My collection of 480 UK Sega magazines (WARNING: 13MB of pictures inside!!)

Discussion in 'Member Game Collections' started by homgran, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. homgran

    homgran Member

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    ** updated the first post with images of Saturn Power (immediately following Sega Power) and Sega Force Mega (immediately following Sega Force). **

    Oldgamingfart, I've seen the Mean Machines Sega site -- it's excellent! Some of the original staff even post on the forum now and then! I once posted in their "Buy, Sell, Trade" forum, asking if anybody had some issues of Mega Drive Advanced Gaming; unfortunately, I didn't get any responses. But yeah, a great site. Highly recommended to anyone who hasn't already checked it out. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  2. Aypok

    Aypok Spirited Member

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    If you wanted to store information on which articles contained references to certain games, it might be best to go with a "tagging" system (where all tags are names of games). You'd basically have a join table which allows each article to have many "tags"; your Aladdin example would have the tags "Aladdin" and "Cool Spot". That'd be useful for searching and maybe for the "see also ..." style information on the article display pages.

    That sounds pretty cool, actually. I might add that functionality in to my system (just for the fun of it). :) Mine needs a bit of an overhaul, because at the moment it only allows linking of a single publisher to a magazine - which, as you've found in your collection, isn't a realistic expectation. :)
     
  3. retro

    retro Resigned from mod duty 15 March 2018

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    OK, think about database design. You want simple, basically. Don't overthink things and have stupid amounts of tables and fields unnecessarily. Giving every page of every magazine an id would really bog down the database. I mean, 480 magazines with how many pages in each?

    You need to sit down and think about what information you want in the database first. Then think about how you'll achieve that in the database (i.e. what tables you'll have, what fields in each table and which fields have relationships in what tables).

    For example....

    Data wanted:

    Magazine title
    Publisher
    Issue
    Date
    Total issues of publication
    Cover price (maybe)

    Game referenced
    Game platform
    Game developer
    Game publisher
    Release date (maybe)
    Article type (preview/review/cheats etc.)
    Page number(s)

    So you'll have tables something like this:

    publishers
    - id
    - publisher

    magazines
    - id
    - magtitle
    - publisher
    - issues
    - startdate
    - enddate

    You can see from the above short example that the `publisher` in the table `magazines` will have a relationship with the `publishers` table. For example:

    publisher: EMAP, id: 1
    publisher: Future, id: 2

    `publisher` in `magazines` will have a numerical value. If you select EMAP on the site, the database stores 1. The site uses a query to look up what 1 means from the `publishers` table.

    In short, I would go on articles in a way like this:

    Article type
    Game referenced
    Game publisher
    Game developer
    Game release date
    Magazine
    Publisher
    Issue
    Date
    Page

    As an example, at least, that's enough.

    When it comes to scanning in the articles, if you REALLY want to make them all available online, you have to take into consideration several things, such as:

    • They will be very time consuming to scan and archive properly
    • The archive will be HUGE
    • The archive will eat bandwidth
    • You need a server that can handle potentially large amounts of traffic and database requests
    • You need the permission of every author and publisher involved

    In short, a hard task and no mistake!

    If you're dead set on having every page individually archived, I would think of some way of having them so you can go from page to page. For example, a slideshow system. Then all you would need to do is put the start page in the database, and it'll take you to that page! ;-)

    Actually, that is EXTREMELY reasonable for a scanner. There are single sheet feed (yup, not flatbed, it's a thin slot so no books) A3 professional scanners that cost more than that! And as for the price, again pretty reasonable considering how much time it would take to scan a book...

    Place book, line up book, place glass thingy, line up glass thingy, take photo, check scan is acceptable, edit (if it needs manual editing), save, lift up glass thingy, turn page.......
     
  4. homgran

    homgran Member

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    Good point. Once the collection is completed, there should be around 640 magazines. If we say that, on average, there are roughly 100 pages per issue (which, if anything, is probably an over-estimation), then we're looking at around 64,000 pages in total. That's a lot of data!

    This is probably a very naive question, but is there any harm in entering "too much" information? Because surely, once the data is in, it's simply a matter of choosing what we want to present (and how we want to present it). So we may end up with some fields that are never actually used, but I don't see how that would be a problem. Given that there are databases with literally thousands of fields and millions of records, I don't see how a relatively small magazine database could suffer from performance issues.

    But like I said, this is a learning experience for me -- so I'm probably missing something!

    Yes, I think the best course of action would be to do a few test databases (with only a couple of magazines) to see what works best. Once I have something that looks quite robust, I'll start ploughing through the magazines.

    Good suggestions. Instead of having a table for each magazine (where each record encompasses to all issues of that particular magazine), I think it might be better to have a table for each issue, viz.

    Issues table: (i.e. ~640 records)
    - issue id
    - Magazine title
    - Publisher
    - Cover date
    - Issue number
    - Street date (if known)
    - Price
    - Cover mounts
    - Number of pages
    - Editor

    This way, we're entering more specific information. The generic "magazines" table could then be computed using the information in the above issues table. So for each unique magazine title, we can compute (or extract):

    - the magazine title
    - the number of issues
    - the start date
    - the end date
    - the unique publishers

    How does that sound?

    I think the articles themselves are a little bit more complicated. We'll either need a lot of fields, or quite a few tables -- because we're going to want different information depending on the article type. For instance, a "walkthough" article doesn't really give any information that we need to store, whilst a review generally contains much more information (publisher, release date, retail price, ...etc, and then all of the numerical ratings). Furthermore, the available data varies from magazine to magazine -- MEGA's reviews, for example, presented additional information (skill levels, lives, stages, ...etc). And each magazine had a different way of quantifying their ratings.

