Computers for Everybody

computers for everybody cover

Computers for Everybody
Willis and Miller

Computers aren’t just for geeks, they are for everybody. The cover art cracks me up as the giant computer (or maybe tiny people) sits outside as a big jungle gym. This cover art looks way older than 1981 as well. (I am also annoyed by the poor processing. Just how many labels did this library need?)

I was in grad school in the late 80s and a personal computer was just starting to be commonplace in offices. Typewriters and keypunch were still the mainstream Anyone still remember how to use a keypunch?

Back in the day, I was a whiz with DOS and I had some mad skills with Lotus123. Ah, the good old days, when I was just so cutting edge…


what a computer is good for

personal computing

computer examples



  1. The art may look older, but, for once, the computer doesn’t. My dad bought a TRS-80 model 1 when it was new and the one on cover looks a bit more stylish and integrated than it did. (Late 79 or early 80.)

  2. It appears to be a really helpful basic book, but the information regarding available systems and software is grossly out of date. If there was an updated version, I’d say get it, and weed this ‘un.

  3. Who the heck is that guy in the extreme foreground on the cover? He looks as if he wandered in from a book published in 1932. We won’t talk about the ethnic distribution of the computer-users, either.

    Now, if I were Library God, my first commandment would be: Do not cover up content. You can disagree about what, exactly, constitutes “content” (but, but–the whole cover is so pretty! how dare you put stickers anywhere?!) but surely the title of the book belongs in the Protected class.

    1. I believe that’s supposed to be a “sportsman”. Gaiters and boots like that were worn for hunting.

      I like the guy in the hard hat who looks like he’s drilling into the side of the monitor. Now *that’s* tech support!

  4. Our first family computer was a TRS80. We had to save everything to a cassette recorder. It did have the most helpful user’s manual though.
    We had graduated to a Commodore by the time I started Grad school in 1988.

  5. Hand up! I learned to use an addressograph in high school , and I also did a little keypunching during a summer job. Also used..and bravely learned to fix…the card sorter machine. That took a stack the freshly keypunched cards and shuffled them to perfect edges before being added to the computer. My actual job was computer tape librarian. AT&T call data was transferred to computers via tape reels.

  6. In the early 80s this book would have been quite useful, since people back then thought of computers as weird and scary. In fact, the only things weirder and scarier were computer nerds.

  7. I taught myself to keypunch one summer when it turned out that my regular summer job in the Computer Control department was only going to take me till lunchtime (splitting the invoices that the computer had printed the night before, putting the white and yellow copies in a envelope, putting the pink copies…etc.). I was actually pretty good — better than some of the year-round people who had gone to keypunching school. (How did I know? Through the “verification” process — someone else would redo your batch with a slightly different hole, so that discrepancies were seen.)

    That was in college. I never had to run an addressograph machine, but using a mimeograph machine was a requirement in graduate school. We had to make nasty purple copies of our seminar papers and distribute them to all the others in the course. I hated going home on the bus with nasty purple stains on my fingers (because something always went wrong and you had be hands-on with the thing).

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