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A MARKETING and dis-iVJ.tribution rights to products from French and German software houses have been acquired hy Active Distribution (01-385 7622).
They inciude the Wait Disney iicence for an Amiga version of jungie Book from French pubiisher Goktei Vision.
"JungieBookisaciassic fiim which appeais to young and oid and WaiI Disney are
Amigas keep it ciean
A MiGA 2000 computers jTYare cieaning up at Lever Brothers' new £12 miiiion soap making piant at Port Suniight.
The machines - housed in speciai protectivc casings - fuiiy controi the fiow of soap constituants through eight miies of pipe by means of 1,500 sensors.
"We feit PCs just weren't man enough for the joh", said project controi engineer Chris Fox. "That s why we chose Amigas.
"We have no way to run the piant other than via the Amigas - there are no faii-backs. no manuai controis.
"it was a conscious décision to design the new piant so that it runs fuiiy automatcd or not at aiI".
An in-depth report on how the Amiga 2000s controi the new piant - opened by The Quccn - wiii appear soon in Al?ila Comptylvn.
re-promoting the fiim again this Christmas". said Active managing director Robert Staiiihrass.
Future tities from Coktei for the Amiga wiii inciude Freedom.Emanueiie. Peter Pan and Terrifie.
Active has aiso signed marketing agreements with German software house EAS for its hit reicase Zéro Gravity.
Other pre-Christmas reieases from the same source wiii bc boxing simu-iation Ringside. and a three-gamc Amiga compiiation.

Click image to download PDF

Document sans nom Volume 1 Number 6 November 1988 £1.95 AMIGAVIDEO The easy way to create your own professional titles AMIGATOUR Why Fat Agnus rules the roost, with some sound help from Gary AMIGAPOWER Control your Amiga with Arexx and Wshell AMIGATEX The ultimate in document processors?
AMIGAQUEST Shades: The fantasy land at the end of your telephone line ComicSetter's here!
DTP for young trendies is only 10 minutes away from reality AMIGAGAMES
• Virus
• Nebulus
• Corruption
• Bubble Ghost
• The Bard's Tale II
• Summer Olympiad ...and more!
Personal callers welcome Opposite Fulham Broadway Tube Station - District Line SK MARKETING ? ? ? COMPUTER SUPPLIES 4 4 j LONDON'S LARGEST 10 Fulham Broadway, London SW6 1AA (24 Hours) Telephone 01-381 6618 9. Fax: 01-381 0528 COMPARE OUR PRICES BEFORE ORDERING FOR UNBEATABLE OFFERS!!
Export, Government and Educational orders welcome AMIGA DEALER All Prices Incl. VAT Carriage Free Mail Order Immediate Dospatch AMIGA HARDWARE A500 £375
• Amiga A500 complete.
Now only E375
• Amiga A500 with TV modulator. £395
• Amiga A500 with 1900M high res mono
monitor ...£460
• Amiga A500 with A1084 high res colour
monitor ..£610
• TV Modulator ......£23
• Philips 8833 Monitor £270 P anas one
1081 ......£171 NEC P2200
.£316 NEC P6
Plus .... £546 NEC P7 Plus
... £679 Juki 6100 .. £296
Amstrad DMP 4000 £305 Epson laser
GO3500 ..£1398 Panasonic
Laser ..£1840 Hewien Packard
JeV2 .. £1815 SKM SPECIALS I Sony 3.5’
DS DD ..£18.00 1 80 Col Space Saving
Printer Stand £45.00 Storage Box (100) .....
..C10.00 Mouse Mai ... ...£5.75
1 Dusl Cover ... ..£10.00 1
Printar final Crworc CA 7A 1 A4 Ccpy Holder
H33 .. ..£17.25 4 Way Anti
Surge ..£19.00 Konix Speedking
Joystick ..... £20.00
• Amiga B2000 with 1 Mb RAM.
880K 3.5" disk, mouse, software ......£1070
• Amiga B2000 as above, plus A1084 hi res colour monitor
• Amiga B2000 TM as above.
Plus PX XT bridge board & floppy..... ......£1745
• Amiga 1084 Monitor ...£210
• A2010 Internal 3.5’ Drive ...£175
• A2052 2Mb RAM Expansion £399 LEISURE SOFTWARE Emerald
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OC 0336 Star Ray ....
Jmkx . .£15 95 Joe
Blade ..... .£6.95 Sup
Poker 2 ... ..£13.95
Sherlock Riddle ...... Karate Kd
2 ... Kings Quesi 3 Pack . King o»
Cheago ... Kcksta i? ....
£16.45 £19.95 £'9 95
Shadowgale ...
Sedinel ..... Scrabble
Deluxe . Silent
Servce ... S»®4C £13.95
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£21.50 £17.45 £1395 £16 95 £1395 £13.95 £16.95 £13.95 £1495
£17.45 £10.45 £1395 £13.95 £10.45 £1395 £1695 £1695 £1395
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Magik ...... Uni Miliary Sim .
Uninvted . Virus
Vanpire Empire .. Vyper -
Vorminator ... Wrath o( NikaJemus .
Whirligig ... Winter Olympiad .
Wizball ..... Xenon ...... Zork 2 ..... Zynaps ..... 01-381 6618 (24 hours) Mail Order - Immediate Despatch!!
ALL PRICES INCLUDE VAT CARRIAGE FREE All prices are subject to change without further notice. All gooda subject to availability LOOKING FOR SOMETHING OUT OF THIS WORLD?
You’ll find it at The 12th Official ftcommodore computer show 10am-6pm Friday, Nov 18 10am-6pm Saturday, Nov 19 10am-4pm Sunday, Nov 20 Experience all these special features:
* Visit the sensational Commodore Graphics Workshop.
* Drop in and hear all the latest sounds in the bouncy Commodore
Music Room.
* Take part in the tree Christmas Card Design competition, with a
major prize every day.
* Meet Adam Faith and Anita Dobson, the stars of new hit musical
* Get all your technical queries answered at ICPUG's question and
answer sessions.
It all t you'll never forgot.
Advance ticket order Please supply ? Adult tickets at £4 (save £1) £ ? Under-16s tickets at £2 50 (save £1) £ Total £ .... ? Cheque enclosed payable to Database Exhibitions Ltd Please debit my credit card account ? Access Zvisa Expiry date | Name Address Signed.
POST TO: Co* ter Show, SK10 4N PttOHE ORDERS: Ring Shorn Hottme: 0625 879920 PRESTEL ORDERS: KEY 89, THEN 614568383 MICROLINK TELECOM GOLD ORDERS: 72.MAG001 Please quote credit card number and full address Champagne Suite A Exhibition Centre Novotel, Hammersmith, W6 No matter which Commodore machine you use - from the C64 up - you’ll find just what you are looking for. All leading companies servicing each sector of the Commodore market will be on hand to demonstrate their latest developments.
Traditionally the liveliest Commodore event of the year, this pre-Christmas show
- with hundreds of special offers - is one you just cannot afford
to miss.
You can even save ft a head before you gel there by ordering advanced tickets using the form opposite.
[ How to get thoro By Underground: Nearest tube station is Hammersmith (Piccadilly. Metropolitan & District Lines) By Bus: 266. 714. 716. 290. 30. 72. 73. 74 Car parking facilities available at the Novotel DATABASE EXHIBITIONS Managing Editor Derek Meakin Group Editor Alan McLachlan Editor Simon Rockman Production Editor Peter Glover 3 We revie together environn the Amif 7 LATEST NEWS As Commodore winds up for the big Chrislmas push there is a host of companies geared up to make sure the Amiga triumphs this year.
AMIGA SCENE Art Editors Mark Nolan Doug Steele Editorial Assistant: Elaine Rawlins News Editor Mike Cowley Advertisement Manager John Snowden Advertising Sales Wendy Colboume Editorial: 0277 234459 Administration 0625 878888 Advertising: 0625 878888 Subscriptions: 0625 879940 Telecom Gold: 72 MAG.001 Telex: 9312188*88 DB Fa*: 0625 879966 Pmtel Mailbox: 614568383 Published by: Database Publications Ltd.
Europa House. Adlington Park.
Adlington. Macclesfield SK10 4NP.
Database Publications is a division of Europress Ltd ISSN 0952-5948 Amiga Computing welcomes articles for publication. Material should be typed or computer- primed, and preferably double-spaced. Program listings should be accompanied by disc. Plea* enclose a stamped, sdf-addressed envelope, otherwise the return of material cannot be guaranteed. Contributions an only be accepted fee publication by Database PublxatWns Ltd on an all-rights basis, ig 1988 Database Publications Ltd. No material may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission. While emy are is taken, the pub
lishers annrt be held legally responsible for any errors in artides. Listings or advertisements.
Amiga Computing is an independent publUsbon and Commodore Business Mtchim IV K.) Ltd is not responsible form of the articles in this issue or for mol the opinions expressed.
News trade distribution: Europress Sales and Distribution Limited. Ink 1. Burgess Road. Intiouse lane. Hastings. East Susa* TN35 4NR. Tel: 9424 430422.
AMIGA SCENE Ill SHOW JL J REPORT The recent PC Show at Earls Court saw the launch of a host of new games software and peripherals. We highlight this major industry event.
COMMUNICATIONS 1 IN TO J* SHADES Down al MicroLink central there is a world within an office. It's a land of Shades, where danger lurks and advenlurers act out their dreams.
ADVENTURES 4 Whirligi Nebulut a Virus from thi I faX ACTIVE JL JL ADVENTURING Electronic Arts proves that Bard's Tale can be bettered and Rainbird finds something Corrupted coming out of Magnetic Scrolls and into the city.
COVER STORY I I COMIC mm genius Desktop publishing can be great fun.
We try ComicSctter. The program which will have you printing out comics before Paula can say Shazam!
REVIEW (1 AMIGA md J books An expert panel looks in depth at an assortment of books from Abacus and Compute! Written to master machine code. Basic C and Deluxe Paint.
"C "C DTP WITH AMIGATEX Learn a language to publish on your Amiga. The home computer version which puts mainframes to shame but needs hours of study to master.
I AREXX AND WSHELL We review two programs which work together to provide an integrated environment for complete control of the Amiga’s multi-tasking facilities.
GAME KILLER AMIGA ARCADE Whirligig myth exposed, a medal for Nebulus. Some Seoul searching and a Virus you won t mind catching from the publisher of Corruption.
I’s Tale I fun.
N it azam!
At an is and hine Read about the growing role of the Amiga in home video-making month after month in Video Action!
(1 Li FROM OUR Vi POSTBAG Silly things in Slarglider, Kind Words strike back, plus your latest news, views and gossip on everything that happens in the land of Robo city.
PLAIN MAN'S GUIDE TO CLI Make the most of AmigaDos with the Command Line Interpreter. Phil South explains some of the more useful commands on your Workbench disc.
I WINDOW JL WONDERLAND The Amiga was made for television.
D| Morgan Walker looks at ways to spruce up the sights in your High Street video shop with an A500.
INTO THE SILICON UNDERWORLD Fat Agnus refreshes the ram other chips cannot reach. Rupert Goodwins explains why she needs some help from a little chip called Gary.
47- JL ARCADE U ¦ ¦¦ AREXX AND yJ LI WSHELL KJ Max "The Hax" dishes out the trusty Speedkings to the gamesters for hints with Faery Tale. Skyfox, Mercenary.
BMX Simulator and Starwars.
65 DESKTOP VIDEO PROGRAMMING PROGRAMMING HARDWARE Get the latest issue from your or send £1.50 (post free) to: Video Action! Europa House, Adlington Park, Adlington, Macclesfield SKIO 4NP.
Link your Amiga to the outside world with.%. mkroliDk Electronic mail - The cheapest and fastest form of communication possible It costs the same to send a message to one mailbox as to 500!
When you join MicroLink you've got the whole business world at your fingertips - 24 hours a day. You'll have immediate access to ALL the facilities offered by Telecom Gold ... and a great deal more besides.
EH EH EH EH EH Telex - Link up with 96,000 telex subscribers in the UK and 1.5 million worldwide. You can even send and receive telexes after office hours or while travelling.
Telemessages - Type in your message before 8pm and delivery is guaranteed by first post the next day (except Sunday), anywhere in the UK and USA.
Tele booking - Reserve train and theatre tickets, check flight details worldwide, or order from a vast range of products - from flowers to floppy discs.
Advice - on a team of professional, legal and financial advisors as and when you need them, for both business and personal problems.
Company Obtain facts about any British limited company in seconds, and fully analysed financial information on over 100,000 companies.
Translation - Access the biggest and most up-to-date multi-lingual dictionary in the world, with over 400,000 words.
News - Use the powerful search commands to pinpoint vital business information from the world's leading news services, newspapers and periodicals Please send me full details about MicroLink, and information sheets about the following hardware and software options (please circle): ABC Radiopaging - If you also have a pocket radiopager you'll be alerted each time an urgent message arrives in your mailbox.
So you're always in touch Gateways - Get through to New York in just five seconds - or key into the EEC computer in Luxembourg, which links you to 600 databases throughout Europe Send to MicroLink, Europe House. Adlington Park.
Adlington, Macclesfield SK10 4NP Pace: Nightingale V21. V23 manual dial modem Rubycomm Software + RS232 lead (€199 inc carriage & VA TI Pace: Linnet V21. V23 autodial modem * Rubycomm software + RS232 lead (€257 inc carriage and VA T) Miracle: WS4000 721, V23 autodial modem + Ruby comm software + RS232 lead (€286 inc carriage & VA T) TO FIND OUT MORE Fill in the coupon and send it to the address below You will receive full details of services and costs, together with an application form Complete this and within days you and your Amiga will be able to use all the services of MicroLink and
Telecom Gold Name_ All you need - apart from your Amiga - is a modem, which plugs into your telephone wall socket and suitable communications software.
We have provided a list of possible combin- ations (left), ranging from the very cheapest to ones which can automatically dial the MicroLink telephone number and connect you directly to the service - all you have to do is type in your personal security password.
Whichever equipment you use. You will be able to call MicroLink. Open your mailbox, save to disc any messages waiting for you.
And disconnect in as little as two minutes.
Mora than 90 par cant of subscribers can connect to the MicroLink computer at local call rates.
AMIGA SCENE KKY to the Amiga's ongoing success is the humble C64. Says Commodore boss Steve Franklin. He was explaining his company's philosophy in an interview with Amiga ('.omputing deep within the bowels of Commodore’s massive stand at the PC Show.
Many observers expressed surprise that Commodore's only real product news at Karls Court concerned two bundles built around the venerable C64.
"People forget that a new generation of computer users is coming through”, said Franklin. "The kids of today are the business users of tomorrow and we have to look after them, get them involved.
L-isa ne wail apestlo I Micro- Kt vou lo do is rd will be lailbox.
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"We're remaining strong in the 8 bit market to encourage these youngsters and bring them into computing.
Games players today are Amiga users tomorrow ”.
Franklin revealed that Amiga sales in the UK are now between 60 and 65.000. though he stressed he was talking A500 machines.
"The Amiga is now THK 16 hit product as recognised by the trade; dealers see the perceived benefits over our nearest competitor”, he added.
To boost sales there is a new concerted promotional effort centred on the Amiga.
The national TV and poster campaign will cost several million pounds.
Franklin ruled out the possibility of a bundled Amiga because he said the price would be counterproductive.
And he decried critics of the Karls Court event.
Holding a trade publication with the headline "PC Show: Same as it ever was" he said: "This sort of thing upsets me.
"The show isn't the same as it was. And neither is the computer business - there's a real buzz about the place this year.
"There's a lot of business being done here and a general feeling of optimism about the future".
Disney film deal Key to Amiga’s success...the C64 Marketing and distribution rights to products from French and German software houses have been acquired by Active Distribution (01-385
7622) .
They include the Walt Disney licence for an Amiga version of jungle Book from French publisher Coktel Vision.
"Jungle Book is a classic film which appeals to young and old and Walt Disnev are Amigas keep it clean AMIGA 2000 computers are cleaning up at Lever Brothers' new £12 million soap making plant at Port Sunlight.
The machines - housed in special protective casings - fully control the flow of soap constituents through eight miles of pipe by means of
1. 500 sensors.
"We felt Pcs just weren’t man enough for the job", said project control engineer Chris Fox. "That's why we chose Amigas.
“We have no way to run the plant other than via the Amigas - there are no fallbacks. No manual controls.
“It was a conscious decision to design the new plant so that it runs fully automated or not at all".
An in-depth report on how the Amiga 2000s control the new plant - opened by The Queen - will appear soon in Amiga Computing.
Re-promoting the film again this Christmas", said Active managing director Robert Stallibrass.
Future titles from Coktel for the Amiga will include Freedom. Kmanuelle. Peter Pan and Terrific.
Active has also signed marketing agreements with German software house KAS for its hit release Zero Gravity.
Other pre-Christmas releases from the same source will be boxing simulation Ringside, and a three- game Amiga compilation.
Munsters move in ANKW sister label to Alternative Software called Again Again (0977 797777) has been launched.
Its first game for the Amiga is The Munsters - based on the old TV series recently revived on Channel AMC11
4. The programming duo of Peter Harrap and Shaun llol- lingworth
of Teque and Pac- mania fame are behind the arcade game, which
will be released this month, price £24.99. New plotters
launched ANEW range of A3 plotters has been launched by
Roland Digital (01-847
5665) . The high precision machines are priced between £795 and
£1.295. They have serial and parallel interfaces as
standard, .0125mm resolution, 42cm sec speed in all
directions, and toothed drive belts.
All have auto pen capping, pen select and point of origin setting.
There is also a novel feature of pen-to-stock return if no command is received.
THK Commodore Christmas Show, being held from November 18 to 20 at
l. ondon's Novotel, promises to be bigger than ever - and
Commodore is forecasting "an all singing, all dancing type
Undoubted star of the show will be the Amiga, which will be put through its paces in two new major attractions - a Graphics Workshop and a Music Room.
Involving the UK's leading lights in the use of both sound and graphics on the Amiga, they will provide platforms to illustrate the huge potential for the machine in these areas.
And. Again for the first time, the show will provide the venue for a Xmas Card Design Competition. A bank of Amigas will be at the disposal of any visitors who would like to enter the competition, with a major prize being presented daily by a celebrity judge.
Commodore is once more reaching for the stars for the show, with Adam Faith and Anita Dobson - both headlining the new West End musical Budgie - among those scheduled to put in an appearance.
Amiga sound and graphics star in Christmas Show And ICPUG has revealed that it is to have a significant presence at the Christmas show, hosting regular question and answer sessions and presenting demonstrations on the Midi scene and Comal.
More than 100 exhibitors will be in attendance - many of them using the show as the launching pad for new Amiga products.
* * * A DOUBLE first will be on offer from MicroWav. With the
company’s first product for the Amiga making its European debut
at the show.
Micro Way’s Flicker-Fixer board provides stable pictures in high resolution mode, making the Amiga a very practical alternative to a PC or AT for CAD and DTP applications.
"The Flicker-Fixer allows the Amiga display to achieve its full potential", says ON sale for the first time at the show wifi be two unique products from Tri logic which allow users to get the most from their Amiga's sound capabilities.
Mini Amp 1 drives one or two pairs of stereo headphones, is easily connected to and powered from the Amiga - and allows you to listen in stereo in complete privacy. Its big brother, Micro way managing direc- tore Simon Shute. "And that's something it has never done before".
? ? * AN informal - and noisy - welcome is promised for visitors to the 17 Bit Software stand.
17 Bit is keeping a special attraction under wraps until the last minute, but visitors will certainly have a chance to learn more about the company's club, which offers a disc-based magazine, technical help and access to a library of more than 800 Amiga public domain programs.
A SPECIAL product at a special price will be on offer from Meedmore. Who will be Mini Amp 2, has two compact speaker units.
Trilogic's budget- priced Audio Digitiser features adjustable input level, and an overload indicator to ensure consistently good results.
No software is supplied. Since the Digitiser works with most readily available commercial programs, including Audiomaster, Prosound and Perfect sound.
Launching a new higher accuracy lightpen and an enhanced 16 piece suite of software.
Fully menu driven and incorporating architectural and electronic design aids, the software features pixel- accurate freehand drawing.
All sorts of graphics utilities are provided - in a choice of 16 colours.
* * * LEADING software publisher Microdeal will be previewing
several major games at the show, including International
Soccer. Fright Night. Turbo-Trax. Tetra Quest. Replay. Airball
and Major Motion - all priced at £19.95. Also available will be
VTX On-line, a graphics-oriented communications package.
HIGHLIGHTING the Amiga’s graphics capabilities. Pre- cison Software will be displaying several new and upgraded products.
The Professional Animation Sequence Editor offers owners of any Amiga paint package the means to turn cartoon sketches into full-blown animations, while Page Flipper Plus F X provides the full power of desktop video.
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1 ins Me to dal ma toi 1 Precision is also introducing Charon 5. An 11 level.
5. 400 screen epic which combines strategy with arcade action.
And Precision's Superbase range will be out in force, including the new Superbase Personal 2 with added mail- merge and text editor, and the upgraded Superbase Professional.
Also on the Precision stand will be an extensive range of Amiga software and peripherals - all with special show discounts, and many at "silly" prices.
* * * VISITORS with a preference for hard copy won't be neglected
- George Thompson Services will be using the show to launch its
latest book. Professional Results with Deluxe Paint II.
P s } se A S€ Oi hi A h h I tl il Full of tips and tricks and accompanied by more than 200 illustrations, the book combines basic techniques with Amiga graphics power.
Subjects tackled include slide production, video backgrounds and landscape design.
A new agreement means that Frontier Software has addeil the Supra's Amina hard drives to its range of products - and they’ll all be on display at the show.
The high performance Amiga SupraDrives are available in 20. 30 and 60Mb capacities for the Amiga 500. 1000 or 2000.
Fax and wizardry Amiga’s
* , Pre- be dis- w and ! Ani- Hdilor Amiga fans lo )S into i,
while i F X wer of intro- I level, which with erbase force,
srbase mail- and cPro- ision insive eand necial my at LATEST
additions to the fast-growing range of facilities on MicroLink
(0625 878888) include fax and the cult adventure game Shades.
Derek Meakin. Head of MicroLink. Said: "Our plans are to offer subscribers a multiple fax service which - like our telex service - will allow subscribers to send a message to up to 50 News and views TWO Amiga 2000 machines have been helping visitors to the New Forest get the most out of their holidays this summer.
The computers were installed in the New Forest Museum and Visitor Centre to provide an interactive database containing information about the famous tourist attraction.
Hundreds of digitised Programmer shortage AS Christmas approaches more and more shops seem to be saying that the Amiga is comfortably outselling the ST, with a couple of major London shops having stopped selling the Atari.
The success of the Amiga has rebounded on software houses which have found that there is more work than there are programmers to do it.
CRL and Argonaut softArt for art’s sake GEORGE Thompson Services is to launch a new book called Professional Results with Deluxe Paint II. Aimed at the novice artist it teaches drawing techniques as well as how to get the most from Electronic Art’s much loved program.
