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Full text of "Amiga Computing 1-117 (June 88-Oct 97)"

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4 Database Publication 


Volume 1 
Number 2 
July 1988 
£1.95 



Five super samplers 
are put to the test 


Bubble Bobbler's 
aid, Firepower map 


A guide to the 
ultimate in 
animation 




• Zork 

• Exodus 

• Sentinel 

• Footman 


A new generation in Amiga 
programming takes off . . . 

R 


• Barbarian 

• Ferrari FI 

• Star Fleet 1 








The trilogy 


Interactive fiction 
from I mml A 


T hree of Level 9's most acclaimed adven- 
tures - Lords of Time, Red Moon and The 
Price of Magik - come together in one 
package. Each has been enhanced and enlarged 
with more text than ever before - 60,000 mind- 
expanding words creating magik and mystery 
round every corner. There's a powerful new 
parser, and most disc versions include stunning 
digitised pictures that help to dramatically 
heighten the atmosphere. 


Screen shots from 
Atari ST version 


What the press have said: 

LORDS OF TIME: "Destined to become a classic" — 
Computing with the Amstrad. 

RED MOON: Best Graphical Adventure or Best 
Adventure of the Year — Zzap 64, Crash, Amtix, C&VG, 
CCI and Amstrad Computer User. 

THE PRICE OF MAGIK: " Another superb adventure . . . 
their best yet" — Commodore User. Also a Crash 
Smash. 


Spectrum (cassette) Plus 3 (disc) 
Commodore 64 (cassette or disc) 
Amstrad CPC (cassette or disc) 
Atari XL/XE (cassette Or disc) 
Amstrad PCW (disc) 

Apple II (disc) __ ^ 


Atari ST 

Commodore Amiga 
Macintosh 

Amstrad PC, IBM PC 
and compatibles 


SOFTWARE 

Europa House, Adlington Park, 

Adlington, Macclesfield SK10 4NP, 

ENQUIRIES: 0626 878888 ORDER HOTLINE: 0625 879920 


Available from all good stockists or order direct by sending a 
cheque or postal order made payable to Mandarin, together with 
your name and address. Price includes P&P Access/Visa owners: 
Phone our hotline or send your card number with your order. 






Lifetime 
Guaranteed, 
double sided, 
double density, 
135 TPI, 
bulk wrapped 
discs with labels 


Quantity Price 

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20 £18.00 

25 £22.99 

50 £45.00 

105 £89.99 



Lifetime 
Guaranteed, 
double sided, 
double density, 

48TPI, 

bulk wrapped 
discs with labelsl 

J 

Quantity Price 

10 .....£3,50 

20 ... £6,50 

25 £7,99 

50 £15.50 

105 ,£31.00 


U 


VERBATIM 

Fully guaranteed 3.5" 135TPI Verbatim discs 

Single Sided Discs Double Sided Discs 


Quantity 

Price 
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too""!”!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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LOCKABLE DISC STORAGE BOXES 

3-5" 5.25" 

40 capacity £5.49 50 capacity £5.49 

80 capacity £7,49 1 00 capacity £7.49 

1 20 capacity £9,99 1 40 capacity £9.49 

Plastic Storage Box - holds 10 (State 3.5" or 5.25") ...„„„ 75p 

AT LEAST 30% OFF ALL 16 BIT SOFTWARE 
30% OFF ALL CABLES AND ACCESSORIES 


SPECIAL!!! 

Premium Quality Mouse Mat Now only £3.49 


HARDWARE 

— 

AT LEAST 10% OFF ALL HARDWARE 

Amiga A500 with Software 

£429.99* 

Citizen 120D NLQ Printer with parallel l/F 

£149.99 

Seikosha SP 1 80 NLQ Printer 

only £139.99 

Cumana 1Mb Amiga Disc Drive 

£117.99 

NEC 1 Mb Amiga Disc Drive ............. . 

* White stocks last 

£99.99 


NEW 
ADDRESS 


P&P Free on all orders over £15, under £15 add 75p P&P (UK Only) 
Overseas Disc Orders Add £3 P&P. All prices include VAT 

tetrian gofttoare 

52 Brook Street 
Chester CHI SDN 
Telephone: 0244 312666 

All prices include VAT 


NEW 
ELEPHONE: 
NUMBER. 


Z CO IU < I- < CQ _l LD Q. CC — O HI (0 













Mmging kjiilar 

Dtrek Mnakin 


AMIGA SCENE 


Group Editor 

Alan NlcLathldii 

Editor 

Sifnnn km. km an 

fWjjrfjoir Editor 
Peter Glover 

Aft Editors 

Mark \nhn 
Doug Sleele 

Mtoria/ Assistant: 

Elaine ftiwlins 

Sews Editor 
Mike Cowley 

Adrertisemi'nt i Manager 

(olio SoEmden 

Adxertisini! Saks 
Wendy tjoibourne 


bfilncWk 

(1277 234451 

Admiriwlralimi: 

o^ras 

AHirEilltfnft 

m* RTRBBfi 

SufcstriplMins 

Otli BTMM4U 

Telecom (fold: 

nmm] 

Teles: 

2H58TI MOSlRfTr 


Quoting frf.TLMAGm 


bU'Mm 


Published by: 

Dal^base Publiralaons Lid. 
tumpa House. Adlinymo Park. 
Adlimdun. Ma^rlesfiirfd SKlO 4VP. 

ISSN <«>S2-;(EM4 


Amiga (juipuimu wKk^mes articles Tot ptibli- 
C jrlkin Mjii'ririi '.hau^d be lypeH nr iiimpuler- 
primed tml pnlmblydaubl^spae^. Pribram tai- 
stims [.hnuld bf jcj umpariind to di^ . Fkw eti: hise- 
d -damped wir-iddnssrtl envelope, fllhafYrhe ihr 
murn « nidleridl i>JHwri be «uirdi4rtd Cemlri- 
Iwliulh m finli to- diXEpted for pflllkaliiin b 1 . 

fubliiiaHium Ud ™ dr. all-Tfohls baH> 
l 1981 OaubMPvblirJiiuiH Lid So m»flwvil mm 
to itpnrfunpJ in whulr OT in pan w ilKnul written 
pwmiswmn. While tier', rtf*? h lakm. Lto pub- 
liduers umnrf be helrl leyllv napOisfiibte fur an\ 
prrnrs in driller litfw nr ddierli^rttfffK. 

1 mr*d I'jim^iur.'ii! di? jn^fppfidtwf ptibk#\m 
dnd E.iirrr.'iiiHf<ife- Rusmws \tmh\m H U if 

."j.i| fo r dn i iW Jhf dil’Mi'o :ji jfri .5 ism \w 

lur jnr nfJfrs ^Jfflknw FipmsH*. 

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IsiimSiun Lint'rtpd. I nit 1. Rnrijt\s Ki^d IvyMsh 
U w Hdstini’s. tidsl SuikV TN|a 4\R. Tel: IH24 
tmn 


7 LATEST 

NEWS 

An update on Ihe new Amiga prices. 
Plus hoi gossip from America, Canada 
and Germany as the Amiga shows ii 
can offer the world a challenge. 



ADVENTURES 


ANIMATION 


TECHNICAL 


THROUGH THE 
PORTAL 
Dave Eriksson looks at l wo classic 
games which have proved thaf even 
the ravages of lime cannot harm a 
wall written computer fantasy. 


SCULPT AND 
ANIMATE 3D 
A pair of programs which work 
together to make the Amiga shine 
brighter lhan any other computer 
but are extremely easy to use. 


THE PLAIN MAN’S 
GUIDE TO CU 
Phil South continues his explanation 
of whal happens when you click on 
the CLI icon and face AmigaDos 
naked. This month ASSIGN. 





DTP 


GRAPHICS 



§1 GOLD DISK 
A Vr PACESETTER 

Wilh a high resolution screen and a 
fasl processor the Amiga is a great 
machine for desktop publishing, but 
it needs good software to do it. 


F/A-18 Interceptor IS 


Trip the Light fantastic wilh a great 
new artists' package from Activision. 
Something which will make MAM 
mode far easier lo manage. 


V| F.'A-m 

JL lb# INTERCEPTOR 

Electronic Arts' talest game release is 
certainly its greatest. A military flight 
simulator which breaks new 
and is set to be a winner. 


SIMULATION 


PHOTON 

PAINT 


I AMIGA COMPUTING !uiy I HUH 









PRINTERS 


SYMPOSIUM 




rs 

tion 

fln 



> 19 




STAR LC-lfl Vs 
OKI MATE 20 


When one printer costs half as much 
m Lis nearest rival it looks like a 
bargain but in (he printer stakes you 
may often find less means more. 


I DEVELOPERS 
tl -A. FACE TO FACE 

To eavesdrop on the Washington 
conference Dave Parkinson baflles 
Kennedy airport and wins, but loses 
out to A u toh no | and a Copper. 


HOUSE CALL 


LANGUAGE 



ELECTRONIC 

ARTS 


Electronic Arts has been an Amiga 
fan since well before Commodore 
launched the machine, John Minson 
finds out more about the company. 


Sn™ 

tf Vr basic 

When the original authors of Basic get 
together again to do things properly 
they have the benefit uf hindsight - 
and it really shows in the end result. 



AWARDS 


This month sees the launch of the Amigo 
Computing Awards. Those are given to 
culsta riding products reviewed in uur pages. In 
Olympic tradition there are three typos; Gold. 
Silver and! Bronze, 

t he Silver award is given tn a product which 
olfers outstanding value ior money. A Hronze 
award goes to one which is particularly well 
made nr a program which shines. 

The supreme Gold award can only be won by 
a product which is both exceptionally good 
value and well made. 

Very few products will win an award - fewer 
.still an Amiga f’ompuling Gold. Don't expect a 
Gold winner every month - they will be saved 
for the cream of the Amiga crop. 



SOUND 



SAMPLE 

BATTLE 


Five of the lop Amiga sound samplers 
are compared and put to I he lest for 
three major criteria; Sound quality, 
ease of use and value for money, 


SOFTWARE 



AMIGA 

ARCADE 


I hc joystick hotshots rate the ne ivies 
in the shops, killing Barbarians and 
avoiding the evil Sentinel; racing 
Formula 1 and joining Star Fleet. 


HINTS 



GAME 

KILLER 


Join Max "The Hacks" Tennant as he 
and his friends explain how fo win at 
Bubble Bobble and find your way 
round Ad [vision's FirePower, 


ADVICE 



QUESTIONS AND 
ANSWERS 


Whatever your problem we have a 
panel of Amiga experts who are here 
to help you solve it Ask and well do 
our best to put you on the right track. 


letters 



FROM OUR 
POSTBAG 


Our readers write and we reply: 

Views on piracy and first comments 
on the first issue of Amiga Computing. 
Plus prizes for your best letters. 


END PIECE 


66 


GURU'S 

HAUNT 


We’ve all seen the Guru meditation 
message, But who is the Guru and 
why is he meditating? To find the 
facts we delve back into historv. 



Sample battle Page 39 


ELECTRONIC ARTS 


lectranic Arts 


July imn AMIGA COMPUTING 5 
























n_: 



Link your Amiga to the outside world with, 

miaou 



Electronic mail — The cheapest 
and fastest form of 
communication possible. It costs 
the same to send a message to 
one mailbox as to 500! 

Telex - 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 pro- 
fessional, 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 380,0.00 words. 

News — Use the powerful search 
commands to pinpoint vital 
business information from the 
world's leading news services, 
newspapers and periodicals. 

Radiopaging - If you also have a 
pocket radiopager you'll be 
alerted each time an urgent 
message arrives in your mailbox. 
So you're alwavs 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 


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. 


□ 


j 


B3 



3V 


- 6 ::: .*.) 


Typical comma packages 


Pace.- Nightingale V21, V23 
manual-dial modem + 
Rubycomm Software + RS232 
lead (£193 inc carriage & VAT) 


Pace .■ Linnet V21, V23 autodial 
modem + Rubycomm soft- 
ware + RS232 lead (£252 inc 
carriage and VAT) 


Miracle: WS4000 V21, V23 
autodial modem + Ruby- 
comm software + RS232 lead 
(£236 inc carriage & VAT) 


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 Micro- 
L in k 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. 



More than 
90 par cant 
of subscribers 
can connect to 
the Micro Unk 
computer at 
local call 
rate*. 




Pl&as* send me full details about MicroLink, and information 
sheets about the following hardware and software options 
-I pi ease circle I: 

ABC 


TO AND OUT MORE 
Fill in the coupon and 
send it to the address 
below, Vqu will receive 
full details of services 
and costs, together with 
an application form, 
i Complete this and 
within days you and 
your Amiga will be 
able to use all the 
services of MicroLink 
and Telecom Gold. 


Name. 


Address- 


Postcode- 


Send to: MicroLink, Europe House. Adlington Parfc, 
Ad ling to rv Macclesfield SK10 4IMP. 


■ 






AMIGA SCENE 



PRICE CUT GIVES AMIGA 
PARITY WITH ATARI ST 


is a 
wall 
■are. 
bin 
it to 
cra- 
yon 

0 is 

1 be 
>o*, 

i'GU, 


I N ii move thal hits sent 
shock waves through the 
computer industry. Commo- 
dore has slashed £100 from 
the price of the entry-level 
Amiga. 

This puts the Amiga 500 - 
at £3 39,99 - into direct 
competition with Atari's 
5Z0STFM, which was only 
recently on the receiving end 
of a price hike, thanks to the 
world shortage of dram chips. 
And with the two 
machines competing for 
essentially the same market. 
Commodore is confident the 
Amiga's reputation will be 
the deciding factor for end 
users. 

On the whole, dealers also 
welcomed the news, “I was 
delighted to see prices go up 
on the Atari", said Steve 
Kingston of Haiti Computer 
Shade "And a reduction on 
the Amiga will make even 
further inroads for Com- 
modore". 

Hut he had reservations 
about the long term benefits 
of price cutting, “I can't see 
Atari sitting hack and doing 
nothing - there have already 
been rumours of reductions. 
Hut a Dutch auction between 
the two will make things 


very lively for the cus- 
tomers". 

A Northern dealer had no 
reservations: 1 It’s just the 
shot in the arm the machine 
needs - sales so far have 
been steady rather than 
spectacular", he told Amiga 
Computing. 

“A new pricing policy, 
taken with the rapidly 
increasing software base, 
makes the Amiga a very 
tempting proposition - 
especially when it’s meas- 
ured against I lie ST". 

Surprisingly, some dealers 
are not particularly happy 
with the idea. John Daniels 
of Cut Price Software thinks 
the Amiga sdls well enough 
on ils own merits anyway 
and that a price war is hardly 
needed. 

"It’s a slow seller at this 
time of the year, but it was 
ahead of the ST two months 
ago and will be again", he 
said, "The ST is a glorified 
games machine - 1 have one 
mygell but l wouldn't dream 
of using it for business. 

"There should be a price 
distinction of al least £100 to 
reded the difference in the 
ca pa hi lilies of the two 
machines". 


Y ET another Amiga virus 
has been identified - hul 
finding it is another matter. 
Christened I he HTvte 

Bandit, the new virus makes 
its presence felt - after an 
apparently random length of 
time - by freezing the 
machine, corrupting the 
Workbench and losing any 
program running ill the time. 

The net result is that users 
are returning apparently 
damaged machines to dealers, 
and swamping them with 
calls for reassurance and 


Lurking 

bandit 


S CHOOLS in Canada are 
'to benefit from a new 
Commodore marketing exer- 
cise which offers I hem 
Amiga software at a quarter 
of list price. 

Project Software includes 
more than 100 educational 
software tilles worth 
$ 10 , 000 , 

When a school hoard buys 
between 4 and 50 Amiga 


\TOW anyone with an 
JL\I Amiga can enjoy the 
thrill of becoming the man 
who broke the bank at 
Monte Carlo - and if I be 
winnings aren't real money, 
neither arc the losses. 

Casino Roulette from CDS 
Software (0302 21134) is an 
invitation to the world of 
high society gambling for up 
to eight players at a time. 

The program auto- 


advice. Ail added cum pli- 
cation is that the Byte Bandit 
is undetectable by existing 
Virus Killers, though it can 
be tracked down with a 
sector editor. 

And users are compoun- 
ding the problem by unwit- 
tingly transferring the 
hidden virus to uncorrupted 
discs. 


Soft sell 
to schools 

500s it can gel the entire lib- 
rary lor $2,500. If an order 
tops 1 00 machines then all 
the software is free, 

Canadian schools already 
get one Free Amiga 500 for 
every two I hey buy. 


Break 
the bank 

matically calculates whal 
each player has won and 
how they stand, and gives a 
statistical analysis of I lie 
previous 370 spins of the 
wheel . 

It also includes si* est- 
ablished roulette betting sys- 
tems. Price £1 9,99, 


MICROLINK HOLDS THE LINE ON EMAIL PRICE INCREASES 


Stion 

nt 


MC.i 


DESPITE this month's 
surprise Micronet/Preslel 
price increases, MicroLink 
says it will not be forced by 
BT into raising ils charges in 
line. 

From July 1 Micron et/ 
Prestel subscriptions will go 
up from £66 to £79,95 a year 
for home users, with busi- 
ness users paying £119,95, 

Peak time charges are to 
rise from 6p a minute to 7p, 
and free off-peak usage has 
been scrapped - users will 
now have to pay lp a 
minute. 

For the first time, full peak 


time rates will also apply on 
Saturdays between 8am and 
6pm, 

However, although some 
communications industry 
observers are predicting that 
MicroLink will have to 
follow suit, the company 
says its annual subscription 
will remain at £38 for home 
and business users alike and 
it will continue to operate 
off-peak rates for the whole 
of Saturday and Sunday. 

Head of MicroLink Derek 
Meakin said: “The increases 
in the cost of using Prestel 
slem from pressures that we 


have been successfully 
resisting since MicroLink 
started over three years ago. 

“We have rejected all 
arguments to increase the 
cost of our services - even 
when Telecom Gold upped 
its charges substantially last 
year we were able to protect 
our users from their effect. 

“As a result MicroLink has 
grown by leaps and bounds 
and it is nut surprising (hat 
our subscribers form by far 
the largest single group on 
Telecom Gold 11 . 

Prnlests from corning 
enthusiasts have been Hood- 


ing in to Prestel following 
the announcement of the 
increases in charges. 

Typical Micro net user 
Dave Gilbert from Derby- 
shire estimates his average 
bill would rise by 121) per 
cent. 

He said: "Oil peak use of 
Microuet - 5l)p an hour Brit- 
ish Telecom and the new fWlp 
an hour Prestel - means that 
as my BT bill is presently 
£100 from Net use this 
would make a new cost of 
£22 f). "This I could not afford 
- I would have no other 
choice hut to say goodbye". 


■ 


futy lfMft AMftiA GOMIWTING 7 




Germany’s software 
slow to emerge 


GREGOR NEUMANN 
reporting from West Germany 


C OMPARED to England, 
the German software 
scene is a rather unprofess- 
ional organisation. The 
industry consists mainly of 
small software companies 
founded by computer freaks 
who try to sell products on 
their own. 

The whole German soft- 
ware market is controlled by 
two major distributors, 
Ariolasoft and Rush ware, 
who handle products for the 
big British and American 
software houses. 

Given the lack of German 
software houses, there has 
been no strong competition - 
no one has been able to 
establish a successful label to 
become an effective third 
force. 

The lack of German soft- 
ware houses meant a dearth 
of German software as local 
programmers felt they had 
no outlet for their products. 
In 1963, for example, there 
was only one small indepen- 
dent company King soft, 
ranged against the giants. 

Kingsoft started with 
hudget software, and has 
since grown slowly to 
become the leading label - 
but not distributor - in Ger- 
many, In fact, today the com- 
pany employs many German 
software developers. 

With the rise of 1G bit com- 
puters, notably the Amiga, 
two more companies rapidly 
established themselves in the 
marketplace - Rainbow Arts 
(Garrison, Bad Cat, Great 
Giana Sisters) and Micro- 
Partner (Western Games, 
Pink Panther). The two com- 
panies are backed by 
Rushware and Ariolasoft, 


which are now trying to acti- 
vate German program devel- 
opers. 

Rainbow Arts especially is 
growing rapidly and has its 
sights set on hecoming the 
biggest software house in 
Germany. To this end the 
company has enticed the 
best team of programmers - 
Magic Bytes - away from 
Micro- Partner, 

While this was the first 
time a label had switched 
companies, the move has its 
echoes in Andy Braybrook's 
decision to work for BT. 

Two questions remain, 
however: Who owns the pro- 
grams still under develop- 
ment, and who owns the 
name of the label? 

Micro-Partner bought the 
licence to publish the official 
Tom and ferry computer 
game with the intention that 
Magic Bytes should write the 
game. But once Magic Bytes 
joined Rainbow, no one 
seemed to know who exactly 
had the rights. 

The confusion was 
compounded by the welter 
of contracts involving vari- 
ous permutations between 
Magic Bytes, Micro- Partner, 
Ariolasoft, Rushware and 
Rainbow Arts, and at one 
stage it seemed that only a 
court case could unravel the 
tangle. 

In the event, however, a 
solution was worked out. 
Both the Magic Bytes label 
and the licence for Tom and 
Jerry belong to Micro- 
Partner - only the pro- 
grammers switched to 
Rainbow Arts. 

We'll have to wait and see 
whether Micro-Partner can 
find new' developers to finish 
Tom and Jerry for the Amiga. 




The Microway (Europe} Flicker Fixer 
Board far the Commodore Amiga 


Easy on 
the eyes 

B E'ITER known for its PC 
numerics and maths co- 
processors, MicroWay has 
entered the Amiga market 
with the Flicker-Fixer board. 
Managing director Simon 
Shute said; "This is our first 
ever product for the Amiga, 
but it fits in very well with 
our strategy of offering 
upgrades that make genu- 


inely useful improvements to 
system performance, 

"Previously, Amiga users 
have had to contend with a 
high resolution mode that is 
so bad it almost hurts to look 
at it. Most users have stuck 
with the low' or medium 
resolution modes. 

“The Flicker-Fixer allows 
the Amiga to achieve its true 
potential for display of 
superb graphics - something 
it has never done before”. It 
costs £345 from MicroWay 
(01-541 5466), 


Amiga to 
the rescue 

G rowing success of the 

Amiga is the main factor 
in Commodore Inter- 
national's third quarter prof- 
its of S9 million and sales of 
$200 million. 


In the same period last 
year Commodore profit was 
only Si million with sales of 
Si 70 million. 

Chief executive Irving 
Gould said: “We're pleased 
with the strong performance 
of the Amiga product line 
which accounted for 45 per 
cent of our revenue in the 
quarter". 


Short of 



TT would appear that Com- 
modore can produce a prin- 
ter - hut not the ribbons to 
go w ith it. At least that seems 
to be the case with its latest 
offering for the Amiga, for 
owners of the new' 150GC 
machine have been having 
great difficulty tracking 
down extra cartridges. 

In fact the situation proved 
too problematic lor Commo- 
dore - it recommended cus- 
tomers to seek advice from 
Meed mo re Distribution 

(051 521 2202). 

“We have had a number of 


inquiries from irate 1500C 
owners wanting printer 
ribbons", said Meed mo re's 
manager Geoff Hall. "After a 
great deal of searching we 
managed to secure supplies 
from a European dealer. 

"One of the reasons for the 
delay in being able to fulfil 
orders was that it was 
extremely difficult 1o identify 
the ribbon type”, he added, 

"However, now that we 
have supplies the only other 
hurdle to overcome is the 
price. At £24.97 each it may 
seem a little high but we are 
trying to have them manu- 
factured on our behalf, 
which should reduce the cost 
considerably". 


S AMIGA COMPUTING July IQftB 



p 


■AMIGA SCENE! 


Activision 

becomes 

Mediagenic 

A ctivision, one of the 

best established Amiga 
software houses, has 
changed its name to 
Mcdiagenic. The Activision 
name will remain, as the 
games label, with the re- 
in trod net ion of the logo 
which graced the company’s 


early VCS cartridges. 

New titles include 
Afterburner, which is being 
forecast as number 1 for next 
Christmas, Time Scanner - a 
pinball game, R-type - the 
latest scrolling shoot-em-up 
and a number of other 
arcade conversions, 

Mediagenic will explore 
different markets - and not 
necessarily computer based 
ones - with an emphasis on 
presentation tools and inter- 
active video. 


Teletext 
for Amiga 

A N international version 
of Microtext's Teletext 
Adapter is now available lor 
the Amiga, The modified 
product copes with the dif- 
ferent television frequencies 
and standards - which are 
not compatible with those of 
the UK - used by various 
countries. 

And in addition to hand- 
ling these the adapter 
provides access to teletext 


plus pictures and sound in 
any country using the PAL 
coluiir system. 

Other facilities, including 
the ability to save or print 
pages, allow the user to gel 
more from Teletext. And 
Microtext (0705 595694) has 
also included a system to 
speed up page availability 
and allow instant recall of 
the last 16 pages received. 

Connected to the computer 
via the parallel printer port, 
the Teletext Adapter is 
supplied as a fret? standing 
case coloured to match I In; 
Amiga. Price £169,5(1. 


Take over 

B ETTER Dead than Alien 
is the name of a the first 
Amiga game on the new 
label Electra. 

It is written by Oxford 
Digital Enterprises — ODE - 
which started the scrolling 
shoot-’em-up as a spoof, but 
according to ODE’s David 
Pringle: “Tlio aliens just took 



over". The game is described 
as slime, so you might have 
trouble bolding a copy, and 
it will cost £19.95, 


Bundled 

software 

S erious software at 
sensible prices should be 
on the way for Amiga users 
with a promotion recently 
launched by Precision Soft- 
ware (01-330 7166). 

The company is offering 
discounted software bundles 
for a variety of applications. 
And while the promotion is 
aimed al dealers, end users 
too will feel the benefits. 

Savings are considerable. 
The Professional Image 
Processing bundle — Dig) pic, 
PIXmate and Paxull Video 
Camera - now retails at 
£499.95: Bought separately 
the packages would add up 


to more than £600. 

An Introductory Graphics 
pack - Express Paint, Page- 
flipper and IntruCAD - is 
available at £99.95, while 
would-be sound samplers 
can get started with Perfect 
Sound and ECP Midi; 
Interface for £124.95. 

'The DTP bundle, Viza- 
Wrile and Citydesk, is now 
priced at £149.95. VizaWrite 
also features in the £199.95 
Business Pack, along with 
Logistix and Superhasu Per- 
sonal. 

Precision's 250-plus 
dealers will have I he option 
to sell the bundles intact or 
split them, and the promo- 
tion will be backed by an 
extensive advertising cam- 
paign. 



Picking software and 
countering the virus 

JIM BUTTERFIELD 
reporting from Canada 


T HE Amiga has acquired a 
respectable number of 
serious prugrams. In North 
America, Commodore did its 
bit to give the software 
industry momentum by 
sponsoring a promotional 
dual for user groups. 

The deal tied together new 
users, user groups and soft- 
ware houses by making a 
bundle of programs - homo 
or business - available at an 
attractive price to system 
purchasers, Thu offer put a 
lot of professional level soft- 
ware into user hands, And 
since one of the most impor- 
tant buying-decision ques- 
tions is; "Who do I know 
who has it?", a lot of good 
programs developed a 
credibility base. 

Deluxe Paint II leads thu 
field of drawing prog ranis, 
WordPerfect is undoubtedly 
the most revered word 
processor SupcrBase* from 
Precision Software in the 
UK, is highly rated for data- 
base applications. 

There’s no clear winner in 
the spreadsheet race, but 
MaxiPlan was part of Ihc 
Commodore promotion and 
seems to be well regarded. In 
other areas - sound, ani- 
mation, communications - 
the best package may he Ihu 
one that fits your particular 
needs, budget and hardware 
configuration. 

On the non-commercial 
side, group librarians find 
themselves swamped with 
free programs. In the early 
days of computers, the ques- 
tions was: "Where can I find 


ANY programs?" Today, the 
Amiga question is: “How 
can 1 pick my way through 
the huge mass of free pro- 
grams?^ 

Free + or almost free pro- 
grams come in three classes. 
The legal interpretations 
vary. Public domain pro- 
grams are common property: 
you may give them away, 
sell them, copy them, change 
them, or feed them to your 
budgie. 

Free distribution ones may 
be copied and given away, 
but not sold or changed. The 
author retains copyright for 
legal purposes, and often 
insists that a program may 
be copied only if accom- 
panied by full documen- 
tation- 

shareware programs are 
those where the author 
hopes that the user will send 
money. The last have been of 
only limited success 

The free program distri- 
bution system is one of 
joyful turmoil. The telecom- 
munication networks buzz 
with new versions of 
products, questions, boasts 
and rumours. But there is 
fear of the dreaded virus. 

Commodore has a team - 
CATS — whose task is, in 
part, to track and counter 
viruses. And a separate 
group is developing a 
reward fund to help locate 
and prosecute virus-creators, 

Fm not sure about the 
prosecute part; apart from 
the legal side, can you effec- 
tively sue someone who has 
the mental maturity of a four- 
year-old? 


{ufy rflflfl A MICA COMPUTING H 


■ AMIGA SCENE 


Deeper 
into space 

S TAR Wars the movie 
eventually spawned Star 
Wars the coin-op for Atari - 
end Domark’s hestseliing 
conversion for the Amiga. 

Nfow Domark (01-947 
J5G2 2 > is following up its 
success with the release of 
The Empire Strikes Back, a 
one-player game which 
bears more than a passing 
resemblance to the movie. 

