Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vintage Computers - What is in a Name - How we named the "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum"

Why we call our museum the "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum"  - here is the short story.

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Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Museum bugs
Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Bugbook lll
I call our museum  "The Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum"  is because of the original  "Bugbooks" . 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. 
Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Bugbooks 1 & 2 for sale
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. A reoccurring comment from  
Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Howard W Sams AdvertisingDisplay of 
"Blacksburg Series Books.
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.

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Howard W Sams Catalog with

Howard W Sams Book catalog with the "Blacksburg Continuing Education Series" Books for sale - about 1978

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Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
E and L Catalog

E and L catalog 1977 with all the Blacksburg Group books and hardware for sale.

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Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Book Series on display at musem
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David Larsen
We hope you will come visit our museum and enjoy this Blog.  Your comments and suggestions are welcome.  


  1. I used Bugbooks I & II in 1984 to teach a class in China. The DEC PDP 11/70 used TTL chips for its processor, years before the microprocessor chip. The books were outstanding, the building block to understanding computer hardware for years to come.

    1. Hi Curtis - This is the first time I have heard about the Bugbooks being used in China - Thank you for this update - hope to see you in Floyd Soon - Dave

  2. I almost forgot...I discovered the Bugbook series while attending a 3 day class over the Chiristmas holidays at VT back in 1980.

    1. I would guess this 3 day class was one we were involved in teaching - it may have been some other program. I along with various colleagues over the years 1970 - 1991 must have taught more then 100 short professional workshops in many countries - but never China. Dave


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