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

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Issue 98 m Apr i ■ 1996 ■ £4,50 Overseas price £ 4.50 fifi 






Frustrated? 


Why not take it out on a friend 
with Capital Punishment 
















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£s) 


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epmg 
mgs in 
focus with 
the ultimate 
in DTV / 


IDG 

M K D I A 


\<D 


Laser Guidance 
Ethernet special 
Counting House 
Internet Pack 
Beginners Guide 


V 






’ r 


£79.95 


IN T. DRIVES 


jry 


\W 


SYQUEST EZ 




vn / 




£239 


£159 


6 8 0 2 0 E C 


£99.95 


SUPER XL DRIVE 


MEGACHIP 


The Super XL Drne a lo ws you to store 
3-5MB on a high density disk. 


VFDEQ BACKUP J 


3-5 SUPER XL DRIVE 


£129.95 


Backup TO 520MB onto a 4hr VH5 tape. 
Version 3 has new backup modes for 
Amiga's with a bBO^O 1 or higher CPU 


_GVP H C - 8 SC S 


SCSI hard card which 
RAM on-board 



tit SMB 


3 » 7 6 XL DRIVE 


The XL Drive allows you to store a 
1.76MB on a high density disk. 


VIDEO BACKUP SCART . . 
VIDEO BACKUP PHONO 
UPGRADE TO VERSION 3 


HC-B SCSI CARO 


£65 

£60 

£20 


£99 


GVP G -LOCK 


J 


f.76 XL DRIVE EXTERNAL . 

1.76 XL DRIVE INTERNAL . 

1.76 XL DRIVE A4QG0 ... 

PC SB OB EXT. POWER DRIVE 


£79.95 

....£75 

£75 

£49.95 


FLO P P Y E X PA N D £ R 


Award winning Amiga Genlock 
c lock Amiga genlock .£2 59 


Save 1.5MB on a standard floppy drive 
and 3 MU when used in conjunction 
with the XL Drive 1,76. 


1 o- £ XT E N D E R 


INTERNAL DRIVES 


floppy expander 


£10 


PCflBI A 5 00 
PCBB2 AZ00P 
PCBB3 A6OD71200 


£30.95 

£35.95 

£35.95 


disk EX PA N D E R 


HARD D RIVES 


1 GIGABYTE 3.5 SCSI £259 

1 GIGABYTE 3.5 SCSI EXTERNAL £3.35 

MICROPOUS 

2 GIGABYTE 3,5 SCSI . ... £CALL 

4 GIGABYTE 3 5 SCSI £CALl 

9 GIGABYTE 3 5 SCSI . .fCALL 

HITACHI 

340MB 2.5 FOE . £CAJ-L 

510MB 2,5 IDE . . . 'fCALL 

3T0MB 2.5 IDE £CALL 

1 GFGABYTE 2.5 IDE £CALL 

OTHERS 

120MB 2.5 IDE £95 


Disk Expander can add upto to S 0 % to 
your hard drive capacity arid works 
with 9 II drives Including SCSI. IDE, 
floppies and even the RAM disk. Disk 
Expander works on any Amiga With 
any Kick start, 


DISK EXPANDER 


£19.95 


Zarro II card that provides an additional 
5 enal port, parallel port and connection 
for optional RS422 and R5232 port. 
Call for details 

ioEXTENOER £59 

Official GVP RAM SIMMs 

4MB GVP RAM £159 

16MB GVP HAM , _ , £549 



M - T E C HD 


M-TEC AT500 BARE ,, ,£$9 

PLEASE CALL f OR HD SIZES 

MEfciORV JfiUUISeS J0-FIK SIM US 


OVERDR I V E HD 


External PCMCIA 3.5" IDE hard disk 


OVERDRIVE BARE £99 

OVERDRIVE 42QMB . £259 


ZIP D RIVE 


ZIP DRIVE 100MB SCSI 
100M6 DISKETTE 


, £179.95 
£15.95 

ZI^DlllVE HfpUlflE S SOIJlH'lEL SCSI th|TEHFACE 


M 


a 0 1 ) u c r 


Tile SyQuest EZ1 3 5 drive is an ideal 
Storage device. The Ez Drive stores 
135MB on a single 3.5“ cartridge 
and has a seek time of 13.5ms 
Comes complete with one 135MB 
Cartridge. (A SCSI interface is required} 


SYQUEST EZ135MB 
H5MB CARTRIDGE 


£239.95 

£CALL 


SCSI case suitable lor CD-ROM/HD/DAT 
and Optical drives. 


5.25" SCSI or IDE CASt 
3.5“ SCSI or IDE CASE 


,£79.95 

£79,95 


A 60066 accelerator board for the A2&0C- 
running at 5-QMHz and allowing upto 
< . -R vi b of uset installable memory and a 
SCSI -II bard disk controller, 


S X -3 2 


External IDE hard disk for the A 5 PQ 
comes complete with an internal ROM 
switcher, and upgradable to 4MB RAM 


SX-32 is an internal add-on card for your 
CD 32 and features; VGA port, RGB port, 
parallel port, serial port, externa! disk 
drive port ( 1,76MB), dotk r controller for 
7 5 hard disk, and a srMM socket (up to 
BMRJ, Turn your CD-32 into a A 1200. 


A2000 60040 (0MB RAM) 
AZQ00 6eB60 (0M8 HAM} 
4MB STANDARD ADD . , , 
4MB GVP ADD 


£TBA 
. . £TBA 
£125.95 
£159 


-SPf-C ( A 1 , 0 i- ;• [■ it 


MODEMS 


SX-32 MODULE £199,95 


<- H i P 5 & SPARES 


256.* 32 SIMM 72’PlN (1MB) , 

£40 

512 X 32 SIMM 72-PIN (2MB) . 

. . £75 

T X 32 SIMM (4MB} . ....£125.95 

2 X 32 SIMM (SMB) ... . £235,95 

4 X 32 SIMM (1 6MB) . . £499 95 

f X B5IMM32-PFN (TMB) ... 

