Jason Scott writes:
Compute! was one of the biggies, one of the magazines you’d see down in the magazine rack at the bookstore and which was filled with bright, happy pages promising the world if you just typed in one of the programs, or which gave an optimistic outlook on how much wonderful stuff you could do with computers. If you subscribed to it (or merely bought every issue, like I tended to), then Compute! was a centerpiece of your computing experience at that time.
Well, here you go. Here’s every single issue of Compute! Magazine [1979–1994] on archive.org.
Go ahead, browse around. You can open any issue, read it online, or download a PDF or kindle/e-reader-ready version, and look back on that awesome time, with breathless ads and helpful tips and ideas on what the next best thing was going to be, with the added advantage of knowing when they were right and wrong. Smile with knowing delight as someone predicts the future, and wince when they get so close but not close enough. The fact that nearly every person ended up becoming a self-contained GPS, communications and information hub wasn’t really on the horizon, so in many cases they’re amazingly off, assuming that machines would continue to be tethered to desks and the phone system would be a constant thorn in the side with its zone calls and strange mechanics.
And that’s not all. On the Internet Archive you will also find:
- Compute! Gazette, a spin-off of Compute! Magazine, focussed on Commodore machines (all issues)
- Antic Magazine, an Atari-oriented periodical (all issues)
- Ham Radio Magazine (all issues)
- DieHard, the Flyer for Commodore 8bitters (all issues)
- Big-K-Magazine, a UK magazine for 8-bit computers
Last but not least:
- SoftSide Magazine, a defunct computer magazine, begun in October 1978 by Roger Robitaille and published by SoftSide Publications of Milford, New Hampshire. (From the description at the Internet Archive page).
A final word of warning: if you’re over 30 (or just an incurable nerd), you will spend hours and hours browsing these magazines.