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Flip Through History: 9 of Our Favorite BYTE Magazine Covers
No editors chose this as their favorite. It was the first though.
None of the editors chose this as their favorite. It was the first though.

Today, like most days, our office was filled with the clickety clack of furious typing as we were all hard at work. The silence was interrupted by David, one of our technical editors, sharing a link to all the covers of Byte magazine, going back to the first issue in September of 1975. There was a brief moment of silence, and then the comments began. “Oooh, I love this one, look at that!” and “That would make a great poster!”

In the spirit of sharing, since we know you’re going to want to see these, we gathered our favorites from the staff around the office.

[via Chrisarchitect]

6 thoughts on “Flip Through History: 9 of Our Favorite BYTE Magazine Covers

  1. Thanks to the Internet Archive you can get not only the covers but the contents as well. https://archive.org/details/byte-magazine

    Its amazing to flip through those old issues and see how much things have changed. There is still some great content in their though. The more things change the more they stay the same. Also the ads are amazing. How much for what?

  2. As a subscriber from the beginning, I remember all of these. But not even an honorable mention of the Smalltalk balloon of August 1981? That issue arguably sparked the object-oriented revolution in software design.

  3. So Byte is now diminished to the covers?

    The covers were pleasant, but simply meant it was a new issue, and might indicate some of the contents. Looking at those covers now, I can immediately remember articles in each one of them.

    People don’t know what it was like for that first issue of Byte to appear, unless they were there. Some of it was familiar (early issues had excerpts from Don Lancaster’s upcoming TV Typewriter Cookbook, an extension of his previous articles on the subject), some of it was new, an article about the basics of writing an assembler, completely foreign to those who didn’t yet have access to a computer. And suddenly there were all these pieces that could be put together because suddenly there was a magazine for it. Some had been involved, but for many the closest we came was a November 1972 article in “73”, that gave an overview of what was involved in building a computer (and that was pre-microprocessor). So we were ready.
    In effect, the readers were mostly in the same place at the start, since home computers was a pretty new thing. We learned from the magazine, sometimes useful things, sometimes peripheral things; I know so much about how people speak because of articles about computer speech. Each issue brought news of new computers and equipment. Two months after that September issue, there was an article about the $20 6502, which made such an impact two years later. Calculators and LSI-11s were part of the mix, because the definitions weren’t yet defined. Godbout had an ad in that first issue or so related to a 16bit computer they were planning, it never came to market so it was 3 or 4 years before 16bit became important (except for those LSI-11s).
    Things changed rapidly, because when something is new there is so much that can change.
    And virtually all the articles were written by the ones who did the work, no third parties to inflate what was done.
    Byte mattered because of the contents, and because of what was happening at the time.
    Michael

  4. tyujr . true that Patricia `s report is impossible… on wednesday I bought Saab 99 Turbo since I been making $8569 thiss month and also ten/k this past month

    . it’s actualy my favourite-work I’ve had . I began this three months/ago and pretty much straight away was earning more than $75… p/h . you could try here MORE DETAIL HERE

  5. gyjty. true that Patricia `s report is impossible… on wednesday I bought Saab 99 Turbo since I been making $8569 thiss month and also ten/k this past month

    . it’s actualy my favourite-work I’ve had . I began this three months/ago and pretty much straight away was earning more than $75… p/h . you could try here MORE DETAIL HERE

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Senior Editor for Make: I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I'd always love to hear about what you're making, so send me an email any time at caleb@make.co

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