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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Sun May 05, 2019 2:41 pm

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.
This is about half of the disks from this amazing archive. I've also found maps and documents for Bard's Tale, Phantasie, Populous, Sim Ant, Star Control - the list goes on and on. I will make ADFs of all of them at some stage, or just move over the text files individually (which may be the better approach).

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!
Box scan front-cover, with a groovy two-tone gradient circa 1991.

Really cool scan from the original manual.

And another handy scan from Pools of Darkness.

User avatar
Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Sun May 05, 2019 3:01 pm

I've decided I'll transfer all of the disks over into one large repository, and try to get as many of these as I can. Then I can batch it up (or organize by letter). Will be a fun side project.

For now, though, I'm labelling some of my personal favorites.

User avatar
Zippy Zapp

Posted Mon May 06, 2019 9:18 am

I love finding stuff like this! That is super cool. Look forward to checking it out. Perhaps Amiga <3 needs a Software Library since there is more then games in these cool collections? :D

User avatar
Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Mon May 06, 2019 9:27 am

Perhaps Amiga <3 needs a Software Library
It absolutely does. My developer retired from side-work, though. So creating new features has been a challenge for me this past year. My boss will sometimes help, but that's a huge ask. He's only running a multi-million dollar company. But yeah - I would love that.

And this is even different. It's not even really software. These are static text files and images. I'll figure something out, though. Right now the entire focus is just on trying to transfer everything over. Everything I have access to, at least.

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