I've long collected public domain software - some officially packaged and sold by 3rd parties back in the day, like DevWare or Fred Fish disks on floppies. I've also obsessively collected US-based Amiga magazine disks. I especially like collecting regional user group disks that were handed out at user group meetings, or sold and shipped via snail mail. Those are insanely cool time-capsules that can really transport you not just to a moment in time, but even a place. And sometimes I'll find software on them, like Icon Master, which I consider an essential tool that I now use on a regular basis.
A couple of months ago one of the members of SEA-CCC brought a huge stack of Amiga disks he'd purchased in a large online auction. He assumed they were mainly old data disks and donated them to the club for folks to grab and presumably format and use. Most had just hand-written labels like, "P1" or "P2" and so on.
I took about 10, another member took another 10-12, and then the rest went back home with the owner.
When I got home that night, I popped one in and fired up Directory Opus, which has a great built-in text "Reader," image "Shower" and sound "Player". I was shocked to discover that the disk I put in the drive was full of alphabetically organized documents - mostly manuals hand-typed word-for-word of game and software manuals! And this disk included the Adventurer's Journal for Secret of Silver Blades, which I happened to be playing at the time! When I finished playing the game, I transferred all of those files to my PC and made sure to include them with the final review.
I alerted the owner of my findings (he's also a huge Gold Box fan and has finished many of them). He assured me he was saving everything he still had.
Since that time, one of the other guys who took disks (Dan) gave me his stack to continue to investigate. Last night I went through the stack again to finish going through them once and for all. So many gems! And not just text files. Sometimes hi-resolution scans in HAM mode!
I present to you some of the images this really industrious US-based cracker group (or should I say Data Archivists?) made for Pools of Darkness, which I'll be playing later this year. I'll be putting these original files with the review, too.
Enjoy a quick preview!