The Golden Age of InfoWorld Covers, 1984-1985

Return with us now to the days when Radio Shack was a PC giant, Apple was on the ropes, and people thought laptops were a foolish fad.

Posted by  | Wednesday, February 3, 2010

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Back in the 1980s, if you wanted to stay particularly up-to-date on the PC business, you read a newsweekly–and there was a high chance that the newsweekly you read was IDG’s InfoWorld. Among the most venerable and successful computing publications–it started in 1978 and thrives online today–InfoWorld was famous back then for its frequent format changes. In 1984 and 1985, it adopted a BusinessWeek-like look and feel. The issues from this era may not have been the best issues of InfoWorld ever, but they’re the most fun ones to revisit. (Thanks to Google Books, revisiting InfoWorld’s entire print run is now easy.)

These mid-80s covers are miniature time capsules. Here are a bunch that capture the period in all its innovative, innocent, silly glory. Click on the covers to read the issues.

(Full disclosure: I’m an InfoWorld alum, having worked there from 1992-1994. It seems like half the people I know in tech journalism are ex-InfoWorlders, such as Calendar Swamp proprietor Scott Mace, author of several of the stories here.)

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Slides: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

5 Comments For This Post

  1. Stilgar Says:

    Cool. As I recall, Apple was actually more profitable after Steve Jobs left. It didn’t last long though. 🙂

  2. Matthew Says:

    Love the sidebar on #9 – it says “Businesses can buy software electronically.” And that was news then!

  3. Michael Swaine Says:

    But the Google Books collection only seems to go back to late 1986. What about the 1981-1986 issues? Are they adding gradually? Or should I help them out with my back-issue collection?

  4. Cassie Maas Says:

    I remember your writing Michael!

  5. Wade Watson Says:

    These were from the later period of Infoworld for me. When I first subscribed it was more of a tabloid style with a newspaper-style cover. Anybody could get a subscription for free if you said you were a business. Every issue was worth reading if for nothing else John Dvorak’s column. Before he was a podcast cramugin he was the go-to guy for tech scoops. Albeit, he pretty much had that field to himself back then.

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    […] I took a look back at tech of the early 1980s, in the form of old InfoWorld covers. […]