Submitted by Dan Dooré on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 11:42.
|News, Golden Age Of Computing
|Multi-Screen Space Game
|M/C Demo By Sphere
|Banzai C Demo
|Find The Numbers Game
|Sorts Palette Into Order written in Sam C
|Fantasy Fred League
|Scott Inwood Robert van der Veeke
CA Editorial OLD MAN: I'll just sit down and watch FRED on telly and eat a jar of marmite. VOICEOVER: FRED Disc Magazine, brought to you by Marmite - for a better breakfast! SINGERS: "It's whacky, it's crazy, it's here tonight, We're gonna have some fun alright! So sit down with your cup of tea, 'Coz here is FRED magaziiiiiine!" VOICEOVER: And here's your host... Mr Colin Anderton! CA Hello Welcome to another issue of FRED. But not just "another" issue, I'll have you know. This is in fact a very amazing issue indeed, as I'm sure you'll agree if you've already made your way through the menu. Since last issue, numerous things have happened. The football season has kicked off - just watch this season as Lincoln City burst their way to the top of the third division and on to the glory of Second Division football. I have at last moved to Nottingham! The keys arrived one day before I was evicted from our house in Evesham. So my dad hired a van and we made our way with all my belongings up to the new house. There's a block of houses being built in a little area which is happily called Albert Square. However, only the first few houses appear to be built, so I'm literally living on a building site. Sounds a bit like Auf Weidersehen Pet (not to be mistaken for a very gorgeous game on the Speccy). CA "So Lonely, So Lonely, I Feel So Lonely"... The Police I'm pleased to say the house is bigger than it looked when we broke into the building site a couple of months ago. I'm sure you could happily accomodate three very small people in the living room AND they'd have room to move their little fingers. Really though, it's a very nice house. It's plenty big enough and all spanking new, just with a few bits missing. Just minor things though. Like a letterbox. And the washing machine. And the stairs. Still, it just took a day to get everything inside and then I was straight to work on this (late) issue of FRED. I'd have started it in Evesham only everything was packed pending a sudden move. At least I'll have plenty of time to do FRED, seeing as I'm the only person from University in Nottingham at the moment. No-one to talk to, no phone, no nothing. Just me. Alone. For weeks. CA "I get Lonely, So Lonely, Living On My Own" Freddy Mercury The cool thing about this house is that I've got the best bedroom ever. It's the biggest in the house and as it's a sort of loft-room, it's got a slopey wall on one side! What a treat. It's got a double bed too. That should hopefully come in handy (erm, incase I get fat, obviously). The only slight problem is that I have to go up three flights of stairs to get to it (not very safe after a night out). I'll draw a piccy to give you an idea of how far it is. \ / My room! \ /___________________________\ I'm nearly dead ! !_ ! / I'm getting ! 3 bedrooms and Bathroom !_ ! pretty hot !___________________________!_! blimey I'm at drawing ! !_ ! / knackered piccies, ! 3 Bedrooms and Bathroom !_ ! don't you !___________________________!_! cor that's tiring think? ! !_ ! / ! Living Room Kitchen !_ ! !___________________________!_: -ooh, nice house! CA "Everybody Hurts, And Dies And I Want To Kill Myself" REM ↑ That song has got to be the most rubbish, depressing song in the whole wide world. Ever. Moving along, lickedy-split, I was thinking yesterday, "Right, I'd better get FRED done very quickly indeed and see if I can't get it out in the right month." So, as you would if you wanted to do FRED, I got out my SAM. To my horror the '1' key, the '6' key and the 'F8' key had jammed down. Even brutal pulling-up force just meant that they popped back down when you let go. Could this mean a jammed keyboard, could this mean a non-working SAM??? Well, I turned it on and the F8 key popped back out. Good, good. Luckily the 1 and 6 keys weren't registering as keypresses and I could type. Then the 1 key popped back out. I booted Outwrite and within seconds the 6 key popped out! Hurrah! Erm, so the moral of the story is don't punch your SAM really hard if it's not working properly because it won't help. CA I Can't Think Of Any More Lonely Songs There was a bit of an adventure just last night when during a particularly amusing episode of 'X