£30 

4 X B SIMM 32-PIN (4M&) . . . . 

£139 

1X4 STATIC COLUMN A3QCD 

£25 

T X 4 DIP ... . 

. £25 

256 X 4 DIP 


1 X 1 DIP 


CIA , . 


GARY 

£13 

PAULA . . 

A- ( J 

£19 

DENISE 


SUPER DENIS E 


keyboard ic 


FAT AGNUS 1MB 

£19 

FAT AGNUS 2 MB 

£29 

PRINTER CABLE 

£6 

R52 32 CABLE 


SCSI EXTERNAL 

£15 

WORKBENCH 3.1 A50&/2QC0 , 

. f«5 

WORKBENCH 3. T A3000/4QQ0 

£95 

flOM SHARE DEVICE 


2.04 RQM CHIP 

£2 5 


A CL LX V32 BIB 14 4 nd t bt4[iphovfo £99 
X - L I N K THue vm jb .4 bt apphovec £229.95 
THAPFAX MODEM SOFTWARE . . .£49 

ALL MODEMS rNCLUDL SDFTWAftE Afr[J CABLES 


HI-SOFT 


SQUIRREL SCSI INTERFACE . .£59,95 

AURA .£79,95 

MEGALOSOUND £29.95 



sflvirreL scsi interface 
included ukere you 
see this Logo 


SURF 5QUIR R E L 


Surf Squirrel offers an even higher SCSI 
performance, auto booting, and ultra-fast 
serial port, Surf Squirrel is the ideal 
expansion peripheral for your Amiga 
1 200. Please call for more information. 


SURF SQUIRREL 


£PGA 


SQUIRREL MPEG 


Squirrel MPEG allows you to play VideoCD 
and CDl CD-RQM s, Squirrel MPEG brings 
high quality digitally mastered images arm 
16-hit stereo sound to you and your 
Amiga. 


FOR ANY SPARES REQUIRED PL EASE CALL 


SQUIRREL MPEG £POA 




















in of 


£99 


E2 59 



tional 
^ t id rt 
»Qft. 


£59 



:i59 

549 


\2000 

Upt-j 

md a 


BA 

BA 

.95 

159 

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E99 

,95 

‘49 


*5 



.95 


95 

95 


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A 2MB RAM board for the AjflO which fits 
in the trap door slot 


A 5 00 2ME RAM . . £90 

MEMORY CARDS 

512< RAM WITH CLOCK £24.95 

‘iUK RAM WITHOUT CLOCK £19.9 5 

A600 1MERAM £99.95 

A500+ ?M0 RAM ...... .£29,95 


MEGACHIP RAM 


Iftc/ease your Amiga 50WZ00O chip RAM to 
j total of 2MB. MegaChip rioes this hy 
jsr.q its own 2 ME RAM and also now 
ndudes a 2MB Fat Agnus. No soldering is 
required. 

MEGACHIP RAM £1 59-95 


AS 0 0 6 8 0 2 0 E C 


- -■%32Q EC processor accelerator card for 
rhc A SdO and A&00+, with an option to fit 
* 6608 1 or 68&B2 co-processor (PI.CC or 
p <jA). Phis card can fit upto 4MB FAST 
RAM and isfuiiy auto -configuring. 

NOT COMPATIBLE WITH GVP HARO DRIVE 

A50C S8020 EC QW RAM ...£99,95 
A 5 00 63020 EC 4 M B RAM . .£239.95 


PRINTERS/MONITORS 


MICFtQVITEC TAJB 14“ . . . £289 

EPSON STYLUS INC. PAPER . . £489 

EPSON STYLUS PRO XL A3+ £1499 

Fpsofo stvluvp^o xl incxupe &tud‘D n mytwarf 
STUDIO li SOFTWARE £49.95 


VGA ADAPTOR 


VGA ADAPTOR £15 


GLIDE P O I N T 


Intuitive cursor control at your finger tips 
.Tap' for an instant selection. Connects to 
the Serial port. (This is nm: a g raphics tablet; 

ALPS GLIDEPOINT , . .£59.95 


POWER TAB LET 


Pen and cursor controlled graphic tablet, 
including cables and software. 

POWER TABLET 12 X 12 .£195,95 

|*JCL. pfn, CuBSOh akiq POWEft Tab vw 


GURU-ROM V 6 


A SCSI driver for all Secies IJ host adaptors 
and accelerator cards for all Amiga 
computers. This ROM ha; a very fast trans- 
fer rate of up to J.BMB/s, maximising your 
CPU processing time. Guru supports all 
SCSI device types including hard drives, 
CD-ROM drives, scanners, Syquest drives 
etc.Guru ROM rs compatible with Amiga 
OS 1.3 through to 3.1 and is 5CSI -I/SCSI-2 
compatible. Please call for further 
information. 

GURU-ROM V6 . . £49.95 




POWER SCANNER 


The aw^d winning Power Scanner 
inoudes the following features; Ucan In 
24-bit at upta 2EJD DPI {all Amiga; not just 
AGA}*, Scan in 256 greyscales at up to 
40QDPI {all Ami gas), Thru' port for printer 
connection. Fully supports AGA chipsel, 
Display HAMB/24-bit images on a non- 
AG A Amiga (via -mage can version), full 
editing facilities included. Works with 2.04 
ROM or above, mm TMB (recommend 
2 MB). 


