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The April 1996 issue will feature the second CU Amiga Magazine Special Edition CD, packed with the software you want to see ... Don't miss out, order it from your newsagent now! CD-ROM Special Edition 2... on sale March 14th ®aidenhead must be jinxed as far as Amiga is concerned! Less than a year after Commodore UK closed its doors and only six months after being set up, the Maidenhead office of Amiga Technologies has closed down. The announcement came into effect on the 31 January 1996. Set up to provide development support, sales and marketing, the success of the UK branch was always likely to be closely tied to the sales performance of the New OctaMED OctaMED SoundStudio VI is nearly completed' according to RBF Software. SoundStudio aims to take the power of OctaMED and bring it right up to date by adding support for 16-bit sound cards and many features demanded by musicians frustrated by the traditional Tracker format. Among the new features is the ability to play up to 64 tracks of Amiga samples simultaneously (but don't expect perfect sound quality). A completely new notation editor has been developed as an alternative to the alphaAmiga before and during Christmas 1995 and. According to industry sources, this has fallen far short of expectations. Amiga Technologies UK will continue to be represented by staff at Escom UK headquarters in Stansted, Cambridgshire. But the closure has lead to three redundancies, including that of Jonathon Anderson. Joint General Manager. Jonathon was "disappointed", but "understood the situation" and all staff had apparently been informed of the numeric tracker display, which will also be present. Due to the new sample replay routines, there will be no maximum size limit for samples other than the total available RAM. Direct to hard drive recording, full Toccata support, extra MIDI commands and a 200 page manual are also promised. Amiga-Unk Price Drop Registered users of OctaMED 6 are eligible for a discount when upgrading. Look out lor the full in- depth review in next month's CU Amiga Magazine.
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Ask your Newsagent now.
• Xtreme Racing (fab!)
• Gloom Deluxe
• Airbus A320 II (zzzzz)
• Super Skidmarks Extra
• SS2 Turbo a SCSI hard card which can fit 8M8 of RAM on-board.
JH Backup to S20M8 onto a 4hr VHS tape.
Version 3 has new backup modes for Amiga's with a 68020 or higher CPU.
UP SCART ..£65 O BACKUP PHONO .£60 UPGRADE TO VERSION 3 £20
1. 76 XL DRIVE EXTERNAL £79.95
1. 76 XL DRIVE INTERNAL £75
1. 76 XL DRIVE A4000 ...£75 PC880B EXT.POWER DRIVE .
£49.95 ¦umiiJHi-una PC881 A500 £30.95 PC882
A2000 ......£35.95 PC883 A600 1200 ..£35.95
¦Mi-lHI’lf Disk Expander can add upto to 50% to your hard
drive capacity and works with all drives including SCSI. IDE,
Floppies and even the RAM disk. Disk Expander works on any
Amiga with any Klckstart.
DISK EXPANDER ...£19.95 MICROPOLIS 2 GIGABYTE 3.5 SCSI £CALL 4 GIGABYTE 3.5 SCSI f CALL 9 GIGABYTE 3.5 SCSI £CALL G V P RAM MEGACHIP £POA The Syquest EZ13S drive is an ideal storage device. The EZ Drive stores 135MB on a single 3.5* cartridge and has a seek time of 13.5ms. Comes complete with one 135MB cartridge. (A SCSI interface is required) S3| 3" C d you' ,1 External IDE hard disk for the A500 comes complete with an internal ROM switcher, and upgradable to 4MB RAM M-TEC AT500 BARE ....£99 PLEASE CALL FOR HD SIZES MIMOSV REQUIRES 30-PIN SIMMS External PCMCIA 3.5' IDE
hard disk OVERDRIVE BARE .....£99 OVERDRIVE 420MB ...£259 340MB 2.S IDE .....£CALL 510MB 2.5 IDE .....fCALL 810MB 2.5 IDE .....£CALL 1 GIGABYTE 2.5 IDE .£CALL OTHERS 120M8 2.S IDE .£95 SX-32 is an internal add-on card for your CD32 and features: VGA port RGB port parallel port, serial port external disk drive port (1.76MB), dock, controller for
2. 5' hard disk, and a SIMM socket (up to 8MB) Turn your CD-32
into a A1200 SX-32 MODULE ...£199.95 256 x 32 SIMM
72-PIN (1MB) . £40 512 X 32 SIMM 72-PIN (2MB) £75 1 X 32 SIMM
(4MB) £125.95 2X32 SIMM (8MB) £235.95 4 X 32 SIMM
(16MB)......£499.95 1 X 8 SIMM 32-PIN (1MB) £30 4 X 8 SIMM
32-PIN (4MB) .....£139 1 X 4 STATIC COLUMN A3000 . . £25 1 X 4
DIP .£25 2S6 X 4 DIP £5 1 X
1 DIP ..£5 CIA .....£12
GARY ...£19 PAULA ...£19
DENISE ..£19 SUPER DENISE .£25
KEYBOARD 1C .£12 FAT AGNUS 1MB ......£19
FAT AGNUS 2 MB ......£29 PRINTER CABLE .£6
RS232 CABLE £6 SCSI EXTERNAL £15
WORKBENCH 3.1 A500(2000 . . £85 WORKBENCH 3.1 A3000 4000 . £95
ROM SHARE DEVICE ...£19
2. 04 ROM CHIP ..£25 FOR ANY SPARES REQUIRED PLEASE CALL
G-LOCK AMIGA GENLOCK £259 MOO Ufl Zorro II card that provide*
an addition ¦ serial port, parallel port and connect 10 I for
optional RS422 and RS232 portL •-.! « Call for details [nng a
10EXTENOER fsJ ‘ *"¦' Official GVP RAM SIMMs. I HE!
4MB GVP RAM ......£15* t „ 16MB GVP RAM ....£549 _,ls ¦ni 1 m riM A 68060 accelerator board for the A200 ®*® running at 50MHz and allowing uptH 128MB of user installable memory and M SCSI-II hard disk controller.
A2000 68040 (0MB RAM) £TBA A2000 68060 (0MB RAM) f TBA 4MB STANDARD ADD £125.95 lii 4MB GVP ADD ......£159 v, n : : (; i. o;; II 'I'MI.’iH ACEEX V32 BIS 14 4 wjret apwov.d £99 X-LINK TKUf V14 28IBT APPROVtc £229.95 TRAPFAX MODEM SOFTWARE . £49 ALLMODIM5 iNCLUOe SO'TWAAf AND CAB-15 (J SQUIRREL SCSI INTERFACE .
£59.95 AURA ..... £79.95 MEGALOSOUND . £29.95 squirrel scsi Interface included where you see this logo Surf Squirrel offers an even higher S performance, auto-booting, and ultraserial port. Surf Squirrel is the ide | expansion peripheral for your Ami$
1200. Please call for more information SURF SQUIRREL Squirrel
MPEG allows you to play Vm and CDI CD-ROM's, Squirrel MPEG
high quality digitally mastered images 16-bit stereo sound
to you and Amiga.
SQUIRREL MPEG £POA s own 2MB RAM and also now s a 2MB Fat Agnus. No soldering is ACHIP RAM ..£159.95 68020 EC processor accelerator card for e A500 and A500+, with an option to fit 68881 or 68882 co-processor (PLCC or PGA). This card can fit upto 4MB FAST RAM and is fully auto-configuring.
Or the A200Q lowing upto lemory and NOT COMPATIBLE WITH GVP HARD DRIVE A500 68020 EC 0MB RAM £99.95 A500 68020 EC 4MB RAM . .£239.95 £TBA £TBA £125.95 £159 £289 £489 £1499 MICROVITEC 1438 14"..... EPSON STYLUS INC.PAPER . .
;• epson stylus pro xl A3+ EPSON STYLUS PRO XL INCLUDE STUDIO II SOFTWARE STUDIO II SOFTWARE ......£49.95 ¦ 'I III IIH I VGA ADAPTOR £15 OCR SOFTWARE ....£49.95 POWER SCAN 4 S W ONLY £20 Reduction of quality loss when copying, colour and contrast correction, suppression of colour drop-outs, elimination of basically any copy protection. The video signal is edited in professional 4:2:2 studio standard and is sychronized entirely new.
PC INTERFACE . COE S W £49.95 PC INTERFACE + BAN S W .. ,£39.95 24-bit A4 flatbed scanners, complete with software, cables and manual.* EPSON GT-5000 ...£489.95 24-BIT, INC. POWERSCAN SofTWARE EPSON GT-8S00 ...£579.95 24-BIT. INC. POWERSCAN SofTWARE EPSON GT-9000 ...£729.95
2. -SIT, INC. IMAGE FX HIV. I.S SOFTWARE ADPRO SOFTWARE
£149.95 IMAGE FX 2.0 S W .£149.95 NEPTUNE-GENLOCK
SCANNER SOFTWARE FLATBED POWERSCANNER S W . .£35 PICASSO II
2MB RAM .....£249.95 INCLUDING TV PAINT JNR PICASSO II 2MB RAM
.....£399.95 INCLUDING TV PAINT 2 VIDEO
DAC ...£25 IB-BIT GRAPHICS ADAPTOR HBBaiBiaEHa
Just like the Neptune-Genlock, the new Sirius II combines
excellent quality with user friendliness. In addition, this
genlock disposes of blue-box keying, bypass, RGB-colour
correction, a stereo-audio control with microphone input as
well as an integrated test pattern generator for adjustment.
SIRIUS II GENLOCK £919.95 Intuitive cursor control at your finger tips Tap' for an instant selection. Connects to the Serial port. (This is not a graphks tablet) ALPS GLIDEPOINT Pen and cursor controlled graphic tablet, including cables and software.
POWER TABLET 12 X 12 . . .£195.95 INCL. P€N. CURSOR AMD POWER TAB SAW higher SCSlI md ultra-fastj is the idealj our Amiga cmation.
£POA mmnasEME A SCSI driver for all Series II host adaptors and accelerator cards for all Amiga computers. This ROM has a very fast transfer rate of up to 3.5MB S, maximising your CPU processing time. Guru supports all SCSI device types including hard drives, CD-ROM drives, scanners, Syquest drives etc.Guru ROM is compatible with Amiga OS 1.3 through to 3.1 and is SCSI -I SCSI-2 compatible. Please call for further information.
Lay VideoCD VIPEG brings i images and u and your phone order* We accept most major credit cards and are happy to help you with any queries.
Postal orders Ordering by cheque PO please make payable to Power Computing Ltd and specify which delivery is required.
¦arranty All Power products come with a 12 month warranty unless otherwise specified.
Technical support Help is on hand with a full Technical Backup service which is provided for Power customers.
¦aiI-order prices All prices listed are for the month of publication only, call to confirm prices before ordering.
Export orders Most items are available at Tax Free Prices to non-EC residents. Call to confirm prices. BFPO orders welcome.
Iail-1 ¦ ten All prices include VAT. Specifications and prices are subject to change without notice. All trademarks are acknowledged. All orders in writing or by telephone will be accepted only subject to our terms and conditions of trade, copies of which are available on request.
DELIVERY 2-3 DAYS £2.50 ? NEXT DAY £5 DSAT £10Q MINIMUM DELIVERY £2.50 ALLOW UP TO J DAYS EOR CHEQUES TO CLEAR FOR ANY INFORMATION PLEASE CALL NAME . .. ADDRESS TELEPHONE NO.
SYSTEM OWNED DESCRIPTION . . .
TOTAL AMOUNT (inc. Delivery) £ CREDIT CARD NO ... EXPIRY DATE SIGNATURE £POA GURU-ROM V6 ....£49.95 contents CU AMIGA MAGAZINE • MARCH 1996 VideoStage Pro 25 This month's incredibly versatile cover disk application is VideoStage Pro: turn your Amiga into a complete audio-visual presentation system. Our tutorial shows you how to get the most from this user-friendly package, with walkthrough guides to creating a range of varied projects, from video titling to the weather forecast to interactive multimedia presentations!
E SSFII Turbo 47 Gametek have taken a stab at Streetfighter after US Gold's OK attempt And this version kicks butt.
E Gloom Deluxe 51 This is the basic Gloom with some fancy graphics and a better viewing mode really.
Still one of the best though.
ESuper Skidmarks Extra 52 The baste SbdhwAs game with 12 extra fancy tracks. Still a cracking good game though.
• Airbus A320 55 Leam how to fly with this simulator and try
getting gening into the mile high club by the back door (Are
you sure?-Ed) PLAYERS GUIDES e Vampyra 56 Vamp tells us how she
got her diamond ring. This and other gems of wisdom are shared
as pert of her -help the RPGer quest'
• Snip Tips 59 Regular tipster Man Broughton is off to New York
for his holidays but he left us some snip tips before he left.
What a guy I
• Alien Breed 3D II 38 Team 17 are at it again. Their accolade
winning Doom clone is back, this time in 1*1 pixel mode and it
s looking good
• Watchtower 39 When is Chaos Engine not Chaos Engine f When it s
Wetchtower. Or so it seems so far anyway.
• Xtrente Racing 42 Last month’s superb cover disk game is ready
and it's good, real good. Turn to page 42 for some hot racing
Software '96 32 We investigate the state of the software industry in 1996. See what's due for release during the year and interview developers and publishers to find out what's really happening.
I 96 I Gloom Deluxe 11 (and ten custom levels for Worms) It doesn't get any better than this. On disk 129 we’ve got a demo of the latest version of that all time favourite
- Gloom. It's looking good. And just when you thought we'd gone
further than could be reasonably expected we’ve also induded
ten custom levels for Worms. Hurrah.
1 ic» ..lly 2 •5 e Epson Stylus lls 77 Need a new printer? How about this lovely model from Epson?
E'Green' Pen Mouse 78 Searching for an alternative to your mouse for those delicate graphics applications?
• Imagine 4.0 62 Following our great Imagine 3 cover disk.
Impulse are back with the latest version.
• Blizzard 1260 66 Plug a 68060 into your A1200! Blizzard's new
accelerator is the fastest A1200 plug-in ever!
• Blitz Basic 2.1 69 The power of machine code married to the
simplicity of BASIC - a perfect combination?
• Wordworth 5 72 Word processing has never had so many bells and
• Screen Beat Bass Woofer System 78 Stick this under your desk
and the satellite speakers either side to bring a whole new
aspect to games and Amiga music.
• DataStore 79 Digita have a new database for your Amiga to keep
track of all those Star Trek videos stamps records (delete as
• CD-ROM Round Up 80 The Assassins transfer their PD game
compilations to CD ROM, while EM Computer- graphic have another
new clip art and font CD.
E PD Scene 82 Some decent games are turning up in the public domain this month, along with a few spinny demos for the spaceheads.
E PD Utilities 87 The fruits of this month's serious PD orchard includes some timing tools and an Internet guide amongst other gems.
VideoStage Pro 8 Whether you want to create interactive multimedia systems, add titles and credits to your videos, conduct flashy presentations to business associates or dub members, or simply try your hand at doing the weather forecast, VideoStage Pro is the packago for you.
It's here in all its glory - the full program - on cover disk 128. Turn to page eight for morel It's that time of year again, when golden joysticks are handed out to those worthy of your votes.
Who created the best game in '95? You make the decisions.
| Golden Joysticks 106 Public Domain CONTENTS 92 Editorial Imagine 3.0 Part two of John Ksnrwdy's Imagina 3.0 tutorial cover* the mysteriously powerful texture and attributes settings.
OctaMED 5.04 96 Ed WIIm wraps up lha OcttMCD 5 04 tutorial with a look at the fiendishly tricky-looklnj aynthatlc sound editor.
98 Amiga E The final part of Jason Hulance’s Amiga E series rounds off with some finishing touches to the text*finder project.
Wired World lOO FTP clients are the subject of this month's guide to comms and the Internet: what to download and where to get it from.
Tony Horgan's Sound Lab 103 A trio of handy sound tools are put in the spotlight this month including a neat tool to take digital data from audio Cds.
Frequently Asked Questions 113 Setting up your Amiga for Internet access is no easy business.
FAQ covers some of the common problems and queries.
Q+A Masterclass 114 What is this thing called Araau? John Kennedy's Masterclass explains all.
Questions and Answers 116 Readers technical problems arc solved once again by that dynamic duo Mat Bettinson and Tony Morgan.
Backchat 118 Have you got something to tell the world? This is your soapbox: what have you got to say?
Points of View 122 The CU Amiga Magazine team give their opinions on all things Amiga, along with guest speaker Andy Leaning.
Subscriptions 121 Our cover price may have gone up slightly this month but our special offer of 12 issues for the price of eight is still there! Do yourself a favour and take out a subscription right now. You won't be sorry you did.
There's still no sign of Amiga Technologies Q-Drive. But let s hope it arrives along in time for next month's big surprise: our second cover CD-ROM. The first one in November last year proved very popular and this time we're hoping to expand it to accommodate all those CD32 owners who were disappointed last time around. We’ve sent Mat away to a darkened room with a 1 Gigabyte hard drive and he's promised to come up with some serious goods.
But back to this month, and what a lovely bunch of goodies there are in the issue. In the games section the highlight has to be Xtreme Racing, the best multi-player fun we've had in a long time. Gloom Deluxe is top stuff too. Though I was hoping for a few more levels. In the technical section we've got Tony Horgan heaven: the Blizzard 1260, the first 060 board we've received for the A1200. Fast isn't the word (well, it is actually).
The closure of the Maidenhead Amiga Technologies office came as a disappointing shock (see news). Apparently due to failure of the Amiga to reach its sales targets during Christmas, three members of staff have also had to be made redundant. See page 120 for comment.
Alan Dykes. Editor Advertisers' Index AcrmsomMM ANAIOCK CAM ElfCTIONICS C0MP1II COMPUTERS CU AMIGA ClASSIfflEOS MTU iriWY EPIC MAUI 1 INC IMIRAIO CREATIVE 72 k 73
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SUMS CMSfUOT Man Tarta« AIT EMTM Mm TaMpap Laly' I CONTRIBUTORS Peter lee. U Win. Vea ra. Mania Bams. Larry Ktcl.en JasM Camptaa. Gar* Sm*k Jasoa Naiaace PHOTOGRAPHY Mart Gatahaase COVER PHOTO: haage Bari SYSTEMS ANOIEPR0: SarahJaaa Leaver. I«t Gary lord Advertising Marketing & Management SALES HI CUTTY! Mariam Masters Al rttWCTIM Taa Gtml lyM Imi*. Hsm Carney Contacts RbN CMUctmf CU AMI&A MAGAZINE ifcen an twa piria rate*.
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OR SENSUALITY MOUSE MAT Rated 15. Simply state ‘Sensuality Offer' as you join.
OR THE GUYVER 1[ MANGA VIDEO VHS tape Rated 15. Simply I state 'Guyver 1 Otter' as you join. I ABSOLUTELY FREE When you buy any one lem at the same time as joining or renewing your membership for one year Overseas members add £2 carnage. Existing members can renew early to take advantage of these offers - we'll just add 12 months to your current expiry date.
All offers are subject fo stock availability and may change.
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ORDER AS YOU JOIN Members recede our regular informative Colour Club magazine featuring our complete range ol over 2000 products ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP £7.00 (UK) £9.00 (EC) £11.00 (world) MEMBERS ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO BUY ANYTHING CD32 GAMES CD32 CRITICAL ZONE PACK Includes CD32 with Seven Games and 1 Joypad ALIEN BREED - TrASSAULT ALIEN BREEO 3D Club Shops at CHELMSFORD, ESSEX 43 Broomfield Road.
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A taw mitas Irom the Mil. The station Items bought m the shop* carry a Sop surcharge on the Ma.1 Order prices. Members only but you can order as you (Oin [ .....10.99 (JAMES POND 21 799
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Pro requires at least 2Mb of free RAM in order to operate. See
right for details.
ImGauge A common criticism squared at the excellent Imagine rendering package (cover-mounted on the January issue) is that the progress display is too small, it's a tiny display in the menu bar. ImGauge corrects this with a large resizable GUI progress bar you can use to monitor your renders. To use it, simply run it at the same time as Imagine. To install, just drag the ImGauge icon from the cover disk to wherever you want to install it.
XFD package A lot of Amiga owners want to compress various programs with executable file compressors. However, this can lead to problems if you don't have the memory to decrunch etc. To make things easier for you we've put the excellent decruncher program XFD on this disk. You'll need to install from shell. Copy everything in the XFD libs directory to your Workbench libs directory. Then copy everything from the XFD c directory to your Workbench C: directory.
To use XFD, try the following on a compressed file; XFDdecrunch file or directory and voila it's decompressed!
OideoStage Pro is a very flexible program. It’s primarily a visual presentation system that will be of particular interest to anyone involved in video work, but does not require any special video equipment to be extremely useful. There are many possible uses for the program, such as company presentations, in-store advertising, public information displays such as score boards at community events, interactive multimedia hyperbooks and of course video titling. With a bit of imagination you can probably think of plenty more too!
Ease of use One of the best aspects of VideoStage Pro is its user-friendly approach. Most of the program works on a simple drag and drop system, based around a graphic storyboard made up from a series of pages. Each part of the storyboard holds the information for one page, along with the details of the transitions or wipes between the previous page and the current one. Almost all the functions can be selected from icons and menus, so the only time you need to use the keyboard is when you enter some text on the screen!
Setting up You can change the default interlaced screen to something a little more comfortable on the eyes. In order to do this choose the Save Settings option from the Project menu to bring up the options.
Click on the Storyboard Size Mode button and select the screen mode of your choice - we recommended High Res. This will allow you to access the whole screen by scrolling it up and down slightly whenever you move the mouse to the top or bottom, Click the Default Page Size Mode button and make your selection as before.
RAM notes VideoStage Pro requires at least 2Mb of free RAM. On Amigas with 2Mb of total RAM, some problems may occur due to memory consumption during boot-up.
If memory problems occur, disable all extra drives and temporarily remove items from the W8Startup drawer or startup- sequence. Other boot sequences should be bypassed to free as much RAM as possible.
Now turn to page 25 in this issue where you'll find a series of walk-through guides to creating a range of different VideoStage Pro presentations. ¦ Texture Studio (cover disk 126 correction) Last month we covermounted Texture Studio for Imagine.
Unfortunately its settings files cannot be loaded directly into Imagine. However, there is a conversion tool on this month's cover disk 128, kindly supplied by G Hoyles, Upton on Severn.
First make sure you have arp.library in your Libs drawer.
To use it from the Shell, copy it to your C directory, cd to your Texture Studio Settings drawer and enter: ta-i source destination where 'source' is the Texture Studio settings file and 'destination' is the new converted filename. Add .ATR to the destination filename and load it into Imagine from the Attributes requester. And that's it.
HOWTO ORDER WE ACCEPT ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS INCLUDING SWITCH & VISA BY POST: Please make cheques and Poslal Orders payable to “Visage Computers" Please allow 5 Working days for cheques lo clear nn bBK
• Oe v» oC •s SSX* _ » Worms Levels On disk 129 there are 10
custom Worms levels. You will DEFINITELY need a copy of the
original game to run these levels, OK. First though you will
need to decompress them onto a blank, formatted disk. Follow
these steps, swopping Disk 129 'GloomProg' when prompted:
1. Format a blank disk, naming it Custom.
2. Open the shell and type the following: Copy GloomProg:c UnLZX
ram: Copy GloomProg:WormsMaps.LZX ram: Inserting Disk 129
(called GloomProg) when prompted.
3. Type the following in the shell: CD Custom: ram:UnLZX x
ram:WormsMaps.LZX Inserting the disk Custom when prompted.
The custom maps will not be extracted to your floppy disk. If you have Worms installed on a hard drive you will not have to create the floppy 'Custom'. Just place disk 129 in your drive and follow the instruction Step 2. Then type m (or whatever partition and directory you have the Worms drawer in), and type the same instruction as for floppy users. To load the custom maps into Worms go to the Records menu and click the 'next' button twice. This will bring up a two option menu allowing you to Change level disk or List custom levels. If you're working from floppy, clicking the Change option
after inserting the Custom disk will log your ten new levels.
Then pressing List will actually list them. Make a note of their names and when you Start a level press the right mouse button and enter one of these names. You will now be able to play on Worms custom screens like 'Fruity' or 'Pencils'. Enjoy.
Gloom is back with a shiny new 1x1 pixel coat and check out the Worms levels courtesy of CU Amiga Magazine readers ... ©ancy trying your hand at the hell level of Gloom in brilliant high resolution? Then you're in luck! This version of Gloom is optimised to run at 1x1 pixel resolution but this resolution can be adjusted upwards or downwards by pressing the esc button and using the cursors to select pixel height and pixel width.
Harm being forewarned of this sort of thing.
If you have a graphics board or virtual i-glasses, you can select options in the machine configuration window which appears at the beginning which will allow you to use any of these, though bizarrely it was slower on the Mat's A3000’s graphics board than in ECS!
Control is easy as pie which is lucky ’cos the level is such a pig).
Using the up, down, left and right cursors you can move forward, backwards, left and right. Alt is the fire button. If you finish the level within the first ten goes give yourself a pat on the back. In fact, if you finish it in the first 30 goes give yourself a pat on the back!
Pressing the esc button will toggle the various options. The screen size can also be adjusted to speed things up too, and using a combination of both you should be able to find a happy medium.
What you'll also find is that this level is very, very difficult. Even if you're used to Gloom it will take you by surprise. First pick up the two weapon boosters on the left and right hand sides of the room and then, in the alcove, press the fateful button. The wall opposite will rotate and a great horrible demon will rush at you. I tell you this because it's quite shocking when it happens and there's no cover disk 128. Double click the disk icon then double click the Install VS icon. Vou'H bo asked to enter your name and your H company or area. These lisks covers details will appear each
time you start the program. The installer will make an edu-
- i cated guess as to where HbiBIln SrSiscor- ¦£) However. :f you
would like to re direct the installer 10 another drive,
partition II or drawer, then select the EgCT BSll BBWC BSnnBBI
desired location. In this case you will have the installer to
make a VideoStage drawer in your specified destination, so
click on Make New Drawer and type Vstage, then continue
following the onscreen instructions.
Double click the VstagePro icon (found in the specified destination on your hard drive) to run the program.
XfdDecrunch: This package allows you to decompress virtually any form of compressed file without having the original packer. Installation to floppy of hard drive is slightly tricky and will have to be performed in the AmigaDOS Shell. Type the following instructions into the shell with disk 128 in DFO: Copy CU 128:XFD libs libs: ALL Copy CU.128:XFD c c: This will install all the libraries and executables to your boot drive. If booting from floppy, you'll have to make sure there is sufficient space free.
To decompress a file, simply use the following command in the Shell: xfdDecrunch file The file will be decompressed and replaced with the uncompressed version. You might like to try using xfdList to fetch a list of a directory and identify any compressed programs. Use the following instruction in the shell to do so: xfdList directory Readers having problems running Imagine on a 3Mb free-mem system, might like to decompress the Imagine executable.
XfdDecrunch has no problem with the task.
ImGauge One of the minor problems with our January edition covermount Imagine package is that the progress display during a render is just a tiny little numeral in the tool bar. Enter ImGauge. On disk 128, to solve the problem if you have OS 3.0 and above. Usage is dead simple as all you need to do is run ImGauge before loading up Imagine.
So that they are both running at the same time. A GUI will appear which can be resized from very small to very large. When Imagine starts a render, the gauge will show the progress. To install ImGauge, just load up workbench, insert disk 128 and drag the ImGuage icon to whichever drive you want to install it to. Easy.
Cover disk 129 Gloom Deluxe Gloom Deluxe is a bootable disk. Put it in your Amiga and re-start it. You will boot up into a setup screen, which allows you to configure it to your machine. Clicking on the C2P bar will allow you to choose a new chunky to planar routine. You can also select Gloom for Virtual i-glasses if you have them!
Worms Levels The 10 worms levels are compressed on disk 129. To decompress and use them follow the instructions in the 'Worms Level’ boxout on page 11.
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The April 1996 issue will feature the second CU Amiga Magazine Special Edition CD, packed with the software you want to see ... Don't miss out, order it from your newsagent now!
CD-ROM Special Edition 2... on sale March 14th ®aidenhead must be jinxed as far as Amiga is concerned! Less than a year after Commodore UK closed its doors and only six months after being set up, the Maidenhead office of Amiga Technologies has closed down.
The announcement came into effect on the 31 January 1996.
Set up to provide development support, sales and marketing, the success of the UK branch was always likely to be closely tied to the sales performance of the New OctaMED OctaMED SoundStudio VI is nearly completed' according to RBF Software. SoundStudio aims to take the power of OctaMED and bring it right up to date by adding support for 16-bit sound cards and many features demanded by musicians frustrated by the traditional Tracker format.
Among the new features is the ability to play up to 64 tracks of Amiga samples simultaneously (but don't expect perfect sound quality). A completely new notation editor has been developed as an alternative to the alphaAmiga before and during Christmas 1995 and. According to industry sources, this has fallen far short of expectations.
Amiga Technologies UK will continue to be represented by staff at Escom UK headquarters in Stansted, Cambridgshire. But the closure has lead to three redundancies, including that of Jonathon Anderson. Joint General Manager. Jonathon was "disappointed", but "understood the situation" and all staff had apparently been informed of the numeric tracker display, which will also be present.
Due to the new sample replay routines, there will be no maximum size limit for samples other than the total available RAM.
Direct to hard drive recording, full Toccata support, extra MIDI commands and a 200 page manual are also promised.
Amiga-Unk Price Drop Registered users of OctaMED 6 are eligible for a discount when upgrading. Look out lor the full in- depth review in next month's CU Amiga Magazine.
OctaMED users with Internet access can now hook up to an official World Wide Web site for lots of OctaMED info and downloads. The address is as follows: http: www.compulink. co.uk -octamed World Of Amiga Confirmed The World of Amiga show has been finally confirmed. It will run over the 13th and 14th of April in the Novotel, Hammersmith. London. This confirmation follows three changes of date for the show so far The new show coincides with the Spring European Computer Trade Show, which starts on the 14th in neighbouring Earls Court.
Whether the timing is purely coincidental or not it should give AT an opportunity to talk at first hand with the games software industry at their most important UK show. We hope to see you all there supporting the Amiga.
For more more information you can contact RBF Software at 169 Dale Valley Road.
Southampton, S01 6QX.
Tel fax: 01703 785 680 redundancies before Christmas by Amiga Technologies' Managing Director Petro Tyschtchenko.
Despite initial worries that the closure of the office might mean a drastic cutting back of Amiga Technologies' commitment to the UK market, sources have stated that this is not the case, and the announcement that the World Of Amiga show is indeed taking place, with sponsorship from the German organisation has allayed worries for the time being.
At the moment it is not clear what new direction AT intend taking in marketing the Amiga in Britain, but the alleged poor sales results must mean that something has to happen soon It's also not clear what sort of customer support and back-up will be supplied from the Stansted office.
The networking system Amiga- Link featured in the February issue's networking article has been reduced in price from $ 299 (US) to $ 275 (US).
Amiga-Link is available from AMIGA John Smith is staying on in the new Stansted office as General Manager, and will retain overall control of Sales in the UK for all Amiga products and Virtual i-glasses. We'll have a full update next month. ¦ AmiTrix Development, 5312 - 47 Street. Beaumont. Alberta. T4X 1H9. Canada. If you would like some more information you can phone or fax them on (001 from UK) 403 929 8459 World Of Amiga: Toronto The Wonder Computers World Of Amiga Show in Toronto was a major event (writes Jason Compton), three days in the Toronto International Centre, with dozens of
exhibitors, thousands of attendees and a smattering of celebrities it made history. So.
What was there to do and see?
Meet the man. Of course None other than Petro Tyschtshenko. Head of Amiga Technologies. He was on-hand for a day and a half and gave the keynote address, in which he informed the ladies and gentlemen of the audience of AT's plans for a North American re-launch with the upcoming A1200+ and talked about the Amiga's future with Motorola's PowerPC chip.
Petro was also available for handshakes and conversation, provided you stood in line, at the SMG booth, where the North American distributors of Amiga machines had the A4000T, A1200, and A1438S monitor on display. There was even a spare A4000T lying on its side with the case taken off for nosy users and journalists to poke around in.
Facing the 4000T was MacroSystem's Draco, being shown off by distributors Noahji’s. While the Draco is billed as a non-linear editing computer with Amiga emulation, rather than as an 'Amiga clone', it seems clear that the Draco, having beaten the 4000T to market with a built-in 060. May be a serious competitor for professional market 4000T sales. Capable of absolutely incredible real-time and rendered video effects, the Draco has to be seen to be believed.
Two big Amiga players from Germany represented themselves directly. The first. Village Tronic, showed off the official Amiga Technologies-approved AmigaOS
3. 1 and AmiTCP 4 and a host of their other products including
their time-proven Zorro-ll graphics card, the Picasso II.
Plans were revealed at the show to have a new, Zorro-lll
Picasso IV on the market by mid-1996.
The second, Phase5. Drew an endless stream of gawkers to the tall glass case housing the recent items from the hardware developer. More interesting than the Blizzard. CyberStorm and CyberVision cards lying there was the engineering prototype of the PowerUP PowerPC 604 upgrade card for the Amiga 4000 Wonder Computers organised and put on the World Of Amiga, and as such their presence could be seen in large numbers. Entering patrons couldn't help but notice the centrally-located Wonder Retail area with gobs of Amiga products piled high off the tables and the huge-screen TV with a Scala- updated
listing of the show's sponsors and exhibitors. Across the hall was the Wci Distribution table, offering dealers and manufacturers a chance to connect with each other in North America.
For those who are already deeply entrenched in said market, they needed to look no farther than MicroScribe. The device, a joint effort between MicroScribe and Immersion Corporations, is a pen mounted to a serious looking piece of red steel. The pen "digitises" real-world 3D objects into UghtWave objects on an Amiga or PC as the user touches the pen to points indicated by a grid fto be drawn on the object prior to digitisation.) The price is hefty, but the capabilities are simply amazing, and the potential for the product is staggering.
DKB, one of the few American Amiga hardware developers that still do general-nterest products, made the journey to promote their new WildFire A2000 68060 accelerator board as well as to hype up their upcoming multi-IO and SCSI hardcard products.
Promised for the future are WildFire A3000, A4000. And most likely A1200 units, bringing the entire line of recent Amigas up to the best Motorola has to offer 680x0 users was introducing some of its own in-house products as well as blowing out old Psygnosis titles for as little as $ 1 apiece.
It was a long, hard road to get a large-scale Amiga show in North America after Commodore gave up the ghost. But thanks to dozens of exhibitors and thousands of attendees. WOA Toronto '95 was a great success.
Don't feel too bad if you missed it
- plans are underway for WOA Vancouver '96. In June. ¦ Phantom
Development, an American Amiga software publisher looking to
capture several neglected markets, including development
tools for GUI building and text editors, brought their product
line and upcoming products for the people to see.
Still promising, and still incomplete. The upcoming Hell Pigs action adventure game demo was being shown. Hopefully, Croatian developers Classica will put the finishing touches on the game in short order so Phantom can unleash it to the world.
In addition to developers, several dealers came to offer their wares to the buying public.
National Amiga, a firm which does the vast majority of its business on the World Wide Web.
Shared a booth with developer and retailer PreSpect Technology, developers of the MultiFace IV serial parallel card for Zorro- equipped Amigas Zipperware made the trip from America's Northwest, and Legendary Design Naughty Schoolgirl The UK's only japanese-style cartoon magazine publisher.
Gaijin Press Dojinshi, has announced that it intends to do an animated cartoon based around their main magazine character, Ariel High School Devil- Girl, using the Amiga According to Josh 'Oni' Clarke, the Manga style cartoon artwork used for the magazines is becoming increasingly popular in the UK and he hopes that the animation will help this along.
Anyone interested in the genre or the animation should contact him at Gaijin Press. 2 Birkdale Drive. Immingham, Grimsby DN40 218 Matt Broughton's E3 flames in view ornin. Yes it's me. No.
I'm not a Games Animal without any haif and a hanky covering over my increasingly shiny spam. I’m just a man with a man's desires and needs. Er. Anyway ... what say we get this show on the road?
Another month, another page full of news courtesy of the games meister from hell. Incidentally, that's not his real hair in the picture, it's a plastic mould. Thank you.
