MSX pioneer and PC-Active founder Wammes Witkop has passed away

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Wammes Witkop passed away this weekend at the age of 70 after a short illness. He was publisher and editor-in-chief of various computer magazines and founder of PC-Active. In the eighties he became a well-known face in the computer world with the magazine MSX Computer Magazine.

Witkop began his career as an editor at MSX Computer Magazine (MCM) in 1985 and became editor-in-chief in 1987. The magazine merged into MCCM a few years later and finally ceased operations in 1997. The complete archive can be read online. MSX was one computer stand from the eighties and nineties in which 22 different computer manufacturers participated and released compatible machines under their own brand. It sold nine million copies worldwide.

Witkop was also the founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of the magazine PC Active, which appeared under that name in 1989 and had evolved from PC-Amstrad and before that ‘The computer magazine for the Amstrad/Schneider world’. It appeared with a free floppy disk that was replaced after some time by a CD and later a DVD.

In the 2000s, PC-Active, led by Witkop, came into the publicity several times. For example, an extensive test of CD-Rs showed that the quality of the recordable discs varied enormously and some copies were very sensitive to aging – this was reflected in an increasing number of reading errors, eventually resulting in unreadability. The magazine also made the news with an article that the public transport chip card could be hacked with a device costing only 30 euros. Witkop also filed several lawsuits to stand up for consumer rights, such as against SENA, Stichting de Thuiskopie, a spammer and CheapTickets.

In addition to PC-Active and MCM, Witkop, with his publisher Aktu Publishing Group, was at the cradle of various other computer magazines, including Modem magazine / Link and Compukids. PC-Active was taken over in 2005 by HUB Uitgevers, which went bankrupt in 2013. It was subsequently bought up and continued by the HCC.

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