re:[news] PCworld reviews ComicRack (22-Apr-2010) 7 years 5 months ago #7260

  • forkicks
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Really nice review.

Big grats cYo, this is sure to give comicrack more exposure.

fK
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Re:[news] PCworld reviews ComicRack (22-Apr-2010) 7 years 5 months ago #7261

  • lanzajr26
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While I don't agree with the author's experience with the software (I've never had random disappearances in the software), I think it's excellent for CR to get this kind of exposure. Let's hope new users keep rolling in and contributing to this community!

Also, don't be discouraged Alan. You've been doing a great job on the Wiki and eventually it'll be as comprehensive as the software :D
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Re:[news] PCworld reviews ComicRack (22-Apr-2010) 7 years 5 months ago #7460

  • Adam Lucifer
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B) ComicRack is an exceptional piece of software and deserves all the plaudits it gets; it is all the more amazing for being a one-man work and free into the bargain.
Thus it feels a tad churlish to be making any criticisms, but I have to agree that the one downside is the lack of any in-depth help file or manual for the more esoteric aspects of the program (Example: until I saw this review I had no idea that the advert pages etc could be filtered out. Live and learn, eh?).
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Re:[news] PCworld reviews ComicRack (22-Apr-2010) 7 years 5 months ago #7469

  • 600WPMPO
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Adam Lucifer wrote:
B)one downside is the lack of any in-depth help file or manual for the more esoteric aspects of the program (Example: until I saw this review I had no idea that the advert pages etc could be filtered out. Live and learn, eh?).

Dear Adam, did you miss out on The ComicRack Manual. Download it till the much-better second edition is posted.
Now Playing: The ComicRack Manual (Online)

See my new comics & gadgets on: Tumblr!
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Re:[news] PCworld reviews ComicRack (22-Apr-2010) 7 years 5 months ago #7483

  • Adam Lucifer
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600WPMPO - Thanks very much; just what the doctor ordered! Have a Karma point on me...
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