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BYTE Is Coming Back

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the has-it-been-12-years-already dept.

The Media 185

harrymcc writes "More than a dozen years after its death, BYTE magazine is still the most beloved computer magazine of all time — the one that employees of every other tech mag got used to being compared unfavorably with. And now it's being revived, in the form of a new BYTE.com. The new version isn't replicating the focus of the old BYTE — it's focused on the use of consumer tech products in a business environment — and I'm pretty positive it won't feature Robert Tinney's art or epic Jerry Pournelle columns. But I'm glad to see the legendary brand back in use rather than sitting in limbo."

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BYTE (0, Troll)

maxrate (886773) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653786)

BYTE ME!

Re:BYTE (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34653800)

just a nibble

Re:BYTE (-1, Offtopic)

maxrate (886773) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653818)

4 is better than 0 any day

Re:BYTE (-1, Offtopic)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653832)

Maybe a little bit more?

Re:BYTE (-1, Offtopic)

lpaul55 (137990) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653824)

oh, grow up! What a waste of a frist psot.

Re:BYTE (-1, Offtopic)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653890)

What, you think saying "Frist psot!" would have been better?

Re:BYTE (-1, Offtopic)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653828)

Is your naughty bit a 1 or a 0?

Re:BYTE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34653980)

Neither - mine's a 1 and two 0s - 0<sup>1</sup>0 when I'm up and 0<sub>1</sub>0 when I'm down!

Re:BYTE (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654010)

.1
0 0

Both (/. needs to support &nbsp;)

Re:BYTE (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653974)

Well, since as TFS says, "The new version isn't replicating the focus of the old BYTE — it's focused on the use of consumer tech products in a business environment — and I'm pretty positive it won't feature Robert Tinney's art or epic Jerry Pournelle columns", than I agree with your sentiment. They can BYTE me.

That's a real byte in the ass; the magazine without all the things that made it great is bullshit, just another stupid tech blog featuring electronic bling.

The old BYTE magazine, now that I miss. In depth articles about hardware hacking, software hacking, phreaking, schematic diagrams, source code listings, etc., it was a true nerd's dream, which was why it was the one that "employees of every other tech mag got used to being compared unfavorably with."

I doubt I'll even like this reincarnation. Kind of like a doberman being reincarnated as a chihuahua.

Re:BYTE (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654054)

Yes, I'm not sure why the author of TFS is glad to see the brand back. I couldn't care less about the BYTE brand, but I loved the BYTE content. Like the multi-page article about the new one micrometer process, looking at the history of process technology, how it has kept pace with Moore's Law, and how the new process worked. Yet another web site about consumer technology in the business world? Who cares?

Re:BYTE (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654334)

The branding is lame, but the intention might have some wiggle room before being condemned to death. I have tried several times to find open source sites that were trying to bridge the knowledge gap with new Linux users. It is tough. If the subject is tackled with the same underlying educational bent as the old pub then maybe it will prove useful.

The biggest WIN would be if they could stake out the meeting ground between the uneducated user and the over-matched admin. I don't think anyone is doing this particularly well right now.

Focusing on threes would be good. A fluffy Esther Schindler type buzz-fest for the C level, an insightful feature/spec commentary for the implementors, and a consumer empowerment style review of associated devices/products for the honey-bees. Then you tie it together with well staffed forums.

That would be refreshing, right? If anything, a quick swim through the more technical parts of the forums could put some pie-in-the-sky C* types into their places ;) It can be healthy to clack decision makers in the balls on occasion.

Re:BYTE (0)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654102)

You're thinking entirely along the wrong lines.

It's more like a doberman being reincarnated as Steve Ballmer.

Re:BYTE (0)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654184)

They're the "New" Black Panthers... not at all like the original... Where's "genuine advantage" when you need it?

Re:BYTE (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34654230)

It's because back then, people into computers generally understood those things and were fairly technically literate. Now, they generally don't, and they're mostly technically illiterate. Like most things, computing got dumbed down when it got trendy among Joe Sixpack. It stopped being about anythin with any depth, and started being about superficial consumer culture.

No surprise then that this is what the media caters to.

It's also why people are no longer capable of making informed decisions about technology. They don't understand it. It's magic to them, so anything that requires thought about its impact is right over their heads.

