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Drobe hosts Acorn User archives

By Chris Williams. Published: 14th Apr 2003, 12:40:48 | Permalink | Printable

The good old days

RISC OS has come a long way from its 6502 powered OS 1.2 roots and it'd be foolish to cast the history of our platform into a forgotten well of ignorance. In order to archive past attitudes and events of the Acorn market, its user base, related companies and the computer trade press, drobe.co.uk has begun chronicaling and indexing early issues of Acorn User magazines and publishing them online for readers to peruse and also search to find particular content.

Having sought permission from Tau Press, the publishers of Acorn User magazine which is still running to this date we'll have you know, the first issue to be uploaded is March 1985 (currently a quarter of the magazine is online with more to follow) and many other issues are planned for online publication in time. It's worth it for the ads offering 20MB hard discs for over a grand and a hardware article by Paul Beverley, now Archive magazine's editor.

Issues can be found from the link below and also on the left side menu. Keep your eyes peeled for more issues and contact Ian (who master minded the whole thing) for further information.


Acorn Users on drobe.co.uk

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Many thanks to AcornUser for letting us do this, and John Baker(mags) for digging up the AcornUser magazines so I could scan them in. -- Ian Hawkins (g0tai)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 14/4/03 12:44PM
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Wicked man! Totally wicked.

-- Snig Undoubtley doubtful.

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 14/4/03 11:29PM
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Excellent! Well done guys, this is a great resource to have online. -- Steve Knutson

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 14/4/03 11:41PM
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Utterly groovy, ace, wicked. I am /so/ looking forward to looking at them online. Some referencing would be nice too - anyone fancy compiling some decent references for them? -- Andrew Hill,

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 15/4/03 12:30AM
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Bootnote: Didn't AU also inherit the rights to Micro User, Electron User and Archimedes World? You could certainly get some of the former done in association with the BBC fanbase which still thrives on the Web. -- Andrew Hill,

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 15/4/03 12:31AM
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If you've got the server space to do the whole lot, can do a coordinated effort with say, 200 or so people who each own a scanner. Each one can scan their copy of a particular issue - straight away you have a fab resource!

-- Steve Scott sassquad.com

 is a RISC OS Usersascott on 15/4/03 3:32AM
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I have a sheet-feed scanner which scans in each page for me, and also some *excellent* OCR software that generates text associated with each page that is used in part of the AcornSearch engine.

Unfortunately with lots of people scanning stuff in you will get lots of variants of quality of document, as well as (more than likely) badly OCR'rd in text. (The high-end software I have access too recognises irregularly formatted text, images, and columnated/tabled text which is damn useful.

The first 49 pages were only as a demonstration, but now permission has been given I can get on with scanning the remaining 40+ magazines.

Server space is irrelevant :-)

Be patient, more magazines will arrive soon. -- Ian Hawkins (g0tai)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 15/4/03 9:11AM
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How do you get a magazine thru a sheet feeder?

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 15/4/03 12:13PM
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Chop the binding bit off.

It took me *AGES* to scan 40 pages in on a flatbed. Sheetfeeder is lots faster. :) -- Ian Hawkins (g0tai)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 15/4/03 12:18PM
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So you're going to destroy the mags to scan them? Fair enough. :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 15/4/03 3:08PM
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Wonderful! Well done ! I spent a lot of time and some money for hunting old issues of Acorn User but didn't have had much success because I could only get a few issues. Now I can enjoy this stuff online. Thanks a lot.

 is a RISC OS UserGregor on 15/4/03 3:17PM
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How about a project to host past software aswell?

It'd be great to get hold of some of the old stuff (obviously 8bs has quite a few of the old AU/Micro User BBC disks, but not all) There was quite a lot of interesting software across all the mags - if what you say about AU owning rights to other magazines and their content, I think a suitable downloads area would be a perfect compliment.

 is a RISC OS Useriamnotamused on 15/4/03 11:29PM
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Nah, just type them in from the yellow pages :)

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 15/4/03 11:55PM
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Awesome! This will be a great resource. I must say, at present the amount of Acorn history and archived data is rather poor. A great idea.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 16/4/03 1:49AM
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Dear sir,


Oops, wrong forum. Ahem. Nice work, g0tai. Shame it's only Acorn User, eh? Unfortunately I gave my copies of the (almost) complete BBC Micro User away to dgs due to lack of space. It'd be great to be access them again online. They were only slightly dog-eared too.

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 16/4/03 6:41PM
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Keep watching. -- Ian Hawkins (g0tai)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 16/4/03 9:29PM
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g0tai: if a standard dpi etc. is agreed, then you won't get varied quality from other contributors.

I look forward to what this project has in store. -- Stevie Scott

 is a RISC OS Usersascott on 17/4/03 5:12AM
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I'll investigate a reasonable file format that people can send me stuff in (so that i can still OCR pages), it wont be nice - It'll probably be something like a 56M archive of jpg images (archived for ease of transfer) per magazine that I haven't got. And I'll have to run stuff through convert to get it into a reasonable format/size for the OCR software -- Ian Hawkins (g0tai)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 17/4/03 10:07AM
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"Bah!" say all those people trying to sell 100 old copies of Acorn magazines on ebay ;)

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 18/4/03 11:39PM
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This will be a fantastic and very important resource when it's finished. Nice one Ian and Drobe. -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 21/4/03 3:27PM
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