POWER SCAN 4 B -.v £89,95 

POWER SCAN •: CQLQl R £169.95 

OCR bought wrrH scan N taj . ... . .£20 
OCR SOFTWARE £49,95 

POWER SCAN 4 5.V. ONLY £20 

PC INTERFACE * CO. 5 w £49.95 
PC INTERFACE - B'W S W . £39.95 


FLATBED SCANNERS 


24-brt A4 flatbed scanners, complete with 
software, cables and - an.ua I * 

EPSON GT 500. £489.95 

ia-BI!, I MC PQWFXSCAN tori' A Alt 

EPSON GT-BS 00 £579.95 

J* Sit ihC FOWEASC*HSQ*Ti#,ASf 

EPSON ST-9004 £72 9.95 

34-BIT INC IWA'il * - ? • -f 'W Alt 

ADPRO SOFTWARE £149.95 

IMAGE EX 2.0 S/W £149.95 


SCANNER SOFTWARE 


FLATBED PQWER5CAN NEB S/W £35 


GRAPHIC/VIDEO 


PICASSO 3i 2MS . £249,95 

s*tLUbii*G Tv PAaJST 

PICASSO n 2MB R -t £399.95 

IWCIUOWG TV PUNT i 

VIDEO DAC £25 

n-arr graphics ada^c* 


ptlbfli or 4 *rf 

We accept rw>sl mar' . e : •. . .. i ,-d art- 
happy to help you wi"* 

pastil erd«r» 

Ordering by chetjueFO p r.v.r mm payable to 
Power OOraiputing Ltdmdiper - 35 very 

is required. 

warranty 

API Power products come with a '2 raomh 
wifrairsCy unless otherwise kP*r |l f*d 

technical suepar? 

Help n on hand with a fu Te*Kn i Backup 
service which it pro-vlitfed for Power antomeri, 

■ait-order prUet 

AH prices listed are fur the monr p<_,c . - an 
only, call to canFErm prices before ordering. 

npnrt Order i 

Mchc Hems are available <al Tan F-er - ■ ic 
nan- EC rejldenti. Call to confirm price* BFW 
prden welcome.. 

•111-order tens 

All prices include VAT Specffcatioris arr* y ;o 
ire nubject to change without f-oi ;e - 
trademark; are acknowledged. All orders n 
writing or by telephone will be accepted on , 
subject to our terms and conditions of traje 
copies of which are available on request 

FOR ANY INFORMATION PLEASE CALL 



SC ANDOUBLER II 


SrranDoubier II rs a full 24-bit AG A flicker 
filter which autpmatkaity de-interlaces all 
AGA screer modes and scan doubles non- 
interlaced PAUNTSC modes to allow VGA 
monitors to display them Supports VGA, 
S-V'GA and Multiscaiv monitors, Pixel 
sharp picture, even at 1440 horizontal 
resolution and has a Standard lS-pm VGA 
type connector Comes with composite 
video/5-VKS outputs. 

SCAN DOUBLER II . .£399 



TBC-ENHANCER 


Reduction of quality ioss when copymg, 
tolouc and contrast correction, suppression 
of colour drop-outs, elimination of 
basically any copy protection, The 
video ssgnal is edited In professional 
4:2:2 studio standard amt is syenromzed 
entirely new, 

TBC-ENHANCER . ... £919.95 


NEPTUNE GENLOCK 


Excellent picture quality, auto fade 
control, Alpha channel and optional 
software control. 

NEPTLFNF-GENLOCK . £599.95 


SIRIUS M GENLOCK 


lust like the Neptune-Genlock. the new 
Sirius ll combine* excellent quality with 
user friendliness. In addition, this genlock 
disposes of blue-bo* keying, bypass, 
RGB-colour correction, a stereo-audio 
control with mictophpTie input a$ well 
as an Integrated test pattern generator 
for adjustment. 

SIRIUS II GENLOCK ,£919.95 






GLI DEPOfNT 



NAME 

ADDRESS 


* POSTCODE 

TELEPHONE NO 

SYSTEM OWNED , 

DESCRIPTION 


TOTAL AMOUNT {int. delivery) £ a . . . . , p , . t . . 

CREDIT CARD NO 

EXPIRY DATE . SIGNATURE ................. 

PEL] VERY 2-3 DAYS 12.50 □ NEXT DAY £5 Q SAT £10 □ 

MINIMUM PELIVERY 1 2.S* ALLC5W UP TO 7 DAYS FOB CHEQUES TO CLEAR 


ft 




























System news 84 

Andy Maddack brings yau all that is weird and 
wonderful on the Amiga games scene 

Player manager 2 extra 88 

We haven't seen a football management game 
for absloutefy ages and finally we get one. Will 
it be as good as its predecessor? 

SCERIS LEGACY 90 

We present you with a three page bumper 
review featuring Team }7 r s latest offering 



Watchtower 91 

lake control of a commando soldier and 
watch everything from up a tower, Check 
out the preview 

Hints and tips 94 

OUr dedicated feedback page where you , the 
readers, con write to us and complain your 
sodcs off. Co on, we con take it 

Doom roundup 96 

The Pt?om fcsue IS no longer doom and gloom ! 
Its mare Fears and Breathless. Ha , ho, ho. 

