Submitted by Dan Dooré on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 23:35.
|Magazine||Brian Leaves, Interlacing Explained|
|Letters||Grief At Brian's Departure (Ahem!)|
|Sam File||Ian Knight||Nice Database|
|Sensible Demo||Andrew Collier||Mc Demo - Not Soccer Related!|
|Cheats 2||Paul Crompton||More Immoral Goings On|
|Mushies!||David Zambonini||Pacman Variation|
|Net||Tim Paveley||Text Pinched From The Net|
|E-Tunes||Andrew Collier Lee Willis||Music Done On E-Tracker featuring new player by Andrew Collier|
|Sci-Fi||Graham Goring||Sci Fi Spoors from 'Anonimity Smith'|
|Modules||Robert van der Veeke||Converted Amiga Modules|
|Fade||David Zambonini||Impressive Shoot-'Em-Up|
|Stereogram||Stewart Skardon||3d Capers Come To Sam Again|
|Sampaint Fonts||Carol Brooksbank||Fonts For Use In Sampaint|
|Fine Line||Jason Lam||Guide The Line Through Obstacles|
|Shapes||Michael Capstick||Pattern Drawing Proggy|
BM (My Last) Editorial Guess what readers? No, we *don't* have Michelle Pfeiffer as a special guest presenter; and we *aren't* slashing the price of all FRED games to £1.99 (£1.80 for subbers). What we do have for you is a FRED compiled without any "creative input" - ie interference - from Colin whatsoever. That, in conjunction with this being the last issue of FRED that'll be edited by me, would normally mean capers galore, with all sorts of mischievous escapades. It is highly tempting. I won't do anything though, because Colin would only buy a big vicious dog to set on me (eek!). The reason, by the way, that Colin's not got any say in what happens here is that he's off on one of his trips around Britain, trying desperately to be the first Dundonian to visit eah and every public house in the country. Twice. And I bet he's not got far left to go now either... Hopefully the new editor (and who is that? Wait and see!) will persuade/bully Colin into writing a full and detailed account of his journey, as I know his tales of hardship and adventure are always popular. BM Editorial Right. I've done enough beating about the shrubbery. I'm sure you'll be expecting, though not necessarily wanting, a few words about my imminent departure, and I wouldn't want to disappoint anybody. I first became in FRED, as some of you will know, in issue 4, with some screens done on Flash. Looking back I don't know how I ever persevered with such an archaic package, but I did and the results got me my first taste of fame. Over the next few issues I did a few things here and there, but the mag was still run by Colin. FRED went on its way to becoming more established, with regular contributions. Then a rival magazine began to grow - Enceladus. Being a profit making entity (although Graham never had sales high enough to pay for the Relion Porsche) he was able to pay for contributions. That, and the fact that I wanted to become more involved higher up in the magazine creating process rather than a "mere" contributor led to my defection to Enceladus... BM Editorial For about about a year and a half I stayed with Enceladus, writing regular editorials, news articles and my own unique(ish) brand of pages and pages of irrelevant drivel. I got paid on the basis of how large a percentage of the mag I did, sort of, so as you can see it was in my best interests to ramble on and on and on, filling as much space as possible with as little content as I could reasonably get away with. A difficult habit to break! Then Colin MacD. approached me and offered me my chance to break into the international world of publishing at the very top. Naturally I was curious - intrigued even - and accepted, only to find that my wildest dreams had been exceeded and I was to become... THE FREDITOR!!! FRED #27 I think was my first real issue. Those were the days of tentative exploration, getting the feel for things. Seeing just how offensive I could be without Colin editing things out. You get the idea. BM Editorial Two years, 22 issues of FRED later, and much has changed. Then I was a 16 year old, just beginning my final year at school. By the time you read this I'll be 19 and in second year at uni. Well. As long as you don't read this until mid-October, that is. I will be 19 on the 17th of September though, and your FRED should have popped through the letterbox sometime shortly after that. And quel surprise, no large bottles of vodka from my FRED readers. Blimmin' typical! I'm still working at Wm Low, or Tesco as it is now. That's three years I've been there. I'll be there another three too, paying my way through uni, providing I don't get sacked for something. Or quit, of course. Or win the pools or the Readers Digest prize draw. Which could happen; you never know. If that does happen you're all invited to the massive party which I'd hold in the excellent bar which I'd buy. As long as you're old enough. That goes without saying. We can't be seen to condone under-age drinking, you see. Dreadful practice, and one which neither Colin or myself ever participated in. Much. BM Editorial Editing FRED has been a wonderful experience. Apart from it brightening up my CV, I've made loads of new friends, and through necessity, learned a lot about programming. I've also forgotten what it's like not to have really high blood pressure and tension headaches toward the end of each month. My main memories of FRED will undoubtedly be fond ones. Memories of the warmth and unity felt by all SAM owners toward one another. Sure, there's some bickering occasionally, more often than not about whether or not some new chips can be bolted onto the SAM to turn it into a Pentium-beater, but everybody gets on fine. Now onto something which will interest those of you who couldn't give a flying fig about me and my doings - the future of FRED and the SAM. You've got your new editor, even though you don't know who he is yet, so FRED will continue. At the end of the day, it's up to you. While people keep writing, drawing, composing, and of course buying, the SAM will go on and on and on. It may yet take off in the way we all feel it deserves to. BM Editorial My own future is not so straightforward. Hopefully I'll get my degree, but after that I don't have a clue what I want to do. I'd like a career in computer graphics. On the SAM, colour- blindness isn't too bad a handicap, but when computers have more than 128 - and most modern ones have 16,777,216 - things get a bit tricky. So a career in anything other than monochrome graphics is probably not for me. Journalism is something I think could be worth investigating. I know I've got at least some talent for writing, and with a bit of effort I'm sure I could lose my ineptitude for writing concisely (most newspaper editors feel that space-wasting is not desirable. Strange people). I might even end up writing "serious" software for, say, engineering purposes, or some other industrial application. At the moment I sincerely hope not, but it could happen. As long as I don't have to spend the rest of my life filling bread and cakes at Wm Low/Tesco, I'll be happy! BM Editorial This is not the last you'll hear of me; dearie me no. I'll definitely write something for next issue, the big 50, so you've got that to look forward to (grin). Also, I should have a bit more spare time, and there are a couple of little programs I've been meaning to write for, oooh, ages. So I may well turn into a regular contributor. The one thing I can guarantee is that I won't start campaigning for the compulsory re-introduction of cassette-loading software in computing industrywide. That would be a bit silly. Because we all know that old Speccy microdrives are the true way forward!! Yes! Long live the microdrive! As I bring this massive missive, this 7 page feast of an editorial to a close, I'd like to express my gratitude for bearing with me these two wonderful years, and wish each and every one of you all the very best with whatever you get up to. Thank you all, and goodbye. - BRIAN BM News Changing the tone completely from the previous pages, we have loads of lovely news for you this month. Most of it is hardware related for a change, although there is the obligatory FRED software plug. First of all, West Coast have announced a new "budget" SAM, aimed at people who'd like to upgrade from a Specrum with a Plus D to a SAM, and at SAM owners who'd like to get hold of a second machine. The budget SAM comes with a printer interface, and an external drive interface so that you can plug in your +D. There isn't an internal drive, we should emphasize that. The unit costs £109.95, and this includes postage and packaging. It is worth pointing out that some of the cases are a little scratched. This is because West Coast have just been given back SAMs which were destined to be shipped out when the company went under, and as they were bulk-packed (I think that means "without cardboard and polystyrene") some superficial damage was incurred. The units have been completely repackaged, and include BM News all the usual boxes and bags and polystyrene thingies. And manuals, etc. You're not missing out on anything, it's just your case which might be a little scratched. Nothing major at all. The SAMs are guaranteed, the details of which I'm just about to explain.... ...in this second item of news. All SAMs sold from now on are to have a 2 year guarantee, so if anything goes wrong with your innards (your SAM's innards, anyway) within 2 years, you've nothing to worry about! This doesn't include the disc drive, the PSU or the keyboard; they are covered for "just" a year, which is all you'll get in total from most companies these days. This offer demonstrates how much confidence West Coast have in the reliability of the SAM. I can certainly verify that in nearly *five* years my SAM's still going fine, including the drive and the keyboard. The PSU did play up a little, but that was sorted out very quickly, cheaply and easily, much to the credit of those involved. So now you can buy with confidence. (This also applies retrospectively to all SAM Elites sold since April) BM News West Coast's final bit of info - yes, they're a busy group of people - concerns disc drives. Rather than send your SAM down to get a new one installed, there is now a cheaper alternative. You can get hold of a kit from West Coast which allows you to Do It Yourself. (Moans of despair from one half of the readers, yelps of ecstasy from the techies!) For £29.95, you get all you need to install the drive, apart from the, em, disc drive. You supply your own one, having simply to find a compatible drive. Phone for info on what constitutes a "compatible drive". Or, for £64.95, they'll give you the drive as well, eliminating in one fell swoop the need to hunt around for a compatible one. Clever, huh? Full instructions are supplied, obviously, but you will need your own solder wire, a solder-sucking tool, and some hook-up wire. Importantly, West Coast recommend that only competent techy types with oodles of experience try this out; it's not the most easy peasy thing in the world. It's far from impossible, but just be warned. If you're as clumsy as me regarding things BM News like this, avoid it like you would if you had a really fast Ferrari and a very nasty plague indeed was said to have entered your town. It's important to point out that this news item doesn't apply to SAM Elite owners, for no particular reason other than the kit doesn't work with it. If, after reading the past three pages, you feel an uncontrollable urge to contact West Coast, you can do so through Bob Brenchley of Format who, it seems, is earning himself a few extra pennies by fronting West Coast. His address is in one of the ads in the adverts section. Which isn't just an attempt to get you to look at the section which changes about as often as Colin's underwear, honest. (That's partly true, actually: the other reason is that I can't be bothered looking it up myself. Oh no! Wait! Colin might fire me for such laziness. Ah! Wait; he can't! Hurrah!). BM News Other news concerns the latest FRED release: Waterworks 2 - This Time It's Blimming Hard, Matey. OK, so maybe I did add the subtitle on my own initiative. Catchy though, isn't it? Waterworks 2 - TTIBH,M is now OUT, yes, it's been released. You can send in your orders NOW. Price is £9.99 to normal peeps, but of course only £9 to those sensible and undescribably sexy people who have subscriptions to either FRED or Format. The press release (ie Colin's scribbled note!) tells me that Martin Bell, the programmer resonsible for all those sleepless nights caused by the first game, has spent two years coming up with another 19 fiendish levels. Just to re-iterate what I said last month, there are several new additions to the list of features, not least of which is a wee jeep for you to play about with. Although it's a fully independent game, and doesn't require you to have the original, we would feel very guilty about letting BM News buy this game without some experience of Waterworking, as Colin so succinctly puts it. We would take your money, but we would feel dreadfully guilty. Truly. Anyway, to prevent us from having too many sleepless nights, we're giving both away at the absolutely bargain-basement price of only £15! What a barg! I'd like to add that the original, Waterworks itself, is one of my very favourite games on SAM. It may be a puzzle game, but it's one where you can usually work out the puzzles through logical, and occasionally lateral, thinking as opposed to simple trial and error, which is all too common in puzzle games. What higher recommendation do you want?Buy this game! It's brill! On a more show-related topic now, I'll repeat the details of the Gloucester show. It's in Kedgely, not Quedgely as I said last time. Or have I got them mixed up again? Damn. Well, it's in one of them, and they're the same place as one another, and they're BM News both just outside Gloucester, so make of that what you will. The venue is exactly the same as last time, and the date is Saturday the 22nd October. Colin and I will be there, and a few extras will again be down. By the way, if they haven't got rid of their "beards" feel free to slag them up. They might hurt you in return, or hurl abuse of their own, but don't worry. It's all harmless really. I'd imagine the same motley collection of SAM personalities (using the term loosely of course. Ha ha ha) will be there. I'm hoping to meet a few more of you there, anyway. I believe Matt Round's said he'll put in an appearance. He'll no doubt spend the day avoiding people who want to pester him about who he writes such brilliant games in Gamesmaster, much as Steve Taylor should have spent the last show avoiding the hordes who wanted Driver tips! One word of advice - if you think you're somebody I'll recognise, don't assume I'll psychically work out who you are. BM News Like Tim Paveley did (you going to this 'un Tim?). The gimboid chatted for half an hour and only then introduced himself (and "Bob" Pain). More show advice - don't ask me how to complete any levels on Lemmings. I can't get past level 14 on Tricky! We do have the rest of the level codes later on, but I know it's more satisfying to know you can complete the levels yourself. Also, if you want to exchange a FRED which has developed, say, a sector error, or maybe a game or utility you've bought has gone awry, try to phone in advance. It helps enormously with the organisational side of things. While I'm at it, feel free to bring me any spare beer you have lying about your home. And don't forget - bring your wallets! I'll see what fabulous promotions I can get Colin to implement... BM News Remember Beeble? The game in FRED #47? Well the programmer of that, Allan Clarkson, goes by the name of Ded Gud Software, and is, as he puts it, "starting up properly." He is therefore in need of more programmers, musicians, artists etc to get in touch with a view to setting up a team. For more details write to: Allan Clarkson, [redacted] *** The extras disc for Driver is now available from Revelation. Colin gave me the list of what's on it for last issue, but I lost that. Oops. I can't remember what's on it, but let me assure you, if you've got Driver, you want this. I think there's a database and a game in there, along with many other things. BM News Were you one of the applicants for the post of FREDitor who didn't quite make it? Well this announcement from Darren Blackburn may interest you... URGENTLY WANTED: SUB-EDITORS! Due to personal commitments, the Editor of ZAT needs volunteers to help run this well-known SAM and Spectrum fanzine. Help is required to type up sections and contributions and gather information as well. Users need to have access to either PCG Wordmaster/Typeliner for Spectrum or SC_Word pro/SC_DTP for SAM (or any DTP program on any computer as long as they have access to a SAM or Speccy to receive files from ZAT contributors. If possible, anyone willing to print out pages for immediate inclusion would be appreciated. Also artists required for interior artwork and anyone able to print out screenshots for games/utility reviews. The down part is that as ZAT is non-profit making, we cannot pay for assistance. BM News However, like all ZAT contributors, Editor included, volunteers will receive a free copy of every issue produced. If interested, write for more info to: ZAT [redacted] GB SAMPaint Article pt 2 by Graham Burtenshaw If you are trying to create an animation of, say, Colin and Brian downing a pint, then the Animation function will be suitable since the "action" can be viewed from a single viewpoint. You could draw an initial frame, then grab it as a block