Articles in the "Magazines" Category

80 Applications

“80 Applications” was a popular column that first appeared in the January 1980 premiere issue of 80 Microcomputing. Written by Dennis Báthory-Kitsz, “80 Applications” covered a wide range of TRS-80 related hardware projects and ideas.

The first “80 Applications” column was only one page but it soon grew to become one of the most detailed columns in 80 Microcomputing. As that initial column promised:

In the coming months, this column will present unusual applications of the TRS-80 in everyday and not-so-everyday life. Hardware and software extensions and fixes will be described, and some of the fascinating inner workings of this first computer-for-the-people will be revealed.

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Fun House

“Fun House” was one of the best remembered columns that ran in 80 Micro magazine. It was written by Richard Ramella, author of the 1982 book Computer Carnival: Sixty Programs for Starters". “Fun House” first appeared in the September 1982 issue of 80 Micro and ran until April 1984, with one gap for the February 1984 issue.

Computers were still a scary unknown for many at the time and “Fun House” encouraged people to have fun with computers. Ramella used his gentle style to focus on a different theme each month:

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News From Kitchen Table Software, Inc.

One of the most popular columns in the TRS-80 magazine 80 Microcomputing wasn’t about the TRS-80 at all. In fact, despite appearing to be a news column, it wasn’t about real products or companies. It was “News From Kitchen Table Software, Inc.”, a very amusing humor column introduced by David Busch in the July 1981 issue.

“News From Kitchen Table Software” followed the fictional company Kitchen Table, Inc. (also known as KTI), described as “United States' largest fictitious supplier of space-age computer products.” Kitchen Table was founded by the equally fictitious Scott Nolan Hollerith.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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The Assembly Line

“The Assembly Line” was a column about assembly language programming which first appeared in the April 1980 issue of 80 Microcomputing. It was written by William Barden, well known for his books about assembly language such as the Z80 Microcomputer Handbook, TRS-80 Assembly Language Programming, and Programming Techniques for Level II BASIC. The first “Assembly Line” column began with these words:

This is the first of what I hope will be many columns devoted to TRS-80 assembly language programming. Judging from articles I’ve read and comments I’ve heard at users' groups, many of you are interested in assembly language. I’ll provide tutorial material on the more difficult aspects of assembly-language routines that you can use with BASIC programs or other assembly-language code.

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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.

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April New Products

The “New Products” section in the TRS-80 magazine 80 Microcomputing was a listing of new product releases, described this way:

The New Products section is intended to inform our readers of new products on the market. All information in the section is taken from product releases sent by manufacturers.

But starting in 1982, every April issue included several gag products mixed in with the usual announcements. Here are just a few of those “April Fool’s” new products.

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