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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved

 

.info Magazine

A nostalgia page for .info magazine.

The Good Old Days

.info magazine (or INFO=64, as it was known in the beginning) was a magazine devoted to Commodore computers. Originally for the C64, we added Amiga coverage when the Amiga was still just a rumor called Lorraine, eventually becoming an all-Amiga magazine.

I began writing for INFO=64 as a freelancer in issue #3, and joined the staff as Senior Editor with issue #8. By the time .info ceased publication with issue #49, I was listed as Managing Editor.

As time goes by, I'll expand this site with as much information as I can about the magazine, its people, and Commodore's wonderful lilttle computers. I'll start with links to some existing sites (including the sites of former .info staffers and writers) and add original material as I can find the time. Thanks for visiting.

A note about organization: I've divided this page into three sections: The Magazine (about .info itself), The People (about .info writers and staff), and Commodore (about the company, the brand name, the C64, the Amiga, Commodore staff, and whatever). I'll add my latest entries to the top of each category.


Mark R. Brown


The Magazine

The Corporation

From a legal perspective, .info started out as a sole proprietorship under Benn in the state of Oregon. When he moved to Iowa, he incorporated as Info Publications, Inc. A few years later, the company was changed to a limited partnership. If, for some obscure reason, you're interested in the legal details, click here to go to the public records at the Iowa Secretary of State's web site.

The Auction

info auction flyer.info's saddest day was September 20, 1992. Though we'd quit publishing the magazine many weeks before, this was the day the bank auctioned off all of .info's assets. People came from hundreds of miles away to bid on our stuff, but mostly to be a part of the magazine's last moments. Click the image to see a full-page scan of the auction flyer. (Most of the 'office furniture' wasn't ours - it was just added by the auction house to pad the auction.)


First Desktop Published Magazine

Personal PublishingThough they turned it into a left-handed compliment ("The results are admittedly amateurish...") Personal Publishing magazine did pay us their respects in 1987, declaring that our November/December 1986 'Games' issue "comes closer to total desktop publishing than any other mass-market publication we've seen". .info WAS the first totally desktop-published magazine on the newsstands, and it was all done with Amigas. Like PP said, "They're among the pioneers who blaze the trail." We'll always have that.


Computer Press Association Award

CPA AwardThe Computer Press Association gave up the ghost a few years back, but once upon a time they were very influential in the industry. At their seventh annual awards ceremony, in April of 1992, they named .info a 'Runner-Up' in the category of Best Computer Magazine - Circulation Less Than 50,000. Computers in Accounting won, of all things, but we tied with NeXTWORLD so we felt pretty good, especially considering the judges in that category were from PC Magazine and ComputerWorld. And remember, this is in a year when there were literally HUNDREDS of computer magazines on the shelves. Ironically, we were in serious financial trouble by then, and Benn was desperately seeking someone to buy us out and keep the magazine running. No such luck. We were dead a few months later. (BTW, Computers in Accounting and NeXTWORLD are both dead, too, though PC Magazine and ComputerWorld are still around.)


Daniel Barrett's UNIX Articles

Amiga 3000One of the key features Commodore promoted for the Amiga was its ability to run mulitple operating systems. With the right hardware and software, a properly equipped Amiga could run AmigaOS, MacOS, Windows, and UNIX simultaneously on multiple pull-down screens. For awhile, they really pushed the Amiga 3000 (shown here) as a UNIX box, complete with X-Windows support (courtesy of original Amiga team member Dale Luck). The October and November 1991 issues of INFO featured a two-article series by Daniel Barrett titled "UNIX: Is It For You". Dan has posted HTML versions of these on his BlazeMonger Web site: UNIX 1, UNIX 2.

Rodney Chang Interview (INFO #25)

Rodney ChangComputer artist Rodney Chang has posted scanned images of the INFO pages containing the interview Mindy Skelton did with him. Here you've got a chance not only to read one of Mindy's excellent interviews, but you can see a few pages of what INFO looked like in mid-run (#25 out of 49).

The Last Issue

Info MagThis is the cover of the last issue of .info, #49. Click the image to jump to a page with this image in various sizes. Like most of our later covers, it was rendered by Publisher Benn Dunnington using Lightwave 3D.

