Diskmags Catalog:Intro

From Diskmags Catalog

Disk magazines, also known as 'diskmags', 'diskzines', or 'magazettes', are electronic magazines for personal computers, mostly published on early digital media like 5.25" and 3.5" floppy disks. This site provides a comprehensive catalog of these unusual multimedia periodicals.

Diskmags reached their pinnacle of popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s, predominantly originating from the United States as a commercial publications, then cultivated as community magazines all over the world, especially in Western European countries like United Kingdom, West Germany, Sweden, Finland, Italy, France, and, after 1990, also in Eastern European countries. While many disk magazines were published in English, numerous vibrant language communities produced their own remarkable publications. It's worth noting that reading a disk magazine was limited to the specific computer system it was created for.

New diskmags by year, grouped by computer system. Diagram by Johannes Leitgeb

The magazines usually contained articles like a regular computer magazine, often accompanied by images and background music, but also software like games, applications, demos and artwork. During their heyday, some disk magazines were readily available in regular newspaper shops, often affordable enough for pocket money purchases. A secondary readership emerged through the trading and circulation of legal and illegal copies, contributing to their widespread dissemination. But the largest part - the non-commercial, scene oriented disk magazines - was exclusively distributed through copying. With the advent of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, the majority of disk magazines either ceased production or migrated to online platforms, often retaining the term 'disk magazine' in their titles.

Regrettably, the preservation of these valuable historical artifacts has been lacking, with libraries generally neglecting their collection. Consequently, the current state of preservation for disk magazines is relatively poor. However, through this catalog, we aim to shed light on these captivating publications, ensuring their significance is recognized and appreciated by enthusiasts ... like yourself!

Torsten Roeder, December 2023

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