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darkNiGHTS

The beginnings of Official Xbox Magazine are hitting the 15 year mark (side note: "Computer Games" magazine?)

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Can we get a section for OXM? I searched and read around a few threads and didn't see anything but apologies if I missed something.

First issue was released November 2001. The best part is that the vast majority of missing scans are from the first 15 or so we should be able to get most missing ones by 2018.
https://archive.org/details/official_xbox_magazine

I will hopefully be contributing Issue 2. I got a fancy autofeed scanner from the thrift store for $10. It's in the basement now but I tested it and it works great. I think it was $600 when new, can't remember the make.

I just bought this one eBay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/332172338720

And I noticed that the "Computer Games" magazines that are included aren't anywhere online. It's defunct. Can we get a section for that added as well?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Games_Magazine

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I'm not sure how you missed it, but the database is already there:

https://www.retromags.com/magazines/usa/official-xbox-magazine/

As for Computer Games, we'll get around to it eventually, but in the meantime, check out OldGameMags, where Kiwi has scanned a large portion of them already (including the two shown in the auction above)  Hint: they're listed under the mag's original title of "Computer Games: Strategy Plus"

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Ah, I was looking in the downloads section. Didn't realize that the database would be more than information, but what you can/cannot upload. When you go to "Submit a file" in the downloads section it doesn't have the same magazines as the database (in fact, it only lists 2 magazines) - so how would I go about contributing something? I don't see a button on the database page "I have this issue" or anything like that. (UPDATE: just by chance I happened to click "edit" and I see a place to put download links - is this how you contribute it? And if you add a link there, does it automatically go in the download section? also, rapidshare might not be the best example link :D)

Do you add scans from other sources or must they scanned and directly contributed by members of this site? If not, is there a way to mark that another source has preserved it? Archive.org has a lot of OXM already preserved.

In my opinion, this site could be a bit more newbie contributor friendly - the FAQ does a good job of explaining the mission of the site but there are no links to anything (despite text saying "Check out this page"). Also, where are the guides? I've been linked to one from a forum post but I don't see it anywhere on the menus.

I definitely agree with your "Where should Retromags fill holes first?" thread about how this site gives off vibes that it's more closed off than it actually is. "Join our team on the preservation front" - if you join a team does that mean you have obligations now? Is it OK to just scan one issue that you have lying around? I assume it is because I've been interested in preservation and understand the mindset and how easy it is for the "average" person to help out but not everyone does.

I've never been the one afraid to ask "dumb questions" like the above but a lot of people are. A "Contribute" page that explains from the total beginner's mindset about the site's layout (aka how to use the database to figure out what needs contributing, where to submit downloads, etc) and what to do if you have an issue marked as missing, etc. That first contribution is always the hardest and in this case, a lot harder than it needs to be.

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35 minutes ago, darkNiGHTS said:

Ah, I was looking in the downloads section. Didn't realize that the database would be more than information, but what you can/cannot upload. When you go to "Submit a file" in the downloads section it doesn't have the same magazines as the database (in fact, it only lists 2 magazines) - so how would I go about contributing something? I don't see a button on the database page "I have this issue" or anything like that. (UPDATE: just by chance I happened to click "edit" and I see a place to put download links - is this how you contribute it? And if you add a link there, does it automatically go in the download section? also, rapidshare might not be the best example link :D)

Do you add scans from other sources or must they scanned and directly contributed by members of this site? If not, is there a way to mark that another source has preserved it? Archive.org has a lot of OXM already preserved.

In my opinion, this site could be a bit more newbie contributor friendly - the FAQ does a good job of explaining the mission of the site but there are no links to anything (despite text saying "Check out this page"). Also, where are the guides? I've been linked to one from a forum post but I don't see it anywhere on the menus.

I definitely agree with your "Where should Retromags fill holes first?" thread about how this site gives off vibes that it's more closed off than it actually is. "Join our team on the preservation front" - if you join a team does that mean you have obligations now? Is it OK to just scan one issue that you have lying around? I assume it is because I've been interested in preservation and understand the mindset and how easy it is for the "average" person to help out but not everyone does.

