Currently Available Collections

No seeds available? Read the FAQ

Name Issues Complete? Published from… …until Torrent link Magnet link Version
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) 55 Yes October 1987 April 1992 Torrent Magnet v3
Acorn User 267 Yes July 1982 Christmas 2003 Torrent Magnet v3
Amiga Computing 117 Yes June 1988 October 1997 Torrent Magnet v3
Amiga Format 136 + Specials Yes August 1989 May 2000 Torrent Magnet v3
Amiga World 107 Yes 1985 April 1995 Torrent Magnet v3
Amiga Shopper 72 Yes April 1991 January 1997 Torrent Magnet v3 (fixed)
Amstrad Action 117 Yes October 1985 June 1995 Torrent Magnet v1
Amstrad Computer User (ACU) 90 Yes August 1984 May 1992 Torrent Magnet v3
Amtix! 18 Yes November 1985 April 1987 Torrent Magnet v2
Antic 88 Yes April 1982 June 1990 Torrent Magnet v3
Atari User 43 Yes May 1985 November 1988 Torrent Magnet v3
Big K 12 Yes April 1984 March 1985 Torrent Magnet v3
Commodore Format 61 Yes October 1990 October 1995 Torrent Magnet v3
Commodore Power/Play 23 Yes ? 1982 October 1986 Torrent Magnet v3
Commodore User 26 Yes June 1983 February 1990 Torrent Magnet v3
Computer and Video Games plus 1984/1985 “Yearbooks” 126 Sort of November 1981 May 1992 Torrent Magnet v3
Crash 98 Yes February 1984 April 1992 Torrent Magnet v3
CU Amiga 106 Yes March 1990 October 1998 Torrent Magnet v3
Dragon User 69 Yes May 1983 January 1989 Torrent Magnet v3
Mega Machines 26 Yes October 1990 September 1992 Torrent Magnet v3
Mega Machines Sega 53 Yes October 1992 March 1997 Torrent Magnet v3
Micro Adventurer 17 + book Yes November 1983 March 1985 Torrent Magnet v3
MicroHobby 217 Yes November 1984 January 1992 Torrent Magnet v3
MicroHobby Especial 7 Yes November 1985 December 1987 Torrent Magnet v1
N-Force / SNES Force 24 Yes July 1992 March 1994 Torrent Magnet v3
Page 6 / New Atari User 85 Yes December 1982 September 1998 Torrent Magnet v3
Personal Computer Games 15 Yes Summer 1983 February 1985 Torrent Magnet v3
Personal Computer News 110 Yes March 1983 March 1985 Torrent Magnet v3
RAZE 12 Yes November 1990 October 1991 Torrent Magnet v3
Sinclair User 134 Yes April 1982 April 1993 Torrent Magnet v3
Sinclair Programs 35 Yes May 1982 September 1985 Torrent Magnet v3
ST Format 86 Yes August 1989 September 1996 Torrent Magnet v3
ST/Amiga Format 13 Yes July 1988 July 1989 Torrent Magnet v3
Super Play 47 Yes November 1992 September 1996 Torrent Magnet v3
The Games Machine 34 Yes October 1987 September 1990 Torrent Magnet v3
The Micro User 115 Yes March 1983 September 1992 Torrent Magnet v3
The One 88 Yes October 1988 January 1996 Torrent Magnet v3
Your Computer 70 No – issues and pages missing June 1986 April 1998 Torrent Magnet v1
Your Commodore 85+extras Yes July 1984 October 1991 Torrent Magnet v3
Your Sinclair 93 Yes January 1986 September 1993 Torrent Magnet v3
Your Spectrum 21 Yes January 1984 December 1986 Torrent Magnet v3
Your 64 13 Yes April 1984 September 1985 Torrent Magnet v3
Zero 37 Yes October 1989 October 1992 Torrent Magnet v3
ZX Computing 38 Yes Summer 1982 May 1987 Torrent Magnet v2
Zzap 64! / Commodore Force plus “bonus” issue 107 106 Yes May 1985 November 1992 Torrent Magnet v3

