Submitted by Dan Dooré on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 11:51.
|Magazine||News, Show Report, Ffl|
|Colins Tt's||Stephen McGreal||Colins Time Trousers Game|
|Amiga Sam||Andrew Chandler||Mod->E-tracker Module Converter using RS232|
|Crossword||Howard Price||Nice M/C Crossword Puzzler|
|Faller||Simple Thrust/Retros Type Game|
|Useless Ones||Robert Brady||Start Trek-Esque Story|
|C Program||Tom Wilson||Sam C Tabs Program|
|Ffl!||Colin Anderton||Fantasy Fred League|
|E-Tunes||Jack Bailey||E-Tracker Music|
|Modules||Chris Dodd Leszek Chmielewski||Amiga Modules|
|Line Game||George Boyle||A 2 Player Line Game|
|Tile Game||George Boyle||Slidey Puzzle|
CA Colin Macdonald Excuse me for starting the editorial with something that should blatantly be at the end, but Colin's intended to read this, and he only ever reads the first page. So it has to go here. Hang on, the fire alarm has just gone off. I'd best just check the house isn't burning down. Right, where was I? Oh yeah, Colin Macdonald. This is mainly just to say goodbye from me and from the rest of the readers. Even though I had a 0% increase in my pay for the whole time you were boss (big pause), it's been really enjoyable, especially ringing you up early in the morning. Make sure you keep writing bits for FRED, and if you ever become rich and famous, I want a job. Oh bugger. This means my FRED jumper has got the wrong address on the back now! Colin, come baaaaaaaaackkk........ CA Happy Valentine's Day, Mon Petit Cheri This just isn't funny. It's the second day of term, and my house mates appear to have buggered off to lectures, leaving me sound asleep in bed. I've missed all my lectures for today. And I've got a stinking hangover. And I've wet the bed (joke). Anyway, hello. How's your month been? Dandy, I hope. Mine has been really boring, what with exams and stuff. I think I've made a bit of a hash of them, but I'll work harder in the future (maybe). The highlight of my month was probably celebrating the end of exams. I single-handedly managed to stop us getting into a club (because I was too, erm, merry) and banned from our local curry house! Hurrrah! To be fair, though, Claire caused the "problems" in the curry house, I merely got blamed for it all. I cut my toenails yesterday. I was chewing one of them for a good ten minutes. CA Swiftly, swiftly This co-editor thingumy is paying dividends already. In a normal month, this would be the second page of gubbings that I'd be writing and, to be fair, the expected finishing date is probably another couple of weeks. However, I received a phone call from Mr. Clarkson himself yesterday telling me he's done loads of stuff and it's all pretty much ready for me to do my editorial and the letters. Which should only take me ten days. Or three if I can be bothered to work hard. The only thing I have to think about now is how I can rip him off and pay him less. Maybe I could point out that he's a Yorkshire-man born and bred and he can't possibly afford another whippet. Or maybe not. Maybe I can cleverly pile all the work onto him, and still claim half the pay. That'd be clever. CA Why Do I Never Listen? What is the single-most important thing people ever tell you in your life? Think. The one thing that you're told that matters more than anything else. Not "look both ways when you cross the road". Not "Don't accept sweets from strangers". Not even "Don't ever become a mass murderer". It's clearly, "Make regular back-ups of the editorial". What a plonker I am. A great big stinky plonker. The idiot downstairs in our house was attempting to do the washing up and watch telly at the same time and masterfully poured water all over the plug sockets, sending my telly and stereo into a coma-like state. Or off, as is sometimes better known. "NOOOOOO!" I screamed as I watched the editorial shrink to a small dot on the telly screen then vanish. So, now I'm about to have as much fun as Cliff Richard does and re-type everything up. Oh, happy days.... Meanwhile, have a read of Colin MacD's show report... CM Finally...'the' Gloucester report! I know this report has been a long time coming, but there have been 'one or two' things to keep my mind preoccupied - some of which you may find out fairly soon... However, at long last, I can give the story behind the Gloucester Show many moons ago in October. There's little point in my relaying the events of the day, in terms of the Show itself, and of SAM, because so long has passed, and because there have already been a few reports on such matters. However, purely for the purposes of amusement, I will now try to retell the events of Gloucester that are NOT directly related to the SAM...and yes, that means mostly at the pub! My weekend started with the pleasant 400-odd mile drive down to Gloucester on Friday afternoon - in the past I've always driven down over night, but I thought it might be nice to get SOME sleep before a show! (show regulars will know that on every show up till now, I don't think I've ever had any sleep the night before the show). I had arranged to go out for CM Gloucester... a quiet drink on the Friday night once I got down to Gloucester, and so had a schedule to keep to. The one time I'm actually in a hurry to get down to Gloucester, things start to go horribly wrong! There's a silly game I play when I'm driving long distances - I try to go as long as possible without putting petrol in, and see how close I can cut it without running out! I was past Manchester, and the petrol light had been on for a while, but I decided not to go into services, because there were more in another twenty miles or so. A mile down the road, and I hit heavy traffic. And I mean HEAVY! When the road sloped down, I could see a line of brake lights as far as the horizon! Of course, I knew stopping and starting, and the car just crawling along was going to guzzle petrol, so I was using very trick imaginable to save petrol - mainly involving not using the brakes - which meant some near misses! CM Gloucester Two hours late, I eventually got to Gloucester, had a nice evening, and a good night's sleep before the big show. We got tidied up from the Show at around 5pm, and