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|Founded||Shreveport, LA (1981)|
|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
John Frasier, Former Lead Web Developer
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 for Windows
Softdisk for Mac
Screen Saver Studio
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.
- Softdisk for the Apple II
- Loadstar for the Commodore 64
- Big Blue Disk (later On Disk Monthly and Softdisk PC) for the IBM PC
- PC Business Disk for the IBM PC
- Diskworld (later Softdisk for Mac) for the Apple Macintosh
- Softdisk G-S for the Apple IIGS
- Softdisk for Windows for the Windows platform, published from 1994-1999.
- Shareware Spotlight, a short-lived publication featuring the best Shareware offerings for the PC.
Standalone programs and Gamer's Edge
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 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. Before he became a popular author Clayton Crooks had several games published by Softdisk.
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 later 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).
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 flatrocksoft.com, 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.
- Romero, John. "Dangerous Dave II: The Haunted Mansion - ROME.RO Photos -- John Romero", n.d. Retrieved on May 20, 2015.
- Larabel, Michael (June 6, 2014). "id Software's Softdisk Open-Sources Some Really Old Games". Phoronix. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- Kushner, David (2003). Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, New York: Random House. ISBN 0-375-50524-5.
- Shannon, L.R. (1987). "Peripherals; New Look of Magazines", The New York Times, October 27, 1987