Submitted by Dan Dooré on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 18:03.
|Magazine||YS Closes Down, Article On Languages|
|Letters||Pc Suite Review|
|Cutey||Ian Slavin||Axe's Own Special Brand Of Humour...|
|S-Track IV||Stefan Drissen||Converted Speccy Music Demo|
|Cyclops||Peter Hutchinson||Directory Utility|
|Bub||Patrick Griffiths||Arcade Game|
|Mc Pt 24||Steve Taylor||Writing For Sam's Wimp System|
|E-Tunes||Stefan Drissen||Converted Soundtracker tunes - Megamix / Agent IV / Agent V / Amiga One / Amiga Two / Logo Title / Disco / Zybex / Mikropol|
|Turbo Worm||Neil McClean||Excellent Version Of That Game!|
|Invaders||Chris White||Diy Space Invaders|
|Spell Help||Marc Broster||Improve Your Spelling|
|Chemistry Test||Marc Broster||Test Your Knowledge Of Chemistry|
|Ghost Art||Chris Paige||Pattern-Drawing Program|
|Dan's Diamonds||Dan Dooré||Tetris-Like Game|
|Asteroids||David Lewis||Games Master Asteroids Game|
BM Editorial I'll begin by saying that this has been a very traumatic month. Not only were there no tickets left for the Manic Street Preachers concert in Glasgow, but it seemed that after three and a half years of faithful service, my Coupe had died. Bizarre patterns would come up on screen at random intervals, and my disc drive seemed utterly unable to load and save things properly (a serious problem when attempting to compile a disc mag, believe me!). Yup, things looked bleak to say the least. Luckily, I was born with tremendous powers of obsevation, and after about a week of this I eventually noticed that the front coloured-bar screen proclaimed I had 256k. Aha! The problem? One brief "disciplining" of my extra RAM chip later, and voila! No more bizarre patterns. Phew. My disc drive still seemed to be finally taking its revenge for being dropped on its head two years ago, but a quick session with the drive cleaner soon put a stop to that little burst of insolence. And, you'll be pleased to hear, I was at last able to get FRED 35 done. Good news, methinks. BM Editorial I did start wondering exactly why I go to the trouble of putting a contents page on the letters section but not the main magazine. Then I remembered: so that I can put into effect the nice layouts of what is actually in the contents. So that's that explained. I have to confess I'm starting to run out of aesthetically pleasing arrangements though, so be warned that the contents page may soon go to the same strange limbo that Fastline and the SCPDSA seemed to end up in... I have at last got hold of an aerial switcher for my telly. Hurrah! Hold on a mo; I think I'll just press a button and see what my Amiga's up to... [click] ..... [click] Hm. Nothing. Perhaps I should switch it on. Well, I think that demonstrates admirably the luxury in which I now reside, don't you? And it only cost about 4 years' wages. That's Tandy's prices for you though. I bet they're only about 8p in Argos. Finally, if anybody needs to know where to find an arcade in Aberdeen, I can now help. And it only took 3.5 hours to find... BM News The news section; traditionally not a particularly full part of the magazine. In fact, it does get tempting to just miss it out. Nothing much to report this month, but oh! Just you wait until next issue! We have an absolutely HUGE announcement to make, and I'm not exaggerating one little bit! It's MASSIVE! But what is it about? No, I'm sorry, I can't. And don't use that tone of voice with ME, you impudent tyke. I don't know, young people today.... There are actually a couple of things brewing for next month, but I'm just not allowed to tell you. Sorry. One thing that I AM allowed to tell you, although I wish I didn't have to, is that YS is finished. After umpteen years, this, the only Speccy mag that was any good, is unable to continue as a viable marketable magazine. Good luck to those at the mag, I hope you all find something else soon. BM End of YS Now that the last Speccy magazine has finally closed, it really does look like the end of the line for the Spectrum. With no widespread coverage of games, I don't think it'll be too long before the games just stop coming out. Getting things in perspective though, 11 years was an extremely good innnings, and I expect the real Speccy enthusiasts will keep it simmering along. For us SAM owners though, it's possibly even more of a a blow. The Spectrum at least had it's day, while the SAM is still waiting for that all important breakthrough. It could be a blessing in disguise though: perhaps people will stop thinking "Speccy emulator" whenever they hear the name SAM Coupe. Where exactly is the SAM headed now? West Coast are planning to relaunch the Coupe sometime, and now that the Amiga A600 is down to £200 it would be suicide to try to directly rival the Amiga. BM SAM's Future No, the best way for the SAM to be promoted is to push the 2 features that are not available on Amigas and STs: namely, user-friendlyness and user-friendliness. Okay, the Amiga whups the SAM in terms of power. We all know that. I can honestly say that I've never written a single program on the Amiga though. The fact that there is no "built-in" language (while SAM has BASIC as soon as you switch on) means that to write any programs you have to go out and spend money. I for one have not written a single proper program on the Amiga. The thing that concerns me is this: how are little kids going to learn about programming and computers if: (a) consoles are so popular, and (b) "proper" computers are intimidatingly difficult to use? If SAM is directed at first time users, as a step BEFORE the Amigas and PCs, not INSTEAD of them, there could well be a good future for it. BM General Stuff Anybody got a copy of the SAM version of KLAX they don't want? The reason we're asking is that when it was published, the publishers didn't even give the programmer a copy of it! Disgusting isn't it? Anyway, being the kind people we are, we thought we'd try and help this poor, exploited victim of circumstance, and get him a nice shiny boxed copy of it. And that's why we want to know if anybody has a copy to spare. Please, if you do, get in touch, and help alleviate at least some of the unnecessary suffering of the world... More 256K expansions in stock, people. Get ordering! We also now stock Steve Nutting's DTP package. BM Reviewers Required Due to the fact that I never get round to reviewing anything, and I expect most of you believe I'm going to be biased anyway (I'm not, but you probably won't believe that), we've decided to ask for some volunteers to write the review. What's in it for you though? Quite simply, you get to keep the software you review. Plus you get your name in the magazine, which really ought to be enough you know. Oh yes. In my day there was none of this "financial settlement" caper. After a hard day at the mill did we expect to get paid? 