being the good samaritan that I am, made various offers to give people a lift into the city centre...provided they filled in any spare time, in a public house. Messrs Stefan Drissen, Dan Doore, Tim Paveley and Stewart Skardon were unfortunate enough to suffer my driving into Gloucester centre, and we quickly ditched the car half way between the pub and the train/bus stations. And that was when we worked extremely hard on refreshing ourselves after a long day at the show...the pub thought it was Christmas I'm sure! However, as the night wore on, and the things become...ever more cheerful, a couple of memorable events occurred : CM Gloucester... Silly event 1) I decide to go to the toilet, see a sign next to a blank door that says 'Toilets' and wander in...only to find the Ladies toilets! Feeling rather stupid, I hurry out thinking of the abuse I'll get when I return to the others after they'd seen me walk into the Ladies. Silly event 2) Fortunately, no-one had noticed my little slip-up, so I decided not to mention it. However, Stefan then decided to use the toilet... and made the exact mistake I did, of walking into the wrong toilets. Not one to be forgiving, I -immediately point this out to everyone, and we're all sat watching the door for Stefan to realise his mistake and come running out... 30 seconds pass, and no Stefan - we're in hysterics A minute passes - no Stefan, and we're puzzled Three minutes pass - no Stefan, and we're worried! Eventually he emerges to rolls of laughter, and to his CM Gloucester credit, immediately realises his mistake and trying to cover up by saying he thought British toilets might have been mixed sex.... Silly event 3) After much merryness, Dan has to catch his last train home...so leaves us. Myself, Stefan, and Mr Brenchley's lovely daughter AnneMarie decided to move on to another establishment. Meanwhile, Dan misses his train, can't find us back at the pub, so books into a local hotel, and although the stories are patchy, there was talk of someone falling down a flight of stairs and being woken up at 5am by the hotel! Silly event 4) This might well be Stefan trying to chat-up our landlady for the weekend by talking Dutch before finding out she was German, but I couldn't be sure! CM Gloucester Silly event 12) Definitely upon leaving the nightclub - myself and Stefan decided it wasn't fair that AnneMarie was driving us around all the time, so we picked her up - an arm and leg each and tried to carry her back into the nightclub. The bouncers on the door were not amused. And that is the story of SAM people winding down in style.. or disgrace, depending on your viewpoint. There is however, one more point worth mentioning, and it is first thing the next morning - Stefan and I left the B&B shortly after breakfast...got out of the door...onto the street...and didn't have a clue which way to go! Not only did we not know where we were in relation to the City Centre, but after wandering aimlessly and eventually finding our bearings, we werenit sure where we'd left the car!! Fortunately, we did find it at last (the remote keychain coming in extremely handy in verifying it was the right CM Gloucester car!). Stefan left for his return to the Netherlands, and I made my way back up to Scotland, both having promised to repeat the weekend! So as they say, until the next time!! Just in case you happened to be wondering what happened to the silly events which were missed out - so are myself and Stefan!! We're sure you understand though... Having just spoken to Mr Anderton, we've made tentative arrangements for the Leeds Show coming up in February... anymore caring to join in the hilarity...on the premise of NOT talking computing for the WHOLE night should consider themselves welcome and should book themselves into a B&B for one or both nights.... AC Howdy, folks! Right, if Colin doesn't move this then it looks like I've got the introduction to Fred 77, although I ought to be revising for an exam which I have tomorrow. Erk. I'll revise later, I suppose. [Consider yourself moved! Mwahaha, such power at MY fingertips - CA] Anyway, what's been happening, then? Well, I've been busy trying to get this issue of Fred out before the 2nd NSSS, as well as issue 18 of Crashed. I've got to get the show organised, too, which is a problem because Daniel (the other organiser) seems to be incommunicado recently. Or should that be incompetent? Who knows. I've been over to Colin's cardboard box... ahem, I mean house, to get a few disks, steal a couple of Simpsons videos and laugh at his new haircut. As I haven't a photo to show you, I can only tell you that it makes him look like The Fonz, from Happy Days. AC Yeehar! He probably won't like me saying that, but I know he's going to insult me somewhere so I might as well get them in while I can. And anyway, it's true. [Just because you've got less masculinity than Emma from the Spice Girls - CA] This issue there's a few changes to normal; not great big changes, but little things that I think improve Fred's presentation. The first, and most obvious, is this font. I think it makes mode 3 text easier to read because it's wider and shorter than most fonts, making the vertical lines of text wider and increasing the gap between lines. Anyway, that's the theory, let us know what you think. I've also made SamPaint headings for Fantasy Fred League, Modules and any C Libraries that we put on. These only take up a couple of K, which we normally have free on the disk anyway, and they look really nice. Well, I think so, anyway. AC More Of That Lovely News for more information, or have a look in January's Format, 8Bit, or other mags. West Coast Computers have started including software vouchers worth up to £50 from Revelation and Fred with all new SAM Elites and reconditioned Coupes from the first of January. Reconditioned Coupes are only £139.95 and with the £50 vouchers represent excellent value for money. Lovely. There's a couple of computer birthdays coming up soon. First is the ZX81, which will be 16 years old, and there's also the good old Zilog Z80 CPU, which all SAMs, ZX machines, and London telephone systems (sorry, my old job coming out