Re:BYTE (1)

rbmyers (587296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654582)

Arguments that technical people (or that people in general) used to be smarter or more technologically capable really should make an effort to explain away the Flynn effect.

The technological products available to the average consumer have a level of sophistication that would have been unimaginable even to Byte's earliest readers. Technological products require more in the way of abstract reasoning, and today's consumers (especially the young ones) seem equal to the task. Those who confuse remembering zillions of details (like HEX representations of opcodes) with being intelligent might not agree, but it's because they are confused, not because they are smart.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. It never was.

Re:BYTE (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654796)

The technological products available to the average consumer have a level of sophistication that would have been unimaginable even to Byte's earliest readers.

While this may well be true, you're next sentence.

Technological products require more in the way of abstract reasoning, and today's consumers (especially the young ones) seem equal to the task.

What? The iPhone / Facebook / Modern web browser / overly engineered washing machine with the 'computer' readout requires 'abstract reasoning' beyond very basic English? Abstract as in painting or are you using another definition? Those examples (and countless others) are popular because they are so simple that my Labrador Retriever can use them. Maybe Twitter requires some fairly interesting rationalization as to why anyone is interested in your life, 140 characters at a time, but 'abstract' reasoning, it isn't.

Those who confuse remembering zillions of details (like HEX representations of opcodes) with being intelligent might not agree, but it's because they are confused, not because they are smart.

I think you're you're confused. Now, perhaps those designers of these technological wonders have training well beyond those of the average BYTE reader of days yore, but the users, not so much. Not by a long shot.

Re:BYTE (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654254)

>>>the magazine without all the things that made it great is bullshit,

Pretty much. Like reviving the Bionic Woman or Knight Rider and then changing the whole premise of the show. Of course that worked in the case of Battlestar Galactica, but when you're already dealing with a good show (or magazine) there's no point abandoning it.

BTW I've never read Byte. At least not that I remember. My main two addictions were RUN for commodore VICs and 64s plus AmigaWorld (essentially the same as RUN but for 32-bit instead of 8-bit machines). I don't think BYTE would have interested me since I never owned an IBM PC at the time, and from what I remember that was it's main focus. Another magazine I remember was COMPUTE's Gazette but never subscribed to it since it didn't feel as polished or useful as RUN.

So: Just curious: What killed the magazine? - I see Jerry Pournelle is still writing his columns. Love his stories; never read his tech columns: http://www.chaosmanorreviews.com/ [chaosmanorreviews.com]

RUN (1984-93) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run_magazine [wikipedia.org]
AmigaWorld (archives) http://amr.abime.net/issues_30 [abime.net]
Byte http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byte_(magazine) [wikipedia.org]

RCA HP Zenith, Magnavox, (4, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654294)

CRC RCA HP Zenith, Magnavox. Once great companies built on top of legendary innovations and engineer. Now hollow shells with only their names to sell products-- usually products distant from their original expertise.

(Anyone even realize that CRC means chemical rubber company-- yet the main product is integral tables)

et TU Byte.

Will they have program listing in Basic, or teach me handshaking on a RS232 port. I suspect not. it's just a gadget review mag.

Re:RCA HP Zenith, Magnavox, (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654376)

Maybe we should start our own tech magazine. I'd be interested in handshaking, not on RS232, but on a USB bus or across PCI-express. (shrug) I guess that's what Ars Technica is for.

Oh and can you imagine typing in a program for a modern computer? It took me 3 days to type RUNscript into my 8 bit Commodore (which was unsatisfactory and quickly replaced with the Mac-like GEOS). And 8-9 days to type-in a simple file manager for the 32-bit Amiga. I imagine with today's bloated word-processing software it would take 3 months.

Re:BYTE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34654310)

Actually it's not, because that'd be a big improvement over most chihuahuas. This is just another shivering leg-humping lapdog. Some idiot bought BYTE's collar for it because they know it'll never merit attention for content.

Re:BYTE (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34654398)

The new Byte will be written who were not born when the old one was in print. I lived in Africa ... we read Byte there ... we also read Compute! and of course Atari Format ... the code listings were awesome. In 1983 there was also an article on how to build a small robot controlled by Basic ...

****

Re:BYTE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34653996)

Your proposal is acceptable.

-- Selene.

Re:BYTE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34654114)

BYTE! My shiny metal ass.