'Course not, my old mince pie [what the %#*@?! - COLIN). But oh no, there goes Colin sayin' we 'as t' give out games an' fings like any ol' rubbish. I dunno. I'll just slip out of moaning git mode now. If you think you can fulfill our needs (and no, I'm NOT going to say "Oo-er"), please get in touch (no illiterate people please). State what sort of software you feel you're best suited to. I expect only real hard-workers will say "puzzle games". BM An Article from Calvin Allett! Hah! At last! Somebody has taken note of my countless pleas for articles! Yeah! Calm down Brian, relax, breathe deeply, there, that's right... Thank you Calvin Allett. Well done. Calvin has written a couple of articles in fact, so we'll have the other one at a later date. For now though, read about the topic of programming languages and their history... ------------------------------------------- By Calvin Allett Programming - The Languages And The History BitaByte Software ------------------------------------------- Let's get one thing straight right now, this little article is not meant to be an authoritive study of each and every language and their origins but merely an insight into some of the most popular for those who don't know much about languages. Most people buy a computer mainly to play games with the excuse that it's going to be educational, but one way or another just about everybody discovers programming, if only to decide that it's too difficult and that they'll never learn. The ones that give up are the losers as programming can be, and is, one of the most enjoyable aspects of computer use. In fact I'd go so far as to say that programming is MUCH more fun than playing a game - ANY game - and it is much more envolved. Programming is a challenge; a challenge to get the computer to do exactly what you want using the rules of the language, a challenge to the brain to use logic and best of all it's creative. Programming languages come in two main "flavours": high level and low level. High level languages are fairly easy to understand and learn as they use words like English. BASIC is a High Level language, but there are others such as Pascal and C. Although these languages are easy to use there is a problem with high level languages: before the computer can understand them they need to be translated into the computer's own language. This problem is got around in one of two ways and these are:- Compiled Languages - with a compiled language you write the program and then compile it into machine code, because all the translation is done at the compiling stage the program runs at a much greater speed. The drawback with compiled languages is that they are much harder to debug; if you make a mistake then you have to go back and change the program before compiling it again. The other way in which High Level languages are converted is with an Interpreted Language. With these the program is translated one line at a time as it is being run. These are much more friendly and if you make a mistake then you are told where the mistake is. The disadvantage with Interpreted Languages is that they are much slower. As well as High Level languages there are Low Level languages. These are far closer to the actual instuctions that the computer's processor uses and so are harder to learn, but they run at the fastest possible speed. Assembly language is a Low Level language, though instead of having to deal with the millions of numbers that the computer actually uses this language allows you to use "mnemonics". These are usually four letter codes that represent different functions to the computers processor. Lastly there are "In-Between" languages which offer most of the power of a low level language but are easy to learn like a high level one. Languages such as C and Pascal are good examples. Languages:- Fortran (FORmula TRANslation) In the early days of the computer all that was done on computers was mathematics, because the languages at the time were very dificult to use. In 1954, Fortran was invented. It translated mathematical formulae and problems into a form the computer could understand. As people slowly started to realise that computers were useful for more than just calculations, more languages were invented. Perhaps one of the most important of these before BASIC was COBOL, which stands for COmmon Business Oriented Language. COBOL was invented in 1961 shortly before BASIC arrived. BASIC stands for Beginners All-purpose Symbloic Instruction Code). BASIC was invented by Professors Thomas E. Kurtz and John G. Kemeny in 1964 at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, in America. At that time there were VERY few people who could program and so they invented a language that could be picked up easily because of it's similarity with English. The language has been scoffed at many times over the years but it still remains one of the most popular and is an ideal starting block. In 1969 Nicklaus Wirth of Zurich, Switzerland invented Pascal. Pascal is a High Level language like BASIC but is more difficult to learn because it is "structured". The way Nicklaus saw it was that programmers make two kinds of programming errors: syntax and logic; syntax errors are where a word is mistyped or the program doesn't make sense. Logic errors are where the computer can happily carry out whatever the program asks of it, but the programmer hasn't thought the program out properly and it isn't actually what he wants it to do. As most of the time that is spent writing a program is actually spent de-bugging it, Nicklaus thought that he would design a language that limited the chances of confusion and thus the chances of making logical errors. Pascal insists that programs are entered in blocks or procedures so that the flow of the program is clearer, each block can be indented so that it is easier to read and there are no line numbers; instead it is compiled and so they are not needed. As well as these popular languages there have been many others over the years such as COMAL by Borge Christensen of Denmark. Many people thought that ADA which was designed for the American Department of Defence was a very important language because it was designed to be a single standard language so that it could be used on many different computers. As well as the multi-pupose languages there have been many languages designed for specific puposes such as LOGO. There are languages to deal with mathematics, games, demos and just about anything you can think of. So many languages to suit so many purposes that ANYBODY should be able to find a language that they like. ***** ***** ***** ===(( Brian Again ))=== So now you've got no excuses for being ignorant about programming languages! Thanks very much for that, Calvin. Much appreciated. BM Disc Contents Colin, being the energetic type that he is, has elected not to write anything for this issue, so I'm afraid you're going to have to live