Acclaim Entertainment isn't a name which has been connected with the Amiga games scene recently, but thanks to a few recent acquisitions, will be in your thoughts very shortly. In fact, if you're not already sitting down, I suggest you ready yourself, because there are THREE games arriving on the good ship Acclaim any day now (yes, incredible. Non?| First up is Domark s Total Football a product that's been flapping around for some while, but has been delayed and delayed thanks to some annoying bugs that no-one could kill No release date has been confirmed as yet. But nice Mr Simon Smith-Wright
from Acclaim reckons that we should see something within the next three months.
The second game from the Acclaimers is the excellent basketball romp, NBA Jam: Tournament Edition. Having just enjoyed a good innings on 16-bit consoles and the Sony PlayStation, this has proved problematic to convert, but with top developers Dome on the case, Acclaim are hoping to have something to see jolly damn soon indeed. For those of you not familiar with this title, it's one of the more simple basketball games around - with a two-on-two structure - and it's not so worried about realism as it is with having fun (you remember 'fun don't you?)
Features include power-up icons on-court accessing enormous flaming bails (yes. Chuckle chortle, etc) speed-ups, and all manner of point bonuses to annoy your opponent just when he thought he had you beaten HMV CHART... Amiga Top Games No TITLE PUBLISHER 1 Worms Ocean 2 Player Manager 2 Virgin 3 Alien Breed 3D Ocean A Soccer Stars 96 Empire 5 Sensible Golf Virgin 6 Sensi World of Soccer 95 96 Virgin 7 Premier Manager 3: Multi-Edit Gremlin 8 Civilization Digital 9 Tactical Manager Ocean io Ultimate Soccer Manager Sierra European Championship Qualifiers Top Coalscorers And finally from Acclaim
(and here's some REAL news) it's Putty Squad. It's truel Having first appeared in the Amiga press about a year or so ago. This excellent platform game from System 3 has finally found a way out into the light, and should be out. If not by the end of February, then certainly by March (and before you ask. Yes that is March 1996).
Acclaim managed 10 pick up this title at the end of the year when System 3 (bloody brilliant developers that they arel were struggling with distribution. So should we expect to see much more of Acclaim this year? Well no, not really. It appears that those groovy funksters aren't going out of their way to get back into the Amiga market, but what with all the i«» Kennel Anders son ?«•- Rorin Raducioiu 3'd Ronnie Fkelund hi. Oleg Luzhny
w. Viktor Leonenko Ian Wright xh JozsH Keler «• Nenad Pralip
Paulo Sousa i on Wojcierh Kowalczyk im Stan Collymore i:» Ian
Rush A Ongmallj in the hands ol Domart. Total Football will
now be handled by Acclaim.
Escom news going on last year, coupled with the fact that they thought all these titles were pretty sexy, they certainly won't be running away from nice distribution deals such as these.
Well we haven't heard from Flair for a while, but they're back on the scene, touting a new game called Double Agents Details are a bit thin at the moment (i.e. their nice man forgot to send my the fax he promised!) But I'm sure I'll find out more soon. The only thing I know is that it's due for a March release As for whether more Amiga products will be arriving on the Flair Express in the near future, well ... in the words of Flair's main man, Colin. "Pass!*'. A man of few words, our Colin. Anyway, apparently it all depends on the retailers and distributors. Due to the increasing shortage of
shelf space in games shops, it’s proving very hard to get products through the door and into the punters' bedrooms. Another problem for such companies as far as making money goes (which, after all. Is what finances future developments) is that, while countries like Germany have always proved very important market places for Flair, now that those crazy, sausage-chewing loons seem to be easing up on the Amiga front, well... let's just say that future products look a bit unlikely at the mo'. Still, you never know.
Another ‘simply smashing' bit of news for Amiga gamers this month comes from Empire Interactive, where, following on from last month's football one they are putting together more compilations.
So there you are folks, some OK news but some pretty damn good news as well. And just to gloat in your faces. I'm off to New York again tomorrow morning. So you can expect a new photograph of my smug mug next month. Nothing to do with the Amiga games scene I know, but hey, I just enjoy annoying you. So have fun. And hell, why not have a look at the new HMV charts - they're just so sensuous. Be seeing you ...¦ Matt Broughton £179 £249 £139 £199 £129 £10 «Tmm _£54 THE AMIGA IS BACK AMIGA 600 1200 ED CD-ROM INC.SQUIRREL .
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presentation system. Turn to the latter part of this feature for a reference guide to the control panels. For now set up according to the instructions on pages 9 and 12 and have a go at creating some of these simple but effective presentations.
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re buying. E&OE Norman's Noodles Here's an example of a
non-interactive sequence that could be displayed in a promi
nent place and left to loop all day. Just the job for food
stalls at exhibitions, public gatherings and cafes In this
case it's advertising a couple of special offers on noodles and
pizzas. Let's take a look at how it was set up.
Oas this needed to loop round from start to finish, the first thing to do was insert an index marker as the first event. The index acts as a key point to which you can move with a Return event inserted later on in the sequence. Move to the right side of the screen and drag the index icon (the yellow letter T) up to the first position in the storyboard. You'll notice that each event box in the story board has two smaller boxes in the top left corner. These are used for controlling the amount of time the page is visible, and the type of wipe or fade transition. As the index does nothing you
can see, these boxes will remain blank for this event.
© For the next event we want to display some text and logos over a backdrop picture.
Drag the Graphic Event icon (a small picture of a sunset scenel from the right hand edge onto the event slot to the right of the index you previously inserted. Now click on the blue square that's appeared, then select Pick IFF File. You can now select an IFF picture to load in as your backdrop. Choose anything suitable that you may have on your hard drive. A cameo of the backdrop will replace the blue square ©Now select AddText Objects This brings you to the page construction section, which is made up of two displays. The main display is the page that you’re working on. Overlaid onto that is a
control panel running along the bottom. Click the right mouse button to remove the control panel and see the page in full and once more to bring it back again Along the bottom of the panel you'll notice ten numbered buttons marked Storyboard.
Text, Objects. Brushes. Buttons. Arrange.
Actors, Backdrops, Redraw and Preview.
These are used to select different areas of the page construction section At the moment you should be in the Text section, so the Text button should be ghosted out as you can't move the area you are already in.
O Type some text and you should see it appear at the top of the screen If it's difficult to read, try changing the main text colour by clicking on the coloured box above the Objects button. The available colours will be limited to those in the palette of your backdrop picture. See the final page of this feature for a tip to get around this problem. To select another font or change the size or style of the current font, click the Edit Font button.
VideoStage automatically scans the Fonts drawer of your hard drive and adds them to its own list. You'll see the name of the current font displayed next to the Text Font label. Click on this and scroll through the list to choose another Use the extended menu selection to choose the font size, or enter a new size in the box to the right. Click on OK when you've got the one you want. Now enter your text and position it using the justification buttons. You can position it anywhere on the screen using the Arrange section but we’ll come to that in a minute.
©The next thing to do is add some of those flashes. Click on the Objects button from the list along the bottom or press F3 to do the same thing (each of these ten sections can be accessed from the corresponding function keys). You'll see a sequence of small shapes along the top of this control panel These are very handy pre-set shapes that can be dropped onto your page, coloured, scaled and skewed to meet your demands.
For now try clicking on the third shape from the left. Now move to any part of the picture and drag out a rectangle with the mouse. The flash will be drawn to fit the size of the box you've just created. The box will be visible at the moment and you can resize it by dragging the handles around the edges and move the whole thing by dragging the handle in the middle. Colours and shadows can be altered in the same way as text.
©Return the the Text section (F2) and enter some text that you want to overlay on the flash logo.
©Finally we get to arrange all the components of the page, so select the Arrange control panel (F6). You are now free to drag all of the text and shapes around the page until you get it looking nice and neat. To move more than one item at the same time you need to multi-select the objects as you would when using Workbench, so hold down the Shift key and click on all the objects you want to move, then drag them around with the Shift key still held down.
©Press F1 to Return to the storyboard. You can now set up the next few pages in the same way. By dragging either the Title or Graphic Event icon onto the next available storyboard slot. Both icons lead to the same thing, but one asks you to define the backdrop first while the other takes you straight to the text editor section ©Insert the Index Return icon at the end of | your sequence.
©Save your sequence to your hard drive and then click on Play to watch it through.
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All the trimmings: mozerella, mushrooms, peperoni, onions peppers, ham... ? Knockiig op a to'Mice I*a ©it it ch.lfs play, thanks to th.
Temperatures * 7 0 Weather Report with Tony Horgan The Weather Forecast Highest: © Plymouth 19 " M Ixjvifst: Edinburgh?
A Combining the structured drawing tools with the test entry system can lead to neat results, like these temperature readings.
Weekend Outlook and sihim showers in Scotland and Mr* North ol Ingland turning to rain later.
Mild in the South with occasional showers hut general l sunny.
I here will Ik* no weather in Ireland until I tail find a suitable map to go with this one. Sorr John!
VideoStage works well when combined with other software you may have on your Amiga. For example, this weather report sequence combines 3D ray-traced graphics (created with Imagine) with hand drawn symbols (made with Dpaint) and VideoStage's own titles and wipe effects, resulting in a very slick broadcast-quality presentation. You may not have much call to present the weather forecast, but the same procedures can be applied to many different applications. The main point being demonstrated here is VideoStage's brush handling features. Here's how it was put together.
©Before the main weather forecast there needs to be an introduction screen. The main image was rendered in Imagine, using the 'BRITISILE' object that was included with February 1995's issue of CU Amiga Magazine.
The sea was a flat plane covered in a texture called Ripples. You could go one stage further than this and render an entire animation, which of course would be even more impressive and eye-catching.
J id, scaled ids.
Ird shape cart of the with the :o fit the size he box will u can resize d the edges igging the d shadows is text.
:2) and enter ay on the A Should you ever gel the urge to present the weather forecast. VideoStage Pro w fulfil your requirements You can even use a fancy 30 animated intro sequence!
Saturday .v Summary: Snow in the north, sunshine .v» and showers in the south.
• •••¦ A The weather symbols are IFF brushes, turned into
VideoStage 'attars' which cae fly across the screen in a number
He compo- Artange con- to drag all of lage until To move time you is you
o hold down objects you ound with yboard. You les in the i Title
or available :o the same the back- ou straight Animations can
be inserted by dragging a Graphic Event icon onto the
storyboard, then selecting an ‘anim’ file instead of an IFF
picture. You can then alter a few of the animation settings
to suit the timing and speed that you require. The title text
was added over the top of the backdrop using the normal text
tools, as described in the previous example.
©Now we get to the meat of the sequence.
The first of the main map screens is a combination of three elements: a backdrop, some text and some IFF brushes. The backdrop was also rendered with Imagine but this time stripped of any textures and complex lighting effects for the sake of clarity, although the slight 3D look was retained just to raise it from the screen a little.
However, it's the brushes that are the main feature as far as this tutorial is concerned. The brushes are all the weather symbols that are placed over the map. These were drawn with Deluxe Paint, clipped and saved out as brushes and then loaded into VideoStage from the Brushes section.
©The best way to use brushes is to load them all into the brush bank, accessed with the F4 key. The brush bank is the row of squares along the top of the brush control panel. To load a new brush, click on an empty slot in the bank, and select the brush from the file requester. Continue this process until you've loaded all the brushes you think you will need. In order to reserve some colours for the brushes the map was rendered in 128 colours, then loaded into a 256 colour screen in Dpaint, which left another 128 colours free for painting the symbols.
V O How about some animation then?
VideoStage is very good at introducing titles and graphics onto the screen. For example, this page could start with a blank map. And the weather symbols could then float in from the top right corner, pop up from the bottom, rain down from the top or make any one of a number of dynamic entrances.
Jump to the Actors section to have a go at this by pressing F7.
0 Select a number of symbols by clicking on them. Now click on any of the motion icons from the Actors control panel. Each icon represents a different type of entrance, indicated by the arrow markings on each button. Click on the Preview button or press F10 to see how the chosen motion path will look.
O A similar method was used to create the second page displaying the maximum temperatures. The circles were drawn from the Objects section and the numbers were placed using normal text techniques. In contrast to the sweeping entrances of the weather symbols in the previous page, these temperature readings would look neat if they all faded up from the blank map at the same time. To achieve this you need to enter the Arrange control panel (F6) and select all the temperature logos. Now click on the Group button to define them all as one group.
Move back to the Actors section and select one of the wipes from the far right panel, then Preview to check everything is OK.
©Finally there’s the outlook for the rest of the rest of the weekend. To divert attention from the backdrop picture to the main text over the top. A different version of the map image was used for this screen. The backdrop was darkened using image processing software.
Director Producer Stunts Tea Lady Key Grip Soundtrack Dark Forces Tony ‘Morgan Meten Uanby Qarth Stumper Simon Cfays Joanne Toal Nintendo tMag Anthony Codins The End rUaMX •• IMU. IM w.iM M 4 at rrlNf C.art di.ll... © AmigaClli ns Ltd 199b '.elm mi sxMk 1 1 4 there for a few seconds before being pushed off the top of the display by the final screen that also scrolls up from the bottom. After another short wait for the viewer to read the final page, it fades to black in super-smooth fashion, especially on an AGA Amiga.
TH2: Yst»ge( YidaoTitles A Mm uO-i n knid xtun Tkt tftad c.e*t cmifd (Wt* Video titling Video titling is the most obvious use for a program such as VideoStage Pro. And in this area it excels with some unique features not offered by any othpr Amiga titling systems.
Whether you want to add rolling credits at the start and end of your videos or you need to overlay captions, the Text and Transition sections are the main ports of call.
Film credits Classic style film credits are incredibly simple to put together. The short example here displays a single screen of credits text which scrolls onto the screen from below. It waits You'll notice that the first page of text is split into two sections: job titles on the left and names on the right, perfectly centred with a different font for each side. This is achieved with a special justification mode called 'credit centred’.
The justification gadgets are found on the Text control panel above the Objects and Brushes buttons. Credit centred' justification is selected with third gadget from the left. P Normal justification will align the text to either side of the screen or centre it, However, credit centred mode aligns the first I part of your text with the centre of the screen. fter you've pressed the Tab key it I switches to an alternative font and aligns the I following text to the centre mark To define I the second font, click on the button marked I Left beneath the Edit Font button. It will change to read Right
and you can then set I the alternative font accordingly.
Smooth scrolling Now that you've got your first page of credits. You'll need to tell it to scroll up onto the screen. Click on the small box to the left of the credits page on the storyboard. This will bring up the Transitions window, from which you can choose all kinds of fancy wipes and I fades. In this case you want a smooth vertical!
Scroll from bottom to top, so click the icon at I the top left corner of the Scrolls section (it's • marked with two arrows pointing upwards).
The animated preview window below this panel shows you what to expect with a little .
Explanatory text. To try it out quickly, click on I the Preview button. The speed of the transi- F tion can be altered by dragging the slider at the top of the window, although the default settings usually look best.
Once you've got the hang of it you can add as many subsequent pages as you need, adding logos in the form of IFF brushes to round it all off.
As an added extra and a nice finishing touch you could even tailor off your credits with a nice little animation, as is currently popular with independent production companies.
Making Buttons Interactive presentations have many uses, from pure entertainment to education and information applications. VideoStage Pro uses buttons to allow the user to decide what will happen next. Buttons are very easy to set up and hardly need any explanation, but here's a brief introduction to get you started.
Oto make a button, first set up a simple page in the normal way. This can include text, graphics or both. Move to the Buttons control panel and select Make Hot Button.
Once you've done this, drag out a rectangle on the screen to lay down the button.
Onext you need to add a text label to the button.
Enter the text into the text box on the control panel, not onto the button itself.
Alternatively you could use an IFF brush to label the button ... ©To assign a brush to the button, click on the Brush File button and select one from your hard drive.
O Buttons can be either solid, transparent or 50% transparent. You can alter these settings by clicking on the Style button, which also allows you to alter the shadow and outline parameters.
©Once you've made the button you need to define its function. This is a simple matter of clicking on the button that's initially marked 'No Destination', and changing it so that the button jumps to the desired page.
You can skip through the available pages with the left and right arrows.
Hints and tips To get the most from VideoStage Pro it’s important to understand how it handles your presentations. When you've finished a presentation and saved it out. You might notice that the saved file is very small, even though you may I have used many high resolution images and lots of fancy animated cuts and fades. This is because only the script data is saved. In other words, the graphics and sounds are not included in the VideoStage file, and the fancy wipes are generated in real time, rather than pre-ren- dered and saved as animations. This means that when you come to replay
the presentation at a later date it’s essential that you have all the graphics and sound files in exactly the same place on your hard drive, otherwise VideoStage will not be able to find them.
Save on memory On a different subject, you might have found that sometimes when you add items to a backdrop. The backdrop picture has eaten all of the I colours in your palette, leaving you with no contrasting colours for your text, buttons and objects. In this case, the best solution is to prepare the page first without the backdrop and then load it in once you've got the rest of the elements in place.
Memory problems can occur on Amigas with low RAM capacity. The simplest way to avoid such errors is to use lower resolution I pictures with fewer colours. You may also be told that you have run out of memory when the program is half way through a wipe or fade, even though your Workbench RAM readout says you have plenty. Some VideoStage Pro wipes require a large chunk of continuous memory, so in these cases try selecting an alternative wipe from a different section (a fade instead of a scroll for example).
Unexpected events i the left, text to e it.
Igns the first of the Tab key it id aligns the . To define ton marked
i. It will n then set 9 ge of cred- jp onto the the left of rd.
This will from which f wipes and tooth vertical :k the icon at
section (it's I upwards), elow this with a little :kly, click
on f the transi- he slider at the default t you can as you
need, rushes to finishing aur
n. as is nt Occasionally VideoStage does some strange things. For
example, sometimes during the construction of a page you may
find the control panel has shifted up the screen slightly
and you can't reach the bottom strip of buttons with the
mouse. Fortunately in this case you can use the function keys
instead to move to any of the other control panels.
You might have noticed the lack of a screen cycle gadget on the VideoStage control panel.
However, the program multitasks with Workbench and anything else you may have running. You can flip between all the available screens using the normal hot key combination of Left Amiga and M. On the subject of audio events, you may well have trouble playing IFF samples without them looping. VideoStage Pro likes to loop all samples, which can be a problem if you only need the sound to play once. Although this doesn’t seem to be the official solution (there may be a far simpler way around it) you can use the Timeline window to fix it. The sample's duration is displayed in the audio event
selector box. Make a note of this and adjust the audio event bar in the Timeline so that it extends an equal amount. VideoStage also supports AudioMaster IV Sequence files.
These are similar to IFF samples, but they can contain a sequence of loops within the main sample, so a short loop can be looped at a variety of points to create a larger and more complex sound. Soundtracker and ProTracker modules are also supported, although unfortunately there's no direct OctaMED module replay function.
Graduated backdrops can be created from within VideoStage Pro. Even if you're working on a screen with a very low number of colours, as you may be if speed or low memory consumption was a priority. From the Backdrop control panel select Algorithmic, then choose which type of graduation you want (top to bottom. Side to side etc). You can also pick the colours that you want the graduation to fade from and to. If you are working on a low-colour screen, such as an eight colour display, the program will automatically generate the stippling or dithering effect, which is normally good enough if
you have a high resolution screen.
Just like a DTP program, VideoStage can import text files to save you the bother of typing out your titles from within the program. It's often a lot easier to prepare and spell-check your text in a word processor or text editor than to enter everything straight onto the screen, which can be rather slow if you are using large fonts and lots of fancy style enhancements such as shadows and anti-aliasing. Click on the disk icon from the Text control panel to select the text file you want to import. ¦ Tony Horgan Next month We'll dig a bit deeper into the more advanced functions of VideoStage Pro
in next month's issue of CU Amiga Magazine, but until then, keep exploring and experimenting!
General Operation Now that you've had a go with most of the main functions of VideoStage Pro, here's a guided tour of the storyboard control panel adow eters.
Ide the a define s a licking 's initial- tination', that to the rough the th the NS.
CLOSE GADGET: use this to
* *it VideoStage Pro.
SCRIPT CONTROLS basic hinctioas are performed on your scripts islorfboardsi Irom these ballons.
Loadl Savel Asl Newl Plavl Swapl Helpl fij GENERAL EVENTS: those art the basic ere*! Icons as fallows tanning from top to bottom, blank screen, colonr bar test page, title event graphic event, audio event, genlock event and Aden event.
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EMAIL • NEWS • WEB • FTP GOPHER • TCP IP • USENET Start surfing with one of HiSoft Syitem's Surf Packs. Designed for both the beginner and expert alike, the Squirrel Surf packs include all software, hardware and documentation to get you quickly, and easily, onto the information super highway.
The Squirrel Surf Packs Surfing .ji,. Super Rack l&sm, *299 plutPAP ftCKS A Touch More Amiga Magic »ack 199 Squirrel MPEG FTP NET :d for both le all id easily, Pack able of 00 bps.
Ition need for , ready- Squirrel 3TMPEG 420Mb 420Mb 840Mb 840Mb internal £159 external £219 internal £219 external £279 internal £269 external £329 uirrel?
SSL f Internal devices are suitable for mounting in the A1500, A2000, A3000 and A4000 and come with the necessary leads & screws whilst the external drives are supplied in our professional Squirrel cases which includes integral PSU, ID selector and SCSI connectors.
SCSI connections leads of you your choice are available (at a small extra cost).
DiskMAGIC Easy File & Disk Management Professional Ray-Tracing and Animation for your Amiga Constantly doing battle with the Shell CLI? Stop this futile struggle with DiskMAGIC, the easy-to-use file and disk management utility from HiSoft.
DiskMAGIC simplifies every task you perform, from the copying of disks and files, to the viewing of pictures and anims. In fact, after using DiskMAGIC, you'll wonder how you ever used your Amiga without it.
Dm* an . Ban E£ ASCII, »t 2.4 speed nance at an access time, iver user.
4PEG card, mat.
t. This CD- and tools for Aminet CD- ilities, demos HiS®ft
SYSTEMS The Old School, Greenfield Bedford MK45 5DE UK Tel:+44
(0) 1525 718181 Fax: +44 (0) 1525 713716 email:
email@example.com y connection necessary ROMs and
Cinema4D is the easy-to- use ray-tracing and animation system
for your Amiga.
Equipped with an intuition- based multi-tasking editor, Cinema4D is replete with every conceivable option including window-based real-time interactive modelling, direct modelling in 3D, basic and complex primitives with infinite variations, easy object manipulation, floating toolbars, user-defined menus, object and texture lists, definable object hierarchies, optimised versions for 68020 (A 1200 etc.) & FPUs, and much more!
The Cinema4D animator brings you even closer to the world of "virtual reality", breathing life into objects and scenes.
Whether you have your spaceship dock with a spacestation, or take a tour around the darkest dungeon - with Cinema4D it's so simple.
Just a few mouse clicks and you Jaz is a revolutionary 1Gb removable hard disk system for any Amiga with SCSI.
Like a Zip drive on steroids, Jaz provides astonishing performance. Offering data transfer rates of up to 6MB s and access times of under 12ms.
For full information on this amazing SCSI peripheral contact HiSoft Systems.
SCSI Hard Disks If you want a SCSI hard drive then HiSoft has the one to suit your needs; whether you are looking for an internal drive for your tower, or an external 1G b 1Gb beast-of-a-drive. 1Gb will have your objects move realistically through time and space.
Cinema4D also includes MagicLink, the flexible object converter.
MagicLink converts all popular object formats (Imagine, Sculpt, DXF, Reflections, etc.) to Cinema4D format & back.
Order Hotline (D 0500 223660 To order any of the products shown on this page (or any other HiSoft title) - just call us, free of charge, on 0500 223660, armed with your credit or debit card; we will normally despatch within 4 working days (£4 P&P) or, for only £6 within the UK, by guaranteed next day delivery (for goods in stock). Alternatively, you can send us a cheque or postal orders, made out to HiSoft. All prices include VAT. Export orders: please call or fax to confirm pricing and postage costs.
© 1995 HiSoft. E&OE.
All prices include UK Zip is a trademark VAT & 17.5% of Iomega Inc Bring the cinema into your home and onto your computer with Squirrel MPEG"*. Playing the popular VideoCD and CD1 CD-ROMs as well as raw MPEG streams. Squirrel MPEG brings high quality digitally mastered images and 16-bit stereo sound to you and your Amiga.
Squirrel MPEG is a SCSI peripheral that can be used in conjunction with any SCSI controller, such as the Classic Squirrel'" or Surf Squirrel'", and any VideoCD compatible CD-ROM. Squirrel MPEG can also be used as a stand-alone unit, with a SCSI CD-ROM, as an addition to your TV, Video and Hi-Fi setup.
Available from March 19%, Squirrel MPEG is the latest in an established line of ground-breaking products, for you and your Amiga, from HiSoft Systems.
Software'96 With big name software companies disappearing from the Amiga market at an alarming rate, things should look bleak but they're better than you might think ... Oou may think you've seen it all betoie: the destruction of a com* outer brand by starving it of its lifeblood, software. But this time it’s different. The Amiga has the largest installed user base of any home computer and.
Despite all the turmoil surrounding the Commodore collapse and the subsequent takeover by Escom, the machine still sells and Amiga Technologies are in the process of developing a whole new generation of Amigas.
More importantly though, the Amiga has not been outdated yet. Workbench is still the best operating system around (if you've tried multi tasking with a Mac or even using Windows '95 you'll know what I mean) and with upgrade processor boards it can still cut the mustard in terms of speed. So top quality, fast software can be produced for it.
And it can sell.
All you have to do is look at the current crop of top games.
Breathless (reviewed last month).
Effigy Software Ian Jenkins from Effigy Software surprised us by sending a 21st Century beating pinball game in for review before Christmas.
Pinball Prelude was the first product from this Lincolnshire based company and though delayed, it goes into distribution nationwide on February 28th, through distribution specialists Pinnacle. What is his outlook for games this year? "We made a promise last year to continue supporting the Amiga throughout 1996, and I intend to keep this promise ... we now have a non-AG A version of Pinball Prelude and the first data disk, Egypt Table, is already finished and we're working on more."
What about other products? "I like to think that Effigy is characterised by bringing out unusual or interesting products. You've seen Pinball Prelude? Well, we feel that there is a tendency to bring out boring games, just variations on the same old theme. We don't intend to fall into this trap.
We have two other products lined up for the first half of the year. One is on the technical side, a music software package called Sound Multiplexer and the other is a game which will be cartoon style but with a difference: it'll have both 2D and 3D modes".
That sounds very unusual, what style of game is it going to be? "Well I'm not letting any secrets out at this stage", replied Ian, "but the 2D mode will be Disneyesque and the 3D mode Doomesque ... in a cartoon sort of way". What about later on in the year?
"We've got more products planned for closer to Christmas, including a puzzle game, but I'll let you in on these when the time comes."
Silltunna Software Siltunna Software haven't been around for very long.
Six months to be precise.
Ugh to justify further develop- it. This comes down to three n reasons: machine specif ica- , piracy and distribution.
Pgrades often come in for criticism in letters pages for harping on lessly about upgrading Amigas. This is fair comment. It its money to buy accelerators, d drives and CD-ROM drives you have to remember that Amiga was originally sold to as a pretty much all encom- iing machine.
Unlike Pcs which have to have l-on graphics boards, sound irds and the like, the Amiga 'ays came with good visuals and sound as standard. And the itions of the trapdoor, the space of the wedge ligas and the single PCMCIA have not altogether discour- expansion (need is the of invention and there is.
You well know, a bewildering A H "V * ''
- tt I JFTA - 1 'I l 13 savatz ? The irow loakiaa Slam-TiH
21st Century's bid to reclaim the Pinball tugh-granad Iron,
Elftgy. Should be previewable aeit month, and we can’t wait
"Ah", says Patrick Kelly, coproducer and partner in Kellion,
"that's being distributed by Ocean. If you've still got a
major publisher like that, or indeed Warner, who are behind
Sensible Soccer you've got the muscle to market the game
heavily and sell truck loads." So money follows money, so to
speak? "Yes, and we haven't got any at the moment, that's why
we're so concerned about Leading Lap not being released".
What other projects have you got in the pipeline then?
"Well, we're not at liberty to say what exactly but we're still using the Amiga big time as you can see, and it means a lot to me personally that we do games for it. At the moment we've several multimedia projects going, some of them on Amiga, so you'll have to wait and see what happens."
Ed a ) have but ne of the mlti-play- liga, a perspec- sed with ing reviewed id new, re devel- r, about i and the tething
• r a long isel, the F the lity to jame came when I got in touch
with Richard through your Art Gallery section, that's something
you might like to brag about to your readers".
We would never do something like that now, would we? "The blitter mode came about because we had to do the game for standard A 1200s, and yes, the disk swopping routine is a drag, but it has to be that way.
Ideally everybody would have hard drives and accelerators and that's what we wrote it for really, though it's still good on standard machines".
What about future development? "It all depends on how well Xtreme sells. To be honest we're not expecting masses of sales, but if it justifies us staying at what we're doing then we've got other projects in the pipeline." Such as? "Well at the moment we're working on new tracks and a full track editor for owners of Xtreme. It'll be available by March " ... "and it's going to feature trackside Elvises and perhaps even a full Elvis scenario" interjects Richard Whittall, the game's graphics man. Elvis? "Yes", continues Alex, "we want to inject a sense of humour into the new tracks to make
them something worthwhile getting. We don't just want to do 'another 12 tracks', we want them to be special".
"Would you like some coffee", interjects Richard.
But more of the future!
"Inevitably we're looking at a PC conversion of Xtreme and possibly another PC only product, but as I said, if Xtreme sells well we'll do another Amiga game. We'd also like to extend our help to other developers who want to get work published.
We have close links with Mark Sibly [of Black magic] and are keen to encourage people in the same way he has encouraged us. Games like Breed 3D, Gloom and Xtreme have shown that the Amiga is still good for games, and it's a great way for people to start out.
Sure, there's not gigantic amounts of money involved in Amiga games any more, but if you do one or two good games on Amiga it sets you up to program on other platforms. If anyone does use us as publishers we intend to become involved in the planning and plethora of options for broadening your Amiga's horizons) but limited its scope somewhat.
Also, the price of the machine has been a stumbling block. At £200 a PC expansion is only a small fraction of the cost of a new machine and thus is seen as a comparatively small investment to improve a much bigger one.
But £200 is over half the cost of a brand new Amiga, and if you've bought on a budget, then this sort of money seems ridiculous.
The often ignored fact is that you can spend £1000 on buying and expanding an A1200 but you'll never get anywhere near that sort of money back if you have to sell it. No matter what's in it, it's still viewed as a cheap machine, unless you sell to a real enthusiast - and thankfully there are still some of them about.
But if you intend sticking with Amiga (which we heartily recommend) the only path is through upgrades. The PC market is development of the game to help things along."
Kellion Producers of Leading Lap, Kellion are currently in a bit of a state since, just before we interviewed them, they announced that the game might not be released.
"Which is a pity", says Tony Dillon, "because it's a damn good game and we had other titles in the pipeline". "The current situation with Amiga Technologies doesn't help either, but I still think the outlook for Amiga software isn't as bad as it seems. The biggest problem is distribution, which is, I suppose, a product of poor sales in the past but there are a lot less games out there now and the user base is still big, so I'm surprised it doesn't sell fairly well still."
What are sales like on Amiga at the moment? "Well they used to sell 50,000 copies of some games, but a good game now sells under 10,000, some as little as
1000. " What about Worms though. It s A lMl, a, u, SM bet„„ ol
,[UJ been a best seller? Orders, despite good reviews in
the press software led. People have to upgrade just to run
better software. But for most it's worth doing so.
Technology stands still for no-one and although many see
this cycle of development - powerful software needing ever
more powerful computers - as some sort of conspiracy to
make people part with cash, that's just life, marketing,
the real world.
We all live, directly or indirectly by trade, by selling products.
It's what makes the world go ’round. And we also always strive to do better. This is what software developers aim for.
Competition There is a lot of competition in the software market, stand still and you'll fold. Moreover, new projects are exciting and all software developers love to see just how far they can take something.
How close to the perfect game or application can one get?
This is why games like Xtreme. Breathless and The Kitting Grounds are so demanding. They all need a minimum ot an 030 40MHz accelerator to run as the authors intended, because the authors are surrounded by Playstation, PC and Saturn and are trying to make the Amiga, a machine they love, compete with these formats. Make an Amiga game that's better than games on these formats. A year ago no-one said a Doom style game could be done on Amiga, now there have been several. Titles like Xtreme Racing and Binary Asylum's Zeewolf are produced by Amiga only developers and are competitive, but only on
The piracy problem But maybe there just aren't enough fast Amigas out there because Amiga only developers like the above are not getting a fair return for their time and money. Alternatively piracy could be to blame. According to Team 17, AB3D was on the 'net before it was ever released in the shops.
Now that is disgusting.
One developer described the sort of Catch 22 situation he felt caught in when releasing a high- spec game: "The problem is that some of the people who have gone to the trouble of upgrading their Amiga are hackers. They expand them because they are real computer freaks and want the power, but they also pirate the software written for expanded Amigas and distribute it via the 'net We are very aware that there is likely to be three or four times as many copies of the game out there as we have sold because there have been a hell of a lot more RAM boards and accelerators sold This is not so bad
if you’re selling
100. 000 units of a game. But if you're only selling a couple of
thousand. Which does not pay several people s wages once
retailers' and publishers' cuts, advertising and packaging
have all been deducted, there's just no way you can justi
fy continuing to develop."
Basically, though it rarely gets the coverage it used to. Piracy is still a big. Big problem on the Amiga. Publishers and developers always said it would destroy the market but thankfully, so far, it hasn't been the reason for the decline. But take it from us, from now on if someone offers you a pirate copy of a recent game or technical package and you accept, you're putting one more nail in the Amiga’s coffin.
Distribution Another major problem is distribution. How many of you have gone into your local software I emporium and struggled to find I the Amiga section, never mind I the game you want?
Once again the Amiga is falling victim to its own good I value. A brand new Amiga gamel averages between £25-£30, an I application between £40-£100. I which is great for us. The con- I sumers. But wholesalers, shops I and the salespeople who earn I commission from wholesalers om the products they sell to shops I are not so understanding With I PC games averaging £45-£50 pen title and applications well over I £100. Profit margins at each point on the chain are higher. I That's not to mention the sort oil New Publishers ... No software would ever get to the shops without a distributor of some
sort. And with the larger companies no longer interested in dealing with Amiga products, room has opened up for a new generation of publishers and distributors to step in.
Guildhall Leisure Guildhall Leisure has been around in some form or other for 13 years now.
Originally known as CDS (whom some of you may be familiar with) it changed its name to Guildhall two years ago and has now got some pretty top titles under its belt. Giles Hunter, its founder, has three things which drive him on and keep him supporting the Amiga: A) Making money,
B) The enjoyment of finding new talent, C) Making the products of
this talent successful.
They've been involved with Amiga since it was first launched and intend to keep going for as long as is viably possible. We asked PR Manager Maureen Fraser what has been their most successful title: “Super Skidmarks ... this was launched in December 1993 on behalf of an unknown company. It's only claim to fame than was a title which turned out to be a best selling programming language: Blitz Basic. It was Skidmarks that launched Acid Software but also gave Guildhall Leisure the reputation for handling quality products and, more importantly, achieving success with them."
How do you source product? "Because of the success we have had with Super Skidmarks, Gloom, Graham Gooch Cricket, Colossus Chess X and Xtreme Racing and because we've worked hard to build what we believe is a good reputation, we are currently finding that product is being offered to us rather than having to source it." So what makes a product successful then, and how do you go about telling people who send you real dogs that you're not interested?
"Primarily, a good product makes good distribution. We are very careful about telling people that they have sent us a 'real dog' because, as we have seen so many times in the past, blockbusters have come from unknown and obscure people. We are selective, but don't want to be ignorant and we certainly aren't clever. Unfortunately, to achieve any level of widespread distribution with an Amiga product, we have to be confident it will achieve 85% plus in all magazine ratings."
How do you handle distribution? "We have two people liaising with as many UK and European distributors and retailers as they can, Hugo Hunter and his sales assistant. At last count we supplied into 15 countries including Australia, America, Germany and Poland." And what goodies J do you have for us in 1996?
Increased demand But things are looking better.