Non-Magazine stuff:

Sinclair and the ‘Sunrise’ Technology (EPUB/MOBI formats) – a “classic” hatchet job on Uncle Clive and his harebrained schemes. It’s a fantastic history of the man and his machines, as long as you can ignore the tabliod-esque sarcastic tone running through the text.
Alternative link

I’ve refined the OCR’ing process over time. The version number reflects the method that was used:

v1: OCR’d directly from the source image. However, the image was recompressed during the process, which made the files up to double the size of the originals and marginally impacted quality.

v2: The v1 images were recompressed to get them back to something approaching the original image quality. Therefore, the file size will be smaller, but having been recompressed twice the image has lost a little bit of quality.

v3: Re-OCR’d straight from source images, this time with NO decompression. These should be (almost) as good as the original images (there is a very slight change in contrast in some collections due to changing DPI, but honestly you’ll never notice unless you’re as picky as me). This is about as good as I can get it.

Eventually all v1/v2 collections will be replaced with v3.


Everything here is free (“as in beer”), but if you’d like to help me get more mags online:


Any amount will help – see the FAQ for more details.


Do you have a collection of tatty, rotting magazines that haven’t been scanned yet that you’d like to donate to a good home? Or have a question/comment? Feel free to contact me at fabwhack@gmail.com

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57 responses to “Currently Available Collections

  1. I did it deliberately just to annoy you 🙂

    But seriously – the problem is that the source images from WOS are low DPI and very lossy. OCR’ing involves decompressing the JPG and then recompressing it again, so it’s lossy in and even more lossy out. I spent a long time trying to get the right balance between file size and image quality, and I have to admit I didn’t think they were THAT bad – certainly not “completely blurry”. Can you give me an example page from issue 1 to compare between? What PDF viewer are you using?

  2. Hi,
    The Zzap64 link seems to be broken – or rather the torrent on tpb. It just responds “no input file specified” wether trying to download via your link or a search within tpb.

    Great job, btw! The ability to full text search these old mags is brilliant!

    • Thanks – well spotted, it’s definitely broken, something at TPB doesn’t like that link any more. I’ve removed it for now – the magnet link should still work fine, and I’ll see if I can find someone at TPB who can help me get it fixed.

  3. In this age of mega fast broadband and huge hard drives, file size is not that important anymore so I would go for maximum scan quality with the least compression.

    • There’s pros and cons to both approaches. Firstly, in the “v3” scans I’m not doing ANY recompression – the images are from the original scans, so they’re as good/bad as the originals, it’s beyond by control.

      I’m doing my own scans for Amiga Shopper/Power/Format and NCE at the moment, scanning them as 300DPI lossless 8-bit TIFFs. This generates a nice big file of 3 -5 Gigabytes depending on the number of pages- and that’s per issue! Multiply that the 300-odd issues of all the above combined … it’s nearly a terabyte. Plus those files take longer to open and view on anything except the beefiest PC or Mac.

      So I’m compressing them down to 150DPI JPGs, between 85% and 95% quality, resulting in a file of around 100Mb an issue. I’ve done some “blind samples” involving family members, and I’m happy the quality is pretty damn good. OK, it’s not 300DPI TIFF quality, but it’s good enough until we all get gigabit internet and holographic storage (which I think was predicted by now in Amiga Format 😉 )

      The other factor is mobile devices a la iPads – I personally enjoy having a few issues of something retro on my iPad for browsing, and if the files were too big it could easily fill up a tablet.

  4. One seeder for MM and MMS at 5k/b per second? This is gonna take a while! No other seeders, or anywhere I can just download these from source?

    • If I’ve got your IP address right, you’ve only been connected for a little while. During the day (UK time) I don’t have much spare bandwidth, hence the slow performance when I’m the only seeded. Leave it running overnight (UK time) and you should see a big difference … I’ll keep an eye on your IP, let me know if you’re still struggling after a couple of days.

  5. This Site is GREAT! I love you man, i’m 40 i read all these magazines when i was young. I’m searching for Nintendo Magazine System (The Nintendo spin off from the faboluos Mean Machine, have you scan this magazine?).

