Submitted by Dan Dooré on Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 00:26.
Fred '92 Compilation.mgt
As the scroller says, not so much a ‘best of’ as an effort to spread the word about all Fred’s releases up to the end of 1992. Includes demos of Waterworks, Search: “Bulgulators”, Dyzonium, Spell Master, E-Tracker, Impatience and Parallax.
FREDitorial If you've never read FRED before, then I'll give you time to groan about the heading.................All done? Good - we'll continue then. Welcome to FRED'92 - the first compilation of FRED magazine for over a year! It's funny - in the first 14 issues, I get three companies wanting to sell a "Best Of FRED" disc then as soon as FRED expanded into publishing, I have to do one myself!! As I explained in the scroller on the main menu, this is not a Best Of FRED as such but a chance for people to get an insight into FRED - the company, the magazine and the software. This disc contains demos of no less than SEVEN of the titles FRED has released over the last 18 months. Some of you may never have seen an issue of FRED before, and most of you probably have at least seen FRED at some point in the last 30 months. Where did it all start? Before I go any further, I'll just introduce myself as Colin Macdonald , founder of FRED - and still very actively involved in all the FRED projects. Just to let you know the story of FRED, I'll do a brief rendition of the history : May 1990 : First issue of FRED released. Neither this or Issue 2 were great successes despite being the first SAM disc magazine. August 1990 : Issue 3 released - featuring the previously unseen Tetris by Lord Insanity. The start of FRED's success. December 1990 : Nick Roberts reviewed FRED in CRASH and as a result, many copies of the first six issues of FRED were sold. June 1991 : I am employed at SAM Computers Ltd for 3 months. FRED now has over 100 readers. The History Lesson September 1991 : FRED's first commercial title, "Impatience" is released. December 1991 : FRED now has 300 readers and Impatience has been a success - getting a 90% review in Your Sinclair. January 1992 : Employed at SAMCo for 3 weeks. February 1992 : Name changed to FRED PUBLISHING. March 1992 : Follow-up to Impatience, "Triltex - The Later Levels" is launched. April 1992 : Employed at SAMCo for 2 weeks. June 1992 : Start 2 month employment at SAMCo July : July 15th, SAM Computers Ltd goes into liquidation. FRED now has 500 readers. The History Lesson August 1992 : FRED Publishing's first utility "Spell Master" is launched and proves to be very popular. September 1992 : The shoot-em-up "Parallax" is released. It is received with mixed opinions. October 1992 : FRED magazine now became professionally duplicated and on-body printed. An editor is employed to compile the magazine. FRED's second shoot-em-up "Dyzonium" is released and goes down well. November 1992 : FRED releases the super pacman game, "Bulgulators". December 1992 : FRED takes over Noesis Software and releases the hit platform game, "Boing!". FRED now has 750 readers. January 1993 : FRED releases WaterWorks and ETracker. Both have been well previewed. The History Lesson And there you have it, the very concise story of the humble FRED Publishing - missing out many hundreds of the finer details which were documented in FRED magazine at the time. I mean - there was the dozens of computer fairs all around Britain that I attended, complete with stories of getting arrested, bored and very very cold. There were 6 months of antics in Swansea - being tied to chairs in busy car-parks, parcelled up and sent through the post (well...nearly!) and many other Welsh tricks played on unsuspecting innocent victims. I could elaborate but that would spoil the stories which I hope you have the pleasure of reading in the previous issues of FRED magazine. The Magazine FRED magazine was the first disc-based magazine to appear on the SAM way back in mid 1990, originally priced at £1 a disc it has since undergone two price increases and hundreds of changes (for the better!) to bring it up to today. Issue 29 has just been released (mid-January) and already work is steaming ahead on Issue 30! From the very first issue to todays discs, the basic format has remained the same in that each issue of FRED supplies news, reviews, previews and screenshots. Any questions posed will normally be answered whether you can't get past Level 11 of Prince Of Persia , don't know what the flashing screen when you switch on your SAM actually is, don't know what to do with the Torch in "Boing!", or just how to find out which version of the ROM you have. FRED is aimed to educate you, as the reader, in being able to understand your SAM better - so you can get more out of it both in work and in play. The Magazine FRED magazine itself is NOT run as a business. I do it for fun, to meet thousands of new people, and so that I can keep a finger on the pulse of computer entertainment. The recent price rise to £2 may seem like it's impossible not to make money, but this was only to cover duplicating and on-body printing expenses, the cost of paying someone else to help with the magazine as there simply isn't enough hours in the day, and of course to pay for the contributions to the magazine. From day one, all FRED orders have been sent out as soon as possible (90% are despatched within 24 hours!) and always by first class post - nothing but the best for fellow SAM users. FRED is not a serious magazine. It is a fun magazine - only because I have fun producing it and people have fun reading it. There are serious articles, programs and reviews to give you the extra insight into your machine that no other computer has ever, or will ever give you. The Magazine To prove my point, the programmer of two commercial titles has been writing a machine code column ever since issue 6. A small sample is included on this disc but in recent months this column has taught how to add commands to BASIC, how to produce your own WIMP environment and the fastest ways to place sprites on the screen! As a less regular section, we occasionally have other talented programmers writing articles which go down very well, for example in the past articles have been on the sound chip, 128K emulation, paging and many more. And for all you non-technical people (like me!), there's articles on book reviews, music reviews, wrestling, a hilarious take-off of Star Trek - and that's me just looking at the last two issues! As I said, FRED is fun. FRED contains more games than ever before. For those of you that get envious of Amiga owners boasting of hundreds of amazing demos you'll be pleased to know that there is an on-going battle between about a dozen FRED The Magazine contributors to see who can