Addresses simultaneously.
* New Workbench is here at long last JIM BUTTERFIELD reporting from Canada ¦AMIGA SCENE!
One of the world’s most popular interactive adventures. Shades allows up to 128 people to play at any one time.
MicroLink subscribers will now be able to join the more than 6.600 people from around the world who have attempted to achieve the exalted rank of Shades wizard - a feat accomplished by less then one per cent of participants.
Photographs of local beauty spots, wildlife, recreation facilities and places of general interest are held on the Amiga databases.
When a visitor wants information about a particular subject a single keystroke brings up a series of menus and displays.
People can plan their expeditions by using a specially designed keypad which calls up animated sequences of various activities.
Ware have both called Amiga Computing asking for the names of programmers who might be interested in working in-house. With a large number of programmers wanting to work at home it is the really big projects which require coordinated teams which seem to be suffering most.
Clement Chambers of CRL said he wanted a "red hot ( 8000 programmer and a competent coder". One software house said it would take on as many good programmers as it could get.
The book looks at ways in which to get your picture into and out of the computer using traditional art methods and video. The comic strip advice should be especially useful to anyone using Dpaint with ComicSetter.
The book will cost £24.95, and is available with two discs of utility programs and clip art for £44.95 7«n Butterfield, who fives in Toronto, is acknowledged world wide as the Commodore guru WITH the year 2000 a scan! 12 years away, some Commodore public relations types are thinking in terms of a "This is the age of 2000" campaign for the Amiga. Long before the year 2000 arrives, however, it seems likely that mainstream Amigas will carry higher numbers ... 2500, or even the fabled 3000.
Users are still chattering about the great 3000 hoax perpetrated on a USA west coast user society. The machine was really a cleverly redecorated Apple, shown by a group claiming to be Commodore VIPs. The date of the club meeting?
April 1, of course.
The long-awaited Workbench 1.3 system has finally almost arrived. A Commodore spokesman said that 1.3 is “released, but not yet shipping". It's high time, especially considering that Commodore has shipped a number of Amigas with 1.3 Kickstart roms in place.
New users might be puzzled to sec the initial screen showing a hand holding a Workbench 1.3 disc - before that disc version was available!
As a matter of interest, it seems likely that there will be no regional differences in the various releases.
Europe may not get exactly the same discs as will be seen in the USA and Canada.
The 1.3 Workbench disc is getting quite full, to the extent that printer drivers and fonts have tended to migrate to the Extras disc.
The 2084S monitor is now available. It’s similar to existing Amiga monitors, but has stereo sound.
Computer shows here still have the original 1.0 Developer's Kits for sale at greatly reduced prices. Sometimes they come with weighty (literally) documentation; sometimes the individual elements, such as C compiler and MetaComco assembler, are packaged as a separate unit.
Some users are fearful of buying material that is relatively dated, but it's a bargain.
ALTHOUGH Commodore was boasting the largest - it certainly hail just about the most imposing - stand at this year's PC Show there were no big surprises there for visitors to Karls Court.
Commodore was packing no surprises Commodore’s huge black pyramid contained a 100- seater theatre offering presentations of third party products. Remainder of the public access floor space was given over to hands-on opportunities to play with existing Commodore technology.
With nothing really newsworthy to promote.
Commodore marketing manager Dean Barrett was left mouthing vague generalities such as: “1988 is definitely turning out to he a great year for us - the impact of our price restructuring in the summer for the Amiga 500 is now starting to have a dramatic effect”.
But he promised: "We will be taking a stronger stance in all of our key markets over the next 12 months".
Meanwhile it was left to third party suppliers to provide interest for Amiga users.
This again seemed to centre on the games sector, though there was a scattering of interesting serious packages on view around the show if you looked hard enough.
MICRODEAL (0720 08020) unveiled its new Replay Editor version 4.0 software incorporating mouse control. Multi sample presets and midi interface facilities.
Big peripherals line-up It has full mouse and dropdown menu control, extra frequencies on 50 and 01 Khz in HiFi mode, trigger on sample and replay with adjustable sensitivity, and a real time oscilloscope with freeze frame.
Michtron UK (0720 08020) introduced US import VTX On-Line, a graphics orientated 1200 75 baud telecommunications package for the Amiga.
It includes online help with manual references, full scripts with automatic script generation, clipboard compatible window buffer, two- window conferencing chat mode and dual user interface.
There is DEC VT-100 and Tektronix 4014 emulation, automatic graphics zoom mode. CompuServe GIF graphics and multiple file transfer protocols including Ascoi. Xmodem. Xmodem IK. Ymodem. Kermit and B Protocol. Price £59.95. Cherry Electrical Products (05827 88100) launched a new graphics package. Its enhanced digitiser driver enables the Cherry A3 Graphics Tablet Mk 3 to emulate the Amiga mouse.
The £550 digitiser package. Price £550. Consists of A3 graphics tablet. 4-key cross-hair cursor puck, stylus, calculator-type mains adapter and cabling.
Games war hots up HiSoft (0525 718181) introduced the new version of its popular - but two- years-old - assembly language development system Devpac Amiga.
Improvements to the assembler include multisection code, long labels, local labels and a binary include directive.
But the biggest single improvement over the original product is that both assembler and debugger are available instantly from within the editor and programs can be assembled directly to memory. Price £59.95. Cameron UK (01-499
7517) w-as showing its £299 mouse-like Handy Scanner and Amiga
version of its £590 flat-hed Personal A4 Scanner.
Hugh Symons Distribution (0202 745744) entertained visitors with an Amiga hooked up to a trio of Roland THE battle for supremacy in the Christmas games market started in the Earls Court leisure hall where Ocean and US Gold faced each other in a war of the decibels.
"We’ve been number one at Christmas for the past tw'o years with Gauntlet and Outrun and we intend to be there again with Thunder Blade - the most popular coin-op in Europe this year", said US Gold sales boss Geoff Brown.
"This will he hacked up by Summer Games. LED Storm from Capcom and many others”.
US Gold (021-356 3388) also announced impending Amiga releases Realm of the Trolls. Joan of Arc. Starball.
Tiger Road. Last Duel.
Human Killing Machine.
Black Tiger and Forgotten World - all due out between now' and next March.
Across the aisle at Ocean (061-832 6633) sales manager Paul Patterson said: "Last year people laughed w’hen we said we’d have five games in the top 10 - but we did it.
"This year we’re aiming to synthesisers and running Dr T KCS sequencing software.
On the bookshelves at Dabs Press (061-766 8423) was the new Dahdhand Guide to AmigaDos. Written by Mark Burgess it costs £14.95 and should he available this month.
Fill the top five places, and we can do it with the likes of Batman. Ramho III. Dragon Ninja. Robocop. Operation Wolf and Wee I.e Mans - all available on the Amiga at £24.95. “These days we’re looking for around 100.000 sales for everything we produce".
Ocean and US Gold w'on’t have things their own way.
However. They can expect plenty of competition from Telecomsoft’s Rainbird and Firebird labels (01-379
6755) .
Due from Rainbird are Fish! And Verminator. With Weird Dreams and Dcja Vu ILLost in Los Angeles "coming soon" - priced £24.99 each.
Firebird has released an Amiga version of the David Braben and Ian Bell classic Elite in glorious 31) graphics, price £24.95. Hot on the heels of Elite. Firebird’s November release will be Blazing Barrels by Icom Simulations, price £19.99. with Savage, written and programmed by Probe Software. To follow'.
Hewson (0235 832939) WITH the availability of data transfer links between the Amiga and .88. there was much interest in the latest software for the Cambridge Computer laptop.
Spell-Master from Computer Concepts (0442 63933) is a £59 easy-to-use text editor with integrated 60,000 word spelling checker. Text files created using Pipe- dream can be loaded into the text editor and spelling checked using the quick-edit facility.
On a smaller scale.
Wordchip from Harvester Information Systems (01-831
2331) contains 30,000 words and costs £49.95. Also from Harvester
comes Data Organiser for simple record keeping, price
£39.95. Due for release at the end of the year, priced £69.
ZBase database from Word mongers (0296 437878) has a fast
search facility plus the ability to index data and output
files for further processing of business applications such
as sales order processing and stocktaking.
The£ PERSONAL COMPUTER Z88 laptop latest »*it 1 +¦ 1 i*oii | 11 | | i*.'
- M- «
- D* - [=o.|lUJiiGD|-C| lk,Ji Mandarin s Pioneer Plague also
previewed a strong allaction Christmas line-up for the Amiga
in Nebulus. Eliminator. Storm lord and Astaroth - all priced
- plus Kalashnikov which is due out early in the new year.
The new Imageworks label from Mirrorsoft (01-377
4645) fulfilled its promises to supply Amiga users with
sophisticated action games.
On view were air combat simulator Sky Chase and abstract puzzle game Bom- buzal. Price £19.99. plus Fernandez Must Die and Speedball. Price £24.99. Interactive Cinemaware from Mirrorsoft to follow Defender of the Crown includes Rocket Ranger, price £29.99, Lords of the Rising Sun, price £24.99, with TV Sports Football - "so real it sweats" - to follow in the New Year.
Dungeon Master is on its way for Amiga users from FTL. Other Mirrorsoft projects include Bismark.
Theatre Europe and Waterloo - all from strategy specialists PSS. Priced £24.99. Firezone. Final Frontier, Sorcerer Lord and Harpoon will follow.
And Mirrorsoft will be releasing an Amiga version of Falcon AT. The award- winning fighter plane simulation from IIS publisher Spectrum Holobyte. From the same source in the New Year will come PT-109.
Mandarin Software (0625 878888) made a stunning debut in the Amiga entertainment marketplace with Pioneer Plague - the world’s first 4.096 (HAM) colour mode game and the only package specifically developed to take advantage of the Amiga’s hold and modify graphics facility. Price £19.95. "There’s nothing like it around", said Mandarin’s Chris Payne, "As a giant leap forward it can fairly be likened to when technicolour took over from monochrome film".
Also launched by Man- darin were Lancelot and Lombard RAC Rally, priced £19.95 each. Tri-adventure Lancelot is based on the Arthurian legend - there’s a chance here to win a £5,000 replica of the Holy Grail - while Lombard RAC Rally is bang up-to-date, faithfully recreating the gruelling cross-country journey of a 300bph Ford Sierra RS Cos worth.
Microdeal (0726 68020) concentrated on three newr Amiga titles - an arcade game based on the film Frightnight, spy-chase Major Motion and model racing car simulation Turbo-Trax. All are priced £19.95. Christmas offering from Prism Leisure (01-804 8100) is The Krista I - not cheap at £29.95, but the three-disc science fiction odyssey programmed by Fission Chip Software is already being hailed as "the game of the decade".
Grandslam (01-247 6434) launched its Amiga versions of the Namco coin-op classics Pac-Mania and Pac- Land. Both priced £19.95. Big Apple (01-368 5545) recreated downtown Manhattan on its stand to present its first Amiga product Oops!, an addictive strategy maze game priced £19.95. Novagen Software (021- 449 9516) gave pride of place to an entertaining demonstration of Paul Woakes’ progress on his 16-bit blockbuster Damocles, sequel to Mercenary and due out for Christmas.
The team at Domark (01-947 5622) shared its stand with Margaret Thatcher. But it was only the Spitting Image version of the Prime Minister, there to publicise Domark’s latest licence.
Domark was also previewing a number of other leisure products due for launch soon. They included The Computer Maniac’s Diary. Return of the Jedi.
Genus II - Trivial Pursuit (prices as yet undecided) and Live and I-c?t Die. Price £24.99. THE AMIGA CENTRE 77 79 Rochester Row, London SW1 r i lh h. b ir H N U ii a h n fi G ii v n n c a t 1 I 1 i I I 01-931 7161 SELECTED ITEMS Micro-Systems- Excellence v1.1 ......£229 Precision -Superbase Professional ...£224 Gold - Professional Page v1.1 .....£249 Cameron - Handy Scanner ......£299 Electronic Arts - Deluxe Photo Lab ....£69 Easeware - Homebuilders Cad .£149 Spirit -1.5 Mb Expansion CA500 .£499 Interstel -
Empire ...£29 Microsearch - Headcoach .£39 Rainbird - Carrier Command ....£24
- Starglider II £24
- Corruption ..£24 All prices
include VAT. Add £2.00 for postage UK Europe Monday-Saturday
10.00am 6.00pm Access Visa Eurocheques accepted On line to
fantasy Neils Reynolds on the story behind Shades, the
fast-growing multi-user adventure DEEP in the wooded wilds of
Southern England, far beyond the Stockbroker Belt where no
Yuppie has ever ventured, lives a mysterious being who has
created a strange and mystical land. He is the Arch Wizard
Ha .eii - adopting the name of Neil Newell for everyday use -
and the land is Shades.
No longer a figment of his imagination. Shades has been made accessible to any mere mortal who has the use of a telling bone, a modem and who is enrolled in the fabled society of MicroLink Telecom Gold and Micronet.
The Arch-Wizard first became interested in multi-user adventures when he encountered the original multi-user game MUD running on a mainframe at Essex University.
However, he soon felt that the game could be improved in many areas, and what started as a hobby was soon taking up all his time. So it was that the I-and of Shades came into being and mild-mannered Neil Newell became Hazeii. Arch Wizard.
Shades is a vast sprawling landscape where lost souls, knights, wolves, witches and wizards prowl looking for treasure or trouble - or both. You create your own personality within the game, travelling through the mysterious kingdom, forging alliances and fighting battles in your quest for treasure.
You strive to wrork your way through 13 ranks of Innocents, Soothsayers, Necromancers and Warlocks until you attain the ultimate rank of Wizard or Witch - depending on your own personal inclination.
HtSfSsas *1-*' M by * l’°rrtbl. ,hrl,k, Adventuring through the l nd of Shades: Keying WHO shows the players currently in the game In this true multi-user game, other travellers you meet in Shades may be computer generated, but are more likely to be insomniacs attached to a telephone line anywhere in the country. The character you are talking with could be your next door neighbour or a lighthouse keeper in the Orkneys - players have been known to log on from all over Europe and as far away as New Zealand, There is no denying the party atmosphere of Shades. Even those who are not accomplished
adventurers can enjoy the game, talking to other players, acting out fantasies or just getting used to the game at their own pace.
Help can be asked of fellow travellers, but then you are never sure whether their advice can be relied upon... There is much on offer to serious adventurers too with brain-curdling problems to solve, a whole babble of beasties and nasty characters to deal with and promotions to achieve by fair means or foul.
So the adventure does not become too crowded and all players have a good opportunity at treasure- grabbing. Up to 16 independent games can be running at one time and you can choose which of them to join.
You are also told who is playing in which game, so that if you have an especially good relationship with another player - or a vendetta to pursue - you can join it, if there’s room.
Starting out is made easy for the novice by a special introduction area.
This leads you into the game with a full information centre about the Land of Shades. Progressing through this you eventually arrive in the Land proper and your quest begins.
Shades currently has a user base of more than li.OOO players. Of these only 40 have achieved the ultimate rank of Wizard - given special powers and privileges so they can directly affect the progress of the game.
Indeed, even the all-powerful Hazeii himself treads the paths of the Land (sometimes invisibly) and his wrath is said to be terrible if roused by those with ideas above their station.
The fantasy is constantly under development and new locations are currently being designed and built into the game as the Arch Wizard concocts ever more fiendish devices to entrap the unwary travellers in the Land of Shades.
• A regular lour of the mystical land of Shades starts in next
month's Amiga Computing.
Shades is available on: MicroLink Telecom Gold key Shades Micronet PresleI ...key 'Shades Dave Eriksson fights demons from EA and mammon from BT Following the success of The Bard's Tale, Electronic Arts has now released the Amiga version of The Bard’s Tale II - The Destiny Knight. If part one was tough going then wait until you enter the realms of part two. Part three is also in the pipeline - heaven help us.
Bard's II is a role playing adventure similar in format to its predecessor.
Puzzles are much improved, with many cryptic clues to be found and interpreted before each stage may be completed.
The story continues from where Bard's I stopped. Members of your team were looking forward to living off the tales of their exploits, but this is not to be. Evil still stalks the land and it is their fate to solve the mystery of the Destiny Knight.
They find themselves in the Adventurer's Guild in the town of find and restore the seven segments of the Destiny Wand.
Towns and places in the wilderness must be visited, mapped and their puzzles solved before the final objective can be achieved.
Follow the instructions to copy the master disc and create a character disc and you are ready to start. As before, six ready made characters are provided, you may use them, create your own or import characters from a Bard’s I disc.
When you create a character you first choose his race human, elf, dwarf, hobbit, half-elf. Half-orc or gnome. Random values are given for strength, dexterity, intelligence, constitution and luck. If you do not like what you are, you may re-roll another set. Finally you must decide class: Warrior, paladin, rogue, hunter, monk, bard, conjurer or magician, and name your traveller.
Classes have different abilities so read the instructions carefully before choosing. Initial attributes are important, especially in relation to the proposed class - strength to a fighting man, intelligence to a magic user, dexterity, constitution and luck to all.
Although you can take out a team of seven, it is often desirable, sometimes necessary, to leave one or more slots free. These may be occupied cither by creatures you meet or by others called to your aid by your magic users. Friendly dragons are useful long range weapons in areas where magic does not work.
A Bard can both fight and cast spells by singing special songs.
Singing is thirsty work and between drinks he can only sing as many songs as he has levels of experience.
He is a pretty weak magic user but his ability to use magic instruments can make him very useful. Cold horns can freeze a number of foes and Death Drums administer the coup de grace to almost anything!
Bard's II differs from Bard’s I in several ways but the most important are the option to save your game position outside the Adventurer’s Guild, its recognition of distance and the use of missile weapons.
The first four team meml directly attack creatures up to 10 feet
y. Other ranks of assailants may i as 90 feet and niayjjft J" dy
be attacked by magic or missile HmscQiii ; * I he team may
only move forward - 10 feet a turn when there are no
opponents within 10 feet. One strong creature can hinder the
team’s advance while archers, dragons or magic users are
showering death from afar.
One particularly unpleasant situation you will become familiar with is a magic user at 90 feet creating a series of further magic users or death-dealing Slayers between him and you. Some of these additional magic users creating further magic users.
The cities are smaller than in Bard’s I and are easier to map. There is a map of Tangramayne in the instructions which shows all the useful places to visit.
KILLING monsters adds both to your experience and purse. As experience grows, visit the review board; if experience is high enough you will gain a level. This is important as an increase in level adds to hit and spell points and also to one of your main attributes.
Greater hit points enable you to take more damage and spell points determine the number of spells that may be cast. Loss of hit points in a fight can be restored by visiting a temple - in exchange for some of your hard won gold. Spell points slowly restore as time passes, visit Roscoe’s Energy Emporium and you can buy them back - for more gold.
As in Bard’s I. the initial stages are not easy. Each character starts with only a few gold pieces and must visit Garth's Equipment Shoppe to buy weapons and armour. Each item of armour will reduce your armour class! Which in turn reduces damage sustained in battle. With such little money, you can only buy fairly low quality equipment.
Money is all-important, for better equipment, to heal wounds and as payment to the review board for magic users to learn more spells.
Items found on your foes may either be used or sold at Garth’s. You can cheat a little by creating additional members, pooling their money and then deleting unwanted characters.
As in Bard’s I, low level warriors are expendable; concentrate on keeping higher level characters alive and improving the levels of your magic users.
Importing high level characters from Bard’s I seemed too much of a cheat, so I only transferred a very rich magic user and started from scratch with the others. Even so it was hard work keeping the team alive through that first dungeon. As a reward for success, their experience was bumped up to 200,000, Even with the levels that this gave the party, the other dungeons were no walkover and that original imported magic user is still with the team.
All special areas are loosely called dungeons, even if they are in fact towers, crypts or fortresses. In all but the first, they end up with a timed puzzle snare. Once this section is entered, there is no turning back and AMIGA SPECIALISTS Unit 1, Willowsea Farm, Spout Lane North, Stanwell Moor, Staines, Middx TW19 6BW Telephone: (0753) 682988 ©OdDs Our Price £12.50 £9.00 £12.50 £9.00 £12.50 ilF £24 99 £24 99 (74 99 €•099 €•099 £74 90 (24 99 £20 09 €•409 €1009 €•090 C‘090
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M you cannot save or pause the game.
You must solve its puzzle or die.
If you have saved at fairly regular intervals death in a puzzle snare is not such a catastrophe, as you can always return for another attempt.
Dungeons are mapped on a 22 by 22 grid, but they scroll round and if you keep going east you could come back to where you started. Map dungeons very carefully, you must be certain that you have been everywhere. Messages written on walls or spoken by magic mouths are nearly all vital clues to either the puzzle snare in that dungeon or to gameplav elsewhere.
Some areas forbid any form of light. These parts often contain spinner squares, where you are magically spun around. Using the Hard’s song to produce light, or a magical item like a Dayblade, will produce a short burst of light - just enough to check your orientation.
Creatures met in some dungeons are very powerful and it is no dishonour to retreat. If one offers to join your team, accept and view’ its hit points with horror. On several dungeon levels I found the only way to survive was to run.
Your magic users start out as conjurer or magician, each with different sets of spells. With progress, they may change class to sorcerer, wizard and finally archmage. The archmage has some powerful spells, but it takes a long time to master this level.
L. ots of interesting items are found in the loot from defeated
foes. Many have magic capabilities - experiment to find out
what they do. The sage may tell you about some of them. The
dungeons also have clues on what to ask the sage, but he
charges more the further you progress.
At fairly regular intervals.
Commands may be given via the keyboard or mouse and work very smoothly. The graphics, both of the scenery and the creatures you meet are good.
If you get really stuck. Electronic Arts Customer Service Department is happy to help on 0753 46465. It also provides an excellent clue book, complete with dungeon maps for £5.
MANY people believe that Infocom produces the best adventure games. This obviously depends upon the type of game you favour, active or passive. Is it a total mind bender or do you prefer the adrenalin to be pumped as well?
If you are for the mind-bender type, you may have to consider someone else taking over the lead position.
Corruption, written by Magnetic Scrolls and distributed by Rainbird, must surely be the nearest contender we have yet seen as a genuine replacement to Infocom’s past successes.
Your knowledge of the plot at the start is minimal. All you have is that your name is Derek Rogers, a financial whiz in the City. Having shown a talent in dealing with today's monev markets, you have been offered and accepted a partnership Back in the office you find that your new secretary is somewhat uncommunicative and that you do not even have your own phone, but as the firm is moving to new premises shortly you are not that worried - or are vou... Initially it is the little things that jar.
Like the mention of the Serious Fraud Squad in the dealing room and being rather roughly excluded from a meeting between David and the company's legal adviser.
As you start to look around the feeling of unease grows and the discovery of your firm's cheque for £60.000 made out to a wanted criminal is definitely causing cold chills to run up and down your spine.