there), amongst other things, contain. It will be 21 in April, which is older than a lot of Fred's readers! CA News The Gloucester show is looming round the corner, so make sure you get the day off for that. Once again, it's in Quedgely village hall near Gloucester. It'll give you the chance to buy Kaboom, which is now finished (at last) and it'll also give you (and me) a chance to check out the new FRED owner. Wow. FRED is moving back to labels! The price of on-body printing is proving to be too expensive now, so Darren Wileman has decided to go back to labels. Well, it was either that or give me a pay cut. I think he's done the fair thing. It's a great shame that FRED won't look so sophisticated or exciting any more, but rest assured the contents will be just as good. Blitz 3 is out, but from what I've heard it's just a bit of a cut and paste of FRED items. Most noticably, Wayne Coles' game, Stax was put on there while Wayne was still considering letting them have it. Wayne decided against it, but it was already on. I'd give you the address, but then you might buy it. A bit harsh maybe, but who cares. CA Ffffantasy Fffred League Team Name Manager Score 01 Scotland Colin Macdonald 101 02 The Crashed Crusaders Allan Clarkson 090 03 "Headless" Stefan Drissen 088 04 Crikey...My Wig Is On Fire! Andrew Chandler 084 05 I'll Cheat If I Start Losing... Colin Anderton 083 06 Frank Broughton Appreciation Soc. Mark Sturdy 072 07 Team Mango Chutney Matt Vowles 064 08 Real Nice World Andrew Collier 063 09 Sentai Power Sammers NL Robert Van Der Veeke 061 10 What's In A Name? A. Francis 056 11 Children Of Satan (ahem) Stephen McGreal 056 12 Scorpion Soft Productions Team (?) Paul Dudley 055 13 Blue Foot United Stewart Skardon 055 14 Happy Slug Productions Tim Paveley 054 15 I Still Use My Sam, Honest.. Dave Handley 043 16 Death By Electricity Doug Young 043 17 Har Har Har Sylvia 042 CA Fantisy Frod Leagie 18 Some Dead Good People Graham Goring 041 19 James Curry's Team Of SAM Wierdos James Curry 040 20 Crap Games Co. Dean Nicholas 038 21 NewZealandStory Howard Price 038 22 The Kick Butt Crew Mark Bennett 035 MANAGER OF THE MONTH : COLIN MACDONALD - 26 POINTS I imagine you're all sat with a surprised look of, erm, suprise on your faces. I wept when I saw it. Colin flaming Macdonald at the top. What a swizz. The good news is that Allan has finally been knocked off, but the bad news is that it's Colin. Other big scores from Drissen, Chandler, Ando and Vowles mean it isn't completely over. Yet. More interestingly though, is the fight for Supreme Loser. The Rock Bottom Crew remain in last place, but have caught up a little, leving the unsuspecting Price, Nicholas, Curry and Goring in suspense. Sylvia, our female player, shoots up onto the first page. She made up her team, you know. You lot are a disgrace. Tut. AndyC AMIGA TO SAM MODULES CONVERSION USING RS232 ------------------------------------------- This article accompanies the software on this issue of FRED. It will allow you to convert modules from the Amiga to the SAM using the communications interface. You will not need any special Amiga software - the whole process can be carried out with the lowly Workbench. You will need: A 'working' Communications Interface, A copy of the Amiga Workbench, The transfer software on this FRED, A 3-core cable with connectors & hoods. NB. Some versions of the Communications interface have small 'faults' which need correcting. These have been mentioned in earlier issues of FRED and Format. Issue 3 of Based On An Idea (yet to appear) will contain a comprehensive article on this. AndyC AMIGA TO SAM MODULES CONVERSION CABLES ****** You will require a short length of screened 3-core cable. It doesn't HAVE to be screened or of a short length, BUT if you have a long un-screened cable, then you will experience noise problems which can only then be overcome by using much slower speeds that by the time the data has been sent, you've grown a spectacular beard! Next, you will require a female 9-pin D-type plug (look on the back of the Communications Interface for the socket). If you have a mouse, this is the type of plug required. These can be obtained from Tandy or Maplins along with the protective 'hood' or cover required for you to be able to use it. You then need a similar plug and 'hood' but with 25 connectors for the Amiga. All the required plugs, hoods and cables can be bought for around 7 to 8. AndyC Modules Conversion The plugs need to be wired as followed: SAM Signal name Amiga Signal name 2 Rx 2 Tx 3 Tx 3 Rx 5 Gnd 7 Gnd - - 1 Frame Ground (for Hood / screen) ------------- ----------------------------------------- \ 1 2 3 4 5 / \ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 / \ 6 7 8 9 / \ 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 / --------- ------------------------------------- SAM SOCKET AMIGA SOCKET (Looking at back of machines) AndyC Modules Conversion The shield of the cable should be connected to the hoods of both connectors and to pin 1 on the Amiga. Unfortunately there is no equivalent pin on the SAM. Amiga Software ************** You do not need any special software for this (apart from possibly ProTracker / NoiseTracker if the module is packed). The conversion can be done with the standard Workbench software. Firstly, boot the Workbench and then click on the Workbench icon. Select Preferences and then Serial (the telephone icon). You then need to alter the settings as follows: Handshaking - None Parity - None AndyC Modules Conversion Baud - 9600 * Data Bits - 8 Stop Bits - 1 Buffer can be set to 512 bytes or greater. *The baud rate is not actually critical with a good link, as long as both machines are set the same. If the link is of a poor quality, then a slower speed will be necessary. With the Workbench disc unprotected, select the SAVE option and these settings will then be stored on the disc so you don't have to keep adjusting them. The Amiga will also exceute an automatic USE command and so the settings will be activated straight away. The next thing to do is to open a CLI (Command Line Interface). Select System from the main Workbench window and then select the CLI icon (NOT a Shell). Once