The Complete Historically Brewed
Book Review

On May 23, 2012, in Book Review, Review, by Mark Greentree

The Complete Historically Brewed
Author: David Greelish
Publisher: Classic Computing Press
ISBN-13: 978-0-615-53812-9
Price: US$26.95 | 198 pages

David Greelish is known to many in the computing community as an evangelist of classic computing.

The extent of his interest has garnered such projects as the Classic Computing blog, Retro Computing Roundtable podcast, Stan Viet’s History Of The Personal Computer podcast, and the Classic Computing Show podcast.

Clearly David has many achievements to his name but his main achievement is his magazine publication; Historically Brewed.

Historically Brewed started out as a bi-monthly (every other month) “zine” (newsletter / magazine). It was published to a subscriber based audience from 1993 to 1997.

In 2011, David launched a Kickstarter campaign. The aim was to collate all nine editions of the publication into a book, thereby preserving it for posterity and delivering the content to a new audience. I was that audience.

During the years of initial publication I was traversing the tumultuous teenage years unaware of the high quality publication David was putting together. At the time I was very interested in obtaining as much information as possible relating to computers, especially the Apple IIe and Mac LC series.

Despite the keen interest, my world was limited. The Internet had yet to become a utility service and communicating or purchasing a publication internationally would at the time have been an absurd proposal to pose to my mother. Thankfully, in 2012 David and I found each other via podcasting. As a result we were able to collaborate on an interview episode of Not Another Mac Podcast.

As a result David generously offered to send me The Complete Historically Brewed for my own personal collection. David has never asked if I could review the book for MyMac, but after seeing the effort he has put into making this a relevant publication, I simply couldn’t resist in sharing the information.

David is the key author in the first publication of Historically Brewed, but hands much of the writing over to experienced and well read authors in later editions. His articles continue to feature throughout and he acts as editor for all publications.

Much like MyMac.com, the diversification of authors helps the publication delve into areas that a single author simply would not have the time, personal interest, or experience to undertake.

For purists the book is nothing short of the original publications. The articles have not been edited to accommodate for a modern time and original advertising campaigns are present throughout. Even a blank page from edition one is intact. All of this really sends you back to a time when computers were less of a interface to achieve ones work, or share embarrassing photographs on social networking sites. It brings back the glitz and glamour, the days of Mhz (Megahertz), command line prompts, and tape and floppy disc drives.

The book is broken up into each individual issue with David’s story opening the book. David is a fantastic story teller and as such his biographical account of going-ons pre and during publication are a real asset to understanding why the publication was undertaken to begin with.

It would be fair to say that readers of MyMac will find The Complete Historically Brewed very compelling.

You can look forward to articles dealing with the graphical user interface, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, the Apple IIe, Lisa, Altair, and Atari,  to name a few.

Historically Brewed was so well received they were available for sale at the Smithsonian and The Computer Museum in Boston, MA (now the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA).

Computer history buffs and tinkerers will fall in love with this collection of historical documents and articles. You will be taken back in time as you rediscover some of the computers you may have first owned or have hidden away in a closet such as the VIC-20 or the Apple II.

To get your copy simply go to amazon.com

If you have any interest in computing history your can’t go past The Complete Historically Brewed. 

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