A fairly short spin at the keyboard will convince you that being framed for insider dealing is only one of your worries. Two successful attempts on your life must make you wonder if there is more than coincidence in the fact that you and your new partner are both D. Rogers.
EWH2lQ9IV:1*tHSV£i BB °'JVH itSuifliS S.
Hurse Stephenson is checking on the other patients You should have been more careful crossing the road. Even in hospital you are far from safe the on-screen clock tick on one minute. Not only does this mean you must clock watch to ensure you have time to get to any appointments, but also that people and items of interest may appear and disappear as time goes by.
Unless you have an exceedingly good memory you must make notes of what you have spoken about with various people. Some events and replies will only happen if you have completed specific actions.
As time is important, you will certainly be using the save facility. If you return to a previous save you must know what you have said and what you have yet to say.
The box contains some vital information presented in the form of sheets from a filofax notebook and also an audio cassette. The latter you will be cued to play at the appropriate lime and is a lovely example of how, with clever editing, surprisingly concentrate on people rather than scenery. There are the usual frustrating-to-kev-in ciphered hints and at first glance they seem to be less useful than in the past. This may be a mistake, as Corruption is DIFFICULTY..... n ijj| Not easy but dedication pays off.
REPORT CARD CORRUPTION Magnetic Scrolls Rainbird £24.95 STORYLINE..... A plot that could win an Oscar.
AURA., Has you on the edge of your seat.
STAYING POWER. I A daunting problem to solve in time.
GAMEPLAY...... Fine interpreter makes all possible.
VALin Good if you've got the staying power.
Not an easy game to solve and without sensible help some less than zealous players may falter on the wayside.
REPOR T CARD THE BARD'S TAI.E II - The Destiny Knight Electronic Arts £24.95 STORYLINE...... No frills plot with twist in its tail.
AURA .. Only when your party limps home with its dead and wounded can you relax.
Many many days of concentrated action.
R HHHD Proven svstem with even more features.
A VALUE ...... | Lots to Find, lots to do in Bardland.
DIFFICULTY I Survival and mapping not always easy, new teams should stay near temples.
Very• good, but not for those who like to take their time finding things.
UL A good mix of tactics and cerebration.
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Please deliverto: Name_ Date_ Address Postcode_ Price me VAT tree postage & packaging U K only subject to availability E & 0 E COMIC GENIUS Holy laserjets, Amigaman! Rupert Goodwins draws his conclusions on a program which makes desktop publishing more fun than picking up a Penguin FOR a machine that tells lousy jokes, the Amiga has great comic potential. The worlds of the Great American Comic Paper - colourful, loud and picture-based - and the Amiga - colourful, loud and picture- based - were destined to mesh from the beginning.
Some might call it karma, others - noting Andy Warhol at the Amiga launch and the similarity between the technical documentation and certain underground publications of the late
• 60s - would call it sound marketing.
Perhaps it's all the same thing.
Whatever, the Amiga now has a desktop publishing (DTP) program for the twilight world of superheroes.
Snoopy and shazam. ComicSetter from Gold Disk - producers of Professional Page, probably the best Amiga DTP program - is designed to let the would-be boy (or girl) Marvel churn out their own strips, newsletters, posters and even complete comics.
It comes with plenty of graphics, a knowledge of the rules and traditions of comic layout and style, and needs at least a megabyte of ram. But for those teetering between a second floppy or that extra half-meg of silicon, it is quite happy with just the one drive on an A500.
A swift double-click on the a U W action icon from the Workben comes with 1.3. of w hich jjjOre brings up the main sofnBTi. It familiar enough to anyone whi dabbled with painting, dmwin DTP programs - a black t|le b along the top of the screep. A St of cryptic icons along the leftha side at] d a large blank area in the THERE are the familiar palette, paintbrush and circle gadgets, but what of the stern (Mjjk'fee kissing turtles and the moutll «j|& straw?
Time for the m anual In fact, the pjgnyat'vill have been consulted before anv work gets done anyway, as WmpBcky Europeans have to pass the “Page 35. Line 2. Word 4" test before we are recognised as friends. Nasty nasty. I have a certain sympathy for Gold Disk, but it will take the hacking posses less time to rip off than Clark Kent's shirt while the rest of us will be cursing lost items clipped is about lo manuals deep into the night.
After that it gets better, and fast.
The manual takes the new user through a mouse-on tutorial, 10 minutes into which a recognisable comic strip is taking shape on the
1084. Those expecting to launch straight into a Watchman cloning
session will be disappointed though, as comic setting
proves to be much more of a science than is apparent from
the dog-cared publications weighing down the shelves in
Forbidden Planet.
The first part of the tutorial is a quick tour of all those gadgets. The mouth-with-straw is in fact Via Drawing Mode Gadget (silly me - it's a T-square and a triangle), and switches between structured and bitmap drawing modes. These two modes are right at the heart of the way ComicSetter handles graphics.
The face is bitmap Create: a way into the painting capabilities of the program, and the kissing turtles are for text entry. Sometimes I wonder about icons... dp ¦Castle Computers r-i now n 1 taken mam* Castle House, 11 Newcastle Street, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, ST63QB Tel: 0782 575043 AMIGA SPECIAL OFFERS Fernandez Must Die ...14.99 Football Manager II .....11.99 Outrun ..14 99 1943 .17 99 Par 3 ..17.99 Sarcophaser ....14.99 Motorbike Madness .9.99
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Once some frames have been placed on screen, one is selected - click on it, of course. Putting some graphics on it is a matter of choosing Import Graphics from the Project menu (why no gadget?), when the pointer changes to an inverted L. Plonking this on a frame and dragging out a rectangle defines an area to clip the graphics lo. Then a picture is, er, picked from a standard directory listing window.
About pictures: ComicSetter can work with any IFF picture, so yes you can Dpaint up some titles, scan in the dog or sample Noel Edmonds (have you no shame?) From the video. You can even, if possessed of the technology and a disregard for intellectual property rights, nick )udge Dread with a hand-held scanner and set him to work sweeping the streets of Gotham City. Holy Moebius, Robin!
OMICSETTF.R comes w ith a disc of standard-issue superhero clip art. Various flying women in swimming cozzies (what is it with superheroes and near-nudism? At least the baddies have the decency to wear suits), arms, legs and lasers.
There are at least three more two-disc sets of art. With about 60 different frames with up to 20 separate pictures per frame - Superheroes, Science Fiction and Funny Figures. All American politics culture is here.
When the picture appears in a window it can be clipped out by lassoing it with a line drawn around the relevant bit. Or a rectangle corresponding to the space available in the frame can be moved over the artwork.
Since most of the pictures provided don't fit in the window, if the pointer is moved off-window the graphics scroll in from that edge. This is an odd mechanism that works very well once the initial idea is grasped: ComicSetter uses it often when a window is too small for the graphics it's displaying.
Once a picture is in a frame, the fun begins. There’s a gadget with a 11 in a speech balloon, which even a nitpicky reviewer can understand. Select this, drag out a rectangle on the frame and a balloon appears. This can be in several styles - chosen by doubleclicking on the gadget - standard oval speech, plumpy "thinks...”, clipped rectangle for titles and spiky for “voice from the radio".
In the fine tradition ComicSetter is establishing, the ardent balloonist can even define the number of peaks in the spiky and thinks formats. Text is then typed in, again in one of several fonts (the usual gemstones and a couple of comicbook lettering specials, which can be used in any other application... aren't standards wonderful). Bold, italic and underline can be mixed, together with some formatting commands like newline.
Text is automatically positioned for the hest fill.
- By holding down Ctrl and clicking on the speech balloon, a tail
can he drawn out to the mouth closest applicable alien orifice
of the speaker.
Instant, perfect speeches.
SPEECH balloons are structured graphic items, whereas graphics bitmaps are unstructured. The difference is that all ComicSetter knows about the latter is their size, whereas the structured items are displayed from a set of details about the start and end of lines, the radius of curves and so on.
Structured items take up less memory as a rule than bitmaps, and can have their fundamental structure changed. Bitmaps can only be edited by setting pixels or drawing lines on top of them, although ComicSetter ?
can flip them horizontally or vertically and resize them - an amazingly useful way to neaten up a comic.
Onto the frame with the figure and the speech balloon more pictures can be layered, some text can be added, all the individual items can be moved around by the usual select, drag with the hand pointer and drop, and freehand graphics can be tacked on.
The draw paint capabilities of the program are extensive. Squares, circles and other polygons can be created and filled with colour or a pattern - there are 25 patterns, and I couldn’t find a way to edit create new ones.
UNUSUALLY. Rezier curves are provided. These are curves defined by a set of four points to which the computer fits a smooth curve as best it can. The manual gives up a little on describing exactly how this works, recommending - as any sensible reviewer would - 10 minutes experimentation as worth any amount of earnest text.
There are airbrush and smear tools for fudging the issue, and a paintbrush to make fine changes.
Once any of these tools have been used, the results are part of the bitmap and cannot be individually altered or deleted. There is a single- step Undo command, which can sometimes extricate the fumblefingered. Sometimes.
The manual recommends frequent savings to disc of work in progress, a sentiment strongly endorsed as often a naff idea only comes to light 30 minutes later when undoing the damage is unthinkable.
Large-scale changes to finished pages are possible by using the Edit command menu; items can be cut.
Pasted, copied, aligned, grouped together for a quick move, in short anything you might want to do can be done. They’ve thought of it first.
The only gripe in this area is the single-item Paste buffer. It would be nice to maintain a short list of cut items to work from. Something of the sort can be synthesised by careful use of the save command, but it's not easy to avoid mistakes. That’s my excuse.
The complete page can be displayed in various ways. All at once is useful for an overview of the general layout and flow of the visuals, although there is nowhere near enough resolution to make out words or picture contents. From there, the page can be magnified by 50, 100 or 200 per cent; the 100 per cent being the most useful for working within a frame and the 200 per cent good for individual pixel picking. Interlace can be turned on or off at will; on for crystal clarity with a headache within five minutes or off for flickerfree work and eyestrain within 10.
There’s a memory limit, depending on the amount of grunk onscreen, of about two three pages. ComicSetter has a page caching feature, which by shuffling finished or otherwise inactive pages off to disc makes the only limitation to comic size the spare space on the floppy or hard disc.
PAGES or panels can be saved as IFF files, which means such luxurious special effects as your favourite paint package can furnish can be used. ComicSetter makes good use of the graphics-oriented environment the Amiga provides in general; it is. Of course, a well behaved application and lives peacefully with whatever desktop doobries normally inhabit the memory.
The final stage in any comic's life is. Of course, the printing. ComicSetter comes, as mentioned, with bits of Workbench 1.3, namely the printer drivers. These include better laser printer support, as well as such salivatious beasts as the Xerox 4020.
There are manyprinting options, to do with page size, kind of greyscaling to convert colourful graphics to monochromatic output and such familiar themes.
Unfortunately, the Epson drivers on &my copy of ComicSetter failed to drive my printer into anything other than a muted clicking; however a new set of drivers from the most recent 1.3 Workbench cured the problem.
AND since ComicSetter is quite happy to work with the humble F.pson-compatible £150-and- it’s-yours-John printers that infest the face of the planet, it is not impossible to finish the opus at home, then strike a deal with the local computer dealer to let you churn out a polished product on a Saturday morning on his I.aserjet in exchange for some fancy display material. Who knows, you might convert an IBMhead into an Amigalover, because there’s no IBM PC in the world that can do what an expanded Amiga 500 with ComicSetter does.
The final bit of the manual, called Comic Tips, is a small collation of hints to help the final product look professional. There are a number of ?
I-C-P-U-G the Independent Commodore Products Users Group is the largest and most helpful computer club in the country with the
• Many local groups with regular meetings
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100 plus pages of reviews, news and information every two months
• 1987 Back issues available to all - £1.50 per issue
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• Help and advice • Discount scheme
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For serious users joining ICPUG is a must.
Send SAE for an application form to: icfil ufg ICPUG Membership Secretary, Jack J. Cohen, 30, Brancaster Road, Newbury Park, Ilford, Essex, IG2 7EP 01 -590 8849 Day 01 -346 0050 Ev. & Wends is what you get 16-BIT SOFTWARE OF ROCHDALE - AMIGA BOOKS AND UTILITIES SPECIALIST Available from your local dealer or directlv from Precision Software Ltd 6 Park Terrace.
Worcester Park. Surrey KT4 7JZ Telex 8955021 Precis C Pitxiskiti Software American books, available from specialist booksellers like Forbidden Planet, that say much the same thing; how to produce a smooth flow of images that direct the reader's eyes and build up to a strong climax, lio to suggest time passing or changes of plot. It's not nearly as popular a field of study over here as it is in the States, where comics are taken seriously by a lot of people.
THAT then is ComicSetter, at least in outline. There are a lot of unmentioned details, most of which are nice and just what you w'ant, just when you want them. To cope with all the things that car. He done to an object, there are a number of non-obvious special tricks but these are necessary and once learned come naturally.
This is, alas, version 1.0, and this show's occasionally; graphics did get corrupted from time to time (slightly, nothing unfixable. But odd), the pointer stayed in Zzzz mode during menu selection, options - mostly bitmap editing - were unselectable until an unconnected action woke up some slumbering subroutine, and on one occasion Cut and Paste put the mouse into a drunken stagger with nothing happening for Five minutes.
Then I was treated to an instant replay of all the things I'd tried to do in those five minutes, after which all was well.
This might sound frightening, but apart from the last incident ComicSetter remained usable and fun
- boy, is it fun - and at no time did it lose data or crash.
According to the About... menu item, there have been eight people working on ComicSetter. And they've been at it for quite some time. Apart from amazement that anything coming from a programming team that big hangs together so well (these guys must love comics), I'm impressed. It’s a wonderful program, capable of wonderful things. More than that is up to you.
As for me? I always wanted to be an underground artist in the ‘60s... the ‘90s will do just fine.
REPORT CARD ComicSetter GoldDisk HB Marketing 0895 444433 £69.95 USEFULNESS.... Not Jho kind of thing you'd use for writing to the bank manager but great for sending letters to friends.
EASE OF USE ... Guides you slowly with well chosen defaults. Would benefit from a longer tutorial section and more explanations.
INTUITION ......HHHH] Opens up a new workbench, multitasks perfectly but is very ram hungry.
Speed ....HHHHHOZn Re-drawing frames is time consuming, but probably as fast as can be coded.
Val ue .. Seventy quid for a program which appeals so much to younger users is a lot. For a top notch DTP program it is a bargain.
M A good score which could earn another 10 per cent by fixing a few bugs and cutting the price.
A. M.A.S The Advanced Midi Amiga _ Sampler The Hardware
A. M.A.S. is a full feature 8-BIT STEREO audio digitiser complete
with a full implementation MIDI interface, all built into the
SAME stylish wedge shaped hardware unit which fully
complements the computer, no messy extras are required. The
digitiser accepts mono or stereo inputs via its line input
sockets and is provided with an extra microphone input socket
for direct vocal signal input. The MIDI sockets comprise of
MIDI IN. OUT 8 THRU. Hardware versions exist for the A1000 and
A500 2000 formats.
THE MIDI SUPPORT Selectable MIDI channel. OMNI POLYPHONIC operation (with up to 4 voice POLY). MIDI controlled sample frequency shift. Each sample in a bank can be assigned to a MIDI note value. Samples can be ‘MAPPED’ across MIDI channel range. Samples may be played from AMIGA keyboard (MONO only).
Plays samples from currently selected sample
• BANK-. Single BANK load save operation.
Hardware compatible with many other MIDI software packages already available for the AMIGA, no other extras are required.
The Software THE SAMPLER EDITOR The ultimate graphics mouse user ik interface. Left, right or stereo m sampling Sampling rales of up to ¦ 28Khz.Dual real time oscilloscopes.
(1 for each channel.)Real time spectrum analyser. Auto record trigger on input level Up to 8 ‘BANKS’ on 2 Meg machines T (200-250k req. Per bank| Up to 10 stereo samples per bank. Load & Save samples in RAW or IFF data formats. Filter ON OFF for computers inbuilt filter where applicable.
All editing facilities work in stereo or mono.
CHANNEL SWAP. «* T ; Add £1.00 PSP Allow 28 days f delivery. W 1 Microdeal Limited Box 68, St Austell, Cornwall PL25 4YB England Telephone (0726) 68020 Telex 45218 MICROD G Fax (0726) 69692 Qijottuge (SfoJhixM All prices include VAT and delivery (within UK) Mail Order For all your software needs BUSINESS UTILITIES
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f PLEASE RUSH Ml BY RE TURN (enter Quantity) Please debit my ACCESS VISA CARD H I DGCALC £39.95 NO - | I HOME ACCOUNTS £29 95 Expiry Date 1 MAJLSHOT £2495 S gnah I MAJLSHOT PLUS £49 95 Post to DtGlTA INTERNATIONAL HD ; * I Please send FREE Brochure KELSEY HOUSE. BARNS ROAD. W i Pack BUDlEiGH SalTEPTON. DEVON LX9 6HJ J 1 Name 'Vh [Address Bookcase The Amiga is a powerful beast, and there are plenty of books explaining how to exploit it.
Our team of experts takes five Using Deluxe Paint II by Steven Anzovin.
DELUXE Paint II is probably the best art program yet to be released for a home computer. It offers the user tremendous graphics power while at the same time maintaining a user friendly environment. Because of this, it can appeal both to the total computer novice and the experienced computer artist, not to mention those budding artists who are unfamiliar with computers.
However, even the easiest to use program can appear a little daunting when you first load it, especially with one as complex as Deluxe Paint II.
But not to worry! A book exists that will dispel all your fears and banish all confusion. No more will such things as rotating brushes and perspective fills be shrouded in mystery. The book Using Deluxe Paint II by Steven Anzovin is an essential guide to doing just that. It has a friendly, readable style and gently tutors the reader through all aspects of Deluxe Paint Ips features.
Although versions of the package exist for the Amiga, the Apple IIGS and the IBM PC, this book only deals w'ith the first. Since it takes pains to explain various machine specific features, this limits its value to the IBM PC user. Despite this however, most of the book is useful regardless of which machine you’re using.
Anzovin starts with some fairly basic introductions to the program environment, the nature of computer graphics, and the advantages and disadvantages of using a computer for artwork. It also mixes in an introduction to art concepts and how the computer can take the pain out of tricky freehand art constructs such as circles, ellipses and straight lines.
If you find this introduction too simplistic, the author suggests that you skip ahead to the more involved chapters. Although some may find introductions of this nature a little patronising, I would disagree. Even an experienced artist or computer user might find something new', even fundamental.
After the introduction the book talks the user through the use of the different graphics utilities of the program. These are what sets Deluxe Paint II apart from all the other arts packages. The sheer power and flexibility with which you can manipulate your artwork, both as a whole and as specially captured areas, is incredible.
The book uses worked examples to take you through topics such as the custom brushes, use of colour, drawing tools, text, patterning and perspective. It finishes with a step by step guide constructing a picture using many of Deluxe Paint II’s special features.
The use of brushes, perspective and perspective filling are about the most complex features of the program to master and use to full effect. For the user who likes to be spoon-fed information, this situation is ideal. It is good to see a book where no aspect is glossed over.
I have only one serious complaint, and this concerns the description of aliasing and anti-aliasing, which is weak. The book doesn’t really explain what anti-aliasing is, and also how very significant an effect it has on any form of computer artw'ork.
Since aliasing - the staircasing effect - is the biggest gremlin of any graphics system, the book should have devoted a lot more time to explaining what it is and how' to reduce it.
The division of the work area - the monitor screen in this case - into finite areas of colour (pixels) is the primary difference between conventional and computer artw'ork.
Aliasing is the most immediate byproduct of this media transition, and as such deserves close attention.
There are a few other minor weaknesses in the text. The chapter on use of colour could have been more. Although the book refers to the emotional impact of colour and how powerful this aspect can be, I felt that more could have been said about the physical nature of light and how it interacts w'ith the presence and lack of an atmosphere to produce the colours we see in everyday life.
Also, the human eye loses sensitivity to colour as the light level is reduced, and so as night falls, the colours we perceive fade to black and w'hite. None of these facts were mentioned.
This is on the whole a very well thought out and w'ell presented book.
I would say that for someone just entering the realm either of computers or artwork using Deluxe Paint II, it is a must.
For the experienced computer user or artist using the program for w'hatever reason, the book is definitely well worth considering as your next purchase. Deluxe Paint II took the traditional agony out of conventional artwork and gave new scope to artists everywhere.
Christopher Humphries.
AmigaBasic Inside and Out by Hannes Rgheimer and Christian Spanik AFTER seeing the name Abacus on the cover of this book I must admit I started reading with much trepidation. This American publisher has produced a large number of books about the Atari ST, all translated from German originals, the quality of which varies from OK to poor. This is the first Amiga book of the same pedigree that I have seen but I'm pleased to say that this is a quality product and genuinely useful.
There are more than 500 pages, with nearly 400 devoted to tutorials covering a range of AmigaBasic topics. The opening is aimed at the raw beginner, someone who has used neither an Amiga or any Basic before, though I feel readers with no previous Basic experience at all will soon get out of their depth. The authors start slowly enough, but dive into more advanced Basic topics very rapidly - arrays and multi-dimensional arrays get no more than a couple of paragraphs, for example.
Assuming you have some Basic experience, the introductory sections describing the use of Workbench and Intuition should be enough for new Amiga Machine Language by Stefan Dittrlch THE Amiga has brought high power, a combination of the hardware and systems software that exploits it to a large number of people. The profusion of display hacks, interesting applications, and games amply demonstrates this power. However, for the large number of users to take advantage of it for their own purposes, they must find out how to get at it.
The systems software for the Amiga has been developed with a mixture of
C. Assembler and BCPL. There now exist compilers and interpreters
for many languages, allowing varying levels of access to the
However, to take things to the limit, the solution is usually to head for the silicon and develop in assembler.
Amigu Machine Language is aimed at people who wish to use RHO(H) Amiga owners to get used to their machines.
The beginning of each chapter has a teaser program - something short to type in and run which produces an interesting effect, though the reader is unlikely to understand it at this time.
By the end of the chapter though all the relevant areas have been described in enough detail for full understanding. A good rendition of the Star Wars theme opens the sound chapter.
The main emphasis is on graphics, detailing the low-level operations together with windows, screens and even IFT file formats, culminating in a non-trivial drawing program. Other chapters detail serial and random access file handling, speech and sound, all handled in an easy and fun-to-read way, with useful programming examples.
My only reservation about the book is with some of the programming style - while line numbers are not used, labels are. Together with GOSUB and the dreaded GOTOs. One of the most important features in AmigaBasic (and other modern Microsoft Basics) is the concept of SUB-programs, but these are mentioned only briefly.
There is also one very dubious assembler to take advantage of the Amiga hardware and operating system.
The book starts out with an overview of the Amiga’s architecture, and then moves onto the 6B000 processor. This section does not provide enough to learn all about the 68000 from scratch. Given a knowledge of programming and a bit program line involving a conditional SHARED statement, something that is poor style and completely un- compilable (believe me. I know about compiling AmigaBasic).
