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When the Amiga 500 was released, sales eventually started to pick up, and it was tor its gaming abilities that the machine became popular. However, the tirst thing that most Amiga converts saw. Were stunning pictures in magazines showing the incredible graphics that the new home wonder machine was capable ot. Games such as Defender ol the Crown. King of Chicago and a host ot others ensured that users who at that time were used to the 16 colour displays ot the Commodore 64 and Spectrum were tailing over themselves to buy into the act. Ironically, even the best ol these games only used 32 colours on a low resolution display; quite mundane by Whether you’re creatively gltted or not, you can still use the Amiga to create a stunning variety ot exciting and attractive images ranging Irom impressionist pictures to photo-realistic animated landscapes It you are lortunate enough to have some imagination. There are dozens it not hundreds ol graphics packages just waiting to turn your ideas into reality. Over the next torty or so pages, we'll be taking a look at the very best that the Amiga has to otter. But lirst. Let’s have a bit of a history lesson. The most popular sections of the magazine, and it receives many entries each month. CU Amiga started showcasing readers art in 1990. Each month a single screen was selected as the winner and it was put on the coverdisk and printed in the magazine. At about the same time, our resident art specialist, Peter Lee, began a series of tutorials covering everything from artistic technique to creative animation. When we dropped the Screen of the Month section, the outcry from readers was so great that we soon restarted it. It wasn't long before this section got a new lease of life in the magazine called Art Gallery. In the gallery we now show some of the stages in the construction of screens so that other readers can hopefully .pick up tips by copying the techniques that are used. » every single Amiga owner has had the opportunity to create graphics for themselves without spending money on additional software.

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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AMIGA SOFTWARE If you’re looking for the ultimate in 24-bit image capture & editing, then look no further I Vidi Amiga (24) RT offers you features and specification unmatched by any rival. And what's most important is its compatibility.
Vidi Amiga (24) RT will work on all Amiga's including A500, 1200 etc. Finally compare our pricing and I am sure you will agree that no other company can offer you so much for so little !
These Images represent the quality of output achievable usiug* Vidi Amiga (24 T SOME OF OUR FEATURES.
Image capture at up to full overscan video resolution in all AGA colour modes. Display images up to 1472x576.
ANIMATION: Fully featured Swipe S Play animation workstation.
POWERFUL IMAGE PROCESSING: Average, Balance, Blur, Brightness, Contrast, Convolve, Drop RGB, Edge Detect, Emboss,Equalize, Exposure, Flip X Y, Gamma Correction, Negative, Quantize, Saturation, Cut & Paste.
FILE SUPPORT: 24-bit Amiga formats, All AGA Modes, ILBM, ANIM, BMP, PCX, & TIFF.
COMPATIBLE WITH: Workbench 1.3, 2.0, & 3.0. Composite, SVHS or Y.C. sources.
A500, A600, A1200, A1500, A2000, A3000, A4000.
Rombo, Kirkton Campus, Livingston, SCOTLAND, EH54 7AZ Tel: (44) 0506 414631 Fax: (44) 0506 414634 Rombo, are proud lo announce the launch of their new range of Multimedia Digitisers.
Each digitiser has been designed with total flexibility in mind, by offering a cost effective upgrade path between models. Giving the user complete peace of mind, and the freedom to choose a digitiser for his present requirements. But reassuring him, that if those change, he can move up to the next model. All Vidi Amiga's now have a similar user interface, so moving between products is easy !
£12J) Vidi Amiga (12) RT, offers all the functionallity and specification of Vidi (24) RT, but in 12-bit. Capturing 4096 colour images in real-time from any video source. This includes TV, Video Recorder, Video Camera, Satellite etc. etc. New user interface with powerful image processing and picture manipulation. Support for both composite and SVHS or YC inputs.
Plug-in device with easy install software. Simple enough for the novice yet powerful enough for the professional. Compatible with all Amiga's. Never before has the Amiga market seen such value for money. Manufacturer upgrade available to Vidi Amiga (24) RT POA. Compatible with all AGA resolutions and colour modes.
£299 Vidi Amiga (24) RT, will push your Amiga to its limit. Real-time image capture in excess of broadcast quality. True colour, photo
- realistic picture files grabbed from any video source. Display
resolutions up to 1472 x 576, what more can I say !
Vidi Amiga (24) RT offers a breakthrough for all Amiga users, taking them into the world of 24-bit image capture. With no restrictions on video equipment or Amiga hardware.
All the pictures shown on the full page Vidi Amiga (24) RT advert represent the actual printed output quality that can be achieved.
Simply by sending the finished image file to a Bureau for output.
Throw away your scanner, its too much like hard work !
Contents ISSUE ONE - WINTER 1994 WELCOME You hold in your hands the most authoritative guide to Amiga software ever published.
Over the next 180 packed pages, we'll be taking a look at the top software packages on the Amiga plus a whole range of peripherals and add-ons. If you're serious about your Amiga, then you'll want to read the most detailed and accurate reviews possible before making that vital purchasing decision.
And that’s were we come in.
We've assembled a team of Amiga experts to help you choose between the myriad number ol programs that clog up the shelves of your local computer store. From music and graphics packages to memory upgrades and accelerator cards, we've covered the lot.
From budget priced programs through to ones which cost hundreds ot pounds, we've tested all the major packages.
What's more, we've also put together detailed comparison charts, given contact numbers, and generally explained what benefits and drawbacks each program otters. So what are you waiting for? Get stuck in to this weighty tome and discover the hidden power that lurks within your Amiga.
6 GRAPHICS More than any other home computer, the Amiga is capable of generating stunning graphics and animations. It's not just the wonderful AGA chipset that's to thank either, because the Amiga is supported by a wonderful array of state-of-the-art graphics packages.
In this section, we take a look at a selection of the very best ranging from art and animation packages to ray tracers and even fractal animators. For the high power user, we've even included a selection of professional and semi-pro graphics boards.
104 BOOKS Staring at a blank screen isn't going to get you very far when trying to come to grips with the Amiga. Instead of acting like a zombie, why not pick up one of the many fine literary tomes dedicated to the Amiga computer and harness the hidden power of your machine?
Whether you've just bought your first Amiga, or you’re about to start learning your third language, you'll find that our books' guide is your first step to computer enlightenment. After that, all you have to do is choose a title and away you go.
Dan Slingsby - Editor 58 PROGRAMMING Want to become the next Sinsible Software or Bitmap Brothers? Then at some stage in your career you're going to have to learn to program. Sorry, but there really isn't any other way to do it. Fortunately, the Amiga is blessed with a huge range of programming aids to help you on your way.
Whether you want to start slowly with AMOS or Basic, or dive in at the deep end with assembler or C, you're certain to find the right pointers to help you select the best language for your requirements and ability 70 BUSINESS When it comes to managing a business there's a broad selection of software available to help you get things running smoothly. Starting with basic programs such as word processors and databases, and going on to cover more specific items such as stock control and cashflow forecasting, we review the programs that you really need.
What’s New, What 80 GAMES The world would be a duller place if all we had to do on the Amiga was load up spreadsheets and databases. Luckily, the world's number one home computer is blessed with more than its fair share of classic games. Take your pick from Frontier, Speedball 2, Monkey Island 2 and others too numerous to mention. As well as giving our own personal recommendations of hot games, we also take a look at cheap budget releases and nominate games for the computer-equivalent of the Golden Turkey awards. Find out which are the winners and losers here!
110 DESK TOP PUBLISHING Have you ever wanted to create your own leaflets, posters or even magazines? It's not as difficult as you may think, especially when you take into consideration the many excellent packages that exist to help you do so.
From budget-priced programs through to professional packages and desk top scanners, there is something to suit all needs and tastes. Whether you want to produce a full- colour magazine or a simple A5 black and white leaflet, we take a look at the best programs available.
116 DESK TOP VIDEO Whether you’re a latent Jeremy Beadle, or a doset David Lynch, you'll find all the necessary inside gen on how to make movies on your Amiga tucked away in this section. We review and rate all the software and hardware available to help you in your quest for immortality.
Whether you're looking at genlocks, video cameras, editing software or console decks here's where you'll find your answers, complete with impartial buying advice.
126 EDUCATION Of course, the Amiga is also a great teaching tool - given the right programs to run. If you've a young child and want to stimulate their mind or creative tendencies, then the comprehensive range of educational software that's available is just the thing. From Fun School to National Curriculum subjects, there's something for everyone here.
134 ADD-ONS If you're going fo expand your mind, il won'! Be long before you'll be looking to beef up your Amiga to match. Whether it's an extra floppy drive, or a half meg RAM upgrade, or something altogether more substantial, this is the place to look for unbiased advice.
With a few carefully chosen accessories it’s possible to transform your Amiga into a lean, mean super computer.
Whether you own an A4000, A1200 or even an A500, we show you how to tap its hidden power.
149 CD32 And we couldn't possibly give you a buyer’s guide without a look at software for Commodore’s latest marvel, the CD32.
And we haven't forgotten all you CDTV and A570 CD ROM drive owners out there either, as we detail exactly what's available for your particular piece of kit.
Offering what is undoubtedly the most comprehensive summary of existing and future titles, as well as detailed compatibility listings showing all the great CDTV software that you can still use on your state of the art console, this is simply the CD ROM standard for others to match!
161 MUSIC Although other computers became known as ideal tools for musicians thanks to their built-in MIDI interfaces, the Amiga offers unequalled music power thanks to its ability to replay up to four sound samples simultaneously via one of two stereo channels. Of course, if you prefer a more professional environment, the Amiga can also offer a MIDI set up that is the equal of any other computer.
In our sound section we evaluate some of the most exciting music software, including trackers and notators for creating professional scores. We also play around with a few MIDI instruments to show you what represents the best starting place for new musicians.
THE ULTIMATE AMIGA BUYER’S GUIDE ‘94 Editor Dan Slingsby Technical Editor Mat Broomfield Writers Mat Broomfield Jason Holbom Gary Fenton Steve Merrett Tony Dillon Jolyon Ralph June Brierley Seb Lee-Delisle Dan Slingsby Production A very tired Dan as they wouldn't pay lor anyone!
Art Editor Jo Winslow Design Wendy Martin Hands Design Steve Rumney and a cast ol thousands Publisher Garry Williams PRINTEO IN THE UR The Ultimate Amiga Buyer's Guide ‘94 may not be reproduced without our written permission. We cannot accept liability for mistakes or misprints. We regret that we cannot offer advice on a personal basis, either by phone or by post, as there just aren't enough hours in the day as It Is. Editorial address: EMAP Images, Priory Court. 30-32 Farringdon Lane. London. EC1R 3AU.
« EMAP Images Graphics The Amiga's graphics capabilities are legendary. Over the next few pages we'll be taking an in-depth look at the numerous ways that you can harness the Amiga's graphics power.
And they wisely got together with Electronic Arts to arrange to bundle the paint package. Deluxe Paint, with every single Amiga sold. Since then, there has never been an Amiga package which did not include a version ot the program. This means that the Amiga's own standards.
However, what made these graphics so impressive was the tact that the user could detine his 32 colour palette Irom a choice ot 4096 colours Compared to the Spectrum, Amstrad and C64 which had tixed palettes, this was a dream come true.
PARTNERS IN CRIME From the very earliest days.
Commodore were aware ot the impact ot their machine’s graphics.
A BIT OF HISTORY The Amiga was first unveiled to the world on July 23rd 1985 in the lorm ot the At 000. Initially touted as a business machine, sales were slow and a machine with less power than an A500 cost a month s wages or more.
When the Amiga 500 was released, sales eventually started to pick up, and it was tor its gaming abilities that the machine became popular.
However, the tirst thing that most Amiga converts saw. Were stunning pictures in magazines showing the incredible graphics that the new home wonder machine was capable ot. Games such as Defender ol the Crown. King of Chicago and a host ot others ensured that users who at that time were used to the 16 colour displays ot the Commodore 64 and Spectrum were tailing over themselves to buy into the act.
Ironically, even the best ol these games only used 32 colours on a low resolution display; quite mundane by Whether you’re creatively gltted or not, you can still use the Amiga to create a stunning variety ot exciting and attractive images ranging Irom impressionist pictures to photo-realistic animated landscapes It you are lortunate enough to have some imagination. There are dozens it not hundreds ol graphics packages just waiting to turn your ideas into reality.
Over the next torty or so pages, we'll be taking a look at the very best that the Amiga has to otter. But lirst. Let’s have a bit of a history lesson.
The most popular sections of the magazine, and it receives many entries each month.
CU Amiga started showcasing readers art in 1990. Each month a single screen was selected as the winner and it was put on the coverdisk and printed in the magazine. At about the same time, our resident art specialist, Peter Lee, began a series of tutorials covering everything from artistic technique to creative animation. When we dropped the Screen of the Month section, the outcry from readers was so great that we soon restarted it. It wasn't long before this section got a new lease of life in the magazine called Art Gallery. In the gallery we now show some of the stages in the
construction of screens so that other readers can hopefully .pick up tips by copying the techniques that are used. » every single Amiga owner has had the opportunity to create graphics for themselves without spending money on additional software.
Of course, it has also meant that Deluxe Paint has become the de facto standard, and its name has become synonymous with art packages. Although this has made it difficult for rival products to gain a foothold, a few strong contenders have nevertheless arisen over the last year.
Another advantage of the D-Paint connection has been that magazines such as CU Amiga have been able to plan tutorials and run competitions based upon computer art safe in the knowledge that all readers have access to similar graphics software.
In fact, CU's own Art Gallery is one of AMIGA BUYER S GUIDE 94 Graphics Duo As the Amiga owes so much of its success to the quality of its graphics, it's worth taking a second to look at the two elements that make those graphics so special.
DINARY VALUE 000 001 010 011 100 101 110 111 o o to With up to 256.000 colour* on tho *cr on
• 1 one* the AGA mecMnoe odor •« unbeatable graphic* power to
price ratio A NEW RESOLUTION The first element el the AGA
machinee Is the high resolutions at which Images can he dis
played. As you probably know, the screen is maOe up ol small
rectangular dots known as pisels. A screen's resolution Is
usually described as an X by a V value; in other words how many
pixels wide Iho screen Is. By how many high. The Amiga's lowest
resolution is 320x256, so lhat means lhal regardloss ol Ihe
site of monitor or TV you display Ihe picture on, that picture
will only bo 320 pixels wide. II you double the resolution lo
640x512, the extra pixels still only occupy Ihe sama amount ot
screen space. As you can Imagine. Ihe only way to III the extra
pixels in. Is lo hall their actual site, and Ibis Is exactly
wlul happens. II doesn't take a great leap ol logic to see why
more pixels - and conseguenlly a higher resolution - is
desirable Higher resolution • smaller pixels = a liner, more
detailed image.
For games, high resolutions are neither necessary nor particularly desirable For starters a higher resolution screen also means more pixels lo be coloured in by Ihe graphic artist! It also means mote processor power is needed to mono Ihe graphics around and in the case ol mosl arcade games, there just isn't enough power available lo use high resolution graphics. For this reason, you'll almosl never see a game lhat usas high resolution screens, although strategy games whore graphics speed isn'l important, may opt lor this mode.
It the resolution ol a screen can he made high enough, one can no longor see Ihe jagged edges tormed by rectangular pixels al all. When this sort ol resolution Is reached, graphics are ideal lor broadcasting or oven lor recording onto transparency Him. For PAL broadcast wort, a resolution above 576x720 pixels is ideal (NTSC 466x720), bul transparencies, especially when they're going to be made into posters, need lo use a higher resolution still, and 2000-5000x2000-5000 or more is often used.
A SPLASH OF COLOUR The second element that delines how good a computer's graphics are. Is its colour resolution. Or how many colours it can display. On Ihe Amiga this can be quite complicated because the maximum number ol colours that it can display at any one time is usually less than the maximum number It Is capable ol generating.
For example, in HAM8 mode on an AGA machine such as the A4000 or A1200. By using a sort ol pixel trickery, the computer can display up lo 256.000 colours simultaneously.
However, those colours may be selected Irom a palette ol 16.7 million! Similarly, in halt- brile mode on an A5O0. Iho Amiga can display 64 colours Irom a palette ol 4006.
So why the discrepancy I hear you ask? Well it's down to the way lhal Ihe Amiga generates colour using what are known as bit-planes. A bit is the technical name lor a single unit ol storage space in the computer's memory, and it's the smallest piece ol information thal the computer can hold Each bit has only two possible slates on irepresentod by the digit 1) or oil (represented by •). By combining bits, you can represent much larger numbers in the same way as you can combine two ov more decimal characters to represent bigger numbers This counting system is known as binary. For example, looh
at tho way the tallowing three bit number progresses now to return to tho sub|ect ol bit-planes. Each pixel is represented in the computers memory by one or more bits The higher the number ol hits, the greater the number that can be allocated lo a single pixel. This number points lo a specilic colour lo a pre delined Tisr of colours. Therolore II a pixel is only represented by three bits. It can only use one ol tho colours 0-7, so you can immediately see how it's desirable to reprosenl each pixel using as many bits as possible. In tact, each time you add a bit-plane, you double the number ol
colours lhat can be used.
In actual tact. Iho human eye is nol capable of distinguishing more than a certain number ol different colours, and this number ot colours can be relerred lo when each pixel is represented by 24-bits in the computer's memory.
In case you're wondering why all computers don't automatically come with the ability to display 24-bit graphics, you should remember thal it costs a lot ol memory to store and display suth images. For example, even a low resolution screen ol 320x256 pixels requires 240k ol momory. Whilst a hl-rts screen needs almost a megabyte per scraea!
DECIMAL VALUE 0 1 2 3 4 0 6 7 As the Amiga has become more widespread, it has seen more and more commercial usage. Whereas the sheep may continue to use graphics workstations costing tens and even hundreds of thousands ol pounds, the smart money has gradually turned to the Amiga as a high quality, low cost graphics generator for professional use.
This trend has been particularly pronounced in America where the Amiga is now seen as THE desktop video machine to use. Thanks almost exclusively to the incredible Video Toaster from Newtek. Here in Europe, the Amiga's role in the commercial market has been largely facilitated by the appearance of a variety of graphics boards. The first of these was the Hariequin. Manufactured and distributed by the Amiga Centre Scotland The Hariequin is a 32-bit display card that plugs into higher end machines and offers a 16.7 million colour display at a very high resolution. It can be hooked up to a
transparency unit for output to 35mm film, or it can be linked directly to video recorders for broadcast quality animation.
At over £800, Harlequin is definitely not aimed at the home user, but its appearance seemed to spark off massive development in the area ot 24-bit output Soon rival boards such as GVP's Impact Vision 24 and Archos's AV24, began to appear, and just recently there seem to be new boards released every week.
Of course, the ultimate winner in such a fiercely contested market is the consumer for it's well known that competition breeds innovation. It also brings prices tumbling down, and recently weVe seen a number of boards with a price tag of less than £300.
Because the Amiga has always been seen as THE graphics machine, it has enjoyed a great diversity of supporting software, and paint packages are just the tip of the iceberg.
Kfc$ rH,N° One demo that really wowed eariy show goers was the immodal Juggler animation. This was a ray traced animation which depicted a stylised man juggling a couple of glass balls against a chequered background. By today's standards, the graphics were not stunning, and the animation was nothing special, but it was the first time that ray tracing had been seen on an affordable home computer. It proved to people that the Amiga could be used to produce real-wodd' graphics, in other words graphics which could almost be taken from a photograph From then on a steady stream of development
into ray tracing pack- FOR ages was begun resulting in a number of awesomely powerful programs which are available today. In fact one of these (Lightwave| was even used to test the dinosaur animation in Spielberg's recent smash, Jurassic Park.
From one type of real-world graphics to another, it seemed a logical step that fractal programs should appear on the Amiga. Thanks to programs such as Tomorrow's World and films such as Star Trek 2. Fractal graphics had become the new buzzword. On the Amiga, this took two forms: fractal landscape generators such as Vista, and Mandelbrot programs which seemed to do little more than generate pretty patterns.
Atanda pu udly Baca at the lop as lac as home computers go. No other machine In a similar price band can touch It lor raw graphics power.
Although the tormer type ol fractal program has benelitted greatly by the mass availability ot inexpensive 12- and 24-bit boards, I have still to see Amiga generated landscapes in any commercial ottering.
Ironically, it's the more esoteric and seemingly useless area ot Mandelbrot generation that has seen perhaps the most widespread use tor Amiga graphics, certainly in the UK at least. The rave culture, with its bright colours and acerbic music style, is the ideal complement to the equally vivid fractal imagery and Amiga graphics, so it was not surprising when this imagery turned up at raves'and videos all over Europe.
FULL CIRCLE In a sense, the Amiga graphics market has now gone full circle.
When the Amiga was young, there wasn't a home machine to touch it graphically. Pcs were still slow and expensive and were running clunky old CGA graphics. The Atari ST was the nearest rival in terms of price and its graphics performance didn't hold a candle to the Amiga.
Ol course, things change and the Atari Falcon was developed, whilst ever cheapening Pcs gained VGA and beyond. The humble Amiga started to look a bit pallid by comparison. That is, until Commodore pulled a rabbit out of the proverbial hat yet again and released the AGA chip set I Thanks to AGA. Commodore were able to produce the A1200, a machine which could display
256. 000 colours at once (rom a palette of over 16.5 million.
Better yet, they could be displayed at resolutions more
than twice as high as previously. The most amazing thing
about the 1200 is its incredible price. For about half the
price of a comparable PC, A1200 owners received a stale of
the art machine designed to be the first of a new
Thanks to the Amiga 1200, loyal Commodore users can once again revel in the fact that they are using a truly innovative machine, and one whose graphics capabilities knock the socks clean off the competition.
The most popular (racial imagaa ol all are those generated using the Mandelbrot set.
Images such as these have been widely
• ¦plotted by musicians and video makers, not to mention T-Shirt
manufacturers' Deluxe Paint
4. 1 AGA £99.99 - ELECTRONIC ARTS - 0753 549442 No Amiga program
can claim a longer or more distinguished lineage than Deluxe
Paint. We take a detailed look what it has to offer.
By bundling Deluxe Paint with every new Amiga, Electronic Arts have ensured that all Amiga owners knew their name, and would hence be potential customers when they released a new version of the program. Despite this strong position, they certainly can’t be accused of churning the upgrades out simply to earn another dollar.
In fact Electronic Arts (EA) have been almost ponderously slow about upgrading the program although, to be fair, each of their upgrades has contained significant advances over earlier versions. Version 4 was two years in the making, yet EA still took the trouble to enhance it when the AGA machines were released. It's exactly that dedication to detail and customer satisfaction that has Dpainfs text handling Is far from Impressive, but at least you can now use scalable fonts.
AMI?-™ When Version 4 was released the user-interface underwent a number of significant changes.
These were primarily made to comply with the Workbench 2 look that had started to become popular. Some of the changes were also made because unlike previous versions of the program, D-Paint 4 now provided full HAM mode support (HAM8 on AGA machines).
For an old-timer like myself, some of the style changes are unwelcome, but on the whole, the program looks slicker and more functional than ever before.
As with all previous versions, the main drawing tools are placed in a vertical strip down the right-hand edge of the screen. Each tool is represented by a small icon (see picture) which gives a stylised representation of its purpose. Click on the icon with the left mouse button and its colours are inverted to show that it’s been selected. Some of the icons won the company awards and fans the world over.
Over the past few years.
Deluxe Paint has been the standard by which all other art packages have been measured, and until recently all have fallen short of the mark.
Ci too uionrx CSTIMBS 15 POINT CS TIMES 20 POINT CSTIMES 25POINT CSTIMES 30POINT lOOPOINT are sensitive to where you click, with the upper left and lower right halves producing different results. For instance, click on one half of the rectangle tool and you're in hollow rectangle mode, dick on the other half and filled rectangle mode is selected. Multiple clicks also produce a variety of results with certain icons, such as the zoom icon, when each additional click increases or decreases the magnification of the Graphics selected screen area depending on which Button is pressed.
Speaking ol Duttons, most ot the icons also produce a different response if clicked on with the right button, and this response is invariably to produce a requester where you can modify the way that the tool works. For example, right click on the symmetry icon and a requester appears allowing you to alter the type and degree of symmetry.
The palette resides below the fool strip, and depending upon the current screen mode it wiil display up to 64 colours at a time. If you're working in one of the HAM modes, or 128- 256 colour mode on an A1200 or
4000. There are arrows beneath the palette which can be used to
view additional blocks of 64 colours.
Running across the top of the screen is the menu bar and this naturally contains many more options.
Both the menu bar and tool strip palette can be turned on or off with a single key press as required.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS When the program first loads, the majority is empty and black, and this is your work area, although memory permitting you can also use a second screen as a scrap area, switching between the two by pressing the letter 'J I’ve never understood why Electronic Arts made the default paper celour black and the default ink light grey My first action is always to set the default paper to white, although this is perhaps a little harsh on the eyes Maybe EA were considering more esoteric sensibilities when they designed the program!
For most of the time that you use fhe program, you'll be using the tools that I mentioned earlier, after all, that's why they're on the screen in the first place. The usual assortment are available, ranging from freehand draw to ellipse and polygon tools. A variety ol 'nib' sizes are available, but even if there's not a pre-defined one » carwuitnouorTiiwvcan i COPY | EX | SPREAD [ PICK I DELETE I _______ SCALE I REVERT I UNDO I OK RANGE: [3111 B ..... Q REVERSE I CLEAR « It's all very well having an art I package which can manipulate I animation, but at the end of the day you
eventually have to do some drawing yourself. Now this is line it you're one ol those super talented artists who can put Leonardo Da Vinci to shame, but most ol us are no great shakes with a mouse.
Not to worry, that doesn't mean that you can't still create fabulous and completely convincing animations. A number ol companies oiler predrawn anim brushes or clips which you can animate yoursell.
Probably the best known ol these companies is RGB Studios who produce an impressive set ol animation libraries known collectively as Real Things.
There are at least live volumes in Ihe set covering subjects such as Humans. Sea Lile and Salari.
Each set contains a collection ol animated brushes as well as a variety ol appropriate scenic clip art (sea weed and rocks etc for the Sea Life collection for example).
Also included is a variety of static images which demonstrate a number of dillerent artistic techniques which are discussed in the accompanying instruction manuals.
Most of ihe animations have been digitised Irom lootage recorded by the Survival team Irom Anglia TV. They have Ihen been enhanced and retouched by RGB's professional artists.
The images are so good that you will even see them appear on television trom time to time.
When else can You...?” that you like, you can always cut out a brush and use that as a pen.
Although larger brushes may not keep up with your mouse movements as well as a standard pen would.
For the more avant garde artist, there's also an airbrush option with a variable spray radius. Obtusely, the rate of flow is directly linked to the size of the spray; the larger the spray, the lower the flow rate.
There's also a text tool which you can use to add text to your work.
Since the advent of scalable fonts in Workbench 2, it’s nice to see that D- Paint 4 supports Compugraphic (CG) typefaces. This means that provided you own the initial scalable typeface, you can infinitely rescale it without significant loss of quality.
RSHfior On the minus side however, the program's handling of text is as rudimentary as it was in the very first version. Text may be plain, bold, italic, underline or a combination of some of the above, and is entered in lines straight onto the screen. These lines cannot be justified or centred or textu- ally manipulated in any other way.
One tool that I never did find a use for, is the cycle tool which can be used to create cyclic or tiled patterns.
Mind you it's a nice one for the kids, rather like the computer version of Spirograph!
Apart from the freehand draw and magnify tools, the palette is probably the most important part of the program. Pressing 'p' calls up the palette requester which appears as a strip along the bottom of the screen unlike earlier versions of the program.
Although visually this requester has been jazzed up, the essential parts of it remain unchanged and you can use it to mix single colours or create entire spreads from one colour to another. One particularly nice feature is the ability to use a 'pseudo palette' as a test bed whilst mixing and experimenting with new colours.
The only major change in the palette requester is the absence of the range options, and this is because they've been moved into their own requester thanks to a redesign in the way that ranges are defined. A range is a sequence of colours used either for a dithered fill or for colour cycling.
To define a range you need only » Genesia - a game of creation and power for 1 to 3 players.
The owner of a small land, you must expand and develop your population to become the most significant in the world of Genesia. In 5 worlds, each requiring unique strategies, you must manage everything, from food and water to employment and taxes.
Will you conquer the lands of your 2 opponents, or form an alliance with them in an attempt to recover the seven missing jewels?
Only with a strong economy, powerful army and new technology will you fulfil your ambitions.
JOYSTICK MEGASTAR MINDSCAPE Mindscape International Ltd., Priority House, Charles Avenue, Waitings Park, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9PQ Tel: 0444 246333 Fax: 0444 248996 AVAILABLE FOR: PC & 100% COMPATIBLES, AMIGA ir © 1993 Microids. All Rights Reserved MICROIDS » specify the first and last colours and the computer will do its best to work out the colours in between.
Alternatively you can specify some of the intermediate colours, and this is essential if you want your range to use illogical transformations. For instance in a red to yellow range, there is no green, but if you want the computer to include it, you only need to indicate as much in the range requester.
Talking of dithered fills, these provide an essential and valuable drawing technique which can be used either stand alone or in conjunction with one of the filled shape tools.
There are eight different dither fill modes all of which can be selected from the Fill Type requester. By careful selection of the dither mode combined with a smoothly graduated colour range, you can easily simulate a variety of lighting effects which would take considerable time to draw by hand.
Highlight, for instance, is designed to represent the specular lighting of a single point light source hitting the area being filled.
Whilst we’re in the Fill Type requester it's well worth taking a look at some of the other options.
Apart from a straight forward solid fill, D-Paint is also capable of using your current brush as a fill pattern. It does this in a variety of ways. The simplest of these is the From Brush option where the current brush is simply duplicated in a tile pattern across the surface of the area to be filled. The Brush option, on the other hand, takes the current brush and re-sizes it so that it is only printed once on the fill area. Wrap performs a similar function, but the brush is actually distorted far more, almost as if it were being 'wrapped' around one face of a 3D object.
X e «‘: UH V z «¦ _J Brush Anglo: kmmm vft*;.
LBH LJBHBH *J Brush J Oo gaok | 4 Cyclic =| Easo In: LJB c~nK ‘- S|cs~j £~vl«« I I". 1 1 1 *»» 1 Tha Move requester allows you to automate the anmatlon ot brushes.
The final option is called Perspective and it works exactly like the From Brush option except that the current Perspective menu settings are also taken into account.
BASIL BEWARE A very important part of using brushes in D-Paint, is the Brush menu which contains a host of options for altering the appearance of a brush. They mean that you can pick up part of a picture as a brush, experiment with a variety of modifications before stamping the brush back down again anywhere you like.
Among the more interesting options contained in this menu are Rotate, Shear, Stretch, Bend and Metamorph. The latter option particularly, is of great significance because it allows you to transform one into another over a user-definable number of frames. This in turn leads onto one of the program's most popular features: animation.
Although rival paint packages had included limited options for some years, it wasn't until Version 3 that Electronic Arts added this option to their program. Not much changed between versions 3 and 4, although a video-style control panel was added to make replay of your work easier.
The Control Panel otters you vldeo-deck style controls to manipulate and replay your animation.
D-Painfs animation options can be roughly divided into four areas: the move requester, anim brushes, the Metamorph option and freehand animation. Although the metamorph option can certainly save you the most time, it's quite crude in the way that it works and is most effectively used to represent transformation rather than movement. The Move requester, on the other hand, is quite powerful. With it, you can specify a starting and ending point for a brush, as well as the number of frames it takes to move from one to the other and the program will automatically calculate the intermediate frames
for you. It is capable of moving and rotating a brush in all three planes, x, y and z, and it can even use a process called Ease to create a graduated increase or decrease in the speed at which an object moves; ideal for simulating gravity!
In itself the move requester is quite powerful but it really becomes very impressive when used with an Anim brush. As you've probably worked out, an anim brush is an animated brush.
These can either be picked up from an animation you've created, or loaded from disk. If you use an anim brush in conjunction with the Move requester, each consecutive frame of movement also utilises another frame in the anim brush sequence. This means that you could use an anim brush of somebody walking and with the move requester move from one side of the screen to the other so that when the animation was replayed, the animated character genuinely appears to walk across the screen.
Of course you may have to create the initial anim brush, but once created it can be reused as often as you like.
When it comes to creating detailed animations there are times when you'll simply have to create the objects frame by frame, pixel by pixel. This can be a very time consuming business flipping from frame to frame to check that the current frame has moved by just the right amount. To help you with this, D-Paint features an Graphics option called Lightbox and this is exactly the same as onion skin techniques used by commercial animators. It simply means that you can faintly see the last one or two frames on the current screen.
Although they don’t leave any impression, they can be used as templates when designing further frames.
Tures in up to 256.000 colours at resolutions up to 1280x512 pixels, higher if you use the overscan modes.
The program's selection of tools still compares very favourably with newer programs, although In the HAM modes especially, the program is agonizingly slow to use, and screen updates can take minutes or more, especially when performing blending and re-map- ping operations.
I still use the program regularly, but only in conjunction with other paint packages It is still a valuable tool, but there are an increasing number of very attractive rivals.
CONCLUSION Deluxe Paint 4 was the tirst paint package to include AGA support, and is still the best known art package in the world. It's capable of importing 24-blt graphics, and on an AGA machine such as the A1200, you can view and edit picAnd the Future...?
Delius Psint 4 ADA li uow buiog given i«ay free ax part ol Commodore'i Desktop Dynamite A1200 bundle, xo a whole new ganeralien ol Amiga owners will gel Ihe benefit ol the program. Based ou their pad record. It is sale to assume that it won't be long belore Electronic Arts release a new version, and in lact they’ve jud announced plans to unveil version 5 in Ihe finl quarter ol 1994.
The program will be designed and programmed by Lee Teran. Who also wrote version 4 Although no features lid has yet been finalised. Electronic Arts recently Invited a whole bunch ol the industry's loremod journalists and art users to a broindorming conference where ideas lor version 8 were thrashed over lor a day.
As home video production and animation becomes increasingly popular it's sale to assume that the nert version ot the program will include enhancements lo Ihe animation system and will almost certainly be optimised so that it runs taster.
IS Disaster! An alien of the cup collectins kind has stolen the World Cup.
Double Disaster!! In a collision with an asteroid the trophy is smashed into five pieces and scattered around the globe.
Join Soccer kid in his quest to recover and reassemble the World Cup. His un-ball- ievable soccer skills are put to the test like never before. It's awesome arcade action all the way with a blistering soundtrack to match.
"One of the best platformers ewer!"
93% Amiga Format 'To put it mildly it's stunning" 93% CU Amiga "Quite simply in a class of it's own" 93% The One ..."an absolute masterpiece from start to finish" 93% Amiga Action "Soccer Kid is absolutely excellent" Krisalis Software Ltd., Teque House, Masons Yard, Downs Row, Moorgate, Rotherham, SiO 5HD. Tel: 0709 373990 Fax: 0709 308403 Over the past seven years new art packages have come and gone, but apart from D-Paint none has stood the test of time.
Brilliance is a new package which looks as if it might be around for a while to come... e 543 3500 Deluxe Paint has stayed at the top of the heap for two main reasons: its specifications and its 'feel'. Many programs have duplicated its features, and some, especially HAM based programs, have even exceeded them.
However, it's the tenuous area of 'feel' that rival programs have been unable to emulate. Not only is D- Paint extremely stable (in fact it has never crashed on me so far as I can remember), but being the first art program that 99% of us encounter, we naturally compare everything Dongle Ding Dong At nearly £200. Nobody could accuse Brilliance ol being a cut price program, in fact it's more lhan twice Ihe price ol D-Painl. Mind you, it's a quarter the price ol TV Paint so price is clearly a relative point.
Anyway. Digital Creations naturally want to protect their two year development investment by selling as many copies as possible. There are two ways to achieve this: the first is to make as many people want to buy the software as they can. The second is to make sure that those people can't obtain a working pirate version tor the price of a couple of disks.
There have been endless dilferent attempts to combat the problem ot piracy, but one of the most successful is the use of a device known as a dongle. A dongle is a small plug that connects to the joystick port of the computer. It may contain a tiny chip or may simply have some of its wires crossed internally, the point is it alters the response of the joystick port.
The first thing that a dongle protected piece ol software does is to check that the dongle is plugged in. If it isn't then the software generally won't work. The advantage of this system is that the disks on which the software is provided, can be left completely unprotected, so the legitimate user can make as many back-up copies as he requires.
The disadvantage is that the user must always have the dongle available in order to load the software. This can be inconvenient when it's the only piece ol software that uses dongle protection, but it you have several such programs, it can be infuriating as the computer must be switched off in order to switch dongles.
However, it's worth noting that Electronic Arts once won a special Software Publishers Association award for selling over 100,000 copies of Deluxe Paint. Considering the fact that there are over four million Amigas world-wide, and 90% of those owners also have Oeluxe Paint, why is it that they never reached 200.000 official sales?
Of course you're going say 'Ah but Deluxe Paint was given away free with the Amiga' and this is certainly true in Britain and parts of Europe. But at the same time there are a great many places where it was never given away, so it leads one to speculate to what extent the completely unprotected program fell victim to piracy. It's also worth noting that Electronic Arts added manual protection to the AGA version 4 of the program, so perhaps even their good will has been stretched too far.
As for Brilliance, it uses a dongle, which is a bloody nuisance, but as long as pirates exist, such measures remain a necessary and effective evil... else we use to it. It's only with the release version 4 that Deluxe Paint finally lost some of that wonderfully functional and user-friendly feel that has been its trademark.
Uap,N THE Digital Creations have obviously done their homework because just when D-Paint is at its most vulnerable, they release a program which seems as if it has been designed for the future rather than upgraded from the past.
Rather than simply cloning D- Paint, they have redesigned their program from scratch. Its apparent that they’ve spent a long time studying what a user wants out of an art package, and they’ve taken quite a radical approach to their program's user interface.
Brilliance has no menu bars at the top of the screen, instead virtually everything is pictographically represented by a series of icons which are contained in a tool bar that runs along the bottom of the screen. Behind these icons lie » » dozens, perhaps even hundreds of additional options, and these are represented by gadgets and icons.
There's another important difference too, the tool bar runs horizontally instead of vertically across the screen. In actual fact this is quite logical because although it only appears to occupy a small amount of extra space when compared to other program s vertical tool bars, the screen is far wider than it is high, and this allows you to fit far more tools in.
Furthermore, the tool bar features collapsible sub-menus which are called up by clicking on one of the icons with the right mouse button. The sub-menu then opens below the main tool bar and up to six of them can be open at the same time, one beneath the other in the order that they were originally opened Try to open a seventh, and one of the earlier ones will close automatically. The entire set of menus can be instantly collapsed behind the tool bar by clicking a single icon, whilst a second click will restore the previous menu open status.
As you might expect, the submenus contain options relevant to the icon to which they're attached, so opening the Ellipse icon's submenu calls up a strip that allows you to define the way and direction that ellipses will be drawn, as well as allowing you to rotate the current one.
The tool bar itself contains the usual tools found in just about every art package going, you know the ones: freehand draw, line. Arc. Rectangle, circle, fill, cut & paste, text mode and magnify. There are also a selection of icons which pertain to more complicated options such as the gradient, draw mode and stencil sections, but more about those later.
Using the program for the first few times is something of a voyage of discovery; you know what you expect each tool to do, but you’re never quite sure if it will perform as expected or whether it will do something wholly original and interesting.
For example, there’s a standard arc tool, but click on the arc icon twice and you are in Bezier curve mode.
Bezier mode lets you define complex bi-direction curves capable of exceeding 360 degrees and even changing direction mid-curve.
Another nice option lies behind the Spray Can icon, where you can not only alter the diameter of the spray but its focus and flow rate too. The rate option means that you no longer have to watch the spray dwindle to nothing as you increase its size, whilst focus means you don't have to use a brush where the dots appear at completely even density all over.
For the real power user with four or more megs of memory, one of the most useful features of the program, especially for experimental work, is its infinite Undo Redo option. This means that you can try effects safe in the knowledge that you can always undo later if you so desire. If, having undone an action, you then change your mind again it's a simple matter to redo it. Gone are the D-Paint days when you perform a complex drawing action and then accidentally release and re- click the mouse button adding one extra pixel and removing your ability to undo something hideous!
Oumey Thanks to the program's snpertr stencil options. It's easy to col elements oot ol one picture anil Incorporate them into another In this esample I started with the picture ol Pete and lee.
And I set up a stencil which only included their skin and hair colours I then overlaid a green hoi on the screen The guys mere protected Irom deletion whilst the background ms not Naturally, the stencil was not absolutely esact so I had to tidy the Image by hand The nest stage was to load the desert picture onto the spare screen. I then returned to the main screen and chose Remap to ensure that the main characters stayed the right colour. Rll that remained was to pick them up as a brush (leaving the green background behind) then, reluming to the desert scene, t stamped the brush down where I
wanted It.
« bit ol anti aliasing to solten the edges ol the characters and noila! Pete and lee go monument valley without teasing home) You can specify the size of the undo buffer, so that if you are multitasking it doesn’t occupy too much memory. On the subject of buffers, the program also uses them to store brushes, animations and screens.
Again, memory permitting there’s no limit to the number of screens that can be loaded simultaneously; ideal when you want to cut and paste between more than one screen.
TWICE AS NICE I keep using the phrase Memory permitting . Because it s one that will quickly be included in your vocabulary if you use the program for any length of time. The program is far more RAM hungry than any other non-24-bit art package on the market. In fact, to be fair I should say that one of the programs is very RAM hungry because Brilliance is not one product but two.
The program called Brilliance is a register based program that deals with all non-HAM screen modes.
What you see on the screen is exactly how the program represents your work in memory, so a 6-bit picture is stored in memory as a 6-bit bit-map. This means that you only use as much memory as the visible image requires.
The second program is called True Brilliance and its a HAM True cdlour package which represents all graphics internally as either 15- or 24-bit images. Therefore a HAM image which might ordinarily only require 100k of memory now requires as much as 400k.
At first it may be hard to see why you would want to store a 12-bit HAM picture as a 24-bit bit-map.
Especially when you can’t even see the extra colours anyway. If after a few moments thought, you still feel that way, then in your case there probably isn’t much point because you’re unlikely to have much use for 24-bit images in any case.
However there is an ever growing number of 24-bit boards available nowadays, and an even larger number of applications and potential uses for 24-bit images ranging from video and TV production to creating magazines and posters. Just because you can’t view a 24-bit image with True Brilliance doesn't mean that the image won't be extremely useful elsewhere.
Because True Brilliance can load, save and process 24-bit images it is ideal for retouching screens created with other packages such as Ray Tracers perhaps.
On AGA machines, the program can display these 24-bit screens in very high resolutions with as many as 256,000 colours on the screen.
Not a lot compared to a 16.7 million colour 24-bit image, but more than adequate to get a very good idea what the finished picture will look like.
Graphics e e 0 Rot xyz : 000 . Undo | Reset| | ¦ Start | _¦ |ru,hn If memory is a problem, you can tell True Bnlliance to represent colours using a 15-bit palette instead of a 24-bit one.
Now these specifications are impressive enough already, but when you consider that the program offers you comprehensive animation facilities as well, including the option to save these in 24-bit colour too, then the program starts to look pretty special D-PAINT INSPIRED In (act. It seems that D-Painfs animation features provided the inspiration for Digital Creations' design team. Yet again, the most powerful options are contained in Brilliance's equivalent of the Move requester. Whereas movements in D-Paint are expressed relative to the start point, Brilliance takes a different
approach. In this program you simply specify the start and end point of the object to be moved, as well as the degree of rotation (if any), that the object should perform. Click Draw and the program will automatically calculate all in- between frames.
As with its rival, you can specify the Ease of a movement (how quickly it starts and stops moving).
The ability to specify Ease in any of the three axes individually allows you to create curved movement paths and is a great boon.
Equally useful, is the Opacity option with which you can specify how solid' or transparent a brush appears. This means that you can create effects where titles and objects fade on and off the screen.
Another really nice and user- friendly part of Brilliance animation options is a section called Adjust This option takes you to a special screen where you can manually drag the brush to be animated to its start and end positions, defining movement and rotation in all three planes with the mouse. This means that handicapped people or those with a keyboard phobia can at last enjoy every teature of the program.
¦COLOR JMIH a random TINT _ SMOOTH J DITHER 1 COLORIZE . SMEAR DITHER2 BRIGHTEN _ AVG SMEAR NEGATIVE DARKEN JAANW aHALFBRITE STENCIL -CYCLE HOT '1 Z* Rot ; Zl $ ~‘ Z I IJ farig ¦ I When it comes to saving your animations, there are four possible save formats ranging from the clunky but D-Painl compatible Op-5 format at one extreme, lo the ultra fast Op-8 long format which allows you to animate at television speed.
You can also save your work as a sequence of individual frames, and this is the only way to save a true 24-bit animation.
Because the program supports all AGA palette modes in addition to the ordinary non-AGA modes, its colour handling is really exceptional and there are many exciting options to help you create the most subtle of effects.
Have You Considered...?
PEGGER £79.95 - HOBBYTE COMPUTING - 0727 856005 As tlis size ol Images increases thanks to 24- and even 12-bit graphics, you'll notice that hard drlvas which used to seem massive are looking less and less impressive. Heilner communications otter a brilliant solution.
By now. Most people are familiar with the concept ol JPEG compression, a clever method ol reducing the size of picture files to a tenth ol their original size or less Pepper Is nothing more than a resident JPEG compression program.
The program requires a hard drive in order to run. And once installed, it adds three options to the Tools menu: Snoop. CJPEG and DJPEG. CJPEG stands lor Compress JPEG.
The Draw Mode menu offers access to many fascinating palette modes including Colourize, Tint, Smooth and Negative. These allow you perform simple colour-based image processing operations on all or some of your picture.
The Draw Mode options are supplemented by some of the most flexible and intelligent palette selection and Range creation sections in a graphics package.
The palette lets you create colours using RGB. HSV or CMY colour models which means that you can work in the mode most appropriate to your finished requirements.
The Range requester is where you set up colour ranges for dithered and graduated fills. Not only does it let you specify the speed and way that colours transform from one to the other, it even provides the opportunity for a realtime preview mode where you can see how the finished result will look.
This option is only possible because of the program s incredible speed which allows the screen to be updated far faster than D-Pamt 4 could ever dream of.
Whilst DJPEG stands lot Decompress JPEG. II you select either option they will oiler you a requester from which you can select Ihe image to be de compressed. Having spacilied the compression ratio II your reducing an image. Ihe program will go ahead and perform the necessary conversion. II you're uncompressing, you will also be given the option to select smoothing, which can remove pixellation etlects Irom Images stored at less than 75% quality. Pepperollers you a batch mode to perform de compression upon multiple tiles In one go, and II also supports Arexx lor lully automated integration
Into your working environment. One clever thing about the program Is the lact that you can even compress and decompress two separate images simultaneously!
Snoop is perhaps Ihe nicest part ol the program though It lets you ran Pepper as a permanent background task which scans any spacilied directories and invisibly patches rtsall into all Image load and save actions performed in those directories. This means that you could automatically tell the program to scan your O-Pa nf saves drawer, and compress every picture you store there. Better yet. It could be used o compress the output ol a ray tracing program as II renders an animation.
CONCLUSION Although It’s not exactly a give away price. Pegger Is absolutely Invaluable lor people who work In graphics, especially II you use a lot ol 24-blt Images. It Is extremely easy to use and worked seamlessly. A very innovative and usolul graphics lool.
Any Amiga with Kickstart 2.0 or higher and a Hard Drive.
The speed aspect of this program is not to be under rated because as the size of the palette increases, the time taken to calculate screen updates gets longer, and in the case of D-Paint, can become a very significant irritation when you're trying to work, especially in HAM8 mode.
CONCLUSION Bnlliance really does till many of the gaps left by other art packages. It has been extremely well designed, and is significantly more powerful than other offerings. Despite having used it for several months now, I still can't get used to doing EVERYTHING without conventional menus, and I wonder if the file requester should have been left in the more traditional format.
A HORIZONTAL a VERTIOAL a LINEAR a HIGHLIGHT a SPHERICAL a RADIAL Nevertheless, Bnlliance is significantly taster and more powerful than anything else on the market In a similar price bracket. Much as I love Deluxe Paint, it is no longer the best package to use, although at less than half the price ot Brilliance it still has a place in my collection.
Any Amiga with 2Mb RAM and 2 floppies or 1 floppy and a Hard Drive.
PERSONAL PAINT £45.99 - Micropace - 0753 551888 n a graphics market dominated by highly sophisticated paint packages, you might think that one which doesn’t even support HAM mode might be doomed. Not so says Personal Paint... As usual, you'll find stuff like freehand and line draw modes in addition to polygon, ellipse and rectangle tools. There’s even a bezier curve option, which incidentally is considerably easier to use than Brilliance's version.
FLEXI-FILL Click on the Fill icon with the right mouse button and you'll lind that I With paint packages ever increasing in price, one which costs less than £50 is a pleasant enough surprise in itself, but when that package stands up favourably against the big boys then it's got to be worth taking notice.
Personal Paint (PPaint) has been written by Cloanto in Italy, and as a paint package it is more than adequate provided you don’t need to use any of the HAM modes. As an image processing and formats conversion tool, the program stands head and shoulders above the other two.
Like Brilliance. Ppamfs tools seem to take the best of D-Painf s original ideas, whilst adding to them wholly unique features which improve them.
PpainT* flexible fill options are one of Its the options offered are somewhat different to the D-Paint way of working, and are extremely useful when working with a limited palette. At first glance the fill options appear to be much the same as those in any other package solid, gradient, and brush fills, but then you might notice that although the brush fill mode works much as it does in other programs, the fact that you can choose from any of nine brushes is a great boon Basically whenever you define a new brush, you can opt to store it in any of the nine RAM spaces for use in the current
session. This means that when you’re performing operations requiring multiple brushes, rather than wasting time loading them from disk, you can simply select one of up to nine stored In RAM As for the other fill options, gradient lets you perform a dithered fill from one colour to another using what’s known as an ordered dither pattern. This means that rather than actually using different colours to represent the graduation from one colour to another, a series of increasingly dense dither patterns are created using just the ink and p' itte rn from Brush M m gJajQ|QjojQ|i Proceed I Cancel
Above: Ppmnl oilers a good selection of fill types. Including a percentage gradient fill which is Ideal when you're working wilh a limited palelte.
The result of using just some of Personal Paint* numerous filters. You can even define your own DARKEN 25% ¦ • pi If••«¦* «•»• DITHER C LUSTDOTS 3 EMBOSS HIGH TEXTURE EDGE DETECT DITHER FLOYD-STEINBERG LIGHTEN 25% What about...?
PHOTON PAINT 2 paper colours. The advantage of this system is that the apparent number of colours greatly exceeds the actual number in the palette, especially when working in high resolution screen modes.
This means that if you don't have much memory, or you don't own an AGA Amiga, you can still create colourful images.
Personal Paint also offers you ordered pattern fills. Again these simply fill the selected area using a single coloured ink and a predefined pattern. If memory is no problem, or you have a large palette, Ppaint does of course offer the ordinary dithered fill modes as well. You know, graduated fills which blend from one colour to another.
Compared to the other major packages reviewed here, this program's dithered fills are quite tame, with none of the directional or highlighting fills on offer.
The single greatest feature of this program is its Filter Selection menu. This menu contains a variety of filters which can be applied either to the current brush or selected parts of the screen.
These filters perform a variety of functions ranging from the mundane such as Lighten or Negative, to the bizarre such as Texture or Watercolour. Although I've seen options like these accompanying PC programs and software designed specifically for use with a 24-bit board, I've never seen them on budget software before. Better yet, you can even define your own filters to perform » £19.99 - SOFTWARE BUSINESS - 0480 496497 If you want to stimulate your artistic streak lor less than the price ol a game, then Photon Paint 2 represents remarkably good value.
Back in the days when 0-Paint ms only on version 2, there were two distinctly separate paths ol development in the paint software market; there were the HAM packages and there were the non-HAM ones. At the time, there were no packages that supported both sets ol screen modes. D-Paint emerged as the winner in that battle because most people disliked the extra effort that's required to work in HAM mode. However, in many respects Photon Paint beat the pants oil 0-Palnt in terms ol features.
At the time Microillusions were market leaders, and their Photon Pa nf 2 software was as good as you could gel. It had the same old drawing tools, but its real power lay hidden away in its menus.
The FG and BG Mode menus contain a signilicant number ol colour processing options which allow you to perform sophisticated colourising and retouching operations. The Use H and Use H&S options can be used to alter the colour bias ol an entire picture (to change it Irom night to day, or to suggest the glow ol firelight lor example). The mode menu also contains the Rub Through option which can be used to rub the surface Irom the current screen so that the spare screen shows through. Another interesting option is Panto which allows you to create an olfset so that when you draw, pari ol the
screen from elsewhere is copied to the current cursor position.
One of the most interesting options in a truly feature packed program is called Wrap. This lets you wrap the current brush around a number of predefined 30 objects including spheres, cones and cubes. You can even freehand define the outline of a shape around which the brush should be wrapped.
• The program also supports animation, although it’s very
rudimentary by today's standards, and requires lots of RAM.
CONCLUSION If O-Paint or Brilliance managed to incorporate some ol Pholon Paints unusual options, you'd see the most incredible art program imaginable. It's features are just way ahead ot their time. It’s a pity that they can only be applied to HAM mode images, with all the colour problems that implies. Nevertheless, at £19.99 Photon Paint2is an absolute steal, and if you are remotely serious about your computer graphics, this Is one that you should buy just to add to your arsenal ol drawing tools.
Compatible: Any Amiga with 1Mb RAM I Using the Rub Through option you can literally rub away the surface of the main screen to reveal the 1 spare one.
» specific functions which you may require. These filters justify the program’s expense purely as an image processing tool, let alone as a paint package.
If you have access to a lot of MAC or PC images, you'll be pleased to know that Ppaint can load and save industry standard PCX and GIF format screens as well as 2- to 24-bit IFF and code protected IFF files.
Yup, you read that right, I did say code protected IFFs. For some reason Cloanto’s designers feel that it's important to be able to protect your graphics from prying eyes, so they added the option to password protect every screen as you save it! Paranoid perhaps, but I suppose if you were a graphic artist then such an option might be useful.
In fact, to a certain extent the program feels as if it has been designed as a programmer’s tool.
For starters the actual program code is very compact, in fact it only occupies 210K. This means that it can be used comfortably even on a 512K machine. Of course the greatest give away is the ‘Save as C Source’ picture save option.
CONCLUSION Personal Paint is above all a fun program. Its ability to load and save all the common file formats makes it ideal for cross-platform graphics, although its inability to display and save either of the HAM formats is rather inconvenient. Even so, for only £46, the program is cheap enough to add to your collection simply for its Filter effects. Well worth a look, but it doesn’t really have what it takes to be your only art package. TL'Eh Compatible: Any Amiga ™ with 1Mb RAM It's impossible to read any serious articles on Amiga graphics without the subject ol its HAM mode being
raised at least once. Reading between the lines you'd be forgiven lor getting confused; on the one hand HAM Is the super screen mode that the AGA machines display a dazzling 256.000 colours at once, but on the other hand HAM is also loo slow lor games and causes Iringing problems. So what Is it about HAM? Does it have personality problems?
How did it come to bo the Jekyll and Hyde ol the Amiga graphics world?
It's actually quite simple, and derives Irom a clever piece ol hardware design which permits tar more colours on screen than the number ol bil-planes should allow. II you've read Ihe section on bit-planes earlier In this magazine, you'll know that the number ol bit-planes used determines the maximum number ol colours that can be displayed al one time. Each time you add one extra bit-plane, you double the number ol potential colours.
Due lo hardware design restrictions the pre-AGA Amlgas were only able to recognise five true bit-planes which gave a maximum ol 32 possible colours (2x2x2x2x2-32).
Remember each bit-plane has two possible slates, and adding an extra one Increases the total palette by a power oltwo.
Now we come to the clever bit; when you use HAM mode, rather than refer to the lull RGB value ol a pixel, the computer restricts its colour so lhat it can only ditter Irom it predecessor (the pixel on its left) by ono colour component, red. Green OR blue. This means that instead ol having to store each pixel's lull RGB values, only Ihe modilication to one ol those values needs to be recorded thus occupying less bit-planes than would otherwise be needed.
The only trouble with this system arises when you wish to place two colours adjacent to each other which are different in all three RGB components. Basically, you can t because il would require three pixels ol distance to translorm Irom one colour to the other, and this often causes an undesirable smear effect known as Iringing. Obviously II the pixels only dif- ler by two components, then It will only require two steps lo translorm Irom one colour lo another.
Furthermore, because the colour ol every pixel on Ihe screen is dependant upon Ihe colour ol Iwo others, it requires lar more time to redraw the screen in this mode, making It virtually impossible to use lor any sort ol last action, especially games.
Even predefined animation can be difficult in HAM mode because you're never quite sure what fringing effects may occur as you move parts ol the screen.
99. 99
194. 95
YES YES NO ANIMATION OPTIONS OK VERY GOOD NONE ANIMBRUSH SUPPORT YES YES NO ONION SKIN YES NO NO MORPHING YES NO NO PRINTING GOOD POOR OK GRAPHICS PAD YES NO NO IMAGE PROCESSING As the Amiga is exploited more and more frequently as a video production tool, software production tools have also become increasingly significant. Image Processing is one area that has seen particular growth over the past year, and a variety of packages have appeared to fill what vacancies there may have been in this already lively field.
Thanks to image processing tools, complex and seamless modifications can be made to images in minutes. Whereas previously these same processes would have required hours of hand-drawn work.
Over the last few years, image processing programs have come into their own. So, if you want to bend it, warp it or generally contort your pictures into any shape or form, then climb on-board the image processing bandwagon... ART DEPARTMENT PROFESSIONAL £199.99 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 jRDPro Color Controls B a 1 anc in i j Save IFF I 1 irr | Palette ] Load iff Port | Replc Rbout [ Ex 11 Inage Operators Twtr I Execute Op Screen Controls Low Res | Oscan Inage Infornat ion Color and Rendered | DFLT | Lac* [ Oscan F Rnt i Off REENS COPYRIGHT 1992 *Y ASDG XNCORPORAT DUP1 ICATION
I 1 FXPRFtO V PROHIftlTFfi n is likely lo cium you culture ehock It you're only used ITS In the world of Amiga image processing, ASDG’s Art Department Professional has ruled the roost since the very first version was released Let’s see what they have to crow about.
Whereas paint packages provide you with the tools needed to create images from scratch, image processing software is primanly concerned with manipulating existing images.
Art Department consists of three basic sections: loaders and savers, image processing and display options.
Whenever you load an image, you can specify Ihe file formal it's stored in. An appropriate loader module will then be used lo ensure lhal the picture loads correctly. II you’re not sure of the exact format a screen is stored saw™ lo art package* in, Ihe Universal module will attempt to work out Ihe best load format.
When you’ve finished working on an image, you can also specify the save format, and again the appropriate saver module will be automatically activated by the program There are a number ol advantages to using this modular approach to file handling For starters, the overall program size is kept to a minimum because only the current load or save module needs to be stored in RAM. This is an extremely Important point because whenever you load a image, it is converted into ADPrds internal 24-bit formal. 24-bit images are notoriously RAM hungry, and ADPro is lar from economical in its management
ol memory. You’ll need a minimum of two megs, but four or more are recommended by ASDG. I have six megs on my A1200 and I constantly run out. ASDG do suggest a number of memory saving techniques, the most useful of which is the ability to disable what they call Enhanced Palette Support. In other words, images will no longer be manipulated in 24-bit colour. On pre- AGA machines this Is an acceptable option but on the A1200 and A4000, colour accuracy will be forfeited, and the resulting image will suffer slightly as a result.
Another plus feature of the modular approach to file handling is that the program never needs to become out of date. If a new image format appears on the market, ASDG simply develop new loader and saver modules and the program Is kept bang up to date. The program comes with 28 loaders and 19 savers ranging from Ihe common ones such as IFF, GIF, HAM-E, JPEG and TIFF to the exolic and rarely used stuff like QRT, BMP, BACKLINE and ALPHA.
Unless you own a graphics board, you’ll probably use the IFF. GIF and JPEG modules the most often. The JPEG module is particularly useful because it provides a method ol compressing pictures, especially 24-bit images, to a fraction of their original size. Although JPEG compression is only really suited lo non-hand drawn images, Ihe results can be stunning yielding compression rates of up to 90% in some cases.
Once you've actually got an image into the program, there are a variety of TIME TO OPERATE For pro and semi-pro users the operators are probably the most important part of the program. They perform a vast range of functions ranging from the mundane, to the bizarre. In all likelihood, it will be the mundane ones such as Scale (which re-sizes an image), or colour to grey which are used the most frequently.
Are supplied in a modular format, so new ones can be added as and when they're developed.
» Have you considered...?
- £79.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 Although the
Amiga is well known lor its superb graphical abilities, there
are occasions when you'll need to exchange data produced on
other computer systems. ASDG's Professional Conversion Pack
makes the job easier... ADPro is supplied with loader and saver
modules which will let you exchange data with a variety ol the
most popular Amiga graphics boards. The program even supports
a lew common non-Amiga formats such as GIF and MacPaint.
However, il you want to exchange graphics with the high pow
ered commercial systems, this package ol additional loader and
saver modules may be exactly what you need.
The pack comes with live sets ol loader and saver modules: Rendition.
Sun, Targa, TIFF and X. The Rendition lormat is used by programs such as Caligari, and inlormation saved in this way can also have Alpha channel inlormation restored and used to control compositing (unctions.
The Sun tormal is used by the expensive graphics workstations, and means that your Amiga's output can be integrated with TV studio graphics.
CONCLUSION The professional conversion pack is not going to be a lot ol use to the majority of ADPro users, hut to a minority ol power users it will be essential.
However, I can't over-emphasise the sheer fun that some of the more exotic options can give you.
Operations like twirl which can be used to rotate a section of the picture by any amount, or collapse which makes a section of the picture fold in on itself. The mere existence of many of the operators is like a shot of adrenaline for your creative ego.
If you're processing an animation, the program can automate the process for you using Arexx. An additional program called FRED (FRame Editor) is also supplied with the program, and it is this that is used to perform batch operations on animations.
Once you’ve used the operators, you can choose to render the picture to any graphics board that you may be using, or simply to the screen if you don't have a board. Among the more popular boards that the program supports, it can output to Firecracker, Impact Vision 24, Opalvision, DCTV and HAM-E. It also recognises both the AGA machines and the earlier Amigas.
And can output images in all Amiga screen modes.
Needs: ADPro and any Amiga capable ot running it.
CONCLUSION Art Department 2.3 is extremely powerful and friendly to use, although compared to older image processing packages such as Butcher or Pixmate, it is significantly different to work with. The reason for this is that whereas with the former programs you simply load an Amiga screen and then perform operations upon it, all the time being able to see what's happening, most of the ADPro stuff happens out of sight. Even so, once you get used to using it, ADPro really is very impressive in its range of abilities. This is one of those tools that you just dont realise how much you need it
until you own it for a lit- tie while. Indispensable.
Compatible: Any Amiga with at least 2Mb of Fast RAM The program is like a computerised conveyor belt, controlling the llow of images through Art Department. The program is ideally suited to batch processing animations. And by delining non-stationary effects you can even make your own animated effects such as motion blur, etc. ProControl uses an entirely graphical approach to batch handling so there's no complicated or time consuming scripts to learn.
CONCLUSION ProControl is designed to simplify your lile when processing lots ol images in Art Departmenl Prolessional. Although it is by no means an exciting product, it works well, and what more can you ask?
Needs: ADPro and any Amiga capable ol running it. 80% AMIGA BUYER'S GUIDE 94 GfaphiCS IMAGE FX £199.95 - SILICA SYSTEMS - 081 3091111 of your image and the tools you need to manipulate it.
By default the program loads in paint mode. In other words the tools at the bottom of the screen are designed primarily for drawing. As a paint package the program is rather strange to use because you don't actually see what you're doing in colour until you choose the Render option from the menu. The screen you’re working on is displayed as a grey scale image but can be rendered in any mode you want, chipset permitting... The reason that GVP have taken this somewhat unusual approach is so that you can load and edit 24-bit pictures, even without a 24-bit graphics board.
The selection of drawing tools is Primarily known for their innovative hardware, it was a little surprising to see GVP entering the software market with ImageFX. True to the high standards set by the company, the program is an ambitious piece of software which is aimed directly at the current market leader.
Art Department Pro has gradually evolved over a number of years to become the undisputed king of the Amiga’s image processors. It seems a little strange therefore, to see total newcomers GVP enter the software market with a package that aims to topple the giant in a single blow. Given a moment's reflection though, perhaps Image FX was not such a bizarre release, after all GVP do produce arguably some of the best graphics boards available on the Amiga.
MMHU”1 Image FX is. In fact, several programs rather than just one. The first and probably last thing that you'll encounter are its loader and saver modules. Available for just about every Amiga file format known to man, and many which aren't even Amiga specific, the program can be used to transfer files between most proprietary boards and file formats including DCTV, HAM-E, GIF, JPEG. IFF and loads of others.
Alternatively you can use it to control an Epson or Sharp scanner directly. This latter point is exceptional because ASDG charge over $ 100 for the scanning add-on for ADPro. However you choose to get an image into the program, the image data will be immediately converted into 24-bit format.
Having loaded an image, if you have a 24-bit board connected, you can immediately render it in the maximum number of colours that the board is capable of. In practice, although this is essential for checking how the finished image will look, 90% of your time will be spent staring at the work screen which contains a grey-scale representation as basic as you could hope to find, but then I suppose the assumption is that if you wanted a paint package, you'd have bought one in the first place. Far more interesting are the list of options that you can apply to a picture after it's been drawn.
As with ADPro, Image FX comes complete with a large selection of operators (more than the former package) and rather than hiding them away in little menus, they are laid out on the main Toolbox screen ready for use.
Ft,NTEoVNUBGE°N All of Art Departments operators seem to be there as well as a number of new ones too. One of the more spectacular ones is Wave which redraws the picture as if it were the surface of a pond which has just had a pebble thrown into it.
Another nice one is oil transfer which supposedly turns the image into an oil painting, although I think that a water colour would be more accurate.
A great bonus of this program is the fact that Cinemorph is provided with it free of charge. As its name suggests, Cinemorph is a morphing program along the lines of Morph Plus.
Cinemorph can be loaded as a stand alone program or via what are known within ImageFX as 'hooks'.
Hooks require Arexx in order to operate and they provide an easy way to link up to other more powerful image processing effects modules.
Using Cinemorph it's possible to create animations such as those seen in Godley & Creme's 'Cry' video, or Michael Jackson's 'Black or White' video.
One of the most useful advantages that ImageFX has over Art Department Professional, is its use of Virtual Memory on hard drive based systems. What this actually means is that the program can use your hard drive as memory if you run out of 'real' RAM. This is a tremendous advantage because it means that you can use the program for commercial quality image conversion where you're dealing with huge 24-bit bit-maps. Of course, using the disk drive as RAM does slow things down a tad, but the speed difference is by no means unbearable.
CONCLUSION Much as I enjoy using ADPro, I have to say that Image FX is better in just about every respect. It's easier and more logical to use; the user-inter- face is friendlier; it has more features; it includes scanner support as standard; it includes more operators; it has drawing tools; it provides you with a constant preview screen and it includes morphing in the same package. ADPro was superb, but FX is better!
Compatible: Any Amiga with 3Mb RAM and Kickstart1.3 or higher. Hard Drive required for Virtual RAM feature.
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MAMCHESTER M3 412 TEL 061 S32 6633 FAX: 061 834 0650 In case
you haven’t watched television in the last year, morphing has
3 big business. Everyone’s ) it. Turning snails into frogs,
cars igers and men into women. Now ia owners can get in on the
act Morph Plus.
I Plus actually consists of parate programs: Morph ch is the main program, ANIMATION PACKAGES MORPH PLUS £199.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 1 which is the part that’s i responsible for performing the transformations, and FRED which is used to process limations. Whilst Morph i be run as a stand alone , the other two require the r to be already running in r to work. Alternatively, Morph Plus can be accessed via Art Department Pro if you own it.
The program can be used in one of two ways: as a generate » are transformed from one r, or as a stand alone erator, similar to the »in ADPro. Of course, ifs for the program’s animation abilities that it has become most popular.
HOG EATS RAM To perform a morph, you'll first need to load two images, which will be converted into 24-bit data as you do this is extremely RAM the program requires a of four megs, although mended.
;¦ advantage ol U tion preview HP ..! Working with will be displayed in which means that Amiga you're using you can see representations of the you’re working on. Once you've loaded the two images, it's to define the motion paths that will be used. What this basically that you must indicate parts of the first picture will into which parts on the If you're working with two similar subjects (two faces for example) this isn’t a particularly difficult it is an extremely time and dare I say. Arduous become a bit more com- when you're morphing iwo utterly dissimilar telephone and a rabbit tor Then
you need to give e to the relationships and movement paths that are defined if you are to avoid paths which cross, or animations which make your stomach turn.
As you’ve gathered by now. Having linked areas of the two pictures, you also need to define the direction and speed of any transformations.
You can alter the speed globally, or you can specify the rate at which individual points and groups move.
You can even specify variable trans- ates for the same group of defined all of this, it's time to render the changes. Because this can be very time consuming, especially in full 24-bit on non-accelerated Amigas. You’re advised to take What about...?
CINEMORPH £24.95-SILICA SYSTEMS 081 3091111 Included free with ImageFX or as a very reasonably priced stand alone product.
Cinemorph is a direct rival for Morph Plus.
It uses a complex mesh ol lines and points to define the control points and relationships in an animation. II used as part of Image FX, a few extra options such as a magnify mode are available.
However, whichever version of the program you use, Cinemorph takes quite a while to get to grips with.
Given the extra effort Cinemorph is pretty much capable of the same kind of results as Morph Plus although if you can afford if, you're far better off to buy ImageFX and get Cinemorph for free.
Have a great Image processor i: Any Amiga with rt 1.3 or higher AND of the lower colour resolu- modes, as well as reduced size images.
INPUT OVERLOAD To be honest, the program is more than a little intimidating at first, and the examples in the manual naturally work out far better than your first I to. For starters the , as well as their i and orientation plays a sig- t role in the success of the i result.
As I mentioned earlier, the program can also be used for single frame image processing. It s crystal clear that the program has come from ASDG for not only is the interface very similar, but its image processing operators are the same too, although Morph has some extra ones that ADPro doesn’t. Warp for example, can be used to stretch parts of an image in the most disturbing manner, whilst the perspective operator is one of the most friendly and accurate ways of moving a two dimensional picture into three dimensions that I’ve seen.
CONCLUSION There’s no doubt that Morph Plus is one of the most incredible and powerful graphics processing tools available. It contains the most interesting bits of Art Department and Image FX, although sadly it doesn’t include the drawing tools that make FX so useful. It's hard to see why you'd want to buy ADPro if you already own Morph Plus, after all Morph has more operators, and performs metamorphosing animation.
The program can be rather tough to get to grips with but once you do, you're in for a real treat. Definitely worth a serious look.
Any Amiga with Kickstart 2.0 and 4Mb Fast RAM.
If the thought of getting into professional image processing and animation gives you the chills, perhaps Fantavision will be more your speed.
Developed as a direct rival for Aegis Animator, Fantavision was developed by Broderbund in the States, and was originally distributed here in England by Domark. Instead of going for the high powered, hi-tech approach adopted by Morph Plus, it does a little morphing of its own using an utterly different technique.
Zw A Fantavision animation is comprised of several elements: bit-mapped scenery (both foreground and background), animations (both structured and bit-mapped) and sound effects.
To start with, you may load in scenery in the form of screens which may be in any of the pre-AGA modes up to and including HAM. Having loaded the background, it’s time to define the objects in your animation and their starting positions. These objects may be D-Paint brushes, or structured drawings. If you choose to load D-Paint brushes, they can be Project Edit Options Text i Tool aKKnanswRTfli moved around the screen in any way you like, but may not be animated in any other way. However, the real power of the program lies in its ability to handle structured drawings consisting of no more
than a series of connected points filled in by the colour of your choice, rather like solid dot-to- dot pictures.
Although these pictures may seem crude, they offer far more flexibility than other systems, and with enough care can create very impressive animations indeed. You see the whole secret behind this program lies in its ability to calculate the movement of objects from one frame to another. Here's how it works: you start off with a certain shaped object in position G on the screen. Now you go to the next frame which you define as being X seconds in the future and you move both the position and shape of object O. Fantavision provides a number of tools to help you do this, ranging from a
rotation tool that lets you rotate an object around any axis, to a re-size and distort tool. There are also a variety of other ways to reshape your object.
Now. Having placed it in its new position, you can tell the program to calculate the intervening frames. It will then move each point in your object to its new location at the rate specified. Provided you take care not to accidentally cross the movement paths of the points over, Fantavision will generate extremely smooth transitions from one frame to another.
Now this in itself is exciting enough, but when you add to it the ability to associate sound samples with each- frame, you can soon see how easy it could be to create mini movies. In fact there are a number of very impressive demos supplied with the program, including a prehistonc scene in which two pterodactyls wing their way across the screen, one into the distance and the other horizontally from left to right. Soon after, a long necked dinosaur wanders into the field of view, and gracefully arches its neck up to branches of a tree where it snatches some leaves from a high treetop and
munches them before gliding off the screen. All the while we hear the hum of insects and the occasional bird call reinforcing the realism of the swampland scene.
I FANTAVISION £N A - HOBBYTE COMPUTING - 0727 856005 Talking about the program's sound options for a brief moment, you can choose a sample and specify its volume and pitch, as well as its duration. If the sample is looped you can simply leave it to repeat for the duration of the frame or animation.
You can even specify whether the sound appears from the left or right speaker, and whether it should have an echo, and if so after what time period and through which speaker.
Considering the fact that this is primarily an animation package, it really does handle sound very well indeed.
When you've created an animation, you can save it as a movie, and this movie can then be replayed independently of the program using the Fantaplayer program supplied with the package.
FuJwt Mil Hl« "Trnkf- Sound Blank Clone m m CONCLUSION Although Fantavisioris user interface now looks extremely dated, this is a fun program which, with a little effort, can reward you with some very good quality animation. Unfortunately it can't use the colourful new AGA screen modes which is a great shame, especially for video users.
Nevertheless, you could use it to create impressive video titles, or if you're a lot more ambitious, you might even like to have a go at your own cartoon.
Compatible: Any Amiga.
Palette Modes ?
3 You can load any IFF picture as a background for your animations.
The cult classic collection torvek the warrioi zero87% superb graphics and some of the ! Best animation that you're likely to see on the gij Amiga. Great fun and Core Design'sa best game so far.
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This is particularly true of the two-player version, but even for one player, the action is tough and just keeps on going... War Zone is an excellent arcadey shoot-em-up.
16 bit quality at only spac® TRADEWINDS HOUSE 69 - 71A ASHBOURNE ROAD DERBY DE22 3FS ENGLAND Corkers u a registered trademark of Core Design limited DELUXE VIDEO III £99.99 - ELECTRONIC ARTS - 0753 549442 applied. These effects are the central part of the program for they are what transform your scripts from being mere slide-sbows into interactive movies.
For example, you define scene one as having a duration of ten seconds. You go into the scene editor and specify the load screen option.