"Consumer products in a business environment." (1)

brennanw (5761) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653820)

So... sort of an Infoworld-lite, then? Ugh.

Re:"Consumer products in a business environment." (0)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653952)

So... sort of an Slashdot-lite, then? Ugh.

Fixed.

i'm not.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34653836)

But I'm glad to see the legendary brand back in use rather than sitting in limbo."

I'm not excited since the only thing in common between the new and the old is the brand. We don't need yet another mag /blog/site that raves about how people use trendy electronics (mainly apple) in their lives.

Re:i'm not.. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654040)

Yeah, I'm a bit sick of brand-recycling in general. Even if they were good, there's a good chance fans of the original would be disappointed -- nostalgia is a capricious thing.

Re:i'm not.. (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654132)

It is hard, if not impossible these days to get, say, the schematics of your chosen popular electronic device. Fans of the original being dissapointed has nothing to do with nostalgia, and it's not a good chance, it's an absolute certainty.

Re:i'm not.. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654578)

My point was that this kind of move in general never works well. Before we even consider whether BYTE could work, does brand-recycling ever work?

Zombie Byte (3, Insightful)

Craig Maloney (1104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653840)

So, it's going to be yet another useless publication in an already crowded arena? I mean, Dr. Dobbs is pretty much a parody of itself, and there's few print magazines that are worth the time investment to even open the magazine. What's this new iteration going to provide, other than a stark reminder of the mojo that Byte magazine no longer has?

Re:Zombie Byte (0)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653940)

Don't read it with too much attention. Will eat your brain.

Re:Zombie Byte (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654004)

Internet killed the need for tech-related publications on dead-tree materials. Nuff' said.

Byte readers don't read Byte (2)

crovira (10242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654392)

While I greatly enjoyed the August issues of the magazine (they were all about languages) and I still have the 1981 August issue on Smalltalk, dead trees are so last millennium.

We have much richer offerings available over the internet.

I predict a six month run before another bankruptcy.

Re:Zombie Byte (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654074)

Yeah... uh, what previous and next posters say... another "slick", glossy, brain dead fluff rag/web site that will feature some new iPhone app or some bit of consumer plastic you can hook up to your xbox? Do we really need this? We even already have that on G4 with "Attack of the Show", which used to be a really great show "The Screen Savers" hosted by Leo Laporte and focused on true geek tech. Apparently that was too geek so they glossed it up to the abomination it is today. As though we really need more media junk food.

Re:Zombie Byte (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654088)

True enough. I remember when Computerworld used to publish information actually useful for writing code, like algorithms and such. Not that you'd know that they ever did such a thing if you'd read it at any time in the last 20 years.

Hell, I remember when Slashdot was pretty much an All Linux, All The Time forum frequented only by hard-core techies.

The trend in computer publications seems to be to cater to either consumers or IT managers. For techies, the proceedings are pretty thin gruel. Unfortunately the smart money says the reanimated Byte will probably meet the same fate.

Re:Zombie Byte (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654416)

So, it's going to be yet another useless publication in an already crowded arena?

Yeah, but it's going to be called BYTE! Sure, it's going to have totally different content, but the name, BYTE. Surely that's enough for you to go out and buy it right away, right?

What? (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653842)

Why? Seriously? If you're not going to bring back the whole point of an original magazine then why dump something on the market that's already covered by other publications. It would be like bringing back Commadore Compute, but without having the programs you could copy, edit, and modify for your own amusement. Argh.

But you know, I honestly think there could be a market for a revamp of things like that. Games/apps/etc, published either online or magazine, where you could show kids and get them involved in things like programming. Hell it worked for me.

Re:What? (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653962)

That was Computes! Gazette

Heat Seeker 64! If you took the time to type in the compiler. Intro to 6502. Mr. Nibble. CMD Hard drives, 512k RAM expanders, etc.

Re:What? (2)

sloth jr (88200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654008)

It worked for me as well - BUT: I think the barrier for entry is too high for kids today; in the early 80s when Byte was truly at the top of its game, there just wasn't a lot you could DO with computers without access to great resources like Byte or Creative Computing.

Re:What? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654388)

I'd argue differently. I learned to write programs with 5k of memory(that'd be on the old vic20's), until I got an expansion cartridge for well more memory. You can get free vb compilers, you can even get visual C++ for free from microsoft, or if you prefer dev c++ and run it on 'nix.