the '1>' or '2>' prompt appears, you're ready for action! AndyC Modules Conversion Next, boot the SAM and start the software, enter the following command on the CLI: COPY filename TO SER: After a short burst of disc activity, the data will start to appear at the serial port. The SAM should now start making a 'modem' sound and have a flashing border. Once the data has been sent, it will use Stefan Drissen's 'CALC' program to obtain the correct length of the file received. The Amiga will not produce any prompts unless there has been a serious error. When the '1>' or '2>' appears, all the data has been sent. (DIR df0: or DIR df1: will give a directory of either unit 0 [internal] or unit 1 [external] on the Amiga or LIST df0: or LIST df1: will give you a more detailed directory listing). *NB. This has been tested on an Amiga 500 (1MB) with RAM Drive AndyC Modules Conversion and two 3.5inch disc drives. If you only have a single floppy drive, then you may be prompted to keep swapping discs. If this is annoying then you can create a recoverable RAM Drive as explained in the Extras manual and load as many of the useful commands as possible in to this. (Amigas with only 512K may find it a tight squeeze, but it should work). Copy such commands as DIR, LIST, COPY, CD etc. in to the RAM Drive in the C directory so that when you enter these common commands, it will search the RAM Drive first and will not use the Workbench disc. Don't worry if you didn't follow that last bit, you can continue as normal except you may have to exchange discs more often. SAM Software ************* The software comprises 4 parts. The first is the machine code which contains a small extract from Cliff Jackson's 'STU' disc AndyC Modules Conversion and is an extension of the work I was doing with him. (available from SAM PD folks!). Next is the MGT serial driver program (slightly altered), the main transfer program and then Stefan's CALC program to correct MOD lengths. The SAM Software is very basic. There are no parity checks on the data etc. and there is no sophisticated error-trapping. If the file is to large it will overwrite important code, so keep it smaller than about 400K (though the MOD Player has a lower limit than this). The program starts off with the standard Serial Driver Program which came with the Communications Interface as this software drives the timing in the interface. The defaults are set as per the Amiga section elsewhere, but can be changed as long as the settings on the Amiga are also changed to reflect this. Exit will execute a BOOT command and SAVE settings will SAVE OVER the serial driver machine code. AndyC Modules Conversion Once initialised, you are directly in to the main program. You will see an indicator in the centre of the screen which continually updates (each time it updates, the software has 'timed-out' due to no data being present). When you enter the transfer section there will be a short pause while the software clears the buffers. DO NOT send any data until the status bar is moving. When you enter the copy command on the Amiga, there will be a short pause before the SAM responds as the Amiga will not send any data until it loaded all of the code from the disc. When the line goes dead for about 1-2 seconds, SAM assumes that all the data has been sent. It will then proceed to calculate its correct length, display the total number of bytes to SAVE and prompt for a filename. If you enter nothing (by simply pressing Return), it will ignore the current data it holds and simply start again. The program automatically adds a '.MOD' AndyC Modules Conversion extension and so you are limited to 6 characters and it will ask you for another filename if you enter more than this. If you wish to quit while the line is dead, hold down the space bar for approximately 3 seconds and you will return to the Serial Driver start-up menu. You can't quit while the data is being received. The file, once saved, can then be loaded straight in to either the FRED demo MOD Player or the proper MOD Player (on issue 75). All you need to do then is to connect up your SAMDAC / EDDAC or Quazar to hear the modules as nature intended. The following pages contain a troubleshooting guide, in case you have any problems. It would probably be a good idea to print all this out if you're going to use the program. AndyC Modules Conversion - Troubleshooting Error Rectification / Check ----- --------------------- No data received >Cable wired correctly. >Baud rates / stop bits/ start bits etc. are set correctly on BOTH machines. >Cable in correct slot on Amiga. >Command entered on Amiga correctly. Data Garbled >Settings correct on BOTH machines. >Valid Module sent. Amiga Says: >All relevant serial drivers "Can't write to device" installed. SERIAL.DEVICE is or similar message. required to run. AndyC Modules Conversion - Troubleshooting >Cable wired correctly. >Cable connected. MOD Player crashes or >Valid Module transmitted. can't identify module >Module must NOT be compressed or packed and must be from ProTracker / NoiseTracker / StarTrekker or MED3.0 ST/NT converter. Modules corrupted during >Send module again. If transmission. problems persist, reduce transfer/receiving speed. SAM Crashes >In rare occurrences the SAM may automatically reset when the Amiga is reset or you are swapping serial leads AndyC Modules Conversion - Troubleshooting between the computers. Not sure why! Reboot. >Module too large and has overwritten DOS. Reboot. I am currently working on converting pictures to the Amiga via the same method. I have approached the problem from many different angles using several different methods and so far a small number of them have been successful (some may appear on FRED in the near future). If anyone has been experimenting in this area or can offer any help, then feel free to contact me at the following address: Andrew Chandler, [redacted] I hope to be able to write another article in the near future on the subject of converting Amiga pictures to the SAM using the RS232 link method, hopefully using the least amount of conversion software on both the Amiga and the SAM. CA Disc Contents Continued Slightly less technically