Creative Computing (magazine)

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Creative Computing
The front cover of the April 1980 issue of Creative Computing.
The front cover of the April 1980 issue of Creative Computing.
Editor-in-ChiefDavid H. Ahl
FounderDavid H. Ahl
First issueOctober 1974 (1974-10)
Final issueOctober 1985 (1985-10)
CountryUnited States
"Flip Side" of the April 1980 issue, with a parody of various computer magazines.

Creative Computing was one of the earliest magazines covering the microcomputer revolution. Published from October 1974 until October 1985, the magazine covered the whole spectrum of hobbyist/home/personal computing in a more accessible format than the rather technically oriented BYTE.[1] Creative Computing also published software on cassette tape and floppy disk for the popular computer systems of the time.


The magazine was founded by David H. Ahl, who sold it to Ziff-Davis in the early 1980s, but remained as editor-in-chief.[2] Featured writers included Robert Swirsky, David Lubar, and John J. Anderson. The magazine regularly included BASIC source code for utility programs and games, which users could manually enter into their home computers. Ted Nelson, known for the invention of hypertext, was briefly the editor.[citation needed] The April 1980 issue of Creative Computing contained parodies of the major computer magazines of the time.

Ahl published three volumes of The Best of Creative Computing Magazine (Creative Computing Press) in 1976, 1977, and 1980, respectively. The cover of volume 2 was illustrated by famed underground cartoonist Gilbert Shelton.

At the end of its run, Creative Computing was attempting to refocus on business computing, but was not successful at this and ultimately ceased publication in December 1985.[2]


A number of home computer games were published under the Creative Computing Software banner, including:


  1. ^ "Creative Computing". The Online Books Page: Serial Archive Listings. USA: University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b Harry McCracken (20 November 2008). "The Twelve Greatest Defunct Tech Magazines Ever". Technologizer. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b Webster, Bruce F. (January 1981). "Capsule Reviews". The Space Gamer. No. 35. Steve Jackson Games. p. 29 – via Internet Archive.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Three Best of Creative Computing volumes are available at
  • The full text of most of the issues from the last three years (1983–1985) of this magazine can be found at
  • Full page scans of most issues, except the earliest three years, can be found at