I'd be very interested to know if you have copys of an old magazine called "Micro
Cornucopia". I did a summer internship there when I was in high school.
On Mon, 31 Aug 1998 12:04:26 Seth J. Morabito wrote:
When did the downward trend in magazines occur,
or was it a steady
Old computer magazines are another passion of mine. I a large
bookshelf full of BYTE magazine, from around 1976 to 1993, and
leafing through these magazines is like looking through the layers
of sediment in an archeological search. It's immensely fascinating.
BYTE started out as a single-signature stapled magazine. The September
1975 issue is 96 pages. These were the days of serious homebrew
systems, and Byte catered to that crowd exclusively. There were articles
about writing assemblers, about microcode, about CPU design, about MMU
architectures, and about CP/M internals. The typical reader was putting
together a home-made or kit-bought S100 machine, and wanted to stay in
touch with their fellow hackers. Those were truly glory days, 1975 to
1980, although I was too young to participate. I was busy playing in
a stream somewhere over summer vacation :) [I guess I'm trying to make
up for lost time by being so interested in classic computers now]
BYTE stayed about this size, right up through 1980 or so. If you were
around to remember it, there was a HUGE burst in Home Computing mania
right around 1981. Computers were suddenly everyhere, and everyone seemed
to have access to an Apple II or a Sinclair or (later) a Commodore 64.
With the introduction of the IBM PC, computers gained "business"
acceptance, and the wave crested. Anyone remember the 1982 TIME Magazine
"Man of the Year" going to "The Computer"? That raised a few
It was right around that time that BYTE swelled into a behemoth 400-page
magazine. It was like hefting a book, and the spine was a good 3/4"
thick. Every article had something good in it. There were in-depth
articles about Smalltalk and the coming of Object Oriented Programming.
Serious reviews of new commercial computer products. Buyer's guides.
And still, plenty of technical articles, and source code for programs.
It wasn't until 1985 or so that BYTE got back down to smaller proportions,
and had fewer articles. They focused more PC clones, the brand-new
Macintosh, business applications; less on hard-core internals. The techie
articles were still there, just in fewer numbers, and the readership
of Byte was pretty mixed, technical and business computer users.
Computer literacy was still not what it is today, so there weren't as
many clueless newbies. There would be plenty of time for that later.
In my very humble opinion, it was around 1987 or 1988 that computer
magazines started seriously heading downhill. BYTE remained a very good
magazine, right up through 1993, but after that, it was fully devoured by
"Business App-Itis", and became pretty un-interesting.
These days, the only computer magazine that's anything like what
Byte used to be is "The Computer Journal", published by Dave Baldwin.
Unfortunately, it's quarterly instead of monthly -- there's just not
that much demand for S100 information these days :)
"It looks just like a Telefunken U47! Seth J. Morabito
You'll love it." - Frank Zappa sethm(a)loomcom.com