Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 8 / JANUARY 1981 / PAGE 10

An Interview With Dr. Chip

Robert Lock, Editor/Publisher

Editor's Note: By way of introduction to you newer readers, Dr. Chip is a frequent apparition on these pages. He is Professor of 6502 Science at Figment University, and closely monitors a group of Figment U. Users Groups all over the world. From time to time he agrees to these momentous interviews...

RCL: Well Dr. Chip, it's good to have you back. Your readers were growing concerned.

Chip: Nothing of concern, that's my whole problem now! I tried to stow away on a shipment of Commodore parts to Japan...

RCL: Why ever for, Dr.?

Chip: I figured it would be months at your current speed before you reviewed VIC so I thought I'd take a look at the Japanese version and see how it was going.

RCL: Well?

Chip: I stowed away in a new Commodore regional warehouse in California and they closed it down the next day. I ended up in limbo for eleven weeks before somebody finally shipped me to Dallas!

RCL: Sounds like a familiar problem. You must have been in an 8050 box.

Chip: Hrumph.

RCL: Well, on with it. Any word on VIC?

Chip: VIC has run into a set of new FCC regulations that they're currently trying to figure out. Word is that everybody is in the same boat (no pun intended). I hear they'll still be showing the new unit in January with a strong push for whatever approval's necessary and product introduction by February.

RCL: Sounds good. Any pre-introduction fixes involved there?

Chip: Funny you should ask. Some founding chapter Figment U. people are reporting that the machine doesn't really have the promised 32K expansion capability. And that one of the expansion connectors may need to be slightly retooled.

RCL: We're still hoping to get ours by the time this goes to press.

Chip: Enough on VIC. I've got more pressing news.

RCL: I can't wait...

Chip: You'll remember our interview in the spring where we discussed the upper level marketing turnovers at Commodore?

RCL: Yes. I said everything was settling down and Dick Powers was the new Sales and Marketing Manager.

The Terminal Madness of the Silver Streak...

Hey there Dr. Chip, got your screen on? This here's the Silver Streak ready for a little 'modemulation' at a baudacious 300 baud! Yessir, this electronic mail is the most fun I've had since the FCC pulled my ticket for runnin' a 2 KW CB rig. Just think, the only Tee Vee's I interfere with now are your's and mine.

I guess you know I'm not drivin' my truck anymore. The judge thought I had too much technology in the cab when he saw the microwave repeater I used to send a new speed signal back to the fuzz. It appears I wiped out every doppler radar on Highway 1! Anyway, now that I'm drivin' a desk, I got set up with an account on both Source and Micronet I'm gettin ready to type in stereo.

I got me a whole new rig too an Atari 800 with a printer, the RS-232 box, a modem, a Telelink I communications cartridge, and one of those new projection Tee Vees with a six foot screen. My setup is so fancy, I had to add on a waiting room for folks who come over to see the equipment. Don't that just flush your buffer?

And to think that I was told I'd never get the hang of this stuff just because I thought a tri-state bus driver was someone who worked for Greyhound well, everyone has to start somewhere, right?

So I was chatting with this lady on the Source the other night and she asked if I had read the Third Wave by this Alvin Toffler fella. I told her I had heard about it and, as near as I can figger, the first wave was telephones, the second wave was CB, and the third wave was this electronic mail stuff. Well sir, she was so impressed with the novelty of my answer that she said I should get in touch with you 'cause you are interested in unique characters. She even said I was the most unformatable character she ever met. Wasn't that nice?

Whoops! I just went into prime time. Guess I better pop my stacks and make some tracks!

Catch you around the net, Dr. Chip.

So long for now.


Dr. Chip seems to have acquired a new (and strange) friend. Chip informs me that we can expect to see occasional communications from the Silver Streak. RCL.

Chip: Right. You blew it. Powers has moved to head up OEM Sales. He was replaced by Bill Robinson. . .

RCL: Okay, so now there's a new Marketing Director...

Chip: You got it. His name's Mike Tomczyk. He assumed some of Robinson's duties when Bill left.

RCL: Well, at least the seven regional distribution centers are lending some new cohesiveness.

Chip: I hear they'll only now getting things up and rolling in some regions, and several dealers have complained with a bitterness reminiscent of years past. And their biggest beef is that there's no one to complain to. Management keeps changing so fast they can't keep up. Three regional managers have been replaced since the seven centers were so highly touted just months ago.

RCL: Ouch. Maybe now that COMPUTE!'s going monthly, we should start printing a running who's who for readers and dealers.

Chip: Not a bad idea.

RCL: By the way, APPLE III's are now shipping.

Chip: So I heard. I also understand that "Word Craft", the British word processor for Commodore machines, was not present at the COMDEX booth, but that Commodore was instead showing off Word Pro from Professional Software, Inc. An interesting turn of events indeed.

RCL: Thanks Chips, we'll see you next time. By the way, who's your new friend Mr. Streak?

Chip: No comment.

Late breaking news: Chip reports two potentially significant new products: MOSAIC Electronics is introducing a 32K RAM board that will work on both the Atari, Inc. 400 and 800 machines. Microtechnology Unlimmited is developing a 6502 based computer that will retail for under $1,000.00 Standard equipmment, reports Chip, includes: black annd white monitor; stringy floppy type tape drive; standard keyboard, enclosure and power supply; Microsoft BASIC; graphics capability of 320 by 200; and 48K RAM. COMPUTE! looks forward to reviewing these two introductions.