The dramatic evolution thus far in the life of the personal computer industry will be historically regarded as a unique phenomenon: Never have so many fundamental changes occurred so rapidly, and in an industry that virtually didn't exist a dozen years ago.
To get a sense of this startling evolution, look back only six years to the state of personal computer technology and compare it with today's. In terms of speed, memory, graphics, and almost all other hardware criteria, the computers of 1988 are several orders of magnitude beyond what was then available. In software, the same dramatic changes have occurred. Look at some of the first commercially successful programs written for the Apple II or Commodore 64, and compare them with almost any from the current stock. Or look at the changes in telecommunications, display monitors, and data storage devices. The differences are dramatic.
There's no better place to gain an understanding of just how great those changes have been than in the pages of the leading computer magazines. Since 1979, COMPUTE Magazine has had a front row seat at this spectacle. Our goal (and our delight) continues to be in following the continually evolving personal computer market to see where it's headed and to join with our readers in trying to understand how best to use this amazing technology. (For example, to see what was on our readers' minds in the early 1980's, see "Our Back Pages" on page 12.)
Despite the popularity of our machine-specific magazines—COMPUTE!'s Gazette for Commodore 64 and 128, COMPUTE!'s PC Magazine for IBM and compatibles, COMPUTE!'s Apple Applications for Apple II and Macintosh, and COMPUTE!'s Atari ST Disk & Magazine—we're convinced that there continues to be an important place for a wide-ranging horizontal computer magazine that brings to computer users the best in news, reviews, in-depth features, and hands-on tutorials. One of the hall-marks of COMPUTE!'s success has been its ability to evolve along with the industry. And we're pleased to say that this is just what we're doing again.
Beginning next month, COMPUTE! will have an exciting new design, new columns, and a different approach to features and product reviews. Taking the helm as editor will be Gregg Keizer, who has been with COMPUTE! Publications for nearly five years and remains as editor of Apple Applications. I'll be staying on as editor of Gazette and will increase my involvement with our PC magazine.
COMPUTE!'s new look will showcase some of the best and most knowledgeable writers and columnists in the computer industry. These writers and the experienced staff here at COMPUTE! Publications are expanding the number and scope of our feature articles to take on a variety of the most important topics each month. We'll show you what you can do with your computer now, and what you can expect from it in the future.
Our new columns, by such popular writers as educator and software developer David Thornburg and renowned science fiction writer Orson Scott Card, will give you insights on everything from industry trends to the latest and greatest entertainment software.
More product reviews in next month's COMPUTE! means more information for you, and more informed buying decisions. Our reviewers will examine the most promising software in the entertainment, education, home productivity, professional, and small business arenas. And we'll look at hardware—new computers, printers, disk drives, add-on cards, and the like—for the first time on a regular basis.
Even though COMPUTE! is written for all computer owners, no matter what system they may own, we'll continue to provide the hottest machine-specific information in a new department—COMPUTE! Specific.
If you care about what you can do with your computer, if you want to know how what's happening in the industry affects you, if you want the latest information about emerging trends like desktop video, CD-ROM, second-generation paint programs, and more, then you're going to like the new COMPUTE!.
Look for us next month. You'll be glad you did.
Lance Elko, Editor