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Why is Popular Computing such a ghost magazine?

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Google has very little about it and only a few issues ever show up on eBay. I am not talking about Popular Computing Weekly from Great Britain. Popular Computing published in USA by McGraw Hill.. Is someone sitting on a run of these? is there some archive I don't know about? Nothing on Bombjack either.

 

 

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I was into all the popular computer magazines of the old days but never heard of Popular Computers. Was it one of those business centric magazines?

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I was into all the popular computer magazines of the old days but never heard of Popular Computers. Was it one of those business centric magazines?

 

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The magazine lasted from November 1981 through December 1985.

 

It is fairly widely held by Canadian libraries, but very few places have a complete run; most collections seem to start in 1983.

 

I don't ever recall having seen it BITD; I was mostly reading Hot Coco, Byte, and (occasionally) Creative Computing.

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I have maybe two or three of them in storage, mostly around the timeframe of the launch of the Amiga and Atari ST. I liked it, but there wasn't anything super-special about the magazine that would have made it a "must-buy" back in the day. Although they had more color pictures than most mags.

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The magazine lasted from November 1981 through December 1985.

 

 

This is THE retro era for me.. I got my C64 in 1982 and I was one of the first people in my city to get an Amiga (before it was called the 1000). So I would love to find a run of these..

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As Popular Electronics began to wane and changed its format to lean towards computers, they first included it as a section, then went over to the new Popular Computing title. PE subscribers like myself had their remaining issues filled with PC. I wasn't into confusers yet, so felt it was a waste of my money. I may have had an extended subscription, as I recall having a number of back issues stored "out in the shed."

 

It wasn't much different from any other computer rag of the day but a big departure from the old PE days.

-Ed

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I got two issues from eBay this week. One from 1983 with the c64 review, and the one above from 1985 with the Amiga unveiling. I will scan them and the ocr pdfs will be available on my website and bomback soon.

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Google is only going to have what's out there on the net. Google indexes the web, not supply information. If there's not alot on Google, there's just not much info on the web. Have you tried the publisher's website? Often times these days they offer up PDF versions of old magazines at a nominal cost.

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Have you tried the publisher's website? Often times these days they offer up PDF versions of old magazines at a nominal cost.

 

You are kidding right? :) If not, please point out publishers that are offering retro magazine pdfs on their own website for a nominal fee (other than Nibble). Most publishers have proven to be greedy, ignorant, and run by short sighted lawyers now. If not for the retro community, NONE of the retro issues would have been archived for preservation.

 

This is a huge issue with me. Thank goodness that Jason Scott just said "f them" and put as many of the magazines that exist in pdf on Archive.org. Popular Computing is a good example of a magazine that McGraw Hill didn't give a $%&^ about enough to preserve because it doesn't line their pockets anymore. Incider was another that was missing for a long time because people that had runs of it twiddled their thumbs while waiting for permission from a publishers lawyers that didn't even know what Incider was. Thankfully someone else (Kevin Savetz) stepped up and provided pdfs to the community.

 

Sorry I jumped up on my soapbox. Most of todays publishers that hold rights to retro magazines (and retro books) are scumbags.

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Someone recently sent me issue #1 which came out in November 1981. I was expecting it to be filled with talk about the brand new IBM PC, but there was nothing much at all, except for a line mentioning it in a chart summarizing most of the personal computers available at the time. I realized the reason was because of the 3 month lead time between putting together the issue and when it was published, and the magazine was probably produced right as the IBM PC announcement happened. I too have been searching for an archive of issues, mostly because I was curious to see if/when a large part of their issues started becoming dedicated to the PC.

 

It's actually interesting to look at the ads, so many random computers. Back when it didn't matter what a computer did or what applications or games it had, everyone and his hamster were creating "computers."

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I have a huge untapped stash of this sort of ephemera. Boxes and stacks of Computer Shopper, Nuts & Volts back when it was actually a shopper, etc and etc. I applaud those who undertake the monumental task of scanning and organizing such collections online.

 

Though to me, the only drawback is the issue's binder must be removed to allow scanning with a feeder. The original is essentially lost to the process. I still enjoy turning the pages and rereading them from time to time, that's kinda why I kept all these for decades. Last winter we had a 5-day power outage and my magazines read just fine by candlelight. Try that on your pdf! :D

-Ed

Edited by Ed in SoDak
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I have a huge untapped stash of this sort of ephemera. Boxes and stacks of Computer Shopper, Nuts & Volts back when it was actually a shopper, etc and etc. I applaud those who undertake the monumental task of scanning and organizing such collections online.

