It’s been 20 years of investigative journalism

Brian livingston
By Brian Livingston

When I started writing articles for technology magazines 20 years ago, I wondered whether the principles of investigative journalism could be applied to the computer industry.

Little did I know then that there was an endless supply of dirt to be dug up.

As I look ahead, changes are coming that I’d like you to know about. Looking back, I see that some of the stories I followed as a contributor to various publications are still having an impact on our lives today:

InfoWorld, 1991 to 2003. To great fanfare, Microsoft in early 1993 released MS-DOS 6.0 featuring DoubleSpace, a newfangled disk compression scheme. Headaches for pioneers soon arose. In a May 3, 1993, column, I reported “problems running Windows with DOS 6.0.” That same day, InfoWorld published a cover story revealing disk corruption caused by the new disk operating system.

Unfortunately, Microsoft forced InfoWorld to print a partial retraction on May 10 because the magazine could not replicate every case of corruption. Other computer magazines reviewed DOS 6.0 and said they didn’t see any problems.

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