SuplexJackson

Do you prefer magazine donations or scanned submissions?

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Hey, everyone. First off this is an amazing site. There's so much video game history in these magazines I think it will eventually be a matter of historical significance.

Second, what's the best way to help if we have magazines that are missing from the database? I'm ok with shipping them out of pocket but if you guys are backlogged I could try to scan them myself. Just point me in the right direction (best way to package/ship, recommended scanner specs, etc). I've checked the database and I have these missing issues:

Computer Games - February 2003 (No idea where this fits. I couldn't find the magazine in the database)
Electronic Gaming Monthly - #74 - September 1995
EGM2 - #47 - May 1998
GamePro - #132 - September 1999 (Labeled RESCAN NEEDED in the database. Does this mean you need a better physical copy?)
Official U.S. Playstation Magazine - #90 - March 2005
PSExtreme - #29 - April 1998
PSM - #69 - March 2003
S.W.A.T. Pro - #15 - January 1994
S.W.A.T. Pro - #18 - July 1994
Ultra Game Players - #103 - November 1997 (Labeled PRESERVED but mine has the alternate Zelda 64 cover)
Video Games: The Ultimate Gaming Magazine - #15 - October 1993

And I don't remember which GamePro this came from ('96-'98 maybe):
GamePro presents: S.W.A.T.PRO - Revenge of the Ultimate Video Game Codebook - Volume 8 (insert)

Some of the covers are a little worn but the pages are all pristine. And finally I have some strategy guides, pack-in posters mostly from GamePro and some of those little game ad booklets they started packing in around '95. I'm still sorting through this stuff and will put together a second list. The strategy guides will have a few good ones you guys are missing. 😀

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Both Phillyman and myself have Fujitsu ADF scanners, so the time it takes to scan something for us is minimal. The cheapest option for you is to ship them to someone (like me 😉), rather than springing for a scanner that you may not use beyond scanning those issues. Plus the cheapest scanners are flatbeds, so you would be spending a lot of time scanning everything, whereas Phillyman or I could feed everything through the Fujitsu scanner in a matter of minutes.

Personally, the SWATPro stuff would be scanned on a flatbed by me as I would not want to destroy those. For Ultra Game Players #103 we could just add the alternative cover to the existing scan as an update.

If you would rather donate the stuff, I will gladly take them and scan them. I just got a larger donation from a member here (around 950 magazines and guides), but I have room for more. If you like editing, however, that is where we need help :)

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Sorry for the late reply, I've been really busy the past few days. I don't mind if you have to destroy them to get scans, whatever it takes to preserve them. I think the Video Games and S.W.A.T. Pro magazines have stapled spines though, so maybe easier to deal with.

PM me with an address and I'll send them off sometime within the next week. :)

Also let me know if there's a preferred way to package them.

I'm going to have to sort through the strategy guides when I get a bit more time but I'll post when I have the list ready.

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I too found a large amount of magazines at my parent's house, probably less than 100 but more than 50.  I would like to donate them for scanning.  I wouldn't be able to get them out until christmas time though.  Please let me know if you're interested.

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On 4/16/2019 at 3:42 PM, E-Day said:

If you like editing, however, that is where we need help :)

What do you mean by editing? What kind of software do I need?

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You can check our editing guide in the support/scanning guide section above as a starting point.

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On 7/7/2019 at 6:00 PM, Lacero said:

What do you mean by editing? What kind of software do I need?

Ideally Photoshop if you can afford/find an "unlimited trial version" as I call it. Anything that has cropping, cloning brushes, healing brushes, and colour correction will work. If you're proficient with GIMP, that will probably work great. 

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Thanks @E-Day, I saw Photoshop mentioned in another topic but thought maybe 6 months later there would be more viable free options. I know cropping and cloning in famous MS Paint, Paint.net and Paint Shop Pro. Have GIMP but never used it.

Actually, let me post my first-ever scans: (200 dpihttps://imgur.com/a/30d1dQY and (300 dpihttps://imgur.com/a/22jxCKE

Without de-binding, I realize I need to weigh down the top half. Is a small strategy guide and 160 pages. Only ~83 scans since the guide flattened easily fits inside the scanner. Seems like a good starter project!

Assuming I flatten to remove the blurring at the top and crop correctly, what other editing would I need to do?

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E-Day wrote some fairly extensive editing guides that I will again draw your attention to.  There's no need for him to repeat any of the information they contain.  However, those guides are specifically targeted at how to scan and edit mags/books so that they meet the quality criteria necessary to be hosted at Retromags, so they don't cover scanning books on flatbed scanners. 

There's no way to flatten a book like that enough to completely eliminate the spinal curve and distortion.   Even if you break the spine, it's not possible to get the entire page flat against the glass.  However, if none of the images stretch across both pages, you may be able to crop away the gutter side of each page enough to eliminate those areas.  It will affect the symmetry of the page layout, but if those areas didn't contain any text or images, it might be considered preferable to the "photographed" look that a scan of a bound book usually has.  If not, you just have to minimize it as best you can by making the image as flat as possible.

Btw, it's funny that the GBA guide to Tactics Ogre is only 160 pages.  I have the PSP guide to Tactics Ogre, and it's over 700 pages!

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1 hour ago, kitsunebi77 said:

However, those guides are specifically targeted at how to scan and edit mags/books so that they meet the quality criteria necessary to be hosted at Retromags, so they don't cover scanning books on flatbed scanners. 

Right, not much to go on in the guide for not de-binding. I can experiment on my own. I think if I flatten enough then I can still meet the standard. Maybe I'm saying that out of blissful ignorance. I'm looking at the published EGM '94-'95 and the crease from binding is visible and on a rare occasion the shadow from a curved page.

