The Creative TRS‑80

written by Matthew Reed

Title:The Creative TRS‑80
Editor:Ken Mazur
Publisher:Creative Computing Press
Publication date:
Number of pages:407
ISBN:0-916688-36-4
The Creative TRS-80

Creative Computing was one of the longest running of the early microcomputer magazines, publishing from 1974 to 1985. Unlike most later microcomputer magazines, Creative Computing covered the entire range of personal computers, including the TRS‑80, Atari, and Apple.

In 1983, Creative Computing Press published three books collecting computer-specific articles from the pages of Creative Computing. They targeted each book at a different computer market: The Creative Atari, The Creative Apple, and The Creative TRS-80.

The Creative TRS‑80, edited by Ken Mazur with a preface by Creative Computing Associate Editor John J. Anderson, has over 100 articles and reviews from Creative Computing. All articles focus on the TRS‑80 and are split into nine different categories:

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Business
  • Personal productivity
  • Programming tips
  • Games
  • Graphics and music
  • Word processing
  • Education

All of the articles had previously been published in Creative Computing but much of the information must have been unfamiliar even to regular readers. Some highlights include an interview with Leo Christopherson (plus a program listing of Android Nim!), reviews (written by Harry McCracken and Owen Linzmayer) of TRS‑80 games, and the series “TRS‑80 Graphics Made Almost Painless.” I also like “Typecasting,” an account of how they used TRS‑80’s, Electric Pencil, Scripsit, and an Alpha Comp typesetter to typeset Creative Computing magazines.

The last section of the The Creative TRS‑80 offers a sampling of “TRS‑80 Strings,” Stephen B. Gray’s column about the TRS‑80. The column, which began in the November/December 1978 issue was one of several computer specific columns that Creative Computing published. The “TRS‑80 Strings” columns collected in The Creative TRS‑80 range from May 1982 to March 1983.

The Creative TRS‑80 was obviously intended to promote Creative Computing, which was still publishing at the time. But I think that it remains an interesting snapshot of the TRS‑80 world around 1983.

Categories: Books

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