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Computer Shopper

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Computer Shopper was founded in 1983 by Stan Veit. It was initially a newsprint tabloid largely consisting of ads for sources of computer hardware and software, in the style of magazines such as Nuts and Volts. This was the era of BBSs, well before the World Wide Web, and a magazine could still be a valuable source of information on products and pricing.

While CS was largely ads, it also had articles on computers of the day, including the various personal computers of that time. Even after the release and rise to dominance of the IBM Personal Computer, it still ran monthly columns on what it then called "Classic Computers," including the CoCo, and ran listings of BBSs that specialized in those computers—until it was bought by Ziff-Davis, a publisher that bought and killed various computer magazines in the early to mid 1980s. Ziff-Davis immediately converted CS into a PClone-only magazine, which it has stayed ever since.

After a heyday during which issues were well over an inch thick, the advent of the World Wide Web eliminated CS's raison d'être—when you can find prices immediately online, the multiple-month publication delays and frustrating "call for price" of "dead tree" magazines become intolerable, and pundits and assistance are trivial to find online. As of the time of this writing, Computer Shopper is running 170+ pages an issue and shrinking.