Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wired & Morph's Outpost

At some point early in 1993, Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier co-founders Craig LaGrow and Doug Millison met Wired founders Louis Rosetto and Jane Metcalfe for lunch and a long talk about the ins & outs, ups & downs of being publishing entrepreneurs. We had been hearing about each other and were hoping that the magazines wouldn't wind up competing head-to-head. Before we had made it half-way through lunch, we had verified that we were after different objectives. Morph's Outpost was conceived as a technical magazine, for developers, designers, and toolmakers in the interactive multimedia scene. Wired had far bigger social and cultural fish to fry. Morph's Outpost stayed behind the scenes, Wired out front where it blew up big, for good reason, those early issues were, well, electrifying.

Wired wrote briefly about Morph's Outpost in the September/October 1993 issue, online at

Morph's Outpost
By Will Kreth

Don't knock programmers. Contrary to popular belief, many of them do have lives and look nothing like the bespectacled, pasty-faced, Jolt-cola- slurping traitorous overweight hacker depicted in Jurassic Park (personally, I was thrilled when he got eaten in the Jeep). Some of them ride mountain bikes, kayak, play alto sax and read books by Peter Matheissen. Some of them were never interested in programming until HyperCard, while others have been working on PC's since the birth of the Altair in the '70s. Until recently, they've been stuck wading through various patently dull programming magazines for the information they needed to stay on the edge.

The rise of interactive multimedia has given birth to a new crop of programmers, and they're starving for deep technical information about their current (albeit over-hyped) obsession. Now they have a new magazine dedicated to their cause. Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier is the brainchild of Craig LaGrow, a founder of the popular Computer Language, and Editor-in-Chief Doug Millison. Augmenting the magazine's seriously technical treatment of authoring environments and the like is a whimsical cartoon character named (what else?) Morph, who runs his Outpost on the boundary between cyberspace and the digital jungle. He's the silicon- surfing Sherpa who'll outfit you with the "intel" you need to make the right decisions on hardware, software, scripting tricks, and marketing your creations. Morph, who looks as if he just came out of a graffiti-artist's spray-paint can, has assembled several notable names within the industry to contribute to the Outpost on a regular basis - like Rockley Miller (publisher and editor of Multimedia and Videodisc Monitor), Richard Doherty (editor of Envisioneering), Tony Bove (publisher and editor of the Macromedia User Journal and the Bove & Rhodes Inside Report), and Michael Moon (of the market research firm Gistics, Inc.). Do you know your XCMDs from CLUTs? Script-X from a 3:2 pull-down ratio for mastering a videodisc? Then Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier is a must-read for all you seasoned media fanatics surfing the Digital Pipeline.

Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier: first issue free. +1 (510) 254 3145. (lagrow@holonet.net)

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