I started programming back in 1984 when I got a ZX Spectrum 48K which I had the pleasure of until 1989 when I decided to purchase a Sam. It was a sad day when I had to sell my Speccy for UKP80 to an unsuspecting punter just so that I could afford the UKP200 for the Sam.
Still, 80 smackers for a worn out Speccy - not bad going;-)
I never got into Z80 Machine Code when I had my Speccy so I kept with BASIC and this stayed with me when I got my Sam since Sam Basic allowed me to do everything I’d dreamed about doing on the Speccy e.g. sprites and sound.
When I first got my Sam I hadn’t the money for a disc drive so I didn’t do much with it except use it to play my old speccy games and do a teeny bit of BASIC programming, but as soon as I go my disc drive (along with the most unstable DOS in the known universe) I got into programming a bit more.
After another few things were sent to Fred I decided to give myself a name (so to speak) since it is pretty traditional. I decided to write under the banner of Banzai Productions since I had just written a couple of Banzai Demos and the name seemed to stick.
I then wrote stuff almost exclusively for Fred as I enjoyed being part of the community and submitting programmes into the collective. Other non-Fredness included a scrolly program published in Format and wrote a BASIC demo for Search: “SamCo” for their digitiser featured on SAM Newsdisk 4.
In 1992 I started Uni in Leeds and began to program in C for the first time as part of the course and when the first Sam C compiler was released in 1995 I jumped on it with the intention of doing great things.
Sadly, due to me working my arse off and indulging in too many of the fine beverages that Uni life tends to offer, I never got around to even writing a ‘Hello World’ in C until mid 1996.
Not that I was ignoring my Sam in this period, I was still writing stuff in BASIC, collating MOD files for use with Stefan Drissen's SAM MOD player, converting Atari ST and PC graphics and doing most of my assignments in PCG DTP Pack and transferring them to MS-DOS disks using KEDisk.
However, after leaving Uni to enter the black void of unemployment, I found that I had quite a lot of time on my hands so I decided to have a bash at Sam C and since then I have written a few demos, utilities and menus using it.
In recent years in an attempt to get back into home computing a bit and have a mid-life crisis on the cheap I have been collecting all the hardware that I either used to have, had briefly or lusted after as a child.
I'm not a museum so as well as getting them I want to use them so I end up refurbishing (I have a lot of capacitors), repairing them and making them fit for the 21st century by giving them modern SD/CF/USB storage and modern TV compatible composite/RGB video out.
To that end I now have 2 Sam Coupés,
16 17 19 ZX Spectrums and a massive collection of peripherals for both so much so that I have run several 'Retro Arcade' sessions at my work so that the other dudes can relive my wasted youth!
The above photo is from 2004 but I actually look the same these days, if slightly more skinny. A few people have wanted to go and look in my attic.
Where are they now?
I do networks, very big networks so the best description I can muster is ‘Advanced Network Architecture Consultant’.
Still active on the Sam Facebook pages and other Retro forums as well as a lot of hardware tinkering, all where I can and where the munchkins and gin allows.
Facebook as /dandoore and Twitter as @dandoore and email address below - give us a shout.