  6. just a big thanks for organising all these classics for the masses..
    out of interest, do you have or would you know where to get pdfs of sega power?? (full collection)
    and even better BYTE magazine from the 90s,
    all the resources on the net seem to have them but they finish in the 80s,
    thanks for all your doing

    • Sorry for the long delay in replying (which is a common theme in this blog!): I can’t find any Sega Power’s, but I’ll keep raking, they may appear somewhere. I’ve got BYTE from 1975-1981, but nothing after that I’m afraid. You’re right, most of the Retro activity seems to focus on the 80’s …

  7. Found 2 sites today dedicated to old game mags and both are ninja efforts by a single person! Much respects guy! Also is putting the files up at Archive.org an option? Should save you the trouble of having to leave your computer perpetually on! Good stuff though! (Hopefully you get a hold of the complete set of Saturn Power issues too) May you keep doing your Amazing work!

  8. You made me happy. I threw away all my old computer magazines years ago and I am gutted I did. Yes scandalous. But this was before broadband.
    You are doing an amazing job and I praise you highly. I am happy that this is being done and that I can reread history.

    I cannot wait for when I you do Amiga Power. There are stuff I need to read in their.
    I bow my head down to you sir.
    Awesome.

    • You’re too kind. Amiga Power is the holy grail: I have just over half of them either already scanned or physically in my cupboard. They’re a nightmare to scan (they’re bigger than A4), but it’ll happen one day: they’re too good to let crumble away.

    • Cheers – those are the ones I’ve already snagged I think (“greetz” to Mr Jack, a master scanner and probably the source of many of the PDF’s here). Holding out for that complete collection on eBay, and a lottery win to buy that A3 scanner! 🙂

  9. Is there any chance you can say on this site which ones are new scans and which ones are the same crappy low res scans that have been available for years (probable scanned by Mort) ??

    Or are all these previously available for many years ?

  10. Is there any chance you can say on this site which ones are new scans and which ones are the same crappy low res scans that have been available for years (probable scanned by Mort) ??

    Or are all these made from previously available scans ?

    EDIT: Why did you delete my post ? I only wanted to know if you could label which ones you scanned because they’ll obviously be higher quality. I don’t want to download stuff that i’ve already got. (Just out of interest, what is the point of OCR in these mags ? You can quite easily look at the contents page. It would be better if you made the scanned text into vector fonts (displayed on top of page) to make the quality a lot better.

    • I didn’t delete your post; all comments are “moderated” so they don’t appear until I click the little “approve” button. Which I hadn’t done yet (I’m a busy chap, as the lack of updates here reflects), so don’t panic!

      To address your first point: I have no idea where most of these scans came from. Honest. I trawled the internet pulling them together over many months, so I can’t say what comes from where with any degree of certainty. I’d love to give credit to those who did scan them (and Mort probably deserves more credit than anyone), so if anyone can help me identify them please let me know and I’ll gladly credit them throughout the site. The Amiga Shopper scans are the only ones on this site that are all my own work.

      As for “what’s the point?”: well, as I’ve said in the FAQ (), it’s all about searchability. Most OS’s now will full-text index PDFs (OS X’s Spotlight is fantastic), which means you can search across collections for text. So: when was first mention of Amiga? That letter you wrote to Your Sinclair, which issue did it appear in? All easily done with searchable PDFs. I’m not looking to provide a better quality scanned image, I’m trying to enhance the value of what’s already available.

      I’m pretty sure the fonts encoded in the PDFs are vectors. By default, the text is “under” the image, which means the bitmapped fonts are the ones that are displayed. However, if you remove the image in the PDF, or every copy and paste the text into something font-aware, you’ll get what I assume are the vectorised fonts.

      Hope that helps – reply back if you need more info.

    • Um .. yeah. I’ve got ZX Computer just about ready to get released as a “v3” (better image quality), so I took the old torrent offline a while back. I’ve put it back online for now, it should seed nice and fast – drop me a mail if it’s still stuck.