Partial .info Index

There never was an index to .info, so I don't have one. However, the kind folks over at the Amiga University site have posted a decent partial index of the major feature stories. (Sorry, no list of reviews.) It starts with issue #8 and includes every issue through #47. This is the index I'll start with if I ever get real fired up to do a complete index. (Yes, I do still own a fairly pristine complete set of .infos.) Click the (fuzzy) image to go to the index page.

Amiga Magazine History

This European site has a short blurb on all the Amiga magazines it could find, including .info. (Scroll down for the poop on others.) Includes a short quote by our reclusive Publisher Benn Dunnington.


The People

Info Photoset on Flickr

info photoI've started digitizing a fistful of photos I've got from the 'good old days' at .info. They include pictures of the .info staff and offices, and some photos of Commodore computing luminaries. They're posted up on Flickr, where you can view them individually or as a slideshow.


Benn Dunnington

Benn DunningtonBenn founded .info in his bedroom and the rest, as they say, is history. For awhile after the magazine went down, Benn worked doing 3D animation for the University of Iowa's Advanced Driving Simulator project. Nowadays, believe it or not, he's a realtor in northern Minnesota. My brain still can't quite get its folds around the cognitive dissonance that image conjures up.

Anna Folkers

Anna BananaAnna Folkers was .info's Advertising Manager for the last couple years of operation. She recently stumbled across this site, and wrote to let me know she's married now, has two incredible kids, and is the Marketing Manager for a Midwest-based software company. Great to hear from you, Anna!

Bob Lindstrom

Bob LindstromBob was .info's music columnist after we went to an all-Amiga format. He is married, living in California, and still writing, as well as editing books. Click his photo for a link to the (believe it or not) Cinemaware site, which has posted an old interview with him.

Bob Baker

bakerRobert W. Baker wrote a line or two for .info in its day, but Bob goes much, much further back in Commodore history than that. In fact, along with Jim Oldfield, Jim Butterfield, and a very few others, Bob is one of the original experts on the old PET computer. He transferred his vast storehouse of knowledge to the C64 when it came out, and became one of the top experts on the C64 as well. Bob is now selling a zipped file on his web site which includes many of his early original magazine articles, programs, and programming ideas for the Commodore-64. For $5 you get a 10MB bundle of PDFs of the articles, and for $10 you can get the PDFs plus a zip file that bundles C64 disk images of the accompanying programs. Click the picture and follow the link if you still have a C64 system up and running. This stuff is gold!

.info Staff Photo

The staff of .info magazine as it was at the end of publication. Front: Megan, Krista, Anna. Back: Mark, Benn, Tom, and Tony.

Carol Brown

CarolMy wife, Carol Brown, was Advertising Director for .info for much of its run. She tragically passed away in May 2004 due to a bad heart valve. We miss her.

Gregory Conley

Most fans of .info were also fans of Gregory Conley's Bryce comic strip, which appeared in .info for at least 18 issues. Gregory's cartoons were offline for awhile, but now he has posted 18 complete Bryce strips on his site! He also waxes nostalgic about the Amiga and .info. And, oh yeah, he also features other samples of his professional artwork, which is incredible.

Bradley W. Schenck

Brad Schenck was .info's Graphics columnist. He's still doing computer artwork, and features a wide selection of his eye-popping art—including some free-use graphics— on his Web site.

Harv Laser

Still own an Amiga, or just feeling nostalgic for the good old days? Harv Laser, .info's Multimedia columnist, is still at it, an indefatigable supporter of the Amiga platform. They'll probably bury Harv in an Amiga box, if they can find one big enough. Anyway, a subscription to the AmigaZone Web site lets you tap Harv's seemingly bottomless fount of wisdom. You can also chat with fellow Amiga aficianados (including many old-timers and familiar names) and check out their library of online information. All that for cheap, and you get free stuff for joining. Such a deal!

Megan Ward

.info's Art Director Megan Ward is still designing stuff. She has migrated to the Mac and is creating Web sites for equestrian businesses. If we know Megan, she's doing about 1,000 other things at the same time.

Peggy Herrington

Peggy Herrington was .info's most excellent Music & Sound columnist for many, many issues, covering both the C64 and Amiga. She's still writing about computer music and sound. The link takes you to a page on her site that includes the full text, with illustrations, from one of her .info columns.

