Computer Knowledge was started by me (Tom Simondi) in 1984 (back in the floppy disk days :-)).
After a career in the US Air Force and some part-time work revolving around software and the Apple II computer, I was picked to start a microcomputer course at El Camino College in the Los Angeles area. To learn something about programming myself I got a copy of the original Turbo Pascal and developed a program that served to show sequential pages of text information as part of a complete tutorial. I gave copies to my students to study the material outside of class and then got the idea to market the tutorial on the side. Computer Knowledge was born and the program had the name TUTOR.COM (tutor dot com) after the name of the executable file one ran to start it (tutor.com).
I continued teaching and then moved to computer support for The Aerospace Corporation and ran Computer Knowledge on the side. I decided to use the try-before-buy marketing method (shareware) and the program became quite popular for a time, although for some reason I never could get vendors to completely grasp the program name so it appeared as just Tutor, PC-Tutor, and a few other names in disk catalogs. I even got featured in an ad by PC-Sig that was published in a number of papers and magazines. The 22 June 1987 issue of Info World carried a PC-Sig story that highlighted the program as number three behind PC-Write and PC-Calc. Given that this put me just behind Bob Wallace and Jim Knopf (Button) it was something of a high for me. (Indeed, about that same time I attended a Houston meeting with those two and other shareware authors of the time and out of that meeting came the Association of Shareware Professionals [now Assocation of Software Professionals].)
Over time, the minicomputer tutorial morphed into a complete DOS tutorial and, along with that, a virus tutorial was written to try to explain computer viruses to a non-computer audience. If you look hard enough in a search you can even find the original DOS versions of these programs still on some download sites.
As my day job edged out the physical software business and as I did not bother to learn Windows programming, the shareware programs turned into freeware and, eventually, the virus tutorial became a main feature on the Computer Knowledge website. I’ve even started a project (not yet visible) to rebuild an updated Web version of the original TUTOR.COM tutorial. Some day it will suddenly appear as a link on the menu bar. 🙂 [Meanwhile, I’ve put the original on this site as a series of screenshots. See upper menu.]
After the Aerospace career, Computer Knowledge again became a primary business and from it came the popular FILExt.com file extension research site and my personal sites (TomsDomain and MissionTour). FILExt was transferred to Uniblue in 2009.
This is the latest incarnation of the CKnow site, now moved to WordPress. I hope you enjoy it and learn something from it.