I started working at Wired in 1993 (3rd issue), but I wrote a piece for the first issue (a review of Bruce Sterling's Hacker Crackdown) so I'm excited that Wired is releasing the first issue for free as an iPad app along with a 12,000-word oral history and archival images from the original team behind WIRED.
WIRED today announced the reissue of its iconic inaugural issue on the iPad as a free download on June 1. Launched nearly twenty years ago in January 1993, the premiere issue featured science fiction author Bruce Sterling on the cover and quickly became a sought-after collectible. Re-envisioned using the latest publishing tools, the iPad version (1.1.1) is a page for page replica upgraded with annotations and perspectives on how it all happened and what became of the stories and subjects within from the founders, editors, and contributors involved.
"As far as we were concerned, making this free for all of the readers who have supported WIRED over the past 20 years was the only option,” says Howard Mittman, VP & publisher, WIRED. “We knew we wanted to revisit the first issue for our twentieth anniversary, and thanks to Adobe, we were able to make that happen. The only thing more exciting than looking back at that issue and seeing how relevant it is today is being able to share it with the WIRED community."
The issue, created through the sponsorship of Adobe, also features a 12,000-word oral history and archival images from the original team behind WIRED. Louis Rossetto, Jane Metcalfe, Kathleen Lyman, Kevin Kelly, John Plunkett, and many of the early writers, contributors, and investors recount the stories of WIRED’s birth from its inception in Amsterdam (Millennium was the working title) and initial investment pitches to the first story assignments and hot-off-the-press copies reaching hands at MacWorld in 1993.
Among the hundreds of anecdotes and stories within the stories:
· As the first editor’s letter said, WIRED was founded because “the Digital Revolution is ripping through our lives like a Bengali Typhoon.” Curiously “Internet” was only printed twice in that first issue. Then executive editor Kevin Kelly said he wanted to cover it in the broadest sense.
· WIRED issues have always been organized by numbers rather than dates (1.1 vs. January 1993). Founder Louis Rossetto didn’t want to be like everyone else so the numerical system is a nod to software with each iteration an improvement on the last.
· WIRED launched in the middle of advertising depression and many magazines hit stands without any paid advertisements at all. WIRED refused to compromise – one exception? Charity. Founders Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe donated a page each issue to a good cause.