I originally spotted Retrokomp Magazine a few months ago. I thought it looked interesting but sadly it was only available in Polish at the time. That’s changed now though so I ordered myself a copy for €10 plus postage last week and it arrived today.
So what exactly is it?
Retrokomp Magazine is a brand new retro computer magazine that focuses on 8-Bit and 16-Bit machines and is published by Bitronic.pl in Poland. Although it covers other makes and models of machine there is a lot of Commodore content covering everything from the VIC20 though to the Amiga. The other machines covered include Atari, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and the old Apple computers. It’s produced in full colour to a high standard on A4 glossy paper and there are 74 pages in total.
The first thing that struck me as I flicked through it is that it’s not like most of the other magazines in circulation right now. This is not a game-centric magazine, it’s very text heavy and it contains a lot of articles and information. This is a good thing in my opinion as there are plenty of other magazines that cover games already.
I’ve read a few of the articles in full and they’re well written, interesting and informative. They’re the sort of articles that I will either refer back to in the future or prompt me to start experimenting with a particular piece of kit or write a program. They remind me a little bit of the sort of articles you used to get in Amiga Shopper magazine (RIP).
A quick run-down of the Commodore-centric articles in this issue:
- Transferring data to the C64 (looks at converting real floppies into .D64 files)
- Controlling the floppy disk drive (in depth look at floppy disks usage on the 64)
- Expansion cards for the C16 – Plus/4 family (everything from adding more RAM to sound cards)
- Diagnostic info for repairing Commodore 64’s
- Better sound for the VIC20 (how to write your own sound generator – complete with listing to type in!!!)
- Hardware expansions for the CD32 (looks at several devices you can get to expand the capabilities of the machine)
- Devices supported by handlers (a look at Amiga DOS handlers and what you can do with them)
- Tandem IDE controller (a look at the Tandem IDE CD-ROM drive controller for the Amiga)
Although I’ve not read all of the magazine yet, what I have read so far impressed me. Even the non Commodore articles look interesting, so if I ever pick up one of those other machines there’s plenty to come back for.
Basically if you are interested in using your old computers for anything other than simply playing games on then I’d definitely recommend giving this magazine a try. It’s clearly targeted at hobbyists and tinkerers like myself and has plenty to offer. If, however, you are only interested in games then this probably isn’t the magazine for you.