A couple of Softalks

The Softalk magazine (1980–1984) has become surprisingly rare. Surprising because it used to actually be given for free (at least for a while) to anyone who bought an Apple. And it was a good magazine too. But although many other computer magazines of the 80s have been scanned and made it into various online archives, Softalk is conspicuously absent.

Softalk 1980 09 cover Softalk 1981 11 cover

Scouring the net, I have managed to find a few. Yesterday I found a couple that were hosted in Switzerland and for me at least downloaded very slowly (by my estimate, at about 2400 baud), which prompts me to now host a mirror of those copies of those few that I have so far acquired. Someday I hope to physically have the magazines again, at which point I’ll attempt non-destructive color scans. I still may have some of those physical issues somewhere (I was a subscriber from 1982–1984), but I have not as of yet been able to find them.

So far, I have the following issues sourced in a couple of different places (but I suspect mostly the work of one person). They are not great. For one thing, they are mostly black and white, and (presumably on some kind of principle, possibly legal), the advertisements have been removed. (While I’m sure that it took a lot of time and effort to remove them, I also miss the ads, they’re interesting too, 30 years on.) The covers were also often not included. In at least one place I noticed, a page was duplicated. But, it’s better than nothing, for the moment.

[Addition: Steven Weyhrich has a page of images of many of the covers and column banners posted at his Apple II History site, and for a couple of years has been specifically scanning some of the ads from the pages of Softalk, organized by year and hardware/software.]

Press reaction to the QX-10

Here are some scans I just did of a couple of reviews from Microcomputing magazine in 1983 on the Epson QX-10.

Microcomputing 1983apr Microcomputing 1983may

The quintessential computer? Epson’s QX-10 hits the high-end micro market.” Jim Hansen, Microcomputing, April 1983.

Vive la difference! Valdocs: While the Epson QX-10 offers impressive features, it’s the software—particularly the Valdocs operating system—that puts it a step ahead of its competitors.” Jim Hansen, Microcomputing, May 1983.

I have scanned (but not processed) the entire April 1983 issue, and I’ll probably do the same with the May 1983 issue. Maybe I’ll also fix one page on the scan above that got too close to the edge. I don’t have the following issue (which should contained the third installment of the QX-10 review), but I do have a miscellaneous later issue. Scanning these is a bit tedious, so it’ll be slow going, but I intend to scan most of the documents I have at some point.