Interaction Magazine Poll Results / Initial Discussion

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    • #20938 Reply

      1. Do you want to see Interaction magazines added here? Yes.
      2. Should I quickly scan each one, or take care to make each one look its best? Careful.
      3. At 10 megs, quality won’t be the highest. Would you be interested in getting a better copy on CD (CD+shipping cost only)? Majority said yes.
      4. Should pages with ads that are IN NO WAY related to Sierra be removed?
      5. Should pages with ads that are ONLY SLIGHTLY related to Sierra be removed?
      6. Should pages with bulk ads (not for specific Sierra games, just a whole lot of Sierra games) be removed?
      Mostly agreement that nothing at all should be left out.
      7. Should the PDF have one actual page or two actual pages per each PDF page? This question generally confused people and it’s not a big deal – but the intent of it was that nice 2-page spread (such as some mags had a poster in the middle) should be available in 1 file as well, since in the PDF file they’ll be separated into 2 pages.

    • #20939 Reply

      (re: Interaction Magazine Poll) Brandon,
      It’s the most time consuming of all the answers, but one that I feel (as a Sierra Historian myself) that if you are going to dedicate the time to scanning all of them in, I would reproduce them exactly – that means EVERYTHING from Front Cover to Back Cover. I would also scan them in at a high enough resolution where they could be reproduced (ie color laser printer) should in the event that all of the magazines in the world were to self-destruct (heaven forbid – I would lapse into a coma) we could print out “reprints”.
      As far as the ones you PDF (or DejaVu if I remember correctly from and place on the web I would post scaled down versions (screen res) and have the high-res ones on CD for requests. Out of the magazine list that you Email me.. I have all of those except for two of them, and have about 20 others or so that aren’t even on the list. I need to work with you to get these scanned in. I have so many things in my collection that I want to archive at Super High Quality.. just not enough time. Still have some holes I am looking to fill, in order to launch a full-fledged walk down memory lane.. if anyone else out there would like to donate to the physical museum, and future projects (email me for details) please let me know!!! Any and all Sierra items accepted =)

    • #20940 Reply

      (re: Interaction Magazine Poll) Hi Brandon! Glad to see you are still working on this. 🙂 It means a lot to those of us who don’t have the pleasure of owning copies of the original magazine!
      In answer to your questions, I too have to emphasize that these scans should represent the magazines as-is, i.e. with EVERYTHING in there. Please do not skip pages with little or no Sierra-related material on them! It is still relevant to scan these pages to represent how the magazines looked.
      As for the file sizes, unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any good DjVu encoders available for free, at least for Windows. If you’re using Linux you might want to check out the djvulibre, which features an encoder that allows for mask images to be used, i.e. a manually drawn black-and-white image of the same size as the image you’re encoding to specify what should be background and what should be foreground. This would eliminate the problems of the crappy foreground/background detection problem we’ve discussed before and thereby allowing great quality pics with much smaller file sizes than PDF. Encoding the scans as photos would still make the file size/quality ratio better than PDF, but since this is a poor utilization of the DjVu format it would probably be just as well to go with PDF as you seem to have decided to do.
      And I can’t stress enough that you should make the scans high-quality from the beginning and archive them for later. I’d definately be prepared to buy them on CD, and in any case there might be chances to upload those somewhere later anyway. You shouldn’t spend so much time on perfecting the quality though. Just take care to scan the pages in their entirety and with correct alignment. If there are stains, folds etc. on the pages, they can always be touched up digitally later, and the important thing is to get the pages scanned correctly in the first place.

    • #20941 Reply

      (re: Interaction Magazine Poll) Brandon:
      If you do a CD, you are welcome to advertise it here and sell it. My guess is that at something like $20 you might sell enough to make it a worthwhile effort (or, maybe not? – I don’t know). I’d certainly send you some money as a thank you for doing the scanning.
      The only wrinkle is that theoretically Sierra could complain that you are selling something that belongs to them. I’d be surprised if they did this though. InterAction is/was great advertising for Sierra’s products. A company would have a hard time showing how it harms them for their advertising to have broader distribution.
      -Ken W

    • #20942 Reply

      (re: re: re: Interaction+ Project (Scanner Update)) My suggestion:
      Take the copies of InterAction to Kinkos, and get an estimate for what it would cost to scan the magazine. My guess is that it won’t be cheap – but, I’ll consider paying it. Let me know the estimated cost per issue, and I’ll make a decision.
      Here’s my favorite option:
      We scan in such a way that all of the scanned images fit on one or two CDs
      Someone on this site puts together a menu of some sort for the CD
      Then: Someone offers the CD for sale to anyone who wants to pay $10-20 via paypal (uncluding the shipping)
      This would give someone a chance to make a few bucks – and, give all of us a CD of the old magazines at a reasonable cost.
      Is there an entrepreneuer out there somewhere?
      -Ken W