The player controls both 
Luke ykywalker’s snow- 
speedm and Han Solo’s Mil- 
lenium Falcon 



After Star Wars Luke Sky walker takes to space again 
courtesy of Do mark's The Empire Strikes Hack 


Conversions 
lining up 

I N a determined bid to set 

I Is stamp {in I he 16-hit 
.market, Ocean Software 
(061-032 6633) has more 
than 2tt products due for 
release over ihe next few 
months — and a sizeable 
proportion are destined lor 
the Amiga, 

Jackal and Gryzor are in 
the pipeline, as ere Platoon, 
Army Moves, Green Here! 
and Combat School, all 
established favourites in 
other c formats with 

armchair warriors. 


Strong Amiga showing at Comdex 


BY JOHN FOUST* 


C OMMODORE made a 
strong showing at the 
recent Comdex show in the 
USA when it unveiled a 
number of Amiga add-ons. 

The twice- yearly Comdex 
presentation is aimed at 
Commodore dealers and 
value-added retailers, the 
main attendees. 

Commodore's presence is 
as much for sales as lor 
public relations - and does 
wonders for boosting and 
maintaining the company 
name in the minds of profes- 
sional computer buyers* An 
appearance is an expensive 
proposition, but it pays off in 
many ways. 

The show, held in Atlanta, 
Georgia, drew a record 
EILOUU visitors. 

Much interest w r as shown 
in ihe new Commodore 
products, although no indi- 
cation was given of prices, 
nor when they will become 
available. 

The only surprise was a 
20Mb SCSI hard disc for the 
Amiga 50U, with sockets for 
2Mb of additional memory 
in the expansion box. 

The other products had 
been previously hinted at to 
some extent - an expanded 
Chip memory graphics chip 
seb a 640 x 400 non- 
interlaced display chip set, a 
Commodore bi-sync monitor 
to work with the non- 
interlaced display, the new 
Amiga DOS 1.3, and the 
68020 coprocessor board, 
with and without Unix 
System V, release 3.2. 


Aside from a modest booth 
on the trade show floor. 
Commodore held a press and 
dealer event in two 
ballrooms at a nearby hotel 
One ballroom held about 
125 Amiga 500s and 2000s 
while the other boused a 
large projection television 
screen and several Amigas 
for the various presentations. 

After a series of enthusi- 
astic speeches from Commo- 
dore management, musician 
and programmer Roger 
Powell gave a performance 
of Amiga Midi music, using 
his Textures program. 

Los Angeles artist Brumm- 
bar was also ors hand! 
shoiving the animations and 
still images he makes with 
VideoScape and paint pro- 
grams, Commodore printed 
a poster with a montage of 
his images, which Brumm* 
bar autographed. 

Brunimbar works with 
celebrity Timothy Leary - 
now a figurehead in the sci- 
ence fiction cyberpunk 
movement - making ani- 
mations and images for 
promoting Leary's recent 
books. 

Pro Image 

APART from the creative 
and entertainment potential 
of the Amiga, it was clear 
that Commodore is hell-bent 
on cultivating a professional 
image for our machine. Most 


Amigas in the Comdex stand 
had FlickerFixer boards to 
avoid the annoying inter 
flicker, so the Amiga dis- 
plays were indistinguishable 
from the other EGA -style dis- 
plays at the show. 

Presentations 

THE Amiga 20 GO can attract 
IBM PC compatible buyers. 
Many corporate purchasing 
departments require an IBM 
PC compatible machine, and 
liie Amiga 2000 is a way to 
get the IBM compatibility 
along with the video pre- 
sentation abilities of the 
Amiga side. In this way, 
Amigaphiles can sneak the 
2000 into a company to do 
presentation graphics, while 
retaining the ever-popular 
PC compatibility. 

One example of a profes- 
sional application was Coin- 
moths re’s Professional Video 
Adapter, or PVA. The PVA 
includes a digitiser and two- 
source switchable genlock. It 
was shown connected to a 
video camera attached to a 
microscope. Microscopic 
organisms swam on a slide, 
and the PVA digitised and 
ge ii locked their image. 

On the tail of recent 
announcement of the Amiga 
2500 AT and UX machines, 
another part of the Commo- 
dore stand showed the 68020 
coprocessor running Unix. 

Several weeks ugu F a 
debate ensued as to whether 


the Amiga 2500 would ever 
be released in the US. 

In a Wall Street Journal 
interview, CBM chairman of 
the boa ini Irving Could said 
that the machines would be 
sold in the US. Within days 
of this interview > several 
other Commodore upper 
management members 
denied this. 

While the 2500 machines 
are actually composed of off- 
the-shelf Commodore 
boards, availability of the 
Unix software is a key 
problem, 

Chances are, if the soft- 
ware is available in the US at 
all, it will be sold only 
through a few .select 
dealerships that can handle 
the extra level of support 
necessary for the complex 
Unix operating system. 

The 68020 hoard's Unix 
was demonstrated running a 
proprietary windowing 
interface. Most probably, the 
Unix will be shipped with 
Commodore's version of the 
X- Win do ws win do win g 

interface. 

One Commodore engineer 
was willing to talk about a 
recently developed G8U30 
coprocessor board for Ihn 
Amiga 2000. It runs at 25 
Mhz, but it has not been of- 
ficially acknowledged in any 
way. 


*John Foust is been an Amiga 
writer and Amigaphile since 
Day One. He hi is regular 
columns in several US maga- 
zines. . 


to AMIGA COMPUTING fitly litRB 



1 Aaargh 

..£14.95 

Pink Panther 

,.£14.95 

1 Air Rally 

..£19.95 

Rolling Thunder 

.£14.95 

1 Bubble Bobble El 4.95 

Sidewinder 

....£7.95 

1 Beck Lash 

..£14.95 

Screaming Wings JMt+P Cl4 95 1 

1 Crack + ..„. B .,.,£14 P 95 

Star Wars 

.£14.95 1 

Ferrari Fl 

..£1895 

Soccer Supremo * El 2.00 1 

Flintstonea 

..£14.95 

Terramex 

£14.95 

Garrison 2 

.,£18.95 

Th underbox 

£14.95 

Goldrjnner II 

.....POA 

Vyper.. 

£12.00 

Jat 

..£26.95 

Wizball 

£18.95 

Leatherneck 

..£14,95 

Wall 

.£14,95 

ObJiterator 

..£18.95 

Xeno ft. 

£15.50 

ADVENTURES/SIMULATION 

Adventure Con. Set . 

..£12.00 

Jet 

,.£29 95 

Bards Taie II 

POA 

King of Chicago 

..£22.95 

Battleships... 

..£12,00 

Return to Atlantis — 

..£19.95 

Beyond Zork 

..£17,95 

Shadowgate 

..£19.95 

1 Chessmaster 2000 ,. L £1 0,95 

The Three Stooges . 

..£23.95 

Oark Castle 

..£19.95 

Strike Force Harrier . 

..£19.95 

Destroyer 

..£19.95 

Spitfire 40 

POA 

Hollywood Poker 

....£995 

Sherlock Holmes 

..£24.95 

Interceptor 

POA 

Time & Magik 

,,£14.95 

Flight Sim tl 

..£29.95 

XR35 

....£7.50 

1 European Scenery .,,,£15,50 




ARCADE 


UTILITIES 


Analyze £127.95 

BBS PC £79.95 

Graphic Tablet ..£295,00 

Lattice C £129.00 

Lattice C PRO £275.00 

LISP £1 25.00 

Music Studio £1 8.00 


Organise . £79.95 

Publisher 1000 .,£175.00 

Pascal £75.00 

Scribble £75,00 

TV Text, £75.00 

Zurna Ponts 

1-3 £29.00 each 


WIDE RANGE OF 
IMPORTS AVAILABLE 


ACCESSORIES & HARDWARE 


Pro 5000 Joystick £1 4.95 Disc Bex (80) £1 2,00 

Speed King Joystick .. £1 2.00 Mouse Mat £4.95 

Atari Joystick £6.95 Mouse Controller £22.95 


PHONE FOR LOW PRICES ON A500 

Phone orders are welcome 

Please make cheques P/Orders payable to: 

TIMESOFT 

Phone 11 you don't see what you require 



■ Amiga 02000 with 1 Mb RAM, 

3.S" disk, mouse, software..,. £999 

■ Amiga B200GM As above, 
plug Ai0$4 hi-res colour monitor . Cl 245 

■ Amiga 02GOQX TM At above, 
plus PX XT bridge board & Hoppy Cl 725 

■ Amg& A 500 eemptoto, now only .... £395 

■ Anuga A5QQ with TV modulator £415 Press Incto* 15% VAT, a FREE copy of 


■ Am^fl A50CI With 19CXJM Dslux# Palm, FREE dt*Hv*ry Eh yew Jr dodr, 

nigh rust mono monitor .«» £475 one yea r wanamy. Overnight delivery Cl?. 

■ Amiga A6G0M with AI0B4 Alt systems are reeled before deflpalch On - 

high-raa colour manner , — .. £5S5 s*to maintonftnes option avajJabis. 



FROM C34SI 


AMIGA 


/JJ PERIPHERALS 

AMXGA 

■ 51 2K plu-g-ln RAM/ctoek (A600) .,^£106 

■ At 001 high-rast?t3loyr monitor „ ri „ P £225 

■ Ai os4 h^h-iM ctAxir monitor £249 

■ 19Q0M high-res mono monilor ....... , £09 

■ Ai O iO 3 .5" asternal disk drtvs £10S 

■ Cumana 3.5" exiema! d 5k drive .... Cl29 

■ NEC imerrvaJ drive (2000 only) £120 

■ A2010 internal dme (2000 only) .... £175 
a Genlock &2Q0Q video oanroiler .... £225 


fl A206& PG-XT bridge board 

with 5 diok dr^vn £439 

■ A2D92PC 20M& imernal hard 

titik w*h MS DOS oonEroller £S2E 

■ A2032A 20Mb internal hard 

disk with Aniga DOS contrtrfier £625 

■ Supra hflrd disks ftJMb - 250M6 .....Cal 

■ A20522Mb internal HAM card _£3M 

■ Citiz en 120D 120q», ¥fT r NLQ £175 

■ Stl t LC 1 0 1 2D CpS, F/T P NLQ £2 1 5 

■ Star LC10 he above, colour £24 5 

■ Precision printer 400 cp«. NLQ . 0399 

■ Canon PJ1O60A colour, 60 dpi ....,..£439 

■ Xerox 4020 colour, 240 dpi £1125 

» HP LaserJet laser. 300 dpi .£1995 



CREATIVITY 


amjga 


■ OeLuw PaN l| (PAL) ...£59.95 

a DrgiPajhl 4D96 colours £49.95 

■ De Luxe Music (PAL) 

■ Page Setler £94.95 

■ Cily Desk CS9.95 

■ Antmatof Apprenfiice £179.95 


■ Th# Works 

m PmWriia (VZ0) 

■ V'izaWrrte Deskop 
m Wend Parted 

a Publisher Plug 
9 L :jw 

■ PixMaie 

■ Prism Plus 
a Calligrapher 

■ De Luxe Video IF 

■ Aegis VideoScape 

■ Pro-Video CGI 
« Aege Animator 

■ TV Show 

a DigiPc 

■ Art 0* Chess 


Analyze +- Organize * Scribble, Inlegraled deskdop £99.95 

Wordproces&lng fully ImegratiKl wrth graphics £79.95 

High performance desXIpp pUbiehing ■werdfKecfrssof .....£69,95 
Amiga version at the No. 1 best selling wordprocessor , 1 199 95 

Enhanced verstod d the original deskaco pufcfelMf £99.95 

The Idea Processor Irpm New Hortffit $0 ftW3/e £49.95 

Prciessional image enhancement straight Irom NASAI ... £44.95 
4C96 HAM oolour paint pack 1024 X 1024 f needs 1Mb) „ £54.95 
Prdetsibnal Pont edilor, Ionia up to 160 x pixeia ....... £74.36 

Craaie air typos of video presemaiions W4h ease £59.95 

Full 3D animations in atf rescX utkms with ovarscan .. P „_,, £l?4 9$ 
Prolog sianai video irtier with tom*. ertra rems available £159 95 
Full tlOryboardir*g packaga . Includes Aegis Images £94 95 
PAL Image prosenlaJten m IFF Qf HAM With Overscan .... £09.95 

Fasi I rame-g rabber, 32 colours or g ray scale £?99.95 

The beai Amiga ohwa yet, packed with Fea1ur« .............. £15.95 


■ SAM Basic ESB.W 

■ A/C Basic ....£154.95 

■ A/C Fonran £229.95 

■ Lam ice C 4.0 £124.-95 

■ Latlico C Prol«filonal .............. £299,95 

■ MCC Pascal £69.95 

■ €4 Emulator Use your CS4 prograrrE. and Neel Includes cable £59.95 

■ FC Enulalor The Transformer (MS-DOS not supplied) ,.£39.95 

■ SuperBaw FVttfti Relationa.1 database power, wilheut programming! £69,^5 

■ SuperRaw Pror. With Forms Edhor and DML program largyago ,,,.„, £224.95 

■ Acquisition (Vi .3) Relational daf &bas o w hb programming language £i 99 .95 

■ M axiplan 500 Uttimaie Amiga spreadsheet, + LexL-c raph s&.-speech ,„, .. £B5 95 

■ Maxiplan Plus As Max plan 5W> above, plus powanul Macro language £*29.95 

■ V IP P rof essiona) 1 -23 compatible spreadsheet + dal-sbas© ft graphs £99.95 

■ Logstis 2040 x 1024 spreasheoi, database, grapha 5 calendar ... £99.95 

■ Business ware Pk 1 (nvoicing, Sales Ledger, Stock Comiol, by Panmaad , 1P . £159.95 

m Business ware Pk 2 Generariedqer, Purchase Ledger, by Pafimfrad £1 59.95 

■ Inlro Cad Entry level CAD package, primer or plmtar output £W,95 

■ Aeqa Draw Plus CorT^rohensNe CAD With 3441ple layers £ Window* £1 3&.95 

■ X-Cad FYofessional CAD syslem (needs 2Mb) ,„„. P „„ P .„.„. P ,„ P1 £424,95 

■ MCC A^serribler FVotessionaJ developrnenL system with Inker £ Ibraries .. £59.95 



PROBUCTIVlTf 


AMIGA 



rn Oonrnodor# 12&D £399.00 

fl ComnodorB* 126 £22^.00 

— ■ ■ NEW 1&ei disk dnve 3.6" ......... £199.00 

Vt M ■ Commodore 1 571 disk drive £ 1 99.00 

m ■Corrmodore 154 1C diskdrive £125,00 

■ 1 90GM 4Oi‘0o mono morrilof ........ EB9.00 

5up#fSa*el2fl £29.95 ■ VizaWrite 120 Classic £59.96 

Superflase 64 A PlursJ4 £24,95 W VizaWri3e64 (dsN £39.95 

SuperSase: The 0ooh £1 1 .95 ■ VizaWrile 64 (caPridge) £49.96 

SuperBase Starter 64 „ P1 £ 1 4,95 ■ VizaStar 1 29 £79.95 

Superscript 1 26 £29.95 m VlzaStaj 64 XU £59.96 

Superscript 54 S4.9& ■ VizaStar 64 XL4 £49.95 

Pel Speeq Oxford Syslems' besl seHir^i Basic corryxier | Stats 64.1 2fi| £ 1 9.95 

Oxlord Pascal Compteta JAW Pascal, wifri exlensiont mm 64i'1 2fl| E 1 9.95 

Oilord p*«il 64 I'tapeJAS above, lor CS4 l^se u&ara , £19,95 

Coopt Complete COBOL package rrom Abacue (uians $4/1 28} £29.95 

Super G Complete C Lang yaga to K 4 R -standard . (slam 64/1 26; £39.95 

Hack Pack AH-ie-one programmers Toolkit- Ram-disk . (suns $4.i ss} £ 1 9 96 

Gxiord Basic 64 AJl-m-one Basic ecmpilw, Toolkit, COrnirfls&or £19.95 

1750 Expanson RAM 512K Expansion FLAM cartridge For lha C130 £149.95 

Ram Ohm 1^0 l ighflnlng-fasl RAM disk F&r 512K expansion RAM £29.95 

1764 Ejtfianson RAM 256K Expansion RAM can ridge For ihe Q$* £99.96 

Anaiomy oF ihe 126 The 5b0-pa^ge Infers gukJe to the 120 £9.95 


IF YOU WANT IT TOMORROW . . . CALL US TODAV1 ON 0403 5041 25 


Wees a* P0&TFRE E 6 inoLfeVAI. QnMr 
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quot«d it* Subject id avaJ^tiy. 

FW AMC7 




LAKESIDE HOUSE, KINGSTON HILL, SURREY KT2 TOT. TELr ai^S4$7256 


fuiytWB AM1CA atMPtirist; n 


















12 AMIGA COMPUTING luty 1988 







■ADVENTURES! 


■ 
r 


ie 

£ JfNt . 

its 

' L 
\\ 


v. 




^ 3U0K 

!£m 


> 


& 


, <te 


T HES original Ad venture same 
appeared in the mid-seventies 
and was to bo Ion ml on many 
mainframe computers. For all its 
success, there were some who wanted 
1o see an improved operating system „ 
as Adventure only accepted a simple 
showing each character's status. This 
In 1977 a group at the famous 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
developed a new parser Ihnl would 
understand commands like: KILL 
TROLL WITH SWORD. OPEN GREY 
BOX and GET ALL BOOKS EXCEPT 
THE RED ONE. 

The lirst game to use this was Zork, 
Originally developed on a Dec 19, it 
was later converted lor other 
computers but in each case required a 
memory 7 of megabytes rather than 
kilobytes. With the rise of the micro, 
tiie operating system Ibr Zork was 
rewritten in Z1L, Zork Implementation 
Language. Thu saving in memory was 
fantastic, 

Presently Infonom has games for 
most tastes hut recently discontinued 
production of over half of the Amiga 
titles- Some are real classics and 
should he in everyone's collection. If 
you act quickly, at least one mail 
order house has many for only £12. 
Buy now, Em sure you 11 not regret it 

A PART from its parser, the main 
feature id an Infueoro game is 
the highly descriptive text. Although 
complex commands are possible they 
require the first six letters of a word 
to he typed in. rather than the more 
usual four, Infocom games are as 
good as anything else mi die market, 
hul I fee! dial vvu should not be 
blinded by hype. I wonder how many 
players actually Ivpu in TAKE 
EVERYTHING EXCEFI 1 THE BLUE 
BOOK, rather than TAKE ALL. 
followed by DROP BLUE BOOK. 

Underground Zork 1 is a great 
adventure. Of all I he early Infacom 
offerings. Ibis is the one lor the 
beginner. It is not easy, hut is fun and 
brings ri great sense of adiievemnrd 
when you win through each puzzle 
Also known as The Great 
Underground Adventure, Zork ] 
starts outside an apparently deserted 
house in the middle of wooded 
country. The entrance to the 
underground domain is in the house, 
hut the countryside iiround also has 
hidden treasures. Your prime aim is 
to gather treasures anti pul them in a 



trophy case. 

Drawing a map as you go is vital 
but complications arise when 
exploring the two mazes. The 
standard method to map a maze is to 
drop objects so you can identify a 
location when you go back to it 
However there is a thief roaming 
around, so objects dropped may not 
be there when you return. You will 
meet other characters, some of whom 
you will have to fight. This was a llrsl 
i ot the original Zork, 

DIAGNOSE will display your state 
nl health and, if wounded, the 
number of turns to full recovery. The 
location descriptions are very 
colourful and you may choose their 
length with VERBOSE. BRIE! or 
SUPER BRIEF, 

There is the unusual option of 
being able to ask questions with 
commands such as WH AT IS XXX? 
or WHERE IS XXX?. You may not 
alvvavs get a useful answer. 

Try asking WHAT IS A GRUK? 
times arc? Infocom s own special 
nasties that will grab yon if you stay 
too long in the; dark. A battery 
operated lantern is found in the 
house. Use it Willi care, as ha Meries 
will not last forever. There are 
matches, candles and a torch so. keep 
your eyes open for sources of light. 

The underground system is nnl a 
natural cave system as in the original 
Adventure, hut is created 'Ey a 
mixture of magic and really high 
technology. You will mine across a 
hi-tech dam. a coal mine and the 
entrance to Hades. This game is 
devious; watch your st ore close] v to 


see how well you are doing. 

Do not take too inueh underground 
to start with: you will not be able lo 
carry many treasures hack to dial 
trophy case. You can find several 
weapons, some of which are more 
effective than others. Read hooks very 
carefully* Remember thul they may 
have more than one page, and SAVE 
your game position before pressing 
any buttons, 

If Zork is a classic text adventure, 
then Exodus: Ultima III has gol to 
have a similar standing in the field of 
compilin' role playing games 
(CRPGsL Tt is produced by Origin 
Systems and distributed in the UK by 
Microprose. 


tL OT surprisingly. Ultima III is 
1 tI Mm third in a series of GRPGs, ] 
and II are not available for the Amiga, 
hut IV should he here any time, and 
V is in the final stages of completion. 
Several early CRPGs gave you I he 
option of assuming the persona of 
various different c: lasses of diameter - 
fighter* cleric or magic user and so 
on. 

Ultima III was one of the first Bo 
enable you lo venture forth with three 
companions, each having attributes 
and characteristic s of Miemi- own. 

The underh ung plot of the Ultima 
scenes us (he rise ul m il in the land ol 
Sosaria. Called through time and 
space by Lord British, your mission is 
to gather a team of adventurers to 
defoal its present manifestation. 
Although I he soiling arid weapons are 


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Fighting a group of wntigado wizards 


mediaeval, there are hints that this 
civilisation is on the downward spiral 
from a past that knew much more* 

The spawn of evil from the past 
overshadows any other concern, as 
you and your team struggle to unravel 
the clues to its existence. Origin may 
not produce the cheapest games on 
the market hut its standards of quality 
and presentation are of the highest. 

Ultima III comes with a cloth map 
of Sosaria and three manuals. One is 
general and the other two descrihe 
the various priestly or sorcerous 
spells your characters may use. A 
simple reference card covers all the 
options open to the player. 

Before wandering into the wilds of 
Sosaria you must create your 
characters - up to 2D - and form a 


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party. You can go adventuring with 
less than four hut this is not wise. In 
creating each one, you must choose 
I he name, sex and race (human, ell, 
dwarf, hobbit or fuzzy). Each race has 
different potentials - dwarves are 
strong, elves are dexterous and so on. 

Next comes choice of profession - 
barbarian, thief, wizard or ranger. 
There are 11 possibilities and care 
must he taken to finish up with a 
balanced parly. Finally you have 50 
points to apportion for your 
characters’ strength, dexterity, 
wisdom and intelligence. 

Fighting types need strength, 
thieves dexterity, clerics wisdom, and 
magic users intelligence, A table in 
the manual lists the professions and 
tells you what type of armour, 
weapons anti spells each can use. 

A good combination to start with 


would he ranger, thief, druid and 
wizard, providing good fighting 
ability and characters who can cast 
healing and offensive spells. You arc: 
now ready lo journey into the 
unknown lands of Sosaria. The wind 
in your hair, open rolling plains 
behind you and a small walled city 
before you. 

T HE display is a plan view, with 
one character indicating your 
party's position. Water is shown to 
the right of the map anti two 
buildings represent a castle and small 
town. You can see some woods to the 
west. 

To the right of the map is a display 
showing each character’s status, ’I his 
provides such information as food 
supplies, hit points, magic points 
(spell casting ability) and their level 
(all start at level 1), By typing Z, you 
are told how much gold they have, 
what they are carrying and their 
present statistics. 

Each character starts with a dagger 
and cloth armour, but you must tell 
them to R eady the dagger for use 
and 'Wear the armour.They have a 
limited amount of gold. The sensible 
thing to do next is 'E'nter the town to 
buy additional weapons and armour. 
Visit the tavern w here gossip may be 
heard, or bought for the price of a 
few drinks. 

Most towns have a grocers for food, 
and some other interesting places, 
Explore towns carefully and talk to 
the people - you will pick up all sorts 
of useful information. Purchase a 
bow, even if this means pooling your 
team's gold. 

Out in the open, everything that 
moves will attack you. If you can kill 
some of them before they can get to 
you, it will save some hit points. 

Kitted out to the limit of your purses, 
leave the safety of the town. Monsters 
come in a variety of different guises, 
from ores, trolls, ghouls, zombies and 
giants, to daemons, dragons, devils, 
ha Irons and even sea serpents. 

When combat takes place, the 
display shows a larger scale map, 
with the four members of your party 
towards the bottom and the foe 
towards the top. Once conflict has 
begun there is no retreat, 

Battle at a distance is possible with 
a bow. magic or by throwing daggers. 

Your team may only swing or 
throw weapons to the north, south, 


14 AMIGA CVMPI!TI\G July fflflfl 


■ADVENTURES* 



ZORK 

[nfocom 111-431 1101 
l-ftss than £15 


EXODLTSt ULTIMA III 
Or i f> i n/M i<: ro p rusi! 
£24.05 


STORY USE MINIM 

Archetypal fantasy with enigmatic 
origins of underground empire only 
apparent after quite some time. 


STORYLINE 1111111 II lj . 

Believable alternative universe in need 
of help. You ’ll want to give it. 


AURA .... | | | | j 

Cood descriptive passages keep the 
interest active however often you play . 


AURA | | | | MjMEQI 

Creating and believing in your team of 
characters is a simple part of the fun. 


STA VINO POWER | IE I If I If I I 1 I 

Lots of puzzles maintain pressure to 
keep you up until the small hours. 


STAYING POWER I^^^UTiTI 1 
Wifi take you many enjoyable weeks to 
map and to learn its hidden secrets. 


GAMEPLA Y. 

Basic text adventure with many good 
puzzles and mazes to tax the player. 

VALUE .... MI NIM I | | | | | 

Excellent. Just because [nfocom has 
Stopped producing the game it is now 
sold at bargain prices. Bov quickly, 

DIFFICULTY... I | U U 

All Infocom games involve some 
devious thought. This is a good place 
for the novice to learn the ropes. 


GAMEPLA Y |^H] 

Well balanced operating system that 
makes the whole thing hang together. 


VALUE ill I 

Must work otti at fractions of pence 
hour of pleasure, despite the high 
American price on the shiny box. 


DIFFICULTY Ml I I M I I I 

Stamina needed to explore and map all 
of its many levels. Worth the effort. 


lives not show its age, A game with 
heritage, which has sired many more 
adventures , including /Corks H and III 


Winner for role players , lots to get your 
teeth into. Totally absorbing. 


magical or clerical type it is wise to 
allocate the maximum number of 
points to the appropriate attribute. 

As you explore coastal areas, you 
may find yourself under attack from a 
pirate ship, If you beat the pirates, the 
ship is vours and you can explore 
Sosaria more thoroughly. There are 
many pirates at sea, so be prepared to 
meet them either with cannon or a 
boarding party. 

Another means of travel is via 
Moon Gates, ancient structures which 
only appear at certain phases of 
Sosiria’s twin moons. Entering one 
w ill teleport you to another gate. To 
help you to understand the working ' 
of these portals, I he phases of the 
moons are included in the main 
display. 

Exodus: Ullima III presents a real 
challenge and has much more to it 
lhan jusl hashing monsters. There arc 
26 commands issued with a single 
letter input — the mouse duplicates 
some ol them, There is an option to 
type in additional commands such as 
DIG or SEARCH. It is not ton difficult 
lo learn to stay alive, but solving the 
real puzzles behind your quest will 
take a little longer. 


diet us screen for one of the team 


west or east, and the enemy may also 
slrikc on a diagonal. Each time a 
member of the learn is hit his hit 
points decrease! 


aamtiunaJ experience points. 

Initially, for each 1 MO gained. Lord 
British will increase your potential hit 
points. Time licks away inexorably 
but the game’s pace is quite 
acceptable. You may pause to take 
breath and consider your options by 
selecting to use a weapon and then 
delay in aiming it. 

Having won, the vanquished toe 
leaves behind a treasure chest. These 
are often booby-trapped, but may he 
opened safely using a priestly spell. 

I hieves may be used as they are more? 
likely to spot traps. 

If it has been a costly battle do not 
hurry to open the chest as a spot of 
healing may In; worthwhile. You can 
use chests as a barricade In protect 
your flank. Hit points lost during 
combat will come back as time 
passes; the same goes for magic 
points expended in casting spells. 

Many towns are dotted around 
Sosaria - explore them carefully lo 
find out what and who they contain. 

In some places injurerf or poisoned 
characters may be healed - for a 
price. Keep a pencil and paper handy. 

Dungeons are 3D mazes. The four 
keys that you’ve been using to move 
N,$,W,E now refer to forward, retreat 
and turn left or right. Dungeons are 
dark. Spells will light your way hut 
Iasi only a short time, so you are 
better off with a torch. These and 
other useful items may be purchased 
from guild shops found in some 
tow ns. Initially only a few spells are 
available to you as (heir use depends 
upon the number of magic points a 
character has, When creatine a 


U NCK past the initial stages, I 
found the combat and magii 
balance one of the best I have conn 
across. Every lime a member of voi 
party kills an attacker, he gets 






Making the 
headlines 

John Walker looks at Gold 
Disk's DTP package 


P HF. Amiga lacks a top-class 
JL desktop publishing program to 
rival Aldus PageMaker on the 
Macintosh or Xerox’s Ventura 
Publisher on the IBM PC. But, a little 
lower down ihe scale, it can compete 
with othur computers. 

Of the DTP programs available, ihe 
deservedly dominant one is Gold 
Disk’s PageSetter, This really shines 
when used with PageSetter 
LaserScript, a good PostScript driver 
for an appropriate laser printer such 
as Apple's LaserWriter. 