During Christmas 1995 shops simply didn't stock enough Amiga products, they were so busy packing their shelves with other kit. But there is still big demand for Amiga products, as demonstrated by very good sales for Sensi World, Worms and Alien Breed 3D and now that the new year has dawned and the frenzy ' the Playstation launch has ;ome a distant memory, it's .iness as usual. The shops are pting more Amiga product lin, especially the big HMV and lin chains so make sure you buy some, or it could all go pear shaped again! ¦ On the technical side of things, there is plenty of top software
lined up for 1996, all competitive with the best on offer from rival machines. GP Soft are continuing to improve Directory Opus, with Dopus 5.x due for release in April. According to Greg Perry: "This is not just any ordinary upgrade, this is a major upgrade. We're incorporating many of the things people said they would have liked to see in Opus 5. It's not a new version, but there will be a lot of change for the good."
According to Giles Harwood of SoftWood Products: "We are as committed as ever to producing new software for the Amiga. As usual we'll be working on newer versions of our applications and will have announcements during the year of new features we'll be adding". The first of these will be Final Writer 5 - the next instalment of the Wordworth versus Final Writer battle. "As far as the future of the Amiga goes, we would welcome some clearer news from AT about what their specific plans are for the platform" added Giles.
With a new version of Imagine reviewed this issue and LightWave 4 looming on the horizon, along with more product updates from Digita, who have also signed a deal with Cloanto to distribute some of their products there is plenty of high grade software on the way.
On the games front new titles are still on the way from 21st Century (another Pinball game - SiamtUt), and south coast stalwarts Vulcan Software are planning four releases right up until the summer. Although Team 17 are again saying that Alien Breed 3D II: The Killing Grounds is their last game, development director Martin Brown hasn't ruled out another release. "It takes a special game to really sell well these days and if another Worms rolls in we won't hesitate to launch it. The Killing Grounds is something I really wanted to do, to show that despite all that's said about the Amiga it's
still capable of producing a great game. I want this to push the Amiga as far as it can go." Keep an eye on Mat's games news: there are plenty of software surprises around the corner.
Il software ggled to find never mind [?
Amiga is own good r Amiga game £25-£30. An n £40-£100, is, the con- salers, shops e who earn vholesalers on sell to shops inding. With ig £45-£50 per is well over s at each are higher, on the sort of For Amiga there are approximately six new releases planned but as we are in the process of finalising contracts, titles and timetables you will just have to wait!"
T count we countries ny and lat goodies us in 1996?
OTM We asked the publishers of IntOS, BTCC and Virtual Karting just what 'OTM' stood for but both Martin and Steven declined to let us into the secret. "Figure it out for yourself", they said.
They've had a good run selling the above products, thanks to good publicity and a strong sponsorship deal, but we haven't been that impressed with their games so far. "That's just your opinion, other magazines have given us good marks.
Sceae. Both km bed Above: Fears.
But I'm sure you'll like our next couple of titles".
OTM's distribution schedule includes Watchtower (previewed on page 38) and Atrophe, a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up in the classic mold. Although the lines between publishing and distributing seem to blur with both OTM and Guildhall (both can handle most of the functions of both publisher and distributor, from packaging and manuals through to duplication and distribution) it's because, according to Martin Lown, this sort of flexible approach is necessary in the market today.
"We like to develop products further after we first get them, bring them to a stage where we're sure we can sell them into distribution. Thus we offer a complete back-up and marketing system.
Although we do sell through a large distributor, we also get on the phone ourselves and provide a back-up service, making sure that shops do take our products."
And what about the state of the Amiga market at the moment. "I know things look bad", says Martin, "but the important thing is that people can still make money with us, even from a relatively low overall sale." And where does OTM source it's product? "Virtual Karting is from Italy, and Fabio is working on another exciting product for us at the moment, Watchtower is from a Finnish team called CyberArts and we have other European developers lined up".
What about later on this year? "We have more products llined up for later on in the year, but we really have to wait and see what happens with the Amiga. We are open to anyone sending us product for evaluation with a view to publishing and distribution. There is still money to be made and there are plenty of creative people and good games out there too."
.. Rapid Frame on your Amiga The revolutionary S-VHS ProGrab™ 24RT Plus with Teletext is not only the best to get crisp colour video images into your Amiga, from either live broadcasts taped recordings, it also costs less than any of its rivals. This real time P SECAM NTSC* 24-Bit colour frame grabber digitiser has slashed the price image grabbing on the Amiga and, at the same time, has received rave rei for its ease of use and excellent quality results. ProGrab™ has earned how from just about every Amiga magazine and Video magazines too!
And... with ProGrab™ you needn't be an expert in Amiga Video Technc a simple 3 stage operation ensures the right results - Real Time, after :oo!
HnoloJ ter.,3 STAGE 1... ¦ Select any video source with S-VHS or composite output. This could be your camcorder. TV with SCART oufl satellite receiver, domestic VCR player or standard TV signal passing through your VCR player the choice 5 J STAGE 2... With ProGrabS software, select an ima wish to capture using the on screen pL window and Grab |Decause the hartfl Oao mag« «v*n your camcorder grabs frames in real time. There! No r a freeze frame facility on the source del Once giabbed. Simply download and a ful mage on ycur Anvgi screen Pio&d includes a Teletext viewing and capture!
Facility from either IV oi satellite souiceJ including WHS or, lake a signal from TV w*f SGAffT output STAGE 3... Use the grabbed mage vwth your fawxj word processor. DTP or graphics packag ProGrab really does make it that simple!
Or. Use trie wjnal from your satediie receiver... or. Grab TV or video pcrures from yrxx VCJft video output including S-VHS.
For just £1 29.95... ProGraC is v*p*rd wCi everything you! Need* '.Wed Th* 8*« Vwro Maritwar* 5 e**cu»y piuvog Cecaj* it* m* J* Anga Shown majsne* rwku Our Satisfied Custowrsl ¦ ProGrab'* 24RT Phis Digitiser ¦ Latest ProGrab Version 2.5.x Software
• Mains Power Supply Unit • ParaNcl Port Connecting Cable ¦ User
Manual • Input sockets for Composite and SVHS.
PCMCIA Interface (or AI200 and A600 - Only £34.95
• AOOmOHAC nifTIJCT MCUTKS With mhw Tftmtnjr or SaMdRe IV ngnata
• LARGER PSEVKW WINDOW Double Rriolution and 4 tmrt the area
available wWi previous ProGrab software
• MTUNATIONAL SUPPORT No* w«*s w«ti comped* ML UCAM and NTSC
Straight Tom tn» box' |*SanOrt: AoGrab narflwar n MtzSfCAM'NTSC
err,cw mwuce mode ofbora are MUOr wtn PAL f. SKAM cvty NTSC
Crry mxm arc *-.*LC* to tpeod order *f»h in- sjpecrr it* vwrsa*
rrooe fcdy hem* ast js lor Ld detab i* AngaSruoprWftSMrfey U K
Ihr crvgrH cc*xr ** «*"» mq H«yiy Rkommmw Kharr* you .v* a VV:
r*TM AIM W»WP*AoGraD2«TP»A R ProGrabS c x«rvU PCMQA Interfere
rxiuctes the W»es» version software ard extends perfcrmanc for
vetious profcssional users - offering the followng benefits..
• Faster Downloadng Tmes |up to FIVE times qutcie*)
• improved anenaaon speeds erf up to nips (rrxr»| and 3 Mps
• Sound sampang and jnmaecrt cackoaees (sepaate vxrG samp**
• Savng of anervioons drect» your Hvqn rvrd a s*
• Fteeig erf your Antga ParaUri Port for use by a prreer or cmer
o-“J*kM pentur* device ProGrab' supports any Amiga with
Klckstaft 2 04 or later & a minimum of 1 5Mb. Free RAM.
+ A w*o scute &£* «d or *»alF'3 to mar yo* c«n eQjcrvtr wt ip - A* to oruti Mr Mrs Mbw Ms: Initial(s): Surname: PHONE 836781 County (Country); Postcode: „
* ?* r'r.
Daytime Phone liming Phone!
____ProGrab Plus 8 £129.95 inc. pip i s PCMCIA Interface 1 £**.95 inc. p&p i t ____V2.*.*VW(li§crlpfr*le)«A4.95 i Optional FAST Courier Drihen 146.95 £ TOTAL L i Oxerseas (urlnmers.- Pkase aill for prka shipping etc Card holder's signature: 1 ,jrdN° ???? Nr nr i ???? ?monnrl] Expiry Hale Q I enclose a Cheque Bank Draft Postal Order for £ nude payable to GORDON HARWOOD COMPUTERS LIMITED This month's batch of games releases sees some old favourites with the words deluxe, extra or turbo tacked onto them. Does this trend in the software industry of releasing sequels to successful games mean that
we are getting a completely new game in the same genre as the successful original? Or do we end up with something which is essentially the same game but with a few added extras. I think It depends on the results.
In the case of SSFII Turbo the updated version of this beat 'em up classic is very welcome indeed. Gametek's version of the Turbo edition is a much better conversion than US Gold's of the super edition.
Super Skidmarks Extra is basically 12 new tracks for the original superb game. Gloom Deluxe, however, although improved graphics wise remains largely the same. If you've already got a copy of Gloom then I wouldn't advise you to splash out on this. However, if you've yet to get yourself a copy of this excellent Doom clone then make sure you get the Deluxe version because it's the best version of Gloom yet.
Perhaps, software companies could take a leaf out of Team 17's book when it comes to releasing games built on earlier successes.
Team 17's smash Alien Breed is to be soon followed by a sequel - Alien Breed 3D II (The Killing Fields). From the early version we've seen it looks like it's going to be a totally new game but still retaining all the things that made us love the original Breed. Great stuff.
Finally, one our most popular cover disks ever, Xtreme Racing, is finally finished. You'll be to know that it was worth the wait.
Lisa Collins Deputy Editor PREVIEWS
• Alien Breed 3D II 38
• Watchtower 38 REVIEWS
• Xtreme Racing .42
• SSF II Turbo ...... 47
• Gloom Deluxe ... 51 0 Super Skidmarks
• Airbus A320 ..... 55 TIPS & GUIDES
• Vampyra .. 56
• Snip Tips . 59 f you look at the back page of the manual
for Alien Breed 3D. Andy Clitheroe is credited with a lot of
things: programming, game code, graphics, game design and
manual riting Vhat they haven't credited him with is being a
big soppy show off. It all started over a year ago when a mate
of his girlfriend.
Jackie, got Doom on the PC. She said it was brilliant so. Just to impress her, big Andy said something like: "I could do a game like that for you darting, no problem!"
So he furiously set out to prove his manhood and created a 3D maze engine and editor, some scary aliens and. After buying Martyn Brown a couple of Caffreys ales (vouchers for Caffreys included with game Alien Breed 3UI The Killing Grounds ¦ Due: April ¦ Publisher: Team 17 © 01924 267776 It's back and it means business. Alien Breed 3D was a top rated game but Team 17 thought they could do better. And no-one believed them.
Atchtower demos reputedly elicit a much more positive response from Mr. Brown), had it released as Alien Breed 3D. Jackie was impressed. Allegedly.
And so were thousands of people who bought the game.
Something still worried Martyn Brown though: cheeky usurpers were launching products with much better resolution ("but not playability" according to him) than his cherished Breed and he just wasn't going to lie down on :e it. This is where gets weird, but stay with me.
Andy Clitheroe, ensconced in il Rocky mountain love nest with I his mind on other things, was I unwilling to come out of retire- I ment just to satisfy Brown's jeal-1 ous megalomania though, and it I seemed as if all we would get I was a Breed 3D Special Edition. I with extra levels and the editor. I Then a mercenary game produc-1 er called Phil kidnapped Jackie, and the only way to get her back was for Andy to start work on a new Breed 3D. The stage was set for a dramatic comeback.
Due: February ¦ Publisher: OTM © 01827 312 302 Os the old proverb thinking swines at OTM have s the old proverb goes "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". Maybe Warner might take this stance when they see Watchtower OTM's latest release Or perhaps the boys and girls at Warner might spend weeks stomping around their offices muttering: those . Unoriginal- goes "Imitation is the ripped off our top selling game sincerest form of flat- Chaos Engine and what are we tery". Maybe Warner gonna do about it!" But then OTM could retort with other trusted proverbs such as "if it ain't broke
don't fix it" (not a proverb I know) or "only the best get better". Or the similarity at this early stage could be coincidental because when we spoke to OTM's Martin lown he said he'd never even seen Chaos Engine before.
However, he might get a chance to something of it soon as Chaos 2 is currently in development.
Either way, there's no getting away from the fact that Watchtower, although presently in its embryonic stages, is uncannily like the A t«f Mi: HakmaniMnan¦«tuna*• ton excellent shoot 'em up toty rifle. Right tbeie crates reveal soae tee as pick apt Chaos Engine. In Watchtower you are a commando with a set of military style missions that must completed.
Although these missions take place over differing terrain - jungle, desert, city - the basic premise is the same: shoot all armed soldiers before they get you, blow away anything such as heavy wooden crates that get in your way to get more rifles, grenades, and other bonus pick ups. Sounds familiar.
So far Watchtower looks and feels very similar to Chaos Engine.
To their credit, the Finnish based Development team, CyberArts have done a great job with the graphics.
The demo version we received looked superb and it was also very easy to play. The graphics are in another league compared to OTM's other forays into the gaming world: Virtual Karting and the infamous British Touring Car Challenge.
We’ve only seen the first level of Watchtower and it looks good so far. The finished version will determine how far it matches up to the high standard of Chaos Engine and if it does, great Watchtower should be released next month. It will be two-player, hard disk installable and will run on the A1200 A4000 and CD32. ¦ Lisa Collins nesl with nqs, was t of retire- » Sm On ny»4oi m Ac Rmt? Twi mkm Too cm Mlk tkiMfk it haa mhh wHI Ml wort ooder tool* IBMch Too light: Ik hoh otMdhf «acc irown's jeal- ugh, and it vould gel :ial Edition.
The editor me produced Jackie let her back work on a tage was nahad SanMl.
Irst level ks good an will ches up 'haos sat. sleased a-player, will run CD32 I A IW bum at Mai CM* Ho coayScateC acC ¦rtmorcraS. Itrt MASm rt a )M pock rtartZ art* tfcaa Which is, as you may have ilised, a load of rubbish. But it's ich more exciting than what illy happened, believe me.
For all Amigas!
I published screenshots of the ir game a couple of months ) and they have also been avail- i on Team 17’s Web site.
» have caused some contro- i because of their quality: I have written to and ailed Team 17 stating their Jlief that they're actually from i game. And to be quite honest »had our own doubts. So I into my car and spent r hours on the M1 crawling to ett. Breed Global HQ. To 1 out.
Three seconds after loading a il of the game I became a tver. What is now known as Killing Grounds is so much rent from the first one, it ns almost a complete ite. But. According to Andy.
• St of the groundwork was 1 done in the first one and i editor
remains essentially s same There will actually be two versions
of the game . Released in the same lbox. One is the long |
awaited 1x1 pixel version we've got J screenshots
* of, the other is going to be a ¦ 2x2 pixel I version, f similar
in look to the first Breed
0. Though with the . Same levels as the higher spec version. The
big news is that the latter is designed to work not just on
basic A1200s (the 1x1 pixel mode is too slow without an
accelerator) it also will work on any 2Mb Amiga with an 020 or
better processor. ECS Amiga owners previously denied the joys
of Breed 3D have a lot to look forward too if this version
works as planned.
Lights 'n' glare But what I really went to see was the 1x1 pixel game and although it's not going to be finished for another two months (a March April release is on the cards) it's coming along nicely. I was shown it running on an 030 50MHz upgraded Amiga 1200 and with a two thirds screen size it was faster than either of its main competitors. Gloom and Breathless, though creatures still have to be added. Only one of the old aliens is being retained: the red demon dog, and at least eight new ones are being rendered in Imagine.
Apart from all the visual advantages inherent in the gorgeous screen mode, other new features include a look up down option a la Breathless as well as the 'ducking' and running options of the original. Weapon shots now have real time lighting, illuminating the dark corridors they are fired down and the various lamps and torches littered throughout each maze have shimmering glare and smoke effects, adding realism.
Intelligence More frantic news is that the game is no longer just a matter of killing aliens, getting keys and leaving the level: The Killing Grounds will feature a defined mission for each level. According to producer Phil Quirke-Webster "the style of gameplay is much more like Heretic than Doom. We wanted to make it more mission based than just strictly shoot 'em up". Towards this end the aliens now have a much improved artificial intelligence. “In truth they had no Al at all in Breed 3D", according to Andy Clitheroe, "it just seemed as though they had.
This time they can communicate with each other and operate in teams. If you make noise in one part of a level, or you shoot an alien, you can be sure his team will be after you fast".
And because of a bigger emphasis on platforms and multilayered levels, with the up-down firing option, the player will also be able to pick up a jet pack and fuel icons. "This adds a new dimension to the game", claims Andy, "there are floating aliens, but now you have more mobility too. You'll also be able to pick up combination back-packs which contain some ammo, some health and some fuel, rather than just picking up one at a time”. One of the most atmospheric aspects of the original was the water levels, allowing you to duck under. They are retained in The Killing Grounds but look even
This version will also be supplied with the full map editor allowing you to create completely new mazes and drop in aliens with relative ease. According to Phil: "in the manual we'll use the existing levels as a sort of tutorial for people to mess about with, then they can create their own ones".
I can conform that Alien Breed 3D II: The Killing Grounds is stunning in motion, not just in screenshots If Andy manages to get all of the features he’s promised into the final game, with anywhere near the speed I saw it running at. They're onto a winner.
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Tr .tel,I rooter ol lhai n tpdaed -* every Xtreme litacin Price: £29.99 ¦ Publisher: Black Magic Silltunna © 01302 890 000 SUPERSTAR Os the old saying goes: 'If the mountain won't come to Mohammed, he'll render a new one in Vista Pro'. If you're in the heart of rural England gagging for decent games and no-one is producing them, you've got to do no A This is where you went la start each time. It’s aat so easy tbouah. Yon (well. I) asaally begin at the way. So we spent ages playing it.
Examining every nook and cranny of every track with every car: purely for research purposes of course.
A barrel of fish But there were a couple of things that really puzzled us about Xtreme Racing before it ever turned up. Who were Silltunna?
Where did they get the weird name? Why had we never heard of it before?
First things first, Silltunna consists of two chaps from Staffordshire.
Alex Amsel and Richard Whittall. Helped by ash. Name? W a JE3± °* 'r ind i Ea i JUAs dozens of wonderful sound wizards, idea people and the general sort of top class lads and lasses that hang around programmers' bedrooms. They also solicited much help and it yourself. And so a young lad with big, steel toecapped boots and an internet account set himself the task of not quite recreating Mario Kart on Amiga.
Alex Amsel. Wolves supporter, programmer and game designer, claims: "It’s actually not at all like Mario Kart, any resemblances are only superficial". And he’s right you know, there's not a Mario or Yoshi in sight.
Despite very little advance publicity Silltunna’s little gem has raised a lot of interest and we were eager for the full title to arrive in: especially after last month's cover demo. This was one of the most popular disks ever, if the amount of phone calls and letters we've received about it is anything to go by. The boxed game finally arrived the day before our Christmas hols and we had it up and running, serial linked between two Amigas in a flash.
Luckily, after Christmas. Lisa was on extended holidays and the cattle prod she normall* uses to extract reviews from us was hung up on the wall, well out of harm's Billed as one of the best racing games in a long time last month's cover disk gave you a taste of what to expect.
And by golly it's good.
Suicidal bystanders Racing around Xtreme's tracks, one can't fail to notice the poor fools standing vulnerably on corners or wandering over and back on the track. If you hit one it's pretty messy but we all have to put up with these sort of trials and tribulations.
IMHW A A boring options menu But look, yon hat a choice ot five types of music.
A The overhead viewer allows yea ts see the lie of
• a land before suiting the race.
The race on one of the higher of three difficulty levels it happens with alarming frequency.
Wacky tracks The twelve tracks are divided up into six different zones. The most conventional of these are the Road Circuits and the Grasslands tracks. The least conventional are the Floating City and Toxic Refinery ones which are all futuristic and moody. All feature jumps and obstacles, some of which are dangerous, some of which will merely slow you down.
In the Castle tracks there are big gaps in the circuit which have to be jumped. To do so you need to hit the ramps placed in front of them at considerable speed and at the right angle. If you miss the ramp or hit it too slowly you’ll end up sinking in a green sea, known childishly by Silltunna as "The Sea Of Snot". Similar scenarios exist on other levels. When you sink taiga and a serial ts eight players!
Iraphics and sople and i class lads iround ns. They Ip and A The wacky beach level features shark patrols which send the car spinning like a top shoold you run into
• tm. Unfortunately, avoiding a shark often lands your car in
deep water, where it will siok from sight.
¦.•ncouragement from Mark Sibly I New Zealand who has lent the K Black Magic name to the project I *1 a publishing capacity, as well as I advising on certain aspects of the Iflameplay and design: such is his I faith in it.
I The name Silltunna is Swedish I m origin and means 'barrel of fish', I which the lads think is a right I laugh. They claim it doesn't really I signify anything, it just sounds I cool. Development only started in I August 1995 after Alex had corv
I. tected Richard when some artwork by him was published in CU
Amiga I Mag’s Art Gallery. I'd say that's I some achievement:
0-100% firv I «shed in under six months!
Weapons I Xtreme Racing is fairly conventional in terms of setup, after all it's a racing game. There are 12 tracks, eight cars, a single race mode, a season mode, a championship mode and a death match.
Hold on. Death match? The latter is available in two or more player mode and involves competitors driving a car around a choice of maze-like circuits trying to bump each other off, and it's top fun. The reason this mode has been included is that weapons are available in Xtreme Racing, though you can disable this in the options menu if you like.
Certain points on each track are littered with question marks.
When you run over a question mark it will yield a random icon of some sort. These include jumps and turbos and, more importantly, weapons. These are divided up into roughly three categories: passive, active, and booby traps.
Passive weapons include forward and backward firing bombs, quad directional rockets and simple line of sight rockets. Active weapons include homing missiles, sheep (a woolly missile), delayed action mines and direction changers (which effect the steering of opponents). Booby traps include mines and laughing bananas which are designed to be dropped on the driving line so that other cars will run over them.
It's no fun if you hit these yourself.
The object of all these bomb- tastic shenanigans is to enable you (or a computer human opponent) to gain the advantage in a race. If there's one thing more satisfying than passing another car through sheer driving skill, it's blowing them up first and then passing them. This can also happen to you though, and if you set Sand and snot There are twelve tracks divided up into six zones in Xtreme Racing. The idea remains the same for all, but the difficulty levels and sort of obstacles encountered keep the game interesting.
Computer will place your car past the obstacle you missed but you do lose time and probably several positions on the track.
Other obstacles designed to slow you down include trackside GAME REVIEW II . . ------- GAME REVIEW spectators whom you can run over, exploding oil barrels and most bizarrely, in the seaside levels, sharks which make your car spin like a top if you hit them.
W “ nrjiiTq . _ ~ w fc.
• -- Jzi A My little prue for winning ike race. Mere importantly.
In season mode, yoo gel £2100 lor coming first which will
enable yon to npgrade yonr car even more (see below).
Just how good Xtreme Racing is depends on how fast your Amiga is. Anyone who's seen the demo from last month's magazine will know what I mean. Xtreme has more menu options than a Chinese takeaway. These include routines for just about every possible upgrade of an AGA machine available.
You can, believe it or not, play Xtreme on a standard A1200, with 2Mb RAM and no hard drive, but it’s a bit like going into a Chinese takeaway and ask- | ing for plain boiled rice. The game will ' automatically opt for blittered screen routines and you'll see something not dissimilar to Virtual Karting, though ten times better in the playability stakes. You can then size the playing screen up or down to suit your speed tastes.
If you have a 1220 or 1230 accelerator and extra RAM you're into spring roll, sweet and sour pork, fried rice and banana fritter territory. It suddenly becomes a tasty and good looking game, with plenty of speed and the option of a slowish, but beautiful 1x1 pixel screenmode. However, if you're really speed hungry, elitist 040 and 060 owners have the equivalent of Mr. Wong's £40 Emperor’s Dinner menu with all the trimmings. Full speed 1x1 pixel heaven we reckon.
Had I not played the hi-res versions I would have been able to put up with the blittered routines. Unlike VK, they did not make me sick. However, if you do not have a hard drive or at least a spare external disk drive don't even contemplate investing in Xtreme Racing. I don’t think I've ever sat doing as many disk swops as I did while testing it on an Amiga with none of the above.
It goes beyond frustrating, believe me.
And so ... I've given Xtreme two score boxes because it’s really almost two different games. As an accelerated game playing off hard drive it's wonderful; best fun we've had in ages. As a standard A1200 game (A4000 owners need not worry, it is fully compatible and great) you will need a minimum of one, preferably two external drives and it can be a bit tedious.
Yes there are other faults, the biggest of which is dodgy collision detection in too many places, making it difficult to accurately judge sharp corners, dodge gunk and pick up question marks, but I'm more than willing to forgive this because it’s so much fun you can't bear any grudges.
The final test of any game is how long it delays real work in the office and Xtreme Racing almost got us all fired. It's true to say that this job could be construed as being a bit cushy; I mean, playing games is all part of a day's work. But there comes a time when joysticks must be downed and keyboards put back on desks so that we can do what we’re really paid for: writing. That time came and went in a flurry o red, blue and yellow cars and as deadlines drew close the threa got louder and playing the gat for a bit more 'research' became unjustifiable. Finally the fateful "Forbidden Castle
Level 2 that 1 U as I
• eats ame ame ..I I broke the camels back” came I along and I
had to write or die. Ol well, all good things must come I nH1
nnH thora'c ol A av c I to an end: and there's always next
month! I Alan Dykes A These awkward smiling rocks jump up and
dowi and can crnsh yon or block your path.
XTREME RACING A1200 system requirements A1200 2Mb RAM. Supplied on three disks. Hard disk recommended or enter- nal floppy essential lo relaio sanity.
A spot of season racing In season mode you start off with a much slower car than normal. You can still have a multi-player game but you cannot select the tracks, this is automatic. Each track is now littered with gold and silver coins too and while trying to win, or get a decent position, you've got to collect as many of these as possible. In fact if you're losing badly it's best to give up the ghost and just A The stars beside the prices indicate ban mach you've upgraded your cat Five stars is the nuuinnm A Thais dm. Aikaro A bad start has left me languishing in fifth place overall against
the pros collect coins. A combination of coins and prize money allows you to upgrade your car in the all important areas of Engine, Brakes. Tire grip etc and also allows you to buy turbos and extra points (enabling you to sneakily climb the ranks by the back door, so to speak). This mode is seriously competitive, though the automatically selected tracks are not always the best.
A On top of "inning £2001 cash for coming first yoo can collect over flOOl in coins on the track.
Held back by graphics mode and disk loading.
XTREME ACCELERATED system requirements A1200 with 020, 030, 040. 060 accelerator, eitra RUM and a hard drive. A CD32 joypad wonld be nice.
Graphics .. ..91% At2tio sound .. 84% Instability ... 93% playability ...... 91% The best 1 [11.
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Fast balls, 01 clever desigt icking pinball game' Send Cheque I and state AGA "EFFIGY SOFTWARE EFFIGY EMPORIUM STATION YARD STATION ROAD RUSKINGTON SLEAFORD LINCOLNSHIRE NG34 9DG Pic'n'Mix Pic'n'Mix GRAPHICS !
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SELECTAFONT (Dept CU) 84 Thorne Road. Hawkwell. Nr Hockley. Essex. SSS 4JT FAX: 01702 200062 jjjjjgjj Qql r PHONE: 01702 202835 ¦ Price: £29.99 ¦ Publisher: Gametek © 01753 445 Capcom's original Street Fighter is arguably the grandfather of all fighting games. We look at the latest addition to the ranks of fighting games on the Amiga.
Mia EEL FAR IBMBV iltS %•»&, :tcy imr* OME JNWCT ami SSL :h OK!
Several well-intentioned psychological reasons for playing fighting games (not least of all helping to I keep the monsters from physical injury), the main reason for pulling on your gloves should be because, whatever you say about the morality, there's usually a marvellously competitive game to play. This, it may be argued, is what put the fighting genre into the forefront of one-on-one competitive games and with last year's release of the movies Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, it's not difficult to see that their popularity remains strong.
The original Street Fighter and not, that's many kids do.
Whilst there may be a 2835 fighting games are here to stay. Even right-on parents who force feed their kids a diet of d liberalism have erest in them. Let explain ... I No matter how 'nice' [darling Tarquin seems to Mummy and Daddy, he is, fte all children, no more pacifist than Saddam Hussein AM their efforts to remove the aggressive element tom their offspring will come to nought as soon as the little horror starts toying with Johnny Tomkins rom the bottom of the road. It'll take just ten minutes before a small dispute about who's turn it into World War 3.
Most recently at the hands of US Gold with Super Street Fighter II.
But Gametek have now put in a bid to change this reputation and Super Street Fighter II Turbo appears, at first glance, to have all the right ingredients.
New faces SSFII Turbo, (the names are certainly getting longer!) Has all of the familiar characters and more.
There are 16 in total, each encompassing their own very unique style of fighting.
Players will soon recognise their favourite character and stick with them through thick and thin as they identify their opponents weaknesses and go in brutally for the kill.
Balance is everything in fighting games and SSFII Turbo richly deserves the Tai Chi black belt for keeping a perfect equilibrium between such diverse characters. For example. Chun left with is a fighting game with excellent graphics that fails to give the fluidity of feel present i Mortal Kombat 3 and Shadow Fighters. In this light it may be less than perfect but for fans of the original coin-op it still represents as accurate a conversion c the arcade game as we are ever likely to get on Amiga.
With acceleration and two CD32 joypads it's a fine game indeed, but remember, you also need a hard drive. And I'm afrau that this combination (which is necessary, believe me) will limit sales of the game ¦ Garth Sumpter machine.
Well, this version boasts excellent graphics with big.
Colourful sprites and excellent backgrounds that, for the first time really show the game's full arcade pedigree. As any aspiring beauty will tell you. What you get out in looks is only a reflection of what you've put in beforehand, and without any doubt, the graph- ics in this game are in the supermodel league.
Li's athleticism, speed and kicks are well effective, but her punches are as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike, while Balrog has a top notch range of punches but cannot kick at alll When fighting, each of the characters have the standard arcade machine’s soft, medium and hard hits available, along with cial moves Fighting Machines Anyone who haan't heard of the Street Fighter phenomenon couldn't have been listening very well over the last few years. Capcom’s Street Fighter saga gave SEGA Enterprises some of the biggest selling arcade machines of all time. In the golden years of late 1987
the first Street Fighter machine was delivered into the high street in Britain. However the first version didn't really set the arcades ablaze. It came complete with punching pads and received a lukewarm reception. Six months later, after revising the code, removing the punch pads and adding joysticks and buttons the Street Fighter II game that we all know today was bom. And along with it came the birth of the first world-wide recognised console fighting game. It was obvious that the arcade game would have to be ported to computers but the technology took a while to decant onto SEGA's
Megadrive. Once released in 1991 though, it certainly took the world of console games by storm.
Including throws, dances, fireballs and spectacular feats of bodily manipulation. The special moves always seem impossible to begin with but as you get used to a particular character, you'll find that the combinations of buttons and directions needed to execute their moves becomes old hat.
But beware - part of the game's balance dictates that if you get hit when making an attack, the damage inflicted to you is commensurate with the force of your abortive attack.
We certainly found that the best way to control the characters was using CD32 joy pads. In fact, if you actually try the other way. Using the optional joystick keyboard control, you're bound to break your fingers keyboard pain threshold for your trouble.
Hard drive only Supplied on 11 disks (that's just 14 short of the number in the Jerky boys!
It's a pity that with this level of detail the game is jerky during combat, even on the highest of the three speeds available and at the lowest of the two user definable resolutions - even though the difference between each of these options seemed minimal on our standard A1200 setup.
So we decided to try to give the game a bit more zip by plugging in a Blizzard 1230 IV accelerator. It did make the whole game much smoother, almost console standard, but only up to the point where the graphics hung irrecoverably. This incompatibility with our accelerator is bound to have Blizzard owners everywhere throwing up their hands, slightly jerkily, in horror.
However, owners of other makes of board may find it worthwhile contacting the publishers to see if their accelerator will work, as the speed is almost perfect once you've given it some help.
Where's the in-fight music?
In play there are two options - tournament mode where a single player must knuckle their way through the all of the other opponents, and the two player game, which is really what any version of Street Fighter is all about. Here, however, the game fails to offer the player the handicapping options present in the CD32 version. Why this should be the case is not entirely clear but it does mean that a seasoned player will always be able to beat any casual player that happens by.
With no chance for me to iron out the jerky animation coupled with the lack of music during fights and the periodically poor collision detection, what we are B7x» else but the Worlds leading Amiga office and borne produclitity software del eloper could offer you such a u-ide range o award winning pmgrams A range acclaimed as Ibe best for your computer uilb individual migrants having receiivd Amiga Formal Gold, Amiga Computing Gold & Blue Chip Awards, CV Amiga Top Rated and many others worldwide.
‘eel present id Shadow it it may be Jt for fans of It still i we are ever 9a.
I and two fine game der, you also Vnd I'm afraid in which is ne) will limit I Final Writer 4'Lite Word Processor PuhUsber Now Final Writer is an ideal companion for Amiga users with single or twin floppy drives and a lower memory size too!
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Final Calc" Sprauhbea The answer to every spreadsheet users' dreams! With its flexible modes of operation, it's ideal for beginners and experts alike.
Advanced printing and font handling with auto-fit to page(s) and complete document scaling Vast choice of graph styles including 30 and animated to show calculation results actually as they progress Unlimited number of Undo and Redo events with listing Lotus 1-2-3 WK1 compatible & full text file import export Cullivaled Approach i Data Management A powerful yet simple to use database with extensive features enhancing your potential to store important information EASILY.
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Ivlagic 01302 890 000 Gloom is still a rockin' game, but to
make the homicidal punters even AMIGA x happier Mark Sibly has
gone and SUPERSTAR uPdated the graphics.
Been wary J ol things M ' that say V luxe or 'lux' or any B »er form of word Br Oting luxury as irkeling lerm. When I s a lad, washing with soap meant going to school idling like a girl. I used to spend et money buying spring anyone with an 020 processor or flion crisps just to try and smell as scarred me for life. And what bout cars? L is supposed to stand or luxury and what a piece of old jnk you get when you buy an scort L Although the letter L is itended to convey a positive repression, on cars it invariably lenotes 'bottom of the range, heap most likely to rust’, while L or Deluxe means
you get a 1 $ ¦ ii .. i ip' I E* ¦ Pm f|' s ‘ • see «(*«¦ ii la this »eai far hi h-ies. Argumentative toe m ate at the tap to lesoietioa mtb met
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I Side stripes m in’t that impressed with the name Gloom Deluxe and I was right: it's just Gloom with side stripes. These side stripes are pretty impressive mind you. They allow better and 2Mb of RAM to run the game. Which means if you have an ECS machine with an accelerator you're in business That said, it worked perfectly well on our office A3000 but refused to load on our upgraded A600 (using the Apollo 620 board with 4Mb RAMI Further support is provided for those with graphics boards in big box Amigas.
You can open it up in a resizable window on your Workbench and I have no end of multi- ¦B I tasking fun and games I ll. ¦ ji , i -i cs modes run in 4x4, 2x2 or I I1 H modes or various | d** combinations like 2x1 I o5k e,c and ,his a||ows y°u r :o tailor the game’s B H i .
II you havcanAGA Amiga you will only buy this JHJMJ Gloom for its 1x1 pixel 7-7 ' resolution and to enter- mjnati jajn any jdea of running f | - m J Nbaaa it'* law leseiatiaa lime to it's al |a a bit peat shaped This pic makes il leak goad1 it in this mode you'll need an accelerator.
Smooth isn’t the word if you’ve got heaps of ~' ifid RAM and a 33MHz 030 " or better, though to get fast and playable full screen action in 1x1 pixel mode you'll need a 50MHz 030 or 040 2x2 was the standard for the original version and the game is more than reasonable in this, so if you've got a fast ECS machine this is the mode to go for.
4x4 pixel mode must have been included by Sibly as some sort of joke Pixels the size of lollipops are hardly conducive to playing an all singing and dancing action game Any changes?
But, er. That's it from a practical point of view. Gameplay seems more involving but, more importantly. The game map itself doesn't appear to have changed at all. It's still one of the fastest and most competitive shoot 'em ups on Amiga but I would seriously baulk upgrade to this version.