produce the best demo!! This results in some fantastic machine code demos - as I hope you'll see for yourself. As Software Manager for Revelation Software (and by running FRED Publishing!) , I know exactly what is going on in the SAM software scene - thus allowing EXCLUSIVE news to be leaked, allowing EXCLUSIVE screenshots into FRED and, most popular of all, allowing EXCLUSIVE demos of all the latest games!!!! Naturally, being a FRED subscriber can save you vast amounts of money when buying not only FRED and Revelation products, but many more included. For example, this Christmas if subscribers had ordered one of everything on the price list, they would have saved almost ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS compared to the prices the goods were sold normally!! I will admit, this was a one-off Christmas sale, but normally whenever a FRED or Revelation product is released it is offered first to FRED subscribers at a discounted price!!! The Magazine Every issue of FRED contains a wide variety of programs - using up every last 'K' on the disc! For example, these are just some of the utilities that have appeared in recent months : A full machine code monitor for debugging your programs, an STD area phone code finder, an assembler, a dissassembler, a simple accounts package, a poolschecker, a fully-fledged word processor, a spreadsheet, numerous different databases, fractal and 'life' simulators.......... There is also always a lot of games and demos : on the last four issues there has been no less than TWELVE games ranging from Hangman and Snail Racing to Fruit Machines and Puzzle games! You want demos? You've come to the right place. For example, you could follow the exploits of 'Zebedee Green' as seen on this disc - there have been numerous hilarious adventures involving him, and many more including music demos, the ever popular "how many things can you get moving on the screen at once" demos and The Magazine many more varients. In fact, I wish I could fit a few more of them onto this disc but it's packed full as it is - and that's with almost everything compressed to the limits! What more can I say?? Nothing - so here's a few quotes about the magazine : "Ridiculous value for money" Bob Brenchley - FORMAT "A veritable bargain" Your Sinclair "I recommend you get a sub today" Graham Burtenshaw - Enceladus That's it folks! All 29 back issues are available for £2 each or £20 for 12. Similarly, a years subscription (12 issues) costs just £20. Easily reclaimable through the dozens of discounts and much better value than ever seen before. Disc Contents OK, by now you'll be getting bored and wanting to know what's on this disc for you to play around with! Screens : a compilation of some of the screens that have appeared in FRED recently. WaterWorks : As I write this, WaterWorks was only released a few days ago and already it's set to become a hit! The object of the game is to escape each level by collecting a key and getting to the door. This is achieved by manipulating water using pipes, nozzles, taps, pumps and switches. In this demo you only have a few pieces of pipes and a nozzle. The pipes are self-explanatory but the nozzle is used for letting the water flow from them. The other thing you might need to know to help you complete this demo is that some things can be activated by waterswitches ie a device that activates something else when water flows into it! I won't say any more because it would spoil the demo but I'm sure you'll enjoy it! Disc Contents This was a pre-release demo version of WaterWorks and as such, the music was not included at the time. The final version has some great music (two of the tunes are in the ETracker section!) and no less than 20 levels - all of which can be accessed by passwords! WaterWorks costs £9.99 (discount available to subscribers) and has already been released. "The Bulgulators" is THE pacman for the 90's! Featuring 100 levels of slick action this is proving to be popular. Not only does it include the usual pac-type puzzles but as you progress through the levels you come up against locked doors for which keys must first be found and walls which can be passed through one way - but not the other! "The Bulgulators is a highly playable game ... plenty of merriment ... fun" : Your Sinclair Unfortunately, the demo is not playable so just watch. Disc Contents Programmed by Spectrum / SAM programming whizzkids 'ESI', it provides hours of classic entertainment brought up to date for just £9.99 (discount to subscribers) and has already been released. Ah....my favourite "Dyzonium" ; the first shoot-em-up on the SAM to be well received!! Again, it's another non-playable demo I'm afraid but I'm sure that won't put you off it at all. The object of the game is to collect all the Dyzonium crystals in each of the ten levels - whilst avoiding the nasties and collecting as many of the numerous power-ups as possible. There's ten levels in all but this demo shows a clip from just a few of them. "hugely destructive ... Original and fantastically playable ..." 82% : Your Sinclair From the author of MegaGamed "AstroBall", Dyzonium costs £9.99, is released and there is a discount to subscribers. Disc Contents Spell Master is the next demo on the disc - and one that I know anyone who ever uses a word processor will be impressed with! The demo is "usable" and will explain a large number of it's features in the text itself but I'll just run through a few of them ; Spell Master will accept text files from Outwrite, The Secretary, Tasword - and any Spectrum Word Processor which saves out text as 64 column lines! To spell check, you can set Autocheck which spell checks AS YOU TYPE!! You can spell check a single word, or you can spell check from the cursor onwards! Once it finds a spelling mistake (not very often - it has 80,000 words on a 512K machine and 30,000 on a 256K machine!) you can either add it to your own dictionary, change it or ignore it! If you change a word, Spell Master will take care of reformatting and justifying the paragraph for you! The built-in word processor doesn't have any frills (hey - you're getting a spell checker, not a word processor), but Disc Contents amongst other things it does : justify, word wrap, full insert / delete modes, centre / left/right justify, jump to top/bottom of text, tabs etc etc In case we still haven't persuaded you, you'll be pleased to know that the 80,000 words are not wasted just on the spell checker : you have two bonus programs also built-in! An anagram solver and a crossword solver!! If you so desire, you can browse through all 80,000 words adding, deleting, changing or just looking at any words! You have your own USER dictionary so you can choose what extra words you