Old Commodore magazines: a treasure of fun and information
For those who were really into the Commodore 64 and
128 during the 1980's and early 90's the magazines which were
available at the time were very valuable. The Compute! Gazette
magazine, Run, Ahoy, Commodore Power Play, Info, Commodore World,
Die Hard and many other magazines became quite popular. Some of
these magazines undoubtedly had circulations numbering in the
hundreds of thousands! Most of these magazines were published
every month and usually had programming articles, reviews, programs
(that could be typed in), information and feedback from users
and user groups, informative advertisements, tips on using commercial
software, information on maintaining and utilizing your Commodore
equipment, and interesting social commentary and announcements
pertaining to these new home computers. Some of these magazines
started including (or selling separately) a monthly disk that
contained all of the programs already saved to disk. Later, the
concept of a "disk magazine" became quite popular where
all of the articles were contained in a readable fashion on the
disk along with the included programs. The LoadStar disk was one
of the most popular of these disk magazines for Commodore 64.
IBM compatibles were just a small segment of the home
computer market during the developmental years of home computing.
For those who are unaware of this fact the magnitude and scope
of these magazines provide an incredible and irrefutable snapshot
of the past to dispel any misconceptions and to help correctly
portray the history of home computers.
Equally significant was the fact that many of the hundreds
of Commodore user's groups and clubs throughout the United States,
Canada, Europe and other areas also published their own newsletters--
some of which grew into the status of a magazine. Many of these
user's groups also collected and made collections of shareware
and public domain software available on a large scale to users.
Luckily, we at OldSoftware.com still have used copies
of some of these magazines in good condition. We also have some
new and used original magazine disks for Commodore users available!
We will not go into the history and tremendous significance
of Commodore books here, but suffice it to say there were hundreds
of tremendous books also published during this era-- many of which
are also still available through our website. The skills aquired
by Commodore programmers and Commodore users as a result of these
publications and this affordable and user-friendly technology
helped to lay the broad foundation of computer literacy which
has resulted in many of the tremendous advances which we see today.
Unfortunately, along with many of these tremendous
advances in computers we see that the average computer user today
often feels much less "in control" than the users of
the early years of home computing. The extreme complexity of today's
software and programming techniques puts the average modern computer
user at the mercy of the major software and hardware companies
or programming professionals-- with very little opportunity to
develop a hands-on relationship, creative satisfaction, and comprehension
which were much easier to accomplish on the simpler computers
of the past. There is a strong analogy between many of the older
automobiles and many of the early computer systems. Many of the
earlier automobiles were much easier for a novice to work on and
obtain a feeling of self-reliance and self-determination. Likewise
many of the early computers such as the Commodore Vic 20, Commodore
64 and 128 allowed a relatively powerful yet more comprehensible
opportunity to program, customize, experiment with and modify.
Nowadays most repairs on automobiles require expensive diagnostic
equipment, specialized repair tools, and highly trained technicians.
The same thing has happened to the computer industry. Lost is
much of the intimacy and individuality. We have become too much
a nation and civilization of conformists who have lost much of
our individuality just for the sake of maintaining compatibility.
We rely too much on canned software and professional solutions.
These old Commodore computer publications portray a
glimpse into a previous era when self-determination, spontaneous
creativity and fun were more prevalent.
For more information about the significance
and history of the Commodore and Amiga computers click here.
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