How tech reporting has changed in 35 years
Longtime tech journalist Larry Magid writes about how the industry has evolved since he began writing about technology in 1983 for the Los Angeles Times.
Magid writes, “Sunday July 3, 1983, was an exciting day for me. I picked up a copy of the Los Angeles Times and there, in the business section, was my very first column about personal computers.
“I remember calling up a friend and telling him I had good news and bad news. The good news was that I just signed-up to write a column for one of America’s largest newspapers, but the bad news was that I had to write about computers rather than important stories like politics.
“Little did I know that technology would evolve into one of the most important stories of our times and that, in addition to getting to review hardware and software, a career as a tech journalist would eventually allow me to weigh-in on much broader issues such as privacy, personal safety and even political stories, including, of course, Russia’s interference with our 2016 election. The column was syndicated to papers around the world. I wrote for the LA Times until 2002 and have had three stints with the San Jose Mercury News, starting in the ’90s.
“In celebration of my 35th anniversary, I signed up for a subscription on Newspapers.com so I could download and re-read some of those early columns, which I have since posted at LarrysWorld.com. My first column, ‘Learn Buzzwords Before Shopping’ helped my novice readers understand basic terms like hardware, software, RAM and ROM. I also explained the meaning of bit, byte and kilobyte — the units of measurement that were important at the time. I did mention that a megabyte is a million bytes but there was no reason to explain gigabyte or terabyte. I’m not sure I even knew what those words meant at the time. I wonder if that’s now true about kilobytes for some of today’s readers. For you youngins, there are a million kilobytes in a gigabyte. Today’s smartwatches have millions of times the capacity of those early PCs.
Read more here.