  11. Awesome work. Thanks. The only problem for me was trying to open the .pdf documents in Adobe reader on android. The files are too heavy for most pdf readers, and rendering every page takes minutes sometimes.
    So I applied a quick and dirty method to be able to read the magazines fast and comfortably in a cbr (comic book) reader (I like ACV best) : extract all images from the documents, and archive them in a .rar or .zip file. This of course makes the brilliant ocr job you did obsolete, so I kept the original .pdf’s as well.

    To convert fast and painless in Linux:

    for i in *.pdf ; do pdfimages -j $i $i ; rar a $i.cbr *.jpg ; rm *.jpg ; done

    Run this one-liner in the directory where your .pdf’s live.
    Software needed: rar and poppler-utils

  12. Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately the PDF’s are a bit hefty, but they’re cross-platform, as standard as anything gets, and most importantly searchable, which is why I started doing this in the first place. Hope this helps someone get the job done!

  13. Thanks so much, appreciate all the work! 🙂 Just browsed through the N-Force/SNES Force mags: is there a reason why issue NForce09-Mar93 is only 16 pages in total and the others from around this time are around 100 pages?

    Thanks and keep up the great work!
    Patrick

  14. Hi firstly just a massive thank you this is amazing. Secondly I am currently on the look for some 90s sega and nintendo magazines (minus the ones listed above obvs)? Wondered i you’d be able to point me in the right direction? Am really after some nintendo magazine system, maybe some total, official sega and, well anything else.

    Nevermind if you haven’t of course, what you have already assembled is of course, amazing.

    Thanks

  15. Just wanted to say thanks for these Scans, they are great quality and it’s really nice to be able to search, top job. I’ll donate when I can.

  16. Hi, Thanks for this amazing work! I look forward to complete scans of Amiga Format and Amiga Power. I just wanted to let you know that issue 61 of Amiga Shopper seems to be missing half it’s pages and what is included is jumbled up. The others I have checked all seem to be fine 🙂

    • Oops – dunno how that slipped past my rigorous quality control 🙂 I’ve journeyed to the very back of my garage and fished out the offending issue, and it’s squeaking through my scanner as I type this. Watch this space and I’ll have the fixed issue available soon, along with (hopefully) the other AS issues where the OCR’ing was mangled.

  17. Hi Ken,

    Beggars can’t be choosers, but I cannot access any of the torrent magnet downloads, it seems that all the seeders I would like to get files from have left the planet. Is this a permanent affliction or is there some other way of getting these scans? All the torrents lead to a page with a Mega symbol on it and, apparently, nothing else. I am only interested in old Sinclair and Amstrad magazines.

    Thank for a great idea and if you ever get any of those Practical Computing mags
    I would love to hear about it!

    Best regards

    Trevor

    • That’s strange; the “torrent” links are currently hosted on Mega.co.nz, but the links are just small files, and the should download directly. Can you try the “magnet” links instead – those should work with the vast majority of torrent clients?

      • Sometimes I just give up on modern technology! I tried 3 of the magnet/torrents that would not work before I texted my question and all three worked after I read your reply. Thanks for your help and thanks for a great site. I would really, really like to get August 1980 of Practical Computing. Hornet’s Nest was a great story.

        Trevor

  18. Very big thank you for this awesome work. And I’m a big Newspaper collector in Hungary. May I advertise my site here? If not, then just remove the link.
    It’s all in hungarian, but you may feel good, when looking at the pages, just like I’m doing it right now. 🙂

    http://retroujsag.uw.hu

  19. Thanks for these – fantastic collection and really good quality scans too. The OCR’ing is great for searching references of old games.

  20. Wow, the torrents have gone mad the past few days! There are presently 16 leechers for Acorn User alone!

    By the way, the torrent for MicroHobby Especial isn’t downloadable.

    • Yeah, I posted some of the torrent on a popular site that serves torrents and, er, Kicks Ass. A steady 15Mb/s upstream since then 🙂

      I forgot about MicroHobby Especial; it was one of the early “v1” ones, and I need to redo it. It’s only 7 issues, bear with me and I’ll try it get it sorted this week.

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