 

Though to me, the only drawback is the issue's binder must be removed to allow scanning with a feeder. The original is essentially lost to the process. I still enjoy turning the pages and rereading them from time to time, that's kinda why I kept all these for decades. Last winter we had a 5-day power outage and my magazines read just fine by candlelight. Try that on your pdf! :D

-Ed

 

Well as long as you can still read it, I am happy. Luckily for the rest of us, others are more into preservation than their selfish ability to read with no power. :)

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I would love to get the rest of the Atari Article from Computer Shopper. They are such a pain to scan though. You can't even use a feeder because it was so wide.

 

Allan

 

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It is completely unnecessary to "unbind" and/or destroy printed materials to digitally reproduce them. Reproduction using a flatbed scanner and/or a feeder hasn't been necessary since digital cameras reached 5MP and higher.

 

http://www.instructables.com/id/Bargain-Price-Book-Scanner-From-A-Cardboard-Box/step5/WEDGES-FOR-FUN-AND-PROFIT/

 

For less rigid things like magazines, use a rubber band to keep things flat if they don't want to cooperate.

 

Obviously it is best to use a decent camera mounted on a tripod, but I've seen people use a smartphone with good results.

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It is completely unnecessary to "unbind" and/or destroy printed materials to digitally reproduce them. Reproduction using a flatbed scanner and/or a feeder hasn't been necessary since digital cameras reached 5MP and higher.

 

http://www.instructables.com/id/Bargain-Price-Book-Scanner-From-A-Cardboard-Box/step5/WEDGES-FOR-FUN-AND-PROFIT/

 

For less rigid things like magazines, use a rubber band to keep things flat if they don't want to cooperate.

 

Obviously it is best to use a decent camera mounted on a tripod, but I've seen people use a smartphone with good results.

WHAT!!? Just try taking 300 something pictures with a camera and then process them and see how long it takes you.

 

Sure you can use a camera but with a large book your going to be there for a long time. I've done probably over a thousand documents/books and I can tell you that the fastest way to scan something is with a document feeder. Nothing comes even close.

 

Allan

 

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Sure you can use a camera but with a large book your going to be there for a long time. I've done probably over a thousand documents/books and I can tell you that the fastest way to scan something is with a document feeder. Nothing comes even close.

 

Fastest is... fastest. Not necessarily best, especially if there are other considerations that outweigh speed.

 

I was providing a solution for not destroying the original materials by debinding.

 

I have a huge untapped stash of this sort of ephemera. Boxes and stacks of Computer Shopper, Nuts & Volts back when it was actually a shopper, etc and etc. I applaud those who undertake the monumental task of scanning and organizing such collections online.

 

Though to me, the only drawback is the issue's binder must be removed to allow scanning with a feeder. The original is essentially lost to the process. I still enjoy turning the pages and rereading them from time to time, that's kinda why I kept all these for decades. Last winter we had a 5-day power outage and my magazines read just fine by candlelight. Try that on your pdf! :D

-Ed

 

So here we have someone with a source of these missing magazines, someone who for obvious reasons does not want to destroy his magazines for use with a feeder. A wedge is a perfect solution for this situation.

 

 

WHAT!!? Just try taking 300 something pictures with a camera and then process them and see how long it takes you.

 

I have. There have been many times I have needed to digitize bound materials without destroying the originals.

  • Notice my suggestion of a tripod. That makes it significantly faster.
  • Set the camera for series so several photos are taken in rapid sequence, that provides duplicates "just in case."
  • Press shutter trigger.
  • Flip page, press shutter trigger. Repeat.

No, this is not as fast as an industrial document feeder and scanner combo, but it's way faster than consumer grade scanners with feeders. You can easily do 10 pages a minute.

 

Processing: http://scantailor.org/

 

There will always be the odd page than needs to be processed manually, but that is the case regardless of using a flatbed or camera.

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Fastest is... fastest. Not necessarily best, especially if there are other considerations that outweigh speed.

 

I was providing a solution for not destroying the original materials by debinding.

 

 

So here we have someone with a source of these missing magazines, someone who for obvious reasons does not want to destroy his magazines for use with a feeder. A wedge is a perfect solution for this situation.

 

 

 

I have. There have been many times I have needed to digitize bound materials without destroying the originals.