and plot it several times in a grid. Altering each frame slightly from the previous one will then form the animation once you have gone through the process of defining each frame from the Animation dialogue box. (If you are as lazy as I am and you know the dimensions of the frames then you could prepare the data from BASIC and then load it into SAMPaint from the dialogue box)... If, however, you'd prefer to create an animation of Colin stumbling home afterwards, then the Animbrush function will be more appropriate since it gives you control over the positioning of the animated frames. GB SAMPaint Once you've defined the frames, you can either move the animated figure directly using the mouse, or else use the drawing tools to make him trace a circle or perhaps even a straight line. Animbrush frames can be defined in the same sort of way as standard Animation frames. The dialogue box is located on the main menu and is described in the manual (ie I can't be arsed going into it here). There are a couple of differences, however. Although the Animbrush frames can be of differing sizes, you can't adjust the size of a previously defined frame - so be careful. Also, you can set the MASK option (in the blocks area of the main menu) in order to define Animbrush frames in the form of graphic shapes rather than graphic blocks. Each Animbrush frame is STORED in memory (in the area normally used for standard Blocks/Shapes - this is why grabbing a block will clear the Animbrush and vice versa). This also means that you can clear the workscreens without losing the Animbrush. GB SAMPaint Once you have defined an Animbrush, there are two ways you can use it. One is to click on the "Move" icon to move the Animbrush around as if it were an ordinary block. The other is to click on the "Animbrush" option (as opposed to "Brush"), which will allow you to use all the drawing tools with the Animbrush. Animbrushes can be saved from the SAVE pull-down menu (select Block/Shape). This will save both the graphics data and information regarding the frame dimensions etc (see the manual). If you're intending to use animations in your own programs, then whether you use Animation or Animbrushes in SAMPaint is up to you - either way you will have to draw the frames and grab them without SAMPaint's help. (Although as mentioned you could use the files saved from SAMPaint to speed up the grabbing process). GB SAMPaint I essentially seem to have repeated what's in the manual... if you're still having trouble (I know that people have been writing in with problems vaguely related to animation but not the specifics), write to the address given at the end. Finally a couple of "ideas".. (Before I forget - remember that SAMPaint won't work with MasterBASIC booted. If you want to use RAMdiscs, load with MasterDOS only). If converting a screen to mode 1 or 2 from the SAVE menu using the MONO mode, you may occasionally get a blank screen. Colin mentioned this to me a while ago, but I didn't believe him; since then however I realised that this could result if the Ink and Paper are set to different mode 1/2 BRIGHT levels. Colours 0-7 are described in modes 1 and 2 as non-bright, colours 8-15 as bright. So if, eg, the Ink is set to 7 and the Paper to 8, the conversion may not work properly. GB SAMPaint In such cases change either the Paper or the Ink. (There is a reason behind all this but it would take ages to explain and besides I'm not quite sure what it is). Parts of digitised pictures can be enlarged without becoming "blocky" by following this procedure: grab the part to be enlarged as a block, rescale it as much as you like, deposited the rescaled block on the workscreen, use the Blur window operation to Average it and then Average-Mix it, doing several Average operations if the rescaling is particuarly dramatic. This will have the effect of smoothing out the edges of the enlarged pixels whilst retaining a pixel-level degree of "noise". The result is that the rescaled block looks as natural as the original screen, no matter how much it has been rescaled. Then try Merging it with a radial gradient fill to get a dodgy old turn of the century Welsh photograph. GB SAMPaint Hmmm, and try Shadowing things with the colour being shadowed set as one of the backgrounds, and Depth=1 and Displacement=-1. (not "1" as suggested on page 32 of the manual...) Messing around with negative Displacements can give hours of fun to you and any passing construction workers If you've got absolutely anything to say/ask about SAMPaint, you can either write to FRED or directly to me at: 6 Rawlins Avenue Worle Weston-super-Mare Avon BS22 0FN or email (after the "vac") to firstname.lastname@example.org BM Lemmings Codes Comtinuing from last issue, these codes take you up to the very last level of this stunning game. You'll still need to solve that in order to get to the end screen though, so you've still got some incentive. Taxing ~~~~~~~~ 01 If at first you don't succeed... EGFQUZIM 02 Lemmingology DHIPVZEA 03 Heaven can wait (we hope!!!!) GGJQUZGC 04 Lend a helping hand.... FGLPUZTB 05 The prison! AFNAUUMI 06 Compression method 1 ZFPAUUJL 07 Every lemming for himself!!! CEBAVUKG 08 The art gallery BEDAVUHF 09 Perseverance WEFZVUQE 10 Izzie wizzie lemmings get busy VEHZVUNH 11 The ascending pillar scenario YEJZVUOK BM Lemmings Codes 12 Livin' on the edge XELZVULJ 13 Upsidedown world IENAVUEA 14 Hunt the nessy.... HEPZVURD 15 What an AWESOME level KDDNSUQM 16 Mary Poppins land JHBZWURP 17 X marks the spot EHDZWUKK 18 Tribute to MC Escher DHFZWUHN 19 Bomboozal GHHZWUIM 20 Walk the web rope FHJZWUFD 21 Feel the heat! AGLXWTOO 22 Come on over to my place ZGNXWTLJ 23 King of the castle CGPXWTMI 24 Take a running jump..... BHBXXTJH 25 Follow the leader... WHDWXTSC 26 Triple trouble VHFWXTPF 27 Call in the bomb squad YHHWXTQE 28 POOR WEE CREATURES! XHJWXTNL 29 How do I dig up the way? IEDAUTOO 30 We all fall down HIPVYTRD BM Lemmings Codes Mayhem ~~~~~~~~ 01 Steel works KHLXXTIE 02 The Boiler Room JHNXXTFD 03 It's hero time! EHPWXTOG 04 The crossroads DIBWYTLJ 05 Down, along, up. In that order GIDWYTMI 06 One way or another FIFWYTJP 07 Poles apart AHHYYWSC 08 Last one out is a rotten egg! ZHJYYWPN 09 Curse of the pharaohs CHLYYWQM 10 Pillars of Hercules BHNYYWNL 11 We all fall down WGAYZWFB 12 The far side VGBXZWTB 13 The great lemming caper YGDYZWEA 14 Pea soup XGFXZWRH 15 The fast food kitchen... IGHYZWKK BM Lemmings Codes 16 Just a minute... HGJYZWHF 17 Stepping stones KGLYZWIE 18 And then there were four... JGNYZWFD 19 Time to get up! EGPXZWOG 20 No added colours or lemmings DMGWBWGO 21 With a twist of lemming please GNBXAWOK 22 A beastII of a level FFJPSWFD 23 Going up....... AMDWAVGG 24 All or nothing ZMFVAVTB 25 Have a nice day! CMHWAVEA 26 The steel mines of Kessel BMJVAVRP 27 Just a minute (part II) WMLVAVKK 28 Mind the step... VMNVAVHN 29 Save me YMPVAVIM 30 Rendezvous at the mountain XNBVBVFD And I hope I never have to type in another Lemmings code as long as I live... AJ Adventure Column Alex Jones, 101 Keresley Road, Coventry, CV6 2JF Welcome once again to the adventure section. I am sorry I did not do anything for the last issue but I have had some holidays and the weather since I came back has been too good to work in. Firstly I would like to thank Phil Glover for his letter in which he gave me some useful information. The first thing is the 1994 ADVENTURERS CONVENTION which will be held as usual at The Royal Angus Thistle Hotel in Birmingham on Saturday, 22 October. Tickets cost £5.00 and are available from: The Adventurers Convention 128 Merton Hall Road, Wimbledon, London, SW19 3PZ. AJ Adventure Column It is open to all adventure players/writers and all formats, from the Spectrum right up to full blown PC's. I have been to a couple of these and enjoyed meeting other adventure players. There are usually a good number of computers set up and there is always a chance to have a go at various games. There are also usually a decent selection of games for sale at reasonable prices. Coffee and tea are available and the bar is open for those of us who find it thirsty work. If you need further information contact the organisers at the above address. Phil also mentioned that he and David Whitmore are thinking of doing another Adventure Club disk, not a 'proper' issue, but a one-off for Autumn/Winter. I'll pass on more information as I get it. Phil also sent me a (legal) copy of the adventure game "Curse of the Serpent's Eye" by Martin Freemantle. AJ Adventure Column This was the official competition game for last years adventurers convention. I have had a quick look at this game and I will try to do a review of it for you for the next issue. If you want further information you can contact Martin Freemantle at:- DREAM WORLD ADVENTURES, [redacted] Now for the next part of "Days of Sorcery". From where we left off :- Go east, north twice, and east twice to the crossroads, then continue north twice, east, south, east, north twice, and then east to the West gate of the city. Shoot the guard with the arrow and climb the wall. AJ Adventure Column Drop the longbow, staff and shovel, then take the spear, helmet and armour. Jump off the parapet and you will land in the stable. Go east, north, west and north into Honest Joe's Weaponry. Sell the quiver and accept the rope in exchange. Go south and thhow the rope over the battlements. Go east twice, north three times, east, northeast and north into the inn. Buy a drink and then wait around until the innkeeper offers to swap you a ruby for your cloak. Accept his offer. Go south, southwest, west, and south three times to the junction, then wander around until you find the cat. Put the collar on the cat, and leave the city by the south gate. Return to the witch's cottage and she will give you a letter to deliver to the Magician's Guild.......... more next time. That's it for this issue. See my address three pages back if you feel like writing about things adventurous. MR INTERLACING - What the @#!