Thanks for the advice to crop away the gutter side of each page. I hadn't thought of that.

2 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

Btw, it's funny that the GBA guide to Tactics Ogre is only 160 pages.  I have the PSP guide to Tactics Ogre, and it's over 700 pages!

PSP guide of Tactics Ogre in English by Brady Games I have is 400 pages. Still pretty huge! Good to know I'm not the only one around with an interest in the series.

SNES Ogre Battle and PS1 Tactics Ogre English guides are each under 100 pages. Nice life for scanning. The Knight of Lodis (GBA) seems to have 3 different Japanese published guides (none in English). I have 2 and the other is 255 pages. Coolest thing is SFC Ogre Battle instruction manual has 2 parts of game-related manga in it! But I don't see instruction manuals on here.

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1 minute ago, Lacero said:

Right, not much to go on in the guide for not de-binding. I can experiment on my own. I think if I flatten enough then I can still meet the standard. Maybe I'm saying that out of blissful ignorance. I'm looking at the published EGM '94-'95 and the crease from binding is visible and on a rare occasion the shadow from a curved page.

I'm unfamiliar with that particular scan, but it may be an older release.  The standards around here used to be much more lax than they are now.  In fact, at first, there really weren't any standards at all.  Then things got tightened up and a bunch of stuff that wasn't up to snuff got removed from the site, although I'm sure some other things slipped through.  At any rate, even if the end result isn't approved for release here, it can always be hosted at the Internet Archive.  You can even promote it in our forums if you like, since there are bound to be people who are interested.  And really, what does it matter where a file is hosted, so long as it's freely available?

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hey can i help out with the editing restoration color matching patching stamping cleaning and all that stuff? 😀😀. Already doing it to some pages on Sega Visions issues ive downloaded. Just fixed a page from a GamePro a few minuted ago...tho now i wonder if some of the wrinkles where part of the design 🤔

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15 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

I'm unfamiliar with that particular scan, but it may be an older release.  The standards around here used to be much more lax than they are now.  In fact, at first, there really weren't any standards at all.  Then things got tightened up and a bunch of stuff that wasn't up to snuff got removed from the site, although I'm sure some other things slipped through.

Thanks for explaining. I meant EGM '94-'95 in the sense of being multiple issues in that 2 year range. I can tell some EGM's were removed without being rescanned. I luckily found issue "074r"  from an archive.org backup of EMU Paradise. Issue has an older version of the RetroMags "thank you and enjoy" page on page 1. Issues 69 and 72 file names have the "r" denoting a rescanning was needed. Still never rescanned and uploaded back here. No one can download those 2 issues anywhere now. I can't tell who scanned in the first place to ask if I could buy the magazines to rescan.

16 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

You can even promote it in our forums if you like, since there are bound to be people who are interested.  And really, what does it matter where a file is hosted, so long as it's freely available?

It matters because of the availability and the brand. No one wants to visit 3 websites for 11 issues of EGM or Nintendo Power and scratch their head over if the 12th issue from the year has ever been uploaded. That we don't own the copyright gives other sites free reign to upload on their servers, which is fine, except all I see is copying what's available here. No further scanning contributions. You all are the leaders for gaming magazines.

Instruction manual collections spread all over the place. Super annoying. I don't want to rescan what's already available and it's a daunting task to catalog and organize everything from the 16-bit era.

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15 hours ago, skyle7 said:

color matching patching stamping cleaning and all that stuff? 😀😀.

Okay great! Can you explain why color matching / patching / stamping / cleaning is needed? I get the idea if there is a scratch to cover it up and not all colors look correct after scanning, but I would like to tell myself if these processes are needed for each guide or issue I scan.

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1 hour ago, Lacero said:

Okay great! Can you explain why color matching / patching / stamping / cleaning is needed? I get the idea if there is a scratch to cover it up and not all colors look correct after scanning, but I would like to tell myself if these processes are needed for each guide or issue I scan.

i guess its just mostly scratches, rips, stains, & wrinkles the most common imperfections

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57 minutes ago, Lacero said:

It matters because of the availability and the brand. No one wants to visit 3 websites for 11 issues of EGM or Nintendo Power and scratch their head over if the 12th issue from the year has ever been uploaded. That we don't own the copyright gives other sites free reign to upload on their servers, which is fine, except all I see is copying what's available here. No further scanning contributions. You all are the leaders for gaming magazines.

You're right.  Most magazine sites are just copying and mirroring files they found elsewhere (usually without any sort of acknowledgement), but that's just the way the Internet works, sadly. 

More importantly, you're also right about branding.  A Retromags scan has to mean something.  It wasn't always that way, and scans of dubious quality were being uploaded here under the Retromags name.  That has since been corrected, and although some of those older scans are still present, all new scans going forward are being held to certain quality standards so as to best represent the "Retromags brand."  Which is why we generally say "no" to scans of mags/books that haven't been de-bound (very thin mags like supplements are probably an exception).

I don't want to discourage anyone from scanning something, even if they don't have the dedication to debind it first.  But I don't want to falsely lead them into thinking that such a scan is likely to be accepted here.  That's why I point to the Internet Archive as an alternate home for anyone willing to take on the not-insignificant task of scanning and editing a magazine/book, but unwilling to sacrifice their physical copy in the process of making a quality scan.

Some of us (like Phillyman) keep all of their debound mags in plastic bags once finished, and some (like myself) toss the loose pages into the recycling once the mag has been digitized, but pretty much without exception, scanning (for Retromags, at any rate) demands sacrifice.   That's one of the main reasons there are so few scanners.

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