Now r that's funnyl 



Final data 


26 


Gareth Lofthouse looks on as Softwood's database saga 
continues With yet another facelift lor the familiar 


LichtWave 4.0 

Paul Austin delivers an exclusive review of the 
most long-awaited update in Amiga history 




E thernet special 



Could the age-old problem nf Amiga networking 
finally have a simple and inexpensive solution 


Printer punchup_ 

Two printers - Hewlett Packard's DeskJet B50C 
and the Epson Stylus Colour Us fight it out 




E ATU R ES 


AT ONE YEAR ON 



'«Ve ask the key players their opinions on the efforts of 
Amiga Technologies over the last twelve months 


Database ED 

Paul Overaa kicks off a si* part programming special 
on the building of databases from the bottom up 


Internet pack 


64 



Nei Mohr pulls the planned AT Internet Pack together 
to deliver the sneakiest of sneak previews 


SYQUEST DRIVE 



A removable storage solution with more space and 
faster transfer - a challenge to the 2ip supremacy 


Counting house ED 

Frank Nord opens reviews claims to be a complete 
accounting solution far the financially challenged 


Digital quill 

Unde Neil asks if there's a place for yet 
another text editor in the Amiga market 



Wave rider's guide 



&en Vost continues the 3D theme with a look at the 
latest i LlghtWave tutorials on screen and in print 


Laser guidance 



The shining silver platteis are under the microscope again, 
The CD buyers guide goes from strength to strength 


Beginner's guide 



Steve White continues his insider guide to the finer 
points of mastering the idiosyncracies of the Amiga 



uiH.n.rijrnrn 

APRIL I99S 




















T 


HE COVERDISKS 

Capital punishment 

It's time to switch off your brain and engage your 
primeval, animalistic, blood lusting emotions. Yes, 
release your anger and join the dark side with our 
ultra-violent demo 



Utilities unlimited f# 

It's track and it's bigger and better MCP* the 
mother of ail Workbench utilities. How did you 
five without it 7 

Pius: Breathless Update, UrouHack Playie, Screen 
Wizard, The Guru, Palis, AmiToolBar\ BetterEd 
and StringReq 

* requires Magic User Interface 




EG U LARS 


Comment □ 

Ben Vost looks asks when the promised mo^e to the 
PowerPC will make an appearance in the high street 

News 

Tina Hacked reports on the disappointing Christmas sale* 
that present yet another hurdle in the Amiga's recovery 


10 



MIGA GUI 


DE 



The mystery martof the AC 
team concludes his tour of 
menus, icons and tools 


103 



Paul Overaa explains how 
to get the best from the 
example on the cover disk 




The tricks of making basic 
programs run under ARexx 
revealed by Paul Overaa 


107 


Phil South starts a series 
on how to make your Web 
site look and work better 


109 



Frank Nordexplains howto 
get qua lily results when 
printing with the Amiga 


111 


Letters ED 

he Amiga Computing letters page in alF its glory, 
j jestions answered and myths put into perspective 


Acas 



- :'"i r !ir 1 i trickery, Q&As and alf things confusing put in 
P^ce by our resident Amiga whiz krd 


Public sector 



C_i birk t the man with more floppies than an infer- 
• ' dink delivers the low-down on Amiga PD 



Phil South explores Amos’ 
potential as a multimedia LUa 
authoring system 


Paul Overaa reviews a 
sound synthesis program 
from Blachford Technology 


115 



Steve White explains how 
to bring creations to life 
and retain continuity 


Paul Austin puts the 
tricky spline patching 
into perspective 



Cary Whiteley provides a 
guide to the confusing 
world of video formats 


117 


118 


119 




OVER 
STORY 

Video special. 


Adam Phillips provides a definitive 
guide to the art of pro-quality 
video production. From scripting 
to story boarding, producing to 
directing, It's all here. 

Plus, a roundup of the best video 
cameras and recorders 


Subscriptions 

For details of Amiga 
Computing's subscription 
offers turn to page SO 


AMIGA 


APRIL 1996 
























OUT unique and highiv rated external Clock cartridge wm enauie 
your Amiga to continually store the correct time and dale in its 
own battery backed memory. 

Sim ply plugs, onto Ihe back at the Amiga and does not invalidate 
the warranty. 

CofPPriUblc vert ft ALL Arnigas r " 


A120O trapdoor fitting memory expansions feature a 
Saner y backed clock and a socket for an accelerator FPU 


■.plus £1.00 postage and packing'- 


These hMJ drives Simply pj&h onto the slOE of the A5CC Of 
A5QQ+ and w *1 give your computet a ill the benefits that had dri- 
ves, offer. The drives are supplied formatted, partitions and have 
Workbench .nslailed for immediate use. 

Furl instructions, and software supplied 

The hard drive also has the facility to add 2. 4, 6 or Bmb of FLAM 

snsidelt 


Dataflyer is a 16 bit SCSI II controller card that ■converts the Signal 
the internal IDE interface to a*so run SCSI devices at the same time as 
IDE hard drive. 

The Dataftyer SC51+ will operate upto 5 SCSI devices such as 
CD-ROMS, hard drives. S^uest remove-able drives, tape 

j, back up drives etc. 

Unlike other SCSI interfaces . the Dataltyer SCSI+- is com 
patioie with ail Known accelerators etc and it does not stop 
you from utilising any of the important expansion ports on 
your A1200/AI600. 

It The Dataftyer SCSI+ easily installs into the A1200/A600 

“ (simply poshes in, no need to remove the metal shield) 

and provides a 

25 way □ con nectar through the Wanking plate at the 
back of the A12G0. 

Full instructions and software supplied. 

^ DATA FLYER SCSI* ONLY £69.99 
■ 'tjf SQUIRREL SCSI INTERFACE 
X^\ - ALSO AVAILABLE £59-99 

L— 7 PCMCIA fitting, SCSI intar face 


ASOO/+ 2 50 mb HARD DRIVE £209.99 

Additional RAW f « the hard drive iB9.W pet 2 mb 


Dscology is the ultimate in disk copying power for the 
Amiga. The package compnses the Dlscology Disk, 
manual and Disc&logy cartr dge for maKing copies of 
\ hea^ly protected programs with an external disk 
drive. Discology will also formal disks, check disks 
for errors etc. 


