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Dust off that floppy
November 5, 2007 8:31 PM   Subscribe

Many, many, old computing and game magazines, free for download as pdfs, cbrs, or page scans. Computer Gaming World 1-100 ~ Atari Age and Atari Club ~ Compute! (transcribed(!)) ~ Zzap! 64 (awesome) ~ Some foreign ones ~ All the Amiga ones ~ Old Nintendo Power, GamePro, EGM, and so on (free registration required). All credit to the original poster and comments at the random Gnomes' random lair.
posted by BlackLeotardFront (27 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, so excellent. Anyone have scans of any ANTiC or STart magazines?
posted by neustile at 8:38 PM on November 5, 2007


Oh man, gaming magazines. What a flashback to a foregone era. The times when you couldn't just sit infront of your computer and visit a dozen different gaming sites to get your news on a daily basis. A time when you had to wait a month, if not more, for news that was already out of date by the time you read it.

In Australia, the situation was a lot different, and by that I mean worse. Back in the days of the Megadrive and the SNES, we didn't really have our own gaming magazine. We relied on import mags from the UK and the US.

For my money, at first I loved Mean Machines. I did a post about them a while back. It was a funny mag with a cheeky sense of humor and a decent layout. Plus they favoured the SNES, so obviously with my own biases that sat well with me.

I also quite liked CVG, another UK mag, which was actually the mag from which Mean Machines was borne. But they focused much more on PC gaming, and since a PC was an item far beyond the budgets of mortal men (at the time), I didn't read that much, except when I visited my friend who once owned a C64 and had just bought a 486 IBM computer.

Electronic Gaming Monthly sucked though. It was more advertisment than magazine. You could literally flip through 20 pages of ads before you'd stumble upon an actual article. I read it on occassion though. Such was my need for news that I bore that torture on rare occassion.

The internet has really killed these mags though. Why wait a month when I can log onto Gamespot and get my news today? Even the idea of demo disks is sort of redundant now, given that with broadband I can download most of the decent stuff they offer in an hour or three.

But every once in a while, when I'm digging through those musty old boxes in my garage, I find a copy of PC Zone, Super Play (awesome, awesome magazine!), Nintendo Power or Australia's first gaming magazine, PC PowerPlay, and I do find myself flicking through them with a kind of hazy eyed nostalgia.

They were simpler times, kinder times, and best of all, they were times not laced with the myriad responsibilities of being an adult. I miss those times but at the same time, I wouldn't go back to them given that the internet, despite its faults, is a far better deliverer of this kind of information than these mags ever were or ever could have been.

Thanks for the post, BlackLeotardFront. I will explore them in depth later. If anything, scanned, electronic versions of these mags will make looking at them a lot easier than having to dig through musty old boxes with hidden spiders in them in my garage.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:57 PM on November 5, 2007


The Your Sinclair archive is well-done, but sadly incomplete. For example, it lacks both issues with the full-page adverts for the overdue game that makes Duke Nukem Forever seem like a well-controlled release: Attack of the Mutant Zombie Flesh Eating Chickens From Mars (starring ZAPPO the DOG).
posted by meehawl at 9:00 PM on November 5, 2007


No Amstrad Action?
:(
posted by Jimbob at 9:03 PM on November 5, 2007


Anyone have scans of any ANTiC or STart magazines?

Yes.
posted by stbalbach at 9:08 PM on November 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Took me a couple of clicks to find an issue of "Compute" that they have the full text for, but wow, somebody's put some time into that.

Honestly though, sitting down and actually reading old magazines actually makes me less nostalgic for the time than just thinking about it does. Sure, it's fun to remember the excitement that seemed pervasive at the beginning of the PC era, but then you realize how much work it took to come up with a simple heating-degree-day calculator (which I can find half a dozen of with a quick Google), and well, I wouldn't want to go back.

Still, there's a lot to learn; there were a lot of 'roads not taken' in the 70s and 80s that we're only coming back to now. But I can only read about 1200 baud modems for so long before the bad memories of unnecessarily long coffee breaks and cieling-tile counting come flooding back. :)
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:35 PM on November 5, 2007


Yes, this is some class stuff:
The Commodore-64 is a lot of computer for the money. For only $595, it comes with 64K of RAM memory, excellent graphics, a three-voice shound synthesizer, Microsoft Basic, a 6510 microprocessor, a built-in RF modulator to connect with a television, and a typewriter-style keyboard ... After spending quite a bit of time using a sound editor that makes it easy to build new sounds and then experiment with changing them, I am very impressed woth what the SID can do ... Many 64s will be purchased solely because of the SID synthesizer.
posted by meehawl at 9:37 PM on November 5, 2007


Awesome.
posted by puke & cry at 9:55 PM on November 5, 2007


Effigy, do you remember the brief run of Gamestar magazine? Loved that as a callow youth.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 9:55 PM on November 5, 2007


Attack of the Mutant Zombie Flesh Eating Chickens From Mars (starring ZAPPO the DOG).

What a fine t-shirt that ad would make!

Somewhere out there is an old computer magazine in which I, an elementary-grade youth, had an Atari Basic program published that simulated a rainstorm at night. I received $50. I have no idea what the magazine was.
posted by davejay at 10:42 PM on November 5, 2007


You guys should all be subscribing to Retro Gamer... too bad it costs like $10 an issue in the US. A subscription would probably break the bank.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:10 PM on November 5, 2007


This is why we have this inter-webby thing. Amazing.
posted by vac2003 at 12:25 AM on November 6, 2007


nicolas léonard sadi carnot: "Effigy, do you remember the brief run of Gamestar magazine? Loved that as a callow youth."