through another month of no CM in the top left corner. Shame... ha ha ha.... So instead, we'll move straight into the disk contents. CUTEY is by AXE. The fact that it's (A) called "Cutey" and (B) that it's be AXE should warn you that this is not going to be the most practical or productive of programs. I thought it was funny though, so that's why I've included it. Enjoy. SOUNDTRACK IV was kindly converted by Stefan Drissen, and I believe it was originally written by Frantisek Fuka. It consists of 26 different tunes, which are accessed by pressing the keys A-Z. ESCAPE to return to the menu, and look out for the odd tune nicked from the film industry (the Indiana Jones theme is particularly good). BM Disc Contents CYCLOPS is a disc utility by Peter Hutchison which is much like SID and DIRECTORY OPUS on the Amiga. The fact that the two latter utilities are treated like gods should give you some idea of just how useful a good disc util can be. Full instructions are included in the program. BUB is the first of our games this month, and is by the great Bunj Wobl. It does start off a bit slowly, but once you get to level 4 and upwards you'll really start to like it. Instructions are included. MCODE 23. Steve Taylor seems to have done two part 23s now, but we'll not complain. This month, some info about how to write for his up and coming WIMP thing. Thanks once again then, Steve. E-TUNES; more smart tunes which were sent in by Stefan Drissen. BM Disc Contents TURBO WORM. Alright, I'll come straight out and say it: it's another one of those games where you have to collect numbers, and your body grows in proportion to the value of the number collected. I know we've featured about a squillion of these things on the mag recently, but this one (by Neil Maclean, I may as well put in here) is hot! Damn hot!! Even if you swore to throttle yourself with a rabid ferret next time you found a worm game on FRED, I'm confident you'll like this. Keys are A, S, K, M (left, right, up, down). INVADERS - more from Chris White, programmer extraordinaire and general superstar. SPELL HELP. Could it be coincidence that it's just below Chris White's column? Who knows. Whether it is or not though, Marc Broster's helpful proggie simply reeks of quality. The title is, I imagine, pretty self-explanatory, and instructions are included. BM Disc Contents BITS N BOBS has an educational program, a strange pattern drawing thing, and a couple of games this month. Asteroids, by David Lewis, is a version of, well, Asteroids really. You can use the joystick or Q-A-O-P-Space, with CNTRL and SYMBOL to rotate the gun. It's one very difficult game, believe me! Dan's Diamonds from Dan Doore is a bit of a Tetris rip-off. 'Nuff said there I think. Chemistry test is a program which asks you questions about chemistry. Oh, the fun I used to have in chemistry... Back to the subject though. This is the second program from Marc Broster this month, and is rather spookily his second educational program. Oooh.... Ghost Art is a bizarre pattern drawing thing, for want of a better description. Load it and basically just see what it does yourself. BM FRED 36 - Bon Anniversaire Monsieur FRED! FRED 36 sees FRED entering its FOURTH YEAR of existence, and that is surely something worth celebrating. We think so, anyway. We hope to have lots and lots and lots and lots (ad infinitum) of goodies for you, so don't miss it! Amongst other things we hope to have an index of issues 1 - 36, plus a "playable" demo of Steve Taylor's new WIMP thing, which I've already seen and it does look good - a mixture of Workbench, Windows, and any other graphical user interface you care to think of. But of course, as Steve's writing it, it'll be oodles better than anything a mere PC can come up with... We'll also have the usual demos and things, but the main reason you don't want to miss issue 36 is that we'll be revealing what has to be the biggest news of the year, and what is arguably the biggest thing that's ever happened to the SAM! Intrigued? Good! You're gonna have to wait though... BM Send Stuff In! The usual page now: please keep sending in material for the magazine, as we are as dependent as ever on getting demos, games, utils, screens and articles. In fact, unless I suddenly become adept at machine code and develop and incredibly hyper imagination I'd guess we always will be! Come on now, Please don't be shy, We need your stuff, I'll tell you why: This mag needs games, And demos too, Plus screens and letters, And all from you! Good eh? No? Charming! BM Credits Editor: Brain McConnell (as seem people insist on calling me) Thanks to: Marc Broster AXE Steve Taylor David Lewis Stefan Drissen Neil Maclean Banzai Frantisek Fuka Chris White C Paige Peter Hutchison Andrew Chandler Calvin Allett Bunj Wobl Ben Harding Mark Martin Tim Butler Cheques payable to: FRED Publishing, (at) [redacted] [redacted] >>}} MUSIC + SOME BIZARRE FICTION!! }}>> BM Music Reviews Hello there pop-pickers! Dave Nice here, doing some more work for "charidee". Ho ho ho. Had ya fooled there didn't I! Ahem. What have we got for you this month then? The Replacements - Let It Be Therapy? - Nurse Polygon Window - Surfing on Sine Waves 3-Lux 3 - Journey Through Ambience (video) The Replacements - Let It Be This was their last album, although singer Paul Westerberg has just released a solo album. This one dates back to 1984, and I managed to pick it up for "only" £10.49. Woooh! What a low price...! (Much sarcasm). The only reason I bought this was because somewhere I read that the Replacements were pretty like the Lemonheads. BM Replacments I'm happy to say they are a little like the Lemonheads, but I would hardly call their sound identical. Coming in at a pretty short 33 minutes, it's even the same sort of length we've come to expect from Evan Dando's lot (bearing in mind that this lot were shakin' their thang long before the Lemonheads of course). This is a bit of a mixture. Some tracks are very punky with lots of "attitude", while others wouldn't sound too out of place on a Springsteen album (albeit a very good Springsteen album). In general, a very laid back album for some tracks, while just the opposite in others. It's also pretty good. Overall though, just 7 out of 10 because it's short. BM Therapy? - Nurse I don't know about you, but when I used to think about Therapy?, I always associated them with very very fast, frantic music to get up and dance like a mad thing to. This album is not in fact like that, and a lot of the songs are actually pretty "calm", although that's maybe not the right word. "Not really all that fast" is probably a better way of describing things, although some eloquence is sacrificed. The single Teethgrinder is on this, but tragically the other single Screamager/Shortsharpshock EP isn't. Darn. That was a fine song, that was. By the way, anybody willing to sell me their CD