now, we have a game in slot D. For all of those people who have written in saying they wanted to play with me, now's your chance. It's a trip into the slightly psychedelic world of Colin Anderton. It's written by the cockiest man alive, Stephen McGreal. Can you believe he told me not to put it on FRED until it would get in slot D? Cheeky git. You don't know how tempted I was to stick it in Bits n Bobs. Anyway, it's a cracking little three-parter this game. You play me, the handsome hero of the hour who miraculously invented some trousers that allowed him, er, me, I think, to travel in time. Rather than going back a few years and betting on the horses, Colin decided to go into the future. But disaster, Doormat magazine has taken over the SAM community! It's your job to save the community from this disaster and once again put FRED on top of the world. The first part is a platform game, which appears impossible at first, but you soon learn the tricks. The second part is a CA Disc Contents shoot-em-up and the third part is a mix, guest-starring Colin Macdonald. I can't get past level 1, but Allan can complete it. Cheers, Stephen (and the hair is lovely, thanks). In F we have a crossword program from Mr Womble. It's not one for the brain dead plonkers out there. I can't get any of them. It is hard, but very rewarding if you answer one (I assume). Good luck! Faller is an addictive little game where you control a mathematically accurate ship and you have to blow up the square that's trying to get you. It's not much of a looker this game, but it is addictive. Use mouse or cursors and , and ., and if you can beat 63% damage, you deserve a medal. Bits n Bobs is back with a vengance. For one month at least. George Boyle graces our screens with his first ever contributions to FRED. Well done, George. I knew you could do it... CA Thankyou... TOUR THE WORLD : COLIN 'Sniffle, goodbye' MACDONALD GOING NO-WHERE : COLIN 'We had some good piss-ups' ANDERTON DEAD-END JOB : ALLAN 'We didn't, coz I don't drink" CLARKSON ******************** * * ATTENTION, ATTENTION, ATTENTION * HONOURS LIST * * * Send contribtuions to: * Stephen McGreal * * Tobermory Womble * FRED Publishing * Tom Wilson * [redacted] * Andy Chandler * * Matthew Lavibond * * George Boyle * * * ******************** See you next month!
Letters & Reviews
* Letter From Andy Chandler * Dear Colin, I've managed to get around to writing something at last and here it is. Please find enclosed a disc which contains the following: Converted Amiga Modules, Converted Amiga screens, Amiga converter software, and an article on converting Amiga modules to SAM using another (over-looked) method and this letter. (In other words, a bit of an Amiga infested disc). This letter, along with the article is on the disc (I'm good to you) in ASCII format (contains linefeeds etc.), as well as a printed copy to read while on the bog. I have a question: Is there a new version of SAMPaint due out? Don't get me wrong. It's a great program, one of the best released to date, except once you start to use it quite often (like I have recently), you start to find the annoying bugs. There is a major bug with the Palette menu where if you choose * Letter From Andy Chandler * the 'Select' option, it often crashes (I have the latest version of MasterDOS and Graham Burtenshaw said it was an unpredictable error and that is why it still remains). I have encountered this error nearly 5 out of 10 times I have been using it. You'll be pleased to know that's all. I would like to take this moment to wish every Fred reader a (late) Happy New Year....... Happy New year to every single Fred reader (including the editor of course). (and the boss of course!) Yours Sincerely, Andy Didn't Expect This Page, Eh? P.S. Do you like the new printer (it's an Epson 500 colour Stylus). If only there was a program that could use it properly. SAMPaint is about as useless as a toilet-seat in a french lav. when it comes to printing out on the new printer. (Astute readers may well realise that was the second 'toilet-humour' joke in this letter - What is going on here?) P.P.S. Colin, why are you sad that Angel's left Home and Away? Surely Shannon's worth 10 Angels? (and as a bonus, you've now got Jenny McCarthy on British TV - shame the programs cr*p!) P.P.P.S The version of the MOD player on FRED 75 was V2.10. I own V2.30 and I believe the latest is now V2.50. Just thought I had better mention it. CA Reply To Andy Chandler You may be wondering why Andy 'What A Great Bloke' Chandler had stars next to his letter title. Star letter? No, there's no such thing. It's because he's a star. Why? Because he typed his letter up and sent it in on disc! You don't know how good that makes me feel. How elated, how grateful, how wonderful. And mainly how relieved that I don't have to type in another long letter. Thankyou Andy. Thankyouthankyouthankyou. It's a bit puzzling how he knows I read FRED letters when I'm on the toilet, though. Quite worrying, actually. No new SAMPaint's are in the pipeline yet. Some are being thought about - we wanted ideas about a year ago, but we only actually got two suggestions! A hard drive version will come out if enough people buy the hard drive, but that's obviously a matter of time. In repsonse to PS 1, yes, I think it's a lovely printout. Did it do the logo in the corner too? Obviously these poor readers CA Reply To Andy Chandler will never get to experience this wonderous logo, but rest assured that I'm looking at it now, and I love it. Hohoho. Yippee! This next PS is just the kind of thing we want to hear in FRED. I'd love to hear EVERYONE'S views on Angel leaving Home and Away. And Andy's point is a fair point. Shannon is certainly a mega-gorgeous bird. Definitely my favourite. In fact, if anyone knows her, please pass on my address and a photo of someone really sexy. However, I think there's something to be said for Angel too. If you'd seen today's Daily Star, you'd agree (phew!). I've got a picture of them both on my wall (Selina was on it too, but I folded her round). Oh, by the way, Andy. Thanks for labelling your disc "Pictures of Shannon naked". Lying git. And the response to your