  • Notice my suggestion of a tripod. That makes it significantly faster.
  • Set the camera for series so several photos are taken in rapid sequence, that provides duplicates "just in case."
  • Press shutter trigger.
  • Flip page, press shutter trigger. Repeat.

No, this is not as fast as an industrial document feeder and scanner combo, but it's way faster than consumer grade scanners with feeders. You can easily do 10 pages a minute.

 

Processing: http://scantailor.org/

 

There will always be the odd page than needs to be processed manually, but that is the case regardless of using a flatbed or camera.

 

Well when you don't want to destroy the document the way you mentioned is the fastest. But it is painfully slow. It's nice to have the option though. If I had to take a picture of each page of each document, I probably wouldn't scan all the stuff that I do. I don't mind once in a while but most of the stuff is done by a document feeder. Any other way is just to slow.

 

I have to disagree with your last statement though. Any process that requires me to sit there and turn pages is not going to be faster than a feeder (even a slow one). I can throw a 300 page book into my scanner and walk away. Come back later, flip it, and walk away. Sort the pages when it's done (30 seconds), scan the font and back cover (a couple of minutes) and then I am done. The whole process can be done in ten to fifteen minutes.(minus the actual feeder part). Cutting the book takes the longest (about 5 minutes). If the feeder doesn't like the paper than that's a whole different story.

 

Allan

 

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My! I didn't intend to hijack the discussion, but in a way it's on topic.

 

I'll take the "selfish" comment as tongue in cheek. If it weren't for us who stash old things (avoiding "hoarder" here, lol) there would be hardly any old magazines, catalogs or old documentation. Any website online is subject to closure, change or disappearing without a trace, subject to the whims or finances of the site owner.

 

I purchased the vast majority of my collections, paying anywhere from 50c to $4 an issue used or regular subscription price when new. Plus over 40 years of keeping the stuff safe, dry, flat and as mildew-free as I can. If I'm being selfish for keeping it for myself or hoping for a return on the effort and investment, so be it. I'm actually willing to share, but do not wish to destroy the original.

 

I am by coincidence a pro photographer of several decades. I have the proper gear to copy flat art by multiple methods. Now we get to the time issue as others in this thread have noted. Nor do I want to put that much use on my spendy digital camera which I need for work more than archiving arcane subjects at no cost to those who did not make the effort to acquire originals for many years as I have.

 

I was considering archiving the earlier Popular Electronics or Electronics Illustrated. Meanwhile someone with more tima nad money that I has already done both titles and placed them online. I'd hate to get into the effort of doing a collection, only to be superceded by another. I generally have other things on my plate to take up my time anyway.

 

Someday I'd probably list these various titles for sale. Magazineslike Computer Shopper would be a spendy item to ship, no doubt much higher than the value of the magazine itself. If I should die first, my wife is as likely to dumptser the works, she's told me as much even though I have told her there's likely several thousands worth of used magazines if she'd take the trouble. I'm located about as far from anyone who gives a shit as I could be.

 

Hmmm, hmmm and hmmm. A conundrum to be sure.

-Ed

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>>> Fastest is... fastest. Not necessarily best, especially if there are other considerations that outweigh speed.

 

If we worry about "quality", it could never get done. Scan it, get it out to the masses. They can clean it up, or someone else can do better scans later. The most important thing is to get it into as many hands as possible right now. As long as one person is sitting on a stack that he won't scan because he is worrying about the crispness of a Verbatim Disk ad, there is a danger of "forever loss". get the scans of the pages out. People can read them and preserve them. I hope this makes sense.

Edited by dudeslife

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My! I didn't intend to hijack the discussion, but in a way it's on topic.

 

I'll take the "selfish" comment as tongue in cheek. If it weren't for us who stash old things (avoiding "hoarder" here, lol) there would be hardly any old magazines, catalogs or old documentation. Any website online is subject to closure, change or disappearing without a trace, subject to the whims or finances of the site owner.

 

I purchased the vast majority of my collections, paying anywhere from 50c to $4 an issue used or regular subscription price when new. Plus over 40 years of keeping the stuff safe, dry, flat and as mildew-free as I can. If I'm being selfish for keeping it for myself or hoping for a return on the effort and investment, so be it. I'm actually willing to share, but do not wish to destroy the original.

 

;)

 

Are you a preservationist or an investor? I have spent a good bit of $$ on eBay to acquire rare texts, scanned them and released them to the community, ensuring that I will never get my money back as everyone now has access to a clean pdf. I do that because I am a preservationist. The problem arises when investors think they are preservationists.