Interested in buying Gloom for the first time then get Gloom Deluxe as opposed to Gloom: if you have the machine spec to run it. The 1x1 pixel mode makes it well worth while. But even if you’ve got a screaming fast AGA Amiga and you’ve already completed or nearly lake a blast ol this il yea fate completed Gloom it's definitely nc worth the upgrade.
Jury is out. It wouldn’t work on my A620, but it was gorgeous on Mat's A3000 with its box bursting wagonload of RAM and its GVP Spectrum graphics card. If you have the latter specification then it would make a fine investment, but on smaller machines we haven't been able to test it end I suspect 4x4 pixel mode would have to be used on some. As a new game in highest resolution it's worth over 90%. In 4x4 pixel mode it's worth about 60% As an upgrade it falls please, deliver Gloom 2 soon and make it Gloooi Deluxe with new baddies and a new map! ¦ Alan Dykes GLOOM DELUXE Onyone who's already
lined up on the grid in Super Skidmarks 2 will know that the game is unashamedly excellent, and has already won its place on the Grand Prix podium of all time racing classics. Those of you who are die hard racing fans and spend most of the time in flame- retardant underwear, may even remember that SS2 was released last May as an upgraded version of the original Blitz Basic offering.
It would seem that Skidmarks has now been upgraded more times than Pamela Anderson's big top
- so after so much cosmetic surgery, can anyone still see the
Rest assured, my metaphor remains accurate: even after a lot of cutting and tucking Skidmarks is still beautiful to look at. But poke me in the eye with Tommy Lee if I can notice any real cosmetic improvements in this update. According to Guildhall ‘it loads better and plays better’ but.
Having had CU Amiga Magazine's original copy mysteriously disappear (give it back Rick, Alan will forgive you), I wasn't really in a position to test this.
£) per Skidmarks ¦ Price; £14.99 ¦ Publisher; Acid Software ® 01302 890 000 Already a racing classic, can this upgrade face the acid test?
Practice lap For anyone out there without a clue about what Super Skidmarks 2 is all about, let me explain.
There are eight types of vehicle to race with, from the Humble Mini through Porches, big wheeled off road type trucks up to an FI car and even a supercharged cow!
T Aid here ate the 12 new tracks that you're paying hr aloag with three aew championships A The Bikini Rally in all its glory... These machines each have their own unique handling characteristics which can even be further tailored to suit almost everyone's style of racing. Furthermore, you can also race up to four human players against each other at a time - twice this amount if you have a serial cable and a mate with another Amiga.
A There ere three new championships; Bikini. Toll Going Rally and the Frozen Jelly which is a little slippery.
So just what so you get for your fifteen notes? Well, there's 12 new tracks, three new championship modes and an uprated program that improves the serial support and the loading routines.
Acid have also written a new converter to replace the old one, thus giving better support to Imagine users who want to draw, import and use their own cars, cattle or cantaloupes for racing.
But wasn't this already available with Super Skidmarks 27 Acid do seem to be gilding the lily as the only really new item has to be the 12 tracks. These do vary from rather simple ovals through the whole gamut of banked curves, crossovers, jumps and even icy tracks which will certainly give the already converted something new to aim for.
Home straight Is all this worth it? Well you'll ultimately have to decide but I think that for the cash Acid should really have included a simple to use track editor this time around.
After all, the data disk doesn't really add that much for your hard earned cash and as you must already have the game in order to use the data disks, this doesn't really seem a just reward for loyal customers. It's a shame too.
Because with the inclusion of a track editor the floodgates could have been really opened up for players to race against their friends with renewed vigour on their very own tracks.
Of course if you're a wiz with Imagine then you'll do OK, but what about regular folks like me who don’t know their art from their elbow?
Ultimately though you do get another dozen layouts for what is still a classic racing gan And you'd never know, Mark Sibly may be encouraged to produce another version.* Forrest Sump(ter) SUPER SKIDMARKS-DATA DISK BIT SOFTWARE 1 st Floor Offices, 2 8 Market Street skefield, West Yorkshire. WF1 1DH TEL: 01924 366982 FAX: 01924 200943 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org : http: www.demon.co.uk bit17 Office Hours Mon - Sat 9:00 To 5:30 Answerphone At All Other Times POSTAGE RATES [UK] Disk Orders 50p CD's 75p Each.
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Contains the complete collection of F1-001 to FI-100. This CD is worth well over £500 if the titles included were purchased seperately. Superb value' AMINET 10 IN STOCK NOW!
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Airbus A320II I Price: £29.99 ¦ Publisher: Mirage © 01260 299909 OR 10, GAZINE!
50LEST You're too slow, you're too heavy and you can't shoot anything. Fans of high excitement steer clear ... ig, digltiz- swaps, brand Tiember- disks!) Is within ab disks it each ), and tdisks as % off 5ff sam- j'II cry for flight but is so poorly organised (the loading and configuration instructions appear several chapters after the tutorials!) That it's necessary to flip back and forth through its many pages to find the information you need to get your plane off the ground.
On loading the program it becomes clear that the quality of the presentation hasn't really improved since the first version.
The mouse pointer jerks around the screen clumsily as you attempt to fill out your flight plan with start and destination points, fuel requirements and estimated departure times. Instead of allowing you to pick your destination from a nice friendly menu. Airbus makes you dive back into the documentation to find the relevant acronym from its list of over a hundred airports in Europe and the United States and the tables for estimated fuel loads needed to reach them.
Correctly determining the fuel requirements is just one of the many factors that can influence your career as an commercial pilot - in order to extend Airbus' life-span, the game features a duty mode whereby you can climb the ladder from a rookie right up to the lofty heights of Chief Pilot.
Promotions and demotions are awarded based on various performance factors including how straight you hit the runway on touchdown and whether you had to use any reserve fuel to reach your destination. Once you’ve completed your flight plan you can check out the expected weather conditions before moving to the cockpit. In training mode you can set up parameters for visibility and cloud cover but on switching to duty mode expect the worst as the computer selects them randomly. Once the weather report's done you can finally climb into the cockpit and take off.
On course To set up the Airbus' navigational system you have to refer to the charts once more and tap in the relevant co-ordinates for your start and destination points. This done, it's time to fire up the engines and taxi out onto the runway. Commendable as it is to see ambitious projects such as Airbus on the Amiga, particularly at a time when software support has never been more important, I'm sorry to say that this misses the mark on many counts. Whilst by no means essential, the ingame presentation screens in Airbus are uninspired. Couple this with a cockpit that looks dull and flat,
even as drab 3D visuals slowly creep by. And you'll be instantly reminded of games which rightly belong in an age long since past.
Lacking the immediate appeal of combat-orientated games, simulations such as this need more than simple ’fly from A to B' missions to sustain interest. How about trying to land a plane in heavy rain at night with howling cross-winds and a dodgy engine?
This would be just as compelling as dog-fighting a Mig. But nothing ever goes wrong in Airbus, you just go from one airport to another then back again. Impressive as the flight characteristics of this simulation may be, it's a soulless experience.
Fans of the original Airbus will find a more up-to-date suite of controls and instruments, but little else to recommend it. ¦ A G Morgan GAME TIPS VAMP Adventure!
Helpline Lullabies and fairy stories are learned at your mother’s knee, but Vampyra gleaned all she knows at some other low joint!
If you'd like to take advantage of her knowledge why not drop her a line.
Operation Stealth I have just bought a bracelet from a man on the beach after escaping from the water. I now find myself stuck. After speaking to the receptionist in the hotel I learn that my baggage is in my room. Where is my room and how do I get in as I have no key? And how and where do I get hold of the key?
Cheryl Dawn, High Wycombe.
This isn't the Ritz darling and there are no porters to show you to your room. What you should do is look in all of the rooms until you find your one. Just think of all the fun you'll have stumbling in on people who aren't expecting you!
And why do you want a key?
What do you intend doing in your room that you need to lock the door?
If you really insist on going straight to your room then take the lift to the second floor and walk up the stairs to the third. Go east and operate the door on the right.
R1 Qi uncpeon Lue: I’ve gotten past the dragon, gone west and then south. I’ve also jumped over to the other side of the idol but I can’t get past the door here. There is no sign of a knob, handle or keyhole. I don’t know if I’ve got the ring but I know where to get it. Do I need the ring and how do I get through the door?
Joe James, Shrewbury.
have a lovely diamond ring which people often admire and say, “Goodness Vampyra, what a lovely diamond ring." Believe me honey, ‘Goodness' had nothing to do with my getting that ring!
The exact commands you need are: jump, look door, look box, use sword, east.
Leisure Suit Larry 2 I have landed on the tropical island from the cruise ship. I’ve been into the jungle and picked the pretty flowers. I’ve met the Russian agents and I’ve thrown the flowers at them, but they still take me hostage. Help?
John Howsan, Motherwell.
The answer to your problem is a bit of a drag and you're the one who's going to have to wear it. Yes, it's time to suck your stomach in, stick your chest out and pretend you’re a gorgeous girl! What do you think your friends will say? Perhaps they won't be surprised at all.
Having arrived on the island you must travel through the jungle (grabbing a flower on-route) and make your way to the restaurant.
Steal a knife and leave. Next location to visit is the Guest Room where you must take the matches and soap. A trip to the barbers is next, where you'll to be turned into a blonde. Then nip back to the nudist beach to find a bikini bottom.
This bottom will match up with the bikini top you should have found at the bottom of the swimming pool on-board the cruise ship. Now you’ve got a costume to change into back at the Guest House. You'll need to stuff the bikini top with soap and then return to the barbers to get your hairy legs waxed. What we girls have to suffer to be beautiful.
Bane of the Cosmic Forge I have a few questions about this adventure which I would like answered. Are Queequeg and L’Montes useful alive, or should I kill them? What is the mystery oil for? How do I read the Deadman’s Log and the King's Diary? Who and where is Snoopcheri? That’s the lot, now please help?
Robert Rowe, Beckenham.
Queequeg certainly is useful for he can tell you the answer to many things, if only you knew how to ask the questions which is the whole trouble with this otherwise brilliant game. Talk to him about treasure and mountains and he’ll reveal the password to the Captain’s Den. (The password is Skeleton Crew.)
To read the Deadman’s Log you first need to find the Decoder Ring which is in the second section of the lower level. The ring is on the hand of a skeleton who died in chains.
You cannot read the King’s Diary just yet, again you need a special item. IMter you'll see this item ‘in the stars’. The Mystery Oil is used to ease open a rusty panel which controls a drawbridge - you haven’t reached that part yet.
Snoopcheri is a dog which L’Montes has lost. Return his dog to him and he’ll reward you.
Snoopcheri can be found by using the noxious cheese in front of a mousehole in a certain room.
Eye of the Beholder II I have explored the dungeons as far as I can and have now gone back upstairs - right to the top floor. I have unlocked doors, smashed lots of bat statues a found a teleporting thing in a den corner. You can go through¦ the teleporter three ways. The I first takes you to a room with a key and three jewels in it. The L floor in the middle of the room I is 'soft'. Because there are no p doors out of this room I feel | sure the exit has something to do with this part of the room. | Please help. _ PS. There is also an annoyin J mouth upstairs which says: "None shall pass
without the _ sign of the Dark Moon". Where I do I get this sign from? ¦ Beldar the Brave, Forgotten Realms.
You may be brave, but you ain’t tot bright. In the niche of the south wall is a red gem. If you also place ] the blue and green gem in this niche, the wall will open. The soft ground is just the place to plant a seed - a Tropelet Seed. You '11 find i this item after you get through that | magical wall. (Incidentally, Tropeh is an anagram for teleport.)
On level three of the Silver Tower there stands a pedestal with the imprint of a hand upon it. Whet you place your hand on the imprin you will be branded with the mark of the Dark Moon. It will only hurt ] for a moment. Be brave and don’t cry and I might just come and kiss better. You wish! ¦ If you’ve got a little problem with your favourite Role Playing Game and would like Vamp to help you out, drop her a line at CU Amiga Magazine, Priory Court 30-32 Farringdon Lane, London ECIR 3AU.
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- OBDULE jnosis i Stevies of Portsmouth gets i bit of software
thanks to »dandy list of world codes for s plop-tastic
platformer of old.
EL ..CODE HFCNASAKEZDV UDDCASNZEZDV TLPPASNQEZQZ SHPWASBNEZEP UAQNNTOGEZDR .EZPSASBREZRX WHQQASSBEZUJ SVQBASSSEZVP SKCUNVNNSBDR FGCONWNHFCDR VGPHOMAASSOR GOEBOQBUSWDR RYQGOYNZGEDR
- IT Psygnosis f pressing Esc on the title en a password screen
will ar. Enter a string of zeros, but s the last digit the
level you it. You need to do this quite ckly as the password
screen 5 quite quickly. Thanks to Raul es from Derby for that
You'll notice that last month they stuck me next to Vamp, and yes it's true - when you close the magazine, we do snog (aren't you jealous!).
Anyway, please don't forget to send in some new tips, 'cause some of these are getting a bit old!
QUIK Titus Having trouble with the desert level of this little doober? Don't worry, Mark Bryant of Ilford has just the ticket: On desert level 2, when collecting the clock, walk off the left of the ledge and the level will automatically complete.
BASE JUMPERS Rasputin We really are scraping the bottom of the barrel aren't we!
Still, needs must when the devil vomits in your lap. And cheesy though this game is the man sent in the cheats and the man wins a prize. And the man? Why James Harris from Devon of course.
LEVEL CODES ONE TWO BAT MAD TUT END WAR SUB CAME CODES SEU OLD NEW BEU BOM NAB PAC HOP FLY RUN ZEEWOLF Binary Asylum With Zeewolf 2 poking its head around the corner. Mr Tony Carreli reminds that the original is still a great game to play, with a few codes to help us along.
32. ......FRAMPAGE MARVIN'S MARVELLOUS
ADVENTURE 21st Century Again, I know it's an almost hideously
old game, but them's the breaks folks. Anyway, Martyn Simmons
from Finchley is the man to thank, so, er... thanks!
HEART OF GLASS BIG BANG SYSEX DOING THE DO ZERO PLUS ONE SPIKKELS MOTORCYCLE SO ALIVE TWIN PEAKS FALLING APHEX TWIN ELASTICA MAX GOLDT DUNE 2 Virgin Alan Godridge from South Yorkshire has a handy tip for any players finding themselves running out of spice to harvest.
Simply destroy one of your full harvesters, and after the explosion there will be at least four times as much spice scattered on the ground in that area. You can repeat this process as many times as you like, and don’t worry about the lost harvester - it’ll be replaced nice and quickly. Cheers.
SINK OR SWIM Ocean Ta to Mr P Doogan from Norfork for these levels codes. A game is on its way to you now!
9. .MYBREAKFAST 1
0 .TINYBOPPERS 1
1 LOCKSALORDY 1
2 .HALOWEENVII 1
3 .NEWMODELARMY 1
4 TIMEPIECE 1
5 ...LARRYNIVEN 1
6 .KILLERWHALE 1
7 BLUEHORIZON MORTAL KOMBAT Virgin Ta
to Gary Taylor from Brentwood for this interesting cheat. Just
type DULLARD on the Start Options screen, and should you lose
a game, your credits will remain intact.
POPULOUS 2 Bullfrog As is traditional, every couple of months I pull a handful of codes from my big bag of. Er... codes.
So here goes: LEVEL ..CODE
767. .THHEAG 991
5 SIUNAT 85
935. ......WONGAG And that's it again
gang. I hope to have some fresh tips for you next month, but
as always, it's down to you readers to keep 'em coming in.
Don't forget (how could you?) There's a free Hit Squad game
for every tip we print. Be seeing you ... MODEMS AND
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.I et Serious Horgan's Organ It's good to
see the market stM pushing ever onwards, regardless of the
current lack of news from Amiga Technologies' HQ.
Impulse and Phase 5, the developers of our two head- kvng review products, might find It in their interests to form some kind of alliance; rarely have two products complemented each other so well. Together the power of Imagine 4 and the awesome
• peed of the 68060 are enough to make you want to jack in your
day job and set about rendering the next Toy Story” computer
movie on your A1200! Just so long as you can stand that knagine
user interface ... Elsewhere you'll find all the latest on
Acid Software’s new Blitz Basic 2.1, along with the first
review of Digita's excellent Vwordworth 5 packed with
• tacks of handy features.
The only disheartening sign this month comes from the entertainment side of the PD scene. Looking back two or three years we were flooded with cutting edge demos expos-
• g wonderful new technical tricks, and plenty of good anima
tions from up and coming artists cutting their teeth on the
Now it seems that innovative band of artists and coders has either lost the edge, or more Htely, moved onto higher specified machines that can do justice to their imaginations. Maybe this is one area that will only be rejuvenated when the next generation Amiga arrive. Don't hold your breath, but hang in there.
Tony Horgan Technical Editor Sitting comfortably? Now read all about the latest products rated by CU Amiga Magazine's gurus.
I Imagine 4 .... 62 You've got Imagine 3 from our January cover disk, right? Now see what's in store in Imagine 4. The latest update of the people's favourite 3D ray tracing package.
I Blizzard 1260 Accelerator . 66 Now you can stoke your A1200 with the amazing speed of the 68060 processor, thanks to this new addition to the famous Blizzard family of accelerators.
I Blitz Basic 2.1 .. 69 Combining the speed and power of machine code with the simplicity of Basic.
Blitz Basic has just received a new update to version 2.1. i Word worth 5 ... 72 As word processors encroach on the territory of DTR Wordworth takes a fresh look at the requirements of the serious word processor user and comes up trumps.
| Epson Stylus II . 77 Epson are currently taking all the winning technology from their range of printers and . putting it into a lower cost versions. The Stylus is one of these up for inspection.
1 Hewlett Packard ..... 77 More expensive than the Epson Stylus, the Hewlett Packard printer also comes under the investigative eyes of a CU Amiga Magazine expert.
'Green' Pen Mouse ..78 The traditional mouse isn't the ideal input device for computer artists. The 'Green' Pen Mouse hopes to rectify the problem by offering a more natural alternative.
Screen Beat Super Woofer 78 Feeling in a party mood or want to listen to some good tunes? Give your Amiga’s audio the sound system it deserves - feel the bass!
DataStore .....79 There comes a time in a man's life when he gets tired of cataloguing all his old girlfriends’ phone numbers. Looking for a new Database? This could be the answer.
CD-ROM Round-up ..80 EMC's Phase 3 CD arrives with a bundle of clips and fonts for DTP and DTV, while The Assassins offer their latest PD game compilations in CD-ROM format.
PD Scene 82 With PD Scene being taken over by licenceware, it's good news for adventure fans who get a top new game for budget price.
PD Utilities ...87 Boost your Amiga’s productivity with another selection of shareware utilities, this month including a couple of timing tools, an Internet guide and a picture database.
One of the new features does concern the user-interface: you can now run the program in 256 colours on an AGA Amiga or on a Retina graphics board. It's also possible to run in 256 colours on other boards using Mode Promotion, but this can get messy. There's still no standard screenmode requester though, so many users will still be stuck with flickery old interlace mode. The requesters are just the same as older versions.
Texture improvements One of Imagine's major plus points is its incredibly useful texture tools. As before, you can cover your objects in mathematiThe interface You might have expected a revamp of the user-interface to have been first on the list of changes for 4.0. bul this was obviously not a priority for Impulse. This is a shame, but let's not dwell on the point. Actually, ¦ Price: £199.95 (£99.95 upgrade) ¦ Developer: Impulse Inc. ¦ Supplier: Emerald © 0181 715 8866 The great grandad of 3D rendering packages has been upgraded and, interface aside, we like it ... ©oes Imagine really need
any introduction? The 3D rendering system that's been the subject of a unique love-hate relationship with Amiga artists for years has now reached version 4.0. You'll almost certainly own Imagine 3.0, since we cover mounted it on our special 3-disk January 1995 issue, so you'll already be familiar with this superb 3D rendering package's combination of immense power . , and potential, albeit wrapped up in
* a rather tricky user-interface.
Just what you've always wanted: blobs! This sequence illustrates one of Imagine 4's most useful new additions. You can now model objects from liquid blobs, which could come in very handy for those tricky organic scenes. In this sequence there are two blobs, initially positioned right on top of each other. As they are slowly moved apart, unlike normal spheres, they stretch as if unwilling to part company, joined by their surface tension until finally they pop apart. See the hand object opposite for an example of an object made with blobs.
Cally-generated textures that can I be almost infinitely varied to |® simulate thousands of real world | surfaces, or you can wrap them ii IFF graphics files. There are improvements in both areas.
Regarding the mathematical textures, the Attributes window now gives you a preview render Introducing ... blobs!
F your chosen texture settings in similar fashion to Texture Udio. This is a great time saver, d, let's face it. When you're 3D dering you need all the ort-cuts you can lay your hands
n. The States section can be ed to morph between ) different
attributes or textures lich is excellent for chameleon 3
You can now specify more irameters for the IFF brush aps too. Previously these were ntrolled by setting the levels for ur, bump, filter and reflection.
Index of refraction, ambient light and even roughness.
Miscellaneous extras Additions in other areas include the ability to import pictures into your scenes for use as backdrops (previously a backdrop had to be specified separately from the Globals section of the Action editor). These backdrops now appear in the 3D preview window, so you don't need to render the scene to get an idea of how the backdrop will fit in with the rest of the scene.
There are plenty of new bits and pieces to make life easier dotted throughout the program, 3 amount of parameters here been doubled to include the illowing: specular, hardness, Fshine, brightness, fog length.
S that can ied to real world rap them in e are areas, ematical i window w render Blob modelling Obvious uses for these include psychedelic lava lamps and any scene or animation that requires dripping gunge of some sort, not to mention trippy abstract animations.
However, with a bit of imagination you can put them to good use modelling all kinds of natural objects. This model of a hand took just a couple of minutes to knock up by combining a number of blobs. The results, when suitably textured, are far more realistic than you would normally expect from a similar model crafted from conventional 'primitives'.
P. ««.rn Imagine is briUiairt at rendering sublie teitures.
Sacb as waves an the sarlace af a sea.
Although for the most part they are small bolt-on extras that just add to the overall functionality of the program. These include some new tools, among which the smoothing controls are some of the most useful, helping to mask the edges of the polygons that make up each object.
A few additions have also been made to the lighting functions: Soft shadows can be cast by tweaking the parameters of a light. In effect this makes multiple clones of the lightsource and places them very slightly apart from one another, resulting in a number of overlapping shadows being cast. This leads to rather over-extended rendering times, but the effect can be worth it. You can also view the scene from any lightsource or object.
Conclusion Imagine 4 is an incredibly powerful program, but if you were expecting it to suddenly morph into an intuitive and friendly system you’ll be disappointed.
It's high time the user-interface was completely overhauled and brought up to date as this is the program's only main drawback.
It’s absurd that you still can't select your working screenmode from a list of all those available, as you would with any other current application worth its salt.
The inadequate 24-bit graphics support is also disappointing.
However, if you can get by with its old-style interface, Imagine 4.0 presents heaps of very tasty features at your fingertips. And the resulting images and animations can be stunning. In most areas it matches the quality of its rivals and despite the level of the competition (remember, it's up against the likes of LightWave and Cinema 4D) it surpasses them in many ways.
Newcomers will find it tricky, but the enhanced features combined with Imagine's traditional strengths; the bones system.
Imagine: an overview Imagine began life many moons ago as a package called Silver and was soon re-christened Turbo Silver.
Sometime later it changed name once more to become Imagine. Despite a few quirks, it's become the most popular 3D rendering system among Amiga users mainly because it delivers professional quality results without demanding too much in the way of processor power and other system requirements when compared to some of its rivals. That's not to say that you'll have much fun trying to render an animation on a 68000- based machine. A 68030 or better processor is pretty much essential for serious rendering, and it's hardly worth bothering at all with anything under 4Mb of RAM. A good 10Mb of RAM is
generally sufficient for most work.
One of Imagine's major advantages is its States and Bones features, which allow groups of objects to be joined and animated in a realistic manner. Another advantage is its ability to produce mathematically generated textures that can create incredibly lifelike and varied surfaces.
Morphing and brilliant texturing it's worthwhile. If you've plenty of RAM and are not afraid of spending sleepless nights struggling with the interface, then Imagine
4. 0 is the business. Now, isn't it time you bought that 68060? ¦
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Harwoods © 01773 836781 Here at last Last year, hopes for a
68060 accelerator remained partially dashed as Motorola broke
promise after promise of delivery dates for the 68060 CPUs. The
68060 is a departure from the usual manufacturing technology
of the previous CPUs.
It runs with a 3.3 Volt power supply rather than the usual 5 Volts. That means that even though this latest generation 68000 series CPU has over two and a half million transistors on board, the heat generated is substantially less than the 68040. This is a great advantage as the Falcon 68040's main problem was excessive heat generation.
The 1260 doesn't come cheap.
£600 pounds is a fair bit more than the entire Amiga 1200 is worth and it s likely only very speed hungry Amiga users could justify this much money to go this fast. Still with an air of excitement in the office, we pulled it out of its box to give it a test run.
Hardware The awesome Motorola 68060 CPU arrives and we The Blizzard 1260 is extremely w» constructed. It is made up of a high tech four layer printed circti board with very small surface mounted logic components. Ther is also a very large surface area i the centre made up of five squart grey centimetres of the largely unmarked 68060. Also, unlike the Falcon, the entire business is mounted on the underside of the card like 68030 accelerators.
Test drive the fastest Amiga 1200 ever.
O: popular for the Amiga
1200. They became essential as Amiga users graduated into using
more and more powerful and resource hungry applications The
1200 s stock 14MHz 68EC020.
However, is way under powered.
68030 cards are commonplace and for a long time this has been the limit of how fast an Amiga 1200 can go. Until the overr-otva-card Falcon 68040 arrived, that is. Now, with the Blizzard 1260, the base model Amiga goes faster than it was ever thought possible.
There’s no cooling provided fa the CPU at all, though with the large surface area it didn’t seem i get as hot as 50MHz 68030s do.
The inclusion of a battery backed up clock is a bonus and gives the Blizzard an edge over the Falcon which doesn't have one.
The now standard Blizzard fea ture of an edge connector for the DMA SCSI module is also presen It uses the same unit as the Blizzard 1230 Mark IV. Even more good news is that SCSI add-on also has another SIMM socket which takes up to a 128MB SIMf (we should be so lucky! While evr the standard SIMM socket takes up to a 64Mb unit. However, The 68060 B ¦ » ‘ !
R 1 Dma 1 ++ r Control The 68040 introduced massive 8K data and instruction caches as well as drastically reduced cycle time for existing instructions. This made the 68040 the largest leap in performance in a generation. The 68060, however, incorporates many of the modern CPU architecture tactics used in the very fastest of today's modern processors. This means that the 68060 is miraculously able to execute three instructions for every clock! The built- in FPU performance is even more astounding, mainly due to the so- called 'superscalar' implementation of two separate parallel execution
pipelines. The bottom line is that the 68060 is fast. As fast as any processor capable of running 68000 series code is going to get as sadly this is the end of the line of the Motorola 680x0 series. Here's a diagram of its workings for posterity.
ODUCT TtSl 'ODUCT TEST ause the CPU is so large, it des on the space where a would protrude from the dM socket. That means a dou- 9 sided SIMM will not fit.
Fitting the card was no more or 5 difficult than any other 68030 Blerator though it was a good il easier than the Falcon! As i the Blizzard 1230 Mark IV the t can be entirely disabled by ding down the '2' key during a et. A good thing too as you uldn't want to be constantly ving and inserting £600 worth ardware. Another bonus point.
The only jumper on the entire 1 is to set MAPROM on or !. If enabled, the card will automatically copy the contents of the Amiga's ROM into fast RAM which will provide a good speed up to operating system functions at the cost of 512K of RAM.
68060 library Unlike standard 68030 accelerators, there's some software which must be installed on the host machine before using the card.
This takes the form of a 68040.library and a 68060.library. The 68040 library will detect if there is a 68060 present and direct that library to be used instead.
Setpatch actually installs the patches whereby 68040 support is added. The reason for this is that the FPU units built in to the 68040 and 68060 are not full implementations of 6888x FPU code. The patches intercept any use of unimplemented instructions and execute the special 68040 68060 FPU code needed. Apparently this way is quicker, though when programs make heavy use of the unimplemented 6888x instructions, performance will suffer greatly.
For this reason the disk provided comes with a rather poorly documented 'CyberPatcher'. This amazing software will actually patch any programs running to use 68060 FPU code. The effective performance boost is amazing as we found with our Imagine 3.0 cover disk. It's recommended that the patcher be dropped into WBStartup. Also provided on the disk is a replacement for the 68030 MMU using Enforcer debugging tool. A very welcome additioh. There's also a developers program to detect instructions the 68060 does not support.
Finally a new C: command called CPU060 controls the 68060’s modes such as Caches, copyback and superscalar mode which are all very comprehensive.
However, I would have liked to have seen a GUI CPU preferences utility too and better documentation of the utilities provided.
Now down to business, how fast is the Blizzard 1260? It's very fast.
After installing in my own (normally 28MHz 68020 kitted) machine, I was shocked at the drastically reduced boot time (a few seconds) and the speed that icons appeared when clicking on a drive from Workbench. The trouble is that the CPU is so very much faster than the Amiga's display is capable of moving so that in some instances it might appear that the machine isn't as fast as it actually is.
Rendering a saved scene in Imagine rapidly dispelled that illusion. A quick render took but seconds to arrive and a full render lingered just a fraction of the time it did before. These things are subjective though. What's needed is some cold hard benchmarks and for that I turned to the PD bench marking tool, AIBB (see left).
To avoid a guru, AIBB needed to be told that the CPU is a 68000, the FPU a 68882 and then I force fed the clock speed. Normally very reliable. AIBB didn’t quite know how to deal with the 68060 without the manual overrides.
Fortunately after this it was well enough behaved to create a 'module'. The module is included on this month's cover disk in the AIBB directory. Normally you can wait around for half an hour for AIBB to perform all those tests. The Blizzard 1260 finished it in a ridiculous 1 minute 45 seconds which caused to us double check that it actually did perform the tests!
In order to test for any compatibility problems, I ran virtually every program I could from my hard drive. Not one program caused a problem except that Power Computing's Breathless crawled along slower than a standard A1200. Strange.
There were only a couple of serious hardware incompatibility problems that we found. Firstly the unit didn’t work in the MicroniK tower. We were unable to contact the developers about the problem before going to press. More importantly, the Blizzard 1260 was completely incompatible with the HiSoft PCMCIA Squirrel SCSI interface. We immediately contacted HiSoft and they informed us they have a 1260 for testing and were working on the problem. Squirrel owners would be well advised to call to HiSoft about a software update before considering a 1260.
Speed freaks The Blizzard is a high quality accelerator and currently the fastest around by a long shot (barring the unreviewed Falcon 68060 variant). However, the entire unit (with 8Mb RAM) will cost in the region of £850. A staggering sum that would go far enough to buy an entire new setup equipped with a 68030 accelerator. As such it's one for speed demons only. However, Amiga users wanting something more than just a 68030 unit will find it expensive but until budget 040s come along it's better value. ¦ Mat Bettinson Hard Drives + controller for | A500O) Aisoo Aaooo A3ooo A4ooo____
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• NO OBLIGATION FREE QUOTE Blitz Basic 2.1 I Price: £34.99 ¦
Developer: Acid Software ¦ Supplier: Guildhall Leisure © 01302
890000 Fancy making tons of cash, becoming a household
celebrity, making your fortune with a superb game? Not
everyone can do it, but if you want to try look no further ...
* u.u sa*nj;«’n..‘rr« SECT- ,mmirn LESOM »??
TION OR ER TO THE RELIABLE AMIGA PARTS EQUOTE RVICE Ym could program a game like Worais. Have it polled te all other mats m existence aad make a fortune You could also be afflicted 4 a fascination tor concrete donkeys, like Worms' inventor and Blitz ngrammer Andy Davidson, lesson: you don't have to he mad to in Blitz, but it helps.
Hose of us I that have
* been with Commodore's chines since the days will remem- r the
I the advent of the ga. Microsoft made r first and only J product: Amiga
c. Unfortunately, ja Basic turned out } incompatible with r
machines and nmodore decided ) commission a new version s
popular and relatively isy language. It wasn't until rfOS
arrived that the new s had a well liked and fully ured Basic
' hit dOS was a hit and after being r mounted by various Amiga blications. It swamped the guage market so that even ay Amiga PD and Shareware I has a large contingent grammed in Amos. Europress ) unfortunately ceased t for the language though there's still quite a few Amos programmers holding the fort including commercial games developer Vulcan Software.
However, in 1993, Mark Sibly of New Zealand based company Acid Software brought a new Basic to the Amiga. Blitz Basic was designed from the outset to be capable of programming commercial quality games and to launch it Sibly demonstrated just what could be done with his new language: Skidmarks followed by Guardian arrived. At the time of Blitz 2.0 it received tumultuous applause but several years hence, had grave concerns | mat on update was I not going to prove it anything more than a reasonable games programming package.
• date Blitz Basic 2.1 .as reviewed here, isn’t so much the next
version as an minor update to address 2.0‘s shortcomings. The
main list of new features includes complete on-line AmigaGuide
help, restructured library handling, bug fixed parameter
parsing and complete AGA and OS 3.0 support. Blitz
2. 1 retains the ability to run on the most basic Amiga with no
extra memory and running from floppy drive only.
Hard drive users can elect to use more comprehensive and larger 'acidlibs' modules which give added commands and functionality.
Blitz does not, however, come with a hard drive installer. This isn't a large problem though since comprehensive HD installation instructions are provided.
The Blitz programming environment is a tightly coupled and well thought out affair. Entering the actual Basic programs is done in The Editor or TED for short, which also comes in basic and enhanced versions for different systems. It's pretty much your usual text editor with normal text marking and clipping commands though annoyingly it doesn't insert and delete lines like modern editors you need to use a menu key command instead o insert or delete a line. Being dedicated to Blitz, TED has a nice feature of highlighting Blitz commands when a line is returned.
One function I fell in love with was its automatic handling of subroutine bookmarks. Simply type in a subroutines title or label with a preceding and magically TED partitions to grow a lister on the right hand side showing the name of the subroutine. Later clicks on the names in this list will automatically move TED’s cursor to this routine.
Debugging The debugger is complicated but that's because it's essentially a machine code monitor and users with no knowledge of the workings of 68000 assembly code will be completely lost. For them the only hope is to try and figure out why the code failed and fortunately full tracing and stepping is possible. One criticism I can lay at Blitz 2. Vs door is that a number of the examples given refused to compile for me. I was unceremoniously dumped in the debugger and occasionally the Guru came to visit in any event.
When ploughing through the much improved, ring bound Blitz
2. 1 manual (though the pages tend to fall out), at first Blitz
seems like a fairly standard implementation of the Basic
language until you find that you'll need to think about what
type of variables are needed and define them correctly from
the start. IE decide if a numeric variable's possible ranges
will fall within the range of a byte etc. It gets worse until
Blitz starts to resemble a cross between Basic and some
strange form of ’C This is not a Basic for the tinkerer.
While Blitz is quite capable of creating some impressive graphic effects without resorting to in-line machine code (which Blitz supports very well), it seems that many of the examples provided are laden with this sort of thing.
This was not a problem a few years ago bul with the Amiga destined to move away from the 68000 to the Power PC CPUs, new users would be ill advised to start learning 68000 assembly at this late stage Do it all So what can Blitz do when it comes down to it? It's more a question of what can't be done and that's very little. It's quite possible to remain so-called ’OS compliant' and create applications with standard Gadtools GUIs or even MUI. With this knowledge it's a wonder more utility and application programmers don't use Blitz in this area as I found the development cycle to be quick and
easy with only a generic knowledge of Basic to start me off Resulting compiled executable sizes were quite small and execution speed very rapid indeed.
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i _ to.inn screen in the best style of flashy machine coded
Demos Games programmed with Blitz could not be identified as
being programmed with Blitz unlike their unfortunate Amos
Illegal AMOS Amos is infamous for it s OS illegal practices. This is obviously not unusual for games software On the other hand, kick in to 'Blitz Mode' and you begin a whole new ball game. The Operating System is swiftly ejected and some of Blitz's powerful graphics handling functions come in to being. These enable double buffering. Parallax scrolling and 50 trillion objects to be thrown around the Interpreted vs Compiled Here it's worth noting the difference between interpreted and compiled languages. The old Commodore Basic and even the Amiga DOS scripts and Arexx language are 'inter
preted'. That means that each line is read in, one at a time, by the language and executed. The benefit of this method is that a change can be performed instantly and the program rerun to see the result. The down sides are that anyone needing to run the program must have the full language installed to run the program and speed is usually far below what is required to write full programs.