single (for I loathe and detest tapes and vinyl) please get in touch. Anyway, a not-bad album. Not brilliant though. I'm going to give this one 7 out of 10 as well. BM Polygon Window - Surfing On Sine Waves Following on from my recent introduction to the world of ambience via The Orb (who else?!) I went out and got this, and really don't quite know what to make of it! (a frisbee..?) It's not ambient, apart from on a couple of tracks, and it could possibly be the least commercial album EVER, in the entire history of music. One track in particular, Quoth, Select magazine described as "A group of cybermen playing football in the street with a tin can", and it is. Funnily enough I did hear it on the radio once. THAT was interesting. All the instruments on this sound like they were recorded at some factory somewhere, and it's very difficult to get into. It's not really music for dancing to, and if you tried "chilling out" to it you'd probably go mad. Very strange. In fact, I don't really like it that much. 6 out of 10. BM 3-Lux 3 - A Journey Through Ambience From a title like that, you could be forgiven for thinking that this contains nothing but very ambient music. And, you would be correct for it does contain just that. It also contains a lot of computer graphics and strange video effects. This video's 80 minutes long, which is good, and the music is of a pretty high standard. Some of the visuals are a bit irritating, but most are good. There wasn't as much computer graphics as I was expecting and hoping for, but what there is can be quite mindblowing - a dozen raytraced 24-BIT colour balls bouncing on the bottom of a swimming pool anybody? It really adds to the effect when you know what it would take for a computer to produce some of these effects. Overall I was very chuffed with this, and copied onto tape straight away. A good way to discover new "bands", and I'd recommend this. 8 out of 10. By the way, one track is by Sven Vath, whose album I've just bought and will review next month. Now though, some very strange fiction... PHASE THE FIRST Bob's Day Out Bob was quietly strolling along the beach when he tripped on a speck of sand and was hit full in the face by a mechanical-lashing seaweed which thrashed away mentally, causing no obvious effect except for placing his arms into his leg joints while his head protruded from an arm socket; proving to be quite enjoyable as he was a contortionist. But when a young girl saw him he was forced to lumber into a cavern with her over his shoulder whilst laughing horribly and stupidly. However, she was not defeated: she had with her a trusty Aquabus - a type of early elephant gun prone to backfire. Do you know what she did with this Aquabus? Well, she stuffed it right into his grotesque nasal features, penetrating a sinus - a serious blow for Bob which would not be very healthy if he survived this anti-climax to an excellent series of events where he'd battled with a 3ft 9in wench (well built) with a serious lack of ammunition on his part - except for of course, an extremely large Aquabus stuffed up his swollen nostrils, causing immense time paradoxes which led him to believe the girl was in fact a very tasty meal at a medieval banquet. "Gning", he said, "Ptoing Ptoing Plonk Wheee...", went the girl as tomato bombs hit her square in the eyes and mouth with an unprecedented retaliation. What she didn't know was that Bob had a tomato bomb for a brain. As it exploded she used Extra-Sensory-Perception to reverse the consequences of the damage to her rather delicate countenance, which is of course dabbling in the occult to achieve superhuman feats;in this case winning the Drunken Olympics which have events like 'Defeating Quasimodo-Lookalike with the Small But Perfectly Formed DLT Treble-Top Trophy'. Bob proceeded to wrench the Aquabus from the recesses of his sinuses, but was abruptly stopped when the girl pulled the trigger on the Aquabus with an evil grin of delight preceding a gargantuan explosion that blew a pink mass through the back of Bob's head, to which she said, "If this is what it's going to be like getting dinner everyday, I'm going back to the city!". She began to leave the cavern but encountered Bob's disembodied soul at the entrance. "Moan, wail, moan, boom - kapow, splat, moan", as he relived the events of the past few minutes. "Damn and blast," said the girl with disappointment, "I'm going to belate for tea and crumpets at Mrs. Ribblensteins." PHASE THE SECOND Tea at Mrs. Ribblenstein's "Ptoing ptoing plonk", went the bell as the girl rang it, bringing back memories of todays demonic struggle with Bob the Hunchback - 'The bells, the bells!'. "Here's that brain you wanted ma'am", said the waitress as she handed the pretty girl the mound of jelly-like spaghetti-looking ooze on a plate. "It's a pity about your husband", she added. "At least he went the way he would have liked best", said Mrs. Ribblenstein. "How's that?" enquired the waitress. "Humping his secretary!", Mrs. Ribblenstein muttered. The waitress, Tracy, on hearing this, remembered she had no "buns in the oven" and rapidly disappeared up the stairs, leaving Mrs. Ribblenstein alone with her brain, which at that very moment started rhythmically beating like a heart. The beating turned into a pulsating-bulging. Then, as the cat was making a bolt for the far door - clever cat - the seething mass exploded. An oozy, dirty-green gel covered the room - all over Tracy's upholstery. The cat became riveted to the spot (how that happened, no-one ever discovered) and the glowing red orb that had been left on the table, from the explosion slid off towards the petrified cat, devouring it alive and glowing yellow as it consumed his testicles. Mrs. Ribblenstein tried to scream, but could not as a globule of tomato ketchup hit the door. It flashed through all the colours in the spectrum and at least fifty that weren't. At this she felt truly threatened and tried yet again to scream and, yet again, was interrupted by a falling ceiling. Through the rising dust a scantily-clad Tracy and Bob lay fuming. Mrs. Ribblenstein ran towards Tracy, "The Lesbian and Gay Movement lives again", she cried when, from underneath the rubble , Claire Rayner poked her head, flapped her "wings", rose up, and took the full impact of Tracy on her left and Mrs. Ribblenstein on her right, she called "Seconds away! Round One!". Suddendly, Bob awoke in a crumpled heap on his bedroom floor. He sighed with relief as he realised he'd been dreaming. Just as he relaxed, a glowing orb rolled out from under he bed.... BRIAN: Now come on. They were WEIRD!! What I want to know is, what were they on, and where can I get some of it!! Seriously, I have to say that those must be the strangest two "stories" I've ever read. Congratulations to the authors, Ben Harding, Mark Martin, and Tim Butler. That's all from me. See you next month!
