I love the Internet Archive, it’s one of the best online projects there’s ever been.
I knew it archived a lot of stuff, but until this week I had no idea that the collection included scanned magazines of old. Jason Scott, of textfiles.com fame, now works for the Archive and wrote a blog post about some of the latest additions – dozens of tech magazines from the dawn of personal computing.
At first glance, you won’t see anything Mac-specific on the list. But you need to delve a little deeper. Remember, in those days Apple was just one of dozens of new arrivals, all of them jostling for position in a brand new consumer market.
So you’ll see lots of mags devoted to Commodore machines, to Atari, Amstrad and Sinclair. But some didn’t confine themselves to a single brand, and covered the whole scene. And in those, you’ll find a treasure trove of retro Apple stuff.
Take the very first issue of Compute magazine, for example, published in fall 1979. Flick through its pages and you’ll uncover references to Apple all over the place. I love this, from a review of a $400 dial-up modem:
One of the sample programs allows you to call up your Apple (from work?) using a dumb terminal and write programs. This sure is a better way to spend lunch than playing cards! When you get home the program will be ready for you.
Browse further through the Compute catalogue and you’ll find lots more. And that’s just one of the magazines that’s been archived.
As an extra bonus, the Internet Archive’s online reader works just fine in Safari on an iPad, so browsing and reading these ancient mags feels almost like relaxing with the paper original in your hand. God bless the Internet Archive, and all who sail in her.