It has been a while since we flagged up Archive magazine (which continues to be published regularly and has a very 'retro' website). So the recent arrival of the latest release seems a good excuse to review it...
Archive magazine easily wins the battle to be the longest running RISC OS magazine, and the only paper magazine still in print. It was originally started by Paul Beverley and is now run by Jim Nagel (the man who flew the flag for Acorn during the 'glory days' with his Acorn column in Computer Shopper). Jim has changed a few things (there is no longer a personal column of faith which Paul used to included) but the design and layout will be very familiar to any 'lapsed' readers (there used to be a offer of a free copy if you wanted to try the magazine before subscribing). One innovation added by Jim is that all the articles have a small snippet about each author and a picture.
So history lesson over, what is in the latest 48 page issue....
Archive has always been written by its readers and so it reflects a wide range of interests in the RISC OS community and is both both nostalgic and forward looking. This is probably the key to its longevity and it means that each edition is usually very varied and has something for everyone.
The news section has seen a revival with the Raspberry Pi and each month includes news of Raspberry Pi developments, shows and also software developments (this month featuring the !Store developed by RComp for distributing both free and commercial software).
Archive's readership has always included some fairly technical people and there is a very good article from Jim Lesurf on USB audio for RISC OS and some recommendations/reviews on USB devices you can plug into your machine. There is also another hardware article from the developer of a rather cool Raspberry Pi case and the latest instalment in the regular series from Rob Johnston on using GCC on RISC OS.
Many Archive users use other machines and you will find a Windows Column on the final demise of XP (with advice for RISC OS users using Windows to run an emulator on), a Mac column (bemoaning Apple's 'upgrading' of Samba which breaks !Lanman access) and a very snazzy proof of concept laptop design from Oracle using the Raspberry Pi. Finally, longtime regular Gerald Fitton ('Mr Pipedream/Fireworkz') has an article on setting up RedSquirrel to provide a free Windows emulator.
Archive has members at all the shows and the latest edition has detailed reports from the London and South-West shows (including the talks) .
There are regular articles from users as they explore various machines about their 'learning' journey and this month John Schild has an update on his experiences with the Panda board.
Lastly you get articles on a software update to !Keystroke and a new application to bring OpenStreet data to RISC OS with an application from Sine nomine software.
Speaking personally I enjoy being able to read a printed RISC OS magazine (much safer in the bath!) which appears on a semi-regular basis. Have you read it? Do you think there is still a real for a printed RISC OS (or any other computer) magazine in 2014?