Posted on 1 Comment

Juiced.GS enters into content-licensing agreement with OpenAI

The traditional Juiced.GS smiling apple logo, except the apple is gray and has a red eye over a black eyeplate, like the Borg from Star Trek

APRIL 1, 2024 — LEOMINSTER, MA — Gamebits, publisher of the highly acclaimed Apple II magazine Juiced.GS, has entered into a colossal content-sharing agreement with OpenAI, developers of the large language models used by ChatGPT and DALL•E.

“Artificial intelligence is the future,” said Ken Gagne, editor of Juiced.GS. “Technology will soon automate all online creativity and art — and Juiced.GS wants to be included. By feeding our retrocomputing content into OpenAI’s LLMs, we’ll ensure that the history of computing will inform the future of content.”

“Our dataset has long lacked insight into an essential period of Apple history,” said Sam Altman, current CEO of OpenAI. “Despite ingesting everything from AppleWorks to Oregon Trail, we still need to know everything that has been done with the Apple II in the 21st century. With the inclusion of Juiced.GS, we’ll now have that modern perspective on this quaint machine, and our chatbot will finally stop hallucinating such historical ‘facts’ as Steve Jobs growing up on a peanut farm, SimCity being released for the Apple IIGS, and the Apple II being outsold by the Commodore 64.”

The Juiced.GS and OpenAI logos

The licensing agreement, modeled after those previously negotiated with Tumblr and reddit, permits OpenAI unrestricted website access in exchange for an undisclosed but sizable sum to be paid to Gamebits.

“I explicitly trust OpenAI to make fair and intelligent use of everything we will provide it with,” said Gagne.

“Wait a minute,” said Kay Savetz, freelance contributor to the magazine. “I’ve written dozens of articles for Juiced.GS — and my contract says I retain the copyright to them. I don’t want OpenAI absorbing all my hard work without credit! Don’t I get a say in this??”

“Trust me,” was all Gagne had to say.

Upon transferring the agreed-upon licensing fee to Gamebits’ offshore bank account, Altman pointed OpenAI’s bots and crawlers to the Juiced.GS website to begin the hungry silent running of consuming decades of exclusive Apple II news, reviews, interviews, and how-tos.

However, the ingestion ended as quickly as it began, leaving Altman in shock. Looking over his master control program, he was heard to say, with increasing agitation: “W-what??… Where is everything? There’s nothing here but a few links and cover photos… What do you mean, it’s a ‘print magazine’? Who prints things anymore?!? Where’s the online content?? Where are all the PDFs???”

With a wink and a nod, Gagne responded: “We much appreciate OpenAI’s generous contribution to keeping our hardcopy edition alive for many years to come.”

Posted on

KansasFest acquires Roger Wagner

Roger Wagner standing in a U-Haul truck

APRIL 1, 2023 — KANSAS CITY, MO — Roger Wagner, having recently donated his Apple II collection to KansasFest, has announced a surprising continuation of his generosity.

“From Assembly Lines to HyperStudio, the historical artifacts I’ve donated to KansasFest are invaluable — but they lack context,” said Wagner in an exclusive interview with Juiced.GS. “They need their creator’s perspective to be truly understood and appreciated. Therefore, I have decided to donate myself to KansasFest.”

Roger standing in an empty U-Haul truck
Roger is ready to roll into the KansasFest collection
Roger Wagner in a cryogenic chamber
Roger Wagner, frozen & preserved for the future

By becoming part of KansasFest’s living museum, Wagner will be available to describe his products at length, regaling listeners with stories from olden times. Wagner and his wealth of information will be stored in KansasFest’s climate-controlled storage unit in Missouri, where he will be accessible on-demand. Cryogenic technology previously pioneered by Juiced.GS will ensure Wagner is well-preserved for future generations.

“After months of aimless wandering through my once-crowded offices, I’m excited to be reunited with the extensive collection that I spent so many decades assembling,” said Wagner. “By accessioning myself into KansasFest’s inventory, I’ll become part of computer history more literally than ever before.”

