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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."

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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!

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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."

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Juiced.GS announces Apple II-powered cryptocurrency

A tower of 16 networked Apple II computers

APRIL 1, 2019 — LEOMINSTER, MA — Gamebits, renowned publisher of Juiced.GS and retailer of Apple II books and software, is introducing a new cryptocurrency for use exclusively in retrocomputing transactions.

Juicybits™ will be a groundbreaking payment method powered by blockchain technology, adapted to run on 8-bit machines. Apple II users, known to hoard more vintage machines than they could ever possibly use, can finally set their collections to the task of recouping the investment in this expensive and otherwise purely nostalgic hobby.

A tower of 16 networked Apple II computers
The AppleCrate can mine as much as one Juicybit™ per month.
As with any cryptocurrency, the more processing power available, the more Juicybits™ can be mined. As Juicybits™ can be produced only on Apple II hardware, Juiced.GS publisher Gamebits has partnered with Michael J. Mahon to sell AppleCrates to any parties interested in getting in on the ground floor. These towers of sixteen networked Apple II motherboards are expected to initially mine one Juicybit™ per month. An AppleCrate server farm is also currently being constructed at Rockhurst University, where KansasFest attendees can lease time on additional processors. Negotiations are ongoing to provide the school's Corcoran Hall with additional air-conditioning units.

Individual users are welcome to participate using their existing retrocomputing hardware via a broadband Internet connection. Consistent with the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency, blocks will be scattered across a number of telnet BBS message boards, waiting to be found and verified. Spectrum Internet Suite, the graphical web browser for which support was recently discontinued, will also be updated. When paired with the web-hosting software Silver Platter, Apple IIGS users will be able to deliver and engage in cryptojacking.

Apple II users without an Uthernet card can elect for their next issue of Juiced.GS to be bundled with an encrypted block on a 5.25" floppy disk. When the block is verified, it can be mailed back to Gamebits to be added to the blockchain. Limited editions of Juiced.GS will also include printed blocks that can be typed into an Apple II to be verified.

Juicybits™ logoWhether the blocks are delivered digitally or via physical media, Juicybits™' encryption and privacy are as strong as any other cryptocurrency, as the Apple II flies below the radar of most malevolent hackers. Mysterious cracker 4am has promised to set his sights on Juicybits™ as soon as the Internet Archive contains all Apple II floppies ever made — a threat ameliorated through judicious application of Zeno's dichotomy paradox.

Juicybits™ will prove an exciting financial opportunity for Apple II users. Other cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum, can be exchanged for Juicybits™ on the free market. Due to the limited pool of Apple II computers available, Juicybits™ will have a high initial value, with an exchange rate of a dozen Juicybits™ per Bitcoin. Each Juicybit™ can then be used to extend a Juiced.GS subscription for one month.

As Juicybits™ gain momentum, widespread market penetration is expected to occur by mid-2020. ReActiveMicro will not only be the second store to adopt Juicybits™, but will do so exclusively, abandoning other payment methods. Said an enthusiastic Henry Courbis, "If you thought our TransWarp processors were impressive, wait until you see our payment processors!"

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Juiced.GS NOT the victim of a data breach

Juicy apple leak

UPDATE: Upon further forensic analysis, it has been determined that no data breach did in fact occur.


"Advertisers and data brokers have returned our subscriber information to us intact and unopened," said Gagne. "None of them had the hardware or software with which to decipher our AppleWorks database format on 5.25" floppy, rendering the files useless to them."

APRIL 1, 2018 — LEOMINSTER, MA — Juiced.GS, the world's last and longest-running print publication dedicated to the Apple II, is the latest victim of a grievous and unlikely data breach.

"Our subscribers' privacy is sacrosanct, and their information will never be traded, sold, or shared," said publisher Ken Gagne. "Unfortunately, no security is impregnable. There was simply no way to know that trying to connect with my friends in FarmVille would give Facebook access to our customer database."

Juicy apple leak w/drops

As a result of this breach, personally identifiable information (PII) about Apple II users has been made accessible to advertisers, data brokers, and political influencers, including the notorious Kansas Analytica. Among this PII are detailed subscriber demographics, including Apple II model, CPU speed, KansasFest roommate preference, and position on waiting lists for CFFA3000 and Uthernet II cards.

As a preventive measure against identity theft, Juiced.GS publisher Gamebits will offer subscribers a two-year subscription to data protection service LifeLock. Or, at least, it would like to. "When I called LifeLock and explained that I was concerned unscrupulous individuals would claim to be owners of 40-year-old Apple computers with 64 KB of RAM and a 140K floppy drive, they laughed and hung up," a confused Gagne related.

The repercussions of this breach have been immediate, as experienced by subscriber Kirk Millwood. "Previously, my web browsing would be plagued by advertisements for mattresses, web hosting, toenail fungus removal, and more," complained Millwood. "Now I'm being targeted with ads for 65816 accelerators, CompactFlash readers, modem emulators, and Pascal compilers. This is GREAT!"

Amazon ad
Do you like applesauce? Then Amazon recommends you also try Juiced.GS.

"This breach is the best thing to happen to the retrocomputing community in a long time," agreed Evan Koblentz, organizer of the Vintage Computer Festival (VCF). "I never knew which, if any, Apple II users would show up to our events. Now I know exactly who they are — and what varieties of Krispy Kreme donuts will lure them here."

Juiced.FR

Gamebits will continue to investigate how to reclaim its data and prevent further dissemination. One drastic measure is already on the horizon: after this coming May's implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Juiced.GS will be banned from the European Union. Former subscribers should instead register for Juiced.FR, a new, French-language quarterly Apple II journal published by Brutal Deluxe.

Assured Brutal Deluxe's Antoine Vignau: "Brutal Deluxe will protect the data of its subscribers as thoroughly as the Maginot line."