Can't say I do. Really must have been a brief run.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:52 AM on November 6, 2007


Fantastic. For those who can't get enough Amiga Power (probably the best of the 16 bit mags), check out the impossibly obtuse AP2 website - just like a DVD commentary track, except for the complete run of a magazine and with 76% more in-jokes.
posted by AndrewStephens at 1:49 AM on November 6, 2007


They wouldn't make a game called 'Purple Rage' with Freddie Mercury in it these days....
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:49 AM on November 6, 2007


Jimbob: Exactly my reaction. :/

It's not much, but there is this, however, if you wish to indulge briefly in some nostalgia.
posted by Kiell at 2:14 AM on November 6, 2007


Sweet, Atari is brining E.T. home to our homes in an extraordinary new game cartridge (which will be buried in mass quantities in a New Mexico landfill).
posted by vagabond at 3:59 AM on November 6, 2007


Input was the dog's danglies for me.
posted by vbfg at 5:47 AM on November 6, 2007


Wow, vagabond, all this time I thought men were hitting on me -- it was just the "Official" ATARI HANDSHAKE. I guess I have some apologies to make.
posted by LordSludge at 6:23 AM on November 6, 2007


Man, that Zzap 64 archive is worth it alone for the cover art. I almost did a post on that a while back myself...
posted by 40 Watt at 6:42 AM on November 6, 2007


Bah. No full scans of Amiga World?
posted by cortex at 6:45 AM on November 6, 2007


I know a lot of people here really don't care for SeanBaby, but his write-ups of old Nintendo Power articles are HILARIOUS.
posted by baphomet at 7:20 AM on November 6, 2007


"Commodore-64 graphics are more powerful than those of the Atari, IBM PC, Apple, TI 99 4A, or Radio Shack Color Computer. (The 64 also has far stronger graphics than its cheaper cousin, the Vic-20.)"

I loved my Commodore 64. My best friend in high school had an IBM PC, Jr. I thought he was a sucker for taking the "Peanut" route. Still do.
posted by grabbingsand at 9:06 AM on November 6, 2007


I'm still pissed that .info ceased publication halfway through my subscription. The first computer I really enjoyed was my A1000. Used it to do video titling and effects for our circa-1992/93 high school cable access news show.

I got back into Amiga stuff for a few months earlier this year; picked up a couple of A2000s and an A4000 and fiddled with them before selling the hardware and just emulating the systems in software.
posted by mrbill at 11:28 AM on November 6, 2007


Best. Amiga World. Interview. Ever.

These are cool too! Thanks!
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:39 PM on November 6, 2007


In addition to the ET madness, what other symptoms were around in 1983/1984 indicative of an industry cruising for a fall? This is from the 1983 CES:
Most Hoopla Behind a Game Award - This award goes to Fox Video Games for their introduction of M*A*S*H. The press conference introducing the game was held in an Army mess tent set up in the parking lot of the convention center. It was regulation issue throughout from the balky jeep to the huge juice vats to the 4077th caps given to all the attendees. We were surprised, however, that when Jamie Farr (Sgt. Maxwell Klinger) showed up, he was in civies and not in uniform. After a few jokes, we learned that the M*A*S*H game will be available not only for the VCS, but the Atari computers, Vic 20, TI 99/4A, Intellivision and Coleco Vision. Inside the convention center, the Fox "booth' was a replica of "The Swamp.'
M*A*S*H, the video game. You know it makes sense!

And an early pimp for Apple's 1-button mouse:
Other innovations include the one-button mouse. Mice previously have had two to four buttons. It was quite a stroke of genius to come out with a mouse with only one button. The one button makes things much easier to use since, when in doubt people will simply pass the one button and see what happens. With two or more buttons the user might hesitate to press a button for fear of pressing the wrong one. Lisa cheats a little on the elegance of the one button design by allowing shortcuts like clicking the button twice in rapid succession for "advanced" commands.
Reading directly after that, I wasn't aware that Apple shipped Lisa with a prototype copy protection system using a combined unique serial number and MB keychain to restrict copying and enable signed application execution.
posted by meehawl at 2:43 PM on November 6, 2007


I'm still looking for an archive of ENTER Magazine, which must've been published around 1982-1983. It was a kid's computer magazine that catered to the nerds and never talked or wrote down to kids. I remember stories on such topics as Dragon's Lair, Don Bluth's laserdisc game, and not only the technology behind the system, but also how its popularity was causing it to become one of the first "fifty-centers" in the arcades. (The price increase was disturbing to those of us who rationed our quarters carefully and were previously safe in the knowledge that one quarter equalled one game...)

ENTER was also awesome because in one issue they ran a story on Clarke's 2001 and 2010 (to coincide with the Bearded Men In Space movie that came out around that time, I guess.) In honor of HAL, they asked kids to submit their own stories about killer computers. Some of the responses were published in a subsequent issue and it was totally awesome, with lots of awesome 5th grade drawings of death computers going on rampages and electrocuting soldiers and whatnot.

The only story I remember is one kid's concept that one day a glitch aboard a starship's computer caused it to take the term LLIK (which, in this story's argot, apparently meant "to reason with") and reverse the letters, so whenever its programming told it to LLIK a crewmember who gave it an order it did not like...

Hey, for a 10-year-old, that's some heady sci-fi stuff right there.
posted by Spatch at 6:57 AM on November 7, 2007


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