I’m trying to consolidate my classic computer collection (New Year’s resolution) and came across some magazines which I have acquired over the years and thought I’d post a little bit of information about them. In the Timex/Sinclair category, I found partial collections of two different magazines: Time Design, and Synchro-Sette.
The first magazine, Time Design, was a very popular five volume (26 issues) magazine, according to worldofspectrum.org. I only have 15 out of the known 26 issues and Best Of editions on hand, but they are an interesting read and reminiscent of the old independent style computing rags available for all 8-bit platforms of the day. To get a feel for the content layout, you can view seven issues online as scanned pages at http://wos.meulie.net/pub/spectrum/magazines/TimeDesigns/
Synchro-sette was less popular out of the two sets of magazines I have in my collection. This is probably due to the fact that it was part magazine/part cassette. In those days, some magazines included recorded media which contained loadable code to go with the programs described in each issue. This saved the user much time in typing the programs in for themselves. However, these kinds of magazines were far more costly due the media costs and therefore were less popular. Many people, like myself, preferred to spend our monies on other computer gear and were content enough to type the programs in ourselves. It is my understanding that this magazine did not have a “no-cassette” option, therefore you were required to pay the huge (for the time) subscription price to get the magazine. This could have lead to the relative obscurity of the magazine. I do not have the entire collection of Synchro-Sette (I have 19 of 26 issues) nor am I lucky enough to have ANY of the cassettes. It’s a shame though. I don’t think I have ANY Timex/Sinclair cassette software in my collection. It would be cool to watch my TS1000 flicker the screen once again while waiting for one of these magazine cassettes to load. 13 cassettes were produced throughout the entire publication run.
After thumbing through several issues of the magazine, I was surprised the magazine lasted as long as it did. I found it to be rather lacking in content. Maybe if I had the cassettes, I’d think more highly about it. According to this old ClassicCmp.org Mailing List post, my first impression of the magazine may have been the right one.