want to have loaded in - and these are even used in the anagram/crossword solvers!!!! SpellMaster was released in August and has already sold several hundred copies. It is still on sale ONLY from FRED Publishing at the giveaway price of £14.99 - there are some snippits from reviews over the page ...... Disc Contents "simple and logical controls ... it is a good programme, the crossword / anagram features give value for money, so the word processor is really a free extra. I recommend this programme to all SAM users, if you only write the occasional letter or write screeds this programme will speed things up and make letter writing much easier" : SAM Supplement, December 1992 "At £14.99 Spell Master is excellant value for money. Whether you are a serious writer who can't spell, a good speller who can't type, or a crossword/anagram addict, this program will make your life easier." : Carol Brooksbank in FORMAT, October 1992 So you see why it's proved so popular so far! There have been many letters (without spelling mistakes!) from satisfied customers saying how they wondered how they ever lived without it - I hope you soon become one of them. Disc Contents The next item on the disc is the wonderful machine code column written by Steve Taylor - author of the bestselling "Impatience" and it's follow-up, "Triltex - The Later Levels". He has been doing this column ever since issue six, and has progressed from the simply rules of assembly language (as seen in the demonstration) to many, many complex routines that are even used by today's professional SAM programmers!!! After this are some samples of music created with the wonderful ETracker. This is the ultimate music program for SAM, and after looking at many other music utilities on other formats, it seems to be THE BEST MUSIC PACKAGE FOR ANY 8-BIT COMPUTER. It even produces tunes better than some on the Amiga and Atari ST!! Naturally, we wouldn't expect you to believe our hears - so believe your own!! We've packed as many tunes as possible onto this disc - this collection includes these people's first tunes created on ETracker. These people are not professional musicians, they just followed the manual - and you can hear for Disc Contents yourself what they came up with! If you own Sound Machine, then ETracker is the perfect upgrade - the manual does not bother explaining the principles of music to you, it just tells you how to work the program!! Many people were annoyed with the sound machine's file lengths (50K), however an ETracker tune on average takes up 2-4K !!! You can see for yourself simply by looking at the length of the files on this disc! I would like to point out that all of the tunes on this disc were created using a pre-release copy of ETracker. It has since been improved. ETracker comes with the manual and accompanying demo disc which let you load up the files provided so you can see how everything interacts and lets you work through the manual learning how to use this wonderful package to it's fullest capabilities! On ETracker you can edit individual channels : so you could have drums on one channel, steady white noise on another, high pitched notes on another, low pitched playing on another - and you'd still have two channels free! Disc Contents You can fade the volume from left to right speaker and back again, copy relative or absolutely as much or as little from any channel to any place in any other, run the full 6 channel tunes under interrupts in either Basic or machine code, even have your music used in commercial games - the music for all the new FRED and Revelation releases is being written using ETracker eg WaterWorks, Bulgulators and Wop Gamma. If you've ever wanted to have complete control over the SAM's wonderful sound chip but were baffled by the technical manual and dissapointed by The Sound Machine, then ETracker is your chance to let your fingers run free! We hope you like the tunes compiled on this disc - there have been numerous over the last few months of FRED magazine and there are hundreds more. ETracker costs £29.99, although it's a lot compared to other SAM products, ETracker is in line with Amiga packages - and for that it's dirt cheap!!! Disc Contents Next up is the demo of FRED's premier release "Impatience". This game has sold over 400 copies in the last 18 months and is still selling well! It received 90% in Your Sinclair and had very complimentary reviews in Crash, Sinclair User, Enceladus, SAM Supplement, ZAT, SCPDU.....to name a few! Unfortunately, this demo was written several weeks before it's release and I can promise that the graphics and music have been improved (a huge improvement made to the music I guarantee!). Ideally, it is suited for the SAMCo mouse and will default to that if you have one plugged in - although it will work with QAOP & SPACE, cursors, joystick keys - and of course the joystick (or even the joymouse!) The full instructions are included in the demo, but basically what you have to do is simply click on matching tiles to pair them off. The demo on the disc is of "Triltex", just one of the two games on "Impatience". The other game is essentially a board game for Disc Contents two players, but a lot of fun can still be derived from it. Impatience costs just £9.99 "Triltex - The Later Levels" is another 24 levels for those of you that found the original levels on Impatience too difficult. You must own a copy of Impatience for these to work however as it loads directly into it. This costs just £4.99 and again, is available only from FRED Publishing. While I remember, the screens are just a selection of pictures from recent months - there will also be some screenshots of "Boing!" in there, they're the ones with the little green blob that jumps about, avoids aliens, solves puzzles and is not the slightest bit similar to Dizzy. Weeellll....... Disc Contents Now we have Parallax, the first ever MODE 4, 16 colour shoot-em-up to appear on SAM. Sadly receiving bad reviews but still selling reasonably well, the first end-of-level guardian from Parallax is featured on this disc. Keys are 6789 & 0, or joystick, and before you play you will be asked a Multiple Type and whether you want a speed up - experiment! Featuring hundreds of alien wave forms and 12 huge levels, Parallax will keep you busy for quite a while. Programmed by ex-Master Of Magic, Neil Holmes with music by fellow Stuart Leonardi, Parallax costs £11.99 Unfortunately, this game will not play properly if you have installed SC_Autoboot. Disc Contents Hah - I told you about the fun on FRED, so here it is! If you like Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams type books - or if you just have a good sense of humour, then Rachel is for you! On this disc is the first of a