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Creative Computing Magazine (archive.org)
174 points by yitchelle on June 26, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 53 comments

Like Creative Computing, I remember the pleasure I got from Algorithm Magazine, which included pseudocode for fractals, neural nets, cellular automata, and all those things that attracted me to computers. Algorithm Magazine was put out by noted computer scientist and author Alexander Dewdney (http://www.csd.uwo.ca/faculty/akd/akd.html).

I would gladly scan the few hardcopies I still have (not a complete set though) if someone else would host them.

Put them on archive.org? https://archive.org/upload/

Send the scans to me - I'll do any cleaning, compression, documenting, then put them up on github and give you a shout out.

My contact details are on my profile :)

Please put a link when you get them scanned and hosted!

Put them on github or dropbox?

Putting them on github would be really cool.

This is what got me into computers at age 9. There were comics, and I didn't understand them. So I started reading the articles.

The articles didn't have anything to do with the comics, but I was fascinated, and ended up buying a ZX-81, then a Commodore 64, and...well, I'm still doing it.

Here's the instructions if you want to do a batch download to your favorite offline e-whatever.


Our new command-line tool makes that even easier:


I loved that magazine. The first years of it had a charming quality to them I've never seen anywhere else. The early issues are treasures.

The later ones got more conventional.

Very well put. The issues in that first year made those of us who weren't programmers feel like we could be. It was thanks to them and COMPUTE! that I actually did become one, and eventually a consumer of Walter Bright products!

Nice blast from the past. My intro to programming was as a 9 or 10 year old manually typing most of the samples from Creative Computing's _BASIC Computer Games_ [1] into a Commodore 64 and actually getting them to work. The best one was this one [2], 2.5 pages of densely packed no-whitespace all-caps BASIC. No OCR!

1: http://www.atariarchives.org/basicgames/index.php

2: http://www.atariarchives.org/basicgames/showpage.php?page=15...

Jason Scott has been really busy in recent times. Just saw on twitter of him announcing Joe Decuir's Engineering Notebook during his Atari days from 1977.


FYI, rescans is a subset of the main Byte collection, https://archive.org/details/byte-magazine.

My email is slapped on the collection page for that one if you notice something mislabeled. If yoy have Byte issues that need scanning for Archive.org, I have contacts for those kind souls as well.

I just found about 50 issues of Creative Computing in my Dad's old stuff. Any thoughts on who might want them?

Text version of the magazine: http://www.atarimagazines.com/creative/index/

Thanks, but there is nothing like seeing it in "print" to bring back the memories.

Takes me back seeing adverts for s100 cromenco and USCD Pascal - I once had to stay late to call Microsofts help desk with a tricky USCD Pascal query (that was when they where in new mexico I think)

I found an copy of The Best of Creative Computing Vol 2 http://www.atariarchives.org/bcc2/ at a thrift store years ago and was immediately hooked. It reminded me of all the neat hobby projects that would come across fidonet when I was a kid. Now everything is an acqui-hire or flip, the ratio of exploration and art in coding projects has definitely dropped.

I love the cover by Gilbert Shelton, with Fat Freddy's Cat fleeing in front of the the pick-up truck!


Oy, I wish I'd kept a listing of the Algol W snowflake curve program I wrote up for Creative Computing and that they published in the Nov-Dec 1978 issue. The printout combined with the scan makes it hard to read. Ah, well; I did it to myself.

It looks reasonably readable to me if zoomed in. It should be possible to retype from the scan, if someone wanted to.

This is fantastic. I wonder what the contemporary equivalent is.

I would like to know what the modern equivalent of this is too. Obviously blogs are there. But it is not for me but my kid. Something that can pique his interest.

I too would like to know of a modern equivalent.

Magazines are able to deliver something that blogs often can't - like pieces of work that have been refined, and then refined again by an editor. Or diverse topics that still fall within a certain discipline.

This is an itch that blogs can't seem to scratch for me.

Tried the PICO8 fanzine?


Its tailored for PICO8, which is a 'fantasy console' in the same light as 80's 8-bit machines, but still .. its one of those 'zines that really takes you back once you get through an issue or two ..

Does http://creativeapplications.net serve as an equivalent?

Haha! "Several years ago it was all the rage to forecast when each computer maker was going to graduate from an 8-bit cpu to a 16-bit cpu. However, it turned out that consumers didn't need 16-bits and computer makers were really quite content to stay with 8-bit machines".


This is great!

One problem with Creative Computing is that most libraries seemed to think it was ephemeral and they got rid of their holdings in the early 1990s, so it has been really hard to find. Even my mom thought it was ephemeral and she threw out most of my collection.

That's the thing I don't really get about libraries. They are incredibly deletionist.

My pet theory: the librarians feel they have power that way, by "curating" the collection that will presented to the peasants.

The much bigger problem is that copyright doesn't allow people to scan books/magazins and distribute the scans. As DanBC writes "Climate controlled storage [...] is expensive". On the other hand: Disk space is very cheap (even if you want high redundancy).

The Internet Archive has a "lending library" of post-1923 books where we own a physical copy, stored in a shipping container in a warehouse, and loan one digital copy at a time for each physical one that we own.