Cars', the water pipe just outside my house burst. I looked out the window to see a massive spray of water shooting all over the place. Tee hee hee. Luckily, because the houses aren't all finished yet, there's a security guard outside at nights and he had to deal with it. I cheered him up (ahem) with amusing jokes such as "I bet they don't train you for these situations in your job" and "Oh well, I'm off inside to put my feet up in the warmth and watch telly while you sort this out." Speaking of security people, I may have to get a job as a security guard so that I can pay my rent and eat. If I get the job, it'll be at weekends working twelve hour shifts. Of course, this will have an impact on FRED, but for the time being, I'm going to try and fit it in as best as I can. However, there are a couple of points I will make now. Well, in a page's time anyway... CA Work, work, work, work, work In some months, particularly at the end of terms and at exam times, I'm not going to have much time to write a lot. This is going to make a few of the editorials quite short. I'll make sure there's always something (whether it's by me, Colin Mac, or someone else), but don't expect an awful lot. Naturally, the need for articles will be even greater now, so if you do have the ability to write (which I'm sure most people picked up at first school), then please write something. I would also beg you to type it up on a 64 column (SAM) word-processor. If you can't, please still write them, and I'll pay someone to type them up, but if you can, this would be most appreciated. Secondly, if you could send letters in on disc, this would save me a lot of time and would mean I can leave more time to make the editorial as entertaining as ever (no jokes please). Lastly, keep writing programs. I think I've moaned about as much as I can, but I really, really need your help. If you can do any of this, I guarantee FRED's standards won't drop at all. CA "One Thousand Green Bottles Sitting On A Wall..." Oh my life! There's a massive digger outside knocking stuff down and digging up stuff. I hope they haven't changed their minds and decided to demolish these houses. Crikey, the house is shaking. I'd best save up before a power cut. Moving along and up a bit, I fancy having a sensible musical discussion now. You see, I've just been listening to the radio and that Spice Girls Song, 'Wannabee', came on. Now, I know I'm not allowed to swear, but what a complete bag of shite, eh? "I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want (etc)". I'll tell them what I want. I want them to shut up. I want them to bog off to the North Pole and never come back. Although the one who's wearing black in the video can stay. Deary me, I've never heard such tripe in my life. Give me The Smurfs any day. Sorry if you like it, by the way. Stewart "Nearly became FRED Editor but lost out to the better looking guy" Skardon probably likes it 'coz he's into rave "music". Tsk. I pity you all. CA Would You Be My Fantasy... Team Name Manager Score 01 The Crashed Crusaders Allan Clarkson 070 02 Frank Broughton Appreciation Soc. Mark Sturdy 065 03 What's In A Name? A. Francis 054 04 "Headless" Stefan Drissen 046 05 Scotland Colin Macdonald 041 06 Death By Electricity Doug Young 039 07 Some Dead Good People Graham Goring 039 08 I'll Cheat If I Start Losing... Colin Anderton 037 09 Real Nice World Andrew Collier 036 10 Blue Foot United Stewart Skardon 035 11 Crikey...My Wig Is On Fire! Andrew Chandler 034 12 Scorpion Soft Productions Team (?) Paul Dudley 032 13 Children Of Satan (ahem) Stephen McGreal 029 14 I Still Use My Sam, Honest.. Dave Handley 028 15 James Curry's Team Of SAM Wierdos James Curry 028 16 Crap Games Co. Dean Nicholas 027 17 The Kick Butt Crew Mark Bennett 026 CA The Fantastic Twenty Two 18 Happy Slug Productions Tim Paveley 025 19 Har Har Har Sylvia 024 20 Team Mango Chutney Matt Vowles 024 21 NewZealandStory Howard Price 021 22 Sentai Power Sammers NL Robert Van Der Veeke 021 Manager Of The Month : Mark Sturdy - 22 points An exciting, yet strange month. Lots and lots of movement everywhere in the table this month, and quite a lot of low scores - over half the teams scoring less than 10 points. Clarkson's lead at the top is reduced to a mere 5 points thanks to a superb month by Mark Sturdy. Ando continues his dropping, while Macdonald clambers another place up the table. Hot on the heels of victory is Doug Young, coming from nowhere to 6th. The bottom of the table becomes interesting too with some high scores causing concern with middle table teams. We're nearing half way, and I wouldn't put any money on it (well, I would because I'm a gamble-aholic, but it's not a wise idea). CA Another Little Table 01 Doug Young 022 02 Colin Macdonald 020 Just to make things a little more 03 Diggory Gray 016 exciting, here's the programmers 04 Prophex 016 table. Doug Young is top after a 05 John Eyre 012 high scoring FRED 72. Colin 06 Rob Pain 011 Macdonald gets in 2nd place on 07 Andrew Collier 011 mentioning ability alone (I'll 08 Stewart Skardon 010 have to stop talking about him). 