    • #20943 Reply

      (re: re: re: re: Interaction+ Project (Scanner Update)) Ken,
      I am all for making the CD’s for everyone, I called Kinkos a few weeks ago, when you first suggested picking up the bill for it – the person that does archiving at Kinko’s was not in at the time, but the lady that told me to call back when she was going to be back in told me, that there was a minimum of $250 for that type of custom work.
      Personally I do not think that a third party company without an interest in Sierra’s history is going to take the care of making sure they are preserved correctly (i.e. color correction, scratch/blemish removal/ etc etc) than fans on this board like Brandon Klassen, and myself just to name two of the many on here.
      I think the hardest part, is going to be able to round up those missing issues – I want to make this disc, but I want to make it complete – I am hoping that you Ken, are going to have the issues that we are missing (hopefully). Have you been able to find any of the older ones, and answer the questions we’ve had – also on the same note – any luck on rounding up some videos that I can start archiving – that project is a high priority on my list. Have you submitted anything to the Smithsonian Institute about getting copies of that interview without timecode burned in? Anything I can do to help you expidite that that you can think of?
      I’ll give Kinko’s a ring again, and see what exact price I can get, and try to judge their quality level – according to the lady I spoke with back when, that location in Dallas here was the only location that did archiving locally, the next closest place as Oklahoma.
      Just lemme know Ken, thanks.

    • #20944 Reply

      (re: re: re: re: re: Interaction+ Project (Scanner Update)) Guys, I’ve been following this with anticipation! I’ve nothing to add to the collection but I’d love a own CD full of the great stuff from Sierra of old. I could do a menu’ing system if ya like?! HTML/code whatever takes your fancy!
      I’ll also offer myself as a UK distributor if the position is needed & free!?! That’ll cut down postage costs for us in old Blighty! I can make CDs and DVDs and can print CD labels and inserts in lovely colour.

    • #20945 Reply

      (re: re: Kinko’s scanning) Brandon:
      I understand your issue – but, still have doubts.
      Here’s my thinking…
      If the project is done at Kinkos, then I am 99% certain it will actually get done. If you do it — my guess is that the first issue will get done, the second may get done, and the third WON’T get done.
      The project will get old quickly. Enthusiasm at the beginning will turn into hopeless boredom.
      If Kinkos does a bad job they won’t get paid – and, will have to redo the job.
      Here’s the biggest question to me: if we want no more than 2 CDs, and have roughly 20 magazines (I don’t know the actual count) – what quality is possible?
      -Ken W

    • #20946 Reply

      (re: re: re: Kinko’s scanning) I’d have to agree with Ken on the ‘getting boring’ bit…. I scanned a 195 page service manual (glue bound spine) using a flatbed scanner. Took me quite a few hours just to scan it. Then I spent around 3 times that amount manually cleaning, touching up, despeckeling, cropping and making minor rotation adjustments to each of the pages. Finally, I pushed it through a PDF generator and popped 20Mb worth of files! It was a very very dull process!
      Given the type of content, I didn’t scan anything over 150dpi but given the nature of the ‘magazines’ it would be prudent to scan them at 300dpi or more in order to maintain the source definition. However, I think a single A4 (sorry, didn’t know size of letter!) page scan saved in a [raw] format would be around the 25MB mark (for 300dpi). PDF does do some processing on the image but I think you’ll need a decent generator (Adobe’s) in order to have full control of the process. I don’t know the PDF specs at all so I don’t know if you can choose/force the compression algorthim (lossy/not).
      Best of luck!

    • #20947 Reply

      (re: re: re: re: Kinko’s scanning) Brad (and anyone else thinking of this scanning deal),
      That’s a lot of work…perhaps if some of all of us worked together on it? I’m willing to offer my help, though I don’t know how much help I can be; I’m not sure I have enough of the right equipment or experience available. What I do have is this: the scanner in my Lexmark X75 color printer/scanner/copier (I know it’s capable of scanning at least 300dpi–I’ve been doing some of my game manuals to get some physical storage space back) and Adobe Acrobat 5.0. I know all of you have been kicking around Photoshop and some others, and I’m not sure how Acrobat matches up to that, so, like I said, I don’t know if I’d be of help. I’m just now self-teaching scanning and related topics (though I taught myself most everything else I know about computers). I also realize that some of my idea is predicated upon others sending their Interactions to me (I was, well, not financially capable of getting most of Sierra’s products from the “good old days” and so never really qualified for Interaction except for rare occasions so I don’t have any copies), and they are collectors items. I’d understand if no one is interested in this idea (having just named the single biggest reason why no one should be interested ;P).
      Anyway, the offer is there, at least. Let me know if I could be of help (and if I can’t, that’s ok, too–I don’t offend easily). Cause, let’s face it–even ten grand is a whole lotta money.

    • #20948 Reply

      (re: re: re: re: re: re: Kinko’s scanning) Never had any Interaction magazines myself… wasn’t aware of them in the UK?!
      The guy who runs the Vintage Sierra site had posted some mag covers a while back (last years). His scans are of the covers and they are generally <300K each and ‘around’ the size you requested.


      IMO, the quality presented is still very useable 🙂

    • #20949 Reply

      (InterAction Star! Well, sort of…) I am eager to see these redone as well… well, mostly because yours truly was in an issue of InterAction… well, my picture was anyway. For the Leisure Suit Larry contest (dress alike) – they used my picture to set up the contest… It’s me, at a digitized bar, with one of the fine ladies of the (redone!) LSL1! 🙂
      My 15 seconds of fame! 🙂

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