£19.99 EACH 

OR BUY 

BOTH FOR £24*3 


r incredibly fast (UPTO 4s faster than a ZIP drive;. 
SCSI drive will store a massive 135mb per 
cartridge. Comes complete with power supply, 
SCSI cahle, instructions and cartridge. 


ONLY £234.99 

or £274.99 with a Squirrel or D, 

135mb EZ cartridge £13.99 


Anti Vtus Professional is the most powerful 
tool for detecting and removing viruses. Anti 
Vims pro will check and device hard drives, 
floppy d sks and even CD ROM drives for 
Viruses, Very straight forward to use, includes 
a full 50 page manual. 


PLEASE PHONE FOR A FULL INFORMATION SHEET 


T2 pin simms su table for Apollo accelerators, A4000, A1200 memory 
expansions ■etc. 


DATA FLYER 4000SX 
only £94-99 


33mfiz 68882 FPU (plcc> £49 
40mhz 68862 FPU (plec) £69,*s 
SOmhi ©8882 FPU (PGA) £?9 .m 

AH FPU 's are supplied wvtfi crystal cscHalots 


erb package is a must for any CD-ROM user. 

CD32 & CDTV emulation, audio CD player software 
libranan features, Direct reading, of I6tut audio 
, full support for Kodak and Corel PtiotoCD Discs, 
the ‘FISH MARKET' CD-ROM disk packed with 
mam Fred Fish disks and a huge 115 page 
Informabon packed spiral 
bound manual. 


3 ted SCSI drive will store IQOmto per cartridge. Comes 
ite with power supply. SCSI cable, instructions and cartridge. 

ONLY £189,99 

or £229.99 with n Squirrel oi Dataflyar 

lOOmb ZIP cartridge £15.99 


asim cdfs 

only £49.99 






EBD G Ui'jl 
J'JJ GI>5jVJ£! 


Our highly rate^d, tcp qualsty feature packed modems a/e ideal tor 
Amiga users. All modems include our 

£ 1 ®. 99 

which includes a cable to connect the mortem to die Am.gH. NOOMM 
comms software, Amiga Guide to Comms ana a lust of BuFleon 
Boards from which you wsN be able to download vast amounts of 
fires software as welt as have access to E-MAIL facilities. 


jJAiiD 
DJil 'J*5 


MNP 2A Error Correction 
MNP 5 iData Compression 
Fan Class I and II 
compatible, Group 3 

* Hayes Compatible 

* Full 80 page mart a 

* 12 Month!? guarantee 


M 

‘ V< v. 

S$*» 

/\ A ^ 


SPEEDCOM+B 

(14,400 V32bis) £79.9$ 

SPEEDOOM+BF 

{28,800 V34) £159.99 


Our high speed 2.5' IDE hard drives 
for the .Amiga AI2Q0 & AGOO 
computers come complete with fitting 
cable, screws, partitioning software, 
full instructions and 12 months 
guarantee. All drives supplied by us 
are formatted, partitioned and 
have Workbench (WB2 tor the 
A60C and WB3 fa the A12Q0I 
mstalled for immediate use. fitting 
is incredibly simple; II you can 
plug the mouse into the mouse 
socket, you will be able to 
ptug the ham drive 
into the hard drive 
socket 


PLEASE PHONE FIRST! 


*»*$*£«* 






£»£}££! <1D 
SIVl'il DJU'J 


SSrob £89.99 
120 mb £104.99 
lTChnb £118,99 
250mb £139.99 
340mb £174.99 
540rnb £284,99 


Double speed CD ROM DRIVE eormp etc 
power supply, SCSI cables docking stall 
full instructions. Also includes stereo he 
phones and carrying case fa* Lse as o? 1 
CD player. 


RENO CD 

WITH SQUIRREL £174.99 
WITH DATAFLYER £174.99 


\ 


Superb htgf cju* *■ -o« _ost 
CWnon external SCSI CD ROM drive 
w a top QuaTi 


APULLU 




l - r 

— — jJ 


Amazing power for such a low 
pnee. This superb aobelere 
tor uses a 68020 running 
at 2B7iz arid comes com- 
plete with a 68881! FPU to 
enable your A1200 to run 
at 5 MIPS ; million 
instructions per sec- 
ond )l Uses standard 
72 ain SIMMS and mcludes a 
battery backed clock. 

Simple trapdoor fitting. 


CHI NON COS435 
EXTERNAL £109.99 
EXTERNAL WITH 
SQUIRREL £154.99 


APOLLO 1220 ONLY £99.9$ 
APOLLO 1220 fink £139.99 
APOLLO 1220 *4mb £214.99 


Amazii^g V0iue quao speeo 
external SCSI CD ROM dme 
>n a top quality enclosure. 


SANYO QUAD 
SPEED EXTERNAL 
WITH SQUIRREL 
OR DATAFLYER 

ONLY £239.99 


wu&SiiSjM y;j hj 


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1232/50 £199.99 
4mb SIMM £114.99 
Srab SIMM £219.99 
68682 FPU £69.99 


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4 4MB £264 .99 


No.l 

FOR AMIGA 
IN MANCHES 


Order NOW for 
immediate despatc 


0500 34054 

(credit .-switch card sales, on I 


tel: 0161 796 527! 

for enquiries or 

fax: 0161 796 320! 