09 Wayne Coles 010 Some good contributions from all 10 Allan Clarkson 009 of these people have got them 11 Bob Brenchley 007 into the top 18 (except MacD), 12 James Curry 007 and let's hope this little league 13 Simon Cooke 006 has got the adrenaline pumping 14 Graham Goring 006 enough for them to write 15 David Zambonini 005 something else and win!!! 16 David Laundon 005 17 Terry Ekins 005 Come on you reds.... 18 Victor Cooper 005 CA News Good news on the games front this month. Firstly, a copy of Graham 'SAMPaint' Burtenshaw's new Spindizzy game (the name of which I've fogotten - it's Momentum or something) has been sent to Colin Mac, and apparently it's really, really good. You may expect Colin to say that, but he was playing it when I rang him and he says he's glued to it. The release date is looking increasingly likely, so the game could well be out by the time you read this! Coming on well too is Kaboom, the Bomberman clone from Wayne Coles. It's been confirmed that FRED will be releasing it and Wayne is still hoping for a Gloucester show release. As the game could be released within a week of you reading this, I'll give you what I think (if my memory serves me right) is a run-down of the features. If you'll turn the page that is... CA News Kaboom will contain... - Mode 4 animated graphics - 1 to 5 player action - Computer controlled players!! - Different levels (each with a whole new set of graphics) - Quests or just straight bombing violence - Plenty of bonuses including extra range, more bombs, random bonus, constant dropping (that's a bad bonus to get), time bombs, increase speed, ghost, and many more I've forgotten about - Superb introduction - Different types of block layout - Tunnels and secret blocks - And a lot more Look out for the screen shots which we should hopefully have for the next issue. CA News SAM Elite, from Revelation, is nearly completely finished, so expect a release in the next few weeks. More news on all three, including prices and ordering addresses next month. ANOTHER game (as if you weren't getting enough) has just been released by ZEDD-Soft. The game is called Conquest and I'm pleased to say it's a strategy game. The aim of the game is to build up your armies, collecting new weapons and spells on the way, then march forth and attempt to conquer the land. There's 64,000 different lands to conquer, with 6 different races (types of species, not vroom vroom) and 6 different difficulty levels. Conquest comes with a manual to explain the game in full and supports Quazar Surround. I haven't seen the game yet, so don't know how it plays, or what code it is written in. However, it sounds an enjoyable game, and ZEDD-Soft are selling it for just £5. So, either order it now from ZEDD-Soft, New House, Holbear, Chard, SOMERSET, TA20 2HS or pick it up at one of the two forthcoming shows where ZEDD-Soft will no doubt be showing it off. CA News Mention you read this in FRED if you're ordering Conquest, and you can get 10% off (so that's only £4.50). Have you recovered from the Northern SAM & Speccy show yet? Well, get your diaries back out, because the next Gloucester show is in less than a months time. As ever, it's at our favourite venue, Quedgeley village hall near Gloucester and once again guarantees to have all the top SAM promoters. I shouldn't need to plug the shows any more, you all know that all the major companies will be there, you all know there'll be offers and bargains galore (especially if you hang about until the end and barter down all the companies like our Dutch friend Stefan Drissen tries to). There's a map on the newsletter (with any luck) and it's on the 26th of October. You could even visit the pub afterwards to show all the other SAM ownders what bargains you picked up and then miss your bus. JT The Death Of The Golden Age Of Computing This article was originally publishd in SAM2SAM