Farewell to Personal Computer World: 30 years of personal computing

Today I learned that Personal Computer World is to cease publication. This is a long-established UK magazine to which I have been a contributor since May 1993. For PCW, that counts as its latter days. Today you might think that the PC in the title means “PC rather than Mac”, and perhaps in a way it does, but that was not the case when the first issue appeared in 1978, for obvious reasons (the first IBM PC did not appear until 1981). No, the computer on the cover of the first PCW was the self-assembly and long forgotten NASCOM 1.

Although the cover stated “Europe’s first magazine for personal computers for home and business use”, PCW was really an enthusiast’s publication; and in those days being a computer enthusiast meant being relatively technical and willing to do your own programming.

The story of personal computing is about how these devices evolved from a geeky hobby into a tool and plaything for everyone; and the magazine morphed accordingly, becoming steadily more mainstream as time went by.

The early years were particularly engaging, thanks to the variety of new devices that appeared and disappeared with bewildering speed. Some had more staying power than others, like the 1981 BBC micro, for example:

 

One of my favourite PCW covers was that for Windows 3.0 in 1990. Sub-titled Child’s Play, it was prophetic in identifying how Microsoft’s OS would bring personal computing to the masses.

It was Windows which inspired my first piece for PCW, a massive survey of 17 Windows database managers in May 1993. Not long after I reviewed Visual Basic 3.0, correctly predicting that its built-in data access would make it popular in businesses. I went on to do a series of Visual Basic tutorials, and then a programming column that evolved from Visual Basic to all things related to software development.

Last year PCW celebrated its 30th anniversary.

 

So why has it ended? According to this Press Gazette post:

Managing director of Incisive’s professional services division Graham Harman said … "Sadly, no amount of hard work or innovation was going to turn around the structural decline in advertising and newsstand sales. The depth of this recession and the ease of access to information online has only served to accelerate the long term downward trend within this particular sector.”

PCW’s last published circulation figure (Jan-Dec 2008) was 54,000, which is respectable, and more than double that of some rivals, like Future’s PC Plus which recorded just over 22,000 for the same period. The bigger problem, as you will see if you browse through a recent issue, is the decline in advertising. Before the days of the world wide web, magazines like PCW were critically important to computer manufacturers and retailers, but that is no longer the case.

Another problem, as one of the editors explained to me a few years back, is that PCW found itself caught between the demands of an aging readership which had grown up with the magazine, and that of a new generation.

It still has a considerable reputation and I’m surprised that the publishers have not found a way to make it work for a little longer, though the long-term trends have been against it for years.

Still, it has had a good run, and no doubt future researchers will have a lot of fun going though its archives as they explore the days when computing became personal for the first time.

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46 comments to Farewell to Personal Computer World: 30 years of personal computing

  • Thanks for that thoughtful (and accurate) summary, Tim. PCW has certainly been a labour of love for me since I joined it as deputy editor in 2003.

    Kelvyn Taylor
    Editor, PCW 2007-2009

  • Jamie I

    As a long(ish) subscriber of PCW I’m very sad to hear that it’s ceasing publication. I admit that I still found the columns and editorials to be of great interest and will be sad to not receive my monthly update.

    I am certain those employed it it’s production and it’s contributing writers will find replacement work in no time but I’m not sure that any one internet site will replace it for readers.

  • David W

    There goes a bit of my childhood.

  • Gary Q

    A sad day indeed but like all magazines they created extra cost by carrying CDs and DVDs when content was readily available on the web.

    I hope however it can in some form make a comeback, but in the meantime the other stalwart PC Pro will have to hold the fort.

  • Jonathan O'Connor

    After Byte, PCW was my favourite magazine. It’s sad to see it go.

    Looking at a similar market, Germany, where there are lots of cheap magazines costing < 3€, some as little as 1€. They don’t bother shipping CD/DVD-ROMs. I wonder why there aren’t any similar magazines in the UK. I find it very irritating that I often have to pay 8-9€ (in Ireland) for a magazine, even when I don’t want the DVD.