Re:What? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654658)

You sound like my old pal from middle school. He started with a VIC-20, expanded to a 32K addon, and then bought an Amiga somewhere around 10th grade.

I started with a Commodore Plus/4 which prematurely died, which was fortunate because the +4 was not a good computer. Commodore generously upgraded me to a free 128 --- best 8 bit machine ever made (included a builtin C64, but with twice the memory/resolution, and a CP/M business mode).

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34654022)

"Commadore"? Really?

Re:What? (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654162)

Actually, it's just like the Commodore 64 resurrection [commodoreusa.net] that's essentially a netbook without a screen that's housed in a case similar to the C64. They're trying to ride off the nostalgia factor to sell you crap, and it might just work. Sigh.

Re:What? (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654274)

Didn't I read that there was to be a new Commodore some time back ? Only nothing like the Commodore, both in hardware (hopefully...) but neither in spirit.

Computer Shopper (5, Funny)

NetServices (1479949) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653850)

I thought the Computer Shopper was the most beloved computer magazine of all time.

Re:Computer Shopper (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34653910)

Unless you're a mailman. I bet he cursed my name every month he delivered that phone book.

Re:Computer Shopper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34654058)

I thought the Computer Shopper was the most beloved computer magazine of all time.

They were great for propping up 15-inch CRT monitors which didn't come with a stand. Of course a three-year old phone book would've done the job just as well, but CS added some geek cred to your workspace.

Re:Computer Shopper (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654118)

I used to wank to it.

Re:Computer Shopper (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654268)

I thought the Computer Shopper was the most beloved computer magazine of all time.

I only read it for the ads, I swear!

Meh. (2)

eyegor (148503) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653854)

I subscribed to Byte "back in the day" and was disgusted with its slide into irrelevance. More of the same will only further sully any respect I had for what it was in its heyday.

Re:Meh. (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654488)

>I subscribed to Byte "back in the day" and was disgusted with its slide into irrelevance.

Byte had some responsibility for its own fate. It insisted on remaining "the small systems journal" while largely neglecting the whole personal computing thing that was going on. I noticed this around 78-79. "Small" systems tended to be things outside the world where we hobbyists lived, with our 8080/S-100 systems, TRS-80s, Apple II's, and OSIs.

In short, another magazine is using the name (2)

a Flatbed Darkly (1964478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653856)

It's certainly nice to see the brand getting some use - too iconic a brand to let it go to waste - but this appears to be revival of the name and no more. Reading TFA, I can find only tenuous similarity between this and the original magazine; different focus, different target audience, by the chronological gap between this and the original, probably completely different staff - one might as well change "BYTE Is Coming Back" to "Another Magazine is Using the Name BYTE". As an aside, I wonder how much they're going to have to pay for a domain like byte.com.

Re:In short, another magazine is using the name (2)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654750)

It's certainly nice to see the brand getting some use - too iconic a brand to let it go to waste

George Lucas, is that you?!

"Reviving" Brands (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34653868)

There is a whole industry dedicated to trading on familiar names to sell new (and completely unrelated) ventures. Why waste years building credibility when you can buy it?

IOW, if its not the same BYTE, its not the same BYTE. Does anyone really care about the "brand" so much that they are excited to see it back in use regardless of what that use is?

Re:"Reviving" Brands (2)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653912)

There is a whole industry dedicated to trading on familiar names to sell new (and completely unrelated) ventures. Why waste years building credibility when you can buy it?

IOW, if its not the same BYTE, its not the same BYTE. Does anyone really care about the "brand" so much that they are excited to see it back in use regardless of what that use is?

Completely agree. BYTE was a pioneer, something unique, a computer magazine back when computers were an oddity, not ubiquitous.

BYTE had its time. Like all of us, it lived and then died. The arrival of some gadget-review "Zombie BYTE" should be an occasion for sorrow, not celebration.

Byte is gone, the world has changed. (5, Informative)

Massacrifice (249974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653880)

In other words, somebody bought the domain name to byte.com and is now trying to drum up interest in a new website with content unrelated to the original magazine on the assertion that they have the same name. Fail.

I'm not missing Jerry Pournelle either, but the deep background articles that were THE killer feature of the dead tree publication now live on sites like acmqueue, arstechnica and others.

The king is dead, long live the king; shame on those pretending to take its throne by taking its name.