You then apply to that option the Fade In effect which will commence immediately and have a duration of 3 seconds. The effect is shown as a flag which is pinned to that scene's time line. The flag is connected to the time line by two arrows and by moving the first of these left or right, you specify when the effect should start.
The distance between the two indi- Create Interactive Multim presentations. .. rest on a Wonder what this does' basis. It looks good on Workbench
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Compatible: Any Amiga , with 1Mb RAM Each production can be viewed aa a ehow which gives you an overview ol Ihe entire thing, or as a series ol scenes which lets you view and edit Ihe individual acts ol a performance Using a scripting program can help you to create complex animations which last far longer than conventional methods. It's also a good way to create eye-catching demos without slashing out hundreds on a top end system such as Scala.
Created as one of Electronic Arts' Deluxe Series of productivity tools.
Deluxe Video is perhaps the least well known of all. Ranking down there with Deluxe Print in the obscurity stakes. This is a shame because as the Amiga community finally starts to realise the benefits of multimedia, this program is available quite cheaply and yet compares very favourably to the more flashy programs of today.
Aimr™OF The package consists ot several separate programs ot which DVMaker is the first one you'll need. II provides a way ot creating time-line based screen effects and animation without going to the eflort ot learning a complicated professional system The program basically consists ol a series of scenes which are arranged in any order along a time line which represents the show. Each scene may consist of one or more actions upon which effects are cates how long the effect will last for.
Now below Ihe first time line, you define another which replays a sound effect. As with the picture, the sound does not start playing until activated by an effect. This time the effect merely starts the sound playing say, lor example, three seconds into the scene After another second the pitch of the sound is raised by a second effect, and a third is used at the seven second mark to pan the sound from left to right.
In yet another time line an animated character might be loaded, and this character can be scrolled across the screen at any time.
By now it should be apparent how multiple time lines may be used to activate various events which may run concurrently or may be interleaved chronologically. Each time line in a scene is related to a specific media action, a screen, animated brush, sound or piece of music for example. In fact it's even possible to use the program to trigger MIDI events, which means that you could create an entire stage show if your computer was MIDI linked to MIDI lighting, music and effects devices.
Unfortunately the program's MIDI control is far from sophisticated as it can only output SMUS tracks using up to eight channels.
The program offers a very impres- t _____IBMpiBlipg You can specify Ihe liming ol your production lo an accuracy ol one Jrffy That a a «0th of a second lo you and met sive range ol options, and the demos that come on two ol the four disks are quite appetite whetting Even something as simple as displaying a screen oilers 24 different options covering an intriguing variety of effects which you can activate to accuracy of 1 60th of a second, which should be more than enough for the average user.
If you use Arexx. Deluxe Video can be used to control external hardware such as video recorders.
CONCLUSION To be honest I really didn't expect much from this program in an age of ever increasing sophistication, but I was very pleasantly surprised. It took no more than ten minutes to create my first script, and the program is a complete doddle to leam. Though as always the rewards are greater it you devote more time and eltort lo your work. The system is extremely flexible and intuitive Once you've learnt the very basics, you can leam the brushes and page was created using an DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIO £79.99 - INFOGRAMES - 071 738 8199 Of el the programs reviewed here, only one can
genuinely claim to have the endorsement ol the world's most famous animation studios, but does that mean that the Disney Animation Studio is any good?
Exactly where changes need to be made. Because a lot of the time, parts of the character do not move at all (the body ol speaking characters tor instance), onion skinning also allows the animator to quickly trace those parts ol the drawing which will remain unchanged.
S»S&IK.IN This is Ihe entire basis for the Disney Animation Studio. Allhough it contains a few very primitive drawing Traditional animation of Ihe kind thal made the classic cartoons is a an arduous task requiring the dedicated work ot many people to produce even the shortest animations. The computer has played an increasing role in reducing the amount of effort and time needed to create animation You can «m hare two framaa of animation. Tha frames may loo* cluttered by tho gray after-image but In fact that Image la the onion akin effect at work and It can make an animator'a Ufa much
Although morphing and tweening is all very well for certain types ol movement, high resolution cartoon style graphics must still be largely drawn by hand. One of the most basic techniques in creating animation on paper is known as onion skinning'. This involves drawing the character to be animated on transparent, or semi-transparent paper.
When it comes to creating the next frame ot animation, another sheet of transparent paper is overlaid on the first and the animator can then see - tools. It certainly doesn't claim to be an art package. It's entire raison d'etre is its ability to display four levels of onion skinned images, each a shade darker than the last.
CONCLUSION The program Is aclually co-produced by Wall Disney Computer Software, and a specially commissioned Donald Duck animation accompanies the program. Much as I loue the animation. I found the program to be hard work compared lo D-Paint and Its peers I daresay that compared to using tracing paper and a pen, this is a doddle, but as I never did that in the first place I can't really comment!
II you're an animation punst. You won't be able to do better than this, but if you want something a bit more flexible try elsewhere.
Compatible: Any Amiga.
Canny Professionals If you have a video digitiser, you can save yourself hours of effort by using a professional animation ‘cheat* known as rotoscopmg.
Employed by Walt Disney Studios in the making of Sleeping Beauty, rotoscoping is a technique whereby you take a film or video of the real world and use that as the outline to trace simpler cartoon style graphics.
If you have a video camera or video player, try digitising a few sequential frames of a relatively uncluttered image. If you're using a real-time digitiser this will be easier. But if you're not you’ll just have to manually move the video still on by a few frames or turn the camera slightly.
The next stage is to convert your image into a line drawing. If you are using one of the new Rombo digitisers, your software already contains an Edge option.
An Depanment Pro also contains a similar option, but you'll need to convert your picture into a grey scale image first. Having created an outline of the objects to include in your animation, all you have to do is fill them in solid colour and your basic frames are complete Now all that remains is to go into the animation package of your choice and link the frames to make a proper anim file Bob’s your unde, rotoscoping made easy!
WHEN THE STREET JUST AINT TOUGH ENOUGH... GO PLAY IN THE PARK IF ITS NOT JURASSIC PARK ITS EXTINCT PC COMPATIBLES If you need to produce eye-catching multimedia presentations, which can be interactive or completely automatic, ScalaMM210 is your best option.
A presentation (or script as its known) can include text, animations, music and samples. It can accept optional input from a viewer via the keyboard, joystick, mouse, or touch screen, making it easy to produce informative displays of professional quality for use in places such as museums. Shopping malls, etc. where the end-user may not be computer-literate. For that matter, no great experience is required to use the program itself, as it has been written to enable even those with limited computer skills to get to grips with it quickly and easily. The ring-bound manual is good, with
easy-to-follow tutorials.
SCALA MM210 £149-SCALA UK-0920 444294 TONGUE?
IN Scala contains its own language, Lingua, though for most purposes you won't need to bother with either of these. The AGA chipset is also fully supported, and HAM pictures can be used, though these are best restricted to still images to avoid fringing problems when using text. The program comes on eight disks; most of these n combine graphics, animation contain backgrounds, animations, symbols, demos, music modules, sound samples and fonts.
A Scala script consists of separate pages, which can be a plain colour, one of the many hi-res textured backgrounds supplied, created yourself in any Amiga paint program, scanned, (a flatbed scanner is recommended), or digitised. You can control the speed at which the pages appear, and choose whether viewer input is required to go onto the next one or its arrival is automatic after a set time. Onscreen buttons of any size can be defined, and a mouse-click on a button can be programmed to go to any other screen, making real interaction possible; for example giving the viewer the ability
to view specific information by button selection. One of the supplied demos shows a simple quiz which illustrates the use of interactive buttons, but much more complicated scripts can be devised, which can involve, for instance, database searches and conditional loops.
Regular Amiga fonts, Cotortonts and Workbench 2 "bullet'; fonts are all suitable for use in Scala, and Agfa Compugraphic fonts can also be used if converted to "bullet" format. Text can be justified or dragged with the mouse to the point on the page where you want it to come to rest, if you decide to have it fly into the screen. Outlines, shadows, and an impressive 3D effect can be added, with control over the depth and direction of shadows and the "extrusion" of the letters. Long lines of text can also be made to "crawf across the field of view. If a screen contains more than one line of text
you can import each line with a different wipe, and even change the A samplo script showing the way Ihe program breaks down your presentation into separate pages, each with their own effects and wipes.
Colour of the text already onscreen in response to the arrival of the next line.
Animations, both drawn and digitised from video can be run, and as anims may be grabbed straight from hard disk without loading to memory first, this can enable large animations to be run very efficiently, though for this feature to operate properly a fast chip and fast hard drive are required.
Very revealing The real lun of using Scala starts when you begin to add wipes and lades to your scripts. More than twenty-live dillerent ones are supplied, and they are added with a simple mouse-click: there is a preview option, so you can easily decide which one gives you the result you're looking tor.
The eltects range trom simple fades to really eye-catching spiral reveals, (lips and collapses - like you see on T.V. and videos. A dillerent fade or wipe can be applied to any screen or line ol text, and the speed ol operation is fully controllable. Text can lade in, start off-screen and lly in Irom the top. Bottom, sides or corners and come to rest at any position on the page, or appear gradually, using your choice ol reveal. It can then disappear alter a set time, using the same range ol effects. II you want to include long lines ol text, these can be made to “crawl" across the page.
These events can be synchronised to sound, with an internal accuracy ol milliseconds.
This is Scala MM210 Sjt) ImMatB | For CU Amiga Yaaay!!!
Sampled sounds and SMUS and tracker modules can be included in your scripts, with control over looping, volume and fade irVout. If you own a sampler, this can be controlled from within Scala, with most of the popular samplers supported directly and a generic setting for those not supported. Sampled sounds can be edited and manipulated, and if you're running low on memory they can be compressed to about half size, though this may result in a loss in quality. There is also a MIDI player, which supports MIDI File Formats 0.1 and 2.
If you decide to change the running order of the pages this can be done very easily by selecting the “shuffle" icon. This brings up a page showing a thumbnail of each page already defined, and lets you shuffle them into the order you want. Even after a page has been defined it remains fully editable so you can change any feature of it at any time, swapping fonts, colours and effects until you arrive at a pleasing result.
CDTV, Canon ION still video player, and Philips VP, Sony and Pioneer Laserdisc players are also supported.
CONCLUSION Whether you're an ambitious specialist wanting to produce sophisticated professional multimedia presentations or you just want to produce something for your own entertainment, you will find ScalaMM200 to be your most powerful resource.
Compatible: 2.04 Amiga and 1Mb Chip RAM.
2Mb Fast RAM and a r jiAtm.
Over the past few years, fractal landscape programs have become very popular. They can produce attractive photo-realistic scenes for little or no effort, and such scenes have been used in a number of games and demos, to mention nothing of television.
There is a great variety of such programs available, and although they may have some unique features, they also have a lot in common with each other.
MddVApz £iail£i; -j,UJi£S Travel back in time a couple of years and fractal generated images were all the vogue, appearing on t-shirts, posters, everywhere. But fractal imagery doesn't just mean pretty Spirograph pictures - they're capable of a lot more... VISTA PRO 3.0 £69.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 NG THE Science fiction guru Arthur C Clarke says of this program 'It’s so good that if it gets into your computer, you’ll never get any work done.’ Let's see why.
The maps it uses are known as Digital Elevation Maps or DEMs for short, and 27 of them are supplied with the program. These mostly cover areas of geological interest in Vista Pro is brought to us by Virtual Reality Laboratories in the United States. They have constantly developed the program over the last four or five years, and have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars converting geological maps to run with the program. Thanks to their efforts, you can now travel the world and beyond without ever leaving your armchair.
The basic idea behind the program is that you load a two dimensional contour map of the area to be recreated, and the program will then calculate exactly what you would see if you were standing at a particular point looking in a specific direction.
America but there are a few European location included.as well as one from Mars.
Having decided which area you wish to model, simply load the required DEM and you’re ready to go. Before you tell the program to render, there are a huge number of optional preferences that you can set to tailor the landscape to your exact requirements. For starters you can specify whether it is night or day, cloudy or clear and what colours the landscape should be.
You can also add a variety of tree types, to mention nothing of rivers and lakes. In short, you can create the landscape of your imagination.
Once you’re satisfied with the landscape, click Render and Vista will automatically draw the landscape of your choice, allowing for the lighting conditions, which are also completely user-definable. In fact, by creating a script, you could even create an animated series in which the observer's viewpoint changes and the light also changes to represent the passage of the sun. The image is rendered in 24-bit colour making it ideal for professional use. However, you can always save a picture in a mode appropriate to your requirements.
Unfortunately, its 24-bit rendering mode, to say nothing of the vast range of user-definable options, does mean that the program is extremely RAM hungry and in fact requires a minimum of four megs of memory, or six if you’re going to be using the-AGA modes. This puts it well beyond the reach of the ordinary person which is a shame considering how much fun it is to use.
If you want to go on a total flight of fantasy, you can use Vista's fractal generator to create completely fictitious worlds. By specifying a seed value, the program will create a landscape that exists only in your computer's memory. You can specify the type of DEM that will be created, an island or mainland, and you can also indicate a vertical scaling factor in case you want to make something really wacky.
SLOWLY AS SHE Even on accelerated Amigas, rendering a landscape can be quite time consuming, and on an unac- Have you considered...?
TERRAFORM £N A ¦ MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 Sooner or later you're going to tire of the digital elevation maps supplied with Vista. When that happens you can either buy more, or you can use Terraform to make your own.
Although Vista maps may seem incredibly complicated, in actual fact they're little more than a series of numbers representing various heights. These numbers are converted into different screen colours representing various altitude ranges.
Terraform allows you to modify existing landscapes or create your own from scratch. It provides you with a few basic building tools with which you can build mountains or craters, roughen or smooth the terrain and generally shape the land to your every whim. You can even add buildings and one of the demos actually contains the Hoover Dam.
CONCLUSION Terralorm is simple to use, primarily due to its basic but adequate selection of tools.
It does what it should, but it's far from glamorous. End of story.
Compatible: Any Amiga. 70% Have you considered?... MAKEPATH One ol Vista's greatest strengths is its ability to create superb animated voyages through your landscapes. Unfortunately it can be an immensely time-consuming and complicated business to create your own animation - unless you've got MakePath of course!
Thanks to this ingenious program, all you need to do is load the appropriate Digital Elevation Map into the program, and trace a path using the mouse. Each time you press the celerated machine a high res landscape could easily tie your computer up for half a day or more.
You can choose exactly how high a level of realism the program should produce, and low levels naturally take far less time to create.
Ultimately though, you're going to want to render a scene with all the extras switched on. This means that scenes will consist of thousands of minute polygons, each of which is blended and shaded. Any plants you may include can also be created with varying levels of realism, ranging from two dimensional stick plants to multi-layered three dimensional pines, cacti, oaks and palms.
If you're producing landscapes for television of video work, Vista's animation abilities are particularly useful. The program will accept a script which describes a path through your three dimensional landscape. You can control every aspect of the path ranging from pitch and yaw, to movement speed and lens type. A recent Tomorrow's World program used this feature with the Martian landscape to demonstrate how the planet could be vegetated. This feature is extremely powerful but is also very tricky to get to grips with unless you have both a great deal of patience and a high degree of spatial
CONCLUSION Overall, I found Vista Pro to be a very powerful and entertaining tool to use. The cloud feature is still a bit hit and miss, and good as the trees are, they could still be improved. Overall, the program is a joy to use, and is almost worth upgrading your Amiga for.
Any Amiga with Workbench 2.04 And 4Mb RAM (6Mb If using AGA screen modes).
Z 919 IN114 ; CK || Off ]| Opart] Iroo lot!
I MM IHVD ¦¦ ¦Dl "«• 1 1 «i« 1 « • Danaltv Laavaaj Oraaa *lxo HD m 1 H«l 1 1 ¦¦« 1 BBJ n 3( 0 1 Poll 1 «:«ra». I sT"" illy Lmvh! Cactus ¦Pi ail | 1 nII | alclctu.] 3|ta«tua| 7|ca««ua| llCactual Dotal 1 Crown Oak J-d 0-1 a.1 Crown Dotal Crown Cactu. J-d Dotal 1 Crown «H.nH|M|u||LriNi»»l »» iTTi ruirtiTHrui * 1 : iriHiHiwiitriHim Will 1 w| h| utlcfl m| u| There arc three simple stages to creating a path. 1. Load a DEM and draw a rough path on it. 2. Select the vehicle type. 3. The program will now calculate an actual motion path based on the abilities and movement properties of the vehicle
you chose. In this animation we re travelling by missile. High altitude, wide turning circle.] button, a control point will be placed and a line will be drawn between it and the previous point. These represent your path around the landscape.
If you want to exercise total control over the way your animation comes out. You can specify every single parameter about the way the viewpoint changes as you move around the landscape. If you prefer to let the computer do the legwork for you, you can choose from a predefined list ol movement types which indicate the way that the path and viewpoint will change. This list includes motorbikes, gliders, missiles and even dune buggies and the choice you make affects things such as the way the viewpoint banks as you turn a comer or how close to the ground you are.
You can also specify the speed ol each part of your path as well as the total number of frames it should occur over. There is a reasonably fast wire frame preview mode which you can use to test your path before you save it.
Once a path has been saved, you can then load it into Vista Pro to use as the instruction file for ils animation generation.
CONCLUSION Makepath really is a very clever program, and as labour saving tool I think that it is unmatched. Again, the results on their own are not spectacular but when combined with Vista Pro they can be breath-taking.
An absolutely essential accessory for Vista users.
Compatible: Any Amiga. 91% UPGRADE FROM ANY 3D PACKAGE UNTIL 31 DECEMBER 93 £79.95 I Educational Adventures from COOMBE VALLEY SOFTWARE Written by teachers to make learning fun A range of adventure games for 5-13 year olds, which help to devekffl logical thought, reading and keyboard skills as well as specific educational topics.
MATHS DRAGON for ages 5 - I2» Amiga Format Gold Practice live four rules of number in the caves of the Maths Dragons, while rescuing the scattered pieces of your train set. You control the* level of difficulty and the type of sum which live Dragon will ask TIDY THE HOUSE - for ages 5 - 9 A firs* j.Keimirv for the younger placer Can you dear up the mess tlul your younger farther and sister have made and then get them ready lo go out before mum comes to find you?
CAVE MAZE - for ages 8 - 13 A first adventure for jn older child They must find a baby dragon’s lunch box. Feed him and then guide him home through a maze of saves and obstacles. The maze paths and obstacle positions change with each new game.
FRACTION GOBUNS - for ages 8 13+ Practice your fractions while exploring live caves of the fraction Coltlinv ihe game deals with all four rules of number for simple*, improper and*mixed fracikins. You set ilx* type of sum ami dillkuhy levd for each game PICTURE FRACTIONS lor ages 7 - 10 I1ay a game of Puzzle* Face with tlw young Fraction (kvlvlms at tlwir llaicltdjy Party Set the level of difncuky and then solve wme i»«tonal fraction pmNcm* to win tlx* game.
TIME PUES - for ages 6-12 Father Time has gone out for a while, leaving you to dog sit the Watch Dog. Just feed and water him and take* him for a walk and he’ll lx* no trouble. It’s a pity lliat the Time Flies have gol out of their cage Ixit they'll leave you alone if you can answer some time questions.
You select the type of questions and the level of difficulty. The game deals with time as dock hand*, numbers and words. Questions can lx* in 12 or 24 hour time and relative time problems arc also available.
FOR DETAILS. WRITE TO rCOOMBE VALLEY SOFTWARE 18 NELSON CLOSE. TEIGNMOUTH, DEVON. TQ14 9NH Please send an SAE for a demo disc, please enc lose 50p TEL: 0626 779695 " ATTENTION!
COMMODORE & AMIGA END USERS & DEALERS I ADVANCED AMIGA ANALYSER AN INEXPENSIVE DIAGNOSTIC ANALYSER THAT WORKS ON ALL AMIGA5 Shopper UK magazine says Without doubt, ibis Is Ibefinest diagnostic equipment I hate tier seen, and I address all Amiga rvltairers and[micttcal-mtnded users when I say Ibis Is really something north baring. ’ A complete diagnostic hardware and software analyser (uses point and click software interface). The analyser plugs into all Amiga ports simultaneously and through sophisticated software displays eight screens to work from. Shows status of data transmission signals:
tests game port function, parallel port, serial port, disk drive, video ports, memory (buffer) checker, system configuration and auto lest. Reads diagnostic status of any d write errors from track 0 to track 79. Software automatically tells what errors are found and chips responsible. 85% to 90% of the problems presented to service centres are found with this analyser.
Saves you lots of money on repairs and no end user or repair shop can afford to be without one. Don't be fooled by its low cost.
Simply plug in cables from the analyser box. This sophisticated tool used by end users and Amiga repair centres worldwide .(shipping lo UK add £10.00) ...£47.00 WE CARRY ALL COMMODORE CUSTOM CHIPS AND ACCESSORIES AT LOW DISCOUNTED PRICES.
WRITE FOR FULL LISTING OF ALL COMMODORE AMIGA SURPLUS PRODUCES. DIMERS: WRITE TO VS OS YOUR LETTERHEAD Phone hours (British time) z-llpm Mon-Fri THE GRAPEVINE GROUP INC. 3 CHESTNUT STREET. SUFFERN, NEW YORK 10901 U.S.A. INTERNATIONAL ORDER LINE: 0101-914-357-2424 W PNFAX LINE: 0101-914-357-6243 SE ¦ Vistas arch rival has struggled over the years to catch the public's eye, but has never quite managed it. Now at last it includes some features that finally lift it out of the ordinary.
Like Vista, Scenery Animator is a fractal landscape generator and animator. It is capable of loading digital elevation maps or creating fractal landscapes from seed values. It can't process D-Paint map graphics like Vista can, so you won't be using the program to mode.l your home town unless a DEM is already available.
SCENERY ANIMATOR 4 £67.99 - FIRST COMPUTER CENTRE - 0532 319444 ACE IN THE HOLE Despite the fact that at just about every level the program is slightly inferior to Vista Pro 3.0, it has one massive ace up its sleeve, and for many people it's such a significant bonus, that all its short-comings will seem insignificant.
So what is this special feature I hear you ask breathlessly? The ability to load 3D objects of course, what did you expect?!
This ability is well supported both by the way the program displays landscapes, and the way it animates them.
For starters, once you've loaded a 1-4 r,.i„ w. u VJ JJ -«*J
MM) Ml 1 UMJ The standard well. And you viewer to an overhead
view is supported as can use this to position the ccuracy ot
a metre or less.
Landscape, you can see it in the plan view in the same way as Vista, but, and this is a very nice feature indeed, you can also see it in three dimensions. Of course the 3D view doesn't show you the same detail or even correct lighting such as will appear in the finished scene, but it does give you a damned good idea how the eventual scene will look. It's also very handy when you come to position objects in your scene. Vista does offer a 3D preview mode, but only as a hard-to-see wire-frame.
Anyway, as with Vista, you can specify your position and lighting, etc prior to rendering a scene. This is far easier to do in Scenery Animator because every change is immediately displayed in 3D. However, it would be wrong of me not to mention the fact that the program is far less sophisticated in the range of options it offers, and in my opinion, the landscapes don't look quite as realistic as the rival package. The main reason for this is that the margin (where one type of land starts and another ends, say at the tree-line for instance) is very dubious in the way that it's represented.
Having said that, the way that trees and clouds are drawn is far more convincing and you can even get into the branches of a tree if that takes your fancy!
NIPPY RENDERING The program's rendering time is extremely impressive, and inexplicably, it is many times faster in 24-bit mode, than in the less colourful screen modes. I can only assume that it’s because the program doesn't actually draw 24-bit images, it renders them straight to disk. Mind you, I rendered a HAM image then a 24-bit version of the same scene and I'm darned if I could see any difference between the two... It's when animating that the program really shines brightest, because it uses such a user-friendly system for specifying what goes where. Rather than making you specify
every single part of every frame, you only have to define key frames. The program will then calculate the movement between them, including any objects that may be present.
CONCLUSION OK, so Scenery Animator falls a long way short of the technical perfection of Vista, but it scores highly on the user- friendly scale. Whereas animation is a laborious task in Vista, it's almost a pleasure with Scenery Animator. Much as I love Vista, this program really puts the fun into landscape generation.
If mathematical perfection and absolute photorealism is your goal, then look elsewhere. If you want to spend many enjoyable hours creating landscapes and moving objects through them, then this is the one for you. Very accomplished and nicely designed Any Amiga with Kickstart
2. 0 or above and 3Mb RAM.
GENESIS £49.99 - SOFTWARE BUSINESS - 0480 496497
* % m Trying to cash in on the fractal craze, Microillusions’
Genesis is not quite in the same league as other such programs.
At least it's cheap and cheerful though!
As with the other commercial programs reviewed here, Genesis is capable of using DEMs or creating landscapes from its own fractal seed. Although it has many of the features contained in Scenery Animator for example, it just doesn’t seem to score particularly highly in terms of user-friendliness.
Ultimately, I suppose it's the results that count, and Genesis does draw more convincing images than Scenery Animator, although it still lags behind Vista.
I think that the main grumble I have with this program, apart from , its chronically slow rendering “ ¦ speeds, is the way that everything is tucked away out of sight. I'm not sure if this is a particularly fair criticism to make, but after having used the other two, Genesis seems like Check out your viewpoint before you commit to a full render with the speedy wireframe preview mode.
Quite a hostile environment.
It's not all negative though. For starters you can run the program in only one megabyte of RAM.
Compare this to the four needed for Vista and the three that Scenery Animator requires and the advantage starts to become clear.
The program also includes an easy way to alter the colour of parts of a landscape after it's been rendered. Genesis is also the only program to provide a very quick colour preview mode.
CONCLUSION Genesis is not as accomplished as either of the two previous programs, but you can use it on a standard A500 with 1 Mb of memory. However, the program is agonizingly slow to render, even on an accelerated Amiga with maths co-pro. With care though, you can produce results which are barely distinguishable from its rivals.
Any Amiga with 1Mb RAM and AmigaDOS
1. 3 or higher.
3D AND RAY TRACING PROGRAMS Creating 3D images has never been simpler.
Today's 3D programs are super fast compared to what was available a couple of years ago.
Make your own Brave New Worlds.
Thanks lo the Amiga’s superb graphical abilities. It has gained a following of people who use it for serious video and TV work For such people few programs are as important as a 3D renderer with which they can create stunningly realistic objects and animations without the costly expense of building models. Although there are a number ot packages available only a very few of them can be said to contend on equal terms.
These can basically be divided into two sections: ray tracers and CAD packages Ray tracing is the process of tracing every single ray of light within a scene to calculate exactly how each pixel In that scene should look. In the early days of ray tracing the ability to model a variety of surface textures and light retracting retlecting properties was considered something special, but nowadays we've gone tar beyond that with the ability to wrap IFF images around three dimensional objects to say nothing ot texture and bump mapping and even particle based animation systems that until a lew
years ago were the exclusive domain ol research labs and computer departments in big universities.
The second section is far less glamorous because the end result is quite dull to look at unless it's processed by a ray tracing package CAD or Computer Aided Design essentially consists ol using a computer to design 3D objects, although you could also use it to work in two dimensions IMAGINE 2 £149.99 - Hobbyte - 0727 856005 the texture of an object.
Developed Irom the old Turbo Silver ray tracer. Imagine is now one ot the most popular home tracers in the wodd.
Available on both the Amiga and the PC, artwork developed using this package was prominent at the recent computer graphics festival in Italy.
It uses a traditional approach to object modelling whereby all ob|ects are created as a series ot linked points which form facets. Each facet can be given different properties including colour and texture. It s also possible to wrap IFF pictures around an object. Alternatively IFF Images can be used as maps' to calculate Having created your objects, they need to be arranged within the 3D scene. If they are to be animated, you can use the action editor to define the paths that various objects will take. As hierarchical movement is supported, you can define one object's movement relative to
another, so that both parts are always moved as a related pair. For example, a finger has a complete range of movement, but that movement cannot be independent of the hand. Wherever the hand goes, so does the finger.
Having finally defined your animation. You only need render it in the Project editor and you're done. By using entirely separate editors at every stage of the production process. The working area is kept clear of unnecessary options, which is just as well because this is a complicated enough business already!
The learning process is definitely not helped by the fact that the manual is pretty dire. Fortunately some kind soul has already thought to write a help book called 'Understanding Imagine 2. It seems a bit of cheek to have to buy a help book the second you buy a new piece of software, but if you want to use what is arguably the most powerful piece of 3D animation software available for the Amiga, then that's the pnce you have to pay.
CONCLUSION A good solid program lhal Is especially capable In the animation department.
A well designed user-intedace makes It one ot the easier packages to use.
And although object creation Is not quite as elegant as Real 3D 2s, the end results are just as good Any Amiga with 3Mb RAM and a 40Mb Hard Drive.
THE BEST GOD GAME JUST GOT BETTER" Exactly how many awards will it take before you own a copy of Sid Meier's Civilization?
SEPT 1993 OCT 1993 Winner!
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Most Original Gamel991 NEW AGA VERSION AVAILABLE NOW FROM ALL AMIGA STOCKISTS Published by Software Demon UPGRADES AVAILABLE For trade enquiries contact Kompart (UK) Ltd on: E! 0727 868 005 B REAL 3D 2 £394.90 - HOBBYTE COMPUTING - 0582 457195 AMIGA BUYER S GUIDE 94 Whereas Imagine 2 lakes a very clinical and traditional approach to the whole business of ray tracing, Real 3D takes a much more theoretical, object based approach. For instance, whereas in Imagine you'd define a sphere as a number of linked facets which form a mesh of a particular shape, Real 3D would say 'Here's a sphere in
position X and size Y'.
When it comes to rendering, this conceptual approach can produce better results although at a cost in terms of rendering speeds.
The theoretical approach to object modelling extends far beyond the literal creation of 3D shapes, it encompasses the entire Real 3D world and makes possible effects that would require mind numbing computations to perform with other packages.
Transparency Turbidity Turbid sat. Refraction Roughness Dither Bunp height Effect Transp.nap Brit I. nap Shadow nap Clip nap Transp.coi Unshaded Snooth Exclusive Scope nask You can choose from a large selection ol basic shapes (called primitives), or you can simply create your own objects entirely Irom scratch.
A REVOLUTION With most Amiga 3D software objects are no more than a series of mathematical references which describe an object's shape, size, texture and location. If the package is clever like Imagine 2, it can even describe an object’s mechanical relationships to other things in the world. However, in the world of Real 3D objects also have mass and velocity. They inhabit a world that has gravity and they will react to CONCLUSION Five years ago the top film labs were drooling over effects such as these, and now you can create them in your own home. Not cheap by an means, but compared to a
Silicon Graphics machine, or a Sun Work Station an absolute snip!
Compatible: Any Amiga with an '020 or higher and a 68881 2 maths co- jP pro and 3Mb RAM.
Each other if they collide. A ball will roll down a hill, or bounce off the floor if dropped. This real world approach means that you don't have to worry about the mathematics of dynamics, all you need to know is the physical properties of the objects you are defining.
Real 3D is revolutionary for another reason too; it lets you define exactly the way that you want to work with the program, and what viewpoints you feel are neces- sary in order to manipulate your objects.
The program even comes with its own programming language which permits you to create animation scripts of such complexity and accuracy that they would be impossible under any other method. For example, the language lets you activate various particle animation systems which are used to model the apparently random motion of leaves in the wind or rain drops.
I ¦ -m c3 mnntinnl ...Bringing the best out of computing!
Commodore & Atari Controllers Logipad The worid's first fully microswijjH Control Pad
• Six tire buttons
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Model No. JT 160 ft8.99 inc. VAT.
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Quatro Classic arcalc-style design
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Pinto Miniature vlrsion ol Quatro Suitable lorlyounger gamesplayels or hand-held play Model No JT 151 t12.99 inc. VAT.
Quatro GT Classic arcade-style design • 3-way autolire facility
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£16.99 inc. VAT.
Pinto GT V mature version ol Quatro GT but without rapid-lire and slow-motion Suitable lor younger nmesplayers or hand-held play Mode! No. JT 152 £16.99 inc. VAT.
Delta-Ray New ‘Comtort-Grip handle
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• Suction cups lor extra liability Model No. JT 156 £15.99 inc.
VAT Freewheel L- Can you imagine Nigel Mansell using a joystick
to control his car around a high-speed track? Probably not.
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ol drivingl
• Suitable tor all types ot driving and Hying games
• Uses unique angle-sensitive switches • Extra-long connector
• Does not need to be mounted or lixed to a surtace Model No. FW
111 - Digital FreeWheel lor Amiga ST C64 etc. £29.99 inc. VAT.
Model No. FW 123 - Analog FreeWheel -4 lor Amiga £39.99 inc. VAT 1I RIL fJn AVAILABLE FROM MOST COMPUTER STOCKISTS OR CALL OUR Hal TELEPHONE HOTLINE: 081-902 2211.
V ..... .. - . .v • Mann* w rm* WHOM omiss What about...?
RAYDANCE $ 99.95 - RADIANCE SOFTWARE - 0101408 2707420 Pix.ls x:rm v¦ 2M Fiinx:! 255 y:f 51T FI: ?•¥ FST0P:“TT Hntiatias! I Alias Unit:! TIT Alias depth: I Taxture path: (twturai Object path:jM J*cts Rf let I in: I 6 RfrctlinlFT 8p*gnlin:| Oil Scrietljr SCULPT 4D £39.99 - MICROPACE - 0753 551888 The original Juggler demo was created using a package called The Ray Tracer. Several years ot development down the line and Sculpt-Animate 4D was born.
Good, solid, reliable ray tracing and animation package that can output at any resolution and screen size in up to 24-bit colour.
It uses a similar point and facet based approach to object creation as that used by Imagine, and again each facet can be assigned a surface property, ranging from matt, to nearly transparent. To the best of my knowledge this was the first package to offer true hierarchical motion, and it's capable of producing some stunning images, although you'll need patience in abundance, if not for the creation of objects which is taxing enough, then for the hours you'll spend twiddling your thumbs whilst the program renders your image.
CONCLUSION Competent and cheap, but not very friendly to use. A good one for beginners on a budget though.
Compatible: Any Amiga.
With 1Mb RAM.
This was once considered to be the ultimate in state of the art ray-tracing software and cost almost as much as Real 3D does today. Now, its rather creaky tri-view interface and limited features mean that it's hardly even considered in round-ups of this sort.
But hang on a second, you can now buy what is still a very capable package for well under fifty pounds, and that makes it well worth considering!
It doesn't have any of the flashy texture or bump mapping options that Imagine offers, and it certainly can't compete with the particle systems in Real 3D, but what it does offer is a Famous last words Talk about putting your foot in your mouth; I offer you this unleasibly optimistic quote taken from the Sculpt-Animate manual: 'Ten years hence, when rendering is done in real time, disk storage is tabulated in gigabytes, and the average RAM count is the sire ot a Buick, Sculpt-Animate will still be around lighting the way.'
Well, rendering is now done in real time on the Video Toaster with the Toaster Screamer, hard drives ol 1.2 Gigs and above are commonplace lor those that can afford them and it's possible to upgrade even a lowly A500 to 128 megs of RAM. So what's missing from the picture? What's that dimly sputtering candle I see off behind me in the distance? Oh, it's Sculpt-Animate. For some reason Byte by Byte decided it wasn't worth developing lor the Amiga any more, and have now turned their attention exclusively to the Apple Macintosh (although what they hoped to find there that the Amiga couldn't
oHer I don't know...). CrntFran»:BBQ FirstFrana:! T LastFran :( T TotalFran»s:| T _h ¦¦IH1 HI' Status: C35**** ScriptTine: U«IH]:] FrantTint: HEED Unlike Ihe other programs reviewed here, Raydance is entirely scripl-based time you see a graphic is when you render a picluro.
The pogram includes an incredible planl growth formula which you can use lo create trees at all stages ol growth.
Raydance is a little known ray tracer from Radiance Software in San Jose. California. It is totally script driven, and the only time you'll see anything even approximating a user- Iriendly front end is when you load the rendering module.
The program works by processing listings defining the exact mathematical nature ol everything in a scene. This is an extremely maths intensive approach lor the user, but it does mean that It's easier to create complex geometric forms such as arcs and curves, with ultra-precision. Charles Comstock, the program's author suggests that the program is ideally suited to architects and other such designers, or to educational establishments.
Whilst this may be true, the program is no slouch when it comes down to its features list. It supports the now almost obligatory texture and bump mapping, but more interestingly. It also supports the generation of three dimensional fractal landscapes, which sure beats checker boards as a background! Ray Dance also has a fascinating plant algorithm which can literally be used to 'grow' three dimensional trees and bushes into a scene, although don't expect such scenes to render in ten seconds.
The accompanying manual is designed purely as a reference source and contains no tutorials unfortunately. This means that what is already an exceptionally complex program, is even harder to leam than perhaps it needs to be.
CONCLUSION II results are what counts, then Hay Dance deserves to be up there with the big boys. II user-lriendllness Is Ihe primary goal then il rales somewhere down below Ihe sub sewers.
II you have a masters degree in applied physics, and a Bachelor ol Arts in dilticull maths you'll probably enjoy this program. Tbe rest ol us ate probably going lo be happier with a more graphical approach.
Compatible: Any Amiga with 1Mb RAM and 2 (loppy drives. 85% One of the major problems with ray tracing, is the huge amount of time it takes to actually render each picture. Cakgan overcomes the problem by adopting an entirety efferent approach Ray tracing literally involves tracing every single ray of light in a scene, to see how it colours every single pixel.
CALIGARI 24 £99.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 With srnple non-reflectrve scenes this can be bad enough, but once you start adding more complex objects with reflective or near-translucent surface properties, the amount of calculations involved can be immense as hght rays are reflected, deflected and refracted all over the place Cahgan describes itself as three dimensional imaging software rather than a ray tracer. The reason for this is that it uses a system known as Scanline rendering nstead of the more popular and time consunxng ray tracing Scanline rendering looks at shape,
colour and relative depth of each object in a scene, but it doesn't calculate reflections of any sort That means that a scanlned sphere w* sM be vsabty spherical because the program has taken into account light sources and the depth of different parts of the sphere.
Cahgari images are ideal lor circumstances where speed is more important than absolute photo-reaksm Of all the 30 packages. Cakgan has the friendliest user-interface. Dispensing with the conventional tn-view of Imagine and Scujpf. And offenng instead a fullscreen isometnc perspective which makes vtsuafcsabon of the brushed scene much easier To make things even better, this view can be twisted and turned with the click of a mouse, so that you can quickly examine every perspective of a scene.
The unfortunate cost for such flexibility s the loss of tho multi-tasking environment because the program doses al other appbeabons including the Workbench in order to gain the necessary speed needed to maintain its own display. Whist this is inconvenient, you soon get used to it and in my opinion the flexAxfcty of this system compensates for the loss.
Cahgari 24 also has a very exciting design feature called organic deformations. What this techie-sounding phrase actualy means is that you can stretch an object as if I were made of rubber When you enter deform mode' the object to be distorted is surrounded by a box. Grab any point of the box and drag or twist it. And the object reacts accord- ngty. Creating natural looking transformations N’t eitremety easy lo change an obfect s odsenttson and equally easy lo move Ihe viewer's perspective.
The one thing the program doesn't have, and it's a strange omission considering its title, is a direct way to save a 24-bit image. This is strange considenng the fact that it actualy renders m 32-bits (I has an 8-txt Alpha channel for effects).
It y CONCLUSION Cahgari is very good for quickly creating and rendering a scene, but the eventual output is not up lo the standards of a ray tracer. Havwig said that, they're not THAT far short either. It is by far the easiest program to use, and that in itself might make you want to give it senous consideration.
Compatible: An 020 orm higher Amiga with a 68881 2 _ maths co-pro and a hard drive.
What about...?
CALIGARI BROADCAST £399.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 For the real 3D power users, Caligari Broaden! Lakes up where Cahgari 24 leaves on.
The two programs share a very similar user interlace, so upgraders won't have to go back to basics. However it also includes a whole bunch ol extra animation features including motion blur, acceleration and deceleration and the option to animate a deformation.
Octree have also addressed the ridiculous omission in the earlier product by giving Callgari Broadcast the ability to save 24-bll files without the palaver of rendering to a null buller then converting via an image processor The program also provides improved scene display on AGA machines as well as increasing the sophistication ol its alien file import and export options.
CONCLUSION Calliart Broadcast Is an esceplionally powerful product and Its high price lag redacts lhat lad Thanks lo Ihe way II renders. II can draw pictures up to 40 limes lasler than conventional ray tracers In America II originally totalled lor S1995 00 and even at lhal price It
• on awl ids lelt. Right and centre AV Video magazine said lhat
it had the best user inter lace ol any 3D package priced under
UO.OW and it's Impossible to deny Ihe lleslbility or
friendliness ol its Irom end. The program contains numerous
unique lealures. And heats serious consideration il you're
looking at prolesslonal 3D work.
Compatible: An 020 or higher Amiga with a 68081 2 maths co-pro and a Hard Drive and 4Mb RAM.
Thle le one ol Ihe demos Included on Ihe disk. II only takes 15 seconds lo render In this mode.
Have you considered...?
PIXEL 3D PROFESSIONAL £199.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 It's all very well using ray tracing and 3D programs to render all these dramatic objects, trouble is you've got to create the damned things first. Pixel 3D lets you cheat.
In fact Pixel 3D Professional performs two very useful jobs: it converts 3D objects from one object format to another Imagine to Sculpt for example). It also lets you create 30 object files from 2D bit maps and fonts.
The program is very easy to use. Just select load and once you've given a file name the program will automatically detect what format Ihe file is in. II you're usiog the program for format conversion, select save and you'll be offered a choice ol fourteen different output file types. Having selected one, the program takes care of everything else for you.
If you choose to load a bit-map, the program will immediately convert it into its own 3D object format. Initially, the object is flat, but using the extrude option you can quickly add depth to it. You can even round off the edges with the bevel option.
If you're using the program to create 30 lettering, you can type using any bit-mapped font (although point sizes over 80 are recommended). The program can then perform the same conversion and extrusion functions upon your text as it would on any other bit mapped image. Although it can be difficult to acquire bit mapped fonts of this size, some of the desk top publishing packages come with conversion programs to convert scalable fonts into ordinary bit-mapped ones.
CONCLUSION Pltel 3D Pmtessicml is easy lo learn and lun lo use. Some ol Ihe operations are very lime consuming. And il would have been nice lo see some kind ol indicalor so that you could lell that Ihe program hadn't crashed (which il did on a couple ol occasions!, it valuable, but rather costly program which will be a usetul addilion lo Ihe 3Der's arsenal ol tools. Compatible: Any Amiga with at least 1Mb Chip and 1Mb Fast RAM.
GRAPMCS BOARDS As wonderful as Ihe Amiga's graphics are.
If you wanl lo enler Ihe world of broad- casl quahly graphics, your going lo need lo upgrade lo 24-bit. The obvious way lo do Ihis is with ihe aid of a graphics board, of which there are an ever increasing number If you want to add more than a splash ot colour to your graphics, then you 'II eventually want to consider purchasing a 24-bit graphics board Here's an essential guide to the best boards around... HARLEQUIN FROM £800 PLUS VAT - AMIGA CENTRE SCOTLAND - 0896 87583 Graphics professionals expect their hardware to be of the best possible quality and pretty damn fast too. Many boards are
unable to deliver, but one in particular has been proving itself for years.
Zorro II slot and not the video slot, you'll have to provide' a separate monitor for its display Almost any monitor can be used, such as Commodore s popular 1084 The board has three major selling I am talking, of course, about Harlequin from Amiga Centre Scotland (ACS) Launched in 1991, it quickly established itself as the Amiga's best graphics card. It may not be able to bend over backwards and do the spectacular tricks that some other cards can do. But what it does do it does exceptionally well.
The Harlequin is a 32-bit frame buffer. That means that it will hold and display a 24-bit image as well as providing an 8-bit alpha channel.
Because the Harlequin plugs into a points, the most important ot which is its broadcast quality output The RGB socket on the back ol the card gives an output that even the BBC would be quite pleased with. It you've ever seen ACS at a Video or Graphics exhibition then you may have noticed a wave- torm monitor on their stand. This is a professional piece ol equipment which shows engineers exactly how dean the Harlequin's output really is This a incredibly important it you intend to use it for broadcast applications.
The speed ol the Harlequin's hardware is the second reason why it's so popular. The supplied slideshow sottware provides many wipe effects m real lime and the hardware can even play partial screen 24-bit animation The dever thing about the hardware is that you can select from many different screen resolutions, from 740x576 up to 910x576. All in 32-bit On the Harlequin 4000 model you can have two hardware buffered 32-bit screens or up to six 8-bit screens In the 8-bit mode you can use colour cycling to bring otherwise static images to life.
CONCLUSION Commercial software support for the Harlequin is also at professional levels Its 24-txt display is directly supported by ADPro. Real3D. Vlab, Imagemastor, Calrgari Broadcast and Sympatica. This highlights the fact that if you’re serious about computer graphics you should look upon the Harlequin as a most serious and highly professional graphics solution Definitely quality at its best.
Compatible: Amiga 2000 3000
4000. A fast 32 bit processor and at least 5Mb RAM rec- ommended.
The essential accessory Undoubtedly the best reason tor buying the Harlequin is because ol TVPaint This additional piece ol sottware costs around £600 and presents you with a tormidable array ol artist's tools and other painting facilities Because the Harlequin uses the Zorro slot, which is much taster than he video Hot painting tunchons are very last indeed TVPamthas an eicellent airbrush which gently blows paint in almost almost translu- cant layers onto the screen. Surprisingly, the program is as last and flexible as the expensive high-end professional Quantel Paintbox system, a stand
alone art tool used in the broadcast tratemityi rVPWnf is currently at version 2 and gives complete control over the Vub frame grabber This means you can grab live video frames directly into TVPalnf for manipulation!
The ones who started it all Xi Electronics Ltd. Is a small independent electronics design company based In Scotland, who sometimes undertake rather unusual wort - they once contracted lor the design of an orange counting machine!
They started life in mid 1989 (originally trading as BBDP Electronics) manufacturing computer peripherals, one successful project being a fast SCSI interface for direct to disk recording on the Atari ST. In June 1990 BBDP Electronics con traded to design a 24-bit frame buffer lor the Commodore Amiga The result, released in February 1991. Was the ACS Harlequin 32-bit frame butter. Xi then moved on to other non-Amiga design work but decided to revisit Amiga 24 bit-graph- ics in February 1992. Which led to the independent development by Xi ol the Harlequin Plus, which was officially launched
at the Format 93 show in May As a result ol the experience gained developing 24-bit graphics boards, and other contract video design work. XI's emphasis has shifted towards mid-range video hardware centred on the Amiga, but they are still currently undertaking design work on other platforms.
Xi's design philosophy is to ‘concentrate on getting the basics right” rather than offering a myriad of spurious (and often flaky) bells and whistles. Some would say they have been very successful in achieving this aim.
You can't use Software this Powerful, and produce Documents this Good... £jj S. JE ?
Unless, you buy an expensive PC or Macintosh™ a high priced Colour PostScript™ Laser Printer, and a complex, costly Desk Top Publishing Package.. 1 Economics j Q ! Seminar i K If you're looking for a quality Word Processor Publisher that performs as well as this, you may well start by searching through PC and Apple™ Macintosh™ software catalogues.
Even then though, you probably won't find a program that will combine the very best in Word Processing and... easy to use integrated DTP type facilities.
You certainly can't find software for your Amiga that's capable of all this... AMIGA BUYER'S GUIDE '94 GraphiCS OpalVision holds many promises and opens new doors for those who have already bought it. Invented in the far off land of Australia by 22 year old Gary Rayner, this graphics board is almost unique in what it can offer you.
OPALVISION It's a small, neatly constructed board which can be expanded through its modular design. The main board, called the motherboard, provides a full 24-bit palette and gives you a true 16.8 million colour display with an 8 bit alpha channel. The maximum screen resolution is 768 x 580 pixels but it can also provide lores and non-interlace modes just as the Amiga does.
OpalVision has a single RGB output socket which connects directly to your monitor. Two monitors aren't necessary because the Amiga’s video output is genlocked with OpalVision and everything comes out through the single RGB socket.
Amiga graphics can be superimposed on top of OpalVision graphics or placed underneath. Because of the inclusion of hardware stencils you can even sandwich Amiga graphics between two layers of OpalVision graphics!
The motherboard has a Microcode VLSI processor which provides a fair amount of real-time hardware shenanigans such as scrolling, fading and various palette tricks. With this kind of power you’d expect the bundled paint package to run at Intercity speeds. Sadly this isn’t the case. The video update is slow at the best of times, and stamping down brushes in hi-res gives you a brief moment to run out and put the kettle on.
Third party support OpalVision currently comes bundled with the most excellent ray tracing package.
Imagine 2, which lets you see rendered scenes via OpalVision's 24-bit display.
Direct support Irom other commercial packages include such goodies as ADPro, Real3D and ImageFX.
PAINTING SUCCESS The shear number of features jammed into OpalVision’s paint package, called OpalPaint, is outstanding.
Despite the slow response of the hardware in higher resolutions, the results which can be achieved are stunning to say the least.
This praise for OpalPaint doesn’t go unjustified. With around 50 different drawing modes. 7 types of pens (including airbrush, pencil and watercolour). 3 kinds of stencils, user definable paper textures, and a rub- through facility, it certainly gives you everything you’ll ever need from a paint package.
£599 - INDI - 0543 419999 The best news is that OpalPaint is absolutely free and comes bundled with other software as part of the complete package. OpalPaint is currently on revision 2.2 and updates are freely available.
Other software includes an impressive animation playback program which gives lo-res 8 bit, up to 24-bit.
Animation at around 25 frames per second. Animations can be made up from any series of IFF frames, such as the output from Imagine, Real3D, Vista Pro. Or ADPro.
OpalPresents is another free package which lets you produce a show reel of your 24-bit OpalVision images. You get to choose from 16 different wipe effects and can overlay Amiga graphics on top if you like.
OpalHotKey is a control program which runs as a background task.
The function keys are used to toggle Amiga graphics over or under OpalVision graphics or sandwich Amiga graphics in between 2 layers of OpalVision graphics.
OF FAN- As I mentioned earlier, OpalVision can be expanded in steps by adding various hardware modules. There are three of them priced between £600 and £1000 and these includes a 19” external production switcher taking 9 video and 10 audio inputs.
It'll generate all kinds of wipes and effects before throwing the results out as composite, YC, or YUV.
The Roaster chip, according to OpalVision’s marketing guys, can take several video inputs and wrap them around a sphere, complete with a light source in real time. Coupled with the ChromaKey functions, OpalVision is promising to make the Toaster look as old as it really is.
Don't forget, OpalVision is an RGB machine which works in PAL and NTSC, whereas the Toaster can only work with the NTSC video standard.
CONCLUSION So there you have it. The motherboard. Bundled with some excellent software and the promised options to expand into a complete video production suite, make the OpalVision system look very sweet indeed.
Compatible: Amiga 2000 3000 4000 with Hard Disk and at least 1Mb Chip RAM C'LWi and 2Mb Fast RAM. ~ You Can Now... with New Final Writer Put Your Finger on the Buttons of the Ultimate Amiga Word Processor Final Writer is not jusl a one-oft product... SoftWood are acknowledged as ihe World's leading software company publishing for Ihe Amiga and no other system. So. If Final Writer exceeds your curreni requirements - whatever your Document Processing needs, whatever your Amiga - SoftWood will still have the Perfect Package for you... Pen Pal or Final Copy II and , Proper Grammar IL.a Complete
Range. 1 JPR f .1 . Y, r From the publisher of the acclaimed Final Copy II comes its new comPanion'fi03* Wr ,er ‘for ,he au,hor who nceds evenmorc' *oua*rca( usean m'?aw°ri*pr°ccssor- i %J$ jsTy ' -a] won’t include the complete and comprehensive array of fea- tures found in this latest addition to the SoftWood family.
Can your Word Processor... . Output crisp PostScript font outlines on any graphic printer X (not just expensive lasers), and was it supplied with over 110 typefaces? Import, scale, crop, view on screen and output structured EPS clip-art images (Final Writer is supplied with a hundred), again, on any . Printer? Also create structured graphics and rotate them along with text to any angle, giving you DTP quality presentation? Provide a huge range of printing options (eg. Thumbnails, filing, crop marks etc. on PostScript1'1 printers) and fulfil other advanced Word Processing functions easily such
as automatic indexing, table of contents, table of illustrations and bibliography generation? With Final Writer, this rfm is now available to you along with a list of fea- Adobr PwtScret , » .
IU,eS 11,31 lUSl 8°“ °" "rasmsnrtm*** and on. We know that ; nu ll be impressed by ihis revolution in Amiga Word Processing, bul don’t be put off by it's adsanced capabilities. With its complement of _ .. _ er definable Command Buttons and Superb U tl 111 y Manual. Final Writer is simply one of the casiesi programs lo learn and use.
Once you become a registered SoftWood user, you'll gain access to unlimited free UK technical support (others often charge yon or don't provide support at ail) and preferential upgrades to future versions of these and other exciting new products being developed right now.
If you've outgrown your existing package ask about our 'trade up’ options from your current Word Processor (other publishers' Wps are eligible loo).
SoftWood Products Europe New Street Alfreton Derbyshire DE557BP England Telephone: 0773 836781 Facsimile: 0773 831040 Available from all good dealers or, contact us for a list of nationwide stockists.
All information correct al lime ofgointtopceu. E&EOE. All Trademark atlnimMfed. The document on the trrtfou) *t*r nui output oil a hm coa Grown Bubble Jet.
Upgrading to 24-bit graphics needn't be as expensive as you may think Avideo is an internal option and can even transform an ageing A500 into a spectacular 24-bit machine AVIDEO Acquiring 16.8 million colours on an Amiga, equipped with the old 4096 colour chip set, can dramatically increase your machine s life span. Photo realistic images can be displayed on Workbench in resolutions of 724 x 566 without any fuss, and Avideo can even run 12 bit animations up to 25 frames per second!
The price you pay for such an upgrade is the loss of any warranty you have left on your machine Considering an estimated 99% of machines which can work with Avideo have no warranty left, I don't see that as a problem!
INSTALLATION Regrettably, you've got to pull the Amiga’s Denise chip out ot Its socket TV paint to the rescue!
The only paint package that you can get for Avideo is TVPaint. There s nothing wrong with that. TVPaint is a top notch paint program. However, after spending £300 on a budget 24-bit board, you shouldn't expect to spend £600 on a paint package for ill If you do go ahead and buy Avideo with TVPaint. You'll be glad to know that it runs at a generous speed and using it can bo quite pleasurable. Performance is almost as good as TVPaint running on the Harlequin!
In order to plug in Avideo. It’s only a small board which plugs into Denise's IC socket and Denise gets to piggy back on top of the Avideo board The way it works is quite interesting. Avideo intercepts all of the video information that would normally get passed onto Denise. It then cunningly encodes its own 24-bit information before releasing the data back into the Amiga's system.
Because the old Amigas were never intended to process more than 12 bit graphics, you can only view 4096 colour Avideo images coming out of the Amiga s RGB port.
To get all of the 16.8 million colours you need to connect Avideo's own RGB connector up to your monitor. If you install it inside an A500 you'll have to chisel a few inches off the back of your casing, but as I said, you probably don't have any warranty left anyway!
Just like Opalvision, IV24 and the FrameMachine, Avideo combines its own graphics with the Amiga's so you don't need a second monitor.
THE SOFTWARE Avideo comes with about 7Mb of software! Sadly that doesn’t include a paint program because the one it did have was axed. The reason for that is simple. The paint program was an absolute waste of time and was as slow as a number 79 bus travelling from Paris to Cairo, being pulled by a mule that can’t map read. Yup, it was that bad!
The serious software includes AVTune which tunes Avideo’s display in with your Amiga and another program simply called Avideo This runs in the background and acts as a server. It's only necessary if you want to view 24-bit images through Workbench. AVCmd is used to bring up a file requester prompting you to select an image to display.
PRICE: £299 CONTACT: HI Q LTD, 081 909 2092 KEY IT THROUGH Avideo images can only be seen through colour zero This means that anything displayed from the Amiga which has colour 0 will appear transparent and reveal Avideo’s display. If you have a genlock plugged into Avideo's output then you can also use absolute black in Avideo's display as a key colour. The key colour will be replaced by whatever signal you have running through your genlock.
In a nut shell, you can have three layers of video. The Amiga's display r is always on top with Avideo in between the Amiga and the live video from the genlock running underneath.
Plenty of fun can be had with this layering technique and it even has some serious applications too!
CONCLUSION When Avideo was released nearly 2 years ago it was fantastic. The quality and pnce were unbeatable But now. Any A500 owners considering buying it with TVPaint should understand that buying an A1200. Hard disk, extra RAM. And Brilliance is actually a cheaper solution. Likewise.
A2'3000 owners should investigate OpalVision as an alternative.
Compatible: Amiga A500 2000 3000 with a Hard Disk and 4Mb RAM If digitising’s your thing and realtime video grabbing and playback sounds intriguing, then don't you think you should be looking at Electronic-Design’s dynamic duo?
FRAMEMACHINE £349.00 FM PRISM £299.00 OR BOTH FOR £599.00 HI Q LTD - 081 909 2092 FrameMachine is a high quality real-time frame grabber. Most realtime frame grabbers will digitise an image in just 1 25 of a second and maybe another image half a second later. That’s no good if you're planning to grab a section of video running from a VCR or a live camera.
FrameMachine is the newest Amiga video digitiser on the block and claims to be able to grab 25 images per second, every second!
Okay, it’ll only do that in 256 shades of grey providing you have a fast 030 processor. Even if you have a boring 68000 you can still grab 18 images per second. But what if you want to digitise in colour?
Grabbing 25 images per second in 24-bit colour takes a hell of a lot of data shifting. To do this, the FrameMachine compromises and grabs 1 4 screen video (180 x 128) in 24-bit. Naturally, you can also play it back at the same rate it was grabbed at - 25 frames per second. However, you’ll require the use of the FrameMachine's optional partner.
Software support The software that comes with the FrameMachine is fairly straight forward and doesn't present any problems for first time users. Grabbing a Irame or a sequence ol live video requires no more than a few clicks with the mouse. A special processing screen allows you to cut and paste sections Irom an animation. It's a bit like digital video editing except sometimes when copying a clip it seemed to take forever!
The only negative thing about the FrameMachine is that there’s no painting soltware available to support Prism s lovely 24-bit display. Instead you'll have to be content with using ImageFX or Brilliance anti saving the results as 24-bit, then load the Image into Prism’s buffer.
I'm pleased to say that ADPro now comes with full support for both bits ol hardware.
Single frames can be grabbed directly within ADPro and converted to RGB more than twice as fast as the FrameMachine's native software! Saving 24-bit images to Prism's buffer is also very fast within ADPro and you can t help thinking that you’ve jusl spent the best £600 ever on your Amiga?
FM PRISM FM Prism may sound like a component in a radio receiver but instead it’s a small board which plugs directly on to the FrameMachine.
Since the FrameMachine grabs 24- bit images, it makes perfect sense that you should be able to view the images in 24-bits. That’s exactly what the FM Prism does.
Buying the Prism together with the FrameMachine dramatically enhances your system. You can monitor live video from either the built-in YC or composite inputs in real-time, full screen, in full colour and grab a frame at any point in time. Resolutions go up to 736 x 580 pixels in YUV which can easily be converted to 24-bit RGB and saved as an IFF image. Animations are saved in a new format called EDAN which can be played back as fast as they were grabbed via the Prism, or converted to IFF.
Connection to your monitor is very simple. You can either plug a second monitor into the FrameMachine to constantly monitor the video input and Prism buffer, or use a single monitor. The single monitor option superimposes the Amiga’s display over the FrameMachine’s using colour zero from the Amiga as the key colour.
CONCLUSION The results achieved from the FrameMachine are no less than amazing. Providing you have a good quality video camera or VCR, the images will be crisp with no grain and excellent colour fidelity. In my opinion, it's a wee bit better than Vlab for quality and convenience and the optional Prism display makes it a system which demands due respect.
Apart from the tight fit I had when installing the FrameMachine, I can really recommend the system and applaud its manufacturer’s, Electronic-Design.
Compatible: Amiga 2000 3000 4000 with 2Mb RAM.
Blimey, »e use some big words don't we?! We re not e en sure what hall ol them mean, so we hired a passing school hid to esplain whal they all mean.
• 030 • An abbreviation tor the Motorola 6S030 processor.
Fast processors such as these and the 040 are recommended lor use with most graphics cards.
• 24-bit - Literally 24-blt just describes an area ol memory
available tor storage. However In today's parlance It has
become synonymous with graphics. 24-bib being the amount
required to store a single true colour pliel. This pint may be
any one ol 1B.777.216 dilterem colours In other words, eiery
single colour delectable by the human eye u 32-Bil - In
computer graphics terms 32-bib is usually referred to as 24-011
with an 8-bll alpha channel.
In computer hardware terms. 32-blts Is generally used to describe the amount ol memory lhal can be manipulated in a single operation. The higher Ihe number ot bib, the (aster the machine. The Amiga 500 Is only a 16-bit machine whereas the A1200, CD32 and A4000s are all 32- bil computers.
U AGA Stands lor Adeanced Graphics Architecture and is the phrase used to describe the graphics system on the new generation ol Amigas. AGA graphics have numerous advantages including lar higher resolutions, and support ot signiticantly more colours on-screen al any one lime. AGA was originally dubbed AA. Referring to Ihe set ol chips that provided Ihe extra leatures. Although this term is no longer used, you will sometimes hear relerencos lo AAA (pronounced triple A) machines. Although these don ! Yet exist, they are apparently the nest generation ol Amigas which are eipecled to include
lull 24-bll graphics u Alpha Channel - An alpha channol Is an eitra area ol memory which is used to store graphic templates that are in turn used to perform special effects upon the main 24-bit image Usually consisting ol an estra ) bit-planes. It can be used as a 25B level keyer to give variable transparency levels lo an image.
U Anti-alias ¦ The process where pisols ol intermediate colour and brightness are used lo remove "laggles" Irom an Image. Think ol it as a softening ettect.
JARGON BUSTERS u Bit map - A bit map is the collective term lor all ol the layers ol bll-planes lhal make up a computer graphic or display. See bit-plane below.
• Bit-Plane - Computer graphics are essentially stored in memory
as a grid ol bits where each bit represents a single pixel. By
overlaying grids on each olher, more colours can be represented
in the computer’s memory. A bit-plane Is a single layer ol bib
representing a graphic.
• Composite - An encoded video standard which combinos colour and
luminance information in a single signal
• Oenise • The custom chip which handles screens and sprites Irom
tho original Amiga chip sot.
O Eitra-Hallbrlto - A little used screen lormat which doubles Ihe makimum number ol non-HAM colours In low resolution Irom 32 to 64. It uses a lorm ol trickery which simply duplicates Ihe palette at hall Ihe brightness.
• Frame grabber • A device which can digitise an image trom a
video source.
E Frame store bolter ¦ A piece ot hardware conblning dedicated RAM which holds a graphical imago.
E IFF - Stands lor Interchange File Format IFF b the Stan dardised lormat that the Amiga uses to store graphics and sound samples. It was developed in conjunction with Electronic Arts back In Ihe computer's earliest days. It was developed so that all software and hardware manufacturers would be able lo work lo a single data tormal which would allow Ihe tree eschange ol graphics and sound between dil- lerent programs.
• ILBM Interleaved Bit map Tho technical lerm tor an IFF graphics
• JPEG Joint Eiperb Photographic Group A group ol electronics
eiperb who got together to hammer out a standard lormat lor
photographic compression. Tho name is now synonymous with a
special type ol picture compression ideally suited lo
crunching digitised and real world Images.
JPEG compression can yield 75% disk and memory savings with lass than a 5% drop in image quality; lar too little lo actually notice the ditterence.
O Key Colour - A nominated colour which Ihe computer Is particularly aware of Normally any graphics conblning the key colour will be replaced by another screen or video source. Imagine it as a key hole ettect
o HAM mode - Stands lor Hold and Modify, and raters to a special
trick lhal is used in all Amigas lo increase the number ol
colours that can be placed on the screen al the same lime.
Every pixel is represented by a value lor the Red.
Green and Blue components ol lb colour. In ordinary screen modes, you can alter any ol these three values Irom one pixel lo the next, but the maximum number ol colours that you can use on the screen at one time Is relatively low (64 on non-AGA machines, and 256 on AGA ones|. In HAM mode you can only alter the value ot one component ol a colour (tho amount ol red. Green or blue) trom ono pixel to an adjacent one. Although this restricb the way that you use colour on Ihe screon. II increases the on-screen paletb to 4DB6 In non-AGA machines and 256.000 on AGA ones.
O MPEG - Motion Pictures Eiperb Group. Tho nama ol another group ol experts who got together to come up with a standard lor moving picture compression. Although their MPEG1 standard Is widely used in computers such as CD32 and CD-i to provide Full Motion Video, the MPEG members are nol satisfied with the quality, and have now proposed Ihe MPEG2 standard lor broadcast use.
U NTSC - National Television Standards Committee. The American video standard with 525 lines al 60Hx u PAL - Phased Alternate Lines. The European video sbn- datd Maturing 625 lines at 50W ol thousands ot little dots. Each dot is called a Pixel and It's the smallest piece ol graphic information that you can control on the screen II the resolution ol the screen increases, the number ol Pixel* also rises, and their individual slxe decreases accordingly.
* Render • The process ol constructing a screen image Irom dab
stored In memory. Primarily used lo describe whal happens when
a 30 program starts converting three dimensional data into a
real Image. Also used lo describe Ihe process (usually by Image
processing software or graphics boards) ol outputting an Image
to the screen.
* Resolution - Is the general lerm used to describe the number ol
pixels that make up a screen display The higher the number, the
smaller the pixels and the better the die- pby.
* RGB - Red. Green. Blue These are the real componenb ot video
which, providing all ot the equipment and cables deal with RGB.
Gives Ihe best possible image.
* YC - Luminance and Chrominance. (Sometimes called S Video) Both
parts ol this encoded signal (brightness and colour) are kept
apart which gives a better quality Image than composite, but
nol as good as YUV or RGB.
* YUV - Professional video equipment uses YUV rather than RGB
It's ollen relerred to as component
* Zocro • The name given to the Amiga's expansion slot You should
assume thal most relerences refer to Zono II. Es lound on the
A2600 3000 4000 13000 4000 machines have Zorro III which can
take Zone II cards.)
M If you wan! To get in touch with any of the companies we've mentioned in this graphics round-up, then you’ll find their full names, addresses and telephone numbers printed below.
AMI6 Hi Q 176 Kenton Lane Harrow Middlesex HA3 8SU Tel: 081 909 2092 Fax. 081 909 3885 Hobbyte Computing 10 Market Place St Albans Hertfordshire AL3 5DG Tel: 0727 856005 Impulse, Inc. 8416 Xerxes Avenue North Brooklyn Park MN 55444. USA Tel: 0101 612 425 0557 Fax: 0101 612 425 0701 Micropace Unit 10 Perth Trading Estate Perth Avenue Slough Berkshire SL1 4XX Tel: 0753 551888 Fax 0753 551211 Radiance Software 2715 Klein Road San Jose CA 95148 USA Tel: 0101 408 270 7420 SCALA UK LIMITED Mill Studio Crane Mead Ware CADVIslon UK Electronic Arts Indl Hertfordshire SG12 9PY 419 Richmond Road 90 Heron
Drive Unit 1 Tel: 0920 444294 Twickenham Langley Ringway Industnal Estate Fax: 0920 444230 Middlesex Berkshire Eastern Avenue TW12EX SL3 8XP Lichfield Silica Systems TeL: 081 892 3637 Tel: 0753 549442 Staffordshire 1-4 The Mews Fax: 0753 546672 WS13 7SS Hathedey Road Amiga Centre Scotland Tel: 0543 419999 Sidcup Harlequin House Entertainment International Fax: 0543 418079 Kent Walkerburn 677 High Road DA14 4DS Peebleshire North Finchley Infogrames Ltd Tel: 081 309 1111 Scotland London 14 Smedley Street EH43 6AZ N12 Clapham Software Business Tel: 089 687 583 Tel: 081 343 9143 London Cromwell
Business Centre Fax: 081 343 7447 SW4 6PF New Road Digital Multimedia Tel: 071 738 8199 Stives Crest House First Computer Centre Fax: 071 498 7593 Huntingdon 102-104 Church Road Unit 3 Cambridgeshire Teddington Armley Park Coud Meridian Distribution PE17 4BG Middlesex Stanningley Road East House Tel: 0480 496497 TW11 8PY Leeds East Road Industnal Estate Tel: 081 977 1105 LS12 2AE London Fax: 081 943 3151 Tel: 0532 319444 Fax: 0532 319191 SW19 1AH Tel: 081 543 3500 wanna P ZOOL. And his female companion ZOOZ. Face a challenge which wilts f1 knees of the toughest Ninja's in ~ s state of the an
PLATFORM ARCADE ACTION sequel KROOL and m accomplice MENTAL BLOCK aro once again out to wipe imagination bom the face of existence. Playing ZOOL or ZOOZ fight your way through WN« massive levels of hugely varied arc en»oyable gameplay. Meet ZOON a Two beaded alien dog. One head
* upd. The other h«hiy intelligent.
Only when you lake control Ol K240 in this Superb STRATEGY game will you understand what real pressure is.
The Terran Empire has expanded Mankind and six Alien races are struggling to maintain peace in the face of dwindling resources. Is destruction inevitable.
You are the Commander of the mission to explore and euHot K240 Out can you build a successful and peaceful colony deep in the recesses of space, or will greed and aggression bring the empire down.
THE LEGACY OF SORASIL is ,1 fantastic and huge world of advent we. The fabled land of Rfua has fallen foul of a mysterious Paguc. Choose a party of intrepid adventurers from 8 would be Heroes and try to return the land to it's peaceful state. Battle your way through 10 vast stages against a legion of highly intellgent foes Endless hours of solid and for reaching gameplay.
Get that tngger finger ready for an ARCADE SHOOT ’EM UR that takes up the genre where others have feared to tread. The Free Worlds He technologically bankrupt. An Alien tyranny threatens mankind Asa certified IM4ER0 I IS your task to fight your way through 6 levels of non-stop heart pumping finger sweating eyeball racing thumb busting, nerve jangling action to penetrate the alien strongholds.
PREMIER MANAGER transformed the face of STRATEGY football management games with it’s accessible and bnfoyable game style.
It has remained in the charts since it's release late in 1992. And now.
PREMIER MANAOER 2 IS ready with a whole host of added features.
Have you the management skills to turn around and improve your teams performance?
Get ready to blow the whistle on THE football game for 1993.
¦•atuie* Include
• Play either ZOOL or the a" new ZOOZ. Each with their own
special strengths.
• A Wide variety ol highly intelligent enemies.
- • Van, varied power ups and collectibles.
• Hioden bonus rooms and secret Feature* Include:
• 6 different Alien life forms.
• 8 different types of space crafts.
• 16 different types of weapons and shields.
• Fully designable asteroid field interface.
• Highly intelligent enemy colonies.
• 40 different building structures.
• A vast range of complex interactions to understand and control.
Feature* Include:
• 10 perilous quests to be completed
• Stunning 30 isometnc display.
• Simple point and click interface.
• 8 heroes, all with specialist skills and abilities.
• Eerie sound FX and tunes.
• Fully self mapping.
'It you want challenging gameplay and a game that's going to last you can’t go tar wrong wiffi this'.
CU Amiga Feature* Include:
• Arcade quality graphics, backdrops and animation.
• Fully adjustable sound FX and in game tunes.
• Hundreds of weapon configurations.
• Mind blowing Mid level and End level guardians.
• Choice of assault craft with Four levels ol difficulty.
'Fist impressions? Tahoahl blast.
Blast, boomI death, guns, more dearn.
Action and excitement’’ The One Feature* Include:
• 16 playing formations with 8 playing styles and 12 match
• Negotiate wages, bonuses and contracts.
• Comprehensive banking system with changeable interest rates.
• Up to 26 players per team with limit of 4 foreign
• Set ticket pneos and crowd control.
• IMMEDIATE sacking possible if you’re not up to the job.
This really is the best bits of all the footy games, bundled together and laid out on a golden plate for you The One I ¦ SI 4FS. TEL 0742 711411 IliHlIN GRAPHICS SOFTW Programming We all enjoy using programs written by so-called ‘professional' programmers.
Whether you get your kicks from playing the latest games, dabbling with the latest paint program or (if you’re very strange) knocking up a ‘Profit & Loss' statement with the latest Amiga spreadsheet program. But how many times have you ever wished that your favourite program had that extra feature that you really need?
Problem is, programmers have to produce products that will appeal to a broad spectrum of users and so it’s impossible for them to account for every eventuality. The answer of course lies in programming your own software. If you can't find a program that will do the job that you want it to do, then why not have a go at writing your own?
If you’ve had enough of using other people’s software, then the logical thing to do is to write your own. But how do you get started? Read on... Armed with a programming language. There’s no reason whatsoever why you couldn't write anything from a game, a utility or even a serious program like a spreadsheet or a database. That's not to say that a programming language will write your programs for you. Far from it. In many ways, a programming language js a bit like a toolkit you'd use to work on a car - everything you need to perform any type of work on a car is there, but that doesn’t
necessarily mean that you're a fully qualified motor mechanic once you’ve bought your toolkit. As long as you understand exactly what each tool is capable of, how you use those tools is limited only by your own knowledge.
STEP BY STEP Don’t let this put you off. Though. It’s a common misconception that programming is difficult. Okay, if you’re intending to write a program that can wrap a flat 2D image onto a cube, then it’s going to be difficult. But then the difficulty comes not from programming such a utility, but understanding how such transformations actually work. If you’re prepared to put in the work to learn how to program, then you’ll amaze yourself just how easy programming can really be!
So what is a program? This may seem pretty obvious, but very few people actually realise what a program really is. Put simply, a program is nothing more than a list of instructions that tell the Amiga how to perform a given task as a series of steps. Once again, there’s a definite comparision to be made. Say, for example, you wanted to change the oil in your car. You’d start by jacking up the front of your car and then you’d place a drip tray underneath the car’s sump to catch the oil. Then you'd unscrew the sump screw to allow the oil to drain from the sump into the drip tray. Finally,
you'd change the oil filter, replace the sump screw and top up the engine with the new oil. So what's this got to A programming language is possibly Ihe most powerful utility you can buy lor your Amiga. With programming languages like do with programming? Well, without even knowing it we’ve written a sort of program. Okay, so it's not quite assembler or even BASIC, but the theory is pretty much the same - in order to get the computer to perform a given task, highly detailed instructions are given to it in the form of a sort of ‘step-by-step’ guide.
NCE A programming language gives you a selection of commands, each of which does a particular job (print a string of text onto the screen, make pretty useless - string them together to form a program, however, and the results are a lot more exciting.
Obviously there are limitations. A programming language, for example, only understands the commands that are built into it and even then the commands have to be entered using a stnct syntax.
Programming languages are a bit like human languages. Each achieves pretty much the same results, but all of them use different commands that the others cannot understand. The command in BASIC to print a line of text onto the screen is Print and the command in 'C' to achieve the same result is
• PrintfO' * pretty similar sure, but enter PrintfO' into a BASIC
listing and it won’t understand it. If you buy a BASIC
interpreter and feed it a simple BASIC listing prepared using a
different type of BASIC, however, it should (in theory at
least!) Work.