PageSetter is capable of producing 
work of a professional quality, 
although this requires considerable 
effort. It is used to produce the 
American magazine Robo City News, 
With it, I typeset and illustrated a 
150-page book - The Desktop Guide 
to Desktop Publishing. 

You can create school magazines, 
club bulletins, community newsletters 
and flyers. For such productions, you 
will hardly notice that it has no 
automatic page-numbering or that it 
lacks such typographic niceties as 
automatic hyphenation (splitting 
words at the correct point when they 
are set in columns) and kerning 
(altering the amount of space between 
adjacent letters) . 

PageSetter comes on a single 
unprotected disc together with a small 
and inadequate manual. This raves 
ahout the joys of desktop publishing 
but fails to tell you everything it 
should about the program, 

W HERE PageSetter differs From 
many desktop publishing 
programs is that it allows you 1o 
switch between three screens - the 
page layout screen, a text editor, 
which provides many of the facilities 
of a word processor, and a graphics 
editor which doubles as a simple 
drawing program. 

The text editor allows you to copy, 
cut and paste text, to search for words 
or phrases, and replace them. But it is 
line- rather than page-orientated, 
which makes updating the screen 
somewhat jerky. 1 found it too 
uncomfortable to use as a word 
processor. 

The text editor's main purpose is to 
Fine tune words created on another 
word processor. You can load 
documents saved in Ascii. PageSetter 


is also compatible with Scribble! and 
Textcraft. so it will preserve styles, 
such as italics, from the original 
document. 

You set different lexl styles within 
the editor by entering a backslash 
followed by the appropriate letter 
around words or phrases. Thus. \b 
would put words that followed it in 
bold and Yn would return them to 
normal- Available styles are bold, 
italic, normal t outline, reverse, 
shadow and underline, which can be 
mixed in any combination. 

The graphics editor is used for 
loading and altering illustrations. You 
can draw' lines in various thicknesses. 


airbrush, and produce filled or 
outlined rectangles and circles, A 
zoom gadget magnifies pari of a 
picture so that you can add tine 
detail. 

You can clip part of a picture and 
use it as a brush. The artwork can be 
copied, re-sized and Hipped 
horizontally and vertically- You can 
also play around with text, changing 
its size and shape to creale interesting 
effects, something that the manna! 
Fails to tell you, 

PagcSelter converts colour graphics 
to monochrome, adding grey scale 
shading that is sometimes unpleasant. 
Ti may also dislorl the original, since 


A simple bar chart 
can enhance (he 
appearance of a page 



GET IMPACT 
INTO YOUR 
HEADLINES 

Get Impact 
into your 
Headlines 


Get Impact 
Into Your 
Headlines 

Get impact 
into your 
headlines 


Four styles of headline 
settings, Citmni practice 
favours the tower case 
approach 


AMIGA COMPUTING fuly 198S 


p 


■ REVIEW* 


its resolution of G40 x 2(10 pixels is 
non-standard. 

PageSetter's greatest limitation is 
that graphics cannot be re-sized on 
the layout page. A full-screen 
illustration in the graphics editor 
shrinks to something much smaller , 
less than a 4 X 3 inches, when 
printed. It can be shifted, moved at a 
pixel at a time and masked to show 
only part of it bill it cannot be made 
any bigger. 


d 

be 

1 

ing 


its 

ill. 

:e 



i 

ke 


I NCLUDED on the Page Setter disc 
is a selection of clipart to provide 
you with instant illustrations. It is 
uninspired and uninspiring stuff, but 
occasionally useful. 

You can move text ami graphics 
between the layout pages and the 
editors at any time. Transfer from one 
screen and another is almost 
instantaneous even when there are a 
lot or words in the system. Using a 
512k Amiga I’ve worked on layouts 
that ran to 1 7 pages, contained 6,000 
words and half-a-dozen illustrations 
without much slowing down. You 
couldn't do that on an IHM PC 
without a hard disc. 

The page layout screen is the heart 
of PageSetter. To create your layout 
you use the mouse to access pull- 
down menus at the top of the screen 
and a toolbox at the righthunrf side. 
The display initially shows a blank 
page with on-screen rulers. 
Measurements are in either inches 
or picas, I hat peculiar printing 
measure with six picas to the inch, in 
order to make design easier, a grid 
can be superimposed on the page. 

W ORDS and pictures are held 
in boxes which can he 
drawn on the page or defined in a 
page requester that allows you to 
enter the size of the page and its 
margins with the number and size of 
the columns, after which they are 
drawn automatically. 

You can define a default box, in 
which you specify how I he text is tri 
be justified - either centered or set 
ragged left or light, the tracking - 
spacing between letters, and leading - 
the spacing between lines. 

You can choose a font and whether 
the box is to have a border around it. 
There is a choice of five borders, all 



“F Publishing for the AMKM 


explode SaftT' th t fl >du5try 
b °Qlrs and even trad.' har *‘ r «rs, 

"osl, ro 0n , e(]i to fflj 
^ «, orM 

'£t *V dv, nl S t he 

* \ -'-III 

f“>l*ter industry ffi! Ct 

si 

,J5»?S=Sf's 

*w'3«a" n |" r " 
po», rfu fl <J‘» • 


Nlifon do 
^°t sfnc 
s preadih 
a PPticatf 
Wi the c 
fonpanJes, 

tndi vfdi ubIje 

couu) uters in 
Professional 
^ and r 
e **Uy, at a 


Several 


| lintraT j — — 

tediiSs P t? 5 < f C of er f fiand ^ the 

easily using an d 

text editors » j„ ,n F*We 
from your f Btn Wwl them 

?»***» i nc jJd„ P'ocewors. 
ft rar y of cjjpit „3 

liow you f D a™ f 0nts to 

ight away. U -P an *l nuuidj 

*** at times, 

** ® Wtt? Wt! tagp, I 


Intuttlvi 

sase of 


nl «n indies « 
rinter in 




Hex YtT'j 


combinations of straight lines. A 
shadow can be added to the box. 

One minor bug is that PugeSetter 
will not print the righthand shadow 
of a box unless there is another box 
beneath and to the right of it. 

Boxes can be linked so that text will 
flow from one to another, over as 
many pages as you like. Changes to 
the lexi in one box will affect all of 
I hem. This is useful because it means 
you can produce a basic layout for a 
regular newsletter, which can be 
saved as a series of empty boxes. 
Then, when occasion demands, you 
load your text and pour il through the 
pages. 

Boxes can he overlaid, either so that 
what is in one box will show through 


another, or in an opaque form, so lhat 
you can cover up mistakes. Using the 
see-through option allows you to put 
text over shaded boxes or graphics. 

A box can be changed in size and 
shape by simply pulling at its bottom 
righthand corner. It can he shifted 
around the page by putting the cursor 
within it and moving ihe mouse. 

'The page itself can be displayed at 
three magnifications. At its smallest, 
the whole page is shown on screen. 

Al its second size, you can see half a 
page on screen at a time. At full 
magnification, which shows an eighth 
of a page, what you see will he what 
you get when you print. 

PageSetter uses the Amiga's built-in 


/u/y 193ft AMIGA COMPUTING 17 


■ REVIEWS 


<4 

fonts, which are acceptable for the 
main text but don’t make good 
display types for headlines. 

Headlines themselves nan either be 
written in the text editor and then 
added in their own boxes or written 
on the page using a small pop-up 
QuickText box in which you can type 
up to 1 00 characters. 

If you want more interesting 
typefaces, you will need to invest 
either in one or more of the three 
volumes of Zuma Fonts or the 
cheaper three volumes of Earthhound 


P AGESETTER uses the Amiga’s 
Preferences drivers for its 
printed output. This is a pity since the 
1.2 drivers are limited to 9-pin dot 
matrix printers and some do not work 
well, leaving thin white lines. The 
improved Workbench 1,3 drivers cure 
ibis, but I'd like to see some custom 
printer drivers, incorporating the sort 
of smoothing algorithms which are 
available on DTP programs for other 
micros. 

Some problems may be solved by a 
page-printing program included on 
the PageSetter disc. To use it, von first 
save your pages, quit PageSelter, load 
the printing program and print them. 
Because it occupies less memory, the 
program holds a whole page at a time 
in ram, which eliminates the white 
line problem. A further program 
included allows you to save a page as 
an TFF file which you can then load 
into Deluxe Paint or a similar 
graphics package. 

It takes about five minutes to print 
a page using a dot matrix printer. The 
results are good with a 9-pin printer, 
but better with a 24-pin using a driver 
from the 1.3 Workbench preferences 
which is beginning to appear on the 
updates to some programs - mine 
came from ProWrite 2.0. 

PageSetter LaserS cript, an extra 
program that is an essential buy for 
those who want the best possible 
results, allows you to drive a 
PostScript laser printer. It comes with 
four PostScript type-faces — Courier, 
Helvetica, Times Roman and Symbol 
— which can he scaled to any size you 



PostScript lets you 
manipitiitlti images, 
reducing mid 
angling them 


want. It also permits the manipulation 
of finished pages, which can be 
shrunk, rotated or laid one or top of 
another to create unusual effects. 

I FOUND the program robust and 
unlikely to crash. However there is 
one annoying little bug. Sometimes, 
when dealing with long documents, 
the first line on a page will not justify 
to the left band margin but will be set 
one character in and will resist ail 
attempts to change it. I found the only 
way to deal with it was to go to the 
first page of the document, switch 
from the layout screen to the text 
editor and then return to the layout. 

Otherwise Page Sutler is a good, 
uncomplicated program suitable for 
non -professional use, I prefer it to 
such rivals as City Disk and Publisher 
1000. although its supremacy may be 
challenged soon. 

The others are being updated, and 
there are newer ones on the horizon 
such as Publishing Partner 
Professional and Gold Disk's own 
Professional Page. In the meantime. 
PageSetter provides excellent value 
for money and will more than meet 
the requirements of many users. 


REPORT CARD 


PageSetter 

HR Marketing, Tel: UH95 444433. 


USEFULNESS 



Turns simple documents into 
professional looking page# but token 
some tii iie. 


EASE UF USE- 



(VA ihi the commands are not 
immediately obvious they can be 
picked up quickly 


INTUITION . 



Fully interpreted along Commodore 
guidelines hut is ram ami processor 
hungry. 


SPEED 

Profession,? i results ta ke a while but 
with the Amiga's horsepower it should 
not he quite as slow as it is. 


VALVE 

At only £80 this is priced much more 
keenly than you would expect for ml 
Amiga package which has a small 
market. 


OVERALL 66% 


A full Desktop Publishing package 
PageSetter takes some mastering but 
produces creditable results. 









19 AMIGA COMPUTING }uiy fitm 











■ R E V r E w ■ 





Roger . . . Wilco . , . Simon Rockman 
is cleared for take-off 




ns j| 






















- ■- 






sin 


Supreme 


O NLY the Amiga makes it 
possible. It's Commodore's 
slogan, and so often a true one. Hut 
games software houses with an eye in 
the quick buck so often let I he 
machine down. Electronic Arts has 
hung in there supporting our machine 
since the days of prototypes, so it is 
fitting. Ihnl the company should have 
produced the greatest ever Amiga 
program, 

F/A 18 Interceptor is a flight 
simulator - that's a bit like saying that 
Buckingham Palace is a house. True, 
but an understatement. You are given 


a choice of the land-based FIB or 
carrier borne F/A-iB jets to play with. 

As soon as you unwrap the 
program you know that you've 
bought something special. The 
documentation advises that you 
disconnect a second drive on an 5 1 2k 
machine, grabbing the precious ram 
that it needs. The carrier icon 
appears. Anticipate blast off. Double 
click to load and a pilot launches into 
the blue. 

The Am igar drive does its stuff far 
too slowly, the seconds stretched by 


{illy 1988 AMIGA COMPUTING if) 






HOfj DOM; IBB KT5 35C FT 


Cnrtain twain as you Wig Ti hole in the deck 


< 

your impatience. The title screen 
captures the atmosphere of the battle. 
Two jets locked in a dogfight over a 
crystal clear Californian sky which 
contains the kinds of blues you only 
see in real life and the Amiga palette. 

You've plenty of time to appreciate 
it as the game loads, but that period 
would be better spent reading the 
manual. Electronic Arts - EA to its 
friends - is hardly known for 
skimping on documentation. The 
confront at ion on your retina is 
complemented by similar aural 
stimulation thanks to Dave Wahol's 
sound. 

F/A t8 Interceptor is a game of 
missions, hut before you can take 
those on you need to learn to fly the 
crate. The game is its own trainer. 

The demo mode shows what can he 
done. Simple options to take off and 
fly around familiarise you with the 
controls. 

A special mode tests your ability 
at some set manoeuvres, An 
instructor goes through a prescribed 
set of loops, turns and rolls. You have 
to follow in a chase plane. If you can 
do this then the next stage should 
seem easy. Take off from the carrier, 
climb to at least 10,000 feet and then 
land hack on the carrier. 

You have an incredible amount of 
power in your engines. Thrust can be 
controlled in 10 per cent increments 
hy using Fl to Fin. Pressing Fl when 
the engines are at 10 per cent will 
switch them off - something best 
done when you have landed - 
pressing F10 when you are at 100 per 
cent turns on the afterburner, giving 
you an unbelievable boost. More 
gentle, 3 per cent, increments of 
thrust can be selected by using the 
equals and minus keys. 

The best tactic for take-off seems to 
be lucking I he brakes and switching 
to at least 00 per cent thrust. Allow 
the power to build, and then release 
Ihe brakes. This ensures that you have 
enough oomph to stay in the air when 
you run out of carrier. Lift the 
undercarriage as soon as you take off 
-it reduces drag significantly. Resist 
the temptation to bank. 

Climb a little, say to 1 ,000. feet and 
then level off. The crosshair in the 
head up display (HUD) should he one 
pixel below the horizon. Check the 
altimeter to make sure you are 


keeping a constant height. Then use 
the rudder, the < and > keys, to turn. 
If you are not climbing or diving the 
horizon will remain level. 

Keep an eye on the compass. From 
an initial starting position of going 
north it should rotate to pointing 
south. If you flip to the map the 
carrier looks to be lying east-west. 
That is because it is too difficult to 
draw it north-south and still look like 
an aircraft carrier. 

While you are travelling south pull 
back on the joystick and climb to at 
least 10,00(1 feet. Then push gently 
forward, drop the nose a little way 
below Ihe horizon. Reduce thrust so 
that things will happen less rapidly 
and descend to less than 4,000 feet. 
Switch the radar from its 40 mile 
limit to 10 or 2 miles, just enough to 
keep the carrier in view. The further 
you are the easier things w r ill be later. 
Level off and use the rudder to 


complete the circuit. Again it should 
be possible to turn without hanking. ■ 
Once you are pointing north dip the 
nose. The carrier lies ahead. Use the 
zoom function to make sure that the 
blob is the carrier and prepare a 
steady glide path. Drop the thrust to 
between 10 and 40 per cent. 


/A s you approach the carrier an 
XX enemy fighter may attack. It is 
possible to pull up and spot it 
w'ithout banking. Hit Return to select 
a heat-seeking missile. Target the 
bandit. The HUD will light up like 
ft Lack pool Illuminations. Once the 
commie is vignetted by a large 
diamond, squeeze the trigger. This 
will loose an air-to-air missile. Fire 
and forget. 

Bring the nose back down to point 




20 AMIGA COMPUTING fuly 19&X 




■ REVIEWS 



/ 



I NTERCEPTOR was written by 
Bob Dinnerman. It is his first 
commercial home computer game 
and the Amiga his first home 
computer. 

No one, not even a genius like 
Bob D., picks up enough 
programming experience to 
produce a game of Interceptor 
proportions in the year and a half 
it took to write. 

Boh used to be a programmer for 
Bally - the arcade game 
manufacturer. He wrote the arcade 
smash Discs of Tron, which despite 
hitting the arcade market in mid 
nose-dive still took a lot of money. 

Discs of Tron used a mere Z80 
with 56k of rom, So it is not 
surprising that Bob has worked 
such wonders with a btiUUU and 
half a megabyte. Some of the work, 
mainly flight algorithms, for 
Interceptor was a development on 
a flying game which Bally planned 
and scrapped. 

Bob had not bought a home 
computer before the Amiga 
because he fell that nothing could 


provide the speed and graphics he 
wanted. Nigh on 90 per cent of the 
program is written in assembler, 
with menus ami set-up routines in 
C, 'I 'he program was developed on 
Electronic Arts' Artists Work 
Station (AWS). 

It is a shame that Bob's next 
game is for the PC, but he hopes to 
return to the Amiga after that. He 
claims that Interceptor It would be 
easy with new missions, locations 
and different planes. 

The existing planes were 
carefully chosen. The F/A 18 
because it is new, exciting and 
carrier- based. It was also chosen 
because it is a single pilot 
aircraft. 

The Flfi was chosen 
“for variety, and hecausc 
J have a couple of 


F-10S in the game trying to defect 1 
thought I’d let you tlv one”, says 
Boh. 

The Amiga needs more class 
programmers like Bob Dirmerman. 
Interceptor is the first of a new 
generation of Amiga programs. 




of Sa 


it Fruiuusnii 


an accurate map 


at the carrier and lose any extra 
height rapidly, 'The deck is 145 feet 
off the sea. You want to be 100 feet 
above this as you come in lo land. 
While you are still some way off, 
lower the arrestor hook. This catches 
wires on the deck surface and hauls 
you in to land. 

Closer in, drop the undercarriage. 
Then put on the brakes, '[‘his not only 


locks the wheels hut engages the air 
brakes. As you llv over the carrier 
tiring the nose down and cut the 
engines. You should plop on to the 
deck. Bring the nose up in a 
controlled stall to land on the rear 
wheels. 

Real carrier pilots come in at full 
flying speed in case the arrestor hook 
docs not catch. You shouldn't worry 


about this. Overshooting is a much 
greater danger. Your reward for the 
task is a pair of sweaty palms and the 
right to go on to a mission. 

Now you have proved that you 
have the right stuff you can take on 
the world. The first mission is to fly 
out, identify eo enemy plane and fly 
back. Easy and boring, it is the kind 


iuiy I me A MiG A COMPUTING 21 


■REVIEWS 




Pull up! Pull up! Pull . . . 


of mission that Nato pitots do all the 
lime. The temptation to blast the Foe 
is dreadful. Don’t do il- 
The first mission where you are 
actually supposed to shoot something 
down offers an enemy plane which is 
after the President’s jet, Air Force 
One. Succeed ami you are presented 
with a great graphic sequence of AF- 1 
landing. 

O ther missions have you trying 
to persuade two defecting 
lM6s that they really love mom, 
apple pic and the American way 
enough to turn, around and not doled. 
You have to fly in front of them - 
failing that you can blast them. All 
the while a couple of Migs are out to 
get you. 

It was while 1 was just about to talk 
an F-lfi around that a Russian missile 


homed in on me. ! pressed F for flare, 
C for chaff' and E for electronic 
counter measures. What 1 really 
wan led was j for electronic jammer. 
Instead 1 got E for eject. At least the 
missile didn't get me. 

The enemy gets harder to attack - a 
cruise missile can only be shot down, 
as I found out after Pd wasted a load 
of missiles on it. 

Interceptor is brilliantly designed. It 
stretches your playing ability 
progressively. It is also full of great 
touches. 

You can view the plane from inside 
the cockpit, looking all the way 
around 1o check for enemy johnnies 
on your tail. You can watch the action 
from a third person position at one of 
the eight compass points outside the 
plane, or you can watch from the 
control tower, These views work just 
as well when you are parachuting 
down after a missile hit, A zoom 


I NTERCEPTOR is protected with 
a code wheel, something of 
which I approve. Along with 
Magnetic Scrolls-type novella 
protection, this allows the honest 
user to make disc back-ups. and 
often allows the transfer to hard 
disc, but it reduces the problems of 
piracy. 

Sure the crooks will rip apart the 
code and produce an unprotected 
version, but at least we don't have 
to suffer if our discs get corrupted. 
The Interceptor code wheel feels 
like part of the game, not a bid to 
prove your innocence. 

I like the way you can run the 
demo without using the wheel, a 
taunt to the person who steals a 
copy. He can see what he is 
missing without playing. 


gives a better feeing of dt 
There are some bugs, t have 
managed to fty over the carrier and 
have the tving disappear under the 
ship. It is common practice to land oi 
the sea, but none of these matters 
when you take into account the days 
of fun you'll have when you take to 
the air with Inte 


REPORT CARP 




F/A IB Interreplnr 
Electronic Arts 
Prire £24.9 5 

SOUS'D., 

Wonderful sampled sounds which get 
louder when you view from outside. 

GRAPHICS. 

Fast 3D solids with a surprising 
amount of detail including the FA 
offices in California and Alcatraz, 

gamepla r — HWTI 

A good range of missions. Spaced in 
difficult}' gives sense of achievement, 

USE OF THE 
AMIGA. 

A game only possible on the Amiga, ft 
uses the blitter and sampled sound. 


VALUE BL I I 1 I III 

Hours o f fun packed flying lime. You 
will wan# to go back for mure when 
vou haw finished all the missions. 


OVERALL 


!Hi% 


The greatest Amiga game ever. You will 
belie ve a computer can make you fly. 


Volt will learn to handle the controls 


22 AMIGA COMPUTING July imtf 









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liitv iittifi AMIGA COMPUTING 23 














S INCE its inception the Amiga 
has played host 1o many 
stunning examples, either painted or 
digitised, of its graphics capabilities. 
More recent items have been 
generated by the computer itself from 
a description of a world, resulting in 
a static or animated picture. 

Until recently, there have been no 
tools to explore the potential of the 


Amiga to generate images and 
animations. The first of the packages 
was Videoscape 31), which does not 
provide any means of easily 
describing the world, but gives 
animation, 

Dr Eric Graham, the creator of the 
Juggler program, continued his work 
to produce Sculpt 3D from Bytc-by- 
Byto. This has a user interface to help 


create objects without graph paper 
and typing lists of numbers. You 
generate images with a technique 
known as ray-tracing. This uses a 
large amount of computer time to 
generate realistic pictures including 
shading, shadows and reflections. 

The facility to animate a scene is 
provided by Animate 3D. Used in 
conjunction w r ith Sculpt 3D, Animate 


Tour through 
Sculpt and 
Animate 3D 


Since Being, other micros 
have tried to emulate the 
Amiga's demos, Sam 
Littiewood tests a couple 
o f programs which will 
help it stay out front 




it-.j.-O tOflt 


Pain tins 
Soap sltot 
V Pint to 
Hire fraM _ 

vwnr 

tii-m 

Ho-iTneHice 

1/ Inter latf 


HjlaKariftn 
gHlar'S'et 
■Lens 
^Exposure 
■Milhaflt size 

™|Anti-Ji! tasin< 

IlstaiU 



24 AMIGA COMPUTING ]uh }Wi» 







reviews 


jer 

J 

e 

a 

(j 

ing 

i. 

is 

n 

fiale 


describes how objects move and 
change with time. The resulting 
sequence of images cun then he 
compressed and played back in real 
time or recorded frame-by-frame on 
to a flying erase head video recorder. 

In both Videoscape and Animate 
31) the individual frames of an 
animation are generated one by one, 
taking between seconds and hours 
apiece. To play the imaged at the 
correct rate, they are compressed into 
a special file format that can be 
played back in real time. If a special 
video recorder is available it is 
possible to record each image directly 
on to video tape as it is created. This 
allows much longer animations, as 
they are not limited by memory 
needed for playback. 

S CULPT 31) comes on a single 
disc containing the main 
program and a set of example objects 
and images. It can be used on a 512k 
machine, but it is limited, as without 
a megabyte or more, complicated 
objects and higher resolution pictures 
cannot be generated. 

Sculpt 30 does 


not take over the machine, and can he 
run from the Workbench or CL I and it 
knows about PAL machines. The user 
interface is through normal windows, 
gadgets and menus. 

E DITING objects involves three 
windows, collectively known as 
the Tri-View, representing a box in 
the three dimensional space. The 
three windows are views of the bit of 
the world within the box from the 
top, west and north. They are normal 
Intuition windows that can be depth- 
arranged and re-sized. Additional 
gadgets move the box around in 
space and zoom in and out, 

A cursor within the box indicates 
positions in space. Shown as a blue 
cross in each of the windows this can 
be moved by clicking the left mouse 
button. As the windows arc only two- 
dimensional, it may be necessary to 
click in two windows 1o position the 
cursor exactly where it is required, 

A scene manipulated with Sculpt 
3D consists of vertices - points in 
space, edges - lines joining vertices, 
and faces. Faces are the triangular 
shapes implied when three vertices 
are joined by ihree edges. The Tri- 
View displays only the vertices and 
edges. 

To create a vertex, the cursor is 
moved to the correct position inside 
the Tri-View, and the right mouse 
button is clicked while 
the left is held 



down. The edge' gadgets un the 
windows create edges between 
selected vertices. Ex i sting sets vertices 
can be easily manipulated by using 
various options to drag, rotate, 
expand, contract or delete them. It is 
easy to forget that there arc unseen 
selected vertices outside the Tri-View, 
and accidentally include these in a 
manipulation. 

It would he possible to build an 
object by simply creating each vertex 
and joining them together by hand, 
Often objects or bits of objects are 
themes on common elements like 
cubes, spheres, discs and so on. 

Sculpt 3D has a menu-driven way of 
incorporating them inlo the scene 
being made. 

The new object is dumped in the 
middle of the Tri-View box at a 
sensible size, It can then be dragged, 
scaled and rotated to the right place. 

A NOTHER method Of building 
up objects is to take an existing 
set of vertices and do things with 
them. Sculpt-3D can make a straight 
copy - a copy connected to Ihe 
original with edges and faces, a 
“spun" object like a vase starting 
from a silhouette of one edge, a 
reflected copy and others. 

With these tricks it is relatively easy 
1o build up a complicated scene by 
starting with a few simple objects and 
then cutting, stretching, copying, and 
rotating until the shapes are formed, 

A useful last resort is that Sculpt 3D 
can be driven by a script from a text 
file. All the creation and editing 
actions are available, so common 
complicated command sequences can 
be put in a script and a program 
written that describes an object, for 
example, lettering. This opens up the 
possibility of converting other 
systems data Files into Sculpt-3D 
scripts. 

To get a picture of a scene, there 
musl be more than the objects; Things 
like colour, lamps and an observer. 
Faces can have colour, texture and 
Smoothing, Colour is controlled by a 
requester. It allows red-green-blue 
control, as well as hue-saturation- 
value, like Deluxe Paint. Texture can 
be one of dull, shiny, luminous, 
mirror or glass.' 

II a face is smoothed it appears to 


fnty iftSfl AMIGA COMPUTING 25 



< 

be curved in line with the faces 
around it, A dodecahedron with 
smoothed faces would look more like 
a sphere. 

Several parameters are associated 
with the observer. There is the 
posilion of the eye, the point being 
looked at and the focal length of the 
lens, or zoom, The two positions can 
be set by selecting a point in the Tri- 
View and then selecting a menu 
Option, The zoom can either be 
selected from three pro -defined values 
or given an exact numeric value, 
Lamps, with colour and brightness, 
are created by selecting a position in 
the Tri-View, and then a menu 
option. A further option is the ground 
and sky. The ground can he a solid 
colour or checked, and the sky can be 
graduated from one colour at the 
zenith to another at the horizon. 

W ITH the .scene set up, a 

picture can be taken. There 
are various options at this point. The 
first is the method that will be used to 
render the image. Choices are 
Wireframe, Painting. Snapshot or 
Photo. Wireframe is used for 
previewing, and just draw's an outline 
representation of the picture. This is 
done in a second or so - good for 
checking the positions of objects and 
whether the observer is set up 
correctly. 

Painting renders each face in a 
fixed colour. It doesn't do shadows, 
reflections, smoothing or the more 
complicated lighting. This technique 
is also used hy VideoScape 31). It 
takes maybe 1U seconds to generate 
the image, and gives a better feel for 
what the final ray-traced image will 
be like. 

Snapshot is a ray tracing mode, 
giving correct shading and smoothing 
without the shadows and reflections. 
This may take an hour or more to 
generate for a full size image and 
finds a use in producing final images 
where shadow's and reflections are 
not important. 

The most realistic mode is Photo, 
which copes with shadows and 
reflection, but takes several hours for 
a full size image. By using the other 
modes for previewing. Photo mode 
can be avoided until the final image is 
produced. 



A way to cut rendering lime is to 
make I he image smaller - useful for 
checking out shadow's and the 
lighting. The image size can. be full 
screen - an overscan image that fills 
the borders, or half, quarter and 
eighth of full size. 

The number of bit-planes and the 
display mode used for the image can 
be controlled: Low resolution, high 


requirement up to a minimum of 
1 Mb, with more needed for 
complicated w'ork, There have been 
no problems running it in 2Mb as 
long as nothing else big is running as 


resolution, interlace and HAM are all 
possible, 

A further option is not to render the 
image lo the screen, but to three files, 
each containing bytes for the red, 
green and blue value of each pixel. 
Although this cannot be displayed oil 
the Amiga, it might be possible on a 
colour printer or another computer. A 
nice feature is that during image 
generation Sculpt 31) will attempt to 
show how much time is needed to 
finish the picture. 

The editing interface takes time to 
master, but once understood, is 
powerful and easy. It does allow 
creation of objects, as opposed lo 
fighting with numbers and bits of 
folded paper. The choice of rendering 
techniques is excellent, leading to the 
time-consuming ones only being used 
when it will be worthwhile. The 
manual is well written, including 
tutorial and reference sections. The 
result is a useable tool, not a toy. 


NIMATE 31) is supplied on 
two discs - one for the 
program, and the other containing 
example animations. It requires 
Sculpt 3D, pushing the memory 


well. 

