With Apple II magazines struggling or folding with the waning popularity of the platform in the early 1990s, A+/InCider took the bold (and controversial) step to include Macintosh content, and reduce the number of technical articles for the Apple II, in favor of reviews and other “fluff” pieces. While this approach to slow falling subscription numbers may have made sense on paper, it bothered the Apple II faithful who stayed away in droves and didn’t garner the magazine the Mac user subscriptions and ad revenue it hoped for.
Joe Gleason, the head of Quality Computers at the time, was unhappy with the direction that his primary advertising outlet was taking and launched his own magazine to fill the void left by A+/InCider‘s decision. A preview issue shipped in late 1992, with the new II Alive reaching eager subscribers’ hands in early 1993.
The first two volumes shipped bimonthly in a colorful, glossy format similar to A+/InCider. Following Volume 2 Number 6, II Alive switched to a quarterly publication schedule with a reduced page count. There are only three issues of Volume 3, because issue number 1 (Summer 1995) followed the Jan/Feb ’95 (the aforementioned Vol. 2 No. 6) issue of the previous format, so there was no gap in publication. Volume 4 began with Spring 1996 and II Alive completed its run with the final issue later that year.
A note about the Resource Guide
As a publication of Quality Computers, early issues of II Alive came with a large advertising section dedicated to its parent company. In the interest of reducing scan-to-publication workflow effort, and file size of the final PDFs, I’ve only reproduced and posted one of these as its own file. Most of the products and prices didn’t change that much over the months the Quality Computers Resource Guide was included, so you aren’t missing much. If you really have to have a Guide from a specific issue for historical research or just because you’re an extreme completionist (yeah, not technically a word, I know) and your OCD is going to drive you over the edge if you don’t have them all, shoot me an email and I’ll see what I can do.