I've never been the one afraid to ask "dumb questions" like the above but a lot of people are. A "Contribute" page that explains from the total beginner's mindset about the site's layout (aka how to use the database to figure out what needs contributing, where to submit downloads, etc) and what to do if you have an issue marked as missing, etc. That first contribution is always the hardest and in this case, a lot harder than it needs to be.

You've got a lot of good points here that I agree with.  And there used to be guides here that explained much of what you're asking about, but they disappeared when the software upgraded.  Not sure what happened, but we definitely need more information explaining how people can go about contributing.

To quickly answer the main points:

All files at Retromags were scanned and edited by our members.  We do not accept files downloaded from elsewhere on the internet.  As a new member, you don't have the ability to add issues to the download section.  After scanning and editing your magazine, you would need to upload it to a 3rd party file host (there are dozens of free ones out there) and provide the link to one of the administrators here for approval, and they would upload the file to the site for you. 

I forget the exact details (Philly is in charge of this sort of stuff), but by contributing scans and/or editing something someone else has scanned you can gain patron and even team member status.  Once a team member, you would be able to upload your own scans without needing anyone's assistance.  Becoming a team member doesn't obligate you to do anything.  We would hope that you could continue to help out, of course, but no one will ever pester you or expect you to do so.

Also, a magazine can be marked as preserved at a different site by clicking "edit" on the database page and selecting the preserving site from a dropdown list.  However, we don't mark some mags (such as the OXMs at archive.org) because the quality is not up to our standards.  Most of the OXM PDFs at archive.org are not scans - they're low-quality digital PDFs released by OXM which are very small in size because the images are extremely compressed and very low-quality (although the text is clear and OCR-searchable).  Furthermore, all of the advertisement pages are missing, making them incomplete.  So while it's great that they're available at archive.org for reading purposes, we wouldn't want to mark them as "preserved" here, since it might discourage someone from making a complete, high quality scan someday.

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Awesome, thanks so much for taking the time to explain everything to me. If I have good results with the OXM magazine I ordered I will definitely considering contributing more but pretty much anything I contribute I'd be purchasing.

Is there any place in particular to point out good eBay auctions for preservation? This OXM lot seems like a good value at $1.73 an issue and isn't missing any issues in between.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/132144631940?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

10 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

You've got a lot of good points here that I agree with.  And there used to be guides here that explained much of what you're asking about, but they disappeared when the software upgraded.  Not sure what happened, but we definitely need more information explaining how people can go about contributing.

A lot of the guides are still there (with broken images), they're just floating around with no menu links:
https://www.retromags.com/guides/debinding
https://www.retromags.com/guides/scanning/ 

 

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https://www.retromags.com/faq/ has some info on helping the site. Some of it is outdated, but some is still useful. And the guides are gone again, but those were all about how to scan and edit a magazine. Some parts of those are outdated again because of the software upgrade.

I am almost tempted to make the guides PDFs or Word documents that can be downloaded because every time something on this site changes, the guides end up breaking.

 

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20 hours ago, darkNiGHTS said:

Is there any place in particular to point out good eBay auctions for preservation? This OXM lot seems like a good value at $1.73 an issue and isn't missing any issues in between.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/132144631940?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

There is the "buying selling and trading" section of the forums.  Of course, the fastest and best way to ensure that something gets preserved is to take the plunge and do it yourself. :)  I believe the handful of people who are currently contributing scans have little need or interest in acquiring even more magazines for the purpose of scanning (I've already got more than I could scan in a lifetime).  Some people might be willing to accept donations, but that's still no guarantee that they'll be able to scan them in a remotely timely manner, so again, if anyone sees a good deal and wants to see it preserved, their best bet is to rely on themselves.

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I used to be a big fan of OXM, mostly for the demo discs though.  The thing about their reviews is that they claimed everything was good, and I don't remember a game getting something lower than a 6 until deep in the mags review cycle.  My first X-Box games (other than the pack-ins of a Sega racing game and Jet Set) was some horrible Terminator game, that I only bought because I was a fan of the IP and it got a half way decent review.  Thankfully the next few I got were Morrowwind, Panzer Dragoon Orta, and Halo, so after the horrible start I got some good stuff.

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