Jim Oldfield

When the venerable Midnite Software Gazette folded after many stellar years of reviewing C64 products, .info fulfilled their subscriptions and Editor and Publisher Jim Oldfield began writing for .info. For several years now Jim's been the Publisher over at Abacus Books, which currently specializes in books and add-ons for simulation software.


Commodore

Harv's Boing Ball Ring

ringI've been meaning to post this for quite some time, and have just forgotten until now. Harv Laser, .info's multimedia columnist and the proprietor of The Amiga Zone (see link above), wears this bitchin' ring made from a classic Boing Ball logo plate mounted in sterling silver. The Boing Ball, as most people know, was the subject of the very first Amiga demo. The ball rotated and bounced and looked incredibly cool, and really showed off the early Amiga's graphics capabilities, especially when you compared them to the nearly non-existent graphics on the Macs and PCs of the day. What most people don't know is that the Boing Ball was supposed to be on the logo plates for the Amiga, but at the last minute Commodore management decided to go with the checkmark logo instead. So Amiga employees ended up with several boxes full of brushed aluminum Boing Ball logo plates. There were long rectangular ones for the keyboards (these also say "Amiga"), and smaller square ones for the monitor and the mouse. The only way you could get one of these was to have someone on the original Amiga development team hand one to you. I don't know if Harv's ring is the mouse or the monitor plate (both were square, but the mouse plate was slightly smaller). I've got just a few of each, and am holding on to them. These things are definitely the ultimate Amiga collectible. But I want a ring like Harv's. :(

The C64 DTV Joystick

C64 DTVCommodore computers never die. The Amiga just keeps on going (see below) and now the C64 has been resurrected, this time as a game joystick. The C64 DTV has an entire C64 with 30 games on a tiny circuit board inside a joystick. All for $30 list, $15 regular price, and apparently some people have picked it up on sale already for $10. Ten bucks for a Commodore 64 and 30 games. And a joystick. Ain't technology great? Anyway, I've got one and I've written an article on hacking the thing for the current issue (#2) of MAKE magazine. It's extremely hackable, because the designer, Jeri Ellsworth (a very cool self-taught engineer chick who really digs the C64), put solder pads on the board so you can solder in a power supply, PC keyboard, and 1541 disk drive and turn the thing into a full-blown Commodore 64. Really. Is that cool, or what? Click the pic for a link to one of the C64 DTV hacking sites that have sprung up on the web.

Amiga OS

Amiga OSSince Commodore gave up the ghost, the Amiga brand has been owned by several companies, most of which never did anything with it (I'm thinking 'Gateway' here). But the Amiga trademark has been owned by a German company for several years now, and they have been developing an operating system they call Amiga OS. Version 4.0 has apparently been in pre-release for almost a year. I'm not sure how much, if anything, Amiga OS has to to with the Amiga, but they are using the Amiga Boing Ball as their logo, so at least that's cool. They also promote something called Amiga Anywhere, which seems to be some kind of game development system primarily for the PocketPC. I'm confused. But it's interesting to me that while most old computers just disappear, the Amiga seems to have become The Computer That Wouldn't Die.

Amiga History

Jay MinerThere are many sites which bemoan the fate of the Amiga, and several which deliver up a capsule history. This German site is as good as any, and gets the nod here because they quote Benn.

Amiga Emulator

Amiga ForeverIf, to you, the Amiga isn't dead and never will be, you have plenty of company. Besides die-hard Amiga fanatic Harv Laser's minions at the AmigaZone (see above), there is the indefatigable group of programmers who have produced Amiga Forever. This is a fantastic Amiga emulator for Windows which is now up to version 6.0. You can download it from their site for $29.95, boot your Windows machine into Amiga mode, and pretend that those bastards at Commodore never killed the best computer ever created by the hand of man (or God, depending on just how strongly you feel about Jay Miner).
If for some reason you just can't live without a C64, there's a (free) PC emulator for that, too, at: computerbrains.com.

And don't forget the free C64 emulator called Frodo which is available for many different platforms, including Unix, the Mac, and the Palm PDA. I've got this running on my Sony Clie, and I still can't believe it when I boot up that familiar blue screen on a device that fits in my pocket. The home site for Frodo seems to be down, so I've linked to the site for the Palm version. You can find download sites for other versions via Google.


The text and some images in the main body of this page are licensed under Creative Commons License and are copyright © 2004-5 by Mark R. Brown.

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Last Update: 22/06/2006


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