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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Mon May 20, 2024 12:28 pm

Howdy Folks,

Wanted to give you all a bit of a head's up on a very cool new section of the site that will be rolling out soon. For right now it's simply going to called, "Files."

For years now I've had this curious obsession with collecting certain disk collections. I classify them like this:
  • Public Domain disk collections. Generally purchased via mail-order (e.g. DevWare) - but not Fred Fish since that archive can be found elsewhere. It's not exactly easy to browse, but it's not impossible. I focus on the lesser-known ones.
  • User Group disks. Generally a single disk once per month. These were usually branded by city. (e.g. Sacramento, Tampa Bay, Memphis, etc.)
  • Disk Mags. These were similar to Public Domain disks, but were usually found on or near magazine racks. These didn't even have magazines... they were sold as monthly batches of disks.
  • Shareware or Freeware. Loose disks sold as one-offs usually with a single program. Remember, this was pre-internet and not everyone had a modem to try and download software off of bulletin board systems, Compuserve or whatever. An example disk here might be SuperHack (1992) by Ron Haines, or AmiDock, by Gary Knight.
I have really enjoyed searching for these and exploring them when I acquire them. The user group disks are actually the most difficult to source and often the most historically fascinating. They usually were put together by one member of a given localized user group and could include images, MODs, games and productivity software or tools and - best of all - text files. These text files were usually presented like monthly newsletters and were often written by folks who were not professional writers. But when you find them they are often like hitting a slot machine's jackpot. The historical snapshots they provide can be totally fascinating. They can be to me, at least.

For the most part almost none of the disks/collections I'm talking about have ever been archived online in any way shape or form. For one thing they are very difficult to find (and when you do find them, you usually have to pay for them). For another, making them easily searchable and downloadable online is a LOT of work!

With my personal collection, which I've spent a lot of time and money putting together and continue to do so, I am eager to make these available to the public. None of the software I'll be adding here will be under any kind of copyright. Remember, most of this is either public domain, user group disks or "abandonware" - none of which I'll be making any money off of. It's purely a sharing thing. For the stand-alone disks with programs (e.g. IconMaster, AmiDock, etc.) I'm not asking for any money in return nor are there ads on the site. If anyone ever asks me to pull them down I certainly will do so.

I'm sure some folks will almost instantly ask (or demand) why I'm not uploading all of my collection to Aminet or And the answers are: because 1) this is stuff I bought with my own money and have decided to share how I see fit and 2) I'm creating a system of browsing the collections that far exceeds anything other platforms provide.

In any case, when you see this arrive in the near future, it will look rather thin. That's because I'll have to add each and every disk one at at time - and some disk mag issues are 3 disks deep each. So it's going to be a "forever task" in the background. But it's going to be very, very cool over time.

:boing: <3

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Posted Mon May 20, 2024 12:52 pm

This sounds really cool. Quite exciting, looking forward to all this!!

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Posted Mon May 20, 2024 6:36 pm

Great addition, Eric!

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Twin Falls, ID

Posted Mon May 20, 2024 6:42 pm

This is going to be awesome to explore! A lot of my favorite Amiga memories are searching through public domain and mag covers, because I was too damn poor to afford anything else! And by slowly adding them disk-by-disk, I will have time to enjoy them individually a lot better than a 500-disk archive thrown all at once! Very, very cool!

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Posted Tue May 21, 2024 5:26 am

I am intrigued... :boing:

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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Tue May 21, 2024 8:53 am

Glad you all are looking forward to this addition to the site, guys.

I wanted to briefly demonstrate why so many of these types of disks are disappearing forever and why I've tried to preserve them when feasible. A long time ago there was an Amiga user group in northern Los Angeles called San Fernando Valley Amiga Users Group (SFVAUG). They created disks once per month. From which years? I've no idea but let's say late 80s to early 90s. There are at least 23 disks still in existence - 23 brief snapshots in time. Are the contents of those disks important? Probably not. But some might contain a single text file that expressed the mood of the club at a given time, recent C= events in the area folks attended, etc.

Fact is we'll likely never know because of bizarre asks like this. Each of these disks (23 separate sales on Ebay) are being sold individually for a baffling $50. So this isn't a group's history that will ever be preserved and shared. This is the kind of lunacy I often run across. I did offer to buy all 23 for $1 each + shipping, but again this kind of stuff is simply ridiculous, and a bit sad. I'm hoping that later when I publicize things more I'll get some donations pulled from the bottom of people's closets to help build a more complete picture.

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Posted Tue May 21, 2024 1:14 pm

This is great news

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Twickenham , U.K.

Posted Tue May 21, 2024 2:27 pm

Looking forward to this

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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Tue May 21, 2024 4:19 pm

Update on that side-topic of the SFVUAG disks. I've managed to talk them down to $4/disk, so I'll pick up 2 or 3 so they can at least be represented. This is the hill we climb! Better than $50/disk. :disk:

In any case, I'll be back soon with more site-related updates.

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Posted Wed Jun 05, 2024 5:51 pm

Really exciting. Thank you Eric!

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