Compute! (May 1983)

in #retrocomputing3 months ago (edited)

Cover of the May 1983 issue of Compute!

Compute! was probably the best magazine for home computer users in the 1980s. It covered a wide variety of machines and included reviews, technical content, type-in programs and more. the May 1983 issue includes:


  • the New Low-Cost Printer/Plotters - An overview of the latest (relatively) inexpensive printer/plotters on the market. Mostly they were in the range of $200-$400 but many of them were not much more that the equivalent of a receipt printer. Items covered include the Texas Instruments HX-1000, Radio Shack CGP-115, Commodore CBM 1520, and Atari 1020.

  • Jumping Jack - A type-in platform style game for the Commodore 64, Atari 400/800, TI-99/4A and VIC-20.

  • Atari's New Add-On Computer for VCS 2600 Game Machine - For an extra $90 you could turn your Atari 2600 into a home computer. This package included a snap-on keyboard that plugged into the cartridge port (and included an expansion port to plug cartridges into), 8K of RAM, and built-in BASIC. Peripherals were planned such as a disk drive (which may have actually made it useful) but these were never released.

Education and Recreation

  • Deflector - A type-in game for the VIC-20, Atari 400/800 and Apple II that is essentially a very early real-time strategy game in which you must place deflectors to alter the trajectory of a bouncing ball to get it to go where you want.

  • Crosswords - A type-in computerized crossword puzzle for the VIC-20, TI-99/4A, PET/CBM, Atari 400/800 and Apple II.

  • Checkers - A type-in checkers game for the Commodore 64.

  • Programming Multicolor Characters on the VIC - A guide for the VIC-20 on creating multi-color characters including how to select colors for the screen, border, characters and more.


  • Atari CX85 Numerical Keypad - An adding machine style numerical keypad with function keys for the Atari 400/800.

  • Three VIC Cartridge Games By Creative Software - Three games for the VIC-20 including Choplifter, Serpentine and Trashman.

  • Hescount for PET/CBM and VIC - A program profiler for the PET and VIC-20.

Table of Contents from the May 1983 issue of Compute!

Columns and Departments

  • The Editor's Notes - The Eighth West Coast Computer Faire, new Compute! editors, and more.

  • Readers' Feedback - Reader letters about light pens, simulating a clock for the TI, using Atari's Player/Missile graphics, VIC PILOT, random numbers for the TI-99/4A and more.
  • Computers and Society - The future of domestic robots (meanwhile we still don't have anything practical except Roomba).

  • The Beginner's Page - Computer Aided Instruction, home computer applications, and more.

  • Questions Beginners Ask - Questions answered about joystick programming for the Atari 400 and what accessories you need when buying a computer.

  • The World Inside The Computer: Software for Toddlers - The future of software for kids.

  • Friends of the Turtle - The introduction of the Mattel Aquarius computer at the Winter CES and available Logo cartridge; a preview of a turtle graphics package from HES; and a robot called B.O.B.

  • The Journal

    • VIC Kaleidoscope - A type in program for the VIC-20 that provides a kaleidoscope-like graphical display and music.

    • Instant Commodore 64 Art - Two type-in programs for the Commodore 64. One creates random art for you, the other lets you create your own.

    • Graphics on the Sinclair/Timex - A graphics tutorial for the Timex/Sinclair with examples.

    • PET/CBM POP - Using the POP command to cancel a GOSUB in BASIC.

    • Bootmaker for VIC, PET and 64 - Automating the boot process.

    • Basic Atari BASIC Sorts - Bubble Sorts, Insertion Sorts and other sorts for the Atari in BASIC.

    • PET Super Editor - A screen editing subroutine for the PET with numerous options.

    • VICSTATION: A "Paperless Office" - A type-in text editor for the VIC-20.

    • Screen Printer for the Atari Wedge - A new command to send screen output to the printer.

    • Commodore 64 Video - A Guided Tour, Part IV - Part 4 of a detailed guide to the Commodore 64's video capabilities.

    • VIC File Case - A type-in program to help you keep track of your files.

    • The Atari Musician - A couple of type-in programs to compute pitch values to play major and minor chords, generate scales, and more.

    • Visiting the VIC-20 Video, Part I - The first in a multi-part series about the VIC's video chip, it's structure, and how to use it.

    • General-Purpose Data Base, Part II - The second part in a two-part series on creating a database for the TI-99/4A and TRS-80 Color Computer.

    • TCON: The Apple Writer Processes Programs - Use the search capabilities and other functions of Apple Writer to help you with your program.

    • Apple Fast Sort - A sort routine for the Apple II that can sort 1000 random strings in one minute and 45 seconds (whereas a standard bubble sort takes it 8 hours and 57 minutes).

    • 64 Odds and Ends - Several tips and tricks for the Commodore 64.

    • Back cover of the May 1983 issue of Compute!

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    This is so cool 😍 There's so much history in printed publications! There's a special touch to these old magazines. I used to collect computer magazines too 😎 !LUV !PIZZA ❤️🍕

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