Send cheques or 
postal orders 
{made payable to 
Siren Software] 
or credit card details ti 


SIREN 
SOFTWARE, 
178 BURY NEW Rl 
WHITEFIELD, 
MANCHESTER 
M45 6QF, 
ENGLAND 


Access, Visa. Switch, Delta 
Connect etc accepted 


Monday to Friday 9am to Gpt 
Saturday mornings 9am to 12 


ersonal callers 
welcome . 


From the M62 Junction 
head towards Bury. 
We are 50 yards or 
the right hand side af 
the third set of lights 
The door to our premu 
is next to the 
florists opposite 
the Masons Pub. 


: include VAT Po5.tBg.e 
will ue cfi arced dL £3.50 p«r order |U,K. 
£7,50 Europe and £12 50 rest of Ilia 




O sn't it great to have the Amiga 
back in the shops again? 
Admittedly, it would be nice d it 

- were jn more shops and being 

actively promoted, but hey, at least it's there, 
right? But what about the next generation of 
Amigas? These new PowerPC- based beast 
ies, how wilt they fare in the big, competitive 
world of home computing? The old 
Commodore attitude of building down to 
spec to save cash can't continue with the 
new owners of the Amiga, and here's why. 

From about 1990 the computer industry 
has built op enough momentum to ensure 
that new products get introduced more and 
more frequently - look at the competition 
for small physical siie removable media. We 
had a 128Mb Magneto Optical drive about 
four years ago which was sluggish enough 
when reading, but unbearably slow when 
writing to a disk. Mow we have Zip and EZ 
drives., and later this year we will get Ian and 
SyJet drives that hold around a gigabyte on a 
small 3.5" cartridge and transfer at rates that 
would acceptable in a bard drive. To top it all 
off, scientists now reckon that they can 
increase the storage capacity of hard drives 
some twentyfold due to a process that works 
around the magnetic resistance of the 
media. 

Your limit 

Now how about the poor old Amiga? Well, 
as much as it may seem at the moment. 
4_2Cb is your limit when it comes to storage 
space - there's no more room in the RDB 
(Rigid Disk Block) that is stored on every 
hard drive and hard drive partition. The rea- 
son for this is that the RDB is only 32 -bits 
long and as we all know from studying our 
binary, the largest number you can have in 
32-bits is in the 4.2 billion range, hence the 
limit on size- Previously, this hasn't mattered 
for Amiga owners, but with desktop video 
and hard drive hungry applications, the 
amount of space we need is going to grow 
incrementally, and anyway, why should we 
be restricted in this fashion? After all, a few 
years back Amiga owners were laughing at 
the fact that our PC owning friends could 
only have 32Mb partitions, but who's 
laughing now? 

It's not just storage space that's becoming 
an embarrassment. The Amiga supports 




future? 



practically none of the now established stan- 
dards like TWAIN - the standard for scanners 
which allows any TWAIN-compliant package 
to use any TWAIN-compliant scanner, that 
includes paint packages and even word 
processors, and systemwide support of 
TrueType or Postscript fonts, copy and paste, 
and many other things (I haven't even got 
onto OLE or Open Doc yet...). This must be 
addressed. It doesn't matter if only a few 
people use these features, the point is that 
when businesses are buying machines they 
are ^qing to want the most seamlessly inte- 
grated system for their current setup. A com- 
pany that wants to do so (insert something 
the Amiga still beats other machines at, er, 
video?) might still end up buying a PC or a 
Mat, not only because that's all they'll get 


Amiga 

Technologies 
assures us the 
Amiga is back for 
the future, but 
have they been 
looking that far 
ahead? Ben Vost 
I wants to know 

told about, but also because they are 
practically guaranteed compatibility- 

On another front, have you heard the one 
about the world's largest database company, 
Oracle, asking for a 8500 Internet box, one 
that would have the ability to be connected 
to a TV, have a modem and no local storage 
so that applications could be downloaded 
from the Net and used that way? Acorn have 
and are apparently doing the business with 
Oracle, but it would seem that Amiga 
Technologies haven't. Shame really, because 
they could offer Oracle an Internet bos that 
did have local storage along with alt the 
other criteria for not much more than the 
req uisite h a If a grand. /, 


The K team 


EDITOR 

Paul Austin 

DEPUTY EDITOR 

Ren Vost 

ART EDITOR 

Tym Leckef 

NEWS EDITOR 

Tina Hackett 

COYERDISK EDITOR 

Neil MiVhr 

PRODUCTION EDITOR 

Judith Chapman 

GAMES EDITOR 

Tina Kackctt 

STAFF WRITERS 

Anrrkrw Maddock 
Dave Cus ck 

ADVERTISING MANAGER 

Usa Brace well 

AD SALES 

jane Mormingtan 

AD SALES 

St*r HwsefieM 

AD PRODUCTION 

Barbara New J 

MARKETING MANAGER 

dame Hawdsley 

PRODUCTION MANAGER 

Uflir* Chilis 

SYSTEMS MANAGER 

David Stewart 


CIRCULATION DIRECTOR, Dfvid Wren 
COMMERCIAL 01 HECTOR Denlte Wright 

DISTRIBUTION COMAG (D I H95) 44405 5 
SUBSCRIPTION 01 51 -1ST 2941 


Mcnbtr {jf iKj Audn Bureau -of Crtuiiuors 



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EMiil contacts: 

Edico-'al tdtl §3 rofTf.derrori.ro uk 
Atbtrburg adsigjcomp.denofi.tfruk 


CHAIRMAN Richard Mease 
MANAGING DIRECTOR Un Bloomfield 

We regret Amiga Computing cannot offer technical 
help $n a personal basis, either by telephone or in 
writing AM rejdflr entries tfiovld be silbmmsd to 
the address in tha panel for possible publication, 
Amiga. Computing ra on im&Jftmfi'it pviliratnyi and 
At 3,‘|£] r«hncAjpes Cm pH are rot resjj&nstbte fur any 
nf the srwes , ; .n ttos issue or for arty of the 
npyimns erjJrTssed 

