Retro Computing after Gplus - where to go?


Many of us enjoyed the posts and conversations in the Retro Computing community on G+ - which is shortly to close. Where to go? We’re not sure, but will announce here and also in our temporary holding space, which is the RetroComputing hashtag on Diaspora:

There are already some hundred Retro Computing enthusiasts on Diaspora, and recent retro computing posts are seeing ten or more likes. So this seems to be relatively healthy. Diaspora has some of the good features we like, although it’s not perfect.

For Diaspora, be sure to use hashtags on your profile and in your posts - it’s the only way to find things, and people, over there. Check in here, and add our RSS feed to your RSS reader too.

(Who do I mean by we? I mean your former moderators over on G+)


It’s now possible to import G+ communities into Discourse - and this here is a Discourse instance. It’s even possible for the posts and comments to be re-owned by the original authors, if we’re able to enable google logins here and if people use that facility. The end result looks something like this:

Bit hat-tip to Michael K Johnson for creating the import mechanism and leading the way.

There are some barriers so this might or might not happen here, but it’s a very encouraging sign.


Google is allowing you to create an archive of your G+ data, however, it’s failed for me twice now. YMMV.


I’ve created several archives using Google Takeout, but I don’t know if they contain everything I’d like them to. The latest pair are since Google added (or said they added) Community content. I’m the in position of someone who has done a backup but not yet a restore.

(In the other case, of backups taken using the cheap commercial Google+ Exporter tool, I have done some spot restores and the data looks good. Of course it’s impossible to review all the posts and comments of an active community.)


Over on G+ I used to maintain a Collection called Computational Communities. There were many pointers there to Communities on G+, which will soon be gone, but might yet be resurrected, here or elsewhere. But there were also pointers to other sites. I’ll paste some relevant examples here. But first, the image:

And I notice I’ve mentioned no forums. I use, stardot, anycpu, and there are many more: vcfed, atariage, lemon64, defence-force, cpcwiki…

And no mail lists, where I could have mentioned cbm-hackers, classiccmp, bbc-micro, fignition, pidp8,…

And more than a few interesting projects on

Now for the posts:

Both Diaspora and Mastodon are decentralised social networks with some retrocomputing activity. Both support hashtags (and indeed, have hashtag search as the only kind of search.)

Both of them, being federated, have many instances or nodes to choose from. You can see the relative popularity of nodes here:
but you might also care about the local moderation policy (if any) of your chosen node, and any shared interest or characteristic of local users, such as language. But in any case, you can interact with and follow anyone on any node on the same system. (You can’t cross-follow between mastodon and diaspora universes, at present.)

Here’s a blogroll of sites with a Retro Computing aspect, for those of you using RSS:
Edit to add:
And yet more: - JeeLabs - Retro Computing – About small SBC systems


For people making retro systems, I recommend
RetroBrew Computers Forum
and the curated list Homebrew Computers on

For people making their own CPUs or interested in CPU architectures and implementations, I recommend the AnyCPU forums and the curated list Homebrew CPU on

I’m not sure what to suggest for people writing retro software - probably a platform specific forum?


What about mailing lists, like the ClassicCmp ones?

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Oh yes, for sure, I’m in a few mailing lists and they can be a great resource. ClassicCmp I find a little too high-traffic for my purposes, so I just keep all the mails so I can search them.


some of my other g+ communities are moving over to mewe - not sure if thats the option, but def worth checking out.


Welcome! I’m afraid I’m a bit negative on mewe - it’s too much a closed system for me, and it’s a funded startup, which skews the motivations of the company. They are doing well at getting people to join, but they won’t get me! (But, just as with closed groups on Facebook, some people will be fine with the bargain.)

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I realised there’s another world out there, the world of YouTube. It might be interesting to hear people’s favourite and recommended channels, or curated collections. I’m only a very minimal commenter on videos, but I know some people more or less use it like social media, and meet the same friends in chats below various videos.

Let me see what (relevant) subscriptions I have - not so many:

I think I’d better stop there!


can see their business model looks doubtful, however for people who saw g+ as an alternative to facebook and don’t use facebook at all, mewe surely makes the run. especially if you try non-tech guys to explain why diaspora and similar is better…
some might just joined the g+ community to see awesome pictures of the IBM 360 :slight_smile:
in any case glad you keeping it alive somehow :smiley:

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Here’s another retro computing related YouTube channel: RetroManCave

And, for all friends of British compact computing, Paul Jenkinson’s Spectrum Show:

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Thanks for those!

Another text-based almost-community can be found over at the retrocomputing stack exchange Q&A site:
(I use their weekly newsletter to see the half-dozen new articles each week.)


Slightly off-topic, but if any of you have bandwidth to spare, the Archival Team behind are doing a last minute save of G+ data.


t’s clear that Google’s managers will simply destroy the project - exactly the way it was done with the Google Labs project.

I propose to develop an independent full-fledged analogue of G + so that enthusiasts always have the opportunity to exchange information on their favorite hobby.

There are willing to participate in the work on the project?


You also have the Lazy Game Review which is a good channel on home retro computing. Clint is fun and entertaining host.

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Do we maybe want to start up a Discord server? Or would that be too much for people?


There are many possibilities! I started this Discourse instance because it seems to be a good platform for forums. Of course many people like the realtime chitchat and still use IRC - there’s another set of possibilities! - but I prefer the tempo and longevity of forum interactions.

The first idea with this forum was to stay in touch. The second idea is to host resurrected backups of G+ communities. The third idea is to have our own retrocomputing posts and discussions here.

I should say up front that I’m in favour of moderated communities: if you’ve enjoyed the Retro Computing community on G+ you’ll know how that works. Moderation was rare, but it did happen.


One thing to note about new adventures is that each one needs to collect a viable number of participants, and those participants have to trust that the platform will be adequately well administered and maintained.

One example is MeWe, which is venture funded, and that’s both a source of security and a source of doubt.

Another example is YouMe ( which is privately funded and run by one individual, who says he is in it for the long haul.

And another is this forum, which is funded(!) and run only by me. I expect to have co-moderators and I expect to share backups with at least one other person, so in the event of my demise the forum can be kept going. If you’ve seen me around G+ or the 6502 forums or elsewhere, you’ll know I have a long-standing interest and I’m not prone to fits of bad temper. (I have in the past seen people get angry and mass-delete their own posts - these are people you wouldn’t want to give moderator or admin privilege to.)