The user interface is the same as 
Sculpt 3D’s with additional menu 
items to handle the animation. Some 
features have been added to the bask 
modelling commands, the main one 
being splines. These extras are 
extraordinarily useful, and should 
have been in the original Sculpt 3D. 

A line of vertices connected by 
edges can be made a spline. A few of 
the vertices become control points, 
and the rest follow in a curve 
between them. The ‘'stiffness" of the 
spline and several other attributes can 
be modified, giving a powerful tool. 

A second new feature is that a 
scene can be named in a hiorachical 
fashion. So “fan" could have children 
“base" and “head", "Head" could 
then have children “motor” and 
"hub”. "Hub" could then have four 
blades as Us children. It is possible to 
select/ cruse /load /save a named group 
of vertices. 

Animate 31) can be used for static 
images in the same way as Sculpt 31). 
When a "take” is selected, it becomes 
an animator, A "take" is not a static 
scene, but all the information 
pertinent to a complete animation, It 
consists of scenes describing how the 



28 AMIGA COMPUTING July IMtfi 



■REVIEWS* 


n 

$5 


1C 

sic 

e 


I. 

of 


ie 

:an 


j 

en 


to 


n. 

68 


t 

IE 


world changes over time?, along with 
how many frames the animation 
consists of, if a ram animation is to be 
used, if it is a loop animation ami so 
on. 

As more than one scene is used in a 
lake, it is important to remember to 
save the changes in one scene before 
going on to edit another. 


in between frames. Objects can change 
shapes and si™ in any way, 

A limitation when using this 
technique is that two key frames with 
frames in between must have the 
same number of vertices and the? 
vertices must have? been created hi the 
same order. This is so Lhal Animate 
30 can do the inbet weening. A good 
way to create key frames is to erfil the 
first one normally, then copy it to the 
other key places. The vertices in these 
other frames can now be dragged, 



I T is not necessary to erfil a 

complete scene for every frame of 
the animation. Animate 3I> has two 
ways of describing the changes with 
time. The first is the global scene. 

This is a single scene, as in Sculpt 31), 
that is present for the whole 
animation. 

A new type of object is a path, a 
set of vertices connected by edges, 
possibly a spline, describing motion 
over time. Parts of die named 
hierachy can be attached to the path 
by making them children of a path. 
Paths can be attached to paths, A 
plane could be attached to a straight 
path, while its propeller spins on a 
circular path relative to the plane. An 
object can be rolled, pitched and 
yawed as it travels. Objects, the eye, 
the point being looked at and lamps 
can all be attached to paths. 

The second method of animating is 
to edit scenes that describe how the 
world looks at key points in time, 
letling Animate 3D interpolate the 


REPORT CARD 


Sculpt 311 

Arnica ferilre ScntlatuL Teh 031-357 
4242. 

£69+95 


USEFULNESS. 



Sculpt makes it possible for anyone 
with patience to c .rente picture, 


EASE OF mil" 



Eases the comp Heated problem of 
creating and editing shapes in If), 


ISTllTfOS 



Fully multi* task ing and runs from 
Workbench. Uses masses of memory. 


SPEED ■ I I I I 1 H M I M I 


ft can take 20 hours to my -trace a 
scene, A reflection of the processing 
power not a programming fault 


VALUE. 



Xot exactly a bargain hut a sensible 
price for an advanced graphics tool . 


OVERALL 82% 


A well thought out package with wider 
appeal than most design programs, 






scaled, and stretched as necessary. 

The inbet weening process not only 
covers vertices, but colours, lighting, 
observer positions and zoom. A 
global scene and inhetweening can be 
mixed in the same animation as 
appropriate. 


T HE controls available tor 
rendering an image are also 
available for an animation. In 
addition, them is a fast wire-frame 
preview of the animation. Single 
frames can be rendered for checking 
- they will not be re-rendered when it 
comes to the complete animation. As 
ray-tracing is so time consuming, it 
may he worth using painting mode. 
Movemenl can distract from a 
multitude of rendering sins. 

Animate 3D gives access to all three 
aspects of animation: Modelling, 
animation and rendering. As with 
Sculpt 3D, it is a tool thcit once 
mastered, floes not get in the way of 
creation. 

The manual is harder work than 
Sculpt 3D, not givi ng as much in I he 
way of a tutorial. If the area of 
computer generated images and 
animation is til interest to you. then 
both packages will be rewarding. 


REPORT CARD 


Animate 3D 

Amiga Outre SrutlantL Tel: (131-537 

4242 

£69+95 


IfSEFiUMKSS 



Great for producing rolling demos hut 
needs an A 500 to he expanded to lAfh . 


EASE OF USE. 





Splines make shape definition easier 
than in Sculpt, Friendly interlace. 


INTUITION HI! I I I I ' ! I 

Written with the developer's guidelines 
firmly in mind, A kosher program. 


SPEED MIDI 

Helped by not having to re- render 
frames but still processor hungry. 


VALUE 



Needs Sculpt which firings up the 
overall cost, but can produce un- 
ci va / led g ra ph ica l results. 


OVERALL 79% 


Ideal for producing stunning demos 
once you have made the investment in 
money and time to master it. 


Inly If MW AMIGA CXJMPUTING 2? 













Printed using the Xerox 40/20 



HH AXHCACOMPI TIXC fuiy IWW 



■REVIEWS 


Arty facts 

Simon Rock man takes a look at the program which 
could oust Deluxe Paint from the artists garret 


A LL Amiga 500s cmne with 
Electronic Arts' universally 
praised Deluxe Faint, S o anyone who 
wants to sell an art package needs to 
make sure that it is exceptionally 
good In persuade a Deluxe Faint- 
owning Amiga 1st tn spend hard 
earned shekels on another program. 
Photon Faint is I he thing to do just 
that. 

Deluxe Faint can’t cope with the 
4,09(> colour Hold And Modify 
[HAM) mode. Photon Faint can. The 
advertising claims that it will expand 
your paint capabilities as never 
before. No package is going to make 
me a great artist, but what Photon 
Paint will do is allow me to start with 
some simple building h lucks and 
produce a creditable result. 

One look al the packaging reveals 
that Photon Faint is truly 
international, il is sold in Ihe UK by 
Activision which has the rights to all 
the products from the Calilurnian- 
based Microillusions. It in turn has 
bought the program from Bazboo 
Soft, a company in Tel Aviv. 

The program feels right from the 
moment you load il. It has clearly 
been designed by a programmer who 
uses art packages. The menu can be 
moved around the screen or toggled 
lift An extended menu allows you tn 
play with colours. 

'The menu selection can bn a little 
tedious sinc e many sections are stored 
on disc, no doubt to leave room for 
the pictures, 

The pac kage supports NTSC and 
FAl. TV standards, with overscan tor 
the video production fraternity 
Changing from NTSC to FAL means 
that you can keep the menu no the 
screen without obscuring the picture. 
One stra nge problem is that I he 
allernale screen has to he wiped to 
change modes while the displayed 
screen is sate. 

At first i though! thill I his was a 


ram limitation, but on a 3Mb machine 
1 was able to save the alternate 
semen, change modes and then 
re- load- The ram management is very 
good, with plenty of warnings if you 
are about to run out of memory, 
including the option to disable the 
Undo command to release extra ram. 

T ] IK standard option to cut a box 
and turn it into a brush has ihe 
extra, machine-taxing, facility which 
allows you to cut around a shape 
freehand and turn I hat inlo a brush, 
Unlike DPainL you cannot draw with 
a brush, only position il and plonk 
the image on the page. 

One of the greal features offered by 
a brush is the blend option. This 
makes it translucent so that the 
background shows through. You can 
control how much shows over 
different areas of the brush, an effect 
which would be almost impossible to 
achieve by just drawing 

Everyone who is familiar with 
Deluxe Faint will I eel at home wilh 
Photon. A good number of the 
controls are Ihe same, things like ] to 
swap screens, and a similar pen 
control. There are lines, dots. arcs, 
hollow and tilled rectangles. II often 


", . if picture is worth a thousand words'' 



looks as though the authors have 
looked at Dpainf and thought "How 
can I improve on that". 

The fonts menu has a wide number 
of options, w ilh italic, bold, 
underline, outline and reverse, 11 you 
have shading on, the letters will be 
stippled. Great effects can he achieved 
by cutting the text as a brush, then 
blending and creating a drop shadow. 

There are many special effects 
controls. Pictures can be pixelised - a 
feature much enjoyed by pop videos - 
which enlarges each pixel to produce 
a chunky image. |us1 think, we've 
spent years watching computer 
graphics improve, getting less chunky 

► 


full amu;a u)\iPt v n\(i 




■REVIEWS 


Standard 

brushes 



Go to 

Workbench 


Switch off 
menu 


64 

Directly 

accessible 

colours 


.... 




ggm 


Use 

last 

brush 


Colour mixing controls 


Arcs Ellipse draw / r 

and fill I I 

Freehand / Powerful 

pixel draw f magnify 

_ , / function 

Current pen 

and background 

colours 


Freehand 
line draw 


Line draw 

Rectangle 
draw 
and fill 


■ Circle draw 
and fill 


Fill area 

Cut out 
for brush 

Undo last 
operation 


Pixoiisfs 


Text 


and now we have an option to do the 
reverse. 

The main special effects allow you 
to play tricks with the brush, notably 
the ability to wrap a shape around a 
3D object. A cone, lube, ball and 
block are defined as standard, but 
you arc free to draw your own shape 
and then wrap the brush around it. 

Experience has taught me that you 
need a picture with all the detail at 
the centre and plenty of colours al the 
edges to show that it has heen 
wrapped around a shape. Lighting 
effects can be used to really give the 
impression of 3D, 

Photon Paint's documentation is 
clear; printed in a crisp, spiral bound 
hook it is very easy to follow. It does 
err on the “I don't know anything 
about computers” side, and perhaps 
fails to get technical enough, 

1 thought the greatest failing was 
the lack of pictures. Describing icons 
is less effective than showing them, 
and in the case of special effects a 
picture is worth a thousand words. 

Pictures apart, the manual is well 
written. The tutorial takes you to a 
stage where you really feel in control 
of the package, although I kepi on 


running before J could walk and 
trying things too soon. 

We are asked to believe that the 
manual was written by one Heidi 
Turnipseed. This num de plume 
leaves me wondering if there really is 
some poor woman in California, born 
out of the flow r er power years, who 
has to live with such a name on her 
driving licence, 

T HK outstanding features of 
Photon Paint are the brush 
controls, which are great fun, Even if 
the package did not offer all its other 
great features, speed and overall 
slickness, Ld buy it lor the brush 
menu alone. 

Combine the features it does have 
and the program is a winner. As ever, 
the price is steep. Activision has it at 
£69.95, which means that you have to 
be pretty serious about artwork, 
however good the package is. 

I’m not saying that Phulon Paint 
isn’t worth £70, just that there are an 
awful lot of people who can’t afford 
to spend that much on any piece of 
software and who would get a great 
deal of pleasure from using it. 


REPORT CARD 


Phuluii Pain! 

M ic nil U usions/ K .1 rhim Su W Ad i v is 1 un 

01 431-1101 

£69-95 


USEFl I:\LSS 

A fully featured drawing program 
which can nope with the HAM mode. 


EASE OF USE; 

A combination of intuitive and Deluxe 
Faint type icons moan you do not need 
the easy to follow manual supplied 


INTUITION. 



A proper multi-tasting program, but it 
is necessa rdy ram hungry r Would not 
always swap to Workbench. 


SPEED 



A movingly fast with good prompts to 
keep you informed when performing 
processordntensi ve operations. 



Not that expensive when you took at 
haw welt the program performs but it 
is priced beyond many users' budgets. 


OVERALL HH% 


The best paint package the Amiga has 
seen. A good example of how one 
programmer learns from another. 


30 AMIGA COMPUTING July 









■INTERFACE 


The plain man’s 
guide to CLI 

This month Phil South delves into 
the little understood ASSIGN 
function of AmigaDos 


W E covered a fair amount of 
ground in last month's 
Amiga Computing, talking about 
AmigaDos and its purpose in life. 

This time I thought we'd dive right in 
and cover a few common problem 
areas, In particular well be talking 
about the ASSIGN command. 

ASSIGN is much misunderstood as 
a command, and people* who only 
know of its existence through altering 
their s/startup-sequence to read Dos 
words from RAM: rather than disc are 
starting from a disadvantage, like as 
not you find it lurking in a short 
listing in a magazine, along with a 
little discourse ahoul logical devices 
1 and not much else, So Jet's take it one 
step at a time. 

To aid expansion the Amiga is an 
open architecture machine. This 
means nothing is ever in the seme 
place in any two programs (a slight 
generalisation, but bear with me), 

Gn a hi mil tar R bit machine, like 
the Cti4, every character in the default 
font lies in its own location in 
memory, accessible at any time. In 
Amiga computers the fonts are 
ASSIGNed to a directory (which 
could be anywhere on the disc) as the 
logical device FONTS;. Note the 
trailing colon, the symbol that 
denotes a logical device, 

Whenever AmigaDos needs the 
fonts directory, it knows where it 
resides due to the ASSIGNment, and 
so goes straight to it. There are other 
logical devices, too. Here tire some of 
the ones you need to know about: 

SYS: System disc root directory 

C: AmigaDos commands directory 

1-: Library directory 

S: Sequence library 

LIBS: Library for Open Library culls 

DEVS: Device for OpenLibrary calls 

FONTS: Loadable fonts for OpenFonts 

np 

HE purpose of all this is that 
A ANY program can refer to and 
utilise an important function, library 
or command, regardless of where it 
actually is. Let’s look at each logical 
device in turn, and see what we need 
to know about them. 

SYS: is the system root directory. 
When you first boot the system, 
AmigaDos automatically assigns SYS: 
to the root directory disc in drive 
IJFO:, So any programs on that disc 
which need the bool disc know which 
volume to ask for: “Please replace WB 


A500 1.2 in drive 0“ sort of thing. 

C: is a very important logical 
device, as this is where AmigaDos 
looks for all the commands in 
AmigaDos. That sounds a little 
contradictory, but we are talking two 
different levels of AmigaDos here. 

The system level looks for commands 
for the Cf,I command level, 

The C: directory can be assigned 
anywhere, but a good place to assign 
it is to the RAM; disc, after having 
copied the c directory' there of course. 
This means all your AmigaDos 
commands will be in memory rather 
than grinding off of disc every time 
you type one, 

L: is the place where all the 
“overlays" for big commands and 
non-resident parts of the operating 
system are kept, in the library' 
directory. Things like Ram-Handler, 
Disc- Validator and Port-Handler are 
hiding in here, and they are blipped 
out whenever you need them. Hmm, 
it does seem like there’s a lot to load 
off of disc whenever you want to do 
anything on the Amiga, doesn't it? 

The operating system part of 
AmigaDos needs this directory to 
operate at all. 

The S: logical device looks for all 
the sequences in the Sequence 
Library. These are used by the 
EXECUTE AmigaDos command, and 
the sequence - otherwise referred to 
as batch files - runs them, Batch files 
arc the rough equivalent of programs 
in AmigaDos, but are perhaps best 
looked at as mere lists of useful 
commands. You can build more 
powerful c directory commands using 
batch files. 

The remaining functions are just for 
providing a pointer towards the more 
complex library' functions of the 
Amiga. To delve into those would 
take a whole feature to themselves, so 
let's drop them before I get carried 


away. 

ASSIGN itself is used to direct 
program flow to the function, 
command or library it wants in this 
syntax; 

A IS I GN< logical devi cexdi ractory> 

So assigning your c directory' to the 
ramdisc would take the form: 

ASSIGN c: rs*:c 

From then on all your AmigaDos 
commands will be read Out of ram:. 
The other main use of ASSIGN that 
presents itself is when you need to 
tell AmigaDos to read system 
information from your new hard disc 
or DHQ:, You would simply type a 
simple sequence of events like: 

ASSIGN SYS: &N0: 

ASSIGN C; DH0:£ 

ASSIGN L: BH0U 
ASSIGN S: 

and so on, 

S O there you have it. All you 
really wanted to know' about 
ASSIGN, but didn't know where to 
look. As always, the best place to 
look - besides Amiga Computing, of 
course! - is in the AmigaDos 
Reference Manual (Ban tarn J, where 
you'll find more than you really W’tmt 
to know about the operating system 
of your computer. 

Incidentally, if you get lost when 
you're in AmigaDos, just type 
ASSIGN LIST, or even just ASSIGN, 
it you're feeling lazy. This will 
present you with a little road map of 
the current assignments and mounted 
volumes, just to pul you in the 
picture. By the way, this trick also 
works for CD on it s own. which tells 
you the pathname you're currently 
CDed to. Happy Cl. Ting. 


luly JSWff A Mil* A COMPUTING .?) 


Hot impression or 
major impact? 


Two printers head-to-head. Who’ll he first 
past the ribbon ? Rupert Goodwins looks at 
their performance on paper ; and finds out 
who’s hue suits him best 


I T'S a touching scone. With 

trembling hands, the new Amiga 
owner opens the boxes, plugs in the 
monitor, turns on the power and 
loads npaint. In seconds, the 
glistening duathmask of King Till is 
illuminating the living room. The 
silence is broken only by the gentle 

sound of jaws dropping. 

Hut dissatisfaction soon sots in. "If 
only, ' thinks our new owner, “if only 

I could print it out’ * 1 . But this is not to 
be. A swift perusal of the prices of 
colour printers has the same 
mandihle marooning effect as 
that first encounter with Tut. 

The curse of the fair old price. 
However, there has been a 
more affordable alternative 
around for a while - the 
Okimate 20. This faintly 





32 AMIGA COMPUTING July wad 


■HARDWARE* 




three-colour sequence on I lie ribbon 
The first line's worth of characters - 
and you have to print a complete line, 
even if most of the characters an; 
spaces - appears in yellow. the next 
.line in red and the last in blue. All 
three appear on the same line on the 
paper, and I Inis you can mix colours 
hy printing things at the same 
position. Only when you've sent three 
Complete lines should you tell the 
printer to advance the paper, and 
before you try and print any more 
you should send the find-beginning 
code again. 

Of course, most people will just use 
the Okimate-Ztl driver from the 
Preferences printer setup. But spare a 
thought for the poor programmer who 
wrote it. 


T HE Star is far more the old style 
dot matrix printer. Although 
considerable care has obviously been 
taken in its design - the lines arc 
smooth and curves take the place of 
the usual angular edges on the case - 
the principles of operation draw 
heavily on Star's experience with 
ordinary low' cost (OK. cheap) 
printers. 

That’s not to say that there's any 
lack of refinement. Buttons on the 
front allow you to select any one of 
three near-letter quality typefaces or 
fast draft (draht as the manual calls it, 

► 


background can reproduce 
any hue. 

Next time you pull apart a packet of 
cornflakes examine the flaps of the 
box. You'll find blobs in those three 
colours where I he? printing process is 
checked. 

Away from the cereal parallel, let’s 
look at the Qkimate first, It’s one of 
Ihe smallest printers on offer, colour 
or no, and i! sports a number of 
interesting design features. Uniquely, 
it has no form feed or line feed 
buttons; all paper movements - apart 
from normal printing — are achieved 
hy twiddling a knurled knob. 

There’s a five-position switch on 
the front which sets the overall 
darkness of the final output and a 
Select red button which starts or 
pauses printing. Those and an Open^ 
Close paper lever are all the controls 
you get, The paper feeds in from the 
hack, and both single sheet and 
fanfold can he handled. 

The wax-coated ribbon comes in a 
large cassette with a marked 
resemblance to the musical variety. 
There arc two sorts, all-black and the 
colour version where seven inches of 
yellow' is followed by seven of red 
and seven of cyan. Due to the nature 
of the mechanism, where all of the 
wax on the tape is transferred to the 
paper at a hoi spot, any stretch of 
ribbon can only be used once, 

Printing in colour from Basic is a 
complicated process. There is a 
special command code which gets the 
Ok i mate to find the beginning of a 


odd printer has had ihe field to itself 
for a year or so. but at last there’s 
some competition. The Star LC-10 
Colour; more conventional in its 
technology but more than a little 
exciting pricewi.se. 

Why has it taken so long for Ihe 
massed ranks of the Japanese printer 
industry to come up with more than 
one colour device? Asking a printer to 
faithfully reproduce 4.UIIH colours is 
one thing. Asking it to also print 
dear, well-formed text in black and 
while is a different kettle of 
monochrome herring. And you want 
it cheap, you demanding so-and-so. 

The tw r o printers use different 
technologies to harden vour copy. 

The Okimale 2D is a hothead; a set of 
minute heaters sweep past a wax- 
cnated ribbon and melt a pattern on 
to the paper. The Star prefers to make 
an impact. A set of pins pushes an 
inky ribbon into contact with the 
wood pulp and builds up characters 
and pictures, However, both produce 
polychromatic output in a similar 
manner; by overlaying Ihe primary 
coloured red, cyan and yellow w r ax or 
ink a wide range can be printed. 


B ET you thought that red, green 
and blue were the primary 
colours, There’s a lot of confusion 
over this and now's not the time to go 
into the physics, but the famous RGB 
triplet only works lor transmitted 
light, as seen on your monitor. 

Printed matter relies on dyes 
absorbing light and mixing 
yellow and cyan on a white 


fuly 1986 AMIGA (^IMPUTING 93 



douhle-draht) without fiddling wilh 
control codes, and condensed, italic 
and proportionally spaced output can 
be invoked in the same way with just 
a twinkle of the I'il finder. 

Paper feeding is similarly sty lish. A 
hEitch at the back of the printer lifts 
off to reveal the tractor mechanism, 
and a variety of slots allow lor some 
imaginative configurations. There's a 
massively clever scheme which feeds 
single sheets of paper in from the lop 
while unwinding the fanfold just 
enough to prevent tangling. The idea 
of this is that you can print a letter 
without having to unthread your 
listing paper, although in practice I 


found it a smidgeon unreliable unless 
the fanfold was hanging just so. That 
was the only aspect of the paper 
handling which even slightly 
displeased; overall the tiling fed wilh 
elegance and is the best in that 
department of any printer I know, 

The Star has an altogether more 
straightforward approach to pointing 
hy numbers than the Ok i mate. The 
ribbon is ink -soaked fabric, with four 
horizontal bands — black, red, cyan 
and (you guessed it) yellow. II sits on 
a plinth which can, in the manner ot 
Thunderbird 2’s launch pad, binge up 
and down. This brings one of the tour 
bands in between the print head and 
the paper, and printing continues in 
’ the appropriate colour. 


COURIER - 

Ami 

COURIER - 

Ami 

COURIER - 

Ami 

COURIER - 

Ami 


ga Computing 
ga Computing 

ga Computing 

ga Computing 


COURIER - 

Ami 

ga 

Comput ing 

COURIER - 

Ami 

ga 

Comput i ng 

SANSERIF 

— Am 

iga 

Comput i 

ng 

SANSERIF 

— Am 

1 ga 

Comput i 

ng 

SANSERIF 

— Am 

iga 

Comput i 

ng 

SANSERIF 

— Am 

ig* 

Comput i 

ng 


SANSERIF 

SANSERIF 

ORATOR - 
ORATOR - 

ORATOR - 

ORATOR - 


- Amiga Computing 

— Amiga Computing 

Amiga Computing 
Amiga Computing 

Amiga Computing 


Amiga Computing 


ORATOR 

ORATOR 


Amiga Computing 

Amiga Computing 


Samples nfthe colour output from the Star 


I F you select a colour which is a 
mix of two of the primaries, then 
the printer overstrikes automatically. 
During the time I had it, it worked 
reliably but then; was the occasional 
bleeding of colour where ink from 
one colour got carried over (on (lie 
head?) after the charge for a couple 
of characters. Also, something 
streaked the yellow band with a thin 
lint; of black after a few pages of 
screendump. but ill is was barely 
noticeable on the page. 

A nice extra with the Slar is its 
ability to cope wilh embedded control 
codes soul lo it in plain text. For 
example, there’s no way with the 



word processor that I’m using to 
write this review' that f can make a 
sentence or paragraph a different 
colour on output with Ihe Qkimate. 
Ifow'ever, by bunging in a little magic 
along the lines of ((C))0 i can tell the 
Star to swilch colour - and also 
character size and other effects — 
without having to worry about 
esoteric escape codes or special 
printer drivers. 

T l IIS method docs have its 

limitations though, as the word 
processor will think of ((C) |0 as a 
word and formal the rest of the text 
around it, although it won’t be 
printed. Also. I can t have the word 
((Q)U in my printer output; this might 
not matter to anyone else but when 
the time comes to print the printer 
review.., 

I had a little fun playing guess-thtv 
printer-driver with the Star; the 
handbook lists a number of printers 
which can reasonably be supposed lo 
look like an l, CMO. and of course 
none of them is in the Workbench 1.2 
Preferences. However, an adequate 
performance with screen dumps and 


texl 
)X-i 
T 
rea 
is I; 
a lit 
all! 
ant 
Jan 
of 
co< 
me 


I 

po 

Lhf 

Wt 

sw 

Tlr 

sn 

by 

w 

Pt 


nc 

is 

th 

ui 

ce 

sc 

a 

o 

d 

li 


c- 

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n 

tl 

n 

F 

m 

t 

1 

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i 

c 


1 


34 AMIGA COMf'Vlim M imu 


■HARDWARE! 


is a 

then 

rally, 

;cd 

ional 

1m 

the 

uple 

. thin 

f 

i 

:s 

;oTitrol 

e 


f a 
t 

lie. 

liagic 

the 


vord 

i 

ext 

jrd 
mig hi 

ten 

IT 

-the- 

BTS 
erj to 

h 1.2 

its 

and 


lext was squeezed out of the Epson 
JX-80 driver, colour and all. 

The handbooks mailt; interesting 
reading next to each other. The Star's 
is better written, better organised and 
altogether more professional in feel; 
although the Oki male's was adequate 
and free from the worst excesses of 
Junglish, From a programmer's point 
of view, there are more useful sample 
code snippets in the Star and just 
more information generally. 


B OTH printers have broken away 
from the Epson hahil of putting 
power switches and cable sockets at 
the hack where the paper gets in the 
way. And both have the evil DIP 
switches where the dipsomaniacs can 
gel at them without resorting to tools. 
The Star has them under the main 
smoked-plastic cover, on a chunk of 
bare printed circuit hoard (naughty) , 
whereas the Oki mate has them on the 
Personality Module. 

The Personality Module (great 
name - do Sirius Cybernetics know?) 
is a small printed circuit hoard with 
the main cable plug on it. By 
undipping a plastic shroud, the PM 
can be removed and the switch 
settings changed; alternatively the PM 
can be changed and replaced with 
one for a serial interface or even for a 
different computer. Not that you're 
likely 1u. 

It's intriguing, but the PM is a 
complete computer. There's a 
microprocessor - the humble 8051; 
not much to look at but a member of 
the biggest selling family of 
microprocessors in the world. There’s 
proha bly one in your washing 
machine, one in your microwave and 
two in your HumgiWumgi VCR, 
There's some ram, 1(Vk of rom and a 
few lumps of chippery to provide 
input output. Not long ago that would 
have outgunned many a home 
computer. 


A LL this is fine, but how do they 
print? The Star is a standard 
NUJ printer: a year or so ago it 
would have been classed as very 
good, but ihese days we’re all used to 
seeing miraculously good quality 
from a printer. It’s probably as good 
as you’ll get without going to 24-pin - 
and incident!)' losing colour. The 


colour performance is adequate - a 
useful adjunct but the results are a 
little dull. With a lot of care in 
programming, however, I get the 
feeling that the Star could shine. 

The Oki male is a bit of a 
conundrum. It's capable of excellent 
pictures - the wax surface is 
wonderfully glossy - which while no 
photograph, is up to cheap colour 
newspaper standard. Its lext 
performance is definitely iffy (can 
anything be definite and iffy?); the 
blacks are really black, but the 
characters are lumpy and not as good 
as the Star. And the Okimate is 
horrendously expensive to run. 
Expect, paper and wax, to pay about 
a £1 for every' full-size lull-colour 
screen dump. 

The Star is going to be between 5 
and HI times as cheap to rim, and the 
difference in cusls will bn even more 
pronounced when used with black 
ribbons and ordinary text, The 
Okimate can use thermal paper as 
well; although this obviates the need 
fur a ribbon it isn't cheap. 

Speed is another place where the 
Star is a comfortable winner. It’s 
almost twice as fast on dotty lext, 


where it can manage about 120 
characters per second, about the same 
speed on NI,Q (but produces nicer 
characters), and significantly faster on 
screen dumps. This last is heavily 
influenced by the software that's 
driving the printer, of course, and 
neither the Okimate nor the Star will 
have finished Tutting by the time 
you’ve drunk your coffee. 


I COULD have the Star as my only 
printer, end in fact I suspect it 
would w'ork well in that role. The 
wide selection of standard typefaces, 
together with the simple way to 
choose them and the extra little 
touches in the design department 
make this a printer to watch for. The 
Okimate has the edge on the glossy 
pictures, which might make it a good 
buy if you’ve already gol a good 
monochrome printer and just want 
the occasional haul (hut not fast) copy 
that looks rather nice. 

But for both the best way to do 
things is to have a black ribbon for 
day-to-day work, leaving the colours 
for Sunday bust. 


REPORT CARD 


Star LC-m 
Star Micronicfi 
£285 

USEE l ILNESS HBTI 1 1 ! 

A good all tou ml printer which offers 
colour as a bonus. Strong and looks 
reliable. 

EASE OF USE.. 

Sensible positioning of cables and 
sockets, with good paper fern! and front 
panel controls. 


