Compute! (May 1981)

in #retrocomputing4 days ago

Cover of the May 1981 issue of Compute!

Compute! was one of the earliest and longest running multi-format computer magazines published in the U.S. In the early days, it covered the Atari 400/800, Apple II and Commodore PET as well as various kit computers. The May 1981 issue includes:

  • The Editor's Notes - A look at some of the things seen at the West Coast Computer Faire, including the Votrax Type-'N-Talk text to speech synthesizer, the Commodore Super-PET, A 256K memory expansion from Axlon for the Atari 800, and more.

  • The Readers' Feedback - Praise for the magazine, small business programs for the Atari, improving magazine distribution, and more.

  • Computers and Society - Addressing computer phobia.

  • Computer Aided Instruction, Boon or Bust? - Analyzing the effects of computers in the classroom. Still a novel idea at the time.

  • They Mysterious and Unpredictable RND - The last part in a series on random numbers. This part presents solutions for finding maximum and minimum numbers in a sample of random numbers, simulating dice rolls and a number of other exercises.

  • Land of the Lost - A Program For a Cassette Filing System - A type-in menu-driven program to create labels for cassettes (the dominant home computer storage medium of the time).

  • Using The 6522 to Drive a Printer - How to construct an interface for a parallel printer and create a machine language program to drive it using a Comprint 912P printer and OSI computer.

  • Using the Aim 64 as a Remote Terminal for an Apple - Using a 6551 ACIA (Asynchronous Communications Interface Adapter) and RS-232C interface, NOVATION CAT modem, and AIM 65 single board computer to create a terminal for an Apple II.

  • EPIDEMIC - A Simulation of an Epidemic - A type-in BASIC program for the PET that simulates the spread of an epidemic based on your inputs.

  • A Floating Point Multiplication Routine - A type-in machine language program that converts two signed numbers to floating-point binary numbers and performs multiplication with 9 digit accuracy.

  • Naming Compounds - A type-in program for the PET designed for high school chemistry students that can test students on naming compounds and creating formulas from the names.

Table of Contents from the May 1981 issue of Compute!

The Apple Gazette

  • Using Named GOSUB and GOTO Statements in Applesoft BASIC - A simple way to create named subroutines vs. just using line numbers.

  • Commas, Colons, and Quote Marks Too - Writing BASIC programs that can accept commas, colons and quotation marks as part of their input.

  • Generating Lower Case Text on the Apple II Plus Using the Paymar Chip - By default the Apple II Plus could only display uppercase letters. However, it could be modified with a PAYMAR (LC-1) so that lower case letters could be used. The type-in program can then convert strings in your BASIC programs to lowercase.

The Atari Gazette

  • A Cure for Atari BASIC or, Make Your Atari a Bit Wiser - An assembly language program that adds the ability to do bitwise operations in Atari BASIC.

  • Copy Your Atari Screen to Your Printer - A short BASIC program that will dump the contents of the screen to a printer.

  • Hardware Information at Last! - Three new Atari technical manuals, including Atari 400/800 Technical User Notes, Atari 400/800 Operating System, and Atari 400/800 Disk Operating System.

  • Using Strings for Graphics Storage - A method for using BASIC strings to create graphics on the Atari.

  • Atari Machine I/O - Three machine language routines for processing input.

  • Disk Directory Printer - A couple of BASIC programs for creating directory listings of your disks.

  • Condensing Data Statements on the Atari - Using characters instead of numbers in DATA statements used as input for machine language programs to save space (one character equates to one to three digits).

  • Real-Time Clock on the Atari - A BASIC program that can set, configure, and use the real-time clock included in Atari computers.

  • Review: Stud Poker - A simple poker game designed to run on Atari computers with 16K.

The OSI Gazette

  • Through the Fill-The-Buffer Routine with Gun and Camera - Some technical info on how the "Fill-the-Buffer" routine (FTB) of OS BASIC works.

  • FOOTU: FOO Revisited - Converting FOO (a racing game for the OSI) to run on OSI systems with BASIC-in-ROM.

The PET Gazette

  • A Fast Visible Memory Dump - A program for creating a graphical memory dump to a printer.

  • Machine Language: Getting to the Machine Language Program - Methods for combining BASIC programs with machine language routines.

  • A Thirteen Line BASIC Delete - A short BASIC program that allows you to delete any group of lines form an existing program.

  • Calculated Bar-graph Routines on the Pet - How to calculate the length of bars in a bar graph so that they can be properly printed.

  • The Revised Pet/CBM Personal Computer Guide - A look at the changes in the newest revision of the Osborne/McGraw-Hill Pet/CBM Personal Computer Guide.

  • Un-Compactor - A BASIC program that reverses the process of the Compactor program published in a previous issue. It would "compact" programs by doing thing like combining multiple programming lines onto one line and separating them by colons, etc.

  • Using the Hardware Interrupt Vector on the Pet - Making the PET execute your machine language program every 60th of a second using the hardware interrupt vector while BASIC programs run normally.

  • Pet as an IEEE-488 Logic Analyzer - Using another PET and a IEEE interface cable to see what is going on on the GPIB.

  • Running 40 Column Programs on a CBM 8032 - A way to make 80-Column PETs work like 40-Column PETs.

The SBC Gazette

  • Nuts and Volts - Information about building your own microcontrollers.

  • A Kim-1 Music File in Microsoft Basic: Part 1

  • New Products - Atari sponsors contest for new software; the BYTEWRITER-1 dot matrix printer from Microtek; Hayes releases the Smartmodem, a 300 baud modem that set the standard for years to come for $279; and more.

Back cover of the May 1981 issue of Compute!

...and more!

Check out some of my other recent retrogaming and retrocomputing posts!

GamePro (October 1993)

The One Amiga (September 1995)


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