There's is where 'compiled' languages come in. Here the entire program will be read in and converted to a stand alone bit of code that the Amiga can run without having the original language installed. The process is called 'compiling'. Modern languages all use this method though it does require that between every change, the program must be recompiled before being run.
Blitz makes the process very easy and quick. The last menu in TED is called 'Compiler' and the first function is 'Compile and Run'. All the programmer needs to do is select this and Blitz will compile the code and run it all in one hit. During this development time, the programmer will usually have the compiler options set in a particular way.
This means that there will be no size optimisation which would be used in the final compiling of the program as it takes longer. Likewise the run-time debugger will be enabled so that any errors will be safely trapped rather than a visit from the Guru when something goes wrong.
This is another concern with a BASIC compiler such as Blitz. Because it's so low-level and capable of generating small and fast code, error checking is nothing like it is with interpreted languages. One programmer error can cause the entire house of cards to fall down. The Debugger during the development phase will catch these errors though when the programmer is teleported to the debugger with a shock it will all seem quite technical.
But with Blitz’s capability to program proper OS compliant applications with virtually all the same capabilities that would normally be written with C compilers. Blitz holds the crown as the all round Amiga programming package.
What sort of Amiga user would Blitz Basic be suited to?
The answer depends on what you envisage yourself doing with Blitz. To be honest, if you intend to program utilities and serious applications exclusively, l‘d still recommend that you opt for C or even our December Amiga E cover disk. Using these packages would make it easier to work from Amiga system programming documents. Those who want to create graphic based games and demos or even utilities with heavy graphics usage.
Blitz is your man. If you want to program games alone. Blitz is most definitely your package.
Be prepared to encounter a slight learning curve even if you are familiar with Basic. Especially if you've had no encounter with the more low level aspects such as having to worry about how to store your data I was dubious of Blitz’s OS compliant ability but after having used it to create some programs to send out Arexx commands to other applications, I foresee that a relationship with Blitz will continue. Being a great fan of Arexx but constantly annoyed with its execution s| some of my largest and scripts can be re-written in Blitz the same functionality. Blitz not appear to have the same of
support in the UK as Amos with a regular Blitz Users Magazine (amusingly called BUM for short) and a real live Blitz Bas Newsgroup for Internet users, it does have more serious bare bones support.
BLTZ BASIC 2 1 system requirements tar Arnica tafcaaced (or HD If it wasn't for Blitz we wouldn't have Team 17's That's one of the highest praiS' that can be afforded and now that I'm satisfied of its serious applications and Mark Sibly’s renewed development interest including plans for a new super sowest mat
3. 0 version. Blitz Basic looks to be the Amiga’s No. I all round
programming package. Not _ only amateurs but for profession-1
als alike. Blitz Basic 2.1 is a very well put together package
that deserves to do well.
Recommend unreservedly. ¦ Mat Bettinson lip with 3 a great uly ion speed, slowest i in Blitz to Blitz may same level Amos but F1-14 TOTS TIME CAM.
FI-84 WORD PIUS* PflO »'.J C4.M. FI GOLD TITLES S UTILS 1 Mi SUTItSf r r.
St praises d now serious Jibly's nterest w super ooks to round Not rofession- is a
• ackage NUCLEUS SALE OFFER Special offer - For every 10 Disks
you BUY get 2 Disks FREE Send your order lo: Active Software.
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SOFTWahc Price: £69.99 ¦ Developer: Digita International ¦ Supplier: Digita International © 01395 270273 Wordworth is back and it's kicking butt as far as word processors go.
This latest version has all the features ®e may only have two high end word processors to choose from on the Amiga, but we what we lack in quantity, we make up for with quality. In the latter part of last year. Final Writer 4 was released to high acclaim from CU Amiga Magazine. Now it's the turn of Wordworth 5 to come under scrutiny.
Wordworth is a program so embedded in Amiga history, it's hard to remember an Amiga being released without this mighty word processor. Yet past versions of Wordworth lacked a number of key features. No Arexx and no style sheets to name but two. With version 5.
This has all changed. New features abound and with several key features addressed, from what I’ve seen. Wordworth has finally come of age.
I have now been using a pre-production version of Wordworth 5 solidly for more than two months and in that time have grown to appreciate it more and more. I have to admit to being one of the old guard who like to use text based word processors but the fact that this review is being written in Wordworth 5 will tell you that I have now relinquished my fear of trusting a graphics based word processor.
The change of heart is due in no small part to the many new features to be found in Wordworth 5.
Trying to single them out in order of importance is impossible but style sheets certainly made an impression on me. Many of you will have already had a taste of style sheets in Wordworth 4SE. But these have been beefed up significantly for version 5. A style sheet, for those who have never heard of them, is a function which enables you to apply a enables you to create two types of Arexx scripts. One is called an Arexx Macro and this would be used for tying together one or more Wordworth functions in a script that can be called up to perform repetitive tasks.
The other type is the Wizard.
This is basically the same type of script except that the aim of each wizard is to help you create documents interactively. Wordworth comes with a few examples that help you create a fax template, invoice, letterhead and so on.
The thing that struck me about these wizards is how easy they are to create. Let me say now.
That I know nothing about Arexx or about programming but within an hour of getting a wizard from Digita. I had created my own interactive wizard that created a page, put lines where I wanted, typed out some text for me asked me a load of silly questions and much more.
The possibilities are endless and although I feel Digita should expand on the available Arexx commands, the feature is still a lot of fun to play with.
Making notes Notes is yet another of the new features in Wordworth 5. There are two types included. Endnotes ] and Footnotes. Using them is simple enough. The idea behind them is that you find a place in your document where you want to place a reference number series of attributes to a piece of text in the one operation.
You might, for example, have a series of captions for pictures in your docu- AA.e. fen... i Kartwortb is the *inrl It can cream p«|«* •« ment. Up until now. *•* ¦«* " w* you had to remember what each of these individual attributes were so each caption looked the same. Now all you have to do is create a single style sheet called Captions and then apply it to each caption in your document.
Style sheets There are two types of style sheets in Wordworth. Paragraph based and character based ones.
A paragraph based style sheet applies its attributes to one or more paragraphs while a character based style sheet can be applied to any number of characters with, out affecting the paragraph attributes of the text. This enables you to have a normal style sheet that is applied to all the text in a letter and a character based one for special pieces of text within that letter such as people's name Applying these style sheets to your text is dead easy. There are many methods you can choose from but one method that will have tongues wagging is the drag and drop approach where you simply drag
the style sheet out of the floating palette and onto the text. As easy as that.
Style sheets can also be applied to pieces of text created by other Wordworth functions including contents generation, notes and so on.
Arexx Another of the big headline features is Arexx. This addition Wordworth - the Highlights
• Drag and Drop Style Sheets
• Interactive Wizards to help you create your documents
• Background Printing frees up the page in seconds
• Direct support for LaserJet 3 and above printers
• On-Line Help
• Template support
• Import Final Copy Final Writer as well as many PC formats
• TextEff acts
• Endnotes and Footnotes
• Custom Bullet Points
• Auto Correct to correct as you type
• New FontEffects such as configurable Small Caps and
Super Subscript characters
• Tables with import support for TurboCalc files
• Powerful Find and Replace including the font attributes as well
as the text itself
• Contents and Index generation » Mail Merge multiple records on
a page wo types s called an would be one or ions in a d up to
per- 5 Wizard, ne type of im of each eate docu- rdworth nples
C me about asy they ay now.
Ut Arexx but within sard from own created a wanted, r me asked ions and endless ta should '.ARexx is still a which matches the same number ittached to a note either at the toot of your page or at the end of your document.
Notes are separated from the nain text by a line which is nserted automatically. This line can be the whole width of a page or only half the width. The style of the line and its endings can Iso be configured. The text for the notes can be automatically rmatted by Wordworth using :ributes from a style sheet.
Tes the new
5. There . Endnotes hem is aa behind place in you want imber onds
is a great move by Digita. Do remember though that the page
will still take some time to print although now the print
process won't stop you from carrying on with your work.
LaserJet 3 and above owners also get something to play with. With most printers, if you use the printer's internal fonts, the choice is rather limited.
Wordworth though is now able to create printer fonts from those fonts used on-screen and then download them to LaserJets. This means that although the first print may take a while to output, every page thereafter that uses those fonts will print much faster because it's using the fonts downloaded to your LaserJet.
As you can see, all these features are new and there are lots more. Ruler tools sees a lot of new buttons. One called Bullet Points for example, lets you take a paragraph and add a user configurable bullet at the click of a button. The bullet used can be selected from a panel which shows you all the characters available to a particular font.
Also in ruler tools are two buttons for indenting a whole paragraph left or right.
In other words, if you want a paragraph to A Mitls cao be shifted left or right Toais. The type in relation to the other paragraphs. It can be done quickly using these tools.
Yet another new function is one for placing TurboCalc spreadsheet files as a table in Wordworth. This can be used two ways, one where a new table is created or another where the information is placed into an existing table. This feature was still in testing stages as I wrote this review, but for those of you using TurboCalc, it will prove to be a very, very useful feature indeed.
Importing Final Writer files It is well known that many Amiga owners have both Final Writer and Wordworth. So it makes sense for Digita to have created a Final Copy Final Writer import filter.
Like most filters trying to open a rival product's files, it works but there is generally a trade off in what elements it imports. The example I had.
Imported text OK. But other formatting support was still lacking.
What a bargain?
Overall. Wordworth 5 is a big improvement on Wordworth 3.
It's more than worth upgrading to.
What I would like to see from now on is a beefing up of the current crop of features as well as some more specialist tools added and of course, a wider selection of Arexx commands.
Nobody can say Wordworth 5 better than Final Writer or vice versa because they both still support a number of useful features that the other does not. The one you choose will depend on what specialist features you need as both programs handle the basics very well.
However, Do bear in mind though that to upgrade from Wordworth 3.1 only costs £29.99 and that makes Wordworth a real bargain for existing users. ¦ Larry Hickmott Multimedia At Its Best!
Simple and Easy-to-use Educating and Informative Entertaining and Exciting Powerful and Amazing!
The History of the AMIGA Main Contents List: Who invented *? The okl Commodore, its bosses, ideas, mrs- Jtes etc. The Escom rtvtval and much more migo Environment hat s yoi* Amiga? Why a 4 so «peaal? Whet a the
- scene"? Who are Arrvga Technoto ee and -hat do they do?
Ne AMIGA Hardware The world’s first truly AGA multimedia, interactive compact disc.
Designed for beginners, new users through to intermediate (and higher!) Levels, it helps an Amiga user understand more about their computer and what it is capable of. Covers many subjects from raytracing to the Internet and from programming to music. I Many 'well-known' experts and Amiga-buffs are contnbuting to I this CD. They offer help, answers, tips, tricks and more. Want to .
Know how the experts create a WWW page? Global Internet show how! Stuck using Internet software? John Kennedy explains all.
Also contains forums, opinions and a look to the future with top Amiga developers. Comes with a FREE bonus beginners section with commercial programs, commercial demos and all the PD you need to Get Started, all ready-to-run. If you have an AGA Amiga | with a CD player, then get this. PC multimedia CD’s are here!
ADVANCED AMIGAGUIDE - AAG Fast Rendering of 8 bft (286 colour) Images Dracftca*yna(ante out cNftoy of 2S6 ccfeur cucfures eten an ifoc* 020 Ar ga There can be mare man c mwge cMMwO one M*ia xm me patarw vwar Is a Stand alone Platform Unlike Other -Hypertext' Products (HTML Language etc) need other pmg«ma iuc i as MJ or ArtoTCPloan
- And Starring!
Kev art0 Gareth Craft Amiga MID
- MIDCrafl Slew Bye
- AMOS Piogwrmng
• Ft Ucenceware Ed Ljfty tockrron
- Octomed m Depth
- DTP. Prrtsn Clpat
• Octemed E*pert Peter and Dew] Clarke
- 30 Anmatcn
- The Room Upetan S«mon*C© 30 An?-ecture
- V.&l Mark Thomas WWW DwgrvUn
- Gvtoef Wemet Ltd Demy Amor
- The CO and Goman Ukt
• Fveetarce Wtoter Jason JonJacfw
- Bzmap Graphcs
- 'reetance Arbet DM Hemenwsy
- Datomaton David Taylor Storage. Emutabon
- Fraetonce Wreer ‘ * John Kennedy
- internet etc etc etc!
• Paraoon (Fieelancel Jeremy Ford
- PD Section
- Grotmd Zero Software Justvt Joyce Amiga DTV
- Axiom Video Service.
Alu.t are tour icroor gKeB Andrew Campbell Richard Bannister
• AMOS Hands-on' an ewty ,«ion ol me Get Musk (Soutdstudo)
- MED Users Group LD intersea Trie Degal Spencer JafYa
- imagine Hands-on'
• Imagne Users Group Cok*» windows. Via 'OJtr l liurory and an
anrullon nuO Advanced AmlgoQukte (or AAG) Is the language that
resides behind the Get Started interlace. It offers m enhanced
and powerful features over the old AmigaGuide language. To the
left of this bo* is a list of the i lures AAG contains. AAG
could be used in a multimedia product, interface front-end.
On-line help progn disk magazine and much more. Contact us for
licence details. AAG should be available by May June 19* 'ALL
YOU NEED' SECTIC AAG - GUI OS VERSION The se-you-need' section
cortans a carefuSy »Super Bitmap Window same lachnquw lor Bmg
- GUIDE" fsaa | sea second petirK ONOOf
• UNK. OCOMMAND etc are the seme as the cSd format. But new com-
monOt have been added such os OtSMGt OREM. OMOO OSECTKON OPAQE.
OCOLOUR. OBOX. ODRAW.
OLINE. OGOTO. OCENTRE etc etc Thie alow* the user to quickly inder- stend the emc*c*y ot writing the doc- catar tor AmgeOmde Mm -men We up mon *ne» than *
• Downward Compatibility rs SOW » rsod qdH AmtyQuMM tormef (and
soon HTML capes) Drawing Toole AAG attowt you lo crssfa Wes
txuas. Cocks and cotaur mam Cy uskg simple commana auch as
OOHAW IO-40.2S-60 co OlWf IO.JO.34 - usmg co-orsnarw and
tonpths The Get Started CD should be available from most good
Ollt March 1996 tmmrtrA iL oTZZ"** [AGA Machines] £29.99 MUG.
The Imagine Users Group. I" ¦* MlDICra«. AMOS re authors and
Ctoanto. The PD cor* are tvghlighied and sumned within the Get
Staneo a face. There Is also a superb ‘Got Corrected" area: al
need, ready-to run lnstall (all e piamed in the Get Sts
intarfacall) to get onto the Internet Global Internet wA be|
vidmg the access, so immediate net surfing! There are 0 more
reasons to buy Get Storied • «• like 3 CD'S ¦ Multimedia CO. »i
ter net Software CO. Commercial Soft* Bjifmu avpwb PD libraries
The nterfiKe must be the moat easy to use CO interface on any
CD. Coded by the ¦¦MM 00 aAhor of the superb new Get Started CD
- n*1 point, read about the disk and click to o.tract Superb
and very aaey to use. The oontents have also been updated so
you get al the latest PD until eerty January 1«M and loads more
as toted oppoefle. Cornea with an on-line help routine,
multitaskmg search routine and hotkeys tone tlon. If you want
SSOMO s of the latest PD. Then look here! Two formats
- ready-to n.n and the DMS format (for shops etc). The pchras
below show the enhanced DMS interface r. action.
New Search Routine J New 'Hot-Keys' Function Nat pees S tor tamer or f tor ana Help" tor he*» Restyled, Remastered new help end nkymaoon gjoe. Resided artwork* Superb1
• Oreelest » Ute.t PO from eerty 1095 - January IBM : Ute».
Games, demos slideshows, education, dak mags and morel
- WlMSne IWMI or me *Mrl M «Mi or pert PO eortwere
• NEW' too Klondike Card Games Delute Cardsets
• NEW! The complete Actrre Software Pro Pack collection
• NEVA AM the Profeestonal Sound Samples (50 Disks)
• NlWt Over 7SMS. Ot read-to vicw uso Magic WB icons etc NEW!
READY TO RUN & DMS COMMERCIAL SOFTWARE - NOT PD!
Ol textures has taken a staggering S years to complete, a are a professional graphics company, based in Bristol, l providing textures and backgrounds tor video, ray-tracing TffTT* etc. This CD consists of 500+ 24Bit backgrounds and textures, it includes the very high quality 24BII JPEG files for video, graphics and multimedia work, Targa's A B for PC raytracing and GIF format for video titling B applications. The vanous sections include Abstract - W Phantasmagoria, Abstract - Oil Paints. Abstract - |H Mixed, Animal Skins, Clouds. Fve. Food. Masonry.
Rock. Metai (6 sub-sections), Water, Wood Bark.
¦BE Wood Grain. Miscellaneous No wasted space on this n CD-Rom - a collection of extensive tutorials. This CO ijffl comes with a full colour multi-page reference booklet jflfl for every single texture. An ideal complement to a
* SB raytracing CO such as Light Rom 3 etc. Please note
SPACEBALLS present ative is the most ambitious issue to date.
Corv9isting of 3 CO Rom's! Ftom 1 is filled with thousands of
Lightwave objects and scene files, building upon previous BBH
issues. Rom 2 contains huge collections of 30 oojetcs in
different f ie for- MtoH ~ats ncluc ng Imagine (175M0 s| 30
Studio ItODMB's;, Sculpt (30MBs) V9 and Real 30 (7MB's). It
also includes 700 textures n the JPEG format and a Video
Toaster directory with wipes and CG fonts. Rom 2 also has a
col- aJRI lection ot 30 landscapes in the Lightwave. Imagine
and 30 Studio file for- mats and a collection ot useful Amiga
and PC PO orograms Rom 3 «s a ¦KB -DEM ROM', a bonus CD-ROM
containing over 1000 digital elevation maps for use with
VistaPro. Scenary Animator and World Construction Wwfgr Set
(available from Bittersoft) on any platform. All Lightwave
objects, tex- NF* have Men servng tha Amiga Scene' recently
with an amaing amount of effort Well known r the UK for the«
Boo,shoo series. ExcW- a tent AGA-oriy Word die. Magaano and
orop-ante such as 'Bans'. ‘Boomn Eck' and 'enLock' present
their first CO for the Amiga Unlko olhor scene releases, this
contains AGA PO trem the asl 3 yoars of which 90% will run
straight from the CEX Contans the best WB3* ull.tes and cre
ative soltware HOOMBl. The greatest AGA games (lOOWB). High
quality AGA sideshows (150MB). The most outstanding AGA demos
(20CMB). Entertamng and intormative disk magarne* and the beet
o( the rest ndudtng the llceroad Amiga Roocrts and all the
Amiga Doom' clones. NFA have also compiled I0**3S O' excUvre
wares tv mo CO: sideshows. Kkoodke cards and more. Ai mis end
contained in supeib exckisne retraced iconrfied »awers set
with* a Magic Workbench envronment makes the CD an absolute
pleasure to use!
The has got to be the most comprehensive CO- For rnr; yy AIAA use- Want lo shew c** the Ol ,»y new AGA mecnire you rocevcd at Xmas? ¦ 1 [J* 1 Get the It you dot ¦ L* I 31: J £15.99 U£h| wjS- tures and DEMs on this collection are represented with thumbnail ren- » T denngs. Michael Meshew, the author of Light Rom 1. 2 and 3. Has pro- H duced a CD that offers the World artistic talent for a reasonable price.
Texture Portfolio & Light Rom 3 for £49.99 tou screen gra rskon of the Get se: The man p* ce. II offers rr a a list of fhe ie help progn May June 199 SECTIC is a carefully ¦ i'iIgIqE THE AMINET COLLECTION Amine! 6 June 95 £ AMINET COLLECTION VOL1 £22.99 Amine! 7 Augusl 95 £11.99 The Am oat Collection is a superb set ot tour Amine! 8 October 95 £11.99 CO tor any Amiga user Contain* Amnet i-a.
Amine! 9 December 95 £11.99 PD from-93 to Oecemcer W. 4 GIG of datal Amine! 10 February 96 [Oul Now] £11.99 AMINET COLLECTION VOL2 £24.99 Amine! 11 April 96 [Pre-Order] £11.99 Am.net Set 2 contans all the Am.net uptoads Amine! 12 June 96 [Pre-Order] £11.99 ’••’"' DWt December 1994 to _______________ November 1996. Gigabytes (four CO’S) Of fJJIilTlfHiiljfT;iBy: l11 il Vi IjrijSS a-’1'-- l«mos. Pirtocs. A-'.ijtrj.,. ... *U,,C,I TJ?M 5t,VICt & Hhta£s tremS rtoVJ Gut bV" ho’t J“L AMINET SET 2 OUT NOW CM SENSATIONS TEN ON TEN PACK OCTAMED 6 CD-ROM Cctamed is the moat easy-to-use. Power'll and
elective muse ¦hhw* segueroer on the Amiga. Designed for the E Hef ¦ teg.nro- -gnt through to a muse expert, ¦u .W Cctamed w" *k w yCu to day ..pto o«gt-t chan- ¦toib Dels c' sound CXI any Amga By using a tost processor (330. You can even use hgh-guairy BisSSSm **“* »' 019™ channels - etecbvely doubling the normal sound output (rprmaliy four channels) Octamed also has a bult m sound aamper edltc*. Custom sound generator and MIDI support- Tns CD also contans over 600MB ot module*, the entre Wakaooui sound sample collection and much more. Documental on come* in a on-line format and a lasor
prnted, ful-feaiured accompanying manual by Ed Wies.
RMWTWWl INCLUDES MANUAL! £29.99 SCI-FI SENSATIONS vol.2 SCI-FI Sensation* « an exiting new CO-Rom contanng over 1000MB or soence ftcoon mages, muse, are- maBons. 30 objects tor Imagine ana Lightwave, sound FX. Documentvtext. Them tunes, rrdor- mason and SO-FI games Categories include Babyton 5. Starve* (the Ongnal TNG. Oeep Soace Nino. Voyager and the fimai. Batman.
Dr Who. Thundertxrds. RcPocop. Btaderumer.
Alerts. 2001. BaWeeta- Galactic* TRON. Total Recall and many other films. All the irrformaton a ready to run trom the CD. Amiga.
PC and MAC. New verson 2 a now available containing more SCI- FI data than ever betcre.
AMOS vol.2 E14.99 3D ARENA END OF SEASON Active Software, PO Box 151 [Darlington, County Durham, [DL3 8YT, ENGLAND.
R. -r' 01325 352260 pre order Look out for the SALE sign. Offers
end on the 22nd of March 1996. Normal prices (call) resume
after this date. Please check availability before ordering.
SOFTWar, be debiled s CD-Rom. 2 SrflS?sssr?sssstKKSs; EVERGLADE '™vs,™ERE(r g TEL: FAX:01667 454933 NAIRN IVI2 4BJ AMIGA DISCOUNT SOFTWARE Andre Agassi Tennis... Approach Trwur--- Arcade Pool. ..... Archer Mcleans Pool... Cadaver Payoff____ Cannon Fodder-- Cannon Fodder 2________....._____ Captain Fizz meets the Blasterons... Championship Ron .
Cybenon ¦_ Dun* I------ Dun* 2----------------------------------- Embryo ----------------- Eorochampt M------- F29 Retakator-- Final Over . Hard Nova____________________ Heavy Metal ..... Hoyles Book of Games Vol I--- Hoyles Book o Gamet Vol 2-- Hoylet Book o Gamet Vol )-- Hook--------------------------- Gazzat Super Soccer ...... Indy tones A Fate o Atlantl, .. E ee=eee King Quett II • Romancing The Stone... Loom------------------------------ Mercenary- MKJ29M Super F*nm- Monkey bland 2 • I* Chuck . Revenge .
N. B.A. JAM T.E----------------------- PGA Tour
Golf------------------------------ Player Manage- 2---- ITEMS
SUBJECT Populous - Promised Land .... £10.99 _____£1199
m £1799 £1099 £10.99
- ....£20.99 _______£10.99 £1099 £2099 £19.99 £12.95
- £10.95 _£099 £1999 £17.99 £1199 _£14.99 _£1199 __£499 £18.99
Ask _£1999 _£1179 £19.99 £8.99 £10.95 £1195 _£1799 £1099 £19.99
£1199 £1095 £1195 ...£12.95 £1899 Populous II------ £1179
Premier Manage- ) Deluxe EdKi £2*99 Realms- ....£8.99 Road Rash
-------------------------- .£10.99 SeawoH
2_________________________ .£1199 Sensible Golf-----------
...£9.95 Sensible World of Soccer---- £1195 S-non the Sorceror
2_ £17.99 Star Crusader--------- ....£4.99 Shuttle
Sinker_______________ £1899 Supremacy---------- £1099
Temper*___ . £ 12.95 Total Footbal .. . £ 12.9S Tracksuit
Manager 94 95----------- ....£9.99 Treble Champions
2___________ £24 99 Turbo Trax__________ .£1095 W« Commander_
.£10.99 Wo* Child______ ....£8.95 Wsrms
.... £4.99 Zeewolf
2_______________________ ..£11.99 AMIGA 1200 .£11.99 Aken Breed
20_ Cl I 99 Another World._____ ....£8.95 Andre Agassi
Tennis--------- ....£4.99 Arcade
Pool .. £895 Archer Mdean
Pool------------- .£1295 Cadaver - The Ply 08--- .£1195 Cannon
- £ 1195 Championship Manager 2-- .£1199
Chesi------------------------ £1199 Curse of
Enchantla____________ .£199 Desert Strfce-------- .£1195 Dune
I----- ..£1199 Dune 2----- .£19.99 Ehte 2- Frontier £10.99 £999
£2499 £12.95 Embryo-------- £13 99 Eurochampt "96 £1199 Exrfe
TO AVAILABILITY. P&P is ACCESS FREE. Europe add £2 per title.
Rest of World add £3.50 per title, and VISA NOW ACCEPTED.
MS Strike Eagle II-----------------------£12.95 Feers-----------------------£19.99 Gloom-£11.99 Gloom Data Dak--£10 99 Hoyles Book of Games Vol I----------£11.99 Hoyles Book of Games Vbl 2.._.„ ...._£l 1.99 Hoyles Book of Games Vbl 3----------£11 99 Kings Quest ll-Romtncmg the Stone. £1099 Ryder Cup Golf SeawoJf 2__ Secret of Monkey Island 2 - le Chuck's Revenge _ ...... £12.99 Sensible Golf_£1499 Sensrfrfe World of Soccer-£1099 Simon the Sorcerer 2----- £29.99 Spent Legacy. ...--------- £19.99 £1999 £499 _£I299 _.£I095 £899
- ..£19 99 _.£I4 99 £899 £4 99 ...£1899
- .£19 99 Blitz Tennis . £19 99 £18.99 £1899 £1499
- ...£24.99 £21.99 £1099 Blitz Bomber----------- Fears---
Gloom--- Gloom 1---------- Simon the Sorcerer 2 ...._ Super
Strtetfighter 2----- AMIGA ACCESSORIES Mock-E-Mouse ' Cybershot
Twin Pack ....£14.75 Mock-E-Mousc gives |oystick control to all
mouse functions. Cybershot converts any sun- dard Anuga (oytock
mto a Deadly Autofire Sock.
DUST COVERS A1200-------- £3.95 CD32----------------------------------------£3.95 JOYSTICKS Jupner Stick------------------- Technoplus Joypad - . Atfa-Data 400Op Mous Amiga ST SwicchaMe Mouse --£ 12.95 AMIGA COMPUTERS A1200 (dw Pinball Mama. Wordsworth SE £379 99 A1200 with 170 Mb Hard Drive ...£479.99 AMINET DISKS Ask about EVERGLADE P. D. Library egular readers of CU , Amiga Magazine will know that we're long time fans of Epson's range. When we first iewed the Stylus range we [were impressed by its 720 dpi I output which produced print quality the like of which hadn't been
seen before in a low cost printer. As a result, the Stylus range quickly found a home in i many Amiga users set-ups.
Cheaper version Epson Stylus I Is ¦ Price: £238 ¦ Developer: Epson ¦ Supplier: Epson © 01734 303681 To build on its successes, Epson have come up with the idea of taking the technology found in more expensive Stylus printers, cutting back some of the less important aspects: speed, buffer Hewlett Packard 850c ¦ Price: £450 ¦ Developer: Hewlett Packard ¦ Supplier: Hewlett Packard © 01344 461 274 ©or the price of this inkjet from Hewlett Packard you could buy yourself an entire new system and quite a good one at that. So what's it got to offer for so much money? Well, for starters you get colour
600dpi output and an output speed of six pages a minute for black and white printing. Tempting, but then the Epson Stylus model above offers 720dpi. However, the HP model has 1Mb of RAM, plus a 32k buffer, which should mean your system can send files to the size etc and releasing lower priced models. The Epson Stylus II is one of these new reduced cost models.
I £ 14.75 co all any stan- itofire £3.95 .£3.95 _____£7.99 £8.99 £9.99
- ...£12.95 hSE ...£479.99 .£2.25 £9.00 195 each Library This
idea of releasing low cost versions of higher priced, higher
spec printers is not new and in some cases has not always been
a good idea as sometimes the low cost versions end up as the
poor relations of the original and don't perform properly at
However this is not the case with the Epson Stylus, it definitely looks and feels like one of the Epson range. The colour reproduction is really superb for a printer in this price bracket. If you want to print out colour pictures with lots of colours you want this.
Sadly, there are some annoying printer faster (so you get back to using the application quicker).
No swopping A real bonus of this printer is that it can fit both colour and black cartridges simultaneously. Why is this a bonus? Well, Colour inkjets work by having cartridges which contain several different colour inks (usually three or four) which are then mixed to produce other colour combinations. However, this system, while good for colour, fails when it comes to printing true black - invariably you end up with a tinted black. The only solution for this is to stick in a dedicated I black unit.
; but this means that for jobs that have both colour and black ink in them you end up having to stop banding faults, which is odd because other Stylus printers I’ve seen have stood out for their lack of banding and paper waving.
Blots Black and text reproduction.
However, are disappointing. Pure black output comes out as off- black - hmmm, while text output is very poor. Also, there are numerous rogue ink drops around characters and it also seemed to take quite a while to pump out text only pages.
Apart from these problems and swop cartridges during the printing which is inconvenient and slow. The HP printer doesn't suffer from this problem because you it can handle both colour and black cartridges simultaneously. Having two cartridges (one black, one colour) makes the printer more suitable for complex documents containing both text and pictures.
Quality output The output quality is very respectable. Not up to Stylus quality but still more than good enough for home use. Blacks are very respectable: dark, solid, and refreshingly free of banding. Even on large areas of continuous ink, where traditionally the volume of ink on the paper would cause it to ripple. HP's ink composition kept it relatively free of ‘paper waves'.
On colour prints however I experienced some banding, although only over areas of heavy ink deposits. In other respects the colour output quality was very, very good. Although still obviously from an inkjet the output was some of the best I've seen. There was a little interference - where the Stylus II is still very much a part of the Stylus range which is good. All in all for colour graphic output the Stylus II is a great low cost choice.
Just avoid it for black . Iffll I only work.
¦ AL Tried and Tested Methods To test these printers we used Page Stream. Firstly because it's a DTP program, and hence ideal for creating pages composed of both text and graphics - structured and bitmap. Secondly, because it comes with lots of printer drivers. In the case of the HP model we used the PCL printer drivers.
Ink from surround pixels overflows and discolours the currently printed area - but nothing significant.
Overall, the 850c is a very respectable printer and ideal for home or business use. Certainly for colour use it's definitely worth a look, although it's rather expensive. For black and white graphics or text only work however I’d recommend you take a look at some of the low cost laser printers that are I Oome manufacturers are taking this 'green' lark a too far. Billed in capital bold letters as a GREEN product, the only thing green about this unit is that the box is apparently recyclable.
However, having never tried a pen mouse before I was looking forward to trying it out.
'Green* Pen Mause ¦ Price: £19.95 ¦ Developer: Golden Image ¦ Supplier: Golden Image © 0181900 9291 When I got it out the box though. I was sorely disappointed.
It looked cheap and the plastic ball sticking out the bulbous business end rattled like a kid's toy. Also the pen's design didn't make it very easy to use.
Odd angle The angle you have to hold it to comfortably use the buttons and keep the ball tracking effectively is completely wrong as far as I'm concerned. But because everyone holds a pen slightly differently I asked five people to try it out and no-one could get comfortable. To use it I had to hold it unnaturally and this made my hand tired very quickly.
Ten thumbs Otherwise, how did it perform?
Terribly. For a start the resolution is only half what it should be. As far as I’m concerned, the idea of a pen mouse is to allow you to draw (or write) things on screen in a similar way to doing it directly on to paper. It follows that this concept could only work if the pen mouse had a higher resolution than a normal mouse: you just don't want to have to move it move it all over the mat. Also, unlike pen to paper where you are looking down directly at your results, in this case you have to look at the monitor and almost blindly use the pen. And this unit just lacks the necessary feel for
this. It was as though I had 10 thumbs every time I used it.
Alas, the buttons are also pretty useless. They are positioned on the top near the ball end and although accessible using your index finger while holding the pen pinched between the thumb and centre digit, the left mouse button equivalent (the long curved button at the bottom) must be sprung with an ant’s leg.
It offers such little resistance.
It takes its time springing up again once pressed too. This makes double-clicking an imprecise affair. The 'right' butt* button is positioned further up body and is awkward to use too.
Though more reliable.
Even users trying for the natural feel in an art package would be far better served with a decent 560 dpi mouse for the ScreenBeat Sub-Woofer Price: £149.99 ¦ Developer: Logic 3 ¦ Supplier: Logic 3 © 0181 900 0024 ©o you pine for more audio amplification? Do you wish that when its time to blow the Gloom ghosts away or compose your own brain-spinning groove you could really crank up the audio? If you do then Logic 3 have the sonic steroid you need.
Their new speaker is a 100 watt subwoofer and satellite speaker combo designed to rumble with the best of them.
The main boom box is housed in tower unit that could, with a little imagination fit. Into the set of an original StarTrek scene, while the two left and right units look like traditional computer speakers. All three are cased in an Amiga-ish off-white colour and sit comfortably along side all models.
In pure watts per pound terms Logic 3 should do well, on paper anyway. However, when wired up and pumping out sonics we were slightly disappointed. Sure it does a good job, with a hefty bass able to throb, but it when the volume was cranked up it just didn't seem loud enough - for this kind of money we expected it to be a lot louder. At this point I should point out that it's loudest is still too loud for prolonged use in a normal environment, but on those rare occasions when you want really loud sound the Logic 3 won't hack it - which is annoying as this is one of the reasons you'd buy
such a unit.
Assuming you're not judging this on wattage terms alone however you won't be disappointed.
Explosions in Gloom and Zeewo f rumble the floor, while punches and kicks from Kung Lao and his buddies in Mortal Kombat really hurt. Higher frequency sounds, produced by the satellite speakers rather than the sub-woofer sound clean and clear, although some of the very high frequencies get a bit lost in the overall mix. Normal music and sampled sounds were also produced ably, although it doesn't handle really heavy bass tracks as well as might be expected from a system that after all was designed with Bass reproduction in mind.. Money's worth For top sound this sub-woofer pro- ’ duces the
goods. Although a lot of dosh, some one hundred and fifty gold coins, you'll find it hard to match the bass and volume it pumps out for less. It should also be remembered that if you already have a CD32, or Amiga with CD drive, adding this unit will give you a respectable CD amplifier for a lot less than a new Hi Fi.
¦ AL Datastore 2II ¦ Price: £49.99 ¦ Developer: Digita ¦ Supplier: Digita © 01395 270 273 If you want to keep your life in order and sort out that gigantic video or wine collection, then you need a database. Digita updates their popular info-mine ... 3 up This it' button ler up the use too.
D with for the . Higher zed by er than :an and le very : lost in lusic and ;o pro esn't :racks as d from a designed mind.. orth ofer pro h a lot of and fifty rd to ie it Duld also u miga unit will amplifier Flat what?
Datastore and its rival Final Data are what's known as flatfile databases, which means that they work like the old card files found in homes and offices. Let me explain.