The appendices include a complete reference section on all the AmigaBasic keywords and error messages, together with guaranteed error-free program listings. Helpfully a disc is available for £9.95 containing all the programs.
This is a very good book for any AmigaBasic programmer, both as a tutorial and reference work. I'm pleased to say that the US dollar price has been fairly converted to pounds und it’s well worth £16.95. Andy Pennel about other processor's architectures, it would give enough to be going along with.
The next chapter explains how to use three different assemblers. The example code in the book is written using the AssemPro assembler and the text often references it. The other two assemblers covered arc the Metacomco product and the K-Seka assembler. K-Seka gets a full description. Assempro a fairly simple one and Metacomco one page.
Having covered the procossor and how to get code to run on it. Chapter four covers simple bit bashing, not specific to the Amiga. This serves to introduce writing programs without the complications of the Amiga.
The book then starts covering the Amiga itself, starting with some of the hardware registers. The areas covered are the keyboard, timor, mouse, joystick and sound. The more powerful areas such as the blitter, ?
Copper, video generator and discs are ignored.
Having really bashed silicon up to this point, the focus moves to above the operating system. The Amiga systems software revolves around libraries, and the work needed to call these is explained. Coverage of the libraries themselves is limited.
Various methods of I O are covered - speech, screen, keyboard, printer and serial. Next comes coverage of how to access the disc, both at the file system and sector level.
A whole chapter is devoted to the use of the Intuition library. This covers the use of screens, windows, requesters, menus and gadgets. This coverage is by no means complete, but does give a grasp of the commonly used areas.
Finally, a short chapter explains a couple of more advanced areas of the 68000. Namely Supervisor Mode and exceptions.
I found the style of the book to be low level, somewhat reminiscent of the days when machines were hardware and operating systems scarce. There are good reasons for bypassing an operating system, but old habits and laziness are not among them.
The coverage of the Amiga is nowhere near complete, many areas are left totally untouched, both at the hardware and operating system level.
To be fair, the Commodore documentation stands at several inches of A4 size books, and nothing short of microfiche techniques is going to get that into a 250 page book. There is not much in the way of explanation of the Amiga features being used - the style is more oriented towards "recipes".
This book will not reveal the secrets of the Amiga, but for a first dip into the system by someone who has programmed before, it is fine. To produce progams of any weight will require other texts. I was interested to note that an advertisment in the back of the book for AssemPro had the following small print: "Machine language programming requires a solid understanding of the Amiga's hardware and operating system. We do not recommend this package to beginning Amiga programmers".
Sam Littlewood Amiga Tricks and Tips by Bleek.
Maelger and Weltner.
THE Amiga is supplied with Microsoft's AmigaBasic. This has some built-in support for the Amiga’s features, but not the whole range. To really start exploring these capabilities requires a good understanding of AmigaBasic and the ability to get directly at the operating system from within it.
Amiga Tricks & Tips is intended to aid this understanding and ability, as well as briefly covering other areas of the system. It uses AmigaBasic exclusively for programming, no other language being covered.
The first chapter talks about the
CLI. This is not a complete description. It covers solutions to
common problems, an overview of the new CLI commands in
1. 2, and a collection of script files.
The last do things like setting up commonly used commands in RAM: and implementing a simple print Learning C: Programming Graphics on the Amiga and Atari ST by Marc B. Sugiyama and Christopher D. Metcalf THIS attempts to be two books in one, the first half a C primer, while the second deals with graphics algorithms. The 400 page volume is spiral bound, so it lies flat on the table making listings much easier to type in.
The C primer section is aimed at programmers with experience of Basic or Pascal and with a knowledge of the lower level aspects, such as pointers, bits and bytes. Users without such knowledge will find this section vary hard going.
As a C primer it works reasonably well, but doesn’t start well: The first function listing does not agree with the text describing it, something which took me ages to work out.
Complete C beginners may well give up by page 17. This was the only serious typo I noticed though, so perseverance is worthwhile.
The book attempts to be useful to spooler. This chapter also covers the startup sequence script.
Attention moves on to AmigaBasic.
The first subject is writing graphics code. The technique used is to call the operating system graphics and windowing routines directly from within Basic, giving increased speed and flexibility.
A large amount of the text is devoted to example programs. Some of these, such as the full IFF picture display program, are quite powerful, providing good code for use elsewhere. The section goes to a fair both Atari and Amiga users, catering for five different C compilers. A header file is listed at the back to make the graphics calls the same on both machines. This method generally works, also allowing incompatibilities between compilers such as integer sizes to be avoided. C is not as portable as it is supposed to be.
The listings are presented in a typeface which makes it very difficult to distinguish between the = and = = operators, something which any C programmer will tell you makes a huge difference. Most of the programs are large and the optional disc at £9.95 is recommended if you want to experiment with the book’s graphics section.
Having introduced much of C. some of it less detailed than others, the authors start on the graphics section proper. If you want to find out how Intuition, the graphics library or the Copper works, this book is not for you - all the Amiga-specific calls are hidden away in a header file. The graphics algorithms presented are general methods for producing two depth, covering Intuition, fonts. 3D vector graphics and palette manipulation.
The next chapter does not expose any more features of the Amiga: it is about user friendliness. This talks about, and has large amounts of code for. Comunicating with users. Ideas like sliders, selection from tables, rubber-handing and animation are explored.
Chapter 5 deals with the use of AmigaDos from within AmigaBasic.
In a similar way to the graphics section, the limited functionality of AmigaBasic is bypassed in favour of heading straight for the operating system. The examples implement routines to rename files, search a directory tree, read a directory listing into an array, call CLI commands and so on.
Chapter 6 dives into the internals of AmigaBasic. It discusses the format of the saved programs, and provides several long utilities. These do things like generate cross-reference listings.
And three dimensional graphics, shading, and hidden line removal.
A note of caution - the reader needs a good understanding of maths, particularly coordinate systems, vectors and matrices to understand the majority of the book. Don’t worry if your maths has got a bit rusty. I must admit several sections caused some areas of my brain to be accessed for the first time in many years. If you haven't done O level maths don’t try this hook, though A level students will be OK.
If you want to know about guneral graphics methods, as opposed to specific Amiga features, this is a good hook. It doesn't detail many alternate methods, four dimensional matrices are used for 3D objects but some arcade games get away with 3- dimensional matrices. However, the methods described are detailed both mathematically and in actual C code.
I was a little worried by the Atari ST-specific code, as it contains two serious errors, neither of which should prevent the code from working, but the Amiga code looked list variables, and display files in hexadecimal. The main coverage this chapter provides is of the various file formats associated with AmigaBasic.
A brief interlude follows, which is a short coverage of the Workbench.
Included in this is how to read and write Preferences from within AmigaBasic, and coping with the Info screen of Workbench.
Icons are a target of much creativity, the next chapter describes how they can be created from a program. The example programs allow creation of icons, including icons with two images associated with them.
Chapter 9 is back on the subject of real users, and is about making programs robust in the face of possible errors. Example code is given for testing various situations, like a file not existing, or the user giving bad input.
Chapter 10 focuses on effective programming in AmigaBasic. It describes the steps needed to make fine to me.
This book does a reasonable job of introducing C and explains complex graphics operations in about as painless way as is possible, though a good understanding of general programming for the former nd mathematics for the latter is also required.
Andy Pennel AmigaBasic run the same code faster, and gives benchmark programs that show how various aspects of the code can affect speed.
The final chapters give some coverage to some aspects of interfacing AmigaBasic to the rest of the system, how to write library files allowing AmigaBasic to call code written via a compiled language and how to access the Amiga devices, in particular the sector level disc device.
The title of this book is somewhat misleading. It would be better named something like AmigaBasic CookBook. If you are using AmigaBasic then there is a lot of useful code here, but in many cases, not much explanation of what the code is up to.
In conclusion, if you are interested in getting performance out of AmigaBasic. This book will interest you. It is not however a reference or tutorial for either the Amiga or AmigaBasic.
Sam Littlewood Using Deluxe Paint II Compute. £17.95 AmigaBASIC Inside and Out Abacus. £16.95. program disc £9.95, disc and book £24.95. ¦.earning C: Programming Graphics on the Amiga and Atari ST Compute. £17.95, program disc £9.95, book and disc £24.95. Amiga Machine Language Abacus £12.95, program disc £9.95, disc and book £20.95. Amiga Tricks and Tips Abacus. £14.95. program disc £9.95. disc and book £22.95. tdli these books are available from 16-Hit Software 10706 435191. Amiga Computing would like to thank them for supplying the review copies.
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E&OE AMIGA iXIMPUTING Xmember itlHH AmigalteX AmigaTEX
Typesetting for experts Paul Ockenden looks at a publishing
package which has been ported to the Amiga from a mainframe -
and outperforms the original WHEN I bought my first Amiga I was
expecting it to be able to produce beautiful documents, using
its high resolution graphics and multiple font support.
I wonder how many other Amiga owners were as disappointed as I was when I printed my first document from Notepad. The characters appeared very jagged, and lacked sharpness. Like a fool. I thought that the problem was my cheapo dot matrix printer, so I went mad and bought a laser printer, only to discover that the problem was not tin* printer at all.
The trouble is that high resolution on the Amiga screen becomes decidedly low resolution on the printer - even a cheap printer has a horizontal resolution of 1.750 dots, whereas the Amiga only manages
I now know tin? Solution to my problem - AmigaTeX. It abandons the Amiga fonts, resolutions and printer drivers, and in doing so produces the finest quality output I have seen from my setup. My laser printer is able to produce documents at its full 300 dots per inch, with a selection of thousands of fonts. And my dot matrix is able to produce such high quality output that I wonder why I ever bought the laser printer.
AmigaTeX is a commercial version of the TeX typesetting system. TeX was written by Prof. Donald Knuth of Stanford University towards the end of the 1970s, and is in the public domain. Versions can be found on almost every popular computer capable of supporting a megabyte or more of memory.
Radical Eye Software has taken the basic public domain version of TeX and added numerous features, making AmigaTeX one of the most useful and productive TeX environments available on any computer. It is not uncommon to find commercial versions of TeX - a quick flick though the pages of the US magazine Byte will reveal several for the PC and other machines.
Note that the word TeX isn’t pronounced how you might expect.
To quote from The TeXbook by Knuth: "Insiders pronounce the X of TeX as a Greek chi. Not as an x. It's the ch sound in Scottish words like ?
¦4 loch or German words like ach. When you say it correctly to your computer, the keyboard may become slightly moist".
AmigaTeX - or indeed any version of TeX - is capable of really outstanding results. It can be used for anything from simple one page flyers and Cvs to complete books pop into your local technical bookshop and inspect The TeXbook which was typeset entirely using TeX. It automatically copes with ligatures, kerning and a host of other typographical problems. It is also very good when it comes to mathematical formulae, and its hyphenation algorithms are second to none.
DON'T fall into the trap of thinking of TeX as a simple document generator such as Notepad or Word Perfect. It is a document compiler, much like one of the C language compilers - and nearly as difficult to learn in its native form.
You will have to supply your own favourite editor and produce an input file for TeX. Which looks not unlike a computer program in places. It then works on this input file and produces a device independent (or DVI) output file.
Using most other versions of TeX.
You would feed the DVI file to a converter program which would produce output suitable for your printer. No matter what device you ve Up to the Typesetting Power of AmigaT ides a powerful alternative in document Output DeVlCG Independ ides a powerful alternative in document gives you the power to typeset complex its, especially those oi a technical nature nuals or journal papers. It gives you the be called typesetting. Compare it with the market.
Quality ltput oi unparalleled quality. This goes erning and leading capabilities oi conven- ublishing programs; TgX uses ligatures, enation and special line and paragraph hms to yield typeset quality output.
. Alignment Power i- Tlie previewer saves paper and time used for your output, the layout and fonts would be exactly the same - only the resolution would change.
The disadvantage of this method is that if you make a simple change you will have to print the whole document again to see what effect that change had. This can be very wasteful of time, paper and printer ribbons.
AmigaTeX avoids this waste by providing a screen previewer. This Intuition-based program allows you to view your document on screen at a variety of resolutions before producing your final copy. What is more. Radical Eye has provided file tracking between the TeX compiler and the previewer. Using this facility you can have TeX, your editor and the previewer all running at the same time, with the previewer automatically displaying the output from the compiler without any action by the user. (For the more technically minded, AmigaTeX also fully supports Arexx, allowing a provides output identical
to within t printers used. Your page will appear on printer in the exact iormat and position'll printer or typesetter. You can use your E a home proofing device ior the laser printl or use the laser printer to see your pages 1 them to be printed on a phototypesetter.
Interactive Environment TeX on the Amiga provides the best Tg currently available anywhere. The poweri and message-passing capabilities of the A to edit, compile, preview, and print all at AmigaTeX has been heavily optimised a completely integrated development environment.)
While preparing this review I paid a visit to the local university - all universities seem to use TeX - to see what they thought of AmigaTeX, and I discovered that they were already using it. Apparently they used to use TeX on a VAX minicomputer, but when they got a Macintosh they started using MacTeX exclusively.
However since the university bought a copy of AmigaTeX the Mac has been neglected, and students are queuing up to use the Amiga.
They are using an add-on called LaTeX. Which takes most of the heartache out of producing a document. You just state the document type - thesis, report, article, letter - and mark the beginning of chapters and sections. Everything else is taken care of for you. LaTeX is included with AmigaTeX package as standard.
There is no documentation on the TeX language with the AmigaTeX package, just like you don’t normally get a book on C with a C compiler.
For that you’ll need a copy of The TeXbook or LaTeX, a document preparation system. However, a well written manual is provided giving details on installing and running the compiler and previewer. The manual is laser printed and is supplied in a standard ring binder (the manual is also provided in TeX source on one of the discs).
Depending on which printer driver you order, TeX comes on up to 20 floppies. At first you will be doing quite a lot of disc swapping, but due to a caching system built into AmigaTeX, this is reduced a lot after using the system a few times. Most oi these discs contain fonts, both for the previewer and the printer drivers.
Interestingly. Radical Eye uses a dual colour coding to identify the discs, and this seems to work quite nicely "please insert disc hrown.blue in any drive"I.
Although you can use AmigaTeX on a 512k machine.
I would suggest that you really need Imeg (AmigaTeX is very happy on a hard disc machine). Drivers are available for the QMS KISS. QMS SmartWriter, HI’ Laserjet Plus, and PostScript laser printers; The Epson ?
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Arcade Classes Annals of Rome Backlash .. Bobbie Bobbie Carner Command Eagles Nest Eco . Ebon Star .. Flints tones Football Manager II Golden Path Goldrunner .... Guild of Thieves Lancelot . Pink Panther RolHmg Thunder St» Gtder II ... Stir Crazy . The Pawn . Time Bandit Time ft Magik Tetris ..... Tracers .. U MS ..... Virus Whingig Wizoai £1295 £15 95 £1295 £1295 £16 95 £12 95 £15 95 £15 95 £12 95 £14 95 £1295
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Friction ft Tractor £169 95 £239 95 £279 95 £379 95 BOOKS; Elementary Amiga Basic Kicks tart Guide . £1495 £1295 Amiga Tncks ft Tips Advanced Amiga Basic . £1295 £1695 Amiga for Beginners .... Amiga Machine Language .. £1095 £12 95 Bulk 3.5 Discs 10 off Sony Branded Box of 10 £29 95 £59 95 £27.95 Ail goods offered subject to availability Overseas orders welcome - Please wnte for prices Callers welcome Monday to Fnday 9 30 to 5 00 Saturday 10 00 to 4 00 Please send cheques'POs to:
_M.J.C. SUPPLIES (AMG) 40a QUEEN STREET, HITCHIN, HERTS. SG4 9TS K““l Tel: (0462) 421415 for Enquiries Credit Card Orders • * R F=tlN~TEFtS All priccp include VAT delivery & cable Huguly successful 9 pin printer, the Star LC10 provides 4 NLQ tonts (with 96 print combinations) at 36cps and 144cps draft. Has a large 4K butter and IBM parallel interlace buiilt in, includes a comprehensive front panel operation and features paper parking allowing single sheets to be used without removing tractor paper.
Only £219.00 Colour version also available, Only £269.00 Prices Include 2 extra black ribbons free of charge.
All prices include VAT delivery Star SF-10DJ cut sheet feeder for LC-10 ...... Star LC24-10 feature-packed multifont 24pin printer ...... Star NB24-10 24 pin printer 216 72 cps, including cut sheet feeder and 2 extra ribbons .... Star Laserprinter 8 high specification 8ppm 300dpi laser, (price inc. 1 year on site maintenance) .. Panasonic KXP1081 reliable 9pin 10" printer 120 24 cps...... NEC P2200 budget 24 pin 168 56cps NEC cut sheet feeder for P2200
printer . Citizen 120D budget 9pin I0‘ 120cps Citizen LSP-100 budget 150 30cps 10' carriage .. SPECIAL OFFER AMIGA PACK Our new special offer pack includes the following:
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* Karate Kid II A Sky Fighter E1795.00 . £169.00 £319.00 The
total retail value of extras supplied Is £270.45. All this for
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AMIGAS low price hard disks Pye 1022 TV Monitor excellent medium res. Picture, with full remote control as well. Lead supplied, next day delivery ... £199.00 Philips CM8833 colour monitor suitable for Amiga 500 .....£259.00 Philips CM8852 monitor as above, but higher resolution £299.00 Philips TV Tuner AV7300, use with any composite monitors ..... £79.00 Word Perfect ...£149.95 Superbase Personal . £69.00 Superbase Professional------------------------- £179.95
logistix----------------------------------------------------------------------------£79.95 Amig 0 us ovenprotec ou compute ™™™™j 4.95 'AMIGAs' good value hard disks now available, incorporating ever-reliable Seagate mechanisms with an average access time of 65ms for 21Mb and 30Mb, and 40ms for 40Mb and 60Mb versions. Induding cooling fans, they are smartly and sturdily cased in beige, colour matched to your Amigp. They are even strong enough to stand your monitor on top. Software included.
21 MEG £399.00 40 MEG £549.00 30 MEG £469.00 60 MEG £649.00
3. 5" EXTERNAL DRIVES using Citizen drive mechanisms Cumana 5.25"
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Only £159.95 Probably the best and most complete 3.5" disk copier for the Amiga user. Can even copy MS-DOS, Atari ST, CP M, Xenix and Archimedes disks. Because of the high specification of the Amiga drive, this copier is probably the best for the Archimedes or ST. Also includes track editor. Updates will be available In the future s as and when new software inC.VA I delivery protection schemes arise.
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'*~i ... There is no UK supplier of AmigaTeX at present, all sales and support being handled from the USA.
The reason is that Radical Eye is only willing to grant distribution rights to a company which is able to prove a high degree of expertise in both TeX and Amiga-related topics, and so far it hasn’t found such a company in the UK.
17 Is The Most Random Numhe I found both the Sales and support service was better than that provided by most companies based in the IJK.
All letters seem to be answered by return of post, and Radical Eye usually sends out updated discs to all registered users the same day that bugs are reported.
. .--------- or w Ik; itiei pride: lo vx jrai pija Wort p litmlo V prated on t pbiolypwctler I would thoroughly recommend AmigaTeX to anyone looking to produce top quality documents on their Amiga. It may take a bit of effort to create your first few documents, but the effort is well worth it.
REPORT CARD Typeset Quality M prc'dtioulpul of 'lnpudleled quility Thu gcei fu lejend Itekeininj and leading capabilifaetof conven- Interactive Environment lioail desktop poblukinj propum, TfcX uses lijilwei, idomtlic bktmlnn tad ipcciil in; r.d pu'iirri ¥ m il ;nvii| Ed Hiiple.tr. AmigaTeX : ind «mp' Radical Eye Software Box 2081 Stanford CA 94309 USA.
$ 200 for AmigaTeX, plus S100 per printer driver.
IeX: USEFULNESS .. The ability to produce documents at the maximum resolution of a printer is something which has been missing from the Amiga.
Duali ty des output of unparalleled quality, this goes far beyond and leading capabilities of conventional desktop ing program; IeX uses ligatures, autonatic hyphenation and line and paragraph breaking algorithm to yield m EASE OF USE ...¦¦¦ULLLLl Although the previewer and LaTeX help a bit. There is no doubt that TeX takes some learning.
INTUITION ......I The previewer is well integrated into the Amiga environment, but the compiler and printer drivers remain CLI based.
SPEED ....I Much of AmigaTeX has been re-written in assembler, and I found it ran faster than TeX on the VAX at work!
VALUE.. $ 300 is not out of keeping with other commercial versions of TeX for Pcs and the like, and this version is one of the best available.
An impressive product. A must for any business user, or anyone job hunting in need of a good CV.
LaTex reduces the problem inherent in a complicated script language 11JIJUIJJI PS Can Your DeskTop Publishing Program Do This?
UU 4.1 HtdisL. In Ui liUt tJU 4u st«ltiia OttuLl 0 TTU UmU.il, Its Ul Uns.s DcsL lu Units util at. InLl.
B ' A Atb. N uxi in K»A»cL» FloUt. . + Q Bel.w... iatws Sl.t MI£MirV Uidst Unul tsigt laKuiHUi Ditii at. Uit UiJ.l Utt (asj jrtc tts.ia) (H (e tj iir.ta’ tirtta) tU t tf iuta (eott-.trtta (preo (Uti .irtia)) (¦ ! L-c. (.til ..»••¦))))) (at! !»«« (.til iliea))))) 47L TV. Ma.i M A page from the sample Hie AMIGA Mission Control Sam Littlewood reviews Arexx and Wshell, programs which give your micro the script-like control to which mainframe users have become accustomed THE two packages reviewed here do not produce attractive pictures or mind-bending sounds. So can two text based, silent products
really be something to talk about?
"Yes" is too short an answer to be called a review.
Arexx is a faithful implementation of the Rexx language which was designed by M. Cowlishaw of the IBM UK Scientific Centre. A feature of this design was the active feedback from users, resulting in an easily learnt and used language.
The language is interpreted, and is aimed at writing macro scripts for the basic operating system or other packages. Arexx is a compact 30k library, written in assembler. It bears no comparison to the usual cryptic script languages; it is a clean and simple language that holds no horrors for anyone who has dabbled in programming before.
An aspect of Arexx that makes it not just another (albeit good) language is the ability to communicate with other packages, which can invoke a Rexx program, just as a Rexx program can send commands to the package.
Wshell was developed by the same person as Arexx. And is implemented in the same manner, in this case 10k of assemblor. The Amigados CLI is not ideal for regular use. The user interface is little different from that of a paper teletype, and speed is not a feature. Wshell is ono of several products that aim to rectify this problem, others being the Metacomco Shell, the new shell on Workbench
1. 3. and several public domain programs, A FACILITY that Wshell
is totally lacking and that most other CLI replacements
provide as their main feature, is line editing and a history
mechanism. This is not a gross omission - such features are
handled by a separate package, the shareware program called
This was written by the same author as Wshell and Arexx. Adding line editing and history to any CON: window, whether it is Wshell. The old CLI or your own program. Conman is provided with Wshell and has been availiable through the Fish discs for some time.
