Self-publishers spread the know-how from 1974 on…

Virginia Tech Professor,  Dave Larsen, started reaching beyond his classroom with self-published Bugbooks in 1974.  Most of his readers were hobbyist or in other professions, not computer scientists. Dave’s books were standard fare at LO*OP Center, computer conferences and hobby clubs where people hungry for information about computers gathered to learn and teach.

reblog from Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum, What is in a Name


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vintage Computers – What is in a Name – How we are named the “Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum”

Why we call our museum the “Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum”  – here is the short story.

Bugbook III

I call our museum  “The Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum”  is because of the original  “Bugbooks” .

Museum bugs

About 1974 I was part of a team that produced these books. The first two Bugbooks were written and published by Professor Rony and I.  I named the books Bugbooks because the small digital integrated circuits looked like a bug with its legs.  Professor Rony typed the manuscripts and we self published the first few printings of the “Bugbooks” .  These books were the start of a book series called “The Blacksburg Continuing Education Series” .  The books covered various topics of digital electronics, computers and software. Dr. John Titus and Dr. Chris Titus joined the group and became important members of our team.

Bugbooks 1 & 2 for sale 1975

During the period 1974 to 1984 about 75 books were published with a circulation of over 1 million copies.  Our team hired 31  authors to help write books in the series. In addition to the books our team designed several computers and other teaching / engineering aids that were sold world wide. John Titus was the computer designer and I designed the digital engineering  / teaching hardware aids. Most or the books were published and marketed by “Howard W Sams” and the hardware was marked by “E and L Instruments” in Derby Connecticut.  Many engineers, technicians and  electronic hobbyist of the late 70’s and 80s used  these books and hardware.  All the books and hardware are on display in our museum.

Howard W Sams Advertising Display of “Blacksburg series books.

A reoccurring comment from  folks visiting the museum is – I  learned digital electronics from the “Bugbooks”.  The experience with the Blacksburg Group started my interest in collecting microcomputer memorabilia for 40 years and has resulted in the thousands of items collected and the small display in the museum. The Bugbook story involves many relationships, interesting events and eclectic people.  It is my  intent to get the details of these adventures in writing — soon I hope.




Howard W Sams Book catalog with the “Blacksburg Continuing Education Series” Books for sale – about 1978


E and L catalog 1977 with all the Blacksburg Group books and hardware for sale.
See Video’s about Dave’s Historical Computer Collection CLICK.

About lizaloop

Social philosopher, educator, writer, idea generator, teacher, parent, grandmother, community volunteer, musician, former horseback rider, skier, former dog owner, trouble-maker.

3 thoughts on “Self-publishers spread the know-how from 1974 on…

  1. Thank you for posting this – I had the Grand Opening of our Bugbook Computer Museum last Saturday and just as I have said it is not unusual for a visitor to say — I used your books to learn digital electronics or some other topic . One of our Saturday visitors did just that and we made a little video.
    David Larsen – Curator the Bugbook Computer Museum.

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