The Editor's notes...
Robert C. Lock
Commodore Announces A New "Generation" Of PET/CBM Computers With CP/M Compatibility
Between various press releases, the Hanover Fair in Germany, and a few of Dr. Chip's old friends, we've pieced together the major components of Commodore's new series of personal computers. There are three primary machines:
"PET II" has the capability of full color (you provide the monitor). The 40 column computer comes with 128K. Its microprocessor is the new 6509. Suggested retail, while unannounced, is thought to be less than $1,000.
"CBM II" is an 80 column unit with integral monitor, 128K RAM, and built-in dual floppy disk drives with 340K (total) of storage capacity. Again, this computer uses Commodore's new 6509. The suggested retail is unknown at press time, but the unit will certainly be targeted for a middle point between the PET II and the high end computer described below.
Both units are expected to have IEEE-488 and RS-232 ports. Both are said to be capable of accepting an add-on Z80 chip or a 16 bit 8088, thus opening up the world of CP/M software to the Commodore units, just as the Small Systems Engineering Hardbox has done for the current Commodore units.
The third unit appears to be directly targeted at the IBM-type personal computer. This multiprocessor computer uses both the 6509 and an 8088 16-bit microprocessor. The 80 column computer has attached monitor, 256K RAM, and dual disk drives with a capacity of 680K bytes. This unit, rumor has it, will be priced below $2500.
All three computers will be displayed at the National Computer conference in Houston in June. They were first shown at the Hanover Fair in Germany in mid-May.
COMPUTE! Grows On
We are quite pleased to announce the addition of Mr. Tom Halfhill to our Editorial Staff. Tom, formerly an Associate Editor with Cleveland Magazine, is a journalist by training and an Atari 800 owner by avocation. He'll add needed support to our staff as Features Editor, and will greatly help us in bringing you information about new products such as those from Commodore mentioned above.
A Note To Readers And Advertisers
We've had several complaints recently from readers having problems with a very small number of mail order advertisers. While we have yet to find any evidence of fraud, we have found some clear problems in terms of delivery, etc. We offer the following suggestions to our readers, suggestions you advertisers should be aware of:
- When you're buying more expensive products, especially hardware, know who you're doing business with. If you can't get references, a contact name, etc., be careful. If your check gets cashed, and your order delayed for some reason, you'll have just as much trouble tracking it down. Get your names and contacts first, don't just send a check blind.
- If you have trouble getting products you've ordered, and feel you're getting improper service or treatment from the advertiser, write them a letter, certified mail, and detail your problems and history with them. Send a copy to the Advertiser Complaint Department at COMPUTE!, and note on your letter to the advertiser that you've done so. Request that the advertiser respond to you by phone or mail in a timely fashion.
- Keep copies of all of your correspondence with a company, including the name of whoever you've talked to there. You might need it later.
- Our screening of advertisers has been significantly expanded because of these recent questions. Our screening however, is not absolutely fail-safe. We cannot, for example, screen in advance the customer service philosophies of new advertisers. Thus we make the above suggestions.
To our mail order advertisers: We are well aware that most of you have prompt and courteous customer service policies. We receive more letters of praise for our advertisers than we do of complaint. Our goal is to help COMPUTE! readers receive the kind of service they should be able to expect from COMPUTE! advertisers. We appreciate your cooperation in our recently expanded screening and complaint resolution efforts.