Arexx comes on a single disc accompanied by a 150 page manual.
It does not require two disc drives or extended memory. Installation is simple, well documented and there were no problems. The visible aspect of Arexx is a set of small commands which are copied into the C: directory. The functionality is provided in the form of shared libraries which are copied into the LIBS: directory.
THE Arexx interpreter is not run for every script: it is based around a single process called the resident process. This is ususally started at bootup, and lurks in the background until needed.
The resident process can handle the execution of many Rexx scripts at once by virtue of multiple tasks. A command rx submits a Rexx script to the resident process. The interpreter does not include an interactive means for typing scripts in. They have to be created using a text editor and then sent to the interpreter. This script is *
* Pen uses C style comments •
* The say’ insruction simply prints out it arguments • say
hello, world Listing I
• A simple variable • * say something something=42 say something
* prints *2 •!
Say 2*REVERSE(something) • prints *8 (REVERSE reverses a string)* *
* A compound variable - * somethingsSAS Surname.SAM * Littleuood
say Surname.something * prints littleuood * prints
SOMETHING * Listing II then interpreted, possibly concurrently
with othor running scripts. The 30k occupied by the resident
process does not have to be duplicated for each new script.
Resident process has been started it will print that well know greeting.
The rx command is not necessary if Wshell is being used, "greet" could be typed, and Wshell will recognise it as a Rexx script and submit it to the interpreter.
Like most langauges. Rexx has variables. There is however, only one In the tradition of first programs Listing I shows a simple rexx program in the file greet.rexx. This can be executed from the CLI by typing rx greet, and providing the A500, A1000 and A2000 SupraDrives 20, 30 and 60 Megabyte drives available SCSI expansion port tor additional SCSI devices Format drive into as many as live separate partitions (you can use the new Commodore file system on some partitions while still using the old file system on others) A2000 SupraDrives feature Direct Memory Access (DMA) interlace tor
high-speed data transfer 1MB and 2MB Fast RAM expansion capability (on A500 SupraDrives) Hard disk utilities included Full Amiga bus pass-through CLImate included free with every drive (usual cost £34.95) All A2000 drives mount internally Built-in power supply Comprehensive twelve month guarantee Now you can turbo-charge your Amiga with a SupraDRIVE hard disk and bring it to its true performance A SupraDRIVE will speed up disk transfers by as much as 500% and also eliminate the tedious task of constantly swapping disks in and out of the floppy drive.
Directories, icons and graphics will appear much faster and programs will load quicker The SupraDRIVE for the Amiga 500 consists of two parts The SupraDRIVE SCSI interface plugs into the Amiga's expansion bus and converts the computer’s signals into SCSI (Small Computer Standard Interface) and also includes space for mounting 1 MB and 2MB Fast FIAM expansion boards. The SupraDRIVE hard disk then connects to this interface via the included cable (which supplies power from the drive unit to run the interface and RAM boards - saving unnecessary strain on the A500's own power supply). Other
devices can be added by simply plugging them into the SupraDrive s SCSI expansion port.
The SupraDRIVE indudes features that the competition forgot. Its fully buffered Amiga bus pass-through is designed to ensure compatibility with FiAM boards, digitisers and other boards that you may want to conned to your Amiga. Also included is a SCSI expansion port onthedrivetoallowyouto connect additional hard disks, tape drive, CD- ROMs or other SCSI devices to your system.
The high performance A2000 SupraDRIVE takes full advantage of the sophisticated architecture of the Amiga 2000 computer. Its DMA interface board can plug into any Amiga 2000 Zorro slot and features custom PLA (Programmable Logic Array) semiconductors to insure the highest possible performance. This interface features full auto configuration and includes an extra SCSI plug for conneding additional external hard disk drives or tape back up devices Installation of the A2000 SupraDRIVE i6 simple and can be done by an inexperienced person in less than 10 minutes. All you need is a Phillips
screwdriver - everything else is induded. All you need to do is remove the top of the Amiga's case, install the hard disk into the 3.5" or 5.25" drive chassis, plug in the interface board and connect the included cables. Reassemble the case and you will have a working SupraDRIVE inside your Amiga 2000!
For more details and prices, please contact your local dealer or Frontier Software.
I AMIGA 1000 SupraDrive See Ihe Amiga SupraDrives on Stand 89 at the forthcoming Commodore Show - The Novotel, Hammersmith on 18th-20th November.
Frontier Software
P. O. Box 113, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG2 OBE.
(0423)67140 530577.
Sort of data, a string of characters.
Numbers, integer or flouting point are stored as a text representation, Such as 42.3. The interpreter decides the meaning of the data according to the context in which it is used.
There are two sorts of variables, simple and compound. Simple variables are just that. Compound variables are like multi-dimensional arrays, but arc indexed by arbitary strings as opposed to integers.
THE syntax for referencing a compound variable is a base name followed by the indexing symbols separated by dots. Variables do not require declaration or initialisation: an uninitialised variable has the value of its name as an uppercase string. Listing II shows some examples of variable manipulation.
Control of execution flow is of the style found in most high level programming languages, the familiar IE'...THEN...ELSE works as usual.
Execution involving blocks of code such as loops is based on one pair of instructions. DO and END. The DO instruction can be followed by information that describes what sort of block this is. The SELECT instruction provides something akin to a case or switch. This is shown in Listing III.
Loops can be based on iterating a variable, continuing while something is true, continuing until something is true or forever. In addition, the loop can be broken out of, or the next iteration can be skipped to.
The examples have used an instruction for input - PULL - which is the tip of an iceberg called parsing.
A string for instance, a user’s input, command line arguments or a variable, can be broken up and the individual pieces assigned to variables. The breaks can be at spaces or particular columns.
ANOTHER area that the examples have touched upon is that of built-in functions. The large number of these cover a wide range of areas from string handling that leaves Basic in the cold, converting data from binary to hex to strings, manipulating files, to using a pool of variables common to all Rexx programs.
Subroutines and functions arc part of the language, and can have their *
* Enanpl of control of flow •I say Enter a number greater than
one - pull ual . * PULI reafls data fron the input into a
variable * select yhen 0«T»rYP£(val) '= NUB then say That »as
not a nuober yhen val xl then say That vas less than one
otheryise 00 say Wov * you gave ee vhat I asked for do i = 1 to
val say Loop: i end end say Non, type YES - do until j = YES
pull j Listing III end
• Eiaiple of subroutines and functions ¦ Output is:
• F00 is: Bain-foo Ban is: BySuO-Dar
• ByFunc returns 8 • foo=Bain-foo ; bar= Bain-bar call BySub say
FOO is:* foo BAR is: bar say Byfunc returns' MyFuncU) exit •
• Subroutine, all its variables are local, except for fbar
• BySub: PROCEDURE EXPOSE bar foo= BySub-foo ; bar: BySub-bar
return •
* Function, no PROCEDURE, so all callers variables are exposed *
ByFunc: arg i » Grab the argument into i * return 2=i List in
ft IV own local variables. A subroutine or function indicates
that it would like local variables by using the PROCEDURE
instruction. Listing IV shows that it is possible to select
some variables that will not be local, but can be imported from
the calling environment.
Program to continue.
Typing = will re-execute the instruction. Anything else is taken as an Arexx command and interpreted, and the user is prompted again. This allows variables to be printed and modified and the errant code reexecuted.
Interaction with other applications takes place through the Amiga's message ports. Arexx creates a message port called REXX. And any program can call it up. Sending the name of a script causes the Arexx resident process to look for the script, either in the current directory or the REXX: directory if it is assigned. It then starts a new task executing that script. It is also possible to send a Rexx script as a message itself - useful for simple operations.
If a program provides a named ?
People do not write perfect programs, and Arexx has a debugging and tracing system to cope with this. The system is conceptually very simple - tracing can be turned on for various events, such as all instructions, errors or calls.
When the appropriate event occurs the line or data is printed out. This can be to the same window as the program was run from, or a separate debugging window. If interactive debugging is turned on the user is prompted to type something. Just pressing Return will cause the message port, Rexx scripts can direct commands back to the program. This allows applications to use Arexx as a script language, having only to provide the specialised functions particular to the application, not a whole language.
In addition, if several applications support Arexx a script invoked from one can draw upon the resources of them all to get a job done. A script invoked by an editor command could grab information from a database, chew it about, and then put it in the text being edited. Listing V shows a script which uses a compiler driver and editor.
Try to conpile the naned C file, arid then junp to the first error. Usually invoked from editor.
Arg conpileargs * grab the arguments * *
* ADDRESS selects a port to send cmands to * ADDRESS CE compile
coopileargs * Tell the compiler driver to go* next-error *
Ask the conpiler what the first error was * if result = " then
exit * If none, go away * parse value result file linenumber
errortext ADDRESS UEHACS * Start talking to the editor *
find-file' fi le goto-1ine* linenunber write-message Error:
errortext Writing your own programs to use or be used by Arexx
is a relatively simple task. The necessary include files and
libraries are provided, and the manual covers the process in
detail. Typically, 1 or 2k of code may be needed, possibly a
lot less. The languages supported are C, Benchmark Modula-2 and
AREXX can be extended by writing function libraries in one of the above languages which behave as if they were the built in functions. Again, the necessary files and documentation are provided.
Arexx comes with two of these libraries donated by users. One is an extended maths package and the other an interface to the ARP library.
One of the most useful things in the ARP library is a general purpose file selector window. When called a function pops up a window and allows you to mouse around and select a file. The name of the file is then returned from the function.
The Arexx manual is excellent. It was produced on an Amiga using AmigaTeX, and is clear, concise, and covers all aspects of the langauge. In relation to the price of the product it really gives cause for thought about the quality of manuals on other, far more expensive products.
Arexx is a well documented and robust implementation of a good language. It fits into the Amiga system extremely well, and does not occupy much in the way of disc space or memory. It is fast - obviously not as fast as a compiled language but much better than AmigaBasic.
That still leaves the question, do you need it? If you are programming on the Amiga, then I would wholeheartedly recommend buying it.
If you are more of a user then things become less clear. The number of packages that support it is limited, but likely to grow. On its own, it does provide a good fast language that is easy to use for text-bashing and calculations.
If you are inquisitive and bored with AmigaBasic, I would recommend it. If you use the Amiga solely to run applications, then it is worth buying Arexx when the applications you use support it.
Wshell is provided on a single disc with a 60 page manual.
The installation is similar to that of Arexx. Some small commands need to be copied into the c: directory, and a shared library is copied into LIBS:.
A setup program is included to do all this for you with no problems.
Wshell uses a shared library, so each new command window does not require a new copy of the code.
However, the shared code is still only 10k; Wshell is not memory-hungry.
The most noticeable thing after installing the program is not Wshell itself, but ConMan, the replacement console handler that provides line editing and a history mechanism. The current line can be edited using the cursor keys, words can be deleted and the cursor moved a word at a time.
Previous commands can be retrieved and edited by using the Up and Down cursor keys, as well as by searching. Pressing F6 after typing a few letters will go back in the command history and try to find a command that starts with the same letters.
A particular bonus for those who Listing V use other computers is that ConMan handles Control-S and Control-Q, stopping and starting the output.
The ConMan features are available to anything that uses a CON: window.
It also allows much greater control over the style of window opened, windows can be borderless, have a Close gadget, not have a sizing gadget and so on.
WSHELL itself is compatible with the existing CLI, and will respond to the same commands and run the same programs. A new Wshell is create with ncwwsh in much the same way as newcli.
Newwsh can be given arguments FROM and CMD. If FROM is used a named file is executed before commands are read from the user.
CMD specifies a command to be executed directly. Newwsh can have a .info file associated with it, and both FROM and CMD can be put in the option list. Using CMD allows batch files to be run from icons. Since Wshell can comunicate with Arexx, this means that Arexx programs can also be run from icons.
Wshcll provides aliases, for example. Ink could be an alias for "blink libx.o main.o rest.o to foo lib libde.lib lib:amiga.lib". There is no need for a separate batch file. At a simpler level, it allows abbreviations of common commands such as f to dir, cat to type, mv to rename and so on.
A feature of the old CLI was that all of the commands existed on disc. The time taken to load them resulted in a poor performance. One solution was The 'Kickstart'™ Guide to the AMIGA- 4* still the recommended inlroduction lo the Amiga lor all serious programmers, slill available by mail order, and in bookshops.
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We’re programmed lo help, so ring us now.
PAY BY CHEQUE, POSTAL ORDER OR USE YOUR CREDIT CARD 0636-79097 A Rtfxx compatible programs The usefulness of Ihis aspect of Arexx is dependant upon how- many applications provide an appropriate interface. Currently, the following products are known to have Arexx interfaces: .AmigaTeX: Typesetting package TxEd-Plus: Text editor Cygnus-Ed: Text editor
C. A.P.E.68k: 68000 development system MicroFichc Filer Plus:
Database Wshell: CLI replacement Magellan: AI expert system
Precision Software will be providing Arexx support for
Superbase Professional, and are considering it for l.ogistix.
In addition, several public domain programs have the necessary
To put commonly used commands in RAM:, but that took up precious space.
Wshell has two speedups. Some commands are built in. Such as IF. Cl) STACK. The second speed-up is resident commands. Putting commands in RAM: is fast, but wastes space, the file occupying memory in RAM:. When it is executed, it is copied out of RAM: and more memory is allocated for the executing copy. In addition, every instance of the program running has its own copy of the code.
YOU can write programs so that all running copies share the same code but have separate data, and the code is the only copy of that code in memory. These programs can be made resident. They are loaded once into memory, and in effect become built-in commands. Most of the CLI commands can be used this wray. With an immense performance increase.
Wshell has Some extra built-in commands, in particular. PUSHCD.
And POPCD. These allow you to push the current directory on to a stack, move somewhere else, and then pop the old position back. This is great for wandering off for a quick explore, without having to remember where you were when you started.
Previously, commands could have their input and output redirected to files with . and ». Wshell adds piping with the I symbol. The ouptut of one program can be redirected to the input of another, concurrently executing, program. For example, the output of a compiler could be redirected to a program that displayed things a page at a time, having had everything hut the error lines removed with the line compile find Error pager The prompt used with Wshell is highly flexible, it can include a wide variety of information, such as the current directory, the time, the return code of the last
program, colours and so on. If this is not enough, a program can be executed as part of the prompt. This could be used to show the status of some background task.
IT is possible to put this information in the title bar of the window. For example, the CLI number and the current directory. A particularity good aspect of Wshell with respect to windows is that it can handle the Close gadget, having the effect of EndCLI.
An added bonus on the Wshell disc is the inclusion of the ARP. Or Amigados Replacement Project. This is a shareware development that aims to replace all the CLI commands with smaller faster alternatives.
The ARP commands are highly compatible with the originals, but have been made more regular. All produce a consistent Help message, and all accept wildcards for filenames.
An additional advantage is that they can all be made resident with no problems. It does not yet cater for Workbench.
The manual provided with Wshell is somewhat more terse than that of Arexx. But is written and produced with the same quality. An annoying omission is that it docs not cover the programming interfaces very heavily.
Wshell can be extended, and ConMan can have different editing keys setups, but the manual does not cover it properly.
Wshell is an excellent product. It provides some of the most powerful extensions seen in a CLI replacement, for very little memory loss. If you an?
Interested in using the CLI, or have already been driven crazy by it. Then Wshell would be a rewarding investment.
RKPORT CARD Arexx William Hawes Amiga Centre Scotland 03 i-557 4242 £39 USEFULNESS... While Arexx is u good language il is only really useful if you have a program which uses its protocols.
EASE OF USE.... Takes a little learning, but when mastered it eliminates mundane tasks.
Intuition ¦¦mmm Very much a Cl.l tool with only indirect access to Wimpy controls, hut makes the most of multi-tasking.
SPEED .. Being interpreted. Arexx is not particularly fast, but it reduces the time you spend key bashing.
VALUE A language for £39? A bargain, it has specialist uses but meets those objectives well.
El OVERALL The kind of powerful hacker's tool which sets the Amiga apart from lesser computers.
RKPORT CARD Wshell William Hawes Amiga Centre Scotland 031-557 4242 £32 USEFULNESS... As a means of support for Arexx and ConMan it works well, otherwise a simple CLI replacement.
Ease of i se ..¦mnnii Command lines are not supposed to be easy to use, just rapid. Makes CLI less of a pain.
Intuition ......HEnnnn Economical with ram. And built to multi-task but really an expert's front end.
SPEED .. Not a major factor, but tight assembler code means that it is quick as well as small.
VALUE ...¦¦¦ . Ill [ I i With so many PI) shells around, and a free one due ivith WB 1.3 it needs this low price.
OVERALL Yet another sl ell, only Arexx makes it special - but that is enough to justify the low price.
Ravel hack tu tint A nr ol ( In v.ili v when knights were hold galloping in mss tin* « mi ill t vsiilc* .mil rescuing damsels in distress.
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Inside every box there’s a detailed guide to playing Level 9 adventures, a background story to | the classic legend, a parchment map of Arthurian Kngland - and full details of how to take part in the Quest for the Holy Grail competition.
SOF TWAftE IpvpI9 Amstrad CPC PCW Spectrum Plus 3 Commodore 64 Please send me l ncelot on D cassette Cl disc for_(state machine) D I enclose a cheque for £ (including VAT and pJtp) made payable to Mandarin Software , _ D Please debit my Access Visa number: ExPllV date: L_ I L_L II I I I I I l_i I I I I I I I I Spectre i Amstrad CPC Atari X1. XK BBC Master Macintosh MSX 64K Send to: Mandarin Software. Kuropa House, Adlington Park. Adlington. Macclesfield SK10 4NP Enquiries: 0625 879940 Order Hotline: 0625 879920 r 2nd AMIGA DISK DRIVE NEC mechanism 880K capacity By selling direct we can
provide the best price and maintain the highest quality. Rest assured that if, for any reason, you do not wish to keep the item, then return it to us within 14 days of purchase and we will refund your money in full.
Should any item purchased from us fail during the first 12 months then we will repair it free of charge.
2nd PRINTER INTERFACE Use your Amiga’s serial port to drive a second Centronics compatible printer. A3 metre cable is included - no extras required.
MIRACLE SYSTEMS NBC, Dean Road, Yate, Bristol BS17 5NH Telephone orders welcome on (0454) 317772 Amiga Arcade NEBULUS The technical achievements in Nebulus arc impressive, the graphics are beautifully illustrated and superbly animated. The colour scheme used is gorgeous and it seems at times that even more than 32 colours are on the screen.
The music at the start of the title page is very effective, and spot effects are some of the best I've heard on an Amiga. Not only are they well sampled. But their interaction with the game have also been well engineered.
I can't recommend this one highly enough, it's one of the most refreshing and enjoyable games I've had the pleasure of playing this year.
If you only buy one game this month make sure that it's Nebulus and you won't be disappointed.
Chris Holmes DOWN on the planet Nebulus all is not well. Someone has been building giant towers in the middle of the sea - and they didn't even apply for planning permission.
Awakening from your morning nap in the offices of Destructo Inc. you are told by your boss about your latest destruction job which involves the new Mk.7 Min-Sub and a pay rise.
The submarine surfaces at the base of each tower with an almost effective burst of sampled sound. Your task is to climb to the top of the tower
- which is stewn w ith ledges, tunnels and lifts - within the
allowed time.
Some of the ledges dissolve, while others are slippery causing you to slide comically. Flashing blocks, bouncing balls and strange creatures are intent on knocking you off your balance. You are equipped with a blaster that if fired accurately can stop or destroy some hazards.
The most amusing part is being knocked off a ledge and landing back on a lower level or in the sea. You only lose a life if you tumble into the water, so the higher you are the safer things become.
If by some minor miracle you manage to reach the top of the tow er you enter the final door. A destruction sequence will be set off. The tower collapses and bonus points awarded for the time left. When a tower has been destroyed you get back in your submarine and travel underwater to the next tower. Travelling from tower to tower you can collect bonuses, catching fish by shooting air bubbles.
Nebulus was designed and programmed by |ohn Phillips initially for the Commodore 64 and has been converted perfectly by the same man.
Although the design is very simple, some of the mechanics used to create the rotational 30 scrolling and the multi-layer parallax scrolling on the underwater game are most complex.
The rotational scrolling runs at 25 frames a second while the underwater scene is nearly twice as fast. The tower is reflected in the surface of the water using a mathematical formula.
EVERY once in a while a game arrives which blows the competition clean out of the water.
Leaderboard Golf was one of these, and when it first arrived on the CM it marked the beginning of a new era in computer sports simulation. Not least because it made computer golf a playable game.
Before very long the much anticipated sequel arrived in the form of Leaderboard Tournament. Using exactly the same formula as the original the new game added features like the driving range, hole skipping and tougher courses.
The Amiga versions of both games promised, once again, to be standard setters and'so they are - with a few extra features to bool. But since they've been around for a while, US Gold has revamped the re-release with a two disc pack for the price of one. Considering the bundle includes a score card, maps and stand-up club power guide, it represents very good value for money.
The game is played entirely in 3D, viewed from behind the golfer. At the start of each shot you select a club from three woods, nine irons or a pitching wedge. The distance to the hole is displayed to aid your decision, even though the flag may be hidden by trees, across a lake or whatever.
Next, using the mouse a small crosshair is positioned to set the direction of the shot.
Now comes the tricky bit. Pressing the right mouse button starts the backswing and the power meter starts to climb. Releasing the button sets the power and starts the downswing phase.
After the downswing comes the snap indicator. Correct timing here is essential to ensure the ball is hooked or sliced the way you want.
On the beginner level, the snap feature is disabled as are the winds - yes. It includes every golfer's nightmare - making things a lot simpler until you get used to it. Some other obstacles are always present, of course. The trees for example - a ball on the rough is worth two in a tree.
And last but not least the bunkers and lakes - just as tough as real life. I assure you.
When you make it to the green the club selection changes to a putter automatically. Now you have to judge the shot power and angle given the lay of the green and the distance to the hole.
Even if you already have one of the originals. Birdie is well worth the outlay. If not, get it anyway.
Mark Smiddy BUBBLE GHOST CUTE is the right word to describe this rather simple but fun game. There are 40 screens to conquer and the objective on every one is exactly the same - to push a floating, iridescent bubble from one side of a room to the other without bursting the fragile sphere in the process.
The bubble-pusher is a small, appropriately dead-white ghost which is guided around the screen by moving your mouse in the desired direction. Pressing the left or right hand mouse button causes the phantom to rotate in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction Asteroids style.
The only means the ghost has of getting the bubble to move is by huffing at it - a press of the shift or space key causes the spook to puff out its cheeks and exhale. Providing the spook is close enough, the bubble will float away for a short distance, propelled by the ghostly breath.