    So it may be useful to have a generic "articles" table:

    Articles:
    - Article type
    - Page code
    - Game name
    - Format
    - ...(every field imaginable, covering all article types across all magazine issues)

    For the purposes of entering the data (and to make the process much easier), would it be possible to set up some kind of PHP form which automatically switches layout depending on the "Article type" and "Page code" fields? Because, via the page code, it would be possible to determine the exact magazine issue, and the article type (obviously!) dictates the kind of article that we want to enter. So the question is: if each magazine issue
    [*] is pre-allocated a preferred layout for each article type, is it possible to automate the dynamic selection of a given layout based on the contents of one or more fields?


    [*] I propose doing this by issue, because most magazines change their "look" every year or two.

    I know. I think some kind of dedicated scanner (such as the BookSnap) would be essential if I was seriously considering scanning everything I have. I think, like you said earlier, I should concentrate on entering the data before scanning. I look at the time and effort that meppi puts in over at RetroMags, and I realise that 640 issues is probably too much for one person to digitise in their spare time -- especially if "doing it properly" is of importance (which it is).

    For testing purposes, I would keep the images-part local (initially, at least) and only put the text-part online. If the images were to go online, I would host everything on my university account. JANET is very fast, and I don't have any bandwidth limitations that I'm aware of -- so long as I provide the server and disk space (a Mac mini, maybe?), I shouldn't have any problems hosting that much data.

    You're absolutely right. I can't just go putting other people's work online without their permission. Thankfully, I got in touch with the owner (before it folded) of Maverick Magazines about eight years ago, and he gave me permission to reproduce anything from his old magazines -- a very nice gesture, to be sure! So, initially, I would be able to put all of the Mega Drive Advanced Gaming ("MAG") magazines online. :)

    Regarding other magazines, I would simply contact them one-by-one and ask for permission. If I did a good enough job with MAG, it would give the publishers an idea of what I intended to do with their long-closed magazines. Of course, some of the big guns (such as Future and EMAP) may be a little less-willing to participate, and if that turned out to be the case then I wouldn't be able to do anything other than respect their wishes.

    For publishers that no longer exist (Paragon, Europress), I'd need to try and get in contact with former owners (or staff) to find out my options.

    I like the slideshow idea!


    I suppose, when you put it like that... I saw the price and thought "I could buy a couple of high-end pro laptops for that!". Regardless, it's still too much to justify spending all-at-once on a hobby like this! But I'll bear it in mind.
     
  5. alphagamer

    alphagamer What is this? *BRRZZ*.. Ouch!

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    great library!
     
  6. hoost2

    hoost2 Newly Registered

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    Sega S Magazine

    I have issues of S Magazine curently on e-bay issued 1,2,4 and 5
     
  7. Yakumo

    Yakumo Pillar of the Community *****

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    I can't believe I've never looked at this thread. Those "S" magazines bring back memories. I had a few of those when I was a kid and Sega Power. wasn't that the one with really nasty blocky screen grabs or was that "S"? Never really liked Mean machines Sega but did love the original Mean Machines however the best mag of all was the so called official Sega Saturn magazine. that and Super Play (For SNES) were the best console specific magazines ever in the English language and both British :dance:
     
  8. aramis

    aramis Newly Registered

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    sent you a message, would love a scan of 2 pages of one of the earlier issues of mega tech, if possible thanks
     
  9. BLUamnEsiac

    BLUamnEsiac ɐɹnɔsqO ʇᴉq-8

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    Even though the blank spaces sting a bit, that is a mighty impressive collection you've got there. You guys in the UK are lucky, the only SEGA magazine we got was the Official Dreamcast Magazine. And that had a very short run.
     
  10. retro

    retro Resigned from mod duty 15 March 2018

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    This thread is SEVEN years old and the OP hasn't been online for two years. Your chances are slim, there!

    You'd be better off doing a Google search. They're available to download with little effort in PDF format.
     
  11. aramis

    aramis Newly Registered

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    first thing i did, and aware its a longshot but none the less i haz hope
     
  12. retro

    retro Resigned from mod duty 15 March 2018

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    Then Google it like I said, and you'd be looking at them right now ;)
     
  13. aramis

    aramis Newly Registered

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    again i did, and the specific issue/ sticker pack is not online only the covers of all issues are online and the first two issues

    specifically i am looking for a scan of
    MegaTech UK 13 - sticker pack

    i did manage to find one some years ago, but was out bid
     
  14. retro

    retro Resigned from mod duty 15 March 2018

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    A sticker pack is a packet of stickers, not a page.

    If you really want the issue, though, buy the copy that is on eBay (and relisted at that)

    You could even have bought the first 27 issues for 20 quid!
     
  15. aramis

    aramis Newly Registered

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    as i recall it was a embedded sticker page in it, whats the big deal

    and yes i did look at the auctions previously and inquired and both had the sticker page removed
     
  16. Ebertron

    Ebertron Newly Registered

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    Hi everyone!

    Homgran has recently set up a website which will be dedicated to this collection. You can find it at www.segamags.co.uk (apologies if this is not allowed) . The ultimate aim is for us to have a database of every single Sega magazine ever released over here. The collection is now over 600 magazines and still counting! You can also contact him through that site as well regarding the Megatech query.

    Hope this helps if you are still after any info.
     

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