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Not sure my stance. It depends. Don't get me wrong, I've done my share of preservation, free sharing, hosting etc. for decades. But it's been largely historical photographs or documents of my local area. While I've authored several publications which I sold for modest profit or made reprints of these photos for the reproduction fee, I've spent months at a microfiche, scanner, camera and research to do so. I honor any request for these images and the background research at no charge, as I've done for as many years. I've seriously done my part of preserving history, it just hasn't been in your particular area of interest. My "profit" has been one of exceeding reproduction cost/printing. It has no way come close to paying me for the time and investment in equipment. But I had other more profitable uses for the same gear and can you blame me for taking on projects and hoping to get a little jingle for my efforts?

 

My magazine collection was begun decades before any easy or cheap method of copying them existed. I bought them for my own enjoyment, but saved them as they had a value to myself and I hoped one day to others as well.

 

If you want to fault me for doing as I've done for 40 years primarily to please myself, more power to you. Sorry if I don't leap right onto what you think I should be doing instead. Prior to my commenting, you weren't even aware I existed, nor my pile of rags. I was kinda considering where these old Pop Computing issues might be buried in the shed to dig them out for a status check, but wow. I didn't expect to be taken to task over owning them. I don't find the response I met, second-guessing my intentions too encouraging for me to want to dig into any of it.

 

-Ed

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Not sure my stance. It depends. Don't get me wrong, I've done my share of preservation, free sharing, hosting etc. for decades. But it's been largely historical photographs or documents of my local area. While I've authored several publications which I sold for modest profit or made reprints of these photos for the reproduction fee, I've spent months at a microfiche, scanner, camera and research to do so. I honor any request for these images and the background research at no charge, as I've done for as many years. I've seriously done my part of preserving history, it just hasn't been in your particular area of interest. My "profit" has been one of exceeding reproduction cost/printing. It has no way come close to paying me for the time and investment in equipment. But I had other more profitable uses for the same gear and can you blame me for taking on projects and hoping to get a little jingle for my efforts?

 

My magazine collection was begun decades before any easy or cheap method of copying them existed. I bought them for my own enjoyment, but saved them as they had a value to myself and I hoped one day to others as well.

 

If you want to fault me for doing as I've done for 40 years primarily to please myself, more power to you. Sorry if I don't leap right onto what you think I should be doing instead. Prior to my commenting, you weren't even aware I existed, nor my pile of rags. I was kinda considering where these old Pop Computing issues might be buried in the shed to dig them out for a status check, but wow. I didn't expect to be taken to task over owning them. I don't find the response I met, second-guessing my intentions too encouraging for me to want to dig into any of it.

 

-Ed

 

You are taking my comments way too personal. You brought up the word investment, and the money angle. I just asked the logical followup questions and gave my opinion. Sorry if you got your feelings hurt. I love your last sentence though.. it made me feel like a kid again.

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Your first comment to me was that I'm selfish. So yeah it did seem like a personal comment aimed at me, tongue in cheek or not. I guess we got off on the wrong foot after that and I agree we do go at things differently. So far, I've kept my stash out of the landfill. I consider that a positive. It's still mine to do with as I choose. I consider what you do for preservation as you see best to also be a positive.

 

I see that many of the sites that host pdf files of vintage magazines also have Google ad links or display ads or other links which I presume generate some income. So there's another gray area, were they investing or preserving by having ads on their site? Sure there's time and costs involved, just as there are with your or my methods. I admitted to hoping for some return eventually, but it'll take effort to realize much, if anything, no matter how I approach it.

 

I have no idea what I'll do about my junk/stash/hoard, if anything. The magazines are way broader in scope than just computer-related publications and the magazines taken as a whole are just one category in the shed, so to speak. But nothing to sneeze at, I assure you.

 

It looks like we both continue to acquire more hardware as well. What is the "best" eventual dispersal of that collection? All just things I muse on as I realize I need to do something with it all eventually or I force the wife to deal with it if she survives me some future sad day. All I can say is I'm working on it, and am trying to get the old vintage hardware out to those who can make good use of it. The magazines, due to the large effort in copying, have not been a priority. I probably have a greater attachment to those than the old computers, etc. and I suspect the largest monetary cost as well. I don't have a document scanner even if I wanted to strip off the spines to use it. Looking ahead, magazines of any given title are much more likely to be something the wife might know what they are, rather than some sort of hardware dingle to some unknown whatsit.

 

-Ed

Edited by Ed in SoDak
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