Letters & Reviews
BM Contents 01 - Contents 04 - Letter from Andrew Penny 06 - Letter from Robert Pain 10 - Letter from Jill Angus 12 - Letter from Mark Sturdy 15 - Letter from G Robson 18 - Letter from J Marsh 20 - Review of PC Suite 22 - Last Page Letter from Andrew Penny Dear Brian / Stefan, First things first: I believe I owe Stefan an apology. Sorry Stefan, I was a little out of order wasn't I. It won't happen again, promise! Yes you are very clever, and by trying, and indeed succeeding, to get to know SAM in and out, you have proved that you are neither a misguided soul or wasting your time. Please let me explain why I wrote that letter, controversial though it was. I still believe that the SAM computer is a great machine, and is capable of doing MUCH more than it is doing at the moment. So much so that I have been trying for quite some time to help remedy the situation myself by having a bash at my own programming. Letter from Andrew Penny Now, I am progressing, but very slowly, (It's very time consuming learning to program a computer in it's own language, and having to find and correct all your own bugs, isn't it!?), therefore it can be VERY frustrating to see someone as talented a programmer as Stefan, using all that skill that for the moment is beyond my reach, not for exciting things like DUNE, the SIERRA ADVENTURES, or MONKEY ISLAND etc., but to force poor SAM once more to pretend it is a SPECTRUM! So hopefully you can now see how, on the face of it, someone like your good self, Stefan, can look like you are wasting your time with such projects, to someone like my sad misguided self, who would give my right arm to have such skills and be able to have a crack at programming MONKEY ISLAND. Now, After the heat of the moment had passed, and after your reply in FRED, I understand and admire what you have been doing. Keep it up! But remember, you are not the only one who would like to see MONKEY ISLAND on the SAM! Letter from Andrew Penny Right, on to another point now I think. Brian, you keep on saying that we cannot afford to buy licences for popular games, but if my memory serves me right, (.....it was a long time ago now!), that other brilliant programmer, (..some memory eh!!..), managed to give us the excellent PRINCE OF PERSIA without buying the licence to do so, why can't other big name games come our way via the same method ?????. BM Reply to Andrew Penny Well! What can I say? I'm sure the great god Stefan will be appeased (more or less) by that torrent of praise, so you can once again sleep safely at night. There's another of his great conversions in this very issue, as it happens. As for the subject of licenses and conversions: if you think the cost of Prince of Persia was a phone call to Domark and a packet of jelly babies, you are ever-so-slightly wrong... This was an extremely expensive project, and I've been led to believe that a quite frightening proportion of the royalties ended up in Mr Domark's pockets. We are constantly trying to obtain licences however, not on the basis of "How much cash will it take then?" but "Oh go on. Please. It IS a British computer, y'know..." You get the idea. Unless software houses are prepared to just do it as a favour (with slight financial leverage) there's nae chance, laddie. Still, we may have some fairly good news for you next month on the license front. We'll see. - BRIAN Letter from Robert Pain Dear Brian, I bet you are sick of my name by now, but here's another letter! Firstly, thanks for putting my little game on the menu. About the game, there are actually TWO cheats, each giving 10 lives: pressing SYMBOL, and pressing F2. To general readers the SOS on the bat is my working pseudonym - Sphere (me) of Strato, which is a "team" cosisting of only me. You want a techy question? Check this: how are fonts stored and how do you go about creating a new one? Brian, about coloured BASIC lines, am I going blind or what because I can't find F/A in the manual. Please enlighten me as to how they are created. On the subject of manuals, what is there in the technical manual (only a rough idea - I'm just interested that's all). And now, whatever happened to... Lord Insanity, Paul Angel (of Sound Machine fame), Statues of Ice, CODIGO, Electron Affinity, and the SAM Coupe Megademo (and what are they doing at the mo?)? Letter from Robert Pain On the subject of ESI's demos, I read in YS that they had released a demo called out of colour. Where can I get this demo from? Finally on the subject of demos and PD etc, are there any reliable sources of SAM PD left anywhere? Now some general points: what is the OUTDEX situation? Is it going to happen in the near future or not at all? Is there going to be a rather large BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA for FRED 36? Or is that info a bit hush hush? Lastly in the amazing TETRIS, is the speed of the blocks related to points, lines, or number of frames elapsed since the game started? I've got 283 lines (pretty good huh?) and wonder if any genius has done better (very difficult). Must go now, bye until next month (probably). BM Reply to Robert Pain Yes, we felt we'd been a bit unfair with last month's deliberate exclusion of Robert, so here he is this month in all his glory. We'll pass your techy query on to Brian Cavers, because I for one have not got the faintest idea how fonts are stored. You can use Flash! to create new ones, although it's not going to win any prizes for user-friendlyness. Oh alright. To change the colours in BASIC lines you press CNTRL and P (paper) or I (ink) plus a number. CNTRL + I + 4 therefore changes the paper colour to green, and it's on page 178 in my manual, although I'm hardly surprised you missed it: it doesn't exactly leap out of the page and grab you by the throat. Roughly speaking, the Techy Manual contains things like system variables (full lists) and assembly language instructions. Don't buy it though - the plot is just AWFUL! (har har har) To be honest I don't know if there are any remaining PD distributors. BM Reply to Robert Pain I don't think there are, but now could well be the right time for a new PD library for somebody with the right skills. At the start there were millions of libraries and very little software, now it seems the software is emerging but with nowhere to go. Most large demos are a little TOO large to realistically be included on FRED, so where else can they go? Any PD libraries which are still going, please get in touch. If LI, Paul Angel, CODIGO, ENTROPY, or ESI are reading this: what's happening then lads?! We are hoping to include a FREDEX next issue (it depends on whether I remain sober long enough to write the database thing or not, really. We are hoping that Issue 36 will be "a bit special", but as ever it's up to our faithful readers to send stuff in... 283 lines on Tetris? Not bad, not bad. 15 more than I've ever had, anyway. Humph. - BRIAN Letter from Jill Angus Dear Sir, PLEASE, PLEASE PRINT THIS