As you know, ghosts can pass through solid matter and in this case such matter includes the bubble.
However, although the ghost is immune from coming to grief on any objects, the bubble is not. Should it touch any solid item, the bubble will pop with a satisfy ing "Flink".
When this happens the little spook IMBIW SHUT Don't let it spook you!
Turns to face you, scowls and lets rip with a short burst of angry gibberish.
The game is over when you’ve burst five bubbles - although extra bubbles, can be earned by taking a trickier route.
Each screen represents a room. The bubble is usually positioned on one side of the room with at least one exit at another - another includes the ceiling and floor.
Every room is different and in addition to an increasingly more difficult maze-like configuration of walls and passageways, also features a variety of obstacles such as lit candles, electric fans, spikes, retracting needles, and assorted pointy objects.
To add to the fun, a timer ticks away - the quicker you get the bubble to the exit, the higher the bonus. Failure to make it to the exit before your time runs out only results in your failing to score any bonus, not the loss of a life.
There are some neat points to the game. The ghost turns bright red and chokes if he puffs away for too long in one go - this temporary seizure is accompanied by the sampled sound of a cough and wheeze.
The ghost can blow other light objects besides the bubble. And trying to manouevre the bubble past a moving fan which blows it every which way is a real test of your patience and dexterity.
Overall - 60% The title music is pretty good - unfortunately, it is only heard once, immediately after the initial loading - but other sound effects are few and far between.
The graphics are fairly modest and uninspired and animation quite limited. Although the ghost is nicely realised - cute and cuddly, if you like that sort of thing.
Although Bubble Ghost is quite novel and is enjoyable, harmless and ever-so mildy addictive, the fun and challenge per pound sterling does not represent a good long-term investment, Nice, but at this price not that nice.
Bob Chappell THE Seoul Olympics have been and gone, but despite that Tynesoft is cashing in with another of its sporting simulations. However like many companies, Tynesoft has been criticised of late for converting ST games directly to the Amiga. After all. The two machines share many similarities - with the ST coming second every time. So has Tynesoft’s team breathed life into the Amiga version?
SUMMER OLYMPIAD This new offering is supplied on a single disc containing a staggering
1. 2Mb of programs and data, which seems good value for money.
There are five events - skeet shooting, diving, fencing. 100M
hurdles, and triple |ump. The opening ceremony is featured,
but surely couldn't be called an event.
As the game boots, the screen opens out requesting the names of the competitors - up to six people can play at once. While selecting your home nation, its flag is displayed waving in the breeze. This doesn't add anything to the game, but it gives the feel of a professional and well designed product - a taste of what is about to be unveiled.
The first event is skeet shooting. In essence, this is a variation on the old duck shoot theme, although there's the option at the start to use a joystick or mouse - it’s easier with the mouse.
Pressing the fire button selects which is required automatically.
Your marksman stands a full half height in the screen and as you move the targctting circle his whole body moves aiming the gun - no surprises here.
However, as the circle teaches the left or right hand edge, the screen scrolls sideways - beautifully smoothly. Clouds and other scenery add to the effect.
Press the left button to pull, and a skeet whistles across the screen from one of the catapults, subtending a beautiful arc through the air.
Initially, I was so surprised by the graphics, I completely missed the point of what I was up to.
There are seven stations in all with a mixture of singles and doubles. For each skeet launched you get one shot, and two can be in the air at once - although some seem to move rather too slowly.
Next up comes the diving, and memories of poor Greg Louganis bashing his head on the springboard come flooding back. Diving in Olympiad is from the 10 metre board.
Control is by joystick only with four directions used to pike, tuck, roll and straighten up for a good entry.
Marks ate determined by the number of rolls, pikes and twists you complete and the quality of your entry - sorry folks, belly flops won’t do.
When the time came for the triple jump I thought it was my birthday.
No problem this. Rattle the joystick like there's no tomorrow, press fire at the right time - and hop-skip-leap into the sand.
Needless to say 1 forgot about the angle control. And while getting the perfect 45 degrees on take off isn't too hard, you’ve got to keep it near there for the whole sequence or else you won't make the sandpit.
I've always fancied a quick riposte.
So, now was my chance as the curtain raised on Tynesoft's interpretation of fencing.
Launching in with typical Forester charm. I was soon foiled neatly by mv computerised opponent. The only way to beat the sucker is with cunning, but you have to go three rounds to qualify and the computer gels better with each.
At long last came the joystick- bashing finale to the Summer Olympiad. Deservingly, it's graphically the best. Let's face it. The 110 metres hurdles doesn't sound very thrilling - until you place the view behind the competitors.
Couple this to a nice 3D sequence where the camera drifts into position behind the player and you have an amazing event. As usual, speed is controlled by frantic joystick wiggling, the fire button being used to jump.
Once again Tynesoft has produced a winner, albeit an expensive medalist. Both the still and moving graphics'are very good, the gameplay addictive.
The sound is lacking in places, but the title music makes up for it - play this on your hi-fi and boogie on down. On your marks, get set, go - down to the shop and experience Seoul for yourself.
|ulia Forester r BOMB JACK COIN-OP conversions are still being chumed out and here’s another. Bomb Jack is looking a little long in the tooth now, having been around for the 8 bit machines for some time, and its age clearly shows.
This conversion, while competent and fun to play, does nothing to make use of the Amiga's potential, yet costs a whole lot more than those for far less powerful machines.
The game consists of six differently backdropped screens whose prime constituents are platforms, bombs and aliens. The bright-red, fused bombs are liberally strewn and must be defused before progress can be made to the next screen.
Bomb Jack, the hero of the game, is a diminutive caped crusader, not a little unlike the Mighty Mouse of cartoon fame. His task is to fly around and make contact with each bomb, thereby defusing it.
The platforms are there both to help and hinder him in his duties.
The aliens flit around trying to make contact with Bomb lack - one touch and he loses one of his three lives.
Each of the six backdrops, which are quite attractive even if they do serve little purpose other than ornamentation, represents a country. For instance, there’s the pyramids and Sphinx in one, the Acropolis in another and what I take to be a French chateau in yet another. Once you've completed the six screens, they recycle with a new platform layout.
Bomb Jack tends to float rather than fly - when he's on solid ground, the fire button launches him upwards. He continues to float skywards until he runs out of steam (or humps his head on a platform) and he descends slowly earthwards.
While he is floating he can be guided to the left and right.
When Bomb lack touches an alien, he does nothing more exciting than spin a couple of times to show that he has lost a life.
Animation of the aliens is similarly basic. These beings, some of which look more like unbaked gingerbread men than creatures from outer space, move gently about the screen trying to hamper Bomb Jack's mission.
After the loss of a life, Bomb Jack is replaced on the starting position of that screen but, thankfully, any bombs already defused do not reappear.
Other objects pop up from time to time and must be touched for bonus points, and extra lives. The game can be played by one or two players with one or two joysticks.
There is also an option to turn off the music. 1 suggest you use it.
On the plus side, Bomb Jack is simple to play, slightly addictive and the backdrops are pleasing to look at.
On the minus side, the game lacks depth and variety and is far too expensive for the limited entertainment it offers.
If it were less than a tenner then I’d say go get it - but at its current price.
Bomb jack is definitely not good value for money.
Bob Chappell Homb fat k £24.93 Elite sound Hmmm Graphics Overall - 47% NETHERWORLD Netherworld is Hewson s first dip into the Amiga market having been programmed by Imagitec. Designed and developed by the Finnish programmer Jukka Tapanimaka.
The game is set in a world of fantastic structures and wonderful beings.
You are trapped in this mystic place, and the only wa v back to reality is to collect enough of the local currency to pay your way out. Otherwise you'll spend the rest of your days dodging acid bubbles and dragons.
The aim of the game is to collect a set number of diamonds within a time limit and then exit through a teleport. After each level there is an intermission, and an extra life is awarded if this is successfully completed.
The playing area consists of features which can assist or hinder your quest. For example a brick smasher will shatter a wall and allow you access to the diamonds.
Teleports can whizz you to random locations within the playing area in times of emergency, and demon killers allow you to destroy deadly foes simply by touch.
Extra lives and invulnerability can be picked up as surprise bonuses, but these are not advisable as they could also result in an uncontrollable ship or reversed controls.
I am a little lost in summing up just how good or bad this game is. The graphics are consistent throughout and the multi directional scrolling is very smooth. The sound effects are run of the mill but the music which accompanies the title page is very good.
Netherworld is a well designed and executed game on 8 bit computers but on the Amiga it doesn't quite make the grade. True, it has some nice features and original touches like alien generators, but at the end of the day it's poor VFM.
At the same price you could go out and buy Hewson's other new release for the Amiga. Nebulus. Which is a far more entertaining investment.
Gary Wilson el hern or III £19.95 lli'n son sound Hnni] Graphics GameplavHB mHII value Bumm Overall - 52% VIRUS is a game with a history. It started life on the Archimedes, for which Acorn wanted a really good demo. They contacted David "Elite" Braben, well-known miracle worker for brain-damaged micros, who some time later came up with Zarch.
For reasons still not likely to convince anyone of Telecomsoft’s sanity, the game lost some features - Firebird deemed the smart bombs silly, and gained some new aliens along with the name Virus during its trip to the Amiga. But here it is, nonetheless.
Virus is a shoot-em-up. Compared to others of the ilk it’s like selling an ST to someone who’s seen an Amiga
- fiendishly difficult - but apparently it can be done.
Your Hoverplane flies over a patchwork landscape. It is not alone; a range of aliens has also taken a liking to the area and they are determined to turn it red. They do this by seeding the old green and pleasant with viruses, whereupon the crops fail, the people starve and you
- yes. You - get to go out there and marmalise the critters.
The most difficult thing about Virus is controlling the hoverplane. It flies straight upwards when the mouse is dead on the spot it was on when the plane was launched. If the mouse is moved away from that spot the plane tilts in that direction.
Firing the rocket under the plane will start it moving thuswards. But as the mouse is moved farther away from the central point the plane tilts more and more until it is upside- down. The rocket motor now points upwards, and will propel the plane into that glorious quilt of a countryside at a speed which seems impressive the first five or ten times you see it.
By the thirtieth time you've examined the interesting geology of ten feet under, you will have found that the mouse is so sensitive it bursts into tears during Blind Date.
It is a moment of considerable triumph when the plane is steered towards that blip on the radar and gets close enough to hear the chilling whine, let alone close enough to see the circus tent decor of the alien seeder. Now all that needs to happen is to hit the blighter - just dip the nose a little to aim and... oh well, you always wanted to be a landscape gardener.
Eventually it docs prove possible to steer the plane well enough to hit the seeders with the laser gun. The best strategy, to spiral downwards and spray away like an incontinent hippo on a helterskelter. Pales when you notice that every blob fired results in a point taken away from your score.
Negative scores are not uncommon in the early days.
You have three short-range guided missiles, which if fired from too Iowan altitude, are also liable to take up gardening. However, it is possible to rise to the flight ceiling and let off the missiles with a fair chance of hitting all three seeders on the first screen.
This leaves you nothing but your wits and the laser to cope with the bombers, drones, mutants, pests and fighters which infest the later screens. You get an extra life and missile every 5000 points, it says in the notes. I believe these, as so far their description of all those deviants has proved devastatinglv accurate.
There are so many ways to die... If this sounds too. Too nasty, then rest assured that the graphics are wonderful - the first shoot-’em-up that really works in a three- dimensional landscape - the sound just right, even down to the little plips and ploshes when you manage to get as far as the ocean before crashing. And the animation of smoke, particles and almost everything else scrumptious. The sense of achievement when you hit something is almost incidental.
You haven’t lived ‘till you’ve died in Virus.
LOGOTRON was reknowned for little in the gaming field except for Xor. A strategic 2D maze game.
Suddenly, after the excellent Star Ray. The company has hit the Amiga scene with a bang. The next release is Quadralien, a sci-fi puzzle game with shooting, back in the Xor tradition.
QUADRALIEX As well as a reactor heading for meltdown the luckless player has to contend with an invasion of aliens, a rogue computer, and a whole host of fiendish puzzles. The reactor, known as Astra, has three levels comprised of six chambers and the reactor core.
The complex part of this game comes in the form of slave droids which either repel or attract, just like magnets, and supposedly control the plant’s day-to-day maintainance. The whole thing is rather confusingly refered to as the Dynamic Magnetics System of Entropy Control, or DyMSEC The primary aim is to avoid a meltdown by preventing the core temperature from getting too high, or the operations energy from sinking too low. Plus finding and destroying the Quadralien Mother.
To reduce the plant’s temperature you must maneouvre one of your droids so that it sends water barrels down chutes, or reduce the entropy level which is a measuure of the movement of the DyMSEC Tortuous or what? You control two from an initial selection of six droids as they run around the various mazes, shooting obstructing objects and absorbing others.
Each droid has its owrn special characteristics, from using a headlight to illuminate a darkened chamber to brute strength when shoving objects out of the way. The correct choice of droid depends on which environment you are confronted with.
What makes the game interesting, or stupifyingly dull depending on your point of view, is the way the various objects on screen interact with each other. So in order to create a certain effect or reach a certain place it is first necessary to work out where everything is going to end up.
There are loads of differenls types of objects, plenty of options for making the game more playable, such as code words to bypass the lower levels once completed, and a number of ways in which it can be tackled.
David Whittaker’s music is pleasant enough, but the crude flip screen scrolling Is irritating, and although the graphics are serviceable.
Quadralien isn't pushing frontiers back in any department. I found it all a little tiresome.
Mark Luckham Quudralirn Illinium £79.95 sound ¦ ¦nrniD Graphics Camepl. MMBMLUILIj Value ¦ HHUID Overall - 56% WHIRLIGIG ONCE upon a lime, before Ihe fateful day when Clive Sinclair gol his first tricycle, computers were rare. Huge metal cabinets filled with valves and filling large areas of university labs, they were designed and used by mathematicians.
It was confidently predicted that there would only ever be six computers in Britain because it would be impossible to train enough mathematicians to operate more. The mathematicians got quite excited by this, sensing a chance for a real job at last.
But sanity prevailed. Nowadays, any intrusion of mathematics into computing is viewed, quite rightly, with suspicion. On odd occasions a pure mathematician does chance across a computer; a progeny of just such a strange match is Whirligig.
Take the game screen. In the middle sits a comfortably familiar, if a little angular. 3D shaded spacecraft.
Shame about the colours, but you can’t have everything. But the area around the craft isn't yer ordinary hard interplanetary vacuum in which a thousand heroes have died, my goodness no. It’s eigcnspacc. Come eigen?
Eigcn is numberwallah jargon for- among other things - solution. An eigensomething is a something which matches the conditions, so an eigenbus for East Ham is the number 15 An eigenspace has a number (from one to four billion), and a combination of stargates (links to other cigenspaccs), missile, chaff and fuel depots and even the occasional perfect solid. Missiles and fuel are standard space game issue - except that if you fire a missile and there's no target they loop around and hit you - and chaff is an electronic fog that can confuse attacking ships.
You’ll find a fuel store in an eigenspace which can be divided by 2 after you take 1 from it (so 5-1=4, which divides by 2. So in 5 you'll find fuel), likewise missiles in sectors that can be divided by 3 after taking away
1. And chaff in sectors that do the same by 5. Perfect solids -
of which there are just five - have to be collected; get the
set and return to Earth’s Golden Age. That's 1988. According
to the hook; a sobering thought.
All this wonderful numbercrun- ching means that, if you have a doctorate in integer mathematics, you can plot a course around the network of eigenspaces. If you don’t, you’re reduced to playing the game, and talking of coarse plots... much livelier.
Rupert Goodwins The only fun about is shooting at the ships which guard the solids. As some of these are invincible, you might have to run away.
This game is for retired professors who find spreadsheets just a little too exciting for the old ticker. Mediocre graphics - sprites dressed up as 3D solids with a light source - poor mouse control and frustrating screen changes, combined with hyperactive marching music, might put the rest of us off. Spend your twenty quid on Russell & Whitehead’s Principia, it's FIRST off, Giles Lovegrove from Cornwall offers some help with Faery Tale. He advises that the jade skull kills all your enemies on the screen. Crystal orbs allow you to see hidden doors, green jewels enable you to see at night, magic
rings freeze your enemies and blue stones teleport you when you are in a rings of stones.
In houses where there is a fire there will also be an object. Press look and it will appear. All the forts which lead up from the village need a green key.
The only one you need is the first fort on the left and you can get into that without the green key by walking along the left wall and going through it halfway up.
Straight down from the village is the city of Marheim. Don’t bother going into the palace, because the king tells you he can’t help and you cannot draw your weapon. If you cross the river behind the village and follow the coast up you will eventually come to a raft which is helpful.
JONATHAN Good has some hints for BMX Simulator. He says that on level two the best line is to come out of the First turn and come off into the rough. Staying on level two, if you are riding along the straight and the fence is on your opponent's left you can go through the fence and then through a gap to the finish.
Sneaky huh?
On level three you should go round the hill up the side and through the flag when you cannot go over the hill, hut watch out for the cone. Having made it to level four, the bikers should take the inside line and overtake the computer at the tyres near the Finishing line. It is best to go over the starting line, missing out the top left-hand corner.
Max “The Hacks" Tennanl is the master of game play. Whatever the game he'll win at it, fair means or foul often with a little help from his friends. If you have a tip for a game send it in. For every one we print we'll send you a game from the collection in our goodie drawer and a fabulous Konix Speedking, as used by all serious joystick jockies But Jonathan is not just good at pedalling, he has some airborne hints.
First for Skyfox, where he suggests that you kill all the planes first, then the installations, refuel and finally knock out the tanks.
His hints for Mercenary are pretty good. Fly the Dominion dart to 350 metres, level oft to a speed of 1.781 kph and fire a missile. Pick up the missile when you get close enough and then land. Go to 0808 and take the crashed intergalactic craft to 0806.
Leave the ship and go through the triangular door. This leads to the author's cheat room, where you will find keys to all the doors, the ability to carry lots of items and get out of jail free cards Amiga (Computing itself is truly international. The last tip has winged its way from Victoria in Australia. No not someone called Victoria, it's actually from Keith Fung. He’s a Star Wars space ace and offers these tips: In space fire only at the fighters in the middle third of the screen. This means you can shoot all the fireballs before they hit you. Concentrate your fire against Darth Vader’s
ship, although you cannot destroy it. You get twice as many points. Closely spaced hits do not allow him to take evasive action.
There’s magic in Cornwall Use the time while Darth is stunned to take out Fighter escorts. Try to Find the Darth Vader ship when the level draws to a close and get as many shots as possible in while he flees.
As you fly over the surface of the Death Star memorise the patterns of the towers as they rise. Shoot slightly above the tower, allowing it to move into your Fire. Work methodically S ' 1 -- - from left to right, taking the towers in turn. It's quicker than random blasting.
Do not try to follow a tower to the top of the screen. Wait for it to reappear later. Be sure to shoot Fireballs. It is more important to defend your shields than to destroy all the towers.
In the trench you can use the Force.
This means not shooting anything until the exhaust port appears. Fine for the First few times around, but things get tougher and you have to rely on your weapon. Do not bother trying to shoot the Fireballs which are not going to hit you, they are not worth risking shields for.
Since you are safe if you touch the floor or sides of the trench, use this to dodge the enemy Fire. The Fireballs move comparatively slowly towards your current position so do not fly in line with a gap until the last minute, this will lead the fireballs astray.
Try and keep low. As this is the best position for weaving fwhereas you arc bast off keeping high in the arcade - ed). Perhaps the best tip Keith offers is to turn the mouse mat vertically to remind you to keep within the middle third and to help you dive and climb more quickly.
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underworld Rupert Goodwins takes a final look at the chips
which make the Amiga go kerpow in the night THE denizens of the
Amiga's underworld hove a wide variety of iobs. Paula sings.
Denise paints, and Fat Agnus drives a has. And juggles. Fat
Agnus is the second cleverest chip in the Amiga, after the
6SOOO processor, and together with its (her? One never knows)
sidekick Gary controls most of the rest of the circuitry.
The diagram on page A-ll of the (perhaps not) central role pretty clear.
At the bottom is that valuable resource, the computer's ram.
Connected to it are old pals Denise and Paula, the 68000. And slap in the middle is Fat Agnus.
All of the chips are hooked up to the ram's data bus. Along which all the information about graphics, sound and programming flows. But only Agnus is connected to the address chunk of information to make available when.
Before delving into the ways in which Agnus exerts total control, it's worth taking a closer look at the address bus. The Amiga can comfortably handle one megabyte of memory. One megabyte - 1.048.576 separate locations - is 1 followed by 20 zeros in binary, which means that the address bus needed to get at all the memory is 20 bits wide. But Agnus' link to the ram chips is only nine bits wide. Some mistake?
The ram chips used by the Amiga (and all other small computers these days) are Drams - dynamic random access memory. I.ike most other chips, they’re made out of small slivers of silicon. Silicon is a semiconductor - in some circumstances it conducts electricity, in others it doesn’t.
In Dram chips, most of the on-chip area is dedicated to banks of capacitors whic h store charge. That's how memory remembers - a capacitor is either charged up or discharged depending on whether it has a digital one or zero. Each bit of memory has its own capacitor which is charged up (or not) when the?
Computer writes a one (or a zero) to the memory location. Next time the computer reads that bit of memory, the memory chip checks the state of the charge on the capacitor and reports a one if it's charged, a zero if not.
Unfortunately, cramming 256 thousand capacitors into an area the size of a ram chip means that each capacitor is very small. Small capacitors can't hold much charge, and they also have tin* embarrassing habit of leaking.
A CAPACITOR is two conductors separated by a nonconductor. And on a chip that’s two areas of conductive silicon sandwiching a non-conducting region. And non-conducting silicon isn't as good an insulator as a full- timer like rubber or plastic, so what little charge the tiny capacitors can hold vanishes in a few hundredths of a second.
To overcome this forgetfulness, any circuit which uses Drams needs to refresh them. This amazingly technical term - perhaps the designers of the first Drams couldn't quite face up to the embarrassment of having a REMIND signal - means that the computer needs to read each bit of memory at least once every so many milliseconds. Reading the bit is enough - the rest of the rani circuitry can then top up the capacitors if needed.
This has to happen regularly, otherwise programs and data can become corrupted, and it needs to happen independently of any other memory operation that might be going on. Stand up Agnus, and go get the refreshments.
The mvsterv of the nine address lines is solved by a Sherlockian inspection of the internal structure of the Dram chips. The memory elements are arranged in a grid with separate row and column lines, an arrangement which not only make sense electronically but also makes it easier to get at sections of memory when needed for refresh purposes.
An individual bit is accessed by setting up first row and then column addresses: in the memory chips used in the Amiga there art? 512 rows and 512 columns giving a total of 256 thousand separate locations - a 256k chip. 512 is nine bits of binary, which happily coincides with the width of the address bus between Eat Agnus and the memory circuitry.
