After an association of eight years, and after a year as Editorial Director, I'm leaving COMPUTE! Publications to form a new company with Robert Lock, COMPUTE!'s founder.
Withdrawing, I can see the pathways that led to COMPUTE!'s current status as the only remaining consumer-oriented computer publication in America. I can also see the exciting growth and strength of this publication, how it matured under Robert's guidance from a small quarterly to its present position.
These pathways, the growth and strength, were only aspirations back in 1980 when I wrote some articles and sent them to COMPUTE!. The magazine had a few thousand readers then and was competing with a handful of other consumer publications for the new home computing audience.
The following year, Robert asked me if I would be interested in joining his fledgling staff as an editor. I came to Greensboro and worked with him and the half-dozen other COMPUTE! employees. Over the next six years, he built COMPUTE! into the significant publishing group it is today: more than 200 books in print, six separate magazines, and over one million readers a month.
By 1983 there were around 150 magazines for consumer computer users. Today, COMPUTE! alone addresses the general-interest computer audience. There are several vertical publications which target specific machines, but with the recent repositioning of Family Computing toward "home office computing," COMPUTE! is now the only magazine offering an overview of this technology for the nontechnical-, nonbusiness-oriented reader.
We are grateful for the continued support of our readers, and agree with you that computing is too important an issue to be left to the experts. In the coming years, COMPUTE! will continue to evolve, but it will never lose sight of its goal: to explore and explain these fascinating machines for the average intelligent person. In a democracy, of course, the people make the decisions. We believe that few forces in contemporary life are more significant—or will have greater long-term effects—than the impact of computers on society. So it is vital that the public understand this technology and, thereby, bring its collective wisdom to decisions about computing and public policy.
COMPUTE!, of course, also entertains. We have always offered games, graphics, music, and other programs of wide appeal. But, in addition, we feature serious applications, educational programs, tutorials, and even philosophical speculations. These traditions will continue.
Over the years COMPUTE! has attracted some of the most intelligent and talented writers, editors, programmers, and artists in the business. The magazine is now in their capable hands. I'm sure you'll find much to enjoy and much to learn in these pages over the coming years.Richard Mansfield