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The Byte Works’ Opus ][ & Juiced.GS Concentrate: GSoft BASIC now available

The Byte Works
The Byte Works

SEPTEMBER 1, 2015 — LEOMINSTER, MA — Gamebits, publisher of premier Apple II magazine Juiced.GS, is proud to announce its partnership with software developer The Byte Works to sell Opus ][: The Software and Opus ][: The Source. These products, which collect the majority of The Byte Works’ products and source code, are available immediately on CD and USB and as downloadable disk images, starting at $25 each or $40 for both.

Juiced.GS‘s collaborations with The Byte Works began when we bundled GSoft BASIC with our December 1998 issue,” said magazine editor and publisher Ken Gagne. “We’re thrilled to work with Mike Westerfield to again make his programming tools accessible to the Apple II community.”

“The ORCA languages, including the assembler and development environment Apple shipped as APW, have always been the most complete and widely used tools for Apple IIGS programming,” said Mike Westerfield, president of The Byte Works. “They have been hard to get for a few years. I’m delighted that Gamebits is making these programs easily available again.”

To commemorate this release, Gamebits has released Juiced.GS Concentrate: GSoft BASIC, a PDF that collects Eric Shepherd’s six-part programming tutorial series that was originally published in Juiced.GS from 1998 to 2000. This PDF is free when purchased with any Opus product, or it can be purchased separately, bundled with a free trial edition of GSoft BASIC, for $10.

Additionally, a related product, Juiced.GS Concentrate: Back to BASICs, has been reduced in price by 33%, from $12 to $8. A further $2 discount is applied when purchased with Juiced.GS Concentrate: GSoft BASIC.

Opus ][ logo

Juiced.GS is the longest-running and last remaining print publication dedicated to the Apple II. Subscriptions are available at $19 for United States customers, $24 for readers in Canada and Mexico, and $27 for international customers. Receive news and updates about Juiced.GS by signing up for our email list or following us on Facebook or Google+.

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Juiced.GS in 2012, new Concentrate, and custom ads

Juiced.GS, the longest-running and last remaining Apple II publication in print, will continue its historical streak for another year, with subscriptions for the 2012 volume now being accepted.

“2011 marks the fourth consecutive year when our subscription base has not shrunk, not stabilized, but actually grown,” says Ken Gagne, the magazine’s editor and publisher. “With so much interest in a thirty-year-old computer, and so many stories still to tell, there’s enthusiasm among both readers and writers to keep Juiced.GS going for as long as possible.”

Subscriptions to the 2012 volume, which will include the traditional four quarterly issues, cost $19 for customers in the United States, representing no change in price. International customers will experience a $1 price increase, up to $27 per year, the first price hike after nine years at $26, in which time international postage went up $1.35. Back issues and other non-subscription products will also incur an international shipping fee, discounted from the standard United States Postal Service charge.

Juiced.GS‘s library of digital products, launched at KansasFest 2010, has also grown with the addition of a new Concentrate. The File Transfer PDF consists of five articles that were originally printed in Juiced.GS from March 2010 through March 2011, describing a variety of methods for extracting files from an Apple II onto a modern computer, as well as exchanging files in the opposite direction and translating them to ensure accessibility and usability. The 27-page File Transfer Concentrate costs $14.

Finally, Juiced.GS is expanding its services to target vendors. Apple II businesses have always been invited to advertise in Juiced.GS, but few have had their own ads available to be submitted for publication. With Juiced.GS now offering full-color back-page ads, as most recently demonstrated by the KansasFest flyer, Juiced.GS is helping any and all vendors take advantage of this opportunity by offering full-service advertisement design, courtesy of Peter Neubauer, artist of the aforementioned KansasFest ad as well as the album artwork for the Open Apple podcast. Fees in addition to advertising rates apply, with the vendor receiving the final ad for use in other marketing materials; please contact Juiced.GS publisher Gamebits for full details.

“Every year since the discontinuation of the Apple II presents a new challenge for the community that has developed around the machine,” says Gagne. “These changes will make Juiced.GS the robust and agile publication it needs to be to continue to serve this amazing audience and give them the best magazine they deserve.”

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Concentrate on your e-reader

The wonderful thing about standards is there are so many to choose from.

