BBC & multi format magazines

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BBC magazines

As part of trying to evaluate the situation with magazines for the BBC micro, I'm interested in your comments.

The only ones I had ever seen until recently are 'the micro user' (MU) and 'acorn user' (AU). But there were at least these too: A&B computing, Beebug (although advertised as a usergroup, I think it's clear you actually bought the magazine), Laserbug (same), The beebon, Interface (well, this is multiformat actually, with the focus shifting over time, zx80/zx81/atom to atom/bbc etc.), and probably various user group publications. What did/do you think of these magazines? What was good about them and what was bad? I welcome your comments by email, and if the emailer agrees, put them or a summary on this page.

Here are a few comments to get started:

If you agree, disagree or have any other comments, please mail them.


Multi format magazines that had BBC articles/listings

For anyone who has multiformat mags from ca. 1982-1984:

You can mail me anything upto a few MB by attachment, if you want to send more, then please contact me first.

Btw, I'm esp. interested in the 1982-1984 era because:
- I started around 1981 with a ZX80. earlier stuff is interesting from a technology viewpoint, but there is no emotional attachment for me.
- in 1985, with the advent of the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga (Sept. 1985), the BBC was getting 'old fashioned'; this is also why I'm not interested in the 'BBC master' (for the same price you could get an amiga or ST)
- In 1985, coverage of the home computers was diminishing, the PC was taking over in the mags I've seen... (and where not, the MSX abomination got lots of coverage).

Something I'd like more information on specifically: I remember an issue in summer 1984 (upon reflection, this is almost certainly too early, as it doesn't fit with my recollections on various events, and must have been 1985, see also below) of practical computing that had an article on the OS 1.2 ROM, it also said a book was supposed to appear a few months later with a complete disassembly. I guess Acorn put a stop to that as I never heard about that again nor did I see anything in later issues of Practical computing about the OS ROM. I was informed that apparently that book was published as 'the complete BBC ROM disassembly' Does anyone have this book?

Acorn must have responded quickly otherwise this book would have been better known. Anyone have more details on what happened?

UPDATE: I've bought a stack of practical computings, including almost all from 1984 (except August), and Janurary-March of 1985. In the February and March 85 issues there are 2 articles on the OS 1.2 but I'm not sure if April did or didn't have an article on it. The book appears to have been published, and is probably another book than 'the complete BBC ROM disassembly'.


The sensible:

Personal computer world (PCW) (This magazine is still being published)

Practical computing

The colourful:

Your computer

The rest:

Personal software

Computer and Video Games (This magazine is still being published)

Which micro? and software review

Can't say much about the contents as the issues I had are lost. I liked them though! (that was when I didn't have a computer yet, and was shopping). Anyone have some of these mags?

Which computer

I've never seen it. Might be a predecessor of 'Which micro? and software review'.

What micro I've never seen it.

Micro computer printout I've never seen it.

Personal computer news Weekly, I bought one or perhaps a few in 1983. Vaguely remember that it's ok, but not great. I would like to see a few as I don't have any any more!

Electronics and computing monthly Nice hardware projects magazine, with listings. I've got a lot of issues from 1983-1985. There's a robot section for about a year from February 1984 on, then discontinued because of lack of interest... Last issue was September 1985, after which it was succeeded by 'Computing age'.

Computing age First issue was October 1985, successor to 'Electronics and computing monthly'. Almost no hardware interfacing stuff any more. The mag itself claims the number of readers went up 50%, but it seems superfluous in this shape considering mags like 'Practical computing' and 'Personal computer world'.


Exhaustive index of articles and program listings in all magazines?

I think it's time for the next step in BBC computer documentation, which is to list all articles and programs appearing in any magazine...

For this I depend largely on you, the reader to help.

So if you'd like to help, mail me. What I could use and will put on this website, are scans of covers/contents, contents of magazines with brief descriptions of what programs appearing in the magazine do, the actual name of the program in case the contents page doesn't give a name, and perhaps even what the articles are about (usually the contents page from the magazine itself is a bit too brief on that).

Contribute by checking out your collection and submitting your indexes!

Note: After 4 years here have been no contributions. You're supposed to not just use what other people provide but help as well guys...

To email me, go to this page