Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Byte is Back and so is Jerry Pournelle

Byte magazine is back. It was the prime publication for the 'personal computer geek' in the seventies. All us geek old-timers know Byte magazine was the go-to source for 'What's happening now' in the small computer field.  As a hardware guy who sucked at math, I was most interested in the applications.  I was very good at visualizing what could be done with those early microprocessor systems, in fact I bought a KIM-1 board for use as a cassette controller for an early autodialer prototype.
Yes, I was indeed responsible for some of those spam 'Vote for Me' phone calls if you got them in the mid seventies. But I only made two of them and that would have been only if you lived in the Dayton area.

Well, what's old is new again, and a booming field in the geek community are projects involving 'microcontrollers' but compiled from high level language.
Two examples of this are 'Arduino' and 'Nerdkits'
Hopefully Byte - now online only- will cover this and regain the enthusiasm of the homebrew hobbyist.
I know I have a project I'd like to build, if I can find someone to do that pesky software work.

And Jerry Pournelle was big in personal computing futures, writing in Byte in the here and now, and with Larry Niven in some of the best science fiction.
He's back with Byte as well.

I know I'm going to be reading the new on-line Byte with some interest, hoping that we'll see some references to what's going on in the hobbyist fields, but I wont be privy to  that if I have to sign in to see it..  because to register, I have to provide a whole lot of info, including my snail-mail address.

Sorry, just getting my junk mail down to a manageable amount based on info provided as long as twenty years ago. So unless there's some real goodies I'm missing, I'd rather pay money to read it.

- H/T Instapundit