I'm preserving vintage Macintosh magazine media

For a while now I’ve been collecting CD-ROMs and Floppy Disks that came with Japanese Macintosh magazines for the sake of preservation of classic Macintosh software and games.

These magazines were released before widespread adoption of the internet, when it was tricky to discover new software and even more difficult to obtain it. Buying a magazine with a disc containing hundreds or sometimes thousands of files was an easy way of getting the latest software. Of course, more than twenty years have now passed and software that was once common has all but disappeared. These magazine discs provide time capsules inside which live many long forgotten secrets.

This is such an amazing treasure trove of files, containing many long lost files of both English and Japanese origin. The scatter chart shows the range of date coverage of the collection, full file listings are searchable at gingerbeardman.com/mmm/ and all discs are uploaded to Internet Archive.

Archive status report

The archive as it stands (updated March 2024):

  • date range: 1991–2002
  • total media: 425 discs
  • total files: 929,288


Notable finds so far

  • JapanEase rolling demos of two gorgeous language learning HyperCard stacks from the early 1990s (one previously lost)
  • Hanafuda Stack from 1992/3 (previously zero google search results)
  • Emora Kart from 1994 (previously three google search results)
  • Unyo! 2 the infamous HyperCard stack version of the famous UNO card game, from 1995 (previously lost)
  • Tower Xmas Demo, a demo version of Yoot Saito’s Tower ~Christmas Disc~ add-on from December 1995 (previously lost)
  • Fans of Macromedia Shockwave and Osamu Sato uncovered a 1997/8 demo of Roly-Polys World Tour which is hugely exciting as the complete game remained lost to time (it has since been found, May 2023)
  • Pickle’s Pocket from 1998 is the first desktop toy and suite of tiny apps by Thoru Yamamoto (previously lost with zero screen grabs online)
  • MacCalligraphy Sansui Demo, version of Japanese calligraphy tool by Enzan-Hoshigumi from 1999 (previously lost) I also uncovered a promotional leaflet and demo guide from Wayback Machine
  • AsistantPickle from 2000 is a more advanced desktop toy and suite of tiny apps by Thoru Yamamoto (previously lost with zero screen grabs online)

My Patreon enables me to buy more discs to build out the database, finding more lost gems and sharing them once again with the world. I add missing discs to Internet Archive and the redump project and upload individual games to various Classic Macintosh archives.

Thanks for being on this journey with me!

Further reading

Originally published: 2021-10-30
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Comments: @gingerbeardman