Jerry Pournelle (5, Funny)

cje (33931) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653892)

No reference to Jerry Pournelle is complete without this classic from rec.humor.funny (originally posted on BIX by Edmund X. DeJesus):

Usees Column by
Gerry Pourwelle

When we finally got home from the monthly Rambling Writers Conference (this time in Djemaa-el-Fna), we found Fractal Manor's main hall shoulder deep in brand-new state-of-the-art totally free computer hardware and software for me to check out. Drat. I'll never get around to most of it, of course, and probably will end up dumpstering 90% or more. What I really need to properly handle all of the wonderful things companies send me absolutely free to review and enjoy with no obligation whatsoever on my part, is a trash compactor.

I thought I'd start by reconfiguring my main computer, the Hyena 986SXDXMCMXCIV. Right now the sectors on the hard disk run clockwise, but I heard a rumor that you can squeeze 0.2% more throughput by running them counterclockwise. It's worth the effort. Recommended.

I slid the shrink-wrap off version 7.126 of DiskMember Gold (I know, you thought I'd never upgrade from version 4.79, especially after all my bad-mouthing of versions 5.33 and 6.02, but what can I say? Only a Corinthian drinks kevis in a Veronese cantola.) and fired it up. No joy. I reread the documentation to no avail, then scanned the whole manual in, OCRed it, spell- checked the file and uploaded it to BIX with a question mark appended.

While I waited for a response, I tried the software out on the TriskaDeck 1313. This is the machine Bill Gibson uses when we collaborate. It loaded fine and ran fine, but it seems to have automatically moved every hard disk sector to a random location and erased all the File Allocation Tables. Luckily I had backed up the entire hard disk to a CD-ROM with the new BitByter 7000 CD-ROM Mastering Deck (only $40,000 and worth every penny. Recommended.) so in only 6 more hours I was back where I started.

While the disk was humming, I checked BIX with the Niebelungen Valkyrie we keep in a corner for when Sandy Solzhenitsyn is here writing. No answers yet.

On the chance that he might have some insight, I buzzed Bill Gates. He mumbled something about it probably being a hardware problem before excusing himself. That seemed plausible.

I called Jan Toady, president of Hyena, who indicated that a helicopter of ground-assault technical assistants was hovering near Fractal Manor 24 hours a day and that all I had to do was give the word and they'd parachute in. (Based on my own experience, I think Hyena offers the best service in the business, and not just because I mention their products every month in my column which millions of avid computer buyers read either. I bet you'd get the same service I do. Recommended.) I chuckled and said I'd try to puzzle it out a little more myself. He said okay and then talked me into accepting a free laptop with holographic display and telepathic mouse. A nice guy.

I also got Mike Spindler, Lou Gerstner and Ross Perot on a conference call, but except for a few offers on tractor trailers full of new equipment they couldn't help me.

My wife Svetlana (whose reading program can teach anyone with a $3000 computer how to read, and which is now available for PC-compatibles, Apples, Macintoshes and the Cray XMP for only $49.95 plus shipping and sales tax where applicable, have your MasterCard or VISA card ready and call 1-800-555-1212, operators standing by 24 hours a day) stuck her head in to say Hi.

That gave me the idea to try calling my sons for help. Number one son Bud is now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but when I called him he was busy in the War Room with the Secretary of Defense and some darn nerve gas missile crisis. It's always something with those civilians. Second son Robbie was in the middle of performing emergency brain surgery on the President, but promised to get back to me when he had a breather. Chip was arguing a landmark civil rights case before the Supreme Court when he answered my beeper message, but he seemed to think it was hardware. That would confirm Bill Gates's idea, if you'll recall. It could be true. On the other hand, it could be false. On the gripping hand, it could be some combination of hardware and non-hardware. A tough call, any way you looked at it.

I must have caught youngest son Ernie in an aerobics class in his college dorm room, because he seemed to be having trouble breathing when I called, and I could hear a husky female voice in the background saying, "Don't stop." He only said, "Check the plug, Dad" and hung up. His comment started me thinking.

