Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In Memoriam: Stan Veit

Stan Veit, a personal computing pioneer and well-known as the editor of Computer Shopper, passed away on July 29, 2010. He was 90.

Many of you will remember the hardcopy magazine incarnation of Computer Shopper from the 1980s. It was the magazine that had hardcore personal computing geeks all but salivating over every issue. It offered news, great deals on computer parts and accessories, and ads for some products that you wouldn't have heard about elsewhere. (Computer Shopper was known and appreciated for its startup-friendly ad rates.)

It began as a "trader" newspaper, like those found in just about every community beginning in the 1970s. These were typically papers filled with nothing but classified ads. Initially, they were free, or offered on a "pay only if you sell" basis. (Most eventually became pay-up-front propositions.) One of the magazine's regular readers was Stan Veit, who in 1976 opened the world's second computer shop, in New York City. There's much more to Stan's history in personal computing, about which you can read in an appreciation I wrote for Computer Shopper, the URL for which is below.

I was a Contributing Editor for Computer Shopper in the 1980s and early 1990s, during the years that each issue ran to several hundred pages. My column dealt with the online world and modems. I wrote about modems and computer software, as well as online services like GEnie, CompuServe, DELPHI, BIX, AOL, Promenade, and all the rest of the commercial services, as well as BBSs.

The way I became a Contributing Editor is quite a story in itself, a story that is typical Stan Veit. I have several stories about Computer Shopper and Stan Veit, which I'll share in this blog over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, I've written an appreciation of Stan Veit, which you can read in Computer Shopper here:

As you'll learn, Stan was quite a pioneer in personal computing. He opened what was only the second computer store in the world in 1976, and wrote one of the first computer books. He bought the third Apple I computer that Apple sold, and was Apple's third dealer, among other notable accomplishments.