ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

Why You Should Follow the Digital Antiquarian —

A weblog post that does little else but tell you to follow another weblog? Well, yeah, deal with it. This is a very special weblog I’m talking about.

Here’s Jimmy Maher. I’ve never met this guy, but I love him. For the past year and a half or so (since March of 2011) Jimmy has been ripping shit up. He has taken home computer history, especially from the software side, and he has grabbed that sucker with gusto. In his description of his site, The Digital Antiquarian, he mentions that he’s currently a househusband from Dallas Texas now happily living in Norway. He’s not specifically up to much, apparently, although he has some ideas to go for a PhD or equivalently intellectual enterprise. Until he does, though, his Digital Antiquarian site is an absolute must read.

What we’re getting, right now, are free chapters of a book about the home computer software industry, US and UK, with trackdowns of facts, backfilling of anecdotes, and brilliant insights into all sorts of ranges of history that I couldn’t hope to find the time to begin work on. While I’m over here getting lots of data into the Internet Archive and assembling my various film and scanning projects, Jimmy is blowing out, with incredible regularity and consistent quality, entries on all manner of subjects very close and very dear to my heart and therefore, I hope, yours.

The story of Broderbund. An overview of Dog Star Adventure followed by an interview with the writer, Lance Micklus. A critical regard of the oft-cited sales numbers for Akalabeth.  A full narrated play-through of Ultima II. Everything, and I do mean everything, about Penguin Software.

Bam! Bam! Bam! Each entry is a home run, and there are now dozens of entries on this site. If it was a book, I’d have bought it. If was a magazine, I’d have devoured it. If it was a lecture series, it’d be cued up on my iPad, ready to play and listen to while resting and looking out a window, or while driving. It’s perfect.

There are people who I wish I could be, if had the time and the no-other-commitments thing going. Jimmy’s one of those guys. It’s surreal to watch someone cold-drop dozens (it’s possibly approaching the hundreds) of pages about stuff I honestly care about, and where I learn 5 new things every new post.

Have I made myself clear?

Get yourself reading The Digital Antiquarian immediately. No excuses. It’s one of the single most important home computer history weblogs, no, books, out there.

Categorised as: computer history

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  1. iPadCary says:

    Thanks for the headsup!

    I especially enjoyed the Brøderbund stuff!

  2. John McDevitt says:

    I’m reading the entire site in chronological order (which also happens to be mostly the correct timeline order). Awesome, thank you.