PPPS is that Stefan gave us the version we put on, so it's clearly him who's conning the whole country. Let's burn him at the stake. Letter From Tom Wilson Dear Colin, Many thanks for your kind offer to help me out with the problem of '\t' in 'C'. As I mentioned, I am elderly, have had no formal training in computing, and can just about handle BASIC on my Speccy and SAM, and a very little m/c above, and I have no contacts to whom I can turn except INDUG and your good self, and I do not really like imposing on either of you if I can help it. I decided I would like to learn 'C' when you brought it out. but I did very little about it because I got put off by getting a "SYSTEMS FAILURE" message when I tried to load from drive 2: I wrote to you at the time and you explained that there was a bug in the system, and that an updated version was being prepared and would be sent to all who had bought V.1" Letter From Tom Wilson This did arrive, but I still found problems and lost enthusiasm: When FORMAT brought out FORMAT PC, I revived a bit because I would like to upgrade eventually and I would like to be able to program a PC for which I believe "C" is the thing: so I started again. May I say that it was only by trial and error that I found out that if I load a .c program from drive 1, change to drive 2 and compile it - so getting the error messsage "open failure in include file"- changing back to drive 1 can I get the drive 2 directory to load. This seems odd to me !! but it works: I found the handbook sadly lacking in the instructions how to handle the compiler: but then maybe it is second nature to all you young'uns and not really needed. I wonder, however if there are any other oldies who have been put off, and if an article or two on the proper way to handle Sam C might not be helpful. Well anyhow! I bought Herbert Schildt's book "Teach yourself 'C' (2nd. edition) and set off. After the usual Letter From Tom Wilson beginner's faults like no ;. I got into the swing of it and after stumbling on the notion that his compiler was not"Small C" and that programs like compute the number of seconds in a year were not possible for me ( I think that's right! because floating point stuff is needed for variables >65535 ) I got as far as p51 where he talks about the backslash codes being character constants: and there I stuck!! I tried int'\t': char'\t' and just t all to no avail, and then I remembered that the example of "\a" in the handbook had the form fprint("\a\arg1\arg2 and I tried that and got a little forther as you see from the enclosed printouts: but I am really up the creek, and will be extremely glad of any help you can give me in getting round the problem so that I can go a bit further along the 'C' road. Wishing you and yours a good, happy amd prosperous new year, Tom Wilson CA Reply To Tom Wilson Many thanks for your tips on SAM C. Hopefully, this will clear up some problems that other users have been having. Any kind of articles on SAM C are most welcome. As you said, there's only really FRED and FORMAT out there that can help SAM C users along, so it is essential that people stick with C and write in with their problems, questions and hints. Maybe you yourself feel confident in writing some kind of article? You've been through the learning process that people are getting stuck at and giving up. Someone out there must understand the backslash codes, so if you do and you're reading this, please write in. Letter From Sean Bernard Dear (dear, dear) FRED, Well-a, hot dang! I'm being made!! And it's all cuz'a YOU guyz!!! Roughly translated this means 'Many thanks for putting me in the limelight of SAM fame!' I don't believe it! Already I've had requests from the likes of Andrew Collier and Graham 'Pog' Goring to produce some music for them (which I'm still slaving away on at the mo' - expect a wodge of them in the next month, lads). Les Quinn has received his E-tune that I've whipped out especially for his menu (thanks go to FRED for forwarding that) and has already sent me a letter of gratitude. I mean, cripes! Okay now that the acknowledgements (cunning laced with self-gratification) is out of the way, I'm to tell you that as from the 26th, I'm moving. "Why?" you may well not want to bother ask. Well, it's closer to my mum's workplace (but not mine. Hmph!), and basically I'm living in a room where you Letter From Sean Bernard can't even swing a flippin' amoeba, let alone a mouse! Not to mention the fact that there's a blimming great crack going from top to bottom of our present abode!!! So because FRED is (still) fab and I'd still like to have my monthly fix-on-a-disc for some time to come, I have enclosed my new address. This is also for the benefit of the people who already have my old address and the address where I THOUGHT I was going to move to: [redacted] That's all I have to say, except keep up the fab work and expect some more e-tunes from me sometime in the future. (That is if I survive the subsidence!) Yours, Sean Bernard CA Reply To Sean Bernard Sean, mate, there's no need to thank us for your glorifying fame. It's all down to that wonderful (or really lucky) musical talent of yours. Erm, hock-a-dong-dang, though, eh? Glad to hear you're in popular demand, but don't forget to write a little tune for FRED every now and again. The e-tunes section just couldn't survive without you! You mentioned the crack in your house. My room's got one of them, and it's pretty frightening. I'm too scared to tell anyone grown-up incase they shout at me. I just lie in bed and worry. I've never heard FRED described as a "fix-on-a-disc" before! Although it is a pretty addictive magazine (cheese). And the address I've printed is for mates and favours. It's not for you programmer-hungry thieving swines who write other disc mags. He's ours. Sod off. Letter From Tobermory Womble Hello again Sam people, It's Howard (Tobermory Womble), back again... very lengthy gap... lots to contribute... (snore)... my FFL team will beat everyone's to oblivion... WHAT? How can I have, in the space of a few short months, plummeted right to the bottom of the League tables?! It's immoral. I suppose it serves me right picking lots