3.05.2008

How many publishing companies have published Dr. Dobb's Journal?

Jon Erickson, editor-in-chief of Dr. Dobb's Journal, totally stumped me yesterday. He asked me how many companies had published DDJ, and I guessed four. The correct answer is five.

Dr. Dobb's was founded by

1. People's Computing Company (PCC)

which sold DDJ to

2. M&T Publishing, the U.S. subsidiary of the German media giant Markt und Technik Verlag AG.

M&T Publishing was then sold to

3. Miller Freeman Inc. (MFI), a subsidiary of United News & Media (now United Business Media).

UBM then merged MFI into another division, the newly purchased

4. CMP Media LLC

which last week split up, retiring the CMP name, with DDJ going into the new business unit called

5. Think Services.

I flat-out forgot about PCC.

Here's a great article on the earliest history of DDJ, which was founded as a newsletter to distribute technical information about Tiny BASIC, a language designed for 1970s-era microcomputers like the MITS Altair.

Over time, and under the editorial leadership of Michael Swaine (1984-1987), Tyler Sperry (1987-1988) and Jon Erickson (1988-), DDJ expanded its coverage to become a beloved hobbyist/enthusiast publication like Byte. CMP Media ceased publishing Byte a decade ago, in 1998. I'm glad that DDJ is still around.

2 comments:

Dave Briccetti said...

Thanks for this, Alan, especially the link to the Dr. Dobb's Journal @ 30 article from a couple years back. I hadn't seen it.

I had the pleasure of working with Dennis Allison for about a year in 2005/6. What a great guy! Reading accounts like this make me appreciate him all the more.

I got an A in Alan Holub's "C for Professional Programmers" UC Berkeley Extension course in 1987. I had forgotten that he regularly wrote in DDJ, and never knew that he wrote a grep.

Anne Wayman said...

I used to work with Tyler Sperry when we were both with Kaypro... dating myself... anyone know how to reach him these days?

Anne Wayman, now blogging at AboutFreelanceWriting.com

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Co-founder and editorial director of BZ Media, which publishes SD Times, the leading magazine for the software development industry. Founder of SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference, AnDevCon: The Android Developer Conference, and Big Data TechCon. Also president and principal analyst of Camden Associates, an IT consulting and analyst firm.