issue 9, currently available from MDL Software. THE DEATH OF THE GOLDEN AGE OF COMPUTING ---------------------------------------- By John Teare Do you remember it? The days when poking was something you did to your computer, not your [SNIP - CA]. The time when games cost two pounds, graphics were little more than a mish-mash of colour, and two channel sound was an achievement. No keys, rubber keys, rubber keys, chunky keys ruled. The keyboard was the computer and if you bust a key then it was back to the repair shop for you. Interfaces that stopped games, printers that printed out everything in the same font at such a dismal speed that it took about three weeks to print out a letter, programmable joysticks that used bubble switches, cassette loading that outlived cartridges, home made add-ons, RAM packs JT The Death Of The Golden Age Of Computing and bean cans that replaced steering wheels. There was no age like it. But where did it all go? When did the fun stop, and the megabytes start? Who took away the EAR/MIC leads, datacorders and hyperloaders? When did the specifications become more important than the gameplay? And is it possible to put the blame for the rape of our entertainment on one person? It must be generally digested that SAM COUP'E owners are really computer freaks who want the specifications but without having to fiddle around with bugged versions of BASIC, crippling WIMP enviroments and escalating Software prices. When we purchased our machines we were pretty certain that this was the way that computing circles would eventually revolve. Okay, so we were wrong. The SAM was a misplaced machine in a world where speed, memory capacity and fluffy dice became the be all and end all of calculations. Although MGT, then SAMCo and now West Coast struggled to persuade customers that our computer was the choice for a real computer user, the fight was lost in the showrooms when retailers were too happy to accept golden handshakes from JT The Death Of The Golden Age Of Computing Commodore and Atari and generally ignored our little battling beast. As the fight got harder, the attempt to fight back from the manufacturers grew less and less. MGT really gave it a shot, SAMCo tried to salvage the mess left by the parent company, and West Coast were happy to sit back and let the SAM world fall to pieces whilst they contemplated hashing up the disk controllers and bodging a printer interface into an already outdated machine. Therefore, as SAM owners, we are perhaps in the best position to judge whether everything is going right. You see, back in the good old days, hard drives were things you hurt your head on. CD-ROM was the name of a bad guy in Blakes 7. The real rape of the computer world, however, did not happen with these advancements in technology. No, the real rape began in the USA with something called Nintendo. Americans are traditionally lazy. They have more leisure time per year than any other country in the world and so any kind of JT The Death Of The Golden Age Of Computing big change to the computer industry was bound to happen in the wonderful USA. On Nintendo's, Americans all over the place were scrambling to buy one of these new fangled beasts. Simply plug a cartridge into the back and you can play a number of different games. Joysticks were replaced by paddles and the world of computer games was taken into mainstream. Of course, these newly found gaming fans were not the problem. Coming into the world of computers, they were naive. They didn't realise exactly how much they were missing by waggling their paddles and fiddling with their cartridges. And of course, by not exploring the other avenues that the world of computers offered them these fanboys became sitting ducks for the marketing beasts. These major multi-nationals monopolies were not going to flog the idea that computers could do more. No, they were happy to allow these dumb American meddlers to continue spending their crisp $20 on new, more 'advanced' versions of the same game. Platform games were flogged under different titles - yet written using the same engine. Racing games, shooty games - every game. They all had different graphics but, essentially, the same gameplay. JT The Death Of The Golden Age Of Computing Fast on the heels of Nintendo came the one machine that single - handedly managed to kill the British industry stone dead. The Sega Master System. Never before has one machine changed the vies of so many people. As an alternative to the