The Best of Creative Computing

In the process of researching a few recent blog entries, I found the amazing Atari Archives. The title is a little misleading; it isn't completely Atari specific. The archives contain incredible page-by-page high resolution images of many classic computer books, including The Best of Creative Computing, volume 1 (1976) and volume 2 (1977).

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

That cover is by Gilbert Shelton who did the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. It’s not R.Crumb, although the style is similar.

I take it back. You were referring to a different image than the one you had posted. Apologies.

No worries-- that’s good to know. I wondered who Gilbert Shelton was. It’s also another clear sign of how computers were sorta considered “counterculture” in the late 70’s.

The style and illustrations remind me of the classic “How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive,” the original “for the Compleat Dummy” book by John Muir. I wonder to what extent both were inspired by a kind of anti-establishent ethos (aka hippy culture) the flowered (haha) in the 70s.

Writing in code from papers copies, that takes me back…

…What a pain in the ass that was! 30% of the time was spent typing in the thing, then 70% spent finding the minor mistakes you’d made!

Or the mistakes the author/printer made…

Wow! That brings back memories! Back in the day you were considered some sort of weird freaky guy if you owned a computer. Talk about counter-culture, there use to be a group in california called “peoples computer company”, they ran a free “computer lab” out of a store front somewhere in california. People could walk into the lab and sit down and write programs! What a cool concept. If I remember correctly, I think the author of wumpus wrote it there.

There was a science show for kids in PBS(?) called 321CONTACT, at around 1990, which published a magazine monthly. It had a monthly column called “BASIC Training”, where they presented you with a game written in,… you know, BASIC, which I typed into the PC. Not many of them worked, but that wouldn’t stop me from writing them. I can say I started debugging before I could write my own code!

Basic Computer Games. What a blast from the past! I think my criteria for judging a program was whether I could type it in between the end of school and when my Dad came home and would kick me off the TV my TI99/4A was hooked up to watch the news.