§ I IDG Media Mo ™reria3 may be 
reproduced in whole or in part without written 
permission. While every care is taken, the 
publishers, cannot be held legally -eponsible For an y 
errors in articles, Irsiings or advertisements 
All prices hwd m the editorsl content of this 
nv^jpEirve are inclusive of VAT unless stated 



For six yean Anwgri ■Camputrng' tiau. the- leading 
magH-iiM for Amiga wUwiiisc, As a key member 
of tbe IDG comnwriicalioiH group. Amiga 
Csifffoting promises to mfflftn, pietabe and; 
entertain its Traders eaxJv (hdndi rntb ilie most 
dedicated coverage the Amiga availllbL*. 

II ryue sirircnptsm £#.99 i'UKI, £49,5"? i'EECJ 
f|tf 9 [WoHUJ 

Ongoing ^iflrterJy direrl jVtrt ( 1 0.99 ^UK wilyj 

Printed and bound by Duncan Webb Gflsel 
(Maicfilpna) Lid 



APRIL 


rllJUIKLrl 

I 9 9 6 






FOR AMIGA 
IN MANCHESTE 


Order NOW for 
immediate 


Discology is the optimum pack- 
age for beginners & experts 
alike who wish to create back-up 
copies of original floppy disks 
speedily and easily. 



FREEPHONE 



is tne Disco logy disk. Discology Cartridges and a 36 am 
printed manual ^ 


F - 3 cErtmge backup mode for heavily protected drsk (Requires the 
use of m external disk drive) 


'■* t!) ; e modes for coping with protected ISM and Atari disks 
Scan checks for unknown protection systems 
Recognition of long and short tracks 




0500 34054 

{credit/ switch card sales cm 

tel: 0161 796 527 

for enquiries or 

fax: 0161 796 320 


'todem users can backup disks via a modem to another Amiga 
anywhere in the world 


Fully mufti-tasking, copies with high density pjsk etc 
Full update service is available for registered users 


f 


Send cheques or 
postal orders 
[made payable to 
Siren Software) 
or credit card details tor 


V7 






functions that are 
demanded from a 
top quality back-up 

Hfcn 


DISCOLOGY 

is available < 


PRICE 


**00 
fa 




SIREN 
SOFTWARE, 
178 BURY NEW F 
WHITEFIELO. 
MANCHESTER 
M45 6QF, 
ENGLAND 


Access, Visa. Switch, Dell 
Connect etc accepted 


Tl VIRUS 


®»e o - ) 


OPEN: 



Monday to Friday Dam to 
Saturday mornings 9am to 




Virus search on any device iHara floppy disk CD-ROM etc.) 

Quick tracing of link arid rile viruses etc 
Block Test to search for viruses at the block level of a device 
Automated unpacking of compressed programs for virus checking 
Recognition of Bootbfock Viruses with ar alysis 

Safeguards hard drives Rigid Disk Stocks ANTI VIRUS 

Jncludes a comprehensive 50 page printed manual |g available 



Full update service to registered users 

includes many more features. 



From the M62 junctio 
head towards Bur 
We are 50 yards on 
right hand side after 
third set of lights 
The door to our prem 
is next to the 
florists opposite 
the Masons Pub 


Alt prides inctude VAT Postage, and 
packing, will be charged hi £3.50 per 
order lU.Ki. £7.50 Europe and £ 17,50 
rest at the work!. 




HOW STOPPERS 


_ he World of Amiga UK Show is all set 
to happen on the 13 and 14 April and 
two long-standing Amiga supporters are 
already promising to launch ten new prod- 
ucts at the Show. Both Digits Internationa! 
and hiSoft Systems have products planned 
for the event, with Digits premiering 
Wordsworth 5 and Wordsworth 5SE which is 
intended specifically for At 200 owners with 
2Mb memory and only one disk drive. They 
will also be showing Organiser 2, a personal 
diary, and their database, Datastore 2. 

HiSoft intend to show ofi their new prod- 
ucts too with the Squirrel Mpeg add-on which 
allows the playing of Video CD and CDi discs 
from SCSI CD-ROMs to broadcast monitors, 
TVs or video recorders. They will also be 


showing their Surf Squirrel which is a new 
version of the Squirrel SCSI interface. This has 
a high-speed serial transfer for high-speed 
modem use and auto- booting drivers to allow 
full auto-booting from SCSI hard disks. 

Amongst the plethora of products there 
will also be an update on Terminate TCP and 
CinemaFcnt, an add-on which allows the 
loading of any Type 1 font directly into 
Cinema4D. There will also be Cinema Wo rid, 
another CinemaAD add-on which creates 3D 
worlds and landscapes plus CinemaTree 
which creates trees (no surprise there). 

$o there you have it - World of Amiga is 
the place to be and with any luck should get 
some much needed attention back onto the 
platform attracting old and new users alike. 



T wo of the most unlikely pastimes have 
been united in some bizarre anthology 


being pul together by Poetry Now. They want 
budding Keats to send poems in to them (in 
no more than 30 lines) on the topic of tech- 
nology in the world today. Anything from opin- 
ions on the Internet to console bashing would 
be appreciated, so get out your quill and 
parchment and send your scribblings to- Poetry 
Mow, The World Of Technology, 1-2 Wainman 
Road, Woodston, Peterborough PE2 7BU 
before the 30 April IS'SS. 