SOFTWARE ■ 

The Epson fX printer drivers from 
Workbench produce acceptable results 
but the Star might benefit from custom 
drivers. 

SPEED,. 

Reasonable for a nine pin dot matrix 
printer. hJ&eds up to eight passes in 
colour mode but still fairly last. 

VALUE 

The cheapest colour printer to run and 
not ton expensive to buy. Look out for 
discounts. 


REPORT CARD 


Ukimale zu 
X-Diila 0753 72331 
£1 5!) 

USEFULNESS , 

Really only designed for colour work 
the Oki is too slow and expensive to 
use as a print workhorse. 


EASE OF USE. 

Good paper feed and dean ribbons 
make it simple to set up. Programming 
for colour is complicated by the poor 
manual. 

SOFTWARE , 

With either IBM or Amiga rams 
installed the preferences driver will 
work, but the IBM mode leaves gaps 
between lines. 


OVERALL 78% 

! 


OVERALL 65% 


A natural choice for Amiga owners 
who want colour but don 't think they 
can afford if. 


speed 

The Okimate s A chillies herd is the 
need to print every iine three times. 


VALUE. 

While it is exceptionally cheap to huy\ 
tlte printer suffers badly from high 
running costs, even when printing text. 


Meat as a second printer hut very 
limiting if this is to be a prime source 
of hard copy. 


futy If mi AMIGA COMPUTING 











# 


The Californian 

coders 



of many British companies, where, if 
you want a drink of corporation pop, 
you have to rely on staff loo. 

Now, before you start sending 
angry letters to the editor saying that 
if you'd wanted this sort of thing 
you'd have bought Water Cooler 
Monthly, Jet me explain. Electronic 
Arts believes in treating its staff 
decently: It gives them what they 
need to make life comfortable and in 
return they give 101 per cent back to 
the company - and that goes all the 
way from programmers to warehouse 
staff. 

In addition, every employee of EA 
is also a shareholder in the company, 
giving them an added interest in its 
success. The result is that everyone 
makes a real effort to guarantee that 
its product stands out from the crowd 
- and as anyone who has ever 
puzzled over The Bard's Tale, got 
creative with lleluxe Music 
Construction Set or been driven nuts 
by Marble Madness will tell you, it 


John Minson heads west to interview 
the software house which 
wears an Amiga on its heart 


T HE small Berkshire town of 
Langley may seem an unlikely 
home for a selection of international 
companies, but Honda's offices lie 
across one road of the elegant, 
modern Business Centre, while 
Epson's logo can he seen from 
another window. But I'm here to visit 
American software giant and Amiga 
specialist* Electronic Arts, whose 
latest offering, Interceptor* is raved 
about elsewhere in this issue. 

i m sitting drinking coffee with PR 
person Lesley Mansford and 
photographer Tony Sleep, Rut despite 
the fact that Lesley wants to tell us all 
ahout EA and its thrilling new 
products, Tony and I are more 
interested in the water cooler. 

It's a drinks fountain, just like you 


see in all those Hollywood movies, 
complete with three taps for hot, 
warm and cold: Red. white and blue 
like the Stars and Stripes. 

This seems to symbolise EA s way 
of working. After an initial period, 
when the company's products were 
licensed through Ariel asoft it set up 
its own British operatipn, bringing 
with it working practices which are 
perhaps best described as Californian, 
Certainly they're totally unlike those 


Mark Lewis . head 
of FA, UK and 
Neufhail juggler 



:tfi AMIGA COMPUTING July 1&SB 





■HOUSE CALL! 


works, EA is truly at the loading edge 
of software, 

ft's not just Stateside hyperbole that 
came up with the Arts tag, EA firmly 
believes that its programmers, 
musicians and graphics specialists are 
artists - and it treats them as such. 

EALISING that creative minds 
aren’t best served by nine-to- 
five hours and impossible deadlines, 
EA assigns each of its projects a 
producer whose role, just like his 
namesake in the film industry, is to 
act as a buffer between the 
commercial interests of the company 
and the freedom of the programming 
team. 

It’s this sort of liberal attitude that 
has helped EA attract — and keep - 
some of the leading talents in 
software development today. 

Only a few months ago Rob 
Hubbard, doyen of British computer 
musicians, whose work was to be 
heard on dozens of products from 
almost every major publisher, decided 
to give up his flourishing freelance 
work for a contract with EA, It’s 
hardly surprising when you consider 
that contract meant the opportunity to 
work both in the Slates and in Britain 
and, perhaps mure importantly, the 
opportunity to keep on top of all the 
latest developments in the software 
world. 

d Can a computer 
make you cry?J 

(Electronic Arts* first advertisement) 


d Electronic Arts 



was the 136th firm 
to enter the home 
computing field when 
its first products were 
shipped in May 1983 
. . , Today the Elec- 
tronic Arts brand 
name is the most 
respected consumer 
software brand > > J 


The water cooler, imported from the US 


photograph of the founding team 
taking on this mighty task. 

With this in mind, I started by 
asking this enthusiastic American 
about the company history. It all 
■started in Silicon Valley with a 
visionary by the name of William M 
Hawkins, better known as Trip, who 
was at that time working for Apple, 
Mark picks up the story. 

“Trip realised that it was software - 
not hardware - that made people 
want to buy computers. He had a 
dream of a company that would bring 
people a new depth of interactive 
entertainment, so he brought together 
a team of people, each with 
experience in different areas’ 1 . 

This group included Tim Mott, who 
had previously been with Xerox, to 
make sure thal people got the tools 
that they needed to do the job (did 
that include water coolers, 1 idly 
wondered) and a guy called Dai'e 
Evans for talent seeking. 

Together Dave and the team drew 
up a list of every name they could 
think of in the Bay area who might be 
interested in working for the 
company, then they invited them all 
to a big, glitzy party to test their 
reactions. Somehow it seems fitting 
that EA started with a parly. 

All this was taking place in early 
autumn, 1332. Eight months later, in 
May 1UB3, the first product was ready 
to be shipped. Now' one of the places 
which chose to stock it was a shop in 
Pennsylvania w'here Mark was 
working, “These were the best games 
I'd ever played. I wanted to work for 
the company" 


Coffee over, Lesley takes Tony and 
me on a short tour of the offices. 
There's the bustle of busy people, but 
Ihough they're on Ihe phone or 
poring over papers, there’s a relaxed 
atmosphere, almost as if they were,,, 
(gasp) enjoying themselves. Maybe 
they are. 1 know from past experience 
that it's not unusual to find people 
still hard at work at seven in the 
evening - nol because they have to 
but because they want the best for the 
company. 

And when Eriday comes round 
there’s none of the POETS day 
mentality (Push off early - 
tomorrow's Saturday), Instead, at five, 
everyone gathers for an informal 
meeting in which views can be freely 
aired, they can sink a few cans of 
Hud, and let off steam throwing 
featherlight foam balls at each other. 

But the biggest surprise is w hen 


Lesley introduces us to the Director of 
European Publishing (head honcho, 
UK). Nol for Mark Lewis the heavily 
fortified office with guard dog 
secretary' and gold key to the 
executive loo. Instead his “cube”, as 
everyone calls the open-plan cubicles, 
is just like anyone else’s, In fact, Mark 
tells us, its smaller than some, 
because he needs less desk space. 

A ROUND the walls are various 
pieces ofEA memorabilia, 
including the "Can a computer make 
you cry?” advertisement that first 
brought the company to the public 
eye. It set out the philosophy of 
taking game design further, deeper 
than ever before, so that it could start 
to elicit the emotional responses we 
take for granted in other media such 
as the cinema. Next to it was a 


T HE first Electronic Arts games to 
reach the UK came via 
Ariolasoft. "It w r as a good experience 
for a couple of years but wc weren’t 
in touch wdth the consumers”. Mark 
recalls, "Also, w r hen you’re dealing 
on a license, it’s difficult to attract 
artistic talent. That’s one reason we 
decided to sell direct”. 

Bringing the Californian philosophy 
to Britain appears to have paid 
dividends. EA in I lie UK now has 
three production staff, headed by 
associate producer Joss Ellis, backed 
by Kevin Shrapnel and Rupert 
Easter brook. As well as overseeing 
conversions for British formats, they 
are also involved with the 
development of home-produced 
product. 

The first British EA program is 

► 


Inly IftRA AMIGA COMPUTING 77 


■HOUSE CALL* 


whet you see is just what you'd see if 
you were walking round- Our demo 
has you walking round EA's 
headquarters, solving a simple 
mystery. It's hardly animated hut it 
could quite easily be. In terms of 
interactive entertainment we’re just 
beginning to realise the possibilities". 

Hu also lets slip that Rob Hubbard 
is working on the sound-storage tools 

- which has to be one reason he 
deserted these shores. "With the 
Amiga you currently have graphics to 
match the Saturday morning cartoons 

- but with compact discs you’ll have 
the movies,” Mark enthuses. 

Britain will play its part in that 
revolution. Though Mark professes 
himself extremely happy that the & bit 
machines are going into a decline, he 
believes that there have been many 
advantages in their dominance of the 
UK market for so long, “You’ve had 
the development of really great 
technical expertise, ” he said. Your 
programmers have made the Ct34 do 
things the rest of the world couldn't 
believe". 

Already Solar Systems, an associate 
of Argonaut, has been commissioned 
to produce an Amiga game. And 
Mark is in fairly regular contact with 
ace designer Mike Singleton; "lie’s 
waiting fur a day when Ihere'll be a 
machine great enough to catch up 
with his ideas. The UK will surpass 
America in terms of making the most 
of the technical side. It's one of our 
responsibilities as publishers to 
develop it properly". 

It seemed a good, optimistic note to 
end on, and to leave Mark to get back 
to work. As we go he consults his 
desktop computer to check For 
messages. Another of EA’s 
revolutionary practices is to link 
everyone by electronic mail, so that 
communications for individuals or to 
everybody on the staff, from Langley 
or San Mateo, can reach their 
destination immediately. It also 
provides an Open forum to for the 
germs of new ideas. 


r 


<4 

likely to he Hyperdrive from 
newcomer Michael Powell, Though 
Mark Lewis says that only one in 3f10 
speculative submissions makes the 
grade, this one did impress them 
enough to take it further. Nobody 
wants to say too much about it, as 
completion is still a couple ot months 
away, but apparently it concerns 
Futuristic, sophisticate bobsled type 
machines. All should he revealed in 
the early autumn though, 

LA will back teams that it believes 
in, even if the programs submitted 
aren’t suitable but show talent And if 
somebody comes to the company 
with a great design but doesn't know 
their assembler from their hex, they’ll 
arrange for him or her to work for a 
week with a programming team, to 
see if they hit it off together. It all gets 
the best from people. 

dThe truth is that 
Commodore hasn’t 
built or sold as many 
Amigas as we had all 
originally hoped J 

f Trip Hawkins, EA President) 

Obviously one of the burning 
questions for readers of this magazine 
is Electronic Arts’ attitude to the 
Amiga, In the past it’s supported it to 
the full, with games like Ferrari ■ 
Formula One and the superb Deluxe 
series of creative applications, some 
of which, like Deluxe Video, are now 
being used professionally by 
advertising agencies and production 
companies. 

But there’s no denying that Amiga 
sales have been slower than 
everybody hoped, and that for various 
reasons the machine has not vet had 
the success that it deserves. Can EA 
afford to continue to back it, I 
wondered. Mark Lewis had no 
hesitation in assuring me that it can 
and will. 

“The Amiga is a beautiful machine 
- both an auditory and visual 
experience, And you can do so much 
with it. There’s Deluxe Paint at one 
end and arcade games at the other". 
He went on to explain that EA's 
romance with micro goes back a long 
way, "We worked closely with the 
development team. They were based 
within 20 miles of us and we caught 
their enthusiasm. 

“The popularity of the PC is kill ing 
the market for the Amiga in the US", 


he continues “but it’s doing much 
better over here. When Atari raised 
the price for the ST. that was a great 
help. When the two are at the same 
price the choice should he obvious to 
potential purchasers, There are two 
ways to make it take off — for 
Commodore to push hard and for 
Electronic Arts to develop leading 
edge software". 

A S if to demonstrate the faith 
that EA has in the machine, 
Mark hands me a copy of Deluxe 
News, a glossy magazine which is 
automatically sent to all registered 
users of the Deluxe series, on both 
sides of the Atlantic. The cover story 
is about Deluxe PhotoLab, a package 
which lets you take an existing image 
or digilise one, manipulate it, then 
print it at any size up to a ten foot 
square poster. 

But the thing which could really set 
the Amiga soaring is Mark’s 
confidence that it will load intn 
optical disc media. He dislikes the 
overused acronym GDI [Compact Disc 
- Interactive), but loves its potential. 
EA already has a demo of an 
interactive adventure up and running, 
"Your screen is like a cinema, and 



Lesley Met ns ford - proud n/ Interceptor 


O N the way back to the West 
End Tony and I arc both 
boggled by what we have seen. Can 
the method nf working really be so 
perfect? Nothing has suggested 
otherwise — and the end product 
suggests that it wurks too. If I had tn 
bet on a company tn create a 
computer game which will make you 
laugh, think - yes, even cry - then I'd 
become a patron of Electronic Arts. 


38 AMIGA COMPUTING July IWJfl 



■ MUSICS 


Sample battle 

Jez San casts a critical ear over a collection 
of boxes all designed to get super sounds 

into your Amiga 


I N my quest as a games 

programmer I've traversed the 
audio wastelands in search of I he 
ultimate sound sampler. Video games 
need sampled title music and 
digitised sound effects. Hack in (he 
early flays — 1005 — none were 
available. I rented an Knsoniq Mirage 
synthesiser so that 1 could sample 
some speech, the famous "Missile 
launched” voice of Clare Edge ley at 
Rainbird — and Iransfeired it via the 
Midi port into the ST and Amiga for 
playback. 

Alas the Mirage proved In lie 


unsuitable. Its playback filtering let it 
get away with lousy sound quality 
and background hiss - unacceptable 
when transferred to the Amiga. A 
Prophet 20(J() was hot on features and 
much better sound quality, but it 
didn't have any easy ways of getting 
the samples into the Amiga, so all 
these rental synthesisers turned out to 
be less than prophetahle. 

An Amiga sound sampler, the 
Mimetics SoundScape, came along 
just in time. This little black box 
connected upright into the second 



July JMJH AMIGA COMPUTING J!) 
* 


-4 

mouse port on an AlUUQ, and 
produced some very effective results. 
It was way ahead of its time. Since 
then. I've had mure than my fair 
share of samplers - Mimetics, 
Futuresoimd, Perfect Sound, The Jot. 
I've bought, borrowed or stolen (/Vo, 
we want the review one back - Ed) 
every single one I could get my hands 
on. 

My criteria were simple: Sound 
quality must be superb, money no 
object. All very' well for a games 
programmer to scoff at price but it 
turned out there was no simple 
solution. None of the units excelled in 
a way that made them superior. They 
all had their features and drawbacks. 
The more expensive ones didn't 
appear to be any better. 

Some of the samplers under test are 
little more than toys, others semi- 
professional tools. Nothing currently 
available for the Amiga is comparable 
to true studio quality. It is unlikely 
you could make a record with any of 
these samplers, hut you can have a lot 
of fun trying. 

They are very similar in design, 
made up of three stages. The input 
stage which sometimes has an 
amplifier, the filtering, and lastly the 
digitising section. Samplers skimp on 
some or all of these options, 1o the 
detrimenl of versatility or sound 
quality. 

Mimetics’ Soundscape 

T HIS has stereo inputs, hut 
unfortunately the software 
doesn’t take advantage of them, and 
will only sample in mono. Mimetics 
supplies sampling packages with its 
unit for making musical instruments 
for packages like Deluxe Music, hy 
sampling and creating TFT files. 
Samples are limited to ;tzk in 
length - about three seconds at the 
typical IOKHk sample rate - fine for 
digitising instruments, bul useless for 
long pieces of music or speech. The 
program aiso has the ability to 
interpolate sounds - to move them 
around and alter their frequency 
without having to re-sample. 

The software runs from the 
Workbench in little windows, and 
pops up more windows as you select 
diHercnl options. Fully icon-driven, it 
tries to be friendly. No doubt reading 
the manual would help, 

A second program supplied is a 



Profound has a friendly front end 


demo for sampling long contiguous 
pieces of speech or music. Its samples 
cart only be replayed with their 
proprietary software being specially 
encoded. This is because Mimetics 
does clever tricks to enhance the 
quality of the sound by recording it 
with IJ6X filters anil compounding 
the master volume control over the 
top of the sound sample. It gives the 
samples an accuracy of 1 4 hits when 
the Amiga can usually only do H hits 
- the other 6 bits are the volume 
control. 

The Mimetics samples really are 
impressive in quality, and suffer little, 
if any background hiss. I got the 
impression that the hardware 
potential inside the Mimetics box was 
being incredibly underused. The 
sampler has a software controlled 
gain facility that the accompanying 
software barely utilises. A shame 
really, 

I was generally impressed with the 
Mimetics box, but frustrated at the 
lack of portability with the demo 
program's data files to any other 
program, including my own. but as a 
sampler for creating musical 
instruments there is nothing to fault 
it. Obviously this sampler was 
intended for musicians, not 
programmers. 

Applied Visions’ 
FutureSound 

F UTIJRESOUND is a cream 

coloured box that attaches via a 
ribbon cable, to the parallel port at 


the rear of the Amiga, like almost 
every other box. It is a mono-only 
digitiser, has a gain [volume) control 
and two inputs, one for a microphone 
and one for a phono line input, 

The microphone supplied with the 
package is junk. Throw it away. 
Luckily only the mike was useless^ 
the sampler itself being quite good. 
Why they don't drop the price a bit, 
and discard the mike from the 
package is beyond me. This is the 
only sound sampler that has a switch 
and passthrough connector to let you 
use your printer while the sampler is 
plugged in. 

The software supplied with 
FutureSound is reasonably graphical 
and powerful. It presents your sound 
sample information in a friendly 
manner on the screen, showing the 
applicable waveforms and allows you 
to zoom in on any interesting 
sections. You could also specify start 
and stop points by clicking on the 
waveforms with the mouse. 

Full control of the sampling and 
playback rates is supported, as are 
various edit effects like reversing, 
mixing and copying waveforms. Most 
important feature is the ability to do 
long samples that span the entire free 
chip memory. This gives a maximum 
sample length of about U7 seconds at 
the usual Ifl KHz sample rate. 

The sound quality is excellent, as is 
its ability to show you a VU-meter 
peaklevel to let you know the correct 
volume at which to sample. Too loud, 
and you get clicks and pops - known 
as Clipping - too quiet, and the 
background noise becomes 


40 AMIGA COMPUTING July t9&8 











■MUSIC! 


— 


unacceptable compart'd to the sound 
signal level. I ended up using 
lutureSound tr> sample StarGlider's 
title music - the digitised version - 
and most of the speech too. 

Futuresound is a great package, 
with good sound quality and nice 
software. Unfortunately, it is 
expensive - possibly because it 
features a quality digitising circuit 
incorporating an amplifier and filter 
circuits that really show their effect in 
the quality department. The software 
is friendly and easy to use but I was 
frustrated by its lack of capacity to 
hold huge (larger than 38Uk) samples. 
Various companies have promised 
ability to use last memory in the 
future - something that Futuresound 
sorely needs. 

SunRize Industries’ 
Perfect Sound 

I FIRST saw the Perfect Sound 
software on PeopleLink, the 
American computer system renowned 
for its Amiga software support. I 
downloaded this free program and 
was impressed by its capability and 
friendliness. II rates on par with 
FutureSound tor features, with the 
added bon us I hat it supports stereo, ft 
allows you to name each sample you 
have loaded and click on them to 
select Ihem - a more powerful 
approach than FutureSound. 

More importantly, it brought news 


of a really cheap stereo sound 
digitiser aval lab hr from the author’s 
company. 1 phoned him up P and 
within days 1 had. a prototype board. 

II looked like two pieces of cardboard 
held together by chewing gum and a 
bit of circuitry. 

It connects to the parallel port, but 
this time without any ribbon cable, so 
it stands precariously out of the hack 
of the Amiga, ft has two phono inputs 
and two gain controls. 

I later received a final production of 
PerfectSound in a smarter metal case, 
with the two volume knobs poking 
through holes in the top. This makes 
it difficult to plug into an A2G00 
because they stick out. It suffers the 
same problem of nut having any 
ribbon cable to connect it 
conveniently to the back of the 
Amiga. Hopefully they will make it 
more accessible in the future. 

I wasn’t particularly impressed with 
the sound quality, but it scored very 
highly in the ease-of-use department 
Jt managed to sample everything I 
asked of it but there was some 
background hiss. This is because they 
use an inferior analogue to digital 
chip, the Hash converter variety, 
rather than the more expensive 
savnple-and-hold type. 

PerfectSound represents the 
cheapest reasonable entry into sound 
sampling, but the sound quality 
leaves a lot to be desired. For a little 
extra cash there are other, far superior 
alternatives. 


The S5, by Soph us 
Software and ASAP 

I WAS eager to sec the 55, since it 
is the most expensive sound 
sampler available for the Amiga. 

Glanc ing through the manual I soon 
noticed it had some really 
sophisticated features - last Fourier 
transformations (FFTs) allow you lei 
plot frequency graphs and there arc 
some really useful fast ram modes. 
The hardware is impressive stuff: A 
full stereo sampler which connects to 
the parallel port via a ribbon cable. It 
has a gain control and a switchable 
input with different impedances for 
microphones or line inputs. 
Unfortunately il is the software that 
lets it down - it lacks some basic user 
interface routines. 

You can ask it to do something, like 
play back your long sample, and il 
would go In sleep for minutes without 
even printing a message saying il was 
busy, A simple “Please Wait" would 
have gone down a treat, especially for 
some of the more time consuming 
functions like rescaling the sample, or 
FFTs, 

On the plus side, the S5 is the only 
sampler I tested capable of really long 
samples. It utilises Fast memory when 
you request it This means if you have 
3.5Mb you can sample an entire track 
from your favourite CIJ. For that ITn 
grateful to the guys at Sophus. They 

► 




■ MUSIC! 




42 AMIGA COMPUTING futy 19B3 


Pro-Sound is definitely a user's package 

provide a useful and powerful library 
of functions to allow programmars to 
replay digitised sounds from the S3 
Sampler. The software defaults to 
sampling Deluxe Music instruments. 

In terms of sound quality the S5 
was probably the best. It came on par 
with FulureSound, but has stereo 
inputs. If you can grasp how to use it, 
the software is much more 
sophisticated i Definitely designed for 
the professional programmer. 

Pro-Sound Designer 
from Eidersoft 

T ift! Pro-Sound package is 
unusual in that ils software 
supports both the FutureSnund and 
PerfactSound hardware, as well as 
Eidersoft 's own. Pro-Sound is a stereo 
sampler in a small self-contained 
cartridge with no external controls. 
Having no cable, it connects to the 
parallel port, dinning upright to the 
back of the Amiga. Since it's been 
designed for I he A 1000 a gender 
changer is supplied to allow you to 
connect it to an A 2 000 or A5WI. The 
box has its volume preset internally to 
what Eidersoft thinks are line levels. 
This means you must fiddle a little 
with the volume on your source. 

Pro-Sound is definitely a user's 
package. The software has a cute, 
friendly icon -based feel to it. 

Allhough some of the icons were 
unusual in function. VVhal struck me 
was the attention to graphical detail. 


it's supposed to be a sound sampler 
and not a video game. Hut l had a lot 
of fun, so maybe it was a game after 

all. 

It’s an amazing package with really 
flexible controls, and so easy to use. 
The waveform viewing anti analysis 
tools were the most powerful I’ve 
seen - the cute meter levels look like 
an oscilloscope with true real-time 


waveforms being displayed as you 
adjust the volume control. The ability 
to hold numerous samples in memory 
while you edit them is a feature only 
Perfect Sound is able to duplicate. 

The flexibility wilh which you could 
instantly call things up with function 
keys is a joy. Eidersoft tells me that a 
future version of Pro-Sound will cope 
with Fast memory, but until then., the 
maximum sample length is about 3n 
seconds at 10 khz. 

Sound quality is reasonable, 
although not up to the S5’s standards. 
However I certainly sound it better 
than PerfectSound , The loss of art 
external volume control was a bit 
frustrating for me, since I hate having 


to play with my Disc man’s volume to 
stop the clipping problems caused by 
high levels. Minor grumbles apart. I'd 
class the Pro Sound Designer as an 
above-average product, for a very 
reasonable price. Excellent. 

Summary 

D ifferences between the 

samplers an? really quite subtle. 
Most support the same basic features, 
and only offer minor improvements. 
However. 1 would class the 
PerfectSourld as little more than a toy. 
The sound quality just isn’t up to 
scratch, but then it is the cheapest 
unit and so possibly a good entry 
level box. Buy this only if you can’t 
afford anything better. 

In terms of home use, I would 
definitely recommend Ihe Pro Sound 
Designer. Being relatively cheap and 
so easy to use, it has got to be the 
most fun, and offers quite reasonable 
results. 

The best sampler was undoubtedly 
the Sophus S5, but it’s a shame the 
top-class hardware was let down by 
poor software. It was technically the 
most sophisticated both in terms of 
sound quality and features, but it was 
a pig 1o use. For professionals this 
represents the bust you can buy at the 
moment. Hopefully Sophus will take 
another look at ils software. A few 
minor changes will turn it into a 
grumble-free package. 

FulureSound and Mimetic® come 
somewhere in between. Both are 
badly priced in England, due to 
importers slapping on huge penalties 
for buying American. There is 
nothing wrong with the samplers - 
they are quite good but they just don’l 
offer value for money. 


Where to buy 


PerfeclSound - £75 
Amiga Centre, Scotland 
l ei: 031-557 4242 

Future Sound - £175 

HJJ Marketing 
Tel: 01-B44 12U2 

Pm-Snund Designer - £79 

Eidersoft 
Tel: O2fi0 541212 

Sophus S5 - £199 

Applied Systems & Peripherals 
Tel: 0724 2m222 

thanks fw Monkey Bus fnitss T titi Victoria Ro&it 
Romford. for the faun of I hr Karp keyboard- 










Amiga Arcade 



IfewHTg r?rrd? of the IQ.QflQ hi-ek 

T owards ihe end of lsae that 

rare si of rarities, an original 
game, was released by Firehird. 
(’ailed Sentinel, it was ihe latest mas- 
terpiece by Geoff Crammond, who 
earlier had proved that the BBC 
Micro could support top class soft- 
ware with such efforts as Aviator and 
later Ihe excellent Revs, still regarded 
by many as the definitive driving 
game. 

Sentinel consists of 10,0011 land- 
scapes. each containing a Sentinel 
and up to si it Guardians whose life 
energy you must absorb before gain- 
ing access to another landscape. 

Kacli landscape is rather like a con- 
toured open plan chess board with 
valleys, mountains and plateaux on 
which trees abound- The key to the 
whole game is energy. The smallest 
unit of energy is a tree; boulders an: 


worth two trees arid Sentinels three. 

Se i ilt riels are like gianl Oscars (hat 
slowly rotate on their elevated plat- 
forms. Whenever a Sentinel, or 
Guardian, turns lo fare you, it begins 
absorbing your energy, randomly 
redistributing it throughout the land- 
scape in the form of trees. 

The only way you can absorb the 
energy of the Sentinel, or its Guard- 
ians. is by reaching an elevated pos- 
ition in the landscape from which 
you can look down on its platform. 

You can only absorb an object's 
energy when you can see the square 
on which it stands. You start eadi 
level in th[‘ 1 <i west poinl of the land- 
scape, often only able to see the lops 
of a few trees and the Sentinel tow- 
ering above you. 

Getting high enough lo be able to 
absorb the Sentinel is in principle 


simple, but far from easy in practice. 
Imagine you're standing on the 
ground with an empty square beside 
vou. You can create a boulder on the 



empty square. Then, on top of the 
boulder, you can create a "copy" of 
yourself into which you can 
transport. 

You're now standing on the Im ol- 
der looking down on Ihe ‘old’ you 
which you can absorb so as not to 
have lost any net energy, except that 
Lied up in the boulder. 

From your new vantage point you 
can see bits of the landscape visible 
because of your extra elevation. You 
may already be able to see the bases 
of a few of the trees the tops of which 
you saw earlier. If so, absorb their 
energy, you’re bound to need it later 
to create more boulders. 

And you're not limited to just 
building one boulder at a lime either. 
Apart from the fad that each one 
costs two units of energy to create, 
there is nothing stopping you 
building a tower of boulders before 


placing yourself on top. but although 
it allows you to make big jumps in 
height, having so much energy lied 
up in boulders offer proves to be loo 
risky a strategy. 

As soon as a Sentinel or Guardian 
starts sapping your energy you have 
lo transport to a safe pan of the land- 
scape or risk premature death. This 
means leaving behind all the boul- 
ders, Although from your, hopefully, 
now safe point on the landscape you 
can begin reabsorbing the boulders, 
you are now competing with the 
Sentinel which, even though you’ve 
moved, will still absorb any other 
energy source it sees. 

Frequently, a policy of little and 
often is the key lo success. Move from 
place to place, always staying one 
step ahead of the Sentinel, without 
ever having too much capital inves- 
ted in boulders. 

Compared with earlier it bit ver- 
sions and the ST conversion released 
late Iasi year, Amiga .Sentinel, pro- 
grammed by Steve “Go id runner" 
Bak, is faster and has been given a 
complete sonic overhaul in the form 
of an incredibly atmospheric set of 
eerie, almost surrealistic, sound 
effects and musical cameos courtesy 
of David Whittaker. 

