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Interactive fiction at the Computer History Museum

Interactive fiction at the Computer History Museum

Way back in March 2011, Juiced.GS‘s cover story about Leadlight and interactive fiction featured a photograph by Brian Wiser. Taken at the Computer History Museum on January 26, 2011, the photo showcased the museum’s prominent display of classic text adventures, demonstrating the genre’s lasting appeal and importance in the history of computing.

While you can buy that article and many more in our PDF of text adventure stories, we decided that wasn’t enough. We recently got back in touch with Wiser, and he generously shared additional photos of Infocom’s display from that trip. The following images are copyrighted by Wiser and are presented here with his permission.

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These are just ten of the 346 photos Wiser took at the museum that day! Have you been to the Computer History Museum? What was your experience? Share your story in the comments below!

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Sponsoring 8 Bit Weapon, ComputeHer & IFComp

8 Bit Weapon

Juiced.GS relies on an active Apple II community for us to have products and events to report. We are thrilled to return the favor by supporting those groups who continuously further the retrocomputing community.

8 Bit Weapon

Chiptune artists 8 Bit Weapon and ComputeHer have become renowned as the premier musicians to use Apple II computers as instruments in their musical performances. They are soon to take their show on the road to Europe, and Juiced.GS is a proud sponsor of their tour. Catch them in Manchester, UK, September 12–15, 2013.

Want more? You can read our interview with Seth Sternberger (alias 8 Bit Weapon) in Juiced.GS Volume 12, Issue 4; our review of his album Electric High EP in Volume 14, Issue 3; and a review of DMS Drummer, an Apple II music synthesizer produced in collaboration with Michael J. Mahon, in Volume 17, Issue 1. Watch future issues of Juiced.GS for news and behind-the-scenes looks at their upcoming Apple II role-playing game, Lawless Legends!

Interactive Fiction Competition 2013

As last year, Juiced.GS is also proud to support the annual Interactive Fiction Competition, or IFComp. Text adventures have been around only slightly longer than the Eamon adventure system for the Apple II, with our favorite retrocomputing platform doing much to further the genre. IFComp continues that tradition by encouraging today’s programmers and storytellers to use interactive fiction to tell new tales.

Deadline for contestant registration is September 1, with winners having a choice of prizes that includes both a subscription to Juiced.GS as well as our Interactive Fiction Concentrate PDF that compiles all Juiced.GS‘s text adventure coverage across the years.

Our thanks to all that these groups do to keep the Apple II alive. If you or a group you’re associated with would also like to work with Juiced.GS, please contact us!

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Supporting Retrochallenge & IFComp

Interactive Fiction Competition logo

“Support those who support the Apple II” is a philosophy that Juiced.GS holds dear. To that end, we collaborate with many members of the larger retrocomputer community to support events, research, sales, and publications — from selling Mike Willegal’s hardware at KansasFest to manning a booth at VCF to speaking at user group meetings. Anything we can do to help further the cause, we’re happy to consider it.

That’s why Juiced.GS is proud to have recently supported two programming competitions with donations of goods to be used as prizes. The first contest concluded last month and was the annual Retrochallenge, which invites programmers the world over to spend the month of July making their favorite classic computer do something new and exciting — a sort of global, long-term HackFest. One lucky winner would get a copy of Drift, the demo disk that was included with the June 2012 issue of Juiced.GS. Unlike those disks, which were themselves limited, the Retrochallenge disk’s sleeve featured a unique design — one of only four made available to Juiced.GS for use as prizes and donations. The Retrochallenge contestant to go home with this prize was Andrew Hazelden for his creation of IRIXBASIC for the Silicon Graphics O2 system. Andrew has since detailed his bounty on his blog. Congratulations, Andrew!

Interactive Fiction Competition logo

For those who missed Retrochallenge, you have a second chance to win fabulous prizes with the upcoming 18th annual Interactive Fiction Competition. IFComp furthers the text adventure genre with bold, original games for a variety of platforms. Apple II user Wade Clarke has placed in IFComp for the last several years, including with Leadlight, which was Juiced.GS‘s March 2011 cover story.

Juiced.GS is supporting IFComp with two prizes: yet another rare copy of Drift; and a 2013 subscription to our print magazine. Contest registrations are accepted through September 1, and submissions through September 29. Juiced.GS looks forward to congratulating IFComp’s winners!

If you host or know of another event that could use Juiced.GS‘s support, please contact us; our charitable giving process is less painful than most!

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Striking at the core of the Apple

Pick up any magazine, and by its nature, it’ll have a cover story. It could be anything from a review of a groundbreaking new product to a profile of a famous individual to coverage of a recent event.

Juiced.GS publishes all these kinds of stories and more, but there’s one story that’s uncommon in our pages: the feature. The subjects of feature stories can be as diverse as any cover story, but what distinguishes them are original research, many interviews, and the tying together of several disparate threads into a long story that’s in-depth yet of broad interest.

That’s not something that Juiced.GS has done much of, which is why the cover story of our March issue is so exciting. It takes a topic familiar to all retrocomputing enthusiasts users — text adventures — and examines its evolution not only on the Apple II but on other classic and modern hardware, looking at the triumphs and challenges the genre has faced both thirty years ago and today. Everyone from Eamon Adventurer’s Guild founder Tom Zuchowski to current-day interactive fiction spokesperson Andrew Plotkin spoke to Juiced.GS on this subject, resulting in a comprehensive review of the IF scene.

Juiced.GS has a taxonomy by which stories are filed, such as MusinGS (interviews), Cover ][ Cover (book reviews), and My Home Page (editorial). I scrolled through the Juiced.GS index, trying to find an existing category for this cover story. The closest matches I could find were the unimaginative “Cover story” or, in one instance, the similarly uninspired “Feature”.

As we hope to publish more feature stories, the staff decided to create a new genre of Juiced.GS article: “Apple Core”. These stories are meaty, in-depth pieces that go to the heart of what it means to be an Apple II user with elements to which all Juiced.GS readers can relate. As Apple Cores may require more research than, say, a subjective review or a one-on-one interview, we’ll be limited to publishing one or two Apple Cores a year.

As always, we welcome your feedback on this direction as well as your suggestions for additional topics to pursue under this banner. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the first Apple Core.

… but this story won’t be the first thing you notice about the new issue.