Something just occurred to me. Those of you who have been around long enough to have witnessed the birth of the "personal computer" (Kim1, IMSAI, etc.) and lived through it's early childhood (VIC-20, C-64, Atari 800, Coleco Adam, TRS-80, Apple ][ at al) might notice a similarity between then, and what's happening now with the Rasberry Pi.
You're seeing a creative community of enthusiasts forming around a piece of inexpensive and empowering technology. And this community is open to new ideas and freely sharing discoveries with each other.
Looks like the "good old days" of the personal computing movement are making a comeback.
Funny how Apple and Microsoft got their start in a time when there was a huge interest in getting control over your personal technology. Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs and The Woz launched two of the most successful companies in history - and ushered in a whole new world (both figuratively and literally) - in rebellion against IBM and other computing giants who were committed to preserving their secretive and proprietary walled-garden ecosystems.
Things have changed a lot since 1975. And one of the most notable changes is that the former 'rebels' are now doing their damnedest to become our new overlords.
How interesting that a new small, inexpensive, single-board computer has emerged, along with it's own community, in response.
Apparently history is repeating itself - once again.
How cool is that?
Back in the day, I was firmly ensconced in the Commodore Camp with my trusty Vic-20, my stable of C-64s and my elegant C-128. Our holy book was a Canadian-based enthusiast's magazine called Transacter
. It started out in 1978 as a few page newsletter. But it became a legitimate printed bi-monthly magazine sold on bookstore racks and the bigger news stands before its demise in 1989.
Since there were no websites back then, it was eagerly awaited by the Commodore community whenever it came out. The B&N around where I live used to have a sign that read: "ATTENTION! Transacter magazine is put out as soon as we receive it. If you don't see it, it either hasn't arrived, or it's sold out. And no - we won't be receiving additional copies."
The full Transacter
archive in PDF can be found here
. If you're curious, take a look at a few issues and compare what you see there to what's happening with MagPi
Of course, if you still have an old C64 sitting somewhere, you could always plug it in (I can almost guarantee it still works), download a few copies of Transacter
, and have at it. Well worth it too! That old C64 sprite and SID chip magic is still