['Game Mag Weaseling' is a weekly column by Kevin Gifford which documents the history of video game magazines, from their birth in the early '80s to the current day.]

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If there was such a thing as a "scene" of people scanning in old computer magazines and releasing them on the Internet, then this guy DLH would be the hot new rising star in it. His site offers torrent/newsgroup links to all manner of neat old US mags, not to mention PDFs of all manner of old Commodore 64 and Amiga books and hardware data.

UK fans have already scanned in every great game and computer mag of their past (and lots of not-at-all-great ones), but the Americans have always been behind the trend. A lot of the mags DLH has been scanning and/or collating have been pining for a full digital version for years now, two of which you see the premiere issues of above -- COMPUTE! and the Amiga-exclusive Amazing Computing.

Both of these mags started out with two feet firmly planted in the user-group scene, COMPUTE! originally a newsletter devoted to Commodore's PET machine and the first issue of Amazing typeset off a dot-matrix printout (they went for laser printing starting with issue 2). Both got enormous in their heyday, the December '83 issue of COMPUTE! clocking in at 392 pages.

Both also launched all kinds of spin-off mags, from the equally-successful COMPUTE!'s Gazette to Amiga programmer reference AC's Tech. COMPUTE! was one of the few consumer computer mags to weather the brutal post-game-crash era of 1984 and beyond, but it was never quite the same, eventually fizzling in 1990 and being reborn as a PC-centric mag. Amazing, on the other hand, kept right on truckin' through 1999, long after the Amiga market died in America, a feat that shows the sheer tenacity of the Commodore faithful in the '90s.

Thumbing through COMPUTE! from a 2009 perspective, one may wonder why this mag got popular at all. It was aggressively multiplatform, devoted space to a lot of quixotic subjects (including one infamous multi-part feature that attempted to implement a computer language in Commodore 64 BASIC) and was often so text- and program listing-heavy that it looked like a Sears catalog from the turn of the century.

The same could be said of AC, a lot of the relevence of which is lost if you aren't in tune with the state of the computer it was covering. But they are both undeniably valuable primary sources for the US home computer scene, and the enthusiasm both mags are packed with is something you're never going to see again, now that computers are essentially furniture. Besides, there are one or two good games among COMPUTE!'s endless BASIC listings. I think.

[Kevin Gifford breeds ferrets and runs Magweasel, a site for collectors and fans of old video-game and computer magazines. In his spare time he does writing and translation for lots and lots of publishers and game companies.]