"COMPUTE!" (ISSN|0194-357X) was an American
computer magazinethat was published from 1979 to 1994, though it can trace its origin to 1978 in Len Lindsay's " PET Gazette", one of the first magazines for the Commodore PETcomputer [ [http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue1/3190_1_THE_PET_GAZETTE_THE_EVOLUTION_OF_A_MAGAZINE.php The Evolution Of A Magazine ] ] . In its 1980s heyday "COMPUTE!" covered all major platforms, and several single-platform spinoffs of the magazine were launched. The most successful of these was " COMPUTE!'s Gazette", catering to Commodore computer users.
The magazine's original goal was to write about and publish programs for all of the computers that used some version of the
MOS Technology 6502CPU. It started out with the Commodore PET, Commodore Vic-20, the Atari 8-bit series, the Apple II plus, and some 6502-based computers one could build from kits, such as the Rockwell AIM 65, the KIM-1by MOS Technology, and others from companies such as Ohio Scientific. Support for the kit computers and the Commodore PET were eventually dropped. The platforms that became mainstays at the magazine were the Commodore Vic-20, Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit series, TI-99/4A, and the Apple II series. Later on the 6502 platform focus was dropped and IBM PC, Atari ST series, and the Commodore Amiga series computers were added to its line-up.
"COMPUTE!" also published a very successful line of computer books, many of which consisted of compilations of articles from the magazine.
Most personal computers of the time came with some version of the
BASICprogramming language. The magazine often featured type-in programs written in these versions of BASIC for their respective computers. Machine codeprograms were also published, usually for simple video games listed in BASIC DATA statements as hexadecimalnumbers that could be POKEd into the memory of a home computerby a 'stub' loader at the beginning of the program. Machine language listings could be entered with a program provided in each issue called MLX(available for Apple II and Commodore hardware, and written in BASIC). Early versions of MLX accepted input in decimal, but this was later changed to the more compact hexadecimal format. It was noted particularly for software such as the multiplatform word processor SpeedScript, the spreadsheet SpeedCalc, and the game Laser Chess.
Editors of the magazine included Robert Lock, Richard Mansfield, Charles Brannon, and Tom R. Halfhill. Noted columnists included
Jim Butterfield, educator Fred D'ignazioand science fiction author Orson Scott Card. [ [http://www.hatrack.com/osc/about-more.shtml Who Is Orson Scott Card?] from Card's official website]
In May 1988, the magazine changed its focus to PCs and PC clones and dispensed with the type-in listings. During the early 1990s, with the decline of the home computer market in favor of the PC market, "COMPUTE!" went out of publication for a while until it was sold to
General Media, publishers at the time of Omni and Penthouse magazines. Ziff Davisbought COMPUTE!'s assets, including its subscriber list, in 1994. General Media had ceased its publication before the sale.(3)
Where are they now?
Len Lindsay: Lindsay went on to found the COMAL User's Group, which promoted the
COMALprogramming language in North America.
Robert Lock: After "COMPUTE! Publications", Lock started another company, Signal Research, which was among the first to publish magazines and books about computer games. He also wrote the book "The Traditional Potters of Seagrove, N.C." in 1994, and started "Southern Arts Journal" a quarterly magazine featuring essays, fiction and poetry about all things Southern, in 2005.(1)
Richard Mansfield: Mansfield has written many books, mostly on Microsoft technologies, including "Visual Basic .NET All in One Desk Reference for Dummies", "Visual Basic .NET Power Tools", "Office 2003 Application Development All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies", "Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition For Dummies", and "CSS Web Design For Dummies". He also writes occasional pieces for DevX.com. He created much controversy with an article he wrote there called "OOP is Much Better in Theory Than in Practice".
[http://www.halfhill.com/ Tom R. Halfhill] : Halfhill went on to become a senior editor at "Byte". He currently writes for "Microprocessor Report" and "Maximum PC".(2)
* [http://www.halfhill.com Tom Halfhill's web site]
* [http://calbears.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0NEW/is_1994_August_10/ai_16184638 "Correction - Ziff buys Compute assets" -- Newsbytes News Network, August 10, 1994]
* [http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/ "COMPUTE!" at The Classic Computer Magazine Archive website]
* [http://www.southernartsjournal.org/ Southern Arts Journal]
* [http://www.devx.com DevX.com]
* [http://www.devx.com/opinion/Article/26776/0 Richard Mansfield's article "OOP is Much Better in Theory Than in Practice"]
* [http://www.mdronline.com/mpr/ Microprocessor Report]
* [http://www.maximumpc.com Maximum PC]
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