Although the lack of effort put iuto 
Amiga conversions is often disap- 
pointing, Firebird has wisely derided 
to slick closely to Crammond s 
original g bit graphics, although they 
are brighter and crisper than in 
previous versions. 

Any attempt at major modification 
would have been a big mistake, 
purely because the original was so 
perfectly crafted. 

IF you’ve never experienced 
Sentinel, treat yourself lo the nearest 
thing yet to the perfect game. Unless 
you're an out and out death merchant 
you won’t be disappointed. 

David Bishop 




Aftsnrfi the Imv for eiteryt 


July HNtH AMHi.i aiMPtniNU 43 











vnu from one end of the screen to the 
ol her. 

Game play, when you gel down to 
it, is not particularly lasl Of start 1 
lingly responsive. 

So far, so standard, but She 
redeeming feature of Footman is the 
comprehensive Maze Editor. This lets 
you design your own mazes in which 
to weeble, providing all sorts of 
opportunities to shock maiden aunts 
and generally be terribly rude. 

That apart. Footman at this price is 
simply, well, adequate - but only 
just. 

John Maker 


Fmtntsn 

£UM 

TtipDuti a Dpu-lopmentti 


Somri TminTTTTI 

cn^kic ■mitimiiu 

(.ampplav JTI [I UTI [ 1 I I It 


Overall - 28 % 


W E all know the old joke about 
the first program that is ever 
released fora new computer: Reverse 
If Ihal's true - and it is if you think 
about it - then the main contender fur 
I bo second has got lo be Pactnan. ur 
in this rase Footman. 

It's been a long time coming, and 
the thing is, was it worth the wait? 
Web, sort of. 

What you get from Top Down, in 


this case is a hog standard ripole 
Patman clone with very few trills. 
You use joystick ur cursor keys and, 
troll off round a whole bunch of 
mazes - you get Ml un the disc - 
while being pursued by some 
arthritic g hushes 

Yup, there are dots, power pills 
which give you the ability to pul I he 
ghosties out of their misery, and 
wraparound corridors that' 11 take 


It's gfitM thimbnf! 


BARBARIAN 


P ICTURE yourself as a barbarian 
fighting for the love of Maria 
Whittaker (down buys), You are not 
alone in ynur desires and have rival 
Sun readers to fight off. They come at 
you one by one in the forest tor a 
“discussion", each with enormous 
broadswords and very little on. 

Prepare yourself before battle com- 
mences, You spend the first half hoar 
getting killed, very, very quickly, 
After a while things get belter and 
you begin lo enjoy hacking the foe in 


bits, especially when a well aimed 
Now decapitates him. 

The head falls to the ground with a 
spurt of blood from his severed neck 
accompanied by a scream and satis* 
fying thud as the torso tumbles. 
Wholesome stuff. 

The graphics on Barbarian area bit 
of a lei down. It would seem that tbc 
Atari ST graphics were simply- 
dumped trorn one machine lo the 
other. The figures are very basic, in 
colouring and in form. Gne 


I redeeming factor is that they move in 
a very lifelike manner especially in 
the sword fighting, 

The game’s designer. Sieve Brown, 
videotapes himsell wielding swords 
and kicking, and then watches the 
tape to produce the graphics. 

The digitised sound is very good, 
the gurgles, screams and thuds being 
particularly realistic. All good blood 
curdling stuff, forget your karate 
games and get into this. 

If there’s a digitised piu v of Maria 


at the end. ] haven't gut there yet, hut 
it gives you an incentive lo fight aver 
onward. 

All in all it's a good game and 
somewhat addictive. A bit more 
detail in the characters wouldn't have 
gone amiss, 

This must be the last in this series 
of two guys beating each other up in 
verv nice scenery. It's wearing a hit 
thin, but no doubt someone will 
come up with yet another scenario 
with different graphics and surpris- 
ingly familiar game play 

A good one for all the hackers out 
there, that s the violent ones, not the 
quiet key tapping ty pes, or are you an 
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Woody 
Allen clothing? 

Brian Chappell 


Barh0r1.n1 
£19.95 
Palm e 




A squelch as the head rolls 

44 A MICA COMPi •TIN C July tms 


Overall — 77% 










■REVIEWS! 


FERRARI FORMULA 1 


A S the Formula. 1 season gets 
into full swing, Electronic. Arts 
has released its latest attack on the 
Amiga games player in the shape of 
Ferrari Formula 1. 

Designed to bring the thrills and 
spills of a Formula One racing team 
to your screen, the game revolves 
closely around the 19Bfi Ferrari team 
uf Michele AJboreto and Stefan 
Johansson - even though Johansson 
has since hnen hooted out in favour 
of the faster Gerhard Berger, who in 
this game is raring for Benetton! 

Apart from Acornsoffs Revs, most 
software houses have been too 
terrified to release a game which 
actually involved the technicalities uf 
driving a racing car. Games sut.ii as 
Pole Position and Super Sprint an; 
simply arcade games with a tar as the 
theme, as opposed to a fish in a 
banana. 

Ferrari Formula 1 sets out to leclity 
this situation, not only giving you 
control of the machine as It hurtles 
around the various world cham- 
pionship tracks, but also allowing 
you to act as team manager 
Holding this post lor a high profile 
car manufacturer like Ferrari must he 
a terrifying proposition, and thank- 
fully the game does not stretch to tile 
reality of being fired although a her 
losing a few race* resignation feels 
close at hand, 

You must not only get your car to 
and from each race - allowing 
enough time for testing, modifi- 
cations and travel - but you must be 
able to set your car up correctly tor 
each different track. 

A variety of alterations can be done 
to your car - the Flfifi model, a 1.5 
litre turbocharged jub producing 
mon; Ilian 800 bhp. These range troiu 
turbo and engine adjustments, with 
the help of a d y no at Fiorano. right 
through to choosing different tyres 
for different wheels at Detroit. 

In order not to make the game too 
difficult to get into, a friendly 
mechanic will help you with advice 
when necessary. 

The first few hours are spent at the 
test track trying to learn how to con- 
trol the car. 

Thankfully, you cun choose 
whether or not to operate the gears 
manually, something which makes 
driving a little simpler. 

Using the mouse, the right button 
accelerates, the Jett button brakes and 
pressing both down engages the 
clutch for drag starts. 

Moving the mouse from loft to 
right steers the car and it is this 
which presents the most difficulty, 
Unlike every other driving game I 
have played, instead of the front of 
the car pointing wherever you steer. 



the screen scrolls left In right and you 
control the driver's head. 

This means that in hard comers 
you can be turning full lock and yet 
the car is in the comer of the screen, 
Although it is not tou difficult to get 
used lo, this small point is suf- 
ficiently annoying lo make I he first 
few attempts at driving around the 
track both frustrating and very slow. 

After about 20 Japs ol the test track, 
you will find that cornering is nol too 
big a problem. The real worry is 
keeping up with everyone else. Du 
average, f was running ubuul 15 
seconds slower per lap than the 
seven computer -con trolled cars - 
those of Mansell. Piquet, Senna. 
Frost, Berger and Aibureto. 

This is when you should take the I 


plunge and choose the Formula 1 car. 
with its gears, turbo boost and mas- 
sive oversteer. 

Changing from a supposedly 
Formula 3 car where the gears are 
automatically selected In ,i Formula 1 
car with manual gears is nut quite as 
easy as 1 had imagined. Even with the 
turbo-boost set at its lowest, the car 
still goes into corners far loo fast, and 
unless you have been methodic 
enough lo learn the track, excursions 
into the undergrowth are all too 
frequent. 

Thankfully, unless you are actually 
in mid-race, these crashes do not 
affect you loo adversely - apart from 
the seconds lost. 

tna race, however, you can lose up 
to a couple of months if uni crash 



i ,rn from Ml i rid ivftM 


badly - and two months can, at 
worst, mean four races - 36 possible 
points, 

The graphics are good, but by no 
means exceptional. Attention In 
detail - track dimensions, and so on - 
were obviously considered more 
important than artistic graphics. 

On the other hand, the irstrumen! 
panel is small and lacks an accurate 
rev counter, which is a pity. The 
animation, too, is good. But as the 
game is written in C rather than 
assembly language, it is still not as 
smooth as perhaps it should be. 

On the other hand, the sound - 
both music and effects - is excellent. 
A natty little tune plays while the 
game Is loading. The sounds during 
the game an; excellent ranging from 
the roar of a turbocharged Ferrari 
engine to the whirr of an air-powered 
spanner. 

Ferrari Formula 1 is, when 
compared to everything else avail- 
able for the Amiga, an excellent 
driving simulation. It combines an 
emotive subject with enough 
substance to provide many days of 
satisfaction that shoot-'em-ups or 
flight simulations could never give. 

That is not to say the game is not 
flawed - it is. The most unfortunate 
thing about Ferrari Formula 1 is that 
11 could have been THE definitive 
Amiga game. Unfortunately that 
accolade will have lo go elsewhere. 

Francis [ago 


Frrrari f ttmwfo I 
C24M 


t'lvi fjviui l rh 




Ferrari viewed /ram atone 


July tit88 AMIGA COMPUTING 45 















mm 


STAR FLEET 1 




Absorbing ail ihv information on Star Fleet takvs a while 


W HEN you’re asked to review 
a product which lias a quick 
reference guide longer end more 
detailed than many games' full 
instructions, you know you’ve got a 
problem. Star Fleet 1 is a case in 
point. 

Complete with a 68 -page Star Fleet 
training manual, not to mention a 
10(1 page officer’s training manual, 
this is a combat simulation and role- 
playing game of mammoth propor- 
tions. 

Set some time in the future. Star 
Fleet is a strategic war game between 
two opposing forces. Naturally 
enough, you represent truth, democ- 
racy, the American wav of life, the 
universe and everything. The 
baddies arc the evil and incredibly 
hostile Krellans and /add runs, 
empire builders cm a galactic scale. 
You begin as a cadet, still wet 


behind the ears, but hungry for every 
scrap of knowledge you can gain 
from the Star Fleet Officers' Acad- 
emy. There, you will be given 
command of the training ship UG AS 
Republic. If you prove yourself a 
worthy enough student, you will 
have a choice of 3(5 starships to 
command. 

Missions are many and varied, but 
all involve the location and destruc- 
tion of enemy craft, A typical mission 
briefing might go something like this: 

/. Effective immediately, you arc to 
assume command of the l 'SAC Duke 
of York. After relieving Captain 
Bertsch, vow will proceed directly to 
the Antares III region. 

II. Voir are hereby ordered to seek out 
and engage the forces of the Krelkn 
and Zaldran Empires which have 
invaded the Alliance territory, in so 


doing, you are to deplete the enemy 
Heel sufficiently so that our main 
battle fleet can be assembled and 
defeat them before they can reach our 
colonics. 

Each briefing ends with the spe- 
cific requirements of the mission 
which include the number of enemy 
warships you must destroy and the 
time in which you have to do so. 
Finally you are given the number of 
star bases in the region. 

If you can locale and dock with an 
Alliance slarbase - providing they'll 
drop their defence shields lung 
enough to let you through - you’ll he 
able to refuel and re-arm your ship, 
as well as carry out repair work. 

Your ship is controlled from 23 dif- 
ferent command menus, which 
embrace 13 separate computer sys- 
tems, as well as other functions such 
as emergency hyperspace, self- 



Despite being mission-baaed Star fleet tmes much to early Star Trek games 
48 AMIGA COMPUTING July 1988 


destrucl sequencer and slarbase 
status readouts. 

Computer systems are used to con- 
trol damage, navigation, shields, 
torpedo*, phasers, trader beam, 
transporter, internal security and 
reconnaissance probe launches. 

Within each of these systems are 
various menus and sub-menus used 
for controlling that part of the simu- 
lation. 

The amount of detail is almost 
bewildering. Take security for 
example: This ran be compromised 
in one of three ways. 

Enemy agents can get aboard, 
hidden in the supplies you pick up at 
starbases. Prisoners, captured during 
battle, can escape and wreak havoc 
throughout your ship. Finally, agents 
can be beamed aboard if their ship is 
w ithin two sectors of yours. 

intern at security control gives you 
the latest information and allows you 
to start or stop searches to apprehend 
intruders. You can also opt for a 
maximum security deck situation, in 
which one deck is given blanket 
cover at the expense of all others. 

Should you outguess the villain, 
and be goes on to this deck, he will 
almost certainly be caught, or at least 
prevented from sabotaging any vul- 
nerable systems, 

The same attention to detail can be 
seen throughout Star Fleet 1. 
Whether such a mass of information, 
documentation and displays 
amounts to a great game, you could 
only say after spending plenty of 
hours on the bridge. 

Certainly the package is impress- 
ive, the depth of the game unques- 
tionable, and the scenario one that 
most gamesters hold dear to their 
heart. 

Although the lack of graphics may- 
pul many off, this shouldn't necess- 
arily deter Amiga owners from con- 
sidering the package, especially if 
(hey like pure simulations or role 
playing games, but he prepared to 
work hard al getting the most from 
this game, 

David Bishop 


Star Fleet i 
£24.ilS 


Electmnit trh 



Overall - 64% 










■HINTS! 



Max “ The Hacks ” Tennant is the master of 
game play. Whatever the game he 11 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 our goodie drawer — 
together with a Konix Speed King Joystick 


T i ll] lirst friend of Max the Hacks 
is Adrian Curry from Firebird, 
An are games player, he has turned 
his attention to Bubble Bobble, and 
presents the advanced Hubble Bobble 
Flayer's Guide. So if you have been 
bitten by a Briuo, bounced on by a 
Bonnie-hi) nr bowled over by a 
Boa-boa you need some Amiga-type 
help. 

On almost every screen two special 
items will appear. The first will be 
worth loads of points and Ihe second 
will be a magical object. Knowing 
which object does what is ihe key to 
points prowess. 

You don't need u sweet tooth to 
appreciate the candy stick. I'ick this 
up and kill all the baddies. The huge 
fruit which fails down the centre of 
the screen is worth between 10 and 


30.000 points. Any bubbles on the 
screen will turn into Ihe same fruits 
w r orth 5(H) points each, so make sure 
you blow lots of bubbles before 
killing the last haddie. 

A similar magic item is the treasure 
chest. The huge fruit is replaced by a 
diamond worth 50.000 points. 

The potions are tasly — upon 
quaffing a bottle of the stuff the 
screen will be decorated with a 
special type of fruit, You have to 
collect as many as possible within a 
time limit. If you gel them all Ihe 
player who gets the most scores a 

1110.000 point bonus and the runner 
up 50.0(l[), If the players get half each 
they both get 1 ill), 000 points, 

Your bubbles are your main 
defence. Rubble up sweets come in 
three flavours - yummy yellow, 


perfect purple and bubbly blue. The 
first allows you to blow bubbles at 
twice the normal rate and the purple 
sweets increase Ihe range of your 
hubbies. Bubbly blues are useless, a 
quick chomp to no effect. The best of 
both worlds, dropping yellows and 
purples is know n as ‘'Super Bubble 
Up”. 

U MBRELLAS are bella. Grab the 

open brolly In allow Bub and 
Bob to fall down either three, five or 
seven screens. Very useful for 
avoiding the nastier screens. 

It helps lo get cross when the cross 
in question is a magic one. The blue 
water cross tills the screen with 
water, killing all the baddies on that 
level, the purple lighting cross calls 
down several bolls of lightning to 
smite the evil monsters. The red cross 
sets either Bob or Bull breathing balls 
of fire; unfortunately this ability 
expires with the end of the level, 

The lea pot can be the best drink of 
the day. A red teapot bestows super 
bubble up on whoever drinks its 
contents dry. The next item is more 
than a storm in a teacup. Get it to 
release a storm to destroy all your 
enemies. Last, and certainly leasl, the 
blue teapot, in keeping with its 
confectionery cousin, does now). 

The secret levels are something 
which only more experienced players 
should look for. If either player 
manages to survive more than 20 
screens without losing a single life, a 
secret duor will appear instead of a 
magical item. Enter this portal to 
travel to one of the secret screens. 

Then if you manage to survive 
another 10 screens without losing any 
lives another door will appear. This 
can happen up to four times, Ihe final 
one being a teleport of 20 levels. The 
writing at the bottom is more than 
just a scrawl - try pausing the game 
and decoding the secret message. 
Two’s company, and Rubble 
Bubble was designed as a two player 
game, so although one player can just 
about finish il is far. far easier with 
two. To see the end and secret screens 
most people use a kamikaze tactic. 

One player must do all the work 
while the other should save his skin 
and hide from trouble. If Baron von 
Hlubba should appear Ihe kamikaze 
player should try and collide with Ihe 
Baron to save his friend. 

If you ever come across a monster 


■ 


July W8& AMIGA COMPUTING 47 





who won’t come out of his hiding 
place stand on the platform directly 
above his head. The haddie in 
question will come out to find out 
who is malting such a racket on bis 
roof, 

ISTEU below are some of the 

screens which have proved to he 
very difficult. The hints and tips here 
should allow you to bounce where no 
hrontie has bounced before. 

Level 13: Fall through to the lop of 
the heart and wait for the water 
bubbles to come up. Pop these to 
Hush the Buhhas out. 

Level 32: You have two options on 
this screen - either wait to see if a 
magic item appears, or just time il so 
that all the Boa-boas are moving away 
From the centre when you fall down 
the hole. 

Level 42: A really great group, famed 
for Mark King on bass guitar. Nothing 
to do with Bubble Bobble- 

Level 44: Stand on the far left or right 
lodge and bubble the Grumpies, 
jumping to avoid their fireballs. 

Level f*3i, A tricky one. You have to 
jump from your own bubble on to the 
first lodge. Repeat this to got to the 
second ledge, and again to get on to 
the top one. Once up then? stand on 
the ridge and bubble away. 

Level 70: Fall through on to the torch 
and work your way down to its 
bottom ledge. Once there stand as 
close as you can to the edge and head 
butt the first fire bubble which comes 


Catch the letters for an EXTEND 

Overhead. Then it's chocks away 
Ginger, Goodbye honnie-bos. 

Level 71: To get to the monster 
trapped in ihe pit, jump on your own 
bubble and huhhle through the wall. 

Level 72: To get out of the pit stand 
with your back to the wall and jump 
on vovir Own bubble, bubbling all the 
way. You will probably have to try 
this several times to escape. 

Level Bfb You will need to help the 
fire hubbies along when they get 
stuck. To do this just blow loads of 
bubbles around I Hem and gently 
nudge them along - the fire bubbles 
should resume their course. Once 
over ihe heads of the baddies, just 
pop them and on yon go. 

Level 95: Bubble up the sides of the 
screen and once you reach the top 
stand on the ridge and bubble those 
baddies. 


Level 9fe Wait for the invaders from 
apace to get stuck in the pits then just 
free-fall close by ant! bubble them 
one by one. 

Level 99: Bnhble the Bluhhas through 
Ihe walls and drop fire on the 
honners. Then return to the bottom of 
the screen anti jump on your own 
bubble, up past the Boa- boa, When 
you are near Ihe top. pop your own 
bubble and move left. Free fall down 
and bubble the Boa-boa as you pass. 

Final level: The first thing you should 
do once you reach this screen is grab 
the lightning potion at either the top 
left or righi corners of the screen. You 
will then be able If* blow lighting 
hubbies, Ihe only thing which can 
harm Ihe King of the Bonners. 

The best tactic to finish off the giant 
Bonner is to jump on your own 
huhhle which will float up the side of 
the screen. While you rise up you 
should blow' bubbles, then, once you 
reach the lop, fall down and pop the 
bubble chain which has been created. 
You will have to do this a couple of 
limes hut once the King turns blue he 
is close to death. Then once the 
Bornier is bubbled il is every 
brontosaurus for itself and “pop that 
bubble", because it is worth one 
million points to whoever gets there 
first. 

T WO hints from Phil Sinclair are 
the cheat modes for SlarGlider 
and Gold runner. To become 
invincible in your AGAV take the 
velocity down to zero, press fl for a 


BUBBLE 

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Used crosshair and press the 
backspace to pause the game. Type 
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instruments will all go to fixed hovels 
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shape editor w hile P tops up your 
missile collection. 

Finally a hint for ail Gold runner 
players. You ran make your ship 
invincible by running the first ship oft 
the building and pressing f5. Then 
press I lo pick up a special bonus. 

Thanks Phil, your joystick is in the 
post. 


A NOTHER friend of Max the 
Hacks is Sam Little wood. A 
Unix hacker by day and Amigaphilc 
by night, Sam is responsible for the 
Firepower map you see here. 

lie also offers some great advice for 
Arkanoid fans. Pause the game and 
type DSIMAG1C. A cylinder will roll 
down the screen. Catch it. Now 
getting I hi; cylinder you want is a 
doddle, fust press Ihe appropriate 
key. I , for lasers, c for catch and I ho 
Vans will be freed. Really lazy players 
can press F for final screen and get 
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lor screen firfy free. 


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- please slate Amiga Cheques must be endorsed 
wilh bankers credit card number 


517 AMIGA COMPUTING fair 1988 



SYMPOSIUM 


Face 


Preliminary 
Thursday 
April 28 th 


K 


ENNEDY Airport NYC 
is absolute murder. 

Non-USA residents have to 
queue lor ages al passport 
control, then go into customs, 
which is an absolute shamhles 
and lakes even longer. I discuss 
Kennedy later with an Amigaphile 
professor from Utreoh University — 
we agree to have one airport 
somewhere in Europe, with one entry- 
point marked "AMERICANS", with a 
small notice under it saying 
Remember Kennedy f". An American 
Iriend later lulls me that he 
sympathises, but not to holher 
because Heathrow is pretty well like 
that already. 

C ONFERENCE registration starts 
at 7am next morning - this is 
about midday for me and Ihc others 
Irom Europe, so we are the only ones 
getting up at a sensible and rturmal 




time for a programmer. 

We stand in line while bleary-eyed 
but willing Commodore people hand 
Out J shirts, schedules and conference 
notes - real Gail Wellington (General 
Manager worldwide software and 
product support) specials consisting 
of an enormous binder stuffed with 
technical information. 1 wonder about 
paying excess baggage to cart it back. 

Gail says hello to everyone and 
introduces representatives from the 
different countries who are attending 
- in all there are more than 300 of us 


there, of 
whom a good 
proportion 
enme from 
outside the USA, 
which is all rather 
encouraging. Keynote 
speaker is Gail s boss 
and the man who lead 
the original A2UIJ0 
design team, Dr Henri 
Rubin. Henri previews 
the new Amiga developments 
to be discussed in detail later 
in the conference, 

I he main point he makes concerns 
Amiga multi-tasking - this is 
something which other computer 
companies are (ailing over themselves 
trying to get working, but which the 
Amiga has had for years, Is current 
Amiga software exploiting this 
C-ipability properly? Henri clearly 
feck that it isn't and I must say that f 
agree with him. 

The conference splils inlo three 
concurrent sessions. The first three 
are an introduction to Amiga tor new 
programmers, something on the 
hopper for more experienced 


Washington Diary 

IK 1988 Amiga developers conference was held in 

Washington over bank holiday weekend April 29 to May 1 . 
Dave Parkinson of Ariadne Software was there and reports 


}uiy I'JfiH AMIGA COMPUTING 51 


I 




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■ SYMPOSIUM ■ 


programmers, and something on 
A5G0 peripheral design for the 
hardware freaks, ) nan only report on 
sessions I go to - my multi-tasking 
isn’t all that wonderful, sorry - which 
id this case is Ihc Copper talk by [ini 
Mackraz, 

If you ever make it to an Amiga 
conference, take any chance you get 
to listen to Jim Mackraz, Jim knows 
the Amiga really well, having taken 
over Intuition from K.J, Mical after 
version 1.1; he is also a natural 
speaker, informative and very 
amusing. 

O NI this occasion. Jim’s topic is 
how to pull tricks with the 
Copper without upsetting the rest of 
the system, by setting up a “user 
Copper list”, to be integrated with 
what the graphics libraries want to do 
with the Copper. This turns out to he 
c]ui1e straightforward, hut not to agree 
too well with the documentation 
(sigh), Jim provides an example 
program which does it right. 

The 1 rouble is that tricks with user 
Copper lisls can upset graphics co- 


^5 9<W 

fc, F to%L 

V* face 

existing with Intuition's idea of 
multiple draggable screens, with the 
result lhal dragging down the Iasi 
Screen can produce garbage. This 
seems to he non-fatal, and will be 
tixed in version 1,4, In the meantime 
il may lie better to reserve Copper 
tricks for your own private non- 
intuition ViewPort. 

Jim goes on to talk more about the 
system’s use of the Copper, and about 
how' to use Copper lisls to implement 
fillicient double-hulTcring on the 
Amiga. This turns out to be trickier 
than one might like - the optimum 


solution presented involves setting up 
two allornalive Copper lists for the 
two screens and swapping between 
Ihem on the vertical blank using a 
low-level graphics library function 
c;alh>d Load View(), plus setting up a 
Copper list interrupt tn signal your 
task when it’s safe to resume drawing. 


T HE second talk starts with a 
general presentation of recent 
developments in IFF by Carolyn 
Sheppnnr of CATS, w ho should be 
known to UK Amiga developers from 
the official IFF Fish discs. She runs 
over the most recent developments, 
and considers a few problem areas, 
such as uncertainties remaining in 
representations of overscan images, 
and of colour cycling. She then hands 
over to Lattice to discuss the new 
PGTll (ProGram Trace Rack) form, 
then to Sparta 1o discuss AN1M. 

PGTB seems Jike a very' neat idea. 

T O use PGTB you link with a 
new startup module so that the 
Amiga doesn’t just give a guru alert if 


AmigaDoS: The Amiga’s operating 
system, which apportions jobs for 
the hardware to do when it receives 
a command from a program. It looks 
after the housekeeping of (he 
system, 

ANIM: A tile format which has 
become accepted as the standard lor 
showing animation frames. It allows 
screens to he compacted and then 
replayed at speed. 

Autohoot: A process which allows 
the computer to start-up (hoot) 
without using a Workbench floppy 
disc. The computer will autohoot 
from ram, a hard disc or a network. 
Barrel shifter: A type of register in 
the computer which can multiply or 
divide hy two. This can be used to 
change the graphical results 
produced by different numbers. 
Binddrivers: A program which 
checks which peripherals are 
attached to an expanded Amiga. It is 
necessary for connecting a hard disc 

or network, 

(.upper: I be Amiga's graphics co- 
processor, which handles a good 
number of the drawing and 
colouring functions. It needs “its own 
special machine code instructions. 


Glossary of terms 


Double buffering: Flicker can be 
avoided by drawing a screen in 
memory and then showing it 
complete. While the complete 
screen is being shown the next one 
is drawn in memory. The two arc 
then swapped and the process con- 
tinued. 

Fish discs: Fred Fish is a Texan who 
compiles Public Domain (PD) discs. 
These contain a variety of useful 
programs and demos. 

Guru: The error message system 
used by the Amiga, A Guru Alert 
provides system information when 
the machine crashes. 

IFF: Interchange File Format - Com- 
modore’s standard format for 
storing sound, graphic and text files 
which aid compatibility between 
programs. By keeping to Commo- 
dore guidelines developers can 
make sure that files produced with 
their programs can be used by 
future programs from other manu- 
facturers, 

HUM: Interleaved Bit Map the 
screen format used by IFF, devel- 
oped by Electronic Arts for Commo- 
dore Amiga, 

Intuition: The part of the operating 




system the programmer uses. It 
chops up the jobs it is given by the 
programmer and sends them In 
Amiga Dos. An instruction like 
OwnBlitn is an intuition command, 
Kickslart: The program which sits 
inside the computer and comes to 
life when you switch it on. This 
loads Workbench. 

Multi-tasking; A special feature of 
the Amiga which allows it to run 
more than one program at once. Not 
all Amiga programs co-operate with 
this. 

Overscan: The standard Amiga 
screen has a maximum resolution of 
640 by 400 pixels (dots). This is all 
you can see on a screen hut some 
applications - notably Desktop 
Video, need the pictures to go off the 
edge of the screen. This is called 
overscan. 

Vertical Idank; A television picture 
is not displayed all the time. The 
vertical blank is the time between 
frames being shown, If (be com- 
puter tries to draw on the screen 
during I he vertical blank the result 
will not be seen until the next frame. 
Frames are drawn at a rate of 50 per 
second. 


July IfHM AMIGA COMnmXG 53 



4 

something goes wrong, Instead it 
writes out a file containing a PGTB 
form, then gives a guru alert. 

The PGTB form holds debug 
information such as seglist addresses, 
registers, parts of the stack, memory 
status, and any special data obtained 
by calling an application-specific 
dump routine. The user can then send 
this file back along with the usual 
bug report ("Er, it keeps going 
wrong”), so it can be attacked by a 
variety of debug and trace back 
Utilities, This could be a real help in 
program testing - let’s hope it catches 
on. 

The situation as regards the ANTM 
form is less satisfactory. ANIM is 
really rather a mess. The problem is 
that it has been allowed to evolve into 
a de-facto standard, while in fact it 
contains two major problems. Firstly, 
it uses an ILBM form to contain what 
is actually delta information, which is 
nasty. Secondly, ANIM should not in 
fact be a form at all - it is a 
succession of IFF objects inheriting 
common properties, which should be 
dealt by seriously under-used IFF 
structure called a LIST. 


T HE afternoon starts with another 
''all together 11 session, this one 
on Commodore's new hardware and 
software developments, presented by 
left Porter and Andy Finkel. Since 
these have been reported elsewhere, [ 
won't go into detail. 


F ollowing the new 

Commodore products 
presentation we form an orderly 
queue (ho ho) and shuffle out to pick 
up copies of the official conference 
disc pack. These include gamma test 
versions of Workbench and Extras 
1.3, plus three discs of sample 
programs and so on from the 
conference. We then split into three 
groups again, and I settle for a session 
on the new A2024 high-res 
monochrome monitor. 

