Welcome to the last "Super" issue of The PET Gazette, and the first "Super" issue of COMPUTE. Whether you're an old or new reader, you should read Len Lindsay's article on the evolution of the magazine. It'll tell you more about where the magazine began, and provide some context for the Resource Sections, the "Gazettes," the Review Form, and so on.
The PET Gazette built its name by serving as a resource journal. We expect to continue that tradition, not only in relation to Len's activity as Senior Contributing Editor for Commodore products, but other editorial activity with the additional 6502 products being added to the magazine.
We won't review a product from a press release. When you see a review in COMPUTE, you'll know it exists. We cannot always guarantee that it exists in quantity (e.g. note the Atari review ... John Victor reviews from experience. He has his hands on one of the very few that Atari has released to their suppliers), but that's the nature of the business these days. If we're reviewing a prototype, we'll try to tell you.
We'll reiterate Len's trusted warning: Never buy a product unless you're sure it exists. We try to screen our advertising, but that's not even a sure bet, so trust the reviews you see here, and article reviews you see elsewhere. World Power has given the industry some new problems, and we need to develop ways to protect ourselves in the future.
One last comment on "prototype" reviews. The lead time in the publishing industry is tremendous ... frequently 4-5 months. In fairness to developing companies, we'll review prototype products as one means of shortening that lead time. We'll make it clear in the review that the product is a prototype and may suffer as such from developmental bugs and hasty documentation. Nonetheless we think it will service both readers and "emerging" companies.
I'll be interested in comments on such a practice from manufacturers and readers. For additional information on our review policies and practices, see the facing page.
Small System Services, Inc. of Greensboro, NC is the publisher of COMPUTE. Among other things, our company runs a retail store (The Corner Computer Store) and has an R&D/new product division. We're offering this information up front because we see no point in trying to avoid the fact that we're a multifaceted company. Some articles are contributed by our staff (see ROM Retrofit installation and Sorting Sorts). These are intended to be service articles. We treat the magazine as a totally separate operation of our company. It will be as objective and fair as it has always been.
COMPUTE is not a non-profit magazine (at least it's not intended to be), but we fully intend to maintain the access to resources and informative approach of the original non-profit PET Gazette.
As you can see from the Table of Contents, we've organized the magazine into four major "Modules." These modules will continue to provide the basis for each issue of COMPUTE.
- 6502 Section: This part of the magazine is intended to provide articles of interest to everybody with a machine with a 6502 inside. If you're writing an article for this section, it needs to apply to more than one machine, or be generalizable to other 6502 machines.
- Business and Industrial: This section of the magazine is devoted to business and industrial applications of 6502 based machines. The articles will be of general interest to both learners and "doers."
- Education: This section is intended as a resource guide to teachers actively involved in the use of microcomputers, and equally to teachers considering involvement.
- The Gazettes: For your own "special" machine, we offer a PET Gazette, an Atari Gazette, an Apple Gazette, and for now, an SBC Gazette (Single Board Computer Gazette—ouch). In the Gazettes, you'll find material of specific interest; articles, reviews, new products and resources. Naturally we're strongest this issue with the PET Gazette, closely followed by the SBC Gazette. The Atari Gazette is off to a good start, and we expect Apple to catch up by the next issue. We'll look forward to your comments, reviews and articles. Welcome to COMPUTE.!
In January, we'll begin a column called the GAP, where we'll "discuss" problems, products, etc. We want the GAP to promote a dialogue between manufacturers and consumers. Nothing makes it to the marketplace that's all good or all bad. The GAP will attempt to investigate these "margins." Among other things, January's column will comment on that little piece of red plastic on the SYM-1, Commodore's documentation, and OSI. We're sure, by then, Atari and Apple will be included as well.
Enjoy this issue. Send us your comments, suggestions and complaints. We'll see you in January.
Beginning in January, Compute. will offer a HELP! column in each section of the magazine (as demand warrants). If you have a problem, question, complaint, etc. write to met at Compute. Be sure to write "HELP! Column" on the lower left corner of the envelope. We'll farm out your requests to "HELPful" persons in business, industry, education and so on as available and try to answer in the next issue. Please understand that requests cannot be answered personally, and that all requests for HELP! will not be responded to in the HELP! columns.