The First Cut...

Feb 25, 2021 streaming retro

This week I have been mostly…

Playing one tune over and over and over! Duel by Propaganda from around 1985-1986 has been the Hitch fuel of choice this past week. All because of an Amiga Public Domain game of which the name completely escapes me now!

Public Domain, for those unaware is probably the mainstay of many an Amiga users survival throughout its heyday and beyond. PD disks were around 50p to a pound back in the UK from the late 80s to the late 90s and sadly died when the Amiga started to fade away as nothing more than nostalgia. Today from what I can tell the PD scene never was revived despite the small revival amongst certain retro fans of the Amiga.

PD disks were packed from anything to random programs, currated games and demos and even mags on a disk (we can talk about those later). There were many but perhaps the most well known currated versions were Fred Fish and Assassins, the latter being my reasons for the tune by Propaganda this past few days. You took your blanks and paid a little less or you bought the disks from that slightly shady guy who lived with his mum who could also provide you with less… legit disks, floppy or CD. PD however was mostly extremely legit and legal. People often sent in programs they had written to the guys at say Assassin who compiled them in to this weeks or this months latest collection, copied it on the disks and sold it on. The cost was merely to cover the basics. No-one made money from these when doing pure PD and if they did it was merely luck not a method to fleece anyone.

There are many great PD games and programs too, from Trackers to the wonders of Scorched Earth and Gravity Force 2 (my personal favourite). An awful lot of the games were multiplayer based and so got used a hell of a lot back in the day at various computer clubs and living rooms. Quite a few PD devs even made fully released games as either an outlet or side hobby and it was even a way to become one of those bedroom coders who could break out and become the next Codemasters.

I have a lot of nostalgia for the Amiga and thinking back, most of it is based around PD disks, BBS boards and the Shareware scenes, something sadly lacking today that many a new console or computer user shall never experience and in my opinion are far worse off for never having.

For any interested I am currently streaming some PD disks, Mags on a Disk and other similiar items on my Twitch. Some of you may even know where to find it, for those that do not… Read back a little :)

For the record, I listened to Duel 5 times whilst writing this post.