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billdeg
June 30th, 2009, 03:43 AM
Erik,

Congratulations on your article in Maximum PC!

(I am a Maximum PC subscriber, and this morning I was reading the print copy with my morning coffee and hello...what's this?)

Here is the online version of the article
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/dawn_personal_computer_altair_ibm_pc

These articles always generate a lot of controversy, but I think that's why editors like them so much. Overall Erik was careful to avoid absolute statements, but I am sure that there will be some here who do not agree with the choices. Beyond that, I think it's important that there are articles like this in magazines like Maximum PC (I am a subscriber and recommend this mag) in that it helps bring new people into awareness of computer history. I think you're missing the point if you dwell too much on whether this or that computer should or should not be on Erik's list, as tempting as that may be to do.

Bill

lyonadmiral
June 30th, 2009, 04:33 AM
Very, very nice job!

strollin
June 30th, 2009, 05:28 AM
Shoot! I'm a Maximum PC subscriber as well and read that article but never paid attention to who wrote it. Thanks Erik, I enjoyed it.

linuxlove
June 30th, 2009, 10:28 AM
i saw that on wambooli.com 's home page, in the news section. that was neat to read. thanks to Erik Kline (again) and whoever else it was who helped...

Erik
June 30th, 2009, 10:42 AM
Erik,

Congratulations on your article in Maximum PC!

Thanks guys! :)

I've been a subscriber since MaxPC was Boot and I've always waited impatiently to devour the magazine when it came.

It was fun being an "accidental" contributor: I emailed them offering up items from my collection for their autopsy section and they replied with "that's cool, but here is a better idea. . ."

That led to this article as well as a likely web-only follow-up covering software.

We did a photo-shoot at the CHM for the Alto, Apple I and Scelbi and then I trucked all of the other stuff from my home in San Jose to their offices in South SF for two days of professional photography.

Fun stuff but a lot of work! :D

MikeS
June 30th, 2009, 10:49 AM
Indeed, great article; kudos, Erik!

Not to start the customary "Ya shoulda included the [my favorite model]!" thread, but I do find it odd that articles of this sort almost never include a clamshell laptop, i.e. GRID, PC5000, LTE etc., considering how hugely important they were (and are) in the growth of personal computing. The HX-20s et al weren't really in the same useabilty class as a PC, more like calculators on steroids, and of course the 'luggables' were just desktops squeezed into suitcases, still tethered to an AC outlet.

On the other hand, in my not-so-humble-opinion the PC- or Apple-compatible clamshell really changed the whole personal and social computing paradigm in a major way, so it's odd that they're so often ignored completely; in fact when you hear the word "computer," does a laptop even come to mind?

Erik
June 30th, 2009, 11:07 AM
Indeed, great article; kudos, Erik!
Thanks!



Not to start the customary "Ya shoulda included the [my favorite model]!" thread, but I do find it odd that articles of this sort almost never include a clamshell laptop, i.e. GRID, PC5000, LTE etc., considering how hugely important they were (and are) in the growth of personal computing. The HX-20s et al weren't really in the same useabilty class as a PC, more like calculators on steroids, and of course the 'luggables' were just desktops squeezed into suitcases, still tethered to an AC outlet.

True, but my self-imposed cut-off for this piece was the 1984 introduction of the IBM AT. . . That axed out any clamshells and the Amiga, amongst others.

Yzzerdd
June 30th, 2009, 11:11 AM
Fantastic article!

I was not aware of Maximum PC's existance prior to this, but now see the light!

There were some good reads and alot of fun facts I didn't know. Good job!

--Ryan

MikeS
June 30th, 2009, 05:21 PM
Thanks!


True, but my self-imposed cut-off for this piece was the 1984 introduction of the IBM AT. . . That axed out any clamshells and the Amiga, amongst others.
Well, the GRID had been out a couple of years by then, and a couple of others too, but I take your point; they weren't really a mainstream item yet.