$ is it?! =================================== by Matt Round Interlacing is a way of increasing the apparent resolution of a raster display by alternating between two sets of images, each of which consists of alternate scan lines of the pictures to be shown. I suppose that's the kind of explanation you'd get if you looked it up in a dictionary of scientific terms; I'll try to be slightly more helpful... The electron beam in a TV set scans the screen 50 times per second; I gleaned that much from the early days of using a Speccy. So why do peop people talk about TV pictures running at 25 frames per second?! It's all down to interlacing. Each 25 fps piccy really consists of two 50 fps ones. MR Interlacing Each of those frames holds half of the scan lines, and when they're put on the screen one after the other, with a slight vertical offset, they 'slot together' to form a lovely picture: 50 fps picture + 50 fps picture-> 25 fps with higher quality ------------- ------------- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ------------- ------------- (frame 1) + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ = ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ------------- (frame 2) ------------- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ------------- ------------- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Er... well that's the theory anyway! It's not really as wonderful as it may sound, and is no substitute for proper higher resolution. It's also often ignored - for example, this text you're reading makes no use of the interlacing. MR Interlacing Strictly speaking you can't do interlacing on the SAM because there's no way of knowing which set of scan lines is being shown, so it's really just a way of getting more colours/shades on screen. Why bother with it at all? If you use 50 fps pictures one after the other you're settling for the lower resolution, and scanning the screen with a high res. 25 fps picture all in one go causes flicker. Interlacing lets you hint at things a higher resolution would show properly, and that's why it's used - it squeezes as much quality as possible out of the equipment. It's a favourite with some cheapskate PC manufacturers; they can happily quote resolutions such as 1024x768, neglecting to mention that it's really just a flickering 1024x384 image on a cheap monitor. Migraine sufferers beware! Finally, if you want to see interlacing in action look for flickering on the top and bottom edges of clearly-defined objects on TV. MR Interlacing It's also conspicuous by its absence from some cheaply-done graphics and freeze-frames. Matt Round/'Malevolent' Help! Help! I'm turning into a Tomorrow's World presenter!! * * * **** *** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ***** ***** ***** **** * *** ***** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *** * * * * * Thanks Matt. Does this means we won't be seeing "Santa Goes Psycho - The Interlaced Re-Mix"? Multiscan monitors can handle interlace without flicker, I think. They cost about £300, so at that price they'd better! - BRIAN BM Disc Contents Goodness me - is it contents time already? Doesn't time just fly by when you've had to type in over 30 pages of text! SAM FILE is a database program by Ian Knight. It needs MasterDOS and MasterBASIC, without which it's as useful as our modules without a MOD player. This can seem quite a complex beast at times, but with the help of the author's help document and a bit of messing about, I'm sure you'll soon be breezing through it as if you were born to. SENSIBLE DEMO is not, and you could be forgiven for assuming this, in any way related to that stunning footy game, Sensible Soccer. Bit of a shame that, as even the SAM could maybe cope with the not-too-heavily-scrolling game. Maybe. I don't imagine we'll ever find out. This is "just" a machine code demo by Andrew Collier, who seems to be learning his coding at a horrifically fast pace. The scrolly is a little hard to read, but I'm assured it was worse with a black background. I expect you'll manage somehow. BM Disc Contents CHEATS 2 is the sequel to CHEATS 1, and is again by Paul Crompton. I bet you can't guess what it does... Given up? Right then - CHEATS stands for Create Highly Emotional And Trendy Spiders, and in this Sim City affair, you must use your skill and judgement to breed a successful race of arachnids. In order to be considered successful, the creatures must be constantly on the verge of hysterics, yet with a dress sense which makes the Clothes Show look out of date and kitsch (wait a minute... that's not that hard!). Usual controls apply, and there's a 50 page instruction manual likely to pop through your letter box any day now to help with the intricacies of the game Q: The above paragraph is: * A: Straight up? * B: The biggest load of bull since the record breakingly big "Big Jim" the Fresian won "Biggest animal in show" in a show for really obscenely large farm animals on steroids? BM Disc Contents Sorry. I'm in one of those moods. Did you guess that the answer was "B"? MUSHIES is short for Mushroom Mania and with a title like that it has to be a game, doesn't it? Luckily, David Zambonini is in the know about these things, and yes it is indeed a game. Not entirely dissimilar to Pacman, you've got to move a little fungus around a maze, avoiding the evil things. Controls are either joystick or QSIOM. Fire/M transports you when you collect a little T crystal. There's no front end as such, so be prepared to start immediately. This game is not easy, by the way. If you get to level 5 I will be very surprised. SCI-FI is a collection of three spoofs on popular science fiction series. The author wants to be known as Anonimity Smith, and who am I to stop him. Let's just hope he goes on writing. E-TUNES has a new player! Yes! Tired of my hilarious LA LA LA LA scroller, Andrew Collier has written us a new player. BM Disc Contents He's even done us a scroller. That'll only last for a month though, then I'll try and persuade the new editor to put my LA LA LA LA one back, because you all love it - the suspense created by the word "wrap" just builds and builds and builds and oh! There it was! Sheer excitement. MODS has a music module which, though I'm getting sick of repeating myself, you can play on the MOD player on FRED #41. You can also put it on a PC disc using KE Disc on FRED #36, and then play it on either a PC with appropriate doobries or an Amiga with Crossdos or something (I prefer MultiDOS - write to me if you'd like a copy. My address will be in the music section). FADE is a shoot-em-up by David Zambonini. He says he doesn't know why he called it FADE, so don't expect me to reveal the mystery! QSIOM/joystick again. There is a wee bug in this - if you get to the end of level thing without having lost a life, the game goes in the huff and your SAM explodes. Or something. BM Disc Contents STEREOGRAM. Yes, it's another of those 3D things, this time by Stewart Skardon, our FREDITOR contender. Whereas Andrew Collier's printed them out onto paper though, this one generates them on screen, so you don't have to be a printer owner to scowl and frown and curse at these things until you go cross eyed. Equal rights for all! The instructions are brief. Make yourself a "template" - a screen containing two colours, palettes 0 and 1. Big, solid shapes work best. Pen 1 is the foreground and 0 is the background. Load the program, by pressing L on the main menu (well, duh!), and opt to load a template. I've stretched my artistic ability to the limit and drawn you one already. I've even called it TEMPLATE or TEMPLATE.