The Editor's notes...
Robert C. Lock
A Major Format Change
Now that we've completed the merger of Home and Educational COMPUTING! and Recreational Computing into COMPUTE!, we're concentrating on revamping the organization of the magazine to better serve you. Beginning in March, COMPUTE! will have two distinct sections rather than the six it has now. The first section will be called "Home and Educational COMPUTING!," containing applications, tutorials, columns, and reviews. The second section of the magazine will become "The Journal," carrying a mix of articles for intermediate and advanced users.
We'll continue "New Products," and continue to provide the same excellent resource and applications articles. As we move into the new year with continuing explosive growth, we're sure you "old timers" will find the new format easier to use, and you beginners to the world of personal computing will find it much more convenient. Remember, this starts in March and, as always, we'd appreciate your feedback and comments.
The Hardware Wars: Late-breaking and Major News
Atari, Inc. has just slashed the suggested retail price of the Atari 800 system from $1,080.00 to $899.00. Commodore is currently introducing two new machines that promise to be quite competitive in the personal market. Shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the first week in January: a "game" computer with plug-in cartridges and a flat keyboard for around $150.00. And you can add a BASIC cartridge to learn programming. On the "high" end, as it were, and also from Commodore: a 64K color, graphics computer (also for TV connection) said to retail for less than $600.00. And that's with the 64K of memory. Look's like 1982 will surely be an interesting year!.
And As The Industry Grows
In recent editorials, we've commented on software protection, copyrights, the right of back-up, and more. We welcome your thoughts on these and other areas of interest to the personal computer consumer. A letter from a subscriber raised another question that we haven't considered and will put on the 1982 "comments coming" list. I'll raise some of his points here and solicit your input.
...I just resisted purchasing an expensive piece of computer software for which the warranty reads in part:
All...computer programs are distributed on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of such programs is with the purchaser. Should the programs prove defective...the purchaser and not the manufacturer...assumes the entire cost of all necessary servicing or repair. (The company) shall have no liability or responsibility to a purchaser.
This is not mere legal jargon. It's the embodiment of a business philosophy which seriously harms all of us... To software companies I say: Accept responsibility for your products. Get the bugs out before you sell them. Don't try to sell a program debugged by your customers as a "revised" or "improved" product at additional cost.
To software consumers I say: If possible, avoid products for which there is no warranty. Don't buy on faith. Complain loudly to software companies which provide no warranty...
Our reader makes a series of interesting points. While I'm no lawyer, I would wonder if the portions of the warranty shown above are realistic in enforceability. Would some of you lawyer/readers care to join this discussion with the rest of us? I'll look forward to your comments.