The Editor's notes…
Robert C. Lock Publisher/Editor
"High" End Competition Heats Up
The Apple III and Commodore SuperPet markets continue to see increasing competitive entries. First Xerox, then IBM, and now Hewlett Packard, who last week announced a new system, the HP-XX, designed to compete for the entry level business, scientific, and upper end personal market. Apple, Inc., as we've heard frequently of late, immediately said they weren't worried. IBM promptly announced a sophisticated industrial robot (at slightly under $30,000), a new robot programming language, and guess what? The computer that sits at the heart of these robotic activities is none other than the IBM personal computer. It can control several of the robots at once, and the new language is well developed. ("Grasp" is one of its commands, for example.)
One thing's for sure. Our industry predictions of 200-300% growth this year can't be hurt at all by the increasing exposure and "big media" coverage. The world of megabusiness is finally starting to admit that there really is a future in personal computers. Witness the newsstands the second week in February… the personal computer industry was the cover feature on four different magazines. Time, Newsweek, Forbes, and Business Week all carried feature articles on our "emerging" industry.
Atari, Inc. Rumored To Be Developing The "Ultimate" In Software Protection
We hear that Atari will be investing significant research and development towards funds establishing a true protection method for their software. Suggested possibilities include a CPU-dependent encryption process. We'll be interested in seeing their progress, and will keep you posted. How big is the problem of software copying? In a recently published interview, Dan Fylstra of VisiCorp (formerly Personal Software) estimated that for every copy of Visicalc sold, two were pirated. That's a substantial impact on any company's sales.
The World Inside The Computer
We're happy to welcome Fred D'Ignazio to COMPUTE! as a regular columnist. Fred's brand new column begins with this issue. If you're excited about the use of computers in the home, and especially if you're interested in the use of computers with and by children, read the column. You'll be intrigued.
COMPUTE!'s New Format
Your first Editor's Feedback Cards, commenting on the new format, are starting to arrive. Please keep them coming. We do use your input and suggestions in our planning of the growth and scope of the magazine. We've already refined the format a good deal more to help you identify articles of particular interest to certain machine owners. You'll see more evidence of this in this issue, and (hopefully) complete success by May. Beyond that, we're much more able to identify articles of general interest. Our staff now takes quite a few major articles each issue and generates programs for the various computers. We're certain this helps broaden the utility of the magazine to programmers and users of all machines.