CP/M Primer

Sams Editorial Director loved spiral binding

Twisters do not inevitably touch down on the Kansas plains, and Microsoft was not always king of the desktop.

Set the time at 1980. A company called Digital Research owns the operating system for Intel-based PCs. It is called CP/M. The concept of a “primer” strikes a chord with readers, as do concise, easy-to-digest computer books. This is why I conceived and coauthored CP/M Primer.

Weighing 92 pages and costing only $11.95, this 8.5 x 11 spiral-bound format title appeals to businesses selling computers with CP/M built-in. The title is reprinted in 14 languages. CP/M Primer employs two colors, a good number of blue screens, and cartoon characters–an approach that makes this CP/M offering both inviting and valuable for the beginner.

1980 I was seeking writers to up my output of books.
Sams hired a new Editorial Director. who went back to perfect binding to save money.

Weighing 92 pages and costing only $11.95, this 8.5 x 11 spiral-bound format title appeals to businesses selling computers with CP/M built-in. The title is reprinted in 14 languages. CP/M Primer employs two colors, a good number of blue screens, and cartoon characters–an approach that makes this CP/M offering both inviting and valuable for the beginner.

The result: 200,00 copies sold in less than six months.

Three years later, the publisher Howard W. Sams has a new marketing manager that I become close with. She dislikes the first edition comb-bound large format and re-issues the 2nd Edition in a smaller, more standard size. Sales are still good, but Microsoft DOS is quickly replacing CP/M as the standard OS for the IBM PC.