Imagine having a desktop file, and for each person you know it contains a piece of card and all the data relating to each person is written on this card. Very simple, easy and effective but also limiting. If for example you had a list of friends you play darts with on one set of cards and another set of cards listing the members of a football team that you're part of, you'd have to create a new set of cards simply to cross reference the names and addresses of people who appear in both.
The alternative is a relational database, which allows you to have multiple databases and use the information in one with another - so you could simply call up the address records from the darts database while you're using the football file to find out if there are any crossovers. Even better, if you update one, the other is automatically kept up to date too! If you're looking for a way of entering, maintaining and indexing lists of data, a flatfile database (Datastore
2) is what you want.
O little while back two flatfile databases appeared in rapid succession: Final Data by Softwood and Datastore by Digita.
Both were reasonable, and ideal as Amiga-versions of the sort of common paper card file databases found in millions of offices and homes around the world, Now Digita return with a new rendition of their program - Datastore 2.
Improvements At first glance there wouldn't appear to be any major new innovations in Datastore.
Admittedly it can now open on Public Screens - you're no longer limited to working in resolutions and colour palettes that Digita chose - so it looks different but the architecture of the screen layout remains the same.
However once you get into the user interface there are some subtle but important improvements. Perhaps the most important of these is that the Find dialog can now be left open all the time, even while you do other things with the program. This may not sound special but given that databases are aimed at maintaining lists of data and interrogating them to order the ability to constantly find particular records and edit them without having to open and close a requester is very, very useful.
Another useful improvement is the List View, which shows records vertically with individual fields being displayed across the page - like a spreadsheet. When viewing records in this manner it's possible to drag records to and from the display to customise it to your tastes. This is definitely a shot across the bows of Final Data, which looks like a spreadsheet that's been converted into a database. It’ll be interesting to see what SoftWood do in response.
Digita are also claiming that this new version has faster data loading and saving times, and that they’ve increased the overall reliability of the program.
Although reliability is always a tough factor to judge they've certainly boosted disk accessing times - on my stock A1200 a test database I built took almost a second less to save to floppy than previously!
These new tricks join Datastore's armoury of existing facilities (extreme ease of use. The ability to include pictures with your data, and freefor- mat database design) to make it a very flexible and able database.
In fact I'd now go so far as to say that it's probably the leading non-relational database on the Amiga.B Andy Leaning 1 tHniiVi t rriii?'
CD-ROMS CD-ROM Round II Tony Horgan rounds up ... er two Cds this month ... but there's lots on them, honest.
Assassins Ultimate Games Vol 2 The Assassins are well known for their regular floppy disk compilations of PD games. They don't write the games themsetves, they just handle the production of the compilations. This CD is their second CD-ROM release, which includes all of their previous floppy releases in DMS archive form, along with hundreds of 'new' PD games ready to run from the disc.
PD game compilation Cds are always a bit hit and miss. To their credit The Assassins seem to have put quite a lot of effort into ensuring that the games on this CD work on most Amigas. But during our tests the failure rate was annoyingly high. In the main the the CD was tested on a CD32 and an At 200 with a 50MHz 030 accelerator and an extra 4Mb of RAM. One problem that often occurs with similar Cds concerns the differing controls of each game; some require a keyboard, others expect joystick or mouse input or any combination of the three. After you select your game from the menu you're
told which controls the game requires There's also a selection of utilities, instructions and help files on the disc, along with some networking software.
Unfortunately the quality of most of the games is awful Shaky AMOS creations and unexciting re-vamps of ancient computer games account for most of them. There are a few expertly-crafted updates of old coin-op favourites, such as Deluxe Galaga, and some neat Workbench hacks like Lander (complete with "The Eagle has landed" NASA samples. If you feel it's worth buying the CD for a few gems then go ahead, but don't expect a disc full of decent games.
Available from: Active Software, PO Box 151, Darlington, Durham DL3 8YT.
| Tel: 01325 352260. Price: £18.99 plus £75p (Europe) £1 (ROW) P+P.
In i RM In m PI ; Phase 3 Anyone looking for a decent CD-ROM of images and fonts for DTP and DTV will find Phase 3 an attractive option.
The data on the disc is made up of three main groups: fonts, clip art and images.
There are four types of fonts included: Compugraphic, PageStream, Type 1 and IFF 'clip fonts'. There are stacks of them and they all come with preview screens that can be viewod with a double mouse click. The disc is worth the price for the fonts alone.
Next there’s the clip art, which comes in colour IFF and mono IFF formats. The mono clips are different to the colour clips, covering the following areas: events; military; miscellaneous; sport; transport; work and world. The colour clips cover five main areas: flowers; insects; mammals; trees and Christmas. Each of the directories comes complete with its contents in the form a thumbnail preview screen. This means that you can scan the whole directory by viewing just one or two preview screens, then grab the file you want, rather than viewing each one in full.
Finally there's the images section. Unlike the clip art images, these are full screen digitised photos, generally of a high quality. The subjects covered are as follows: backdrops; bikes; boats; castles; cats; classic cars; Dungeons and Dragons; Dr Who; Deep Space Nine; fractals; girls; Groece; hunks; Heavy Metal (the comic); Italian cars; movies; robots; Star Wars; water life; White (fantasy) and Patrick Woodroffe (fantasy). Each image is supplied as a 16. 256 and 4096 (HAM) colour IFF file. The same preview indexes are used hore as with the clip art.
This is one of the best DTP DTV CD-ROMs on the market. Recommended to anyone in need of some quality ready-made graphics and fonts.
Available from: EMC Computergraphic, 8 Edith Road, Clacton On Sea. Essex C015 1JU. Tel: 01255 431 389. Price: £24.99 plus £1 P + P. THE EPIC COLLECTION 01 793 S"1 41 87" ind colour iscel- clips s and h its Epic Marketing, 138-139 Victoria Rd. Swindon, Wilts. SN1 3BU. UK PD Want some cheap thrills?
Here's Tony Horgan with the latest batch of low-budget entertainment from the public domain.
Relics Of Deldroneye II adventure game Adventure fans have had a lean time of it recently, with only the belated Flight ol the Amazon Queen quenching the thirst for brain cell action. Relics of Deldroneye II isn't quite in the same league but it still packs a fair old puzzle.
By the looks of it. It was written with the Graphic Adventure Creator utility which we reviewed in the February 1996 issue Using the familiar point and click interface that's now become standard for adventure games. Relics II plops you into an open ended sci-fi story that kicks off with the central character stranded on an abandoned spaceship.
Despite the amateur look of the graphics, there are some nice visual touches and enough details have been included to keep up the interest level.
If Relics looks a bit pricey, bear in mind that it's not actually PD and it comes on five disks. You'll need an A1200 or A4000 to run it.
Even if there were plenty of commercial alternatives. Relics II would still be worth a shot, but especially in the current climate it comes highly recommended.
LiEB AGA demo Flavour is one of the few good demos that's appeared recently but don't expect it to blow your mind, as you'll have seen most of the effects before. It begins with a light-sourced texture- mapped vector, followed by a slightly more impressive plasma-covered doughnut. Next there's a wobbly stick of rock, a bout of yawn-inducing 3D dot patterns, the obligatory bitmap zooms and wibbles and some blur effects An average techno soundtrack provides the aural interest.
While this is quite entertaining in a predictable demo kind of fashion, the fact that it's the best offering this month is rather sad. It's starting to look as though the coders have had enough of squeezing new tricks out of the Amiga hardware. With any luck this is just a dry spell and we'll be flooded with wonderful new forms of psychedelia next month. Here's hoping.
Deformed AGA demo Demo-heads in need of another fix may like to take a look at Deformed, which features all the usual routines, including texture mapped cuboids, fiery blur effects and light-sourced vectors. Still nothing new though.
Available from: OnLine PD, 1 The Cloisters. Halsall Lane, Formby, Liverpool L37 3PX.
Tel: 01704 834
335. BBS: 01704 834 583.
6(h Price: 75p plus 75p P + P. PUBLIC DOMAIN Phantom game Have you got room for just one more Defender clone in your collection? Phantom lacks the scanner of the original but includes most of the other elements that made the Williams coin-op such a success. Most importantly it's fast and smooth with good explosions and sound effects - essential requirements for any decent shoot 'em up of course.
Recommended to all zap-fans.
Available from: OnLine PD. 1 The Cloisters. Halsall Lane.
Formby, Liverpool L37 3PX. Tel: 01704 834 335. BBS: 01704 Q: Whiz!
Quiz game Once it's up and running. O: Whiz! Is a fairly playable pub-quiz game. It's unfortunate that setting it up isn’t a bit simpler. You can choose from a number of question banks, each of which has its own subject. Sci-fi fans will be pleased to hear that there are banks devoted to The X-Files. Star Trek and Red Dwarf, along with the usual collection of general knowledge questions.
It's let down somewhat by the long-winded intermissions between questions, during which counters are clocked up, timers are refilled, and text is printed and deleted in teletype style, one character at a time. A commercial two-disk version is available from the same address.
Available from: Paul Nordovics, 4 Katharine Street, Millom, Cumbria LA18 4AQ.
Tel: 01229 773
823. Price: (PD version) £1.49 including P + P, (full version)
£6.74 including P + P. Psycheual game Underworld's ‘Dark
Train' is sampled and looped to form the backing for the
intro screen of this one, even though it never gets further
than the first few bars. The game itself is a blatant
rip-off of Team 17's Alien Breed (2D), taking the top-down
maze shoot 'em up format and, well, just reproducing it
It's all done competently enough, with smooth scrolling and all of that kind of stuff. If you liked the original Alien Breed and fancy playing a slightly different version, check it out. Underworld fans would do better to stick with their official musical output. You don't need an AGA machine but you do need 1 Mb of Chip RAM to run it.
Available from: OnLine PD, 1 The Cloisters, Halsall Lane, Formby, Liverpool L37 3PX. Tel: 01704 834 335. BBS: 01704 834 583. Price: 75p plus 75p P+P.
Speed 8 (I intros compilation The best thing about intros is that they're always very small, so you can fit loads of them on your hard drive, or tack them onto your favourite disks without wasting space. Most of them return to your Amiga's operating system when you click the left mouse button. This compilation has the usual mixed bag, some of which are fun while others are frankly crap.
Most of the effects are of the 'chunky colourful spinning things' variety - good news for lovers of all things wibbly wobbly.
Any Vjs looking for quick snatches of weird visuals will find some gems here. As most of them can be run and re-run within seconds, tagging together multiple edits of the same short sequence would be much easier than attempting the same thing with a full-blown demo that ran for ten minutes.
Available from: OnLine PD, 1 The Cloisters, Halsall Lane, Formby, Liverpool L37 3PX. Tel: 01704 834 ____mm 335. BBS: 01704 834 583.
J Price: 75p plus 5jgTj 75p P + P. 79 Snail Racing game What could be more exciting than a snail race? The smell of the slime, the lure of the lettuce ... I can feel the adrenaline rush already! No. That was lie actually. Snail racing is just as tedious as it sounds. You can choose to race your own snail, training it by selecting the best diet possible or bet on a race of other snails.
Either way it's not the sort of thing you're likely to get the urge to do a second time.
Available from: OnLine PD, 1 The Cloisters, Halsall Lane, Formby, Liverpool L37 3PX. Tel: 01704 834
335. BBS: 01704 834 583.
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LEADED. ALL SALES AML SI Utilities PD Time is of the essence,
this month, as there's two nifty timer utilities up for grabs.
St There's also some pretties for your workbench and amongst other things some very important news about pirates.
Mat Bettinson is your guide.
Graphic workbench enhancer Oh, another Workbench enhancer pack. Well this one is different in that before going ahead with ruining your icons, it backs them up so you can restore them later. Good show.
When you run the installer, it plays a module, displays a couple of pictures (which fails if you don't have AGA of the development crew which, according to the start-up blurb, 'laugh in the face of fear'. Hmmm.
The rest of the action oddly returns to the Commodore Installer which gets confused if you click on both the sideshow and install icon buttons. Weird.
I choose the Windows '95 backdrop pattern and expected it to replace all my Workbench icons with new theme based icons. Instead it only replaced my main drive icons. The Windoze 95 backdrop was amusing and a copp.er backdrop daemon was added to user-startup for a nice blue wash effect on the borders and shells etc. Whether it’s worth picking up this pack depends on whether you've already got any Workbench enhancements. If yes then don’t bother, if not, it has an interesting range of backdrops and themed drive icons and could spruce up the horrible standard Workbench look in conjunction with
the Newlcons, MagicWork- bench or Icongraphics icon packs.
Available from: SeaSoft Computing, Unit 3, Minister Court, Courtwick Lane, Littlehampton, West Sussex BN17 7RN. Tel: 01903 850378.
Price: £1.50 plus 50p P+P.
EZCron 1.62 timer utility I 'Cion' derived from I 'Chronos' meaning I time in Greek, is also I the name given to a very important and I useful utility which is designed to launch I certain events at cer- I tain times. Such a program could be used as anything from an alarm clock to a complex system overseer which activates automatic events during the night. This latter is how I run CU Amiga's Internet mail system, so I tested EZCron on it. I found it to have a nice installer and a GUI program for editing the events file. However, the GUI is a bit tricky as it is implemented by the Arexx
bolt-on Varexx and it is limited in the fonts it can handle. It also has a long winded method of selecting times and dates. Useful modes are available but you have to enter the values into string boxes in the GUI in a certain format. I didn't like the GUI much but it does the job. Is easy to install and has some good on-line help.
Available from: SeaSoft Computing, Unit 3, Minister Court, Courtwick Lane, Littlehampton, West Sussex BN 17 7RN.
Tel: 01903 850378. Price: £1.50 .
Plus 50 P+P. Aminet path: I util time EZCron.lha Internet Guide electronic guide Anyone trying to get to grips with the Internet will be completely swamped by the complexity of many aspects. A handy resource would be a good book or in the case of this offering, an electronic guide to the Internet. This particular effort is put together by the American techo-junky group Electronic Frontier Foundation and has no Amiga specific material. That means it's not going to help you set up Amiga Internet software but it is an excellent reference to the whole host of services available on the Internet
which aren't machine specific anyway. In one large Amiga Guide format, it's interspersed with various press articles and some nasty examples of American English but it does the job nicely just the same. A reasonable reference for just a pound can't be sniffed at. The same guide was also formerly known as the Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet. It's a 700K guide so it's going to require quite a bit of memory to continually access and some of the information is a little too vague such as the section on mailing lists but otherwise it's recommended. This guide in conjunction with the wealth of
Amiga related chatter on the comp.sys.amiga newsgroups should serve well.
This interesting package, a new kind of datatype system for pictures, has been around for a while and is constantly being updated. Implemented by a superview library and drivers for various display types, it has considerable versatility. It also has support for 'operators' which can perform a variety of functions on pictures before they are viewed saved.
Sharpening and oil painting type effects to dithering schemes for converting 24-bit pictures down to other formats are all on offer. This is the kind of use where SuperView excels. It will load virtually any type of picture, display nearly every type of display I have ever heard of. Including (glory) my own CyberGraphics graphics board. What’s more, it's a better viewer than many dedicated viewers!
The unregistered version will load and view but will not save in any other format than IFF whereas the registered version (£15) will save in all the same formats it is capable of loading. It’s useful still but if you need to convert pictures quickly, want excellent graphics board support and a simple compact interface then the £15 odd (30 German DM) is worthwhile.
Available from: SeaSoft Computing, Unit 3, Minister Court, Courtwick Lane, _ Littlehampton, West Sussex BN 17 7RN.
01903 850378. Price: £1.50 plus I T I B| E] Aminat path: gfx show SView532.lha | CyberCron is another Cron (Timer) utility and one that I've used for a long time. With no GUI support of its own, it runs from a simple configuration file. It also doesn't have an installer, just documentation detailing installation.
SuperView 5.32 picture database CyberCron 1.5 is a solid Cron system, all it needs is a GUI so that we don't need to get out a text editor every time that something needs to be altered. So I've asked 17 Bit Software PD, to put another utility on a disk for readers with no Internet access. This utility. Time Event, is a GUI editor for CyberCron and has a much better interface that the EZCron. The events are simply listed as a CLI command line that is executed at particular times. Once the command line is entered, a proper GUI pops up that allows you to select the months, days and minutes.
Unlike EzCron it's easy to set up really weird times like at two separate times past each hour only on Thursday and Saturday etc. This definitely the best Cron solution that I have seen around since I checked out many before arriving at this combination. Less knowledgeable users might still prefer to go for the all-in-one EzCron, though.
Available from: 17 Bit Software, 1st Floor Offices, 2 8 Market Street, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1 1DH. Tel: 01924-366982.
Disk Number: 4016. Price: £1.00 plus M 50p P + P. Aminet path: util time CyberCron15.lha b util time TimeE1_1 .lha NFA Pirates?
While sifting through this month's pile of PD software, I found a program called enLock, a hard drive protection package from a group known as NFA. The package itself didn't work as the Installer was broken hopelessly. This and the fact that the AmigaGuide documentation had an incorrect default tool so that it too would not work, indicated that the product hadn't been checked at any stage. Worse still, when I finally got the installer working, the last page blatantly advertised NFA BBSes with pirate references.
Roberta Smith DTR who supplied the disk has recalled disks that have turned out to be less than squeaky clean in the past. The EnLock disk itself must therefore have been an oversight. Roberta instantly recalled the disk when I informed them, and said that they'd be looking into it.
Are other PD houses following suit or are they turning a blind eye? The BBS advert is. As far as I can see, an advert for pirate BBSes with the term 'ASK-ELITE' being present instead of the latter part of the number for two BBSes. 'Elite' being a well known selfapplied name that pirates refer to themselves as (with typical arrogance). Piracy is bad enough but pirate BBSes are actively involved in the distribution and sale of pirate software, something the Amiga can ill afford! The fact that some of these are listed as belonging to NFA makes me suspicious. There’s no number in the archive
and just a PO. Box as an address to send your registration fee to so it seems I can't take it up with them. The question remains that with such a blatant statement, how can it be that virtually every PD House sells NFA products, many of them hypocritically being shareware like enLock. If NFA would like to clear up the matter I’d like to hear from them. I think we should be told and you can be sure that CU Amiga Magazine is on the case.
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Telephone at any time and leave your name and address (Quote CU Amiga) and request our CD- ROM brochure completeley FREE of charge. You'll also recieve regular CD updates with special offers etc. FI LICENCEWARE C64 SENSATIONS £17.99 REMEMBER THE GOOD OLD DAYS AmlNet Volume 10 £12.9»e, VOLUME I 29.99 The FI Licenccwaie CD-ROM conui every FI title from I through to I0O T software on this CD is worth well o. £500 if bought wprrately.
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THE NE DROP SFT •). NFV IMAGINE 3.0 92 As we continue our
guide to 3D rendering with our January cover disk we try our
hand at adding some more realism to objects.
OCTAMED 5.04 96 • In our final tutorial (well for the moment anyway) we explore the area of synthsounds and what they can do.
Hmm what to do? Let me draw your attention to the highlights of this jam packed workshop section: first, turn to the Golden Joysticks Awards nominations and have your say in who deserves to be rewarded. Then check out the Imagine, OctaMed and Amiga E tutorials before turning to look at Tony's Sound lab. After that a browse through the regular question and answers pages would be in order. That's my advice anyway.
SUBSCRIPTIONS 106 • You may have noticed the slight increase in our cover price but don't worry because our special offer of 12 for the price of eight is still here.
GOLDEN JOYSTICKS 107 It's time to vote for who will be the winner of the highest gaming accolades known to man. The golden joystick. Don't miss your chance.
C 3 FAQ 113 The internet has been going strong for some time now but still there are a lot of ItlH unanswered questions out there. We do our best to reply.
CC Q&A MASTERCLASS 114 Arexx is back (well it never went away really) and John Kennedy is only too delighted to explain and explore it for those of you who mightn't be familiar with it.
® Q+A 116 The Q&A sack of letters never seems to empty. It's always there, in the corner of w the office, brimming over with readers enquiries. Mat and Tony to the rescue.
BACKCHAT 118 Team Talk has gone (well for the time being anyway) to make way for more of your letters. If you want it back write to bring back the chat ' at the usual address.
Materials and textures Imagine 10 This month our tutorial on 3D rendering with Imagine
3. 0 looks at adding more realism to your objects utilising
©hen you render an object with the default settings it appears as a dull grey colour. The material of which the object is defined is a matt grey with no distinguishing characteristics. It's boring and totally unrealistic.
There are two main ways to a control the appearance of an object: adjusting the material from which the object is made and applying textures. As this is such an important part of rendering.
Imagine provides a great deal of control over defining and altering materials and textures. It is understandable therefore that in order to make realistic objects, you need to spend some time experimenting and getting them right.
Go to the Detail editor and add a Sphere object from the Objects Add Primitives menu.
Quick render it and you'll get a dull, grey sphere. This happens when the default texture is used.
Now make sure the object is selected (in purple) by pressing F1 and then use the Attributes menu option in the Functions menu. You should see the special attributes requestor appear: this is where you will change the appearance of the sphere.
The easiest attribute to change is the colour of the sphere. To do this, click in the colour box and then adjust the colour sliders. The sliders will have different settings depending on what attribute has been selected. Some settings A Man't matm ifkan pnor M Mtt • Una (such as Color) require all three to be adjusted, some (like Flardness) have a single bar to move. Others involve changing a single number or clicking an on off switch.
For now. Adjust the colours to a nice orange shade, and then click on OK. When you render the object again, the colour will have been changed.
Phong-tastic You may have noticed the Phong option in the requestor: this is an important control, as it provides a form of smoothing. As Imagine spheres and tubes and given some colours and textures of a suitable alien nature.
The planet in the background was created with the Agate textures as suggested, and the lunar surface below is a simple plain which has been distorted a bit and given a nice rough texture. We haven't explored the Action editor yet, but that's where you will find the option to add some stars to the inky-black sky and even add a little ambient lighting.
The final image was rendering in 24-bit colour at a resolution of 1024 by 768. Which took about 12 minutes on an A4000'040. And all this is without a single brush mapping: something that we'll be having a look at next month.
Flying Saucers A promised last month, we can now add a little detail to our flying saucer object by eans of some textures and Physical attributes. To start
• ith. The saucer was split into wo: the dome part was moved by
using the Pick ices option from the Detail Editor. This left
only the lucer, which was given a DeathStar texture and some
• xtra little spheres for added 'terest. The Dome was then reated
as a simple spherical bject and given a slight blue colour
along with a great deal of transparency.
If it wasn't so transparent you wouldn’t be able to see the grotesque alien being mside: composed entirely of ¦bjects are constructed from Ismail triangles or 'facets’, you g*ould not normally expect a Share to appear very smooth as result. This is what the Phong hading option does: it smooths he edges. Although this is great sr spheres land therefore drops I liquid, planets and so on), there will be plenty of occasions when |0u create an object which you »ant to have a sharp edge. In rese casions. Make sure that hong is clicked off.
Next to the Phong option is the ight switch. Click here and your bject will become a light source, with the ability to light any other bjects in the scene and cast hadows. This probably won’t be sed very often because Imagine Mlows light sources to be easily dded at the Stage Editor screen.
Light sources are different rom Bright objects. When you nake an object Bright, it simply neans an object will never appear lhaded A good use for Bright is vhen adding illuminated windows
o a spaceship: create a yellow ectangle, make it bright and aste
it all over the space ship.
Textures As well as the modelling the ihysical appearance on the abject, it is possible to adjust the axternal appearance by adding an axtra coat of paint' by means of a exture or mapping. In fact, trappings can also control some Ihysical attributes and even the lhape. But we'll come back to hat soon enough.
Let’s start with the textures.
Riagine has a large number of built-in textures and they are a greal asset. These are called 'procedural' textures because they are built-in and calculated specially each time a render takes place.
The advantage of procedural textures is that they consume only a small amount of memory and provide excellent results, even when an object is viewed close up. With textures made from bitmap images, the texture can start to look blocky when magnified: this doesn't happen with procedural textures. The disadvantage is the slight increase in rendering time required, and it can also be tricky trying to predict what the texture will look like.
Experiment To experiment with textures, start with the simple object again, and switch off all the other attributes.
Now click on the "Add Txtr" button. And locate the drawer called textures'. You should see a list of different files appear Each of these files is a different texture which can be applied to your object, so pick one. The first one: Agate. You'll see that a new requestor appears Each texture has a special window which allows you to control the various different options. Settle for the default and you will see that the Attribute requestor returns, but there Is now a new entry in the list to the bottom right.
It is possible to add many different textures and mappings to each object, and the list helps you keep track of them all. You can edit each individually from this list, or remove them altogether if required. (Highlight the texture and then click on the Info button Fog Length » Phong i Bright »_ Light
u. rastdrew i OulchCdges to edit or delete it) You can also
decide which texture has priority: but don't add too many as
rendering time can increase dramatically.
You'll see that the Agate texture has provided a very swish marble effect. In fact, if you adjust the colours you can quickly knock up an excellent alien planet. As with most textures, the base colour is With your newly textured object perform a Quickrender and Ilf f r i bill » Requester rn SM M lor Dllhprlng __W.TL1!'8.1'*.1'1*1 1 1 L_ Reflect i r 11 ter L » Specular i Index of Refr.
FILTER SPECULAR HARDNESS ROUGHNESS SHININESS DfTHERING PHONG LIGHT BRIGHT FOG LENGTH important as the colours ol the texture will let it show through.
Also, remember that the physical attributes still apply so you can make a marble sphere which looks hard and shiny, or one which looks dull and rough, There are so many different textures that there really isn’t time to go through them all in turn: you should spend some time experimenting with each. A good trick is to play wrth the default settings, because very often you will be able to create some wildly different effects by entering unusual values or numbers ¦ John Kennedy Physical Properties The Physicel Attributes properties have the following names end functions. You should experiment
with them in turn end together to create the appearsnce of your chosen msterisl.
COLOR Adjusts the colour of the object.
REFLECT Adjusts the ebility of the object to reflect its surroundings.
Adjusts the transparency of the object.
Adjusts the colour and brightness of any highlights on the object.
The herder the object, the smaller the highlight area.
Make the object's surfsce appear less perfect and smooth.
Applies a special ’sheen’ to an object, like the shine in a porcelain sink.
The degree of colour mixing. Keep et defsult of 255 for most objects.
When switched on, performs smoothing on the object.
When switched on, makes the object into a light source.
When switched on, does not ellow the object to appear shaded.
Makes the object transperent and misty INDEX OF REFR Adjusts the Refractive Index of the object.
And controls how much light is bent when it passes though the object.
The Effects of the Physical Properties ..128 reflection.
0 filter .. .128 reflection.
0 filter .. 0 reflection ...0 reflection.
Filter .. reflection.
Filter .. .128 filter ...255 specular .0 specular .265 specular .266 specular.. hardness 0 hardness.
Roughness ..0 roughness.
Bright ..off bright ..off bright ..off foglength ...0 foglength ...0 foglength ...0 foglength ...0 refr. Index ..1 Index of refr .....1 Index of refr -...1 Index of rafr .....1 ..255 specular.
..0 hardness 255 hardness 265 hardness .
..0 roughness .....255 roughness ..0 roughness off bright ..off foglength .32 Index of refr .....1 i« ? Y ¦ ..255 reflection ......128 reflection ......128 reflection ......255 reflection ...0 filter.. filter.. filter.. filter.. .128 .128 filter.. specular .0 specular .255 specular .255 specular .285 specular .0 hardness.
Roughness.. bright . foglength.
Roughness ..0 roughness ..0 bright ..off bright ..off foglength.
Foglength ...0 Index of refr .....1.1 hardness 255 hardness 256 hardness 255 hardness roughness ..0 roughness ..0 Index of refr .....1 Index of refr .....1 Index of refr .....1 Index of refr .....1 ..off bright ..off bright., foglength.
OctaMED 5.04 IfllKBI Synthsounds will brighten up your life no end ... find out just I what they are in the last OctaMED tutorial ever (well, for the moment anyway).
You’ll be churning out lovely bleepy sounds in no time.
Select Project menu - New Synthsound.
Click inside the left-hand large speckled box, then select Presets menu - Sine Wave. Play the sound (you can stop it using the space bar). Do you find it too low? If so slide the Sound instructions Firstly, we'll halve the volume by changing the ©ontinuing our look at alternatives to samples (we examined MIDI last month! .this month it's the turn of 'synthsounds'. These memory saving but simple and effective noises are especially popular with nostalgic C64 die-hards (come on, some of you must still be addicted to this old machine), although the editor window is a tad complicated at first
First though, to get you prepared, we’ll deal with octave-switching. Everyone knows how to play notes C-lto G 3, right? But what about the rest of octave 3 (notes A-3, A 3, B-3)? If you press F2 then the lower octave (keys Z to
M) will become octave 2, while the middle keys (Q to U) become
octave 3. Keys F3 to F5 work similarly; you'll need them this
month because synth sounds can use five octaves (samples use
only three). Press F1 to return to normal.
Synthetic material Assuming OctaMED's loaded, press F3 to switch to octaves 3+4 (the cycle gadget near the top-right confirms this). Make sure Edit mode is off, then click EditSynthS (top-right).
Flmm. Ever programmed a PC? Flave no fear.
Length slider (middle-left) to 64, then select Sine Wave again. The waveform's now halved, one octave higher.
It's all a bit like a mini sample editor. The two speckled waveform boxes are each 128 bytes long, the right hand one acting as a copy If this was all you could do in the editor - juggle with waveforms - it'd be nothing special. But not with OctaMED! See the mysterious box of numbers and ENDs on the right?
Flere you tell OctaMED what else to do with the synthsound; perhaps add volume changes or pitch slides. Most of these instructions consist of a three-letter 'keyword' and a hexadecimal value. For example, CHU 04 means 'change up four steps'; VBS 40 means 'set vibrato speed to 40‘. The box is split into four columns. The first two are line numbers in decimal and hex, then we have the 'volume sequence' and 'pitch sequence'. We'll examine the volume sequence first. It contains a key- wordless value 40; this means 'set volume to level 40'. Meaning level 64 in decimal, meaning full volume.
Don't forget about the hex values, it's a common mistake.
Buffer and spare waveform. Click Copy (top- middle) to transfer the sine wave to the buffer, then select Presets menu - Noise. A hard sound, completely the opposite of the sine wave. Which is why we're going to mix them togetherl Click Mix (top-middle) to do this and play the sound. Because Noise is random, if you repeatedly select it then click Mix you'll get slightly different results each time.
Am fM 40 to a 20. Move the editor window to the very bottom of the screen (revealing the Edit I check box), then press the Esc key to turn Editing on (it's the safest way). Now press right arrow and 2 - should have changed to 20? - then switch Editing off (Esc key) and play. OK. Now switch editing on again and press left and 4 to change back to 40.
And don't forget to switch editing off before playing!
OK, we’ll add a CHD 05 command now.
Every three letter keyword is entered using one particular key; for CFID. This is the D key.
So using the cursor keys, position the cursor over the E in the left hand END, then press Return to insert a new line. Now press D, 0 and 5 ... CFID 05 should be entered now.
Switch editing off and play. Notice the fade? I The volume CFIanges Downwards five steps.
Good! Now try adding WAI OS CFID d Q I 00 bv ,urnin9 Editing on. Moving “0 the cursor over E in left-handEND.
FII l Dress RetlJ,n ,hen p,ess w ,or WAI V Tl V P,es$ ®' Re,um' D You'll find ¦¦ _ that the last 00 is created for you.
H J Turn Editing off and play. What you H“ ” will hear is the volume starting to ? I decrease. OctaMED waits for 8 time units then stops the volume fade (CFID with value 00). This is pretty neat, don't you think?
Always press return and esc!
¦ I'm the first to admit that I editing's fiddly, but just remember to press Return before inserting a command, and switch Editing off before you press play and on again to edit and you'll be OK, To delete a command or value, press Del. And be careful! OK. In exactly the same way we’re going to add vibrato to the sound. Just like player command 04, there are two parts to the vibrato, depth (command VBD) and speed (VBS).
We'll add VBD 04 VBS 40. So move up to the right hand E in END now (the pitch sequence), and enter the commands using key V for VBD and Shift-V for VBS. Remember: Return, command key, value.
Return, command key, value, edit- Some sequence commands HLT (Halt, key H): Like END but can appear anywhere (not just at the end).
JMP (Jump, J): Skips to another sequence line.
JWS JVS (Jump in waveform volume sequence, Shift-JI: Skips to another sequer;e -t the other sequence.
WAI (Wait, W): Pauses lor given length of time.
SPD (Set speed. S): Sets sequence's execution speed.
CHD CHU (Change down up, D U): Set volume pitch change down up speed.
RES (Reset, R): Resets note's pitch (after a CHD U).
VBS VBD (Vibrato speed depth): Set vibrato.
ARP ARE (Start end arpeggio definition, A E): Alternates between several given pitches, end of tutorial for an example.
See 8F VBS £ 86 63 87 8B BRE 88 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 8fl 87 86 85 84 83 84 03 82 81 JMP 8B END More synthetic tools Have a good doodle! Instead of relying on preset waves, try drawing waveforms freehand using the mouse. For lines, click on the first Draw Mode cycle gadget (middle of screen). Click on it a second time and then dragging the mouse will mark a range instead, just like in the sample editor. The range affecting buttons are at the bottom-left: all should be self-explanatory, apart from perhaps which shifts the ranged waveform left or right.
The Speed arrows set the execution speed of the volume and pitch sequences (pitch is called Wave here). The values are in fact the number of 'ticks' between each sequence line (see November's tutorial for a reminder of ticks). In the Waveform menu, use Change Volume as in the sample editor (50 halves the range's volume). Stretch is weird, and I haven't found a use for this one yet, but do try it out: a positive number stretches right, negative left.
Drau Node ] Bl R»9eJ Bi Direct 1 Speed: Range: Cut Lm 1 Easte llolune Have Reiyrstl «1 » l g off, play. A bit of vibrato makes so much I difference to a synth sound. Try changing the I depth and speed values too (in hex remem- Iber!), especially the depth to (say) 50 because J sound is just so silly you'll have a right gh. It’s not very usable at this level, but ting nonetheless.
Right. Quite enough of that synthsound.
Ct instrument 02, then select Project enu - New Synthsound. Now. Something i neglected to tell you so far is that there can be more than one waveform in a synth* sound, in fact up to 64. They're just like blocks f in the Tracker editor, so much so that they I have their own playing sequence!
( Did you notice the unexplained 00 in the I pitch sequence? That means 'play waveform number 00’. It's all becoming clearer... what we're going to do is quite fancy. Over the space of eleven waveforms, a pulse wave will adually change into a ramp up wave. So click in the left hand speckled box, then | choose Presets menu - Pulse Wave. It's too low again at the moment, but this time click Range All (middle of window), then click Double twice (bottom-right). This is just like changing the length to 32, but hey! We now know we can mark ranges in the synth editor as well as the sample editor.
Next, click New Waveform (bottom-left) ten times to add ten new waveforms (the last one should be number 10). Now select Presets menu - Ramp Up. Then click Double twice again. At the moment the white range is a bit glaring, but we can switch it off using the left-hand of the three Cursor buttons (far bottom-right). Actually, it's not really switched off.
Just set to zero. To complete tilings here, the middle button marks a range bang in the middle, the right-hand button at the right.
More magic ! Time for some more magic.
| Select Waveform menu - Start Transformation. Then, to move to the first waveform, click the I arrow underneath the left hand speckled box while holding down Shift. (You should see the pulse | wave.) Now select Waveform menu - Do Transformation.
Nothing happened? OK. Use the arrow (without Shift) to display the other waveforms, and you should see the pulse wave slowly transforming into the ramp up.
Amazing! So OctaMED's filled in the waveforms between 0 and 10 with the intervening stages, the musical equivalent of morphing.
But they won’t all be played yet; remember the playing sequence?
Currently only waveform 00 is played, so we need to enter numbers 01 to 0A (hex) into the pitch sequence. Boring? No!
Exciting! And OctaMED, as ever, has a handy shortcut.
Add number 0A to the pitch sequence (move to END. Press Return, change the Ooto 0A). Move up to the 0A and click Transition (on the right).
Hey Presto! Move down to END, then add an 01 and click Transition again.
Finally we need to jump back up to line 00, causing a repeat. JMP 00 will do this, so add it to the end (use the J key for JMP). And play the sound.
We're not doing bad at the moment, but it could be much better, so here's a couple of bonus commands. Firstly, add VBD OF VBS 30 to the very top of the pitch sequence, using keys V and Shift-V as before. When entering the keywords, make sure the cursor is at its leftmost position (on the first letter of a keyword or on the left of a value) before pressing Return: another important lesson. Managed it? See if the sequence agrees with the screen- shot on this page.