The Hyena has this long black wire sticking out the back that terminates in a plug-like connector. The plug has two parallel flat metal prongs, and a third round prong about half an inch below the midpoint of a line segment joining the two flat metal prongs, if you follow me. A little searching behind the desk where Jack Updike likes to work when he visits revealed an outlet in the wall with a corresponding arrangement of holes. It seemed too good to be true. I tried inserting the plug in the outlet. No joy. A quick call to Steve Hawking suggested that it was a space symmetry problem, and I rotated the plug 180 degrees and tried again. It slid home perfectly.

Well, I'm about out of room here now. Next month I hope to get to this big red switch located on the side of the Hyena. Close study of the manuals suggests that it is somehow related to the functioning of the plug in the outlet. I'll have the whole story for you in the next column, along with a report on the Jet- Setting Pen-Wielders Seminar in Montevideo.

This month's favorite game is still Checkers. There is something both deceptively simple and enticingly complex about this game that I have yet to master. Highly recommended.

The book of the month is Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, on CD-ROM with clips from Hercules Meets Godzilla. It's like being there.

Continent of the month is Australia. Give it a look.

Re:Jerry Pournelle (1)

eyegor (148503) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653900)

Yeah, that's pretty much the reason I gave up reading pournelle's column. :)

Re:Jerry Pournelle (4, Insightful)

QuantumBeep (748940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653986)

A column laced with nostalgia and in-jokes, refreshing to read and great for the ego (since most people won't get the in-jokes anymore, and if I'm missing any of the in-jokes, I don't know about it).

Recommended.

Re:Jerry Pournelle (4, Interesting)

cje (33931) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654012)

Speaking of ego and nostalgia, I was also reminded of the story about how Jerry Pournelle got kicked off of the ARPAnet [stormtiger.org] .

Re:Jerry Pournelle (1)

QuantumBeep (748940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654288)

Wow. Just wow. So much meaning and historic perspective in one little thread. I could write a paper.

Re:Jerry Pournelle (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654024)

I once read an post on USENET (probably somewhere in comp.os.os2.*) in which the claim was made that Pournelle couldn't find his own ass with a map and a flashlight. I would concur, but feel that perhaps if he had access to modern GPS technology he could have found it (with the additional help of a few Boy Scouts that had both the Computers and Orienteering merit badges).

Consumer Products in a Business Environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34653896)

So, its not BYTE.

This is kind of like the company that bought up all of the trademark rights to Commodore, and tried to use it to sell a cheap, half-assed C2D PC, and hoped the trademark recognition would get them some suckers^H^H^H^H^H^H^H customers.

Byte vs other magazines (1)

Jay Tarbox (48535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653902)

I was unhappy when Byte died. I was left with only PC World and PC Magazine both of which suck. I have a new love in CPU magazine though.

Yet another magazine blog? (3, Funny)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653920)

> it won't feature... epic Jerry Pournelle columns

Well, it has that going for it.

It ain't Byte... (1)

toolz (2119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653922)

...unless it has Jerry Pournelle, Steve Ciarcia and others in it. And yes, Tinney artwork on it. Get with the program if you want my subscription dollars. Or my eyeballs.

Re:It ain't Byte... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654836)

I would have modded this up if mods weren't anonymous. Yes, Jerry Pournelle and Steve Ciarcia, and I didn't know who did the artwork but now I do.

Get it back to a hobbyist computing magazine like it was in the 70s and 80s and I'll buy several subscriptions - one for me and one for each of the volunteer-run techy groups I'm involved in.

What's in a name? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34653926)

I'm glad to see the legendary brand back in use rather than sitting in limbo

Why? If it's not going to be anything like what BYTE magazine was, then it's just a name - what's so special about that? The reason BYTE was great wasn't because it was called BYTE, it was because of the content and style it had - exactly what the new BYTE says it isn't going to have. Pointless, pointless, pointless.

Hoping for the best (1)

bheckel (128323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653930)

Great news. Please let it be useful like Hacker Monthly and not just brand necrophilia...

Re:Hoping for the best (1)

a Flatbed Darkly (1964478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653944)

brand necrophilia

Shouldn't that be brand necromancy? Unless you're referring to the joyous tone of the article, in which case, yes, brand necrophilia would be the correct word.

"Profesional"? (3, Insightful)

caius112 (1385067) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653936)

It says "Profesional" in the title of the byte.com front page. I'm not optimistic.

Business managers... (4, Insightful)

QuantumBeep (748940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653942)

it's focused on the use of consumer tech products in a business environment

Business managers should be expelled from the industry and blackballed for decisions like this.