$ (I forget which) just for the hard of thinking. Then select Generate from the Stereogram menu, come back several hours later and voila! Vous avez un stereogram! Now you too can join in the fun of not being to find any picture whatsoever. BM Disc Contents BITS N BOBS is pretty small this month. I don't know why. Must be the weather (wet). The first item is FINELINE by Jason Lam. It's THAT game again, where you've got to press space to move a line up the screen, release it to let the line go down, and avoid the objects on the screen. And please don't ask me why the palette flashes red and black. It's Jason's program, not mine! Next is SHAPES, a simple pattern-generating program, reminiscent of the old days when that's about all programs on SAM did! By Michael Capstick, it reminds me of something we did once in primary school. We'd draw circles, then mark points at equal distances around the circumference. Then all the points would be joined to all the other points and the end result would be a very nice patterny thing. The more points used, the better the end result. Run this and you'll see what I mean. You probably won't find it anywhere near as fascinating or sexy as I do though. Finally, more SAMPaint fonts from the unique Carol Brooksbank. BM Suspense Over! Okay, okay - the moment of truth. Who is your new editor? The candidates themselves have known for a couple of weeks now, and it's now time for you lot to become informed. I'll just remind you of the candidates: * Colin Anderton * David Finch * Stewart Skardon As you'll recall, we asked you all to vote for who you thought would make the best replacement for moi. It was very close indeed, but the eventual winner was....... Colin Anderton! So there's now no chance of FRED turning into a serious magazine! Especially if Colin A gets his mates to help. The one problem is we've got two Colins in charge. Maybe we should just call the Mcdonald Colin "God" instead. Or we could call the Anderton Colin "Tommy" from now on. No reason, like. Congratulations though, Colin. We'll be hearing from you soon, I expect! BM Next Ish Colin Anderton probably won't be taking over next month. Colin Macdonald (this Colins thing is annoying me already!!!) has told me he's going to have a go to remind himself what FREDiting feels like. We have got some excellent stuff in store, but the line up is far from finalised. If you've got something suitable for the big issue 50, there's still time. In fact, you should have a good week or so from the day this arrives. Items should be with Colin Macdonald by 1st October. We can guarantee that they'll be considered if they arrive on or before this date. Any later and we might be able to use it, but it really is questionable. Unless Colin gets a touch of the procrastinations, as I frequently do, in which case get them in by mid-November and you'll be fine! (joke....) Whatever happens though, enjoy this issue, enjoy next issue, and I'll maybe have a couple of half-century celebration words for you! - BRIAN BM Credits Editor: Brian "This is it! Freedom at last! Hurrah!" McConnell Thanks to: Ian Knight Anonimity Smith W Tippins David Zambonini Andrew Collier Stewart Skardon Paul Crompton Matt Round Lee Willis Graham Burtenshaw Jason Lam Michael Capstick Carol Brooksbank Derek Marriott Contact FRED at: Phone: 0382 - 535963 [redacted] >>>==>>>================>>>==>>> >>====>> Music Section! >>====>> >>>==>>>================>>>==>>> BM Music Section I thought that seeing as it is my last issue I may as well put at least some effort into doing a final music section. So this month we've reviews of Oasis' and Orbital's new CDs, as well as a definitive list of all-time classic CDs (in my opinion). Oasis - Definitely Maybe Hands up who's never heard of Oasis? Anybody? No. Thought not. Some of you might not have heard much of their music though, and that will explain away any FRED readers who don't have the new album. A Manchester band, they've taken the music industry by storm despite sounding "baggy" - the term given to bands like the Happy Mondays (yuck) a few years back. Don't let that put you off though - nobody else seems to be holding it against them! Oasis have a very solid collection of songs, the quality of which shines through any undesirable categorising given to them. BM Oasis - Definitely Maybe Already comparisons are being made with the Stone Roses (from here referred to as the SRs). This seems a little premature, given that the latter's debut is tremendous even now. Definitely Maybe is good, but I just can't see it gaining the status of the SR's effort. The sound is quite similar to that of the SRs, though it's more poppy. The songs are less abstract too, less pretentious than the SRs. They could be called less ambitious as well, but let's not be nasty. The two outstanding songs are Live Forever (most recent single) and Slide Away. The album is consistently good though, something I haven't experienced since Pearl Jam's last album. I'll avoid a tacky pun on the title; we've had too many "no Maybe about it - this is Definite"s already in magazines. Let's just say it's a fine album. 8 out of 10. BM Orbital - Snivelisation I bought this album purely and simply on the basis that Select, who rarely put a foot wrong, gave it 5 out of 5. I had heard one Orbital song before, and wasn't really sure what to make of it. There are three sorts of "techno" - there's the sort you can dance to, the sort that the compilation shelves are filling up with at an astonishing rate (ie ambient), and this. "Intelligent" techno, music that just happens to sound technological. You can't dance to this (not without maximum awkwardness, anyway), and it's too full of goings on to be classed as ambient. It's also very variable. There is no consistency in style here. 'Tis a veritable portfolio of music styles. Unfortunately, this is its downfall. When you want ambient, you put on The Orb, safe in the knowledge that ambient's what you'll get for the next hour or so. When you want in-yer-face hardcore techno you listen to some 200bpm Euro import by some loony. BM Orbital - Snivelisation What I'm saying is that this doesn't compliment a particular mood, other than "Hmmm, I feel like listening to a very clever, sophisticated, polished CD whose songs don't really gel together at all." Full of clever bits, and the odd good tune, but it simply doesn't work for me. 6 out of 10. The Time Frequency (TTF) - Dominator TTF are a very well known dance band up here in Scotland; I don't know about "down South", but I believe the two countries differ greatly in this area of music. Maybe that's hopelessly wrong and TTF are a household name in England too. I don't know. This is a much maligned type of music - handbag house, charty dance. Usually I would agree, but there was something about the singles that I liked, so I bought this, the album. . BM TTF - Dominator Depending on whether or not you like or loathe dance music in general, you'll either love or hate this. Obvious enough. Pretty standard dance music, arguably formulaic to the point of despair. But I love it! Two crap songs, a couple of OK ones, and the rest are great! Don't know how I'll feel about it in a month or three, but for now it's excellent. It's the musical equivalent of a formulaic Hollywood movie: you know the plot is soooo corny, but you still leave the cinema feeling good. It's also brilliant music to work out to! 8 out of 10. ***** As I may have said earlier, I will try to do music sections whenever I'm able to afford new CDs. Which, seeing as my grant's been cut by nearly £400 next year, may not be too often! We'll see though. In the meantime, I've compiled a list of the CDs in my collection that I consider invaluable. Compare notes or use them as a buying guide for yourself. It's up to you. BM CDs - Guaranteed Excellence! Artist - Title Boo Radleys - Giant Steps Buffalo Tom - Let Me Come Over Dinosaur Jr - Bug Faith No More - The Real Thing Angel Dust Flaming Lips - Hit To Death In The Future Head Guns N Roses - Appetite For Destruction Use Your Illusion Vol I, II Jesus And Mary Chain - Psychocandy Darklands Jesus Jones - Doubt Lemonheads - It's A Shame About Ray Come On Feel The Lemonheads Ministry - Psalm 69 Nirvana - Nevermind Pearl Jam - Ten Vs BM CDs - Guaranteed Excellence! Pixies - Doolittle Bossanova Trompe Le Monde Primal Scream - Screamadelica Rage Against The Machine - Rage Against The Machine Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magic Revolting Cocks - Linger Fickin' Good Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream Stone Roses - Stone Roses Superchunk - No Pocky For Kitty Teenage Fanclub - Bandwagonesque World of Twist - Quality Street Moby - The Story So Far One Dove - Morning Dove White The Orb - Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld UFORB (shocker!!!!) Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman BM Disclaimer That was a list of totally stunning albums. If something isn't there, it does not mean it's crap. For example, the Suede CD is very good, but it's not totally brilliant in the way that the Lemonheads' It's A Shame About Ray is. You'll know of certain items in your own music collection that just stand out somehow. I hope that helps you with some cash spending! There's 34 CDs there, which at an average price of £12 will set you back somewhere in the region of £400. A lot of lolly! Jeez. I've just calculated that I've probably spent over £1300 on my CD collection! And it will have cost under £200 to produce the whole lot. Hum. I suppose I should quit buying them. (Never!!!) Well, before I do leave you at long last, here's my address in case anybody wants to write, be it about music (especially music!), SAM, graphics (Aesthetix lives on!), the Amiga, or just general nonsense. Feel free to enclose HMV gift vouchers... [redacted] DM Concert Review by Derek Marriott Whitesnake + Pride & Glory When I bought the tickets for this I didn't know Whitesnake were going to be there. I would certainly never have guessed that Pride & Glory could be at the same concert as shampoo metallers Whitesnake. For those who don't know, P & G are a sort of black metal/country and western mix led by Zakk Wylde, an escaped Ozzy Osbourne guitarist. First of all P & G wandered onto the stage, beer in hand, no special effects or clever lighting, just lots of beer. They are, after all, the band of beers. Zakk bounced his bottle of beer against his guitar's strings to make sure it was working, casually retuned his bottom string (2 frets flat) and played what he calls country rock - somewhere between Black Sabbath and Lynrd Skynyrd. Best songs were Toe'n the Line, Horse Called War, Shine On and Chosen One. They also played an outstanding version of Black DM Concert Review Sabbath's War Pigs [Faith No More did that too! - Ed] - even the Whitesnake fans clapped along with that one. Zakk handed a bottle of beer to the crowd and wandered off again. I must admit that I didn't see the start of Whitesnake due to being at the bar. But heard it. Whitesnake were LOUD! This was the Greatest Hits Tour - I spotted no new songs. An interesting addition to the set was Don't Leave Me This Way from Coverdale Page, which really stood out. I'd rather hear Jimmy Page than Adrian Vandenburg, but there you go. If you're a Whitesnake fan you may disagree. They also played OI! (which we know well, obviously (!)) with drum and guitar solos. They played a fairly long encore and by the end had played every Whitesnake song I'd ever heard. At this point I should say that I don't really like Whitesnake, and I wasn't the only one there to see P & G; the bar was fairly full during Whitesnake, but then again so was the hall, which wasn't so for P & G. DM Concert Review Overall, a good night. At £16 this was one of the most expensive Wolverhampton concerts ever, but if you actually wanted to see both bands it would still be good value.
Letters & Reviews
BM Brian's Last Letters Section Gee. The last time I have to try and think up plausible answers for questions I really haven't the faintest idea how to answer. What a shame! I will miss it though. Through careful prodding and coaxing, some of you are starting to write a load of complete tosh, which is just how I like it! Take Colin Anderton for example. I bet he was a timid little train-spotting, 7 stone dweeb. Now look at him (or imagine him, anyway). I bet he's a *real* man now. And all because of a few carefully chosen words from yours truly. Oh the modesty of the great yet imminently retiring editor. I'm now going to have problems getting this oh-so- inflated head of mine out the door. Your letters of support, praise, and reminiscence are much appreciated. A few cash donations or beer tokens wouldn't have gone amiss, but never mind. The letters will do. I'm not in a question answering mood really, so I'll just let you read some nice friendly chatty letters, just for a change. - BRIAN Letter from Colin Anderton Dear Brian, Well well. This is almost certainly the last letter I write to you (or at least while you're FREDitor. You never know, if I get hold of your address...). I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say how glad, erm, I mean, upset we all are to see you go. I hope you'll still contribute though. As this is your last issue, I have a few questions. 1) Do you like Colin MacDonald? 2) How am I able to access higher memory in machine code and at the same time use line interrupts in connection with the Z80B processor? 3) Question 2 didn't make sense, did it? Letter from Colin Anderton 4) Whose letters have you enjoyed reading, editing and replying to the most? (Hint, hint) 5) Is it a nice day out? It is here. Goodbye Brian. Have a wonderful time at Uni, and I hope you get incredibly bored in your new found free time. Yours sincerely, COLIN ANDERTON BM Reply to Colin Anderton Taking your questions in a similar order to that in which they were asked: 5) No. It is pouring. It was sunny earlier on, but now it's raining very heavily. And it's windy. Damn curries. 2) Obviously you haven't read your SAM manual - it's in the chapter entitled "Very Easy Things. So Easy That Even A Confused Haddock Can Manage Them, Immediately After Getting Lobotomised. Even Easier Than BOOTing Your SAM" (Big title, no?) Tsk. Oh well - here goes. All you have to do is stand on a table (crowded libraries are ideal) and yell "Strubb Ching Frood Ping Ferp Ferp Coooooo-eeeeeeeee!" whilst slapping yourself with a bright red (and the colour's important here) paintbrush which has been dipped in treacle. Told you 'twas easy. 3) Twice a day, thrice on tomatos. Please matron, you wicked thing. BM Reply to Colin Anderton 4) The Bank's. Their letters are always a good read, and they have a terrific sense of humour. Sometimes, though, they can get a bit carried away and start exaggerating. Tsk, eh? 1) Yes - when he pays me... Just think Colin - it could be that someday YOU have the task of replying to MY letters! Cool! Only once the votes have been counted shall we know for sure though; David or Stewart might have the joyous task. And I'll think up some really evil questions, too. Will you be in Gloucester on the 22nd October then? With your posse of scoundrels and generally dodgy people? If so, see ya there! - BRIAN Letter from Matt Round Dear FRED, Firstly, a couple of cheats (Boris Becker and Mike Atherton?): Santa Goes Psycho: Press CNTRL and X during the game to jump to the hardest part of the game. Infection: Press ! during the game; you then only have to destroy one blob to complete that level. How's the toe, Brian? If you're thinking about using a more glamourous story you can always say it's the result of some David Mellor type over-exertion... The new licence sounds promising, and I'm sure Colin's bursting to announce it but is remaining resolutely tight-lipped about the whole thing, even when faced with trying to get off the phone to have his dinner! Letter from Matt Round It seems nothing short of a fortnight in the Bahamas with an exotic dancer and a crate of scotch [try Miller beer - BRIAN] will get the info out of him before everything's sorted out! FOR SALE: * Citizen 120-D printer. Standard 9-pin Epson FX compatible printer, so it works with Flash!, SAMPaint, DTP pack etc. Very good condition (I've even got the box, manual etc.), very cheap to run (ribbons are about £2.50 and last ages, and the one in it is still OK) and comes complete with a tractor-feed unit which you can clip on if you want to use continuous paper. * Games (all nicely-boxed originals): Prince of Persia, Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters, Pipemania, Klax, Football Director 2, Defenders of the Earth, Sphera, Famous Five, Multipack 1 (Futureball & SAM Strikes Out), Mind Games 1, Mind Games 2, Laser Squad (Spectrum). Letter from Matt Round I'm open to any offers, especially for the whole lot. Call 0248 352471 and ask for Matt, any time except mornings! I can't believe someone tried to sell Nick Symes a BJ 10sx for £299! I was paying over-the-odds at £210 here in Bangor! The BJ200 is the one to get if you need a sheet-feeder, but as far as I know it's got exactly the same 360dpi output resolution. As for refills, well, sometimes they're fine, sometimes it's a big hassle and the quality suffers. I suppose you can refill a cartridge once but I wouldn't push my luck and go beyond that; unlike most other printers', the BJ head is meant to be disposable so it's very unlikely to be made to last!). I'm surprised that Nick's gone for The Secretary - it's an ordinary - good, but ordinary - character-based word processor which uses the printer's own fonts. SC_WORD pro allows proportional spacing with high resolution, software - based fonts (anyone who's used PCs will know there's a similar difference between DOS-based and Windows-based word procs). Letter from Matt Round Well, I suppose I'd better finish this off and get back to doing some graphics (I'm working on a few things, including a 'proper' game which will hopefully be finished soon. I won't say any more coz it'll just be edited out anyway!)