Mitch Waite

Computer book author, publisher, web designer, and entrepreneur

1976 – Microcomputer Primer

1976 – Microcomputer Prime was a home run. It made me think I could make a living as a writer.

The mid-1970s were a time of unbridled potential. The microprocessor chip was just starting to take shape, and I felt an electric charge in the air. I was convinced that these tiny sparks of silicon genius were going to alter the course of human history, but few others saw it that way.

“Projects in Sight, Sound & Sensation” was a valiant effort, but it failed to ignite the public’s imagination in 1974. I was undaunted. I knew I had to reach further, to connect with a wider audience. I went to my publisher, Howard W. Sams, with a blazing idea: a book about this revolutionary microcomputer, a work that would show the world the true potential of these tiny miracles. At first, Sams was skeptical, but with the help of my brilliant programmer friend Michael Pardee, I was able to rally him to my cause.

The book was produced with lightning speed, and it took the world by storm. Over 100,000 copies were sold in its first year, and I was on fire. I had found my calling, and computer books became my raison d’être. The microchip was my sword, and I would use it to conquer the world. The little cartoon character created by my friend Robert Gumpertz was a hit, a symbol of the joy and wonder that these silicon marvels could bring.

I was fueled by a burning passion, a desire to share the magic of these tiny chips with the world. But first, I had to break free from the constraints of corporate technical writing and embrace the future with open arms. This was my moment, and I would seize it with both hands.

Microcomputer Primer: “The manifesto that started a revolution” — Leo Laporte quote from Triangulation interview, June 16, 2006 +

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