This session is hosted by Medley 
Davis, the Amiga hardware engineer 
who developed the A2024, aided by 
Jim Mackraz. Hedley starts by 
showing off the A2I121. This is a 
really nice-looking bit of hardware, 
capable of producing a very sharp 
display up to ItlflR x 1U24 PAL non- 



interlaced four-level monochrome. It 
looks great. Together with the new 
fonts it should help a lot in areas like 
desktop publishing. 

The wav the monitor works is quite 
simple. You set up an enormous 
bitmap - say by opening a hig 
Intuition screen — which you then 
render into precisely as normal. The 
system outputs this as four successive 
frames — or six frames if you want to 
avoid cycle stealing by the PAD, The 
monitor then puts them hack together 
in an internal frame store which it 
outputs as a very high resolution non- 
interlaced image. 

Note that the effective full-screen 
update-rate is reduced to a quarter (or 
a sixth) of normal, so last animation 
could be a problem. It appears quite 
adequate, however, for normal 
output. Note also that very high-res 
screens take a lot of memory, so you 
need at least a megabyte total on your 
machine. 

The monitor will really come into 
its own when we gel the new 
extended chip set which allows up to 
a megabyte of chip memory. 

Full software support for the A2U24 
will be in Kickstart 1.4; meanwhile it 
is possible to get it to work on 1 .3 
with a Fair amount of patching. There 
is an "emulation" mode where an 
A2024 is faked on a current monitor, 
with the display lurching violently 
when you move the mouse out of the 
current visible area. This looks 
horrid, hut should be useful for 
software developers who don't have 
A2024S 


A T this point I decide to go to 
the session on new Kickstart 
and Autobool - Amiga start-up and 


- 

expansion. library is something Tve 
never really looked at, so perhaps 1 
might learn something. In the event I 
don't learn much, as the session is not 
particularly successful. Still just one 
dud. in a day isn't had. 

The session starts well enough with 
Bart Whitebook (autoboot software) 
giving an overview of the boot 
process, foe Augenbraun (hardware) 
then takes over and gives a very hrief 
description of how to set up a bool 
rom, Bob "Kodiak” Burns 
(recoverable ram disc software) then 
manages to confuse me completely, 

The ha sic idea seems reasonably 
simple. First, expansion. library looks 
at each board in turn, and if it 
recognises a valid rom it copies it to 
an "image 1 * somewhere in ram, and 
calls a “romy diagnostic” vector which 
allows the rom to patch itself to 
reflect its current ram position if 
necessary'. 

Next a new' library is invoked, 
called rom boot, library. This checks 
though the expansion board mm 
images looking lor Hags CONFIGME. 

If found, it searches the rom image in 
question for a valid "Resident” pi 

structure; if found, it calls a routine 
InitResident() allowing the board’s 
driver software to initialise. 

This allows the board to get its 
Exec device or whatever sorted out, in 
a neater way than loading off a boot 
floppy using the old Binddrivers 
program. It also gives it an 
opportunity to say it wants to 
autoboot. It does this hy linking a 
structure called a BootNode into a 
linked list maintained by 
expansion, library. 

Later on, the Dos is woken up by 
something called strap, library, This 
first of all checks for a boot disc in 
DFO: - if so, it hoots off this, so that it 
is possible to overide auto-boot to run 
a game or something. Otherwise it 
tries to boot by calling the routine 
specified by the highest priority 
BootNode. This is handled hy calling 
a romboot. library routine called 
RomBootf). If both fail - if it can’t 
Find a floppy or a rom that wants to 
hoot - it puts up the old "please give 
me a Workbench" image. Note that 
the Dos brought up by RomBootf ) 
will normally be AmigaDos. It doesn’t 
have to be, so it would be possible to 
use this to bring up an alternative 
Dos, say if you were booting of! a 
network. 

As I said - the principals are 
simple, but the details arc tricky, 
particularly when it comes to how 


54 AMIGA COMPUTING fuly 


■ 


1 


■SYMPOSIUM! 


this process is gim irked by Kodiak's 
recoverable ram disc* 

F INAL session for the day is on 
low-level blitter access, 
presented by Tom Rokicki of Radical 
Eye Software, author of Amiga TEX. 

I Fitting the blitter hardware is very 
easy on Amiga. The simplest - not 
necessarily the best - method is to 
call graphics library routines 
OwnBlitterO then WaitHlit(), hit the 
blitter to your hearth content, then 
give it back using UisownBlitterl). 

Note that this should he followed by 
another WaitRlitQ if you are going to 
examine the blitted data. This gives 
you maximum blitter performance 
without messing up the OS. 

Getting access to the blitter is 
simple; using it once you have it is 
not so easy however. The problem is 
partly that the documentation is 
rather sparse, and to make life more 
interesting, just a teeny bit wrong in 
places. More fundamental^ the 
problem is that the Amiga has a Word 
blitter which blasts 16-hit words 


around in chip memory very quickly. 

Hut what you really want is a Bit 
blitter, capable of transferring an a bit 
pattern. The way to simulate a Hit 
blitter using a word blitter is to make 
use of the barrel shifters attached to 
two of the inputs. 

In order lo sort this out, Tom has 
done a fair amount of blitter research 
- including some graphicsJihrary 
disassembly — and has written a really 
nice PD program called HlitLah for 
easy experimentation with the blitter. 

Tom’s HlitLah demo is followed by 
an interesting question session, A lot 
of these involve use of the blitter hy 
graphicsJihrary, which Toni passes 
on to graphics author Dale Luck. One 
question concerns the use nf 
alternative blitter access mechanisms 
QBlitO and QSRIitQ* These allow you 
to queue blitter requests as BltNodes, 
to be processed as soon as the blitter 
can get round to them, optionally in a 
beam synchronised manner. 

A further question to Dale is why 
the graphics, library doesn't offer 
much in the way of multi-channel 
blits such as AN Ding or ORing two 


Rast Ports together. The answer is that 
handling the "arbitrary move" 
problem through the layers logic is so 
complex that two blitter input 
channels gel tied up doing it, using 
only one left over to the application. 

This discussion leads me to 
understand the graphics library rather 
better. The program doesn't have lo 
tackle the usual problems of writing 
lots of assembler to move stuff around 
in memory as fast as possible, since 
this is looked after by the hardware, 

A further question Dale gets asked 
concerning speed relates to the 
function BltfiitMapRastPortO* This is 
very useful since it allows you to set 
things up using the blitter in your 
own private off-screen BUMap 
without worrying* 

Dale admits that this was pul in late 
and done by calling a load of 
functions he already had written. It 
could be made faster, and he hopes to 
look at this for version 1.4. 

By this time exhaustion is setting in 
fast - the session comes to an end 
around 6,30, 11 Vi hours after 
registration. Phew. 


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B ACIK in 19G3 at Dartmouth 
College, two gentlemen along 
with willing undergraduates designed 
and implemented a language that 
would be easily grasped by beginners 
as an aid to learning Fortran. Those 
gentlemen were John Kemeny and 
Thomas Kurtz, and the language was 
Basic, now the standard language 
supplied with nearly every micro, 
Over the years Basie evolved, and 
due to memory restrictions on the 
early home micros its authors took 
short cuts to make it completely 
bard ware-specific, A program written 
in one dialect of Basic stood no 
chance of running on a different 
machine. 

Kemeny and Kurtz watched this 
process with some horror, and finally 
decided to do something about it. 
True Basic was the result, a portable 
language that they hoped would he 
the structured language system for the 


future. It was already available on the 
PC and Mac - the Amiga was Ihe next 
in line to see the light. Adam Webber 
was the actual author of this version, 
though he has received little credit for 
his work. 

True Basic is certainly a big enough 
package, consisting of a language 
disc, a 307 page users guide, and a 
331 page reference manual. The users 
guide will doubtless come as 
something of a shock to those 
unfortunates who are used to Basic 
manuals that Commodore normally 
supplies with ils machines. It is both 
dear and helpful for the beginner, 
with many tutorials, and yet contains 
vital machine-specific information 
that all standards of programmer 
require. 

The reference manual is the same 
for all versions of True Basic, and as 
such has the irritating habit of 
divulging juicy little secrets, only to 


point out that your version may he 
different. Thus it isn't as portable as 
True Basic Inc would like you to 
think it is. 

A typical True Basic display 
consists of a source code window, a 
command window, and an output 
window. The last two are optional 
and can he opened or closed at will, 
rf the output window is not defined 
during output, or has been closed, 
then output goes to a full screen, the 
contents of which are lost when the 
program is stopped or ends. 

Once a program has been entered 
the editor can be brought inlu play tn 
cut, copy and paste sections which 
are marked by clicking and dragging 
with the mouse. Alternatively the 
function keys can he used to mark 
blocks, as well as perform other 
useful editing tasks such as moving to 
the command or output window's, 
moving to the slai l or end of a 


Basic strikes back 


Mark Luckham finds that a grown up 
computer merits an adult approach to 
programming. Structure reduces the 
bugs and the LET statement returns 



program, and deleting characters nr 
the line to the right of the cursor. 

In a similar word processing vein, 
it is possible to search and replace 
specific words, or parts thereof, in the 
program. This operates from the 
cursor position onwards and will find 
key words as well as variables* 

An interesting feature is I lie ability 
to mark a pari of the program, say 
just a coy pie of lines, and delete the 
rest - useful if you are trying to build 
up a subroutine library, as the 
selected lines can hr? saved to disc as 
one. 

When, entering a program it will 
normally he displayed justified to the 
left of the source node window* but 
this can be changed to show the 
structure of the program. Select the 
Do Format option and watch as the 
structures are indented, key words are 
changed to upper case, and REM - or 
as they are referred to here comment 
- lines are straightened out- 

As with any modern Basil:, True 
Basic does not ordinarily use line 
numbers, hul they can he added al 
any stage in program development, 
and full line renumbering is also 
available The maximum number of 
characters that can be used on one 


Sfl AMIGA COMPUTING July tW/t 



line is 32.000, which is a far cry from 
I Ilf: 255 Oi4 days. The largest line 
number as well is impressively hi^h 
You can have line numbers running 
up to 999.999. 

Large scale numbers indeed, but il 
doesn't slop there. Numbers have 14 
digit accuracy, the maximum string 
length is over a million characters, 
variable names can he 31 characters 
in length, I lie maximum record sine is 
over 16 million bytes and, quite 
astonishingly, the maximum file sine 
is four trillion bytes. In theory. I 
didn't have a file that could test that 
claim. Roll on optical discs. 

As far as general structure goes, 
Kemeny and Kurt/ have attempted lo 
make the language as structured and 
orderly as possible. 

Going back to the line numbers. 

Go ii eaten at ion is not allowed in the 
source code, and there can only be 
one command statement lo each line. 

So a program containing an 
IF..TI IEN,,ELSE,.ENIJIF construct 
would have to have IF..THEN.. on 
one line, ELSE all by itself on another 
and ENDIF again all alone. 

SELECT CASE isn’t something that 
many basics support, iml us you 
might have guessed, it is here. This is 
similar to IF . .THEN . . ELSEIF as it Jets 
you try several tests anil execute a 
block of statements, depending on 
which lest fulfils the conditions 
required. When assigning variables 
the almost forgotten LET becomes 
compulsory, It isn't optional. 

Neither is using the variable name 
in conjunction with a NEXT 
statement. You must specify the 
variable name. What is interesting is 
the option to jump out of a loop 
before it has Finished. There are lew 
Basics indeed that will allow you to 
do that. 

Also in the field of loops can be 
found DO.. LOOP, which simply 
executes endlessly, unless il finds au 
EXIT DO statement in [here 
somewhere, DO WHILE.. LOOP, DO 
UNTIL,, LOOP and combinations 
thereof are far more flexible, and will 
execute the loop while certain 
conditions are met or until they are 
not. And if no conditions are likely to 
be met then there is always EXIT 1)0 
to save you from the programme! ■> 
nightmare - the endless loop. 

Your friend and mine, the 
procedure, lias of course not been 
forgotten, though it has undergone a 
name change. Functions can be 
defined and then CALLed, as can 


■REVIEW! 


n?st 

True 

Basic 

Amiga 

Basic 

i 

O.Oti 

0.04 

2 

0.22 

1,94 

3 

0,08 

3.94 

4 

1,02 

4 04 

5 

1.1 Ii 

5,04 

6 

1.7 

8.86 

7 

2.0 

3.76 

ft 

1 1,5 

1 7,68 

( sing standard Bj: 

s/c benchtests vvu can 

xet f that True Essie 

1 is very 

much faster 


than Amiga Hash; 


subroutines. Name them with SUB 
name (paraml, parum2..) and end 
i, hem with END SUB. Exactly the 
same as PROC, especially when you 
can pass variables to the subroutine. 

A variable within a subroutine, or 
w ithin any section of a program, is 
I, real to that particular section. If you 
want to share values around then you 
have to pass parameters with your 
subroutines. 

What is particularly interesting is 
that a subroutine can tie internal, or 
external, saved on a disc. This allows 
the programmer to build up libraries 
of useful functions and procedures, 
save them on disc, and only call upon 
them when needed, by using a 
LIBRARY command. 


O K, so structured programmers 
are doubtless feeling pretty 
smug, having been served up wilh 
virtually everything they could ask 
tor. What about the graphics? This 
after all, is what the Amiga is famous 
for, 

A language that claims to be truly 
portable surely cannot fully exploit 
i lie graphics hardware that is so 
j L,achiiie dependent. 

Well, True Basic certainly makes a 
lair old stab at it. Graphics are not 
related to on a pixel basis, they use a 
coordinate system of your own 
definition, Thus a program with 
graphics on one computer will 
, or res pond to the display on another 
computer, even if the desired effect is 
red need. 

So before drawing or anything else, 
you must define your window, in 
whatever numerical terms you like. 
For example, your Y coordinates 
could range from 1945 to 19BB, and 


the program would assign the 
intermediate values, and the X 
coordinate could range from 0 to 25. 
After defining this window, all 
subsequent graphics commands 
would then be in terms of these 
coordinates. 

For your money, you can plot 
points, draw lines, draw and fill a 
complex shape, flood till and, 
strangely, box. The BOX command is 
used in con junction with LINES, 
ELLIPSE, AREA, CLEAR. KEEP and 
SHOW, and provides those functions 
inside a rectangle, the size of which 
you specify. 

KEEP and SHOW are the two dark 
horses of the collection as they are, in 
fact, blitting commands, KEEP will 
store part of the display in a string 
variable white SHOW will splat il 
back again. Crude animation can he 
achieved this way. 


R ATHER surprisingly, given that 
the other graphic commands are 
nothing special, there are five special 
effects commands. With these you can 
slide a picture, change the scale, 
rotate it and shear it. When you can 
call pictures that have been defined 
just like subroutines, and call them in 
conjunction with one of the effects 
commands, you have a very powerful 
lool indeed. 

What it is possible to achieve is in 
some wavs far more impressive than 
that which The Director, which 
purports to he a professional display 
and animation language, can manage. 

The system used by True Basic is 
by no means as easy to get to grips 
with and produce the desired results 
without a lot of trial and error. But as 
a language that makes no attempt to 
he portable, what can be achieved is 
far more than you would ex|>eut. Even 
if sprites are not catered For at all. 

Should the range of commands not 
be powerful enough for your needs 
then True Basic Inc will supply you 
with a language extension dedicated 
to just that task, The price is a heavy 
one. As well as being expensive, hang 
goes portability, 

Sound is the other area that Amiga 
owners love to crow about, but once 
again portability and compromise are 
the order of the day. Il is rather 
disappointing this area, as all you are 
allowed is FLAY musicS where the 


htly limn AMIGA COMPUTING 59 




■REVIEWS 


string contains the musical notation 
for a tune, and SQUNIJ frequency, 
duration. No envelopes ur specific 
channels to make your sound effects. 

Never mind, string handling is 
superbly done and file handling is 
treated far more comprehensively 
with the ability to question files tor 
specific details, as well as the usual 
byte, data, and program loading and 
saving functions. 

I don't know whether the authors of 
True Basic anticipate that every 
computer ihdr language will run on 
will have a mouse and windows, bill 
these are catered for on the Amiga 
version. While windows can he made 
to happen on systems which don't 
normally use them, reading and using 
the mouse may prove more difficult 
to port across, 

I asked the question at the 
beginning of this review as to 
whether a language whose primarily 
aim was standardisation and 
portability Won Id make good use of 


the Amiga's powerful and individual 
facilities- Well, the quick answer is: 
"Not really’\ liul True Basic makes a 
very valiant attempt in areas that you 
would not have suspected. It is also 
surprisingly Iasi al most things, 
i ;ueit k ic nts ex c l uded. 

It's worth noting that it is a good 
idea to read the reference manual first 
for the general situation regarding 
available facilities. And then look 
through the users guide, in which 
s?xba commands, helpful tutorials, 
and quirks native to the Amiga 
version are detailed. 

For the programmer who will only 

use dn Amiga, True Basic cart he 

as a structured, modular and 
undeniably stylish language that 
won’t help that person get the very 
best from his computer. For anyone 
who as interested in portability, 
standardisation, and working on the 
Mac and the l J (J n then True Basic can 
be seen as a very fine piece of 
software, and he heartily 
recommended. 


REPORT CARD 


True Hfsic 
Preriscin 01-330 71 OH 

£mm 

i sen iLNEss 

A good compromise between slow 
Amiga Ha sic amt difficult lo master L\ 

EASE OF USE 

Looks and feels much the same as 
Amiga Basic hut runs very much faster. 

INTUITION 

As Amigaized as a portable language 
can he expected- Window# supported. 

SPEED* .*.** ** .*« « .* 

Programs compiled using True Basic 

run an average ot three times faster, 

va l ub ■nunu 

Priced a hit high for a home user, realty 
aimed at companies who want to 
produce predic ts for various machines. 


OVERALL 


70% 


A logical progression tor the dedicated 
Basic programmer. Pricey tor the rest 


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■ A D V l C E » 


Amiga Answers 


y Why don t some of my older 
games work when I have 
led extra memory ? 

A Some early games will nut 

work with a system which has 
more than 512k installed- The way lu 
overcome this pro b bin is lu select 
SioviMemLast and No hast Ram from 
the system drawer of your 
Workbench disc before clicking on 
the game icon. 

If the game selfhoots yon will have 
to remove the ram. Note that fitting a 
second drive uses up a tiny bit ut 
rani, so a really big game, such as 
Firepower will only work on a 512k 
machine if you unplug the second 
drive. 


Q t have seen some cheap 

Amiga 1 000s advertised and 
am tempted to buy {me in preference 
to an Amiga 500 , / can't see what the 
advantages of an Amiga 2000 are. 
Which one should ! buy ? 

A lt depends how much you 

want to spend. There are some 
real bargains to be picked up if you 
shop around for a MIDI). Many of 
these are “grey 11 imports from France 
and so will have an a/erty keyboard 
with stickers to turn it into an English 
qwerty keyboard. 

Diehard Amigaists feel that 1000$ 
are visually the nicest Amigas. 
Commodore lias a declared intention 
to support the machine, although it is 
no longer made, t his means that new 
Kickstarts will be made available on 
disc. 

But many of the add-ons you will 
want to buy in the future will come 
from third party companies. These are 
unlikely to be readily available in the 
future. A 1000 is very expensive to 
expand beyond 512k, I he A500 is its 
immediate successor and is easily 
expandable to 1Mb. with plenty of 
third party support and altogether a 
rosier future. 

The keyboard is not as nice as that 
of the A1QD0* and Kickstart is in rom, 
which is less flexible but easier to 
use. Once you want to add more than 
half a megabyte things start to get 
expansive, as are hard discs. 
Commodore lias an expansion unit 


Solve your Amiga anxiety with a 
letter to Amiga Answers. Our panel 
of experts is ready to sort out tricky 
Amiga problems. From machine 
code to midi , communications to 
compilers. Whatever your problem 
our experts are here to help you 
solye it. 

We cannot deal with enquiries 
personally so please don t send any 
SAF's, Ike do need loads of ques- 
tions, So write to Amiga Answers . 
A m iga Com puling , North Ho use r 
7&-&4 Ongar Road, lire Atwood. 
Essex, CM 15 9& G. 


planned, but it is still a way from 
production. 

The A2000 is aimed at businesses. 

It can be made IBM -compatible, is 
easily expandable to 0Mb and comes 
with l Mb as standard An 
miuxpanded 2uuu is no more useful 
than an expanded 500. 

Which you buy depends on what 
you want to do. If you just want to 
play games you could get away with 
a 1 ntjti Remember that they come 
with 25ftk as standard and you will 
have to buy the ram pack If you 
don't plan to expand your system 
straightaway an A500 is the best all 
round bet- A second disc drive and 
the 512k ram pack are sensible 
purchases, but can be left until your 
bank account has recovered. 

An A20QQ is only for the rich kid 
who wants the better keyboard and to 
add peripherals immediately, or for 
the businessman who needs Ihe extra 
ram. 

Make sure you get the latest 
version, which is known as a 112000 
because this is taster than an A2000 
and has an extra expansion slot. 


y How can I drag mure than 

one icon at a time? Whenever 
ct a second icon the first is 
deselected. 

A Hold down Shift when you 
click on subsequent icons. 
You can then do anything with the 
group of icons that you would 
otherwise do with one icon. A really 
useful application for this IS to select 
Clean Up from the menu bar, select 


all the icons in the window, being 
careful not to double click* and then 
select Snapshot. 


o 

and ns 


How can I open a window 
that covers the whole screen 
andTtas no border? 



The Ami*! Basic WINDOW 
commend {iocs mil el low 


windows without borders, but that 
docs not mean that they arc not 
possible. By using the Intuition 
library routines OpenWindowf) and 
ClaseWindowf) you can open a 
window' to whatever specification. 


'H#x He i gti t 

POKEY Wmdg+46,15 £1 

for WBench) 

HPointS = OperWirdowS (lii no8) 

CALL FreeHeir.&(WirdM«> 

IF YPointi = 0 THEN 

PRINT “Failed id open nindou" 
SOTO Suit 
END IF 

Rast Portfi = PEEKL(YPointl*50) 

GOSUB Openlnput 
APfnS = 1 
1MIl£ INKETt=“ 

CALL 

JetAPeni(SjstP<?rtl,APenfi) 

CALL RectFi l Li (R'astPor (4,0,0, 

640,256) 

APeni = APen4 COR 1 
UEHO 

fluit: 

GlHUB Close Input 

CALL CLoseUindov£(UPoint£) 

Haiti: 

SCREEN CLOSE 1 
LIBRARY CLOSE 
END 

Open Input; 

W]ND0U ?,'Input V indonV 0,200) 
<320,2405,1+2,1 ■ 

RETURN 

Close Input : 

WINDOW CLOSE 2 
RETURN 

Jf you haven’t done so already, you 
will need to create the intuition 
\brnap’ file. 

The input filename is: 
■■Extras:FDl.2/mtuition-lib.fd" 

The output filename is: 

"Extras :BasicDcmos/intiii1 irm. bmap” 


july iSBS AMIGA COMPUTING Gt 


TRYBRIDGE SOFTWARE 
DISTRIBUTION 


Title Amiga 

Alien Syndrome 195 

Aa^gh 15.50 

Auloduel _1740 

Arcic Fwc 15.00 

Adv Cans Sat 19.50 

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BubHe Bobble 12.50 

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Eari Weavef Basc^aJi ...10.50 

1^1 Sin 2 2640 

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6 50 

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1550 

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...11.00 

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9.00 

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1395 

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12 95 

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... 16.50 


Please send eh eque/p.GJ Access, Visa number and expiry dale to: 
Try bridge Ltd, 72 North Street, Romford, Eswx RM1 1DA + 
Please remember to state the make and model of your computer when 
ordering, P&P inc. UK pat orders over £3, Under £5 alid Europe add £1 
per item. Elsewhere add £2 per Item for AIR MAIL. Telephone orders: 

0708 765271 


Unfewttt Tefcrtewt Adaptor 

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6i ! AMIGA COMPUTING July JflflU 






■LETTERS* 



Virus problems 

I AM a member of a user group and 
therefore get quite a bit of public 
domain software. On almost every 
occasion I find it has the virus. I have 
two virus killers and a detector which 
sits in memory and tells you if a virus 
is present. This is useful because you 
can find a virus before it spreads. 

Is there a virus which can destroy 
the Amiga's rom? I’ve been told there 
is bv several sources, including a 
computer shop. Other people have 
told me that it is impossible to change 
the rom, including Commodore repair 
staff. I've been told that Commodore 
won't fix the computer under 
warranty because it said you can only 
get the virus from pirated software. 
This means an expensive repair bill. 

Now, anybody who has an Amiga 
will have some PD software and the 
virus can easily come from this. 

D, Cady wold, 
Darlington. 

You cannot damage the computer 
with a virus. Turn the machine off 
and on and it will recover. People 
who claim that the virus nan damage 
a rom do not understand how a rom 
works — Pd. 


Mistakes 

1 ENJOYED reading issue 1. especially 
the bit about Workbench 1.3. How 
much is il anyway? There was an 
error in the Plain Man’s Guide to CLI, 
The author said that it is important to 
use capita] letters. He is wrong, it 
doesn't matter whether you use upper 
or lower case. The Amiga treats it the 
same. 

Now on to the hidden messages. 

For the last message you emitted to 
mention that you must hold down the 
function key while you ejecl the 
Workbench disc and replace it with a 
non- Workbench disc. 

Also on the subject of hidden 
messages do I qualify for a free game 
with a hidden menu? Hope so. All 


you have to do is enter the CLI and 
type: LOADWB -DEBUG. When the 
Workbench has loaded up the debug 
menu go to the menu bar and hold 
the right mouse button. 

Move right from the “special" 
menu and a previously hidden menu 
will appear. This causes debugging 
information to be sent down the serial 
port at 9fp(10 baud. So if you have an 
HS232 terminal you can tap into it. Tf 
this does qualify me for a free game 
can I have Photon Paint marketed by 
Activision? 

Leszek Wolnik-Kurjanowicz 
Ealing, W5 

Commodore hasn 't yet fixed a price 
for Workbench 1.3. Sorry we don ’t 
have any spare copies of Photon 
Paint. Our review copy was one of the 
first half dozen Activision had. PU 
send you a copy of Jinks instead - Ed 


Bare shelves 

SOME of my friends hought a copy of 
your magazine in London, but when I 
tried to get it in my local shop I 
couldn’t find it an the shelves, It has 
loads of other computer magazines 
but not yours. Why? 

David Ohijrne, 
Swansea 

It is always possible that it has sold 
out. If not it could he because it only 
stocks magazines which have a record 


Write to The Editor, Amiga 
Computing. First Floor, North 
House, 7B-34 Ongar Road, Rrent- 
wood, Essex, CM 15 9BG. The best 
letters each month will he sent a 
game from our goodie drawer. 


of selling well. Of course with a ne w 
magazine there is no way' to prove 
this, if you are in a shop which does 
not have Amiga Computing on the 
shelves you should ask why, 

Jn a big shop you should ask to 
speak to the news manager. He will 
be able to tell you when he expects 
the next delivery and if it is sold out 
whether the shop will be getting some 
more. - Ed. 


Piracy problem 

I WAS very interested to read in your 
first issue about the sales of the 
Amiga catching up with those of the 
ST, I work in a shop in London 
where we sell all kinds of computers, 
and the Amiga runs second only to 
Amstrad PCs. But ST software outsells 
Amiga products. I attribute this to the 
lack of really good Amiga games and 
the huge amount of piracy on the 
Amiga. 

Most of the games are straight ST 
conversions. If I wanted an ST I'd 
have hought one, but the Amiga has 
far better graphics and sound. Piracy 
is a serious problem, and l implore 
Amiga owners to buy their games and 
not copy them. 

If you have a stolen game which 
you play a lot, go and buy the 
original to show the software house 
how much you appreciate the game. 

This is the only way that software 
houses can be persuaded to carry on 
supporting the Amiga. One good 
thing is the bundled software which 
comes with the ST. Every Atari comes 
with loads of games, which cuts 
down the number of new games ST 
owners will buy, and so makes the 
Amiga sales look proportionately 
better. 

Your first issue was great, keep 
rooting for world's best computer, 

Alex Walsh, 
Newbury 


July tarn AMIGA COMPUTING r,.i 





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am0! 


Vein to 31.7.88 


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UK £25 
Furagfl a Elf* £34 
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950 1 

9502 


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UK El. 75 : Europe S Eire CM, Ovwm £ 3.75 


Jun* 9700 


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El 9 95 


| 


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£19.95 


Tynesoft Bargains 




Mouse Mat 


C&95 


Binder 


£5 06 


95W 


CZI 


25U 


Slock Mark* 4 FRFE RM« 

Slock Mark* + FRFE Mouse Trap 

£ 19.95 

£ 19,95 

$$73 

9513 

Wirrier Olympiad AS + FREE PUtW 
Winler Olympiad AS * FREE Moult Trap 

£ 19.95 
£ 1 9.95 

9574 

9515 

Second* Oul + FREE Pluto® 
Second* Out + FRFE Mouse Tr^s 

£ 1 9.95 
CiS-flS 

9516 
95 1 ? 

Formula t Grand Pmc 4 FRFE Plticn 
Formula 1 Grand Prix + FRFE Mouse Trap 

£ 19.96 
El 9.95 

9516 

9519 

Dust Cover 

Amga 500 Keyboard 

£ 4,96 

9507 


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Payment: please indicate method (^J 

] Ac.rm wMaitancarM: u Kxa^'BdrrjUi^rd.'Visa 


TOTAL 




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1 Chequa/F uracheque payebi# 

Eiqp 

— 

1 ,.„Jto Am*ga Computing 

dale 

1 1 


Name. 


