SysAdmin magazine was the first magazine to publish an article of mine, and they have closed their doors. (They've even notified their subscribers that they can get a refund on their 5-year subscriptions.)
My first article was published in SysAdmin Magazine July 1996. Here's an image of the cover of that issue. You can see my name right at the top.
It was a 3000-word article called "Oracle Database Backup" that described oraback.sh, a script that performed hot backups of Oracle long before the advent of RMAN. It took me six months to write! I was terrified that what I wrote would be read by their 20,000 subscribers!
It was that article that gave me the publishing bug. I got emails from around the world thanking me for my contribution and asking for more. (Truth be told, the article furthered a misconception that I'm still debunking, that Oracle datafiles in backup mode aren't written to. You live, you learn.)
All these emails helped me realize that I knew a whole lot about something that most people try not to know a whole lot about. Next thing you know, I submitted a proposal to O'Reilly to write my first book. The rest is history. Now my license plate says MRBAKUP.
SysAdmin magazine was where a lot of people got published the first time. They had real articles from real people that were solving real problems by themselves. They didn't need no stinking commercial software! They helped thousands of people with these articles and those people really have nowhere else to turn for this type of resource now. (I suppose that blogs like this one have given people the ability to self-publish the kind of articles that you would see in SysAdmin magazine, but that's not always well written, edited content like SysAdmin brought to the table.)
I'd also like to give a shout out to Amber Aankerholz who has been the editor of SysAdmin for the last twelve years. CMP has found other work for her internally, but if I were a company looking for somebody with her skills, I'd drop her an email. She's awesome. The same goes to any readers who have gained any benefit from SysAdmin & Amber over the years. Don't send her any more angry letters, drop her a note of support . She's mourning the loss as much as you are.
RIP: SysAdmin Magazine