Thursday, August 8, 2013

Old magazines, a window into the past

Old magazines, a window into the past

Reading an old magazine is a bit like looking through a window in time that propels you back to days long gone. Whether it’s magazines about gaming (like Zzap!64, Commodore Format, …) or the ones focused on the more serious use of computers (like 64’er, Byte, …), they all share that same quality: they recount a moment in history and preserve it for future generations.

One such magazine I acquired recently conveys such a very important moment in computing and Commodore’s history; Byte Magazine of October ’77.

For instance, the magazine holds some of the first ads for what’s to become the “trinity” of home computers: The Commodore PET, the Apple II and the TRS-80.

The most striking piece of history that is immortalized in the magazine however, is the account of the Dallas National Computer Conference (NCC), held on June 13th 1977. Normally the event showcased the big computer companies like IBM, GE, National Semiconductor, … but in 1977 the organizers decided to try out something new and created an extra exhibition hall for the microcomputer companies, which they called the Personal Computing Fair.