WIRED Magazine is marking their 20 year anniversary with a special iPad issue that is a reimagined version of their very first issue back in 1993. Here’s a little snippet from the Introduction to this special issue:
The first copies of WIRED hit the newsstand 20 years ago, at the dawn of the digital revolution. A lot has changed since then. To help mark the magazine’s anniversary, the editors used the latest technology to reimagine the first issue of WIRED, turning it into an interactive digital special edition. What they’ve done will surprise you.
I’d never been a WIRED subscriber until the iPad edition came along, but I was a fairly regular reader of the print title for many years. Though I can’t say I remember seeing or reading their first issue I found this an interesting enough idea to make the special issue well worth a look.
This special issue is a big download – as in, 1.3GB worth, and it took around 20 minutes to download on my iPad 3 on a good, strong home WiFi connection. Happily, it’s a very good read and a lot of fun to browse through. For starters, it’s a heck of a fun look back at how far technology has come in just a couple of decades. The Editor’s Note mentions that when the first issue was being cooked up it was the days when being online meant using services like Usenet, Compuserve, and AOL.
Here’s a page that’s a perfect example of how far we’ve come. The EO 880 Personal Communicator is labeled a Road Warrior – with fax,modem, and cell phone capabilities. Take a look at this beast on the top left of the page:
Even the ads are full of nostalgic images, like this one for an Apple Powerbook:
I like the short video clips that serve as part of the introduction to this special issue, which feature Chris Anderson, WIRED’s Editor in Chief, and others.
The text of The Beginning of the Beginning section gives a great look back at how WIRED came together, right from its earliest stages before it even had a name.
The issue is presented well too. On each page it’s easy to zoom in and out (which helps a lot as the text is rather small) and there are fun new annotations that can be toggled on and off as popovers – so you end up with a nice blend of original and new content.
If you’re a fan of WIRED you’re likely to enjoy the heck out of this special anniversary issue, especially if you’ve been a reader since the beginning or since the early days. It’s available now for download in the WIRED Magazine app.