twelve part story of a search for lost cows! If you have a sense of humour - read it, otherwise you'll call it "stupid and pointless". The whole 12 parts of the Rachel saga are available on disc from FRED for the price of £3. From the same author of Rachel, comes the four FREDatives discs. Featuring games, demos and utilities and lots and lots of music, these are Andrew Hodgkinson's version of FRED. You can buy any one of them for £2, or all four for £7 - again, only from FRED. Disc Contents Now we're getting somewhere! Frog Squad is a game written using BetaSoft's GamesMaster. It was written by Jeremy Wood who has no knowledge of machine code - just a good artistic hand! When it first loads up you will be presented with a scrolling message, press SPACE to exit from this and load the game proper. For any of you that have never played Frogger (you sad deprived people!), the objective is simple - guide your frog across the road (avoiding cars) and river (don't fall in the water) and into one of his homes at the top of the screen. Simple innit? Control is by the cursor keys. There have been many GamesMaster games on FRED over recent months, I chose to put on Frog Squad because Jeremy obvious has a flare for both GamesMaster and graphics. It had nothing to do with Frogger being one of my favourite games. Honest. Come on, someone believe me? Well - maybe I lied just a little bit...but the graphics thing was a good excuse wasn't it ?! Bits 'n' Bobs This is the section of the magazine where ANYTHING can appear, usually programs not big enough to get a main menu slot but you get some wonderful stuff here : Morton Quality by AXE : a humerous little demo featuring a new character Walking Man by Ben Wyatt : an example of how a few simple frames can be combined to create a simple animation. LogoMaker by Colin Anderton : lets you produce a 3D logo and then save it off as a BLITZ array if desired. The default name is FRED, but by flicking through the program listing you can change it to whatever you wish. Bits 'n' Bobs And now two more BASIC games from Ben Wyatt : SpaceWorm 2 is a wonderful little Snake game where you must guide yourself around each maze collecting points and avoiding the mines, yourself and the walls. Keys are QAOP. Bugs2 is a rather original game. Using QAOP, you control your little bug and you have to jump on the rising columns and press down to quash them - unfortunately, you've got quite a few of them to contend with, lucky you've only got to make it until the timer runs out....! But there's always another level! Other Software - BetaSoft So now we've taken you through all the contents of the disc and given you a brief resume of FRED. What else did I promise to have on the disc?? Ah yes - the other things that FRED distributes. You should have received an order form with this with a list of everything FRED sells, this is updated every few weeks so if you don't subscribe to FRED but want the latest list, just drop us a SSAE at the usual address. Firstly we have the BetaSoft products. As an official West Coast endorsed company, all BetaSoft products come highly recommended. MasterDOS costs £15.99 and is an extension to SAMDOS. Similar in ways to MSDOS is allows SUBDIRECTORIES, a clock to be set, RAMDrives to be set-up and dozens of other features. MasterBASIC is ideal for anyone who ever programs in BASIC, it adds dozens of new commands allowing simpler and faster programs to be written - as well as programs that weren't possible to write before! It costs £15.99 Other Software - BetaSoft FileManager is a database system coded by FORMAT's Carol Brooksbank. It requires you to have both MasterDOS and MasterBASIC and either the 1 MegaByte upgrade or two internal disc drives. It costs £12.99 GamesMaster is the ideal utility for all you people that always wanted to program but couldn't get the hang of BASIC or machine code. GamesMaster lets you simply and quickly design your own games - once finished the game is automatically compiled into machine code and can be auto-run (like Frog Squad on this disc). Your own music, graphics or even BASIC / Machine Code routines can be incorporated into your games if you wish. GamesMaster costs £24.99 Although FRED stock the above BetaSoft products, we do not stock any other of their range, and we do not offer the upgrade service that BetaSoft usually offer - if you wish to upgrade from an early version of a program to a later one, you should contact BetaSoft direct. Other Software - Steve's Software Steve's Software was one of the first companies to release a SAM product and even today, they are one of the most successfull. SC_Assembler was their first product. It is a fully integrated Assembler and Dissassembler - ideal for those of you fairly new to machine code. Also included in the package is the Spectrum emulator, SC_Speclone. SC_Assembler costs £12.50 SC_Filer is another incredibly flexible filing system which has proved exceptionally popular. It costs £12.50 For Machine Coders of all levels, debugging is a nightmare - not any more! SC_Monitor is a full Assembly language monitor to help you debug and improve your programs - it also helps you see what exactly is going on in other people's programs!! SC_Monitor costs £14.99 Other Software - Enigma Variations Ltd Enigma were the first software company to support the SAM, and even today, their games are among the best. Unfortunately, there is difficulty in obtaining some of their titles so we advise you to phone Colin Macdonald on 0382 - 534201, to check stock before ordering any of them. Just to recap though : Defenders Of The Earth : The first SAM game. Fast and slick platform game of the hit TV cartoon. £14.99 PipeMania : Fantastic conversion from 16-bits. £14.99 MultiPack 1 : A football and a platform game. £14.99 Famous Five : The first SAM adventure. £14.99 Klax : Puzzle game. £14.99 Sphera : SAM's first shoot-em-up. £14.99 Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters : platform. £14.99 Mind Games 1 : Simple BASIC puzzle games. £14.99 Mind Games 2 : More of the same. £14.99 Other Software - LERM Again, one of the companies at the forefront of SAM software they produced the first, and still most popular, Spectrum emulator for SAM. SAMTape 4M is the latest version of their popular Spectrum emulator - it emulates the "vast majority" of Spectrum programs, lets you enter pokes, change colours, it saves them as compressed files to save memory and is ideal if you have a Messenger. Please note that FRED do not stock earlier versions, and cannot offer an upgrade service - for these you should contact LERM direct. SAMDisk 2 is for managing your discs. It lets you format part of them, verify them, perform track repairs, copy files faster than before