There are hundreds - fucking hundreds of magazines that do this already. When some mossy-backed MBA decides to revive an old brand for a new product that nobody is going to buy, there should be a Guild of Historians who can notify the shareholders that the manager needs to be fired and sued.

Incompetent business decisions are bad enough; bad decisions that have been shown again and again to be bad are criminally negligent.

with pages and pages of code, I hope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34653966)

Will it have pages of code that I can type in and execute? I can't wait to do that again.

Glad really? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34653968)

I'm glad to see the legendary brand back in use rather than sitting in limbo."

You are happy to see someone attempt to get attention by confusing consumers about a product by conflating it with a past one through reuse of the name? I mean I guess if the original Byte people were able to make some money selling the name to this new organization I am happy for them. I guess I am not so happy about them trying to sucker people. If they were trying to create a magazine with similar content and focus to old Byte and using the name for that I'd be happy.

Its kinda like I don't get all that excited when someone slaps Amiga on something that has nothing at all to do with C= and is in no way even reminiscent.

Zombie Brands (3, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654070)

There is a marketing term for this - Zombie Brand. Basically a name has a certain recognition with people and companies want to capitalize on this. Rather than building their own brand equity, a new company wants to borrow this recognition from its target market.

Memorex is an example of this. They were bought and disbanded in the 80's only to later become an Imation brand in name only. Who (over the age of 30) doesn't remember the catch phrase "is it live? or is it Memorex". Imation wanted to tap into this to increase their profitability.

Heck, I could argue that Star Trek: TNG et all are guilty of this as well.

Byte In Name Only... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34654034)

This sounds like yet another gadget review site... Byte was great because it was a deep diving into the story and science of technology. It was about core technology: hardware, software, architechture, systems, etc... And it assumed the reader was smart and had strong technical knowlege. That's what made it so great, it was technology pron. It wasn't about gadgets, fads, and all that stuff that only a fanboy would care about.

"it's focused on the use of consumer tech products in a business environment"... That doesn't sound like the Byte I know and love.

BYTE was good when it "The Small Systems Journal" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34654072)

BYTE was great when it was "The Small Systems Journal", however once it became just another PC magazine it was no longer unique or interesting.

obl. Simpsons (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654086)

For some reason, all I could think of as I read the summary was the following Simpsons quote:

Milhouse: Bart! Alf is back! In pog form!

While the old Byte is worth remembering, is this new website going to be anything like it? To me, Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] is the Byte of today.

WHY????? (1)

rapturizer (733607) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654126)

If they aren't bringing back a retro style BYTE Magazine (a hardware persons monthly reference), why bother. Call it something else. If they brought a BYTE like publication back that was an electronic publication formatted for e-readers and tablets, then I would be excited.

Nice to see it revived, but... (5, Interesting)

bfwebster (90513) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654140)

I wrote for BYTE back in the mid-1980s. Nowadays, if I mention that to most people, they look at me curiously -- probably get the same reaction if I told them I had published articles in Colliers.

And, no, any current incarnation won't be the same as back then, but the personal computing industry has changed massively since then; it's been through at least two crashes (1988-90 and, of course, 2000-2004), and the technology is on a whole different level now -- both the hardware and the system software is less accessible than it was back then. The real barrier, though, is the advertisers. BYTE in the mid-80s sometimes got up to 600 pages per issue total size, because there were so many advertisers willing to chase after its readers. (Cf. the 1988-90 tech crash.) Trying to create an updated version of that BYTE might be possible, but I'm not sure who would advertise in it. ..bruce..

Re:Nice to see it revived, but... (2)

paesano (784687) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654438)

Ha! I remember the column "According to Webster" or something like that. I also remember the class I took on Computers and Society. I still have fond memories of the book "Hackers." Those were the days...

You forgot something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34654148)

You forgot something in your post:
</advert>

Making a niche magazine mainstream (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654150)

"Details" magazine went through this twice. The original Details magazine, in the 1980s, was targeted to the hip New York City club crowd. The typical Details reader had probably met Madonna before she was famous, while dancing at Danceteria or Area. The people mentioned in Details read Details to see what their friends were doing. Ads were for little boutiques in SoHo.

Today's "Details" is like GQ or Esquire, with a heavy emphasis on shopping.