As you get deeper into programming, however, differences to start to show - the AMOS command to open a screen is Screen Open whereas the HiSoft BASIC command to open a screen is simply Screen', for example. The core of BASIC remains the same, however
- both AMOS and HiSoft BASIC will understand commands like
'Print', 'Input' and 'Gosub' etc. MULTIPLE CHOICE The Amiga
certainty isn’t starved of its fare share of programming lan
guages. Most people start their programming careers with BASIC,
but there's no reason whatsoever why you couldn't learn to
program in Pascal, ‘C Forth. Arexx or even assembler. Even
then, most of these languages are available from several
vendors - if you want a BASIC language. For example, then
there's no fewer than four different packages to choose from!
Even then, other versions of BASIC can stril be found
floating around m the bargain basket at your local software
So why are there so many different languages available? Well, in an ideal world there would be only one programming language that could do everything but unfortunately this isn’t the case - every programming language has its own particular strengths and weaknesses. Take assembler, for example. Everyone knows that assembler code runs faster than anything else, but learning to program in assembler is notoriously difficult. BASIC, on the other hand, is very easy to learn but BASIC programs don't generally run that fast. Languages like C' and Pascal' provide a good balance between the two.
But even then they’re not that easy to learn and both require a lot more work to get the same results possible from package), then you'll almost certainly want a compiler A compiler is a utility that converts the programs you write into machine code programs that can be run by your Amiga without assistance from the package that you used to enter the program in the first place. Some packages either don’t need compilers (assemblers convert code directly to machine » The good programming guide BASIC. Even opening an Intuition screen can take large amounts of code - in BASIC, however, you can
open a screen with a single command!
Be careful when buying a programming language too - if you want your programs to be 'stand-alone' (that is. They run completely separate from the programming language Just about anyone can leam to program, but very tew people leam how to program well.
Here are a couple of guidelines that will help you to make your code not only easier to understand, but more efficient too.
1. Adequately comment your code.
You may understand how your code works when you first enter It. But try returning to it after a couple ol months and you II find it almost totally unreadable unless you add comments to your code. By breaking up the code and adding short comments to each major process makes your code much more readable. What's more, it's a pood habit to learn - it you get a job as a programmer, your employers will insist that your code is commented so that others can amend it In your absence.
2. Use descriptive variable names.
Using descriptive variable names causes no speed penalties whatsoever and can make your code far more readable. For example, would you know what the variable V holds?
What about the variable NumberOILives ? Get the point)?
3. Modular programming.
If you take a course in computer programming, the one technique that will be drummed into you is that of Modular programming. Modular programming simply means that your code is split info subroutines that can be called over and over again from different points within your program. Not only do subroutines save you the hassle ol having to enter the same section of code over and over again, but it can also make your code more readable Once again, make sure your subroutines have descriptive names ( Proc CALCU LATESCORE . For example) Buyer’s checklist Choosing the language that is right for you is
very much a mailer of personal taste but it's also imporlant to choose a language that is best suited to your particular needs. If you're in the market lor a programming language, then it's worth taking time out to ask yourself the following questions each time you consider a package II you follow these simple guidelines. You won t go far wrong
1. Can it be used to produce the sort of programs I want to
write’ Pretty obvious this one All programming languages have
their own individual strengths and weaknesses that should be
assessed II you want a language that will allow you to write
fast arcade games, for example, then you want to make sure
that your chosen language can access the Amiga s custom chips
at a hardware level. Speed is important too. So there's little
point in choosing a language that produces programs that run
at a snails pace.
Some languages are geared specifically towards hardware level programming only, but they're of little use il you want to write software that makes use of the Amiga s operating system routines. II you want to produce applications software, you should therelore go tor a language that will allow you to access them.
2. Will I be able to run my programs independantly ot the
package’ Unless you re writing software tor your own
particular needs and you have no intention whatsoever ol
sharing your programming gems, then make sure that your chosen
package allows you to distribute your wares without breaking
any copyright laws. Even if a programming language doesn t
include a compiler, some offer what is known as a Runtime
System . That is. A specially cut down version of the
interpreter that will run your programs without infringing the
publisher s copyright.
3 If it's a language I don I already know, how good is the documentation’ learning any new programming language can be a hard slog if you don t already know the language inside out. So it's important to make sure that the manuals that come with the package are up to scratch. A good example of this is Blitz BASIC • It's a great language. But the manuals bundled with the package are so bad that you need to be highly technical to understand them. Even if the manuals are bad. Are there books available that will teach you the language? There are loads ol books that will teach you to program In
'C', lor example.
4. Will it run on my system?
Some programming languages require heaps or memory and a hard disk, so make sure that the language that you choose will run without problems on your particular system.
AMOS Protessional. For example, works on a 1 Mb Amiga but you really do need more RAM to gel the most from it.
Progra m ming ja rgon expla ined Interpreter • II you use a programming language that doesn't include a compiler, then the only way that it can be run is for the language to interpret' each line as It goes along.
Many dialects of BASIC use this approach - as the interpreter reaches each line in your program, it translates It into the numbers that your Amiga understands Once translated, the line is then executed The real problem with an interpreter Is that once it moves onto the next line in a program, the translation it performed on the previous line is forgotten This creates speed problems if your program uses a loop as the interpreter has to retranslate the same lines again each time the loop is performed Compiler • A compiler is a program that takes your program code and converts it into a for
mat that can be understood directly by your Amiga. As a result complied programs can be run mdependantly of the package used to create them. Compiled code runs much faster than interpreted code because each line in your program is translated into machine code when the program is compiled. As a result, it doesn't need to be translated line by line' as the entire program is stored in its translated form.
Assembler • If you want to write programs that run as fast as possible, then an assembler is the only choice. An assembler takes programs written in assembly' language and converts them Into machine code. Many contuse assembly language with assembly code - assembly code is nothing more than a human-readable form of machine code. Unless an assembly language program Is assembled' into machine code, the Amiga will not understand II.
Source Code • Source code is a jargon term for the text files that you create in a text editor or a specialist editor which a programming language converts into the machine language instructions that the Amiga can understand.
Object Code • Object code is a term tor a program that has been converted from source code into a machine language program that your Amiga can understand. To a human, object code is nothing more than a garbled mess of numbers Debugger If you find a bug in one ol your programs an assembler allows you to quickly and easily track it down by single stepping through your program to see the effect of each instruction. Once found, you can then amend your source code and either compile or assemble it again.
Linker - In order for a compiled program to run. The compiler must attach to It a number of extra object files that get your program running each time It is run. A linker takes these files and tacks them onto your object code.
'Include' files - Built Into every Amiga Is a huge collection ol routines that are used by just about any program that doesn't hit the hardware' to perform such tasks as opening screens and windows, handling gadgets etc. In order to access these routines, you need to make use of what the techies call Include' files. These include files contain definitions that tell your program where the ROM routines can be lound and how they should be accessed WE ALSO STOCK FRED FISH 1-890 T-BACS 1-57
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New* PRICE & HOW TO ORDER .99p per disk AMOS Professional £49.95 - Europress Software - 0625 859333 HiSoft Basic £49.95 - HiSoft -0525 718181 CASE=3 HD SELECT xstart=pole3-(size) 2 vstart=full_height-space-start«ring_height IF type=0 THEN HISoft'a BASIC programming language may be growing ralher long in Ihe tooth these days, but it's still the only system that is fully compatible with AmigaBASIC.
Still going strong in Ihe lace ot such stiff competition as Blitz Basic 2 and AMOS Protessional is HiSoft BASIC, a combined BASIC editor and compiler from the authors ot Devpac. HiSott BASIC is the only BASIC programming language that fully supports such industry standards as Microsoft Quick Basic 5 on Ihe PC and (more important lo Amiga users at least) Commodore's own AmigaBASIC interpreter. HiSott BASIC can read source files from both these languages and compile them into stand-alone programs without you having the bother ot translating them first, HiSoft plan to release version 2 ol its
BASIC language system ‘sometime alter Christmas' although at the time ot going lo press exact specification-type deiails were non-existant. When you consider that HiSolt BASIC 2 has been pul on hold lime and lime again, even this release dale seems somewhat optimistic.
In Ihe meantime. HiSoft still see the original release as a viable product.
Specification wise, HiSott BASIC is certainly showing its age. Although the speed of code execution is a vast improvement over Commodore's own AmigaBASIC interpreter (the language that HiSolt BASIC is based upon), HiSoft BASIC no longer cuts it as a serious oplion wilh Ihe likes ot AMOS and Blitz breathing down its neck. HiSolt really should get version 2 - 5*.
Out onto the market it they want to be taken seriously. ) Francois Lionet’s AMOS has been floating around for a few years now during which time it has earned itself a formiddable reputation thanks to its (until recently) unrivalled programming power. The original AMOS (now renamed AMOS Classic) was the first high level Amiga programming language to allow direct access to the Amiga's hardware without having to spend hours writing code to set up the Amiga’s custom chips. AMOS has moved on since the original release with the arrival of two new versions of the language, Easy AMOS (a stripped
down version of AMOS Classic) and Europress’ new flagship. AMOS Professional.
Coupled with the recent release of the AMOS Professional Compiler (£35) which allows you to compile your AMOS creations into super-fast machine code, AMOS Professional still provides the easiest to use and most powerful BASIC programming language available for the Amiga. The basic AMOS instruction set (which consists of over 700+ commands) can easily be extended wifh the addition of language extensions such as Europress’ own AMOS 3D (which allows you to add 3D graphics to your AMOS creations) and even PD extensions such as ’Turbo’.
Xstart=pole2-(size) 2 The AMOS programming environment consists of a sophisticated editor which allows you to edit your source code and then run (or even compile) it without having to leave the editor. Europress also include a number of handy utility programs (or ’accessories' as they call them) that make software development that bit easier. These include a powerful object editor (for fhe creation of sprites, bobs and ’icons’), a sample bank maker (pull together all your programs samples into a single file) and an AMAL Editor which makes writing programs in AMOS' powerful interrupt-driven
animation language an absolute doddle.
The speed of AMOS code may not quite match that of Blitz Basic, but this is more than offset by AMOS’ ease of use, accessibility and raw programming power. Puf simply, AMOS reigns supreme as the Amiga BASIC language. Mtf** [’ j,¦ - ¦ ** IT1 ii-*jbinBI ¦ 'Hindou-1 I L-45 C-l Free-254 Edit-MAPED.MOS [[ Din MAFDAIAIXMAX.YNAX) : CLICK: : Din IN0UI12,2 I OLDXY: I BEARiNG:-l Din COORJ S(4,13,2 ,DRECIION(4,4.2»,SQUARES(X3),BLCKS 25,2 Global GADGETLIST(5,NOGADGETS.F6NINIWBER,HALLLOADED,MAPDATA ),CLICK,INOUI(1 Global XMAX,VMAX,XS1ZE,YSIZE,CREAIEFLAG,HALLGFX,OLDX,OLDY,FILENAMES Global
* ** Load Title Screen Hide On Screen Open 8,328,200,8,Lowes
Unpack 9 lo 0 ' Load Iff "3DAC:3DAC,title" aper 0 : Pen 2 :
Locate 8,0 : Print VERSIONS In the beginning... Unless you've
been using Amigas for a number of years, you may no! Be aware
that Commodore used lo bundle a BASIC programming language wilh
all Amigas. Designed and written by Microsoft (Ihe people
behind PC programs like Word' and Ihe PC's pathetic attempt at
a Workbench environment, Windows’). AmigaBASIC was a very slow
BASIC interpreter that ottered fairly minimal support tor the
Amiga's special capabilities.
Commodore eventually realised just how naff AmigaBASIC really was ar.d Ihey eventually stopped bundling it wilh Amigas wilh the release ol Ihe A500 Plus and Workbench 2.0. AmigaBASIC wasn't Ihe Amiga's first BASIC language, however. Back in fhe days when the Amiga A1000 was still Commodore’s new baby. Ihe machine was bundled wilh a BASIC interpreter called Abasic written by fhe authors of AmigaDOS. MetaComco.
Many veteran Amiga owners still believe lhal Abasic was considerably better than AmigaBASIC although if too is no match lor the likes ol AMOS and Blitz.
Load "3DAC:HALLGFX" ake Icon Hask For C:0 To 1 INOUI(C,0):-1 : IN0UI(C,1):-1 ext C et Disc Fonts Repeat COUNTER:COUNIERU AS:FontS(COUNTER) If Instr AS,“3DAC.f ont” 8 Then FONTN UMBER=C0 UN TER Europress’ recent lack ot commitment to AMOS is rather disturbing but that shouldn’t put you off the language - it's still tho easiest (and one ot the most powerful) BASIC languages available on the Amiga.
ORDERING PD DISKS PRICE PER PD DISK £0.89 CATALOGUE DISK V0L.1 ... £0.50 CATALOGUE DISK V0L.2 ... £0.50 POSTAGE 8 PACKING £0.75 PUBLIC DOMAIN SOFTWARE 89p Overseas orders. Use Ihe above prices, then add 25% ol lhal total, to cover the extra postage costs. Thank you.
K urful ptotlocm itrap 0265 BO NOMINE U Bouldra Dash at ‘ay
URIO M'OMM VLB Brand nr. Vrrairai ol (hit uvcmdihfc comma package lex Araagu modem users IV man pedlar enr around S9NS9? 12 DISKS) SHU) TEARS Fomaay sUdrafca* using tV AGA chipset -A12000NLY'.
C266 GALAXY « lot** 111- Gal., tan. Nt* roroUatg bock drop. NOT A500-.
17301 AREXX USERS REFERENCE MANUAL • Extensive mutual co fee AREXX (rogranumag language. -NOT AW'.
G267 BUM 'KSIFR Too U|hi Cyck* game th screen designer E53 CHILDRENS FAVOURITES 2 - Sa« turxy rhymes with phnara words aad music lo sing-a lung lo UJQ2 AMOS Nomunuid Designer .2.05 Creak Wokbmdi 2.0
H) If froro «nd for yarn Arrow programmes wxVul Or hassle You
design ihe wroen wilh menu*. Bullion etc. and save the swine
«dc rod then .imply kwd ll mo AMOS G268 SI.AMBALL • Huuritlic
management gun* fused on Sprodtull T32 ABNORMI.IA ISSUE 3 TV
aVmaltve dark maga me. No Amiga Fealunt From UPO’a lo Beer
Very weird E54 STIRLING ENGINE ANIMATION - Detailed cross
sect*® ammanon ol a Soling engine UJW INVENTORY 2 - Buuneu
software lo b*J rtoraaaUon on s&x-l control naff wage*. Plus a
database tar aha tnlcemU.xi U5 COMMUNICATE - I .earning not
lor eight forms ol reo-ver ful cunnuinuiUHKn Inc tiding ugn
Inguagr. Rroero code, braile. Etc EJ6IES7 2 DINKS) AMERICAN
FOOTBALL • Ma»i.e tutorial CO die complei rule, an! Snmeglr*
ased utdio due sgwl.
G26ftC27012 DISKS) I Kb HOLE Bnlliani Goll game Re I or 2 g4aycn.
SDK SATURNE U -SLIDESHOW Man. Pro-tun* -.1 dtflcrrw style. An! Vdrjo.li. from lull®, to lupines* cnnooni. AD V.gond S99 JURASSIC PARAI.AX - Brilliant 0-leshy. Ol many vicious Demsauis with added leu inlomulion on iVir ih rottrtsnci 0271 JELLY QUEST Highly raird 3D iiomclric arcade foule game againal dw dock IM TEXT ENGINE i4.l - Hie BIST PD wrad processor ,a beuer Includes fully inlagralnt -pell checker. A must!
U305 St PER VIEWER .2A. Slideshow cicaior ¦« examples U306 ELECTRONICS CAD Two progr n: EleciroCAD and Pn*ey|wr Compute* Akfcd Design (etigrammri lor Elnlnwc pmgdi V.Good.
11) 07 AMOS PRINTER ROUTINE - Cutaou GFX poorer iiamaei Ira yam A
CG FONTS COLLECTION VOLUME 4 • Twicen rr.ee Compognqfw Ionia
fur DTP and Word Processora which Die Bum.
T33 RAGE ISSUE «2 ¦ Didr magazine »uh News. Review.. Amu* Help. Amiga DOS command, help, plui moth more....- MI4I EAT THE BRICK Pkody c4Rtt.vmu.ic'!)!!!
AI59 AIR ASSAULT - Similar to Eric SchwaitrVATF Agility" aiunaliot U3W EASYCALC VI.On TV Be.i S*uic»ure .Spreadsheet mme) can buy. Lax* no funVr il you rei|uitv one!!'
U3I0 PAY ADVICE ANALYSER V340 - Likal versus of diU personal •agev'.aLu) dkabaac Nov Inner and added feature* DI62 FRONTIER: ELITE II DEMO Rolling demo of Ihi.
Incredible gnmr. Wow G272 ASSANlNS GAMES VOL * 136 - Hot Bio.. Super Pong.
Snllfeurt- G273274 2 DISKS t SI ARBASE 13 • Graphic advrniuir in IV ityle of Mrakry lilimUWe Win Supeit.
E5S DESERT STORM HVPERBOOK Derided accourr 4 iV 100 hour grtnml oflemh* with map. Md all.
AI60 CiET FROGGED Amnang .inging and din.mg hog rcuune Warner Broa uyle.
U3II EASYCALC PLUS - Lnhanced .xnion 4IV EmyCalc iproad duel wylb pk dona, fur graph, ere. -NOT AW I1S9 STAR VIEW - Dngfay. Ail IV viiible pUmta uara and cuiilellalaaa from any Vxalurn on rarth ji my lirar -**” faaliliea. And Sue aearch feanire. Ticeiknl pir« of wi|l»arv.
0275 POPEVE • Convert ion c4 IV clanoc C64 kradr game
• AW ONLY* AI6I J WAYS TO STOP SMOKING • Give me nicotine paiche.
¦try day. Skk humour REQUIRES 1.5 MEGABYTES' b«i CODE MIJNGtS - Highway rode krlrr. Sign poili ml rrhal queMim Very goxi mlced.
Eh I WORLD GEOGRAPHY - liun rmg compuemed Auai.
A162 SAVING CERTIFICATE ADVERT - TV Bulierlrv and Irog 0276 THE GREAT ESCAPE OF BILLY BURGLAR : and ceiginol [felfcem game.
02" 3D GAMES SERIES MKI - Three ID Conanicuon Kil game.: DIY.OXO.CAR G222 CHESS GAMES • Two Chet, gmi: GNU Cliett. Chew 10 and Uip Cvu llpa file by on unemalional Cvu Gmtmnucr Fapial to v brtkr than my olVr runmeicul Cvu game currently around 0278 FRIDAY THE 13th PART X - Run around IV rooms and .laughter IV tnhnfnunli. But a.otd IV gun w ielding cepi.
0279 MUGSIES REVENGE Ginpkt manigeenenl game. Based witfeus Oe prohlblUon days. Buy booec. Let up lur. And ni|V clubt ami get some Vnrhmen to pcinect you inieenu and lol morr G280 BLACK DAWN - Dungmm Vlatkr style game with in Alien Breed tcenario Superb gngfuca and loadt of features.
0281 SUPER PRIX rnerViad rarong gsme w «. Many tnroli ami cm upgrades, lor a price!
In: HI DBASE 1.2 fct CLR Ok. Now PubV Domain DaUktM which in I reunited to inemxy lire as dnu it read or wrgscn dirmly to did. Each link tabo bard dmesk like conuner.-ul one.
(2 DISKS) READ AND I-EARN VOLI Duk fused Uory bonk for inlnit. With picture., easy rowl ten and dlgmted tpeech TV sioey c4 IV I hire Little Pig.'
EM THE WORD FACTORY Neat ipellag gum. Icr yrmngsiers.
U3I3 AGA UnLims - Iliads of AIW ody pcogmes eg: Kill AGA. Plarou. AGA Teal. Check AGA. Ew.. 25 progs in nil.
EDUCATION E3 SUN CALCULATOR - CakulMet (V mnrne md .unset time.
EI2 UNITS • Conversion [rognunme. Includes Speied. Volume.
Mass. Time. Force. Density . Angks. Light, tic EI6 CHESS TUTOR 4 Cvu programmrs from letrtmg iV game to taking part in elastic games of turkey pasl E23 TOTAL CONCEPTS - ASTRONOMY loads of imereti nu facts ml VautifW d«itned sliRs E24 TOTAL CONCEPTS • DINOSAURS - Want to )eam about prehistoric Forth Gtr E32 MOLEC 31) - Grocroses 3D rciersentiom of molecuk* E36STEAM ENGINE ANIMATION Detailed. LaVled E37 FOUR STROKE PETROL ENGINE ANIMATION ¦ More of IV name b*2 GAS TURBINE ANIMATION PI me engine amnulion.
E52 COLOUR THE ALPHABET 2 - FamlUortte kids w«b IV ilpiiibet. Aids digtuwd spereh inslnacliim. Elielleat B43 WW2 HISTORY BOOK Multi-media «.xmu of World War 2 urcounl. Teal ami plctutes B*6 LITTI.F. TRAVELLER Useful ¦fomtatitm w die wurldi popular travel spots nghl down lo etoctriial voltage.
E4) FRACTIONS - Malhs leaching and troing [ngramme.
144 THE MATHS ADVENTURE - Malh. Problems mergraled mn on adventure gime E49 5IV51 3 DISKSt DESKTOP GUIDE TO EI4UTRONIC MUSIC - Masiive guide os all you »ankd lo kno- aVul nmw systVsi. Visual, mahhfc icund etampks md speech BUSINESS SOFTUJRRE UI35 6BB BUSINESS LETTERS - Hnmlroh 4 laid cut koerr for eveey buuness md pertonal occasions, lac. Fob applkmitm.. complaau. Etc Files load into any Word pwesaor.
UI66 A-GRAPH Vl.0 - Inpul Um for miiam graphs, bar charu.
Pie chant eir.. Data o saved a. an IFF file.
IT2D) FORMS IM.IMITH) VIM • Form .Icigrei ml iminng tool Foe Unoioet or similar items U242 LAST WILL AM) TESTAMENT • Wrsk your own -in.
Tth Vic. Aord (ettcrwe.
1'26' JIH.RNAL V2BB Organise y««r |xr««vul ruuiKet like a drtiokd hank siaaemem. Feany to use.
1) 273 ACCOUNT MASTER V2.1 . Mc«compk« than Journal aad has
features lhal makh commercial programme. WVh offer theae
(acditiei IV fore mow Aauga PD pcrtorul ntccunts program.
1) 233 PAY ADVICE ANALYSER V20 - Rkhar.1 Smoky', hikxi Rleaae ol
t*u pay slip daiahve.
U30* TEXT ENGINE V4.I • IV besi Pdweud procetaor with tnetgnlcl spell iheckee. Note IV up-v. Duc release version.
GRAPHICS UTILITIES Ul ULTTMATE ICON DISK - 6dil - dm. Y.«i own tccaa feven mgaWipon gnghti from any IFF pacUgr. Feg Dyuir* or FrorpaM Mnuiv* directcmm of eaample ux«m.li«k.l 113 M-CAD - Paflic Domain Camionr Aided Design package U9 C-UGHT • Et-.vromc.cial Rayttaccr. Now shareaae U5455 (2 DISKSl VIDEO ITII.ITIFN 2 packed disk, full 4 video tiling programmes covering n*»r upon of tV tubyrot U62 SCENE GENERATOR I'racul landscape generator like V«*a: but withoat iV heavy pile tag.
Ull 2 AMIGA FOX - Bmk crnry level dokiop pobltsVr 1113 SPECTRA PAINT vj» - Good AMOS wntkn IFF pair* programme.
I'll' 1AM) BUILD 3.2 • Another surerbfractal Imds.jpe genenbx. Realistic rantom effects: Mornaim. “"kr. Clouds, etc... 1142 FREEPAIYT • TV highly regarded PD paint package TV neat ben alternative if yon can't aflford Deluxe Pane 1154 AUDIO ANIMATION Arumsic t anil vmml progimime.
L'l»7 MOBED2 - Spnae crealori'antmaux. Twmial ptipnmn art tool U190 GATORS GRAPHIC GALLERY' - Tutorial with ml my esamples of V»» to design ml draw super kgot. Like in tV derttos.
U2 « CYCLOPS - Plasms ptcoirr gmeralte Weird!
U27I POLYKD VI* - Ivdygon onemaled animabtn pr..fnmmc U285 .MOVIE - Vtko lilli-g.
U296 KIDS PAINT - Simple. Ea y ami fui.honal an package fee youngnem 11289 MINI MORPH Vl.0 • Super faw morphing programme.
TV Vst y» can grt!
U296 GRINDER - Pktuee file converucn Can transform m« fontutng. Including: GIF. TIFF. HAM-H. TU I . ATARL IFF - .
MUSIC TOOLS UI7K COMPOSER - TmhtKunl style msic composing with Wavo aid nxei. Very good. Inclwle. Etnplc.
UI86 MED 3.2 - Musk seqnencer. Vgood.
UI83 PRO TRACKER - Anc»er Feofeumml music sotjucncer.
U2U" SHADOW SAMPLE MAKER - Creak samgk. Wnheut a ««hl sonder hardware *M n U260 ST-XI • Sound samples for u« wilh eiftei UIK6or 11*3.
U26I ST-89 - More of *e same 85 samples U262 ST-91 - As ihove. 52 samptes.
U263 ST-92 - As stove. 75 more samples U264 ST-93 - As ahsvt only 29 samples this time IISHO IN THIS RDUiRI IIJUSI H 5MHII PnOPORIION 01 INI 501IUIRRI Ull NRII RURIIRHII. Oil MOID 01 OUR OtlRMTO fRIRIOOUl DISKS I OR Inf ORMRIION ON IHISI RND MRNV MORI SUBJICIS.
GAMES 077 TRACK RECORD Super fast overhead of tracks, loads nf aotica G75 BULLRUN - War game I cxifrontatm G6* INSIDERS CLUB - Stockmartcl game where ycu con manage a mitt-mallkm pound corpxabcn 066 NO MANS LAND God 2 player, cne-on-one to IV detfh duel wilh a variety of aeapaniry.
064 MECHF1GHI - Role Playing Game, where your character is a robot on a huge sgwe craft 063 GROUND ZERO GAMES 5 - Big .aloe game conplaa.cn. wilh games like Othello, liny Base ball Iron 90. Frog 22 in all.
G61 ZEUS • Good piulc game. Based on a commercial Ocean gome. PuxxnK.
GS5 MASTER OF TOWN - Anti-*ocial game of poperty dcvtmctKin Smash wmfows. Damage vehktes. Break streer lamps.
But fun. -A500ONLY- 052 BLOCKTT - At.aVi puile game whkh has Ven ckwd from a ccromemal garoe 049 POM POM GUNNER - Shorn-croup w.n, Agmsed graphros.
TV tcenario it Pearl Harbcur 037 SEAI.ANCE • tmaegy wargme where yen ronmand a nuclear sotmarine IncVded anlmked sequences.
G35 JAR - Clone of an old an ok clatsk • Crystal Castle* A bit like Pactaan »*h 3D platform mile.
026 WF.I.LTRIS Tetris game with a twstt Involves a 4 uded well.
Gl* THE GOLDEN FI.EEC* - Incredible teal adventure wilh matsev of depk Similar style to iV nwsrding winning lnf«om ten adventures.
G8S 21 GAMES ¦ Another mega game compilaraxi wilh 21 game on a single diskette Diflercro games to tV ones on G63.
GlCri ANTEP RPG - Role playing game with a very similar style ml scenario to earlier Utlmi games GI2I BIPLANES lake m iV sktev in this one or iwo player dog righting game. 'AI20CI USERS. IMSABI1 CVU CACHES' G122 DUEL • Pum aid «m*lc 3-Dimensional t(«a screen game for two players. Both m larkv both with big gun. Grots tV rea!!
012* TOTAL WAR Computerised version 4IV RISK G129 SUPER LEAGUE MANAGER • lOoty management game.
Gl 3* WORLD - Science fiction tru adventure on a unnge (*inet Gl» CROAK liahmcd ckm of Fnigger. Even a two player comprlilUxi mode wVte you complete lo get as many froggy 's in histoocal civil war CH - Manage a NIL k II AMERICAN FOOTBALL se play* 0142 BATTLEMENTS Bawd « ll«m.-hhaik from CW.
0150 LEGEND OF' LOTHIAN • Good rofc playing game Gl56 MISSION X- SfcMt-cm-up with awescroegnpiuos.
Gl58 BRAIN BALL Gtnl koking bn dUficuB tkUltpsuale game Wurth a ibm If you want a tough challenge.
GI6I AS HI DO - Oricuul purale garoe.
GI62 SYSTEM 4 - Game • IV sroro genre »Q-Ben. But with new sanations on Uw pyramid lliemr Very prcdessional.
GIM OTHELLO - G«d Ixwrd game Al... known at Revets,.
0169 DONKEY KONG P1»f*m game dial fits! Ronduced Marki many years ago. Still bnlliuu 0132 BATTUE GARS 2 - Super fast 3D vrotor » battle grow wound a host of armi's G177 CRAZY SUE II - Itapulw ptwforro game.
G1W) WAR • Cadi V considered Sgroe Cvu 01*2 TRF.ASI.RE ISLAND Game fee kids 0183 BOUNCE 'K BLAST Highly praised gtathxm game, almtwl of a r racial quality.
GI93 HELLZONB 5*«e thont-cm-up. Surolar to R Type.
ADVENn'RF. GAMF-S make your own text adventures aids dm easy to
use engine GKO FIGHTING WARRIORS -1 or 2 playr* martial wis hew
cm up uuh large well orated ipnles aid |«ial tnovet. V Ckxd
0202 A NIGHT AT THE TOP Almos|*era: lest adventure which dumps
you in at the deep cid 41) stones up 0205 TOP OF THE LEAGUE •
AnotVr soccer uanagrmra* game which gives yeti the onntunily to
nut your own team and take them and yew. To the lop of die
league 0206007 2 DISKS) OLEMPIAD Sprats events with lemmings
as the wan G2KV2II 2 DISKS) TALISMAN - Big gra|*u: adveurate
Excellent. REQUIRES 2 MEGABYTFS- 0212 FRUSTRATION • Incredible kxi bawd adventure, unwrpaited ro dcjrii and detail.
0217 UCHESS - Cheat game Out use. The ACA chipwt ¦REQUIRES 4 MEGABYTES. A120U ONLY- G22I BOW Sc ARROW - Archery game.
0224 OBIJVION - Supee fast defender daw.
0226 MORIA tS.4 • Big RPG wi* many dingomv loespbre. Wilh lots to do. Even hi. A town you can expVrae and visit tV shops.
G229 GIGER TETRIS - AGA Tram. -120)ONLY' G232 MONACO • Clonr of an old wei* game Fast and funoro.
G234 WOT-S IT’S NAME - Bnlliorr tmu hoard gome.
G217 GAMMON Good compukr venaon of Backgammc
02) 8 TFTRKN • Trust with kxt c4 added extrav Worth a lock G24I
IMPERIAL WALKER Tike control c4 in X-wing fighter and Stop
the imperial waken from rewriting tV allied HQ.
G245 AU. ROUNDER - Crocket saauLsion like none raher G246 WIBBLE WORLD GIDDY - Pmiihly IV hew platfram.
Pu xle game ever proharad fra tV PD market A muu.
0247 FijaiCH - C63 Thrnsl ckwr Skillful game G249 PSYCHO SANTA - A game for thnumsi G255 AMOS CRICKET - Shoreaare Cncket game. Urn 4 (eWere.
0256 SHANGHAI 93 - Onenlal tile. Game.
G257 DELUXE PACMAN V 1.4 - Hie best Poctnro clone -mini Evns sacludet power ups.
0262 BLUE DIAMONDS 4 Boulderdash clone Good ®4T USEFUL UTILITIES UI58 NOERRORS - Hides physkally damaged tracks on both floppies aod hard disk*. In effect making uselect disks, usual*.
UI57 ARQ 0.99 Change-. IV boring old WorkVnch rcqueoer windows into animated ones Quite neat.
U146 AMIGA SYSTEMS DISK - Host of Amiga system diagnostic checkers, and perfcmnant* tellers UIII GOLF SCORE • Golf tolly recorder Ul 12 WORD SQUARE SOLVER • Finds those hidden weeds In those word square pur let.
UI67 BIORHYT HMS - Plctt your personal graph for any mcnth of the year: Physical. Emotional. Intellectual.
1) 181) BROWSER II - Good file transfenng programme, and much
UI9I TYPING TESTER - Evaluates your typing speed U2DS RACE RATER Horae racing, outcome (xedictor Works on staiiftKal data ycu enter.
U2IS FREECOPY - Removci various pr«teciioo schemes from a massive list of commercial games.
U2I6 BON APPET1T - Recipe daiahatc.
U267 SPECTRUM EMULATOR VIA - Run old speccy games cm your AMIGA U2SI LEMMINGS II HARD DRIVE INSTALLER - Put Lemmings 2 no your Hard drive. -REQUIRES 1.5 MEG. NOT A500- U281 D-COPY 3.1 - Powerful and peofessMnal disk duplication software with a similar performirxc at X-Ccpy Pro.
U282 TERMINUS 2* - Rewnttcn form Ircomm. The Va communicaritais package fix users with fail modems.
U283 LOCKPICK V2 Removes copy protection from roughly 450 commercial titles.
U290 CHARACTER GENERATOR For Advanced Dungeons & Dragons players.
U29I REXOKICK vM New version ot this A50O*. AMO and A1200 downggadei to Klckstori 1.3. Helps make many A500 only titles work cn your machine.
U29J PARBENCII Link up two Amigas. Or Amiga to CDTV for communicatinng between tVm or file transfers.
17294 POOLS TOOLS - CompreVnsic Pools predictor.
17297 LISTER 2.1 • Disk migarioe aeatoe.
graphics crammed on a single disk. Stunning routine*.
DIS9 LETHAL EXIT - -A1200ONLY- DI57 DESTINATION UNKNOWN - The beat AGA vector demo yet! -A 1200 ONLY- Ml27 128 2 DISKSl JESUS ON ES - 27 minute* of Rave.
the United State. -1200 ONLY- 593 REVELATIONS - Stunning
594 NIGEL MANSBLI. AGA SLIDESHOW Nigel in Vs Formula One days. -A 1200 ONLY- S9I MANGA Japanese cartoon slideshow Ml39 CLASSIX 2 • Classical music Ircen Bikh. Hantlcl and Pachelbel.
AI5I THE LEMMING SHOW Suning Suicide man. Not for tV «Tueam«sh.-REQUIRES IS MEG- Dl56 JETSET Funky.
DI53 RETINA - Flaihy demo -1200 ONLY- DI45 PIECE OF MIND - Star Tick ipoof Ml U RHAPSODY IN BLUE - Jazg Ml35 136 (2 DISKS) NUTCRACKER SUTIE - Make* a welcome change Ml30-134 4 DISKS) A TO Z OF C64 TUNES - Hundred.of classic CM tune* packed ratio 4 disks- Great value.
Ml25 MUMBO JUMBO - Very lively.
FINAL FRONTIER ISSUE 5 We also stock the Final Prontier disk magazine at only £6.00 inc PfcP.Four action packed disks full of news, reviews.Everything on Star Trek and The Next Generation.
Interviews with the stars and convention news. Loads of features. Plus exclusive artwork from Tobias Richter.
Blitz Basic 2 £69.95 - Acid Software - 071 4824066 File: Starfield.bb2 i m Parallax Starfield Effect ; ??? By Jason Holborn Hoi on the heels ol AMOS comes Blitz Basic 2, a new kid on the block that otters teatures similar to AMOS but with the promise ot taster code execution speeds and a compiler built in as standard. Designed and written by New Zealand software team Acid Software, Blitz Basic 2 also supports the Amiga's new AGA chip set, making it the tirst Amiga programming language that allows you to take full advantage of the extended colour palette and screen modes ottered on A1200 and
A4000 Amigas.
Blitz' command set is certainly impressive. Not only does it deliver the AMOS-like ability to directly access the Amiga's custom hardware, but Blitz also fully supports the Amiga's 'Intuition' windowing environment, the foundations of Workbench. As a result, you can not only write programs that can make use of super- smooth scrolling, high speed sprites and bobs and interrupt-driven music, but you can also open screens and windows on the Amiga's Workbench complete with a full array of different gadget types and pull down menus. This is perhaps the main area where Blitz scores over AMOS -
unless Europress released their promised Intuition language extension, Blitz will continue to hold this ace card.
Another big advantage Blitz has over AMOS is the fact that it comes as Standard with a full-blown compiler that transforms your Tho greatest challenge lo AMOS’ supremacy has come Irom Acid Software’s Blllz Basic 2, a BlitZ creations into true machine code programs. The resulting 'Object' files run s™“lngly '*»' language geared heavily towards games programming, at break-neck speeds (faster even than 'C'!). Blitz is an impressive BASIC language that runs rings around most of the competition. Does it beat AMOS, however? You’ll have to read the box elsewhere on ( this page to find out!
GFA Basic 3.5 £49.95 - GFA Data Media (UK) Ltd - 0734 794941 GFA Data Media's Basic interpreter system is another one of the old guard that have been floating around for more years than most of us can remember. Originally launched to critical acclaim on the Atari ST, GFA Basic was ported across to the Amiga and tarted up considerably. Although the original Amiga release of GFA Basic was shakey to say the least (it would crash every five minutes or so), GFA quickly ironed out the bugs and GFA Basic is now one of the most stable operating-system-friendly BASIC languages available for the Amiga.
The latest version of GFA Basic, version 3.5, offers a powerful instruction set that includes all the constructs that you’d expect from a decent structured programming language plus a few tricks of its own including powerful matrix transformation commands (ideal for working with 3D graphics). Although the basic GFA system does not include a compiler, GFA also sell a compiler for an extra £29.95 that allows you to produce programs that run independently of the interpreter. This obviously adds to the price making GFA somewhat pricey when com- ItfA-BftSlC EdTfti pared to more modern rivals
such as Blitz Basic.
GFA Basic certainly isn’t ideal for games programming, but for programming applications its still a worthy contender. Due to its age, both the interpreter and compiler can be picked up for peanuts these days so it may still be worth considering if you're not interested in writing high speed arcade games.
GFA Basic may have since been surpassed by Ihe likes ol Blitz Basic and AMOS, but It still provides a good stable development system tor writing applications and •serious’ programs.
Amos Vs Blitz Much has been written extolling the virtues of Acid's new Blitz Basic 2, but its arrival has only made the process of choosing an Amiga BASIC programming language that bit simpler. For users wishing to write last arcade games. GFA Basic and HiSoft BASIC are definately out of the running, which leaves you to choose between Blitz and AMOS Professional, a choice which is certainly diflicult to make.
Both Blitz and AMOS allow direct access to the Amiga's custom video and sound hardware, but Blitz has the added advantage of also fully supporting both Intuition and the new AGA chip set. Europress originally claimed that an AGA language extension would be released for AMOS, but recent events have made the chances of this appearing somewhat remote. Add to this the fact that Blitz also comes as standard with a compiler (AMOS programmers need to pay an extra £35 for this!) And it seems clear that Blitz is the winner. Or is it?
It s certainly true that Blitz is potentially more powerful than AMOS, but both have their strengths and weaknesses. As anyone who has attempted to program in Blitz will tell you, it’s not a language for the faint-hearted. Even if you read through the manuals Irom cover to cover, Blitz still requires a fair knowledge of programming concepts and the Amiga's hardware to get the best from it. AMOS, on the other hand, is a far more accessible language that can be learnt fairly easily. What's more, the brilliant AMOS manuals make this process even easier.
AMOS code may not run quite as fast, but program it correctly and there’s very little that Blitz can do that AMOS can't.
At the end of the day. The decision is down to you. If you rate yourself as an experienced coder and you enjoy tackling difficult concepts, then Blitz is for you. For we mear mortals, however. AMOS is still the choice.
Programming LATTICE SAS C 6.3 £279 - HiSoft Ltd - 0525 718181 If you're writing applications software, then 'C' is considered the choice language for accessing the Amiga's operating system routines. Most of the operating system is written in C itself, so It’s not hard to see (pardon the pun) why C compilers have become so popular. Surprisingly, however, very few commercial 'C' compilers are actually available - the only two that are still in . M»ii».i „(iu.iiy «,o,a ol companion, l.ii.c availabk) IS Utlice s excellent conimu. Lo opo.M th«. ,oc(».,iui c compiw n.» olfenng (reviewed here)
and ¦i~ui.ii*. arO
* uh t «wri: “amwiiSBraii,--" ° wui nmm'w ivm
lm. 1 .. tn. Mow 00-w.ol,« c a compHg, sys,em lha, never quite
made it across the pond trom its home in the United States.
The price ol Lattice C may seem rattier steep, but when you receive the package it s easy to see where all the money has gone Bundled with the program are two massive manuals that cover just about everything you could possibly wish lo know about Lattice C. The compiler system itself is pretty complete two - eveything you need to edit, compile and debug your C programs is there. Uttice include their own 'LSE' screen editor which attempts to make Ihe compilation process as integrated as possible You can edil your source code and then compile it to memory or disk without having lo leave LSE
Debugging is particularly well handled loo thanks lo 'CodeProbe'. A symbolic debugger thal allows you lo step through your code one instruction at a time.
Lattice C 6 0 is rather pricey when you consider that there are PD C compilers available, but - as the old motto goes - you gel what you pay for. It's undoubtedly Ihe most complete and most professional C com* piler system available tor the Amiga Highly recommended DEVPAC 3 £69.95-HiSoft-0525 718181 Ask any professional Amiga programmer what the best Amiga assembler is and chances are that they'll say Dovpac. During the many years that Devpac has been available, HiSoft have enhanced it immeasurably and the latest release. Devpac version 3, is even better. Even in these days of PC-based PDS
and Snasms that allow you to assemble your code down a cable directly into the host machine. Devpac 3 still has a formiddable following in professional programming circles. Top programmers like DMA Design's Dave Jones (the author ol Lemmings) and Jez San (StarGlider. Etc) still swear by Devpac Just like HiSoft’s other great programming language.
HiSpeed Pascal. Devpac is based around a fully integrated programming environment that allows you to edit your assembly programs, assemble them both to memory and to disk and debug them without leaving the comfort of HiSoft's well-designed Devpac front end The assembler itself is a beast of a program that is possibly the fastest assembler available on the market (yes, it's even faster than ArgAsm!). It can produce code that is fully compatible with fhe full range of Motorola processors and you can even optimise your code for fhe 68040.
HiSoft’s powerful MonAm debugger is an absolute joy fo use. Just like the version of MonAm bundled with HiSpeed Pascal, MonAm supports full source code level debugging and you can carry out a full range of operations including setting break-points. View and modify both memory and the processor’s own registers and a whole lot more besides In all. Devpac 3 still remains the Amiga’s number one assembler. ( HiSpeed Pascal £99.95 - HiSoft Ltd - 0525 718181 HiSoft have a reputation for producing market-leading programming language compilers and HiSpeed Pascal is certainly no exception Then again,
becoming the market leador was hardfy a difficult task - apart from Mefacomco's rather geriatric MCC Pascal' package, HiSpeed Pascal is the only Pascal compiler available for the Amiga. That’s not to say that HiSpeed Pascal isn't any good, however. Far from it Offering full compatibility with TurboPascal 5.0 on the PC, HiSpeed Pascal is a force to be reckoned with.
Like HiSoft's other programming languages, HiSpeed Pascal is based around an integrated programming environment that allows you to edit, compile and debug your Pascal programs from within a single program. The editor is a sophisticated multi-window affair that allows you to edit more than one source file al any one lime. What's more, you don’t have to enter all your program code in one go - just like TurboPascal 5.0 on the PC, you can write code in a modular' form so thal each module is compiled separately and the package's linker simply pieces them all together. This allows you to
concentrate on individual routines without getting bogged down m code Pascal is hardfy the number one choice for most Amiga users and HiSoft make no attempt to teach the language in its well-wntten users manual. If you’re new to Pascal, however, then there are plenty of books available on the subject so learning to program in Pascal shouldn’t be too painful. Whether you’re a professional Pascal programmer or just getting started, HiSpeed Pascal is an excellent programming language that deserves to do wall rrvll.
L u Why is this women looking so scared?
Perhaps it’s because she’s just caught a glimpse of the latest frighteningly- good issue of the world’s best Amiga magazine - CU Amiga!
This 280-page beast comes complete with 2 incredible coverdisks (including playable demos of Turrican 3 and The Settlers as well as £250-worth of commercial software), a mighty Deluxe Paint booklet, a free video offer and a special 32-page Hot Games supplement featuring exclusive reviews of Mortal Kombat, Terminator 2, Tornado, The Settlers and many, many more!
ARGASM £59.95 - Argonaut Software - 081 200 5777 Object code type Case dependance Debug infomation List to Output to Error options List options Racro definition size 16384 Opt inise Statistics Cancel Rssenbte Haxinun object size Header filenane INCD1R path list Rssenble options 38 1 Jez San Isn't just a damned line games programmer - he knows how to write a pretty decent Amiga assembler too!
Also worth a mention is Argonaut Software’s ArgAsm, a combined editor assembler combination written by Jez San, possibly one of the best known Amiga games programmers. Originally designed as an in-house tool for use by Argonaut's own team of games programmers, ArgAsm's main claim to fame is its impressive assembly speeds. Although Devpac 3 has now caught up, ArgAsm is still faster in some situations.
There are a number of problems with ArgAsm, however, not least of which is the fact that Argonaut no longer support the product. Due to its hardware- level games programming orientated design, ArgAsm doesn't include a debugger such as the MonAm tool bundled with Devpac. As Jez San rightly points out, games software usually kicks out the operating system and so programs like MonAm will not run. For the rest of us, however, this is one omission that severely limits ArgAsm's usefulness. Another major problem with ArgAsm is its reliability - crashes are a regular (and annoying) occurance.
Unless Argonaut sort out these problems (which is unlikely), ArgAsm is just too limited to be useful.
MACR068 £130 - Helios Software - 0623 554828 A brand new arrival on the assembler scene is Helios Software's Macro68, an Amiga assembler that supports the full range of Motorola processors. Written by DigiSoft, Macro68 claims to be the fastest Amiga assembler bar none. In tests this proves not to be entirely true however - Argonaut's ArgAsm and (in certain circumstances) HiSoft’s Devpac 3 still hold that crown. The reason for Macro68's impressive turn of speed can be credited to the fact that it is what is known as a ‘single pass assembler’. That is, it scans and assembles source files in one
go rather than the 'two pass’ approach adopted by most other Amiga assemblers.
Macro68 certanly isn’t a jack of all trades like Devpac, however. Even DigiSoft freely admit that in order to get Macro68 to do anything even remotely interesting you'll need to get your hands on a text editor (Workbench's ‘Ed' will do the job, albiet slowly) and - more importantly - a debugger. This makes Macro68 seem rather expensive when compared to the likes of both ArgAsm and Devpac. In its favour, however, is the fact that Macro68 can be controlled entirely via Arexx which essentially means that you could control the assembler completely from within a text editor like CygnusSoft's
Cygnus Ed 2.
Macro68 is a powerful assembler that gets the job done but at the end of the day it’s the price that is the deciding factor. Devpac 3 is considerably cheaper and you also get the added benefit of an integrated text editor assembler debugger all in one package.
Include files The Amiga's operating system has received more than its lair share of Hack over the years but there's no escaping the tact that - trom a programmer’s point ol view at least • it's very powerful indeed. The designers of the OS were a clever lot - all the code required to perform just about any operating system level task (opening a window, accessing the sound chips, creating child' processes etc) have been collected together into what the techies call libraries'. Many ol these libraries are built into the Amiga’s ROM whereas others are loaded from the LIBS:' directory on your
Workbench disk. They contain whole collections of individual routines that give the programmer direct access to the operating system's many resources.
In order to access these routines, however, you must have Commodore's Include' files. These include files contain hundreds of definitions that tell your program how to access the routines buried within the Amiga's ROM. Virtually all commercial programming languages come complete with the neccessary include files for that particular language but beware when buying PD languages - because they include files are the copyrighted property of Commodore, you have to pay lor these separately. They cost just £25 and are available direct from Commodore.
Other languages If you want to be a bit dillerent from your friends then you don't have to go for established' programming languages like C, Pascal and Assembler. Here's a quick round-up of other more unusual languages on offer.
Amiga Logo £49.95 Commodore UK Ltd Logo was invented as a language for use within schools for teaching school children the fundamentals of computer programming. Commodore's Logo language was written to help the Amiga break into this lucrative market. It fully supports the full Logo instruction set including those infamous 'turtle' graphics.
Helios Forth £120 Helios Software I Forth may not be the choice for most Amiga programmers, but Helios have done a fine job of bringing this unusual language to the Amiga. Helios Forth is a powerful integrated Forth programming system that includes everything you need to write Forth programs. Although it does directly support Commodore's own Include files, Helios include a subset that gives you access to the more common routines through its own libraries. Definitely not a language lor the beginner, however.
The Director 2.0 £99.99 Silica Systems Not quite a full-blown programming language, the Director is aimed more at the video market. It’s a powerful scripting language that allows you to write programs with a definite graphic bias. The Director fully supports static IFF files, animations and sound samples. Originally used by Amiga animation guru Eric Shwartz, The Oirector is still worth investigating.
AMOS PRO COMPILER £34.95 Europress Software II you own any one ol Ihe three dilterent versions ol AMOS (Easy AMOS, AMOS 'Classic' or even AMOS Professional) then you need Ihe AMOS Professional Compiler, Although its name would suggesl lhal il is aimed al AMOS Pro owners, Ihe AMOS Pro Compiler will happily compile programs written in any ol these three programming systems. The compiler does come Into its own, however, when used with AMOS Pro, Not only can you compile code Irom within the AMOS Pro Editor but you can even run it too - truly an integrated programming environment.
Although the speed increase in your code will depend entirety upon the type ol program you’ve written, virtually ail AMOS programs benefit Irom being compiled II you've wntten a program that performs a lot of heavy calculations, the compiler will turbo-charge it beyond belie! A must lor all AMOS programmers Other Programming tools ReSOURCE £130 Helios Software II you've written a program in assembler and you just happen to lose your source code there's usually no way ol converting your assembled code back to source code. That Is, unless you happen to own Helios Software's ReSOURCE', a
powedul disassembler that converts assembled code into source code. ReSOURCE is pretty intelligent too - if your program makes use ol the routines built into the Amiga's ROM. It wili automatically convert those unlriendly library oftset values into the appropnate library routine name. If. For example, your program opened a library using the Exec routine OpenLibrary'. Instead ol seeing a value ol $ 228 displayed within your source code. ReSOURCE would substitute it lor _LVOOpenlibrary Although rather pncey. ReSOURCE is a must lor all serious Amiga assembly language programmers Craft £24.95
Black Legend Software One ol the most powerful leatures ol AMOS is the way its instruction set can easily be extended using what are known as language 'extensions'. The latest language extension to be launched is Cralt (short lor Colour, Requesters, Audio, Fractals and Text). Cralt adds over 160 new commands to AMOS that give the AMOS programmer the ability to generate fractal graphics with just a single command. Cralt also gives the programmer a number ol handy requesters such as a file and colour requester, all ol which can be used within your own programs with ease The lull range of
functions available are too numerous to mention - suffice to say that it's just the sort ol thing all AMOS owners should buy Turbo 1.9 EFREE! Public Domain It's unusual to find an AMOS extension that can be bought lor the price ol a disk but this is exactly what we have in the form of Turbo. The latest release delivers a whole range ol new commands that either extend AMOS or provide meaner and leaner versions ol existing AMOS commands. Amongst Turbo’s replacement commands are a whole host ol new bob and icon handling instructions that can draw bobs onto the screen three times faster than even
compiled AMOS programs Turbo also oilers a handy 'Stars’ command that creates parallax starfields with up to 256 stars using 'virtual' hardware sprites. A definite must lor all AMOS programmers.
Features table Product Supplier Price Language Compiler OS Support Hardware Support AGA Debugger HiSoft Basic HiSoft £49.95 BASIC Yes Yes No No No GFA Basic GFA Data Media £49.95 BASIC Optional Yes No No No AMOS Professional Europress £49.95 BASIC Optional No Yes No Yes Blitz Basic Acid Software £69.95 BASIC Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Lattice C 6.0 HiSoft £279 C Yss Yes No Yes Yes HISpeed Pascal HiSoft £99.95 Pascal Yes Yes No Yes Yes Devpac 3.0 HiSoft £69.95 Assembly Assembler Yes Yes Yes Yes ArgAsm Argonaut £59.95 Assembly Assembler Yes Yes Yes No Macro68 Helios £130 Assembly Assembler Yes Yes Yes
No Helios Forth Helios £120 Forlh Yes Psuedo No No No Amiga Logo Commodore UK £49.95 Logo No No No No No The Director 2.0 Silica £99.99 Custom Yes No No No No IS CHAMBERS, QUEENS STREET, PENZANCE, C We at SQFTWARE DEMON Ltd-would like to wish all our customers piast, present and future all the best at Christmas. To celebrate the seaspnabf good will we have decided to offer the best items in home computimBfat a special Christmas price.
A-a m --l_» a | * |1| ( 1-f li l lllb BP' 'jBm* * emifNfilHRfiDDfilVe UNIT FOR ThBi200 ndude irranty.
SOFTWARE DEMON 39 40 QUEENS CHAMBERS, QUEENS STREET, PENZANCE, CORNWALL, TRI8 4HB COMPUTERS AMIGR A400 040 The flagship of the Commodore Amiga range. Sased around the 68040 processor. Comes with Hord Drive, 2+4 RAM ond W83.
85Mb version £1899 120Mb version £1919 170Mb version £1939 250Mb version £1979 340Mb version £2069 426 Mb version £2149 AMIGA A4000 030 The some specifications os it's big brother but designed oround the 6C68030 processor. Comes with o Hord Drive, 1 +1 RAM ond UJS3.
(FOR 2+2 ADD £69) 85Mb version £899 120Mb version £969 170Mb version £999 220Mb version £1015 256Mb version £1039 340Mb version £1099 426 Mb version £1199 HAVE A SeCONDARV HARD DRIV6 FITTED AT THE SAME TIME AS PURCHASING VOUR R4000 CD32 CONSOLE This machine represents the future of home entertainment and video game play. A self contained CD console luhich you can expand to a full CD based home computer.
• ALL FOR JUST £279 • UPGRADES finding that your A4000 030 isn't
quite man enough for your present projects?
Never feor Software Demon is here.
68040 CPU, MMU, 40MHz FPU, 040 PANCL PHOTON £699 50MHz CLOCK SPEED, 50MHz FPU, MMU HELLFIRE £299 MATHS CO-PfiO (PLCC) 33MHz 68882 (LUITH CRYSTAL) £99 40MHz 68882 • £129 single sided SIMMS module for R4000 1Mb RAM £39 4Mb RRM £149 ACCELERATORS Our accelerators ore produced for the A1200 by GVP. O wotch word in quality and r+llobility. Ooth boards ore user fittoble via the trapdoor so os to maintain your warranty.
GVP SCSI RAM BOARD This boord has slots for up to 8Mb of Rom, o moths co-pro (FPU) ond has and includes on SCSI interface os standard.
0Mb, NO FPU £179 4Mb, 33MHz FPU £349 SCSI CABLE KIT £44 GVP A1230 BOARD This board features o 68030 processor as standard ond also hos slots for up to 8Mb of RRM ond o moths co-pro.
HOTLINE (0736) 331039 m TECHNICAL SUPPORT AND FAX (0726) 331499 PLEASE MAKE CHEQUES AND P.O PAYABLE TO "SOFTWARE DEMON Ltd.” PLEASE QUOTE YOUR CREDIT CARD NUMBER AND EXPIRY DATE AIL PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE, ESOE. ALL TRADEMARKS ACKNOWLEDGED THE AMIGA IN BUSINESS The Amiga might be seen as nothing more than a toy by those who don’t know any better, but the truth of the matter is that it has a great selection of software to help you run a business, too.
Of course, you probably already use word processors and databases at home, but there’s also plenty of packages which will really improve your business performance, handling everything from stock control and invoicing to mail outs and electronic communication.
WORD PROCESSORS WORDWORTH 2 AGA £129.99-DIGITA-0395 270273 It seems that the traditional definition of a word processor has been all but forgotten. Wordworlh is one of the first of the new breed.
Times were when a word processor was simply a piece of software for editing text, and printing it in a quick and tidy fashion. Most packages had some sort of dictionary to check the spelling of your documents, and if you were really lucky, you might even find a Thesaurus to help you keep your writing creative.
Wordworlh is on® of the firs! Amiga word processors fo offer graphics support.
Mordworth ID 1991-92 Diffita Intfnatlonal FINAL DOPY 2 £79.95 - SOFTWOOD EUROPE - 0773 836781 Bi cyc e Final Copy offers by far fhe most flexible fonts handling, but it'll take a while to explore the full potential of variable obllquelng tor creating dynamic looking pages.
Word worth Thanks to Wordworlh, those things are taken completely for granted, and the package includes William Wordsworth was bom on the 7th April 1770 at Cockermouth In Cumberland!
England. He grew up in the beautiful lake district that was later to provide inspiration I for much of his poetry a “•““J j * "t njji- HES:-i * W “ C~r “ - I tr “"o* J KraUT - _J PoatterWI T«* ITT Kollo- II.•
l. »« If.T"
* |M II.¦ such features as scalable fonts, graphics support,
drawing tools and support for any built-in typefaces your
printer may have.
In fact, it’s ability to configure itself exactly to whatever printer you own with a minimum of effort on your behalf is Wordworth's greatest strength. By simply following a few on-screen prompts, the program is ready to use with no complicated printer preferences to be set up.
Not only does it let you use your printer’s fonts, but if you’re not outputting to a postscript device you can also use scalable Compugraph’ic fonts such as those used by Workbench 2.0 machines.
This means that you have access to literally thousands of different typefaces, all of which will print at the very maximum quality your printer is capable of.
It can import bit-mapped and Encapsulated Postscript graphics, although the latter cannot be viewed on the screen.
The program comes with tons of clip art so that you can give your documents more punch, and it’s also supplied with17 fonts.
CONCLUSION Wordworlh is one of those programs that you tend to love or hate. It comes with more options than you can wave a stick at, and it’s extremely unlikely that you’re ever going to use many of them. Its font and graphics printing seem a little quirky, but program’s of this complexity inevitably take time to learn. It can import and export text from many other word processors including Word Perfect.
A very solid program. Check the price with Digita before you buy because they have been known to sell the program for a substantial discount.
Requires Kickstart 1.3,1.5 megs of RAM and a hard drive or two floppies.
Wordworth and Final Copy are arch rivals, however with release 2, Final Copy gives users a clear choice of options when deciding which package to buy.
The publishers of both programs have recognised the importance of high quality text printing, but whilst Wordworlh uses bit-mapped screen fonts, and even supports them for printing, FC2 exclusively uses scalable fonts both onscreen and when printing. However, to compensate for the slight lack of flexibility. Final Copy supports Postscript fonts, and will even download new ones to your postscript printer in needed.
In fact its font handling is more flexible than Wordworlh although Softwood's insistence on taking the typographically correct, but inconvenient route, to typefaces means that you must load a separate typeface if you want an italic version of the Nimbus Q or Softfaces included with the program.
Wordworth simply performs the necessary operation with no effort by the user.
Yet again, Final Copy does offer an additional feature in the form of its variable obliqueing command which slants your text by a user-definable amount.
If you're working with small text or graphics, the program’s variable magnify feature is also handy.
Although the program doesn't come with the friendly printer configuration program that Wordworth boasts, surprisingly it is actually more flexible when it comes to output. For starters, rescaled graphics are still printed at the best possible quality, whereas Wordworth unfortunately degrades images that are shrunk, and increases the jaggies if they’re enlarged. Also, strangely enough. Wordworth only prints as many colours as the current the current screen mode permits, whereas Final Copy will use the full palette of the graphic image, simply using the screen image as a representation.
CONCLUSION Final Copy 2 seems to conform much more closely to the Amiga design protocols. And this gives it a very polished appearance. It’s a pity that it can’t import and export text from other word processors as this is important to professional users, but for home use I suppose ASCII import and export is adequate. The print quality is excellent and at the price Final Copy 2 represents reasonable value. If you need lots of text editing and formatting options, then this is a good starting place, but if they’re not so important as powerful graphics handling and page design tools, then
take a good look at Pagesetter 3.
Requires Kickstart 1.3,1 meg of RAM and a hard drive or ; two floppies.
When it comes to flexibility, they simply (fon t come any more flexible than Final Wnter Designing the perfect word processor is an extremely difficult, if not impossible task. The trouble is.
Everyone has a different idea about what makes a good package; some might say fonts, whilst others prefer editing options, whilst still others feel that graphic handling is crucial.
FINAL WRITER £129.99 - SOFTWOOD EUROPE - 0773 836781 Softwood have realised this problem, and whilst they don't claim that Fmal Wnter is by any means perfect, they have adopted a clever approach to the problem What they've done is give the user a number of definable buttons and menus, and what these do is entirety up to you. Although these buttons work in much the same way as the Genies which caused such a sensation when they appeared in Professional Page, you don’t need a knowledge of Arexx in order to use them.
Final Writer is essentially Final Copy 3, sharing many features of the earlier programs, and enhancements which are direct evolutions of options m Final Copy 2. It's graphics handling for example, is even more flexible, and you can draw and rotate structured images with ease sjl xJBOttn tyr »i 1 ill gjS:.
JKT ._ _u i ¦¦
- ]; Imter Button-; ¦ ,iwi.i Extra 60000 [ U.MSOt 1 It is
perhaps in the area of professional word processing features
that Final Writer really excels. It's now possible to
automatically generate tables of contents, indexes, bibli
ographies and even tables of illustrations used in your
One of many unique features is the program's outline option. This allows you to create headed sections which can be expanded to reveal the ful text, or collapsed so that only the headings are visible. This is ideal when you need to plan the way that long or complicated documents should be structured.
In fact. Final Writer does treat text differently to its predecessors, allying itself more with desk top publishing programs. Text is entered normally, but is treated as a block, and these blocks can be moved around the page or the document as if they were objects just like a graphic image.
If you're using the program for maths based work, perhaps in conjunction with a database or spreadsheet, its ability to perform maths on columns of numbers is also invaluable, meaning that you don't have to keep swapping programs.
CONCLUSION Final Writer is a lovely package, which provides undoubtedly the best output of any Amiga word processor or word publisher, terms which no longer seems adequate to encompass the breadth of its scope.
Professional authors, or those who want professional results, will be hard pushed to find another Amiga program with so much to offer Requires kickstart 1.3,1.5 megs of RAM and a hard. g PROTEXT 5 £152.75 - ARNQR - 0733 68909 CYGNUS ED PRO £99.99 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 For serious word processing without the frills. Protext is the only option worth considering.
It has none of the graphics or font handling options offered by the other packages reviewed so far. But what it does have are loads of options for the power user, you know, the sort of person who types 10,000 words a week, and knows the keyboard short cuts for every option in Word Perfect Speaking of Word Perfect, that program used to be a serious contender for Protext but sadly it is no longer being produced on the Amiga.
But back to Protext; it naturally contains a spell checker, which can also be used to work out anagrams, and it also supports a gaggle of foreign languages Although it doesn't exactly support the range of fonts that the flashier programs do. It nevertheless offers you the greatest control over your printer of all the programs reviewed here because you can actually program your pnnter with it directly It also contains its own built-in macro language, so commonly performed tasks, as well as frequently typed words or phrases, can be reduced to a couple of key presses.
CONCLUSION Personally, I feel that Protexts user- interface could do with some work, especially the file requesters.
However, I know that hundreds of people swear by the program, and couldn't live without it for a second.
It's undoubtedly very powerful, but you should try to get a demo before you buy.
Requires any Amiga with 1 meg of RAM.
When you don’t care about the layout of a piece of text as much as its content, and the ease with which it was prepared, maybe Cygnus has something to offer you.
Although it claims to be suitable for programmers and writers. I personally prefer a word processor which offers decent text formatting and justification options, as well as a dictionary.
Cygnus Ed offers neither of these options, but it does have bucketloads of features that programmers will appreciate, including a very easy to use Macro facility and powerful search and replace options.
It also offers an infinite Undo option which is limited only by the amount of memory you have.
Although I don't program. I often use its column cut option which lets me cut and paste column blocks of text; an option which is quite simply impossible with a word processor.
Full Arexx and clipboard support means that you can easily integrate Cygnus into your programming environment, patching the program so that it automatically communicates with compilers and the like.
CONCLUSION Cygnus is not for anyone who likes lo be mollycoddled, but tot programmers and comms users it is invaluable.
Requires Kickstart 1.3 SBASE PERSONAL 4 £149.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 PRODATA £99.87 - ARNOR - 0733 68909 11 Surnane!
12 First Nane Address1: Address 2: Addres s3: Te lephone: msBSta We live in an age where we are required to process ever increasing amounts ot information. The ability to manage that information efficiently and quickly can mean the difference between failure and success. Sbase give you the edge you need.
Database creation and management shouldn't have to require a degree in programming and business studies, yet such programs on the supposedly industry leading PC often require huge efforts to create relatively simple databases. Sbase 4 sticks two fingers up at such complex ways of working, and lets you get straight into the action as it were.
It’s a relational database that uses a very graphical user-interface which is closely modelled on VCR style controls. At the bottom of the screen you'll see a number of buttons representing options such as Next Record. Fast Forward. Stop and so on. Although Oxxi constantly compare these buttons to video play- n negotiate your way around the largest Amiga that even plays in the same league as this program. If you need to run a business, regardless of its size, this is the program to entrust your data to.
Any Amiga with 1 KJL&' meg RAM.
A U...e O'*1 interlace. Com- plete with video style controls.
However options such the Database Management Language have been removed For the beginner this is no problem at all. Because chances are you wouldn't have Known that such features were possible, much less that you needed them, or could have utilised them.
Unlike Sbase Pro. Which comes in a large boK Ihe size ot a 48 bar packet ol Weetabix. Sbase Personal is supplied in more modes! Packaging. The reason I menlion this, is because easy to use or not, It does tend to be just the slightest tad oft-putting when you see program manuals that dwart the Encyclopedia Britannica falling out ot the box! Fortunately Sbase only reguires you lo read a single (admittedly chunky) manual CONCLUSION It your business is small enough to worry about the expense ol Sbase Pro.
Then you didn't need 4 in the first place and Sbase Personal is ideal lor you. It can handle databases containing up to 16 million records and up to 17 gigabytes (17,000 megabytes) in size. I seriously doubt that even British Telecom's national directory is thal large! A first class program, but not cheap by any means.
Requires AmigaDOS 2.0 or higher and 1 meg RAM SBASE PROFESSIONAL 4 £299.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 ers. Show mo ihe video lhat lels you |ump 1o the sian or end of a tape1 Anyway Sbase lets you store a vast selection Of different data types including text, numerical data, sound samples, pictures (stored as IFF. PCX or GIF imagos) and formula© its loxt handling, the most basic requirement of a database, is superb It can handle single fields up 1o 4000 characters in length in scrollable boxes Once you've defined a database, you can also design forms with which to display or
print your data These forms may include pictures directly, or can incorporate gadgets which will display a picture or replay a sound sample when clicked upon The program even offers support for networked computers, as well as modem links to remote terminals. To my knowledge, it's the only Amiga dalabaso to include such features.
Although Sbase Pro 4 is powerful when ils loalures are accessed via menus etc. to elicit the true power of the program you'll want to master the database management language or DML This is a derivative ol Basic which includes a lot of database spe cific commands With DML it's it..
• iiiiiii"’ usff1 ‘HAI If you need the user-fnendli- . R.r Ur.
but not all of its features, then 1 i sees
VMM. - Sbase f~ •••••• _( •*- | |tr-.«s : Personalis aimed at
___1 »¦»«»« 1 The pro 85 i S 1 »»] !LU -T.-J same base Although it’s been around for a while now, Prodata offers a good reliable text only database, and at a price that doesn’t need your bank manager's written approval In triplicate.
Like Protext, Prodata uses a rather spartan command-based interlace to get you going, although once youVe chosen your initial options it does let you control things via menus.
It's a fairly simply program in that the records of your database may only be text, dates or numbers (including the results of calculations). In most cases this is all you’ll ever need because, after all. How often do you need to reference hundreds of pictures or sound samples7 It uses dynamic fields so that each record only occupies as much space in memory and on disk as it needs, rather than a predefined amount of space.
Prodata is a relational system and with a maximum of 300 fields per record provides more than enough scope for any home or small office database that I can imagine.
CONCLUSION Not as flashy or powerful as Oxxi’s databases, but a lot cheaper. A surprisingly robust little program, which will require you to read a small and well written but uninspired manual to get going.
Compatible: Any Amiga. Iri possible lo create an automated database environment in which the user has to do little more than respond to questions in order to update data.
The program is a relational database and this can sometimes be tricky to understand However, thanks to the graphical way fields can be represented whilst defining relationships, the whole process is made considerably easier.
CONCLUSION Sbase Professional 4 is no lightweight either in terms of price or features To get the most from it, you’ll need to invest a fair bit of time.
I don't want to beat about the bush; there's simply nothing else on the Brown 16 Mest End Lane New Town Sout hunbria B usiness AMIGA BUYER S GUIDE 94 (wT.53 Project: Uelcone to InterUord RAM : 5 Hri'I'IML. ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ INTEROFFICE DK 26. Dec 1990 £49.99 - KOMPART UK - 0727 868005 A word processor, database and spreadsheet are the most popular business applications, and Inter Activision offer all three on disk or CD ROM for less than £50.
The programs were originally released nearly three years ago for £49.95 each. By bundling all three, you get an ideal way of building the foundations for your Amiga office in onego.
InterWord is the biggest of the three programs, both in terms of popularity and design specifications.
It’s a word processor designed to cater for every taste. It incorporates excellent support for large documents. With features such as automatic spell checking and hyphenation and a comprehensive choice of statistics.
For the less demanding user, InterWord will let you use any fonts that your printer may have, switching mid-line if you so desire, it also provides intelligent typeface resizing so that if you use double height characters, for example, it automatically adjusts the number of lines per page.
InterBase is a relational database, and although it's very powerful, the manual is very difficult to understand, especially when you come to the section on defining relationships between vanous fields.
Iontrratulxtlons on your new word processing prosr »m ntvrUord. I hop* you will find it uf*iul.
Nevertheless, it’s worth persevering because behind Ihe menus lies a very nice program indeed. It supports a variety of data types including strings of fixed and dynamic length. It can also handle IFF pictures, but not sound samples, although that's unlikely to be much loss to most people.
InterWord it a surprisingly powerful word processor, which is Ideal lor those who believe lhat graphics ahould be left to a OTP program.
Defining a database is very easy to do. But woe betide you if you should make a mistake whilst defining your field names, types or sizes because they can’t be altered later This is a real pain, especially when working with fixed length stnngs.
Once a database is defined, you can also define multiple forms with which to show all or some of its data.
If you have defined relationships with other databases, then you can even create forms which display data from two databases at once.
Postcards Fron the Edge Carrie F Essential Ellison Harlan Ell different Seasons Stephen Ki rhe riumnv or Ramses the Damned Anne Rice MttR'IjS... honas Harr 11 homas Harris ean R, Koontz I(ve Barker Interoffice is lh* only Integrated oh ice software package that includes a relational datahi InterSpread is a veiy powerful spreadsheet which includes ils own macro language lor automating data processing. It Includes all the mathematical functions you'd expect to find in a first class program ol its type It also includes a graph maker which will lets you choose from erght different ways ol
representing your data CONCLUSION Although they may not look as flashy as other integrated packages, the programs that make up Interoffice are very powerful and represent great value for money, especially for the professional user Compatible: Any Amiga.
PEN PAL PROPER GRAMMAR 2 £39.95 - SOFTWOOD EUROPE - 0773 836781 £49.99 - HARWOODS - 0773 836781 Buying software can be a costly business, but one way to reduce your expenses is to buy integrated packages that incorporate two or more programs. Pen Pal gives you a word processor, database and forms manager.
It was one of the earliest word processors that let you incorporate graphics into a document, and long before the term 'hot links' came into vogue, Pen Pal was combining three productivity programs together.
The word processor is quite basic, but it does contain a spelling checker, and it also allows you to use any Bit-mapped Amiga fonts that you may own. When it comes to pnnting, the program can be extremely quirky, especially if you’re using graphics. It provides two pnnt methods, one of which uses your printer's fonts whilst the other simply does a screen dump of the current page. The latter option is the only way to incorporate bit-mapped fonts, but the results are very blocky and not at all suitable for professional work However, using the printer's own fonts can mean that the position ol
graphics is wrong for the size of fonts your printer uses The database is extremely tnendly to use and allows you to incorporate IFF pictures as well as 8SVX format sound samples. It can be linked directly to the word processor for creating mail outs, and is simply the easiest way of performing mail merged documents.
[HnTn'aToT'TroSH Toppon typln 7rror ?T oTTffe"oonT H ? determine I the preposition 'from' should rpploo* 'for**.
CONCLUSION Pen Pal is starling to show its age.
And although it incorporates some nice features, it's not a very good business investment. It's easy enough for kids to understand, and it's a good way of infusing them with enthusiasm to do homework when the finished results will be bright and interesting to look at.
)eportnent. Our discussions were so productive that I resolve the last renolnino interface Issue soon. Once its resolved, we should be able to «lnish negotiating the oontroct.
Any Amiga with 1 meg of RAM.
It's one thing to own a word processor, but another thing entirely for your words to make sense. Thanks to this program you can bring a tear to your dear old English teacher’s eyel Proper Grammar is designed for anyone who cares about making the right impression; for the sort of person who's not satisfied with simply writing intelligible sentences, but who want them to stand up to scrutiny. So whether you're wnting a book or job application, Proper Grammar will make sure you get it nght It checks a vast number of things starting with your spelling It then proceeds to check the context in
which words are used; to. Too or two and that kind of thing. It also checks 'Proper Oros»s»or II Jo I SpTeoEe 1r. John Roberts ‘resident toberts Sottware Cospony 120 Mom Street Mew Praeue. MN SSPtl Dear Mr. Roberts) punctuation, so it you use a semi colon when a hyphen would have done it will tell you. Similarly it’ll also spot those occasions when you use two capital letters to start a word when you only meant to use one.
Ironically, it doesn't spot absent capitalization of proper nouns.
CONCLUSION Proper Grammar is a useful program, but in order to derive the best from it, you need a better than average understanding of English in the first place otherwise you can t select the correct solution when it highlights problems It can also lend to make your wnting a bit dry. Still, it works well enough, in fact too well at times.
Requires an Amiga with 1Mb of RAM and hard drive.
(IjL 2JdJj L)jia 33 Ormskirk Rd, Preston, Lancs, PR1 2QP VhftoPPyDriveS AmigapackS Hand Scanners I Ladbroke Computing International are one ot the Ongesl established home computer dealers in the U.K. We have developed an extensive customer service policy which involves testog ot an hardware pnor to despatch to ensure that goods arrive In working order, ottering tree advice and support over the phone and keeping customers informed. Although our prices are not always the cheapest we do endeavour to otter consistently good service and backup.
