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Donald E. Lancaster is an American author, inventor, and microcomputer pioneer.

Don Lancaster
Donald E. Lancaster
Known forAuthor


Lancaster is a writer and engineer, who authored numerous project articles for computer and electronics magazines of the 1970s, including Popular Electronics, Radio Electronics, Dr. Dobb's Journal, 73 Magazine, and Byte. He has also written numerous books on electronics, computers, and entrepreneurship, both commercially published and self-published.

One significant early project was his "TV Typewriter" dumb terminal. This design was popular with early microcomputer users as it used an ordinary television set for the display, and could be built with around US$200 in parts, at a time when commercial terminals were selling for over US$1,000.

Lancaster was also an early advocate and developer of what is now known as print-on-demand technology.

Lancaster produced his self-published books by re-purposing the game port of an Apple II to transfer PostScript code directly to a laser printer rather than using, as was common at the time, a Macintosh running PageMaker. This enabled continuous book production using an inexpensive Apple II, rather than tying up an expensive Macintosh until the print run was complete.

He helped design and manufacture the Apple I keyboard, and formerly held a ham radio license (K3BYG).

Lancaster continues to publish articles related to his numerous areas of interest on his website, The Guru's Lair.


  • TTL Cookbook (Macmillan, May 1974). Paperback ISBN 0-672-21035-5
  • RTL Cookbook (Sams, 1969). 5th printing (Sams, 1973) Paperback ISBN 0-672-20715-X
  • TV Typewriter Cookbook (January 1976). ISBN 0-672-21313-3
  • The Incredible Secret Money Machine (January 1978). ISBN 0-672-21562-4
  • The Cheap Video Cookbook (Sams, May 1978). Paperback ISBN 0-672-21524-1
  • Son of Cheap Video (January 1980). Paperback ISBN 0-672-21723-6
  • CMOS Cookbook 1st (Sams, 1977). ISBN 0-672-21398-2, 2nd rev. (Butterworth-Heinemann, January 1997). ISBN 0-7506-9943-4
  • The Hexadecimal Chronicles (January 1981). Paperback ISBN 0-672-21802-X
  • Don Lancaster's Micro Cookbook (Sams, October 1982). Paperback ISBN 0-672-21828-3
  • Assembly Cookbook for Apple II/IIE (Sams, July 1984). Paperback ISBN 0-672-22331-7
  • Enhancing Your Apple II (January 1985). Paperback ISBN 0-672-21846-1
  • Applewriter Cookbook (January 1986). Paperback ISBN 0-672-22460-7
  • The Incredible Secret Money Machine II
  • Enhancing Your Apple II and IIe ISBN 0-672-21822-4
  • Book-On-Demand Resource Kit
  • Lancaster's Active Filter Cookbook (Butterworth-Heinemann, August 1996). Paperback ISBN 0-7506-2986-X
  • The Case Against Patents : Selected Reprints from "Midnight Engineering" & "Nuts & Volts" Magazines (Synergetics Press, January 1996). Paperback ISBN 1-882193-71-7

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