A new hardware spectrum emulator, that does all that we wished the SAM did at the time, and more.
People much smarter than me will say whether it could cope with SAM stuff, but froma quick glance at the specs I see no reason why not.
This article says that it will have a SAM Coupe compatibility mode.
Potentially quite exciting, that.
Sorry for the downtime - the server had a new version of php installed which deprecated something this site’s code was doing. Let me know if anything behaves oddly. (Or more oddly than usual, anyway. Probably need to re-engineer the entire thing in a non-ancient version of drupal, really…)
November 20th 1989 was once announced as the official release date for the SAM Coupe in the press at the time, although the first batch of computers didn’t ship until early December. But what that means though, is SAM’s 25th Anniversary is now well and truly upon us! So to continue my celebrations it’s time to announce SAM Revival issue 25!
What’s in the magazine? Well, let’s take a look at the cover first. I commissioned a new drawing by Robin Evans - the original artist for the SAM robot, you’ll be familiar with all his doodles in the SAM Coupe User Guide and the early MGT adverts from 1989/1990. Well he dusted off his memory of drawing the robot and has came up trumps with the drawing for the cover. As part of the commission I’ve also got a couple of prints of the cover artwork which Robin has hand signed - the first of which will be auctioned on eBay on 20th October 2015 - I’ll post up some photos over the next few days on my website and a link to the auction once it’s started. Although I paid for the commission of the artwork from my own pocket all proceeds from the auction will be used towards my ongoing work developing new products for the SAM Coupe.
Inside the magazine, a mammoth news section kicks off after the editorial, covering news from around the SAM scene, with all the details of new hardware, software and demos for the SAM Coupe as well as previews of projects that are being worked on.
Feature articles shows off all the work undertaken by Phil Wilson with the customising of his SAM, plus shorter articles about several other customisation projects. The Developer Diary section looks at the new game that’s Warren Lee is preparing, and a quick look at TRINload from Simon Owen which is a utility to transfer data from a PC to the SAM via the Trinity Ethernet Interface.
I’ve been enjoying some of the Kickstarter ZX Spectrum books recently, and it seems to me that it would be lovely to have the SAM Coupe and its games immortalised in a similar way. Chris Wilkins’ ZX Spectrum books look and feel really nice, and would be the perfect sort of style for a SAM Coupe one.
Now, I’m well aware that there’s not the same size base in the SAM world, so this may well be nostalgia getting the better of me, but what do people think? We’ve definitely got the contacts to get the content written, it’s just whether you think there’s enough people out there who might want to pick up a copy? You know, without the scenario where I’m explaining to Mrs A why I’ve invested a load of cash in a book and now got hundreds of unsold copies sat in our bedroom….
I plan make new computer compatible with SAM COUPE and ZX128. Functionality may be similar as old SAM COUPE but with more features, faster CPU, more ram/rom, more graphic modes, new keyboard+case. In ZX mode will possible enable compatibility with ZX128 memory, use AY ports (instead MIDI) and enable DIVMMC interface compatibility (possibility use system ESXDOS from ZX Spectrum). Computer will contain also second Z80 CPU, text mode(in colors) and more news.
Mainboard is in development, but first prototype of new case is here:
New case versus original - http://velesoft.speccy.cz/other/SAMCASE6O.JPG
New feets - http://velesoft.speccy.cz/other/SAMCASE6K.JPG
Highlights include video recording, support for SID chips, Sound Sampler playback and many, many more fixes, tweaks and enhancements - full details listed in the Changelog
Download at https://github.com/simonowen/simcoupe/releases
A new release to give a lower price point for mass storage on the SAM Coupe, my new ‘Trinity Mass Storage Interface’ is a cut down version of my ever popular Trinity Ethernet Interface, giving only the flash card mass storage capabilities from the original.
The interface supports MMC, SD and SDHC cards. Included is the latest version of B-DOS for the Trinity and supports cards up to 64GB in size are now supported giving the SAM Coupe all the storage you will ever need.
* The optional Trinity BOOT ROM will not function with this interface as it lacks the 128K EEPROM storage that’s on the full Trinity Ethernet Interface. The EEPROM storage is required for the BOOT ROM to hold the bootblock and extra startup code, such as B-DOS.
* This interface can be upgraded at a later date to the full Trinity Ethernet Interface if you do want to the EEPROM and ETHERNET capabilities it offers. Contact me directly for the costs.
The Trinity Mass Storage Interface is priced at £44.99 and is available now.
Marking the start of my own celebrations for the 25th Anniversary of the SAM Coupé I’ve launched a new, improved version of my SID Soundchip Interface.
Originally released back in 2003, my SID Interface allowed the SAM to use the soundchip from a Commodore 64. This all stemmed from my own small pet project exploring old forms of computer sound - with it’s unique sound the SID soundchip remains very popular with computer audiophiles to this day.
As I needed another batch of PCBs for the SID Interface I decided it was time to add some improvements. The 2014 edition features an onboard DC to DC convertor to generate the supply voltage for the SID soundchip so an external PSU is no longer required. The circuit board is also a golden yellow colour marking the 25th Anniversary of the SAM Coupe, and is styled to match my other recent hardware such as the Trinity Ethernet Interface and the 2 Way Euroconnector Expansion card.
Bundled with the interface is a disk of software, featuring Simon Owen’s marvelous .sid playback code. Using a software emulator to run 6510 machine code (the Commodore 64’s processor) the SAM is able to run .sid music files in realtime (essentially partial C64 emulation on the SAM!) so there’s now the ability to listen to thousands of C64 music files.
The new 2014 edition of the SID Soundchip Interface is priced at £44.99 and is available now.
No idea if it works, but for those who want to try something out on Android, there is an emulator that apparently works for SAM stuff.
I’d like to share my story of this evening. It’s rum fuelled, and maybe Dan will be deleting this when he next logs on, but actually, I think this sums up the SAM and how it sits in our consciousness.
Friday night in my house is curry night. Since having kids, the highlight of my week (other than spending time with kids obviously, shhhh) is curry night on a Friday. But tonight, I’ve also drunk some very nice rum, watched Marley, and scoured the internet for the SAM Coupe. I’m years and years overdue with the latter, but I’ve dipped in every now and again, I’ve just only really thought about it recently.
The SAM was a small, insignificant part of our lives. A failed Spectrum+++ with hardly any games.
But, actually, it was a really important part of my life. And yours, if you’re reading this. Weirdly so. I was the editor of FRED magazine for 3/8ths of its life. When I read the stuff I wrote as a teenager (which I did tonight), it’s pretty embarrassing, but actually, it’s also pretty incredible. The scene feels like a cult, a handful of celebrities in tiny little world, but a world that really, really mattered to everyone involved. And at the time I loved it, I really loved the job, and I loved the shows, and I loved the computer. I remember where I was when it suddenly didn’t matter any more. Shamefully it was with the lack of payment, and (in my eyes) the end of FRED.
But I’m delighted to see there’s still things going on. I’m delighted to see Colin Piggot is still producing stuff. It’s mind-boggling to think that’s happening, but also I’m giddy like a kid. And ashamed of myself for walking away so easily.