All prices are correct at copy date 1 10 93 (while stocks last), and are subject to chango without prior notice. All prices include VAT but exclude delivery How to Pay You can ordor by mall Choques Postal Orders made payable to Ladbroke Computing. Or give your credit card details over the phone Delivery Postal dolivory is available on small items under £40 (Normally £3. Phone (or details).
Add £7 (or courier delivery Next working day delivery on mainland UK subject to stock (£20 tor Saturday detrvery).
Open Mon-Sat 9.30am to 5.00pm. Ladbrcke Computing Ltd trading as Ladbroke Computing International.
Fax: (0772) 561071 Tel: 9am-5.30pm (5 Lines) HULL printers Star Star LC100 Colour £165.00 Star LC20 £124.00 Star LC24 100 Mono £179.00 Starjet SJ48 Bubblejet £210.00 SJ48 Sheet Feeder £55.00 SJ48 Ink Cartridge £19.00 SJ144 Thermal Transfer Colour Printer £569.99
• 144 Element Print Head
• Compressed Data Mode
• 8 resident fonts
• 360dpi resolution
• Emulate Epson LQ860, IBM Pro Printer and NEC Graphics.
Citizen Citizen Swilt 90 Colour £175.00 Citizen Swift 240 Colour £270.00 Citizen 124D Special Offer £149.99 Hewlett Packard HP Oeskjet 510 £299.99 HP Deskjet 550 Colour £599.99 Lasers Ricoh LP1200 £789.00 Add £3 for Centronics cable and £7 for next working day courier delivery.
• 880K formatted capacity Double sided, Double density
Through port
• Enable & Disable Switch Anti Click
• Anti Virus Mode Roclite external drive £64.99 Amiga 500
internal drive £49.99 Cumana CAX 354 £54.99 tUgpeed MoUSG
• 290dpi resolution
• 2 Microswitched buttons
• Opto Mechanical mechanism
• Switchable between Amiga ST
• Direct Mouse Replacement Speed Mouse 42Mb No RAM 80Mb No RAM
120Mb No RAM 213Mb No RAM 2Mb SIMM Upgrade 4Mb SIMM Upgrade 8Mb
SIMM Upgrade £199.00 £299.00 £399.00 £564.00 £89.99 £179.99
£300.00 Repair Sen ** Our Service department can repair Amiga's
in minimum time at competitive rates. We can arrange for
courier pickup and return delivery of your machine to ensure
it's safety. We-even have a same day service which will ensure
your machine is given pnority and subject to fault, completed
the same day. We can fit memory upgrades. ROM upgrades.
We offer a Quotation service for £15 for which we will examine your machine and report back with an exact price for repair. If you do not wish to go ahead with the repairs then just pay the £15.
However if you do go ahead then the charge is included in the minimum charge. Please note: The minimum charge covers labour, parts are extra.
Quotation service £15.00 Min repair charge £35.25 Courier Pickup £11.00 Courier Return £7.00 Same day service £15.00 Amiga 600 Wild, Weird and Wicked Pack £199.99 Includes A600 with Pushover, Microprose Grand Prix, Putty and Deluxe Paint III Amiga CD32 £289.99 Includes Digger & Oscar games Amiga 1200 Race & Chase Pack £289.99 Includes A1200 with 2Mb RAM, Nigel Manseil (1200 version) and Trolls (1200 version) i software Mini Office £45.00 Wordprocessor, Database, Spreadsheet.
Disc Utilities and Graphics Pen Pal £45.00 Powerful wordprocessor with text wrap around graphics, Forms manager. Database manager, calculated fields etc. 100,000 word spelling dictionary, Mail Merge Final Copy II £79.99 Amiga wordprocessor, 110,000 word spell checker, 826,000 word thesaurus, Automatic hyphenation, multiple columns, HAM & 24 bit graphic support Built in Postscript support Deluxe Paint IV AGA £69.99 Paint and animate in 262,000 colours.
Developed specifically for the Commodore A1200 and A4000, takes full advantage of the new AGA chip set. Metamorphosis, instantly transform the shape and image of one brush Into any other brush, HAM support, Paint stencil mode, Translucency and tinting features for special effects. Requires 2Mb RAM, kickstart 2.04 or greater
• 16MHz 32 bit 68030 Central Processor, 16MHz Blitter, 32MHz
56001 Digital Signal Processor
• 1,44Mb 3.5" Floppy, up to 14Mb RAM. Displays 65536 colours from
262144 palette at 768 x 480 resolution
• 8 Channel, 16 bit, Stereo sound sampling FALCON 4Mb 120Mb HD
£999.00 FALCON 4Mb No HD £779.00 FALCON 1Mb No HD £589.00 A
Golden Image Hand Scanner
• 100,200, 300,400dpi resolutions
• 1 letter mode, 3 photo modes
• Includes two ol the most respected graphics packages, MIGRAPH'S
TOUCH UP and DELUXE PAINT III £89.99 While stocks last RAM
UpgradeS A500 512K upgrade £14.99 A500+ 1Mb upgrade £19.99 A600
1Mb with clock £44.99 Plugs straight into A600 trap door,
compatible with A600, A600HD iSSAccessories 50 3.5" Disks
£23.50 100 3.5" Disks £44.65
3. 5" Disk head cleaner £4.00 50 Disk Box £5.00 100 Disk Box
£8.00 A500 Dustcover £4.00 Mouse Joystick extension £5.00 PRO
500 Joystick £7.00 Monitors Philips 8833 MKII £199.99 Includes
12 Monlhs on site warranty (Mainland UK) and free Lotus Turbo
Challenge 2 game Commodore 1084S Colour £189.99 Amiga Colour,
stereo monitor including cable Microvitech 1440 £399.99 14"
Colour SVGA Monitor, .28 dot pitch.
Phone for Commodore Adaptor Colour SVGA Monitor £239.99 High quality Colour SVGA Monitor, .28 dot pitch. Includes Falcon Adaptor Falcon VGA Adaptor £9.99 Philips SCART to Amiga £9.99 8833 MKII to Amiga £9.99 MINI OFFICE £59.99 - EUROPRESS SOFTWARE - 0625 859444 If you’re relatively new to computing, the way a program handles is probably more important to you than the features it offers. Mini Office looks slick and feels great.
It incorporates a word processor, database, spreadsheet and disk utility tool.
As with all of the programs, the word processor looks fantastic, although being written in AMOS means that it won’t multi-task, which is a serious limitation in my estimation.
Ignoring that fact, it really is a very attractive piece of software, all be it a simplistic one. Sure it has a spell checker and you can even incorporate graphics and insert mail merged data, but that’s pretty much it. For writing letters or doing homework, you don't need much more, but that’s just as well.
The database, too, is quite limited, and is certainly the least powerful of all the ones reviewed in this magazine. It is not relational, and it can’t handle pictures or samples. What it does do, however, is provide you with a very easy to learn and elegant to use system which is more than adequate for address databases and the like.
Remarkably, given its simplistic nature, when it comes to performing filtered searches the database is actually easier to use than packages costing five times as much.
Although it’s likely to be the least used part of the program, the spreadsheet is still rather basic.
Overlooking the limited grid size that is available, the program lets you use a selection of mathematical and trigonometric functions.
Unfortunately the program's editing functions are also somewhat restricted and even using the mouse to define a block can be a nuisance if the block is bigger than the visible screen.
There’s also a very tasty graph printing program included which can output tons of different graphs. This is made less friendly by the fact that you need to define and save the spreadsheet data to be made into a graph before the program can handle it. If the programs multi-tasked this wouldn't be a problem, but it's a real pain having to quit one to load the other.
CONCLUSION Although the individual programs are competent enough for novice users, if as much attention had been paid to the program's content, as to their appearance we'd be a lot better off. I have to admit that i don’t like these programs, but I could see how some people might find the slick design reassuring.
Compatible: Any Amiga with 1 meg of RAM. "¦ KSPREAD 2 & K-DATA £39.95 - HISOFT - 0525 713671 Perhaps based on the assumption that the first productivity program every user buys is a word processor, Hisoft have omitted one from their package and simply given you a spreadsheet and database instead.
K-Spread is currently up to version 4, but by including version 2 in this double pack, Hisoft have ensured that serious users will want to upgrade, whilst less serious ones will nevertheless receive a workable product.
The program is certainly less visually attractive than the Mini Office spreadsheet, but at the same time it is more functional and includes mouse editing options that the former program should have contained.
Its interface is very uncluttered and by automatically giving labels a different coloured background it's easy to identify the different elements of a sheet.
The program’s inability to exchange data with other industry standard spreadsheet programs will be a disadvantage for more power hungry users, but as a home package it won’t make any difference.
Also on the same disk is another version of the program which gives you the option to print graphs of your data. By providing two entirely separate programs, Hisoft let you make the most efficient use of your machine, especially if you’re short on memory.
K-Data is yet another straight forward database, but it takes an original approach which slightly compensates for its lack of features. It is not relational, nor does it even accept pictures or sound samples, Datining your data Is easy, although th« choice of data types Is quite limited.
But it is ideal for the storage and organisation of textual data.
It offers all the usual data types: fixed and variable length text strings, dates, plus a special one called an Enumerated Value Field; a multiple choice field in other words. This means that you could define a field with three or four choices each of which is represented by a button when you're entering data.
CONCLUSION K-Data is a surprisingly neat little program, and the Enumerated Value Field is ideal when designing databases that are to be used by those who are not particulary good with computers or keyboards. Easy to use and with a well written manual, but not really very flexible or powerful.
Compatible: Any Amiga.
CASHBOOK CONTROLLER FINAL ACCOUNTS £79.99 - DIGITA - 0395 270273 HOME ACCOUNTS 2 £54.99 - DIGITA - 0395 270273 _ f - MfIP CBLCULrtTOR rVPCS HOWCY IHUr4THrNI MfiRKIRi HIGUlHH Despite its title, Home Accounts 2 can also deal with your business accounts too.
Whereas Cashbook Controller is designed to track the ebb and flow of your business finances on a monthly basis, Home Accounts 2 is geared towards the sort of day to day requirements that let you know exactly how much you have in your bank account at any given second.
It lets you log both income and expenses and the latter can be grouped into a variety of pre-defined or user-defined categories.
The program can also cope with regular outgoings to which compound interest has to be added, including Mortgage and HP payments.
With the option to warn you when any of your accounts falls below or exceeds certain limits, Home 11! SI8I - 11 M * Home Accounts 2 Is designed to help you to Keep detailed daily records of your expenditure and income, with options lor budget forecasting and compound Interest as well.
Accounts is the perfect program for balancing your chequebook and managing your bank accounts.
If all the data seems a bit intimidating, you can choose to view it in graph form, and you can even define budget predictions against which comparisons may be made.
CONCLUSION Although the first version of this program was a little clunky, Home Accounts 2 is a very polished product. And its relationship to Wordworth is clearly visible in its user-friendly interface. If you have trouble controlling your finances, this could be your saving grace.
Requires Kickstart 1.3 or higher and 1mb of RAM.
Few business tasks are more arduous or time consuming than doing the accounts. Cashbook Controller relieves some of the burden.
In a nutshell the program is used to track the flow of cash in and out of your company. It can be used to record all expenditure on a monthly basis, and income over the same period. With that information it can then produce detailed profit and loss accounts which will reveal the true trends your business may be taking.
It allows you to enter bank and cash transactions and will provide VAT breakdowns at your request. In fact it even allows you to specify a variety of rates.
Also on the disk is Final Accounts, a program which can only be loaded via Cashbook Controller and which is a module designed to present your accounts information in a concise and intelligible form.
CONCLUSION Cashbook Controller is a fairly spartan program, but that’s for the better because if you’ve loaded it simply to input the day’s transactions you don't want to be swamped by unnecessary options. It seems to perform its job adequately, but then that’s not asking much. Using it will save you a great deal, of time over the pencil and paper method, and although a spreadsheet could be designed to fulfil the same function, this is a much more elegant solution to your business accounting needs.
Compatible: Any Amiga.
As our lives become more and more busy, the need to become organised is ever greater if we are to survive without leaving a trail of forgotten errands, appointments, bills and birthdays.
DAY BY DAY £29.99 - DIGITA - 0395 270273 Day By Day is an electronic organiser and calendar. If incorporated into the startup sequence of your hard drive-based Amiga, you’ll never overlook another important event again.
When the program first loads, it will display all 'Urgent' messages.
Urgent messages are simply those that you’ve specified as being so important that you want to be reminded of them each time you load the program.
SYSTEM 3 £59.99 ¦ DIGITA • 0395 270273 By selecting forward you can also look at any overdue messages as well as those that apply to the next six days.
Basically the program lets you attach messages to any date of the year, reminding you about them as the date approaches. You can also create messages which will only be displayed for a certain duration (ideal if you want to be reminded to start saving for a birthday present!).
CONCLUSION If like me, you tend to be so busy that you forget to pay bills, you forget to do jobs, and you even forget to put out the dustbin bags, then this might be a good solution. If you're running the program from a hard drive, you don't even have to remember to load it up in the first place!
Compatible: Any Amiga.
Representing the Amiga's only stock control and invoicing program, Digita's System 3 still looks as good today as it always did.
It combines three programs: Cashflow Controller, Invoicing and Stock Control, the latter pair of which work in conjunction with each other.
The Cashflow Controller is based upon Home Accounts 1, and simply lets you store an itemised breakdown of your company's income and expenditure. However, the Invoicing and Stock Control modules are the most useful parts of this program.
The Stock Control module lets you keep detailed lists of stock, producing re-order reports on demand thanks to its minimum re-order option. This is something like a giant stock database, but with the ability to intelligently analyse the items contained in the listing.
By contrast the Invoicing module is responsible for creating professionally formatted invoices, but better yet it can be linked to the Stock control module so that products which are invoiced are automatically debited from the available stock list.
CONCLUSION System 3 is a greatly under marketed product and now that the Amiga is so popular perhaps it might pay Digita to give it another push.
Although you could probably get by with a database and word processor, these programs are ideally designed for the kind of data processing involved in a small distribution, retail or hire business.
Compatible: Any . .
OPUS DIRECTORY 4 £59.00 - INNOVATRONICS - 0707 662861 The Disk Operating System is the main interlace for communicating with your computer, and the CLI or shell is the place where you can do that. Unfortunately, this means that you’ll need to know at least a few rudimentary commands. Unless, of course, you use Directory Opus.
Directory Opus takes all of the main housekeeping and disk manipulation commands and gadgetises them so that they can be performed by clicking a mouse button rather than typing in commands.
It lets you Use frequently performed operations such as file copying, moving and renaming with ease. However i; also lets you activate stand alone programs which themselves in some way manipulate data. For example you can activate an archiver which will archive a number of files, or you can activate a module player in order to listen to music modules.
The beautiful thing about Opus is that it’s so configurable; the user can specify just about every single tiny aspect of the program ranging from the function its buttons perform, to the colour of the screen.
By selecting the Configure Option from the main menu, you’ll be transported to a configuration section from where you can tailor the program to your every whim.
The key to this configuration section is the fact that you can reprogram the buttons to do just about anything, and if there are not enough buttons, you can simply add entirely new banks of them.
Each button can be programmed to perform two functions, and the one that’s selected is dependent upon which mouse button is pressed. The actions initiated by pressing the buttons can be defined by one of many pre-defined choices, or you can specify scripts to be executed if more complicated sequences of commands need to be performed.
If the execution of a script necessitates further input from the user when that script is executed (archiving a file for instance) then a requester will pop up as the appropriate button is selected.
CONCLUSION Directory-Opus is undoubtedly the most powerful CLI replacement and directory tool available for the Amiga, and whilst it is something of an acquired taste, those who use it regularly would not use anything else. For many people, this is as near as they’ll ever need to come to programming on the Amiga.
Compatible: Any Amiga. !
SID 2 $ 25 - TIMM MARTIN To Amiga purists, SID was the original and is still the friendliest directory utility available. Version 2 is the first and only commercial version.
Whilst it doesn't have anywhere near as much power as Directory Opus, it uses a slightly friendlier interface which some people find easier to get along with.
The basic program comes with many more redefined buttons than Opus, and like its rival you can always define more if you need them. Unlike Opus, each button only serves a single purpose, and if you want to do more, you'll need to define another button. Switching between button banks is easy; just press the right mouse button whilst the cursor’s in the bottom half of the screen and the next bank will appear.
Many operations involve a source and destination directory, and whilst both programs provide you with two windows so that you can view both directories at once, only SID provides separate directory buttons for each window, a feature which for me, at least, ensures that I'll continue using it alongside the otherwise superior product from Innovatronics.
CONCLUSION Whilst SID is by no means as powerful as Directory Opus, it contains 90% of the features you’re likely to need, and it is just that bit friendlier to use. At only 25 dollars it’s cheap enough for virtually anyone to afford. An ideal program for the less demanding computer user.
Compatible: Any Amiga.
II we've swept you ol your leel with our whirlwind guide lo business software, here's where we bring you down to earth with our comprehensive guide to all the jargon we've used in this section.
• Arexx - The Amiga version ol the Rexx language which allows
inter program communication and, more importantly, it lets
you automate your use ol any program that supports it.
• ASCII - American Standard Code lor Information Interchange. The
term given to the standard set ol codes representing text
characters and a lew basic commands such as backspace, return,
• Bit-mapped lont • A lont which is stored at a particular size
as a pixel image.
• Clip art - Graphics ol usually generic themes (animals,
machinery, signs, etc) which can be easily incorporated into a
document to perk it up.
• Clipboard • An area ol memory ol variable size which is used by
programs lo store temporary information. The clipboard
differs Irom normal RAM in that data stored In it can be
accessed by any program that supports the appropriate data
• Compugraphic lonts • A particular type ol scalable lont. A
version ol which was adopted by Commodore as the one that would
be included with all Amigas running Workbench 2 or higher.
• Database - Refers either to a program which can store data
which has been classified under user-delined headings, or to
the actual data itself. For example, a database program is
used-to store a list ol people's names and addresses, but at
the same time that list can be relerred to as an address ing in
a database. For example in an address database you could have
first name, street name or telephone number fields.
• Field Types - Refers to Ihe sort ol information that can be
stored in a database lield - graphics, numbers, sound, text,
calculations or dates for example.
• Form - A template into which database information can be
inserted in an easy to read and printable format.
• Interface - The link between one thing and another. For example
a printer interlace joins a computer to a printer.
• Jaggies - The visible steps' caused when a bit-mapped imafle is
enlarged sufficiently to see the individual pixels that
comprise angled lines.
• Justification - The process ol aligning text with various parts
ol the paper so thal it achieves a specilic visual result. For
instance left justilication means that the lett edge ol a text
block will be perfectly straight whilst the right edge will be
• Macro • A series ol commands which are activated with a single
command or key press. Designed to simplify complex or
repetitive tasks.
• Mail Merge - The ability to incorporate database information
into a document.
Usually used to insert customer's or member’s private details into letters so they are personalised.
• Network - Two or more computers linked eilher directly to each
other or via server so that they can pool information
resources, or that of the server.
• Postscript - A limited version ol EPSF that doesn't contain
• Productivity program - Any program that produces a useable
result. General term lor non-games software.
• Relational database - A database program that allows multiple
dilterent databases to be opened simultaneously with common
links delined between them so that data doesn't need to be
duplicated when entries are made.
ADDRESS BOOK Arnor Limited Innovatronics 611 Lincoln Road Unit 11 Peterborough, PE1 3HA The Enterprise Center Tel: 0733 68909 Cranborne Road Fax: 0733 67299 Potters Bar Herfordshire. EN6 3DQ Kompart UK Limited Tel: 0707 662861 Guildford House Fax: 0707 660992 Guildford Road St Albans Meridian Software Distribution Limited Hertfordshire.
East House AL1 5JY East Road Industrial Estate Tel: 0727 868005 London, SW191 AH Fax: 0727 845202 Tel: 081 543 3500 Fax: 081 543 2255 Digita International Limited Black Horse House Softwood Products Europe Exmouth. EX81JL New Street Tel: 0395 270273 Allreton Fax: 0395 268893 Derbyshire. DE55 7BP Tel: 0773 836781 Europress Software Fax: 0773 831040 Europa House Adlington Park Timm Martin Macclesfield, SK10 4NP PO Box 3205 Tel: 0625 859333 Cincinnati Fax: 0625 879962 OH 45201-3205, USA
• Remote Terminal - A keyboard or dumb terminal which can access
the resources ol a computer processor and its storage, yet
which is not in the same physical location.
When you pay your electric or phone bill they use remote terminals to input your payment information, and modify the central customer records database.
• Scalable Font - Any mathematically defined lont that can be
resized without a loss ol quality.
• Spreadsheet - A program lor Ihe organisation and processing
ol large columns ol numbers. All spreadsheets provide a variety
ol malhematical functions, and the more powerful ones even
oiler built-in programming languages.
• Structured graphic - A graphic which is stored as a
mathematical definition rather than a bit-mapped image. These
have the advantage ol being rescalable with little or no loss
ol quality.
• Text formatting - The process ol arranging text lor display on
the screen or on the printed page.
• User-interlace • A generic term which encompasses a program's
design and friendliness as well as the way that it responds
to input Irom the user.
Ibc abc _1 U_1 ., Norma 1_flbc abc _abc abc . .. abd NEW! - 50mhz A1200 ACCELERATOR + FEATURE CONNECTOR S AMIGA i PERIPHERALS HGVP ACCELERATORS FOR AMIGA 1200 VIDEO GENLOCK FOR ALL AMIGAS 24-BIT GRAPHICS CARD FOR A1500 A2000 A3000 A4000 EGS Spectrum « the answer lo all your 24- bit graphcs caro requirements It K a high performance hgh resolution. 24-M board that will take 68030ec - 40mhi RAM FPU UPGRADE 68030 - 50mhi RAM FPU + FEATURE CONNECTOR any Amiga 1500.
2003 3000 or 4000 beyond AGA! But the hardware is only hall of the picture Without qi..... your 2 vestment wrt be wasted t Gyp's own award wtniwig grapht ImageFX fully support EGS Specti using a Workbench driver, nearly all
• 50un 68030
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The first ol these is a SCSI .ntertace called the A1291. And is GYP'S lastest SCSI controller yet It features:
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£349 NEW!
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IV24 has everything you could went hem a wdeo board built-in!
IrOuded with IV24 is GVPs custom Video Interface un« (VIU). Tne ®vee you more chokes for in and outputting vdso s**tsIs than any other Amiga peripheral on f e market VHJ-CT spinet provides addhcnai RGB. Y. R-V and B-Y ouput.
FREE SOFTWARE WITH IV24 stunning 30 rendered magos. Ratouch captured ard wipe between 2 video sources with 50 ed video trareltions lor prodixton studo effects Also included Is MacroPent 2. A powerfU 24-bit graphics package which can pent In 16.6 milicn colours
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AMIGAS I V Capture sound from an external source and play it
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or pngles.
• Nnr Stitt Hifli Impatt. Clear PelyCartonatt Casing
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• me Samplis Disk The HC8» is a high speed Mtnn hard dnvO & RAM
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Company Name (it appfcabte): | Acklress: .. . Postcode: : .. lHiSe 081-309 1111 | Tel (Home) ...... Tel (Work): .. I Which computers), tl any, do you own? ......68Xj CSOt ¦ Miantea tnioi o-o HxnleaiKn* out cruti* - Pihm Uum ra coax* h* larau •'lormaon Games COLOSSAL CAVE This Is when It all
ltdrled Way dick in Die distant times ol me early eighties, two university students came up witn an idea lor a now kind ol computer game One eliicli you could read like a hook. Out interact with, taking lire pari ol a character in the slory. Inlluenclng what went on around you. That game was called Colossal Care, and every adventure game around today.
Irom Lure Ol The Temptress to Legends Ol Velour, owes something to that simple piece ol genius Ohtuse and dated ty toSiys standards there ore numerous PD versions ol this game, it you really want to see a little history | INFOCOM Y Teat adventures were sel to rule the nett live years ot computer games, with names like Scott
• dams and Mike Woodrotte making regular appearances in Ihe
computer game charts.
However. It s tnlocom that really drought adventure games lo the Amiga market, with titles such as Zort Plenellell end Hrtehhiler s finite To The fia aty which incidentally was co-written with Douglas Adams himselt. They drought a slightly more intelligent parser, stacks ol locations and other characters, plus more intriguing plots and llendish puzzles. II was still all test at this point, though.
The beginnings of a winding country lane, whilst eastwards is a pear grove. Emily, your sister, is sitting here reading a book. R hello readers' x Family Trees You might be able to trace your family back several generations or be able to go back even further in time by as much as a couple of centuries. Trying to trace the lineage of a particular game genre is much, much harder though, but we thought we'd give it a shot anyway.
Adventure Games Have you ever wondered how a genre changes through time? For example, how do we move from one of the kifocom games to something like Legends Of Valoufi To see the answers to all these questions, read on. A quick note: These family trees are not intended to be the complete history of games, merely guidelines to the paths games have taken over the years. Read on, and enjoy.
Main Accessories Windows MAGNETIC SCROLLS-- Probably the last of the great text adventure writers. Magnetic Scrolls brought adventure games screaming and kicking onto the Amiga. Who can lorget that llrst ever screenshot ol The Pawn all those years ago in C*VB? As text adventures go, Scrolls' games, ranging Irom The Pawn. Guild Ol Thieves.
The superb Corruption. Fish and lastly Wonderland wen among the best ever written, leaturing one ol the most intelligent parsers around (It you were to type I Think Therefore I Am you'd be answered with Oh you do. Do you? ). The big thrill, though, were the gorgeous 32 colour graphics that scrolled down from the top ol the screen whenever you entered a new location - the likes ol which had never been seen on a computer before Recently. Magnetic Scrolls released a bumper bundle ot Fish Corruption and Wonderland using the new(ish) Magnetic Windows system, that worked along similar lines to a
desktop with dillerent windows showing different aspects ol the game.
LEVEL 9 last was still tha dyword when Level »relied onto the scene, primarily in the U Spectrum and Commodore 64 markets, hut they also Oroughl something new Graphics. Again, the parsers had come along a lair way. Bul the inclusion ol hall-screen still graphics added a little to Ihe games.
Now you could see Ihe world you were playing In, albeit in a very simple lorm. For the mosl part.
Level 9 s early graphics consisted ot little more than a door, or a window, but II was a start!
DUNGEON MASTER When FTL released Dungeon Master to an unsuspecting Atari ST audience, I doubt they knew what they were letting themselves in tor.
In hindsight, it all seemed so obvious - take the original format ol adventure games, and replace the text with graphics. Instead of saying. You are in a tunnel. You can see a skull. Exits are to the north and south', you can show the tunnel with the skull. Using a new point and click system, the game was a doddle to control, and the sheer size of it meant that it would take a long time to conquer. Even new.
Some five years later, we are still getting letters Irom people stuck In the game.
AMIGA BUYER S GUIDE 94 Wonderland Graphics AMIGA BUYER'S GUIDE '94 MANIAC MANSION Games Lucasfilm were another company that made the transition Irom test to graph- ics. Only they Hid it horn a dltteretrt perspedive Again, this was another company that doobtlessly didn't realise that they were creating a completely new genre What Ihey had crealed was the graphic adventure, using a point and dick system to directly control charaders and obiects on screen Possibly the biggest difference between the design ol this and the design ol adventures that had come belore it was that this didn't leature
you as the main character.
Instead, you controlled someone alse's life. It had been done belore. In games like Spellbound on the ZX Spectrum, but this was really the first on 16-blt machines.
MONKEY ISLAND The graphic adventure went through relatively little change as time wore on. With better graphics and more locations being added each time one appeared. It wasn't until The Secret Ot Monkey Island, though.
That the world really sat back and went 'wow!'. Sumptuous graphics and more intricate puzzles than you'd find on the final ol The Krypton Factor. Monkey Island was a smash hit, and is just as popular today A Hamoe swings at SAMSON, atr4 hits for 7 points of an*)(.
BRIAN THE FIST chops at * Warrior and hits for 6 po*r
• f damage.
ISHAR Sllmarll's second greatest game.
Overshadowed only by Isbar2.
Which la really more ol the came Ishar combined the simplistic control ol Dungeon Master with the varied locations ol The Bard's Tale THE BARD'S TALE PTS i attractive games to date. Some stunning visuals, easily on a par with those seen in the Magnetic Scrolls games, left you with an adventure with much more atmosphere than most. Again, this is riding that grey area between adventure and Role Playing Game.
Though not strictly an adventure game. The Sards Taleserles took the Interlace and realism that made Dungeon Master such a hit and set it in a much larger location. Instead ol running through miles and miles ol similar looking tunnels, you could now run through cities, underground passages and even a little of the great outdoors. A simple, led based interlace handled things like magic and conversation, while the non-linear approach to a lol ol the game let! It more like a Role Playing game than an adventure. Still. I had to Include it, as it gives the logical progression to... £ U PHTIF* *
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14* [c* r * 3 LEGENDS OF VALOUR Surely one ol the greatest adventure games ever written. Legends Ol Valour finally gave you what so many adventures belore had tried to - almost complete Ireedom. With a basic set ol aims, you were Iree to run around the city ol Mittledorf, completing quests in any order, and even picking and choosing your tasks to some degree. Its most famous point ol interest has to be the graphics, though. Where other games ol this type gave you lour-way movement, restricting your view ol the world to lour main compass points. Legends lets you walk anywhere and
everywhere, thanks to its clever texture mapped polygon graphics.
LURE OF THE TEMPTRESS The latest and greatest In a long line ol graphic adventures, lure Ol The Temptress was a large step forward lor the genre in that all the charaders la the game lead real lives People gel up in the morning, go to work, maybe shop at lunchtime, and then retire to the pub lot a tew belore going to bed They also interact with each other, regardless ol anything you may be doing Hot only does this lend a lot ot scope tor new types ol ponies, it also gives a greater depth pi realism. A new diredion lor adventure games?
SPACE INVADERS II wpsn't ihe game tlul started Ihe genre, tilt II lure tret Ihe lit* lo tlir public interest Space Wan already had a small section of Ihe community moving imall blobs around using them them lo destroy other small blobs, but Space tenders had eyeryone doing II. I don't really need lo describe II lo you. Do I other man lo cay that mere are a million dilteront clones lo be lound on PO.
Shoot 'Em Ups GALAXIANS ASTEROIDS Technology was improving, and so were game designs. Captivated though me public were. II wasn't long belore coin op manufacturers decided that there just had lo be more to the games world man silling at Ihe bottom ol a screen and shooting upwards, so along cams Galatians and Asteroids. 8o!h owed something to Space Invaders in that they were both monochromatic shoot 'am ups that were played on a static screen.
However, Galatians featured the tirst 'proper' attack waves, and Asteroids let you start moving a ship about in two dimensions, instead ol Ihe ralher staid one.
SCRAMBLE DEFENDER The first ever scrolling shoot em up has to be Detender. An age old classic, copied time and time again yet never quite beaten in the playability stakes Even today it s as addictive and exciting as when it first appeared. Detender would never have existed, though, had it not been for Scramble, a simpler game with single direction scrolling. Detender introduced fast moving attack waves, multiple weapons, incredibly fast scrolling to the left and right, and a variety of aliens.
GOLDRUNNER Goldrunner from Microdeal is a fairly featureless and bland shoo! 'em up by most people s standards It features a small playing area, very tough levels and not a huge amount ol playability. It was though, probably the first Amiga shoot em up to make any headway. Playing like Uridium turned through ninety degrees, you had to race at high speed avoiding raised obstacles while blasting away large but predictable waves of aliens. Like I said, nothing fancy.
XENON The Bitmap Brothers caused an enormous stir with this one. All over the world, magazines were proclaiming Xenon to he Tike a coln-op in your home'. Silky smooth scrolling, albeit a little slow, and some suitably metallic graphics gave it that arcade look, and some eitremely long levels gave It enough ot a challenge to keep you playing. It all looks and teels dated now. Sure, but considering it was original It was quite an achlevment.
XENON 2 One ol Ihe highest rated games ewer, and still listed in most people’s top ten games, Xenon 2has to be The Bitmap Brother s linest hour. It looked good, played well and featured a soundtrack written by Bomb The Bass man Tim Simenon. A vertically scrolling gunlest, the game pushed the Amiga games market further than any other had to date, and to most people s eyes this has yet to be beaten. Perhaps a little slow in places, but otherwise still looks as good today as it did thenl project x Team 17 came through with the current Amiga standard setter a little under two year ago which pulls
together all the good points ol everything we’ve seen here to lorm one ol the most playable games around. Smoolh, last scrolling, very detailed sprites and backdrops, more sound ettects than are humanly possible to name and more levels than the Coca Cola building In Hammersmith, Pra ectXIs a game that no sell respecting Amiga owner should be without.
AMIGA BUYER S GUIDE '94 ”Platforms Games MONTY MOLE Gremlin's Afonly Mole was one ol Ibt llrtt computer game characters lo have any success Al e martet lime when coin op conversions and him licenses were rile, it was surprising lo see so many people reluming lo the same lace again and again. The Mole series ol games were quite simple, bul stood head and shoulders above Ihe JSW style games In that you had a slight adventuring element to Ihe game (you had lo bring Hems Irom one place and drop them in another).
JET SET WILLY Officially recognised as The Game That Started It All on computer. Games like Manic Miner and Donkey Kong came before It. But this was the first to really hit the public. There wasn't much to do, It has to be said, other than run around rooms, avoiding flying feet and chainsaws and hum along to the theme tune Incredibly simple in design, the Spectrum owning audience bought it in droves, making programmer Matthew Smith very well off into the bargain. An Amiga version was released a couple of years ago. But the less said about that, the better.
SHADOW OF THE BEAST Yts. Ihe logical progression Irom Monly Mole Is Psygnosll oplc Shade* Ol The Beast Coded by Newcastle-based Reflections -a team renowned lor doing that little bit ostia with Amiga graphics - the game loohed almost unbelievably good Countless layers ol parallas scrolling, a subtle and tasteful palette and huge sprites made It one ol the best selling games ever on the Amiga. Ihat said, you were still only going Irom point A to point B. collecting something and taking II lo point C. It spawned two seguels. Neither ol which really esdted the world like the first. Beast3m a step
toward graphic adventures, bul that's another story.
SUPER MARIO BROTHERS SONIC THE HEDGEHOG They're console games, and they always will be. There are no plans to release either on the Amiga, which seems to be a constant bone ol contention with Amiga owners, but remember, without these two games, the platform games market would not be as healthy as it is today!
Super Mario Brothers took the puzzle based platform game, and improved it a hundred told, whereas Sonic The Hedgehog took thinking out ol the equation and created the all action reaction test. You may curse the names and you might get particularly irritated by the moustache, but remember this: consoles gave the Amiga platform market a well needed kick up the behind.
R0B0C0D Ihe sequel to James Pood. Robocod was probably the llrsl really successlul attempt al a Mario- style platform game (with the esception ot the Great Granna Sisters, which was almost an eaact copy withdrawn Irom the shelves almost immediately'! It had everything that made Mario so popular - a cute character, estremely varied and challenging levels and pots ol secret rooms and purzles. At times It could get a bil frustrating, but lor most ol the time II had the kind ol playability that other games could only droam ol.
ADDAMS FAMILY If Robocod was an attempt at Super Mario Brothers, the Addams Family was' Super Mario Bros.
Based on the film of the TV series of the daily comic strip, you controlled father of the family Gomez in a daring raid through the cooky Addams house to rescue his family, kidnapped by a bogus Uncle Fester. From swinging spiked balls to bonuses in the most unlikely places, this was a game you could play time and time again, and now it's been released on a budget label, anyone who doesn't have it can rush out and get it.
OOOOOIOO SC 003«*72 ZOOL As Hobocod was to Mario, ZooI is to Sonic. Ignoring the sometimes plodding pace ot the standard plattormer, speed is the keyword lor Zool. Described incorrectly by many as an ant, Zool is a space ninja which he proves by being one ol Ihe most agile characters to hit the market. What he loses In charm, he makes op tor by being able to leap, spin, kick, punch and tty all around the maae-llke levels, lighting violins and turnips alike. The speed had the tendency to make the game a little unplayable in places, but as a reties tester it has yet to be beaten.
HARLEQUIN L- A cross between a graphic adventure and a platform game, Harlequin is possibly one ol the most attractive games to ever hit the Amiga. Beautifully presented and designed, it tells the rather surreal story of a clown returned to his home to find it devoid of smiles. As he sets off to put things right, he has to climb monstrous clock towers, mess about in an askew Egyptian pyramid and generally swing about in all manner ol weird locations. It needs a little more thought than your average platform game, but if there’s one thing you could never call Harlequin, it's average.
FLASHBACK The sequel to the cult graphic adventure Another World, Flashback is a platform game that shouldn't be played as a platform game. The furthest extension of the Monty Mole genre of plat- formers. Flashback features the most realistic character animation ever. Using a system called Rotoscaping, the main character was created by filming an actor going through the moves, digitising him. And then trimming the image to fit. The end result is some of the most fluid animation ever.
12. 99 17.49 8.99 10.99 9.99 SLEEPWALKER
12. 99 F1 GRAND PRIX
15. 49 LOTUS TURBO 2
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It’s such a small word, but it makes all the difference. The
computer equivalent of an Oscar, a CU Superstar shows that a
game has made the grade, that it is ground-breaking in one way
or another and that it will be regarded as a classic for many
years to come. Or does it? On these pages, we look back at
some of the games that have reached the ultimate pinnacle, and
see how they compare with today’s high standards.
Surprisingly enough, most of them get to keep their accolade,
with a few slipping down to mere screenstars. Who says we ever
got things wrong?
IT CAME FROM THE DESERT - Cinemaware ROTOX - US Gold REVIEWED: JUNE 90, 97% 'Too many shoot 'em ops are patronising rehashes - hot this one's lost a bloody good original.
It's a bit disorientating at lirst, bot the gameplay and the aim ot tbe game are so simple that you'll soon get used to it while orammlog the swear box with ten pees when, tor the third time In a row, you mistime that all-important jump and send your cyhorg careering Into space. All In all, flo ox is a delight. Remarkable and Inspired. A quick straw poll around tkie office contirms that here at CU we think that this one's a winner. It’ll last three times as long as the Hundred Years War.' Sieve James There are really two dillerent ways to describe Rotos. One is as a super blaster. The other is
as a bog-standard shoot 'em up with a gimmicky backdrop. Howeyer you look at it. It sure had a lot ol originality. You controlled a lone spaceman, armed with a small hand cannon, against hordes ol alien creatures that looked very similar to flies. In that department, everything was tairly standard.
What really set the game apart was the unique rotating graphic system. The entire screen rotated around Ihe player, including the backdrop, and a combination ol a matrix to hold the sprites and an interactive polygon backdrop made the whole thing convincing. It was playable, and very challenging, yet lacked the speed to make it a sure tire hit. But when It should have been shitting at Ihe speed ol Sob s Bad Day, it crawled along, and that spoiled the whole thing. Now. Ot course, it all looks a little primitive.
REVIEWED: JANUARY 90, 96% ‘II goes without saying that It Came From The Desert is extraordinarily polished. The sections all interlock fluently, whilst the graphics, as ever, are excellent. All the townsfolk you come into contact with appear as large animated stills, whilst the locations are authentically put together. The sound adds to this, with a suitably eerie tune tor much ol the time which changes as you visit other locations, tor example you're treated to country rock at the bar and the radio station, and hoe down violins at the various tarmsteads dotted about the map. II Came From The
Desert is Cinemaware's most complete game yet.’ Mike Pattenden Cinemaware was an ambitious idea at the best ot times, as Mirrorsoft took the then enormous 500k the Amiga had to otter and set about creating games that were cinematic to watch, il not to actually play. There were a whole variety ot games created under the label, Irom sports games to semi-adventure games like this and Rocket Ranger. This was, though, without a doubt the best ol the entire series. As the title suggests, the game is based around a B-movie style invasion ot a small desert town, where giant ants are running amok.
You play the suitably rugged hero out to the rid the town ot Ihe intestation, with the odd romantic encounter thrown in lor good measure.
In these enlightened days, of course, it is nowhere near as impressive as it first was. As large, rendered photorealistic images become the norm, and strategy games pass through Civilisation and beyond, it just doesn't look or play as it once seemed to.
Lacking in depth, it all comes across as a little superficial. Fun to play, but dated now.
LEMMINGS - Psvgnosis REVIEWED: FEBRUARY91, 94% 'Lemmings Is llis perfect lamlly game The difficulty Urals mean that if* playable Dy all ages, and once you've grasped the gameplay you can play it straight array. The only problem I came across was trying to select a particular lemming in a crowd ol around a hundred - bul chaos is hall the tun with lemmings A truly excellent game. Mar* Patterson Is there anything that can nally he said about Lemmings Oral hasn 't been said a million limes belore? It's been on ovary single computer lormat ever, and has sold more copies than nearly anything else, t
simple but eitremely effective stralegy game, you load a small group of Lemmings from one side ol a landscape fraught with danger lo Ihe other, hopefully beeping enough of Ihem alive to lei you move lo Ihe neat, tar more intricate and frustrating level.
Alter an add-on disc (Oh Ado' More Lemmings) and Ihe imaginatively lilted Lemmings 2.
This still loohs as playable and addictive today as it ever did. Complaints ol It being loo dilti- cull. Or the graphics being loo small |usl got pushed aside in the stampede. Full ol character and eitremely entertaining to play II just can t be laulted. One ol Ihe best games ever HEAD OVER HEELS - Ocean REVIEWED: SEPTEMBER 91, 94% With Its many trichs and traps. Head Over Heels can guile easily claim lo be the best arcade adventure the Amiga has ever seen In releasing Heart Over Heels alter all this time. And on budget Ocean have tahen a worthwhile rich which they have pulled oil perfectly
Head Over Heels a a must lor every Amiga owner, and could hopefully pave the way lor some ot the better past licenses and original products to eventually mabe it on to the Amiga Steve Merten When Imagine Software invented the Filmation game system. I bet they had no idea how many spin offs were going lo appear. Interestingly enough, after Imagine collapsod. Ocean tooh up Ihe reins, and wenl on lo creale a lair lew brilliant isometric punle games. Batman and Head Over Heels were easily Ihe best, and Head Over Heels ported brilliantly lo the Amiga. OK, so it doesn't loob much libe an Amiga
game, as Ihe original graphics were copied over and relouched a little, but Dial's hall Ihe charm.
This game isn't about graphics. Let Monkey Island2 have all the fancy loobs, and leave Ihe solid gameplay lo Head and Heels, a dog lhal has been split in two and dumped in a maze-libe series of rooms and punles. Each has different qualities, and success in the game depends on your ability lo use the pair together. A real throwhacb to the days when all Drat really manered in a game was Ihe way it played, and Head Over Heels plays brilliantly Although a little basic at first glance, you soon become caught up in one ol the best games ever You can still get it on Its original budget label, and you
are well advised to if you SPEEDBAU 2 - Image Works REVIEWED: FEBRUARY 91,95% Summing op Seeedtall II is an almost impossible last n retains Ore basic gameplay ol IM orig- inal. Bul expands on practically every pari ol it. The new, enlarged pitch makes lor a faster game which involves more passing and dodging skills, and the new pitch-side features add even more variety - as does the improved violence! In fact, there is absolutely nothing to fault in Speedball II, the people involved have produced a sequel which far exceeds any of my high expectation and, in the process, have created a game
which is without a doubl a classic.' Sieve Merretl II you should ask any Amiga owner to name really good two-player games, the chances are they will name Speedball 2as one of them. The Bitmaps on full force, Speedball was celebration ol skill, speed, violence and all things metallic looking. Similar to Rugby, but played in an enclosed arena. Speedball gave you the chance to beat up your mates and then humiliate them with some outrageous scoring. Not surprisingly, it was a huge hit both in the office and out there'.
However, like many two player games, it sutlered badly it you were sitting at home on your own. Although still exciting, anyone who has ever played Kick OH when sat alone will know how much of the attraction disappears when you start playing against the machine. Effortless piss ing, superbly controlled set pieces and all kinds of stunts and tricks that you would love lo be able to do are performed effortlessly against you. Put it against Sensible Soccer ot Kick 0112, and Speedball looks a little dated. Perhaps it's time the Bitmap Brothers got their heads together and came up with Speedball 3,
then we'd definitely get no work done around the office.
F-l 9 - j REVIEWED: SEPTEMBER 90, 94% The graphics are among the best I have seen on any Amiga flight sim. They're smooth, fast and well drawn. Anolher interesting point is that objects slowly come into view unlike other flight slms where mountains spring out of nowhere. It's also nice to see enemy planes and installations on your camera display, instead ol dots in the distance. F-19 is taxing, though it's surprisingly easy to get to grips with the controls. This is an excellent sim lor the novice, but expert pilots shouldn't be put off either If the game s set on a high difficulty level you
need to use every trick in the book and push the F19 to Us limit. A truly excellent simulation Mark Patterson A good flight sim will eever age. And this is a brilliant Night simulation, made even better by the taster processor in the A1290. It might look a little basic next to sims like TFX and Gunship 2000. But it s still realistic, challenging and playable three years down the line. Like many of Microprose s simulations, it s mission based, with the player needing to comple random sets of tasks lo rise through Ihe military ranks.
What was Interesting about this one was the fact that it was based on an apparently non-existenl plane. Rumours were rife concerning the top secret stealth fighter (later named as the F-117A), so Microprose stepped forward with their prediction. The stealth design of the craft meant considerably different Hying ladies lo Ihe standard combat sims circulating at the time, and it’s that difference that sets it r.f rji apart from many, even now.
» Games MIDWINTER - Microprose REVIEWED: MAY 90. 96% Midwinter a In a clan ol IB own when il cornea lo plotting. The two-honored page manual toatures fascinating Insights Into the world in which we live, and It has a fantastic background story which sets the scene lor the host ot believable characters who make up the Midwinter peace lorce. Although wo’ro only a third ol the way Into It, Midwinter on Ihe Amiga has got lo bo a contender lor game ol the year. It has everything you want. So much effort and research has gone into making Midwinter spxrtle You'd bo mad to mini!.' Mart Patterson Mike
Singleton has boon responsibla tor more than a lew revolution lo Ibe past, even back In the days ol the ZX Spectrum when be creeled torts Ot MidnifM. A game with million ol dll- lerent location. When Midwinter mis releasad. Ihe entire gaming world held their breath, which Is understandable even now. A complete Island complea housed an enormous strategy gamo unlike anything that ever came belore It and still eclipses a lot ol games. Taka a labletop wargame. Add some Iractally generated polygon landscapes and put yoursoll right in the middle ol It.
Ealremely daunting at llrsl. With a 200 plus page manual and more locations and characters then were necessary, the game sold more then a lew Amigas and caused more sleepless nights than anything since. It spawned two sequels, neither ol which seemed lo relive the malesty ol the original, but what an original! It a still available on budget, so It you wanl something so challenging it'll make your brain explode, then you cen’l do much better than this. V~W'- SENSIBLE SOCCER vl.l REVIEWED: DECEMBER 92. 94% 'I really cannot praise this update highly enough. Simply by conceding that the original
wasn’t ported and actually doing something about it both Renegade and Sensible have scored wall on my 'caring poopin’ scala. However, whereas past enhanced versions ot games tArtanold.
Xenon, el at) have been minor remises ol old favourites, the additions made here are genuinely to the game s benefit It you are one ol the sad individuals who didn 't buy Sensible Soccer llrsl time round, then do so now - they don I come any better than this Sieve Merrett To recap, lor those who need il, Sensible Soccer is Sensible Software's answar lo Xict Oil 2. Shamelessly. Jon Hare and co treaty admit that they were heavily influenced when designing this game, which goes a long way to explain why there are so many similarities between this and Dlno Dint's ellort, such as the small
graphics, lha scanner, the complex control system and most ol the rest ol the game actually. Version 1.1 was lor Ihe most part a case ol tiny tweaks and improvements, with some slightly bolter intermediata screens and what have you.
Two areas that were greatly improved were the releree intelligence and the goalkeeper control The ret was watching most ol the time now. Dishing out cards a-plenty, while the computer controlled goalie were almost unbeatable. However, as they did behave 'Intelligently', It was still possible lo loot them, sending them the wrong way as you waltzed into the goal.
It’s slill as playable now. And has yet to be beaten really, so the mark . JTU stilt stands. Ml' TURRICAN 1 - Rainbow Arts REVIEWED: FEBRUARY 91,94% All the addictive shoot 'em op action that made the first game so enjoyable has been retained, yet somehow this new version seems tresh and different The re jigged aliens make lor a real challenge, and although the power-ups are spread quite generously through the game, its difficulty level is pitched to make the game challenging without being frustrating or too easy. In all, Turrican II is another line product from Rainbow Arts and a period
follow-up to the superb original. It surpasses everything they went out to achieve and Is a game that any sell-respecting shoot 'em up Ian should own.' Sieve Merrett At a time when everyone was striving to create arcade quality original adion games, Turrican was standing head and shoulders above most ol its contemporaries. Featuring lull 50Hz scrolling and animation and stylish graphics, it looked great and sold even better So if came as no surprise when a sequel was released. What was surprising was that it was even better. Although much ol the game had a similar leel, and many ol the
original features were still there, the Inclusion of bigger and better weapons, levels and bad guys made it all the more enjoyable.
Even now, when games that run In a frame are ten a penny, It's still huge fun to play and often gets loaded up here in the office at lunchtlmes. A personal favourite ol Dan's, the game hasn't aged at all. And can still give a lot ol games a run lor their money. A Superstar well worthy ol the title.
STRIKER - Rage REVIEWED: JUNE 92, 94% ¦s&P'- Striker plays extremely well, and oilers all the moves we have come to exped but within an excellent 3D play area. The players are extremely responsive, and perform their many kicks and passes with style and ease, and the computer opponents are set to tax the player as they wort their way through the many teams on offer. Striker is the perfect complement to the Anco game, and vice versa, n has speed, addictiveness and myriads of options. It s a stunning debut by Rage and all Striker is missing are the half time oranges... Steve Merrett At a time
when the whole world was Kick Oft crazy, it made a lot ol sense to release a soccer game ol one lorm or another. Many were poor clones ol Kick Oil. Most were just managerial games cashing in on the trend. Rage Software, previously known as Special FX, took the brave step ol approaching the genre with a completely new system. Instead ot viewing the pitch from above, a forced perspective was brought in with the player looking along' the pitch from behind their own goal . The same amount of the pitch was visible as Kick Off. And interestingly enough, it managed to scroll at much the same rate
Most surprising ol all was the fact that It played as well as Kick Olt. The odd viewpoint still throws most people the first couple ol times they play it, but you soon get used to it. The (act that it has now been a roaring success within the console market Is a real testament to its playability. It hasn't even begun to date yet, so the mark remains right at the top.
GOLF - Microprose REVIEWED: DECEMBER 91,94% 'Microprose Golf is a classic. II remains so because Ihe game is as complete as It could be without you actually getting out there yourself and spoiling that Sunday afternoon stroll. II you play goll, it’s a must. If you don't, then after just a few rounds on the Amiga, you’ll be making enquiries down at the local club - and, whatever the outcome, Sunday afternoons will never be the same again.’ Garth Sumpter Sports games are generally well catered for. There are dozens of football, rugby, tennis and cricket games, but there has only been one or two
decent golf games. Lealerboardand Links have always been firm favourites, bul there have been ten times as many duff ones.
Microprose Golf is without a doubt the best one to ever appear, and a game that I still play on a weekly basis. Like the real thing, you just can't get tired of moving around the greens and fairways, trying different combinations and approaches. There are stacks of options to tailor the game to your liking, a whole selection of different tournaments and challenges to play, plus six different courses and all manner of computer opponents. Thanks to the polygon graphics, the courses all look significantly different, and the fact that its a simulation rather than a computer version of the sport
means that anyone who has ever picked up a club will find their way around these fairways instantly. One round on this, and you'll never say golf is dull again.
SOCCER KID - Krisails REVIEWED: SEPTEMBER 93, 93% ‘Soccer Kid is an immense game and lots ol fun to ptay. The action is relentless, there are plenty ot pick-ups and bonuses to collect (essential in this kind ol game), and the graphics and animation are superb. Best ot alt. The ball bounces around the screen in a highly realistic manner. Surprisingly, this wasn't much ol a programming challenge, but it looks impressive nonetheless. From Soccer Kid’s cheeky grin cuteness to his amating ball handling expertise this game shouts class. It’s delinitely a contender lor one ot this year's top 10
games. II not the top spot itsell.' John Mather Platform game heroes have always had strange powers, but what about a game where the star is a keen lootball lanatlc who is rarely seen without a bait at his leet? That’s exactly what Krisaiis created when they came up with the idea ot Soccer Kid. And It's a novel twist that saw the Kid rising through Ihe charts as everyone agreed with John Mather’s wise words. An extremely playable platform romp, Soccer Kid had you controlling the Kid across dorens ol levels, using his amaxing ball control to propel a small leather sphere all over the screen, as
well as adapting it slightly to increase his jump height and running speed.
There's tar too much to go Into here, but take it from me. It's gre SYNDICATE - Bullfrog REVIEWED: JULY 93, 94% 'This is the game I’ve been wailing tor lor years. No holds barred, lull-out megadeath violence.
No morals, no prisoners, just grab the biggest sod-ott gun you can find and total a town. The only thing this game could be compared to is a real lime version ot Laser Sguad. But then that’s in the loosest sense ot the word. I only have one real criticism. When you walk Into a building you can't see what’s going on. The only way to keep track of the action is to use the scanner and move the cursor around the general area as it changes shape when it’s over another person.
Apart trom that this is one ol the best games I've played in years. The sheer slae, violence and huge amounts ol action makes lor totally addictive gameplay. Put all other purchases on hold, this is an essential buy.’ Mark Patterson Bullfrog, obviously getting a little bored with Gods and villages, moved forward In time with Syndicate and created a chilling gangland scenario that was so violent. It had to be toned down tor public consumption. Take your agents downtown and complete a series ot titty mission, destroying buildings, people, cars and iust about anything that moves. Using a system
upgraded Irom Ihe Pooulons3D engine, this atmospheric strategy blast Is quite unlike anything else, and begs to be exploited by the bandwagon jumpers in the industry. Like Mark r, said, it’s an essential buy. L‘ZE«t MONKEY ISLAND 2 - Lucosfilm REVIEWED: JUNE 92, 95% Monkey IslandPhas genuine wit end oodles ol charm. Fine luned to perfection, everything is up-lront lor all to see, hear and read. The story alone should keep you gripped to the very last word. LeChecks Revenge Is truly a masterly mis ot wacky humour and stunning images. I’m a massive tan ot adventures and I can honestly say that
they |ust don’t come any hotter than this.’ Rik Haynes The Secret Ol Monkey Island 2 is a game that lucastllm had been working towards Irom the moment the company was lormed. One ot the linest graphic adventures to date, it tells Ihe late ot one Guyhrush Threepwood as he searches lor the biggest treasure ot all - The Big Whoop. On Ihe way he meets many ol his adversaries Irom Ihe original Secret Ol Monkey Island, along with all his old pats such as Elaine Marley and the Voodoo Lady. It’s big. It's tough and it’s a classic.
Bul it did come out over a year ago. And things happen quickly In the adventure business and any ot the game’s most popular aspects have been improved upon since it’s release. For example. Lucastilm’s new masterpiece. Day Ot The Tentacle, has ten times the humour and ten times the complexity of this, while ottering a more user friendly control system. It’s still a lot ol tun to play, and still as challenging as it was, but better games are appear* ing now, so It loses a couple ol points.
It’s not every day that you get to win an instant games library but that 's what ’s on otter in this truly amazing competition. We 've teamed up with The Hit Squad, purveyors of tine-quality budget-priced games, to otter one lucky winner their entire back catalogue. Yes, that's right, every single Hit Squad title could be yours!
So how can you get your hands on this mountain of top-notch software? Easy! Simply study the 10 screen shots on the opposite page, see if you can tigure out which games they are trom, and then write down your guess tor each one beneath the appropriate picture. Then clip out the coupon and mail your entry to: GAMES BONANZA, CU Amiga, EMAP Images, 30-32 Farringdon Lane, London, EC1R 3AU. Well, what are you waiting tor?!
N ?
Pang Platoon Power Drift Predator Puzznic Rainbow Islands Rambo III Red Heat Renegade RoboCop R-Type Run the Gauntlet Shadow Warriors Sly Spy STUN Runner Super Hands On Total Recall Untouchables Voyager Wizball Pictionary Test Drive II Trivial Pursuit Prince of Persia Hudson Hawk RoboCop 2 Smash TV Pitfighter RBI 2 Terminator 2 Pro Tennis Tour ?
The Immortal MIG-29 Chase HO 2 Hardball Mean 18 Toki Shadowlands Grand Prix Circuit Hard Drivin’ II Super Space Invaders Hook Blue Angels Parasol Stars Indianapolis ?
The following titles all cost £7.99 ? Afterburner ? Altered Beast ? Arionoid II ? Badlands ? Batman the Caped Crusader ] Batman The Movie ? Beach Volley ? Bubble Bobble ? Cabal ? Castle Master ? Chase HO ? Crazy Cars ? Dragon Ninja ? Daley Thompson Olympic Challenge ? Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters ? Fun School 2 0 Ghostbusters 2 0 Head Over Heels 0 Ivanhoe 0 Jack Nicklaus Golf 0 Last Ninja 2 0 Lombard RAC Rally ] Midnight Resistance 0 NARC 0 Navy Moves 0 New Zealand Story 0 Nightbreed Arcade 0 Operation Wolf HIT SQUAD CHECKLIST Over the years, the Hit Squad label has established
itself as the premier budget label, pumping out a steady stream of top-quality Amiga games at bargain basement prices. And our competition lets you win the lot! So here, checklist chums, are all the games you can win in our rather groovesome compo.
The following titles all cost between £9.99 and £12.99. Strikefleet 4th & Inches The Simpsons Populous and the Promised Lands WWF 688 Attack Sub Budokan The Cycles Addams Family Hard Nova Gunboat I'd like to win a mountain of software, so I’ve written down the names of the 10 games which I think you’ve taken the screenshots from.
THE RUES If, by some miracle, I should actually win the competition, please send my prize to:
1. This competition isn't open to employees of EMAP Images or
Ocean Software.
Name: .... Address:
2. The closing date for entries is February 28th, 1994.
3. The editor's decision is final.
4. No correspondence will be entered into.
5. There can be no cash alternative.
City ..Postcode When money’s too tight to mention, why not turn to the burgeoning budget sector and check out some of the cracking games on offer at knockdown prices. Here’s just a few of the many bargains to be had... OPERATION THUNDERBOLT After a dodgy conversion of Operation Wolf, Ians of the series were relieved when the sequel was almost identical to its arcade parent. Operation Thunderboll combines the sideways-scrolling action of the first game with a forward-scrolling section which has since been much-copied in games such as
Space Gun and Line olFlre. Once again, we are in rescue the hostages' territory, as the player and a Iriend attempt to blast a path through to the escape plane at the end of the game. All manner of extra weapons are thrown at you, and must be shot to deflect them and the assailants blown away. The one major fault with Op Thunderbolts that initially the player is left without a gun-sight, making aiming very difficult Indeed, but when the laser device is found all is soon rectified and the action can really get going.
A superb conversion which has stood the test of time.
HIT SQUAD £7.99 ROBOCOP The first really successful movie license, Robocop was the first Ocean game to utilise the now-overused mixture of puzzle and arcade sequences. Stepping into the metallic insoles ol ol' chrome dome himself, players must blast their way through a rogue's gallery of bad guys until reaching the end ol level for a face-off against a larger guardian.
Alternating between these arcade sequences, though, are a series of puzzles, ranging Irom a cross-hair-based shoot 'em up scene to a photo-fit sequence, where Robo must identify a particular felon. The mixture is a little dated now and the action repetitive but, on the whole, Robocop is still a playable blaster
- if a little on the easy side.
HIT SQUAD £7.99 GHOULS 'N' GHOSTS This sequel arrived in its Amiga form before Elite's conversion of its forerunner, Ghosts'n'Goblins, and far exceeded it In every respect. Retaining the 'run and jump' action of the original, Shoo s has a larger and more varied play area, with a whole host ol zombies, magicians and vultures impeding your progress. The storyline recounts how Arthur the Knight's babe has been kidnapped by Satan himself, and whisked away to his demonic lair. Armed only with a handlul ol lances and a suit ol armour, you must steer Arthur through the game's sis levels until you
get a chance to kill oft Satan and rescue your glrly. This action then proceeds through platlorm-tilled towns and areas, where Arthur can collect extra-weapons to aid his progress. Graphically, although they are tiny. GbmK sprites are well-drawn and detailed, and the backdrops are of an even higher standard. In addition, supporting the action are six of the best tunes you’ll ever hear on your Amiga - all ol which are courtesy ol Tim Follln.
KIXX £7.99 Z-OUT As a budget release, this is an absolute steal.
Rainbow Arts' five stage blaster nicks ideas from virtually every shoot 'em up ever released, but rises above the competition thanks to its utterly addictive gameplay. It’s back to the fl-Type-style gameplay. As the levels unveil their Gigeresque aliens and underwater creatures, with all the usual beam weapons and missiles you’d expect to see.
However, whereas R-Type stuck to one pattern, by borrowing ideas from other blasters, larger space ships appear and must be blasted bit by bit, and the enemy waves attack in a manner more accustomed to the likes of Xenon II and Scramble. Add to this some of the most breath-taking graphics the Amiga has seen, and it’s the final cherry on an already succulent cake. Everything about Z- Out is brilliant: it’s fast, it's graphically superb, and it’s only eight quid!
KIXX £7.99 THE UNTOUCHABLES Once again, Ocean used their combination of game styles to create a neat package, and all credit to Special FX for creating a moody and atmospheric game. As Eliot Ness, leader of a tough band of law-enforcers. The player is left to complete seven arcade sections before Al Capone is finally put behind bars. Starting in a warehouse, where Ness must locate bottles of booze whilst avoiding the bullets of patrolling hoods, the game closely follows the film’s plot as the player progresses. These scenes take the shape of an Op Wolf-style roof-top shoot-out and a really
clever pram sequence, where Ness must steer the pram and its infant contents to safety whilst plugging Capone's cronies. All seven sections play really well, even if the first two are a little long.
HIT SQUAD £7.99 RICK DANGEROUS Firebird s square-jawed hero’s debut gets another airing, and he's just as Iresh as when he first appeared. Basically an extension on the popular platform genre, Rick 0 takes an Indy-style scenario set over live stages and mixes in some ot the most devious traps and pitfalls you are ever likely to encounter. Graphically, the game Is excellent, with squat and detailed sprites set against deliberately bland backdrops - which even feature a black and white mode for B-movie buffs. The five levels are incredibly tough, with loads ol natives and Nazis to shoot, prod,
or blow up, and a series ol secret rooms await your attention. Rick D is one ol the best platform games I've ever played, and is an absolute steal at such a low price.
KIXX E7.99 JAMES POND Before there was Robocod, there was Pond... James Pond, and whilst the games are radically different in style, Millennium’s tirst aquatic outing Is still lun lo play. Minus the extending mldrltl powers ol the second game, Pond is out to stop Ihe evil Doctor Maybe Irom polluting the world's oceans and killing oil all ot our hero's chums with deadly toxins. Thus, in a series ol scrolling arcade adventure missions, James Is out to thwart the plans and stop the tainting ot the seas. All this Is achieved via a series of objoct-rolatod punles which gradually allow Pond lo
access additional stages in Ihe game. Untortunately, though, the pollution is affecting the sea-llfe who consequently turn on the aquatic agent. A bit slow in places, James Ponds ma|or problem is that its sedate pace makes it rather too easy to solve. None ot the nasties prove any real hassle which, whilst not doing anything for the game’s lasting appeal, may make it worthy lor the younger player.
GBH £7.99 STRIDER Although Tiertex’s Capcom conversion contains virtually everything Irom the all singin’, all leapin’ coin-op, it still lacks that certain something to keep the player’s attention. Set in a Russia ol the future, Hru Strider must run and jump his way through an evil Tsar’s bio- metallic base, using his trusty sword to cut a path through to the guardian who awaits al the end of each stage. The levels are varied and Interesting, with a large selection ol gun turrets and baddies, and the assorted stages take the player through Amazonian-style forests and the wintry wastelands ol
The main plus about Strider Is that the game is easy to play, with extra weaponry and power-ups adding to the lun. However, there is a feeling of luck rather than skill as progress is made, and the loss ol lile is olten down to the illogical actions ol the aliens rather than the fault ol the player.
It’s debatable it the game will keep your interest for long.
KIXX £7.99 RANG A real rarity in thp arcades, Pang is a rather spilfy shoot ’em up with a difference. Cast as a big game hunter, your prey is a series ol bouncing balloons which must be popped by shooting them. Contact wHh any ot them, though, proves tatal, and as the game progresses, the levels are gradually cluttered with extra platforms and ladders to hamper your manoeuvrability. In addition, a series ol creatures scamper hither and tither, and will temporarily disarm the hunter. Extra power-ups add to the pop'-labulous tun, and can double your firepower or extend the strict time-limit
slightly. I must admit that I'm a real Pang tan. It's not the best last-paced game I’ve played and some ol the earlier levels ate a little tedious to have lo play through, but it’s addictive in its own funny way. And contains that all-important germ ol gameptay to keep you interested.
HIT SQUAD £9.99 PRINCE OF PERSIA When Domark originally released this in December *90. It breathed new life into the platform genre. Up until then, the platform game had become stale and bland, with numerous contenders to the Mario throne disappearing without a trace. POP, however, went completely the opposite way and created a game that even console owners went green at. Controlling one of the most athletic and superbly-animated sprites ever, the player was given the task ol exploring a series ol trap-laden levels In search of your kidnapped girly. Set against a tight timelimit, the
game is the Amiga’s equivalent ol an Errol Flynn movie: it has sword-lights, grisly ends to the unwary traveller, and jumps that require pixel perfect positioning.
Of course, all this has been tried before, but none have put them together with the panache that Broderbund's coding shows.
THE HIT SQUAD £7.99 SHADOW WARRIORS Slightly overshadowed by the release ol Total Recall llrsl time round, Shadow Warriors is a playable conversion ol Ihe popular Tailo coln- op. Starring two lithe Ninjas, Ihe player(s) have been given Ihe task ol inliltrating a drug runner's base in an assassinalion mission.
What separates S iadowtrom Ihe countless other martial arts games available is the flexibility ol Ihe characters and their surroundings. Whilst many games purport to let the player lully interact with trees and walls, Shadow Warriors allows players to swing Irom Ihe lampposts, uprool telephone bo es and kick people into or against walls.
As the duo progress, their surroundings change Irom slreeB to swamps and eventually Into Mr Big’s lair, and all boast an army ol sprites out to halt your progress. Although it’s by no means the ultimate conversion, it makes Double Dragon’s Lee brothers look like Hinge and Bracket.
HIT SQUAD £7.99 TURRICAN 2 Comprising elements of nearly every Amiga shoot 'em up, Turrican Iiis a supreme blast which still outstrips most of its full-price rivals. Although not boasting a great deal over its predecessor, the sequel sports improved graphics and effects, whilst retaining the run’n’shoot scrolling action ol the original. In addition, it also takes the opportunity to expand our tin-plated hero’s armoury, and adds numerous new bombs, lasers and effects. For those ol you not familiar with the series, then this is your perfect chance to get acquainted. Tighter level design means
each level offers a tairly still challenge with loads ol secret blocks and rooms waiting to be discovered.
KIXX £7.99 Murz CjuuiI ililvS jrum Mhruilen!
VlD€OMRST€R Clarity 16 version 1.5 Clarity 16 is our premier, professional sound sampler allowing rates up to 32KHz in 16 bit stereo and up to 48KHz in 16 bit mono on a standard Amiga; accelerated machines can handle faster sampling rates.
The software provides extensive features including full edit control, a MIDI keyboard emulator, a sample sequencer, many special effects, FFT analysis and much more.
New Version 1 5 has an up-to-date Workbench 3 look, in its own window and includes many enhancements allowing full compatibility with faster Amigas.
Megalosound Our brand-new, 8-bit stereo, direct-to-disk budget sampler is now shipping.
The Megalosound software is packed full of easy-to-use editing features, special effects and extras such as the ability to print waveforms and sample information.
The package allows sampling up to 84KHz mono and 56KHz stereo to memory and up to 21 Khz stereo to hard disk on an A1200. Supplied with a hardware volume control and an extensive 144-page manual, Megalosound is impressive value at only £34.95. Pro-MIDI Interface This interface allows you to connect a MIDI system to any Amiga computer via the serial port of your machine using a single multi-core cable. The interface sits conveniently next to your computer and provides MIDI In, Thru and two Out connections. Pro-MIDI is compatible with all leading Amiga MIDI software and comes complete with a
miscellany of MIDI PD utilities on disk.
VideoMaster AGA VideoMaster combines the beauty of a video digitiser, the fun of a sound sampler and some superb sequencing software to provide a true Multimedia system that is a joy to use. This is the one package that you need for producing high quality stills & 25 frames second movies with sound!
Previously, only A500 ow ners have been able to take advantage of VideoMaster; now A1200 and A600 users can work with this amazing package and enjoy brand-new features such as superb HAM 8 (A1200 only) and 640x512 digitised stills and 160x100 25 frames per second monochrome video with sound.
VideoMaster AGA plugs into the PCMCIA slot thus leaving your Amiga free for further expansion.
ColourMaster To complement the VideoMaster ‘F’’r system, w’e have developed a high quality RGB colour splitter which allows you to automatically digitise full colour movies stills, directly from the VideoMaster software. The splitter is packaged with VideoMaster RGB.
The picture above is an un-retouched shot taken oulsute Microdeal s offices with a Panasonic camcorder and digitised with ColourMaster and VideoMaster AGA. All withun a few seconds!
Ciarityl6 Megalosound Pro-MIDI Interface VideoMaster AGA VideoMaster RGB ColourMaster £149.95 £34.95 £24.95 £79.95 £139.95 £69.95 Games TOKI Ocean France have come up with some real corkers in the past, and their conversion ol the Toki coin-op is spot on. If you’re a tan ot the original arcade machine, then you'll absolutely love the Amiga version as it's an almost identical pixel-by-pixel recreation. Levels include a cave-like world, an underwater stage, a jungle, an underground interno and a heavily fortified prison. You're only armed with globules ol spit to begin with(!|, but there are
live different types ot shot available, including triple-lire and a neat llame-thrower effect that sends your victims to a fiery grave.
Everything's against the clock, though, so you can't waste too much time exploring each level. Graphically, this is just like the coin- op, although the sound is a bit ol a let down and the in-game tune is positively grating alter a while. Action-wise, this is a wellpaced platform game, with plenty of obstacles to overcome and some highly inventive nasties - look out lor the swinging apes and huge end-ol-level monstrosities. Easy to play but difficult to complete, Toki is a polished game.
It might be three-years old, but it's up there with the best.
HIT SQUAD £9.99 SMASH TV II you like your games coated in an extremely violent veneer, then Smash Tvshould be right up your street. Mix shoot 'em up action with a team ol baseball-wielding thugs and you've got a good idea about what to expect here. The action comes thick and last as you take control ol a contestant in an ultra-violent futuristic game show. The aim is to collect as many different prizes as possible (such as videos and toasters) while avoiding an army ol mutant psychos who are alter the greatest prize ol all... your life! The graphics aren't up to much and the in-game sounds are
rather tinny, but lor a mindless blast this really can't be beat. Each room is packed lull of prizes, mortars, explosives, laser emplacements and hidden bombs, and before you know if Ihe screen is flooded wilh the aforementioned thugs who won't rest unlil they've battered you into a mushy pulp. Armed with a paltry machine gun to begin with, there are various power-ups scattered around each room which can transform your weapon into a slice n dice death machine. After working your way through a number ol screens, you come up against larger bosses and that’s when the fun really starts!
HIT SQUAD £7.99 Fgh LOTUS 2 Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge was the game that really made Gremlin Graphics the force it is today. Lotus2, featuring the Lotus Elan, merely strengthened the reputation of the original.
Rather than race around a series ol looped tracks as part ol a league, you have to make your way across eight long courses, taking you over the snowy mountains, through the dark night city streets, across a desert and even along a motorway where it's a little too easy to career into the wrong lane and get hit by oncoming traffic! The varying conditions can pose a real problem - try anticipating a sharp right hand turn in extremely loggy conditions - and so add to the game challenge greatly. Lotus 2leatures the same single and double player modes ol the original, with the big difference being
that in solo mode the player gets a full-screen view ot the road.
Add to that the fact that you can link up two machines and play with a total ol tour players, and you have one excellent excuse lor phoning your mates! The sprites are slick and convincing, as is the scaling of objects from horizon to foreground. In fact, the overall impression of speed can be quite overwhelming, particularly on the log and snow tracks. An exciting race game with more than enough in the way ot challenge and variety. At this price, you’d be a tool to miss it!
GBH £9.99 MtP STORM MASTER Storm Master combines an unusual scenario, some excellent graphics and an easy-to-leam control system into an absorbing game. The player is cast as the new ruler ol the wind-swept realm of Eolia, which is in the middle ol a war with its neighbour Sharkaania. The main aim is to destroy Sharkaania's seven cities, whilst preventing them Irom destroying yours. Every decision that’s made in Storm Master has a long term strategic consequence, so you'll have to think carefully before clicking. Once battle commences you can choose to take control ot the Hying ships you’ve
constructed in a 30 combat sequence using crossbows and catapults. Normally this part ot a strategy game is very weak, but here the action is thick and last. The attention to detail and overall playability are superb. The game looks good and demands a lot ot deep thinking if you’re to succeed.
GWP £2.99 ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE ROBOT MONSTERS Winner of Ihe Longest Game Title Ever' award, Robot Monsters is a spoof ot countless space-based B-Movies, and pits two heroic lighters against a mass ot manic robots. Played across a series of isometric zones, the game is basically a shoot 'em up, as the two laser-toting heroes blast Iheir way through the scrolling areas, in search of an exit. Along Ihe way, they run Ihe risk of gelling impaled, eleclrocuted and shot, all of which are depicted in brilliant car- toon style. TrX-FSt HIT SQUAD £7.99 GAME COMPILATIONS Representing
incredible value, games compilations can be an absolute steal - but only if you like every game that’s included.
Unfortunately, many publishers will bundle a couple of excellent games with a complete stinker, thus lessening the appeal of the pack.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, as there are still some excellent bargains to be had.
SPORTS MASTERS EMPIRE £29.99 TEL 081 343 7337 Here's an easy way to get lit without having to go through all that trouble ol learning a sport, practising until you become good at it and all the other pointless effort some people put themselves through. Sports Masters from Empire is all you need lo become a top footballer, goiter, tennis player or Indy driver like Nigel Mansell. PGA Tour Golf Is probably the best known game on here, and that's simply because it's one ol the best all round goll titles ever. Three courses, graded difficulty levels and some really smart graphics keep it as
worthwhile as it was the day it came out.
Indianapolis 500, while not being the most detailed racing game around, is definitely one of the fastest, and features a unique Instant Replay feature, letting you see some ot the most mental smashes ever Irom a variety ol angles. Infogrames’ Advantage Tennis is probably as hard as the real thing. Fast and smooth, you've got your work cut out just trying to keep your eye on the ball, let alone try and hit the thing! The only dull game in here is European Championship '92, but what does it matter? You're still gelling three great games (ora tenner apiece!