  • Unfortunately, as many newspapers and magazines have discovered, once you’ve started giving away cover gifts, it’s almost impossible to stop them without taking a signifcant hit in newsstand sales. Even unlikely titles like The Economist have started using the odd freebie to entice in readers – it’s tough out there.

    We did publish a limited version without a disc for almost a year in 2005 – very few people bought it.

    The problem in the end was exactly as stated by Incisive – lack of advertising and the fact that people are buying fewer magazines, and not renewing subscriptions when they expire.

    It’s certainly not just PCW that’s affected – check out the number of ad pages and the issue sizes of our rivals – they’ve all taken significant hits over the past 6 months.

    Kelvyn

  • Martin

    Hi,

    I remember buying issue 1 and it inspired me to build a uk101 so in many ways it started my interest in computing and my career for the last 25 years. Though in the last few years I have been buying PC PRo it is really sad to see it go.

    What a shame

    Martin

  • This is sad news indeed. The end of an era…

    I recall buying PCW when I was 11; Tim’s covers are very familiar to me!

    As a long-term subscriber, I will miss PCW landing on my door-mat – it made a welcome distraction from the feverous rush of the on-line space. It could be read without the ring of e-mails, tweets and IMs echoing through each article, paragraph, sentence and word.

    Times are hard, PCW has thinned down somewhat over the last few months. Adverts, as Tim notes, became few and far between. Since it is adverts that form a major part of the income for a magazine, the drop in advertising hurts. Of course, there’s a element of irony here: a lot readers complained about magazines (not specifically PCW) being full of adverts… PCW, IMHO, had the line just right, not too many and not too few: articles could be read page-by-page, unlike some other magazines whereby a 3-page article might be spread over 12-15 pages riddled with adverts.

    Whilst I will be saving £9.50 every few months in subs, it’s a shame to see PCW go…it has 30 years worth of heritage behind it. It was, IMHO, the cornerstone of the PC space well into the late 90s when the on-line world took off. Even after the late 90s, PCW did well to re-invent itself to stay competitive.

    Good luck to the Editors and Authors, no doubt we’ll continue to see you all on-line in the future!

    Craig

  • Sad days indeed – I was DepEd in the late 1980s – I liked to think of them as glory days – until the Great Strike of course….

    Commiserations, Kelvyn et al. See you in the Blue Posts?

    Manek

  • Gary Q

    I appreciate wht Kelvyn says, but someone on a newstand is likely to be excited by whats on the cover disc, maybe to fulfill a need of some kind; however subscribers were never given that option to reduce the cost of their commitment. This may have pushed some not t renew. Is there no way PCW could go to the digital as per PC Magazine in the US – http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2335009,00.asp .

    Anyway bottom line is I’m going to miss PCW!

  • Owen

    Very sad. My second magazine job was at PCW. I forget my title, but I was there from 1985 to 1988. But they are all going. I don’t think PC Pro will hang on much longer – not even PC World in the US. I’ve worked directly (on staff) for seven computer magazines over a twenty year period and only one of them is still printing. One more is alive as a web only publication. Neither of them is particularly healthy. The rest are gone. RIP Creative Computing, PCW, Computer Currents, BYTE, Windows Magazine.

  • PCW has been a great place to work; I’ve been freelancing there since 1995, and actually had a listing published back in the 1980s, so it’s been a significant part of my life, both growing up and professionally.

    Kelvyn and the rest of the team have all been wonderful to work with, and though freelance it’s often felt like my home.

    Naturally, I’m biased, but I think it was a great title, and though there are things you can find elsewhere, and on the web, I still don’t think the online world is quite as good when it comes to some of the in depth features that PCW has been able to run, making new ideas and new areas of technology more accessible to people.

    Nigel Whitfield
    Contributing Editor, PCW.