Such a surprising donation is unprecedented. “One-of-a-kind hardware like this is particularly difficult to obtain,” said KansasFest committee member Chris Torrence. “This isn’t some unfinished prototype! To have an actual Wagner production model as part of our collection is hugely significant — and potentially the beginning of a new exhibit we can expand with other developers of the era.”

As part of their mission to archive the history of the Apple II, KansasFest plans to digitize the original Wagner for better preservation and distribution. However, doing so will devalue the source material, suggesting Wagner may become part of a future Garage Giveaway, to go home with a fortunate attendee.

Said Torrence, “After all these years, we look forward to a new installment of Assembly Lines: The Care and Feeding of Roger Wagner.”

(Photos courtesy Roger Wagner, Chris Torrence, /u/hellfighter923, and Geoff Weiss)

Posted on 1 Comment

Juiced.GS to be acquired by Microsoft

The Windows logo next to the words Juiced.GS written in the Microsoft font

APRIL 1, 2022 — LEOMINSTER, MA — Microsoft, hot on the heels of its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, has announced that it will be acquiring Apple II magazine Juiced.GS from publisher Gamebits.

“Just as Steve Wozniak likes repeating numbers, we prefer round numbers,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “After spending $68.7 billion on Activision, we thought, what are we going to do with the other $31.3 billion? We let our employees enter their ideas into a raffle, and someone in the gaming division thought this was a good idea.”

Microsoft, best known for Applesoft BASIC and the Z-80 SoftCard, previously published MSDN Magazine, which ran 2000–2019. Its newest brand, Juiced.GS, was founded in 1997, in an era when other Apple II magazines were being shut down by major publishers such as IDG, Ziff-Davis, and Quality Computers. As the longest-running Apple II print magazine, Juiced.GS has enjoyed independence and autonomy, empowering it to succeed where others have failed.

“Being a person of editorial integrity, I always said that there was no price for which we could be bought,” said publisher Ken Gagne. “Turns out I just hadn’t seen that many zeroes before.”

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer was equally enthusiastic. “I was looking at the staff list, I mean, let’s go!” Spencer said. “Ivan Drucker, Ewen Wannop… I should know this, but I think they got Max Jones.”

Future production of Juiced.GS will benefit from the many excellent tools in Microsoft’s portfolio. The seasoned staff of retrocomputing writers will abandon traditional team collaboration tools Slack and Trello in favor of Skype and Microsoft Teams. In a shift from Google Docs, article revisions will be tracked using the version control features of Microsoft subsidiary GitHub. And, in a move sure to please many long-time subscribers, new issues will be immediately available in a digital format. (Xbox Game Pass subscription required)

“This may seem an odd marriage on the Surface, but it will really give us an Edge,” endorsed Gagne.

As part of the buyout, Gagne will remain in his position for the duration of the transition, which, let’s be honest, shouldn’t take more than a week. He’ll then be relocated within Microsoft to a position where he can bring his decades of writing and gaming experience to the table.

“I always thought dropping Z-machine in favor of Eamon would’ve kept Infocom alive,” mused Gagne, referring to a division of Activision now owned by Microsoft. “Now I can finally make that happen.”

Posted on

Juiced.GS now offering personal delivery

Ken wearing a Juiced.GS shirt and a gentleman holding a Juiced.GS magazine

APRIL 1, 2021 — SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Gamebits, publisher of Juiced.GS, is excited to offer subscribers a more personal experience with the longest-running print publication dedicated to the Apple II. Starting in 2021, customers can opt into having their issues hand-delivered to their homes by the publisher.

“We already pulled this prank once before, in 2017,” acknowledged publisher Ken Gagne. “But this past year has been challenging, with an unending pandemic, a contentious election, and a stuck boat. The last thing we wanted to do was give Juiced.GS readers another reason to question reality.”