, Signed 


Address 


-Tel:. 


Sand 10: Amiga Computing, FREEPOST, 
Maccl*afl*ld, Ch wh ! r» SK 1 0 4Y S 

{Nti ilanp needed If ported In UK) Pie ace alow 28 days Air detwofy 



Don't forget fo ghm your name, addreea and credit card number 

[ EHQUlpil iSOW-Y: 0625 979940 6 am- AMC 7 







END PIECE 


W HEN a computer crashes it 
usually locks up, leaving (he 
programmer or user to wonder why 
that happened. The Amiga is no 
ordinary computer, it doesn’t crash. It 
Gurus. The black and red screen 
contains magic information on the 
state of the computer before it pointed 
its Iocs skywards. 

The name is due to a bit of Amiga 
history. When, the company was set 
up it made joysticks For the Atari VCS 
and Commodore 64. Among these 
was a tiny stick which you could use 
with one hand and a huge stick 
which you stood on. The big joystick 
was called a joy board, ft was 
designed for skiing and surfing 
simulations. 

A couple of games were written for 
the VCS but nothing really came of 
the joyboard- One program which 
Amiga did put together was a 
meditation package. You had to sit on 


Guru’s 


haunt 


the joybourd and stay as still as 
possible. The more relaxed, the 
higher you scored. Although the 
company has been bought by 
Commodore and the joyboard is no 
longer, it is touching to note that it is 
commemorated by a magic number 
on every Amiga screen, 

# The Commodore logo, the C* 
symbol, is well known to all Amiga 
users. 

W T hat is less well known is the 
Commodore in-house name for the 
logo. To Commodore the C K is the 
“chicken head - ’. 


ADVERTISERS’ 

INDEX 


Amiga PD,. 

...... 23 

Calco Software 

11 

CBS 

50 

Centee 

50 

Cestrian Software 

3 


67 

Cut Price Software,..,,,,.,,,.... 

55 

Dale! Electronics 

.56, 57 

Evesham Micros 

62 


23 

Kuma 


Melton Computers ... 

60 

Metacomco 

...... 23 

Microlink... 

6 

Shacksoft 

66 

Solidisk., 

62 

Timesuft. 

11 

Triangle Music/Television,. 

66 

Try Bridge 

62 

Worldwide Software 

23 



T T ■ L 1 T I 3 < 

— w 


THE AMIGA GRAPHICS 
AND SOUND SPECIALISTS 


■AAQNEh Amiga tadarthte tewm w ftwflh ifrM Amig* graphics, that aw BBCh 'M ot? Fite' Vtfte* 

DW 


tfVtO* LUAGW an Amiga teow T-ae gtvw- ont aiiaa itamcitBu'iifliiflj a™ nwi m«K5 an syswra wrcr&n 
bawlhfl pfwnism IMAGINE in Amiga d*ater th* wi* Mrti oue giving *m aft ¥ youVthawted d 

your moos y. UHMAGNAELE? THEN IMAGINE TRIANGLE TV - THE UNUSUAL AMIGA DEALER 


HARDWARE 

Amiga fflOffi. Amq* OTA. U*nafy Expansion, Nani One* Fitted. G*rAK*>. RGG - YbJm E ncodm 


" NEW RJGHTCAf ES 1 
On gr*y fiiminum] 

CHGITlZEftS, TRAINING N AH MAHON AND GRA. 4HkC&, LEASING AND FINANCE 


W STOCK 


Mo* Flirt (U w*wV|, ISgPiirt 1*96 «* m), TNum Ww ZjfAL), *NW tail 30 
SaJpl5D 1 i f#wArwTiiitm , tMwT^[^Df 1 , 1%pP TV W, -|#w TV Site*. PwWteo.'Naw 


** 


Enter, Digrvtew (PAL), CteAn* Flirt, Data* Music, Inal art Music, PagoHflnfLiMr Sciipi, Ct* D**k 
P. frMT»-grtfjtatort«kp ttewCtefc0*prtl{bMi i , 14*aPhrt Ptert [PAL),H*w£WUw 

Produaiona.*HM M Graph** tatM. 



THE AMIGA MUSIC 
AND MIDI SPECIALISTS 


frill 
music 


NEW PRODUCT NEWS DR.T MUSIC SOFTWARE 

np HUM* snwtbk »«*W* fcr tt» AHXrtOB TTwsi raw pnrtrtt IW» OBI K» Hi* mrt pow*(U 
jtal rsccning system* kx lha Amiga lo d*te 

THESE ARE mE TRUE DIGITAL WORKSTATIONS' 

Dfl.T KCS 1 J 

A«kadlti^naoidirwftllF.E-C*|^rfi«MI*pi*w*A*i»fel.pW*iiid<x9Tk*dOM. Trw,***. 
and quantiM. Twiuo dwngai wd (IWA fften. 

DflT. KCS Lml i 

A/utfw 46 bwfcs aqua™ wifi M.P£. pUl ( pfQpfifflflufcta wiMidmgNWIior Wd nLMter*di(w. Promnmt 
•mmxn q! («lo7 ftflwtrt afyMtof muac AteodlW mvPC aattwarari 

* HP-E-*, 

Dfl.T.KCS 1.6^Lw^,^iiyW(lMftogrm™ Enwwimert. Ttite pI iftw Y«i to nm ^to4pH**fMWt 
N cm and h) Kte *ocindrtpiy ^ phi Nth. 

DfLT. Edtofi 

E*i«wnd frvn yw rtftwmH *nd urn ihum. Yamal* RAind. Eiawwjua Me. 


UW Hrttacn hr llte AHJWQW *r* ™ malMste. 

■MORE _ 

Al puriud**/* ftwonotur muaie -rtae. Coda 

E8-.VS. 


TRIANGLE TELEVISION (Computers) 

130 Brook wood Road, Sou thfl olds, London SW1B 5DD. 

Tal: 01-874 3418. FAX; 01-877 1029 

Mi a!i Order avsil4JD^ 

„ Dftmonstraiion available - rinfl Coin. (Rnanca on ccmpteta systems) J 


SHACKSOFT 




s& 


If*' 


Arc you tired of fumbling 
under or behind your com- 
puter to swap your mouse 
and joystick cables ? Are 

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 I. A switch on the top docs the 
swapping for you! Additionally, port 2 is brou ght out to 


make all the ports easily accessible. £24.95 



MONITOR STANDS 

Specifically designed for use with your AMIGA 5U0 with 
a slot cut for the disk drive. Your Amiga fits iwatiy urater 
your monitor with no untidy leads in view. £19.95 





MOUSE MASTER 


Quality 
Mouse Mats 

Orly £6.95 


UNIT 11/17 While Hays South 
West Wilts 'trading I'.slatc 
Wcstliury. Wiltshire 
(0373) 858031 (2 lines) 




fifi A MICA COMPLETING fitly 1986 







BUSINESS REPLY SERVICE 


Do not affix postage 
stamp jf posted in Hie 
United Kingdom 
Channel Islands or 
Isle of Man 



AMIGA COMPUTING 
FREEPOST 
MACCLESFIELD 
SK10 4YB 




' " 

BUSINESS REPLY SERVICE 


Do not affix postage 
stamp if posted in the 
United Kingdom 
Channel Islands or 
Isle of Man 





AMIGA COMPUTING 
FREEPOST 
MACCLESFIELD 
SKI 0 4YB 




I 



3 





Annual Subscription 



UK £26 

9500 


Europe 6 Ewe £34 

9501 


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J 



Back Issue 

UK Et,?S; Europe S £»« C3»; Quorums C3.75 

J UIW5700 L 


Jlftxter 


£19.95 9GIC? [ 


Starglider 

£14.95 

flSff 

Tynesoft Bargains 


&iocfc. M a r uK * FREE Pluto* 

Stoc*. MiSfcM * FREE MQuie Trap 

£19.95 

£19.96 

2512 
95 13 

Winter Olympiad 06 * FREE Pluto* 
Winter Olympiad 96 +■ FREE Mouse Trap 

£19.95 

£1*95 

9$14 

9515 

Seconds Ovl ■* FREE Pluto* 
Seconds Out + FREE Mouse Trap 

£19.95 
£ 19.95 

9516 

9517 

Formula 1 Grand Prist; + FREE Flute* 
Formula. 1 Grand. Prise + FREE Mouse Trap 

£19.95 

£19.95 

*5f6 

9519 



Oust Cover 



Amiga 500 Keyboard 

£4.95 

9507 | 

Mouse Mat 

£69$ 

9SG8 I 1 

Binder 

£5.95 

9509 f 71 


Add £2 for Europe (incl. Eire) per item, £5 for 
Overseas per item, unless otherwise indicated 


Payment: please indicate method {S} TOTAL 



Offers subject 
to avaibbtiiy 

Alt UK prices in&vde 
pcstag#. packing a VAT 

AB Qv&fs&as orders 
despa tcbed by Airmajt 



'■ Amas^Maslorcard/EurCK^i^'B^iayi^rd/WBa 

~ *. 11111 Mill L-L 


□ 


CltequaEufocftwi^e payable 
io Afriga CempMi^ 


Name , , Sig ned 

Address — — 


E*p, 

dale 


Tel: 


Sand idl Amiga Computing, FREEPOST, 
Macclesfield, ChesMr# SKI 0 4YB 
[No stamp needed if polled In UK) Plt&te allow 23 days tor delivery 


Order if any time of th# day or night 


Telephone Orders: 0625 579920 

Far Orders: 
0625 679964 

Orders by p ft# let: 

Kay-49, them 614564393 

Mkjol ifiK'T&ncom Goto 
7a:MAGQE>1 


Dofl l I o r ge t to giv e your name, iddfwl irtd c^'i CAfd number 

AMC7A 


E NQUI R lES ONLY] -06Z5 &79*4 0 9a/iv5pm 


Annual Subscription 



UK £26 

saw 



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9502 


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’ 


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rzn 


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y 



Back issue 

UK £1 .75; Europe 4 Eire £2.25; Overseas £3,75 

June 9700 I I 


Jinx ter Eie.95 »sw I ] 

Stargllder <~"»w 1 


Tynesoft Bargains ^ 


Slock Market + FREE PM« 

Slock Market + FREE Meuse Trap 

£19.95 
£ 1 9 95 

95 1 2 

9513 

Wimer Olympic S0 * FREE Pluto* 
Wirier Olympiad 60 * FREE Mouse Trap 

£1*95 

£19.95 

9514 

9515 

Second* Out + FREE PMO* 
Second* Out + FREE Mov&u Trap 

£19.95 

£19.95 

95 3 F 
3537 

Formula i Grand Frl* * FREE Pluto* 
Formula 1 Grand Pn* # FREE Mouse Trap 

£199$ 

£19.95 

95 16 
9519 


Dust Cover 



Amiga 500 Keytjoard 

£4,94 

350? | 1 

Mouse Mat 

£6.95 

ssoe d 

Binder 

£5.95 

9509 


Add £2 for Europe {tncl, Eire) per item, £5 for 
Overseas per item, unless otherwise Indicated 


Payment: pteaso indicaie method {/) TOTAL 



OUers subject 
to availability 

ABUKpfiC*Glflefud* 
posiag#, pi i&ung 5 V* T 

AS overseas orders 
despatched by Arn narf 



[ I Aoce&Si'M asterca r d.'Eurocard>'Earcla> , cani | Vffi.a 

., 1111 II I I - I — J U_i-U I I I I 


1 Chequei^erocheque payable 

E up- 

1 J to Amiga Computing 

date - 


Narrw Signed 


Address 


- -Tel: — 

Sand lot Amiga Com puling, FREEPOST, 
Macclesdeldp Cheshire SKID 4YB 
(Mo stamp needed if poslad in LJK) Please ailow 28 days tor delivery 
— Or Jar at any tim# vt the day or night — 


Telephone Orders: OE2 5 679920 

Fax Orders: 

6625 H7B965 

Orders by Presto*: 

Key-09, them 414563363 

Mtifd. m-T# i$cmt Gokf 

72:M A’GOOl 


Gon't forget to give your name, edd rvA* mod Cred it card fHmb& 

f E NOUI R IES ONLY; 0625 379*40 9anv5pm AHC7 A 







[is 


Software 

Tin# 

Arkanoid 

Alien Spike 

Arazoka Tomb .. 

Artie Fo* 

Adv Con Set ..... 

Back Gammon , 

Battleships 
Blackshadow . 

Borrowed Time . 

Bubble Bobble . 

Barbari ans 

Blast Ball 

Balance of Power . 

Backlash 

Ball Raider 

Brainstorm. 

BMX Simulator 
Crack . 

Chessmaster 2000 . 

Chess Art of 
Crazy Cars 
Computer Hits , 

Cougans Ryn 

Casino Roulette 
Dark Castle 

Defender of the Crown 

Deja Vu ....„.-p„ WMWMWPlw „ BB 

Destroyer „ P ,, P 

Deep Space 

Earl Weaver Baseball 

ECO + > I , 

E Boles Most 

Ey*,„ 

Enlightenment , 

Firepower 

Flimstonei „ . * MWW1MWWMMI 

Ferrari Formula One 

Flight Simulator If 

Fetid 

Faery Tale Ad v 

Football Fonunes 

Frost Byte 

Formula Grand Priss ....,., 

Footman ..„„,„„.,„ P ..„„„ 

Falcon Fl fl 
Garrison 
Gnd Start 
Guild of Thieves „ 

Gotdfunnef „„ PP „, 

Gnome Ranger 
Galactic Invasion. 

Golden Path 

Hardball 

Hollywood Poker ..... 
Hitchhikers Guide . 

Indoor Sports 


5.3.P 
£2600 
...£24 05 
-£29.66 
...£29 95 
...£29.95 

£9.99 

...£1 9 95 
..£24 95 
..£24 99 
... £19.66 
.£24 99 

£9.99 

... £29.99 
... £19 9S 
... £19.95 

£9 99 

...Ei4.se 
£19.95 
...£24,95 
.,£24.99 
..£24.95 
.,£29.95 
.£14.95 
...£19.99 
...£24.99 
...£29.95 
..£2995 
,£24,99 
,£24.99 
,£24.95 
,£24 95 
,£1995 
£1495 


..£24 99 
£19 95 
£24,95 
.£09,35 
, £9.99 
£49.99 
. £24.95 
£14.95 
,. £14.95 
,,£14.95 


,£24.95 
.,.£9 99 
,£24.99 
,£24.95 
.£14.95 
,.£24.95 
£19.35 
.£24.95 
£19.95 
£29.99 
£24.99 


Impact 

,,,£14.95 

Insannv Fioht 

£24 99 

Jet 

E39 95 

Jinx ter 

.,£24 96 

Jigsaw Mania 

£9 95 

Joe Blade 

£9,99 

Kickslart II 

£9,99 

King of Chicago 

.,,,.£29.99 

Knight Ore .,,, 

E24 95 

Kamng Grand Prix 

£9 95 

Karate Kid II 

Karate 

Kampegruppe 

Kwasimodo 

.„"„„,£24.95 

t £l 3.35 

..." .£29.99 

".,£3.95 

Kings Quest Pack 

.£24.35 

Lurking Horror 

Li toe Computer People .... 

"..£24.95 

£34.99 

Leviathan 

.....£19.36 

Leaderboard 

£24.95 

Leaderboard Tournament 
Leisure Suit Larry 

,.,£3.33 

"...,......£24,93 

Leather Goddess 

Marble Maddness 

Mind Forever 

Mei'C«nstfy 

Moebius 

£23.35 

£19.95 

,.£34.33 

..........,£24.95 

£24.95 

Moon Mst 

£29.35 

Mouse Trap 

,".,"..,.£14-95 

Mean 18 

,".,,..£24.95 

Mission Elevator 

Mac 3 

,£19.33 

£19 95 

Ninja Mission 

£3 33 

Nakamoto 

,£3-33 

Nofd and Bert 

Othello 

",£25,00 

£3.39 


Our 

Price 

£20.50 
CIS. 50 
£21.50 
£21 50 
£21.50 
£7 50 
£16.50 
£1S 50 
£15 50 
£16.50 
£16.50 
£7.50 
£21.50 
£ 1 6 .50 
£16 50 
£7,50 
£1 1 .50 
£1650 
£16.50 
£16.50 
£1650 
£21 .50 
£11.50 
£16.50 
£18.50 
£21.50 
£21.50 
£18 50 
£10.50 
£10.50 
£10.50 
£16 50 
£1 1 .50 

£1650 
£1600 
£16.50 
£29.50 
£7 50 
£32.50 
£18.50 
£11.50 
£11 50 
£11.50 

£18.50 
£7.50 
£16.50 
£16.50 
£11.50 
£1850 
£16 50 
£16.50 
£10.50 
£21 .50 
£16.50 
£11.50 
£10 50 
£26.50 
£16 50 


AMIGA SPECIALISTS 

Unit 1, Willowsea Farm , Spout Lane North, 

Stan well Moor ; Staines, Middx TW19 6B W 
Telephone: (0753) 682988 


Till* 

PlutoS * 

Pori pf Call P ,„ 

Phantasie IN .... . 

Power Ray 

Pink Panther r . 

Power Struggle 

G Ball 

Red October 1P ..,„ 

Rockey 

Roadwars .... . 

Roadwar 2000 

Return to A clantis 

Seven Cites of Gold 

Starwars 

Strike Force Harrier..,, 

Surgeon p Bm .p, f+ * llw ** Bli * #ilB<4 *„^ 

S.D.I 

Stnp Poker ^h*™*™***,,™™ 

Strip Poker II Plus 

Sky fighter . 

Swooper . 

Seoontjg Out 

Slaycon 

Sidewinder 

Space Quest . , PPP , PPP 

Space Ranger 

Scarway s 

Star Glider TPP P „„ P 

Silent Service 

Silicon Dream a 

Skyfojt 

Shadow-gate 

Space Port + 

Sinbad A The Throne of Falcon 
Shanghai 


Scenery Disks 7 A 1 1 „, £24 

Strange New Word ... 


.£19 95 
£24.95 
£24.95 
£14.96 
£19.96 
.£24.99 
.£49.95 
. £29.95 
...E9.95 
.£14,36 
£14.35 
.£19.95 
£19 39 
. £19.95 
..£9.99 
£29 99 
,,.£939 
. £19-95 
£24 95 
£24.95 
.£19.95 
.£14.95 
£24.95 
£19.99 
£29.95 
£24 99 


£1 6,50 
£10.50 
£1 8,50 
£11.50 
£1 6.50 
£18.50 
£32.50 
£21 .SO 
£7.50 
£11.50 
£11.50 
£16.50 
£16.50 
£16.50 
£7.50 
£21.50 
£7.50 
£10.50 
£10.50 
£18.50 
£1 6,50 
£11.50 
£10.50 
£1 6,50 
£21 50 
£10 50 


Soccer Supremo 

Terramen 

Temple ol Apshai 

Terwpods 

Tetri* 

Tim§ Bandits 
Testdrive ............. 

Thunder Boy ....... 

Thunder Rolling 

Ultima 111 

Uninvited 

Vyper 

Vampire Empires 
World Games _ ia+BB , 

Witness ... 

Winter Olympiad . 
Western Game* 
Winter Games ..... 

The Wall 

Xenon 

Extensor 

G.L.F. Football ... 


95 Ee £18.50 ea 
£19,33 £16.50 


-B S 


£14.35 
£1995 
£24.99 
£24 99 
£19 99 
£19 99 
£24 95 
£14 96 
£24,90 
£24 99 
£29 95 
£1496 
£19 99 
£24.99 
£23 33 
£19.95 
£19.95 
£24.39 
£14 36 
£1333 
..£3.33 
£24 95 


£11.50 
£1650 
£16.50 
£16.50 
£16.50 
£16.50 
£16.50 
£11.50 
£16.50 
£1650 
£21.50 
£11.50 
£16.50 
£18.50 
£21.50 
£18.50 
£16.50 
£10.50 
£11.50 
£16.50 
£750 
£1 8 50 


SPECIAL OFFERS AT LOW PRICES 


Obliterates 
Ogre 
Pawn . 
Portal . 


.£24,35 
.£24.99 
. £24.95 
£34 99 


£7 50 

Cruncher Factory 

£9.9 9 

£5.50 

£7.50 

Cutthroat 

.£29.99 

£12 00 

£7.50 

OnaUenger,., 

es.99 

£5 50 

£21.50 

Demolition 

..£9.99' 

£5,50 

£18.50 

Dr. Fruit 

£9.99 

£5.50 

£7.50 

Deadline 

£24.99 

£12-00 

£18.50 

Final Trip 

, £9.93 

£5.50 

£1650 

Hacker 

£29 95 

£12.00 

£21 SO 

Hacker IU - 

£29.99 

£1200 

£7.50 

Infidel 

£23 99 

£12,00 

£18.50 

Las Vegas 

£9.99 

£5 50 

£18.50 

Mtndshadow 


£1 2 00 

£24.75 

Phalanx 

£9.99 

£5.50 

£16.50 

Space Battle 

£3,35 

£5 50 

£10.50 

SpeUbreakar 

,.£23.35 

£12.00 

£7.50 

Suspended 

,,"".£29.99 

£1 2.00 

£16.50 

Suspect 

£29.99 

£1 2 00 

£21 ,50 

Station fall 

....£29.99 

£12 00 

£16 50 

Star cross 

£29.99 

£12.00 

£24.76 

Seas talker 

£29 99 

£12 00 

£16.50 

Trinity 

£34 99 

£12.00 

£16.50 

Thai Boxing 

.£9.39 

£5-50 

£21.50 

Tass TiiriM 

£24.33 

£t2.00 

£t 1 .50 

Vaders 

-£9 99 

£5.50 

£10 50 

Wishbringer .... 

£29,39 

£12 00 

£16 50 

Zorfc ! 

...£29.39 

£12 00 

£16.50 

Zwk N 

.£29.99 

£1 2 0O 

£7.50 

Zork III 

,£29.33 

£1 2 00 

£7.50 




£19.00 

NEW RELEASES NOW \H STOCK 

£7.50 

Amegas 

£14.95 

£11.50 

£16.50 

Flighl Pfllh 737 

£3 35 

£7,50 

£18.50 

WizbaJi 

£24.35 

£18.50 

£18.50 

Stock Market 

£19.96 

£18 50 

£22-50 

Siellet Conflict 

. £ 

£ 



Our 



Our 

S.SP 

Price 

Title 

S.SP 

Price 

.£14.95 

£11 SO 

The Jewels of Darkness 

£19.35 

Et550 

£33 95 

£26.50 

Tima and Magic 

P .£ 

£ 

£24.93 

£16.50 

Annals of Rome 

£24,39 

£18.50 

£19 99 

£16.50 

Ge^Bee Air Rally 

£19.95 

£15.50 

£1399 

£16.50 

Jump Jet 

,",,,"£14.95 

£11 50 

£1495 

£11.50 

Sftadock 

£24.95 

£1850 

£13 95 

£16.50 

Jinx 

£24 93 

£1850 

£24 96 

£1 0.50 

Tho Armageddon Man 

£19.93 

£16 50 


UTILITY LIST 

Adrurn * limiiS * £39 95 

AC Fortran ,„^.,^ +BBfc#+hr ,^. + „ H+Bt . M ..£295.00 
Art Part* I -,+*«,,«,.™.™.p"E995 

Art Paris II 

Assembler Metacomco 4+i44++ „ £69.95 

Animator/ Images ,.£103.50 

Acquisition 1 J * .£243.00 

Analyze II ,£149.95 

Audiomasler .£46,00 

Animate 3D £1 29.95 

AC Bask; PPP . .£195 00 

Butcher,,™ £2935 

C64 Emulator _,^ hMh p P . H< „ M ^p MB p h p_B69.9B 

City Desk £1 1 4.95 

C Li Mate £39 95 

Caltigrpaher „ £09.35 

Dos to Dos ,...,,...,...£39.95 

Delude Music Con Sat (Pal) £09.35 

Deluxe Video _.E09.O5 

Deluxe Print , 4 *. <44 *p MBH .".£24.95 

Deluxe Paint II (Pal) .,,.£69.95 

l>gi paint ( Pal) ... £59 .99 

Digi view 2.0 ( Pal) £185.00 

Ogiview Adpt , £29.95 

Diga „ 1B „ iBB44 *p W « 1 .i**...™.4«« B «4*Hi*.CS7 B S0 

Draw Plus , ,.,,£104.00 

Express Paint —„™„„ £79.95 

Future Sound £175.00 

Gr&hbil £29.35 

Horn' Cool }tt£Z £9.95 

Hm Cak: £59 95 

Intro Cad £59 95 

InatanE Music £24.95 

Lazerscript Driver £32 35 

Lisp El 43-35 

Lattice C 4.0 £i 72-50 

Mcrofitfte Filer £73.95 

Module IS Developer £ 143.95 

Module Standard II..,.. £33.95 

Modual M ..,...,£123.35 

Maxiplan A500 £99 .35 

Maxiplan Plus ...£149.95 

Music Studio ..,....."..£34 33 

Micro A PL £99 .95 

Marauder II £39.95 

MCC Pascal £69 SS 

Ogantse £93 35 

Publisher Plus £99.96 

Pro-Board £475 .00 

Pro-Net „„ £475.00 

Pro - Video £ 1 59 95 

Pixmate £49.95 

RodrnT Roil .,.,...£935 

Shakaspear „..„ rr „ P ..£i29-95 

Superbase Professional £249.95 

Superbase ....£63,35 

Somx ......"...,...,£57-50 

Softwood Write A Fite £33-95 

Scribble II £33 95 

Shell £49.96 

Sega Assembler £49.96 

Seasons A Holidays £9.95 

Sculpt 3D (Par) ., £59.35 

Sculpt 3D Animate (Pal) ... £129 95 

Toolkit .....,.£39.95 

TV Show (Pal) £99.95 

TV Text (Pal) E«.fl6 

Visa Write..,., £99.39 

V I. P Professional £228 25 

Videoscape 3D £143.75 

Video Titier 1.1 ,£110,00 

Word Perfect 4,1 £228.05 

Works The,".."..,.....,. £149,35 

X Cad £460.00 

Zuma Fon ts 1^3 £34.95ea £24.75ea 

Blank Disks 1 0 £27.75 13.50 


£32 50 
£202.50 
£7.50 
£7.50 
£49.50 
£75.50 

£ias.oo 

£102.50 
£3200 
£105.00 
£132.50 
£21-50 
£50.50 
£85.00 
£29.50 
£50 50 
£23.50 
£48.50 
£48 50 
£18 50 
£48 50 
£42 50 
£142 50 
£19.50 
£42.50 
£135.00 
£62-50 
£155.00 
£23.50 
£7,50 
£45 50 
£45.50 
£18.50 
£23.50 
£102 50 
E122-S0 
£82,50 
£110.50 
£72,50 
£95 00 
£72.50 
El 10.50 
£24.75 
£72 50 
£29 50 
£63 35 
£7250 
£72 50 
£375.00 
£375.00 
£127,50 
£39.50 
£7.50 
E1O5O0 
£165.00 
£89 50 
£39 50 
£72 50 
£72 50 
£34,50 
£34.50 
£7.50 
£59-50 
£105 00 
£29 50 
£72.50 
£7250 
£72.50 
£165.00 
£110 00 
£85 50 
E 175.00 
£105.00 
£32500 


HEW RELEASES NOW \H STOCK 

Silver .".£13395 Cl 15.00 

Flipside £99 35 £72.50 

On Line £i 1 0 46 £99.50 

Prisim £ £ 

Intel lily pe £ £ 



I 


High quality - Easy to use software -Fully supported 




SPREAD2 


£79.95 

incl VAT 


Intuition based spreadsheet with business 
graphics combining a comprehensive 
specification with exceptional ease of use. 
+ Fast operation and data entry 
* Over 60 functions incl Trig, Maths, 
Conditionals. * Alpha/numeric Sort 
+ Block Move/Copy/Delete * Macros 
+ Comprehensive printer control. 




DATA 


£49.95 

incl VAT 


Intuition based flat card database, ideal for 
mailing lists, library catalogues etc. 

* Easy to use record layout design - no 
programming language to learn. 

* Number of records limited only by the disc 
capacity 

+ Fast Search, Sort and Report facilities. 




SEKA 


£49.95 

incl VAT 


A high speed 68000 assembler, operating at 
30,000 lines of code per minute. 




COMM 2 


£29.95 

ind VAT 


Easy-to-use Communications package 

Including Pres tel and terminal emulation. 




ROGET 


£49.95 

mcl VAT 


Based on Longmans Pocket Roget's Thesaurus. 

Contains over 150,000 words and phrases. 
Operates as a background accessory, making it 
accessible from most word processing (and 
other) programs. 





GADGET 


£29.95 

me! VAT 


A Gadget and Requester editor, generating C 

Source Code for Gadgets and Requesters. 

* Visual display of gadgets during editing 

* Generates Boolean, Proportional and String 
gadgets 

+ Gadgets may have any numbers of pieces of 
text in addition to images and borders for 
both plain and selected forms 

* Requesters may have text and borders 

* Sizing and positioning of gadgets by mouse 

* Programmer defined Source names, 
GadgetID, MutualExclude and UserData 
fields for all gadgets, also for text, borders, 
images and requesters. 







TEXT 


£19.95 

inef VAT 


Text processor -Coming soon! 


Phone or send for full details NO Wi- 
ll, Horseshoe Park, Pangbourne, Berks RG8 7JW 
07357-4335 Telex: 846741 KUMA G 
Telecom Gold: 81:KUM 001 


► PROFESSIONAL* SOFTWARE