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The former editors' club

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This column originally ran in ComputorEdge on November 10, 2000
(Issue 1845, Computers in Big Business)

You read their Editor's Stack and (now) edgeword column for years, got used to their style – whether clever or smart, low-key or excitable – and then they were gone and you wondered what happened to them.

Former ComputorEdge editors are few for a magazine more than 15 years old – only a half-dozen to date. (And you won't find Leah Steward or Pat Smith in here due to loyalty – neither of them has left!)

So here, in reverse order of service (starting with the most recent) are the Web sites of ComputorEdge's former editors:

John San Filippo

John, who just left ComputorEdge over the summer after more than four years at the helm, is now doing marketing for a major software and service company. He keeps his hand in the writing business by writing Kim Komando's syndicated radio show, and still has four computer books in print. He's also a qualified expert witness for Internet issues – can an appearance on one of those Matlock specials be far behind?

Ken Layne

Ken was easily the most colorful editor ComputorEdge has had. During his short reign, his Editor's Stacks became must-read material for their edgy style and often controversial arguments.

Since leaving five years ago, Ken has started and dropped the highly popular Tabloid.net site (the archive is still active at that site), started working for and quit working for the UPI wire service, moved out of the U.S. forever at least twice (and come back both times), and quit journalism in disgust at least a half-dozen times.

Fortunately (for us, if not him), he keeps coming back. His acerbic, biting wit has gotten only sharper in the years since he was at ComputorEdge, and if he can miss wide of the mark (as in a recent vicious and utterly unjustifiable attack on Union-Tribune writer Jim Hebert), he can also nail the hypocrisy of both political parties as well as that of the national media.

Ken maintains a constantly updated Web site, with links to all of his writings for the various outfits he contributes to.

Andy Rathbone

If you're not familiar with Andy Rathbone, you must be living in a cave somewhere, using an Apple II that isn't connected to the Internet. Since his days as editor of ComputorEdge, Andy has become one of the best-selling authors in the country. His hugely popular Windows for Dummies series of books (which has stretched from Windows 3.1 all the way through Windows Me, even including the utterly doomed Microsoft Bob in a chapter from the Windows 3.11 for Dummies) has made him a household name among computing folks. Even Mac fans know who Andy is.

He also wrote a weekly column for a local newspaper, and contributed (with his wife, Tina, another former CE editor – see below) reviews of local restaurants for a local Web site.

Andy still lives locally, and his Web site contains links where you can buy his books online.

Tina (Berke) Rathbone

After leaving ComputorEdge, and before marrying Andy Rathbone or writing her own Modems for Dummies books, Tina Berke became editor of Supercomputer Review magazine. Of late, Tina has been concentrating on both her painting and her sewing projects, both of which she is quite good at. For awhile, she co-wrote with Andy reviews of local restaurants, and the two of them wrote reviews of San Diego theatrical productions for the Riverside Press-Enterprise for give years. She and Andy remain strong supporters of the local theater scene, and are often to be found mingling on opening night at Sledgehammer Theatre.

Dan Gookin

It was Dan Gookin, ComputorEdge's first editor (back when ComputorEdge was still called Byte Buyer), who started the whole Dummies book craze. DOS for Dummies, which took those ridiculous line commands of the pre-Windows world (at least for IBM clones; those of us on Macs, Ataris or Amigas had no such worries even in the mid-'80s when DOS ruled) and made them understandable to folks who wanted to be able to use their computers without becoming programmers.

Dan's site has more info than any of the other former editors except Layne's, and you can buy his in-print books from here. And he even has an archive of his out-of-print books as well.