Commodore User

Commodore User, known to the readers as the abbreviated CU, was one of the oldest British Commodore magazines. A publishing history spanning over 15 years, mixing content with technical and video game features. Incorporating Vic Computing in 1983 by publishers EMAP, the magazine's focus moved to the emerging Commodore 64, before introducing Amiga coverage in 1986, paving the way for Amiga's dominance and a title change to CU Amiga in 1990. Covering the 16-bit computer, the magazine continued for another eight years until the last issue was published in October 1998 when EMAP opted to close the magazine due to falling sales and a change in focus for EMAP. The magazine also reviewed arcade games.

Commodore User
November 1988 issue
EditorDennis Jarrett (Oct 83-Aug 84)
Bohdan Buciak (Sep 84-Nov 84)
Eugene Lacey (Dec 84-Jan 88)
Mike Pattenden (Jan 88-Feb 90)
CategoriesComputer magazine
Circulation72,892 July-Dec 1988
First issueOctober 1983
Final issue
February 1990
CountryUnited Kingdom


Carrying on from where Vic Computing left, Commodore User was launched in October 1983,[1] with an initial preview issue in June.[2] Initially the magazine contained what was referred to as the serious side of computing, with programming tutorials, machine code features and business software reviews. The first issues were produced and written by a small team, consisting of editor Dennis Jarrett, a writer (future editor Bohdan Buciak) and editorial assistant Nicky Chapman.[3] Features were written by a range of contributors. Rapidly the issue sizes grew from 64 to 96 pages.[4]

First 12 issues were published by Paradox Group, and then from October 1984 by Emap for the rest of magazine's lifetime.[5]

Games coverage began to appear during 1984, consisting of a small section called Screen Scene. This became a permanent fixture throughout the magazine's life.

By 1985 the Commodore 64 became more popular and the magazine began covering the newer machine more and more, leaving the Vic-20 in the dark.[6] The amount of technical coverage also decreased as the games market took over. Gradually the circulation began to rise and CU produced more colour through the magazine. At the height of the C64's success, CU had a page count of 116.

In 1986 CU began to cover the new 16-bit computer; the Amiga.[7] The magazine was at an all-time high, covering all the Commodore platforms, from the C16, all the way up to the Amiga. Circulation figures were also showing an all-time high of over 70,000 for the 1988 period.

To establish that the magazine content was changing to cover the emerging Amiga, the magazine changed its title CU Commodore User Amiga-64, with the emphasis on the CU part. The Commodore User part was quickly dropped and the name remained CU Amiga-64. This period of the magazine was seen as a transitional time between transferring coverage from C64 to the Amiga.

Realising that the C64 market was in an undeniable decline in 1990, CU made the decision to concentrate fully on the Amiga, dropping C64 coverage and relaunched their redesigned magazine as CU Amiga.

CU AmigaEdit

CU Amiga Magazine
EditorSteve James (Mar 90-Mar 92)
Dan Slingsby (Apr 92-Feb 94)
Alan Dykes (Apr 94-Nov 96)
Tony Horgan (Dec 96-Oct 98)
CategoriesComputer and video games magazine
First issueMarch 1990
Final issue
October 1998
CountryUnited Kingdom


A new decade had arrived and with it a successor of the C64, the Amiga 500 (A500). The A500 was the little brother of an equally successful A2000 (aimed at businesses) and had successfully penetrated the home computer market. In 1990 CU Amiga-64 dropped the "64" from its name and relaunched as CU Amiga with the March 1990 issue. CU Amiga dropped all coverage of the C64 and concentrated on the new highly popular Amiga platform, which expanded to include: A3000, A500+, A600, A1200. A4000 and CD32. The magazine, eventually, gained increased circulation as a result of the changes.

By 1994, it was obvious that the Amiga's popularity was in decline. CU Amiga had a final name change to help distinguish itself from other competing magazines in an increasingly small market, it became CU Amiga Magazine. In its remaining years under the control of editor Tony Horgan, the magazine became highly technical but also gained a professional edge. The final issue featured a memorable upside down cover with a foot imprinting on the logo, intended to be reminiscent of the imagery used by Monty Python.

The magazine came to an end without the preceding page, staff or quality cuts that had afflicted some other Amiga magazines. CU Amiga Magazine's closure meant that the only remaining monthly Amiga newsstand magazine was its closest rival, Amiga Format.

A year after CU's closure, in October 1999, the magazine Amiga Active was launched, which had several of the same staff and was competition for Amiga Format, which it ultimately outlived.


  1. ^ Commodore User #1 (October 1983)
  2. ^ Commodore User #0 (June 1983)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Commodore User #12 (September 1984), Commodore User #13 (October 1984)
  6. ^
  7. ^

External linksEdit