Apple iPadBefore and after publishing our first Juiced.GS Concentrate, we investigated also making these products available in the formats used by the iPad, Kindle, and other e-book reading devices. Our tests have suggested that the ePub format is best for plain text and not complex layouts or graphics, and that getting Juiced.GS to be both readable and recognizable as an ePub file would require an investment of time and effort that would detract from the print edition. This means you will not be finding or purchasing Juiced.GS in the iTunes or Amazon online stores anytime soon. (You can, however, subscribe to this blog with your Kindle.)

Fortunately, most e-book readers are quite accommodating of Concentrate in its native PDF format. As satisfied customer Wayne Arthurton wrote, “My goal is to put as much of my reference information on the iPad as possible. With that in mind, Concentrate is great.” As I don’t own any e-readers, I asked Ewen Wannop to provide some instructions for getting your purchased Concentrates onto an iOS device. Here’s the short version:

  1. Install iBooks on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.
  2. In iTunes, select “Add to Library” from the File menu, then select the PDFs.

Ewen also offers these more detailed directions:

  1. The iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, must be running OS 3.2 or later.
  2. Install the free iBooks app from the iTunes Store.
  3. Open iTunes, select the “Books” item from the Library menu on the left, and drag-and-drop the Concentrate PDFs onto the window on the right.
  4. Alternatively, use “Add to Library” from the File menu, and select the PDFs in the usual way.
  5. Sync your device. While the device is connected, you can manage which of the books or PDFs are synced; by default, all new files will be synced.
  6. Open the iBooks app on your device and select the book to read.
  7. Double-tap to zoom the columns for easy reading.

For the Kindle, please consult’s online help regarding “Transferring, Downloading, and Sending Files to Kindle“.

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Concentrating on Concentrate

Magazine revenue

Last month, Gamebits made a big announcement: the availability of Juiced.GS in PDF format in a product separate from the quarterly print edition. The Concentrate line marks the first time ever that Juiced.GS content has been available as a commercial digital product. There were several motivations behind this launch, but I’ll start by eliminating two: money and necessity.

Other print publications have perforce moved online to follow their readers, their advertisers, or both. Juiced.GS has neither of these concerns. Our subscriber base is currently the largest it’s been in six years, representing a clear demand for a traditional print periodical.

As for advertisers, most magazines’ revenue sources break down like this:

Magazine revenue

By contrast and without exaggeration, Juiced.GS‘s P&L spreadsheet indicates these revenue sources:

Juiced.GS revenue

This dependency on subscriptions is akin to being a privately owned company: we can do what we need to to satisfy our customers, instead of following the dictates and interests of outside investors. It’s a wonderful freedom that has allowed Juiced.GS to achieve a longevity unprecedented in the Apple II’s history.

So we don’t have to move to a digital format — but do we want to?

Of course we do! There are obvious benefits to a PDF that we’re excited to offer our readers. And the more formats and features we offer, the more capable we are of getting Juiced.GS into hobbyists’ hands, where they can use that information to keep the Apple II alive. But there are also reasons for Juiced.GS remain in hardcopy. The challenge is to offer both editions without threatening each other.

At KansasFest, Rob Kenyon remarked that Juiced.GS Concentrate was a perfect solution. “It complements but does not compete with your flagship product,” he said. He’s right. Since the hardcopy Juiced.GS reports on what’s hot, regardless of the theme, the two product lines are not substitutes for each other. Concentrate saves readers time and money by eliminating the need to purchase and refer to multiple issues or volumes to find just the articles they want, while anyone who wants to receive a quarterly periodical with the latest news, reviews, and interviews from the Apple II world will find it in each issue of Juiced.GS.

The first three volumes of Concentrate are just the beginning. We’ve already updated the initial batch of PDFs in response to reader suggestions, making them easier to navigate, and are looking to add more titles to our catalog. After buying the “Back to BASICs” volume, Wayne Arthurton shared his appreciation that the Applesoft code could be easily copied and pasted into his own programs — a quality that could explain why this Concentrate is selling better than others. Knowing whether these products are being used as convenient leisure reading or as technical references helps us decide what themes to compile into future Concentrates.

Ironically, none of the customers (potential or otherwise) who have asked for a PDF edition of Juiced.GS have responded to this product announcement, either with feedback or purchase; all our initial comments and sales have come from the same readers who have asked us to remain in print. Whether Concentrate serves current readers or expands to new markets is secondary to it being found useful.

If you have any questions or suggestions for the future of either edition of Juiced.GS, please let us know!