Compute's First Book of Atari
A 1981 book filled with early Atari information
In the early days of home computing there was not always much information to work with. This was especially a problem for the Atari 400/800 computers because, although they were incredibly powerful and far ahead of other computers when they were introduced in 1979, Atari did not initially release any technical information on the computers (beyond some BASIC reference manuals).
So although you could see all the cool things that the Atari could do, especially with its “killer app” of Star Raiders, the specifics of how you could do it were not available to the public.
Apparently Atari would share this technical information with software companies if they signed a non-disclosure agreement, but this philosophy meant that new software for the Atari was slow to arrive.
Compute! was a magazine that was started in the late 70s with a goal of covering all the major computers in the home computer world. And of course that meant that it had Atari coverage. And some of that coverage helped explain technical things that were otherwise not known. As with most magazines in those days, the early issues did not have many subscribers and became lost to time as old stock ran out. So companies would reprint some of their best content in the form of a book for those of us that missed out on the original magazine content.
One of the first of these books was Compute’s First Book of Atari.
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