Image: ReFiend via Paged Out!
A new free online magazine for hackers, programmers and tinkerers promises to reignite the bygone era of useful tech zines, with an emphasis on creativity and brevity.
Programmer and handyman Gynvael Coldwind launched Paginated!, a new free online experimental magazine on programming tips, hacking, security, retro computers, modern computers, electronics, game development, and more. The goal: a concise and creative resource for programmers and hackers built by the community, for the community. The fanzine first prototype number has been published previously and offers readers a wide variety of short one-page articles on everything from the dismal state of consumer router security to how to DIY a motorized shopping cart. The issue also provides tips on how to hack everything from old Guitar Hero controllers to Populele (a new “smart” ukulele).
Zurich-based Coldwind told Motherboard he was inspired by the kind of zines he read when learning to be a programmer, like Bajtek, a popular Polish magazine from the 80s and 90s that provided computer tips and tricks for budding DIY enthusiasts. Coldwind said zines like PoC || GTFO or Phrack were also inspirations, as well as legendary computer magazines like Hugi. He said he’s looking to complement, not supplant, many of those efforts with a new experimental effort that changes the formula a bit.
Coldwind said that for the past few years he’s had had enough of reading 20-page articles that lose intrigue, so his zine limits authors to one page. âI have done reviews for a few tech magazines in the past and with every long article I was wondering ‘why can’t these be shorter like they were in Bajtek’,â he said. he declares. “After a while, I decided that short articles could have their own place among other resources, and I finally decided to do a zine focusing on those.”
Coldwind said that although authors are limited to a US Letter or A4 page, they have almost complete freedom to use that space as they see fit in terms of formatting and presentation. As a result, contributions range from articles on “Accelerating Simulations by Grouping Bodies Using the Barnes-Hut Algorithm” to a cramped page full of code for simple video games. âI wanted to give the authors creative freedom on how to use this space that they get, so there are few rules regarding the layout,â he said. “Of course, this artistic chaos has its drawbacks, but I thought it might work well.”
While much of the zine is designed for hackers, Coldwind and his team ultimately hope that the zine – which he technically considers to be still in beta – will encompass a wide variety of technical topics.
” Page ! focuses on purely technical content ranging from programming / algorithms to demoscene, infosec / hacking, back-computers, to electronics / hardware, âhe said. âWe basically aim for articles on topics that are interesting, clever, tricky, surprising and generally fun. “It will not be a zine for the 9-5 professional, but rather for the 5-9 hobbyist / hobbyist,” he adds. Coldwind said that given the direction of the zine, he will also try to focus on ethical hacking and avoid non-technical topics, with a few exceptions. âWe could accept the occasional cookie recipe,â he says. “Although he must be good.”
Coldwind said he was submitting nominations for the zine’s second edition, and those interested should read this breakdown what to expect before submitting. Interested authors should submit their offers by October 20, 2019. Interested readers should subscribe to this newsletter group and activate email notifications to be alerted to new issues.