Amstrad and other home computing hobby fanzines were a big thing back in the good old days of 8 bit – and we should know, our chief pen-pusher Stuart Williams started his editing career publishing one using a screeching Citizen 120D printer and a photocopier for the West Midlands Amstrad User Group here in England!
Decades on, though, surely fanzines are more of a thing with the terminally-obsessed followers of footie, fantasy fan-fiction or TV sci-fi? Aren’t websites, forums, Facebook and blogs the true, deep-burrowed homes and hangouts of geekish ‘amsters these days? Maybe not entirely – because a cracking little real-world, honest-to-goodness paper-based fanzine dedicated to our favourite Arnold has now come to the attention of RCN direct from the pen, or should that be the virtual dot-matrix printer, of James Ford from cpcfanzine.com.
The first issue of COLOUR PERSONAL COMPUTING (catchy title, eh?) was released to general acclaim back before Christmas, tagged as the Winter 2016/17 issue (arriving in January) and costing just three quid in the UK. It was packed chock-full of enough goodies, cheeky fun and useful info to fill the Oh, Mummy-obsessed bonce of any CPC-trufan. And we couldn’t wait to take a closer look ourselves (thanks, James!). Continue reading Cracking new fanzine for Amstrad computer fans→
One of the most popular 1980’s clubs for English Amstrad computer owners has risen from its dusty tomb like the star of Amsoft’s legendary ‘Oh Mummy’ game and sprung back into life this week – as the new West Midlands Amstrad User Facebook Group!
The original pre-internet West Midlands Amstrad User Group was a brand-specific computer club which was based in Walsall, West Midlands, but the new online group is purely virtual at the moment, and is hoping to attract any Amstrad-using retro computer hobbyists and/or professionals from the West Midlands region who may be interested in interacting online today.
The W.M.A.U.G., as it was, operated between September 1985-1990, holding meetings in Walsall with 100 members by 1986, and from 1990 as a multi-computer brand club, the Serious Micro User Group, until 1997. The editor of Retro Computing News, Stuart Williams, founded the group and was its Secretary throughout that period.
W.M.A.U.G. the Facebook group
The launch of the new Facebook group is intended both as a tribute to the original W.M.A.U.G. and as a meeting place for present day Amstrad retro computing enthusiasts living in or from the region, and has been prompted by Stuart’s recent return to Amstrad ownership (see picture, top), as well as the discovery of an anniversary notice about the club in a copy of Amtix! magazine from December 1986 – plus a nudge from a fellow member of the ‘Amstrad 4Ever’ Facebook group!
Stuart WIlliams said “Since many people don’t have the time to get together on a regular basis in person these days, this new group will hopefully be a useful way for people to celebrate the good old days of computer clubs by meeting virtually, and chatting/exchanging info/obtaining advice about their past computer exploits and memories and their retro computing hobby today, with a shared regional focus. I hope you think that this might be useful to you!”
The group can be found by searching on Facebook for West Midlands Amstrad User FB Group or by clicking on the following direct link:
This group is specifically aimed at people in or from the West Midlands of England. That includes the boroughs and cities of Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandell, Solihull, Coventry and the towns and villages within those boroughs. Relevant traders or makers of Amstrad-related equipment, software or books are also welcome to join the group.
If this does not apply to you, then two other excellent Facebook groups, ‘Amstrad 4Ever’ and ‘Amstrad CPC 464’ are also available, and are highly recommended.
Naturally, there’s always a possibility of meeting out there in the real world, perhaps via meetups at relevant events, but that’s something for the future, if there’s enough interest.
Work in progress
The new group, says Stuart, is very much a work in progress, and will take time to build up, assuming there is sufficient interest to make it viable, so it may be quiet for a while. But anyone interested should feel free to pipe up in the meantime – members will only get out of the group as much as they put in, like most things in life!
If this sounds like the group for you, why not check it out?