Compute! (March 1982)

in #retrocomputing2 months ago (edited)

Cover of the March 1982 issue of Compute!

Compute! was an early multi-format computer magazine that prospered from the early 1980s until the early 1990s. In 1982, computers such as the Commodore PET, VIC-20, Atari 400/800 and Apple II were covered among others. The March 1982 issue includes:


  • The Winter of Our Content: A Report on the January Consumer Electronics Show - There was an impressive line-up of new products revealed at this CES including the Commodore Ultimax, Commodore 64, Bally Astrocade plus the official home version of Pac-Man was released among many other items.

  • Twenty Questions Revisited - A type-in program for a computerized version of twenty questions.

  • Energy Workbook - A type-in program to help you determine the best improvements you can make to your home to increase energy efficiency.

  • Two Short Programs of CAI for Teaching BASIC - I was trying to work out what CAI even stands for. Computer Aided Intelligence maybe?

  • Infinite Precision Multiply - Normally, the Commodore PET has 9 digits of precision for mathematical operations. This program gets around that limitation.

Education and Recreation

  • Family: A Simulation in Genetics - A type-in program for the PET that demonstrates heredity with a hypothetical Martian couple.

  • Large Alphabet for the VIC - Generating a double size character set on the VIC-20.

  • Concentration - A type-in game based on the classic card game, Concentration.

  • Comment Your Catalog - A program to add comments to disk directory listings on you Atari 8-bit computer.

  • Starfight3 - Involves Klingons and the Enterprise. Sounds suspiciously like Star Trek to me? For the VIC-20.

Table of Contents from the March 1982 issue of Compute!


  • Votrax Type 'N Talk: TNT - A simple to program speech synthesizer that works with various computers via an RS-232 interface...for $375.

  • Olympia's ES 100 KRO Typewriter/Printer - An typewriter that also works as a printer (or is it the other way around?). It isn't cheap though at $1680.

  • RPL: A FORTH Sequel? - RPL is a FORTH-like computer programming language. Versions for PET/CBM machines are looked at here.

  • Ricochet - An odd combo of checkers and pool by Automated Simulations (which would later become Epyx) for the Apple II, Atari 8-bit and TRS-80.


  • The Editor's Notes - Editorial commentary on the new format of the magazine, the importance of reader feedback, and more.

  • Ask The Readers - Various question and answers about Atari BASIC, support for the 6502 processor, programming, and more.

  • Computers And Society - The merging of technology and art from lasers, to cameras to computers.

  • The Beginner's Page: How Computers Remember - A discussion of computer memory and how it works.

  • Basically Useful BASIC: Tabulation - A subroutine for justifying text the way you want in BASIC.

  • Learning With Computers: Word Processing In The Classroom - Even as early as 1982 computers were being used in the classroom and word processing was one of the first truly useful applications. This article discusses using word processors to make the physical act of writing easier so more attention can be paid to the creative aspects.

  • Friends Of The Turtle - Drawing using Atari PILOT.

The Journal

  • Disk Checkout For 2040, 4040, and 8050 Disks - Part 1 of 2. This part discusses manipulating disks/disk drives via machine language.

  • Organizing Data Storage - Sequential vs. Random files.

  • Machine Language Sort Utility - An efficient, machine language sorting routine. Why machine language? The fastest BASIC sort of 200 records in this test was 8 minutes but only 3 seconds for Machine Language.

  • Dynamic Renumber - A program to renumber your BASIC programs.

  • Disk Data Structures: An Interactive Tutorial - The details on how data is structured on a disk.

  • Apple Addresses - Addressing memory in machine language, BASIC floating point and BASIC integer on Apple II computers.

  • More VIC Maps - A discussion on VIC-20 memory maps continued from the previous issue.

  • EPROM Reliability - A detailed analysis for determining EPROM reliability focusing on the 2708 EPROM.

  • Random Music Composition On The PET - A type-in program for generating random music on the PET with various parameters that can be easily changed.

  • Ghost Programming - A method for running many BASIC programs that normally require 24 or 32K of RAM on an Atari with only 16K.

Back cover of the March 1982 issue of Compute!

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