Wayne Green, pioneer in publishing, passes away

Being someone in their upper ‘40s, I have lived through many major events both at home and abroad. I remember the last moon landing. Skylab. The end of the Vietnam ‘conflict’. The fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall.  Perhaps, however, the most significant event I remember-the one that fundamentally changed the lives of 75% or more of the population of the planet Earth: the technological revolution, specifically, the personal computer revolution.  A major part of that even, at least in the first 20 years, was the hobbyist oriented publications-you know, the web sites on paper.

A big part of that publication scene were the magazines published by one Wayne Green.  Mr. Green was very prolific back in the day. At one point, he probably had six or seven publications going. I read many of them.  80 Micro, Hot Coco, 73 Magazine, Byte and others.  Byte was a special one as Mr. Green actually lost it during a divorce. His wife got the publication and sold it later.  Carl Helmers went on to publish the magazine for years. Byte started out being great and only went down hill much later.

Green’s other magazines were mostly hobbyist oriented and very informal. Many would start out with a feel and style that was more akin to newsletters than the slickly printed magazines that they really were.

I would eagerly await my next issue of 80 Micro or Hot Coco, pouring over every article and gazing at the ads for gear I could not afford.  I did have a couple of Color Computers, the Zx-81, a fantastic CP/M machine that my Dad built me for Christmas (a Xerox 820 based system at that.) I would type in the BASIC code from the magazines, changing the code as I though were necessary and then getting the euphoric feeling when it worked. (and, of course, the ensuing let down once the novelty wore off.) Then the agonizing wait until the next issue.

I believe I met Mr. Green one year at a ‘Ham Fest’ in Maryland, but I am not sure. I met many well known in the industry back then, but who are largely unknown today.  Unfortunately, I was a teen and didn’t pay much mind to names, but I am pretty sure I met Mr. Green.  He was giving a talk on the state of the hobby scene and the magazine industry in general. It was around 1979 or 1980.

His magazines fueled my interest and desire to tame the personal computer. They were a large part of my life and I do regret getting ride of my magazine collection.  I have only a few precious issues from that time (including a dozen or so original Dr. Dobb’s) and sorely miss them.

So, it is with sadness that I have to report that Mr. Green passed away on September 13, 2013. He was 91.  And, to echo many, thanks for the memories, Wayne Green.

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