By Adok/Hugi

Amber was one of the first Polish diskmags that were completely published in the English language. Its first issue was released in June 1999, the second and last issue in December 1999. The main editor was Dj Regal of Altair and Tatanka. Misha of Tatanka served as co-editor. Before making Amber, Dj Regal was a staff writer of the mostly Polish-language scene diskmag Tankard. Misha was the main editor of Total Disaster, a diskmag that was also just in Polish language except one issue, which was in English.

Amber #1 and #2 (and the small, animated announcement text Amber #0, which was released in December 1998) are available from The two issues have been downloaded about 1700 times. Amber works perfectly under DOSBox.

Amber #1

The engine of Amber #1 (June 1999) was coded by HeY and Pyshtoff of Tatanka; it was the engine previously used in the Total Disaster diskmag. The audiovisual appearance of Amber was the same as in most diskmags: After starting came a title picture, and music began to play. A click later, the main menu was displayed, where you could select one of the sections (Editorials, Scene, Misc). Inside the sections, the headlines of the articles were listed; you clicked a headline, and the text was displayed. The text was displayed with a fixed-width font, in contiguous formatting, partly justified by insertion of spaces. The background picture remained the same throughout the mag. At the bottom of the screen there were some buttons for exiting the mag, getting back to the menu, returning to the previous screen, selecting music or accessing the help pages.

Amber #1 featured two tunes by Lesnik of Altair and one each by Bigyo of Tatanka and Singer of Altair. The graphics were done by Misha. The texts amounted to 450 kbytes and were written by about 20 persons. Most of the articles were originally written in Polish and then translated to English by BlueShade of Altair or Shredder of Aion.

The Scene section starts with the announcement of the rules of the Amber competitions. There are compos for 100x100 pixel graphics, 100kb music and 256 bytes intros. This is followed by the results of the previous 100x100 pixel graphics competition, which was organized by Total Disaster. Then come a Quast 1998 report and a statement about the music selection at Rush Hour 1998. There are articles about "helping beginners" and whether it's good to be a multi-group member. In another article, Bzykoo compares the scene to a prison. In general, many articles are of questionable interest; what would be considered fillers in other diskmags, is the majority in Amber #1. But there are also reviews of some Polish language diskmags, which may be especially interesting for people who don't speak Polish and thus can't read the mags themselves. There are also two interviews (Byter of Blasphemy and KusmuQue) and, finally, a lot of party results.

In the Bonus section, we can find a lesbian love story and several joke articles. Some - or maybe most - of them were not written originally for Amber but taken from the Internet.

Amber #2

The engine of Amber #2 (December 1999) is the same as in Amber #1, except that there are new graphics, which were once again made by Misha. The music comes from Lluvia of Bomb, Towerx of Astroidea, G-day of Quad and Core-nick of Tatanka.

We have the same section structure as in Amber #1. Inside the Scene section, we can find the results of the competitions announced in the previous issues and the rules for the next ones. There are the first edition of the charts (131 voters, categories groups, demos, intros, mags, coders, graphicians, musicians, raytracers, text-writers, editors) and news and message corners. An interesting article is "From perspective of sewer", in which Magoth writes how it has come that he lived the life of a beggar for one day. There are interviews with Radix and Psychic Symphony. Misha describes step by step how he created the title picture of Amber #1. Like in the previous issue, there are loads of articles which would be usually regarded as fillers, if there weren't just so many of them. For example, one article is about "What the scene is?", and another deals with the question what ties people to the scene; a third article is called "Ultralazy?", and yet another one deals with file size limits in music compos. Finally, there are tons of party results, once again.

The Bonus section is much smaller than in the previous issue. It contains only seven articles. Three articles were written by members of Access Denied, the group that released Scenial. One of them is a list of what fictional "famous viruses" do, e.g. the PSI virus optimizes the code of other programs. Once again, there's also a lesbian story included in the magazine.