Articles in the "Magazines" Category

TRS-80 Computing

TRS-80 Computing, also known as S-80 Computing, was an early newsletter for the TRS-80. It was published by Computer Information Exchange (also known as CIE) from 1978 to 1980. It cost $1.50 per issue or $15.00 for twelve issues. Although not very many issues of TRS-80 Computing were published, it was a highly regarded TRS-80 newsletter, described by Recreational Computing as “a top-rated publication.”

Computer Information Exchange was an educational nonprofit corporation that was based in San Luis Rey, California and founded by Bill McLaughlin. It sold a variety of low-cost TRS-80 software on cassette, mostly of an educational nature. Their most popular product was People’s Pascal, an implementation of the Tiny Pascal compiler that was created by Kin-Man Chung and Herbert Yuen. Computer Information Exchange sold two versions of People’s Pascal:

TRS-80 Strings

“TRS‑80 Strings,” later known as “Tandy Gram,” was a column in Creative Computing magazine that focused on TRS-80 computers. It was written by Stephen B. Gray for most of its run and first appeared in the November/December 1978 issue.

Stephen B. Gray was best known for founding the Amateur Computer Society in 1966, a group for “anyone interested in building and operating a digital computer that will at least perform automatic multiplication and division.” Gray was also the publisher of the newsletter for the Amateur Computer Society (better known as the ACS Newsletter) that claimed to be (and probably was) “the first hobby-computer publication in the world.” The ACS Newsletter published 40 issues from August 1966 to December 1976.

The MISOSYS Quarterly

The MISOSYS Quarterly, better known as TMQ, was the official newsletter for MISOSYS, a software company based in Sterling, Virginia. It was published by Roy Soltoff, the “system designer of TRSDOS 6.0” and co-founder of Logical Systems (the creators of LDOS and LS-DOS). The MISOSYS Quarterly was far more than just a company newsletter, and was one of the best technical resources for the TRS-80 Model III and Model 4. Along with TRSTimes and Computer News 80, it was one of the last print publications for the TRS-80.

The MISOSYS Quarterly had similarities to an earlier MISOSYS newsletter, Notes from MISOSYS. But The MISOSYS Quarterly was far more ambitious, with outside advertising, articles by external authors, and information about non-MISOSYS products.

Creative Computing

Creative Computing was a very popular early computer magazine and was one of the few to predate microcomputers themselves. It was created by David Ahl and published its first issue in October 1974. David Ahl once described Creative Computing as “the first personal computing magazine.” Although it was created to promote educational computing, it became one of the best magazines for hobbyists.

While working at Digital Equipment Corporation, David Ahl edited EDU, a newsletter aimed at educational users of Digital Equipment’s computers. (This was also when he first published his book 101 BASIC Computer Games). EDU became quite successful as the use of computers in education expanded. But Ahl envisioned a more generic magazine for educational users of all computers, not just those sold by Digital Equipment. When Ahl left Digital Equipment in July 1974, he developed this idea into Creative Computing

Kilobaud Microcomputing

Kilobaud Microcomputing was a hobbyist computing magazine that began in 1977. It was created by Wayne Green, who was known for publishing the magazines 73, BYTE, and later 80 Microcomputing. Kilobaud Microcomputing was aimed more at the beginning computer hobbyist than other similar magazines. It is perhaps best known for spinning off 80 Microcomputing, the most popular TRS-80 magazine.

The magazine was originally named Kilobaud when it began in 1977. That changed to Kilobaud Microcomputing by the January 1979 issue. The word “Kilobaud” on the cover became smaller and disappeared entirely in 1982. The magazine was then called Microcomputing until it ended in 1984.


BYTE: The Small Systems Journal was one of the longest running computer magazines and also one of the most popular. It was published from September 1975 to July 1998 and at one point in the 1980’s was the largest magazine in the country. In addition to the United States version, there were also twenty licensed editions of BYTE published in other countries.

BYTE was described by editor Carl Helmers in the premiere issue as “a monthly compendium of information for the owners and users of the new microcomputer systems becoming widely available at moderate cost.” It began at the start of the microcomputer revolution, even before mass-marketed computers were widely available, but also spanned into the age of the Internet and the World Wide Web.


SoftSide was a popular computer magazine that covered multiple computer platforms, including the TRS-80, Apple II, Atari, Commodore 64, and IBM PC. But when Roger Robitaille published the first issue in October 1978, SoftSide focused on only one computer: the TRS-80 Model I.

That first issue, which identified itself as “your BASIC software magazine,” began with this statement:

There are those who might say we’ve got rocks in our heads for starting another computer magazine in the first place. We even wondered about it ourselves—but only for a minute.

Personal computing has taken a new direction. The technological wonder of the early ‘70’s has come out of the basement workshop and into the living room. People are coming to look upon the computer less as the ultimate machine, the hobby in itself, and more as the tool, the medium, the vehicle for the real stars—our ideas and imagination.

Our intention is to publish software—and lots of it, free for the transcription. Every month we will offer programs for business, games, programs with household applications, even educational programs for children that will allow your home computer to become the educational aid we always knew it could be. Our content will be as diverse and unique as our featured program’s writers.

80 Microcomputing

80 Microcomputing, also known as 80 Micro, was the most famous of the TRS-80 magazines and the best remembered. It was the first of the platform-specific computer magazines to become very popular, creating a model that many other magazines followed. Harry McCracken, former editor-in-chief of PC World, described PC World as “essentially an 80 Micro clone that happened to be about Windows, not TRS-80’s.”

80 Microcomputing published for 101 issues from January 1980 to June 1988, plus one special anniversary issue in 1983. With the combined June/July 1982 issue, 80 Microcomputing was renamed to 80 Micro and the cover date was advanced one month.

The magazine was very successful and spawned:


Like most early microcomputer magazines, 80 Microcomputing published many reader submitted programs. These programs were among the most popular features of the magazine but needed to be typed into a computer before they could be used. Typing in long program listings was time consuming and there was always the real possibility of introducing errors during the typing process.

Selling a tape containing the programs from 80 Microcomputing was an idea mentioned almost from the beginning of the magazine. That idea eventually led to the product named LOAD-80. Wayne Green, the publisher of 80 Microcomputing, first referred to LOAD-80 in his “80 Remarks” column in the April 1981 issue:

H&E Computronics Magazine

H&E Computronics, Inc. was well known for their line of business software for the TRS-80 and other computers, including programs such as VersaReceivables and VersaLedger. But they were probably best known for their TRS-80 monthly magazine, which billed itself as “the original magazine for TRS-80 owners.” It was called by a number of different names over its publication history, including TRS-80 Monthly Newsletter, TRS-80 Monthly Magazine, and H&E Computronics Monthly News Magazine. But most people knew it as H&E Computronics Magazine or just H&E Computronics.

The first issue was published in July 1978 as TRS-80 Monthly Newsletter with this mission statement:

The purpose of the TRS-80 Monthly Newsletter is to provide and exchange information related to the care, use, and application of the TRS-80 computer system.