games machines of the time, the 8 Bit Spectrums, Amstrad's and Commodores, the sega MS was in a league of its own. Okay, so the graphics and sound were nothing special, but it wasn't cassette loaded, had a massive range of ready-to-go titles available for it and, perhaps most importantly, had the backing of a major financial owner. Sega took off. Meanwhile, back in the real computing world, Atari and Commodore were battling it out in the 16 bit front. It had already been accepted by the majority of the computer industry that the 8bit was now dead. Therefore, these big machine battle axed didn't really take heed of the warning that the 8 bit Master System had hammered out. Instead of putting out a united front to abolish the games console before it even started, they persisted in killing each other off with shock tactics, cheaper packages, JT The Death Of The Golden Age Of Computing more software bundling, higher specifications, better packaging, more polystyrene in the box, etc. The result of all this was that Commodore obliterated Atari and the Amiga was established as the number one home computer in Britain. But it was all going on whilst Sega were planning their next assualt. It came in the form of the Genesis - The Sega Megadrive. 16 bit technology, high graphics specification, great sound and loads of easily loaded cartridge games that rivalled arcade quality. It could do nothing that the Amiga couldn't do, but it was cheap to buy initially, and there were many games available for it - all priced at around £30. It also had Sonic the Hedgehog. The megadrive took off fine style. Whilst piracy ravaged through the world of the Amiga, these pirate-proof cartridges were attracting more Software manufacturers to them. And slowly and surely the prices of the games rose. Rose from being around £30 to being around £70. The golden age of computers? But everything America does, Britain copies ten years later and this seemed to be true of the new-found British 'intelligence'. Rather than abandoning these over priced Game and Watch machines, the public JT The Death Of The Golden Age Of Computing decided to spend a ridiculous amount of money on this revolutionary software. It was scandalous. Nintendo joined the race with its star-spangled Super Famicon - The Super Nintendo. And then everybody had a shot at producing something in the way of 16 bit console. The world of computing had disappeared. And, as I write, it is still lost. Okay Multi-media, CD-Rom, the InterNET etc, are all helping to bring back users who deserted us for the Game Boy, but in this world of specification hungry customers, the 'real' computers, the 'friendly' computers are never ever going to succeed. The whole idea of black plastic boxes with little red buttons on it is gone. Nobody wants simple machines that have BASIC programs on sale for £10. Nobody wants the SAM ideal. The Golden Age of Computers is gone forever. We've been swallowed up by high resolution graphics and sound cards. JT The Death Of The Golden Age Of Computing But is it all such a bad thing? It's an open-ended argument. I personally believe that, if you can afford it, then joining the top spec world would be a great laugh. I don't agree with the console idea, yet I own a Game Gear, so am I a hypocrite? No I remember the good old days with fondness, but I'm willing to be pulled along on the information super highway. Some would call it evolution... John Teare. CA Praise, Praise And More Praise That's an article and a half that is. Cracking stuff, thanks John. It's incredible how we wish we were back in the times when you had to wait 5 minutes for a game to load. It's a very good article, and it's spooky how John has the exact same feelings for consoles and new machines that I do. Heck, I even own a Game Gear too! There'll be another article from John next month. CA Quick Disc Contents In slot D we have a really, really beautiful and playable game from Luke Falla. I can honestly say that FRED is an extra day late because I spent ages playing this little gem. It really does remind you that SCADs is a powerful tool when used correctly. It's a sort of shoot-baddies but collect-things yet find-hidden-passages and fly-around-like-in-arcade-games em-up. I really love this game, and I beg Luke to write something else. It's a gem. Thanks Luke. In slot E, Robby Pain comes back to us again (hooray) with his recently found machine coding skills getting to work on a demo for the birthday issue (someone who's