... Matt Round/'Malevolent' BM Reply to Matt Round We've had a bit of a dry spell in FRED recently as far as Matt's concerned, but I can tell you all now that it'll be worth it when you see what he's got up his sleevies! Don't miss next issue. Yeah. As if you'd even DARE! The toe's fine now, thanks. Good as new. I still can't play any major piano concertos with it, but I'm coping. I'm most shocked at the suggestion that I'd get involved in unsavoury encounters with actresses. As if. (Fwor though, eh? Eh? Nudge nudge? Fwoooor!) Mike Atherton cheating? No, no. He was just, erm, stroking the ball. He was you know. I know what the licences are. I could even tell you, and Colin probably wouldn't notice. So. You wanna know? How badly? Really really desperate? Gut-wrenchingly, sleep-inhibitingly curious? Tough. Ha ha ha. BM Reply to Matt Round You know, if I didn't know you better, Matt, I'd swear that you tried to sneak an advert into that letter. Obviously somebody of your high standing wouldn't even think of such a thing though. £300 for a BJ10sx is kind of steep. I think we ought to tell thingummy from Watchdog. Having just bought several dozen Compugraphic fonts for Wordworth on the Amiga, I can verify that they do indeed look stunning. As they're stored as a description (ie O is a big circle, P is a line with a semi-circle at the top. Simplistic examples, but you get the idea), they can be output at the maximum definition of the printer. Which is 360 dpi if you've got a Canon BJ. Does SC_Word pro use Compugraphics or some other standard? Anybody know? And why doesn't Steve ever reply to the questions we always have about his piggin' packages!!!! Well, cheerio, and I'll see you in Gloucester! - BRIAN Postcard from Stefan Drissen Hi there guys, I don't know why I'm sending you a card. I'm supposed to be on holiday. I must be mad! BM Reply to Stefan Drissen's Postcard Hmmm, yes. Good point there Stefan, and one which I'm sure we'll all have great cause to think about. Obviously the complexity of the issue prevents me from giving an immediate, off-the-cuff response, but my instincts tell me that you may well be correct. I hope you don't mind me printing your postcard, but it's my last issue (in case you missed the fact) and I thought to myself "What's an issue of FRED with no hint of our favourite Dutch New Zealander?" He didn't send anything though, so we'll have to feature you instead. Boom boom! I don't suppose you're coming over for more toothpaste polos...? (Don't worry readers; private (ish) joke). - BRIAN Letter from Allan Clarkson Dear Colin/Brian/New Editor, [impatient young thing - ED] Thanks for FRED #47. And, erm, 50k Music file? [On Allan's excellent Beeble - ED again] Ah. Em. I had no idea it was so big! I must confess that I never bothered looking at it 'cos it didn't interfere with the program. Actually I did it on The Sound Machine (bad buy!), and what really bothers me is that the music isn't that good anyway! If you'd asked I would have cut out the interrupt driven music and put in sound effects instead. But, you didn't, so.... I'm sorry that the rest of the disc was so small, but that's the price you pay for a quality (!) piece of software! Now you can all stop blaming me. Ho ho ho. [Oi! That's my line! - Yup, ED again!] So. Doug Murdoch's cursors don't work, eh? Well, neither do mine. In fact I wrote the whole of Beeble without any cursors. Note to Doug - does your CNTRL key work? Mine doesn't. Dougie and I will have to fight for peace, justice and programs that Letter from Allan Clarkson don't use cursors. Either that or just get them fixed. Do you know just how much hassle it is to have to retype a whole line just to fix one little mistake at the end? Oh, and a tip for bubblejet owners - when you get up and think that you might be using the printer, switch it on and leave it on all day. Every time you switch it on, the printer does a head clean which wastes a fair bit of ink. So don't switch it off and on all the time - leave it on all day. Info courtesy of my next door neighbour. Confidential bit here; all three candidates were good but **** **** gets my vote. Which city/town/village/hamlet/hole-in-the- ground does he come from? The Phantom Disc Filler BM Reply to Allan Clarkson Don't worry about taking up too much space; as long as it's not too ridiculous. If it was too much I'm afraid we'd have ignored you. A small note to people in general - we can't go about tweaking all the items we get. Well. I can't. The new editor might. But if something takes up far, far too much space or too many directory entries it will more than likely be left to rot in a disc box for all eternity. Same applies to games based on mines. We've had far too many of them lately, and while they are all fun and great and all that, they are all pretty similar. We haven't had a Worm type game for a while, mind you... If my cursors died, editing text on Outwrite might become slightly tedious, verging on impossible with a bit of soul- destroying thrown in. Thanks for the BJ tip as well, Allan. Oh yes - Colin Anderton's from Evesham, David Finch comes from Yorkshire somewhere, and Stewart hails from Surrey... - BRIAN Letter from Doug Murdoch's GF, Jill Angus (Subtitle: Doug's Big Surprise!) It was roughly a year ago that you last heard from me - the phantom girlfriend of your "lifetime fan" Douglas Murdoch. Again, Douglas knows nothing of this correspondence (I'm hoping to achieve maximum embarrassment!) and will wonder in awe how I obtained the address from the late Your Sinclair (Lord, how that magazine is missed. I had to plead with Douglas not to frame the last copy to put on his wall). I'll get to the point: to wish my Noodle-doodle, Dougie-woogie- woo-woo, Dinky Dums, (Gee. He'll really hate me after all this) a VERY HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY. However, this letter would not be complete if I didn't mention the sincere sadness that Douglas and I share in the future absence of our friend, Brian. Brian, I can't hide the fact that I've no interest in computing. Letter from Jill Angus I can't even load the SAM Coupe without something bleeping at me, but I feel that spiritually our souls are on the same plane. Many, many evenings have been spent philosophising in wonder at how you manage to study Computer Science, work at Wm Low *and* edit this heavenly, sacred disc. Neither you nor Colin will have to make small talk with Satan [Eh?!! - ED], your work for FRED is undoubtedly the best thing that ever happened to Douglas. Joking aside, guys really are appreciated for the time you spend on the magazine. Unfortunately, our family possesses an Apple Mac and for all its "user-friendliness", at the end of the day I do not have any chatty communication with an elite group of faithful users. Even though my version of Lemmings takes no time to load between levels, I miss that time, man; it gave me space to ponder over life's little mysteries, such as "Are Lemmings really all the same sex? And if so, how come there are so many of them?" I hope I fully embarrassed Douglas (my little petal). Jill BM Reply to Jill Angus We're probably being a bit cruel to Douglas here. What the hell though. It's a larf! Happy birthday though Doug. Or should I say "Dougie Woogie Woo Woo?" (Giggle) I'm glad you (and hopefully one or two others!) have enjoyed reading FRED. I love getting letters like this one. I don't have a clue what the bit about Satan was, but I'll assume it was a compliment! Balancing a part-time job, a weighty studying schedule and FRED wasn't too hard - who needs sleep after all? No, that's mainly why I'm giving up FRED; lack of time. FRED did significantly eat into time I would otherwise have spent doing homework (honest!). I'm lucky it didn't affect me too much in 1st year, which was largely revision and so not too bad. Finally, I'm not the expert on Lemming anatomy, but who knows what Lemmings get up to when they're not being manipulated by sadistic game players...? - BRIAN Letter from "Bob" Pain Dear Brian, Seeing as this could be your last issue as editor of the excellent FRED, I thought that it would be nice to write a goodbye (ish) sort of letter. Yes indeed, it was way, way back that I first wrote, and apart from the odd joke here or there it has been fun writing to you (as editor). OK, so your annoying habit of calling me "Bob" isn't one of the happiest memories I'll have, but (without exception) all my letters have been well received, and politely answered. So what can I say??? I'm sure it won't just be me that'll miss you, and your brand of humour. FRED has been (at times) very funny, and the Editorial is one of my favourite parts of the magazine (seriously!). I hope the new editor will maintain some of this humour. I would give a (small) sum of money so that you could have a drink on me, but (as you know) sending money by post isn't a highly brilliant idea. Letter from Rob Pain (That better?) Sorry about getting sentimental and nostalgic, but FRED just won't be the same without you. I'm sure I can speak for at least 500 or so FRED readers when I say this, but I'm sorry to see you leaving. Anyway, good luck with your degree (or whatever it is that you're doing). Now, with the mushy stuff out of the way, I can get down to business. A few questions if I may (and don't say in your reply that I may not), and also if I can remember them that is!!! (Sound of head crunching noisily against a wall in a mad effort to remember certain questions). Oh well. I've forgotten them for the moment, so your job will be nice and easy for once. (A couple of days later). I still can't remember what I was going to ask, so I suppose I'd better sign off for another month. If FRED49 isn't your last issue as editor, I doubt I'll write another letter for ish 50, so bye. BM Reply to Bob Pain Hi Bob. Had I known of your dislike of the name "Bob" I would surely have made even more effort to use it. So it's just as well you didn't tell me earlier! It could be worse though. Bobby Wobby Woo Woo has a nice ring, don't you agree...? If you or anybody else with more money than sense (er, no offense Rob!) feels the need to buy me a pint or two, please feel free to do so - cheques should be sent to Colin but made payable to Brian McConnell, otherwise the chances are that I'd never be any the wiser about their very existence! You could always just come along to the Gloucester show with a few beers (Bud's my beer of choice, incidentally). Then we could have a nice big party! We could turn all the 17 year olds and under out slightly early - about 11:00 am - and get plastered! Cool! And I'm sure Colin wouldn't mind losing several squillion pounds worth of trade, as long as we enjoyed ourselves. Well. I'll see you at the show. If you're there. Byeeee! - BRIAN Letter from Jason Lam Dear Brian/Colin, 1)- Is the SAM meant to be splash resistant in some way? I think CRASH said it can withstand coffee being poured over it, though it's not guaranteed. If this is so, then it may help the SAM Coupe computer to be sold more quickly. 2)- And can you switch off the keys for controlling the joystick so that the 6,7,8,9,0 keys can be used for something else? And can you make one of the SHIFT and/or SYMBOL keys from its little chum on the other side of the keyboard, like on the Amiga? And what about the two full stop keys? How about the one on the right used as a fire button? 3)- Also can you use the BEEP command and the POW, ZAP, ZOOM and BOOM commands in conjunction with the SOUND command so we have EIGHT CHANNEL MUSIC?! 4)- Can we have an arcade game in pixel perfect MODE 3? Letter from Jason Lam We had Sphera in MODE 2, and a mining game in MODE 1. 5)- What happened to the Kaleidoscope? (the wicked thing that gave SAM super colour palettes, about 32000 or something). Was it any good? Have people used it on FRED programs? Please fill me in! 6)- What about the SAM digitiser? Is that any good? What does it look like? How do I use it? I might buy it or something. 7)- Has anyone sent in what the SAM Midi program worth £39.99 can do? Please fill me in again. 8)- Will Streetfighter II, Mortal Kombat, Streets of Rage 1-3, Strider, FIFA Soccer, Micro Machines 1 & 2, and Purge be released on SAM? BM Reply to Jason Lam Oh my goodness! Questions questions questions! And to think I said I wouldn't answer any... In chronological order, just to redress the balance after the capers in the first reply: 1)- I haven't got a clue. To be honest though, I don't think we're going to shift many SAM's on the basis that you can pour hot drinks over it to your heart's content anyway. 2) & 3) - Let's just say I would be very surprised indeed if somebody managed it... 4)- Yup; if somebody can be bothered programming it. Parts of Footy Director 2 (well, the main menu) were in MODE 3 but I don't imagine that counts, somehow. 5)- I think it's safe to say it wasn't a roaring success. Forget it. 6)- Dunno. This is the first I've heard of it! BM Reply to Jason Lam 7)- Nope. And I don't have the faintest idea what it's capable of. 8)- I know this will come as a huge shock, and please forgive me for any undue trauma or stress suffered as a result, but _/ _/ _/_/_/ _/ _/_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/_/_/ _/ And Purge was released. They changed the name to Parallax. That's all. No great conspiracy to defraud SAM owners from the "real" purge! - BRIAN Letter from W Tippins Dear Brian, Concealed within this tatty envelope, you will surely find two delightful pictures, colourfully drawn by the illustrious master of all things graphic using SAMpaint, which by the way must be bought by every SAM owning body out there as it is really cool. Apart from the animation, which is destinctly naff. Oh! How I mourn your folly, master of Fred! I have reason to believe that you are disappointed at the pitifull retail of Lemmings. And I know why. Yes. The problem with Lemmings is that although is an exellent game and truly deserves to be highly polished and mounted on the wall of every home, we have all played the game on our buddies' Amigas and are now bored with it. What you should have done before bringing out such a license is to have started with older, less common games which have been generally accepted as exellent, such as Gauntlet. Letter from W Tippins In addition you must get your programming people to blatantly clone more popular styles of game - a Super Mario or Street Fighter 2 style game would surely go down a treat with the public and once you had one such game you would have all the appropriate programming techniques laid out for the next. But please - PLEASE - NO MORE NAFF PUZZLISH GAMES WITH PUNY MINISCULE GRAPHICS IN WHICH YOU HAVE TO THINK! What the public really wants is a mindless combat game whith large, colourfull graphics. Abandon the ageing spectrumish typical 8-bit style of game and follow the lead given by the consoles that you despise so much (A conversion of The Bard's Tale would not go amiss either). I can personally guarantee that you will feel a better person for it, people will love you for your body, not just your personality, and the world will be awash with peace and harmony.If any of the above do not occur, I shall stand atop Buckingham Palace in full public view ,slay Prince Edward, and eat his still-beating heart shortly before feeding myself into a Kenwood Blender. BM Reply to W Tippins I suppose you could have a point there about Lemmings. If that is the case though, why were people so persistent in finding out if it was ever going to be released or not? I don't know for sure though. You could be right. Using my most often used statement, if at the end of the day we don't sell enough copies of Lemmings, we aren't going to be able to get the licences we want, which isn't going to do the SAM any good in the long run. It's all very well suggesting Streetfighter 2 games, but do you really think the SAM could cope with anything other than the simplest of sprites? The Spectrum version of Streetfighter II apparently went down fairly well, but if we produced a monochrome game it would impress people about as much as, well, the Speccy version! Something like Mario could well be possible on SAM. It was done on an 8-BIT originally, after all. We need somebody to do the programming though, so any offers...? - BRIAN BM That's All Folks! And thus we come to the end of my very last letters section. I'd hate to think just how many letters, queries and general insults I've responded to, but it's probably a lot. I wonder if I can sue Colin for the RSI, brought on by so much typing, which I'll undoubtedly get later in in life? Before I go I'll just thank you all for all your letters over the past two years, especially the less serious ones which I always enjoy replying to more than questions about why a souped up SAM is the most feasible thing since having buses stop at bus stops. God. That debate probably still isn't over! Well, I think that's all I'm going to say. I could, of course, go on for pages, reminiscing and being all misty eyed, but I won't. It'd just bore you all. So I'll just say "goodbye".