There are also some other signals - RAS and CAS. Standing for Row Address Select and Column Address Select, which tell the chips what to do with those nine bits. To complicate matters, there an? Two RASs and two CASs: the two CASs go to two banks of chips to speed things up. Ram chips can only shovel the information in or out at a certain speed, because it takes time for signals to travel within the chip and the transistors that route the signals to switch.
With two separate CASs. One bank of chips can be partially set up while another is busy producing or accepting data, thus eliminating at least part of the delay between reading bytes. The separate RAS goes Apolonia Software-presents COMPUSHOP 1 The best prices for the Atari ST and the Amiga Hardware and Software.
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_____________________£34 91 Senes Fou 2123S Modem - AlarvAmga ----- £260 00 A1010 'Mb 2nd Drive (AH Amga*) ...£117 94.VAT Digvtew 3.0(Inc Adapter) - Amiga ... £136 00 Nghtingale Modem (Man *al) - Amga---------------£110.00 Uk* ireerface (Standard Senal) - Amga---------------0500 Do Droid - Amiga ....£56 50 RS232 Modem Cable - Atarv Amga .£12.00 Pnfeps SCM8833 Stereo Col. Mon .....£239 10. VAT Photon Paint - Amiga ......£53.50 Printer Cable - AmgavST
...£12.00 CM8852 High Res Col Mon ....£269 20.VAT Express Paint V.2.0 - Amiga .£46.30 Epson LX800 Dot Matrix 9 Pin Print £277.50 Amga 1900M Mono Monitor .... £84 10.VAT Facoi-Amiga .. £19.00 Star LclO - Mono'Dot Matrnv9 Pm .... £240.00 Monitor Statxon (Tih A Swivel for aH 12" 4 14* F Bas - Amga ______________________________£55 50 Star LC10 - Coiour Dot Matnx9 Pm £260 00 Monitors .. £18 95 X Cad
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Starter Kit ..£318.00 . VAT cables - the best mou»w)oystKk port controller) - Atarv Scnbbsl (Brown Waugh) - Amiga £85 00 As above . Modulator ..£336 OO.VAT Amiga .....£21.00 Orgaruel (Brown Waugh) - Amiga £85 00 Amiga 500 . 1084 Colour Mon . Starter £548 30*VAT Mouse Path (The best mouse mat around, speaal arto-tMc B8S-PC (Brown Waugh) - Amga .£85 00 Amga 500 Business Pat* (A500 . Mono Monitor . A ungue
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extension ram, and together with other signal switching within
Agnus and Gary lets the 68000 read and write the extension ram
while Agnus does video things with the lower 512k. Sounds fast,
and it is.
It’s a compromise though, as on an unexpanded Amiga with only the one block of 512k the video and the processor fight it out for dominance, and the video has the chips in its favour. So the 68000 spends a reasonable amount of time doing nothing but waiting for Denise to finish displaying.
This can be avoided only if the video and the processor have two separate busses, which needs more and bigger chips. This is expensive.
Hence the compromise - do you want a computer that’s fast, or one that’s cheap? You want both?
All this gets trickier, because even the compromising has to happen very fast. If the 68000 decides it wants to read a word from address 563, Agnus (in concert with Gazza) has to decide whether something else is likely to want to get at the memory first, and if so who has priority.
If Paula is going to need to read the memory at the same time to get some sound data, then the Agnus Gary team prevent the processor from making a conflicting memory request by stopping a signal that says Data ready (DTACK - Data Acknowledge) to the 68000.
The processor just thinks that the memory is slow today, little imagining that some extra read commands are being processed under its nose. Perhaps Agnus isn’t the second cleverest chip after all... DECIDING priorities is one of the trickiest parts of Agnus' job.
After all. The other chips covered so far rely on Agnus to provide the right amount of data at the right time.
Looking at the top right-hand corner of the block diagram of Agnus on page A-17, there is a box marked BUFFER MIJX.
MUX is short for Multiplexer, a device for combining two sets of signals on to one set of wires.
Television has a crude MUX - if you're watching BBC you can tell from the title music whether you’re watching the news or East Enders.
The same channel carries both information and entertainment, and even East Enders. But special signals let the recipient (you) tell the difference.
The MUXs in Agnus combine (at the top right hand corner) signals to the internal workings of the chip itself and the control registers of the other chips in the Amiga. What chip gets which information depends on the multiplex signals generated, but by combining many signals on to one set of wires the computer is kept both cheap and reliable. You do want a cheap, reliable computer, don't you?
BECAUSE all of the Amiga’s functions have to be carefully synchronised, the controls of the various chips have to be run from one source - Agnus.
Another way in which Agnus keeps the computer running smoothly is by controlling the clock. Most of the circuits in the Amiga are synchronous; they do their business in time to each other. Railway carriages are synchronous because they are all driven from one engine; a convoy of Ford Sierras taking a set of sales executives to a wingding is asynchronous - individual drivers can decide to pop into a service station or do 120 mph instead.
In a computer such as the Amiga, all the different functions have to operate in step, and the signals they get to keep them that way are all sent from Agnus.
The video bits of Agnus are clever in their own right. Because Agnus controls all the DMA (Direct Memory Access - doing things to the contents of memory without getting the processor involved), it is the perfect candidate for the job of moving bytes around video memory, a job also known as blitting.
Blitting is a tricky business. On a plain, toast-with-no-Marmite flavoured computer, moving images around the screen is a matter purely for the software. Somewhere in memory, a set of numbers corresponding to the shape to be moved is stored. These are copied to the addresses in memory that are displayed at a certain position on the ?
When the image has to be moved the numbers have to be copied to the new area in memory, and the old image erased. All this has to be done by the alter memory commands in the processor, and during the time this takes no other processing can be done.
With blitting, the picture to be displayed is held in a part of memory, as before. But the process of moving it is left to the display hardware - all the processor has to do is give enough information (like the start position, the end position and the boundaries of the area to be moved) and it can go away and process something more important like the inside tentacle measurement of the next alien to appear.
Once the blitter has been given its instructions, it converts them into memory addresses and timings, and proceeds to move the data through memory by reading information from one address, storing it. And then writing it to a new address. Then it does the same for the next address.
But what is the next address? How does the blitter convert from the information given to it by the programmer to real memory addresses?
The conversion process can take a certain amount of maths, as the relationship between a data pattern in memory and the position of the resultant picture on screen is a complex one. Hence the Copper within Agnus, a co-processor that can do a very limited but very relevant number of mathematical operations on image-related numbers.
IMAGINF. You had a bit of graph paper with a circle drawn on it.
And you had to write down the maths to draw a similar circle on another part of the paper. That’s the sort of calculation that has to go on when Agnus is blitting.
All of the different functions that Agnus controls go into the biggest block on page A-17. The ram address encoder. This decides from all the information provided from all the rest of the Amiga circuitry (Denise would like the next byte of information for the current window now. Paula needs to. Get the next four bytes of sound data for voice three) what the actual numbers to throw at the ram chips should be.
There are a lot of things to consider
- Paula has been programmed to use such-and-such an area of
memory, and if the chip is so far into producing a sound then
it needs lo get information so far from the beginning of the
area - but all of them have to be turned into address numbers
which the MUX can convert into row and column addresses for the
ram chips.
In the end. Agnus spends its time converting numbers from those which are convenient for the programmer, and the custom chips which the programmer controls, into the addresses which the ram chips can understand.
It’s a dirty job. But someone’s got to do it.
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• iJ Getting the picture Video Video ... something else to do on
your Amiga.
DJ Morgan-Walker entertains the High Street WHAT can you do with the Amiga’s graphics apart from amaze your friends? It was a question I asked myself the other day, while sitting in the local video store, watching the trailer tape of new movies. Then it came to me. The trailer didn't have any special titling.
What would it be worth if I could customise the lape for the video store, just as a little project to while away the evenings The first thing to do is make up the Amiga images. There are plenty of ways of doing this - you probably have a copy of Deluxe Paint. Like all creative things on the Amiga, the important rule is to practice and know what you are aiming for. In my case it was simple text titles. So, the first thing is that you can sacrifice colour for resolution - 32 Colours may be impressive, but when someone’s trying to read text it’s just confusing. The best mode to go for is 16 or 8
colours and 640x200.
So load up your Deluxe Paint and set it for that resolution. Now pick your font. Don't pick a small font like Topaz-8 or 9. Remember that this picture is going to have to be read on a normal television display. If possible, work on a composite colour monitor. Or better still work on the display you are aiming to use. Don’t judge the display by what you get on an RGB monitor, as this can mislead you into thinking something is clearly drawn, when on a TV it’ll smear and smudge.
For your first title, practice not on the black background that Deluxe Paint gives you, but on a light grey background. Why? Well, when you display on the TV screen, you won't rely as much on the colour and sharpness of the TV and the display will look much better.
Until you are confident, a good idea is to use the Grid feature in Deluxe Paint. This will help you line up your text. Now choose your text colour, but don't choose white, for the same reason that you don't use black for a background.
Before you put any text on the screen, press F10 to remove Deluxe Paint’s menus. It'll give you a better idea of the finished picture.
YOU can now type in the text. If you don’t position it correctly, use Dpaint’s brush facility, cut out the text, move it somewhere else and delete the old text. It's easier than brushing out the old text and retyping it.
Once you have the text on the display use Dpaint to add some graphics of your own. Electronic Arts sells a library disc with a lot of ready made artwork. Keep it simple though ?
And don't clutter up the display.
Thanks to most software designers using the IFF format for storing pictures, there arc public domain discs with graphics you can use too, in fact you can use graphics generated by most Amiga programs.
There are plenty of other ways to get a good picture on the screen.
Deluxe Paint II and the more advanced paint packages like Photon Paint come to mind immediately. The technique is basically the same for these packages, but you can do "special" effects like perspective lettering much more easily.
Always make sure that the text is still readable when you do this - you might know what it is meant to say.
But half a dozen pixels at the end of the line of text usually doesn't mean much to most people. And be careful to make sure that your text doesn’t melt into shaded backgrounds.
If you want to get even better text, it may be worth looking at a dedicated titling program like TV’Text from Zuma. TV’Text is designed just for titling so don't expect fancy brushes or spray paint here. What TV’Text does have is its own range of fonts, like 'fast' and 'Swiss’, and these are available in a much larger size that traditional Amiga fonts, even up to 102-Point.
WITH TV’Text, you enter the text, then the program treats it in a manner you select, for example, with a black edge, yellow body and a black shadow cast on the background. You can then position that text on the screen. The TV’Text lettering looks very professional, and you can save the pictures in IFF format to pick them in any of the paint packages.
PrnFESSIDH4L You are going to need the A510 modulator for displaying pictures on the TV set. But you aren’t going to use the modulator output. You are going to use composite video. That is the signal which comes out of the phono connector on the left side of the A510.
Marked Video out. You'll need a to go from there to the Video in socket on the back of your video recorder.
We are using the composite video to improve picture quality. If we used the TV output of the A510, the signal from the Amiga would have to be encoded and decoded twice (once by the A510 and the VCR and once by the VCR and the television). Using the composite video eliminates one of those stages and improves the picture.
PASE from Precision, made for television and used by Network 7 Connect up your television to the VCR as normal, and set the VCR to display the picture from the Video in socket. You should now get your Amiga display on the TV, via the VCR. You are ready to roll.
By now, you should have put together a selection of pictures you want to display. The Amiga offers a number of ways to display them for recording. Slideshow is a shareware program which can pick up IFF pictures and display them by fading the images in and out or rolling the picture on to the display.
Using this basically consists of copying all the images on to a disc with the program, creating a text file of commands which will tell Slideshow which pictures to load and how to put them onto the screen, then running those commands. With Slideshow, there's usually a file of documentation, so read that for more detail.
But Slideshow is only the start of what you can do. One presentation technique you can use is displaying the pictures and text through a 2D animator like Aegis Animator or Fantavision. Using these programs, you set up the animation so that it loads in your pictures, and then does some animation over the slide. Add a logo and make it rotate while the slides change, or animate a pointer to pick out text. The drawback here is that many of the animators don't allow for sliding or wiping backgrounds.
ROGRAMS like Deluxe Video do allow for this, though they are harder to get "instant" results than are the animators. But, as ever, the more work you put in the more impressive the results.
So, we have covered here how to use your Amiga as a video source, to generate graphics. What we haven’t covered is mixing the Amiga's video with other video sources - which we'll get to in a future article.
Where to get your video goodies Ageis Animator HB Marketing 0895 444433 £103.50 FantaVision Amiga Centre Scotland 031-557 4242 £39.00 Deluxe Video Electronic Arts 0753 49040 £69.95 TV’Text Zuma HB Marketing 0895 444433 £69.95 Photon Paint Activision 0734 311666 mo-sottArf) IMEW - AMIGA AUDIO DIGITISER 1 Superb pertormanc* with adtustaoie sensitivity. And overioM lEO indicator Supplied wrth connecting lead lo personal stereos. Radios. Etc Yaxks witn a* existing commercial schwa'll. Eg Prosound. Audcmatfer. Oatel Prosampler etc A500 DIGITISER. LEADS & INSTRUCTIONS ONLY £24 99 NB GENDER CHANGER
REQUIRED FOR A1000 £2 98 EXTRA msnnm USE YOUR C64 PRINTER WITH THE All Print**. EnaBM you to use your CBM Serai printer e | MPS801 wrth moil home computer*. •( AMIGA. ATARI. ISM PCAT XT He All make use o( your redundant COMMODORE 64 or 128 as Both Butter end interlace end consol o» an interface cartridge with integral software Pro Sound Designer is the ultimate sound sampling system for the powerful Amiga computers. The advanced user interface makes capture, manipulation and playback of real sounds in mono or true stereo surprisingly easy, with full editing and processing facilities for
professional resultsIA Midi controller and Programmer's Toolkit are also available as optional extras.
MAILABLE foe THE FOLOtMRG MAKES MKH0W7EC AAAI.SEISMOt PHVtAPSCEJJM WITH 5 or 6 PIS IT1 RGB SOCKETS LEADS ALSO AVA'lABKfOR ATARI ST RANGE PLEASE CONSULT USIflHOOUB PRO SOUND DESIGNER features incredible tools to record and manipulate mono or stereo samples: • holds up to 8 samples in memory (4 stereo) • plays 4 samples at once (2 stereo) • advanced editing functions • cut • overlay • dynamic buffers • volume &-fade controls • looping • kHz rates from 1 to 32 in 1kHz stops • also compatible with Future Sound and Perfect Sound hardware • For all PAL Amiga computers • ATTENTION 1901 MONITOR
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with posh Button switch lor mouse cr p tc* selection DJA 1 Extras ” tor Pro Sound Designer Programmer's Toolkrt Sarrple Disks (Each) Stereo Lead MODULATOR EXTENSION LEADS PRO Ml01 PLUS allow* you ty tako samples roco-Oed us Pro Midi keyboard as instrument voices. • Up to 10 samples can be in memory at once • 2 channel polyphonic • full control over part of sample to be played • fade in fade outcontrols • full keyboard splits
• octave shift • midi channel selection • for fun or serious use
• for all PAL Amiga computers • AMIGA PRINTER LEA0 - Parallel
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Devpac ...£44.95 True Basic .....£51.95 Lattice C ......£139.95 Photon Paint ..£51.95 HUMGOLD COMPUTERS LTD for your AMIGA requirements THE GAMES SHOPPE MAIL ORDER DISCOUNT SOFTWARE Commodore A r4ga Gam** RRP Our Price Commodore Amiga Software RRP Our Price Bards Tate I___________________________ Bards Tate II .. £24 94 £24 94 £2021 £2021 £2021 lattice CM0_____________________ Maxi Plan Plus £172 50 £14996 £142 31 £12371 £74 20 Ferrari Formula t ...
£24 94 MCC Pasca V2 £8895 MndshaJow ..... £2499 bo 10 MCCShel £4994 srv iv £41 20 Seconds Ol. ..... £1995 £1606 PholcnPart ...... £8995 £57 75 SlarlWM______________________________ Vyper_______________________________ £24 94 .,£19.95 £2021 £1596 Powervnmtows 2 Pro-Sound Designer Complete £89 95 £78.14 £56 84 £84 47 Wortd TourGoR___________________ £24 94 £2021 Professional Text Engne . £49.94 £41.20 Promoe . £39 95 £30.97 Commodore Amiga Software fkiiklatwl £49 94 AC
FORTRAN ... £20694 £170 72 vAWivewx . Shakespeare________________________ £143 75 £11860 £39 36 Aegis Sonii . £57 50 £46 72 r -- -• The Dwedor £47 00 Aogs Videoscape 30 (PAL) .... Amiga TooW ..... £143 75 £39 95 £11681 £32 96 Tut® Silver 3D__________________ Zuma Fonts 12 3 (each) £13994 £34 95 £113 71 £2812 each cx AmmAion EfleOS £34 99 £28 88 Pubic Domain Daks _________ £27 Anna ion Stand__________________ £34 99 (28 88 (20 00 br 10 Becker
Teit ... £119 95 £9896 Deluxe Muse Ccnstnctcn Set £68.95 £5666 Deluxe Phoiotab________________ £68 95 C56 66 Commodore Amiga Hardware Oisfc 2Dsk_________________________ £34.44 £28 42 OgView 3 0 (PAL)_______________ £14995 £127.45 ExceBeoce! ..... £229 94 £189 70 Ficker Fixer..... £396 75 £347 16 F-8asic .... £70.00 £57 75 £24 33 £40 42 Perfect Sound_____________________ £7995 £89 95 £17412 £36502 Goktspel 2_________________________ Knd Words ... £29 95 £49.00 Perfect Veion ...... Arvga 500-
Games Slarfer K* £19900 £399 99 Please send your orders (cash cheque only) to: HUMGOLD COMPUTERS LTD (Mail Order Dept.) 85 Longhurst Road. Lewisham, LONDON SE13 5NA 01-852 3992 (ansafone) for full price list WORLDWIDE ¦SOFT WA R E 16 45 Ikan Wamors 13 25 IM Soccer 17 95 13 25 17 95 14 35 16 45 13 25 16 45 28 95 16 45 21 95 Jinxwr King ol Chcago Lancelot leMhemacfcs legerd ot Sword Mamai Menace Mike The Mage: Dragon Mndlghux Mortvilla Manor Motor Massac e Navcom 6 Fast delivery on all stock items by 1st Class Mail ir 1325 16 4$ 18 95
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“OE 85 Union Street, _ L_| Oldham Lancs. Qj|k I I Tel: 061-626 3841 SUPER DEALS FROM DELTA COMPUTERS COPY’S a real power pack AMIGADOS is a multilayered beast, sitting as it does between the machine and Workbench. First it is the operating system of the Amiga, calling all the shots at machine level to get the machine started and running once it's up. Second, it’s open to commands from a Command Line Interface, our friend the CLI. It is also the only means by which you can edit, exchange and generally twiddle with files on disc.
Although this is a tricky thing if you are used to an entirely window oriented system like the Macintosh, it has to be learned. But to be honest they've been doing it this way for years, and there's a good reason for that. Files on an Amiga disc can be moved around in all sorts of ways, and the AmigaDos bit in the manual makes all kinds of references to the power of AmigaDos in handling files.
OK. So what are these powerful features?
OFY is a good example. You can COPY a file to another disc, or another directory on the same disc, sure. But did you know you can COPY a file to the printer? Or to a window on the screen? Or indeed to any device used by the Amiga? This Phil South delves deeper into the workings of the Amiga’s OS, and checks out some useful file utilities built into AmigaDos is all part of the Amiga’s open architecture.
But the same structure goes for the redirection of data streams. This is something you’ll be more interested in when we all get the PIPE: device in WB1.3, but for now the redirection of files and data is governed by the symbols, usually referred to as "angle brackets".
And lo and behold, what do we find but the same sort of file handling ease: DATE filename TYPE filename sends the DATE stamp to a File called ‘filename’ and then TYPEs it up on screen. How about this one: DIR catalog dirs the current directory, and instead ?
All functions of the computer, due to the fact that locations in memory are not exclusively for the use of any one part of the operating system, are ASSIGNed to logical devices, as I’ve said before. But another brilliant piece of design means that you can use the same call to any device and get a different result. COPY a file to window: COPY filename TO CON:10 10 200 100 and it prints up in the window defined by the CON:. COPY a file to a printer, the same statement notice: COPY filename TO PRT: and it prints it up on your Preferences printer.
Little number: of sending the file to the screen, stores it in a text file called ‘catalog’.
You could make a file of all your disc catalogs this way. Another of these fancy file utility commands is called JOIN. This is a much more complicated command, which cleanly and simply joins, or concatenates, up to 15 files like so: TYPE .info opt h 0000: F34C0012 00000F39 00000258 00000B61 .L 9...X...3 0010: 45787061 6E73696F 6E0A436C 6F636B0A Expansion.Clock. 0020: 5368656C 6C0A5072 65666572 656E6365 Shell.Preference 0030: 730A5574 696C6974 6965730A 53797374 s.Uti lities.Syst 0040: 656D0A45 60707479 0A547261 73686361 en.Empty.Trashca 0050: 6E0A n. JOIN disci disc2 disc3 disc4 disc5 AS
disclist This is not to be confused with LINKing, a process you encounter in writing programs with compilers and the like, but nevertheless it is a powerful command for the handling of loose text files.
And talking about text files, most of you will use TYPE in the same way as it is used on a PC. To flash the specified text file on the screen in a generally quick and dirty fashion. But did you also know that you can TYPE a binary file too? Yes. How about this Interesting, huh? It gives you a hex rendering of the file, plus an Ascii dump down the side. So that’s what’s in that .info file, eh?
FINALLY, a command which doesn’t see much use in the CLI is SEARCH. With this you can search directories, subdirectories and text files for strings. I used it the other day with the Fish Disc Catalog. The catalog comes on disc and finding a program can be hazardous to your health. The most useful reason for using SEARCH rather than flipping through by hand is that there might be an update to the program you’re looking for later on in the disc.
You can get SEARCH to look for ALL entries of a string on the disc, from all directories, and log the searching into a text file by redirecting the output from the screen to a file marked "searcher” or something. Then you can go out for bite, watch TV, or even run it as a background task as you use another program.
If there is anything you would like to see explained in depth, please write to: Plain Man's Guide, Amiga Computing, 78-84 Ongar Road, Brentwood, Essex, CMI5 9BG - but remember we can only answer questions through the pages of the magazine.
MaiI Order Offers 'Here, , ...here Brian Clough's Football Fortunes is a football management game with a big difference. In an exciting departure from earlier simulation games it combines an excellent range of computer based features with a fascinating board game.
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Starglider quirks I HAVE been playing Slarglider II since it first came out and have found a couple of quirks. If you fly out of the Solice system and keep going you come to a second solar system. This is a reflection of Solice, with everything working backwards. It takes about an hour to reach this reflected sun and doesn’t seem to offer any advantages.