later than me?? Is this possible???). As you'd expect, Rob's demos are continually getting better and better and this is no exception. Take a look, then another and then another. Thanks Rob. Next comes Triple Peaks, my favourite card gambling game. There a version of this on FRED about a year back (it may have been by Luke Falla actually, but I can't quite remember). Anyway, this CA Disc Contents is one of the FRED games I go back to time and time again, so imagine my joy when John Eyre delivered this new version with lots of new details and facts in it. Over the moon, I can tell you. Another day lost playing this! What's more is that it's written in SAM C! Double hurrah! Many, many thanks again John. And if those beauties haven't kept you going for at least a month, then feast your eyes on this. It's the return of Banzai, fresh back on the SAM because he's unemployed! And straight away, he gets to work on SAM C, providing us with a very impressive SAM C demo. Banzai asked me to change the music because his sound chip wasn't working and the music was probably rubbish. Well, I think it's fine (even if I wouldn't know a C-sharp from a fart). Thanks Banzai. Just incase Triple Peaks hasn't got you addicted, here's a mind puzzling game from John Eyre. Sit there, work out the sequence of numbers and simply tell the computer what they are. Sounds easy, but it's not. Especially after a few beers. CA Disc Contents Jack Bailey finally comes back with a disc of tunes, and here they are - and as melodic as ever. Thanks Jack, you're a brick. Or something. Banzai fights for the most menu slots with another contribution, this time a rather handy utility that helps you sort the palette colours when messing with converted (or otherwise) screens. This version is very polished and a useful utility to have stashed away in your disc box. Cheers, Banzai. Due to FREDEX being on the menu, FFL! nudges into the spotlight for one month. And before anyone says anything, I know FREDEX isn't completely up to date. But never fear, when Colin eventually gives me the latest few discs that I did, it'll be completely updated. It's too late now. And adverts, screens and modules round off a marvellous issue. CA Thankyou A large bullfrog: COLIN "Anderton! Stop swearing!" MACDONALD A hairy rodent : COLIN "I'm not bloody swearing!" ANDERTON I'd kiss the feet of everyone listed below if they asked: Luke Falla Rob Pain Jack Bailey Peter Baxter John Eyre Banzai Noel Morgan Richard Quirk John Teare Danni Minogue Shannon Jet We'll see you at one of the shows then, I guess. Or write to us at this address: [redacted] You know, there's 4617 words in this editorial. Amazing!
Letters & Reviews
Letter From Noel Morgan Hi Colin, I'll get straight to the point with some begging questions. 1) Will the new Bomberman game from Wayne Coles be compatable with joystick? 2) Can I still pick up Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters from anywhere? 3) Is it easy to use the mouse with SAM C, and how? 4) Has there ever been a chess game on FRED? 5) What's the best method to install an effective sprite collision detection sytsem (in machine code or C)? Good luck in the move, and thanks! Noel CA Reply To Noel Morgan Thanks for the questions, Noel. I can help you with a few of them, but the rest I'll have to ask for reader help on. Kaboom will be able to use the standard 67890 joystick, and it may also be possible to use others depending on how the key collision effects things. E.F.T.P.O.T.R.M is still available from places. The best way to get hold of a copy is probably to get yourself along to one of the shows - all the older games are available there and at a knock down price too. No idea about question 3 or 5, I'm afraid. Any takers? As for the chess game, there hasn't ever been one on FRED. The only one available has recently been written by Jupiter, and I would desperately like to see a review of it if anyone can help. Letter From Peter Baxter Dear Colin, What can I say? You've been asking for letters, so here's my attempt... Having absolutely nothing to say, I thought I'd just say everything that I thought. If that makes any sense. Firstly, I completely agree with your perseverance of articles. Reviews too should be in the editorial. Anything SAM related is informative to all of your readers and should be placed somewhere between the amusing monthly anecdotes and the disc contents. I'll be writing reviews in the future, but for now, I'll give you my opinion of