  • I wrote an article for the first issue; and I hope they pay me for the article I wrote for the last, come to that. There was a gap when I went off to PC Mag UK, before I rejoined.

    My analysis: if Private Equity hadn’t loaded Incisive up with so much debt that it couldn’t service, PCW would still be going. No, it wouldn’t be highly profitable, but it would cover its costs until advertising recovered.

    Ah well; end of an era. Those few who remember my contributions have lost their last channel in which to read them. Personally, I find this drearily tragic! From an industry point of view, just dreary.

    Sometimes, I think unspeakable thoughts, such as: “I wish publishing management, in general, recruited from the more competent members of our society…”

    But really, it doesn’t do to say that sort of thing if you want to sell stories to publishers. So I won’t…

  • Martin Banks

    As everyone has said, its a sad day, and it was an important part of my career for 10 years or so. I know awards are mere frippery, but the newes makes me feel strangely warmwer towards the two columnist awards I won writing for it.

    But maybe it is just a mark of the progress that has been achieved by the technology as it becomes not just mainstream but subsumed by what it is used for. I remember renowned hack of old, Rex Malik, saying that when refrigerators first appeared there were newstand magazines on how to use them – same with Microwave ovens. Maybe it just took the `PC’ to achieve the same end.

    It is what the technology is used for that is important now (celebrity chefs use fridges but don’t go on about them), not the technology itself. Operating systems and applications are going the same way as `services’ take over.

  • Martin Banks

    And the earlier post just shows that, even after all these years, I STILL need a good sub-editor……..

  • Derek Cohen

    A sad day indeed. It was my first editorship and a very exciting one as well. I most remember the cover shoots – Sir Clive’s Z88 with a chimp on a bike (the Z88 we used was a wooden prototype); a snarling cheetah guarding one of the first Dell’s in the UK; taking a Toshiba notebook apart to photograph the inside and the engineer going pale when he announced it was the only one in the country and they were assembled in a jig…

    And then all the journalists at VNU got sacked just before Xmas 1988 (I believe). 20 years later the full impact of that decision runs its course.

    It’s really hard to produce high quality editorial content (which is what the readers buy the mag for) in the face of falling ad sales, often better and timelier content on the web and a top management structure which is rarely populated by those with an editorial background and understanding.

    Yet again the suits have won (or is that lost)?

    If we have a reunion in the Blue Posts will Richenda be there with the strike pay?

  • Although I’m biased, I don’t think dropping the disc would have saved much from the RRP. People do not realise that this is a relatively low-cost option and even the lowest ABC PC magazines still include a disc.

    Indeed, I think we punched well above our weight with the quality of the full world exclusive applications on PCW and this lead to the magazine having a staggering 13 international disc-based (yes, disc-based) licensees by October 2008. This is and was unheard of and brought in a great deal of additional revenue. You’ll note I say ‘by’ October 2008. Doesn’t take too much to figure what happened since October 2008.

    Problem is that some of our websites are more popular than PCW and rival magazines. If you have a tech website that can attract a few million monthly visitors, this is going to attract the advertising – companies are more likely to partner you online than in a magazine.

    Now we all have to find other alternatives, ASAP!

    Chris.

  • Interestingly, BBC Four has been here recently digging through the PCW archives for material & props to use in an upcoming drama about the British computer industry between 1978-1984, largely featuring the spat between Clive Sinclair and Chris Curry over the BBC Micro.

  • @derek: it was 1989…

  • Steve Gold

    End of an era – I remember writing for the mag in the late 1980s and it was great fun, looking at all the new gizmos that Derek and Manek had at their disposal.

    Sign of the times I guess :(

  • tony kent

    I’ve just checked the PCW website and they’re still inviting subscriptions! What’s going on?

  • If you click the subs ad, you’ll see that it’s no longer available from the subscription service.

    The actual placement of ads on the web site itself isn’t something that’s controlled by the editorial team, who in any event have been a little shellshocked the last couple of days.