LETTER IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF FRED! IT IS MY LAST HOPE! I am worried that my boyfriend is having a fling behind my back - with his bloomin' SAM Coupe. He waits impatiently, tongue hanging out of his mouth, every month for the new FRED disc and once he gets it - you've guessed it - he is unavailable dot has been scanned. Not that I'm insulting your "disc-magazine", it really is quite good (I've sat through many issues!), but all I'd like to say is: if you're reading this DOUG*, GETT OFF YOUR BUTT AND TAKE ME OUT!! PS Yes, I'm the one who bought him Prince of Persia, in the hope it might cure his obssession. It didn't. * As in DOUGLAS MURDOCH of ESKBANK, MIDLOTHIAN BM Reply to Jill Angus Well well well. First of Jill, sorry for spelling your name with a "G". It was me that messed up, not Doug. I'd hate to think of the consequences if it was him that got it wrong.... You may or may not feel comforted by the fact that you aren't the first person to have been neglected in favour of the Coupe. Let's face it; one look at SAM's sexy blue legs and even the most warmblooded male is going to fall in love with it. I'm sure you've felt the uncanny attraction yourself upon occasion. My advice to you is this; paint your legs blue, stay out of the sun for the next couple of years (ideally, move to Moscow - they seem very Coupe-coloured there), and slap a SAM logo on your forehead. What more could a man want? Finally, to Douglas, the villain of the piece: I wish I could have seen your face when you read this. Oh, how I wish! And I know it's difficult, but you really ought to spend a bit more time away from your Coupe. - BRIAN Letter from Mark Sturdy Dear Colin & Brian, Looking at some of the letters and articles in recent issues of FRED, it seems that a lot of people have lost touch with the idea of what the Coupe is meant to be about. Dig out some old issues of CRASH or YS and turn to one of the early SAM Surgeon or SAM Forum pages. Find MGT's original 4-page advert in SU. Do you remember the great feeling of hope and optimism when the Coupe was first launched? That's what the SAM is about, not pathetic little letters from people more interested in numbers on a piece of paper than whether the machine actually does what it's intended to do. I get the feeling that these people would be far better off with an Amiga 1200 and a sticker saying "SAM Coupe" (far be it from me to copy YS's jokes...). You may argue that that age of optimism is long gone and nothing can be done about the so-called commercial failure of the machine. Letter from Mark Sturdy What hardly anyone seems to realise, however, is the fact that the SAM is still a very viable computer, if only we can persuade the high street retailers and the big software houses of that. It's no good just one person writing a letter to Psygnosis or WH Smiths - what we need is a campaign run by FRED, FORMAT, ZAT, YS and all the other SAM-related magazines and user-groups. Together, we can prove to the corporate giants that the SAM can cut it with the best of them. Keep the faith! (I don't believe I just said that) BM Reply to Mark Sturdy There's no doubt that the SAM scene is greatly changed from a couple of years ago, but that spirit of optimism went hand in hand with a great deal of naivety. Nowadays people are more realistic, and those innocent optimistic days of 1990 seem long gone. The SAM's future, I agree, is far from inevitable. Even now, there does still remain the chance of widespread recognition. I don't know if I'm allowed to tell you my reasons for saying this, because Colin's answering machine is on and the deadline's approaching fast so I don't have the time to keep trying. If the SAM does take off though, I'm sure you'll notice though. - BRIAN Letter from G Robson Dear Colin, I have been most impressed by with the samples of ETracker music appearing on the last few issues of FRED, and I wondered if it would be possible for you to issue a disc containing nothing else BUT examples of this music? I don't know enough about music to be able to use something like ETracker myself, but I certainly enjoy the samples on FRED. If such an idea is not feasable, is there any way in which one can copy the examples from FRED on to another disc? I've looked at the items on the Directory list, but cannot sort out what is what, and in what order they would have to be copied. Are there a few key entries which must be copied first, then followed by tune entries? Do these have to be repeated for each disc, or once entered, will they run any of the ETrackertunes on other discs? BM Reply to G Robson Like coming up with a FRED Index, producing a disc brim full of E-Tunes is certainly one of the things we'd like to get around to but never seems to get done. Seeing as I'm lucky enough to be on holiday at the moment I'll have to seriously think about getting some of these little projects a bit closer to fruition. For the moment though, you're quite free to take the tunes from the magazine and store them on a separate disc. Here's what you might like to do: 1- In recent issues anyway, all the actual tunes are named E1, E2, E3 etc on the disc, so you should be able to find and copy these over to another disc. 2- Stefan Drissen's E-Tune player (ie the one we use at the moment) needs the files E-BASIC, E-TEXT, E-SCR, and E-PLAYER. E-TEXT and E-SCR aren't actually essential, but failure to copy them over just causes problems. BM Reply to G Robson 3- Right. You've got your disc with DOS on it, plus all the files prefixed with "E-". Next you copy over the tunes from all the discs you want. It doesn't matter what you call them, but you will have to change some of them as you cannot have countless files all called E2. You may as well call them E1-E50 or whatever. 4- Now the last part, and the only "complicated" bit. In actual fact it's not too tough though. Reset, do a BOOT 1 to load in the DOS and then MERGE the program "E-BASIC". Look down through the program and you'll come across some data statements like so: 9999 DATA "E1","ANDY MONK, UNTITLED" Here, "E1" is the filename, and "ANDY MONK, UNTITLED" is what comes up in the title bar. Simply alter the data statements to your own needs. As long as the final data statement is in the form: 9999 DATA "","" then the program will work. Simple eh? - BRIAN Letter from J Marsh Dear Colin, Please find attached a cheque for £9.99 for Days of Sorcery, I hope it's not too difficult to get somewhere. Wop Gamma turned up last Saturday and hopefully I will complete it by August, I'm up to level 80 at the moment. This game is definitely the best game released on the SAM since Prince of Persia. The graphics, sound and gameplay are brilliant and show what the SAM is capable of. Is there any chance of a Wop Gamma 2? Another 100 levels... While wondering about Wop Gamma 2, what about a sequel to Boing!? The game itself was well programmed with nice graphics and sound, but was too easy to complete. The advantage of this type of game on the SAM is that it flips from one screen to another allowing you to show the graphics in full, and the success Codemasters have had with Dizzy proves that this type of game is popular. Letter from J Marsh If I don't write to you by issu 36, I'd like to wish FRED a Happy Birthday, and let's hope the SAM has more success during your 4th year; it deserves to. Reply to J Marsh Thanks for those last words, we too hope the SAM gets the success it's due. Wop Gamma 2 is a possibility, but don't hold your breath! I don't think Boing! 