Looking back at the history of the Microcomputer

Even when I was reading his magazines back in the ’70’s I figured that Wayne Green was a little bit, well, odd. I may have forgotten exactly how odd, but this interview in Computerworld is great reminder. The link via Jeff Dunteman’s Contrapositive Diary, includes another link to more discussion.

Green was present at the creation of the “personal computer industry”. It is hard to imagine these days that thirty-five years ago, a bunch of hobbyist tinkerers came up with some of the more profound ideas that would evolve into the technical infrastructure that we take for granted. Things like cell phones (an outgrowth of ham radio repeaters), email (an outgrowth of ham radio teletype experiments), satellite communication, and, of course the downsizing of computers to create the first desktop and laptops.

That’s why I still occasionally enjoy checking in with people who wrote for the early computer magazines, such as those started by Mr. Green. Jerry Pournelle, Don Lancaster, and Jeff Duntemann are still going strong and they’ve got decades of archived material online at their respective web sites. Perhaps their best work is behind them, but they all continue to offer a surprisingly unique and consistant perspective on our world.

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