  • Andy Neale

    ..So sad, As a long term subscriber I will miss this landing on my doormat.

    Good luck to all the contributors and editors whose reviews and features have made it a good read.

  • Steve

    I agree with most of what has been said about the demise of PCW. But what I would also like to say is that, although the quality of the writers is beyond doubt, the subject material they wrote about was becoming, to me anyway, rather obscure and remote.

    Gordan Laing especially, seemed to be writing articles close to his heart rather than for the readers, his latest thing being sound quality from the PC, and I have to say that most people I know do not want to mess about with the insides of a pc, or build something themselves, they just want them to work.

    Ken McMahon would not consider any software to do with digital imaging which didn’t have the word Adobe on it. The best?, we wouldn’t know as any other software hardly got a look in.

    Visual Programming, Web Development, Databases, Spreadsheet and networks all important sections of the computer experience, but not that kind of thing an everyday computer user would be bothered with.

    If PCW could have evolved into a general computer consumer mag …. along the lines of Stuff, What Video and Tv, that type of thing rather than banging on about overclocking and scripting or macros it may have had a chance.

    I’ll repeat what I said earlier, people want a well informed magazine yes, but not many people want to be bothered with overclocking the CPU or upgrading a bios, anything that necessitates delving into the innards of a computer case, they just want computers to work.

  • V. sad to see PCW go – I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that my PR career owes a lot to the contacts and relationships I formed with PCW writers from 1989 onwards. My first ever tech press launch was for Borland’s Quattro Pro – where I first met Guy Kewney and Manek Dubash. I went on to know many others via PCW including Guy Swarbrick, Rupert Goodwins, Nigel Whitfield, Dr Mark Whitehorn and many others.

    I remember the VNU strike well. I worked in Golden Square, a stone’s throw from the PCW offices. What better way to build press relationships than to buy beer for striking journalists in the Red Lion in Kingly Street?

    It was also through PCW that I discovered CIX – and it was a Jack Schofield PCW column that made reference to myself and Frank O’Mahoney of Apple as the first PRs to use e-mail to send press info. Getting Borland on the front cover of PCW was always seen as a PR triumph.

    So, farewell PCW – a sad time, but your place in history is secure.

  • Peter Jackson

    I can’t think how I’ve missed the bad news until now, having just received mail from Kelvyn. It’s a sad moment; I’ve been associated with PCW for more than 25 years on and off, and have just been going through the online index trying to remember which of the cover features I actually wrote throughout the 1980s, and largely failing…

    On the other hand, it’s good to see so many familiar names appearing here. Hope to see some of you next week.

  • Hywel Phillips

    Damn it, there goes one of the month’s little pleasures :-( The latest issue of PCW falling on teh doormat provided a perfect excuse to sit back and read it for an hour to bone up on future trends and new kit rather than chugging on with the daily grind.

    I started reading PCW a little before I got my first computer (a ZX Spectrum), and have been a subscriber for at least the last 15 years. PCW always gave you a six month headstart on new technology. Even if you wrongly confidently predicted that something would be the next big thing, you could always guarentee that the next big thing HAD been covered already in the pages of PCW.

    As a photographer who runs a website as his business, I can see why the web was the doom of the magazine, but I also know that I might not have even had the website had I not been an avid PCW reader. My best friend, also a subscriber since his early teenage years, is my website developer… was very sad when he told me last night that the issue that came a few days ago will be the last.

    I’m going to miss it.

  • I for one thought PCW would be one of the last magazines to close as it was the flagship UK PC magazine.

    I am proud to have been involved with it on and off during its 30 years – I hope it manages to continue in one form or another.

    (And thanks for publishing some of my recent work Kelvyn)

    - Robin.