2 is ever going to emerge, but that doesn't mean more platform games won't turn up. In fact, I believe there's a great one lined up at this very moment. No more details yet though (just be patient!). I'm beginning to feel quite imbecilic about the fact that I couldn't get ANYWHERE on Boing! I may need to dig it up and complete if only to set my mind at rest that I'm not subnormal! BM Review of PC Suite Okay, okay, so maybe it has been out for centuries; I couldn't care less. The thing is, I just found out about it recently. What it does is allow you to copy files from PC disks to SAM discs. This means you can put ASCII text files, as in Outwrite! files, onto PC disks, and then load these into PC word processors. You can also load PC WP files (no acronyms here!) into SAM WPs. The files are not "acted upon" in any way: you can't start using PC utils into your Coupe, but code files can be copied over directly. That is the program at its simplest though. It can convert your PC text files (which are ASCII format, but tend to be slightly different to Coupe 64 column files nonetheless) into files which suit Coupe WPs fine. And vice versa: Outwrite! files to standard PC types. There are various other, more specialised options such as making files Specmaker compatible, or to suit the Wordstar WP. BM Review of PC Suite Another feature is that which lets you write your BASIC programs on the PC WP rather than in the SAM interpreter thing. This seems to me a bit too much hassle to bother with, but some people may find the idea appealing. There are Amiga utilities which let you read/write PC discs, and some of you may be pleased to hear that this is a way to load AMIGA word processor files into your Coupe (and vice versa). More importantly (to me, at any rate), you can swap over Amiga screens (just code files, remember) onto SAM disks, and then do with them what you will (you do need the right SAM software to convert the code files into standard SAM screens, remember). Some people will find this utility utterly indispensable, others will never look twice at it. If you want to swap files between computers though, I can highly recommend this. It can be slow to convert file formats (ie normal SAM text to standard PC text), which is my only gripe. Other than that though, it's great! BM Last Page If you want to order this package, and I'd advise you to do so, you may find the following address rather useful..! S.D. Software, [redacted] PC Suite costs £25.95, which is actually a bit steep in my opinion, but if you're going to find it useful, it's worth it. Members of INDUG can get it for just £19.95, by the way. P+P is £0.50 in UK, £1.20 outside UK. And that's another letters section all wrapped up and finished. Now I can go and relax. Aaaaahhhh....
DIY Space Invaders: MC Tutorial (Ctd.)
Well after last month most of you proberly thought that was the end of the game but you was wrong, You may have notice after playing the game that upon dying that it returned you to BASIC. That's because there were no routines for end of life or for end of game, and this month I will give you the routines for those. First off I had better tell you what you need of the disk : File name Discription IN-SOURCE Comet source file (fourth installment) Game Theory ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With this game you only lose a life when you are hit by an alien bomb and as there're no energy type counters then we simply decrease lives until they equal zero. Just for the fun [Fun??! - BRIAN] of it, I have decided to give three different messages for every possiblity of end of game. These are: ALL LIFES LOST ;ie no more ships ALIEN LANDED ;ie aliens have reached the bottom of ;the screen COMPLETED ;ie you have gone through eight waves ;of aliens Main Area Source Examination ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ **************************************************************** To mix this month's source with the source you should have saved last month, all you do is load in the source you have saved, then merge in this month's source. Then find the label MERGER; this will take you to the start of the merged source. Then follow and act on the text messages there. **************************************************************** Now this is going to seem a bit trivial to explain what is happening in the source, but to save you looking at the text from the past few months I will anyway. Life.lost ~~~~~~~~~~~ When the ship.state (inturpt sprite one) equals -1 (&FF) then we have died and the explosion sequence has expired (this was checked for in GAME.LOOP in issue 33). First of all we test if we died because the aliens have landed (FLOOR FLAG <>0); if yes then goto END.LAND. Otherwise, decrease the LIVES variable and test if it equals "0" (test "0" and not 0 because our lives are in ASCII and not decimal form). If LIVES="0" then goto END.LIVES. If we still have some lives, then we set the ship sprite to the blank image (so we cannot see it), then set the ship control program to its main routine, ship state set to 0 (alive) and set the wait counter (this is decreased to give a delay before reactivating the ship), to the equate setting. Then goto GAME.LOOP. Comp.game, End.lives and End.land ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The reason why these routines are headed together is because they all do the following : First we set the interrupt sprite off and then page the opposite to VMPR low and clear. Then we put the Invader sign onto this screen, then print the required text messages as below : COMP.GAME uses the text labeled END.COMP.TEXT?, Where the ?? is from 1 to b. END.LIVES uses the text labeled END.LIVES.LOST?, Where the ?? is from 1 to c. END.LAND uses the text labeled END.LAND.TEXT?, Where the ?? is from 1 to d. Then print the "Press Fire" message, fade out the screen, switch screens, fade in new screen and then wait for the fire button to be pressed. Upon then fire button being pressed we the jump to HIGH.CHECK which does the high score bits, but you'll have to wait for next month's installment for that (as space is tight on disk magazines). By the way if anybody's got any comments or recommendations then write to me at the following address : Chris J. White [redacted] and I will put them into the following months article with my resposis/modifications to help fellow SAM uses even more. See ya soon, Chris.
