Nostalgia: March 22, 1984 Microsoft Press introduces its first two books

We’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic around here lately. Twenty-nine years ago today, Microsoft Press introduced Cary Lu's The Apple Macintosh Book and Peter Norton's Exploring the IBM PC/Jr Home Computer at the 1984 West Coast Computer Faire. (for full Microsoft history, click here)

cover image of The Apple Macintosh Book  cover image of Exploring the IBM PC/Jr. Home Computer

In 1984, I was a senior in high school and because my mother was a school teacher, we had an Apple IIe in our house. By the time I was in college, my grandmother gave me her Commodore 64 so that I could type and edit my 100+ page English literature thesis. When I graduated from college, I had to learn how to use Wang terminals at my first job. Eventually, we adopted IBM PCs in our office and my first computer book was a title about using dBASE III+.  In those early years, I never imagined that I would someday have a computer constantly on my lap and work for Microsoft. 

Share your stories with us. What was your first computer? What was your first computer book?

Starting this fall, we’ll begin our year-long celebration of 30 years of Microsoft Press. We hope to have some of our original authors writing some blog posts and we’ll highlight some of our most well known books over the years.

Comments (8)
  1. alinton says:

    I owned a PCjr and the Peter Norton book. The PCjr is not remembered fondly today but back then I was happy just to have a floppy disk drive.

  2. KimSpilker says:

    @alinton – that's really cool. We have a copy of the Apple Macintosh Book in our office, but I've never seen the IBM PCJr book. I sure don't miss floppy drives. My new laptop doesn't even have a CD or DVD drive. – Kim

  3. Claudette Moore says:

    Cary Lu's book made quite a splash at the release party, causing quite a stir with the competitive book publishers. Without a doubt it was the most beautiful tech book ever published.

  4. KimSpilker says:

    @Claudette – I have a photo from the early years to send to you. I believe you're in it. Carol found it on the archives site. I hope you'll be one of our guest bloggers when we begin celebrating 30 years.

  5. John says:

    A rare book cover in which Peter Norton is not standing with crossed arms 🙂

    Looking forward to the MS Press Retrospective.

  6. Yes, please, Claudette! We'd love to hear and share your stories!

  7. Nice Post, I love it and bring me nice memories.


  8. It was Wang terminals for me when I worked for a publisher back east in the 80's. Green text hovering over a dark background is what I recall from those boxes. We used them for developing early search/indexing files to make content more discoverable.

    It may seem kind of funny, but the book I still have from earlier PC days is "At Home with Microsoft Bob." I still have a copy of the software in a box on my shelf, too–8 MB of RAM required! Good to remember the successful, as well as the not-so-successful, projects from our past!

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