Modern Mechanix has re-published a Popular Mechanics article from 1982 where they explain the different features of the dozens of different computers available at the time.
This note on piracy is pretty interesting:
“It used to be that programs were easy to copy and change. But manufacturers began to lose money as many people made copies of software and gave them to their friends. Now, many manufacturers have figured out how to â€œcopy-protectâ€ discs. A copy-protected discâ€”like a cartridgeâ€”canâ€™t be copied or changed.
To our mind this is a disaster: Most people learn programming by changing programs to fit their own needs. This capability of customization is what makes computers so attractive. New ways of copy protection will probably be found soon. Until then, a computer owner may have to put up with being â€œlocked outâ€ of his own machine.”