SOCCER STARS EMPIRE £25.99 TEL 081 343 7337 It you're lootball crazy, lootball mad, then this could be the best compilation that you’ve ever had'. Four arcade soccer titles, ranging from the superb Kick OH2 to the thoroughly awful Gazza 2. In lad, now I come to think ol it. Microprose Soccer and Emlyn Hughes International Soccer are fairly bad too. Oddly enough, both of the last two were really, really good on the old Commodore 64, but tailed to make the grade when converted over to the Amiga. Microprose Soccer was the first lootball game to feature that now standard top view, while Emlyn
Hughes leatures Ihe then standard side view and an interesting player slats section. Gana2, on the other hand, is really awful. Tiny sprites, no playability and a completely duff license. But then we come to the star ol the show - Kick Oft 2. We all know how good It is, and you don't really need me lo tell you that it’s one ot the best soccer games ever, and the one that really makes this compilation.
TOP OF THE FLOPS The most abysmal Amiga games of all time!
IN THE BIN You roally wouldn't want a ring-alda ml lo aipartancu thia placa ol drtvol... forked out a mint for the license, put out any old crap, hoping it'll sell on the back of the movie's publicity. The roll call of calamities includes such gems' as Fright Night, Moonwalker.
Jaws, Pink Panther and The Munsters - pathetic one and all.
Of these, Microdeal’s Fright Night must get a special mention as it was obscenely awful in almost every respect. The actual Fright Night films are fairly enjoyable affairs, but the game was a travesty. Written by industry veteran, Steve Bak, it involved guiding a huge, apparently The Amiga has played host to some of the most amazing ground-breaking games ever published.
Unfortunately, it's also had more than its fair share of absolute howlers. This is their story and its not a pleasant tale... We've all done It - gone and forked out a small fortune tor a new game only to race back home, load it up and realise that what we've bought is the computer equrva- lent of a steaming heap of horse droppings! In everyone’s game collection there’s bound to be one or two complete turkeys, so bad that you hide them away in the dimmest recesses of your bedroom (next to the Nick Berry records and the Work Out with Anneka video). For every Frontier or Speedball 2, there’s
a treasure trove of trash, a veritable mountain of mediocrity just waiting to be (unfortunately) discovered. With more full-price Amiga releases than ever before and a burgeoning budget market, it’s all too easy to fall into the ’tope trap' and purchase a complete dodo of a game. But fear not. As the CU Amiga team are here to steer you dear of the worst excesses of digital diarrhoea HORROR MOVIES Let's start by taking a look at a genre that's choc-ful of chunder - yes. You guessed it. Movie licenses. Although these are less frequent on the Amiga than they used to be. Companies still
attempt to push the latest blockbuster movies and, in an effort to cut costs because they've already all the player had to do was pounce on the unfortunates wandering around it. Just to add a little variety to the proceedings, bats attacked the main sprite every now and then (which is odd. As the hero' was a vampire in the first place), and the only real goal was to score as many points as possible by biting people before your energy expired.
US Gold have also made forays into the movie tie-in world, but got their fingers badly burnt when they picked up the license to Michael GAMES This game should definitely have been term*- Jackson's Moonwalker. The film itself was a ludicrous ego trip, but at least it could fall back on the music and special effects. Stripped of these, the game was a terrible mishmash of maze and shoot ‘em up action. It started with Michael's young mates in peril (how very prophetic!) As an evil Mr Big whisked them away. Driven by jealousy or whatever, a crap maze section similar to Pacman unfolded as Mikey
changed into a rabbit and tried to avoid two fat gits on motorbikes - hmmmm. Well, things then go from bad to worse as Mike turns into a robot for a scrolling blast affair which proved virtually unplayable thanks to collision detection which was dodgier than his current alibi, and sluggish controls - and the game culminates in a final slow-moving battle with Mr. Big himself. The question must arise as to why USG bothered at all.
Other dreadful licenses include Mindscape’s Captain Planet (which quickly became known as Captain Janet around the office because of its wimpy gameplay and eco'-con- sciousness), Titus's Dick Tracy and US Gold's Godfather game. The last in the list deserves special mention.
When you consider that Francis Ford Coppolla’s films are steeped in atmosphere and feature a number of set-piece action sequences, they should have been ideal conversion fodder. So whafdid we get? Another fciiii:*-.: ratfdiaf"" It IT-ill: ni i 01 11 fM.., ... platform game and not a very good one at that. Admittedly, it looked the business, with lush 32-colour graphics, smoky streets, plush apartments
- it had them all, but someone forgot to include the gameplay -
it played like a brick. In fact, it wasn't a million miles away
from both Dick Tracy and the equally-interminable Crime Does
Not Pay- i.e. your character walks along and shoots people. Ad
lib to fade. Just to keep you awake between stages, though, an
Operation Wolf-esque scene interrupted the shooty bits.
Hardly up to the standards set by the three films
- and the game had about as much in common with the film as Shaq
O'Neil has with Ronnie Corbett.
EaTASTOOPHES Arcade conversions have fared no better than their movie-based counterparts.
If you think about it, its pretty obvious that you’re not going to be able to effectively replicate the latest arcade wonder on an Amiga. What you end up getting for your thirty quid is a barely recognisable conversion with half of the original features missing! Such was the case with Domark’s STUN Runner conversion.
The coin-op was a visually stunning, fast-paced affair that required fast reflexes to navigate the twisting bends of a sci-fi race track. The Amiga-equivalent was. In comparison. Like taking charge of a souped-up zimmer-frame with all the pace of a speeding snail. The slow frame rate meant that the once thrilling hairpin bends of the comers were as exciting as a Beetle Drive at the local Derby and Joan.
Another botched conversion by the same company was Skull & Crossbones. Based on an already tawdry coin-op. The Amiga conversion managed to be even worse.
Skull featured the wobbliest sprites seen since the earliest days of the Spectrum and the gameplay was so pedestrian and linear that if you played past the first level you were obviously the sort of person who enjoyed pain to such an extent that dodgy Dutch film-makers would be knocking on your door with a film contract.
Then there were the Laserdisc conversions. Never had so little gameplay been spread across so many disks. First there was Dragons Lair, a stunning looking Is there no justice in the world...?
» game featuring real full-screen cartoon animation that had Amiga owners slobbering with glee - until they tried playing it. This game was responsible for the destruction of more joysticks than every Track and Field stick-waggler ever made. You see the trouble was. You didn’t so much control your character, as ofler suggestions as to which way he might want to go. More often than not. He’d completely ignore you. And nochalantly walk straight into a trap - time after time after time.. .and the asking price? A mere 45 nicker to you guv. Despite universal slagging in the computer press and a
hefty price tag, Dragon’s Lair is alleged to have sold by the skipload CHRISTMAS TURKEYS It's traditional to have turkey al Christmas, but in the past the software houses have taken this a bit loo far. This year's biggie. Mortal Kombat, is actually pretty good, which is spooky, as going by Ihe rule book it should resemble a steaming heap ot donkey manure. Street Fighter ft just managed to squeeze through without completely embarrassing itself, but the role of dishonour stretches far into the history ol the festive season: WWF Wrestling (challenge a mate as you take the roll of a nancy
boy in lycra Y-fronts, and mince around the ring slapping your opponent). Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (no relation to the coin-op. It set new lows in platform gaming), Ghostbusters II (the cause of much gnef here at EMAP Towers after the GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING The following games are definitely bad toe your health and in|ohoia lo yoor wallet Award yourself five points lot every one of die following you never bough! Bach lo Vie Future 2. Terminator 21 which we embarrassingly gate a lour oage remew slot lo when d was ongmaily released • Not!).
Paperboy 2. European Football Champ Outrun Europa. LEO Storm. Last Duel. Bladi Tiger. Judge Dredd. Espana Games 92. Popeye 2. Theme Parh Mystery. STUM Runner Darhman. Armalyle.
Motorhead. Ahered Beast. Frenelle.Daiii Fusion. Tethno Cop, Roy ol die Rovers. Human Killing Machine. Street Fighter. Cool World. John lowe Ultimate Darts. WWF I 4 2. Final Fight. Ptedalor II.
Plan 9 From Outer Space, Indiana Jones and the Fate ol Atlantis - The Arcade Game, Bonanta Brothers. Captain Planet, Venus, Final Blow, Robotone, Skull S Crossbones, Teenage Oueen, ESWAT. FOFT, HATE, Willy Beamish. Hare Raisin' Havoc, Gemini Wing, The Godfather. Dick Tracy, Chubby Gristle, Vlsen. Ninja Spirits. Superski. Crime Does Not Pay well, It did lor you. Titus!). Cnuy Cars 011-Shore Wamor, Galactic Conqueror. Tom and Jerry. The Pink Panlher. Jaws. Galaty Force.
Grand National Space An. Navy Moves. Army Moves. Pop OunOuesuon ol Sport. Ivanhoe. Weird one and only Brian Nesbit gave il a much deserved slating) G'DAY SPORT Sports games on the Amiga have fared considerably better than most other genres. It's difficult to say why this should be. But when you’ve got games like Goal!, Sensible Soccer, Microprose Golf. John Madden, Speedball 2, Striker and Archer McLean 's Snooker amongst many others, we re not complaining too loudly! Even here, though, there are some absolute howlers. How about the Eddie the Eagle license from Lohciel? No. You didn’t have to
come last by spamming about on the piste, pTAMOUS | piVF DEJA-VU?
Recreztftq certain name styles is nothing new as there are. After all. Only supposed to be seven different genres However, the following games are )ust a little loo samey lo warrant Ihe eitra cash: 3D Pool waa strictly one-dimensional.
Its absence, and the game was basically a beat the clock affair with loads of tedious questions loosely slotted in to the televised rounds. No use of the Amiga’s capabilities were made, but this didn’t stop Elite copying the code again and relabelling it Mike Read s Pop Quiz. Actually whilst on the subject of Elite, let’s not forget their Grand National game - although we'd love to! Control a horse as It runs upscreen. And press the fire button to make it jump over Beecher s Brook! Hardly the most varied of games, and about as much fun as watching National Velvet on a Sunday.
Rotoi. Operation Harrier • same system, both dull.
Shadowlands Shadow Worlds • good one Krlsalis, let’s hope nobody notices.
Street Fighter Human Killing Machine • different sprites, but that's about it.
Beast Busters Space Gun • hey. Let’s replace the zombies with aliens!
Question ol Sport Mike Read s Pop Quiz - can anyone tell them apart?!
Batman.Terminator 2 • the lirst ol many similar Ocean games Crazy Carstifl-Shore Warrior Galactic Conqueror - tedium on land, sea or In space.
ARMY MOVES & HUMAN KILLING MACHINE Whal have these two games in common other than being completely awful? The answer Is. Ahem, that we gave them away as coverdisks in our dim and distant past. Even sadder, lormer deputy editor. Steve Merrett actually recommended them as giveaways • and this from a man with a supposedly encyclopedic knowledge of flames... »8BBKOF™E Of course, once you've squeezed every ounce out of the available licenses, the only other path to pursue is original products - and judging by some of the games we've seen over the years, this isn’t a strong point with the majority
of software houses. You begin to wonder if the only requirement to work in the software industry is a frontal lobotomy! Take Magic Garden from the now long-gone Electronic Zoo - go on, as no-one else will! This multi-stage runaround featured a collection of gnomes who were forced to explore a single screen environment in an attempt to cut the grass and stop the weeds growing. Whoever designed this certainly worked for their P45!
Film licenses, or it can just be a daft idea from the start - Manga- style pom in Teenage Queen anyone? Another problem can be the Amiga's disk-based loading system - waiting minutes for the next scene in Willy Beamish to load is probably the computer equivalent of watching endless repeats of Open University.
Perhaps the most heinous crime of all. Though, is to let a game slip through the quality control net with more bugs in it than the whole of the South American Rainforest and. Believe me. This is more frequent than you could possibly imagine! Even quality games such as Kick Oil 2 have suffered - kick the ball off a defender at the top of the screen for a comer and you’d end up taking it in your own half of the pitch! Crashes are another hindrance - nothing can be more annoying than racking up a top score only for the game to crash at an inopportune moment. Games testers are obviously not
what they used to be. Because, of course, games never used to crash in the old days... Beat 'em ups are a popular genre on the Amiga at the sewage systems. How very interesting.
There are many factors that can make a game cheesy or crap. It can be missed potential such as the aforementioned coin-op and WORST GAME EVER!
Res. Although il look days ol soul-searching and heartbreak, we've linally managed to single out Ihe most miserable piece ol soltware ever lo slide into an Amiga s disk drive.
Laaaaaadies and Gen lemen. Ihe more than worthy winner ol the Reg Holdsworth Award lor Greatness is Gremlin s ROY OF THE ROVERSi You are Roy Race whose Melchesler males have been kidnapped by a properly developer out lo turn Ihe Melchesler ground into a car park. Exploring a llick-screen play area, you had lo solve Ihe mini adventure belore going on lo play In an even duller looly sim. Crap sprues, lerrlble music, and nothing to recommend.
Boy . What a stinker moment What with Street Fighter
2. Body Blows, Ellmania and Rise ol the Robots all vying for your
shekels, the standard here is very high. But it wasn't always
the case. The very first Streetlighter license was a dire
affair, but the coders were so proud of their appalling
conversion that they changed the graphics and rehashed it as
Human Killing Machine - complete with the abysmal ‘beat up the
dog" section.
God sims are another area where fools rushed in after the spectacular success of Maxis' Sim City and Bullfrog's Populous.
Anyone remember Millennium's Global Ellect. Steeped in eco-con- sciousness?! Yes. This was your chance to build solar-powered energy plants and complex Al least we were spared Matthew Corrbettt Designed to bring you high perlormance at affordable prices AmiTek peripherals offer outstanding value-for-money. They are also designed and built to ensure easy fitting, and trouble free operation - making them a pleasure to use. AmiTek products are also thoroughly tested and are very reliable. So reliable that they are pleased to offer a full two year warranty on the full AmiTek range.
• Formats to 880K
• Anti Click as standard
• Switchable hardware anti-virus technology On off switch
• Through connector for J extra drives
- _ _ • Compatible with all Arrogas
• Robust melal casing and small footprint design
• Power taken from Amiga - no external PSU AMITEK EXTERNAL DRIVE
1. EXTERNAL Maximise the processing power of your standard A1200.
Be ready for a new software which makes more demands on Amiga
memory and technology. The AmiTek Hawk RAM expansion includes
up to 8Mb fast 32 bit RAM, the ability to support a
sophisticated 68882 FPU and a battery backed up clock. Built
to a high standard, this board can be easily installed and
comes with a 2 year warranty. The Hawk RAM board is available
in 8 pre-configured factory installed versions enabling you to
select the model which best suits your requirements.
£59 INC VAT - DRI 1159 i 1. INTERNAL FOR AMIGA 500 500PLUS ‘ The AmiTek replacement drive is ideal for users who wish 10 replace their existim faulty internal drive. Everything needed lo fit the drive is included along with fully comprehensive fitting instructions and 24 months replacement guarantee. The AmiTek kit features a high quality 3.5* mechanism drive offering uncompromising performance at a fantastic price.
£49 INC VAT - Dfll 3600
• Comprehensive easy to follow manual with illustrations
• Works with all A1200 and A1200HD computers
• Does not invalidate your A1200 warranty
• Plugs straight into A1200 trap door - No soldering required
• Upgradeable FAST RAM board to 1,2,4 or 8Mb
• Uses industry standard SIMMs
• Socketed SIMM lor easy RAM upgrades
• Three types ot optional floating point unit RAM UPGRADES FOR
ALU AMIGA'S This modulator Is rscom- mended (ot usws who wish
lo replace a faulty external modulator Everything needed is
supplied. Like an AmiTek peripherals it comes wih an easy to
follow manual
• High quality design
• Full manual included
• FREE RF I £29 I cable supplied It I NO FPU 20?;b 33 SS 40 FPU 1
Mb I RAM £99 £149
* *C »* “*** '2 2 - - O Mb
C. RAM £129 £199 - A Mb 4 RAM £199 - - £299 Q Mb O RAM £399 - -
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(WortO: .... | Which computer ), if any, do you own? ... .... ......125A J l*0€ • p.«m *nd X-oWvlom ma, charge return the ojuton the Ulul intxmanen BOOKSHOP SPECIAL If knowledge is power then books must surely be the Trident missiles of the intek lect. Understanding how things work is the basis for getting the most out of them, and that's especially true of computers. Of course, on CU Amiga we delight in sharing our knowledge and experience with you. And hopefully that has helped you over
the years, but there's only so far we can go. If you want to leam as much as possible about your computer, you're going to have to invest in some reading material; you never know, you might even enjoy the process!
MASTERING AMIGA DOS 2 VOLUME 1 £21.95 - BSB - 0923 894355 When Bruce Smith and Mark Smiddy began work on what was intended as the definitive guide to AmigaDOS, they imagined a single info packed volume. It wasn’t long before they realised that they were going to over-run so they split the book into two halves: a reference volume and a tutorial.
This is the tutorial volume which has been designed to teach you how to use the Amiga’s disk operating system (DOS) and how to get the best from it. It’s been very much designed with programming beginners in mind and introduces the most basic DOS concepts gradually and in language that you can understand. For example, it describes the way that files are stored on a disk, and how directories and drawers work.
However, this is not some patronising guide which never gets beyond the end of its own ndse. It also talks about a variety of advanced subjects such as creating your own compilation disks, recursive scripts, customising the startup- sequence and using Amiga text editors.
The book is aimed at Workbench 1.2,1.3 and 2.x users; there’s a separate volume for 3.0 (A1200 A4000) owners.
As with most BSB books, there’s free disk available which contains many example scripts to demonstrate the stuff in the text.
ISBN 1 873308-00-0 MASTERING AMIGA C £19.95 - BSB - 0923 894355 For many tasks, a language such as Basic or even Arexx is just not capable of providing the required speed or flexibility. In such cases you need to look at C or machine code. The Amiga's operating system was written in C, so that seems like a logical starting point.
Although programs written in C are not usually as elegant as those written in machine code, they run nearly as quickly and the language is pot nearly as difficult to learn. Even so, you’ll need good help to get you on your way.
Paul Overaa's book offers a reasonable starting place, and although absolute computer novices will find the going pretty tough, once you have a moderate understanding of AmigaDOS you should be able to cope.
The book deals with two C compiling systems in particular: the expensive SAS C development system, and the public domain North C package (which is included on the supplementary disk). It comes with specific worked examples which can be used with these compilers as well as talking in more general terms about the language.
There's no point suggesting that this book makes it easy to learn C; you'll still need patience and intelligence, but this simply offers you a good start.
ISBN 1-873308-04-6 No matter what your interests on the Amiga, there's bound to be a book that covers it. If you want to find out more about your favourite area of interest, then here's a selection of books that'll let you do just that.
MASTERING AMIGADOS 2 VOLUME 2 £19.95 - BSB - 0923 894355 Whereas Volume 1 is targeted at those people who want to gain or expand upon their perhaps limited knowledge, this tome is for those who have a fair understanding of the workings of AmigaDOS but who simply require a reference source to clarify its parameters.
It provides a 307 page listing of every single AmigaDOS 1.2 - 2.04 command. Each command is shown with examples and templates as well as a description of when it should be used. The page layouts are well designed for maximum speed and ease of use - very important factors when designing a reference book.
In addition to the command reference, the book also includes five detailed appendices which cover AmigaDOS error codes, viruses, the IFF file format, the mountlist and the structure and capacity of floppy disks.
There can be no doubt that this book is a valuable companion if you intend to use your Amiga as anything more than a games machine.
ISBN 1-873308-09-4 MASTERING AMIGA BEGINNERS £19.95-BSB-0923 894355 If you're new to computers, the Amiga must seem like a pretty scary beast, and the manual that comes with it doesn't do as much as it might to ease your trepidation.
This book is designed to introduce you gently to the plethora of subjects that you’ll encounter as an Amiga owner, ranging from the Workbench to viruses, from setting up a printer to using software, it’s all here.
The most important thing about the title is the language it uses, and in that regard it’s generally very good. It's been written by Phil South who has a very good and non-jar- gonese way of writing. Rather than making his book a technical tutorial, he takes a much more conversational approach which helps to stop it from becoming boring.
ISBN 1-873308-03-5 MASTERING AMIGA PRINTERS MASTERING AMIGA SYSTEM Few subjects cause Amiga users more consternation that getting their printer to work properly. Whilst many modern pieces of software take this into account, the majority of printers are still being used with older software, and consequently are still not being used to their best.
Mastering Amiga Printers covers every type of device from dot matrix to laser, and teaches you how to configure the printer to work with your Amiga. It covers subjects such as printer drivers, printing text and graphics and connecting the printer. It also goes on to more advanced subjects such controlling your printer in Basic, control and escape codes and even adjusting vertical and horizontal spacing.
To be honest if you only use your printer with a single word processor, this title is probably unnecessary, but if you use it with a lot of different packages then this book will enable you to finally get the sort of performance from your printer that you always hoped it was capable of.
ISBN 1-873308-05-1 £29.95 - BSB - 0923 894355 £19.95 - BSB - 0923 894355 If you're learning to program, regardless of the language you're bound to have discovered that the Amiga is a complicated piece of machinery. Sure it's one of the most flexible and friendly home computers available, but harnessing this power in code is no easy task.
This book aims to help you to understand the big picture so that you can see the way that the different elements of the operating system (OS) work in relation to each other.
Definitely not a title for the beginner, Amiga System describes the ways that you can control and manage the Amiga’s multiple elements, and describes techniques such as memory management, multi-tasking, libraries and devices.
It also discusses at length the function and application of many of Ihe custom chips including the blitter.
Demo writers will doubtless be pleased to see detailed analysis of the copper list, which is used so often to provide those rainbow colour bars that seem to be a feature of so many demos.
Most of the programming example are given in, and relate to C and this is obviously because the Amiga's OS is written in the same language.
Fortunately the information is provided within a practical framework so that you can easily appreciate the benefits of what is being discussed, so for example, in the section on the Serial port, the potential MIDI uses are introduced, and this adds relavence which keeps the text inter- ISBN 1-873308*06-X MASTERING AMIGA ASSEMBLER £24.95 - BSB - 0923 894355 MASTERING AMIGA WORKBENCH 2 £19.95 - BSB - 0923 894355 No Amiga language is as powerful or as difficult to leam as machine code.
Programming this language is made a little easier by the use of an ‘interpreter', a program known as an assembler, into which you can type mnemonics which are a tiny bit easier to understand and debug than raw numbers. However, the bottom line is that you're going to have to sit down at some stage and try to comprehend a language which is more hostile than any other.
Programming guru Paul Overaa attempts to ease your passage with his latest book, having already successfully written a C Manual.
Paul talks about the basic concepts that you’ll need to grasp in order to understand what assembly language is all about. He also describes the architecture of the 68000 chip in some detail before going on to describe simple programs designed to solve specific easy problems. This practical approach is useful because it helps you to see the language in the context that it’s most likely to be used.
The book progresses to explore ever more complex programming concepts such as using library routines and how to access the custom chips directly.
Even if you successfully read this from cover to cover and understand everything, it won’t make you a commercial programmer - only practice will do that - but you will understand enough to write your own assembly language programs to perform moderately complex operations.
ISBN 1 -873308-11 -6 Even if you only play games, you're likely to encounter the Amiga Workbench sooner or later. For many people it is little more than a portal, an environment that they pass through on the way to something else. However, Workbench is much more than that, and in release 2 Commodore made it even more powerful. This book aims to show you how to get the most out of the most frequently accessed Amiga environment.
Ml « V Not only does it go into detail about how the Workbench can be configured for your exact requirements, it also describes how this configuration affects the other programs you use.
With a detailed step by step description of the contents of each drawer, and the purpose of the files found there, to a certain extent this is a glorified replacement for the manual you received with your computer. However the book does go into more detail, and makes diversions not found in Commodore's offering.
For example, the virus threat is examined and explained and you’re given unequivocal guidance about how to avoid infection. The book also looks at hard drives and tells you how and why to perform regular backups.
Useful as a tutorial for the beginner and a reference source for Ihe more experienced user. A1200 and A4000 owners would be advised to watch out for Mastering Amiga Workbench 3.
ISBN 1-873308-08-6 RENDALE GENLOCKS Do you want to overlay Amiga graphics onto your video tapes?
If you want to do this, and more, you will need a genlock.
Rendale genlocks are British designed and manufactured, and will give you a high quality output of the mi) Prices start from £139 - including VAT, and we offer aBngSflmc|ael£|io stuff ygurfojfiirements.
Please telephone or write to tis for further Information COME TO RENDALE GENLOCKS, COME TO THE BEST Marcam Ltd, 62 Tenter Road, Moulton Park, Northampton NN3 1AX TEL: 0604 790466 FAX: 0604 647403 CfWSIMAS CRACK Put the world's best setting Amiga books at the top of your Christmas list this year!
It Amiga A1200 Starter Pack £39.95. ISBN: 1-873308-30-2 Sure to be the Christmas best soller, this bumper-value pack includes the Amy* At200 Insider Guide, Amiga A1200 Next Steps Insider Guide and a 1-hour video tape on A1200 basics from Wall Street Video. Australia's premier training video company. Also indudes four disks of essential shareware software to help get you going.
Amiga A1200 Insider Guide by Bruce Smith. 256 pages. £14.95. ISBN: 1-873308-15-9 Our NUMBER ONE best seller from the wordprocessor of TOP SELLING author Bruce Smith. Thousands of A1200 owners have already got to gnps with their Amiga with the aid of this superb introduction to the A1200.
Packed with helpful halts, tips and useful advice this book is aimed at the novice and guarantees to get you usatg both Workbench and AimgaDOS without any fuss A must for Christmas' CREDIT CARD I HOTLINE (0923) 894355 24-Hr Ansaphone 24-Hour dispatch
- How to ordor - Please complete the torn beow or alwnatkiely eel
our Cr ed* Card Hotlne quoting your name and aiklress. Credit
card number, its expey dale and your daytime tolephone number.
• A1200 Pack poatago £3 (UK) First class postnfle free n the UK
Postage E3 per book (Europe).
£6 per book elsewhere Amiga A1 200 Next Steps by Peter Fitzpatrick. £14.95. ISBN 1-873306-24-8 Now you've come to terms witji your A1200 you're looking lo improve your techniques and explore the many possibilities that the machine offers Amiga A1200 Next Steps shows you how It explains m an easy to toHow style how to choose, install and manage a hard drive, how to use MultiView and Amiga DOS and how to best improve storage and display. It provides an introduction to video and graphics editing, making music and programming, with advice oo getting the most from the machine m everyday use With
free disk of PD software.
Amiga Assembler Insider Guide by Paul Overaa. Ei4.95. ISBN: 1-873308-27-2 Do you want to learn Assembly language but don't know your IntuiMessage from your Null terminated string?
Then the Amiga Assembler Insider Guide is the book for you. It explains Ihe concepts behind the processes and demystifies the jargon with easy-to-follow worked examples and step-by-step Instructions. Applicable to all Amigas including A600. A1200. A3000 and A4000, it provides a perfect flying start m Assembler programming.
Comes with a tree disk which indudes the A68k assembler and aH the programs from the book.
Please send to: Bruce Smith Books Ltd. FREEPOST 242, PO Box 382. St. Albans. Herts, AL2 3BR.
I enclose a cheque PO for £ made payable to Bruce Smith Books Ltd.
Alternatively charge my |-1-1-[-1-1 I I I 1-1-1-1-1 j |- Visa Access Mastercard Number: I_ ___ ________ Expiry Data: ... Amount: £ Address.
Postcode Signed: ? A1200 Starler Padf £39.95 ? AmgaAGOO Insider Guide _£14.95 ? Amiga AI20I Insider Gode . £14 95 J Amiga *1200 Ned Steps £14 95 ? Assemble! Insider Giade £1495 ? Maslenng Amlga00S3 Vol 1 .£21.95 ? Maslenng AmigaD0S3 Vol. 2 ..£21.95 LI Maslenng Amiga AMOS £19.95 ? Maslenng Amiga Printers £19.95 ? Maslenng Amiga Sysleni......£29.95 ? MasWmgAmga Assembler £2495 ? Maslenng Amiga Aren £21.95 ? Maslenng Amqa 8egnners__£19,95 ? Maslenng AmgaD0S2 Vol I £2195 ? Mastering AimgaD0S2 Vol 2. £1915 ? Amiga Gamer s Guide £14.95 Books MASTERING AMIGA AMOS MASTERING AMIGA AREXX
£19.95 - BSB - 0923 894355 £21.95 -BSB- 0923 894355 No language has inspired the public's imagination in quite the way that AMOS has. It combines the relative simplicity of Basic with the raw power of C and some cases even assembly language. Even so, the instruction manuals provided with it are quite badly written and many would-be programmers have fallen at the first hurdle.
Phil South offers a hand to get you on your feet. Not only does his book cover all versions of the program including Easy AMOS, AMOS 3D and AMOS Pro, it even covers some of the PD and supplementary programs that are available.
As with all programming books, it starts with an overview of both the language and the tools used to program it. But it’s not long at all before Phil dives in at the deep end describing Procedures, loops, variables and other important building blocks of the language. This approach works quite well because it means that you can start seeing results quite quickly, and thus gain encouragement.
Although the book is about the size of all other BSB titles, it’s subdivided into zillions of chapters and sub-sections. This is quite handy because it means that you can break your lessons down into nice small bite-sized pieces
- essential when dealing with such a potentially heavy subject.
ISBN 1-873308-12-4 MASTERING AMIGADOS 3 £21.95-BSB-0923 894355 Before you can program, or play games or use any software at all, the disk operating system has to come into play. This under-rated part of the computer is crucial to many parts of its operation and understanding the way it works will help you to take better control of your Amiga.
Despite its title, this book is aimed at all AmigaDOS users, not just those who own 3.0 machines. However, this is the only title which includes specific information about the newest version of Commodore’s operating system.
As with Mastering AmigaDOS 2 Volume 2, this book is primarily a reference source, and although you could perhaps use it for learning about AmigaDOS commands, it’s not really suited for those who have no knowledge Of AmigaDOS.
The command summary has been expanded from 307 to 345 pages to encompass the extra features of Kickstart 3.0. There are also two additional appendices, one of which deals with public screens, whilst the other lists commodities qualifiers.
This title is even more comprehensive than its predecessor, and should take pride of place in any Amiga enthusiast’s library.
ISBN 1-873308-08-6 Arexx is like the superglue of serious Amiga programs. It binds them all together using a uniform language that lets them exchange data and share resources. It also lets you automate single programs so that multiple complex operations can be performed with minimal user-input.
Once again Mr Overaa rears his head, and this time he guides you through the wonderful world of Arexx, starting with a look at the strengths of the language and ending with a summary of the public domain versions that are available.
On the journey we look at the basic components of the language and the way that they can be combined to create powerful batch processing scripts.
Hints on program design and documentation conventions are given so that you don’t fall into bad habits.
The subject of debugging is also examined, with tips to ensure that you can find and solve even the trickiest errors.
Paul also talks extensively about inter-program communications, with a number of example programs included to clarify the tutorials.
This is ideal for anyone who keeps buying programs which claim Arexx compatibility without realising why this is so special.
ISBN 1-873308-13-2 AMIGA INTERN £N A - COMPUTER MANUALS - 021 706 6000 A basic knowledge of the Amiga’s internal architecture is useful to all but the most superficial of users, and to programmers it’s essential.
Amiga % Intern The definitive reference book for all Amiga computers Amiga Intern is one of the last Amiga titles released by Abacus, a publisher once renowned for its catalogue of Amiga books, but more recently moved on to other computers for its revenue.
Tan This is a shame considering the comprensive nature of this title, but at least they left with a bang, not a whimper.
The book attempts to act as the definiitive reference work for all Amiga computers (up to the 3000). It describes the inner workings and function of not only the computer but a range of the most popu- I lar peripherals such as the Hi flicker fixer and 68030 accelerators.
Abacus It describes in extensive detail Kickstart 2, OS 2.0 and Arexx. At all stages particular attention is paid to the A3000, and vast sections of the book are devoted to its physical and software architecture.
Unfortunately the book was almost immediately made redundant when Commodore released their AGA range, but as many users still prefer the A3000, this is worth considering.
ISBN 1-55755-148-0 MAKING SENSE OF ENGLISH IN COMPUTERS AMIGA GAMER’S GUIDE £14.95 -BSB- 0923 894355 expanding your knowledge and becoming an Amiga egghead, but you know what they say ‘All work and no play ..'. It you're as seri- ous about your games as you are about your utilities, then this Is one title you should be considering.
Okay, so ITS all very well £5.99 " WHSMITHS Edited by CU's own editor Dan Slingsby. The guide offers advice and tips on the classic' games of all time, ranging from Monkey Island to Dungeon Master, from Speedball lo Populous It's split into two sections, the first of which occupies the vast majority of the book. In the first section detailed solutions and playing tips are offered for 26 ol the Amiga's all-time hottest games. This section is copiously illustrated with screenshots of the various game sections.
The latter part of the book is an A to Z of Amiga cheats and lists every dirty trick, password, backdoor code and cack-handed playing tip known to man Many of these have apparently come directly from the programmers and are not available elsewhere If you want to get full value from your games collection this is an indispensable guide to doing so.
ISBNS 1-873308-16-7 A1200 INSIDER GUIDE £14.95 - BSB - 0923 894355 When you've just bought a new computer it can seem pretty over-whelming. And Commodore’s manuals are not always as helpful as they might be. The Insider Guide is an ideal solution.
It acts not so much as a replacement for the A1200's manuals as an accompaniment. It does cover much of the same ground, but doesn't profess to go into the same level ol detail What it does do is guide you through Ihe essential basics of the machine In such a way that you can glean the maximum useful information with the minimum ol effort.
Every so often you'll encounter little boxed off areas containing special tips to help you get the most from the subject at hand.
It covers all aspects of the machine, dwelling mainly upon the Workbench and AmigaDOS. It's a relatively inexpensive way of going on a computer beginner s crash course Concise, yet entertaining ISBN* 1873308159 To those who are not used to it, the vocabulary of the computer world is as alien as anything spoken on another continent There are hundreds of words which have an infuriatingly familiar feel to them yet which seem to appear in totally unexpected contexts. No longer is a RAM a male sheep, any more than Kermit is a green frog from the muppets A RAM, it turns out. Is a unit of memory,
whilst kermit is actually a modem transfer protocol Chambers Making Sense of English in Computers If you want to understand the language of the future, you can't just read on in the hope that it’ll all become clear. Isn't it worth investing a measly six quid for a book which nof only explodes the acronyms and endless abbreviations. But gives down to earth descnptions of their meanings in language which, if not quite Queen's English, is certainly closer than that spoken by computer addicts?! FcZj® ISBNtO-550-18050-8 JARGON EXPLAINED!
AmigaDOS Amiga Disk Operating Systom - The language that is usod to control all operations involving disks, bo thoy hard disks, tloppy disks or RAM disks All reading and wnting is done using AmigaDOS Assembler A program lor the creation ot machine code programs. An assembloi lets you enter programs as a senos of letter codos representing certain actions. These codos are then compiled into pure numeric machmo code Basic A relatively simple programming language originally created as an aid to teach students about the inner workings ot computers Basic programs tend to be slow and
unsophisticated compared to other languages.
C - The language in which Ihe Amiga s operating system is written. Less complex than machine code or assembly language but harder than Basic and more powerful.
Compilation Disk A disk that contains more than one program on it.
Compiler Software tor converting source code into machino (or object) code Jargonose An imaginary language made up of all Ihe (often unintelligible) technical words in a computer user’s vocabulary.
Source Code - A program written in a specific languago. Source code needs lo bo converted into object or machine code before it can be run by the computer Workbench The Amiga's software interface to other programs Think of it like a tool rack that holds tho other tools.
Virus A program that has been created by a malicious porson and which is designed lo move from Ihe computer s memory to any unprotected disks, usually damaging or destroying data on each disk it mlects' ADDRESSES Computor Manuals BSB (Bruce Smith Books) 50 James Road PO Box 382 Tysetey SI Albans Birmingham Herilordshlre B112BA AL2 3JD Tel: 021 706 6000 Tel: 0923 894355 Fax: 021 706 3301 Fax: 0923 894366 ItDGBGDK] LP1200 PCL5 LASER PRINTER 2 Mb RAM £599 'PPM HP LASERJET III™ COMPATIBLE • FLASH ROM UPGRADEABLE!
Ricoh, have used their expertise fo produce a first 3 in laser printers, the LP1200 with FLASH ROM. HP LaserJet III" cempeliOte. The LPI200 , employs industry proven laser technology which, unlike LED pnnters, uses a laser light source to produce the most accurate and intense printed images at a range ot print resolutions up to 400dpi. A last j efficient processor and engine, plus a straight paper path design .
Allows printing at a tutt 6 pages per minute. The 2Mb RAM version prints a full A4 page of text or graphics at 300dpi. Using standard j resident fonts and the alternate controller firmware supplied, it t can also print an A4 page of text or A5 page of graphics at 400dpi and. Using the Windows driver supplied, an A4 page of text at 400dpi from Windows 3.1. PLAIN PAPER FAX OPTION tt ONLY £120 The LP1200 is the World s First Laser Printer to have the option ol Demo upgraded to a PC independent plain paper fax. Just download the software (C120..«t) into the Laser Sc MAGAZINE I 11 EDITOR'S UK
CHOICE LP1200's Flash ROM and connect any taxmoflem to the Serial Port (we recommend the Pace Microfci FX • C180.v.t) Usno the Windows and DOS software supplied . " r the FAX,'MODEM SOFTWARE FEATURES - £120.*at ux uw
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• We l*erJeicr Uyout pr«oe« documents
• ra*» tromryWrtJoesappicatkn MODEM HARDWARE FEATURES - £180.v.t
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• Memory -siane • 7m (upyueable lo 4.)
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send A* cuget scaled uplo A3 - 300*1
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SHOWN WITH | UNIVERSAL FEEOER TOP TRAY (OPTIONAL EXTRAl The 4Mb RAM version can print a full A4 page of graphics at 400 dpi and makes fuN use of the LP1200 s 400 dpi printing capabilities, such as using Microsoft Windows fonts. Unique additional standard features include FLASH ROM ‘future proof technology and LAYOUT - a powerful document description language. The LP1200’s unique internal FLASH ROM, which holds the printer controller firmware, can easily be updated as new developments in technology occur. This protects the investment you make in buying a Ricoh LP1200. Other manufacturers would
require you to buy a new printed Internal FLASH ROM and industry standard FLASH ROM PCMCIA cards can also be used to permanently store fonts, macros, graphics and extra emulations. Again, unliko the competition, the LP1200 includes LAYOUT, a powerful and rnfwftve document description language as standard. This offers unique opportunities to develop custom made printing systems.
Forms and document templates can be designed complete with logos and stored electronically in the LP1200’s FLASH ROM.
Alleviating the need for pre-prmted forms!
The LP1200 comes with a 100 sheet A4 paper tray as standard. An optional universal feeder automatically feeds up to 150 sheets ot paper (up to 169gsm). 15 envelopes, transparencies and labels.
What to Buy (or business
• 2ub RAM AS STANDARD Upgrade lo PAM only £85.,.’ - sea Oolow
• PCL5 - « HP-GL 2 with scalable fonts and vector graphics
• SHARP EDGED PRINTING Ricoh FIAL (Fine Image Algorithm) enhances
• 400dpi RESOLUTION Default res. - 300dpi. Wi I address 200, 240
& 400dpi)
• UNIQUE FLASH ROM For controller upgrade and storage
• PCMCIA CARD SLOT For programmable FLASH ROM cards
• EXPANSION BOARD SLOT For improved connectivity eg. Coax Twinax.
PC-LAN etc
• LAYOUT Document Description Language
• 1 YEAR ON-SITE WARRANTY Next working day response WINDOWS 3.1
9. WWS 31! I 4!0 ' CORPORATE SALES TEAM EM iYj-yx '"'I Swt_
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LA* 5262 2w RAM ModUo ... ESS 00
IA4S210 Devercoer.Tooer Cartridge £66 00 IAA 5225 OPC
Cartridge (Drum) .. CEE 00 LAA 5312 A4 Paper
Tray (100 Sheets) C3S 00 FAX 1200 Ricoh FaxtAxtem
Solt»aroiF«nr«aro £120 00 MOO 7190 Pace MerOln FX Fas'Data
Modem.. £100.00 IAA 5279 Ricoh Flash ROM Card (0.5-)________
£49.00 IAA 5288 Ricoh Flash RAM Card (1*) Cl09.00 LAA 5250
Rkoh Flash RAM Card (4«.) ._.. £599 00 AH P(Po» are Eic
UPGRADE - 2Mb to 4Mb laa 52821 £85 - vat UNIVERSAL FEEDER
oaaszmi £85.vat FAX OPTION Request a modem (FAX 1200) £120 -
VAT MODEM Paco Micrdn FX lor Fax OpOon (KIOO 7199) £180 - VAT
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LP1200 Mr Mr&’Miss Ms: Initials: . Surname: Company Name (it applicable): ...... AiWress: ..... ...... Postcode: .... ...... Tel (Work): .... | Which computer(s). It any, do you own? 75W J EAOE - AthwtMed pro. And npeuScelorq -e, charge Pern return Ihe toucan *x the UlMt irAxmaec* amiga buyer s guide 94 Desk
Top Publishing DESK TOP PUBLISHING No longer do you have to pay commercial printers great wads of your hard earned cash to produce and print your documents. The Amiga is more than capable of professional results.
With packages from either company you could easily create an entire magazine, or a single page flyer, and these could include 24-bit graphics, structured drawings, bitmapped clip art and a variety of fonts. You can output to the humblest home printer, or if you have the money you can take your work to an output bureau and have it commercially printed. So let’s take a look at the choices... Although the Apple Macintosh still reigns supreme as THE desk top publishing (DTP) computer, there is absolutely nothing that can compete with the Amiga in terms of value for money, and the Pcs and
Sts just fall on their backs kicking their little legs in the air when it comes to software.
The Amiga has a long history in the DTP market, but nowadays the battle is being slugged out between two main companies: Softlogik and Gold Disk, both of whom regularly update their software.
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Ages for almost as long as there have been Amigas. The program has been constantly upgraded, and tends to appeal very much to DTP purists who like everything to be very precise.
It has a very elegant user-inter- I i i . N n i--i n » t i i ¦ PrtF«s« & CU Amiga In the constant war for supremacy in the Amiga DTP scene, Pro Page has always managed to keep ahead of its rivals. Time to see if that’s still true.
Professional Page comes from Gold Disk, a company who have been producing Amiga DTP packQnlitlvd 3 .¦*! A a a ¦"!
On AGA machines you can view documents in up to 256 colours, although additional colours tend to delay the screen updates exponentially. Most likely, you're going to continue to work in wireframe monocrome mode for maximum speed. One big advantage on AGA machines is the fact that when choosing colours for text and lines, etc, the pantone palette is now much more accurately represented without relying so heavily upon shading. This is useful because these are the colours used in the commercial print- face, and on Arexx machines it also offers additional tools known as Genies, which are
basically short mouse selectable programs which perform specific operations on your document, or part of it.
OF THE ing industry.
Pro Page supports facing pages, and unlike its rival either page can be edited. You can also place graphics across pages to create double page spreads; essential if you want to create commercial magazines.
FARTY FONTS Although the program supports both Compugraphic and Adobe typefaces, the latter can only be used after conversion with the Font Manager program provided. However, this causes problems because the Font Manager often fails to fully convert You can view up to 256 colours on-screen which means the Pantone palette can be represented more accurately.
II you want lo gel into DTP but you don’t have much money to get started, Pageseller 3 oilers superb value, and will probably satisfy Ihe needs ol most home users.
As the specifications lor Amiga DTP packages increase, so does the minimum machine on which you can run them. Pro Page needs a couple ot megs ol RAM and a hard drive, and although Pagestream will run in one meg with only an extra floppy, you're not really going to get much use out ot it in such a configuration.
Pageseller 3 has been specifically designed for the smaller user, and runs perfectly well in a one meg, two drive machine. Of course, it will happily work with a more powerful machine, and you’re still going to run out of memory il you start to design large documents, or those containing lots of fonts and graphics PAGESETTER 3 £49.99 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION 081 543 3500 Pageseller is not aimed at professional or semi-professional users, but for the enthusiastic home user it’s exceptionally good, offering leatures not found in DTP packages costing ten times as much on the PC. It’s
basically a slightly cut-down version of Protessional Page 20. A product which was still receiving very favourable reviews a year and a hall ago.
The program consists of three elements: Article Editor AXE) for editing text, Graphics Editor (GrE) for editing graphics. Pageseller lor designing page layouts. Pagesetter is Ihe main program, and it allows you to access the other two elements which are hotlinked to it. Each ot these elements is actually a separate program, but by making Ihem accessible from Pagesetter means that you can immediately edit bitmapped graphics in a pseudo art package, or alter and spell check large amounts of text in the cut- down word processor. The changes you make will then be instantly made to your DTP
document without needing to reload the various sections.
Unlike previous version of the program, Pagesetter 3 supports colour printing. On the A1200 and A4000 you can view your work in up to 256 colours, although owners of other machines will have to make do with 2-4 colour previews instead.
Regardless ol the machine being used. Pageseller Will import any IFF bit-map, including those created on AGA machines, and even HAM and 24-brt images This is useful because il you have a decent colour printer you can output images that you can’t even view!
The program also lets you import structured clip art such as that created by Protessional Draw. Better yet, 120 pieces ol scalable clip art are included, and Ihese would previously have cost more on Iheir own than this complete package.
It supports scalable compugraphic typefaces, and there’s even a utility Th. Program com., with Grape,** Editor, a cut-down OT peuga lor racouclung brt- mappad clip OT, Me.
Provided to convert Adobe Type t typefaces into the required format.
It comes with the same user friendly interface that has made Pro Page so popular, and the manual, as you might expect, is excellent CONCLUSION It’s very hard tto laull Pagesetter 3 given its extraordinarily low price.
Sure it could have more features, but with word processors costing as much as £129 nowadays, this program looks simply incredible.
Whether you’re putting together club newsletters, doing your homework, producing adverts or any ol a thousand DTP |obs. Pagesetter 3 is a great starting place, and one from which you’re unlikely to have to upgrade unless you are a professional.
Complicated fonts that Pagestream can handle in their native format.
Furthermore, because the program only uses fonts stored in the assigned CG fonts drawer, the number ol lonts you have available (without lots of messing about) is limited to Ihe size ol your disk or hard drive.
Furthermore, the range of styles that can be applied to a font is really very unimaginative, with shadow and outline being the most exciting options Fortunately, despite these limitations (which only tend to elfect headlines anyway), the program has wonderful text handling, and offers automatic import of text from every major word processor on the Amiga including Scribble1, Word Perfect and even a lew PC programs.
II you don’t own a word processor, nol to worry, the program is supplied with Ihe same Article Editor included with Pagesetter 3. So not only do you have a very capable word processor, but you also have a comprehensive spelling checker too In fact. Article Editor is a cut-down version ol TransWrile, and can be used as a stand alone program when you simply need to bang out a tew words quickly.
GRAPHIC GENIUS When it comes to graphics. Pro Page is even more versatile. Ot course, it imports every IFF lormat under the sun, Irom mono chrome bitmaps up to 24-bit pictures and it also supports all the major formats on other computers too. So you can just as easily import a GIF picture from a Mac. A PCX. BMP or TIFF file from a PC or even Encapsulated Postscript files But it doesn t stop there: the program handles mono and colour structured drawings created on all known Amiga packages, it also handles Adobe Illustrator and Freehand files, so you can exchange graphics with the most popular
DTP software in the world.
The range ol page layout tools is also very impressive, ensuring that even the most demanding of jobs can be performed quickly and with micron precision, literally!
CONCLUSION Protessional Page is a superb desk top publishing package beyond any doubt However in their rush to beat Softlogik to an AGA release, it seems that Gold Disk were less thorough than usual in debugging their software, and this has resulted in a couple ot minor but persistent and irritating faults. If the font handling were better, this would still be the pinnacle ol Amiga DTP soltware, but it isn't, and it’s not.
I’ve been a very loyal Pro Page user lor over live years, but even I’m beginning to wonder if I can make Q leek QPIc.
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Spool's no Fool!
When il comes lo printing. DTP programs can be real dogs. The trouble is. They use scalable fonts lor maiimum quality, and each page can contain masses ol pictures too. The programs always print at the best possible quality which means that even dot matrix owners can get great looking pages. Unfortunately the cost lor such slick results is lime, with pages taking as long as lilteen minutes and even more to print.
Now in itsell this is bad enough, but the real problem is the lad that you can I adually do any more work while the program is printing Or at least not unless you own Pro Page 4 which is supplied with a nifty print spool program which you can use to print a document while you carry on with your work.
Better yet. You can also use the program to handle printing lor any other Amiga application that lets you specify a printer device.
II you have multiple print jobs, it will also deal with those, quelng them up and printing when it gets time.
Thanh* to Pro Spool, you don t have to stop work |usl because your printer* working.
PAGESTREAM 2.2 £99.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 screen, and in two. Four, eight or sixteen colours: though on an unaccelerated machine the use of more than four colours makes screen refresh rate rather sluggish. The four colour option is perfectly acceptable for normal use and causes no real refresh problems FRIENDLY TEXT The program opens with a completely blank page onto which you can import graphics, create a column or columns to receive text previously prepared on a wordprocessor. Or, unlike Pro Page, you can type straight onto the screen. This produces a "text Oblect"
(perhaps a title or headline), which can then be manipulated just like a graphic, including the ability to drag, rotate, slant, twist and manually resize it.
This can result in so-called "bastard" point sizes, where the height and width ot the typelace are different.
Traditional typographers would probably dislike this feature, claiming that a lont is designed to be seen only in its ortginal proportions, but sometimes it might be just what you need to tit a headline precisely into the area you want it to till.
Only the currently selected elements are provided with sizing handles, leading to an uncluttered screen and showing you instantly which objects are active. To enable you to line up objects more precisely than is possible by eye. Snap to Grid and Snap to Guide options are available. With the option ol measunng the grid in inches, centimetres or points: the grid spacing can be selected Irom one of the twelve supplied, or can be user-detined. The optional rulers have been improved both in accuracy and readability.
STUPID DPS Double page spreads can be viewed, but editing can only be performed on the lett-hand page To swap elements between pages you have to cut and paste, as it isn't possible to lust drag an element Irom one page to another. Text How around graphics is well supported, allowing words to II you prefer a less formal approach lo Desk Top Publishing, perhaps PageSlream 2.2 is Ihe one lor you.
The interface is dear and pleasant to use: the latest release now contorms more closely to Workbench 2 styling. You can run PageSlream in interlace or non-interface, on a custom or Workbench screen, with the tool palette on the left or right of the PROFESSIONAL DRAW 3.0 £129.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 The program is supplied with a variety ot drawing tools to make your life easier including line, rectangle and circle tools. However, the program's strength lies in the special effects it can perform. Things like aligning text with complex curves so that it follows them
exactly. It also otters a selection of graduated till patterns, which are printed in 24-bit colour to give the smooth gradients possible in your documents.
If you prefer to use somebody else s work, there's a whole disk lull of full colour structured dips mduded.
CONCLUSION Pro Draw is a very nice piece of software, and although it looks a tad plain compared to newer rivals, it more than serves my requirements, and unless you are very demanding, it'll serve yours too. Not exactly a words filled line drawings which can be enlarged or reduced with no loss ol quality.
You can either draw these Irom scratch or use a program called Trace to convert ordinary bit-maps into structured drawings Once you've created a drawing it can be printed directly Irom within the program, or saved as a dip lor importing into your favourite DTP package.
Because Pro Draw has been created by Gold Disk, the program can be hot linked to Pro Page, so that clips can be exported directly to a document.
If you want to pep up your pages, a structured drawing package offers graphics which always look good no matter what size they're printed at.
If you've ever paid attention to magazine layout, you can’t have failed to notice what a crucial role graphics play. Ol course in a professional environment, photograph play the most significant role, but even if you don’t own a scanner, there's no reason tor your pages to look lifeless.
Professional Draw helps you create structured drawings, in other DTP Wars ProPage and PageSlream have constantly vied for the title of Best Amiga DTP Program. It’s very much down to the way you like to work as to which you'll preler. Of course if you don’t have a hard drive, the choice is already made for you, as current versions of Pro Page cannot be used without one; PageSlream
2. 2will run from floppy disk, though naturally this will prove
a little cumbersome. The minimum memory requirement is 1Mb.
Though this is frankly inadequate lor all but the simplest
documents. Serious DTP workers will find they need more like
lour or five megabytes to avoid problems.
Not only does Pagslream have the most flexible font handling out ot the packages reviewed here, but It also lets you apply more styles to text once It’s on the screen.
Appear underneath, all round or to either side ot a picture; it can also follow the edges of an irregularly shaped object. Columns of text are easily linked, allowing your text to flow from one column to another, at any point in your document.
Pagestream can apply many styles to your text, not only the usual italics, underline and bold, but also shadow, backslant, light, reverse (i.e. white on black), outline, double underline, and the rather less useful strikethru, upside down and mirror.
Pro Page users can only look on in envy at many of these styles as they're not supported in their package.
Text can be in any colour, on any colour background, and (if you're using a bold enough typeface for it to show) one of many fill patterns, including a user-definable pattern, can be added. Compugraphic fonts can be sized from 0.01 to approx 600 points, and Soft-logik and PostScript fonts from 0.01 to 183,000 points; so next time you need to knock out a newsletter the size of Europe you'll have no problems!
DRAWING TOOLS Structured drawing tools are provided, so adding neat boxes or frames is extremely simple. Line styles can be applied to all structured shapes, with a choice of eight line widths, seven styles (various combinations of dots and dashes) and one user-definable style. Ends of lines can be square, bracket-shaped or arrowheads, and line widths from
0. 01 to 655 points can be produced.
Printer support is excellent, with drivers for dozens of printers provided, including the popular Canon bubblejet and H.P. Deskjet ranges. PageStream overrides your Workbench Preferences and printer DIP switch settings to produce the best print resolution possible. Crop marks are available for use on any printer.
PostScript users are well catered for with the new improved PostScript driver, with the ability to indude slur gauges, colour strips, registration marks, and frequency and screen angle for colour separations. An interesting new driver has been provided - you can now output to a plotter or sign cutter should you have access to one.
HotLinks support is provided, .
Enabling easy transfer of information to other HotLinks compatible programs, such as SoftLogik's Art Expressions structured drawing package, BME bitmap editor, and PageLiner word processor.
CONCLUSION PageSlream 2.2 is an admirable program, perhaps belter suited to the more experimental and "creative" attitude to page design than the slightly more traditional Professional Page.
Any Amiga with 1 meg RAM and 2 floppy drives.
ART EXPRESSION TYPESMITH £199.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 £169.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 Brand loyally is a natural enough feeling, and if you own PageSetter, you may well prefer lo use Ad Expression for creating structured drawings rather than Pro Draw.
Since the release of the 2.0 Amigas, scalable fonts have increased in popularity dramatically. Used in an art or DTP package, they offer flexibility and high quality. Typesmith is still the only worthwhile program for creating your own typefaces.
The program works almost exactly like a structured drawing package, using mathematical definitions of shapes rather than bit-mapped objects.
However, it also comes with comprehensive facilities geared towards the very demanding requirements of designing structured fonts. Despite the complexity of the subject. Typesmith comes with what is probably the best manual I've ever seen, and this makes learning to use it quite easy.
The program is capable of importing and exporting fonts in all major formats, so you can not only use it to convert bet use PC and Mac fonts as well.
The two programs are very similar, and if price were no object, it would be tough to choose between them. Like its rival, Expression provides a full selection of drawing tools to help you create structured drawings that will print at the maximum resolution your printer is capable of.
By default the program saves images in Encapsulated Postscript Format (EPSF), which makes them far more portable than Pro Draw clips, which are only used on the Amiga. Strangely enough. Expression can’t load EPSF files, but plans are afoot to change that in future versions.
It doesn’t offer the easy-to-use gradient fills of it rival, but using the blend feature you can create the same effect, as well as many that Pro Draw isn't capable of. The only trouble is, this feature is trickier to use and takes a while to get used to.
One unique option that An Expression does have is the ability to conform any object to a predefined shape. Superficially this is useful for simple perspective effects, but with imagination you can turn it to far more sophisticated uses such as simulating reflections on spheres and so on.
CONCLUSION Art Expression is a very powerful structured drawing program and ideal as a companion tor Pagestream. It's significantly more expensive than Pro Draw, and for this reason you ought to make a detailed evaluation of exactly what you want from the package before forking out the Amiga formats, but you can even CONCLUSION Although I've never seen comparable programs on the Mac, I'm told that Typesmith is superior to programs costing many times as much. I don't know whether that's true, but I do know that Soft Logik have set an extremely high standard for anyone to match if they hope to
compete in the same market.
Requires Kickstart 3, 2mb of RAM and 2 floppy drives or a 'AimP hard drive.
Extra £70.
Requires Kickstart 1.3 or higher and 2mb RAM and two floppy drives or a hard drive.
Art Expression also provides the option to align text with a freehand line.
WE ACCEPT PAYMENT BY MOST CREDIT CARDS and DEBIT CARDS, CHEQUES, P.O's and we even occepl CALL PRICES ARE INCLUSIVE OF VAT CSA 12 GAUGE The only board available that gives the A1200 user TOTAL flexibility. Fits into trapdoor and offers a SOMhz 68030 MMU, optional 50Mhz 68882 Co-Pro, up to 32 megabytes of 32 bit ram, and SCSI 1 & 2 interface, yes SCSI as well as STANDARD.
With an Amiga Format verdict of 89% they said "ADDS SOME SERIOUS POWER TO YOUR AMIGA 1200" 12 GAUGE Ok no FPU £499.99 12 GAUGE 1 meg no FPU £549.99 12 GAUGE 4 niM no FPU £699.99 12 GAUGE 8 meg no FPU £799.99 ADD £199.00 for 50Mhz Co-Pro BEWARE OF GREY IMPORTS. WE ARE CSA'S ONLY OFFICIAL UK DISTRIBUTOR. NOW BEING USED BY THE WORLDS LEADING PROGRAMMERS CSA DERRINGER CSA'S DERRINGER is the BEST 030 processor accelerator for Ihe Amiga 500 500+ 1500 2000. This board has a 25Mhz 68030 MMU clocked at 25Mhz, 25Mhz Co-Pro, and the ability to add up to 32 meg of 32 bit memory using STANDARD
50Mhz version ALSO AVAILABLE DERRINGER + 1 Meg £349.99 DERRINGER + 4Meg £599.99 DERRINGER + 8Meg £699.99 25Mhz Co-Pro adcT £ 149.00 SOMhz Co-Pro add £ 199.00 BEWARE OF GREY IMPORTS. WE ARE CSA's ONLY OFFICIAL UK DISTRIBUTOR A500 HARD DISK 40 meg + upto 8 meg ram
199. 99 80 meg + upto 8 meg ram
249. 99 210 meg + upto 8 meg ram
A1200 A1200 Standalone £299.99 A1200 + 20 MB £379.99 A1200 + 60 MB £459.99 A1200 + 85 MB £519.99 A1200+ 127 MB £549.99 A1 200 + 205 MB £629.99 A4000 030 A4000 + 80 2 £ 949.99 A4000+120 2 £1049.99 A4000+210 2 £1159.99 Other configurations available CALL FOR PRICES LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THESE PUKES A4000 040 A4000 + 80 6 £1899.99 A4000+120 6 £1999.99 A4000 +210 6 £2099.99 Other configurations available CALL FOR PRICES LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT THESE PRICES MEMORY 8 meg SIMM - 32 £299.99 4 meg SIMM-32 £199.99 1 meg SIMM - 32 £ 79.99 1 meg SIMM - 8 £ P.O.A. 4 meg SIMM • 8 £ P.O.A 4 Meg SC ZIPS
£199.99 MULTI - FACE 2 EXTRA Serial ports & 2 EXTRA Parallel port for AMIGA 1500 £179.99 Ideal for BBS HARD DRIVES AMIGA 600 1200 60 meg.
120 meg, 170 meg, jJtA--vVV;.., ~ "520 meg - ¦ POA ' AU ABOVE DRIVES ARE TWO AND Half INCH AND INCLUDE CABLE AND SOFTWARE SOUND ENHANCER PLUS This product is DESIGNED & BUILT by ourselves and the past 2.5 years have seen thousands of units sold to very satisfied customers. We are so sure that YOU will be amazed at the difference the SOUND ENHANCER PLUS makes to the sound of your AMIGA that we are offering a NO QUIBBLE MONEY BACK GUARANTEE.
The KIT is VERY EASY to build so much that very little experience is required. So long as you can use a soldering iron you con build this project.
ONLY £19.99 AND if you can't get it going we offer a get you going service EPSON GT 6500 SCANNER £930 - VISUAL PRODUCTS - 0494 890601 but it’s about six times as fast as the redundant £150,000 scanner we have in the offices. A transparency attachment is also available, and if you have that, then there really isn’t anything more that you'll ever need, no matter how upmarket your requirements are.
Compatible: Any Amiga capable of running Art Department, although 4-8 Mbs of RAM are the practical minimum requirement.
Although there are loads of scanners available nowadays, for true 24-bit quality Epson still hold all the cards.
Although the popularity of desk top publishing has meant that there are numerous reasonably priced hand scanners available, if you want to scan up to A4 size in a full 16.6 million colours, you’re going to have to look at a flatbed scanner. The Epson range have long been the darlings of the Amiga world and the GT 6500 shows why.
With a maximum resolution of up to 600 dots per inch (DPI) it scans at three times the resolution of the best colour hand scanner, but to put that in context, you’re very unlikely to need more than 400 DPI in any case.
What you are going to appreciate however, is the scanner’s full 24-bit colour resolution, which means that you can use its scanned images in a professional printing environment - in fact CU Amiga uses this scanner to digitise the photos used in the magazine.
It comes with good software, but is even better if controlled via the dedicated Art Department Professional driver. Image FX also directly supports this scanner.
CONCLUSION The Epson GT 6500 has a serious price tag which reflects the serious use to which you can put it. Not only is it faster than the previous version, ADDRESSES Golden Image Unit 12a Millmead Business Vcentre Millmead Road Tottenham Hale N17 9QU Tel:081 365 1102 Fax: 081 885 1953 Meridian Distribution East House East Road Industrial Estate London SW19 1 AH Tel: 081 543 3500 Fax: 081 543 3500 Visual Products PO Box 48 Great Missenden Bucks HP16 9HL Tel: 0494 890601 Fax: 0494 863894 ALFA DATA HAND SCANNER £299 - GOLDEN IMAGE - 081 3651102 Even if you can’t justify the price of an Epson
24-bit scanner, you can still enjoy high quality colour scanning for a fraction of the price.
The Alfa Data is a hand scanner almost identical in size to the monochrome scanners that have been around for years. It's capable of colour scans at a resolution of up to 200 DPI in 18-bit colour. If you’re scanning images for a DTP package this is likely to meet all home needs, and you’re only going to start running into problems if you start increasing the size of a scanned image, in which case the Allhough the scanner can be very tinnkky lo limitations Of itS resolution Start tO set up, once you’ve got II working II produces become apparent.
When used in conjunction with an AGA Amiga, Ihe scanner produces quite impressive results, although it can take a little messing around to get the best from it.
The device also otters grey scale scanning in up to 256 shades, and at a resolution ol 400 DPI. The results in monochrome really are excellent, and even newspapers don't always scan at such a high resolution.
CONCLUSION The Alta Data colour scanner provides an excellent budget priced entry to the wodd ot colour scanning. I personally was surprised al the quality ot the results which were tar higher than I’d anticipated. Well worth a look.
ALFASCAN PLUS £129 - GOLDEN IMAGE - 081 3651102 Whether you’re designing a club newsletter or an advert to go in your local shop window, adding graphics will certainly perk up your presentation and make what you’ve got to say considerably more interesting.
The Altascan Plus provides an inexpensive way ot digitising photographs and pictures so that they can be included directly into your DTP documents.
It otters up to 256 shades ot grey at a resolution ot up to 400DPI.
Once scanned, images can be saved as IFF tiles or TIFF images. II you opt tor IFF, you can choose monochrome (two colour) images which retain the original scan's reso- lulion, or you can save grey screens £256 colour on the At 200 and 4000 or 16 colour on pre-AGA Amigas.
CONCLUSION The Altascan is a very nice scanner which produces impressive results. I've owned one for over a year any I simply wouldn't be without it. ,, ¦! Requires 1 Mb RAM. KjfJgp Offering scans in up to 256 shades of grey, fhe Altascan Plus gives very good value for money, and fhe results are good enough for newspaper work.
Dpaint can be used lo produce some prelly stunning lilies when used in coniuncllo wtlh a genlock.
A r op Video Iost types of computer have their own ‘niche’, an area of computing where they particularly excell - Apple's Macintosh has made it big in desktop publishing, the Atari ST still reigns supreme in the music industry and the Amiga too has its own niche in the video market. Like the Mac and (to a lesser extent at least) the ST, the Amiga dominates its niche market with very little serious competition to trouble it.
All around the world you’ll find Amigas in television studios and movie post-production units happily rubbing shoulders with equipment costing tens of thousands of pounds.
MS C If you switch on your television tonight, chances are you’ll watch a program that has felt the influence of the Amiga - programs like the Chart Show', BskyB's GamesWorld’ and GamesMaster' feature video graphics produced entirely on the Amiga.
Even top television shows like ’Babylon 5’ and Spielberg’s latest epic ‘SeaQuest’ have an Amiga working behind the scenes some- II you own a camcorder and an Amiga, then you too will be able to make some fairly stunning videos which will certainly make your drab neighbours' |uttery holiday movies look especially sad.
Where! The Amiga has made it big in the movie industry too - in the smash hit movie ’Jurassic Park’, an Amiga and VideoToaster combination was used to produce storyboards of the animated dinosaurs by ILM designer Stephan Dechant.
Desktop Video isn’t just restricted to video professionals. With nothing more than a genlock and some software, you can create your own videos that would turn the BBC green with envy.
To find out more, read on... That’s not to say that desktop video is restricted to wealthy television studios only. Far from it. Armed with nothing more than your Amiga, a couple of video decks and a genlock, you can spruce up your home videos of your Auntie Gertie getting drunk and embarrassing the family with ease. For those of you that aren't ‘in the know’, a genlock is simply a clever little device that combines the graphics you create on your Amiga's screen with a video signal produced by anything from a camcorder to a standard domestic video recorder.
The genlock works by removing the background colour from the Amiga’s video signal which allows the live video to show through the gaps that will inevitably appear. How much will it cost to get started? Well, providing you already have two video decks and an Amiga, it's perfectly possible to buy a half-decent genlock for the price of two games. And whoever said desktop video was expensive!
A NNDDDD.... To be perfectly honest, I very much doubt that any Amiga user worth their salt needs reminding just how well prepared the Amiga is for desktop video work,'but what exactly is desktop video? Well, ask anyone this question and you'll probably get pretty much the same answer time and time again - video titling. Fact is, most Amiga users still consider video titling to be the be all and end all’ of desktop video. Believe it or not, however, video titling is actually a fairly minor aspect of this all-important application. Sure, it's the one area of desktop video that most people
But that’s not to say that desktop video just entails adding a couple of flashy titles.
Desktop video systems are capable of so much more, however. Not only can you overlay titles on top of your holiday videos, but you can also use your Amiga to control a video editor, a piece of hardware that connects to the Amiga that is capable of pin-pointing sections (or, as the video professionals call them, ‘Clips’) of video footage from several source tapes, arranging them to suit your needs and then 'assembling' them onto your final mastertape. The resulting footage will appear to cleanly cut between ‘scenes' without your audience having to endure those embarrassing or boring hours
of footage that you left on the cutting room floor (in a manner of speaking, at least!). Combine this with the ability to generate video titles and you've already got a system that can do pretty much the same job as the sort of expensive hardware the BBC use.
What’s more, an Amiga editing titling system will cost you a fraction of the price of these so-called 'professional' systems.
CHROMAMAGIC There's very little video gadgetry that the professionals use that hasn't been released for the Amiga in one form or another. One of the most exciting new developments in Amiga desktop video is the ‘ChromaKey’ system, a device that works in conjunction with a genlock that allows you to create the fantastic 'blue screen’ effects that made Superman fly and Wayne and Garth from the cult movie ‘Wayne's World’ appear to travel to exotic locations without leaving the television studio. Possibly the best (and most cliched!) Example of this technique has to be the TV weatherman who
appears to stand in front of a map of the British Isles. If you were to view him ‘live’ within the television studio, poor old Michael Fish would be pointing at nothing more than a blank blue screen!
All these effects (and more!) Were created using a ChromaKey system.
Put simply, a ChromaKey simply works in the opposite direction of a genlock. Whereas a genlock 'keys' » Video Setups You don’t have to spend thousands of pounds to get started In desktop video. With little more than a couple of VCRs and a genlock you can easily start working on video productions that would have turned BBC television engineers green with envy little more than a few years back. Let's take a look at three setups, starting from a very basic one to the sort of video setup that video users dream of.
Here’s possibly the most basic desktop video setup you could start with. Although we substituted the second video recorder for a camcorder, the theory is pretty much the same. The output from the camcorder (either live video or prerecorded footage) is fed into the genlock which combines the graphics produced on your Amiga into a genlocked signal which is then recorded onto tape via the VCR connected to the genlock's Video Out’ socket. In order to view the genlocked image, the video out signal from the VCR is connected directly to your monitor via its 'CVBS' connector.
Slightly more complex this one. With the addition of a video editing system, we're given direct control over source video material from a variety of different video decks. Video ‘clips' can be taken from any point on any one of the source videos and synchronised automatically with graphics generated by the Amiga. More expensive video editing systems like the ‘VideoPilot’ will automatically handle the task of 'tape assembly’ and will even cue the Amiga when graphics are required, so the whole process is carried out with minimal user interaction once the ‘flow’ of video production has been
If you want the ultimate in desktop video setups (and can afford the asking price!), then this is the sort of thing you should be looking at. With the addition of a ChromaKey system and a Video Mixing deck (the most expensive bit!), this system can do everything that the previous setups could do plus we now have the option of putting live video actually on top of the Amiga’s graphics to create the sort of 'TV Weatherman' effects that have become so cliched these days. An extra monitor has also been added too, so that we can preview the output from the video mixing desk. Expect to pay a packet
for this sort of setup!
Amiga buyer s guide 94 Desk Top Video (overlays) your Amiga’s graphics on lop ol a live video signal, a ChromaKey removes a certain colour Irom a live video signal (usually blue
- hence Ihe blue screen that Michael Fish points atl) and
replaces it with your computer graphics giving the ettect ol
Ihe live video being placed on top ol the output Irom your
Amiga II you’re lucky enough to own a camcorder, then a
ChromaKey system really comes into its own. By simply placing
yoursell in front ol a highly contrasting coloured backdrop and
then adjusting the ChromaKey so thal it uses Ihe colour ol your
backdrop as the ‘key’ colour, you can place yoursell in Iron!
Ol any computer-generated backdrop. Buy yoursell a digitiser
and you can even digitise images ol exotic locations and use
them as your backdrops.
Just think - you could travel to Moscow and stroll around Red Square wilh Bons Yeltsin, stand on the bridge ol the Starship Enterprise and even do your own weather reports without leaving the comfort ol your own homel SOFTWARE CHOICE , Backing up all this video gadgetry is a formiddable selection of desktop video software that will help you to create exciting video productions that run perfectly on cue. These generally come in two flavours - video titlers and video presentation systems. Video titlers are pretty obvious - using the Amiga's own powerful font handling capabilities, they allow you
to create titles complete with special effects such as shadows, outlines etc. Some of the more powerful packages give you the chance to actually ‘scroll’ your titles in true television style both horizontally and vertically which is ideal for producing the sort of ‘rolling credits’ you see at the end of all television programs. If you're particularly proud of your holiday video, why not use a titling program to let your audience know who the stars were, who the director was, who made the coffee and - most important of all - who was responsible for the fabulous titles that are assaulting
their eyes I You don't have to buy a dedicated video tiller for this sort of thing, however. Any conventional paint program can be used to draw up some very flashy titles. Dpaint is particularly well suited to this sort of thing thanks to its powerful animation facilities. Dpainf s ability to automatically generate animations of the transformation ot a brush in three dimensions can be used to create spinning logos just like those on Top of the Pops’ Video presentation systems take the concept of the video titler one step further by allowing you to build up complex presentations that com
bine the titles you produced in your video titler with static images, animations and - If you’re musically inclined - some form of backing track. Gold Disk’s ShowMaker is particularly good at this sort of thing - not only can it do all the above things, but you can also play sound samples and MIDI sound tracks, apply Amiga-generated video wipes’ (transistions between one image and another) and you can even call upon the talents of other programs using its powerful Arexx facility.
Video signals layed bare You may well think that all video signals are pretty much the same, but don't you believe it. Not only are there ditferent formats over here in the UK. But the same formats (In name at least) vary considerably depending upon which country you live in. There are primarily three different video systems that are used around the world: PAL (which is the standard we use in Britain). Secam (the French system) and NTSC (the US system) The differences between these three different systems must be understood if you intend to buy a lot of expensive video hardware. Take NewTek's
wonderful Video Toaster board, for example.
You may have seen previews (and even reviews) of it in other magazines, but the simple lad of the matter is that the Video Toaster is an NTSC only device - try to connect a PAL signal to It and it won’t be able to make head nor tail of it.
The answer lies In what the techies call a video standards converter', a very expensive device that takes a video signal in one format (PAL, for example) and converts it to another format (NTSC, lor example). Problem is. These video converters can only handle a single video signal at once, so you'd need more than one if you wanted to use a device like the Video Toaster. Even then, a device like the Video Toaster needs what is known as a Time Base Corrector' if you want to feed it more than one video signal.
For us British videophiles that want to do nothing more than overlay titles from our PAL Amigas on top of a PAL video signal, there are very tew problems to be encountered It’s important, however, to make sure that the genlock or ChromaKey system that you buy matches the video output Irom your video decks. If you intend to work with higher resolution SuperVHS signals, lor example, then make sure you buy a genlock that can handle SeperVHS.
How Genlocks work We've all seen what a genlock is capable of, but how do they actually work? Well, believe It or not, but Ihe process ol overlaying graphics on to a 'live’ video signal is a fairly minor function of a genlock. All genlocks perform three functions: encoding, gen- locking and keying. When Ihe genlock encodes’ a video signal, it takes the RGB signal fed lo il from the Amiga and converts it into the video signal format required by Ihe genlock (either composite or SuperVHS depending upon fhe type of genlock you own).
Once encoded, il is then synchronised (genlocked) al sync pulse level with fhe 'live' video signal fed to the genlock from your source video player. Finally, in order lo superimpose the encoded Amiga graphics, the genlock removes all occurrences of a given key' colour from Ihe Amiga image which (hen allows fhe live video signal to show through fhe gaps that remain. Most genlocks restrict the key colour' (Ihe colour that is removed) to the Amiga's colour register 0, but more expensive units allow you to specify the key colour yourself.
MINIGEN £49.95 Lola MaHceting 0858 880182 Undoubtedly the cheapest genlock available on the market has to be Lola Marketing's new MiniGen. MiniGen isn't really that new. However - more seasoned Amiga users may remember that a company called Applied Systems and Peripherals (ASAP to its friends) launched MiniGen over six years ago. Back then MiniGen retailed for over £100 buf Lola has resurrected MiniGen after a couple of years absence from the market at this new low price.
