H&E Computronics Magazine

written by Matthew Reed

H&E Computronics TRS-80 Monthly Newsletter

January 1979 issue of
TRS‑80 Monthly Newsletter

H&E Computronics, Inc. was well known for their line of business software for the TRS‑80 and other computers, including programs such as VersaReceivables and VersaLedger. But they were probably best known for their TRS‑80 monthly magazine, which billed itself as “the original magazine for TRS‑80 owners.” It was called by a number of different names over its publication history, including TRS‑80 Monthly Newsletter, TRS‑80 Monthly Magazine, and H&E Computronics Monthly News Magazine. But most people knew it as H&E Computronics Magazine or just H&E Computronics.

The first issue was published in July 1978 as TRS‑80 Monthly Newsletter with this mission statement:

The purpose of the TRS‑80 Monthly Newsletter is to provide and exchange information related to the care, use, and application of the TRS‑80 computer system.

Created by publisher Howard Gosman, the TRS‑80 Monthly Newsletter soon grew to become H&E Computronics Monthly News Magazine, a 70 page magazine. Despite being published by the H&E Computronics company, the magazine wasn’t an advertisement for their products (they had a catalog for that purpose). From the beginning, it contained a variety of articles, columns, reviews, and third-party advertising.

H&E Computronics Magazine

November 1982 issue of
H&E Computronics Magazine

One of the more interesting columns was “The Crystal Ball,” which contained “news and rumors of interest to TRS‑80 owners.” The rumors and predictions listed were sometimes right (predictions of the Model 16 were correct in almost every detail) and sometimes wrong (the Model III didn’t have an 80-column display). But they were always interesting reading and helped keep people thinking about what would be introduced next. I think it is safe to say that this column wasn’t a favorite of those at Radio Shack; on more than one occasion, they used the TRS‑80 Microcomputer News to try to discredit rumors in the column.

Also popular were the columns by Hubert S. Howe, Jr., editor-in-chief of the magazine. His columns about assembly language programming on the Model I were later reworked into the book TRS‑80 Assembly Language, which was published by Prentice Hill in 1981. “Model III Corner,” another one of his columns, delved into the Model III hardware in great detail.

Although H&E Computronics continued to sell their business software until at least the late 1980’s, H&E Computronics Magazine ended when it was merged into BASIC Computing magazine (formerly 80-U.S. Journal) beginning with the September 1983 issue.

Categories: Magazines