Finally, let me introduce a particularly spooky command: arpeggio. Arpeggios are almost like chords, except the notes of the chord are played one by one very quickly.
You'll see what I mean when you've tried it out. Move back to the very top of the pitch sequence, and add ARP 00 03 07 0B ARE, using the A key for ARP and E for ARE. The values between the ARP and ARE are the differences in semitones from the bass note ... that's right, just experiment. You'll find more synthetic sound info in the box-outs.
If you want to save your synthetic masterpieces, close the window and select Instr menu - Save Instrument - IFF 8SVX Format for each one. And that's it. Happy music-making folks. ¦ Ed Wiles Any questions?
If you need to find out more why not join the MED Users Group? Among other things it produces a bi-monthly disk-mag, Tl. Contact Richard Bannister: 6 Glevum Road, Swindon SN3 4AF (01793825219). For MIDI advice, your man is Kevan Craft: 12 Moult Road. Runcorn WA72BH (01928 563762). And, well, there's me I suppose: 9 Kirkland Wynd, Dumfries DG1 4ES (01387 265776), or e-mail
e. firstname.lastname@example.org. Amiga E Tutorial ©or compatibility with
Workbench 1.3 users, the E function 'ReadStr' uses the old.
Unbuffered DOS library functions. This means that it is not as
fast as it could be Luckily there are several simple ways to
improve matters, and one of the simplest and most effective is
to use the Async module, written by Michael Zucchi.
Documentation on the Async module can be found in the directory ’Src Tools Async’, but basically what it does is read lumps of a file into buffers in memory before they are actually needed At the same time your program can be getting on with other things, and when it tries to read the next line from the file it will all happen very quickly, because the line will already have been read into a buffer.
Incorporating the Async functions is very easy All we need to do is use 'asOpen’ and as_Close’ instead of 'Open' and 'Close’ lines, and update 'myreadstr' to use *as_FGetS'. The call to Open' in 'scanfile' can be replaced with: fh .as_Open(file, OLDFXLE, 3, 5000) The extra parameters specify the number of buffers to be used (three) and the size of each one (5000 bytes) - these are the recommended values. This is not quite the whole story, since we need to raise an exception if 'as_Open' fails. For this reason it is simplest to factor it all into a new function, say 'myopen'.
A call to 'myopen' would then be identical to a call to Open'.
The COLS' group is just like the EQROWS Example 2 PROC myreadstr(fb, s) DEF res IF resi-as FgetSlfh, s, StrMax(s)) THEN BetStrls, StrLen(s)) ENDPROC res See Example 1 Replacing 'Close' is much easier, but for consistency we should factor it into a new function, say 'myclose'. The new line in the exception handler of 'scanfile' is then: IF tb THEN myclose(fh) and the definition of 'myclose' is: PROC myclose ((h) IS as_Close(fh Example 1 Example 3 PROC myopenffile, mode)
- Handle any GUI messages (e.g., resizing).
DEF fb PROC checkgui() IF fh:-as_Open(file, mode, 3, 5000) IP SetSignal(0,0) AND gh.sig RETURN fh IF guimessage(gh) -0 THEN Raise(ERR_QUIT) ELSE Raise (ERR OPEN) ENDIF ENDIF ENDPROC ENDPROC Finishing off the trio of I O functions, we can update the 'myreadstr' function.
See Example 2 Notice that if the call to as FgetS' succeeds then the length of the E-string 's’ is set using 'SetStr' to be its length calculated using 'StrLen'. This is because as FgetS' is not an E-string function, so if it is used to alter the contents of 's' then 's' must be repaired (in exactly this way) before it can be used as an E-string again.
Stopping the search mechanism!
Now that we've finished speeding up the search we can concentrate on stopping itl The first step is to add a new button to press. To tidy up the GUI we'll put the collection of (now) three buttons in a column, so we'll replace the two lines: [BUTTON,(b_go),-OOI•], [BUTTON, b_quit),'Quit'I with: [COLS, [SPACEH], [BUTTON,(b_oo),'OOI'] , [SPACEH), [BUTTON, b_atop ,'Stop'], [SPACEH), [BUTTON.(b qult), 'Quit'] , [SPACEH) ] group, except it arranges its gadgets in columns and they aren't made equal in size.
The 'SPACEH' gadget is a dummy gadget that acts as stretchy glue between the other gadgets. This has the effect of spacing the gadgets out neatly. You might like to experiment by removing some of the 'SPACEH' lines (this is where the sheer speed of the E compiler comes in very handy, since you can see the effect of your changes extremely quickly).
So far we've made a simple GUI and a basic text-finding program to control it. This month we'll make some enhancements to the code.
The action function, 'b stop'. Should somehow stop the search. Those of you who have played with the current program will have noticed that the GUI does not respond whilst the search is in progress. In particular, you'll have noticed that resizing the GUI does not take full effect until the search has finished. So how can we react to a press of the 'Stop' button whilst the search is going?
Checking the GUI The DIY version oFeasygui' (which we called 'myeasygui') shows how to use the 'guimes- sage' function of EasyGUI to handle any GUI events (like resizing or activating a gadget). So.
All we need to do is call this function if there are any messages waiting to be processed.
Normally you would 'Wait' until a message arrives, but this would stop your program doing anything else. So. In this case, we just want to take a peek to see if there are any messages that need handling. This is one of the things that the system function 'SetSignal' can do.
See Example 3 As you can see from the definition of 'checkgui', if 'SetSignal(O.O)' contains one of the GUI's signal bits then there's a message waiting to be processed. The 'guimessage' function will then do all the necessary work, and this may involve calling one of the GUI's action functions. If the result of 'guimessage' is negative then everything is fine (see the documentation on EasyGUI), but if it's zero or positive then the GUI should be closed. We can do this by raising the 'ERR_QUIT' exception (as if the 'Quit' button had been pressed).
This ’checkgui' function need not be called too often, just at key points in the program. In our program there's only one optimal place: in the loop that reads lines from a file. This means that the 'Stop' button could stop the search even if it were in the middle of reading a large file. In fact, stopping the search is just a matter of raising a new exception, say 'ERR_STOP'. This would eventually be handled by the 'go' function and ignored (unlike the 'ERR_QUIT‘ exception which is re-thrown).
Solving an obvious problem with the GUI Now we've made the GUI appear to act asynchronously to our search there are some new problems: there is the possibility of the user pressing the 'GO!' Button and causing another search to begin whilst one is already in progress! Also, the user may change the value of the find string (or, less importantly, the directory string) and so change the search in mid flow.
'UI'S [•)) Luckily, these problems are quite simple to cure. We can prevent multiple searches being started at once with the addition of a global variable to act as a ready flag. Once this is done, we can safely make copies of the current values of the directory and find strings before starting the search and use these copies during the search.
DEF ready-TRUE The 'b_go' action function should now check and set this flag instead of just blindly calling the 'go' function.
PROC b_go(info)- Only go if not busy.
IF ready ready:-FALSE go() ready:-TRUE END IF ENDPROC The 'Stop' button can now raise an exception if the ready flag is not set, i.e.. if the search is in progress. (If it raised an exception when the search is not in progress then it would have the same effect as the 'Quit' button - try to work out why.)
PROC b_stop(info)- Interrupt if busy.
IF ready=FALSE THEN Raise(ERRSTOP) ENDPROC To make things a little easier to change, we'll name the copies of the E-strings 'xfind- str' and 'xdirstr'. In fact, it'll be simpler to make the GUI use these E-strings and leave the search using ’findstr' and ’dirstr'. The function 'copygadgets' should be called as the first line of the 'go' function, to set up the copies.
- Copy currsnt gadget values.
PROC copygadgets() StrCopy(findstr, xfindstr) StrCopy(dirstr, xdirstr) ENDPROC The Source Code We included the source code and executable examples for all three parts of this Amiga E tutorial on last month's cover disks. If you missed out on the February issue, you can order your copy from our back issues department. Call them on 01858 468 888.
Further improvements The program is now largely complete. It's fast, responsive and pretty useful, but there are a couple of minor improvements which might make it nicer. The first is the fact that all Intuition text or number entry gadgets do not cause an activation event unless the return or TAB key is pressed in them. So. If you type some text in the directory gadget and then click on some other part of the GUI the 'xdirstr' will not be updated. This is a common problem and even commercial programs like Wordworth have large sections of their manuals devoted to telling the user to hit
the return key in text entry gadgets!
Even though this is a common problem, there is a very simple solution. The actual contents of the gadget can be extracted using the 'specialinfo' element, which, in the case of text gadgets, is a pointer to a 'stringinfo' object.
This object has a 'buffer' element which contains the current contents of the gadget. This string can then be copied to the GUI's E-string using the EasyGUI function 'setstr'.
See Example 4 The 'gad' parameter is an identification of a gadget in the EasyGUI list (just like ‘resgad’ from the last tutorial). We can identify 'dirgad' and 'findgad' with the appropriate EasyGUI gadget, and then call 'getcurrstr' in the 'copygadgets' function for each one, just before copying the E-strings.
- Copy currsnt gadget values.
- Extract strings from gadgets, getcurrstr(f indgad)
getcurrstr(dirgad) StrCopy(findstr, xfindstr) StrCopy(dirstr,
xdirstr) ENDPROC The final minor improvement is an exercise for
the eager reader: add a new function to filter out
non-printing characters from a matched text line before it is
reported. (The simplest approach is to convert them to 7
There is a lot scope for extending this program: you might like options to search for whole words, ignore case differences and recursive directory searching. You might also like to have the option to use a file requester to set the directory text. But there must come a point at which you stop and say 'enough is enough'. For this tutorial that time has come!H Jason Hulance Example 4
- Copy string from gadget buffer.
PROC getcurrstr(gad) gad) setstr(gh, gad, g.specialinfo::stringinfo.buffer) DEF g:PTR TO gadget g:-findgadget(gh, ENDPROC the first bank. With a little luck you should now have sunsite.doc.ic.ac.uk' listed on the second part. This won't move.
This month we set up some new FTP clients to make it even easier to download all those lovely files.
OmTTCP comes with a reasonable File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client known as NcFTP Not too many people actually realise how powerful this CLI based client is so we ll cover a few of the lesser known but interesting nonetheless facts before going on to other methods of getting those files onto your machine via FTP All you need to do is type the number of the site you want and NcFTP will attempt to connect to it. Note the last line with 'cd aminet'. NcFTP will automatically perform this default operation when you log in.
No need NcFTP Firstly, there's no need to activate NcFTP with the name of the site every time you use it.
Create a text file inside your home directory.
Your home directory will be inside the usr' directory in your AmiTCP main directory. The name of it will correspond to your default login name. In my case, it's 'mat'. Call the text file '.netrc' if it's not already there. Insert the following text: machine aunsite.doc.ic.ac.uk Handy, in this case, as it'll put us in the root Aminet directory on the UK Imperial College Aminet mirror all in one go.
You can also just type open' and then the number of the site if you know what it is.
Remember the first bank of numbers will change since this represents your last called sites. If it s difficult to get onto your desired site because it has a maximum number of anonymous users you could try launching NcFTP like this: user anonymous password matdcu-amiga.damon.co.uk account Doea.not.use.accounts macdef init cd aminet Save the file out. Start up NcFTP by just typing it’s name. Then type 'open'. You'll see a list of sites appear with corresponding numbers. If you've run NcFTP before, all your most recently accessed sites will be listed in NcFTP NUDNite.dOC.iC.NC.uk -r with The
choice is simple a matter of taste. My favourite is AmFTP by Oliver Wagner, author of the brilliant AmlRC client. Apparently Amiga Technologies agree with me as it's going in the Amiga Surf Internet bundle. Those inclined to dislike util tcp AmiFTRIha util tcp mftpl J31 .lha AmFTP is still under development with regular new versions being released on a separate FTP site. Have a look for the latest in this FTP site and directory: ftp.vapor.com support AmFTP Each of these clients operates in a slightly different way in terms of setting up sites to call etc. AmFTP and mflp are similar to disk
filers. They display two listers, one of which is a directory on your local drive and the other is the remove FTP directory.
Generally all that’s required is to click on a file on the FTP site, after moving into the desired directory etc., then clicking on download or the equivalent. It'll be FTPed into the directory on the other lister.
Similarly, if you click on a file on your drive and then the send put gadget, it'll be uploaded to the FTP site.
Different AmiFTP AmiFTP works a bit differently. It doesn't use two listers, just the one. The reason being that you will usually want to upload less often than download so just the remove FTP directory is displayed. When you do choose the send put function, a file requester appears.
AmFTP has an option in the menu called 'Directory tool'. Deselect this and it reverts to a single remote FTP lister in the AmiFTP style.
When editing the site list in all these clients, it's as simple as inserting the name (which usually shows up in the hotlist), site name and the directory which the client should move to automatically when it does log on.
The download path will set the left hand lister directory on your local drives on AmFTP and mftp. With AmiFTP, there's just a text gadget at the bottom which selects the download path. Most have a simple check-box for anonymous log-in. You'll want to click this on all of your sites unless you specifically have an account there, for instance if you want to access your provider's FTP site to pick up some batch FTPs or the like. In this case, you would put your domain (ours would be 'cu- amiga'I as the user name and your password (as found in your dialler script) for the password. Logging
in to your providers FTP site in this way will mean that your batch FTPs will appear in the root directory. This is how it is with Demon though it may be different for other providers.
AmFTP wildcard Where there are port number boxes, leave them at 21. Click on the hotlist box n AmiFTP to have the site appear in a menu for quick selection. Whenever an option exists for Binary or ASCII Text transfer, always choose Binary mode or your downloaded files will be corrupt.
A nice feature in AmFTP is the wildcard function. For example, enter the comm tcp directory of an Aminet mirror, then put ' ?.readme' in the box next to the'+’ and gadget. Click on '+ ' and all the Aminet readme files for every file in the commrtcp directory will be marked for download. On all the GUI clients, don't forget to use the pop-up gadgets right next to the FTP directory path box. This will give a short history of the last directories and you should be able to move back several directories without having to load each one.
GUI clients generally reinvent the wheel in terms of the directory utility aspect. The new Directory Opus 5.1 has an FTP module which allows you to log a lister on to an FTP site. This is amazing in use. Simultaneous browsing and downloading via several listers is a real boon which makes Directory Opus 5 an excellent addition to an Amiga 'net users arsenal.
However, there’s one often neglected file on the Aminet that just about accomplishes the same task for free. Grab it right away from the Aminet path; util tcp FTPMount-0.8.lha Amazing FTPMount In the great tradition of high quality PD. It has a nice installer to take care of the niggly bits. I recommend you install it in your AmiTOP: assign and when it prompts you to decide what to do with the FTP mountlist, I recommend you choose ’WBStartup'. When this is done, FTPMount is basically installed. If you don't want it installed on your Workbench every boot, leave it in Devs: and activate it by
executing the line; 'Mount Devs:FTP'. An obvious place to put this would be in your startnet script in AmiTCP.bin. Now for the magic; load up your favourite directory utility and access the FTP: device. Wow, look at that! You have a list of sites and providing you are linked up to the net at the time, if you enter any of these virtual directories, FTPMount will automatically log in and return a directory based on the contents of the remote FTP site of that name. Gosh, is that cool or what?
Now how do you set up your own sites for FTPMount? You could simply enter FTP:sun- site.doc.ic.ac.uk and FTPMount will log in anonymously right away but it's obviously preferable to have your own favourite sites appear in the FTP: root directory.
Via the workbench Via the Workbench, enter the directory where you had FTPMount installed. Inside the FTPMount directory should be another directory called 'Hosts’. Enter this. Here you'll see a load of icons representing directories with each one being a site of its own. Delete any from the default configuration that you won't ever use.
To create a new icon, select Window New Drawer from the Workbench menu. An icon will appear. Select it with a single click and then choose Icon Information from the Workbench menu again. In the resulting GUI that appears, all we need to do is add some ToolTypes which tell FTPMount what it needs to know about the site to log on. There's quite a few other commands which you can add to the Icon Tooltypes so have a look in FTPMounts docs for more. Mostly you'll only need 'HOST' and 'ROOT'.
Pay special attention to the Default icon.
These settings will be used if you just enter an FTP site manually by accessing FTP: ftp site address . When logging in anonymously, it's customary to send your E-Mail address as the password with a user name of ‘anonymous’.
FTPMount does this automatically but you'll need to make sure the ENV variables 'USER’ and 'HOST' are set to that the correct password is sent.
If you want to log in to a site with a password. You’ll need to enter a 'USER' and a ‘PASSWORD’ tooltype with the appropriate values inserted afterwards. By the way, you don't have to use a directory utility either as the FTP: device can be accessed from the Workbench too. ¦ Mat Bettinson.
Next Month In the next issue we'll be looking at setting up an FTP server or daemon (a background program) on your own machine. Then other Internet users can download and upload material to your machine without any interaction from yourself. Also, if you'd like to let us know what other topics you'd like to see covered in the Wired World tutorials in the future, drop me a line at email@example.com or even Fidonet on 2:254 205.0. Surf on.
Amiga Technologies' Internet 'Surf Pack' hits the beach whilst CU starts a Worms mailing list and a newsgroup is set up to support Blitz Basic 2 users.
Fidonet, the pre-Internet network that is passed around BBSs via direct calls, has always maintained a clean image. Unlike the Internet, every conference is 'moderated' and generally speaking, swearing and other culturally sensitive behaviour is banned and use of this can see any individual removed from the network.
Fidonet possesses many Amiga conferences and so remained quite a valuable resource. However, many Amiga hobbyists felt stifled by the rules and so set up an alternative network that really is 'anything goes' including aliases instead of real names.
Called the 'Barnet', you can gain access to it from a number of supporting BBSes. Some of which include; Phone number SlimeLiteBBS Backyard BBS Darkside Frost Free Beachy Head London Harrow London Slaithwaite Eastbourne The Landlord Xerra Darkman Knocker Kvynny the Poo 0181-230-1SB6 0181-424-2065 0181-771-9100 01484-842-341 01323-520-999 Net God speaks Taking a break from Amiga specific comms for a while. I'd like to comment on a major problem with the Internet in general.
Seeing as most of us use dial-up providers, we have to pay huge bills to our beloved British Telecom for off-peak local calls.
M's now a crippling expense given the minuscule bandwidth available within the ever increasing congestion of the Internet. BT is setting up game lines where you get to play multi player games for just the cost of the call.
How can this be justified? We pay BT the same rate AND a subscription charge to a third party Internet provider. Surely BT owes us more for the money? I feel that they should be charging the current rate for an Internet service and FREE off-peak local calls made to anyone elsel Certainly the monopoly BT (still) enjoys should not be used to favour Its own services. Therefore I urge all comms users to write to your MP about the matter.
Allow political policies on telecommunications to influence your vote and investigate fully Labour's highly suspect 'BT alliance'.
Make your voice clear.
You're paying for M. News AT 'surfing' pack_ Amiga Technologies' highly welcome Internet ‘Amiga Surf Pack’ consists of an Amiga 1200 with 270MB HD, 14400 baud modem and an Internet software bundle along with the usual Magic Pack software. CU Amiga Magazine can now exclusively reveal the the contents of the bundle. The WWW Browser will be Voyager.
As previewed last month. An IRC client will be bundled in the package too and this is none other than AmlRC, another excellent product from Oliver Wagner.
Mr Wagner must be pretty busy at the moment since his AmFTP FTP client will also be included.
The whole package is based around the AS225r2 TCP IP software that Commodore developed in house but never made public.
The new VooDoo software is included to handle E-Mail and VLT as a dial-in terminal. It's shaping up to be an absolutely killer Internet bundle, We only hope that Amiga Technologies will also make it Barnet censorship free available to existing Amiga owners!
Worms mailing list_ Team 17*s smash-hit game Worms has virtually reached cult status in the Amiga community.
Users of some general newsgroups and mailing lists have complained about the massive amount of Worms traffic inundating the conferences.
CU Amiga Magazine has come to the rescue with a Worms E-Mail mailing list for all things pinky and wormy. To join, send a single line E-Mail to our mailing list server at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put on this line; ADD worms If you’re not on CU Amiga's mailing list still, substitute ‘worms' for ’cu-announce' for our announce only group or 'cu-amiga' for the discussion list.
For further instructions send; HELP to email@example.com. Codes for amazing screens, worm name ideas , locations of custom maps. Hint. Tips, cheats and tactics will be the order of the day.
Team 17 are also present. Just before going to press they revealed that they have dropped plans to create ‘Net Worms' on the Amiga. The reason given is a lack of interest on the part of the Amiga community. Prove them wrong and E-Mail your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org now!
Blitz Ba»ic newsgroup_ New and potential programmers using Acid Software's Blitz Basic
2. Should know that there’s a Usenet Newsgroup dedicated to Blitz
Basic support. Add 'alt.sys.amiga.blitz' to your Newsgroups
file to get on to to the Blitz Newsgroup. Blitz Basic
2. 1 is reviewed in this issue so if you've any further questions
or if you already use Blitz Basic, this would be the ideal
place to converse with other users. The authors can also be
found in this group to raise any support future version issues
etc. Recently Mark Sibly announced that after his next
(unnamed) game, he'll be setting to work on Blitz Basic 3.
This started a massive thread about what existing Blitz Basic users would like to see in BB 3.
Join up and you can have your say too. ¦ SOUND LAB I Sound Lab This month Tony Horgan takes a look a some of the most impressive and innovative noise-making tools to be found in the public domain.
Musicline Editor Audio Lab 16 This one has seen plenty of service on my Amiga over the last couple of months. It's one of those ever so modern modular- designed programs that performs all kinds of useful audio feats, with ample support for many 16- bit and 8-bit audio formats Most of the functions are disabled in the shareware release, but it does allow you to take the raw 16-bit sample data from audio Cds and save it straight out to disk (in other words you can perform a direct digital-to-digital copy from any audio CD). You'll need a CD-ROM drive that can transmit CD audio data across
the SCSI bus, such as those currently sold by HiSoft and the forthcoming Q-Drive from Amiga Technologies.
Sample data from audio Cds can be automatically converted to 8 bits as it's saved, or just spooled out in full 16 bit bandwidth. This is generally the better option, as the sample volume can then be maximised using an editor (such as Aura, OctaMED S, MultiSample etc) and then converted to 8 bits for use in your tracker. If you've got a 16-bit replay system on your Amiga then so much the better! The results are the cleanest samples you can possibly get from Cds.
The disabled features include a sample editor, signal generator and plenty more. There's stacks of support for 16-bit sound formats. Watch this space for a review of the fully registered version.
Available from: Amlnet Set 2 CD-ROM Peck, Check the adverts In this issue for the best price and deal.
Ers rS C MultiSample This is a sample converter, plain and simple. Those poor deluded souls who use Pcs for music normally exchange samples in WAV and VOC format, slightly different to the Amiga's native IFF 8SVX format. MultiSample uses a neat little GUI interface from which you select your source and destination sample files, along with their formats and the required sample frequency. The supported formats are Amiga 8SVX (IFF). Amiga RAW. ST RAW and PC WAV. PC VOC and the 16-bit AIFF formats are absent, but they may be added with time. That’s about it really!
Available from: Aminat 9 CD-ROM Check the adverts in this issue for the best price and deal.
L Mute I
o if r if m- his ure lark ?¦ Most trackers seem to have been
lacking ambition recently, content to concentrate on trying to
play more tracks than the opposition, which considering the
reduction in sound quality is a waste of time in my opinion.
However. Musicline Editor injects some much-needed inspiration into the scene.
While at first it may seem like just another tracker, it stands out thanks to its unique combination of sample and synthesis playback. For years we’ve been able to add basic effects to samples as they played, such as vibrato and tremolo, as these just alter the replay speed and volume parameters which is simple to do. Musicline takes this to another level by adding synthesiser controls. Including filter, resonance and phase. Instruments are made by combining standard sound samples with these and other synthesiser settings. The results can be very impressive, allowing the use of synth
sounds that have filter sweeps automatically built in. So that when you play a bassline for example, each note gets progressively more spiky, then slides back down to a more muffled sound, without you having to program in loads of little changes on each note.
At the moment the interface is somewhere between a fixed ProTracker-styte layout and a more OS-compliant system including standard menus and radio buttons. You can select any screen mode you have available but the actual screen doesn't re-scale accordingly, so in effect you're stuck with a (quite reasonable) 640 x 256 screen.
I haven't got to grips with the whole thing yet. But going by the demo tunes and the synth section, it has plenty of potential for anyone who is fed up of the normal constraints of tracker programming. It won't turn your Amiga into a Roland JD-800, but it's the best combination of sample and synthesis to ever grace the Amiga.
The shareware version allows saving of your own modules and instruments, but you should register if you find yourself using it on a regular basis.
Available from: Aminat 9 CD-ROM. Check the adverts in this issue for the best price and deal.
¦gm«m Kifs»jj?s8S5=s5s:?2fsssK?5'sis!iia?ss?im»??5ass??m?itssms«8ssffisi8»iws2»«'6nff8faatrjny!rf!!JWKwm«ff*i55j«iS': «'?i!KK.'*l NOVEMBER 1996
• ON THE DISKS: AudioMister IV hi pragma.
Virtual Karting deme. CD-ROM editioo-Amuut 7 and morn.
• FEATURES: CD-ROM definitive guide ta drives and disks.
U INSIOE:Ciaerua AO. Mac' Emulation. Final Writer A. Pinball Meuiu. (ears and Citadel.
Total amount £ ..card. Iviw. Amen. Access. Doers Club cards acraptedl ....: ...Expires .....j, ..Dale ....-..... NOVEMBER 1994
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• ON THE DISKS: MniuSdtMl. Dip at pud Fifa International Soccer
damn. PLUS free MovieSetter manual e FEATURE: Animation made
eaay e INSIDE: Plwtr CD-ROM, PD Special. ATR.
Turbo Till. Dawn Patrol. Super League Manager, Baldies previe**.
MAY 1995 e ON THE DISKS: ProDraw 3 all eon ASA Amigas). DctaMED S and Baldies deans, e FEATURE: Tea printers renewed, rated aad recommended.
E INSIDE: ECTS report Bratal Pieview.
Dpaint. Personal Paiul Photogeucs and Brilliance compared.
JUNE 1995 e ON THE DISKS: Image EX 1.5 (all Amigas «ith2Mh). USMdemo e FEATURE: Image processing eiplamad e INSIDE: RAM speed lest Bliuard 1230 III.
Siren Apollo. Octaured E reviewed Primal Rage. Seasihle Goff previewed.
• ON THE DISKS: Adtragt 21. Pnwer- basev3.A, Arcade Saoalei-fall
• FEATURE: Step by step guide to tba Nat.
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previewed, Cinema AD. Scalp MM4RB, Virocop aid TM2 reviewed.
• ON THE DISKS: Clarissa 2.1 and each- sive dame ot Cammy Va
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Sensible Gill. Time Keepers. Player Maaager 2.
SEPTEMBER 1995 e ON THE DISKS: DctsMED 5.14. Speris legacy. Time Keepers e FEATURE: Sei and computers: we lake an indepth look at bow much than is aad what people think about it e INSIDE: Alaeai Bread 3D. Gloom. SSFIL Brutal. VnCsp A5II. Base Jumpers C032.
OCTOBER 1995 e ON THE DISKS: Pagestresm 2.2. Eaclishe Fears aid Citadel deme.
E FEATURES: Uliag yoar PiaeStream cover dish hr DTP. Stsrage: HD's flsppims and CD-ROMs. Head Tt Hoad Gaming, e INSIDE:Odyssey. Real 3D 3.
PageStream 3.li and a towering multimedia ttiliia reviewed.
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9Z. Bluff Trtlei, Amiga E source code, Xtreme Racing,
• FEATURES: Serial Ming e.pbrned, portable Amiga prototypes and
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• INSIDE: DiskMagic. HiSoh CD-ROM, Virtual i glasses. Spans
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I For A I of Era SXI2S GOLDEN JOYSTICKS The Golden Joystick Awards Every year EMAP's Golden Joystick Awards are seen by the games industry as the most important accolades a company or its games can get. This is because they are voted for by you the readers, the people who buy their games (or don't because they are crud!). This is your opportunity to tell us what you actually bought and liked during 1995 and who you think should be rewarded for their efforts by a prestigious Golden Joystick.
The Form Please fill out this form, listing your entry in each of the seven categories below, then send it (or a photocopy of it) to the address at the bottom.
Category 1: Best Licenced Computer Gamo Best arcade or film licence. Not a difficult choice since there were only two.
Category 2: Best Original Computer Gamo Not SWOS 95 96, OK? It may have been original three years ago but not now. Remember, ORIGINAL is the key word.
Category 3: Computer Game of the Year Your nomination for the game that beats the rest.
Can be original, can be new. Can be a sequel, but it must be from 1995 1996.
- d Please take the time to fill in the form on the right and
send it to us. The encouragement you give companies and
developers by letting them know you enjoyed their games will
show the continuing size and strength of the Amiga market.
Don't let it down!
CATEGORY 4: Best Computer Game Developer Your chance to name a development team or programmer worth their salt. Whose games most tickled your fancy in the last year?
CATEGORY 5: Best Technical Innovation In Games What really, really stood out this year? What revolutionised the way games were done? Come on, get your thinking caps on.
The Golden joysticks ceremony will be held in May 1996 and we'll have a report about who got what in which category in the July issue.
CATEGORY 6: Software House Of The Year A name is what we're looking for. A publisher that has supplied you with the most enjoyable games this year.
CATEGORY 7: Games Developer Publisher most dedicated to Amiga With so many turncoats around here's your chance to reward the company you feel has been most loyal.
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PC REVIEW - THE BEST PC MAGAZINE FOR THE HOMH v I ON SALE 15TH FEBRUARY | a *RRP May 1993 source Claris Frequently asked questions ¦ Q. What hardware do I need to get onto the Internet?
B A. Apart from your Amiga, you will need a modem. The faster the better, but with an A1200 a 'V34‘ 28800 bits per second rated modem is best. Slower Amigas (A500, A600. A12000s) which only have 68000 processors have some problems with anything faster than a 14.4K modem. A hard drive and extra memory are extremely useful too.
Although if you're prepared to cope with a little bit of hardship and donkey work, it is possible to do without.
¦ CL What software do I need?
¦ A. That depends. There are two main ways to get on the lnternet:either through an Internet Service Provider (such as Demon) or through an existing on-line service. The second way is much, much simpler as all the hard work with protocols is handled by the service provider: All you then need is a terminal emulator package such as Ncomm, Term or Hi- Soft’s Termite.
¦ Q- What Is AmlTCP?
¦ A. If you want to get onto the Internet properly in the most flexible way, you will need what is called a TCP IP stack. TCP IP is the protocol used on the Internet and the AmiTCP package is an implementation for the Amiga.
Many programs have been written to take advantage of AmiTCP and will provide you with World Wide Web browsers. Gopher and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) clients and mail programs.
¦ Q. Where can I get AmiTCP?
¦ A. You can either buy the full version from Blittersoft and attempt to plug in the extras yourself or preferably obtain the demo version 3.0 or 4.0 (with an annoying requestor) in a ready made 'installer' archive which will do 90% of the hard work for you. You can get one such archive from Visage PD on 0116-964-2828. This particular installer may be Demon specific but it'll provide a working example unlike installing AmiTCP from scratch Installation will be much harder for providers not offering 'static IP' and ’SMTP mail’. It might be an idea to bear this in mind if you choose to use
someone other than Demon.
¦ Q- How do I sat up AmiTCP?
¦ A. With great difficulty if not using one of the 'Installer' archives. AmiTCP is not a program for the beginner. However the latest commercial version 4.2 is an improvement if you really want to pay for it and set it up yourself.
As above, you can get version
3. 0 4.0 in a ready made archive and this is what we recommend.
To set up you will need to have your User and Domain names, your IP number and the IP number of the gateway and Domain Name Servers. See, I told you it was tough. Your service provider will be able to provide all the details, although don't expect them to be able to help you with AmiTCP itself.
¦ CL Once I have installed AmiTCP, will I be ready to go?
Getting the Amiga onto the Internet can be fraught with difficulty. CU Amiga Magazine provides some of the answers to the most common questions.
¦ A. No, I'm afraid not.
Although you have the TCP IP working, there are many other stages to go through if you didn't use one of the 'Installer' archives.
First pf all you will need a dialing program that will call into the service provider and start the TCP IP business going. Once you are connected, you can get a mail program, a WWW program, a Usenet news program, an Internet Relay Chat program (Chatline for surfers) and so on ... ¦ Q. So what does AmiTCP come with?
¦ A. You should get enough to get you started, with a dialer program and utilities including an FTP program (for downloading software) and a Telnet client (for logging into remote computers).
With FTP you can load into the Aminet site and download all the other software you need.
¦ Q. What is SUP and PPP?
¦ A. SUP and PPP are two different standards for dial in programs you can use one or the other, but not both. AmiTCP seems happiest to use SLIP as this is what it comes with although PPP programs are available (from AmiNet) ¦ Q- If I use a on-line service provider and therefore avoid having to use TCP IP. What are the drawbacks?
¦ A. If you want to get on to the Internet as easily as possible you should consider opening an account with CIX or Delphi, as both offer access using normal terminal software.The disadvantages are the extra charges associated with using the Internet in this way - rather than the monthly flat rate levied by an Internet Provider Also, being totally text based means it’s not possible to use a graphical Web browser such as Amosatc. Or AmiTCP dependent tools such as the Grapevine IRC client.
Fl CL la eventually getting onto the Internet worth the hassle?
¦ A. Definitely! Not only will you be able to download all the latest software, but also you can send email to friends, join in with global discussion groups and look through thousands of pages of up to the minute news and reviews There is an enormous on-line culture. Which you could join.
¦ Q. I have got AmiTCP working, but when I run Amosalc I can't get any pictures displayed.
¦ A. Web pages contain images in GIF format (and sometimes JPG) which the Amiga can’t decode out of the box. In order to display these pictures, you need to install a GIF and JPG datatype which the Amiga uses to translate the pictures. They're available by download from the AmiNet sites.
Util dtype ZGIFDT39 16 lha util dtype jfif dtc.lha H Q_ After installing AmiTCP, I get an error message ”rx unknown command* when dialing Into the Internet. Why?
¦ A. The command "link up" command used to access the internet makes use of Arexx. And if you don’t have Arexx installed and running, you'll get an error message like this. Make sure the drawer Rexxc is present on your Workbench system (copy over from the distribution disks if not) and add the line; run nil: nil: to your s user- startup file ¦ John Kennedy Masterclass On the last few months we have developed some programs in the wonderful programming language Arexx. Unfortunately, from first hand experience I've discovered that quite a few users aren't exactly sure what this Arexx business
is - or how to go about using it.
Arexx is a programming language that is distributed as part of the Workbench (at least, part of Workbench 2.04 and later releases!.
Unfortunately, Arexx documentation is hard to come by: in fact, unless you have an A4000 you are unlikely to have ever seen the official Commodore booklet.
This month's MasterClass is especially aimed at those users who are struggling to use Arexx or would-be Amiga programmers eager to achieve something new with their existing system.
To start with, it is important to realise what Arexx is designed to do well and what it does badly. One immediate strength is that it is free: most users should already have it on their system. However, Arexx is no Blitz Basic or C development system. It's an interpreted language and it is not designed to be the fastest. You won't be able to use it to write killer arcade games or professional utilities.
Arexx is a more thoughtful language, and its strengths are its many powerful commands, its ease of use and its ability to make debugging simple. Arexx can also be used to add functionality to existing programs: any application which has an "ARexx Port" effectively makes its functions available to external Good and Bad What Arexx is good at:
• Learning to program
• Text processing
• File utilities
• Linking existing applications
• Adding extra functions to existing applications
• Creating intelligent batch files What Arexx is bad at:
• Arcade or action games
• Stand alone applications
• Extremely large programs
• Programs which require fast execution speeds
• Programs which make extensive use of graphics or sound control.
For example, you could use Arexx to add complex macro
facilities to your Cygnus Ed text editor, or to link an image
processing program such as The Art Department Professional with
software controlling a video digitiser such as Vlab.
Starting Arexx Open a Shell window and enter RX and return.
