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MB (also known as MikroBITTI and MikroBitti) is a Finnish computer magazine published in Finland.
History and profile
MB was first published in May 1984 The original owner and publisher was Tecnopress. The magazine is published monthly by Sanoma Magazines, a division of the Sanoma Group. MB is aimed mainly for beginner to mid-level computer users.
The computer platform coverage in MB has shifted according to the market and public interest over the years. Originally, in the middle 1980s, the magazine covered 8-bit home computers such as the Commodore 64, the MSX line and the ZX Spectrum. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the focus shifted to 16- and 32-bit home computers such as the Amiga and the Atari ST. Nowadays, it mainly covers PCs and games consoles. It also reviews other hardware, such as digital cameras.
In the 8-bit era, MB was very hobby-oriented, presenting type-in programs for home computers and home electronics projects. Some columns, like the famous Peliluola by Nordic the Incurable, were written in a subculture insider style, and obscure in-jokes such as exploding hamsters were occasionally used. Many of the staff were fans of Star Trek: The Original Series and sometimes even wrote entire articles about the show, which had little or nothing to do with home computers.
In 2015, MB's publisher Sanoma sold the magazine to Talentum, which had also acquired Sanoma's other computer magazine Tietokone in 2013.
In 2003 MB had the largest circulation figures of computer magazines published in the Nordic countries. The 2011 circulation of the monthly was 71,429 copies. Its circulation was 42,866 copies in 2013.
In the 1980s, the MikroBitti staff used to hold an annual summer camp in Lautsia, a small village in the Tavastia Proper region in southern Finland. The camp was open to all MikroBitti readers, with a registration fee, and lasted about a week. Each day consisted of computer programming classes taught by the magazine staff. In the beginning, the class used various 8-bit computers such as the Commodore 64 and the MSX, but these were later replaced with Amiga computers. In the evening, the camp offered common summer camp outdoor activities, although attendees generally spent most of their free time playing computer games. The last summer camp was held in 1991. Jyrki Kasvi, a longtime contributor to MikroBitti, has mentioned having found many summer camp attendees at executive positions in Finnish IT companies.
Later, when the magazine grew more popular, its orientation and style became more mainstream. During the middle 2000s the magazine has branded itself more as a technology than a computer magazine. One of the latest moves was the complete removal of games section, and putting the remaining few game reviews and news among other hardware tests and news sections. For gamers this was unfortunate, because MikroBitti had always given large support to unusual games and independent publishers. The game section returned in the December issue, but the amount of games reviewed is significantly lower than before. All the changes were related to the magazine HIFI and MikroBitti merging.
- Jaakko Suominen (2011). "Game Reviews as Tools in the Construction of Game Historical Awareness in Finland, 1984– 2010: Case MikroBitti Magazine" (PDF). Proceedings of DiGRA 2011 Conference: Think Design Play. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- "Talentum buys MB magezine from Sanoma Media Finlandi" (in Finnish). Talentum.
- "Circulation Statistics 2011" (PDF). Media Audit Finland. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
- "Circulation Statistics 2013" (PDF). Media Audit Finland. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
- Saarikoski, Petri: Pioneerien leluista kulutuselektroniikaksi. Suomalainen kotimikroharrastus tietotekniikan murroksessa 1980-luvun alusta 1990-luvun puoliväliin. Licenciate's thesis, University of Turku, April 2001.
- Koko kansan tietokone, NYT week 33/2007.