there seem to be quite a few discussions that come up about weither MR was better back a few years ago, or is better now. or weither there are more ads and less content now as opposed to then. well, since i have no life whatsoever, i did some searching and some calculations. i picked a random month of MR, in this case, July. one issue from 1983 and one from 2003. first, the number of full page ads or pages completely covered with ads: 1983 - 45. 2003 - 33 total ads: 1983 - 231. 2003 - 190 pages completely covered with content and no ads. this includes the classifieds and the dealer directory: 1983 - 59. 2003 - 66. total pages: 1983 - 148. 2003 - 140 pages of classifides: 1983 - 3 1/2. 2003 - 5 partial pages, shared with ads. dealer directory pages: 1983 - 9 1/2. 2003 - 7 1/2. total numbers of advertisers (listed in ad index): 1983 - 199. 2003 - 175. and last, the contents of the magazines and number of pages and photos/diagrams for each. 1983: Superdetailing a pacific coast shay: 8, 29 conrail track scale and switchmans shanty (structure drawings): 2, 12 zero 1 for N scale (hornbys command control): 4, 12 Fred Gills diamond valley line (layout feature): 5, 7 Oscar Neuberts O scale SP F7 a and B units (model of the month):1, 1 Seaboard Coast Lines BQ23-7 (locomotive drawings):4, 13 a USRA Mikado in brass Pt 6 (scratchbuilding a brass steamer): 4 2/3, 12 the delaware and lehigh rr (layout planning feature): 2, 3 when is a rock mold not a rock mold? (using plastic fishing worms to make rock molds): 1 1/3, 4 repowering mantuas camelback mikado: 1 1/3, 4 improving the looks of your iron ore jimmies: 2, 5 48 star flags: 2/3 (little photos of flags you can cut out and use) all aboard: scratchbuilding your first wood structure: 3, 12 the sierrs silverton rr (layout feature: 2, 4 Departments: off the train wire, railway post office, schedules, trade topics, hobbyshop window, at the throttle, trackside photos(4 photos), all aboard, club news, cartoons(2), bull session, railroaders library, paint shop, MR clinic, index of advertisers 2003: Converting a big layout to DCC: 5, 5 Heart of a community (a small town depot you can model): 3, 10 the lost art of soldering: 4, 6 a model railroad work of art (building the chicago MSI layout): 7, 9 driving the golden spike (high tech diorama): 4, 7 David Haines Raton pass layout : 9, 10 Modeling a creek: 3, 8 8 tips for better passenger cars: 4, 13 realistic stainless steel: 2, 6 the crystal river district (ho, hon3 track plan): 3, 4 Departments: at the throttle, railway post office, product reviews, MR news, workshop, back to basics, trackside photos(6 photos), workin on the railroad, trains of thought, dcc corner, prototype info, coming events and club memberships, cartoon, index of advertisers, editorial flashback well, there you go. if you havent fallen asleep by the end of this post, maybe you found new fuel for your arguments, or maybe you were proven wrong. one thing i get from this, the articles were much more technical and in depth back in 1983.