of Entropy-related people. (and a Womble) Just had a bit of a scare. Since I'm not hardware-proficient at all, I dread the day when my Sam refuses to work any more. It happened not so long ago - SCARED! The whole thing didn't boot no more. So I did what I'd usually do, which was try it loads, then turn it off and on again, try it again, then go away and leave it for a few hours, then try again. Eventually I got a screwdriver and, after promising myself I wouldn't lose any screws or take it too far apart for me to make it work again, I started peeling off the various bits of disk drive. Letter From Tobermory Womble Breathe a long sigh of relief - when I took off the shiny metal cover from the drive, I saw, wedged in the middle of the drive head, one of my homemade stickers. One fishing trip later, and some more screwdriver action, and it loaded! Huzzah. I've still got an old ROM2.0 and a 1990 copyright, so this Sam has lasted about 6 years, without a serice! Proof that it doesn't take a huge company to make robust computers (my MGT logo is still intact on the (admittedly, horrid) square white box. Okeydoke, so I write in the vain hope that the stuff I'm programming at the moment will get finished, and therefore I might finish the Fred league off the bottom. You got to do justice to a game like NewZealandStory (I love the game so much we named our band after it!), haven't you? And in any case, Crossword's a bit shite. Never mind, eh? -Tob Offensive page from Tobermory Womble PS Can you say "shite" on Fred yet? Cos you can copy the whole of the Spectrum's ROM, and say Price is "up shit creek without a paddle"... Wowsers. PPS Cool - try loading up some old MODs (my favourite is Super Mario Land off Fred54) onto MOD player. One off Fred56 says: 6 HELLO HACKER F***ERS MY NAME IS MATT BURLISS HERE'S THE DEAL IF YOU HACK THIS GAME I WILL FIND YOU WHERE EVER YOU ARE AND BREAK YOUR LEGS AND THAT'S A PROMISE (! Ace) CA Reply To Womble Ha ha ha. Your FFL team is going to what? Beat everyone's to oblivion? Tee hee hee. It might beat quite a few teams to score nothing, but that's about the best you can hope for. Nice to see that other people believe in the wonderful "maybe if I keep trying it'll work eventually" technique for fixing things. I was a bit disappointed that you didn't try the "talk nicely to the computer and beg it to work" technique, though. I can see you're a bit of an amateur. I've got a problem. My TV has got loads of interference all over it. I haven't a clue why. Hope it's not channel 5. But anyway, I've solved it by turning the colour down so much that the screen is in black and white! No visible interference! Boy, am I a genius or what? New Zealand Story is truly a magnificent game, but I'm afraid no bonus points are awarded for using that as your team name. Nice try, though. Nearly as sneaky as Stephen McGreal. CA Letter From Bomble the Womble Money is quite a good way of acquiring bonus points, though... There's absolutely no problem in using the word "shite" in your letter in FRED. Though why you would want to refer to a man who wanders around religously in a white robe, I don't know. And anyway, it wasn't me who wrote that disgraceful sentence in FRED. It was a pixie. I've got a new boss soon though. He won't dare tell me off. He'll be really scared of me. And he doesn't know any embarrassing secrets about me like other certain bosses threatened to print unless I behaved. Ha ha, I'll be able to swear until my head drops off.
Star Trek: The Useless Ones (Ctd.)
STAR TREK : THE USELESS ONES PRIME EXAMPLE (part 5) By Robert Brady Previously on Star Trek : The Useless Ones... A CardoBajoran invasion of Earth in 2409 prompts O'Brien, Goring, Barclay, Dax, Macdonald and Paris to go back in time and alter the course of history to save Earth. And now, the continuation... Unfortunately, the small room that they materialised in was the port warp nacelle. It was staffed at that moment in time. However, Ensign Mitnivik was not the most perceptive member of staff. This was due to him being severely drunk. "Well, what do we do? We have to act, now - we arrived late," pointed out Macdonald. "Perhaps we should just explain the situation to him?" suggested Paris. "No. Let's stun him and hide him in a storage crate," said O'Brien. "OK. Where's the phasers?" asked Dax. "What phasers?" asked Goring. "No phasers?" asked Barclay. "There's a metal rod over there," suggested Macdonald. "There's got to be a better way than that," protested Dax. "I say we go with whacking him over the head with the rod," stated Goring. O'Brien walked over to Mitnivik, and knocked him out with a metal rod. "Right, let's hide him here," he said, pointing, and they dragged him into a storage crate. "What's the plan now?" asked Barclay. Macdonald said "Well we have to make sure the Grapefruit doesn't crash. Then it will be able to take part in the Dominion War, allow us to win easier, and ensure that the CardoBajoran alliance is never formed." "Perhaps we should convince the Woppens to stop fighting the Grapefruit. Is that possible?" asked Goring. "Hmmm. They seemed pretty stubborn when I tried to argue with them like that," replied Macdonald. "Here's an idea. We get someone to go up to the ready room, and plant a bomb in the ceiling of it," suggested O'Brien. "Why?" "Then Captain Macdonald here can take his place." Barclay increased the fat content of White's waffles, and then waited. A few minutes later, they intercepted a call to engineering. "White, my chair's broken, I want a repair team on it now." Barclay tapped something into the computer, and it came up with the words "Aye, sir," in White's voice. "What happened to White?" asked Macdonald. "After he got rescued he expanded his waffle business and is now president of White's Waffles PLC, which has 7% of the Federation's waffle-supplying business" replied Goring. Barclay rushed upstairs to the ready room, pretending to be Femto Pico, and fixed the captain's chair. Meanwhile, in the port warp nacelle, two minutes later, there was a chirping of a communicator badge. The sound came from a storage crate. This was followed by a muffled voice communication. "White to