    Ex PCW Cover Disc Editor and Freelance Writer

  • Oh crap… I figured that would happen sooner or later but I felt it filled a special niche among computer magazines in looking holistically at personal computing across all platforms except of course the sodding Acorn (inside joke!) and from an enthusiast’s perspective with a critical eye. I enjoyed the opportunity it gave me in the early 1990s to introduce the readers to the Internet and online services and appreciate Ben Tisdall’s foresightedness in letting me run with my ideas (though of course a booming market in computer advertising at the time certainly helped!)

  • Mike Davis

    Someone lent me the September 1980 copy, when I was debating to buy the newly announced Sinclair ZX80 (I didn’t). I’ve been a subscriber ever since.

    Mike

    (Just got their letter and off to get my sub back!)

  • Mark Findlay

    I just cancelled my subscription as I have no wish to receive Computeractive, which seems to be a bit of a comic to me. I’m very sad for the journalists, layout people and printers who will lose their jobs, as well as the loss of a historic magazine. I wonder if someone could buy out the title, or will Incisive sit on it like a dog in a manger?

  • Naeem Dean

    I’ve only just been informed by letter today from Kelvyn of the demise of PCW and as an avid reader (and often subscriber) for many a year now I’m totally flumoxed as to how the leading PC Mag, with such a history, could find itself iin the position of closure being the only option.

    As an Accountant I’m obviously aware that times are hard for all sectors of industry; falling advertising revenues hitting all forms of printed mags/news. However I’m surpised tnk that the mag could not have found any other way to ride the storm.

    I don’t agree with the earlier respondant that people don’t want to get their hands dirty inside a PC. With the help of an outsourced IT suuport company I’m responsible for keeping a network of 38 PC’s and a Server ticking over.

    PCW has, over the years been invaluable in keeping me upto date, ahead of the game and on the ball with the knowledge needed to try and put right day-to-day user problems.

    The articles were always informative, well written and indeed a pleasure to read. Not all of it was relevant to me but it never the less gave me a good understanding of the wider context of how it all fitted in.

    Much as finding info on the net is quick and available, nothing beats flicking through a proper mag and reading the articles at leasure, whether that was on the tran, in the garden or by the PC when working through tweaks.

    I’m not taken by “Computeractive” as it isn’t a patch on what you did so I will unfortunately be looking to try and get some of my subscription back.

    I wish all the writers and staff much luck in finding something suitable – quickly. Thanks for all your hard work; it’s been much appreciated and I will miss it.

  • Gareth Jenkins

    As a subscriber I got my letter today. Very, very sad. I’ve upgraded, restored, tuned and protected my computer based on the advice in PCW – and explored some interesting by-ways too. Thanks to all those who have edited and contributed over the years – together you produced a really special magazine from which I for one have benefited from greatly.

  • John S

    I just got the subscriber’s letter about the closure of PCW and I am shocked at the news. Somehow I missed the earlier announcements about the closure.

    I bought my first copy of PCW to take on holiday to Tenerife in September 1982 and have been a regular reader ever since. I became a subscriber to PC Magazine soon after it came on the UK market, and stayed until the closure of the UK edition, when I switched my subscription to PCW. I am convinced that the first copy of PC magazine that I purchased (in a UK newsagent) was an American edition.

    Quite a number of the commentators seem to have been around forever, particularly Guy Kewney and Barry Fox. More recently (a couple of years back) an article in PCW by Nigel Whitfield inspired me to buy a Topfield PVR.

    My favourite sections of PCW were always the Hands On (Power User in PC Magazine), because they taught me how to extend the functionality of my PC using macros and tweaks. Now of course, this stuff is readily available on the Internet at no cost, but I can’t read this whilst I am sat on the crapper or watching Grandstand (also gone) on a Saturday afternoon.

    I shall miss PCW.

  • Rod Main

    Very Sad. I was just rereading the August issue and theres no hint of anything awry. “In Septembers issue … on sale July 23rd”, and I’ve only just got my letter too.

    I’d bought odd issues of PCW until I was working in Germany in 1990. For some reason its mix of reviews and enthusiasm for it subject at that moment fired my imagination and thus required a monthly trip to the Hauptbahnhof to get the next issue. Back in England I became a regular subscriber… just in time for the 15th anniversary issue.