We're hoping to get libraries to join with us to make their books in remote storage available in a similar fashion.

wow. did you get shushed by a librarian as a child?

Librarians are not power mad media moguls. Librarians and Libraries are closest the non-IT world has to open source/free software/knowledge sharing. They have always been a fantastic resource for the "peasants" as you call them.

Please see http://awfullibrarybooks.net/why-weed/ for a justification of why a library might reduce its collections.

While there may be some power-mad librarians out there in terms of 'there will be silence in the library!', they curate the library's collection for many reasons: to meet the requirements of stakeholders, to meet the needs and shifting interests of the community, to make room for new material...

Really, there are a whole host of reasons for deaccession of library materials that include financial, space, and other concerns that hit the bottom line.

The great thing about technology is we have the ability to collect, classify, add metadata[1], and make all human knowledge accessible to everyone. If only insanely long copyrights and restrictions on scanning and lending copyrighted works were not in the way.

[1] This is not really something a busy librarian has time for, so other methods, such as user-driven tagging and folksonomies[2] are an interesting solution that is being tried.

[2] http://interactivearchivist.archivists.org/technologies/tagg...

I don't like deletion very much either in general, although I've seen librarians defend themselves with 1. that they totally don't have room for stuff 2. for kids' stuff, at least, if it's science, our knowledge has grown so much that it's a disservice for them to read the old book without context. Or if it's fiction, it can be full of social norms and beliefs that we've grown beyond, where...we'd also want them to have context if they were going to read it.

But it sucks when you hear how they often don't have a good sense of the value (intellectual or otherwise) of what they cull. And it sucks if everyone makes the same judgment and all throw away our ephemera that we wish to look back, evoke memories, reveal something of our time.

Most libraries (in Europe, at least) tend to have an incredibly low density of books. I think the image of a good-looking library is more important to them than to actually have more books on the shelves.

E.g. something like this (the main public library in Linköping, Sweden):


rather than something like


Kenmore's public library has a low density of books as well - wide aisles, low shelves. I suspect it is partly due to wanting to be accessible to people in wheelchairs. But few books kinda defeats the purpose of having a library.

Half-Price Books in Bellevue is more my speed. It's completely packed with books. I could putter away hours in there.

Damn, how do they keep the books from falling out of those sideways shelving units in Seattle? ;-)

They are trying to serve their patrons with limited resources. Getting a new box of books in means that something old has to go. I don't think it's more sinister than that.

As a librarian using my summer weeding, I can tell you that that is not the case. Having a large, irrelevant, unruly collection is a great way to make a library useless for the users. A library is not an archive. Other collections take care of long term storage. Primarily national libraries through legal deposits.

Edit: Worldcat shows 570 libraries have the magazine in their collection, and every library worth its salt can get it from them by inter library loan. So its not hard to get your hands on by a long shot.

Libraries are underfunded. Climate controlled storage for stuff that most people won't use is expensive. There are some libraries the do keep everything, so it's not "lost".

But they don't scan everything or even ILL everything, so it's pretty lost by contemporary standards.

It'll get there. We have a gap now, but many national libraries and other large collections do understand the value of scanning and making available. Part of the challenge is that they then to will prioritise old and rare publications to things like these magazines, especially when copyright limitations makes it challenging to publish the newer material.

There are many quite decent publicly accessible collections of computer magazines, though, because of the audience - other types of magazines are in a worse position.

I can say I've looked for Creative Computing in some of the largest and most prestigious libraries on the east coast of the U.S. and the haven't had it. It wasn't just the public libraries that thought it was obsolete, it was the big academic libraries too.

Every librarian I've ever spoken to has been incredibly good at pointing me in the right direction if they didn't have anything in the local library. They understand the need for archival, but they are also limited in space and money and need to focus on what their typical users actually read.

If you can't find something, ask your librarian where it might be available. Generally they can give suggestions, and may even spend time helping you search.

In my teens had libraries contact specialist libraries and dig obscure translations of works out of vaults for me where they could have just told me sorry and pointed me to the several newer/more mainstream editions of the same work they had out (I was transcribing some books where the newer translations were still in copyright and where I was also hunting for additional forewords), despite being young enough at the time that they could've easily dismissed me as not having any "important" reasons to trouble them with asking for just those editions.

My experience is that if you're nice, most librarians love it when they are asked for something unusual by someone who clearly cares about the books.

Easy, there. Librarians aren't the bad guys in this story.


This was my goto magazine :)

Much more code per issue than Byte, and easily modifiable games, which were great for learning.

Thanks to the Archive for scanning! If there are any issues missing, I may have them and be able to help contribute.

I used to love all these old magazines. Learned so much from Creative Computing, RUN, Compute (and compute's gazzette), Dr Dobbs (when it was a real magazine), etc.

Ah, this is one I missed back in the day! It looks interesting, but viewing the PDFs in Foxit, the pages are all black text on dark gray background. Is anyone else getting that? Any known fix? For reference, Byte scans from archive.org display correctly on my system.

Works for me in MuPDF.

Get an alternate PDF reader here: https://pdfreaders.org/

Ah, tried MuPDF just now and it's still coming out dark gray, but at least now I know it's not a problem with Foxit. Thanks.

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