Mitnivik. Can you adjust the power flow to the second coil? The readings are a bit wonky." No response. "Mitnivik, can you hear me?" No response. The six discussed what to do next. "Now they know he's missing they are bound to search this bit," said O'Brien. "It's time to move. Anyone got any idea where to go?" Goring considered this and suggested that they use his quarters on deck 2. "I'll hack in and use the transporter to beam us there," said O'Brien. Minutes later, they were in Goring's quarters on deck 2. "Where do you keep the weapons?" asked Dax. "Over here," said Goring pointing to the box marked 'phasers' in 50d0 point writing. Jadzia Dax opened the box he had pointed out and removed five type III phaser rifles. "Oh." she said. "There are only five of them." "Well, five is enough for one person, isn't it?" pointed out Macdonald. "In fact, I'd like to know why you have so many. I only remember approving one type I phaser per person." "Under Guarantee 7 of the Federation Constitution, I refuse to answer that question on grounds that it may incriminate myself," replied Goring. "Oh, dear, oh dear, oh dear. We seem to have a smuggler in our midst," said Paris. "You weren't exactly a model of good behaviour, were you, though," pointed out Goring. "What was it? Fraud? Then treason. Then you got back into the 'Fleet because you were the only pilot on the Voyager. You got sacked for a good reason, and I was disgusted when you got let back in, you Maquis scum." "OY!! Stop it!", shouted Macdonald. "Good. Now, let's get planning. We need a plan, since the bomb didn't work." "I have an idea - ", suggested Dax. "The problem with this battle was that you won. If you hadn't won, the Federation could never have given Wop Gamma 2 up, could they?" "But if the ship hadn't been destroyed, the Dominion War could have been over sooner. And the CardoBajoran alliance might never have been formed if Bajor hadn't fallen," pointed out Goring. Macdonald suggested "We have to make the ship leave the area. Let's immobilise it. Use all it's energy elsewhere." "How are we supposed to do that?" asked Goring. "Well, what's the most powerful device on the ship?" asked Macdonald. "After the warp drives? It's the transporters," said O'Brien. "Yeah, but the transporters are all supervised. What about the replicators?" said Paris. "OK, let's replicate some really difficult stuff," suggested Dax. Barclay walked to the replicator and asked for a black hole. The replicator attempted to replicate a black hole. It ran out of mass fairly soon (within a few microseconds to be precise), so then it used energy reserves and converted that into mass. But this was not enough, so it increased the warp core output to 9.7 equivalent, and used that energy for creating more mass. It was not allowed to touch the fuel supplies directly. However, this process was going to last some time. About two hours after Barclay gave the improbable command to the replicator, the current Lieutenant Goring walked into his quarters, and found six unauthorised people in it. Five of them stunned him. "Oh, come on," protested the older, time-travelling, Goring. "There was no need to do that to me." "Yes there was. You could have found out about what we were doing here, and then stopped it," said Dax. "No argument there," said Macdonald. "What do we do with him now, though? If we hide him somewhere and scarper, I'm bound to have realised what was going on." "Oh, I've probably got some time off due now. I'll just put in a request for a holiday for the next fortnight. Satisfied?" asked Goring. Several days later, the replacement science officer on the Bridge of the USS Grapefruit noticed a large mass on deck 2. "Captain, we have a black hole in Goring's quarters." "What?" "I know what is sounds like, but it's about 90% of the way to being a black hole. Weird, isn't it?" "Weird indeed. Set course for Starbase 493. Call Starfleet to get the Sputnik to deal with the Woppens. We can't go into battle with a black hole next door to my quarters." People who have been reading intently may have noticed that, until now, no changes have been made to the past. From now, the timeline has changed. Paris, Macdonald, Goring, Dax, O'Brien and Barclay beamed back into 2409, only to find that they already existed in that year anyway, and to find that most of history between 2369 and 2409 had changed. They resigned themselves to the pointlessness of everything, and all had autobiographies out within seven years. Back in 2369, the USS Grapefruit, the experimental Soya class vessel with a black hole in the science officer's bedroom, docked at Starbase 493. "Sir, we've found out what caused the black hole, sir. It was being replicated. And we found Lieutenant Goring in his quarters, heavily stunned," said Anderton to Macdonald. "Well, I hope you've cut power to it! What does that fool have to say for himself?" asked Macdonald. "He says he was stunned by six people sir. Didn't recognise any of them, sir. I think he's a bit weird. I've had Drissen check him out. But more importantly, we found these in his quarters," said Anderton, handing five type III phasers to Macdonald. "Really? Very strange. How could these have got there?" "I don't know sir, but I think we should question Goring about them." THE END! Meanwhile a trailer for the next episode. Next time on STAR TREK : THE USELESS ONES : However, more important things were occurring on the ship. Matt Round, the tactical officer, had started a rival Waffle-supplying firm on board. It had stolen 40% of White's customers in the past eight hours. This was mainly because the fat content of White's waffles had been increased - no-one realised this at all, but customers were more inclined to by Round waffles due to this. WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON? Find out in the next, waffly episode of Star Trek : The Useless Ones written by Robert Brady, created by Robert Brady. based upon : (created by)Roddenberry Pillar Berman Taylor Star Trek x Star Trek : TNG x Star Trek : DS9 x x Star Trek : Voyager x x x Any resemblance of characters or events portrayed in this work to real characters or events is purely intentional.