Specification wise, MiniGen is nothing special. Unlike units such as Roctec's RocGen Plus and even Lola’s own MiniGen Plus, MiniGen does not offer any form of fade or dissolve controls. What’s more, it only handles composite video signals and even ?
Then the image quality leaves a lot to be desired. As a very cheap introduction to desktop video, however, MiniGen is worth investigating.
MINIGEN PLUS £149.95 Lola Marketing 0858 880182 ROCGEN PLUS £149.95 Silica Systems 081 309 1111 Even Lola would admit that MiniGen isn’t quite good enough to compete against modern genlocks such as the RocGen Plus and so they've launched the MiniGen Plus, an enhanced version of MiniGen that adds a few extra features to MiniGen’s existing circuitry. To make room for those extra features, MiniGen Plus comes in a much larger solid steel casing that can certainly take a few knocks. Unlike MiniGen, the MiniGen Plus offers an all-important RGB pass-thru connector and full fade and dissolve
The image quality of MiniGen Plus still leaves a lot to be desired even when compared to its nearest rivals. If you’re in the market for a genlock with these sort of features at this sort of price, then you're probably better off going for the RocGen Plus - not only does it offer superior image quality but it can also offer full compatibility with Roctec’s excellent ChromaKey system.
If there was one genlock that was solely responsible for bringing about the timely demise of the original MiniGen, it had to be Roctec’s original RocGen RG300C. Roctec have since improved the RocGen immeasurably and the result is the RocGen Plus. Although it's limited to composite video signals only, it handles these very well indeed. One feature unique to a genlock at this price is the RocGen Plus' ability to alter the ‘key’ colour, a feature that is used to great effect with Roctec’s own RocKey ChromaKey system.
Like its rivals, the RocGen Plus offers full fade and dissolve controls which allow you to fade between video sources. In all, the RocGen Plus is an excellent first time genlock for those users that need the sophistication of a much more expensive genlock without the high asking price. Highly recommended.
G-LOCK £299 GVP Silica Systems 081 309 1111 VIDEOCENTRE £495 G2 Video Systems 0252 7371 51 GVP have an unrivalled reputation for producing state of the art Amiga products that leave the competition for dead and their G-Lock genlock certainly doesn't disappoint. Although it boasts a rather strange design that doesn't immediately seem that practical, the G-Lock is one of the first Amiga genlocks that can be completely controlled through software. GVP themselves include a control panel utility but - thanks to G-Lock's excellent Arexx implementation - there's no reason whatsoever why you
couldn’t control G-Lock from any video presentation system capable of sending Arexx commands!
Like its competitors, the Rendale Super 8802 and VideoCentre Plus, the G-Lock handles both SuperVHS and composite video signals and the image quality is very high indeed. If you need SuperVHS compatibility, then this is the genlock to buy - especially when you consider that it's hundreds of pounds cheaper than its competition!
Thanks to a recent drop in price across their entire range. G2's excellent range ol professional quality genlocks are now a serious option to troth the amateur and professional videophile. Their entry level genlock is the VideoCentre. A well designed and well built genlock that Is pitched squarely at the Rendale Super 8802 and GVP's G-Lock The VideoCentre consists of a large cream-coloured unit that, via the long lead supplied with the unit, is designed to be placed next to the Amiga's keyboard, giving direct control over the genlock's many functions. Like the Super 8802 and G-Lock, the
VideoCentre oilers full SuperVHS and composite video signal compatibility and comes as standard with both fade and dissolve controls. Although still rather pricey when compared to the GVP G-Lock. The VideoCentre is still an excellent genlock If you're prepared to pay almost £200 more than the price of G-Lock, you'll find the ,f VideoCentre to be a very capable performer.
RENDALE A8802 FMC £178 Marcam Ltd 0602 790466 Marcam may not be a household name to most Amiga users, but their range of Rendale genlocks are some of the most popular and well equipped on the market. The latest addition to Marcam's range is the A8802 FMC, an enhanced version of the original A8802 genlock. The device consists of a rather plain looking metal box that connects to the Amiga's video port and a separate effects box that can be brought around to sit next to your Amiga's keyboard. This effects box gives the A8802 FMC the ability to fade between signals and a special ’keyhole' feature
that lets you change the key colour used by the genlock hardware.
The A8802 FMC can take input from just about any composite video device and. Although the A8802 is not broadcast quality, the quality of the keyed signal is virtually second to none amongst genlocks m this pnce range. The A8802 FMC may not be as powerful as SuperVHS equipped genlocks like GVP’s offering, but it more than matches the likes of the RocGen Plus, etc. Highly recommended.
GENESYS £799 G2 Video Systems 0252 737151 G2 certainly isn't the sort ot company that stands still. Not content with already ottering Amiga videophiles three different types ot VideoCentre genlock, G2 recently released the GeneSys genlock. Its price tag may seem rather steep, but GeneSys is the first truly affordable professional quality genlock to be released for the Amiga. GeneSys is based around the same keying technology used in its broadcast quality VC3 genlock, an expensive rackmounted genlock designed for use within Ihe professional video industry. As a result, the image quality is
totally top-notch.
Like its little brother. Ihe VideoCentre Plus, GeneSys can handle both SuperVHS and composite video signals although the extra bandwidth delivered by those VC3 circuits gives much better picture quality Although not included as standard. G2 also supply an optional remote unit that allows you lo perform all sorts of fade and dissolve operations without having to reach across to access the genlock's own controls. An excellent genlock |, at a reasonable price.
GENLOCKING TOP TIPS Producing dectnl quality genlocked images is a line art in itsell. But lollow these simple guidelines and your genlocked video signals will be crystal dear.
1. Always use first generation video material.
Everytlme you make a copy ol a videotape, the copy quality will degrade which can make the genlock lose sync when you attempt to overlay graphics on lop ot the live video signals.
If at all possible, always use the original mastertape.
2. Use good quality video leads.
All leads introduce a certain amount ol noise into a video signal and so It's very Important that you go lor the best quality leads that you can afford Try to avoid using loads that aren't designed to carry video signals laedio leads, lor example). II in doobt. Have a chal with your triondly local camcorder supplier.
3. Use a PAL Encoder II the quality ol your linal results Is
still a bit below par. Then you may want lo Invest In what is
known as a PAL Encoder These devices take a video signal,
strip out Its sync signals and then add new (stronger) sync
signals. This will give you a much more stable picture PAL
Encoders are available trom most camcoider stockists lor
around £100. Also available are whal Is known as Video
Enhancers' lhat do pretty much the same job lor less money.
G2 ILLUSION £995 G2 Video Systems 0252 737151 used in conjunction with the RocGen genlock although it can theorectically be used with just about any genlock.
Like any ChromaKey system, you need to place the ‘live’ subject that you wish to key in front of a plain background that contrasts heavily with it. You’ll obviously need a colour cam£ 129.95 Silica Systems 081 309 1111 VIDEO DIRECTOR £149.95 Gold Disk (UK) Ud 071 498 3275 If you have access lo either a camcorder or a video recorder that can be controlled externally via a Sony ‘Lane’ connector (also known as ‘Control L‘) then Gold Disk’s Video Director may be the answer to your video editing needs.
Video Director is primarily a software-based system but Gold Disk do include a number of leads which allow your Amiga to communicate with any camcorder capable of reading control signals via the Lane standard. Be very careful, however - there are about 10 or so different types of Lane used within the camcorder market so make sure that Video Director handles your particular equipment before handing over your hard earned cash.
Once everything is connected up, the Video Director program allows you to define short snippets of video footage anywhere on a tape. These ’clips’, as the program calls them, can then be arranged into order and when you come to ’assemble’ your mastertape, Video Director automatically winds your source video backwards and forwards so that the correct snippets of footage is recorded onto your mastertape. It may not be perfect, but Video Director works.
If it is compatible with your video set- up then give it a try.
At the opposite end of the ChromaKey market is G2‘s recently released Illusion, a wonderfully powerful chromakey system that wouldn't look out of place in a professional video studio. Costing almost £1000, Illusion isn’t cheap however, so you need to be able to justify its use if you’re serious about spending this sorl of cash. If you make money out of your desktop video set-up, however, Illusion is well worth considering.
Unlike the RocKey unit. Illusion has the benefit of being a completely standalone ChromaKey system that includes its own built-in genlock. It also produces (and processes) full broadcast quality video signals, so there's no reason whatsoever why this unit couldn’t be used in a professional set-up. Illusion also benefits from full SuperVHS compatibility and so image quality is very good indeed. Add to this more controls than you’d find on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise and it's easy to see why Illusion has been selling so well.
A recommended purchase for all professional videophiles.
Corder for this, so make sure that all these hardware requirements are taken into consideration when you finally hand over your hard earned cash. Once connected, however, it’s a fairly easy task to adjust the ChromaKey so that the background behind the live subject is removed (good lighting is the key here!). From here on you can create all sorts of wondrous video effects such as ChromaKeying, simple overlay (the same as a genlock), luma key, key sandwich and many others. For the price, RocKey is an absolute bargain.
ChromaKeys Adding a ChromaKey lo your video set up can open up a whole new dimension to your video productions. A ChromaKey essentially carries out pretty much the same (unction as a genlock albeit in the opposite direction. Whereas a genlock places the Amiga graphics on top of live video, a ChromaKey removes the background colour Irom a live video signal and places It on top ol your Amiga's graphics allowing you to create ‘TV Weatherman'-style effects.
VIDEOSTAGE SCALA HVT CU AMIGA ?uuuaanaaa !f:'*!*T77 £49.95 Silica Systems 081 309 1111 Think ol video tilling and chances are that Scala will spnng to mind. Dunng the tew years that Scala and its many incarnations have been with us, the program has managed to carve itselt an impressive foothold In an aggressive market. Even Commodore and (according to rumours at least) IBM use Scala lor both their multimedia and video presentation needs. The "baby' of the Scala range is Scala HVT (Home Video Tiller) which was previously sold under the name ot Scala 500.
Although it’s a cut down version of the tull Scala MM200 package. Scala HVT is still a titter to be reckoned with.
Scala presentations are based around a system of pages’, each of which can contain a screen-full of titles.
Scala includes its own built-in titler which, although essentially simple, is powerful enough for most people needs Not only can it handle titles in a variety of different tont styles, but you can also add oullines, shadows and ‘raise’ Ihe title to torm a sort of 3D effect The only tty in its ointment is the fact that it can’t handle scrolling text. For the average home user, however, Scala HVT is a dream come true.
£TBAAegisDwdopw*01 Ol 310427 1227 The latest arrival on the video titling and presentation scene is VideoStage Irom those Amiga veterans, Aegis Developments.
Based around the look and feel of Aegis' Presentation Master, VideoStage allows you to create entire video presentations that include static graphics, titles and even structured images designed using the program s own built-in drawing tools. What's more, you can even make use of animated brushes that whizz in and out of the screen at break neck speeds and a whole range of professional-quality video wipes.
Possibly the most impressive aspect of VideoStage, however, is its powerful video ‘sequencer’ that allows you to arrange and then rearrange your video presentation to suit your own particular needs Although rather similar in use to Scala's own page sorter’, VideoStage takes this system one step further by allowing you to create modular presentations that can even call Video subroutines’. That is. Small sections of a presentation that can be called again and again from different points within your presentation.
In all. A powerful package that is well worth the asking price SHOWMAKER BIG ALTERNATIVE SCROLLER 2 £79.95 Alternative Image 0533 440041 The guys (and gals) at Alternative Image spend each and every day working on professional desktop video products and so you'd be nght to expect great things from a package designed lor their own personal use. The Big Alternative Scroller 2 is a cheap and cheerful video titling program geared entirely to the task ot adding lilies to your home videos. The previous release of this program suffered terribly from jittery scrolling but thankfully Al have managed lo
sort this out in this new revision.
The program lacks many of the aesthetically pleasing features of full-blown video tillers such as Scala HVT but it more than makes up for any limitations thanks to its impressive selection of titling tools.
As its name suggests, the Big Alternative Scroller's lone is scrolling text and this it does very well indeed. Titles can be scrolled across and up the screen at full user-definable speeds For simple titles, BAS 2 is defi- 4m» ’ nitely worth checking out.
£180 Gold Disk (UK) Ltd 071 498 3275 Gold Disk’s ShorvMaker package may be growing rather long in the looth these days, but it’s still a very powerful package that is as fresh as the day it was first released Like Aegis' VideoStage (reviewed above). ShovrMaker allows you to create lull-blown video presentations although Ihe range of different resources that your video production can call upon is considerably larger. Not only can ShowMaker handle static titles, Images and animations, but you can even incorporate sampled sounds, MFF-format MIDI music files and control other applications via
ShovrMaker uses a very simple to use editing system that is based around a time line’. Events such as displaying a picture, playing a sampled sound, etc, are added simply by dick on the point within the appropriate time line and then dragging out the event to set its duration. Both the start and end points of events can be fine tuned so your video presentation runs in perfect time, A powerful pack- age at a V Jw- reasonable price.
Gokl Disks ShowAlak.tr Ms you create complex video presentation using s drag and click' time Hne editing system.
VIDI-12 AGA LM If you’re looking for a low-cost video digitiser that can grab full colour images direct from any composite video source without the need for colour filters then look no further than Rombo's Vidi-12 AGA.
As its name Vidi-12 fully supports the new VGA- style 256 colour and 262,144 colour HAM8 screen modes offered by the AGA chip set, making it a digitiser that is totally bang up to date. Although it can’t capture full colour images in realtime, Vidi's built-in RGB splitter makes short work of grabbing colour images automatically. Monochrome images can be grabbed in realtime, however, making it an ideal tool for grabbing short digitised animations.
Rombo are soon to release two new realtime colour versions of Vidi called Vidi-12 RT and Vidi- 24 RT which will allow you to grab full colour video footage in full colour. These will cost around £100 more than the basic Vidi-12 reviewed here so unless you need realtime colour digitising, this is the one to go for.
V-LAB Lnzsnvutsftai If you want the ultimate in Amiga video digitisers, then MacroSystems’ V-Lab (marketed in the UK by ACS) is the answer. Available both as a plug in card for the Amiga 1500 2000 (and 4000, of course) and as an external unit for the rest of the Amiga range, V-Lab offers full colour digitising at 24-bit resolution from any composite or Super- VHS source. Image quality is very good indeed and images can be ‘cleaned up’ still further with V-Lab's excellent image processing tools. V-Lab may not be cheap, but it still represents very good value for money.
VIDEOMASTER £69 HiSoft 0525 718181 Possibly the cheapest video digitiser available for the Amiga has to be AVR.’s VideoMaster, a small unit that connects to the expansion slot of any A500. Previously marketed by MicroDeal but now under the wing of HiSoft, VideoMaster combines a realtime digitiser and sound sampler in one box.
Although the quality of digitised images isn’t that great, VideoMaster can grab monochrome images direct from video tape in realtime and its powerful ’Sequencer’ software allows you to produce wonderful animations with ease. Colour digitising is somewhat more involved - just like NewTek’s ailing DigiView, VideoMaster can only grab from a monochrome video camera using colour splitters.
Considering the price, however, VideoMaster is an ideal choice for any videophile on a tight budget.
PRODUCT GUIDE TABLE SUPPLIERS Genlocks Product MiniGen MiniGen Plus RocGen Plus VxJeoCentre GeneSys Rendale Super 8002 GVP G-Lock Video Editors Product VideoDirector VkteoPdot V330 Price £49.95 £149.95 £139.95 £495.95 £799.95 £599.95 £299.95 RGB Passthru No Yes Yes Yes Yes Fade Dissolve Broadcast Quality Supplier Lola Lola Silica Silica Systems Gold Disk UK G2 Systems Alternative Image Marcam Ltd Aegis Developments Aico International Lola Marketing Rombo HiSoft ACS 081 3091111 071 498 3275 0252 737151 0533 440041 0602 790466 0101 310 427 1227 0635 49797 0858 880182 0506 414631 0525 718181
0896 87583 6 10 »10 8 10 7 10 7 10 6 10 9 10 No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No G2 Systems Marcam Ltd Silica VCR Control Yes Broadcast Quality No Rating Auto Assemble £149.95 £1299 Yes Yes Gold Disk Akx Chromakey Systems Fade Dissolve Yes Yes Broadcast Quality S-VHS NO Key Control Silica G2 Systems RocKey Illusion Digitisers Product Vidi-12 AGA V-Lab VideoMaster Yes Realtime Yes Yes Yes Realtime Colour RGB Splitter Rating »10 8 10 &10 Price £99.95 £299 £69.95 S-VHS No Supplier Rombo ACS HiSoft Yes Yes Titling Software Price Amiga Fonts Scrolling s No s Yes Product Supplier Scala HVT Silica £49.95 Big
Alternative Scroier 2 Alternative Image £79.95 Brushes Wipes Fades AGA Rating »10 7 10 Yes Yes No Yes No No Rating 8 10 9 10 Animations No Yes AGA Yes Presentation Software Product Supplier Price Titler VideoStage AegS £TBA Yes ShowMaker Gold Disk £180 Yes Fades Wipes Multi-Pages Yes Yes Yes Yes Sound Brushes Timing Control No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes CALLERS WELCOME AT OUR BRANCHES OPEN 9-S.30, MONDAY TO SATURDAY, (10-4.30PM SUNDAYS + DECEMBER LATE NIGHT THURSDAYS TO £279 CD" » EMV Card m obov.
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sal down al his Atari ST and wrote a small adventure game on
STAC lor his children to play, which would teach them some
basics ol mathematics Before he Knew it. He had a thriving
business, selling educational adventure games on both the ST
and the Amiga (converting the ST games using AMOS). A couple ol
years later, and Coomb Valley Sottware are seven games in, and
at just under tifteen pounds apiece, you could do a lot worse
From pre-school software to programs that follow the National
Curriculum, educational packages have become ever more
sophisticated. No matter what your interests, there will be a
program that’s tailored to your educational needs.
COOMB VAUEY SOFTWARE Starting with Maths Dragons, and working through Reasoning With Trolls. Cave Maze. Picture Fractions and coming up to date with Time Flies, each ol the games lollows the same basic pattern - you are placed in a small maze, with a collection ol items scattered about the place, and you have to locate the items and return them to their correct places.
In Tidy The House, you need to find all the objects in the wrong places, and return them while dressing your younger brother and sister, while Picture Fractions has you searching a goblin maze lor pieces ol a jigsaw puzzle.
In most ot the games, the actual educational part comes when you meet other characters Generally, when you have collected a piece ol whatever it is you are alter, you will be interrupted between rooms with the message You have met a ...' and asked to solve a problem. Get it right, and the other person leaves.
Get it wrong and the other person leaves, taking one ol your objects with them.
NODDY'S BIG ADVENTURE JUMPING BEAN CO. £24.99 As I’ve said, the whole thing has been written in AMOS, and is lairly simple in design. As a result, both the parser and the graphics used within the games leave a lot to be desired Let's lace it. The visuals are awtul At best, they are merely badly drawn images. At worst, they are completely unrecognisable.
Likewise, the parser rarely extends above two dozen words, and you only really find yourselt using a lew ol those.
Ol course, the basis ol all these games is the actual education part itself, and this is what lets most ol the games down. The basis ol many educational games is to present the problems in an involving and enticing way These just pause the game and stick a sum on screen. Sorry, but that's about as welcome as a math's exam in the middle ol Urldium 2.
Unlike most educational packages, Noddy ’s Big Adventure doesn't aim to teach children anything in particular. Aimed at the pre-school crowd, this interactive creativity pack simply helps a child develop his or her creative skills through a series ol lun games and activities. Like the first Noddy game. Noddy's Playtime is essentially a collection ol a dozen or so games, strung together as locations in Toytown. Drive around the large scrolling map, until you come to a taxi rank, and then park to enter one ol Ihe lour main locations - beach, house. Monkey village and Goblin village Once in
a location, you are shown a still scene Irom the area. The nice thing here is that you can have fun just finding out what animates when you dick on it. And what doesn't.
Occasionally when you dick on something you'll be asked it you want to play a game - this is how you take part in the actual educational part ol the game. Games such as Can You Find Me, Noddy's Scales and Beach Sorter teach children to choose between similar objects, grasp simple maths and English, but essentially develop hand to eye co-ordination and basic organisational skills.
Noddy's Big Adventure is a major improvement over the first Noddy game. The whole structure ol the package flows in a more logical way, with the animated linking scenes offering interesting ways to move through the package The three difficulty levels makes it ideal lor anyone Irom the age ol three upwards, and the extremely simple interlace means that anyone Irom the age ol three upwards is going to be able to use it unaided. Loads ol lun and very entertaining, Noddy's Big Adventure is a great bit of kit.
Edihstruct.iom ADI MATHS - 11 12 YEARS EUROPRESS SOFTWARE £25.99 THE WORD CONSTRUCTION SET LASCELLES SOFTWARE - £24.95 KIM - THE MEMORY GAME LASCELLES SOFTWARE - £24.95 Kim, the game, is based upon Kim, the Rudyard Kipling character who can correctly remember the patterns etched onto twenty stones in a bag.
In the game you have more visual icons to play with, but the principal is the same. You are shown up to ten different tiles, and have to remember what they are. Then the screen is filled with twenty different tiles, and you have to pick out the ones you remember. Simple, yes, but far from easy, particularly for the young age range this is aimed at.
There are twelve different sets of tiles for you to play with, ranging from animals to flags to shapes and colours, and each can be viewed as pictures or words. This way you can develop either your shape recognition skills or your reading skills, while at the same time sharpening your memory. As you play, your score is totalled until it is high enough to be entered on the Honours List, and all the way through you are supported and encouraged, both by the sentences that appear on screen, and the sampled woman’s voice that If someone offered fo introduce you to a loveable extraterrestrial
who will... act as your alien tutor as well as your computer-based friend... He will always be on hand to help you with your problems, give you advice and reward you with games,1 you might think they’d read Douglas Adams’ hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy once too often. This enthusiastic gushing does not come from the marketing department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, however, but from Europress Software, and is about ADI, the interactive animated character who fronts its eponymous series of educational programs.
Besides being your plastic pal who's fun to be with, ADI can be a stern taskmaster, posing a wide range of mathematical problems. His tests cover parts of the mathematical course 11 and 12 year-old children will face during that difficult first year of secondary education. Techniques of calculation, percentages, geometric constructions, symmetry, algebra, and statistics are just some of the elements included in this package, based loosley around the theme of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The ADI series, designed to accompany what kids learn at school, covers many parts of the National Curriculum, and partially fulfills many more. These problems are no pushover and, believe me, it's a humbling experience to be reminded just how much mathematical knowledge you have forgotten since facing your O Levels (Don’t worry -1 did pass the Maths one at the time!). I suspect many parents who buy this program will feel similarly if themselves.
Recognising that a computer- based tutor can’t put kids in detention, ADI has nine different games which are made available to his pupils in proportion to the number of points they score by answering questions correctly - a carrot and stick-at-it approach, you might say. ADI offers on-screen background info on the subjects he covers, and a norebook and calculator to help the resolution of problems. His usually encouraging textual comments can become angry if a pupil persistently answers a question incorrectly. The Help mode could, perhaps, have been improved for such circumstances - I
did not notice ADI's advice becoming progressively detailed with repeated failure on a particular question, which I would have expected.
ADI also provides a mini-encyclopedia' of simple animations on a miscellany of topics children often wonder about: the origin of man, birth, the flow of blood, planets, the food chain, and volcanoes, for example. A basic atlas of Europe is also included.
In terms of the standard of graphics and sound, ADI does not come near the potential of the Amiga: ADI’s 'whistly voice’, for example, is actually an ear-piercing shreik of the sort produced for Doctor Who by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, circa
1970. Genuinely unpleasant to listen to, switch it off unless you
want to scare the kids away. In terms of layout, however,
each element of this icon or keyboard-controlled package is
clearly explained and easy to use.
Overall, it is an extensive teaching tool which will help children come to terms with difficult concepts through explanation, effort and encouragement.
This is an unusual education package to review in that it isn’t for kids.
The Word Construction Set is designed to help English students understand the way words and sentences are constructed, along with all the other little quirks in this fine language of ours, such as the various vowel sounds, plurals, extended endings and so on. The eventual aim is to assist students in reading and speaking English, but one main oversight on the part of the designers renders the package almost completely unusable.
But first the game itself. The main screen shows you seven different buildings under construction, and you have to work through each of these, building each tower by performing specific tasks. For example, in Castle Endings, you have to stick the correct ending onto plurals and singular words according to tense. Every time you get a word right, another block is added to the building. Similarly, the Homophone Observatory teaches you to differentiate between words that sound the same, but have different meanings, such as Pear and Pair.
In each game you are given three sets of small words or parts of words, and a crane with which you stick the pieces together to hopefully create the word the computer is asking for. This is where the major problem comes in. Obviously it would be too easy on the student if the Amiga printed the word it wanted on screen. Instead, the program uses the Amiga speech synthesis to ’say’ the words, and everyone who has ever used or heard the Amiga Speech program will know just how uninteiligable it can be - a bit of a hinderance when you’re trying to teach someone a foreign language. A bit like Arthur
Mullard trying to teach French really, pointless.
Fronted by ADI Junior, the sprightly little cousin ot ADI. This package targets the basic mathematical skills ot two younger age groups - four to live year-olds and the six to sevens.
The colourful menu screen, through which all the aspects of the program are accessed, is actually an animated picture Practically all the objects shown respond in one way or another when clicked on with the mouse, enticing the user further into the program by Intriguing them as to what will happen next.
With 15 activities for each of the age groups this product is aimed at, ADI Junior Computing gives a pleas ant introduction to the basics of adding-up and taking-away. Three levels of difficulty allow the child to progress through subjects like counting objects, identifying numbers by word and figure, and painting by numbers. One of the tasks, for example, Involves counting the number of sightseers who visit a castle - if the comings and goings are kept track ot the end sequence shows a knight walking round his home switching off the lights. In another part ot the program, for junior coun
ters increasing in confidence, a series of sums may be undertaken against the clock.
There are. In addition, plenty of activities to be done which are unrelated to maths - a car racing game, jigsaws, and identikit faces may all be played with. The graphics are bright and entertaining; the range of sound effects is both wide and of high quality The voice which speaks the advice given to users when they press the Help key is exceptionally dear, albeit in a cutesy American way, which is sure to help ADI Junior give the intended impression of a helpful and instructive playmate. An activity-packed program which really does make learning fun, this excellent piece of soltware is
thoroughly recommended.
PAINT POT 2 £19.99 KIDS ACADEMY As an art package aimed specifically at children, Painl Pol 2 may be seen as tailing midway between the drawing elements ot The Shoe People and more sophisticated art programs. Such as Kids Pit Unfortunately, its price and compan- tively limited range of functions prevent it from being an adequate competitor to either.
Aimed at four to ten year-olds.
Painl Pol 2 allows the user to draw pictures frehand, and take the short cuts ottered by line, box. Circle, and ellipse drawing tools. Painl Pol 2 is, in fact, as much a colouring-in program as a drawing one - it comes with about 20 line drawings ready for loading and filling-in. The colouring is an easy process thanks to the fill tool which is also available. A total ol 16 colours may be used to construct any particular painting, and the tones of each may be varied, allowing for a far larger number of colours to be used (although still no more than 16 tor each drawing, of course). The
pictures can also be saved and pnnted.
ADI JUNIOR COUNTING £25.99 EUROPRESS SOFTWARE The main tune and sound effects are competent and the presentation is appealing, but this program's only real plus is its ease of use. If your child has even vaguely senous intentions of drawing on a computer, you would be better off buying Kid Pis or.
If they’re in their teens, a copy of Deluxe Paint or Brilliance.
THE SHOE PEOPLE £9.99 FIRST CLASS The Shoe People is based on the award winning cartoon series - which I freely admit to never having heard of. If your four to six year-olds are tans, however, and even if they're not. They are sure to enjoy this varied package ol activities.
Geared towards meeting the guidelines of the National Curriculum, The Shoe People contains five games and a simple drawing and colouring program. In the drawing section, kids can even save their drawings to disk, print them (if your pnnter's up to it, of course), or print out the selection of line drawings included for old-fashioned felt-tip and crayon style colouring-in.
The games all feature Shoe People, like Trampy. PC Boot.
Wellington. Baby Bootee, and Sergeant Major They help introduce kids to the basics ot English, maths.
Shapes and patterns through a series ot tasks such as associating words with ob|ects. Spelling those words, differentiating between upper and lower case letters, arranging similar blocks in groups, and solving simple anagrams. Different levels of difficulty are available for each game, allowing a dear path of development for a child to follow.
As the game is aimed at such young children, Clever Clogs (Shoe Town s Educational Adviser), makes no bones about recommending that ‘grown-ups' go through the games together with the kiddies in their charge. That shouldn't be too hard a task; the pleasing graphics, amusing little animations, good music and sound effects make this a highly entertaining package Highly recommended It’s well known that spelling is a major problem with school children and particularly the spelling of certain words like ‘weird* and 'ceiling'. This selection of useful games aims to help that particualr problem,
using a fairground setting for the tests.
Starting with the Coconut Shy, you are shown a selection of letters on the front of coconuts, within which is a word. At the bottom of the screen you are shown the meaning of the word, and you have to knock off the extra letters leaving only the required ones. After that there’s the Word Juggle, where two jugglers rearrange letters to form words; the S PE LUNG FAIR £25.99 EUROPRESS SOFTWARE NODDY'S PLAYTIME £25.99 JUMPING BEAN In the world of children's games, can any license be as sought after as the Noddy one? Well, yes probably. I don’t know about you. But from where I’m standing Noddy's
a little old hat. Still, that didn't stop Jumping Bean picking him up and sticking him in quite an inventive piece of software.
Aimed at children between the ages of three and eight. Noddy's Playtime aims to teach the basic skills, such as picture recognition, along with some simple logic abilities. This is done through a series of eight games, based in various buildings around Toytown. In the farm, you have to match the front and rear ends of animals so that they’ll get fed. In the factory, you are shown five similar items and a picture of the kind you want, e.g. an Mechanical Grab, where you can practise prefixes and suffixes; and even learn about homophones (words that sound the same, like Where' and 'wear') in
the Haunted House.
Each game is played across thre levels of difficulty, and offers small bonuses for success as part of an incentive package. For example, in the 'Test your strength’ game, after four bells have been wrung people step out from behind the posts and burst into applause. Similarly, in the coconut shy, the coconuts dance when you get words right. Get things wrong, and you get to see an amusing animation,but this is done in a way that isn't disheartening.
All in all, it's a well put together package for the slightly older group (7 to 13), and it tackles the problem well.
Once again, it comes from the Fun School team, so it can't be bad.
Ice cream with a red cherry but no wafer. Using the mechanical crane you have to knock off any wrong items.
The whole thing is linked by Noddy driving around Toytown, and this is full of nice little keyboard touches, such as pressing the 'B' key to cause the car to brake sharply, complete with sound effects. However, this is where I think things might be a little too much for younger children.
It's a large map, and you're given no indication of where the games are. You can choose to skip to the games, but that removes the continuity. Other than that, it's a fine piece of software, and one stimulating enough to capture the imagination of the older end of the age group.
PAINT AND CREATE £25.99 EUROPRESS SOFTWARE This is a superb piece of software and one that no five year old should be without. Rather than trying to tech children, this package aims to stimulate their imagination with a collection of games designed to aid creativity. Put together by the Fun Shool team, you'd expect it to reek of quality anyway. And it does, with polish liberally slapped all over it.
The menu is a large four-screen picture, filled with objects that animate when you click on them, such as the sun, a cat, a dog and a telephone. The games themselves are easy to find - to play the jigsaw you click on the teddy piecing together a jigsaw. The large bright graphics are something smaller children will identify with and I feel that the package could be just as useful for children 10 OUTOFIO ENGLISH £25.9510 OUT OF 10 Meeting the demands of the National Curriculum, whilst retaining the emphasis upon the more traditional elements of English language teaching, is the aim of
this game-centered package.
Unusually, perhaps, this product is not aimed at a highly specific age range, instead, it is ability-based, with the level of difficulty of the puzzles embracing junior school standard as well as that of kids preparing for their GCSEs. The six games test the user in ways that will undoubtedly stretch most people's literacy skills: spelling, identifying collective nouns, spotting missing words or letters, matching rhyming words, and so on, form the content of the puzzles on offer. It is even possible for intrepid parents or teachers to write new questions for one of the games, enabling
them to customise it to stress what they consider to be the most important points for the child player to learn. The leaflet accompanying the game makes it clear that the program aims to cover the long-familiar elements of language teaching, including punctuation, verbs, adjectives, nouns, sound patterns and figures of younger than the five years recommended.
As well as the jigsaw section, you've got a mini art package for budding Leonardos, Monster Maker, where you can put body parts together to create the scariest monster possible, and then run a little animation to see how scary it really is. There's a Card Creator, where you can piece together Christmas Birthday cards and then print them out, but my favourite has to be the Teddy Karaoke. Here you can put a band together by picking the instruments and musicians to play them, select the music for them to play, and then put them on Top of the Teds’ to see how well they do.
Essential software.
The games will appeal to kids who are devotees of crosswords, and word search puzzles rather than the usual platform fare, but quick reactions are still necessary to impress the scoring system in many of them.
Graphically unexciting and with unremarkable sound, this product nevertheless remains an interesting attempt to put vocabulary and grammar in a computer game context.
.£19096 ihler.
...£90.00 €20 90 £29 90 £29 90 €29 99 £2999 £32 96 ____£2999 _£48090 v a Meg ol wMM • ..£70.96 Bata A PI pea Pro Upgrade v1-v2.
Oeett**y*« ¦eternal Sound lk.tr mgoie «n UjeKftoi A HinkSoi B Pro *•*»« «n RtAae to» Toota One-Stop Muelc Shop -------- Tha aaunrarg EMU PrcAaua DSP (*ace warWonWOM Power Computing 4MB. Clock. No FPU £209 00 4MB, Clock. 20 Mhz 68881-------- ....£290 00 4MB, Clock. 25 Mhz 68881 £315 00 4MB. Clock. 33 Mhz 68881------ £325 00 4MB. Dock. 40 Mhz 68881..... £335 00 £7496 £3590 .£151.98 Triple Play Ptu. ... £169.96 Wth «... loo. MIDI menace, have up to 48 enamel MCI compoaibona Amaa 2 .....£70JO Sound
aamfMr • irldl interface Clarity 18 ......£12985 18 01 uamftot w0i aoftware .. £24.96 Thai iramat* Art Eipreaakxw ----------------------£146.00 Oraaeig MMH . £140 J6 A torta.Br a be pert peOega Oakiie Pamt 4.5 AGA ------------£7486 Defcjie Video ¦-------------- £79.96 Daluia Paint 4.1 STD . MOJO The Mael ««i tor non-AGA macnnas Profeaalonal Draw v3J ...£90.96 Cygnua Ed Professional y3J ..£6995 Amoa
Prolaaalonal £35 99 Amoa Prolaaalonal Compile* ..... C24 95 Eaay Amoa .....£29-96 Amoa 10 ....£20J5 Basic . £4995 DevPa* 9----------------------£81J6 Ei tend ...£04 86 SAS C Vat 8 3e .. €23900 BMW ...€7986 Power Window £90.96 Can Do V2J ..€00 96 MotUnka Edition a
1.1 .£60 96 Edit mala ...... £10486 Control you rtn 01" you Amga ard nrt -a toe momg Doart Irtfcrtae cettea and eoft-ara Power Grey Scale Scanner v*9--- £124 96 Colour Power Scanner .....£24985 Video Meetor £6086 AMOort, Semgto nrt graO. Ndao too Epaon GT6A00 Colour Scannar ..£76000 A htgh gja*r A4 Mad «**» tcannar rajlea ASOQ tceme* aofl Video Back-up Syalam... .....£84.96 BaMa I* your Iio«mm and hart dhvea cnto VMS video lap*.
Rendale 8806 S-VHS Genlock €400.00 Rendale 8802 FMC Genlock ..£15995 Amerge Genlock with tade wlpe control ......£196 00 Vldl Amiga 12 C74J6 Grain Mi ootour mage* hom a vtdao source n mder ona eecord Vldl 12 Real Tim ..€150 00 Reel Mne t? Bn •tamn grabber Vldl 24 Reel Time ____________________________£239 00 Grab 24 M tntour mega. N real Mne Big Alternative Scroller .£39.95 Big Alternative Scroller 2 .....£69.99 Broadcast Tltler 2 Super HI
Res £189.99 Font Enhancer & Font Pack vol 1*2 for Broadcast Tltler .£119.99 Montage . £299.99 24 D* AG* Tiang Scale 500 HT100 .... £72.95 Scale MultlMadla MM210 ....£149.95 Scala MM300 ..£349.95 Distant Suns v4.2 ......£39.95 Astronomy Scanery Animator v4 £49.95 P-O »30 £49 95 v«*Provp tsv? JO €3C DO Veh»,«th lor V
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Writer .....£99 99 Copy II uk £&4 y0 Pe»* Pel £29.00 Son Faces Vol t N 4. C*n £46 6 Son Faces vol 2 t4S*5 Son Faces vol 3 £4S9fl Son feces voi 4 94 t ruePrm 24 t*f 99 lurooprtri Pr j*e*»0'«a £34 99 Degene-B'io' £29 99 Oaca. Cat hoe The. E "h,. Ca • Games t 9 99 Now That's What I Call Games 2 ...£19.99 Pinball Fantasies .....£32 99 James Pond 2 ..£29 99
Diggers ..Call Sleepwalker .£29.99 Whale s Voyage ......£29.99 Overklll tuna’C £29.99 Sensible Soccer ......£24.99 200' £29 99
* r«ae £29 99 Deep Core £25 99 Morph £29 99 Oarga-ous Sveers £29
99 Tout Cernege £29 99 Mean Arenas Cat 8severe 129 49
inrematlnnei Kerete Pkn £ 4 49 Myth £449 S-,pe- Putty I 4 99
N«|»» £-4 99 Ri*6 e end Sguaar .29.99 K240 £25.99 Ju-assr Pert
1 499 UtneOuf £29 99 l egand ot Sorael re 7oo 2 £29 99
• •crocoem £29 99
• 111met Super sports £29 99 LotuS ludx* Trilogy £34 99 Se*en
Gates o» .emoaia £29 99 Arabian Mghts f’4 90 i«aps and
Treaeveee £1499 ne 8 ee* £14 „ Ryda* Cup Goff £29 49 9aa h Qj
to* Goto £29 4V Sot* M'|aa £29 99 A Tr»d Ch *e« £2999 Caanaa ?
L2VW Lord oi tha «*-g» ? £2999 Fury or the Furry*. £*699 Oooe
Soeoai Een«n £29 99 Guneea; £2999 ?afghi Technology £33 99
Super Marhane 0rod-e*» £29 99 Oe*e- der oi the Crown 2 £2* 99
Ceaae* OetutMCohort 2 £34 99 G*oker a Encycioped a £134 99
Trvtai Pureun Ca9 Humans 182 .
£29.99 Sy-diceia C*S tut* hor Pec Uctooer £29 99 uhretpod
footbat 29 99 Shaoows ci the *»-* Oi Lebrynth Cal HOW TO ORDER
and PAY Cheque made payable to "Emerald Creative".
Please allow at least 7 working days for cheques to clear. Use the order form attached or make your own order form giving all the information we require, and post to: Emerald Creative Technology Ltd Rapid House 54 Wandle Bank Wimbledon, London SW19 1DW Credit Card. Use the order form attached or make your own form giving all the information we require, and either, post to the above address, or fax Emerald Sales direct on: FAX: 081 715-8877 or telephone the Emerald Sales lines on: TELEPHONE: 081 715-8866 and have all of the information ready.
IMPORTANT: We will authorize and bill your credit card when we are able to ship you product from stock and process your order, not before.
PRICING All pricing in this catalogue includes VAT.
Carriage is added according to the following charges. We resen e the right to change prices. However you will be informed of any price change before your order is accepted.
CARRIAGE CHARGES Post and Packaging charges within the UK are as follows: Normal delivery is £2.50 Registered post is an additional £0.55 Next day courier is £4.95 inc VAT within the UK Mainland, but someone must be there to receive the parcel, or else extra charges will incurr. Please ask for pricing to send an order overseas.
PROBLEMS Faulty product will be replaced or repaired, at our discretion, within 30 days of purchase.
Phone us and we will tell you what to do. No refunds can be given at any time, unless we cannot repair your faulty product. Keep your Purchase Invoice.
M m J3 i i- ?
M 081 715-8866 Sale • Seasonal Sale • Seasonal Sale • Seasonal Sale • Seasonal Sale a Seasonal Sale • Seasonal Sale • Seasonal Sale WTS Electronics Ltd, Chaul End Lane, LutoIi Amiga 4000 Packs
• 32-bit 68020 Full power
• On site warranty
• Two Python joysticks
• Free Paint package software
• Mouse mat
• A1200 Standalone
• AI200 with 20MB
• A1200 with 40MB
• At 200 with 60MB
• A1200 with 80MB
• At 200 with 120MB
• A1200 with 200MB.
£274 £354 £399 £424 £439 £509
• AGA Chip set
• 68030 40 processor
• Co-pro option
• A4000 030 with 80MB HD & 2M8 £899
• A4000 030 with 80MB HD & 4MB £999
• A4000 030 with 120MB HD & 4MB £1069
• A4000 040 with 120MB HD & 6MB £1999
• Simply add to pack price
• CD32 A1200 Dynamite Pack A1200 A600 Hard Drives Amiga 500 Hard
Drives Monitors SVGA Multisync Monitors Full instructions and
cables where necessary All dr«es supplea vwth tomwtbng
instructons and software Free fitting ava laO© 20MB HD Upgrade
£85 40MB HD Upgrade £135 60MB HD Upgrade £154 80MB HD Upgrade
£169 120MB HD Upgrado £249 200MB HD Upgrade £329 Internal Hard
Drives for A500
• Easy to install - Full instructions £175 £245 £295 £335 High
Quality GVP Hard Drives A 500 A1500 120MB £429 £382 500MB £989
£942 1GB £1189 £1142
• ICO technology
• Pro internal 20MB hard drive
• Pro internal 40MB hard drive
• Pro internal 80MB hard drive
• Pro internal 120MB hard drive
• A1200 PC 1204 4MB * ctockc £198
• ProRam PCM-CIA A600 A1200 £ 118
• ProRam PCMCIA A600 A1200 £172
• ProRam 1MB A600 £37
• Ai?00 Real Time Clock_£17
• Pro internal 200Mb hard drive £455
• A570 CD drive £149
• Philips 8833 MKII Monitor £189
• Commodore 1084s £174
• When purchasing with an Amiga deduct £10 from above pricing
• Dust cover for the above £5
• 14" 20“Super high resolution colour display
• Professional IBM compatibility
• Complete with cable
• Full UK warranty
• Tilt & swivel stand
• Al200 SVGA Monitor (Dnplays high productivity modes) £228
• At 200 SVGA+ Monitor (Medium resolu tion, displays all modes
high and low) £274
• Al 200 SVGA5 Monitor (High resok txxi.
Displays all modes) £369
• Al 200 SVGA plus 20' Monitor (Displays all modes ideal for
DTP.CAD etc) £ 1044 Workstations Peripherals Scanners Pro ROM
• 100 Capacity lockable disk box £5.99
• Squick mouse £13.99
• Mouse mat £1.99
• TDK high quality DSD (10) disks £9.99
• Computer Mall DSD (10) disks £6
• Jet Fighter joystick £13.99
• Apache joystick £6.99
• Python joystick £9.99
• Zipstick joystick £14.99
• Screen Beat speakers £29
• Zi-Fy speakers £39
• A50Q A600 A1200 Dust covers £4.99
• A500 Modulator £36
• Mini Office package £54.99
• Supra 2400 Modem £89
• Supra Fax Plus Modem £148
• Supra v.32 BIS Fax Modem £358
• Allows image processing in e useful and unique fashion
• Comes complete with operation manual
• One of the fastest growing applications for home and
professional users
• High specification coupled with cost effective pricing
• Power Handling Scanner
• 64 greyscales 100-400 DPI
• Thru'port to printer
• Fully compataMe with Delux Peint 4. Etc.
• Advanced software
• Power Hand Scanner v3 0 £96
• Power Hand Scanner Colour £229 Swap between Kickstart chips
Fits A500. A500+. A600.AI 500 Auto swapping via keyboard
control Flexible cable allows the swapper to work in
conjunction with accelerators etc. Simple to (it - full
instructions Pro ROM Swapper £18
• Pro ROM Swapper ? 1 3ROM £37 Pro ROM Swapper * 2.04rom£40
Workbench 2.04 plus manuals£49 nal Sale • Seasonal Sale •
Season.; Est. Since 1984 EXCELLENCE N, BEDS, LU4 8EZ TEL (0582)
491949 (6 LINES) 3E Pro Agnus 2MB
• Provides a lull 2MB of Chip Memory lor the Amiga 500 and
A1500 2000 • Designed and built in England • Supplied with 8375
Obese Agnus • Indudes 2Mb Memory on board in the form of low
power Zips • Allows the processing of elaborate animation and
sound sampling • Provides the same max chipmem- ory as the
A3000 A600 &500. • Increases addressable memory space from 9MB
to 10MB • Complete with full instructions and flying leads •
British made
• Pro Agnus 2MB £139 (Free fitting available - Phone for details)
... I A500 Memory Expansions A500 Pro-RAM 0.5 Meg. Upgrade
• Allows 1 MB software to run
• Chip memory compatible
• British made
• Without dock £16
• With dock £19 A500 Pro-RAM 1.5 Meg Upgrade
• Gives a full 2MB of memory £74 A500. 1MB Meg Upgrade £29.95 1
Allows Ihe addition of peripherals without damage to computer
or power supply High Current Power Supply Cumana 3.5" External
Drive ¦ Why risk damaging your expensive kit when one simple
investment will ensure total peace of mind row and for the
future Switch mode design Full crow bar projection British made
£44.95 £44.95 £44.95 £54.95 £99.95 ' A600 Power supply unit '
A500 Power supply unit ' A590 Power supply unit i At 200 Power
supply unit ' A2000 Power supply unit High Quality Printers
Renowned and proven reliability Top notch specification
• long moulded cable Slimline design High impact plastic
• Cumana external drive £59 Cumana external drive + 100 capacity
disk box £62 Cumana external dnve
* 100 disk box . 20 blank disks £68 A500 A500.
Internal replacement disk dnve £46
• High quality premium range of Anvga printers
• Two year manufacturers warranty
• Complete with cable to Amiga 500
• Citizen registered for Dealer plus service
• Swift 1200. £129 (9pr 80cot m. 144c*»s »«ft 30NLQ4106Bs feO
• Swift 90 Colour £168 )9 pin 80 column. 216 cps draft 54 10 46db
qu«i mode
• Swift 200 £186 (24pm 80 coiuwv 216 cos draft 72 LQ 43dB quel
• Swift 240 Colour £259 (24pra0a* T»v240rt»«ift 801C 43dB »j«t
• Swift Pro Jet £299 80 column. 60 now* pin. 360 cos draft
12010. MP ('mutation 8KB buffer. 3 loMs vrmual taw nn*'v WTS
have sole distribution rights Irom Americas biggest Commodore
chip distributor
• Workbench 2.04 .Kit £78
• Kickstart 20.4 £24
• Kickstart 1.3 £26 ¦ Kickstart ROM Swapper £18 lerao Mnvwn
• Fatter Agnus 8372 £49
• Obese Agnus 8375 £54
* High Res Denise £29
• 1MB x 9 Simms 3 chip) £29
• 1MB x 4 Zips £14
• 8520 CIA £13 SALES HOTLINE 0582 491949 (6 UNES), 0480 4711
17 24hr . Fax on 0582 505900 mff* Credit Card ordering by
phone is easy. Simply phone our sales hotline quoting your
credit card number., expiry date, name and address and the
products you wish to order and we'll do the rest. Alternatively
write the above details on your letter when ordering by post.
When ordering by post in cheque form please write your cheque card guarantee number on the reverse of the cheque and send along with your order. Postal Orders are also accepted.
NO DELIVERY CHARGES TO UK MAINLAND. MINIMUM ORDER AMOUNT £15.00. Should you wish your order to be sent by courier service please add £5. This method includes Comprehensive insurance.
WARRANTY: One year return to base (excluding chips).
ONE YEAR EXTENDED WARRANTY: Available on all products (excluding chips) at 10% of purchase price when ordering.
Where To Find Us!
Head Office Computer Mali Bedford Computer Mall St. Neots Computer Mall Hertford Computer Mall Dunstable WTS Electronic Ltd No.16 Downstairs No.6 49 Railway St. 84 High Street North Chaul End Lane The Harpur Centre Priory Mall Shopping Centre Hertford Dunstable Lulon Bedford St. Neots 0992 503606 Bedfordshire 0582 491949 0234 218228 0480 471117 0582 475747 II pf *3 Quota! Of products sloOM Mr sublet to ttockmg tort* and avatafrMy WTS caonoc Dr held krfW Of v mnnEiBRHn onal Sale • Seasonal Salt AMIGA BUYER S GUIDE 94 Add'OllS MINERALS One of the things that makes the Amiga so powerful is the
ease with which it can be upgraded. You can beef up even the humblest A500 until it’s capable of giving the revered 486 PC a run for its money. Each Amiga has its own unique qualities, and requires its own add-ons. Broadly speaking add-ons fall into two categories: plug-in cards for big box machines such as the A1500 and A4000, and machine specific peripherals for the smaller machines. Most of the time, peripherals for the bigger machines are interchangeable between the A4000, A3000, A2000 and A1500, therefore we’ve reviewed stuff for them in one section, whilst looking at products for the
other machines in another section. Modems and printers are compatible with all machines, and so they form the dividing line between the two sections. Read on... A600 CARD £49.99 - INDI DIRECT 0543 419999 This card plugs into Ihe expansion pod of Ihe A600 and adds one meg ol Chip RAM. Bringing Ihe machine's lolal up lo two megs. It's small, it's easy to fit, il works, ft,Xzjg What else is Ihere?
- INDI DIRECT - 0543 419999 The A501 plugs into the trapdoor
slot of the A500. It contains 512k or one megabyte of Fast RAM
and includes a battery backed clock which is useful if you own
a hard drive. It also features an on off switch so that it can
be disabled for those rare games that don t work with Fast RAM
A500 - Not A500* Extra memory can greatly increase the range of
things that you can do with your Amiga. Most machines are
supplied with Chip RAM only, so buying a Fast RAM upgrade will
not only increase the amount of data that you can store, it
will even increase the speed at which that data is manipulated.
£119.99 - MX DIRECT 0543 419999 A1200 and A600 owners can add two types ot RAM to their machines: internal cards which plug into the expansion slots underneath the computer, or PCMCIA memory that plugs into the smart card' slot at the side.
Although smart cards are only 16-bit, and will thus slow an A1200 down, they are convenient and extremely easy to fit. They're also extremely portable, for what it's worth!
This card offers two megabytes of 16-bit RAM A600andAI200only, RAM CARDS 2 MB PCMCIA PCI 204 £ 1 85.95-£339.95 - POWER COMPUTING - 0234 843388 The little brother to the PC1208. The 1204 is supplied with four megs of surface mounted RAM which means that it's likely to be far more reliable than boards that use SIMMS or other socketed chips.
The 1204 is supplied with a battery backed up clock and again it's available with a variety of maths co processors ranging upwards from a 20MHz 68881 to a 50MHz 68882.
The board is nol expandable like the 1208. But it's still a very good solution for those who are certain that they won't need more than a total of six megs of RAM.
A1200 only.
PCI 208 £99-£61 9 - POWER COMPUTING ¦ 0234 843388 A tollow up lo their popular PC1204 RAM card for the AI200. Power's PC1208 is probably the first card expandable to a full eight megs which does not conflict with the PCMCIA slot.
It comes with a clock in a variety of configurations starting at £99 for a board with no RAM but a 68882 maths co processor running at 20MHz and ranging up to £619 for a fully populated eight meg board that includes a 68882 maths co pro running at a lightning 50MHz. C'A b* MEGACHIP 2 £1 59 • POWER COMPUTING - 0234 843388 Chip RAM is essential for graphics and sound, and the more you have, the more you can do. The Megachip lets you upgrade the A500, 1500, 2000 or 3000 to a full two megs of Chip RAM.
It plugs into the Agnus slot of your computer, and although it will invalidate your warranty, it's very easy to fit and is unlikely to cause you any problems.
Once fined, it will not interfere with any Fast RAM expansions that you may have.
A500 +, A1500, A2000 and A3000.
A1200 only.
ALFA DATA RAM £115-£465 - GOLDEN IMAGE - 081 365 1102 The Alfa Data RAM for the A1200 is unusual because it comes with at least one meg of RAM, and then you can still add another four or eight megs on top of that, making it the only card to give odd number RAM totals.
¦ It's also unusual because it | uses Zip chips instead of SIMMS, i and these have recently been slightly easier to get hold of.
| By now it will come as no surprise to leam that it also includes a battery powered clock and an optional maths FPU (co pro).
If the extra meg of RAM is important, this seems a good option, but compare the price of SIMMS and Zips if you don't want a fully populated unit just yet.
A1200 only.
TURBOTECH £179.99 - SIREN SOFTWARE - 061 724 7S72 Yel another trapdoor slot A1200 BAM card, but the Turbotech doesn't come with room tor an FPU. But it's a tad cheaper than some ot the other cards.
It comes with tour megs and a clock, and that's all there is to it really!
A1200 only ACCELERATORS Advanced though the Amiga may be, it’s beginning to look very sluggish compared to other computer platforms where substantially faster processors are now the norm. Of course, the Amiga also has advanced architecture with chips such as the Blitter which help to compensate for its relatively slow CPU. But if you’re still not satisfied, there’s no reason why you can’t increase the speed of your machine.
ICD ADSPEED £119 - POWER COMPUTING - 0234 843388 The Adspeed is the least expensive of all the upgrades reviewed here, but then of course, it's also the least impressive. It works with any Amiga that uses a socketed 68000 chip and simply plugs into the socket replacing the existing chip.
Although it’s still only a 68000 itself, the Adspeed does run at 14MHz, twice the dock speed of the standard 68000. Contrary to what you might expect, this does not produce a twofold increase in speed. In fact, at best, it gives you a 15-20% improvement.
Still, it's not particularly expensive and it's fairly easy to A500 *, 1500, 2000.
MICROBOTICS M1230XA £239.99-£711.19 - INDI - 0543 419999 The M1230 is one ot the better A1200 boards in a market jostling with high quality kit. As with all A1200 peripherals, you can choose the specification, ranging from a 40MHz 68EC030 accelerator with no RAM or maths co pro for a very reasonable £239.99 and going up to a 50MHz full 68030 accelerator with a 68882 maths co pro also running at the same speed and a hefty eight megs of RAM.
In fact, it is possible to add up to 128 megs of RAM if you can find a single SIMM that large. In real terms the largest you'll be able to find is a 32 meg chip and that’s likely to damage your wallet to the tune of well over £5000!
If you choose the 50MHz card, the processor includes a memory management unit which is necessary for running the virtual memory program Gigamem as well as programmer's tools such as Enforcer.
The M1230XA plugs into the trapdoor slot so yoor warrranty remains intact. A1200 only.
GVP A1230 TURBO £249-£499 - SILICA SYSTEMS - 081 309 1111 The A1230 was the first A1200 accelerator to hit the streets, and because of that it now looks a little plain compared to the others which have enjoyed more development time.
It offers a 40MHz 68EC030 accelerator with one or four megs of RAM and an optional maths co pro. Of course, it also includes a clock.
Even without the FPU, it still accelerates the A1200 to approximately seven times its normal speed, and this is the slowest A1200 accelerator on offer!
Of course, being GVP it means that the board is well built, and it’s worth I phoning Silica to see what current price offers are available as an upgraded version to this board is imminent.
You can add up to 32 megs of RAM to the board via its two SIMMS slots. You need to use GVP’s proprietory chips which in turn means that they're no good for anything else if you ever change computers. On the up side, the board does offer not one, but two SIMMS slots, so you can build up to 32 megs in two slightly more affordable 16 meg chips if you like. ( I A1200 only.
CSA12GIJAGE .... £499-£999 - OMEGA PROJECTS - 0942 682203 For the real power user, the CSA 12 guage is the creme de la creme of A1200 accelerators, and in fact is likely to be the only peripheral you ever need! Well, not literally, but it certainly is a feature packed board.
For starters, it contains a full 68030 accelerator running at a spritely 50MHz. It also gives you an optional 68882 maths co pro running at the same speed. On top of that there’s a SCSI interface that emerges from the back right of your Amiga (or underneath if you're scared of losing your warranty). This interface will automatically configure itself as a SCSI 1 or SCSI 2 device according to the peripheral attached to it. Furthermore, the unit also contains a clock and a socket which will accept an ethernet Local Area Network chip so that the Amiga can be linked up to other computers including
With the option to add up to 128 megs of RAM, this board is completely unbeatable, although you may as well start applying for mortgage facilities now ‘cause it doesn’t come cheap.
Absolutely my best recommendation if you can possibly afford it.
A1200 (with a large wallet!)
HARD DRIVES 4s the size and complexity of programs increases, it becomes less and less practical to load software from floppy disk, especially with titles occupying more than half a dozen disks on a regular basis. A hard drive works like extra memory except its contents aren’t lost when you turn the power off.
Although they come in capacities as low as 20 megabytes, I would strongly recommend that you ignore anything smaller than 40 megs. If you can’t afford one of that size, then wait till you can.
GVP HD8 + £199-31120.10 - SIUCA SYSTEMS - 081 309 1111 There are lots ol hard drives available tor the A500, but tew come close to the high standards set by GVP. The HD8t was their tlrst A500 dnve, and it’s still selling extremely well, especially since the prices were drastically reduced The drive plugs directly into the expansion slot at the side ol your A500. So your warranty won’t be aftected. It comes pre-installed so it’s simply a case ot plugging in and off you go.
It otters extremely last read and write speeds, and comes with the option to add up to eight megs of 16-bit RAM. It also includes a proprietory mini-slot Into which which you can plug a 286 PC emulator costing as little as £150.
There’s also a game switch with which you can turn the drive oft so that it doesn't conflict with your games The HD8. Is available in 42 and 105 megabyte capacities.
A500 '*. ' DATAFLYER XDS £224.99-£449.99 - TRILOGIC - 0274 69111 5 If you don't mind invalidating the warranty of your A600 or 1200, you can add a really cheap three-and-a-half inch drive.
Although Ihe Datallyer comes in a very nice external case, it slill needs to be connected to your computer via the IDE interlace. This results in a ribbon cable which can either trail out ol the back ol your computer, or can exit through the PCMCIA slot (making it useless tor any other purpose) As with the Overdrive, because it mounts the IDE drive externally the Datatlyer can use the larger capacity and lower priced three-and-a-hall inch drives.
Tritogic can also otter you a further two years warranty on your computer tor only £27.99. The maximum data transfer rate is limited to the speed ot the drive and the IDE interlace, and this means that the Datatlyer does tend to be slower than the Overdrive, although in the vast majority ol cases it won't matter.
Your choice is clear, do you want speed and ease ot connection or do you want a cheap, well designed drive with a good capacity? The Datatlyer is ottered in capacities between 120 and _ megs A600 and A1200. ' OVERDRIVE £189-£516 - SOFTWARE DEMON • 0736 331039 The A1200 and A600 both come with internal IDE interlaces so that you can immediately plug in any compatible two and a halt incb dnve and you're ready to go with no more messing about. The only trouble is. In order to plug a drive in, you'll have to open the machine, thus invalidating your warranty Overdrive is the neatest solution,
because it simply plugs into the PCMCIA slot at the side ot the machine. Not only does your warranty stay intact, but the drives are more or less portable.
Software Demon originally planned to distribute the drives without power supplies, but on Amigas that already use a lot ot peripherals potential problems could develop meaning that you'd have to buy a power supply anyway.
To avoid charging people extra they simply Included a PSU with every drive.
The drives come pre-installed with a three and a halt Inch unit in capacities ranging between 40 and 426 megabytes In operation they're extremely last; in tact at least 50% taster than the GVP drives I love so much, and twice as last as the standard Seagate IDE drive in my A1200.
They can be plugged into the computer and unplugged even when the power is switched on A special portable A600 version is available which can be slipped into your pocket. L-J CR 4600 and A1200.
You can use your Amiga to talk to the rest of the world, and with modem prices plummeting there’s never been a better time than the present.
US ROBOTICS SPORTSTER £279.95 - FIRST COMPUTER CENTRE - 0532 319444 i Despite looking more like a child’s toy I than a top end piece of professional 1 equipment, the Sportster still offers a better power to price ratio than any other | modem reviewed here.
It offers transmission rates of 14,400 I baud with MNP5 and V42 error correction. If linked to a similarly equipped modem, transmission rates of up to 56,000bps are theoretically possible (although unlikely using a standard 68000 | based Amiga).
Extremely impressive at fcfa such a reasonable price.
US ROBOTICS COURIER HST DUAL STANDARD £503.99 - FIRST COMPUTER CENTRE - 0532 319444 The ultimate modem, but al a price. Standard data transmission rates ot 16,800bps make this the tastest modem reviewed. Rather cheaply built considering its whacking price tag but one ot its great advantages is ihe fact that it can be upgraded to the new VFC protocol when It's released. This will push up transmission speeds to a hefty 28,800 bps.
With V42 BIS, MNP5 and US Robotics' own HST standard, this is a device designed to link up with everything in the worid to otter the tastest possible communications.
The top banana in terms of RAW data pumping power, but with an executive price lo match.
SUPRA V32BIS FAX MODEM £249.99 - FIRST COMPUTER CENTRE - 0532 319444 The best ot the Fax modems at a reasonable price. The Supra v32bis chugs data at a healthy 14,400bps and has the added advantage ot being able to send faxes as well. Again it supports MNP5 and v42 so it will connect comfortably with all modern communications networks.
It includes a nice matrix LED on the tront to tell you what's happening, rather than relying on the uninformative single lights used by all the other modems.
It's also very compact, and with a brushed aluminium case it seems more robust and better designed than US Robotics' equipment. Unfortunately that illusion is shattered by the fact that this modem is not even BABT approved and so cannot legally be used on the British phone network.
Ot course, it's not as if roving bands of telecom SWAT teams are likely lo burst into your home to check, but.. If you don't mind taking a walk on the wild side, this otters perhaps Ihe best all-round value ol any modem.
SUPRAMODEM 2400 MODEMS £74.99 - FIRST COMPUTER CENTRE - 0532 319444 If your wallet is not very large and you can only look on at comms users in envy perhaps this cut-price halt-pint can bhng a gleam of hope to your eyel It comes supplied with all cables and is robust in construction, and very easy to use thanks to the comms software that First Computer Centre thoughtfully bundle with it.
Its speed ot 2400 bps is extremely slow for anything except text transmission or real-time conversation. For example, a one megabyte program would take a little over 58 minutes to download with this system, so if you expect to do a lot of up or downloading, then you really should save up for a taster modem. It'll pay for itself in phone bills in no lime al all.
Nevertheless, for less than £80. You can sample Ihe joys ol the kTTlb comms world - who knows you might even become a hacker! Mmm* NICOLA £29.99 - TRICKY 0273 885547 Of course it’s all fine and dandy having all these wonderful modems, but unless you have the software to use them, they're no good to you. Many people use Ncomm, but if you’re a CIX user, there’s an infinitely better solution.
Nicola is an off-line reader, which means that it automatically logs onto CIX for you. Performs all your your phone bin.
Business, then logs off and lets you review the day’s updates without having to pay phone time. Average log on time with Nicola with a download of say 100k on a 14,400 modem is under three minutes. The whole point is, it cuts your phone bills to a tiny fraction of their previous levels.
When Nicola is running, it works very like CIX, in that 99% of the CIX commands perform the same function within Nicola as they do in CIX, the difference being the data base upon which the commands are acting is in your computer, rather than on a main frame in Wales.
The program also offers many features not supported by CIX, such as the option to filter out boring people, or highlight interesting ones. You can also print individual messages, or view every message number in a thread.
Nicola is a dream to use and comes with a friendly Workbench 2.0-style interface, it's also practical because it slashes your CIX charges and your phone bills. CTTfo Requires an error correcting modem and one meg of RAM. X j Thread for nessage 1313
- 1313 ??1323 ??+1324 A V Nicola also otters features not
provided by CIX, such as this thread trace option.
PRINTERS There’s little point owning most business software without a way of outputting your results, and that means buying a printer. There are models to suit all pockets and all requirements. Rather than listing every printer in the world, we’ve simply summarised some of the best.
LXIOO £222.00 • EPSON UK - 0442 61144 The LX-IOO is Ihe ideal printer lor Ihe buyer on a budget. II uses a nine pin dot matrix mechanism which is quite noisy, but at 200 characters per second it s quite nippy tor home use. It indudes a 50 page sheet teeder to automatically teed paper into its mechanism, and it can handle tractor leed (sprocket) paper too. _ A robust and stylishly designed pnnter which still compares favourably to its more highly specified siblings.
OL400E . £499 - OKI SYSTEMS - 0753 819819 The OL400E offers laser quality without the expense or the space In actual fact it's an LED pnnter which means that whilst it gives the same resolution and results as a laser pnnter, it doesn't produce the same ozone depleting gases. It occupies about the same desk area as a monitor, and is remarkably quiet in operation.
A print speed ot four pages a minute makes it delightfully nippy for home use, although It's worth pointing out that that speed only applies to second and subsequent copies of a page; the first one is likely to take considerably longer Lciooc; ...... 219 • STAR - 0494 471111 The LC100 is one of the cheapest colour dot matrix printers, due to its nine pin head which doesn't give a very high resolution. Still, it's likely to be quite adequate for home use. And is designed for economy, with ribbons costing a give away six pounds each compared to the £15
that a Citizen Swift 240 ribbon would cost.
Ft features very good paper handling which means it’s easy to use, and all in all the LC100 seems an ideal choice tor beginners. A 150CPS print speed SWIFT 24QC £359 - CmZEN - The Swift is a 24-pin colour pnnter which, despite using a dot matrix mechanism, is quieter than most It uses a four colour ribbon to create a full spectrum of shades on paper, but when printing graphics, like all colour dot matrix printers, it's quite slow. As for text, It chugs along at 215CPS in draft mode, by no means exceptional given its price tag Its paper handling is quite good, and because it comes with
specific instructions for Amiga owners, it's eas- ier to set up than most.
A reasonable option if you can't afford one of the colour bubble jets, SP DESKJET 550C £539 - HEWLETT PACKARD - 0344 360000 The 550C is the upgrade to Hewlett Packard s ever popular Deskjet 500C ITS a bubble let capable of delivenng vibrant 24-bit colour In order to produce such results, you'll need a dedicated driver as the Amiga Workbench drivers can't manage a fraction of the palette. Fortunately such drivers are available from a I variety of commercial and public domain sources.
In monochrome it offers a resolution of 3000PI. But in colour this figure is significantly reduced.
The550Cisa smashing printer, producing vibrant and more or less solid colour. The only real problem is the high cost of running it if you do a lot of colour work (£27+ for ink cartridges).
RAM BOARDS Most Ram expansion boards available for the Amiga 1500 2000 are so similar in features and design that there’s little to choose between them: 16-bit RAM cards will work in the A3000 A4000, but the RAM will run much slower than 32-bit RAM (motherboard Fast RAM). This is because these machines feature 32-bit architecture so that data can be moved around in chunks 32-bits in size. Obviously, by adding a 16-bit RAM card, you halve the rate at which data can be moved to and from them, causing bottle necks.
. .ieed to sayt thinos.
W vrc,te"r,oU ‘ A2058 £N A - COMMODORE - 0628 770088 The 16-bit RAM card from Commodore offers 2Mb (expandable to 8Mb) of Fast RAM for the At 500.2000. The card uses inexpensive Imbxt DRAMS, although these are a bit fiddly to install. Unfortunately the card only supports 2Mb, 4Mb or 8Mb of RAM, so Bridgeboard owners will only be able to run 4Mb of RAM on the card.
Compatible with A1500 A2000A3000 A 3000T A4000.
MICROBOTICS 8-UP £N A - INDI DIRECT • 0543 419999 This card is similar to the Commodore A2058, except It can support the 6Mb configuration the A2058 lacks. It uses the same 1 Mbxl DRAMS that the A2058 takes.
Compatible with At500 A2000 A3000 A3000TA4000 tits Fast Ini Itewry Ttst, vers by Hilly Laneeuetd and Rich St iRiybt 9 ISM, nicroiolits. Inc., Hll Riibti Reserv'd DIFFERENT TYPES OF RAM Chip RAM - Sometimes called graphic memory The area of RAM accessible to the Amiga s custom chip set. This memory is used for graphic and sound data It such data Is not held in chip RAM, the custom chips cannot access it, therefore it will need to be copied from Fast RAM to be useable. Although most Amigas only come with one meg of chip RAM. The AGA machines come with two kbench program caled it you load, to
load into y need Chip memory.
Yamet.nn PRORAM 3000 $ 449.95 - PROGRESSIVE PERIPHERALS - OIOI 303 238 5555 This Zorro III RAM card (for Amiga 3000 and Amiga 4000) allows up to 64Mb of 32-bit Fast RAM to be added to the Amiga to extend past the normal 16Mb Fast RAM limit of these machines. Standard lMbx8 9 or 4Mbx8 9 SIMMS can be used, but need to be added in groups of four (4Mb or 16Mb at a time).
DRAM - Dynamic RAM. These are the most common type of Amiga RAM chips, and are used on almost al A500 and 600 expansions. They come in the lorm of chips which are soldered onto your memory expansion They come in ndi A2632 $ 549.95 - DKB SOFTWARE • OIOI 313 960 8750 This 32-bit RAM expansion card is designed for At 500 2000 owners who have the Commodore A2630 accelerator The A2630 can only be expanded to 4Mb of 32-bit RAM, not enough for many RAM hungry Amiga programs, so DKB released this board which plugs onto the back of the A2630 card to give space for up to 112Mb of 32-bit RAM to be fitted.
The card comes with 4Mb of 32-blt RAM as standard The card accepts standard 32-bit SIMM modules, and can mix different size modules for maximum flexibility Due to the 32-bit RAM being outside the standard A2000 memory map. Once the board is fitted then true DMA hard disk controllers (A2091, Microbotics Hardtrame, etc.) cannot be used reliably.
Compatible with AI500 A2000. Requires A2630 accelerator.
Another great offer from a1 manufacturer you can trust All Cumana products carry our 30 day money back guarantee All products carry our 12 month warranty Manufacturers of quality products since 1979 Cumana reserve Ihe right lo increase Ihe price at any lime. This offer is subject lo availability.
All inclusive price ACCELERATORS The Amiga 1500 and 2000 are slow machines. They use a 68000 processor running at 7MHz, which is slower than a Sega Megadrive. Modern software really needs the speed that only an accelerator board can provide. Even the faster Amiga 3000 and 4000 are sometimes too slow for certain tasks, and there are boards available to speed these up too.
A2630 £N A - SIUCA SYSTEMS - 081 309 1111 Commodore eventually replaced the A2620 card in production with the A2630 card. This card runs at 25MHz using the 68030 processor, and is fitted with a 25MHz 68882 maths co-processor as well. Like the A2620 it fits into the 86-pin CPU expansion socket.
Two versions of the card are sold, with 2Mb of RAM and 4Mb. Like the A2620 the extra 2Mb has to be soldered on if you buy the more amnesic version.
The 68030 processor on this board is the full 68000 with Memory Management Unit (MMU), so GigaMem is able to run on this board without problems.
If you want to expand the board once you have bought it there are two options.
Firstly, there is the DKB 2632 RAM card, which gives up to 112Mb of 32-bit Fast A2620 £299 - SIUCA SYSTEMS - 081 309 1111 The original price for this 68020 accelerator from Commodore was over £1700 when it was first launched, quite high for a product that made an Amiga 2000 run at less than the speed of an A1200 fited with Fast RAM, however the price for the card now (which also includes 2Mb of 32-bit RAM) is far more realistic.
The Amiga 1500 and 2000 are slow machines. They use a 68000 processor running at 7MHz, which is slower than a Sega Megadrive. Modem software really needs the speed that only an accelerator board can provide.
The 68020 card from Commodore comes with a 68020 processor running at 14MHz, a 14MHz 68881 maths co processor, and a 68851 Memory Management Unit (to run programs like GigaMem). It has an excellent build quality (as it was designed as a very expensive high-end card), and the card does not use the cut down cost-reduced version of the 68020 processor found in the A1200.
The card plugs straight into the 86-pin CPU extension socket in the Amiga 1500 2000. Owners of the original German A2000 model will have to remove the 1 Mb RAM card from this socket to fit the accelerator and their 68000 CPU.
2Mb of 32-bit RAM is provided, and it can be expanded to 4Mb using 16 256x4 ZIP chips, but these have to be soldered into the board which isn't recommended for the inexperienced. Your dealer may be able to provide the card fitted with 4Mb instead of 2Mb if you ask nicely.
The card increases your machine's overall speed so that standard applications run between three and six times faster than normal.
When you have used an A2000 with the A2620 card in, you won't want to use it again in normal 68000 mode, but just in case you do you can switch the card off by holding down the right mouse button on reset, which brings up a menu showing 68000 (standard Amiga) and 68020 (accelerated). You can use this to turn off the card when you want to use any old games that don't work with the accelerator running (except on the German A2000 machines, where you have removed your 68000!). J Compatible with Amiga A1500 A2000.
GVP G-FORCE 25MHZ 030 £499 - SIUCA SYSTEMS - 081 309 1111 This GVP accelerator tor the Amiga 1500 2000 has sold well in recent years.
Not only does it provide a 25MHz 68030 accelerator, but it also gives up to 13Mb ol 32-bit Fast RAM, and a built-in high quality SCSI interlace too.
The processor is the EC version ot the 25MHz 68030 (so no Memory Management Unit is fitted), and it is tilted with a 25MHz 68882 maths co-pro- cessor as standard. 1 Mb ot 32-bit Fast RAM is supplied, but you really need at least an extra 1 Mb ol 32-bit RAM to use the board sensibly.
The SCSI is based on the GVP HC8 (now GVP 4008 reviewed earlier) and uses Ihe same software. II is tully RDB compatible and supports DMA transfers to its on-board memory. II you already have a SCSI controller in your Amiga, it is a good idea to transfer the drives to this new controller to maximise speed (it your other controller is also RDB compatible then you will not need to reformat them).
External SCSI is handled through a 25-way connector as standard, but to mount internal drives on Ihe card requires a special mounting trame which is an additional cosl.
The only real problem with this card is that is doesn't use normal SIMMS The card uses GVP’s proprietary 1 Mb and 4Mb SIMMS which are more expensive and more difficult to get hold ol than normal y SIMMS Compatible with: t-T-V 1 A150Q A2000.
Add-ons AMIGA BUYER'S GUIDE 94 MICROBOTICS VXL-30 £274.99 - INDI DIRECT - 0543 419999 This is another accelerator that requires you to remove your 68000 chip and totally dismantle your Amiga. The board is sold in two pieces, the VXL-30 accelerator and the VXL-RAM32 RAM expansion.