and much more. This disc manager and doctor costs £11.99 . Other Software - Hilton & BGS Hilton Computer Services have produced their "Personal Banking System" on numerous systems ranging from the ZX81 to todays PCs, SAM included! If you have a lot of banking to do, why do it all on paper and make mistakes when you can do it on a program designed specifically for the job? Hilton's PBS costs £19.99 BG Services produce "Pro-DOS", the CP/M emulator for the SAM. It runs hundreds of CP/M programs and there has even been a Pro-DOS PD Disc library set up, so if you want access to classic games and useful utilities, ProDOS is for you! ProDOS costs £30.99 Other Software - Chezron Chezron have been producing Outlet drive magazine for 6 years now and they have two word processors to add to the feathers in their belt. OutWrite V2 is the follow-up to the hugely successful Outwrite, and is a complete word processor capable of block commands, printer/control codes, Search/Replace and hundreds of other useful word processing features never before seen on the SAM. Also included is a simple Spell Checker. OutWrite V2 costs £19.99 "The Style Writer" is for all you lucky people who own printers - it, again, is a word processor but it allows you to incorporate graphics into your files to jazz up your letters! Style Writer costs £9.99 Other Software - Glenco & Noesis SCADs (SAM Coupe Arcade Development System) is Glenco's premier release on SAM after their reign over the Amstrad market. Like GamesMaster, SCADs lets you produce your own games. Fortunately for everyone, the similarity between the two packages stops there. SCADs adds commands to BASIC allowing machine code routines to be directly accessed, therefore all you have to do is write your program in BASIC using SCADs' dozens of extra commands to write your hit game. SCADs comes with an extremely professional 200+ page manual and is mouse compatible. SCADs costs £24.99 SAMPrint was "Noesis Software"'s first release and received rave reviews everywhere - only for people with printers, it lets you create posters, cards or leaflets using the fonts and clip art in the program - or you can use your own! SAMPrint costs £14.99 Other Software - Axxent Run by Revelation's ex-Software Manager and writer of Enigma's Famous Five Adventure, Colin Jordan, Axxent is a relatively new company dedicated to adventure products for the SAM. Their first release was SAS (SAM Adventure System). This fully comprehensive package allows you to write your own adventures! Complete with an A4 manual, you'll be able to knock up your own Dungeons and Dragons story lines - and perhaps get paid to get them published....already the first SAS adventures have started to be released. SAS costs £30.99 Their second release is the graphic adventure "Sheriff Gunn". Become a Sheriff in an old Western town and solve the towns problems - or will you be shot first?? Sheriff Gunn costs £11.99 Hardware - printers We have tested out numerous printers for quality, price and reliability and have found the following to come up trumps in all areas, they are all Citizen printers (the company that makes SAM's drive) and all are recommended by FRED for use on SAM : Citizen 120D+ : Most popular printer because of it's low price. It produces 9 pin high quality output. Costing only £149.99. Citizen Swift 9 : A very nice printer for the price, again producing 9 pin high quality output but with colour facilities. Costing only £229.99 Citizen Swift 224 : The budget printer for those that need superb 24-pin print quality AND colour ability. Cost - £279.99 Citizen Swift 24e : The "creme de la creme" - 24 pin, colour, LCD menu functions, suitable for all types of printing, comes with 8K of Memory (upgradeable to 40K). This printer produces our price lists - take a look! Costing £349.99 Hardware - Other We also presently stock good quality Mouse Mats at only £3 each and Anti-Glare 14" Monitor Screens - for those of you that spend many an hour in front of a monitor, this will reduce the strain on your eyes - for just £14.99 FRED also normally stock all other SAM hardware, although at time of writing we only have limited stocks. Please phone to confirm stock and to reserve before ordering any SAM interfaces to avoid dissapointment. FRED Policies All items on the order form have been released and are in stock. Almost 90% of orders are despatched within 24 hours by FIRST CLASS POST - although please allow 14 days in case of a problem with the supplier. All items listed above will run on a 256K or 512K SAM with 1 or 2 internal disc drives unless otherwise specified. Please quote your FRED membership number (if you have one) and write your address clearly on any correspondance. Orders are accepted by Cheque, Postal Order, EuroCheque, International Money Order and cash. Please secure any cash sent as responsibility cannot be taken for orders not arriving. Overseas : Software only, sorry. EC add £2 to total. £5 rest. If you want something that's not on the list - drop us a line! STOP THE PRESSES! Only just in!! FRED has taken over Outlet!! Outlet has experienced financial problems in recent months, so FRED has stepped in. Outlet will now be incorporated into FRED - subscribers to Outlet will have their subscription changed into a FRED subscription. In the next few months, we will be working on taking the best of both FRED and Outlet to make one great big, bestest magazine for the SAM! Full details on how to obtain Outlet products (eg back issues) will appear in FRED in the near future. We would be interested to hear from anyone considering contributing to either the FRED or Outlet side of the magazine, remember - good money is paid!!!!! ???????? "Well, it's time to say our goodbyes I'm afraid. It's been a pleasure having you , I do hope you come again - you'd be more than welcome. And if you ever want to know anything, don't hesitate to write a letter or pick up the phone." Above extract courtesy of The Nationwide Video Company Inc. Sorry about that - don't know how that slipped in there, but it was rather appropriate. I hope you've taken the time to read this text and that you will be enjoying a subscription to FRED magazine, if you do want to know something - just ask! Unfortunately, as it has turned out this is nothing like an issue of FRED, but if you're reluctant to take out a subscription, just send £2 for the latest issue - I know you'll be impressed. I hope this disc is of use to you, and I look forward to hearing from you in the future. Sniff Sniff , Sob Sob Bye! This disc and all it's contents are copyright 1992 , 1993 FRED Publishing unless stated otherwise. Copies of this disc may be made - provided they are in full. Copies of just part of this disc are illegal and offenders will be prosecuted. FRED magazine is a division of FRED Publishing, which is run by Colin Macdonald. He can be contacted at the address below : Colin Macdonald [redacted]