If you see the following: Usage: rx filename [arguments] then the good news is that Arexx is alive and kicking on your system. If you see something like: rx: Unknown command then there is a very strong chance that Arexx is not running or is not installed. To install Arexx, you will need to find your original Workbench disks (or have a good look on your hard drive) and locate a program called RexxMast. This is the program which executes the Arexx programs. Now you can make a decision: do you want Arexx to start every time you re-boot, or can you remember to start it manually?
If you can live with a manual set-up, simply double-click on the Arexx icon or open a Shell and type: run nllr nil: RexxMast To run Arexx automatically every time you switch on (which isn't a bad idea unless you are severely challenged in terms of disk space and memory) you should drag the icon over A Tbf ReuMast Icon in all its glory. Yau caa rua the Areu ser*er by simply table ciickiag ea it Hewem it's iMch aiere asefal to iasort it ¦ theater star-ey So you want to know what this Arexx thing we keep talking about actually is? You're in luck - MasterClass explains all.
The WBStartup drawer. Next open a shell and enter: ed s:user-startup Depending on whether this file already exists or not, you will either have a blank screen or a list of previously entered commands (many programs will add their own commands to the user-startup script, so don't be surprised).
Add the following to the user-startup script and save the file.
Run nil: nil: RexxMast If you are using the standard Ed editor, you can save the file by pressing ESC. Then X and then return. You will now need to re-boot to get RexxMast started and you should be greeted with what you can see in the screengrab at the top of this column.
This might not be the end of the matter though: if you still get the unknown command error when entering "RX" you will need to check that the directory called "Rexxc" is on your Workbench disk. This directory contains various special Arexx commands, including "RX". If it isn't present have a hunt on your original Workbench disk and copy it to your everyday Workbench disk. Something like : copy dfOtrexxc ays: ALL should do the trick. Now when you type "RX" you shouldn't get an error. Unless, for some reason the libraries which Arexx requires are missing from your Workbench disks. If this
happens, obtain a directory listing of the libs: drawer, and check for rexxsupport.library and rexxhost.library. If these are missing, you'll have to copy them from the original Workbench disks, like this: copy dffO:libs rexx ? Libs: And if you can't seem to find the " " key. Then take the trouble to use the Prefs tool to set up a proper GB keymap.
Using Arexx Now we are getting somewhere: with all the Arexx files installed on your system and RexxMast running, your Amiga is at last ready to run some programs.
Do i = 1 to 10 say "Hello World!* Arexx programs take the form of plain text files, such as you would create with Ed or some other text editor. It is possible to use a Word Processor, but only if no extra information (font details for example) is saved with the text.
It's best to give an Arexx program a name which ends in .rexx, and although it's not compulsory it's a good idea as some programs assume the extension to be present. Actually executing a program can be achieved with the RX command, although RX can also be used to execute Arexx command directly.
Here's an example of using RX without a program. Open a Shell and enter: rx "do i-1 to 10;say 'Hallo world!' and;" Make sure to get the quotation marks right.
You should see something like the screen shot on the preceding page.
The commands we entered between the quotation marks was a simple Arexx program.
Now let’s write it in a more usual form. Using a text editor (Ed if you must) create a file which looks like the screen- shot to the right here.
There are several points to notice, the most important being that the program MUST start with a comment - that is. Text between the • and • marks. You can (and indeed should) add more text in comments throughout your program to remind you what certain parts are actually doing.
Secondly, notice how we can now space everything a little better, and even indent the inside of the loop. This makes the program a lot easier to read, and the extra spaces make no difference to the Arexx interpreter.
Now save the program to Ram disk with a name such as "test.rexx”. You can now execute the program by returning to the Shell and simply entering: rx ram: test Notice how you can leave off the ".rexx" part with RX. If your text editor has an option to do so, then save the program with an Icon. If there is no option, use IconEdit in order to create one: make it a Project icon. Select the icon, check its Info file (highlight the icon with a single click) and then use the Workbench menu option Icons Information. You can now alter the default tool to read RX. Then when you save the changes and
double-click on the Icon the program will be executed by Arexx automatically. There’s an example at the top of this column.
The Arexx Programs There are several more programs in the Rexxc directory. Some of the more useful are: REXXMAST The master Arexx program RX Run an Arexx program RXC Close all Arexx programs and RexxMast HI Halt all scripts Immediately TS Start Trace mode (try it and sea!)
TE End Trace mode It’s also possible to add a ToolType to the icons info file. For example in the screenshot just below left, by adding a Console tooltype you can pre-define the shape of the Window and add a Close gadget.. ¦ Email John at email@example.com or Fidonet 2:443 13.4 and tell him what you want.
Next month ... who knows. More Arexx?
Logos, meanings and mysteries: I RAM.
The Antipodean antidote to problems is back with his brain smoking from the Q£»A session.
Is your Amiga limping along like a monoped in a large tub of Smarties? If you're having memory mayhem, nasty rumblings with your RAM or any problems to do with your Amiga we can help.
Write to us with your problem, hardware spec and memory size and we'll fix itl Tony is young, and a master when rt comes to sound and vision on Amiga.
Mixed memory Ol have an Amiga 1200 with 2Mb ol Chip and 1Mb of Fast RAM. I've tried to run your excellent Imagine Answers to queries on particular piacas of software.
Form-feeds, page-breaks, prafarances and lota, lota moral
And all that stuff.
3. 0 cover disk but it just quits with no further activity.
SnoopDOS reports that Imagine can't find the FC24 library. Is
it at all possible that you forgot to include this library and
that it wont run without it? My machine has all of the
requirements you stated would be needed to run the program on
Rof g for this library. It's pood to see so t I out the diagnos- thing doesn't FC24 library ibrary for an led the Fire Cracker 24. Imagine does not need this to run, it just has some built in support for this device. 90% of the problems that will cause it to exit without firing up are due to a lack of memory. Yes even on machines that do have 3Mb as stated on the cover disk requirements, problems can be had. It needs this much space of continuous memory of which a machine with 2Mb chip + 1Mb fast HAM does not have. The amount of memory available on such a configuration will make Imagine
virtually unusable on a system at any rate. Memory is the unfortunate penalty incurred by rendering packages. If you're serious about 3D rendering you should really invest in some kind of accelerator with at least 4Mb of Fast RAM onboard.
Hopefully this will help you unlock the full potential of both Imagine and your Amiga.
Spreadsheets, organisers, accounts ... I answering about Devilishly fast *•1 What's wrong with my CyberSlorm 68060 'HSf time I run pro- grams that require the FPU, they fail and I get a software failure. I tried to run the FPU version of Imagine 3 supplied with your Christmas issue and I got the same result. When I run the integer version, everything works fine. Any idea what could be causing my problems?
Ole Hagugland, Drammen, Norway.
If all programs requiring an FPU fail on your Cyberstorm we have a pretty good idea of what's up. Firstly, the Cyberstorm has two libraries that need to be dropped into your libs: : a 68040. Library and a i You may have mistak- PAL problems j*rrs I have an Amiga 2000 upgraded to fW Kickstart 3.1 cou- V ,A Pled with a CSA Derringer 68030 We neglected to mention that NTSC Amiga owners need to boot in PAL mode to get Imagine to work since we cover mounted the PAL version.
Fortunately, Kickstart 2j will allow you to boot in PAL mode. Simply enter the early startup screen by resetting and holding down both mouse buttons, then press a key.
You'll see the screen contract and expand for each key press. The expanded screen is PAL which will appear to flicker more but has more lines. Click on Boot as normal tafter adjusting your monitor to fit the screen etc) and then run Imagine 3.0. Users of Kickstarts earlier than 2.x must use some form of degrader available from most PD houses.
®l want to ask you some questions,
1) Is I.C.S. s A600 A1200 worth buying? If it is. How do I
connect it to my computer? When you reviewed it in October
95 issue it was shown connected to an A1200 by its PCMCIA slot
but you said something about an IDE socket on the A1200 s
21 Is there any way that I could put a password on my Workbench disk by editing the startup- i on my Workbench disk?
Print this letter, it's the I've written to you.
Quinn The reason we haven't answered your letters is that you don't appear to read the magazine that we painstakingly put together each month.' Most of your first question is answered by the review. As for the question of whether it’s worth buying. Surely that depends on your own Yes. It plugs into the IDE socket on the motherboard (the IDE hard drive socket). A ribbon from the IDE interface is passed through the side of the Amiga’s casing and into the tower, that’s why it looks like it's connected via the PCMCIA, but it’s not.
As for your second question, why password protect your Workbench floppy? You could just hide the disk and anyone could boot your Amiga with another Workbench disk anyway. If you really want a program to do it, check the adverts from the PD houses in this issue fora hard drive protection tool which may function for a floppy Workbench.
Swansong I own an Amiga A600 with an 80Mb hard drive 2Mb ol RAM utilising the trap- door slot for 1Mb.
I run Bars & Pipes Pro V2.5 to control my MIDI devices My problem is that my songs are getting longer so running out of memory is becoming evermore likely. How can I upgrade to a higher RAM configuration? Could I use the PCMCIA slot? Are there any alternatives? Also, my real time clock on my RAM card has stopped. I assume it's the battery, can I replace it?
D. S.Moris. Hounslow, Middlesex.
You can indeed use PCMCIA memory with the A600. This is generally available in 2Mb and 4Mb units though it’s a little expensive. There’s also the new Apollo 620 accelerator which will accept up to an 8Mb SIMM on board as well as seriously speeding up your trusty A600. It's very tricky lo install so if you’re interested it may be worth getting it fitted by the supplier. Of course, these problems wouldn’t be an issue if you traded in your A600for a brand new A1200 - you could even drop your hard drive straight into the A1200. The decision is yours.
As for the clock failing in your RAM expansion; most memory cards recharge the battery themselves. It possible yours is not a rechargeable unit though, which we have seen before. Take it to a watch repair shop and they should be able to tell you and replace the battery if it's faulty or flat.
Mutti-palette I have ImageFX
1. 5 installed on the hard drive of | my Viper II equipped 6Mb
A1200. I’m having trouble with rendering sequences as when I
load them into Dpaint 4 AGA and try to make an animation.
The colours seem to cycle and the quality is very very poor. I
have tned saving the files in many different formats but the
quality is the same Do I need a graphics card land hence a
big-bo* Amiga) or is it the wav I am saving the pictures out?
II sounds as if you are saving animation sequences that use a different palette for each frame. Check that the Lock Palette tick box is set.
Deluxe Paint 4 wiU not replay (or create) animations with multiple palettes, but Dpaint 5, Brilliance and Personal Paint will do the job. If you still end up with multiple palette animations (if the colours seem to be cycling) then it’s advisable that you use one of these programs lo edit and replay them.
Dodgy disc duo
- rj I recently bought a JL3.5' hard dnve, having taken the t,ne
:o ,h'‘,ir 1 with special cables purchased from an Amiga
dealer. I phoned the firm I bought the drive from who said 3.5"
drives over 500Mb can only be recognised by the 1200 through a
warm reset They also refused to refund money. I boot the
machine with a normal Workbench disk but my machine keeps
crashing and I'm taking advice on what to do next. Could I sell
it to a PC owner? Can I also use PC CD-ROMs, modems and RAM
SIMMS on an A1200?
Firstly, the firm you bought the drive from seems to know nothing about the Amiga. The 1200 can boot any size of IDE hard drive currently available as it doesn’t have the horrible limitations that MS-DOS imposes on the PC. The problem is that your hard drive isn’t ‘prepped’ properly - a good reason for buying a drive from an Amiga dealer who pre-preps drives and charges a little more. This can save a lot of hassle if you don’t know how to prep a hard drive your- seff. You do have everything you need to prep the drive with HD Toolbox or you could try some better software such as RD Prep,
available from many PD Houses. Once prepped, you need to install Workbench onto the hard drive. The easiest way is to simply copy the entire contents of your Workbench floppy onto the first partition you make. I recommend that you get RD Prep as it has extensive on-line help which will show you step-by-step, how to prep your hard drive, partition it and set the right boot priorities etc. As for the crashes, another common problem with 3.5” hard drives is the power they consume. It's possible than the ridiculously under specced AI290 power supply cun provide. A Dutei Gobutk may be needed lo
solve that problem.
Apollo landing askafewoues- 'Hw the Amiga 60C which was m the January 96 issue. Could you please tell me if the Apollo 620 will get in the way of the internal hard drive which I have had free with my A600. If it does, what should I do? My last question is could 'you explain in more detail how the switch you mentioned should be installed.
Malcolm Campbell Deckham, Gateshead.
The Apollo 620 doesn 7 gel in (he way of (he hard drive but installation is very tricky so unless you’re quite a handy man. I wouldn't attempt to fa it yourself. This also goes for the snitch we mentioned. To fit it is a matter of buying a switch from Tandy and wiring the pads up to the jumpers on the 620 card. A hole needs to be drilled In the case, the switch poked through and then screwed back together. If you can’t work out how to wire the switch up to the card, you shouldn’t attempt to do it at all.
Speed Freak ®1. Why does Syslnfo tell me my system is running at 15.2MHz and
1. 35 MIPS when on a previous A1200 on the same setup I got
14. 17MHz and 1.33 MIPS?
2. 1 have raised enough money to purchase an accelerator and I am
thinking of buying the well praised Blizzard 1230 IV with 16Mb
of RAM. Do I have to worry about it clashing with my Overdrive
3. Could I use a normal PC tower case instead of the very
expensive MicroniK tower case and if so could I purchase the
Zorro cards, connectors, etc. separately?
Would this be cheaper?
4 Are there plans for a Zorro III expansion card for the A1200?
5. Is it possible to attach a 24 Bit Graphics Board via a SCSI II
6. Does the Sony Playstation really do 500 MIPS? If so why didn't
Sony use this technology wisely and put it to some good use to
make a computer rather than an expensive toy.
1. Sysinfo isn't very accurate. It uses the display Hz to measure
the speed of the machine. Change the screen mode or even
Overscan settings and it’s put out of whack. Try a proper
benchmarking tool like AIBB 6.S.
2. The Blizzard is fine al 8Mb but we cassldn I confirm if it was
OK at I* Mb The best bet is to check with Cardan Harwoods that
you may i the nod if it dots cause prob- k yanr existing
set-up - they t as they have an excel- r service record.
3. Ye, and no. Yaa ’U have to lake the motherboard oat of the
case and fit It in the lower with wrongly positioned have the
holes poached foe the Amigas ports, lorro cards don't easily
connect to the AI200. The real nuts and bolls of the MicroniK
lower is the Zorro break out board. This complicated expansion
board gives you Zorro slots from the trapdoor port. However,
we've heard of some enthusiasts fitting their motherbsrards
into PC case, but doing so lands yon firmly on your own.
4. Yet, there's a tower from Eagle Computer Systems in Germany.
We're trying lo organise a UK distributor and obtain a review Item.
Keep an eye out on future CU issues.
5. No. There's no 'real' graphics board option for the A1200. See
Mat Benin son's points of view on page
120. Some display enhancers use the RGB port only for various
degrees of success like Power Computing's 18- bit Video DAC.
6. No, it does not. It has a fairly moderate CPU (33Mhz RS3000)
that accelerated Amigas can comfortably outpace. It does have
next generation custom 3D hardware. The kind of thing that
should be present in the new Power Amiga range. Then the Amiga
will have that kind of power without Sony's overzealous
control of the platform and it's software. ¦ NO SAES PLEASE We
regret that we cannot respond to readers' queries by post or
over the phone Please do not include stamped addressed
envelopes with your letters, as we simply don't have time to
answer the thousands we receive. Responses are only possible
through the pages of the magazine BACKCHAT Backchat To join
our readers' forum write to Backchat, CU Amiga Magazine, EMAP
Images, 30-32 Farringdon Lane, London EC1R 3AU.
Get a spine!
Organisations. Get a spine, Michaell As far as CU Amiga Magazine goes. I would like to see more space in your magazine devoted to looking at what the average Amiga user has. What they use it for and what they are looking for in the future. Get honest debate going, expand the Backchat pages and stop reviewing games at 80-90% just because there is nothing else around.
Let's continue to enjoy our Amigas for what It saddens me to read such letters as Michael Smithson's blaming Amiga owners for the potential demise of the machine, and asking us to plead with software publishers to support the Amiga. If they want to sell software to this format they will, but most have made clear their future intentions. I, for one, am not in the habit of begging to anyone, least of all large profit making Letter of the month I am writing in reply to Martjin from the Netherlands who complains in the February 1996 edition of CU Amiga about cover disks on computer magazines. I
accept his point that the magazine would be cheap* ar without the cover diska but thia is only one point of viaw - it could squally be said that the small extra cost is wsll worthwhile since it gives Amiga users a chanca to try out programs that one might or might not buy. Program reviews are all vary well but there is no aubstitute for trying out a program yourself before deciding whether to buy the full version - certainly if the full price is a lot more than the coat of a cover disk.
I paid over £200 for the full version of PageStraam 2.2 (which the graphics bars are done with)- now it it on a cover disk. I might take ths point of view that I have wasted £200 buying a program that I could have got virtually for free, but I have had several years use out of it and now I am guaranteed that K will continue to be well supported because lots more people have become PagaStraam owners as a result of the special cover disk upgrade offers. Cover disks of old programs give a good introduction to ths latest version - if sometimes you have to put programs on the disks that don't
appeal to everyone that just shows that Commodore's demise has greatly decreased the number of programs available - Escom will sort that out.
Please keep the cover disks, thsy encourage people to buy the Amiga and support those who already have.
Now a quick gripe of my own. I'm a computer hobbyist but I got the vote more years ago than I care to remember. The eyesight's fading and the hearing's about gone. Please ask your advertisers to print their copy in slightly largsr than 0.01 print so I can read it. And whilst I’m on the subject, who decides that ft is a good idea to print dark grey text on a medium grey background or tiny lettering over a surrealist multi coloured, multi coloured landscape background. Surely your advertisers want to sell their wares? Some of them act ae if they can't bear to part with their goodies and make
It virtually Impossible for anyone with other than perfect vision to read their adverts.
Congratulations all round on producing the best magazine available.
Mr JRL Smith, Leicester.
They are: the only decent machine for ordinary people, irrespective of income, who want more than a console.
PS. Can I have my own column?
The Grump, Alba.
No you can 'I have your own column but If you seriously think you have an article lhal’t worth publishing in CU Amiga Magazine, tend il to The Editor in ASCII text format accompanied by a hard copy printout and a covering letter.
Dirty tricks Why do you insist on using dirty tricks to sell your magazine? I'm referring to the 'free' gifts you stick to the front of every issue in a shameless attempt to bolster the sales figures. For example, there was the Aminet CD- ROM last year, the Amiga E programming language and guide book, not to mention the excessive three-disk January issue that came with Imagine 3. Is your magazine so deficient that it really needs these sweeteners to shift it off the shelves each month? Personally I think the content of your magazine is enough incentive to buy each month.
Phillip Dugdale, Hants.
Yes, you’re right, these are blatant attempts to sell more magazines. They work on the principle that if we offer a bigger and better overall package, more people will want lo buy the magazine.
Disgusting, isn’t it?
On yer bike Here we go again. Upgrade or die. I've already done that several times. From a C64 to an A500 1.3. A500 with WB1.3 2.0 ROM sharer, A1200 2Mb, A1200 plus 2Mb hawk board.
85Mb HD then 240Mb with 2Mb on board.
After all this I now have 6Mb RAM in total. I've even got a CD-ROM drive now and a printer and a monitor. Whatever next?
Now I need an FPU to run a flaming cover disk. On yer bike: do you think I'm made of money? Texture Studio's no good to me.
Unless you've got a spare FPU lying about the oftice. I suspect that it's not a lot of good to a lot of other people either. I shall have to take a closer look at magazine cover disks from now on before I decide to buy the mag.
Don't get me wrong. I love the Amiga. I’ve stuck by it through thick and thin but I’ve got to draw the line somewhere.
Mike Smith. Hants.
Whilst it’s unfortunate that Texture Studio requires an FPU, U is essentially an addon foe Imagine and most of Imagine's textures require an FPU. For people interested in rendering and such forth, an FPU is an essential addition to their machine. Incidentally, we included some Imagine objects (which can be used on the non FPU version). The Dverb and Mandel-92 packages and even the excellent Bluff Tiller demo. Some of which requirt an FPU. If every program on ail of our cover disks had to run on every Amiga then there would be no cover disks. If you decide not to buy CU Amiga Magazine which
is more than just a cover disk) because one program wont work on your machine then perhaps you aren’t slicking through as much thin as you say you are.
Stop whinging I felt compelled to write after reading month after month about the odd one or two simple minded people who whinge on about cover disks and the like, i am currently unemployed so my attitude towards Amiga magazine publications has changed dramatically When I was working I used to buy all the Amiga Publications as they came out (Amiga Power.
Amiga Action. Amiga Computing, Amiga Shopper, Amiga User International, Amiga Format. CU Amiga and The Onel. Obviously becoming one of Major's millions has forced me to rethink my strategy on this front. It didn't take much thought though because of the shear variety of subjects within your magazine, from the latest news and reviews to cover features, from Get Serious to Workshop and the highly informative Q&A section, what more could an enthusiast want? And on top of all this comes ... Imagine 3.0. Amiga 5, PageStream 2.2. MovieSetter. ComicSetter, ProDraw 3, Scala not to mention a lot
more on your cover disks. OK so you get the time limited demos, ie the Virtual Karting cover disk, as well but the try before you buy' option suits me fine.
However, I was happily tinkering away at my keyboard using Transition, an excellent utility thinking wow, fantastic, now I can download some clip art from the Pcs I am forced to use at college. But when I went to find out what disk number and issue did I got it from. I discovered that it was from another magazine. Why did you miss this gem of software?
Mr EC Wood. Cleveland.
Thanks for all the praise Mr Wood. However, due to our policy of putting top quality software on our cover disks h'c have to decide what we think is the best package to go on. Sometimes this means that other software is left off our disks and may appear on another magazines. That’s life.
I have one question about your last cover disk Xtreme Racing. I like the game but there is one thing I can't work out. What are the red things that move about when you are racing, please answer the question. I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't know what they are.
Martin Jerome Waterlooville, Hants.
Martin, Martin, Martin, where's your sense of Christmas cheer? Those little red things are cheeky, cheery Santas wandering around in the snow trying to avoid being run over before the Christmas rush.
BeBox rumours I heard a rumour that the new computer platform ‘BeBox’ will probably be the new Amiga RISC machine that we're all waiting for. I don't know whether this rumour is true or false but if the Amiga Technologies intend to release a new Amiga model, I think they must convert some current Amiga productivity titles like Final Writer 4. Scala MM400, Peal 3D V3.0 etc to new RISC mode. Also, it would be a good idea if AT made some deals with game companies to produce RISC versions of popular A500 and At 2 00 titles (Sens World of Soccer 30 or BBS BA BA A young Russell Pierce has bse*
bombarding the office with caAe a desperate attempt to get his bud si board number published. OK Ruses you've finally worn us down. Me don't normally publish BBS numbs as a rule but here goes. The Pigeoa Coup BBS provides help on Amiga technical queries and internet software, it can be contacted on 01SS9 384 634. Sysop is Tony.
Mote: other readers do not attempt the Pierce method of persistency otherwise we may be forced to come round your house and set firs to your collection of stuffed animals.
You have been warned.
Alien Breed 301 would be great) Come on AT, act quickly and give us a RISC Amiga with ArragaOS V4.0 (with network and internet capabilities! Please, release the new machine before Autumn 96. Time's running out and let’s face the truth - the Amiga market is getting smaller every day Many game companies have already abandoned the Amiga games market, the same could happen to the productivity market Sinan Gurkan. Istanbul. Turkey.
The BeBox is actually an entirely new computer by the company Be Inc. The only connection with the Amiga is that the directors have modelled certain aspects on the Amiga and. They say. What the Amiga should be. This is obviously an attempt to poach Amiga users for the platform and with hardware specs including twin PowerPC CPUs and a very low price point, it does sound attractive.
However, the machine doesn't exist and there certainly will be no software for it for a long time yet Amiga Technologies admit they have seen the BeBog but remain committed to developing a brand new Power Amiga. Draw your own conclusions.
TNI EAR MDI By GARY IARSON _ ' shyatetv from Roger ewer there by -Me [ ban d’ceuvres.-.He’s nucleus-breaker.
Clad you’ve enjoyed our tutorials. We’U pass your comments on to Jason.
Amiga E tutorials I was delighted to see your recent cover disk of the Amiga E programming language and the start of the Amiga E tutorial by Jason Hulance, This elegantly compiled language by Wouter van Oortmerssen gives our favourite computer yet another big lead over the competition. Jason’s tutorial on EasyGUI shows how Amiga E gives fast seamless access to the core of our unsurpassed operating system, which achieved in 1985 what Windows 95 struggled to reach a decade later.
Moreover we need only a fraction of the memory and disk space resources needed by other languages and computers.
In particular the latest version of Amiga E includes excellent facilities for object oriented programming most ably outlined by Jason Hulance. I do not recall any serious discussion of OOP in any Amiga magazine so far I hope that you will ask Jason to show the object oriented Programming power of Amiga E?
Brian C. Eggleston. Shropshire.
POINTS OF VIEW Points of View Alan Dykes Bad News Then?
The news that Amiga 9 Technologies is cutting back its operation in the UK is.
On the face of «. Bad. With product development and support almost eliminated from these shores what hope can there be for the U Let's not fool ourselves any longer, AT GmbH (UK) was never anything more than a puppet theatre. 55 future? Well, the press release sent to us about the World Of Amiga show in Novotel, London was clear about one thing: 'German company' Amiga Technologies is staging it. Strange though it may seem, perhaps the very existence of a UK office was one of the reasons the Amiga hasn't been as successful as it might have been here in Britain.
Let's not fool ourselves any longer, Amiga Technologies GmbH (UK) was never anything more than a puppet theatre.
Jonathon Anderson set up the Amiga Magic deal and John Smith sold machines as hard as humanly possible into retail and distribution, but they were ultimately hamstrung by lack of any real control. You can have ideas galore and work hard but unless you actually control the budgets and the decisions that globally effect the Amiga, you cannot claim success. Benshiem is the real r erve centre and the relaunch of the Amiga has been more successful and universally accepted in Germany than it has been here as a result.
Commodore UK was a large independent company, part of the global network of a multinational. Amiga Technologies UK was merely a regional branch office. So the job cuts may not be such bad news then (for us, but spare a thought for Jonathon and co). If they mean that Benshiem sits up, takes notice and has a direct hand in the action here in the UK, If sales don't go well then there will be no-one to blame but themselves, and this could mean that the savings they make on UK salaries goes into the promotional budget to make sure this doesn't happen.
Perhaps with their hands directly on the reins Amiga Technologies GmbH will take this once great Amiga market seriously again. Let's hope so.
Tony Horgan ¦ Sound Decisions Plus’ or whatever it's called (an A1200 with extra RAM and a faster processor), while the next step will be the Power Amiga. As plans for the 'Plus' will now be set in stone at AT, 66 Even though the Amiga's current audio hardware is outdated, at least the software available really does drive it to its limits. 99 let's jump forward to the Power Amiga.
Educated guesses suggest that this will be something similar to the Draco from MacroSystem: a modular computer running the Amiga operating system but without the custom Amiga chips. System- legal software that doesn't call directly upon the audio and graphics hardware (sprites, internal samples etc) works fine because everything is re-directed to the appropriate graphics cards, output ports and so on by the operating system.
This sounds all very logical and sensible, as the user could then stock the computer with all the hardware specific to his needs, and upgrade when necessary. As is customary in the PC market. However, illogical as it may seem, I would like to see an exception to this in the form of some standardised audio hardware. Even though the Amiga's current audio hardware is outdated, at least the software available really does drive it to its limits, to such an extent that it can compete with far more technically advanced audio hardware.
Compare this to the chicken and egg situation of third party sound cards and their software.
With too many standards for programmers to master and cater for, none gets the support it deserves.
My advice to Amiga Technologies is: buy in some ready made audio hardware from one of the Japanese giants such as Yamaha or Roland (it's got to be cheaper than developing and making your own) and give us an Amiga with 32-64 channels of 16- bit stereo digital audio playback, with a DSP and analogue-digital- analogue converters to boot, stick on a couple of MIDI ports and you'll clear up in the booming music and multimedia market. Offer the world a system such as this 'out of the box' with full support from all developers and you just cannot go wrong. Once again the Amiga will then be THE
computer for audio-visual applications.
The other day I was lucky enough to be asked to advise a group of business people about how they could use computing technology to enhance their businesses.
During the lecture one of them.
I'll refer to him as Dave, asked if it would be possible to use his son's home computer in his business (he owned a small off-license).
Andy Leaning Just the Business Now the course I'd chosen to give, although using Pcs as examples, was designed to show how any computer technology - as opposed to a specific type - could be used so I was more than pleased to take a few minutes out of my talk and try and assist Dave in using his son's computer.
Still hard to get really good titles this talk about a man called De»e 64 The Amiga may be losing its edge as a games system but it may just have found a naw boms amongst the thousands of small businesses who can't afford Pcs. 99 As it happens the computer in question was an Amiga, an A2000 and although his son had a copy of Softwood's PenPal word processor he had little else.
Dave was very surprised to learn that there were quite a few good business programs he could use on it and even more surprised and delighted when I told him their prices. While PC software prices are falling, it's as cheaply as they are available on the Amiga.
This set me thinking, that if I'd met Dave this time last year I would have been very hard pressed to come up with an similar number of business programs but now I was able to tell him about EasyLedger, FinalCalc.
FtnatWmer and WordWorth. V DalaSrore. Twist and even ShapeShifter.
I met Dave again recently, and he told me that his son had been given a PlayStation and so he now using the Amiga for his accounts, creating pot shop window and as I for the video library he from the store What's the point t and his son? It simply highlights the fact that the market for Amiga business software has rarely been as strong as it is now.
The Amiga may be losing its edge as a games system but it may just have found a new home amongst the thousands of small businesses who can't afford Pcs and the masses of software needed to run a business on.
My message to Amiga Technologies is as follows: tell the business community all about your product It's great Mat Bettinson A1200 Cybergraphix Jthe Amiga (and C= machines before it) were always central to my hobby interests. Before my heady days at CU Amiga Magazine I worked in the electronics industry where I appreciated the Amiga's advanced design and wondrous graphics and audio capability These days my career is in the world of publishing and my favourite machine is a beefed up Amiga 3000 loaded with Zorro boards. My set up gives me something approaching modern hardware capabilities
with the Amiga’s brilliant operating system. This OS coupled with the brilliant array of standardised 'style guide compliant' software, is pretty much what keeps me solidly with the Amiga still.
However, the mass market Amiga 1200 doesn't have such expansion capabilities.
Sure there's plenty of expansion options available but there's a few vital areas where the Amiga 1200 isn't catered for. For example. The Amiga's graphics and sound capabilities were once strengths of our beloved machine but now they have now partially turned into its weaknesses.
There's no 16-bit sound or 24-bit graphics cards for the Amiga
1200. Why is that? Contrary to W No more accelerators please. The
rest of the 1200 is yearning for a power boost too. 99
popular opinion, it's quite possible to add such things
to the A1200 and yet. Amazingly, it has never been done.
F tarn E A Ifcrt ?*-bal Ul tufa GMNttn al taitara Stall I I is anal al n put paphicjl thrall t . Aatqa la cafaUa al. Jut iatapai Mat tta 1211 caaM a UK a 24-kt pattica cart Some hardware manufacturers should be wise enough to capitalise on the long wait for next generation machines and start producing some kind of mass market trapdoor fitted upgrade. This wouldn't be your usual accelerator but a graphics board to boot. Yes it is possible.
A lead can run from the board to a passthrough connector plugged into the RGB port. My electronics background leads me to believe that it's definitely possible and I feel we need such a unit. It also shouldn't be too prohibitively expensive to produce and so this should keep the price down to an acceptable level.
Heck. Amiga Technologies themselves could produce ths unit. It would see us nicely though the next year untf the awesome PowerPC based machines debut It might also supply them with a healthy rw- enue to aid the Power Amgas development in the meantime A graphics standard broody exist so that developers can support the upgraded architecture and applications shoiAt continue to work under amidrton in the future One final word and pece of advice to AT and hardware manufacturers: no more accelerators please. The rest of the 1200 is yearning for a power boost too.
NEXT MONTH Next Month MAGAZINE
• The Best Technical Coverage
• The Best Games Coverage
• Expert Advice and Guidance You just can't beat itl Don't miss
next month's issue on sale 15th March WIMHH31EBH
1. 5 Times more powerful than the Amiga 4000 0403 Superior
performance. Full on speed, you add the new Falcon 68040 060
accelerator Amiga 1200. It's like never hitting the brakes.
State- of-the-art-technology for the ultimate rush. Seriously
faster than a 4000 040 at a fraction of the cost. Fit the
Falcon, feel the speed. If you dare.
RAM Access 3.5 times quicker than the Amiga 4000 040* Easily upgradable to the 68060 Processor4 68060 Processor socket built-in Can host up to 128MB of Local Burst RAM Fast SCSI-II III SMA Hard Disk Controller (10MB Sec) PCMCIA Compatible and fully auto-configuring FALCON 68040RC 25MHZ £499.95 FALCON 68060RC 50MHZ £649.95 68040 OR 68060 CPU 4MB SIMM .....£125.95 8MB SIMM .... £235.95 16MB SIMM . £499.95 FALCON NO CPU .£419.95 SIMM SLOT SCSI ADAPTOR £29.95 All Falcon's come complete with a cooling fan VIPER FPU’s complete with crystal. Please state for Blizzard
20MHZ FPU PLCC £20.95 33MHZ FPU PLCC ......£39.95 40MHZ FPU PLCC .....£60.95 S0MHZ FPU PGA ..... £89.95 SCSI-II INTERFACE twin non,. £69.95 4MB SIMM £125.95 8MB SIMM £235.95 The Viper 28 can have up to 128MB RAM installed, full Kickstart remapping, optional SCSI-II adaptor, on-board battery backed clock. 68882 coprocessor. Instruction and data burst modes.
VIPER 28 MKII BARE ......£119.95 VIPER 28 MKII 2MB £199.95 VIPER 28 MKII 4MB £239.95 VIPER 28 MKII 8MB £355.95 VIPER 28 MKII 16MB £619.95 VIPER MKII SCSI ADAPTOR £79.95 AI200 8MB RAM card w* ch m 32 SIMMs and is PCMCIA *• e-a .
£55.95 £85.95 £129.95 £179.95 £299.9S PC1208 BARE PC1208 1 MB PC1208 2M8 PC1208 4MB PC1208 8MB The Viper 50 can have up to 128M8 RAM installed, and the same features as the Viper 28.
VIPER 50 BARE ...£199.95 VIPER 50 2MB ....£279.95 VIPER 50 4MB ....£325.95 VIPER 50 8MB ....£435.95 VIPER 50 16MB ...£649.95 WARP ENGINES FOR ORDER FORM SEE DPS ADVERT TEL: 01234 273000 fax: 01234 352207 ill iii U POWER.
POWER COMPUTING LTD 44A B STANLEY ST. BEDFORD MK41 7 R W I TO CHW4 WmtOV! BOXf. AU IPAOfMAOS AM A«l*r*MC 40 411 OMX«S IH HMTrG C* IV IIIIPHOM Wil U “Breathless has boldly taken the Amiga where no Amiga has gone before." AMIGA FORMAT MAGAZINE “At the moment there's nothing like it. This game plays as well as it looks" 92% CU AMIGA MAGAZINE 256 AGA COLOURS • 30 RAYTRACED GRAPHICS • 360' FIRST PERSON PERSPECTIVE 20 AWESOME LEVELS • MULTIPLE WEAPONS SYSTEMS • REALISTIC LIGHTING EFFECTS ATMOSPHERIC SOUND 8 MUSIC • HD INSTALLABLE • AVAILABLE FOR THE A1200 4000 yrfsatmg games and fast application
publishers*New projects *Newj WORTH £100 FULL PACKAGE!
No disks ?
Ask your Newsagent now.
T PERSON PERSPECTIVE
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mode, Untl now. Dieogk * vrat Kt poitt'e to m hero to (red the
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prices include VAT * AN prices subject to change without notice
* Fued charge for repair does not include disk drrvc keyboard
* we reserve the right to refuse any repair * P4P charges £3 50
by Royal Mall or £6 00 ? VAT for courier * Please allow 5
working days for cheque clearance JUIX | 3
• Speed Dosed on the 68040 ZSMHr CPU 4 Upgrade 68060 price
programme available soon Amiga cate need! «o be opened and
trapdoor modified SCSI SLOT