Softdisk

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Softdisk
Type Private
Industry Software, Internet
Founded Shreveport, LA (1981)
Headquarters Shreveport, LA
Key people Jim Mangham, Founder
Judi Mangham, Founder
Al Vekovius, Founder, Past CEO
John Beaird, Past CEO
John Carmack, Former Game Programmer
John Romero, Former Game Programmer & Designer
Tom Hall, Former Game Designer
Adrian Carmack,
John Frasier, Former Lead Web Developer
Former Artist
Kevin Cloud, Former Artist and Manager
Jay Wilbur, Former Manager
Michael Amarello, Former Manager
Mike Hogan, System Administrator
Patrick Nix, Vice President Sales
Jason Bonnough, Assistant System Administrator, Lead Technical Support
Cregg S. Hardwick, Associate Editor
Products Softdisk (Apple II diskmagazine)
Softdisk G-S (Apple IIGS diskmagazine)
Loadstar (Commodore 64 diskmagazine)
Softdisk PC
Softdisk for Windows
Softdisk for Mac
Screen Saver Studio
Catacomb 3-D
Keen Dreams
Website www.softdisk.com

Softdisk is a software and Internet company based in Shreveport, Louisiana. Founded in 1981, its original products were disk magazines (which they termed "magazettes", for "magazine on diskette"). They were affiliated and partly owned by paper magazine Softalk at their founding, but survived its demise.

Names they have been known by at various times and for various purposes include: Softdisk Magazette, Softdisk Publishing, Softdisk, Inc., Softdisk Internet Services, Softdisk, L.L.C., and Magazines On Disk.

Publications[edit]

Publications included:

By the late 1990s, these publications were discontinued, although Loadstar had a continued life as an independent company catering to a cult following of Commodore buffs.

Standalone programs and Gamer's Edge[edit]

Softdisk has also published some standalone programs, including screensaver creator Screen Saver Studio (which is now published by Flat Rock Software).

They are probably most famous for being the former workplace of several of the founders of id Software, who worked on a short-lived game subscription product, Gamer's Edge. Gamer's Edge was a bi-monthly PC game disk started in 1990 by John Romero. The disk's developers were John Carmack, John Romero, and Adrian Carmack. Tom Hall, then a programmer who worked in the Apple II department of Softdisk, would come in at night to help with the game design. Lane Roathe was the editor.

These developers later left Softdisk to found id Software. To complete their contractual obligation to Softdisk, they did several more games for them including Dangerous Dave in the Haunted Mansion, Rescue Rover, Hovertank 3D, Rescue Rover 2, Tiles of the Dragon, Catacomb 3D and Keen Dreams (the "lost" episode of the Commander Keen series). Softdisk later hired a new team to create new titles using the game engines of the earlier games, including the founders of JAM Productions. This connection led to Softdisk being mentioned extensively in the earlier parts of the id chronicling book Masters of Doom.

Also, some of the earliest employees of Origin Systems worked there before moving on: Greg Malone (Moebius, Windwalker), Dallas Snell (The Quest and Ring Quest), Joel Rea (The Quest and Ring Quest), and Alan Gardner (Windwalker, Ultima VI).

Current state[edit]

Softdisk offices (seen here as they were in 2004) were, for much of the company's history, in a converted basement in downtown Shreveport.

Since 1995, Softdisk has been an Internet service provider, Web hosting service, and Internet developer as well, and this eventually became their primary area of business. They have offered local dialup service in the Shreveport area, and Web hosting and development services.

As of 2006, their Web site redirects to that of Bayou Internet, which has taken over their Internet operations. The downloadstore.com site formerly owned and operated by Softdisk is now run by Flat Rock Software, which also publishes former Softdisk product Screen Saver Studio and most of the Gamer's Edge titles (as well as on GoG.com). The source code for Catacomb, Catacomb 3D and Hovertank 3D was released by Flat Rock in June 2014 under the GNU General Public License in a manner similar those done by id and partners.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Larabel, Michael (June 6, 2014). "id Software's Softdisk Open-Sources Some Really Old Games". Phoronix. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 

External links[edit]