    I disagree with Steve’s earlier comment that it was becomming “remote”. This was what PCW was all about – the enthusiasts mag for people who wanted to leap in and twiddle. If you want them to work, take the covers off and find out why they dont and fix em. Of course, this is the attitude of earlier engineers who went everywhere in their new fangled horseless carriages. In time these things are mass produced and we expect them to work… and we take em to garages/workshops to get them fixed. Nonetheless, people are still tinkering with and servicing their cars just as much as some of us are tinkering under the hood with our (and our friends) PC’s to get them to do the business the way they we know they should and not the way that hardware and software vendors are trying to tell us they should. Where do you go for the information on what to tweek where – well… PCW obviously.

    I would agree that ComputerActive is no substitute and I wont be taking it. In fact, I doubt there is a substitute. I shall have to do something for my withdrawal symptoms when I dont get my monthly fix.

    Finally, I salute all the writers, editors and contributors to PCW who have entertained, eductaed and informed me over the last near 20 years. Thank you for a great read. I’m already missing it.

  • Steve

    Re:My previous comments.
    All contributions to this debate are laudable, and as with you all, I am sad at the demise of such an informative magazine.
    But the fact remains, as much as the other contributors seem to disagree, along with falling advertising revenues, the magazine numbers were diminishing, and for the reasons that I have already outlined.

    Yes people still do like to get their hands dirty inside the innards of machines, be it computers, motorbikes, cars, or whatever, but the majority, and it has to be said, the bigger majority, don’t.

    I notice that no women seem to have contributed to this debate, and I don’t doubt some did subscribe to the magazine, but women buy computers as much as men, especially laptops, and none that I know of want anything to do with insides of the machine, I know by the telephone calls I get for help sometimes.

    As sad as I am like you all, at the magazines demise, maybe PCW was a specialists magazine, the trouble was it was too specialized for most people.

  • I was quite upset when I received the letter informing me of the news…

    Having read pcw on and off over the years (still have issue one) I will miss it dearly, even if it was not what it once used to be, as it had moved with the times, and the ‘majorities’ needs, which went from technical, to less technical over the years.

    It is a shame the staff were not informed it was going to be the last issue, it would have been a ideal chance for them to make a final, tribute edition to a magazine that has shaped and formed many people over the years, a true part of history.

    Sadly, the last issue was just a normal one, without the staff being given that chance to say goodbye to the mag and the readers.

  • Ross Anderson

    Strange, just as I decide to change all my ‘puters to Ubuntu, my fave mag dies. I had a subscription and the alternative offered to me is NOT acceptable – if I’d wanted a different mag I’d’ve subscribed to that one! I shall be asking for my sub back.

    I would like to thank all the past contributors for some great work, everything I know about computers was learnt from these pages, including my change to Linux.

    Good luck to you all EXCEPT for the guy who decided to close you down, he may rot in hell!

    To Barry, Nigel, Guy, Tim and the others if you decide to write elsewhere please send me the link

  • Thanks to Tim Anderson, who answered my tweet, I would have had no idea that Personal Computer World had ceased to exists. It is really sad.

    As a lad going to secondary school, I remember these magazines every month in 1984-1985 at Clapham Junction’s only newsagent. I got the issue with the Monkey, Sinclair QL and then Auntie Beeb, BBC Micro, and of course the Acorn Electron, and of course of the ZX Spectrum. Wow! What a loss!

    I would rather have the flaming News of the World / The Sun to die a miserable death in Wapping, instead we have to live now without PCW UK. Sad day in British Computer publishing.