Despite what you may be told you need both pieces for the accelerator to work, without the 32-bit ram board the accelerator runs so slowly that it’s actually a decelerator, running at just under 0.9 times the speed of a standard Amiga!
Unfortunately, this is where problems begin. The combined board with RAM and accelerator is rather heavy, and because it’s lopsided (it's connected to the board through the 68000 socket which is on the left of the board) after a while when it gets warm it tends to pop out of the socket, always causing a crash, invariably just before you are about to save something important.
The board doesn’t even seem terribly reliable when it is connected properly (even after using a glue gun on it to make sure it will never move again!).
Strange crashes happen regularly (especially, but not only, when used in conjunction with GVP hard disk controllers).
The accelerator comes as standard with the EC version of the 68030 chip, and the RAM card comes either in 2Mb or 8Mb versions (you can upgrade the 2Mb to 8Mb, but you have to remove and discard the 2Mb chips first).
The speed increase from the combined accelerator RAM board is similar to other 25MHz 030 accelerators, around an 8 to 10 times speed increase over the standard machine, but with this particular board it is hard to say whether it was worth the bother.
The only nice feature about the VXL-30 is the ability to map the 32-bit RAM into standard 24-bit address space. What does that mean? If you have a DMA controller (e.g. A590 A2091 Microbotics Hardframe) you will no doubt have heard that most accelerators slow down your hard disk dramatically (One particular company went out of business before releasing the patch' they claim fixed this particular problem - two years after announcing it would be available to their users). The only other accelerators to do this are the Commodore ones.
With the RAM mapped into 24-bit space the DMA controllers work perfectly happily, and I can confirm that the VXL-30 and the A590 are perfectly happy working together.
Compatible with: A500 A1500 A2000 - would have been much lower if not for 24- bit memory option.
MERCURY 040 3000 $ 2599 - PROGRESSIVE PERIPHERALS - OlOl 303 238 5555 This accelerator tor the Amiga 3000 and Amiga 3000 Tower (but not A4000 030) provides a 28MHz 68040 chip, upgradeable to 33MHz or 40MHz, It supports RAM bursting (very last RAM access) and contains up to 32Mb of on-board Fast RAM, which as it is directly connected to the 68040 chip runs extremely fast.
Like all 68040 accelerators fitted to the Amiga 3000 it requires Kickstart
2. 04 in ROM (Many Amiga 3000s have ROMS which toad Kickstart
from hard disk. II it says 'Loading Kickstart 2.x..’ then you
have the early ROMS that need upgrading.
The ROM is available from Progressive Peripherals with the board.
Compatible with A3000 A3000T.
GVP G-FORCE 40MHZ 030 £899 - SIUCA SYSTEMS - 081 309 1111 This faster version of the G-Force board comes with the 40MHz versions of the 68030 (still without an MMU though) and 68882 maths co processor. It also comes with 4Mb of 32-bit RAM as standard and is expandable up to 16Mb totally.
Otherwise it is exactly the same as the 25MHz model, and still uses _ those nasty GVP SIMMS.
Compatible with A1500 A2000.
CSA DERRINGER £349-£799 - OMEGA PROJECTS - 0942 682203 This accelerator for the A500 A1500 A2000 is available in various configurations. Trom 25MHz 68EC030 with no FPU to 50MHz 68030 with 50MHz 68882 FPU. A single SIMM socket allows up to 8Mb of Fast 32-bit RAM to be fitted to the board directly. It can also re map Kickstart into 32-bit RAM, which speeds up the operating system tremendously.
To fit this board requires the removal of the 68000 chip from the motherboard. Which although not difficult is not as simple as fitting an accelerator board into the CPU extension socket. It also requires the complete dismantling of the Amiga 2000, rather than just taking off the lid as with tilting other cards.
Apart Irom this there is little to complain about. The build quality is _ excellent and the card works wonderfully.
Compatible with: A500 I500 A2000.
A3640 ACCELERATOR $ 1998 - COMMODORE - 0628 770088 Available in the US, bul not yef launched in the UK. This accelerator for the Amiga 4000 030 fits into the CPU card socket (replacing the 68EC030 processor card) upgrading it to a 25Mhz 68040 processor. This is identical to the processor card fitted to the 4000 040, so fitting this to the 4000 030 gives you a genuine 4000 040. The only difference being how much RAM is fitted to your machine and the little sticker on the front (and a replacement 4000 040 sticker is provided!)
It will also work in the Amiga 3000 Tower (as long as Kickstart 2.04 ROMS are fitted, not the early ROMS that load Kickstart from hard drive), but not in an Amiga 3000 (there isn’t enough room for the card to fit in!).
Speed increase is between three and four times the speed of the original 68030 system, and is more noticeable when upgrading the 4000 030 which doesn't have a maths co-processor as standard.
Expect the list price in the UK to be much lower than this US dollar price would suggest, nearer £800 would be a good estimate.
Compatible with A3000T A4000-030.
» HARD DISK CONTROLLERS A hard disk will increase your productivity drastically, and it’s one of the best reasons tor buying a ‘big box’ Amiga (A1500 2000 3000 4000).
II SCSI 1111 Described below are some popular hard disk controllers for the Amiga. Most are available either bare (add your own hard drive) or with various capacity hard drive mechanisms. Prices quoted are for bare cards without drives (except where stated).
A2090 A2090A £N A - COMMODORE ¦ 0628 770088 This was the first Amiga 2000 hard disk controller. Although it hasn't been made tor years they still turn up on the second hand market, sometimes labelled 'Hard Disk controller tor A2500'. They are very primitive (using obsolete MFM hard disks), slow, and Ihe A2090 model will not even auto-boot. Avoid this board! Compatible wilh A1500 A2000. J J u A2091 £129 - COMMODORE - 0628 770088 | This board was designed to replace the cy A2090 2090A cards from Commodore, and was a much better effort.
¦ I Essentially the same excellent SCSI controller tound in the A590 hard drive (but without the horribly slow 20Mb hard drivel). It’s one of the few full DMA Irarrsler conlrollers for Ihe Amiga 1500 2000 and with a fast hard drive can provide excellent results. II also introduced Ihe RDB (Rigid Disk Block) standard Ihaf all good controller cards now follow.
The card has space lor fitting a 3.5" hard drive, and a 25-way external SCSI connector for external devices (such as Mil kMrnt I. Lit I d .jsL CD-ROMs. Tape Streamers, or more hard drives). I! Also doubles as a Fast RAM expansion card, having space lor 512k, 1Mb or 2Mb ol Fast RAM (using 256x4 DRAMs, Ihe same as Ihe A590) The software supplied is the standard HDToolBox trom Commodore, a simple and powerful gadget-driven installation package, although the disk still assumes Kickstart 1.3 and needs a little knowledge lo use with ZfYIJfc.
Kickstart 2.04 or higher. Compatible with A1500 A2000. 7 ffS Imtte Partittwlfflwi hrtitiwl Delwlt ietiyl [WIFI IMVK.4 Partitiin Iwity Mint Fite Systdil Fast File Svsteei Start Cyl: I Z 1 1 Ioim* File Systml End Cvl: C35S Bootable? Ws f"r Tetil Cyl: LlBl Biol Priority! I 1 GVP A4008 SERIES £129 - SILICA SYSTEMS - 081 309 This new board trom GVP isn't really new al all. It's the well known and well loved GVP HC8* card with a slightly updated ROM and a new name.
That itselt should not detract trom the quality ol the card. It is fully Rigid Disk Block compatible allowing drives to be interchanged with Commodore and other controllers, and more importantly, standard software (like hard disk repair tools) will work correctly.
The controller now supports the full SCSI-2 command set (allowing it to communicate more efficiently with SCSI-2 drives), but does not support the double speed transfers that SCSI-2 FAST allows.
Although the card is essentially non-DMA (it uses the CPU tor transfers), it uses DMA to an on-board RAM butter, meaning the CPU is tree from the majority ot the drive workload, but the card will still work in 32-bit machines (unlike full DMA cards like the A2091).
The card is packed wilh leatures. A 3.5" drive will mount on the card. Like other cards, in a 3000 or 4000 this can obstruct the Video slot or another Zorro slot.
Up to 8Mb ot 16-bit Fast RAM can be added (1 Mb SIMMS as 2, 4, 6 or 8Mb) directly lo Ihe board.
Connecting external devices is easy, a standard 25-way SCSI connector is provided (identical to A590 A2091 A3000).
The software supplied is very good.
Compatible wilh A1500 A2000 A3000 , A3000T A4000. IT'' BSC OKTAGON 2008 za III Mole I A4091 £225 - COMMODORE - 0628 770088 A4000 owners who were Tut rill Svitm: V] Iitematiinil Me; _£j liri tif|p Cuke: _| fill systw block sin! Pi 51? | Ifwrvrt blocks it bogianing: 11 I nz card, meaning it will only work in the Amiga 3000 3000T 4000 computers.
A 3.5" hard drive can be fitted to the card, although this will cover up the video slot or a Zorro slot in the 3000 and 4000. The drive is supplied with a long internal SCSI cable with enough connectors that you should never need another internal SCSI cable however many drives you cram into your machine.
It also comes with an active terminator. This is a small board that plugs into the end of Ihe SCSI chain to allow Jl Mfrm I, I* I tbll SCSI-2 FAST trans- i i ¦ k»i mb • i .jttitiM HDH* ™ fers to work reliably.
All the dip switches are accessible from the outside of the machine, and external drives are connected via a miniature 50-pin SCSI-2 connector on the back of the uuj rut in* ttu
• I .. _!U card. This is totally different to the 25-pin
connector found on almost every other SCSI card, but is
necessary for SCSI-2 to function correctly. No external SCSI
cables are provided, which is a pity as they are far more
expensive than normal external SCSI cables.
There are two problems with the A4091. Firstly, it does not work with the Revision 9 or earlier Super-Buster chip. Bugs in this chip meant most Zorro III cards are either unreliable or don’t work at all. All Amiga 4000 040 and 4000 030 produced before June 1993 have the older version of the chip, and Wang have to be called to upgrade earlier machines to the new chip (which is not available separately for you to upgrade yourself).
A3000 3000T owners have more problems. All A3000 3000T machines have early Buster chips, and as almost all of these machines are now long out of warranty and no longer covered by maintenance agreements it is almost impossible to get your machine upgraded to run the card.
The other problem is more fundamental. Commodore have stopped production of the card and it is now rather hard to find, although some dealers will still have stock. The rights to the card have been bought by US Amiga specialist DKB, who will be re-launching the card as a DKB product, probably by the time you read this.
Commodore A4091 cards also have a few bugs in the ROM. There is now a newer version of the A4091 ROM available, phone your dealer for upgrade information.
Compatible with A4000 (with Revision 11 or higher Super Buster VYWi chip) disappointed that their machines did not come fitted with a SCSI hard disk interface were delighted when Commodore launched the A4091 SCSI- 2 FAST interface, which supports running new SCSI-2 hard drives at tull speed, which can be up to double the speed ot the same drive running on an ordinary SCSI controller like the A2091.
The card is a Zorro I Part it ion Print Verify Data on Driw £129 - GASTEINER - 081 365 1151 New in from Germany is the latest version of the Oktagon SCSI controller. While it was popular in Germany the Oktagon SCSI card never took off in the UK, mainly due to the success of GVP with their A2000 SCSI card.
This is set to change now with the arrival of Revision 7 of the Oktagon 2008 card. The card matches or beats the GVP feature for feature, it has full RDB support, it supports SCSI-2 commands, it has a SCSI chip clocked at 25MHz on board for very fast data transfer, it supports up to 8Mb of 16-bit Fast RAM.
What makes the big difference between this card and the GVP one is the bundled software. As well as the hard disk install utility (which is very good) you get GigaMem, the virtual memory manager for the Amiga. This allows you to use part of your hard disk as (albeit quite slow) RAM. You can now run programs that require huge amounts of RAM ADPro, Real 30, ProPage, to name a few) without having to buy large amounts of FtAM.
GigaMem requires an MMU (Memory Management Unit), which is a part of the 68030 chip. Unfortunately this was the part that Motorola removed to make the cheaper 68EC030 chip now used in the A400Q 030, so 4000 030 owners won’t be able to take advantage of GigaMem without a processor board upgrade.
Having tested two boards for two weeks, one in a 4000 040, another in an Amiga 3000,1 have to say we have not had one problem. It's unheard of for a card to be that reliable in an environment like mine.
Compatible with A1500 2000 3000 3000T4000. A4000 030 and A1500 2000 Mill not be able lo use GigaMem Milhoul an accelera- lor board lilted wllh a 6803040 with MMU.
ADSCSI 2000 2080 $ 1 10-$ 1 90 - ICO INCORPORATED - OIOI 800 373 7700 Although this board has suffered from the success of the GVP card, this card is highly regarded, and for a while was the only SCSI card that worked with 68040 processors. This card has now been replaced in production with the new ICD Trifecta combined SCSI IDE RAM interface card (which was unavailable for review at the time of writing), but the original AdSCSI 2080 and AdSCSI 2000 (the same without SIMM sockets for RAM) are still available, often at excellent prices.
Unlike the GVP and Oktagon cards, the AdSCSI 2080 does not have room on the card for mounting a card. This is unfortunate, but not a problem if you have a spare drive bay to mount your hard disk in. External SCSI connection is a standard 25-way connector. . Ffh Compatible with A1500 A2000 A3000 A4000.
HARDFRAME 2000 $ 249 - MICROBOTICS - OIOI 214 437 5330 This card has been around for several years and is still available from the States. The card is one of the few true DMA hard disk controllers available, meaning the processor does not have to slow down while data is being loaded from disk.
The controller was one of the first to adopt the Commodore RDB format (indeed before Commodore released their own A2091 card), and the formatting software supplied is of high quality, and simple to use.
The card is supplied with a metal frame allowing a hard drive to be attached to it, but it has no room for any Fast RAM expansion. Also no external SCSI connector is provided as standard, but a connector on the board can be wired to a standard 25-way external SCSI port with a simple Ribbon cable.
Also, the full DMA transfer precludes its use in the A3000 and A4000, or any Amiga fitted with an accelerator board with 32-bit RAM (except the Commodore A2620 A2630, and the Microbotics VXL-30 which both support DMA transfers).
Compatible with A1500 A2000 (Only CBM Microbotics Accelerators).
DATAFLYER $ 90 - EXPANSION SYSTEMS - 0101 510 656 2890 Oh dear! What a poor controller card this one is. You could describe it as cheap and cheerful, but I certainly wasn't happy when I was setting it up.
It doesn't support RDB, it doesn't do DMA transfers, it's probably the slowest controller since the A2090 and the software is so primitive and un-user friendly that I'm sure I could write better in a spare afternoon.
Avoid this card if you can, only go for it if you really afford anything else. It’s got a nice blue and white box, though.
SUPRA WORDSYNC $ 149-SUPRA CORPORATION-OIOI 800 727 8772 Another card that’s been around tor quite a white for the A2000, the Supra Wordsync is a non-DMA controller with basic features, it supports Rigid Disk Block standard (but not entirely correctly). It comes with a mounting frame to connect a 3.5” hard drive, and a 25-way external SCSI connector. The software is simple to use, and quite powerful.
There are belter cards available for less now, but it's worth a look if the price is right.
Compatible with A1S00 A2000.
JARGON BOX CPS - Characters per second. Indicates how many characters a printer can print in a single second. Most home dot matrix printers can muster betwween 140 and 250, but bubble jet printers are usually slower, but their quiet operation compensates.
ADDRESS BOOK Co-Processor- A special chip which takes care ot maths operations for the CPU, speeding up any operation that uses maths. The increase in speed can be dramatic depending on the complexity ol the operation to be performed.
M3 ® ML68»8 W5* K1» QCB09ZM T Co-processors come in two forms the 68881 and the 68882, with the latter being more powerful and more expensive. They also come in a variety of clock speeds from 20MHz up to 50 or 60MHz. If you use a co-pro that runs at a different speed to your CPU, you'll need to synchronise it using a crystal. Ray tracing and fractal programs can show the most significant speed increase if a co-pro is used.
CPU- Central Processing Unit or processor. This is the 'engine' in your computer, and speeding this up will speed up every single thing your Amiga does. It can be speeded up by changing its clock rate or stepping up to the next chip in the 'family'. Far greater improvements can be gained by performing the latter type of upgrade rather than the former. The standard 68000 CPU found in the A500 and A600 runs at about 7MHz.
DMA Transfer - Some hard disk controllers use the processor lo do the work in transferring data Irom the disk to memory. This slows down the machine when files are being transferred. DMA controllers contain special hardware to handle the transfer without slowing down the processor.
DPI- Dots Per Inch. When talking about printers it refers lo the number of dots that it can print in a single inch. The higher the number, the better. Whilst most printers use the same figure for both vertical and horizontal resolution, some offer specifications such as 240x160DPI.
In scanning terms DPI describes the resolution that the scanner head can discern, and again the higher the number the better the result.
FPU- Floating Point Unit. See Co-processor.
PC Emulator - A piece of hardware or software which when operational allows your Amiga to pretend’ to be a PC. How accurately it manages this depends upon the emulator, but common shortfalls are with the speed at which the emulator runs, and the screen modes it can support.
Rigid Disk Block - (RDB) A standard developed by Commodore to allow hard disks formatted on one manufacturers controller card to work on another controller.
Trapdoor slot- The expansion slot located behind the plastic trapdoor' underneath the A500, 600 and
SCSI- Small Computer Systems Interface. A standard that allows hard disks from dif- ferenf manufacturers to work together and with any SCSI controller card.
Canon UK) Limited Canon House Manor Road Wallington Surrey, SM6 0AJ Tel: 081 773 3173 Fax: 081 773 2156 Citizen Europe Limited Citizen House 11 Waterside Drive Langley Business Park Langley Berkshire.
SL3 6EZ Tel: 0753 584111 Fax: 0753 582442 Epson UK Campus 100 Marylands Avenue Hemei Hempstead Herts, HP2 7EZ Tel: 0442 61144 Fax: 0442 227227 First Computer Centre Unit 3 Armley Park Court Stanningley Road Leeds, LS12 2AE Tel: 0532 312444 Fax: 0532 319191 Golden Image Golden Image House Fairways Business Park Lammas Road London, EI0 7QT Tel: 081 365 1102 Fax: 081 801 8365 Hewlett Packard Cain Road Bracknell Berkshire. RG12 1HN Tel: 0344 360000 Fax: 0344 363344 Indi Direct Mail 1 Ringway Industrial Estate Eastern Avenue Lichtield Stalls, WS13 7SF Tel: 0543 419999 Fax: 0543 418079 Oki 550
Dundee Road Slough Trading Estate Slough Berkshire, SL1 4LE Tel: 0753 819819 Fax: 0753 819871 Omega Projects 83 Railway Road Leigh Lancashire, WN7 4AD Tel: 0942 682203 4 5 Fax: 0942 682203 4 5 alter six p Power Computing Limited Unit 8 Railton Road Woburn Road Industrial Estate Kempston Bedfordshire, MK42 7PN Tel: 0234 843388 Fax: 0234 840234 Silica Systems 1-4 The Mews Hatherley Road Sidcup Kent, DA14 4DS Tel: 081 309 1111 Fax: 081 308 0608 Siren Software Wilton House ' Bury Road Radcliffe Manchester, M26 9UR Tel: 061 724 7572 Fax: 061 724 4893 Software Demon Limited , 38-40 Queen's Chambers
Queen's Street Penzance Cornwall, TRI8 4HB Tel: 0736 331039 Fax: 0736 331499 Star Star House Peregrine Business Park Gomm Road High Wycombe Bucks.
HP13 7DZ Tel: 0494 471111 Fax: 0494 473333 Trilogic Unit 1 253 New Works Road Bradtord, BDI2 0QP Tel: 0274 691115 Fax: 0274 600150 PUBLIC DOMAIN E; Dept USP, 11 YORK PLACE, NR BRANDON HILL, HOTWELLS, BRISTOL BS1 5UT IN AUSTRALIA Ill disks ire compatible «ith all Amigas unless other wise stated Strictly PD wishing all our customers a VERY happy Christmas!
EnEHTnnn™ ? U200*12 Play and read challenge (2) ? U201*12 FastFacts... averylhng you ever need lo know about the solar system ? U202*12 Kids Games... Geography, maths.
Science, word games ? U203*12 Amiga Beginner... full tutorial.
? U204*12 MATHSADV... simple maths problems lo solve REFLEXTEST ? U20S*12 Japanese...word a-day & vocab.
? U206*12 Child quiz...sample quz game wilh ootouriul graphical pictures Irom ages 5 and upwards Excellent game ? U207*12 Gelignite lonts (2)...i1 you want some coiourliJ Dpaint lonts.
? U206*12 Football Loaguo Editor...Updalo your teams' league position as the rosults come «.
? U200*12 IboM Emulatro V1.5...CGA IBM pc emulalor written to run on any Amiga shareware version.
? U2i0*12 Account master... Excoient Amos written program.
? U211*12 Directory Utle...Ifcghly recommended programs, designed to make ClI & Shell tasks virtually obsolete ? U212.12 Grtoder...complete graph* conversion package that supports GIF. IPEG. AtanST. (Neochrome.
Degas). PCX. Targa. TIFF. Ham E. and TIFF lormal pics.
? U213»12 Inscrtpt vl.1...produce video lilies.
Inc. luliy oritabio loxl ontnes ? U214.12 Repalr-n 2...BewZap V3.3. a mule sector file editing system FIXOisk vl 2. Recover as much as possiWo from a detective disk. DskSalve
vl. 42, creates a new tile structure on a different device with
as much data salvaged from the original disk ? U215*12 Mandel
Explorer (2)...1hts Is Ihe bojl coHoclion ol Fractal
Generating software on the Amiga ? U216.12 3d Helper...helps
you starl out wnh 3d graphics.
? U217.12 Icon tool kit...every tool possible ? U21S*12 Space...helps you study space, id the stars and celestial obiects ? U219.12 Tronl CAD v1.0...1he besl CAD program available lor Ihe Anvga.
? U221*12 System Test v4.1...checks and reporls on the heaRh ol you computer ? 1)222*12 FIM v2J...lnlroMaker. IFF imports.
? 1)223*12 Compugrsphic lonts...will work with Dpaint V4.1, ProPaoe 3, PageSlream. Page Setter, WorkBonch v2.04*. About 30 lonls(3) ? U224*12 Letters & boilerplate...Standard lormal letters 10 cut and paste into yoi* word processor.
? U225*12 Lyepunovie V1 ...cok urtul program making pictures from a mathematical tormula ? U226.12 Protection...UBIitios cosecton to protect your data ? U227*12 Club League , .to help you keep track of stats and tacts ? U228.12 NCOMM V3J ...commumcalMns program ? U229.12 VMORPH V2.21...create smooth morphs between two images ? U230.12 Workbench 3...utikty ? U231.12 Oc lamed v2.0...music edtttor.
? U232.I2 WB 3 Screens...onhanco your Workbench disk backgrourxts with these colour pics.
? U233.12 Little Traveler vl.1...Zoom In on any country on a world map to obtain useful information.
? U234.12 Printing disk...contains Banner.
Graph Paper vl 2 and Disk Print v3.se. ? U235*t2 Udraw vl.O...provides a mechanism lor tho rapid drawing ol bitmap diagrams 2 XI Rave sa 808 State »_..., .... ? U237*12 EasyCalc v1.0...Spread sheet ? U238*12 ParBench...the software to hook up two Amgas or CDTVs ? U236*12 Developer...the official Commodore's developers kit ? U240*12 EDPIayer...it looks, acts and sounds liko a CD payori ? U241.12 3d graphics...several 3d modeling and ray tracking progs.
O U242.12 Graphics...stunning graphic images creator, roses, rayshades etc. ? U243*12 AQA UTILS 2...2.S6 colour con eritot. Plamsa2S6 and QuckGrab
vl. t Geneaologlat V3.04... specialised database for keeping
track of your family tree.
? U245.12 ? 1)246.12 ? U247.12 Stock analyat...technical analyt
• securities program helping you lo work out best share buys.
Astronomy v2.0...calculates into about the sun moon, planets and constellations.
Ming Shu Chinese Astrology...creates a horoscope m seconds Titanic Cheats v1.4...950k ol data - 600 games.
TEK ATAK modules...music Colourful loons ? U250.12 ? U251.12 ? U252.12 View Tools...conlaeis convert. View Tree, lamify tree - easy lo use dttbw» ? U253.12 ? U254*12 Major League...keep up to date with your club's fortunes.
View...graphic illustration ot the stars.
Forcas!er...raong predictor.
Anti-flicker...stops dicker on hi ros screens Football League Editor ? U257.12 ? U258.12 ? U259.12 DrawMAp v4.t...world map.t&2mb Race Rater V1.6...horse racatg predclor.
DiskPrinl v3.51...pnnis labels Software Lister vl,6...keeps track of your software collection Online vl.4...shortcuts and cheats lor games ? U262.12 ? U263.12 ? U264.12 ? U265.12 Screen Bianker...one ot the best!
Includes the Twilight Zone Trax...brillant ask for people trying to get started on the music side HD Cuck v2.53...an oasy to uso HD menu and Workbench tour. Also enclosed is a prog lo creale Requestors ol all kinds Irom a she4 scrpt.
Pools Tools 2...Debugged version of I ho pools forecaster.
Football Forecast...demo version Text Engine v4.0...debugged version of the best pd wordprocessor AG A uttls... Great collection tor an A1200 owners.
? U269*12 ? U270*12 Golt Scorerev 144...now go" scoring program - analyse your game.
SuperVlewer.12... contains dolailed instructions on how to create your own sideshow.
F574...HD cache speed up prog.
Solo Samples...five Asks with drums, synlhs. Break beats and modules I disk 1...computer mag.
Manta ? U274.12 ? U275.12 ? U276.12 Astro 22 v3.0...now comes with improved graphics, greater accuracy and hard drive support.
ALL NEW GAMES ? G 001*12 Necessary rough ness... American footbal game written on Amos.
? G002*12 Exit-13...Ian Quigley puzzle game with 68k source code. Also enables usor Ihe chance lo see how the game was written.
U G003*12 Wlbbte...best platform game.
D G004«12 Smurihunl...amusing shoot em up.
? G005*12 Fighting warriors...arcado style lighting game - excellent.
? G006*12 Muggte vt0...text adventure.
? Cheques'P.O’s payable to STRICTLY PD ? Buy 30 or more disks for jusf 75p each ? Over 21 (Ssks ONLY 85p EACH ? Only 99p per disk when you order 11 or morel ? Orders of 10 or less pay £1.25 per disk ? Please add £1 lo ail UK orders for first class postage.Orders from Europe please add 25p per disk and Resf of World add 50p per disk for extra postage costs.
? Catalogue disk available only £1. Reviews of well over 1000 cfcsks . Loads more WE NOW STOCK ASSASSINS GAMES 1-120 DEPT USR11 YORK PUCE, NR BRANDON HILL, ?The complete Strictly PD. Library is now available in Australia. To order a catalogue please send a cheque or postal order for $ 2.00 to Hargware, HOTWELLS, BRISTOL BS1 5UT 29 woealu St. Woramanga, ACT 2611, Australia.
? G006*12 Neighbours (2 disks, Imb, 2DRIVEs) Stop Paul Robinson in this superb Ramsay St caper.
? G008.12 At200 Tetris...classic. ? G006*12 Dr Marlo...greal game.
? G010*12 18th Hole...(2 risks, 2 drives) Very addictive golt game.
UTILITY WORKSHOPS These disks contain a number ot programs on the same theme, giving you outstanding value tor money, The disks are compatible with all Amigas, with easy to follow, printable instructions.
? 002.12 Digital version ol the Warriors ...(5 risks. Imb) This absolute monster ol a music demo contacts 9 tracks spannng 28 minutes wilh 2 6megs of rave music and 200 lobbytes of graphics. Get it now* ? 003*12 Andromeda...wicked demo.
? D04.12 A1200 6 Demo Compilation ? DOS. 12 Jesus on E’s...(2 disks) The best ravo music domo lo date.
? D06.12 Mlndwarp...Excellent AGA demo - show oil your A1200.
? 007*12 Swimsuit slideshow (2 disks) ...stonking schicks in bikinis or parts of Merisi ? DOS* 12 H015 AGA Demo.. .another great demo for showing off your A1200.
? D09.12 Desert dreams (2 disks)...Kefrens have put tog other another demo class*: - highly recommended ? D10»12 256 women...This photo reatetic 256 colour picture set contains beautiful women in A256 format and will load onto any 24 brt AEA application such as Dpaint etc and can be used on workbench backdrops (5 disks) FONTS Strictly PD presents an amazing new tool collection. There are 26 disks within Ihe set in two forms: Adobe Type i or scalable Adobe fonts work has been tested on final copy lib. PageSlream v2.1*, Prolessional Page v3.0. Pagesetter v3 0. Workbench v2.0 and v3.0. Both types
will work with loads ol other Amiga packages that can take the lont formats. Please stale Adobe or scalable when ordering fonts.
ALL NEW BARGAIN STRICTLY PD BRING YOU A SELECTION OF XMAS BARGAIN PACKS. THE FOLLOWING PACKS ARE ONLY £10 (PLUS P+P) FOR 10 DISKS._ ? GLAMOUR PACK 1 Ten disks stuffed full of foxy chicks (A500 only) Cl GLAMOUR PACK 2 More of fhe same... (A500, A500. And A600 only) ? GLAMOUR PACK 3 ? GLAMOUR PACK 4 ? GLAMOUR PACK 5 ? GLAMOUR PACK 6 Stunning scantily clad girls... This photo realistic 256 picture set contains beautiful women in A256 formal and will load onto any 24-bil AEA application, such as Dpainf etc and can be used on Workbench backdrops (A1200 only) ? VIDEO PACK This four disk set contains
loads of great video titling utilities, together with a 50 page manual to help you get the most out ot each programme ? BUSINESS PACK This 10 disk pack contains loads of useful progs for your business C GAMES PACK Ten disks full ot great games ? A1200 PACK Great starter pack for Ihe A1200.
Blank disks... 12 in own box... £7.50, 50... £22.50
100. .. £40.00, Mouse mats... £2.99 each PIONEERING SPIRIT
Commodore have been very much pioneers in the field of home
CD ROM devices and their CDTV player was one of the first
stand alone devices in the world.
Unless you’ve been living in another Galaxy for the last few years, you can’t have failed to notice the infusion of excitement that CD ROM has brought to the computer world. Amiga owners are especially well placed to reap the benefits ot CD ROM developments with not one, but three CD devices for them to choose from, and a fourth one on its way.
In case you’re not actually familiar with the meaning of CD ROM, it stands for Compact Disk Read Only Memory, or to put it in English, Cds with massive amounts of computer data on them.
CD ROM Despite receiving an initially warm reception from press and public alike, its high price made it something of an elite bit of kit, and by the time the price fell to more reasonable levels, it was apparent that, in general, there wasn’t really much in terms of quality software available for it.
The long overdue release of the A570 CD ROM for the A500 stimulated the market briefly, but didn’t really seem to do much to raise the general quality of the software.
At the same time as Commodore were fighting an uphill battle to convince the world of the benefits of their technology. Philips, inventors of the compact disk, were touting their system known as CD-i (Compact Disk Interactive). Despite considerably better marketing, they encountered the same problems as Commodore, and their machine fared much the same. It seemed that the world just didn’t need CD ROM.
TIME TO TRY AGAIN Then news of a 32-bit console started to emerge in late 92 early
93. Of course, everyone was sceptical but thanks to the massive
growth of CD ROM in the PC market, many people had come to
appreciate the potential benefits of the medium, and were
perhaps a little more receptive to the idea.
Commodore for their part had learned the painful lessons of a disastrous CDTV marketing campaign. The CD32 is to be marketed purely as a games console!
When it was launched in August, the console was accompanied by a hitherto unprecedented level of choreography which meant that the media were not only aware of it. But were lining up for opportunities to say nice things about it. Fortunately for Commodore, Sega had only just launched their own CD console, the Mega CD, a couple of months earlier amidst a multi-million pound advertising campaign which had educated people to the potential for CD games. Suddenly the CD32 arrived with specifications which buried Sega’s-offering.
And the Future...?
It seems that industry confidence in the future of the CD32 is running extremely high, and this has been helped by the fact that Commodore have showed some faith in the product by planning a range of related peripherals to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from the technology.
For starters, there’s the FMV module which lets you play motion pictures. The module slots into the expansion socket at the rear of the CD32 and will be available in the first week of December for an estimated price of £299.
In the Spring of 1994 A1200 and A4000 owners will have the opportunity to get in on the act thanks to the CD ROM drives which will be available for their machines. No prices have yet been announced but it seems reasonable to assume a price point of £299 or less.
Third party suppliers have also been extremely quick off the mark and there are two major expansion boards due for imminent release. The first of these is apparently going to cost £99 and provides serial and parallel ports as well as a disk drive slot. The second expansion, which is being developed by Index Systems is a box containing a disk drive, space for a maths co-pro and up to eight megs of RAM, a MIDI interface, serial and parallel ports and a keyboard, and all for a target price of only £199. In other words you can turn your CD32 into a super deluxe A1200!
Commodore also have plans to release further peripherals, but they're keeping their cards close to their chest as usual. Watch this space for the latest news as it happens... It wasn't enough that the CD32 offered better graphics, a faster processor and more memory; it was to be upgradable, and incredibly one of the upgrades will even let you play motion pictures, to say nothing of some damned fast moving games!
Imw LL But, of course, we’ve seen it before. It's not enough to have a great machine, you’ve got to have the software to go with it.
This time Commodore have really done their homework, and long before the machine was actually unveiled, a select group of publishers were given consoles so that they could begin writing games tor it. As the countdown to the launch continued. More and more developers were given machines thus ensuring a steady flow of new software titles in the first crucial months after its release. Better yet, Commodore have clearly recognised the importance of software titles which are unique to the machine, and have commissioned six titles that won’t appear on any other format.
At the time of writing there are thirteen titles available, but by the time you read this that figure will have doubled at the very least. By Christmas, you can expect to see 70, yes 70 titles available, and guess what? They're only going to cost an average of £29.99 each. It looks like Commodore are onto a sure-fire winner!
C032 olturj a tew significant advantages over other games mediums, but its important to keep things in perspective Probably the single greatest advantage that the system otters IS the ability to contain hundreds ol megabytes ot data on a CD that costs a couple ol pounds to produce This encourages more comptei or graphical games such as Monkey Island and Ihe like, which would otherwise come on loads ol disks.
Another unique advantage which CD ROM has is Ihe ability to play lull CD soundtracks. And to link them to games. Now this doesn't mean that every single sound eltect is played directly Irom CD - the heads that read the CD can't track and play guickly enough tor that, but it does mean thal programs can have a CD audio track running in the background. And it sound effects don't need to be read Irom the disk quickly, they can accompany games Adventure games are especially suitable. Also you shouldn't lorgel that In addition to the CD sound you still have Ihe standard lour track Amiga voices.
From a publisher s viewpoint, it's also very important that CD32 titles can t he pirated thanks to the sheei amount ol data that each disc holds Even It you could pirate a game, without the CD audio much ol the effect can be lost Just because CD otters some new abilities, we musln I forget that gameplay is the most important lecture ol all For that reason it companies choose to do straight conversions ol some ol their existing titles, we should be gratelul that CD32 owners still have the opportunity to play them, rather than sending Ihe companies to Coventry lor not producing costly C032
special versions Sore it'll be nice lo see stull written specifically tor the machine, but let's not forget that it's quality as well as the glitzy superficial trappings that make a good game IS anywa FMV way?
As JPEG, using the same basic compression routines However, subsequent frames use a system known as differential compression Compression based on the difference between one trame and the next in other words Now one ol the stipulations ol the MPEG format is that data should be read Irom the storage device at 150k per second which FMV stands lor lull motion video, and it's Ihe latest buzzword in the computer industry. Basically it's the ability to store and replay motion picture quality animation on a computer. The greatest problem that has beset designers ol such a system is the rate at
which individual graphic Irames can be extracted Irom a storage device. In order lor animation to be convincing It needs to run at about 25 Irames per second.
II you say lhat an average frame occupies between 50 and a hundred Kilobytes, you can see that you'd need a drive capable ol transtemng data at the rate ol 1250-2500k per second Whilst last hard drives may be capable ol transfernng data at this rate. CO ROM dnves certainly are not. In lact, even the CD32 drive (which offers double speed loading) can only transfer dala at a maximum rate ol 300k per second, almost ten times slower than it needs to bel THE CRUNCH So. The solution to the problem lies in compressing the data before it's read from the storage device. There has long been a
special form of compression known as JPEG which is ideal for crunching static photographic images by 500% or more with a minimal decrease in quality.
However, even that didn't offer high enough compression so with the advent ol CD ROM a group ol experts got together to work out a new format lor animation known as MPEG 1 (named alter the people who formulated it.
The Motion Pictures Experts Group).
For the first frame ol an animation, MPEG works in exactly the same way seconds or more to decompress.
The simple solution is to build a dedicated chip whose sole purpose is the decompression of MPEG files, and which can do so in 1 25th of a second or less, and that is essentially what Commodore's FMV module does.
We’ve talked enough about the theory of CD32, let’s take a look at some of the stuff that’s available for it... DEFENDER OF THE CROWN 2 UNIVERSAL £26.99 - SACHS ENTERTAINMENT COMMODORE - 0628 770088 STANDARD However that’s not the end of the story, oh no! The thing about MPEG is that it’s a universal standard which is not specific to any computer, which means that MPEG movies can be replayed on any computer that has the appropriate hardware. In fact MPEG hardware displays graphic images directly, without using any of the computer’s display chips. In doing so it uses its own internal reso
lution and colour palette which is in fact at least as good as normal video. This means that if you buy a CD32 FMV module, you’ll be able to replay FMV footage in the video equivalent of 24-bit colour, although the apparent resolution is not particularly high; equivalent to that of a normal TV.
LTIMATE SlMME The way that the FMV image is incorporated into the display means that it’s essentially treated as a gen- locked video source which, in turn, means that the Amiga can overlay its own high resolution graphics without interfering with the FMV image.
Imagine a video of a walk through a spooky graveyard is playing on the screen complete with an eerie CD quality stereo soundtrack. At the same time the CD32 is overlaying that image with super detailed 256 colour computer graphics as you control a character walking across the screen. Sounds good eh? Makes my mouth water just to think of it!
What better program to show off the CD32 than a remake of the game that sold so many Amigas when it first appeared in the Eighties?
The object of the game is to raise sufficient funds to rescue Richard the Lionheart who has been captured whilst on crusade, and is being held hostage. You raise money by levying taxes upon the territories you own and you can increase the number of territories by going on conquests.
The game is played on a map of England which is divided into territories.
Before you start you are allowed to pick one of four noblemen as your character and each of these has different attributes. Having chosen a character, you will be assigned one of the territories and a castle will be placed there. The other three nobles who are computer controlled, are also given a territory. From then on, the game pretty much consists of capturing territories adjacent to your own. If the territories are occupied you’ll have to fight for them, and if they're empty you’ll simply be given them. Fighting merely consists of choosing the appropriate aggression level for your
attack; there’s no actual action involved.
At any time you may call a tournament where you will joust against one of the other nobles. You can decide the stakes, choosing between money, fame or territories. The only time I've ever managed to beat the opponent was when I killed his horse! Incidentally, although CD music accompanies the toumy, I preferred the original tune for the records! You can also go raiding, attempting to steal money from the castle of one of your rivals. In order to succeed you'll need to win a sword fight against a couple of castle guards. This involves rhythmically pressing the fire button and moving right
every so often. Challenging stuff indeed! You may also be offered the chance to rescue a Saxon maiden, and if you accept, the same sword fighting sequence is used. If you're victorious the maiden marries you and you’re rewarded with a couple of beautiful animated sequences that end up in the bedroom, 'nuff said.
If you choose to attack a territory containing a castle, you'll need to use a catapult to break down the walls. This consists of pressing the joypad up or down by a specific number of clicks to set the elevation of the shot. Once you’ve learnt the number of clicks, you can simply repeat it each time you attack a castle. Every action you take in the game is accompanied by a CD commentary by a man with a superbly modulated voice. The graphics have been significantly enhanced, and there are a couple of new animations when riding to a castle or fighting.
CONCLUSION Defender is a magnificent showpiece of a game in terms of audio and graphic quality, but these do nothing to mask the essential simplicity and blandness of a title whose gameplay hasn’t altered apprecia- bly in seven years.
- 0223 844894 With Millennium’s Diggers already included with the
CD32, it’s a little surprising to see that one of their first
independent releases is also a strategy game.
In response to Commodore’s request for CD32 titles, Millennium have quickly converted the disk version of the game to run from CD.
There are no perceptible changes to the gameplay, but as the game plays perfectly well, that’s not a problem.
You play Morph, an unfortunate kid whose mad scientist uncle accidentally zaps your molecules changing you from a normal boy, into an unstable shape-shifting blob. You can exist in four forms: a gas cloud which floats upwards passing through obstacles and is highly inflammable; a water drop which falls through grills and can put fires out; a rubber ball which can bounce but will burst on spikes and a ball bearing that can break walls and which is impervious to fire and spikes, but will sink in water.
The game is divided into levels, each of which is played in one of four zones: the sewers, the lab, the garden or the factory. Although each zone has a different character, they all consist of solving problems to collect a cog in the damaged machine that transformed you, before exiting to the next level. Not only do you have a limited time to achieve this, you also only have a finite number of transformations to help you.
CONCLUSION Although Morph does nothing to further CD entertainment, it's a colourful and playable title, which starts fairly difficult and ranges between enjoyable and infuriating. Not one to play for many hours at a time, but the sort of game you’re going to keep coming back to. A save option would have helped as it takes so long to play.
DIGGERS £29.99 - GREMLIN - 0742 753423 The CD version of Zoo is just the thing to shut up those console addicts who keep on about Bubsy. Mario, Sonic or other cutesy characters.
There's nothing cute about the CD version of this best selling Amiga platform game It's slick, it s colourful, it's fast, but cute... definitely not! In fact I would even go so far as to say that what was a rather bouncy game has suddenly taken on a very sinister air about it.
A number of things combine to create this impression: first up is a superb 30 second ray traced intro showing Zool arriving at his barren home planet, before turning to kick the screen out. As you commence play a stomping CD audio track blares out. And over the top is a very unpleasant cyber voice which says in a burbly manner Welcome to the Nth Dimension*. As you play, each character has its own sound effect, and these too are a tad disturbing.
The gameplay has been significantly enhanced for CD and the biggest change is in the controls which are now much more responsive, much faster and easier to use. Climbing walls is no longer a problem, and Zool can jump further than before. The control changes combine to give the game a lot i more pace, which is a double edge sword because whilst on the one hand you're moving around far easier, on the other this encourages you to leap | before you look and take more chances which invariably costs you a life.
. T. . |nc . The monsters require a bit 11 L1 ui more precision to kill as far as 6 4 jumping on them goes, and this takes a while to got used to.
CONCLUSION Graphically this is simply Ihe AGA version with awesome intros and outros The audio really makes this game, and I wouldn’t have believed that Ihe soundtrack could make it so dark. The game is moody to play, but great. The enhanced controls are especially appreciated. 87% OVERKILL LUNAR C £29.99 - MINDSCAPE - 0444 246333 With 660 Megabytes ot space on a CD, it was inevitable that sooner or later compilations would start to appear, we just didn't expect it to happen quite so soon. And one ol these games hasn't even been released belore1 Both are shoot 'em ups modeled alter classic
games in the genre, and both are pretty damned good, too.
Overkill is based very closely on the wirelrame arcade hit Delender. It features impressive scrolling backgrounds that have more levels of parallax than I can count, although there's very little background scenery.
When the game starts you're dropped Irom your mothership, an impressive hall screen metallic monster Unfortunately, your ship is a squirty little hall inch blob.
. And I would have thought that it could be a bit more detailed but once you start playing it doesn't make one jot ol difference.
The game basically involves flyng left and right, usmg your radar to locale and shoot Ihe aliens and rescuing any civilians who may be stranded on the surface of the planet Unike Ihe orignal game, you can also get weapon power-ups to make it a I bit easier.
CONCLUSION The original game was enjoyable enough and the conversion to CD has only improved it. The controls take a little while to adjust to, but apart from that I can’t fault the game.
JAMES POND 2 £29.99 MILLENNIUM 0223 844894 . Yet another conversion of an A1200 game, this time everyone’s favourite fishy superhero gets the treatment.
James Pond is one of the success stories for Millennium as the character not only made it onto the consoles, but is also used on Sky’s Gamesworld program.
The game is preceded by a thirty second cartoon quality animation, and if you choose to watch the advert for James Pond 3 you’ll see several minutes of superb full screen animation complete with Danger Mouse like narration.
The game itself is a lively platform romp around the arctic, and although the backgrounds have been tweaked to use the AGA chip set, the actual gamelay remains the same as for all other versions. Your on-screen efforts are accompanied by one of seven jolly CD soundtracks. In fact, you can even listen to them on an ordinary CD player so long as you skip the first track.
The other half of the duo is Lunar C, the never- I before-seen element of the package, and a more blatant Project X clone would be hard to imagine; not that Project X was particularly oricpnal in its own | right.
The game is a horizontally scrolling shoot em up I that comes complete with power ups and a variety I of alien types. Learning the way that each alien moves is the key to success, especially as they attack from behind from the word go. In fact, I although the game is easy and enjoyable to play, some of the alien formations are rather silly and don’t seem to give you much of a chance. However one thing that I did like was the way that your lives are represented as a power bar, rather than individual markers. This means that you can get hit, say, nine times before exploding and dying, rather
than exploding nine times then dying. This gives the game more flow and gives you a better chance of getting into the swing of things.
CONCLUSION As individual disk games these would be perfectly adequate at a budget price point, and as a CD double they represent, if not outstanding, then certainly fair value. This is a good way to give your collection a quick boost, and I really can’t imagine any complaints from shoot 'em fans.
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FunFarAllSemm. Moai 61a bee. Myyutal between 20p and 60p eweb euhuiveofVAT, itaca. End pottage I SMLOAMFme i DATABASES Hum Bate Plants For All Seasons «0« Amiga Foamal GoU Award, Iwly 93. A comptehon.iv. n«|t lor gmdracn end hoUMKlecliidat ¦ The Music Librarian B* Amp Format Award Inly 93. Five rclaled Mden bold produce nek, m»il. DKbonary. And hook rccocdi Any iwtwd can 2MB RAM end 2 dwt Any ¦ ¦ ¦¦ 09.95 «H 2MB RAM fd 2 ** dnvee 09.95. | l w»«el AocoaU Flu. (Ml) *51 NMFmMw 9«7 BOOKS AM* Sunrr WH Kmi» »DCI« hi In Bu
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Ark Page
154 Blue
Ribbon ..Page
171 Bruce Smith
Books ...Page
106 Bus Slop
PD ..Page
Calagari ..Page
38 Coombe Valley
Software ...Page 38
Design ....Page
Cumana Page
140 Epic
Pd ..Page
160 Five Star
PD ....Page
60 Grapevine
Group Page
38 Gremlin
Graphics ....Pages 56
& 57 Ground Zero ..... Page 62
Horwoods ...Pages
49, 51 Hi
soft .....Page
Hobbyte ......Pages
124 & 125
C.E .....Page
I.B.C Krisalis ...
Page 16 Ladbroke
Computers ..Page
Morcam Page
Meridian ......Pages
130&131 Wind
scape Pages
O.B.C., & 13 New
Dimensions ......Page
154 Ocean
Software ......Pages
28 & 34 Omega
Projects Page
114 lorn
bo .Page
Seosoft ..Page
166 Software
Demon .....Pages 41, 68 &
69 Special
Reserve Pages
86 7 87 Silica
Systems Pages 79, 103
& 109 Spectra
Video .Page
44 Strictly
PD .....Page
W. T.S.
Electronics Pages 132
ALL DISKS 500 + 600 1200 COMPATIBLE ALSO CHEAP ACCESSORIIES AND SECOND HAND GAMES GAMES Trek Trivia Fruit Machine 2 Fighting Warriors Tetren Soccer Cards Strikeball Battlements Holy Grail Gameboy Tetris Dynamite Dick Ethos Ghost Ship Chess Wrex Top of The League Atom Smasher MUSIC Guns n Roses Safe Sex Metal Music Depeche Mode Beades Voice Samples Led Zeppelin Piano Classics Top Gun UTILS ONLY Per Disk p&p 50p Per Order 24 HOUR SERVICE ALL DISKS VIRUS FREE CATALOGUE MPA SA.E. OVER 1300 TITLES
1. 3 Emulator Dr Mag Show Std Hackers Ethic Rippers Text Engine
V4 Freecopy V1.8- Join Sounds 600 Letters Picture Box
Spectrapaint Degrader & GAG Sid V2.0 V Morph V2.0 Bus Stop
Utils 1 Maverick Copy ANIMS Iron Maiden Fast Cars
K. D.Lang Busy Bee Anti Gameboy Dracula Aircraft ADVANCED SOUND
- DIGITISER Mg* TpnhnoSnttnrt Tttnh n If 18 REALTIME NOVELTY
EFFECTS are available on the FUNTIME MENU ndudmg PINKY and
All great fun to use with a microphone.
FUTURE MUSIC 20 mucn net ter AMIGA FORMAT Also Britain's favourite entry level sampler - Technosound Turbo
* » » rYr TT2 upgrade kit available to existing technosound
PHONE FOR DETAILS i to:- e, Bryngwvn. Raglan, Gwent NP5 2AA Chequcs PO's payable to New Dimension: POSTAGE FREE ¦¦ Tel: 0291 690933
s. Brc £134.99 ¦ XIPHIAS COMMODORE - 0628 770088 OPEDIA 2
IIISTOPY m n O TtcMNOuyar r*T w In a computer dominated
world, there’s no reason why education needs to be two
dimensional or boring. This fascinating title combines
video, audio and text information to provide an exciting and
informative technology reference.
Insight Technology is a guide to the way things work, and it explains many of the things we see around us, from guns and water-wheels to robots and helicopters.
The choice of subjects is presented as an alphabetical list through which you can quickly scroll, highlighting the headings as you go. When you reach a title you like the sound of, press the button and the relevant entry will be displayed after a few moments.
Each entry consists of text, an annotated diagram and picture sequence. You can scroll through the text at your own pace, or at any stage clicking the mini diagram will produce a full screen version of the same picCONCLUSION Although HmtfwtiftfcHpriFltti the vary first space shuttle was launched, beginning a new era in space transport technology. Tire
U. SS Columbia became the world s first reusable space vehicle.
Fiboutthe 1: a 3 j ture, with perhaps some very primitive
animation such as colour cycling.
Whilst you’re looking at the diagram, a narrator gives a ten second overview of the topic. The sound quality is not amazing, but it’s more than adequate, and the narrator’s diction is so clear that there are no problems understanding what’s being said.
CD ROM AMIGA BUYER'S GUIDE 94 INSIGHT TECHNOLOGY £33.99 - OPTONICA COMMODORE - 0628 770088 If you click on the other mini-picture, the same narration is given but this time it's accompanied by a series of digitised pictures showing various aspects of the subject. These pictures are of absolutely superb quality, and greatly enhance the presentation.
Approximately seven percent of the subjects are also accompanied by video footage, complete with sound.
Once the picture sequence has been displayed, the video footage begins, lasting for perhaps 20-30 seconds.
This takes the form of eighth screen real-time animations. These sometimes add a little to the narration and text, the choice of image to video, as well as the subjects which contain animation is very obscure, and I suspect that Optonica merely included what was to hand, rather than commissioning anything really interesting.
For example, on the section about submarines, you see some footage walking through what might be the engine room or bridge of a submarine. Either way, all you see is lots of dials, and metal furniture. I would have thought that some exterior animations would have better illustrated the subject matter.
CONCLUSION Insight Technology has a far narrower scope than Groliers, but the illustrative material and narration means that you’re more likely to view every entry. It’s stimulating for adults and children alike, and I think that this would be very much at home in a school library or science department. If you’re interested in the way things work, and you don’t want to wait till the next TV documentary to find out, then get this comprehensive and enjoyable CD.
AMIGA BUYER S GUIDE '94 T CO ROM THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT £24.99 - ALMATHERA - 081 687 0040 1 53: I art?,: m r v Beatrix Potter stories have been delighting children tor the best part ot a cen- tury. Now your children can discover new levels ot enjoyment that has only become possible thanks to CD ROM.
This enchanting title is suited tor children ot four years and older. It tells the tale ot Peter, a young rabbit, who runs into trouble when he disobeys his mother.
What makes the title so exceptionally special is the clever way that CD technology has been utilised to derive the maximum entertainment and educational benefits trom what would otherwise be a pleasant, but short story.
The story Is told using a digital ‘book’, a graphic representation ot the original book On the left hand page is a digitised Beatrix Potter picture, and on the right is the accompanying text. Using the control pad you can manipulate a cursor.
Position the cursor anywhere on the picture and click to receive a spoken description ol the object beneath the cursor It that obiect is Peter, you'll hear a little xylophone theme tune before an American male voice announces 'Peter Rabbit'. If you click on Mr MacGregor you'll hear him humming the lirst few bars ol 'Old Macdonald' before his name is also announced. As each character or object's name is announced, a white box appears containing their title. This is ideal because it helps younger children to associate the spoken and wntten word.
It you double dick on the picture, the selected object’s name will again be announced, but this time the name will be followed by the phonetic (Mis-ter Muh-Gre-gor) so that children can leam how to pronounce complicated words.
When the child has spent enough time looking at the pictures, they can listen to the story by dicking the speaker icon alongside the text. A very genteel sounding English woman begins reading the words on the screen. As she does so, the lines ot text are highlighted so that the child can follow along.
At various stages in the story, theme tunes are played to set the mood.
CONCLUSION Peter Rabbit is an entrancing presentation which had me grinning for the entire time I watched it Everyone I show it to is similarly impressed. The sound quality is a little dubious, and Discis really could have invested in a studio recording. However children are not so discerning so show me a young child who wouldn't enjoy it. And I'll show you a CEBtb alien from the planet Zog!
£ 29.99 - MINDSCAPE - 0444 246333 D-GENERATION Here's another straight port over ol an existing 16-bit product, but this one hasn't fared so well in the process The game's plot has you as a courier trying to work your way through the floors of a genetic mutant-infested building, rescuing civilians and securing the building as you go. Why you as a parcel boy should be any better suited to this than the numerous employees of the company who are presumably used to dealing wrth these sort of situations is beyond me, but still... The game Is viewed trom an isometric 3D perspective so that you
can move in and out ol the screen.
And behind objects. The problem with games that use this perspective has always been how the controls should work. Does up on the joypad move vertically up on the screen (and hence diagonally to the north west in the game) or should it move north east on the screen (and hence north in isometric game world). I tend to think that the latter is a better solution as you spend more time moving In the four main compass directions than you do in the diagonals. Unfortunately, Mindscape chose the former method, which is particularty irksome with the CD32's imprecise joypad because it means that most
of your time is spent trying to hit precise diagonals on the controller just to move your character around on the screen. This was bad enough when you could use your own joystick, but unbearable with the CD controller This is such a major aggravation that I personally wouldn't spend long playing what was at best an average game on floppy disk.
Oh, and by the way, It comes in a cheapo cardboard gatelold packet instead of a CO case too.
CONCLUSION Bad controls, lack-lustre graphics, irritating sound and bad controls (yes I know I mentioned this twice, but it bears repeating!) Mean that D- Generation is definitely not at the top of my ‘must have list'.
19. 99 - MULTI MEDIA MACHINE - 0204 363688 If your interests are
purely games based, perhaps this bargain title might appeal
to you.
It contains fifty PD and fifty shareware games. The titles include remakes of classic board games such as Mastermind and Risk, not to mention reworkings of computer Having spent £300 on your CD32, you don’t want to have to spend thousands more pounds in order to enjoy it. This disk brings you maximum variety and maximum value for money.
As its name suggests, the disk is primarily filled with demos of one sort or another. The program loads to present you with the Amiga Workbench screen on which there are a number of drawers, each containing files of a specific type.
The modules drawer contains over 2000 individual tunes, ranging from rave to classical. Of course these are not CD audio tracks, but they do represent some of the best music that the Amiga has to offer.
At the moment you can't buy a disk drive for CD32, although one is planned for release early next year.
When it arrives musicians will doubtless appreciate the 6000+ sound samples stored on the disk.
Once you’ve got some music playing, you might like to look at the Animation drawer which contains dozens of animations. Many of these are Vista Pro landscape animations, but there are also offerings by Eric Schwartz as well as demos created on Take 2, Cinemorph, Visionairre and Morph Plus. For me this directory contained the most interesting and exciting stuff on the CD.
There’s also a graphics directory containing hundreds of pictures in different screen formats. CDTV owners will unfortunately not be able to view all of the screens in this directory as many of them require the AGA chip set to be displayed.
In yet another directory there are dozens of demos, most of which combine a funky soundtrack with some form of clever animation.
Favourites like Arkanoid.
Unsurprisingly there is some cross-over between the titles included here, and those of Demos 2 reviewed above, however the collection is a great starter for your games library.
A mouse is essential to play many of the titles.
Again, some of these demos will be unusable without a CD32.
The final drawer contains a selection of PD games which vary in quality and type.
In fact there are over 100 titles, not all of which work with CD32.
Many of the programs and games will require a mouse in order to work properly, and this should be one of your highest priorities. If you already own an Amiga, you can use a standard mouse.
Unfortunately a small percentage of the stuff on the disk seems to crash, or simply doesn’t work at all.
Also, it's very irritating to have to manually rest the CD32 in order to exit a large number of the demos and games. Not only does this waste time while the Workbench loads again, it also means you have to keep getting out of bed!
CONCLUSION Demo 2 provides an excellent an inexpensive method of acquiring a large and varied selection of programs for your CD32. Sure there are no commercial games here, but there is a good and interesting assortment of stuff to keep you occupied for weeks if not months.
CDTV & CD32 - Some stuff requires a mouse.
CONCLUSION A good way to acquire lots of classic games, and it occupies a lot less space than 100 disks!
CDTV & CD32 - Some stuff requires a mouse.
CONNOISSEUR COLLECTION £34.99 -ALMATHERA -081 687 0040 Tor those of you with more refined sensibilities, the Connoisseur Collection is an excellent title which will please CDTV and CD32 owners alike.
The CD contains a massive collection of digitised art ranging between the pre-classical and early twentieth century periods.
When the program first loads you’ll hear a classical CD audio track playing. There are a choice of ten tracks, and regardless of the one you choose, the others will be played in sequence afterwards.
The title screen gives you the option of choosing to examine the works from a particular artistic period, Renaissance or Baroque for H instance. If you specify a particu- lar period, the display will switch to show you some text about the period you've chosen. At any point whilst reading the text you can choose to find out about a specific artist of the age, viewing his pictures or finding out about his life and motivations.
By default, the pictures which are uniformly excellent, will be shown without accompanying text, but by pressing Up on your controller you can find out further facts about the image being shown, such as what it represents, or its inspiration or perhaps some other nugget of information.
The main menu also offers you the option to jump directly to a specific artist, or simply to browse through the hundreds of digitised pictures in the gallery.
CONCLUSION The Connoisseur Collection is a beautiful, inspiring work which will bring pleasure to anyone who’s interested in art and the famous artists. The pictures are of uniformly excellent quality, and whilst the music is not really up to the same high standards, the tunes have been chosen with great care and they add greatly to one’s viewing pleasure.
THE SOFTWARE Okay, so we ve looked al some of Ihe titles lhal are already available, now it’s time lo look at the big picture with the definitive software list for CD32 and CDTV. We 'II start with the CD32 specific stuff.
CD32 SPECIFIC TITLES DESCRIPTION RELEASE DATE RRP TITLE Team 17 Team 17 Images International Computer Ent International Computer Ent fCwThtfsWNS ¦¦¦ D-Genemtion 100 PO games Arcade Platform game Prttall tanuHkor PI* m Platform game Mindscape Gremlin Renegade Renegade System!
Knsafcs Acclaim St4 ervttion Fnbal Fantasies |m i(aga) m Sleepwalker Out Now £29 99 Whale s Voyage Microvalue-Flair Space strategy Out Now £29 99 OverluMajnar C MndSCipe Shoot 'em 14) Out Now £2999 Deep Coro Int Computer Enterlammont Shoot 'em up Out Now £2599 Morph Mtfenraum Platform Out Now £29 99 Mean Arenas Int. Computer Enterlammont Maze game Immment £29 99 Total Carnage Imminent £29 99 Beavers Grandslam Platform Game Imminent £29 99 Super Putty System 3 Platform game Imminent £1499 Int Karate* System3 Beat em up tmrranent £14 99 Bubble & SqueeK Audiogenic Platform game Imminent £29 99
Legend of Sorasi (AGA) Gremkn RPG tmmment £29 99 Zoolll Gremlin Platform game Imminent £29 99 Wreer Scoer Sports Moovalue-Flar Sports £29 99 Tie Break Knsalis Tennis game Imminent £1499 7 Galeeof Jambafa (AQA) Grandslam Arcade tmmmeni £29 99 Ryder Cup God Ocean God game Imminent £29 99 Sort fknjas Mtcfovatue-Fla* Beat em cp Immnent £29 99 Castles II Interplay Strategy Imminent £29 99 Fury of tie Fumes landscape Platform £2® 99 Defender of the Crown 2 Sachs EnlCommodoto Strategy 30 11 93 £26.99 InsKjN Technology Optonaca Commodore Education 3011 93 £33 99 Groller's Encyclopedia 2
Xiphias Commodore Education 30 11 93 £134.99 Humane 1A II Gamete* (UK) Strategy 01 12 93 £29 99 SO Karaoke Hits Multimedia Machine Entertainment 01 12 93 £29 99 Syntfecate Buftrog Strategy actfon 01 12 93 £29 99 Chambers of Shaotm Grandslam Arcade 01 12 93 £29 99 F17 Chadenge Team 17 Dmring 01 12 93 £1499 m (XA Now £1999 Out Now £0 Out Now C29 99 Out Now £3299 ( GoihI MtJamedw Machete Millennium Nick Faldo s Golf Doluxe Grandslam Gcg.™ 01 0304 £34 99 EM Mama Renegade Beat'em up 01 0194 £29 99 King's Quest 6 Sierra RPG 01 03 94 £34 99 Soccer Kid Knsakt Arcade 01 0494 £29 99 P»n*y Mtffennium
Beal 'Em Up 01 0494 £29 99 Star TrekOudgemart Mas Interplay 01 05 94 HIA Stone Keep Interplay Adventure strategy 01 0694 N A Deeerf Stnke EA Strattfiool'emie 01 0594 N A Kick Off III Anco Footbal game 01 0694 N A World Cup Foottea Mrage Sowar game 01 0694 £29 99 Twhead Microproee Unknown 01 0794 £29 99 Dggersll lAMenraum Strategy 01 1094 £34 99 James Pond 4 Millennium Arcade 01 1094 £29.99 Career Planner Rrva -401 Education 01 1294 £29 99 Defensive Driving Rrva • 4DI Education 01 1294 £29.99 tntarraeanai Karats Dekoe System 3 Fighanggame 01 1294 WA KTM Motocross Renegade Drtvfng 01 1294 £29.99
Del Racer Eme Systems OrMng 01 0195 fiX TrashCan Satedrte Mirago Unknown 019196 N A Interplay Space adventure Unknown N A OWAK Shadows of the Wind 1 I I' Gutp_ Liberation (AGA) ¦¦¦¦¦¦ Chaoa Engine Tumcan III ¦frOUd | Putty Squad Sabre Team Lover's Gwde COMMENTS PRICE £29.99 £49.99 £29.99 Sfcght sound fault Sound laud in the shop Requires a mouse Requires CD32 keyboard Roquiros CD32 keyboard Requires CD32 keyboard Requires C032 keyboard Requires a mouse Requires a mouse £34.99 £34.99 £34.99 £34 99 £34.99 £29 99 £29.99 £24 99 £14.99 £1499 £14.99 £34.99 £34.99 £24 99 £24.99 £29.99 £49 99 £2499
£39 99 £39 99 £24.99 £24.99 £29 99 £29 99 £34 99 £14.99 £1499 £34.99 £1499 £29.99 £14.99 £29.99 Requires a mouse Requires a mouse Requiros a mouse Requires a mouse Requires a mouse Requires a mouse £34 99 £29.99 £54 99 £234.99 £9.99 £29.99 £29.99 £29.99 £39.99 Requires a mouse Requires a mouse Requiros a mouse ENTERTAINMENT 17-M Collection Requires a disk drive £39 99 Air Warrior All Dogs Go To Heaven Requires C032 keyboard Requires a mouse £34.99 HBHHHB Asterix & Son Requires C032 keyboard Requires a mouse £19.99 £39 99 Battlestorm £1999 Case ol Ihe Cautious Condor £34.99 CDPD1. Requires a
mouse Keyboard drive recommended £1999 CDPD2. Requires a mouse Keyboard drive recommended £1999 CDPD3, Requires a mouse Classic Board Games Keyboa rctfdrive recommended Roquires a mouse £19.99 £24.99 Delender ol Ihe Crown £14.99 Demo Collection 1, Requires a mouse £19.99 Dinosaurs For Hire . £14.99 Fantastic Voyage Requires a mouse £34 99 Global Chaos KUNfli Guy Spy £34 99 Requires a mouse £1999 Lemmings Pandora's CD £9.99 £4 99 Prohislorik £19.99 Psycho Killer. Requiros a mouse Sfcght Sound Fault HBBDB Rallies £34.99 HHHHHHHIHHH Wgggggggf Snoopy • Case of the Miss« g Blanket £34.99 Team
Yankee Tie Break Tennis £34.99 £24.99 Prey - an Alien Encounter Sherlock Holmes CDTV TITLES NOT CD32 COMPATIBLE EDUCATIONAL CDTV SOFTWARE COMPATIBLE WITH CD32 TITlf COMMENTS PRICE EDUCATIONAL A Long Hard day at the Ranch HB* Engirt (or French 1 I Astern English tor French 2 Aatonx French for English 1 Aslenx French for English 2 BH v Beer Goee Camping Barney Bear Goes to School FunSchoof 3 (under 5‘s) Fun School 3 (over 7s) Heather Hite Her First Home Run LTV English North Polar Expedition Scary Poems For Rotten Kids Tale of Beniamin Bunny Tale ol Peter Rabbit TITLE Town With No Name Trivial
Pursuit_ ARTS & LEISURE Advanced Malary Systems Animals in Motion Connoisseur oI Fine Arts Fruits & Vegetables Garden Plants Guinness Disc of Records Indoor Plants Stamps oI France & Monaco Trees A Shrubs Women in Motion REFERENCE American Homage Dictionary Illustrated Works ol Shakespeare Dr. Wofcnan GrolierS Encyclopaedia Hutcherson's Encyclopaedia Illustrated Holy Bible New Basics Electronic Cookbook Timetable of Business PoMics Timetable of Science Innovation MUSIC Musacolour BUSINESS Japan World Mind Run ENTERTAINMENT Chaos in Andromeda Logical REFERENCE World Visla Atlas American Visla
Atlas Music Maker Karaoke Hils I DJ Remix Many thanks to Commodore for their invaluable assistance in compiling the above lists.
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• B952 GAMKBOY TETRIS brill.
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MFGABAI.L 2.1 late- ver-.w .d Rat cla ic game 'Hrcak Out'
(IC4PR RAGIT MAN adtectree ( K SkErItT PANIC a new a«t pac man
game very good.
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STAR TREK 25th Anniversary AGA graphic-. «|.ni hard 4u* rated 86* overall la CU Amiga dcr code: ()ST23th Only £27.00 miga 1200 Catalogue disk svablMe Mr i al 00 nil an* artkrd PC ORDER FORM Cu Name._ )B4I*. IEDTT V3.0A le.t editor ( IK47I. ONE MAN BAND (NASP» aw wkcboi oa Ovc sumputrr’ ( 0240. FIREWORK (IWWT ( H-072 MATHS REFLEX TE fT.
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( 8065 AK. ABRA II.
( B06K MATHS WIZARD t •UK.KF1CK 2 rnaovc- pntrvtaa 1 I ACTION RKPI AY 4 (AGA) ( ITKTRA COPY pe crtull d..k copier where you can play Trtri. While ..vpying 1 tHANNEK MAKER banner rrato.
( lA 1200 DEXi RADERS run old u twarr 1 iMINDW ARP AGAaniraa dento ( 1 DCOPY 21 late »er-avo of lhi cop r I K.IIXIV GAME very cute plaUemnet ( k00 BUSINESS UTTERS a collection of MIOpro akueliard letter* .to* from »«- -ncked' to Youovro ( * 4*5-2 SPEXTRLM E.MllAnW ( KIR PC TASK V2«S (AGA) () . C64 PACKAGE V2 ( H*79. ATARI HT E.MUI ATOR I CIK2QLEMI 1 A TOR ( »B0*7 KK KM ART 2 EMI IATOR t K4*f. KIC KMART 3 Emt LA TOR ( • .PC EMU 1 ATOR FOR A500 ( K 495. KICKOTAR12 EMUI ATOR ( )( 5MI. SOFT A(iA Fanulalor.
JUPASSIC PACK Super new puck thal coalain.
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2 dnk. Id odour p.raerv of aad rlipart. GrN V alue_ al Ju- lk.00 for 5 dlvhv.
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IC4I7. RAD FORMAT -move* had nli oa corrupted dnk* (C5SS. IHCF. COMPII1R )C55®. SAFE II ExnrDral new d -k coptrr. Can copy Amiga R' A ST di-k- Ov er W ddferw copy mmiea.
C553. RANDOM QUOTER fc*ny tmmr yom compuhr bocu up *r Sy-nu will give you a ddlerenl ipmtr K- 994. PCTASK2.0 late- ver-cn oI thin am* « g new darewarr K' emulatoi 2S6 colour* (VC1A1 oa an Am«a 12U0 ICJBA SpbXTRt MKMll-ATOR 1.7 )15a2*100I*MANAGER 2 Workbench manage me iM .y-cm i*m. Work- much like Wmdhw- THUNDCR BIRDS "THE GAME" CD32 from ua Only 2 9.99 Credit caul ddails.
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Ami tnd thoe pagca k EpK Martrt g lit (low cff.n. Collecting disks JI lanagK Rd. Samdtt Wit ge. Mckaiag lul pi* neat re ackx-tr to ctdect roar E0 crdtr. Tel Ordering b Phone Jv rdlo (hoorit thir-gh prior to cotkim C.l my troe ferarm* *00 Vt mMcmda. TS-tmh. Ate rh.aux 9:30am .VWwn Moo Sa_your ordit carl drtaiU»nd ihe data ycuaoald fairtoenkt EPIC MARKETING. 31FARINGDON BD, SWINDON, WILTS, SN15AR, ENGUND. TEL: 0793 490988 AMIGA BUYER'S GUIDE 94 Music It is said that music hath charms to soothe the savage beast. I don’t know whether or not that’s true, but Amiga owners certainly have plenty of
opportunities to test the theory.
Those Amiga designers certainly were a clever lot; not only did they give it graphics that were the envy of the home computer world, they gave it the ability to replay 8-bit sound samples, and even to generate its own internal instruments.
This has naturally meant that the Amiga has become popular both as a home music tool, and just for the sheer quality of the sound effects in its games.
Whereas graphics had to undergo 3 S3 z:: years of development before we started to see really superb stuff appearing as commonplace, the Amiga's sound has always been exploited as one of its strongest features, although naturally that too has progressed over the years.
Nowhere was this progression more evident than in the games scene. In the early days, games had good music, and made use of samples but the sound was generally thought of as no more important than the colour of a screen sprite, or the shape of the game's box.
Ssi&gnoN All that changed with the release of Xenon 2, a shoot 'em up from the Bitmap Brothers. It had a really snappy title tune which was a specially commissioned remix of Bomb the Bass' then-current chart hit Megablast. Both The Bitmaps and the press raved about the tune, and from then on music gained a whole new significance in games. It wasn’t long before Betty Boo and Snap got in on the act.
In fact, there was an entire game based around the title of Snap's chart hit Ooops Up.
Although the Amiga world was now aware of the music industry, the music industry was certainly not falling over itself to use the Amiga. At the time, the Atari ST and the Amiga were still fierce rivals in the home market, and because the ST was fitted with a MIDI interface as standard, it became known as THE machine for home musicians.
Despite the Amiga's superior processor speed and friendlier operating environment, it never really overcame the ST in its own ground, but as Atari's machine has gradually lost out to the Amiga and Pcs in other areas (games and business software for example) so too, its music following has diminished.
The Amiga on the other hand has naturally benefitted from a potential world market of nearly four million machines, and so the professional music software developers finally started to take it seriously, releasing sequencers such as Dr T's KCS and Bars & Pipes.
TRACKER TO THE RESCUE Perhaps most influential in the Amiga's growth as a home music machine has Bomb the Bass - Created an Amiga version of Megablast (or use In the game Xenon 2.
Betty Boo - Created an Amiga version ol Doin' the Do tor use In the game Magic Pockets.
Snap - Used Chrts Hulsbech’s TFMX program extensively when working on their second album.
Evelyn Glennie - Acknowledged as the world's greatest classical percussionist, her entire studio is based around an A4000 MIDI setup using Bars 8, Pipes Pro 2.
Utah Saints - Responsible lor a rather cool tune In the intro to Burning Rubber.
Been the massive interest in tracker type programs. These programs were originally designed as a programmer’s tool for creating music in demos and games. However, as the general public got hold of them, trackers such as Master Soundtracker and Prosound became extremely popular because they allowed ordinary people to write music on their Amigas. Better yet, these programs were all free, so it didn't cost the user a penny to get into the scene. As the programs became more popular, they were upgraded so that nowadays many of them have features that wouldn't look out of place in a commercial
Coincident with the increase in tracker popularity was a change in the pop music scene towards sample oriented and remix based music. The Amiga was at last in its element. With a host of sound samplers costing as little as £25, and the software to manipulate them, a new generation of musicians was bom. The demo scene abounded and indeed still abounds with a rich variety of tracker created dance music, much of it commercial in quality.
For the last couple of years, the Amiga has appeared from time to time on television and in the media demonstrating its power as a musical tool. In the hands of professionals it will do anything you could it ask to.
Appearances on Top of the Pops and Tomorrow's World seem to confirm the Amiga’s place in the professional market, and with companies such as Blue Ribbon and Mindscape investing hundreds of thousands into Amiga music hard; ware development, our favourite computer seems certain to have a good future ahead of it.
BRSf*5™ The Amiga has a loyal following but unlortunately it hasn't always got the public exposure and credit that It deserves, especially in the music arena. This is perhaps due to the fact that many musicians believe that they are the sole creative force behind their work, and the tools that enable them to do what they do don't get a mention.
However, there are a lew notable exceptions, where Ihe Amiga has been used by professional musicians who are far from shy about admitting to having used it. See the adjacent box lor more details.
AMIGA BUYER'S GUIDE 94 Music Composition Software PROTRACKER 3.1 £1.50 SEASOFT COMPUTING 0903 850378 rewriting repetitious parts ol a song.
CONCLUSION Protracker has a long history and it is still the choice of a great many Amiga musicians. Whilst it doesn't have the same editing leatures, or ultimate power as OctaMED, it is a very stable program, and is much easier to use. For little more than the price ol a disk, you can buy it_ and lind out lor yourself.
Compatible: Any Amiga' mum ol lour noles simultaneously.
