The Eighth West Coast Computer Faire was another triumph for organizer Jim Waren. It's truly a consumer show, and an exciting one, given that many of us who don't have a great deal of time for shows any more continue to make time to get to this one. The Civic Center was packed (not only were the hallways full of booths this year, but the freight unloading area as well). No one's quite sure why the Faire doesn't head for San Francisco's spacious new Moscone Convention Center, but we suppose there must be a reason. There is a reason, isn't there, Jim?
The Faire provides the opportunity for us to meet many of our readers and authors, giving us the chance to tie names to faces. The excitement of the show always stays with us for weeks.
Response to our call for editors in the January issue of COMPUTE! has been excellent, and we're quite pleased to announce the addition of several new staff members. Since you'll become much more familiar with them over the months ahead, through both the book and magazine divisions here, we thought we'd tell you a bit about their backgrounds now, and their own personal computers as well:
Orson Scott Card, Editor, COMPUTE! Books Division Science fiction fans will already know Scott. The rest of you should know that he won the Campbell Award as Best New Science Fiction Writer of the year in 1978. And he was a four-time runner-up for the Hugo Award. Having also been an editor, Scott brings a wealth of experience to COMPUTE! Books (Atari 800.)
Gail Walker, Production Editor After several years of work in technical editing, communications, and corporate publishing and research in Texas and Iowa, Gail has joined our staff with primary responsibility for supervision of copy editing and coordination of scheduling and planning between our editorial and production departments. (Commodore 64.)
Tony Roberts, Assistant Managing Editor
Tony specializes in scheduling writers, bringing COMPUTE! the skilled training developed after many years of daily newspaper work, both as a reporter and as an editor. Tony's excitement about the personal computer revolution brought him to COMPUTE!, where he'll be assisting with the review of submitted manuscripts, editing, and helping supervise editorial scheduling. (TI-99/4A; TRS-80.)
Dan Carmichael, Assistant Editor After spending several years programming mainframe computers and developing documentation, Dan moved from IBM Assembler to "VIC-20 Assembler." His experiences and enthusiasm for the VIC led him to COMPUTE!. VIC owners can look forward to his monthly column in the new COMPUTE!'s Gazette, and COMPUTE! readers should watch for regular contributions in these pages. (VIC-20.)
Stephen Levy, Assistant Editor Stephen came to our attention via a series of excellent articles he'd written for COMPUTE!. After fifteen years as a public school teacher, he decided to bring his skills to us. His sensitivity to the needs of the average computer user make him a valuable addition to our editorial staff. (Atari 800.)
Rumor has it that we'll see Atari introducing a revised and expanded version of the 1200, with more features. Looks aren't everything. The recent moves by Texas Instruments to lock up the cartridge "marketing" market would seem to pose at least one clear danger. Rather than locking up that market, they may simply have it all to themselves. TI has refused to license the rights to their graphics ROM (GROM), and thus is the only manufacturer capable of producing TI cartridges. We suspect that smaller vendors may choose to support other computers rather than attempt to resolve the maze of dealing directly with TI. On the other hand, they do have a far more effective marketing reach than independent vendors usually do.
As the price of the VIC-20 and Commodore 64 charge downward, we hear that Commodore will be placing more and more emphasis on the development of the 64 market. And Commodore dealers, many of whom are upset over the placement of the 64 into the mass distribution chains, will be forced to concentrate their energies on the new P and B series machines.