So I was reading through some old issues of Compute! from the 80s.
The March '86 issue had a few interesting bits. I would have been in 8th grade at the time. Posting this here just for the hell of it.
Now that the hubbub is dying down after the introduction of Atari's ST and Commodore's Amiga, those long-awaited, powerhouse, new-generation computers, perhaps it's a good time to reflect on their relative merits. Although not much software is yet available to show them off to best advantage--a few adventure games, utilities, and applications so far--some conclusions can already be drawn.
..discussion of ST vs Amiga..
While not claiming that COMPUTE! staff represents a microcosm of the computer marketplace, we have heard effective defenses of both computers.
One of our ST partisans says...nobody needs multitasking (who could stay in control while simultaneously supervising a spreadsheet and calling a bulletin board?)
"The Future of Mass Storage"
* Toshiba, Hitachi, Philips, and several other companies announce CD-ROM (Compact Disk-Read Only Memory) players that can store entire encyclopedias or massive software libraries on just a portion of a 4 3/4-inch optical laser disc.
* Sony announces a writable optical laser disc storage system for computer use in business, science, and major archival applications capable of storing up to 3.2 gigabytes (3,276 megabytes, or 3,354,624 bytes) per disc.
Virtually every week, another advance in data storage technology surfaces within the computer industry. What's going to happen to all of the 5 1/4-inch floppy disks we're using now? Listen to Maxell's Ted Ozawa, vice president of the computer division: "While we expect floppy disks to continue as a major industry factor for at least the next ten years, new technologies offering more portability or more storage capacity are being developed more quickly than previously anticipated."
Ozawa's comments are being echoed throughout the computer industry as breakthroughs in storage technology are coupled with swiftly falling prices. Even casual computer users are beginning to think in terms of megabytes--and, with CD-ROMs, gigabytes.
To understand the economies of scale involved with recent data storage improvements, consider that a typical 5 1/4-inch double-density IBM floppy disk holds approximately 360K of information. (By comparison, a Commodore 64 disk holds about 170K.) A double-sided 3 1.2-inch disk contains approximately 800-880K of data. And an optical laser disc typically holds 550 megabytes, or the equivalent of almost 1,500 floppy disks (more than 3,500 Commodore 64 disks; more than 4,000 Apple II disks).
Prices for hard disks in the 10 or 20-megabyte capacities range from $400 to $1,500 depending on access time, capacity, and other features. Some 300,000 of the 3 1/2-inch hard drives were shipped in 1985, while about three million 5 1/4-inch hard drives (under 30 megabytes) shipped worldwide during the same period. The numbers for 3 1/2-inch hard disks should increase appreciably during 1986, notes Porter.
Some computer experts believe that by the year 2000, the days of magnetic computer data storage may be only an historical footnote. Major advances in the use of low-power lasers in audio and video players are being quickly applied to computer technology. One of the hottest consumer electronics items in recent years is the audio compact disc (CD). And later this year, computer users will get a chance to see what CD laser technology can do when linked with a computer--virtually any computer--as a CD-ROM storage device.
"Atari Explodes: Atari's new computer serious threat to Macintosh. Will the Amiga survive?" [ADVERTISEMENT for JS&A PRODUCTS THAT THINK]
Imagine this. If I could offer you a Macintosh computer--(a computer that sells for over $2000)--for one third the price, you might wonder.
But what if I offered you a better computer with none of the disadvantages of the Mac and what if I added new features which improved its speed and performance? That's exactly what Atari has done in an effort to grab the ball from Apple and really exploded into the personal computer market.
HEADING THE EFFORT
Heading the effort at Atari is Jack Tramiel--the same man who built Commodore into a billion dollar corporation, sold more computers than any other man in the world and believes in giving the consumer incredible value without sacrificing quality. The new Atari is a perfect example.
..(many paragraphs on how much better the Atari ST is than the Mac)..
"HOTWARE: Software Best Sellers" - Billboard magazine
 F-15 Strike Eagle
 Ultima IV
 Silent Service
 Flight Simulator II
 Typing Tutor III
 Math Blaster
 New Improved Mastertype
 Music Construction Set
 I Am the C-64
 Print Shop
 The Newsroom
 Print Shop Graphics Library III
 Print Shop Graphics Library
 Three-In-One Bundle (word processor)