Cyclops User Guide
Cyclops User Guide ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ System Requirements ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SAM Coupe 256K min. MasterDOS MasterBASIC Background ~~~~~~~~~~ This program was originally designed for the mouse but due to poor accuracy and the low resolution of the screen it was dropped in favour of a keyboard based program. Anyway, not everyone has a mouse. This program is a tribute to Amiga's SID program, a very highly rated directory utility which removes the need to use commands to do everyday file maintenance. Getting Started ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Copy the Cyclops program onto another disk and then RUN it, no other files are necessary. How to use this program ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The main screen consists of the File List on the left side of the screen and will list at most 18 files. On the right hand side is the Command List in two columns. Under the commands is given some information about the current disk and path, the number of free slots and free space. The file table has a cursor (">") called the file pointer and the command table has a cursor too (">") called the command pointer. Using the file list ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To move the file pointer press either the up arrow key or the down arrow key (located under the function keys). To select a file press the space bar, to deselect it press the space bar again. (Selection of a file inverts the file name). If there are more than 18 files in the directory then press the arrow key at either the top or bottom of the table will reveal more files. Blank filenames are ignored by the program. Using the command table ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To move the command pointer press either Q or A to move it up or down and O or P to move it between columns. Pressing RETURN will select that command. All the commands that affect files (Copy, Move, Rename, Protect, Hide, Erase, FStat, Print, Read, Show) require one or more filenames to be selected. Disk based commands do not require file selection (Opendir, Parent, Device, Label, Format, Backup). To Enter a directory the file pointer must be pointing to a directory name, it does not need selecting. The Quit option immediately exits the program. The file commands: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Copy -This option will copy files to new files which you must specify when prompted. You may put a different destination if required and use the * wildcard. eg. Mynewfile myDir/Mynewfile D2:myDir/Mynewfile Mydir/* Move -This works similarily to the Copy command except that the original file is deleted. This is particularly useful for file reorganisation. Rename-This option will rename either a file or a subdirectory to the name you specify. Erase -This option can delete files or subdirectories. You are prompted for each file for safety reasons. Note that subdirectories must be empty before deletion. Protect- This will toggle the file's protection from deletion. Read - This option will allow you to read text files saved in CODE file format. Press any key to redisplay the main screen. Show - This option will display pictures which have been saved as SCREEN$. Press any key to redisplay the main screen. Info - This will display details about a file. It will display the filename, its type, its size in bytes, its status, start and execute addresses, date and flags. Print - This option will print either text files or screen files to the printer. It will use MasterDOS' interrupt printing facility to speed printing up. Hide - This will toggle the file's hidden status, it will only affect DIR lisitngs. The Directory commands: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Makedir- This will create a new subdirectory in the current directory. You will be prompted for a name. Enter - You must have the file/table pointer pointing to a directory for this to work. It will make that directory the current directory. The path name at the bottom of the screen will change to indicate this. Parent - This will change the current directory to its parent directory. Disk commands: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Device - This changes the current device (d1: to d4:) and may be used to indicate a different disk if you swap disks. You will be prompted for the device number (1-4). Label - This will change the disk's label name (only shown in DIR listings). Format - This will initialise a new disk for use. It will use SAMDOS 80 file max. format. Once the disk is formatted you must reinsert the original disk if using the same drive as the currently one used. Backup - This will copy a whole disk onto a another disk. You will be prompted for the from/to devices (1-4). The destination disk must be write enabled. Quit - This option will exit the program. Error messages ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If an error occurs then the following message will appear, try to correct the problem before pressing RETURN: Not possible. Error= Common errors are: 87 Check disk in drive 103 No such drive 105 Not enough space for file 106 Directory full 104 Disk write protected 107 File not found 109 File name used 113 Directory not empty 116 Protected file Hope you enjoy this program. All bugs fixes and any future upgrades: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Peter Hutchison [redacted]
Instructions For Brog's Advanced Spelling Prog
Marc Broster 3/4/92 I am really pathetic at spelling, and I read in a book that this type of spelling program was quite effective, so I wrote my own. The basic idea is that you can give a list of words to the program, then the program will test you on them by flashing (oo-er) (I'am sorry! I'am sorry! I was looking through some old YSs last night! Sorry! Won't happen again!) up the word, then asking you to retype it. I can't tell you personally how effective it is, as I'am writing these instructions before I've actually finished the program (!). So, here's what to do. Once loaded, you will see the menu, where you can 1-Do a quick test 2-Do a full test 3-Add Words 4-Edit words and 5-Go to the option menu. The difference between a full test and a quick test is that in the quick test, you will only be tested on words that are below the LEARN setting, while in the full test you will be tested on all words. Each word has a value, which is orginally set at 0. Everytime you run the test and correctly type in the word, the value is increased by one. The LEARN setting is set at 8, which means once you have correctly typed in a word 8 times, you will not be tested on it again in a quick test. I have suppied a list of a few words allready with the program, but to add your own words, select "Add Words" from the menu. You can them type in as many new words as you want. Once you have finished, enter "E" to exit. To alter your list of words, use the "Edit Words" feature. Type in the word you want to change, and then you will be able to either delete the word, or change it's value. There's a fairly extensive options menu, where you can change the length of time a word is displayed on screen, whether you want sound effects or not, what music you want played on the menu screen (There's a choice of 3 tunes), whether you want animation or not, change the LEARN setting, clear all words, and delete all words. You can also print a list of words (along with their values) to either screen or printer. I hope somebody finds the prog useful, as it's taken me ages to write...