Each track is subdivided into 64 lines, and its on these lines that you adually enter your notes and etlects A group ol lour tracks is known as a pattern, and you can define as many different patterns as you want. The clever thing is. Using the Play List you can specify the order in which these patterns are replayed, and you can even play the same one more than once. This means that you don’t have to waste memory or time It doesn’t matter how powerful your computer or instruments are if you don't hare a way to compose and record your music. In the old days that meant that you had to be able to
play an instrument in real-time, and you would then record various tracks ol your music using a multitrack tape recorder or studio.
OF THE Nowadays the computer has freed us Irom such restrictions. You don’t have to be able to play an instrument, and you don't need expensive recording equipment. All you need is imagination and the right software and you can record multiple tracks lor next to nothing.
Derived from Ihe original Soundtracker program.
Protracker is the most popu lar public domain tracker program available. But how does it compare to the commercial offerings?
In actual tact it compares very well, but then this is no surprise because they were both developed Irom Ihe same origins and like its main commercial rival, Protracker has been constantly upgraded since it was first written.
KMT The heart ol the program is the track window which contains lour editable tracks, each ol which is assigned to one ol the Amiga's lour sound channels. The two inside tracks replay through one channel whilst the outer ones play through the other. Thus it's possible to create a stereo image when composing and playing a song.
Each track consists ol a list ol numbers and letters, and these represent the notes which are to be played as well as the instruments to use and any special etlects that are to be applied to them. Despite the lad that this approach seems more complicated initially, once you learn how to use it, it is slightly easier than a notation-based system.
Notes can be entered Irom Ihe computer keyboard, the keys ol which are laid out Bre a two octava nxxsicaf keyboard. In other «xds the Zto 7 keys are eqiiva- lert D the wide keys ot a muscal keyboard whilst Ihe 'A' -1f keys represent the Uack ones. The-enlire layout is repeated on the next two rows up as well.
RECORD A SONG You can enter notes one at a time or, by selecting Record, you can literally 'play' the computer keyboard whilst Protracker records your actions.
However, you can only enter one note at a time on any track, and Protracker wil only replay a maxi Have You Considered...?
DATAFILES 1 & 2 £14.99 EACH - TIME & SPACE - 0442 870681 Both tracker programs on this page are capable ol loading and replaying sound samples. II you own a sampler you might like to record your own sounds, bul It's lar easier simply to use someone else's pre-recorded sounds.
Among the commercial ollerlngs you might like to consider are Dalaliles Volumes 1 and
2. Volume 1 consists ol live disks ol dance music drum loops
ranging Irom pounding club style sounds, to Intricate tribal
and bongo sounds. Volume 2 contains vocal loops and elteds.
Ranging Irom human bealbos sounds, to soulful ad-libs and
James Brown CONCLUSION The samples vary in gaalily Irom very
good lo average The sets are quite inexpensive compared to the
Gajit sets and they will greatly enhance your music collection
II you like to compose dance music.
Compatible: Any Amiga What About...?
QUARTET £49.99 - HISOFT - 0525 713671 If the tracker approach is loo contusing and notation programs are loo expensive, perhaps a cheap hybrid ol the two is your best answer.
Quarttl is dearly based upon the tracker programs In that II uses a numerical approach to music creation, however it attempts to pretty Ihis up by giving you musical slaves on which to place your notes.
Before you cen do that you'll need to load some samples, and these are loaded individually ot in sets ol tour The program supports a maximum ol lout sets - sixteen samples In all.
The music editor provides you with lour staves each ol which is linked lo one ol the Amige s sound channels. Each ol the staves is divided Into little boxes each ol which represents e position where you can put a note using the mouse.
When positioning noles you can choose Irom any ol the lour banks ol lour samples, aed you may specify whether the sound should be played high, low or medium (ditterent octaves) That I It really Songs can again bo saved as stand alone pieces which don t need the program to be replayed.
CONCLUSION The program doesn't really contain any ol the strengths ol silher style ol music package, but it's brlghl and very easy to use. It's cheap enough too. So you might consider Ihis II you can t gel along wilh the trecker programs Compatible: Any Amiga OCTAMED PRO 5 £30 SEASOFT COMPUTING 0903 850378 Amigas cannot load the new version, but as we keep saying, if you're serious about your Amiga shouldn't you be thinking about an upgrade by now?
CONCLUSION OctaMED has undergone steady development over the last few years, and with each new version the program gets even better. Version 5 will take a while for old users to get used to as the screen layout is radically different but-with time it will become apparent that the new design is even more flexible than the old one.
There isn't a program in the price range that comes close, and many full-price music programs could take several leaves out of OctaMEDs book.
A thoroughly well thought out program and well worth the asking price.
Compatible: 2.0 Amigas and above with 1 Mb or more.
If you took the best tracker progf am available and added every possible extra you could think of, you’d have something pretty close to OctaMED Pro!
Board shortcuts are available for virtually every action. Version 5 is the result of a radical redesign which also produced an entirely OS legal format. The file types are MM0 (OctaMED), MM1 OctaMED). Oktal Oltalyserand other eight track packages), MusicX (Junior and Senior). Star Slarlracker), NT ST (Noisetracker Soundtracker and compatibles) and SMUS Deluxe Music and Sonix).
Some of the formats require the user to take additional action belore a conversion can be made, but in most cases it's simply a matter of selecting the file to be converted and specifying the output file and directory. AMFC will automatically detect the format of the input file, and will deal with it appropriately.
I tried the program with some old Oklalyser files and it converted them perfectly in a second or two, retaining the original samples as well. When I tried it with Sonix files, it converted the notes, but had trouble with some of the instruments. The program can handle .ss (sampled) sounds but cannot deal with Sonix proprietary .instr synthetic sound format. In fact it can't deal with any synthetic sounds at all. This isn't really a great problem because you can always load new samples in once the file has been loaded into its destination package. If you use OctaMED you can even create your own
synthsounds to match those that wouldn’t convert.
CONCLUSION AMFC is a very handy utility for Amiga musicians. At last it's possible to convert your entire collection of modules into a single format. It's a great pity that the program can't deal with MIDI type 0 or 1 files as this would mean that you could create files which were industry standard and could be exchanged with other computers. Nevertheless, a superb program that should be in every musician’s library.
Compatible: Any Amiga with Kickstart 1.3 or higher Like Protracker, OctaMED uses a primarily character based approach to music composition but, unlike the former program, OctaMED supports a whacking 64 tracks if you're using MIDI, and even using just sound samples you can replay up to eight at a time.
EFFECTS GALORE The program supports an impressive array of effects such as arpeggios and pitch and volume slides. These are primarily designed to be applied to samples and using them with MIDI is often difficult if not impossible.
Even so, as a MIDI sequencer it's by far your cheapest option, and as far as sound sample replaying goes, the program is totally unrivalled.
Part of what makes it so special is its huge variety of editing tools, including a sampler, synth sound editor and even a tool for combining both. In fact, when it comes to instrument handling, OctaMED Pro is the only tracker which can handle nine octaves as well as loading five octave samples.
It includes a comprehensive online help facility which can be accessed by simply pressing the help key. And talking of key presses, keyGAJITS SAMPLE SERIES £2.95 EACH OR £39.95 FOR ALL FIVE GAJITS - 061 236 2515 II you need some lop quality sampled instruments, you could do worse than checl out Ihe Gajils Sample series.
Each dish in Ihe set contains dozens ot instruments ol a particular type, and there are live one-disk sets available: Percussion 8 Effects, Guitars S Strings, Brass 8 Woodwind, Synth 8 Vocals, Piano and Keyboards.
The Percussion and Effects disk contains some particularly nice sounds such as dog harks, streams, laser and machine guns, screeching cars and telephones which are ideally suited lor games programmers to include in their work.
As wilh the Datafile samples, Ihe quality varies from sample to sample, although these are all sampled at a substantially lower rale which does relied on them slightly.
CONCLUSION Each disk contains a generous number of samples, and this is by lar Ihe cheapesl way ol acquiring such a broad selection ol authentic instrument sounds. Worth a look.
Compatible: Any Amiga • ' -ffi1.
AMFC PRO £10 - SEASOFT COMPUTING - 0903 850378 The trouble wilh the Amiga’s music scene is that there are just too many different music packages, and files can't be exchanged between them. Or at least they couldn't until AMFC came along... AMFC stands for Amiga Music File Converter and it's a utility for converting music files from one music format to another.
It supports eight different file types and will convert a file in any one of them to any other supported Have You Considered....?
Program that will happily multi-task, and which looks every bit the Workbench 2 program that it is. This sadly means that owners of pre-2.0 Music Composition Software DELUXE MUSIC CONSTRUCTION SET 2.0 £99.95 - ELECTRONIC ARTS - 0753 549442 sixteen part orchestral score, you can print each part individually or as a group. Better yet. You can even transpose stalls so that one can be used tor a variety ot parts VERY GRAPHIC As you move around the various parts ol the program you’ll soon come to appreciate the graphical approach that its designer has taken. Everything can be achieved using the
mouse, and the requesters and menus are delightfully uncluttered making this ideal for both the computer beginner and the music student. Now I wouldn't want you to get the impression that DMCS is not a professional tool, it most certainly is. And there are options here that will only be appreciated by experienced musicians. It's just that it's such a great all-rounder, too.
Incidentally, il you have a MIDI instrument, you can enter notes using that, although not in real-time unfortunately. You can also enter notes using a mini keyboard at Ihe bottom of the screen.
The menus are absolutely full to bursting with helpful options to simplify your job These are supported by the inclusion ol Arexx so that you can automate many tasks.
The program supports both MIDI and sampled instruments, and even lets you dectde which speaker sounds should be played out ol. You can also transpose instruments which is useful if you're scoring lor clarinets, or badly recorded samples!
CONCLUSION Deluxe Music Construction Set 2.0 is a worthy follow-up to the tirst version, but it's not perfect. It would be nice to see more effective MIDI lile exchange, and more controllable score scrolling when a tune is being replayed. I would also like to have seen more special effects such as pitch slides, vibratos and so on.
Still, to locus on the positive aspects, there's still not a notation package which can come close lo it lor user-triendliness or scoring features. DMCS2 provides you with the opportunity to create some really great tunes which look even better on paper than they do on the screen.
Well worth the money.
Requires Kickstart 2 and 2 disk drives or 1 disk drive and a hard drive.
If you think that bars and quavers are friendlier than patterns and lines then chances are this is the music package for you.
The Deluxe Music Construction Set (DMCS) was first released in 1986 and has stood since then as the standard in home notation packages. There have been many other packages but none which were quite as easy to use. Or as well designed. Having said that, unlike Deluxe Paint which has been constantly upgraded since its initial release. Deluxe Music has remained unchanged lor seven years despite the pleas trom its users. Finally, in mid-1993, alter months ol talking to existing users, a new version was revealed to the expectant world The program uses a lormal notation system lor note entry and
display. In other words music is displayed as a series ol bars, each consisting ol five ledger lines onto which you can place a variety ol notes ranging Irom a 64th note (a hemidemisemiquaver) up to a double note (a breve).
ICON SELECTION Using the mouse, these notes are selected Irom a tool bar at the left ol the screen. Then there are also lour different supplementary tool bars which appear to the lelt ol the main note bar You can decide which one will be displayed by clicking the appropriate icon at the top of the screen.
These sub bars allow you to modify the current notes or parts ol the score by adding tuplets. Pitch modifiers (sharps, flats or naturals), dots, beams, ties, dynamic modifiers and more.
Between them, the tool bars let you shape both the appearance and sound ol your music, and unless you're working on classical pieces, they offer more than enough options to create protessional looking scores.
As I've already mentioned, a score is written on a series of staves (staffs), each consisting ol live ledger lines. You can have up to 48 staves In a score, and these may be visible or not. As you require. This means that il you want to print say a Have You Considered...?
THE RUDIMENTS & THEORY OF MUSIC £2.00-ANY BOOKSHOP II you've |ust bought Deluxe Music and you're eagerly entering all the sheet music you can lay your hands on. It won t be long belore you encounter something that you won't understand. This book is your essential companion it you have any inclination to leam about music It s designed as a revision aid lor students who are undergoing Royal School ol Music exams, but it's absolutely perted lor learning about the intricacies ol IN subject.
What About?
B00MB0X £49.95 KEY AUDIO SYSTEMS - 0245 344001 So the kids have watched you making music and now they want a go. Boombox is exactly what they need to have lun without spending days learning what lo do lirst.
The program is basically an interactive song replayer. In other words you can use il to replay songs and play your effects along with it. It comes supplied with a variety ol tunes, each ol which has three possible styles, which are simply variations on a theme.
Tell Boombox to replay Ihe tune and Ihe music will begin. By pressing keys 1-6 on the keyboard you can trigger one ol the supplementary samples that are loaded with the song. As the songs are primarily dance and rave based, these samples naturally consist ot a variety ol vocal whoops and screams, ad-libs, electronic effects and percussive strikes. Most integrate quite well into the tunes, but a lew seem quite badly chosen as they don’t fit into any playing style When you've practised with a play style lor a while you can enter record mode where your interactive efforts are recorded in a
sequence which can be saved to disk lor later replay.
CONCLUSION Boombox is not particularly sophisticated, and whilst it's lun for a while it's unlikely lo satisfy an adult lor very long. However, lo a child up to the age ol 12 or 13.1 suspect that it will give a great deal ol pleasure as they make' their original compositions Compatible: Any Amiga with Kickstart 1.3 or higher and 1Mb RAM SONIX £N A - OXXI - 0101 310 427 1227 ) are times when you have to be able to print out your music, either for other musicians to play, or so that you can sell it or store it for posterity. There's no better way to Oo that than with Copyist DTP.
If the idea of a notation package appeals to you but Deluxe Music is either outside your price range or seems a little complicated, Aegis' Sonix has something to offer. It is nearly as old as the original Deluxe Music, but uses quite a different approach to notation editing, aiming for simplicity rather than absolute musical purity.
The DTP stands lor Desk Top Publisher, and that’s exactly what this program is - a musical DTP syslem.
It only it were as friendly to use as Pro Page.
Copyist is not designed tor your run ol the mill dabbler. It's a very serious piece ot kit with a deadly serious price tag The only possible tustificaiion tor this is the results it's capable of. And boy what results' A pnnt out from this program is easily good enough for publication HORRIBLE EDITOR There are several ways ot getting music into the program, but believe you me. Importing a file created with another program is the only one that you’re going to want to use Why? Because editing with Copyist is cumbersome almost beyond the point ot endurance.
There's none ol Ihe easy point and click convenience of Deluxe Music, nor even the keyboard speed of OctaMED. Each note's stave position must first be indicated, then the note selected using the mouse or keyboard Finally the note tail can be added All this rigmarole means that each note may require many keystrokes and mouse dicks to position I don't advise this as a viable entry means, it's simply homble’ Far more viable is the option to import a score as a MIDI type 0 or 1 file or as a KCS or SMUS file. This means that you can import files created with Deluxe Music. Sonix. Bars S Pipes and.
Of course, Dr Ts own KCS Version 2 This files must then be converted into an intermediate state called a stream file. At this stage you can specify how many staffs are to be used as well indicating the note resolution and time signature The stream file must then be saved to disk before it can be used. Then load the stream file, and you're presented with a whole load of additional oplions to help tailor the file to your requirements. Once the stream lile has been loaded, it will automatically be displayed using your preferences. At this point you can choose to tweak the score just to add
those extra bits that even the best music packages don't support Once you've created the finished tile, it can be saved as a MIDI file or pnnted The program is supplied with a selection of special drivers including one tor postscript printers The print-outs really are absolutely excellent, and are easily good enough lor commercial purposes.
CONCLUSION Dr T's have a great deal to learn about user-triendli- ness, but fortunately the ultimate results from this program are just so damned good that despite the hassle of entering a score manually. It's still worth the effort. The program is a tad expensive, and it’s very hard to justify the expense unless you really need good quality printed scores, but it you do. The program is a dream come true!
Compatible: An Amiga with Kickstart .
1. 3 or higher and 1 meg RAM VERY SIMPLISTIC The main editing
window consists of two staves: a treble del and a bass del.
All noles are placed onto these two staffs. You can preset
time and key signatures before you start, but that’s about as
sophisticated as the program gets. To place a nole onto the
staff, click on one of the buttons 1 -8 to seled a track, then
select a note from the on screen palette and simply place it
on the screen at the end of the ledger line where you want it
to appear. The note will slide along the line to the first
available space and bar. This contrasts sharply with DMCS
approach where notes are entered on a bar by bar basis and
it's the instruments rather than the individual which relate
to specific channels.
LiJLliJLlJLllJLlJLllJLlJLllJLULllJLlJLllJ You can add a variely of Instruments ranging from ordinary samples to Sonix’ own proprietary instr format. These are synthetic sounds which have been designed to play using the Amiga’s internal envelope (waveform) generators Although they don't generally sound as good as sampled sounds, they occupy a fraction of the space in memory and on disk, and there are special effects that can be done with synth-sounds that are impossible using samples. In fact, so useful are these synthetic sounds that Sonix has a separate section which you can use to gener
ate your waveforms.
You can use Son!* keyboard lo teal both your samples and your playing skills.
COPYIST DTP £249 - KEY AUDIO SYSTEMS - 0245 344001 The program saves its songs as SMUS files, but the instruments cannot be saved with the file unlike the other programs reviewed here.
Whilst this can be inconvenient, it can work out to your advantage when several songs on the same disk use the same basic instruments, because they can simply share a single set.
CONCLUSION Sonix looks very unsophisticated by today's standards, and its lack ot support for tied or tuplet notes is an absolute killer for serious musicians.
For beginners or those on a budget it may prove more useful as It's very .easy to get along with.
Compatible: Any Amiga % CENTRAL LICENCEWARE REGISTER JP seasoft L The Logical Choice OctaMED Pro Vse - £30.00 Latest 2 disk version ot this famous tracker sequencer - PULL DOWN MENUS, ON-LINE HELP, FULL MIDI SUPPORT WITH UP TO 64 TRACKS, SAMPLE EDITOR, SYNTHESISED SOUND EDITOR, STANDARD TRACKER OR TRADITIONAL STAVE NOTATION DISPLAY, etc., etc. - (Requires Kickstart 2.04 or later) V4 NOW ONLY £18.00 - V4 Manual £8.50 - V4 & Manual £26.00 CLR EDUCATIONAL ACHORD (£3.50) Guitar chord tutor
T. A.M.I. (£3.50) GCSE math* tutor NIGHT SKY (£3.50) A must (or
all stargazer* WORDS & LADDERS (£3.50) Snakes & ladders
spelling game BASICALLY AMIGA (£4.99) A must for new Amiga
owners LETS LEARN (£3.50) Various progs for 5-7 year okls
ALPHABET TEACH (£3.50) Great (or young kids FAST FRET (£3.50)
Guitar scales tutor WORK & PLAY (£3.50) Spelling made fun PLAY
IT SAFE (£3.50) Teach kids about safety in the home BIG TOP
FUN (£3.30) 4 circus bused games JIGMANIA (£3.50) Jigsaw
puzzle game creator CHESS TEACHER (£3.50) MinK YOUR LANGUAGE
(E3.50) Vocabulary course SPEED READING (£4.99) Improve your
reading skills CHORD COACH (£3.50) Piano chord tutor
C. A.T.T. (£4.50) Unlock the mysteries of the Tarot FUN WITH
CUBBY (£3.50) 8 Educational games (NOT A500) PREHISTORIC FUN
PACK (£3.50) 4 excellent Dinosaur games PEG A PICTURE (£3.50)
Just like the childrens game UNDERSTANDING AMOS (£4.50) leant
all about "Bobs" SNAP (£3.50) Teach kids shapes MY LITTLE
ARTIST (£3.50) Great programs (Not A500) BOREALIS JUNIOR
Drawing package for kids.
COMPOSITION (£3.50) and PORTRAITURE (3.50) PD SHAREWARE PRICES - PER DISK (No. Of disks shown in brackets) a 1 - 4 disks - £1.50,5 - 9 disks - £1.25,10 - 24 disks - £1.00,25+ disks - £0.90 m Unless slated aH ,i,,es work on A50°(1 meg)'A500*’ A60°4 A120° Photographic tutorials AMOS LANGUAGE QUIZ (£3.50) FUN WITH CUBBY 2 (£3.50) (NOT A500) 7 great games for kids SEA SENSE (£3.50) A seamanship tutorial ROCKET MATHS (£3.50) Excellent kids Maths tutor DRAFT V2 (£4.50) Unlock Ihe mysteries of Runesioncs CLR ENCYCLOPEDIAS The following disk based encyclopedia* cover ¦ range of interesting subject*.
Using a combination of text, diagram*, drawings & photograph* each title is entertaining as well as educational.
P.DAicenceware orders (£1.50 Europe. £3.00 rest ol World) or £1.00 it your order includes other items (Europe S rest ol World al cost).. Subject lo availability, all orders are normally dispatched within 24 hours ol receipt Send orders to - SEASOFT COMPUTING (Dept CU). The Business Centre. First Floor. 80 Woodlands Avenue, Rustington, West Sussex BN 16 3EY or telephone (0903)850378
9. 30am to 7.00pm Mon-Fri (to 5pm Sat)_ we stock FRED FISH 1 -
910 + (Fish Cat Disk £1.50) AM FM disk magazine for the
serious Amiga musician Issue 16 out now £2.50 (issues 1 to 14
CODERS CLUB hints, lips, tutorials 4 source codes tor assembly
language programmers buill-m Editor and Assembler Disk 1 (PD)
£1.50 Disks 2.3 & 4 £5.00 each (£12.50 lor the 3) £3.50 per
issue (issue 31 now available) A-GENE VO.38 Latest version of
this classic genealogical database £15.00 UTILITIES AMIGA FOX
VI (1) De*k top publikhing program ASTRO 22 V3(1) serious
astrology program esMsiUc,* b ?mdi U ing program SSSSSS8L KICK
1.3(1) MESSY SIO 2(1) Amiga- PC file convertor NCOMM V3 (1)
powerful comms package NORTH C (2) C-compiler NUMPAO (1)
• id.lv a numeric key pul to an A 600 C emulator SID 2(1)
comprenen* CAT DISK £1.00 (inc p&p) AMFC Pro Converts many
standard music files to OctaMED & Music-X format £10.00
TECHN0S0UND SAMPLER £29.95 MIDI INTERFACE with leads £22.50
MUSIC BASS SOUNDS (1) high quality Bass samples CHRISTMAS MUSIC
(1) classic Christmas tunes ELECTRONIC MUSIC (3) comprehensive
tutorial (2 drive*) DRUM KIT (2) high quality Drum sample* MED
V3.21 (1) last version of tnis classic editor MIDI CRAFT VOL 1
(1) demo of MusK-X and Midi songs from the Craft brothers NO
SAMPLER? (1) OctaMED V2 (1) fully functioning 8-channcl editor
Octamed V4 MANUAL (1) Complete manual on disk OctaMED V5 (1)
non-save demo version X-BEAT PRO 1.3(1) drum sequencer OCTAMED
User Group (MUG) disk magazine Issue 4 now available £3.00 (2
disks) issues 1-3 £1.50 each ALPHA DATA MOUSE 400 dpi ULTRA
HIGH RESOLUTION £14.95 GAMES Air Traffic Control sim AMOS
CRICKET (1) simple but fun cncket game DONKEY KONG (1) classic
arcade game OUNGEON FLIPPER (1) pinball game GUSH (1) Pipemania
style game RETURN TO EARTH (1) space trading game ROAD TO HELL
2 nice overhead rjclng game SSSSBm AM FM SAMPLES £2.50 per disk
C-MAHUAl 12 disks packed with all you need to know about C
programming on the Amiga £12.00 SUPERSOUND 4 £4.99 (manual
E10.99) A1200 ONLY A1200 INTROS (1) coliecitoo of 4 great demo
intros AGA TETRIS UTILITIES (1) game and useful utilities ANDYS
WB3 UTILITIES (1) useful utilities including PP Show
3. 0a. WBVertauf etc. ASSASSINS FIX DISK (1) get all jour A500
programs to run CYNOSTIC SLIDESHOW (1) brilliant AGA slideshow
HOI AGA DEMO (1) brilliant A1200 demo KLONDIKE (3) fantasy t
NIGHTBREED (2) brilliant AGA slides!
SLEEPLESS NIGHTS 3(1) useful utilities including Icon Master SUPERHAM PICS (6) brilliant ray-traced pics UCHESS (1) ultimate chess program 4 megs) VIEWTEK (1) AGA picture animation viewer
W. B.3 BACKGROUNDS (1) BACKGROUNDS (I] coloured backdrop* for
workbench WB3 HACKS (1) selection of fun hacks WINBLEND (1)
AGA fractal generator P D CLR GAMES TRUCKIN-ON 2 (£4.50) Run
your own trucking Company.
DRAGON TILES (£3.50) Excellent Shanghi puzzle game MOTOR DUEL (£3.50) 3D Car racing shoot-em-up ALL GUNS BLAZING (£3.50) 2 player overhead racing game BULLDOZER BOB (£3.50) Great puzzle game PARADOX (£3.50) Puzzle games SONIC SMART1EHEAD (£3.50) Kids platform came SPLODGE (ESCAPE) (£3.50) Platform game IMPERIUM (£3.50) Excellent vertical shoot-em-up JUNGLE BUNGLE (£3.50) Excellent Kid* adventure game FLOWER POWER (£3.50) Kid* game MARVIN THE MARTIAN (£3.50) Help Marvin find Daphnie WHITE RABBITS (£3.50) Save the rabbit from a fate worse than casserole, great puzzle game TIME RIFT (£3.50)
Excellent platform game CAPTAIN K (£3.50) High quality platform game CYBERNET (£3.50) Spice shoot em up OG1 (£3.50) game. A must for any games collection QUINGO (£3.50) Pub quiz machine simulator CRYSTAL MAZE (£3.50) Pacnun style game CLR UTILITIES TYPING TUTOR (£3.50) Complete course and speed lest* ALPHA GRAPH (£3.50) Comprehensive graphing program PLAY N RAVE (£4.50) Music module linkcr'puycr POWER TEXT 2 (£3.50) Excellent word processor Powerful spreadsheet STOCK CONTROLLER (£3.50) Keep track of your stock EPOCH V1 (£3.50) Powerful calendar system X-STITCH MASTER LITE (£3.50) Produce cross
stitch chans HARD DRIVE MENU (£3.50) A must for Haid Drive owner* INVOICE MASTER (£3.50) Create ywir own invoice* CREATIVE ADVENTURE TOOLKIT (£3.50) (nol A500) Text adventure game creator FLOWCHARTER (£350) Create flowcharts w PYTHON 1 JOYSTICK- £9.99 ZIPSTICK JOYSTICK- £12.99 MOUSE MAT - £2.99 HEAD CLEANING KIT - £2.99 MONITOR COVER • £4.99 A500 DUST COVER - £2.99 A600 DUST COVER - £2.99 A1200 DUST COVER - £3.99 PRINTER STAND - £4.99 PRINTER LEAD (1.8m) £3.99 PRINTER LEAD (5m) - £6.99 PARNET LEAD (Inc software) - £10.00 4 PLAYER ADAPTOR - £5.99 JS EXTENDER - £4.99 M J SWITCH MANUAL - £9.99
M J SWITCH AUTO - £12.50 100 DISK LABELS £1.50 1000 DISK LABELS - £10.00 1000 T.FEED LABELS - £12.60 DISK BOXES 10 cep -£1.25 40 cap - £4.50 100 cap-£5.99 BLANK DISKS 3VHI0HwXt™ssDDD,S’ S 60-£22.50 100 - £42.50 ASSASSINS GAMES I - 138 + latest titles always available call for complete list AMIGA BUYER S GUIDE '94 Music Composition Software BARS & PIPES PROFESSIONAL 2.0 DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 When it comes to MIDI sequencing, they don't come more professional or more expensive than Blue Ribbon's Bars & Pipes Professional 2.
Find out if it's worth the money... Although the Atari ST Is traditionally thought ot as THE home MIDI computer, two Amiga packages helped to show the world that the Amiga was more than a match tor the best that the ST had to otter. The first ot those was DR Ts KCS, and the second was Bars S Pipes.
In its second version, the program grows from being a very good sequencer to an entire multimetta tool, as at home controlling video equipment as it is controlling musical instruments TO THE aspis what I call a 'concept program’.
What I mean by that is that it approaches its objectives Irom the user's viewpoint, and achieves them in rather unusual ways. To get the best out ot the program, you need to first understand the concept behind it. In this case the concept is to liken music production to water flowing through a plumbing system. The water enters at one end of the system, waits around in the tank for a while, then Hows out ot the other end. It you add dye to the water where it enters the system, the entire system changes to the new colour. It you add dye to the water flowing out ot the system, only that water
becomes changed Now consider that the instrument is at one end ol the system, the computer is in the middle and the sound module is at the output end. If you start playing the instrument the musical events start flowing around the system. If you choose to perform an eltect to the input end of the system, the changes become permanent and actually affects the data in the computer's memory, whereas the same effect applied at the output end merely modifies what is sent to the sound module, leaving the contents of RAM unchanged.
The program will let you play in real time on any of its tracks, and Ihis is really what the program's been designed tor. Still, it’s very satisfying to see that it includes an extremely comprehensive notation editor so that those of us who aren't fortunate enough to play an instrument can create music one note at a time.
You can see up to 16 tracks on screen at a time using the song window, and these tracks are displayed in a kind ol condensed view preview mode Running down the side ot this preview screen are a bunch of icons which give you access to features such as the Mix Maestro where you can alter volume and pan settings in real-time, and the Tempo map where you can simply 'draw' the tempo tor the different parts of a song.
BSP also contains comprehensive editing options, although many ot the traditional options are made redundant by the power of some tools For example, there's no need to physically transpose parts of your music when you can simply add an output tool which does the same job for you Supplied with this version are a large number of tools and these are the things which are applied to your music al various stages to modify the way it sounds. For instance, there's a tool which makes all notes on a channel echo, whilst another one duplicates the notes onto another channel entirely.
CONCLUSION Once you learn how to use it, Bars S Pipes is the undisputed regent of Amiga sequencers. Trouble is, it's just so darned feature packed that even after a year I'm still constantly discovering new things.lt youcan't afford it. Sell your Grandmother, then buy it!
Compatibility: 2Mb RAM and Kickstart 1.3 or higher.
Have You Considered...?
BARS & PIPES TOOLKITS £34.95-49.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 Powerful as the program may be, you can make Bars S Pipes even better with optional toolkits.
Each kit contains a selection ot tools which can be used at either end ot the ‘pips’, input or output. Alternatively they can be tooll ed’ and used to edit music via Ihe notation editor. There are currently eight kits available, although a lot ol the earlier tools were given away free with version 2 ol the program.
The latest additions to the set are the Performance and Power Tool Kits. As the name suggests, the Performance kit is designed lor musicians who use Ban 4 Pipes as part ol a live performance. It includes options such as ForceKey which makes all played noles conform to a selected musical key and ForceChord which turns all played noles Into chords. It also contains a great number ol options designed to smooth and simplily many ol the controls thal need to be made quickly during a per lormance. The Power Tools are aimed at studio musicians and include options such as Guitar String Filter which is
used to litter any guitar notes played on a certain string between specified (rets.
Another intriguing option is Swing which changes the parameters ol your music to humanise' it.
Each ol the kits contains 21 additional tools which are guaranteed to make your MI0I lile even easier.
Compatible: Any Amiga capable of running Ban & Of"_ Music Composition Software When the Atari ST reigned as MIDI computer supreme, one Amiga product bravely bucked the trend. Dr T’s KCS was that program.
KCS 3.5 £311-KEY AUDIO SYSTEMS 0245 344001 If you were a competent musician in the Amiga s earlier days, you'd have been hard pushed to find a decent sequencer at all, let alone one which could stand against the packages found on other computers. KCS was the one exception, and it offered everything a professional MIDI musician required.
What About...?
SEQUENCER 1 PLUS £129.95 - GADJITS - 061 236 2515 It is considerably simpler than its rivals, and even the screen layouts seem designed to be bright and inviling. The program again consists of multiple sections. The track list is where you can play along, recording your etlorts in real time, if you have the inclination, alternatively you might prefer lo enter your notes in step time via the Step Editor. This uses a similar system to KCS" Tiger program, although whilst Sequencer 1 is far friendlier and easier to use, KCS offers far more features.
The other parts of the program are the Bar Editor where you can select which to edit, Ihe Tempo Map where you can draw the speed at which the various parts of your tune replay and the Jukebox which lets you create a song list so that multiple songs can be played sequentially.
CONCLUSION Sequencer 1 Plus is a very nice way lor beginners to get Into MIDI sequencing. Whilst its features fall a long way short of KCS or Bars & Pipes, so does its price tag. The program provides you with the tools needed to record basic MIDI music. The tact that it can load and save standard MIDI files is a bonus because if you want to upgrade to a more professional package later, you can still use all your Sequencer 1 tunes.
Compatible: Any Amiga FOUR IN ONE In fact KCS is several programs which can be linked using the MPE or Multi Program Environment. The program was written before Hotlinks became a buzzword, but that's essentially what the MPE is: several independently running programs linked by the MPE menu. If memory is short, or you don’t need the other programs, you don’t have to load them at all.
The programs are: KCS - the main recording section, Tiger - a step time recording module, Ouickscore - a score printer and PVG (Programmable Variations Generator) - for getting the computer to write the music for you.
The main KCS program allows you to record your compositions a track at a time, either in real time, or by typing in each note in much the same way as you would with a tracker program. The program supports up to 48 tracks, and each of these is listed in the upper part of the screen, along with an indicator showing which MIDI channel the track is outputting to, and what its status is.
The main screen also provides control for Fostex tape decks although these are there mainly as a throwback to the days of multi-track recording.
The KCS work screen is very spartan and quite intimidating to a non-musician such as myself. If you also fit that category perhaps you might be more comfortable in the Tiger section of the program.
Tiger presents your score in a graphical form, one track at a time. The upper window contains a representation of your score, with each note being shown as a thick bar with a thin stick poking out of the top. The longer the bar, the greater the note’s duration and the higher the stick the louder the note. The bar’s overall position vertically determines the note’s pitch, the further up the window, the higher the note.
You can also draw control change information such as modulation and pitch bend. These are represented in the bottom section of the screen where you represent them as waveforms, the steeper the wave, the faster (or more acute) the effect.
Once you’ve created a score, you can print it out in traditional notation using the Ouickscore program. You can choose to print a multi-track score in orchestral mode (all tracks printed one beneath the other) or in solo mode where the tracks are printed one at a time. Obviously- you can also alter the clef, and you can even define tracks as drum tracks, in which case drum notation will be used.
CONCLUSION People’s reaction to this program tends to fall into only two categories: they love it or they hate it.
I have to be honest and say that I fall into the latter category because the environment is just too hostile for me. However, having watched it being used by a keyboard player, it became an entirely different program and he fell in love with it because it was just so easy to record a song, building up layer after layer in next to no time. I can appreciate the Tiger section, and I’m very keen on Ouickscore and PVG (even if the latter is monstrously complex). If you can play an instrument, then perhaps you’ll take to KCS, but try before you buy.
Compatible: Any Amiga with 1 meg of RAM (2Mb if you want to run the MPE programs).
£99.95 - MERIDIAN DISTRIBUTION - 081 543 3500 So what if you’re a talentless doodler whose best musical efforts sound like a cat in a washing machine?!
There’s always SuperJAM!
Mode, simply choose the style you want, and tell SuperJAM! To begin playing. It will play a repeating loop of music in the chosen style using sound samples or MIDI. This loop can vary in duration, but is usually less than 20 seconds long. However, whilst the loop is playing you can alter its key and pitch by clicking the keys of a mini piano at the bottom ot the screen.
Some ol these keys will change the tune’s scale from major to minor, or one of over a dozen more complex scales (diminished, etc). There are also four variation buttons which can be used to trigger different versions ot SuperJAMI is a great program for composing music. When I say that, I mean that it does the composing, worrying about what notes are in key. And which chords can be used, all you have to do is tell it what you want.
The program is supplied with a selection ot musical styles and many more are available. The ones supplied with the program attempt to cover the genetic styles such as house, rock, jazz, soul, etc The program can be used as a real-time composition tool, or you can choreograph your tunes and record them tor future reference. In real-time MUSIC X £129.99 - SOFTWARE BUSINESS - 0480 496497 The interesting thing about it is the tact that all ol the instruments are represented, each using a different colour. This makes it far easier to identity and duplicate patterns in your music.
If you are a bit of a purist, you can edit notes in a , list lormat which is similar to, but much more compre- ' hensive than, those used by tracker programs.
Music X also comes with a patch editor and comprehensive sample handling teatures.
CONCLUSION Despite its age. Music X really is quite a good program and is more than capable ot handling commercial standard compositions. It isn’t as leature packed as its modern day relatives, but then it only costs a fraction ot the price. Well worth checking out if you 4 can’t afford Bars & Pipes.
Before the arrival ot pro packages such as KCS and Bars & Pipes, one program stood alone to demonstrate that the Amiga was a viable MIDI controller. Surprisingly, lour years later Music X still looks quite tempting.The program attempts to be all things to all men and consequently is rather a jumble ot hidden screens and complicated options. This wouldn't be so bad it it weren’t tor the tact that the program has now hit bargain basement prices making it ideal lor beginners.
EASY EDIT Music X defaults to a sequencer screen where you can see an overview of the different parts of your song. At the top of this window are video style controls which you can use to record new tracks, or listen to those that you’ve already created II you select a song section and then dick the Edit button, you'll be taken to the bar editor. This is similar to Sequencer l's step time editor only much more powerful and far easier to use. As usual, notes are represented as bars ot varying lengths indicating their duration. However, velocity (volume) is represented numerically and you
can also specity program and control change messages as well as many other tactors from this screen.
The same tune, perhaps with more or less instrumentalists, or even an entirely different but complimentary tune. In addition to the variations a further set of buttons allow you to trigger beginnings, endings, breaks and tills; the latter two are simply musical techniques tor moving from one part ot a tune to another.
All of the buttons can be triggered in real-time, as can the scale keys. There are even additional computer keyboard options tor performing more complicated musical transitions.
When'you start to understand the way that the program works, you can record your compositions in the step time editor. This presents you with a grid representing your tune. The grid is divided into bars which are subdivided into blocks. At the start of each block you can specity a musical event, such as a key shift, variation start, till, etc. That means that whenever you play the tune from the start, it will always repeat exactly the same sequence of events. Now whilst this may seem limiting, the examples provided demonstrate how with skill and care you can create tunes which are of
professional quality.
Once you've created a tune, it can be saved in the program’s own format for later editing, or as a standard MIDI tile tor loading into any other package that supports them.
CONCLUSION If you own Bars & Pipes, Ihe two programs can be linked together so that SuperJAM! Will lay down backing tracks for your original compositions.
In fact, this was what the program was originally designed for, although it is great fun as a stand alone tool too. If you're a wannabe musician, now at last you can create original work of your very own!
Compatibility: Kickstart 1.3 and 1 Mb RAM, but performance improves drastically with more RAM and a faster processor.
TALIN'TED PROGRAMMER MusicXwas written by a character calling himself Talin. Talin was christened Richard Joiner but presumably became all mystic alter Ihe incredible success ol his tirsl Amiga program.
Faery Tale Adventure. Several ol the tunes from lhal game have been included in the Music Xpackage as eiamples.
Talin went on to even greater lame switching allegiances Irom Microillusions (Music Xs publishers) to Electronic Arts, where his most recent projecl was Defuie Music Constructien Kit 2.
Choosing A Midi Instrument So you’ve bought a wonderful sequencing package and you’ve spent a while using it with sound samples, chances are you’re now ready to move up a step and add a real instrument. Why? Well three main reasons: the first is that most MIDI instruments allow you to replay more notes at once than the Amiga can generate internally.
Typically a MIDI instrument can play at least eight sounds simultaneously although many can play 16 or even 32. The maximum number of notes that an instrument can play is known as its polyphony.
Whilst the number of different instruments it can play (up to a maximum of 16) is known as its timbrality.
Dilterent instruments come with diderent features, but the most important to a MIDI user will be the number and quality ol the sounds, and how easily they can be manipulated. II you're buying a full instrument as opposed to a sound module, features such as keyboard response and alter touch will also be important.
Be painful to listen tol There's also anolher program by the same author called SMUSMIDI. As its name suggests, the program converts SMUS files into standard MIDI format ones.
This is particularly exciting because used in conjunction with AMFC (reviewed earlier) it means that you can now convert every single Amiga music format to MIDI standard so that your files can be used in professional sequencing environments or can be swapped with other MIDI users on olher computers CONCLUSION The Pro MIDI works as expected and is reasonably priced Chances are, you'll only ever use the in and one out port, but the existence ol the others means that there's room lor you to add another stand alone MIDI device il you get one. The extra disk of utilities is a real bonus and
some of them are great fun. Good value The second reason tor buying a real instrument is the quality ol the sounds it can generate. Unless you own an expensive 16-bit sound sampler, the Amiga can replay 8-bit sound samples This means that the quality ol the sound is relatively limited.
Most modem electronic instruments uses sounds sampled at 16-bit resolution or higher.
The linal reason to buy a MIDI Before you even think ol connecting a MIDI instrument, you're going to need some sort of interface to link it to your computer. The Pro MIDI is an option that allows lor growth The interlace itself is a wedge shaped lump of plastic live inches deep by four and a hall wide. The unit’s manufacturers. Microdeal, describe it as being ‘an attractive wedge shape' which is P.B. speak lor saying It's a bloody horrible shape but what could we do?'. Al the wide end of the wedge there are lour MIDI sockets, two outs, one in and a thru. The whole unit plugs into the serial
port of your Amiga via a flat 16 inch ribbon cable which can be easily slipped underneath any other equipment you may have on your desk.
Once connected it's simply a matter of plugging in your MIDI cables and away you go!
Incidentally, the package also comes wilh a free disk lull of public domain MIDI software. Among the mote interesting titles is AlgoRhylhms, an algorithmic music composition tool - or put in plain English it composes music for uses mathematical lormulas. Sometimes Ihe results can be wonderful, al other times they can instrument, il you can play one, is because you can enter music by playing the instrument directly, using Ihe Amiga like a programmable tape recorder and mixing desk combined So, you've decided to buy an instrument, what should you look out lor? There is one more thing to decide
belore you start looking; do you want a synth module or a proper playable instrument? A synth module is simply a small MIDI compatible box, and is suited to people who don't play an instrument, or who already own a MIDI compalible instrument. You can think ol a synth module as a box lull ol samples which can be played Irom your Amiga. It has two advantages over lull instrument: it's usually cheaper than a version with a keyboard, and it's very small so it's lar more convenient because it can simply stand out ol sight at the back ol your desk.
Now that you know what type ol instrument you want, and you hope- tully have some idea ol the price you want to pay, you can trot oil to your local music shop to buy your instrument.
INTERFACE PRO MIDI We Put Your Pieces Together i Puzzled about music and the A ,4 Look to us for the answers!
At The Blue Ribbon SoundWorks, we’ve developed a strong lineup of talent. Each of our products recej; thespecial care it takes to prc winneK Tn n’s why you’ll find a Blue Ribbon on every Timfrl' BLUE RIBBON SOUNDWORKS t song-or creatirig-the perfect soundtrack for your video production in no time. SuperJAM! Cpmes with over 30 different musical styles and a backup band that performs beautifully, whether it’s Mozart or Motown. And with the Extras Disks for SuperlAM!, you can instantly increase your repertoire with styles like Fusionist, Funkjungle, Rachmaninoff and Rockapeggio. £99.95 Our
One-Stop Music Shop turns your Amiga into a powerful music machine) This hardware-software combination includes all you need to get 16-bit stereo multi-timbral audio an incredible price! £569.95 When you’re ready for multi-track recording, automated mixing, notation printing and state-of-the- "0
• rt MIDI Jj sequencing, PROFESS IO you re ready for Bars&Pipes
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Use the Creativity Kit to invent fresh musical ideas, or the Pro Studio Kit for complete control of your MIDI studio. The Internal Sounds Kit eliminates the need for MIDI altogether.
Imagine, multi-track recording inside your computer! To round it off, we present Rules for Tools, documentation and C source code for writing your own musical features.
Harmonies, non-destructive editing, and an unlimited number of tracks for recording only begin to describe it.
Plus, you can integrate it seamlessly with SuperJAM! £299.95 If you’re into MIDI but don’t need full power, check out Bars&Pipes, music software made simple. Bars&Pipes features multi-track recording, graphk, cal editing, tempo mapping and i Bars&Pipes is expandable, s as you do.
Limusitisflo N A" LIES.
To get organized, grab The PatchMeister, our graphical, uni- versally-configurable MIDI patch librariaBjlt comes with dozens of MIDI drivers and templates. Don’t see what you want?
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t. And, The PatchMeiste into Bars&Pipes ultimate composition
environment. £79.95 Want to triple the capacity of youi fDI
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T-' 18 dftware and works with any plication that supports MIDI de. £189.95 THE k JHBON MIRKS LTD ) »• JFR Venture Centre 1605 Chanblly Drive NE Suite 200, Atlanta, GA USA Tech Supp 081 332 6959 Professional, Bars&Piprt Add-on Scries, Creativity Kit. Internal Sounds Kit. One-Stop Music Shop, Pro Studio Kit, Rules for Tools. Multi-Media Kit, MusicBo« A. Music Box B SuperlAM!, The PatchMeister, Triple Play Plus and SyncPro are trademarks of The Blue Ribbon SoundWorks, Ltd. All other product and brand names are trademarks and or servicemarks of their respective holders.
If money’s no object, and you want a synth module that’s good enough to create a movie score with, Roland’s Sound Canvas is a dream come true.
Polyphony. However, some of the instruments (voices) are constructed by combining two other ones (known as partials). If your music uses a lot of these ‘combination' sounds, the maximum polyphony could be considerably less than the quoted figure.
Fortunately, the voices which use two partials tend to be the more Choosing a MIDI Instrument ROLAND SOUND CANVAS SC-55 MK2 £649.28 - HOLLAND MUSIC - 0892 511501 It’s a musical powerhouse which comes in a stylish case approximately 9x9x2 inches in size. That means it's small enough to fit onto the most cluttered desk, or alternatively it can be incorporated into a half sized rack mount.
It can play 16 different instruments at a time, and has a 28 note BOSS DR SYNTH £449 - HOLLAND MUSIC - 0892 511501 The little brother to the Sound Canvas. Boss are actually a wholly owned subsidiary ot Roland and the Dr Synth is essentially a Sound Canvas in a cheaper box. It features the same level ot polyphony and is still 16 part multi-timbral.
The unit is supplied in a small desk-top case with an LCD display and masses of switches, buttons and dials. Considering the fact that this is the cheaper of the two modules, it's surprising to see that the Dr Synth actually has considerably more buttons, allowing you much faster changing ot essential parameters, and this makes it ideal for live performance work.
Although it is still GS'GM compatible, it only has 156 tones and eight drum sets. Still, these are likely to keep you going for a good while. The missing instruments include all of the sound effects, and the MT-32 instruments as well as many of the obscure alternative sounds.
CONCLUSION A great mid-priced tone bank that's well worth taking a look at.
Requires a MIDI Interface.
Obscure ones like shakuhachis, 5th saw waves, ice rain and reverse cymbals.
Everyday music doesn't use these sounds much, so unless you're being extremely creative you're unlikely to ever notice the restriction on polyphony.
It includes an LCD display which shows the volume of all sixteen channels as well as the velocity at which each instrument is playing. It includes switches to control stereo pan, reverb, chorus, key shift, MIDI channel, part and instrument.
The Sound Canvas is responsive to the full range of MIDI control changes so you can modulate and pitch bend notes. You can also specify after-touch and stereo pan.
Although it is GS GM compatible, it's ironic that although it was Roland themselves who designed and instigated the GS standard, the SC-55's use of partials actually means that it doesn't fully comply as far as polyphony is concerned. It boasts 354 top quality instruments including a selection of sound effects ranging from streams, birds and the sound of the seashore, to guns, telephones and helicopters. It also includes ten drum sets from bassy house kits, to light jazz and orchestral sets. For compatibility with earlier synths, the Sound Canvas also has MT-32 and CM-64 instrument sets.
CONCLUSION The SC-55 is an absolute delight to use. The sounds are very nice, although not quite as rich as those on the TG100. Its informative LCD display is so useful when dealing with the complexities of MIDI, and really helped me whilst I was learning. I’ve owned mine for over a year, and I've never regretted it for a nanosecond!
Requires a MIDI Interface.
DREAM GMX-1 Approximately £250 - B.E.M. 071 7336821 If you’re on a really tight budget, you can still enjoy the pleasures of multl-timbral MIDI with this little dynamo from France.
The unit is extremely basic looking, consisting of a cream coloured plastic box with a volume slider, power switch and headphone socket on the front.
At the back you'll find MIDI in, out and Thru ports, a power socket, stereo phone plugs and an RS232 socket. The latter can be used to connect the unit directly to your computer without using a MIDI interface.
The unit is fully GM compatible, which means that it contains 128 GM-mapped instruments. It also has several drumkits, one of which Is MT-32 compatible.
Although the unit is very basic looking, internally it still responds to all the MIDI messages (such as polyphonic aftertouch and pitch bend) that the expensive systems do.
Without some sort of display it’s very tricky for beginners to understand exactly what's happening when things start to go wrong.
CONCLUSION On a power to price ratio, the GMX-1 is totally unrivalled. Sure, the Dr Synth and Sound Canvas look nicer and perform better, but for the extra hundreds they damned well should! If you get flustered easily, the GMX might not be the best choice if you’re totally new to the whole business.
However, if you have a bit of patience then you’ll certainly find this module to be one of the music world's undiscovered jew- No MIDI Interface required.
Music YAMAHA TG100 £399 - HOLLAND MUSIC - 0892 511501 If you’re more concerned about the quality of your sounds than the quantity, the TD100 is good priced option. Check this baby out!
Hope lo match. This makes the TG100 perfect for modern dance music where a more substantial sound is the norm.
True, you could beef up the Canvas’ sounds using reverb and even chorus, but why bother when Yamaha's offering provides Ihe sonority that many composers seek.
No-where is this more evident than its stringed instruments. Traditionally these are the hardest sounds to give body to, but not on this module.
It comes as a table top unit slightly smaller than the SC-55 and it has a single line LCD display - better than nothing, but only just.
CONCLUSION The TG100 is very much a matter of personal taste. True it doesn't have the same impressive specifications that the Sound Canvas has, but it does sound great for certain styles of music, and it’s almost half the price too. Try both before you buy. Highly recommended.
Strange Moves Afoot If you're observant you may have noticed Ihe fact that there were absolutely loads of cheap MIDI keyboards available three or so years ago, yet now the entry level lor such a keyboard is twice as expensive as it was.
There are many reasons for this, one of the most important ol which is to do with where the instruments are manufactured.
Most of the big players in the game manufacture their instruments in Japan, then export them to us here in Europe. At the moment the Japanese currency market is Incredibly strong, and over the last year alone the Yen (which is the currency of Japan) has increased in value against European currency by more than 40%. This means that it’s extremely expensive to buy from there at the moment.
Another reason for the change is the overall trend in keyboard sales worldwide. The keyboard manufacturers do market research based on the world market rather than small parts of It.
This enables them to create instruments which will have the best chances of success world-wide.
Unfortunately, the European market, and Britain in particular, is much, much more technologically aware, and has a greater percentage of MIDI users than the rest of the world. This means that we suffer because keyboards are designed for the lowest common denominator rather than our specific requirements. It was thanks to this fact that low end MIDI devices and Mini keyboards have all but disappeared Irom the European market.
One linal lactor which has had a massive impact, has been the growth of the computer entertainment industry which in the words ol one official ‘Has had a devastating impact on sales of other entertainment products over the last two years’. This has meant that the home market manufacturers have had to streamline their ranges, making every possible economy in the process.
CONCLUSION If Yamaha had mapped the instruments to conform with the General MIDI standard this would be an absolutely unbeatable bargain. As it is, the PSR300 is still great fun and ideal for the MIDI user who wants to practice his keyboard skills as well as his computer talents. A good safe entry point to the world of MIDI Yamaha used to produce a good range of cheap MIDI keyboards but apparently the MIDI implementation was rather flaky, so the cheap stuff was binned, leaving the PSR 300 at the bottom of the range. It s the cheapest ‘serious’ MIDI keyboard I could find, and it has some
nice features.
It has 28 voice polyphony and is 16 part multi- timbral, yet strangely it’s not GS GM compatible. It includes 100 voices which, like the TG100, have that distinctive Yamaha feel to them. Some people call it muffled but I think that rich is a better description.
The PSR includes a 61 key keyboard with full size, touch sensitive keys. It’s very much a player's instrument as well as a programmer’s. For starters it comes with 50 auto accompaniment styles which can be used to play along whilst you bang away at the keys. It also includes the option to split the keyboard so that one part plays one instrument whilst another uses a different one.
YAMAHA PSR 300 £329.99 - HOLLAND MUSIC - 0892 511501 Designed surely as a direct rival for the Sound Canvas, the TG100 is Yamaha's top selling GM compatible synth module. It is of course 16 part multi- timbral and 28 note polyphonic, however it only contains 192 voices compared to the Canvas' 350, What makes the TG100 special is the quality of those voices; nol that they've been sampled at a better rate or anything like that-, it's just the sounds are so rich and full that they have a resonance that Roland's modules can't Choosing A Midi Instrument Miracle Piano Tutor £299.99 - MINDSCAPE
- 0444 482545 Just because you can't afford the time for regularpiano lessons doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to play an instrument. The Miracle is ready to teach whenever you have time to learn!
Science fiction has long been predicting a world in which robot and computers exist to do our every bidding from walking the dog to cleaning the house and cooking the dinner.
Whilst such a world may be a few years away yet, Mindscape's Miracle keyboard tutor is a giant leap forwards for home computers.
Quite simply, the Miracle teaches you how to play the piano. It won't be easy, and you’ll still need to put in regular practice but you won't be paying £10 a half hour for a stern faced piano teacher to show you how bad you are either!
Muw” The Miracle consists of two parts: the software and the keyboard. The keyboard is a full sized 128 key MIDI compatible instrument with velocity sensitive keys and 128 instruments.
In today’s market it's worth more than the asking price for the whole shebang, so you're on the right footing already. It connects to the serial interface using a custom cable which avoids the need for an additional MIDI interface.
Have You Considered...?
BLOOMSBURY DICTIONARY OF MUSIC As your knowledge of music increases, this book Is the perfect companion. Whilst it won’t teach you how to play or read music, It will help to explain some ol the terminology, as well as providing entertaining reading about a variety of musical subjects. Topics covered range Irom notation to mandolins, Irom Steely Dan to Orchestral layouts.
II not essential, this certainly is a highly enjoyable reference work lor anyone interested in music and everything to do with it.
The software, of course, is where the real power lies, after all, there are lots of MIDI keyboards out there.
When it has loaded you’ll be shown a number of rooms and the one you choose will determine the activity you'll engage in. The most important of them is the classroom.
In the classroom you’ll be taught basic keyboard recognition and told how to position your hands and what fingers to use for what keys. You’ll then go on to play simple runs of notes so that you begin to gain familiarity with the position of everything.
After that timing skills will be introduced, making you play in time with a metronome or other beat. It’s in this gradual layering of skills that you develops, incorporating each recently learned skill into the subsequent lessons so that the relevance is obvious, and the necessary practice is gained.
Wrkh'1 By tar the most significant thing about the program is the way it responds to your efforts. Thanks to the MIDI link, it is able to monitor your every action, commenting upon your playing when necessary and giving you encouragement and guidance in an attentive and non-judgemental way that no human tutor could hope to match.
The great thing about this method of teaching is the fact that the computer never misses an error, nor does its attention wander, nor does it forget what you did last time. This means that each lesson can be precisely tailored to your own strengths and weaknesses, ensuring that you get the greatest help where it’s most needed.
As a way of retaining your enthusiasm, many of the lessons come in the form of games where your proficiency in certain disciplines affects the outcome.
The tutorials are arranged in lessons, and at the end of each one you’ll be offered the opportunity to play along with the 'orchestra'. The computer will play the backing band using a variety of instruments, and you are able to put your newly acquired skills to use playing the lead tune. Surprisingly even the simplest tunes sound great when played in this fashion, and the play along is one of the program's great incentives.
For younger students, successful completion of a lesson entitles them to receive a printed certificate provided you have a printer of course!
CONCLUSION Miracle was so good that it featured on Tomorrow’s World. Although it's well over a year old now, the technology has not even been challenged, much less superceded.
At £299 it may seem pricey (although compared to the price of a comparable MIDI keyboard it’s not), but when you deduct the price of piano lessons, especially for more than one student, you can see how the cost can be recouped in less than six months. A very exciting idea, and certainly one of the Amiga’s better develop- ments.
CLARITY 16 £149.95 - HISOFT ¦ 0525 713671 Samplers If you don’t own a MIDI instrument the chances are that sooner or later you’re going to want to record a sound and replay it through your Amiga. Why? Well because you can of course! Also because no matter how many sound samples you have available to you, you’re bound to come across a sound or effect that you just have to include in your work, be it a piece of music, a demo or a game.
The good news is you can buy sound samplers for the price of a game, and in the long run they’re going to be a lot more fun and a great deal more rewarding.
Sive. Of course since then the digital revolution has redefined the standards, and many people have come to see 8- bit samples as simply not good enough.
The reason for this is that 8-bits represents the resolution at which the sound can be recorded. A sound is basically an analogue signal, that is to say that electrically it’s represented by an infinitely divisible waveform. To store a sound in the computer's memory, it needs to be converted into a digital form. To convert the smooth sine wave of an analogue waveform into a digital format, it has to be represented as a series of ’steps’. The smaller the steps are, the more accurately they will be able to duplicate the original curved If you’re serious about sampling, shouldn't you be looking
at a device that offers CD quality sound and professional sample mixing? If the answer to the above question is yes, but you only own an A500,600 or 1200, there’s only one option, AVR's Clarity 16.
When the Amiga was designed, it was given the ability to play 8-bit sampled sounds. Considering that CD players were not even commonplace back then, the fact that the Amiga could play back sound at all was fairly impresAMAS2 £99.95-HISOFT-0525 713671 II you want a sampler and you own a MIDI instrument, AMAS 2 is a good option for it combines a decent quality 8-bit sampler with a MIDI interface.
To be honest, I find it very hard to distinguish one cheap 8-bit sampler from another in terms of sound quality. That being the case, one has to compare them in terms of hardware features.
AMAS 2 comes in a wedge shaped box that plugs into the parallel and serial ports. The parallel port is for the sampler whilst the serial is for the MIDI interface.
The unit is provided with Stereomaster 2 software, which was also included with the cheap sampler of the same name. Nevertheless, it's not too bad. The most popular options are represented by easy to recognise icons and the screen is pleasant on the eyes, something New Dimensions would do well to notice!
The input level of a sound can be software controlled which is a nice feature even Clarity 16 doesn't have. It basically means that you can control the volume of an incoming sound without having to mess around with your hi-fi or whatever; very handy when sampling from equipment that provides fixed volume output.
Samples can be recorded in mono at over 59KHz and the menus contain many additional features such as 3D display of samples, a spectrum analyser and the usual batch of special effects such as echos, reverb, etc. CONCLUSION AMAS 2 is ideal loi Ihe budding Amiga musician.
Whilst it's not the best 8-bit sampler in the world, it’s better than most, and the added MIDI interlace means that you won't have to splash out on a separate one.
Pretty good.
Compatible: Any Amiga with 1 meg BAM sine wave.
When you look at an eight bit sampler, the waveform is divided into a maximum of 256 vertical steps because this is the maximum value that can be stored in eight bits. By doubling the number of bits, you increase the number of steps to 65,536, a 256 fold increase in sample resolution, and equivalent to the rate at which audio information is stored on a compact disc.
The Clarity 16 samples at this rate which naturally means a significant increase in quality.
The unit connects to a computer via both the serial and parallel interfaces, and your sound source is attached to it via a pair of phoneo sockets at the back. It’s supplied with software which is very straight forward to use. It provides a maximum mono sample rate of 44KHz. And even stereo can be recorded at an impressive 33KHz. The software also indudes a good selection of editing and effects tools such as echos, distortions, Ranging and reverberation. You can also set the position of a sound if you’re working in stereo.
Once recorded, samples can be played via the Amiga, or via the cartridge itself. Because Clarity also includes a built-in MIDI interface, you can actually assign various samples to different keys on a MIDI keyboard, using the keyboard as a trigger, perhaps in a live performance. In fact, for the time being this is probably the program’s best use because no music sequencing, notation or tracker programs support 16-bit samples yet. To try and combat this problem AVR have made the necessary bits of code available to anyone who requests them.
CONCLUSION Although Clarity 16 isn’t as good as the Sunrize internal 16-bit samplers, it’s the only option for owners of the smaller Amigas.
Compatibility: Any Amiga ty-CEfr with 1 meg RAM. Sound Samplers MEGALOSOUND £34.95 - HISOFT - 0525 713671 offered a maximum of 44,300, still very impressive.
DIRECT TO DISK If you choose lo sample direct to disk, the available space on the drive will be analysed, and you can then indicate how much ot that you want occupied by the sample. It you have a lot ol memory, you can spec ity a large RAM buffer for the sample to be recorded into. It s only as this buffer fills up, that the program will start to write to disk.
The program also contains a great many special effects, most of which can either be applied to the sample in memory, or real-time to an incoming signal. These include flanging, modulation, metallic, bass and treble boost, brighten, vibrato, modulation, reverb, tremolo, chorus and many others.
Although some of these effects are deaity included purely for their entertainment value, many ot them are very useful in a semi-pro environment. Especially for Mcs CONCLUSION Megalosound is very friendly to use, and the user-interface is a delight which I felt assisted my enjoyment of the sampler, rather than acted as an obstacle to it. The hardware is adequately constructed, and the addition of an input level dial is a great bonus.
Direct to disk recording makes it feasible lo construct entire performances on a hard drive, and there are even a couple of replay programs included.
This is undoubtedly the best budget sampler of all lime!
Compatibility: Any Amiga with 1 Mb RAM.
If you're short of memory, one option is a sampler which records direct to disk.
Megalosound fits the bill perfectly.
The budget sampler market has always been a hotly contested one, with the consumer coming out the winner as companies such as Microdeal, New Dimensions and Rombo slugging it out. Adding ever more features in the hope of taking your cash. Whilst the list of features has risen, the hardware quality has stayed very much the same, but now it seems as if Megalosound may have gained a slight advantage.
CLEVER SOFTWARE The first thing that I noticed about the software is how intelligent it seems to be. Because of the vast range of Amigas out there, it needs to configure itself to your exact system, and surprise surprise, that’s exactly what it did on each of the Amigas I tried it on. It correctly iden- tilled my processor, the amount of RAM and available drive space.
Anyway, once Ihe program's loaded, you're greeted by the main screen which is divide into two halves. The top half contains the waveform window where any samples that you record will be displayed. The bottom half contains the current options. The commonest editing and replay options such as cut. Magnify, ramp etc, are represented by a strip of icons, and these are permanently on the screen.
Below this strip is a message line where you will be informed of the current status of the software. Below that is the current name and a realtime clock and calendar. Below those, the menu panel.
Running along the top of the menu panel is a list of section buttons. And clicking on any of these will fill the remainder ol the screen with icons and options appropriate to the button pressed The most important of these is the sampler button, t hich calls up the sampling options screen. As I've already mentioned, you can sample direct to disk (floppy or hard), and of course you can also sample to RAM.
The maximum sampling rate is determined by the speed of your processor, so on a 68040 machine the rate could be extremely good.
On a 68030 it could manage 59,000 Hertz in mono, whilst on an At 200 it What About...?
TECHNOSOUND TURBO 2 £49.95 - NEW DIMENSIONS - 0291 690901 Technosound has been one ol the best-selling Amiga sound samplers in Europe. Wild Ihe emphasis clearly on fun rather than quality, technosound 2 Mis the streets The unit consists el a small bos thal plugs into the parallel interlace, much the same as Megalosound However, not only does it net include a hardware input dial, n costs CIS more Why? Well lo be honest I'm net really sure The hardware is no different to nut supplied with Ihe original Technosoend. So all changes are lo the software Unfortunately thal is as gaudy as ever,
perhaps with the nolion llul bright automatically means Inn: It doesn’t... Nevertheless. Technosound is very much a sampler for the hind of person who's never heard of sloreo panning or input levels, and wouldn't care if he had. It's pretty much a plug-ln and go type ol unit.
The software samples reasonably enough, and New Dimensions ware In fact the lirst ones to otler direct lo hard dish recording. For some reason they've chosen to completely ignore the standard operating system, preferring instead to use their own custom menus and reguesters. Which would be line il they were better, but sadly they tail tar short ol Still. Ihe software does have more gadgets and special eltects than any other budget sampler, many ol which can be performed in real time. Halher than the studio type effects found in Megalosound. Technosound has evocatively named effects such as Deep
Sea Diver, Chopper. Dark Vader and Awlul Ihe Duck (I).
CONCLUSION Even belore Megalosound came along, TT2 was looking rather pricey, now II |usl seems downright espensive. True Ihe effects are lun for a while, and Ihe sampling quality Is as good as ils rivals, bul there's something very superficial aboul Ihe program's design and appearance that I've never liked. Perhaps younger users may enjoy the Blue Peter DIY look. I do not. » Compatibility: Any Amiga.
AUDIOMASTER 4 TBA - HISOFT - 0525 713671 It’s all very well having a powerful sound sampler, but if you can’t edit the sounds afterwards then they’re very limited.
Most samplers are OK, but you can’t beat a dedicated sample editor... Audiomaster is undoubtedly the longest running editor on the Amiga, and it's now up to version 4. It consists of two main sections: the sampler and the editor.
The sampler is designed to work with most hardware samplers, and simply permits you to record mono or stereo samples at up to 55,930 Hertz (assuming your hardware can handle such frequencies). Sampling can be started manually, or using the VOX feature which triggers the recorder only when sound of a certain volume is heard.
If you don’t own a sampler, you can use the program purely as an editor, and this is where its real power lies. Once you have a sample in memory (either by loading one or recording it) there are a range of editing, filtering and effects that can be performed upon it. To be fair these are far less in either quantity or interest value than the effects contained in Technosound or Megalosound’s software. However, the significant difference is the quality and speed of Audiomaster's options. There are no quacks or daleks here, but if you're editing samples for serious use this is the package to
In the Editl menu you’ll find the usual Cut, Paste and Copy options that are essential in any editing softAudicflaster IV ri X|«j' vJfN!f J&i I I !|L'fat|cljA»J. ]L«‘l.«iJe*Va(s,li 11 J«*j A* 1 ! UP DN PI BY- - WAVEFORM BOO | DEL Djfi£r?y SFQ REPEAT SI0P | LOOP OvrrsanpleExanple 5k decrease the overall loudness of a sample - you can even specify a different volume at the start to the end.
These are just simple examples though, echoing and flanging are also available but by far the most exciting options are in the Duration Pitch requester. Here you can alter the duration of all or part of a sample without altering its pitch, and conversely you can alter its pitch without affecting its duration. These are options which are traditionally found only in commercial hardware sample editors, so their appearance is a great bonus.
CONCLUSION Audiomaster is a very high quality sample editor. Almost all aspects of the program are, intuitive to use, and although Megalbsound is snapping at its heels, I think in terms of the speed and quality of the results Audiomaster still crosses the line first, but the gap is always closing, and of course, with the former program you get the sampling hardware as well. Compatibility: Any Amiga.
SHOW RUNOF | ZOOM TELE SHOW ALL I RANGE ALL SEEK ZERO SEJKK LOOP LOOP ON ware. You’ll also notice that memory permitting, the program supports a spare buffer, and it's possible to mix samples together by using this facility. Talking about basic editing, the program also provides a freehand drawing facility which becomes exceptionally powerful when used in conjunction with the program's powerful magnify options.
By dragging the cursor across the screen, you can quickly define a range. It's then possible to perform most editing operations upon the range instead of the entire sample.
You can also zoom into the selected range so that it fills the display.
Alternatively you can use the Zoom button to perform a real-time zoom, centring on the indicated range. This is a very impressive feature which means that you can quickly find the optimum level of magnification for your current requirements.
It’s in the Effects menu that the most powerful options are to be found, and I find that they are particularly useful for altering incorrectly recorded samples. For example you can use the Tune Waveform option to retune a sound, whilst Change volume can be used to increase or AUDITION 4 £49.95 - Micropace - 0753 551888 What About...?
As manufacturers' of the best Amiga samplers money can buy, it’s no surprise to see that Sunrize Industries also produce a sample editor. But how does Audition 4 stand up to the competition?
The program was designed as a rival for Audiomaster 3, and at the time offered many features not included in Oxxi's program.
Oxxi struck back wilh Audiomaster 4, and included many of the best features of Audition 4. However, Audition still has a number of tricks up Its sleeve.
The main advantage of the program is that it's both quick and small. Its compact size makes it ideal for use on machines with a meg ol RAM or less. Wifhoul wanting lo labour the point, it contains all the same basic sampling features found in all the other packages, such as cut, paste and copy, etc. Naturally, it’s down to its special features to make Audition 4 stand out. Yet again, it has a range of audio effects that are similar to those offered by Technosound and Megalosound. Flange, echo, fade, bass and treble boost, etc. These can also be performed in real time.
CONCLUSION Coming from Sunrize Ihe sound quality of samples edited wilh Audition 4 remains excellent, and the program has many nice features. The only thing is, the competition seems to be such good value, that it's hard to justify Ihe expense. Still, a good solid program, that's worth purchasing if you see it in the bargain bucket somewhere.
Compatibility: Any non-AGA GLOSSARY GS Short tor General Standard. A standard for MIDI instruments developed by Roland. It is a standard way ot organising sound data within a MIDI instrument so that music on one GS instrument can be replayed on any other, regardless of its manufacturer. Part of the GS standard specifies the minimum number of instruments as well as the order they're arranged in. It also specifies the effects that can be applied to a sound, and the instructions required to apply them.
MIDI Musical Instrument Digital Interface.
Literally refers to the type of connection present on electronic equipment, usually computers or instruments, which permits the exchange of control commands between devices. Whilst these commands will usually be involved in the replay of music, they may sometimes be used for controlling more exotic equipment such as lights and mixing consoles.
Notator Any music package which uses the traditional system of bars and staves for note entry and display. Deluxe Musicis the best example of such a program.
Real-time When using a piece of software, realtime means that you are performing an editing or recording function 'on the fly'. In the case of sequencers, this means actually playing an instrument at the right tempo, and hopefully hitting the right notes.
No Man’s An Island Okay, so by now yoo'ro hopefully making swoet music. Why not share your interest with other like-minded people? AM TM stands lor Amiga Musician s Freeware Magazine and it's a monthly disk publication put together by enthusiasts lor enthusiasts.
Each issue comes with a selection ol tracker songs and MIDI llles lor you to listen to.
There's also a variety ol articles and product reviews as well as a selection ol PD titles to help you lollow your musical Interests.
Headers are invited lo submit their own lunes lor publication, and advice and tellers are also printed.
AM FM costs E2.50 an issue and is available Irom Season Computing.
Sequencer Any program which can store a list of musical playing instructions, and can replay the list in real time to create music. Although tracker programs may literally be referred to as sequencers, the term is usually reserved for MIDI packages, especially those which accept real-time input.
Step-time In the case of sequencers, step-time is the opposite of real-time. It means that you enter music in your own time, with no pressure to get each note right. You may be using a keyboard or the mouse or you might simply be editing lists of numbers at the computer keyboard.
Tracker The generic name for any music package which uses a character based note entry system and whose lineage can visibly be traced back to Master Soundtracker, the first such program to become popular.
Traditional Notation The system of representing music as a series of dots on a set of five ledger lines. Sheet music uses this system.
Velocity Sensitive Refers to an instrument that responds to how hard you play it. For example, the harder you hit a piano key, the louder the note will be.
Have You Considered...?
THE MED USER’S GROUP n you're serious about your music and you think that MED or OcllMED is the greatest package in the world then you might like to add your number lo the hundreds ol people who agree with you.
MUG (MED USER'S GROUP) provides a forum lor like minded people to exchange modules and tips. A bi-monthly disk is available and there’s no membership to pay. You'll find their address at the bottom of this page.
Address Book
B. E.M. MED User's Group New Dimensions 395 Coldharbour (MUG)
Brooklands House Lane 6 Glevum Road Bryngwyn Brixton Stratton
St Raglan SW9 Margaret Gwent Tel: 071 733 6821 Swindon NP5 2AA
Fax: 071 738 5268 Wiltshire Tel: 0291 690901 Electronic Aria
SN3 4AF Fax: 0291 690933 90 Heron Drive Meridian Seasott
Computing Langley Distribution The Business Berkshire East
House Centre SL3 8XP East Road 80 Woodlands Tel: 0753 549442
Industrial Eslate Avenue London Rustlngton Hisoft SW19 1AH
West Sussex The Old School Tel: 081 543 3500 BN16 3EY
Greenfield Bedford Fax: 081 543 2255 Tel: 0903 850376 MK45 5DE
Micropace Software Business Tel: 0525 713671 Unit 10 Cromwell
Business Fax: 0525 713716 Perth Trading Centre Estate New Road
Holland Music Perth Avenue St Ives 22-23 London Road Slough
Huntingdon Tunbridge Wells Berkshire Cambridgeshire Kent SL1
4XX PE17 4BG TN1 1DA Tel: 0753 551888 Tel: 0480 496497 Tel:
0892 511501 Fax: 0753 551211 Time & Space Key Audio Systems
Mindscape PO Box 306 Unit D Priority House Berkhamstead
Rob|ohns Road Charles Avenue Herts Chelmsford Burgess Hill
West HP43EP CM1 3AG Sussex Tel: 0442 870681 Tel: 0245 344001
RH15 9PO Fax: 0245 344002 Tel: 0444 482545 IT SOLDIERS! TJ
iwtttt: IT Manual in English, Manuel en frangais, Handbuch auf
deutsch, Manuale in italiano, Manual en espahol F Distributed
YOU IN THE PIC ; 111 ilM'S «vJWJ, 9 9 9C
Irangais, Handbuch aul deulsch, Manuale in italiano, Manual en
espanol Published By 2 o I tILABLE FOR: PC & 100% COMPATIBLES,
WEST SUSSEX RH15 9PO TEL: 0444 246333 FAX: 0444 248996 SECTION
ON TEST 1 Stfrtflg sound FX and a choice of in game tunes.
2 Dynamic Field - A database Held that modifies the amount ol memory it occupies according to the size ol each individual item ol data stored in It. This is in contrast to fixed fields which allocate a specific amount ot memory lor each data item regardless ol its actual requirements.
• Encapsulated Postscript File - A special format lor storing
page layout information. It includes any bit-mapped images on
Ihe page as well as all fonts used in its text. It also
describes the aspect ratio of all elements on the page. It's
the nearest thing we have to a cross-computer industry standard
for the exchange of page descriptions (word processor, DTP
and graphic pages).
• EPSF - See previous entry.
• Field • The name given to one data head- 3 FREE OVERNIGHT
DELIVERY: On HI orders tfiitpol it lie UK minOrd
• TECHNICAL SUPPORT HELPLINE: A tear- 01 MclMcd ripens Wtl M at
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