Byte is doing much the same thing.

iBYTE & itouch ipads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34654154)

iBYTE & itouch ipads only

Just another product review blog (2)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654160)

The original Byte was about hardware/software computer development. At that time, it was a useful introduction to interesting technologies, and remained so for many years. At some point, it switched to being just another product review magazine, which was not what the original audience was interested in. Since there were dozens of these already being published, it just faded into the background as just another generic joystick review magazine, as happened to Creative Computing some years earlier. There was nothing innovative or unique about it to attract anyone to it.

Sounds like they are trying to revive a dull, boring, copycat magazine, and are hoping that using an old name will attract enough curious readers long enough to reap some advertising dollars.

My favorite article. (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654182)

My favorite how-to was the article that described changing io.sys & command.com so that it would load altcfg.sys instead of config.sys (thus making virus that altered config.sys/autoexec.bat useless).

Re:My favorite article. (1)

RadiCalMan (1288104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654550)

I used to love Steve Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar in BYTE magazine. He used to write about all of these hardware/software projects to control your house or other gadgets you could make for yourself. The funniest column however, was how he accidently locked himself out of his house with his homebuilt alarm system activated and a souffle in the oven. You can see a version of the story by searching for "Computer On Guard".

Christmas 1975 BYTE Cover (4, Informative)

theodp (442580) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654222)

Christmas 1975 BYTE Cover - Computers: The Ultimate Toys [digibarn.com] . Digibarn has more BYTE covers [digibarn.com] from the '70s and '80s. Outstanding!

Please do not call it a magazine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34654226)

Magazines are printed. End of story.

I remember when my original subscription to Byte was cancelled back in the late '90s. The latest semi-decent magazine Dr. Dobbs also went away. Call me old-fashioned (I'm 37), but I still love to read print.

whooptie-fucking-doo (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654276)

About the same as Atari making a comeback, if by comeback you mean it's a meaningless label slapped onto random games by Ubisoft.

So... Articles or Ads? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654300)

...they finally got enough material for some articles, or is it going to be 800 pages of ads again?

Articles as Ads and Ads as Articles (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654542)

This is just wrong.

Its going to be a product review rag and avoid computers except as object of idolatry.

Nobody needs this magazine and trees are going to die unnecessarily.

Other updates for the new century (2)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654304)

Because of the vast changes in computers' capabilities since BYTE magazine ended its run, they've decided to change the name to "BYTE presents: Gibioctet"

is this necessary? (1)

deviator (92787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654386)

"focused on the use of consumer tech products in a business environment"

do we really need more of this? and will they be performing in-depth analysis of how much lost time & productivity comes with misappropriating consumer tech in a workplace?

Who cares (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654490)

No really, who really cares about 'yet another consumer magazine' that is full of either pure ads, or fake reviews or 'placement' type of advertisements? Don't we have enough of those already?

I still remember when Byte was a great technical magazine and was something to look forward to getting in the mail box. I also remember its slow painful decent into "consumer electronics", which was really disappointing for engineering types like myself. It would be nice to see a return to the old ways, but even then, i think the 'magic' is long gone in the industry as a whole.

Not My Favorite (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654558)

BYTE? No, not my favorite. I reached every month for Computer Shopper. Sure, it was 95% (or more) ads, but that was the point. I don't remember a single article I even read in it - really the articles in there were about as memorable as the ones in Playboy - but I found plenty of good deals on RAM and hard drives through that magazine.

And as an added bonus, a single year's worth of Computer Shopper was a stack tall enough to make an end table...

What's Next? (1)

Crash McBang (551190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654630)

Micro Cornucopia on the iPad? Let sleeping dogs lie...

I learned more from BYTE than I did (1)

suburbanmediocrity (810207) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654650)

getting my EE in college. Thanks Steve!

"The Best of BYTE" (1)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34654696)

I came across this book around 1993 / 1994. It was a thing of beauty - pretty much the entire history of personal computing up until that point. It didn't just contain flashy articles sure to bring in the mass market readers, but pieces that provided an amazing amount of perspective on the progression of hardware and software. I seem to recall stories on exciting new 20MB hard drives, (failed) networking standards, processor development, along with the usual "Launch of the Mac", "Launch of the IBM PC" and previews of the sure-to-be-amazing PCjr. My only gripe was that the collection of old computer ads were pretty much illegible photocopies.

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