Your Sinclair review courtesy of the YS Rock 'n' Roll Years YS79
Kaleidoscope (SAM)SAMCo £39.99 Jul 1992
Well, it's here and it works. The Kaleidoscope - a new circuit that increases the Coupe's palette of 128 colours to 32,768 of the beggars - has finally banged onto the YS doormat. The version I saw was the one that comes with the DIY Hardware Development Kit - but fans of my adventures with electricity will be disappointed to learn that the kit was already made up.
It's actually extremely difficult to judge just how useful the Kaleidoscope is going to be. The demo disk that came with the kit is slightly rubbish, with a few "here's a screen full of different shades of a particular colour" affairs and nothing else. Not even a Kaleidoscoped picture. Even trickier, as this was a pre-release unit, I didn't get any technical info. Oh well.
To be honest, the bundled demos rather put me off the kit. The actual colour-enhancing process is, as SAMCo cheerfully admit, a bodge. The unit doesn't produce "pure" colours, it sort of mixes the originals and fiddles about a bit with the TV signal. This is all impressively clever, but the actual results vary according to the colour. In the worst case, as the demos show painfully clearly, some shades seem to have a terminal case of the streaks.
The Kaleidoscope certainly has the potential to propel the Coupe into the big time, but only if some talented programmers get their hooks into the unit. Apparently pre-release units are already swooshing around the development community, so hopefully good software is coming. Unless you're a serious hacker, until it arrives, I'd have to recommend you hold onto your money.