some latest SAM releases. TnT - a classic SAM release, the most addictive game yet - 94% Grubbing.. - very enjoyable but best played with as many human players as possible - 76% Based On An Idea - technical and excellently done, but Letter From Peter Baxter isn't the next issue late already??? - 91% Crashed - the new paper mag with the most effort put into production, looks very good apart from photos which lose quality on photocopying - 71% Ice Chicken - well written, but repetitive. A bit of a disapointment really... - 55% Having read the latest couple of FREDs, it looks as if the software market is about to take a welcome uplift. One new original game, one adapted game and, of course, SAM Elite. I hope to get to the Leeds show to have a gander at the latest releases/versions of the programs, and if I'm feeling adventurous, I may even pop down to the Gloucester show as well. Being the boss is wonderful! Congratulations on an excellent disc magazine, and pass on my congratulations to Bob Brenchley and Simon Cooke. Peter Baxter CA Reply To Peter Baxter Thanks for the quick reviews. I'm a bit surprised with the Ice Chicken review though. I'd like to see a full review from another reader to find out what they have to say. Any offers? A couple of people have suggested moving reviews into the editorial. To be honest, that's where you'd expect to find them - in the main magazine rather than at the end of the letters section. I don't know why they were in the letters section in the first place, but unless anyone has any complaints, I'd be happy to shift them. I'm sure Simon will be reading this, so consider your praise passed on. As for Bob... well, if he doesn't read FRED, then it's his own fault. Besides, we don't want his head swelling any more. And I think Colin Mac will agree with you on that "being the boss is easy" business. Bloody slave driver. Letter From Niloc Retonnda Dear Colin, I would just like to say that FRED is the best publication on Earth, and you are the best editor on this side of the universe. I think you deserve a pay rise. From, Niloc Retonnda CA Reply To Niloc Retonnda Thank you for your views, Niloc. I agree entirely. Taking up your final point, I am sure that Colin Macdonald is reading now and is seriously considering this option. I look forward to hearing from you in the future. Letter From Richard Quirk Hi there Colin! You may remember I wrote a while ago. Last Christmas I think it was. Anyway, I was just sat on the bed flicking through the Argos catalogue when I saw some disks and thought "Disks, FRED, contributions, write letter, post, be on FRED". And here I am!!! I still can't complete EGGBuM! It's that damn blasted left hand side area! I jammily did it once, but hadn't done the right hand side and died trying to get back! Anyone got any tips on that score? Looking forward to Kaboom, the bomberman game, coming out on the SAM! I've got a game called Master Blaster on my Amiga and it's the game I love and cherish the most. A SAM version would be really great - I'll be the first to order one! The magazine is still looking great! I'd still like to see Letter From Richard Quirk more news from other companies if at all possible. I prefer the cut down disc contents - to be honest I never really took any notice of the longer ones anyway! It was just; FRED arrives, open envelope, boot disk, read editorial, see disc contents, skip to letters. Looking back, this is a bit of a naff letter. I get boring vibes from it. But, waste not, want not. You can have it anyway! Adios!!! Richard Quirk CA Reply To Richard Quirk It's amazing isn't it? I spend pages nagging for people to write letters, then Richard here spots a disk in the Argos catalogue and that's what inspires him! Amazing. I've completed EGGBuM (brag, brag) and I found that the best way to get anywhere is to do a little bit of the screen at a time then get your ball into a position so that it just bounces freely without you having to move it. Then you can take a breather and think about the next little step. Once you panic, it's usually game over. I too would like to see more news from other companies - the problem is getting it. I'm not going to waste time ringing around. It's up to them to write to me. Zedd-soft wrote a few days ago telling me of their nerw game, so that'll get a mention, but apart from that only Revelationm ever ring. And make sure you go flicking through the Argos catalogue again in the not too distant future (what a strange hobby).