The Juiced.GS editorial board, feeling that they owed subscribers one for putting up with so many years of jokes, decided the best way to observe April Fool’s Day 2021 would be to make good on a previous gag. Thus, a duty-bound Gagne, outfitted with copies of the March 2021 issue of Juiced.GS, boarded his Juicedmobile to deliver the magazine to subscribers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

“This was the most fun I’ve had with Apple II users since the last KansasFest,” gushed Gagne, 170 miles later. “I met the founder of The Retro Roadshow, a local retrocomputing user group. I chatted with the HP employee who donated many items from Chuck Colby‘s estate to the Internet Archive. I caught up with a Nox Archaist beta tester. I got a recommendation of a local ice-cream stand from from the person who streamed Second Life to an Apple II. I visited with a pastor who shoveled snow as a kid to earn money for his first IIGS. And I took a selfie with a former editor of Nibble Magazine.”

Given the niche nature of retrocomputing, the opportunity to talk to other Apple II enthusiasts in person is rare — even more so during a pandemic. By offering personal delivery of Juiced.GS, Gamebits hopes to deliver not just a magazine, but much-needed connection during a time of isolation and separation.

At least one reader agreed. “Old computers are cool, but getting to know folks like you is the real fun of this hobby,” texted Huxley Dunsany to Gagne as he rode off into the sunset. “We’re grateful that you came by!”

Interested in personal delivery? Keep an eye on Ken’s itinerary as he travels the country! In this program’s pilot period, personal delivery is being offered on an opt-in, invitation-only basis — but if the timing and location work out, you too may be handed your next issue of Juiced.GS!

Posted on

Juiced.GS to publish bi-weekly

Binders

APRIL 1, 2020 — LEOMINSTER, MA — Gamebits, publisher of quarterly Juiced.GS magazine, is celebrating its storied magazine’s 25th volume by increasing its publishing frequency.

“When Juiced.GS debuted in 1996, our readers were connecting to GEnie and Delphi on archaic dial-up modems, downloading files at a snail’s pace,” reflected editor-in-chief Ken Gagne. “Whether they were getting their Apple II news digitally from the Internet or from our magazine in the mail, they would be waiting for three months either way.”

But advancements in information technology and social media have led to a near-constant news cycle of Apple II development. To adapt to this fast-paced era and to ensure timely content, Juiced.GS will be transitioning from a quarterly publication schedule to twice-monthly, with twenty-four physical issues being mailed to readers every year.

“We’re very excited to offer our subscribers the same amount of news, reviews, interviews, and how-tos that Juiced.GS has always delivered,” promised Gagne. “By which I mean, it’ll still total eighty pages a year. What, did you think our hard-working staff of volunteers was just going to magically sextuple the amount of content?”

Binders
You’ll never see issues of Juiced.GS this thick!

Each issue of Juiced.GS will consist of a three-page article on a single topic, giving readers time to pore over the content and try the new hardware, software, or programming techniques being covered. Two weeks later, they can expect another three-page issue, with a special four-page issue planned for KansasFest 2020. Subscribers can upgrade to a premium edition that comes pre-punched for collecting into three-ring binders.

“Australia has always had more Apple II gatherings than Juiced.GS has issues, making it difficult to stay up on events like WOzFest,” noted Juiced.GS staff writer Andrew Roughan. “Now we’re cutting months off the delay from when you read about something on Facebook or in Slack to when it appears in Juiced.GS. Once you fall into the cadence of our regular morsels of content, you’ll wonder how you ever had the attention span to read a full twenty pages.”

“I used to complain about Juiced.GS‘s slow postal delivery on a quarterly basis,” complained fellow Australian Michael Mulhern. “Now I get to complain about my favorite magazine biweekly!”

As an introduction to this streamlined product, Gamebits is now selling individual pages from Volume 24 (2019) of Juiced.GS. Orders can be any combination of consecutive or non-consecutive pages from any of the year’s four issues. By reviewing the index of articles from that volume, customers can assemble their own custom hardcopy issues of Juiced.GS.

“We’re excited by this transition to better serve our loyal customers,” affirmed Gagne. “And no, we’re still not going to make PDFs available; please stop asking.”