MCM online - update

by wolf_ on 29-07-2010, 21:13
Topic: Media

Almost three months ago we reported about the MCM online project: an initiative where the Dutch MSX Computer Magazine and MSX Computer and Club Magazine would be scanned and put online. By now, all the magazines have been scanned, with help of Wammes Witkop. While the magazines still can't be read, and not all covers have been put online yet, there's at least a small glimpse of things to come. The project is still very much alive indeed!

Relevant link: MCM online

Comments (9)

By Grauw

Ascended (10820)

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29-07-2010, 21:42

The overview looks nice Smile. I hope the final site will also have a non-flash index though!

By msd

Paragon (1532)

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29-07-2010, 23:05

Very nice!

By PingPong

Enlighted (4155)

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30-07-2010, 09:39

Very nice

By tfh

Prophet (3424)

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30-07-2010, 10:02

Very nice indeed Smile Looking forward to the final result Smile
TFH feels some nostalgia comming up Smile

By ro

Scribe (5057)

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30-07-2010, 15:15

I wonder, do they have to be 'scanned' while the editors have the 'source' within arms-reach?

good job tho, hope to have a non-flash index indeed!

By fondacio

Master (155)

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01-08-2010, 02:15

@ro - maybe, if they can still open the format in which it was originally saved, they could export the ones from the mid-60s straight to PDF, at least from when they started using screenshots directly generated by the computer rather than based on photographs. This certainly doesn't apply to the vast majority of issues though, and even then at the very least the pages devoted to Dynamic Publisher must have been generated differently (although I guess with DP in an emulator combined with a PDF writer one could produce interesting documents nowadays). If I remember correctly, the initial magazines were typeset, probably until the change to MSX/MS-DOS (#22) when there was a huge layout change. Listings were printed separately first using a daisywheel printer, and they only switched to a laserprinter (only for listings, still) in the mid-teens (as explained in the article accompanying the published listing printer, I think somewhere around #17).

In the twenties, they started using DTP for other parts of the magazine, but at least until #29 the headings were still produced manually. You can see the font change from #28 to #29, and it was also mentioned in MCM at the time. For a long time after that, screenshots were still photographed (e.g. using a Sony HB-F1XDj with pause button), and I assume the production process involved DTP for some parts, but old-fashioned manual assembly for many pages, especially the ones that included advertisements. The cartoons from that era could probably also not have been scanned with a sufficiently high resolution considering the capacity of contemporary harddisks and the limited memory of those computers, so that must have involved making camera-ready pages using expensive photography to be merged with DTP output. The same goes for the front page, which Frank Druijff mentioned at some point was one of the most expensive parts of MCM which they let go at the merger, because it involved hiring a real photographer. Obviously, digital photography was still in its infancy at the time, if it existed at all.

In other words, it's probably much easier to scan as-new copies of those magazines than to reassemble them by exporting the parts made with a DTP programme and pasting in the rest, and I haven't even mentioned the advertisements, some of which were probably produced in-house but others provided by the advertisers themselves. I do wonder at what resolution Wammes scanned everything, and whether we will get PDFs or something else.

Anyway, this is just my speculation based on what I've seen and on what the editors themselves wrote about the production process of the magazine. In fact, I believe it was mostly Wammes himself (and Frank Druijff in the MCCM era) who would tell us these things in editorials and other articles. I would actually be quite happy if he would lift more of the veil from the MCM production process on the occasion of the publication of these scans. But I do think that scanning these magazines wasn't easier for Wammes & co than it would have been for any person who had copies of all issues.

By edoz

Prophet (2501)

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01-08-2010, 23:56

I'm looking forward to see it all online! LOL!

By ray2day

Paladin (752)

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06-08-2010, 23:06

i think scanning will be the best and easiest method for getting this archive online...

the covers in flash look promising. like some said overhere: very nice!

By Manuel

Ascended (19677)

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15-08-2010, 10:26

I understood from Hayo that all source material was lost, so (at least for now) scanning everything is the only option. It's a start!