Letters & Reviews
Letter 1 Calvin Allett Dear Colin, I am writing for a couple of reasons, the first being in regards to the anonymous letter you featured in issue 20, sure the SAM isn't as fast as the 16 and 32 bits of the world but if programmed correctly it could be almost as fast as an ST for quite a few things, the SAM is never going to be able to beat the Amiga at speed even if SAMCO did bring out an 8Mhz processor, the Amiga is just too well equipped. With an 8Mhz processor that would match the Amiga's speed but what about the Amiga's custom chips Denise, Paula and Agnus not to mention its Blitter, the Amiga can put on some very impressive graphics and sound demo's without hardly bothering the main CPU, how can an 8 bit processor compete with this. The best thing for SAM owners to do is just compare the SAM with the SAM, for years in the press people have moaned on about "My ST's better than your Amiga" and vice versa and this kind of behaviour is just pointless. Instead of mentioning all the ways the Amiga beats the SAM what about all the ways the SAM matches or beats the Amiga, the SAM is now capable of having eight times as many colours as the Amiga, the SAM has a faster disk drive, More channels for music. The very first soundtracker (named E Tracker) program is to be released soon for the SAM, I'm not quite sure what the specifications are but on the Amiga and other computers some of their Trackers are able to mimic double the channels, this gives the Amiga 8 channels, with time we'll probably be seeing 12 channel music packages for the SAM and it's when software like this is released when people will sit up and take notice. If you were to measure how far a computer can be pushed in percentage then I'd reckon the SAM hasn't even been pushed to 25% of it's full capabilities yet and it's all to do with the programmer's, there just arn't enough good machine code programmers on the SAM yet, sure we've had some great programmers moving onto the SAM scene from the Spectrum and the've produced very pleasing results, and that's with their first attempts but we need more, much more if the SAM is going to succeed and if people from 16 bit computers are going to start and dabble with the SAM. He also mentioned the SAM becoming like the PC for gadgets and incompatibilities, I don't agree, the only trouble there has really been so far is the ROM. Sure there are lots of bolt ons for the SAM but these don't really pose any problem apart from having things sticking out all over (Ohh Err), the PC is much different and the problems are mainly with clock speed and Display cards, the main card now for the PC is the SVGA following with VGA right down to herculees etc, as it's not very likely for SAMCO or anyone else to start bringing out better graphics boards or processor's for the SAM I don't thing we really need worry. Apart form the PC I don't think any other computer could really be improved that much without making a total mess, Amstrad tried it with the CPC's and didn't really succeed, they gave it 4096 colours, sprites, DMA but only for cartridge games and so only really succeeded in killing off a lot of tape software before it's time, and they didn't really think they could compete with Sega and Nintendo with a Console/Computer. So there isn't much chance of the SAM's chips been souped up and I doubt whether that many users would be willing to get the old Soldering iron out every time something new came out. The only real problem with the SAM is the fact that it hasn't got a built in printer port (in this day and age!). BRIAN - Thanks for the letter. We at FRED could not agree more with those sentiments. The fact is, there's no way that 1000 people are going to come up with a spare £50 for the proposed new ASIC chip. I also agree that there's a long way to go until the SAM reaches its full potential. The Amiga is still pushing forward its standards after all these years, so why should the SAM be any different? Letter 2 DEAR COLIN Just to let you know I wasn't that against the 50p price rise, its just that so many magazines put up their prices and its just I've been getting peeved off with it all... Can you send back old issues of FRED and get them replaced? Not that I hate them, it's because a few have annoying sector errors, and they always seem to be on the Screen$. A couple of months back, FRED's software releases contained such delights as a RPG, a beat-em-up and a soccer game. Where are they?!? DARREN "Cheese helmet" HUBBARD BRIAN - Glad you approve of the price rise... By all means, if your FRED has developed a sector error just send us back your ORIGINAL FRED DISK and an SAE and we'll replace it completely free of charge. More about FRED's software plans later on in the section though. Letter 3 Dear Fred, Here are some comments about some of your games I have bought : Dyzonium It's games like this that make you happy that you don't have to pay £40-£l65 for a game. FRED Publishing's finest so far. At £9.99 I would recommend this game to anyone. 90% Parallax The most overhyped load of c@#p since Sphera. The sound and end of level graphics are the only good thing about this game. Playability? What playabilty - it's the same all the way through and the keyboard control is rubbish. The multi-load system is a nightmare even if this pathetic game did take up 256K (which I doubt) why not use the 512K? Well done on cutting the demos down to rolling demos with some music etc taken out. I think these are more likely to sell the game. Well done on putting extra things on the Dyzonium disc like demos - it gives better value and promotes products well. WaterWorks looks like it could be a classic with some decent music and a little polishing. What happened to : The beat em up. Kick Off clone The Tower Lord Insanity Franky Fuka Lemmings Yours sincerely, Matt Davies CM : Glad you liked Dyz Matt. Parallax originally took up 3 discs but we managed to compress it down to just 1 disc! Beat em up - possibly still on Kick Off - indefinetely postponed due to technical problems The Tower - We're discussing the continuation of this one Lord Insanity - still coding away furiously on SAM Frantisek - erm, don't know - haven't spoken to him for ages Lemmings - ?????????????? B Spencer Dyzonium Review If you've been put off buying this collect/shoot-em-up (as I very nearly was) by the Newsdisk playable (?) demo, then think again. The released version has improved graphics and the difficulty is set at a more reasonable level. In fact, with a little practice, it shouldn't be too long before