But I still think that at least from a hardware point of view they're the last really new thing to come along; being able to read your email while sitting at Starbucks or working on that spreadsheet while out on the lake really changed what a computer is/does.

TomFCS
June 30th, 2009, 07:09 PM
Wonderful article! I learned a lot here. I've always felt I didn't know nearly enough about the historical time line of computers. Concise, informative and very enjoyable to read. Thanks and congratulations Erik!

tezza
July 1st, 2009, 02:53 AM
Beautiful photos Erik and a good run through some notable machines.

One thing though. Of the Franklin Ace (1983) you say:

"Notable Firsts Caused the first software copyright lawsuit"

Are you sure this is right? How about where Tandy sued PMC in 1981, for violations of copywrite of software in ROM? I thought this was the precident, two years before the Franklin Ace?

Tez

Jorg
July 1st, 2009, 03:39 AM
" This machine helped cement the idea of a “home” computer when that concept was almost as alien as a personal aircraft carrier"

LOL!

Erik
July 1st, 2009, 07:24 AM
Are you sure this is right? How about where Tandy sued PMC in 1981, for violations of copywrite of software in ROM? I thought this was the precident, two years before the Franklin Ace?

Hmm. Good point.

I knew I should have run it past y'all as proof-readers! :D

Thanks,

mbbrutman
July 1st, 2009, 07:34 AM
Forget everything else - who's PCjr was that?

I was very surprised too see that in the article.


Mike

Erik
July 1st, 2009, 08:11 AM
Forget everything else - who's PCjr was that?
Technically mine, but you've seen it before. . . ;)


I was very surprised too see that in the article.

Why? It's a fun machine to talk about!

mbbrutman
July 1st, 2009, 08:58 AM
Cool! I was hoping it was that one ...

I should drop an email to the original owner letting him know his machine became semi-famous ...


Mike

Erik
July 12th, 2009, 09:12 AM
The software follow-on to this article appears to have hit the website sometime last week: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/ibm_os360_windows_31_software_changed_computing

It's a bit shorter than what I wrote, but really there's only so much room on the web. . . :p

chatin
July 15th, 2009, 07:28 PM
Early hobby machines had trouble finding the keyboard and monitor until IBM showed the world what the first integrated portable should look like in 1975 - (IBM 5100 Portable). Too bad it cost as much as a moderately priced house, for the 64K model.

Relentlessly, the pirates of the fire, in the silicon valley got on top and formed most of the great tech companies we know today!

:p

linuxlove
July 16th, 2009, 03:43 AM
wow, so you got the Mark-8 finished? you must be busy then not to update your website. and, great article on software.

Karen Kline - married or family? :)

Erik
July 16th, 2009, 08:04 PM
wow, so you got the Mark-8 finished?

Finished but I'm too chicken to apply power.

I want to redo some of the edge connectors anyway which is my excuse. ;)


you must be busy then not to update your website. and, great article on software.

Too busy.

I've got at least 4-5 new machines plus several to update and I haven't had the time.


Karen Kline - married or family? :)
The better half. ;)

Micom 2000
July 17th, 2009, 12:28 AM
One of the most glaring absences was DR's GEM and it's Palo Alto predecessor. This also involves Commodores GEOS, Atari ST, and the MAC, who stole it frm Palo Alto in the first place. I have wondered for years how Dobbs managed to get away with it, and then win the lawsuits DR succumbed to, but never sued Tramiel's Atari ST.

Or am I just speaking about GUIs as opposed to OS. But of course Windows was a GUI not an OS.

I'm confused. What was the question (title) again ?

Lawrence


The software follow-on to this article appears to have hit the website sometime last week: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/ibm_os360_windows_31_software_changed_computing

It's a bit shorter than what I wrote, but really there's only so much room on the web. . . :p

Erik
July 17th, 2009, 09:07 AM
Although I didn't cover GEM I did mention it along with others.

This article was, in fact, about 3 times longer when I turned it in. . . way too long for publication.

"I didn't have time to write a short letter so I wrote a long one instead. . ." - Mark Twain