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08/06/06: Lawrence Falk passed away? by J Arcane, | Category: General | 3 comments - (Comments are closed)

Lawrence Falk passed away?…ling_unra_1.php

My second eulogy this week is for Lawrence Falk, the founder and editor-in-chief of The Rainbow magazine. He died in June of a heart attack at the age of 63 after serving as mayor of Prospect, Kentucky (a Louisville suburb) for 13 years.

You probably haven’t heard of The Rainbow, mainly because its subject matter — the Tandy Color Computer series — was by-and-large the laughing stock of the playground computer-game scene for most of the 80s. But The Rainbow was actually the longest-lasting of the great 8-bit computer mags in the US, running uninterrupted from July 1981 to May 1993 for a total of 143 issues.

Although I’ve admittedly never touched a real CoCo in my life, I have nearly all of these issues — from the very early newsletters (typed on a CoCo and output on a cheapo printer without any descenders on the ‘p’, ‘y’, ‘j’ or ‘g’ characters), to the massive 300-page tomes from 1983 to 1986, to the tabloid-sized newsprint issues at the very end. The computer it covers may not be first-class, but the magazine itself is, because it embodies pretty much everything that was right about the early computer marketplace. Every issue is packed with ways to truly use your computer, whether it be BASIC or assembly programming, electronics projects, or games and little applications you type in yourself.

There are mounds of black-and-white ads from dozens of basement companies, most run by one guy hoping to become the next Lord British with his bold new interpretation of Asteroids. The letters section is vast and passionate, constantly railing on Tandy’s terrible customer support at a time when there was no easily accessible Internet to nerd-rage on. In short, there was real grassroots passion in The Rainbow’s pages — a sort you can still feel reading the mag today, and the kind that was pretty much run out of computer magazines completely by the mid-1990s.

There was a project afoot to scan and distrube the entire Rainbow library on DVD with Falk’s permission. The bulk of the work is already done, but the future of the project is unclear now that it has to deal with Falk’s estate instead of the man himself. I certainly hope that any legal issues are worked out quickly, though — if you miss how computer mags used to be, a DVD Rainbow collection would be pure heaven to browse through.

Really sad to hear that. Rainbow was an incredible magazine, and now the man behind it is no more. sad.gif

3 comments to Lawrence Falk passed away?

  • Mary

    I would like to know who wrote this eulogy…..


  • John_Riddle

    Kentucky senate passed a resolution in his memory:

  • Gamemoose

    Here’s his obit (from Herman Meyer and Son-Funeral Directors site):

    user posted image

    LAWRENCE C. “LONNIE” Falk 63, of Prospect, died Friday, June 9, 2006. He was the Mayor of the City of Prospect, Kentucky for the last 13 years. He was (past) Council member, City of Prospect. For the Jefferson County League of Cities, he was Past President and is currently Vice President and President elect. He is a Director of Republic Bank. In addition, he had a long career in journalism and publishing. He had been editor of the Crimson White, The University of Alabama newspaper, a reporter for The Birmingham Post-Herald and a Bureau Manager in Birmingham, Raleigh and Chicago and Alabama state Editor for UPI (United Press International). During his years in journalism, he covered the following historical events: He was one of the first reporters to cover devastating Hurricane Camilla on-location in New Orleans; He reported on Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon; He covered a breadth of civil rights developments, including Martin Luther King Jr., the Alabama civil rights movement, the state’s race riots and Governor George Wallace’s “The Stand at the Schoolhouse Door” at the onset of the University of Alabama’s historic integration. Also, he was Director of Information Services, University of Alabama and Vice President of PR , for The University of Louisville. He also ran public relations for The American Medical Association. He was the founder of Falsoft, the first computer magazine publishing firm in the world, which included titles Rainbow, PCM and Scorecard, the University of Louisville sports publication. Survived by his wife Willo: two daughters Wendy MacGregor (P.J.) of Chicago, IL, and Laurie Fields (Jason) of Atlanta, GA; and five grandchildren, Benjamin, Connor and Jeremiah Fields, and Madison Barsky and Sophia MacGregor.
    Funeral services will be at 4 p.m. Monday (today) at The Temple, 5101 US Highway 42. Visitation will begin after 2:30 p.m. Burial will take place in Birmingham, AL, on Wednesday.
    In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to City of Prospect Reading Center.

    Sad to hear.