Another "feature" of Starglider II is a timewarp in Paint with Rolf. If you type all nines you get the message "Timewarp A OB 02". I suspect that this is a game killer mode but can't get it to do anything. Incidentally, my local shop said that they only had Atari ST copies but after reading about the ADLS disc format in your magazine I bought what they said was an Atari disc and it worked perfectly on my Amiga.
Marc Bladon, Wilts.
Sound advice WHENEVER I reboot the Amiga the 1084 monitor shows blurred black lines across the screen. Is this normal? I am also having problems with the synthesiser voice. The output is locked on a robot’s voice. Should I take my machine back to the shop?
Mohammed Saeed, Bradford.
Try looking a! Another machine. The Amiga cycles through dark red, dark grey, light grey, red. Green, blue and yellow on power up. These will identify a fault to an engineer if the screen freezes on a colour.
Black lines over the hand which asks for Workbench is a fault which should be looked at. Your speech problem is more puzzling. If the robot voice works then all the voices should. Experiment with the SA Y command from Basic. We suspect you will Bnd that you have mis-read the manual.
Machine code only I RECENTLY bought an Amiga 500 and want to start programming in assembly language using Intuition.
However I can’t find any books which explain how to use Intuition in assembler. I know 68000 already, so I don’t need an Introduction. Why don’t you have book reviews as a regular feature?
)agbir Lally, Wolverhampton You'll find that we have assembled a panel of expert book reviewers and intend to feature as many reviews as we can. The Addison Wesley books are an essential purchase for the serious programmer. A cheaper alternative is Kickstart from Ariadne 101- 960 02031 or Compute's Guide to AmigaDos. Many of the advertisers in Amiga Computing are good at recommending books which suit specific needs.
Goodbye cruel words I HAVE just finished reading the review of Kind Words, the low cost word processor. I have been using the program for two weeks and up to now cannot say I have found any real fault with it.
I suspect that Mr Tomlins was expecting too much from this program. As a word processor it is very good. In my opinion better than either Textcraft or Scribble; that is not just my opinion, several of my colleagues have the same view.
The most important thing is that it is low cost. The Disc Company has produced a word processor which does not burn a hole in the pocket. I know of at least half a dozen people who have bought this program.
It is very easy to use. I have used WordPerfect, and it took me at least two days to read the manual. The two programs cannot be compared. How Mr Tomlins even dared mention such an expensive program in his review I Write to: The Editor, Amiga Computing, 78-84 Ongar Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 9BG.
We’ll send the writer of the best letter each month a program from our goodie drawer.
Cannot understand.
JtMm tying Slarglider II It is unfortunate that everyone compares products to industry standard programs like WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3. I feel that everybody has their own opinion as to which one they like to use.
I think that the only way to get a fair review of any business program is to let several people try it out for a few weeks, then and only then can an honest review be made.
I rate Kind Words very highly. The manual is very well set out. I agree that perhaps there should be more tutorials to help the first time user, but if one tries each command in turn it soon becomes quite easy.
I use the program with 1Mb and a second disc drive, and everything works to my satisfaction. The most important thing is that the program has got is the SuperFonts with the 1.3 printer drivers.
I am very impressed with the quality of the printout whatever the printer I use. So far I have tried the Citizen 120D. Amstrad DMP 3000.
Star LC10 and Epson RX80. 1 must admit that it can be a very slow process to print out a whole document, but this is not such a bad thing. I believe that further drivers will be coming out soon.
I have found one or two minor problems with the graphics, but having this facility in the first place is a real bonus. The main reason I bought Kind Words was the spelling checker, which I have found to be not only one of the best I have tried but because it resides in memory it is also one of the quickest.
* Mr Tomlins gives the impression that he doubts that it really
does contain the claimed 90,000 words. I think his suspicions
are unfounded. I have found Kind Words to be very good value
for money. Of course this letter was written using Kind Words.
|.B Palmer, Havant Expensive Amiga IT seems to me that there is a prevailing prejudice among companies which support the Amiga in terms of both hardware and software that if you can afford to buy an Amiga you can afford to pay the top price for anything else you need to build up your system.
It seems a pity that when Commodore lowered the price of the Amiga the supporting companies did not follow suit.
Peter Whitaker, Hull.
Blank 3.5" Disks with labels only £10.95 per box of 10) FREE PRIZE VOUCHER WITH EVERY GAME ORDERED FREE PRIZE VOUCHER WITH EVERY GAME ORDERED RRP OURS .29 99 19.99 .29 99 19.99 29 99 19.99 .29.99 19 99 24 95 16.95 24 95 16.95 24 95 16 95 24 95 19 95 45 95 29.95 24 95 16.95 19 99 13.95 29 99 18.95 .19.95 13.95 RRP OURS
24. 95 16 95 .24 95 16 95 .24 99 1599 29 95 19 95 .24 95 15.99
29. 95 19 99 29 99 19 95 29 99 19 95 .29 99 1999 .24 99 1699 .29
99 1999
24. 99 1699 .19.95 16 95
29. 95 19 95 OURS 64 95
169. 95
149. 95
75. 95
149. 95 49i95 4995 139 95 59 95 29 95 29 95
34. 95 4995 19 95 49 95 89 95 39 95 99 95 54 95 99 95 39 95
79. 00
149. 95 49 95 39 00 44 95
49. 95
34. 95
34. 95 34 95
19. 95
14. 95 34 95
119. 95 29 95
49. 95
24. 95 16.95 24 95 1 6 95 24 95 15 95 2495 1595 24 99 16.99
24. 95 16.95
24. 95 16 95
24. 95 16 95
19. 95 13 95 24 95 16 95
9. 99 6.99 Football Manager II.... ......19 99 Flight Simulator
II...... 4595 Turbo .... .....19 99 Art of
Chess .....24 95 Ebonstar ...
2499 Craps Academy
24. 99 Pandora .....19.95 Strip Poker
II .....14 95 Tetris ....
.....19.95 Jmks ...... 24 99
W. zbali ... 24 95 Street Fighter ......
.....24 95 AMIGA GAMES King of Chicago .... Defender of
the Crown Sinbad
SOI ..... Barbarian
.. Terrorpods ..
Obliterator ... F A-18 Interceptor ..
Jet (Sublogic) .. Balance of Power .
Barbarian (Palace) . Three Stooges Black
Lamp .
E. C.O ......
Quadralien .....
Elite .. Rolling
Thunder .. GoJdrunner 1 or 2 ......
Shadowgate .. ... Star
Wars Xenon
..... Leaderboard ..
Leaderboard Tournament Grand Slam Tennis 24.95 16.95 AMIGA
GAMES Pon of Call ..
Moebious .... Star Glider
|| Fire & Forget ... Garrison
II ... Mach 3 .
Mortville Manor ...... Starray .
Bionic Commandos Better Dead than Alien.. Peter
Beardsley Soccer Stock Market Game...... Dark
Castle . Gee Bee Air Rally......
Virus ..... Army
Moves Super Huey . Sky
Blaster .. Flintstones ...
Arkanoid II .... Soccer Supremo ....
Crystal Hammer ... Whirligig
Battleships ... Hollywood Poker .....
Vampires Empires ... Bad Cat .
Time Stood Still Silent Service ...
Bubble Bobble . Mercenary ..
Elite (Sept) ...
Hardball GFL
Football Phantasie III .
Thunder Boy AGRHHHH ... RRP
16. 95 Superbase Personal ... 99 95 .24 95 16 95 Superbase
Professional .249.95 . 24 95 1695 WordPerfect
.. 228 85 ...24.95
16. 95 Logistixs ...... .114.95 .19 99 13 95 VIP
Professional .... .228.85 2495
16. 95 Assembler .... .69.95 24 95 15 95 Amiga
File ....
69. 95 2499 1699 Lattice C 189 95
....1995 13 95 Pascal ... . 89 95
...19 95 1295 Promise . .39 95
...19.95 1395 Toolkit ... ...39.95
16. 95 Gismos .. ...49.95 ...24.95
16. 95 Macro Assembler .... .69.95 .24.99 ...24.95
15. 99
16. 95 Home Accounts Photon Paint
29 95 .69 95 ...1995 13 95 Ammator lmages ..... .103.50
...19.95 13 95 Animator ...57.50 ...
19.95 ...19 99 13 95 1395 Animator 3D .
Impact . .129 95 .63 25 ...14.95
1095 Video Title .... .110 40 ...19.95
13. 95 Digipaint .59.95 ...19.95
13. 95 Sculpt 3D ..... .89.00 ...19.99
13. 95 Draw Plus ....
198. 95 .19.95
13. 95 Express Paint ... ...69.95 ...19.95
13. 95 Audio Master .46.00 ...2495 1995
Sonix ..... ...57.50 ...19.95 1295
K-Spread II ... .79.95 .24.95
16. 95 K-Data .... .49.95 ...24.95
16. 95 K-Seka ... .49.95 .24.95
16. 95 K-Roget .. .49.95 ...24.99
16. 99 K-Gadget ..... .29 95 24 99 .2499
16. 99
16. 99 K-Text .... K-Comm
II ..... .19.95 .49.95 .24.99
16. 99 The Works! ....
149. 95 ' 14 95
10. 95 Drum Studio .. .39 95 .29 95
19. 99 Prowrite . ..75.00 How to Order
All Prices include VAT Game products postage free
U. K. mainland only.
Overseas orders add £1 00 per disk.
Air Mail £2 00 per disk.
Cheques Postal Orders (Sterling only please).
Made payable to Cut Price Software Ltd.. 17, Staple Tye, Harlow, Essex CM18 7LX Securicor Delivery £6.95 Recorded Delivery £2.50 AMIGA ADVENTURES Jinxter ... Guild of Thieves ...... Mmdfighter ... Deja-Vu . Curuption ..... Uninvited ...... Kings Quest Triple .. Hitch Hikers Guide .. Leather Goddess ... Plundered Hearts .... Station Fall .... Phantasie III .. Time & Magik Legend of the Sword..... Visa or Access
orders (24 hour Ansaphone) ¦ ElJ (0279) 24433 31956 ¦ Collect vouchers for... Free Discs... Free Games... Free Day Trip to France... Free Weekend Breaks... Syntax ST AWIGA UTILITIES Excellence ..... Express Paint IntroCad ..... ....£42.00 K-Seka 68000 Assem. 1.5 ...... ....£37.30 Lattice C 4.0 .. Lattice Prof Lisp ...... Micro Assembler . ....£53.50 Maxiplan
A500 ..... Maxiplan Plus ...... ..£110.00 Music Studio . Page Flipper .. ....£25.60 Page Plus ... ....£93.50 Page Setter ... Pascal 2.0 .. ....£65.50 PixMate ..... Pro-Sound Designer ... Pro-Sound Software .. ....£25.50 Publisher 1000 ..... ..£148.50
Scribble Shell ...... ....£34.50 Superbase Personal .... ....£75.00 Superbase Prof ..... ..£195.00 TextPro . ....£42.80 ToolKit .. ....£29.50 TV Show ..... ....£61.50 Word Perfect .. ..£171.50 BLANK DISKS 3.5* DS DD (10) .. ....£10.50
5. 25 DS DD (10) ......£5.00 All with labels Cl LEISURE
Aaargh £13.50
Annals of Rome ..£16.20 Arcade
Classics ..£13.20
Arena ..£22.50
Amegas .....£16.20
Arkanoids ..£16.20
Balance of Power ......£19.40
Barbarian (Palace) .....£13.50
Barbarian (Psygnosis) ......£16.20 Better
Dead Than Alien ....£13.50 Beyond The Ice
Palace .....£17.20 Carrier
Command ......£16.20 Championship
Golf ...£22.50 City
Defence ....£10.00 Crazy
Cars .£16.20 Defender
of the Crown ....£19.40
Elf .£12.50
Empire Strikes Back* £12.50 Flight
Sim. II ....£26.40 Scenery
Disk 7 ..£16.00 Scenery Disk
11 £16.00 Scenery Disk
Europe ......£13.50 Scenery Disk
Japan .£13.50 Football Manager
II ...£13.50 Garrison
II .£16.20
Gauntlet* ...£16.20
Guild of Thieves .£16.20
Gunship .....£16.20
Hunt for Red October £16.20 Insanity
Flight .£16.20 E3 LEISURE
Jet £25.50
Mike the Magic Dragon ...£10.00
Obliterator .£16.20
Peter Beardsley Football .,£12.50 Pink
Panther ....£12.50 Ports of
call .....£25.50 Rolling
Thunder ..£16.20
Sentinel .....£13.50
Silent Service ..£16.20
Terramex ...£13.50
Ultima III ....£16.20
Xennon ......£13.20
UTILITIES Access 64 for
A500 ....£46.50 Access 64 tor A1000
£46 50 AC BbsiC Comp,ter £107 50 AC Fortran £170 00 Anaize
£125 00 Ana .se II £58 50 Azetec C Comp Pro! £155 00 Azeiec C
Comp Ocvip C233 00 Azetec C Commerc.ai £387 50 Calligrapher VI
05 £62 50 City Desk 1.1
Climate ......£28.50
Data Retrieve ..£44.50 Digi
Paint ...£42.00 Digi
View .£102.50
Director ......£44.50
DiskMaster £29.50
Ring now for more details. We stock a vast collection of
All prices include P&P in the UK. For Europe add £2 for P&P. Titles with asterisc not available at time of going to press IJU 3 Ripley Close, Langley, Slough, Berkshire SL3 7QH. Telephone: I0753) 41187 [.IL] Julia, an old friend of yours has mysteriously died at Mortville Manor, strongly suspecting foul play, you set off to determine how she died.
. Mai! Order Offers MORTVILLE MANOR Throughout the game characters talk to you in heavy French accents, while haunting digitised sound effects such as hooting owls and church bells are sprinkled in strategic places.
As reviewer Bob Chappell said: "This two-disc adventure has got the lot - text, digitised music, sound effects and colour graphics".
For only €17.95, saving €7, order your copy today and see if you can solve the mystery at Mortville Manor.
RRP £14.95 You are Bono, a friendly dragon, residing in a picturesque sea-castle.
As a shrewd business-dragon, keen on a "nice little earner", you make your living by selling soap to the giant monsters who battle in the sea surrounding the castle.
With the aid of your business partner, Fozzy, you produce the soap by collecting skeletons from the castle’s caverns and then boiling the bones in a cauldron.
However, the castle caverns are fraught with danger: there are monsters who will kill you, spiders who will eat you alive, and glooks who will block your path.
A smash hit on the BBC Micro, Bone Cruncher is a soap-opera not to be missed. For l,"Y aij I just €9.95, this is ' " I definitely a game you should have in your collectioni Order your copies NOW, using the form on Page 73 Rolling Thunder is a game of intense action, intrigue and heroism.
A secret society is threatening to conquer the yvorld, while the Rolling Thunder undercover police organisation is assigned to expose the conspiracy. Your role as top agent - code name Albatross - is to invade the enemy headquarters to complete the mission and free allies who have been held hostage.
And this latest arcade smash conversion from U.S. GOLD can be yours for only 99p when you take out a subscription to Amiga Computing!
...or for these £17.85 SmSi 99p Dust cover Your Amiga Computing is the ideal source of reference for every Amiga computer user.
Keep your magazines tidy and in tip-top condition by using our top quality binder, holding 12 issues. Each is embossed in silver with the distinctive Amiga Computing logo.
Normally £5.95 Keep your Amiga 500 keyboard free from dust and grime with an Amiga Computing dustcover, made from clear pliable vinyl, bound by strong blue cotton and sporting the Amiga Computing logo.
Normally £4.95 NOTE: These items may be bought separately using the order form WHEN YOU SUB iMue Back Issues UK £210; Europe ft Eire £260: ?
Your mouse won't frighten our jumbo size top quality Amiga Computing mouse mat!
With its specially- designed perfect- grip surface, it provides the ideal desktop environment for your rodent...
* Offers much smoother movement!
* Gives super positive control!
* Protects tabletops!
* Extra large! (277 x 240 x 9mm) j MtaoLtra TaiaoomOoU 72:1!
AQ001 a. P VOUSAVE £16.86!
Send to: Amiga Computing, FREEPOST, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 4YB (No stanp needed I posted In UK) Plaaaa allow up to 28 days lor dadtacy Order at any tlma of tha day or night Cradtt Card hotdara phona0*25 679620 Brian Clough's Football Fortunes SS5& C12XS ga» Annual Subscription UK £26 Europe S Eire 04 Ovett** Airmail £48 Payment: please indicate method (?)
] AccesvVastercard Eurocard BardaycanWisa Don’t forget to give your name, addrmmm and cradh o [ MAIL ORDER ENQUIRES ONLY: 06?S 679040 9-1pm - £SstT] _Post Code _ Daytime telephone number in case ot quenes For each item add £2 for Europe and Eire or £5 for Overseas, unless otherwise indicated Dust Cover Arrtga SCO Kartxwd ACM Cl tor Eumo* and Era. C2 Chanaai Binder Add £3 lor Europe and Eire; £7 Over ? Cheque Eurocheque payable to Amiga Corrputing Mouse Mat Add Cl lor Europa and Elra: C2 Orders by Pm*!
Key-89, then S14MS3S3 Bone Cruncher June 9700 jtiy 9701 Augjet 970?
- 9703 Commence with _ _ Signed - Mortvllle Manor (saapaQa71)
uoum am sma tux *»] xit I I Starglider Jlnxter cm ?
Send** Now you can use an Amiga (or any other computer) to send correspondence in seconds to ANY of the many millions of fax machines in ANY part of the world.
And if you want you can send the same fax to up to 50 different addresses simultaneously.
All you need, in addition to your computer, are a telephone, a modem - and a subscription to MicroLink.
Fax is just another of the many new services now available on MicroLink, Britain's fastest-growing electronic mail provider.
ADVERTISERS' INDEX 16 Bit Software ....25 George Thompson Services 35 Amiga PD Library 15 Humgoin Computer* Ltd b4 Apologia Software 58 43 S, run Mandarin Software 45 Byteback 43 MD Office Supines 68 67 35 CM Centre Cast'e Computers 12 22 Me ten Computer Supplies MJC Supples Centec Cutrtan Software Ok ------- Commodore Sr»uw Compumart ... Cottage Software Cut Pr»ce Software Database £ »h.b.i»ons Oatei £ lect'orucs 68 .... 26 16 19 ...3 21 10 ____19 54 55 Mi-ac'e Systems Mictodeei Mm, .
Power Computing Precs*on Software SCC Mail Order Shack witt ---- ------ S* Marketing SI Amiga Ckfb 4b 26 6 67 25 67 74 2 74 Delta Computers Digit* International Ea?vD''t't 64 27 58 Syntax The Games Sf oppe Tyrt esc* Software vto 70 64 31 £ derso*t 63 36 T-ilugil Trybr tge Software Ltd 63 43 Frontier Software 40 Worldwide Software 64 ST & AMIGA OWNERS Havo you ever Bought software only to find it's not what you expected?
Would you like to Buy software, hardware, peripherals & oonsumables at prices only available to dealers?
• Are you thinking of buying an ST or Amiga?
We can supply members with: Amiga's from £341 50 and 520 STEM'S from C250 Xerox 4020 colour ink jet prviler from £1000.00 External Drives from £88.00 Blank Disc's DSDD UnBranded (Memorex) 25 for £25.00 All prices are lully inclusive. Nothing lo atU Save up to 35% on all software, not |ust games We supply a full product range from A lo Z II you answered yes to any of the above questions then send an s.a.e. to ST & AMIGA CLUB (Dept AC). PO Box 3, Openshsw, Manchester M11 4FZ SHACKSOFT MOUSE MASTER Are you tired of fumbling under or behind your computer to swap your mouse and joystick cables ?
Arc your cables and computer connectors worn out from all the plugging and unplugging? Then Mouse Master is a must for you!
Mouse Master is an innovative switchbox that allows you to instantly select either your mouse or joystick (or other controller) in port 1. A switch on the top does the swapping for you! Additionally, port 2 is brought out to make all the ports easily accessible. £24.95 ~ MONITOR STANDS Specifically designed for isc with your AMIGA 500 with slot cut for the disk drive. Your Amiga fits neatly under your monitor with no untidy leads in view. £19.95 UNIT 11 17 While Hays South West Wills Trailing lislalc Wcstbury. Wiltshire (0373) 85X031 2 l ines) TER lithe must ; you other the ut to CHEAP!
3. 5" DISKS 3.5"
10. .....£7.30
25. ...£18.00
50. ...£35.50
75. ...£52.50
100. .£69.00 UNCERTIFIED,
3. 5" BULK DISCS m Mats £6 95 Postage: All orders under £15.00
add 75p. Overseas £3 Over £15 00 FREE All prices Inc. VAT Tel:
Chester (0244) 312666 (3 lines) BY PHONE 0244 312666 BY POST
EMERALD MINE A giant arcade adventure which has received rave
reviews. Each level has its own unique solution and requires
ingenuity and dexterity to complete. One player or two players
TEAM action tor added enioyment.
AMIGA £14.95 CBM64-PLUS 4 £7.95 (D) £9.95 MANIAX Manrax relentlessly pursued by the creature undertakes to clear the thick fog engulfing the world capitals. An addictive game requiring quick thinking and action.
AMIGA-STIBM £19.95 CBM64PLUS 4 £7.95 (0) £9.95 FACE OFF Experience the sheer pace and exhilaration of ICE HOCKEY. Be prepared for the body checks, fouls and rough play. League competition. 1 or 2 player option.
AMIGASTI8M E14.95 STRIP POKER II PLUS A sizzling evening with Sam & Donna AMIGA-ST-IBMARCH. £14.95 SP-AMS-MSX-BBC-ELECTRON CBM64PLUS 4 £7.95 1 W4, G a ROBBEARY Berne, an agile and clever bear has targeted a tamous 24 Hoots store lor his last and most daring ROBBERY With no alarms or visible guards and fabulous treasures, yet it has been avoided like the plague by the criminal fraternity Bene soon discovers why?
AMIGA £19.95 QUANTOX Progress through 24 levels of this fast and furious action. Lightning responses are secondary to the strategic choices between better weaponry or better defence.
AMIGA £14.95 HIGHWAY HAWKS Grand Pnx driving skills is essential to negotiate the crowded highway at speed Obliterate the assassins cars and the ones that get in your way but keep the tiger in your tank fed.
The engine cool and the tyres and steering intact. Acquisition of taster cars and lethal weaponary depends on your driving and trading skills AMIGA £19.95 (2 DISCS) FACE OFF STRIP POKER II PLUS DATA DISCS Requires Strip Poker II Plus disc to load Disc 1 Beverly & Dawn Disc 2 Lee & Roy Disc 3 Suzanne & Branca Disc 4 Rachel & Kim AMIGA-ST £9.95 MICRO TEXT MICRO BASE Ideal for home and business use. Menu driven to enable a novice to use powerful capabilities with minimal reference to the tutorial manual.
Micro base ¦ a powerful data base with fast SEARCH and SORT facilities includes a very flexible label printer. Sorted files can be used by the Micro Text word Processor to send personalised letters. A boon to any Club Secretary.

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