you're on level 2 where things get a little more hectic (including a particularly persistant & indestructable little alien that keeps following you around and getting in your way). Hints : Don't rush (there's no time limit) Use the map (it's there to help you) Don't waste your power-ups, especially your smart bombs (these could mean the difference between an easy pick up and the 'Game Over' message appearing) Verdict : The graphics & speed aren't anything special but this is more than made up for by the excellant playability and, at the end of the day, this is the one thing you cannot do without. Recommended. D Marsden Another Dyzonium Review This game is too much like a PD game, and why when the coupe has 128 colours did Balor Knight use white on black? So there is a bit of colour on the space ship but that's about it. What is the point in using 3 or 4 colours on a space ship that's so small when most of the screen's just black? Even the spinning coffin isn't filled in. Though the game is easier than the demo of Plasmoid I played it stills seems to be very hard and very boring to play. The energy bar makes it very easy to get killed in one go making it impossible to get anywhere. It's nearly impossible to make the ship move in a straight line and cleanly turn. Yet all is not lost the music is very funky and well done, the intro is very detailed and I loved the way the ship explodes. I loved Impatience and still play on the later levels. I also liked Parallax but Dyzonium wouldn't even make a good Spectrum game. I think FRED at least in this case should never have bought the license for this game. But as you did I think it still needed more work done to it - colouring the coffin, bigger more detailed graphics and making the first levels a lot smaller. Sorry for being critical but I don't think this game has done you any good at all and I would really like to see you do well and this sort of game will only give you a bad name. CM : It is extremely difficult to program a fast game like Dyzonium to use more than 16 colours on screen. The main sprite is 16 x 16 pixels which is the most common size for sprites across ALL computers. You complained about the lack of colours - and then said the ship used too many colours?? The spinning coffin is done in line vectors - something never done on SAM before, it is not supposed to be coloured - that would be easier. Line vectors are used in the latest games across all formats. You didn't like the energy bar? If we'd used lives, you would have lost one and gone back to the start of the level as soon as you touched an alien, making it far too difficult or if we'd given you more energy it would have made the game too easy. Thanks very much for your comments - I know I didn't agree with them but from the way everyone is talking about the game it should get good reviews. It's also proved very popular - it could well be one of the best selling SAM games in a long time! Next we've got the review you've all been waiting for: the review of the PRODUCT you've all been waiting for!! Yes, it's our E-Tracker review, written by Andy Monk who's responsible for this month's excellent E-Tunes (so he should know what he's talking about). ANDY M E-TRACKER Well, what can I say about E-Tracker? I could start off by talking about the technical features of this wonderous music package. But I won't, just for the beginners out there! E-tracker is, when it comes down to it, the Sam equivalent to Soundtracker on the Amiga. That program started off a long line of similar utilites with 'Tracker' as the suffix to the title. Could we suddenly be swarmed with tracker programs on the Sam? Anyway, on with the review: E-Tracker allows you to use the SAA-1099 sound chip to it's utmost. All octaves (2048 tones) can be reached. Total control over both the left & right speakers. All noise frequencies and mixing combinations. Literally thousands of sounds can be created using the instrument editor. But it doesn't stop there, you can overlay any instrument with what's known as an Ornament! What do we use it for? Well, E-Tracker is ideally suited to games music, but of course it can be used for absolutely anything so, as they say, the choice is entirely up to you. The instruments that E-Tracker uses are made up of elements. The maximum number of elements is 256, but for each element you can have a pitch, noise/tone mix, noise frequency, seperate left/right volume control. After that you can loop a certain part of the instrument endlessly if you wish! The only niggle I have about instruments is that you can only have a maximum of 36. Luckily there's something to triple the versatility of the instrument. The Ornament editor is a simplified version of the instrument editor. It works that when combined with any of the 36 available instruments, it will increase or decrease the value of the instruments pitches. ESI are using the tried and tested means of displaying music. It's represented as something like: C-3 4221 This would represent one channel playing a flat 'C' at octave 3. The 4 numbers are Instrument, Ornament, Command, Value. Yes, E-Tracker uses special commands to increase the versatility of instruments and ornaments being played. The digit after the command is the value for the command. For example command 4 with a value of 10 would allow that the note on that line a volume reduction of 10. Useful for echoing sounds etc... After using E-Tracker for about three weeks, I have produced a few tunes some of which may be floating around on this Fred. See what you think. (THEY'RE GREAT! - ED) Now after all that, I'm sorry to have to say that there are a couple of improvements that can be made to make E-Tracker even more amazing than it already is... Mouse/Pointer control would've been nice, Copying patterns/tracks could be easier, Erm, nothing else... Anyway, I was supposed to compare E-Tracker with the 'Sound Machine', but because 'E-Tracker' is obviously better than the 'Sound Machine' and because there IS NO comparison, I won't. If you like producing music or are into computer generated music, or you're even a fan of the old speccy stuff, I strongly urge you to buy this for christmas, at £29.99 it definitely is a bargain! My ratings are: User-friendlyness: 88 % Presentation : 65 % Lastability : 95 % Versatility : 98 % Efficiency : 95 % Total rating : 92 % Brian : So there you have it. ETracker is brill. But that's from an expert; if you bought ETracker and had had no previous experience, please do write and let us know what you thought of it. Perhaps a review by a complete beginner would help give a complete picture of the package? Finally, here are some reviews done by me. They're of Boing, Bulgulators, and Revelation's new word processor "The Secretary" (in that order). BM Boing! This is a game very much in the Dizzy mould; you, as a small, oddly shaped (green!) being must wander around a screen-flicking environment, collecting objects to use later on in specific locations, solving puzzles and trying to find as many jugs as possible while you're at it. One major improvement over the Dizzy series is that it's no longer a case of touch-one-baddy-and-die because there's an energy bar in this game. I'll say here that I'm the sort of person that usually HATES this type of game; I can never be bothered trying to work out what needs to be done, and usually get bored after a couple of minutes. Unfortunately, I can't say "but Boing taught me the error of my ways!" because I still don't like this sort of game. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the game, it's simply that I don't like having to actually THINK about what I'm doing too much. I have, in the past, played a fair number of these sort of games, and it must be said that Boing! compares very well indeed with most others of the genre. BM Boing! ctd The graphics are good, if a little "samey" throughout, but the music is superb. It's nearly worth buying just to hear that! The whole program is strung together nicely, though I would have liked to have been told what the keys were by Colin when he gave me this to review. I spent my first few games not knowing that I could drop objects!! This might have something to do with my not being desperately fond of the game... If you do like Dizzy-type games, I'm confident that you will like this. Bearing in mind the fact that I do not like these games at all, I'm going to give it 5/10. If you think differently, though, remember that you can send us YOUR review...! BM Bulgulators A strong contender for "most bizarre title" award for 1992 (unless Wop Gamma is released before January!), Bulgulators has been eagerly awaited to say the least. A variation on the Pacman theme, there are numerous "twists" to the idea, such as one-way walls and locked walls (which, logically enough, need to be unlocked). There are a hundred levels to the game, which should keep most people going for a good couple of hours, along with bonus levels every so often, and thankfully, passwords to the later levels. This game plays pretty much as you'd expect; it's certainly competently coded. There are a couple of problems though. Firstly, when you change direction 180 degrees (ie from straight up to straight down) there's a slight delay which all too often results in a lost life. It's not TOO bad, but it can be a pain. The second major problem is the colour scheme! Aarrgghh!! Some of the mazes are truly revolting, and add to the difficulty no end. This might be due to my colour-blindness, but I don't think having normal colourvision is the problem, because I put my TV BM Bulgulators ctd on black and white and it still looked vile! The walls of the maze are very simple, just white lines 2 pixels thick, and these do tend to get "lost" against some of the brighter backgrounds. Same with the dots, which can make for a very confusing level. Add in the intentional "problems" and things get very difficult indeed! These painful-to-look-at levels don't occur often enough to really spoil the game, though, and it's just a minor niggle. Something else which annoyed me was the fact that I couldn't guess the passwords! You might be thinking that a maze game isn't the sort of thing that can keep you playing for long, but believe me, it does. Even with the odd horrible background! The difficulty level is set about right; you can't just zoom off to level 20 on your first game, but you should be able to progress easily enough. Overall, I'm giving this 7/10. Neither graphics nor sound is outstanding, but both are more than adequate. BM The Secretary - Revelation I've been waiting ages to see what this was like, and now I've had a chance to mess around with it, I really don't know what to think. As far as options go, this has them in abundance. There are much much more features than Outwrite has to offer, such as line-drawing and box-drawing, both of which can be very useful indeed for reports and things. I suppose it's inevitable that this and Outwrite are going to be compared to eacher other; both were intended to become the best SAM worprocessors, so for this review I'll base things on that. The main advantage Secretary has over Outwrite is the option to alter the left/right margins on the page. This allows a great deal more versatility as you can probably imagine. You can quickly and easily alter the ruler in terms of width and TAB positions. Both this and new version of Outwrite offer menus with the various selectable options, but I'd say that Secretary has a BM The Secretary ctd better user interface than either of the Outwrites for the simple reason that you can use either the menus or, in many cases, keypresses. Both packages feature built-in help screens, which is a good thing. From what I've said so far, you might be forgiven for thinking that Outwrite is now obsolete. Sadly, you'd be wrong. For all Secretary's advanced features, it suffers horribly in terms of speed. For example, in Secretary there's a "proper" insert mode where entering a character causes the whole paragraph to shift along. This works, but unbearably slowly. Even the normal word-wrap feature works much more slowly when an altered page length is being used. This might not seem important, but for long documents can be a hell of a nuisance. Something else which could prove too much for the Secretary is the fact that all the other word processors use the same file BM The Secretary ctd format; You can load Tasword II files easily into Outwrite, for example. Secretary uses a slightly different system which, while technically superior, tends to make life a bit more difficult when swapping between programs. If you haven't already got a word processor, and so won't have these compatibilty problems, then you would probably be well served by Secretary, especially if the presentation is something which is likely to be important. I think that for FRED writing though, I'll stick to Outwrite. To the marks then; 7/10. It would have been more, but the loss of speed really is a nuisance. Next Munf Remember, FRED29 will be out around the middle of January. The deadline for this issue is the 30th December - so get scribbling! FRED29 costs £2. Orders can be accepted in advance or once it appears, but you'd be better off with a FRED subscription - only £20 for 12 issues, giving you an automatic saving of £4... Remember, all the special offers detailed last month STILL STAND, any new offers will be listed on the Newsletter. FRED Magazine and it's contents are (c) 1992 FRED Publishing