    Best luck to all the journalists, especially our version of Dick Pountain, Guy Kewney for entertaining with comment during PCW. I you are not out of work for long …

  • Meg Little

    Just noticed that comment about the lack of female mourners for PCW.
    I loved this magazine – always my favourite among computer periodicals, and I have been reading it for at least twelve years. So far as I was concerned, every computer-related purchase I made was dependent on PCW advice.
    The clarity and elegance of writing was a constant pleasure, and technological articles were fascinating too. All right, one may not want to risk a screwdriver assault on one’s beloved laptop, but it’s still invaluable to have some idea what goes on there.
    PCW, I am missing you dreadfully. All best wishes to that gifted team who kept you in print for so long and who gave so much pleasure.
    Very sincerely
    Meg Little, Scotland.

  • Eoin

    It is really sad to see the demise of Personal Computer World, I’m a reader on and off (pardon the pun) since its inception in 1978. PCW was an institution and a big thank you to all who contributed to it, a truly gifted bunch.

    To me (in Ireland) Personal Computer World was as British as the BBC and faithfully served its readership over a 30 year period that saw the computer change our society. I have no doubt that future historians will study each of its many editions to help understand the evolution of computing.

    Its many contributors can be rightly proud to be part of such a wonderful publication. May they all find success and happiness in their future careers :)

  • Paul

    Well what a shock! I must have been asleep.
    I’ve been looking on the newsstands for PCW for months, thought all the copies had been sold and I should get there earlier in the month.
    I have read the magazine since the early days. It seemed part of the establishment. How the hell do the lesser magazines survive.
    Can anyone remember if PCW morphed out of Wireless World or was that a sister journal? Still got a copy of that in the attic.

  • Theo Potter

    Just cruised by and saw this. Hadn’t bought PCW since mid 90s because it suddenly shifted to be a trivial, pointless, review-oriented shop window instead of the brainy, enthusiastic, insightful and fun place that it had been. Guy Kewney, Mike Mudge, Tim Bajarin, Tim Nott, Mark Whitehorn, Tim Anderson (et al, apologies) where are you now? Oh, how I loved to read those articles as I rode the cold, damp ferry and walked the icy streets of Cowes in those nasty, early 80s winters. God help me, now I’m well off and comfortable – I really owe it all to you guys – the round’s on me!

  • Sad to read that PCW is gone. I used to read it every month in the 80′ties, when all the micros appeared. And they were all different, very different. Then came the pc standard, and windows and so on, and the early days of prototypes and experiments were gone. But I always remembered PCW, and Martin Banks were always worth reading. Oh nostalgia…

  • Jason Viles

    :’-(
    Haven’t bought a computer magazine for almost 3 years due to the hyperinflated prices of the better ones and the idiots guide content of the cheaper ones, so when I go to buy the only one worth the money each month for the last 4 months, I find no copies in whsmiths.

    Thinking I must just be getting there after the few copies they had in were sold out, I eventually asked a member of staff and find out they no longer stock it.
    Confused, I check online and find…shock, horror…that it ceased publication not long after I bought my last issue.

    Big part of my youth gone. Bought my first issue in April 1982 (my 11th birthday) and bought 6-8 issues a year until 2002 when more of my information started coming from online.

    The editorials were great reading, many articles captured my imagination and inspired my career choice (system builder) and the early back pages with programs to type in (!) got me programming for a hobby.

    Many weird and wonderful things were written about including (if I remember correctly) a z80 based multi-cpu computer that actually ran faster the hotter it got!
    Now, you won’t see any articles like that any more. All the big mags seem to be reviews and group tests of off the shelf hardware and software with next to nothing to distinguish one issue from the other.

    With no further issues forthcoming, all I can hope for is a complete archive of every issue placed online.

    Thank you, PCW, for 27 years of keeping me informed, interested and working with computer technology.

    ++R.I.P++

  • Personal Computer World was a truly fabulous magazine. I was too young to buy the earliest issues, being a child of Thatcher, but I spent a day at the British Library 16 years ago reading lots of copies from the early 1980s (I was doing research for an article). PCW had an ethos, an enthusiasm, that I miss. By the way, Tim, I miss your columns – and, indeed, the lot of the Hands On section.