Give Me That Old Homebrew Computer Club

Doug Millison of SiliconValleyWatcher reminisces about the HomeBrew Computer Club. Now, I wasn’t a member, but my husband William Jolitz used to show up now and then at SLAC for the meetings when he could get away from Berkeley and BSD work. So he added a little to the collective memory.

From William’s comments: “It’s great to see some of the Homebrew Computer Club Newsletters online – in fact, I’ve still got a coupon for the Byte Store that fell out of one when I was showing it to my kids. Think anyone will honor it?”

“Seriously, we’re also old DDJ (Dr. Dobbs Journal) fans – I remember the first issues of DDJ and the “running light” slogan well. That’s why a decade later had so many HCC and DDJ references, including Tiny 386BSD (see From 386BSD to OSPREY: The Evolution of an Operating System), an entire Berkeley Unix system on a single floppy that old-style Unix guys said “couldn’t be done” (just like how Tom Pittman’s Tiny BASIC from itty bitty machines tipped the old BASIC monopoly in the 1970’s).”

“The slogan Running Light with 386BSD appearing in DDJ after a 17-part series on “Porting Unix to the 386”, completing a project begun in 1989 with “386BSD: A Modest Proposal” for Berkeley and DDJ, and ending with the 386BSD 1.0 Reference CDROM from DDJ (1994-1997), along with books and videos running to this day.”

“386BSD was intentionally biased towards the DDJ hobbyist / reader – not the old-style Unix guru. We don’t regret it – we really had a blast, just like the old HCC days. William Jolitz.”

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