There's no entry fee required but a stamped 
addressed envelope is appreciated. The copy- 
right remains with the author and if accepted 
for the anthology, royalties will be paid, 



C The new AlF-SSI-S 
monW&t tram liyemj 



A miga upgrade specialist Eyetech have 
brought out a new package which will 
help the Amiga realise its multimedia ambi- 
tions, With every A12Q0 AV (Audio Visual 
specification) hard drive upgrade kit they will 


O Eyerach'* t.OflJ BA hard 
df~ivr> JjiitaHad in Jtn A 1 





ONITOR MADNESS 


1 


™ ma haw announced the launch of their new 15’ Vision Master monitor which at £293 
- provides eitellent value. It supersedes their previous Vision Master 15 model and has 
many new features such as a 0.2Bmm dot pitch flat square tube and 30-fiSKHi honiontal and 
30-1 OOKHi vertical scanning frequencies. It also often a MOmm diagonal viewable screen with 
non-glare and anti-static coating. It should hit the shops this April. 



o wllh the cornu* Optonkr* 

Hfjtie ruuJ timedix muthoring *vftwt 


■ also supply a copy of Qptonica's 
MMe, their multimedia authoring 
system, 

MMe will be installed on the drive 
and comes with a hard disk-based 
tutorial and on-line help Eacilities. 
They will also have over 40 PD and 
Shareware utilities ideal for 
multimedia on them. 

MMe has been chosen because 
it's the only UK system of this type 
which is designed to run on and pro- 
duce stand-alone applications that 
run on a standard 2Mb A120G or 
CD 32. 

Eyetech promise that even a non- 
technical user will be able to install 
the drive (without having to cut or 
! drill the case) and have it running 
f - within half an hour. The price for this 
little bundle is E229.95 which 
includes VAT. A full manual and back- 
up program/tutorial diskette pack is 
also available for a small charge. 


Eye, eye ■ 


Lj 


mm 


A DOSi I Q Q & 





n ril* V«>*v Sonic PT ?VO 



• ViewSonic 19GA 


If iewSdnic, renowned monitor makers, 
w have a new 1 7“ monitor in store which 
they will launch at the forthcoming CeBIT show 
in Hannover, Called the SonicTron FT 7 . t 
has an aperture grille mask rather thar the 
conventional shadow mask and has a mai 
mum resolution of 1 600x1280 pixels. It will 
cost £919 + VAT. Also on the cards Horr 
ViewSonic is the 15" I5GA multimedia mo.ni 
tor with two hi-fi loudspeakers and integrated 
microphone. The picture is produced h\ a 
0.2 7 mm Invar shadow mask and a Super- 
Contrast screen with special anti* 
reflection/anti-glare coating. It should retail at 
£379 +■ VAT, And finally, they are also releasing 
a 20" model which will cost £1039 -VAT 
Offering a 50cm screen it has non-interlaced 
resolutions up to T&OOx 1260 and a high 
refresh rate of up to 76Hz at 1260*102-: it 
also allows the user to be able to adpust screen 
colours to match printed output 



H VfewSoAtc 20G 



MIGA 
THE ! 


IS 

fAR 


mos Pro 

EXTENSION 


T he Amiga 4QQQ was in the spot’ 
■ light recently at the Mi DEM festival 
at Cannes, A music video starring a pop 
band called Cramp in the leg {hmm) was 
made using the machine and won the 
producers a bronze medal for editing. The 
video was produced by Myth Machine 
and used ViabMotion and Lightwave 3.5. 
As well as including rotoscoping of chron- 
icle material, there was also a scene with 
modern musicians standing in Red 
Square in 1950, 

Stuck on 
Speris 

Binary Emotions are lending a helping 
hand for players of The Speris Legacy, A 
hints and tips book is now available and 
is priced at just £2.99. Call 01722 416074 
for more details. 


M ■ Iton Keynes company Blittensoft have a new Amos Pro Extension kit 
m ready for UK distribution. Priced at £49.95, it should give a whole 
new lease o' to Amos Pro with over 600 new commands, Now you 
will be able to program fully Multi-Tasking software, Cadtools (gadgets 
and menus Datatypes, DOS functions and StoneTracker support To run it 
requires OS2 .i setter and has 100 help procedures to allow even the 
novice to get started st -sight away. WeTI be bringing you a full review 
soon. Watch this space. 


LJ AM M ING IT HOME 

Premier Mail Order are offering some bargain price SIMM chips so you 
too can get all the benefits from the latest Doom clones like Breathless. 
They believe that if more people had FastRAM on board then develop- 
ers would take morn interest in the Amiga (good, guilt-inducing 
advertising techniques there), so they are offering the following at these 
prices which include VAT and delivery: 

4 Meg 72 Pin 70ns - £1 T9, 99 
3 Meg 72 Pin 70ns- £239.99 
16 Meg 72 Pin 70ns - £445.99 
PCI 206 RAM Board - BARE - £59.99 
Contact Premrer Mail Order on 01266 271 172 for more into. 



SCALA 

Anyone wishing to contact Sea I a should note 
that they have a change of telephone 
nu mber wh idi is : 0 ! 9 20 4S4 1 48, 

Ooops! 

The review we featured last month on the 
Blizzard 1260 accelerator had the wrong 
scores put on rL They should read as follows: 
Ease of Use: 95%^ implementation; 95%, 
Value for Money: 72% Overall: 92%. These 
scores are higher than the ones we printed 
and we apologise for any inconvenience 
caused. 

Shock, 

horror 

Check out the Softwood Web site 
(http://www.5oftwood.com/) for all the latest 
information on their products such as Final Calc 
and Final Data. As well as a brief history of the 
company (they began in 1 9B6, you know) there is 
also the shock announcement that after two years 
in the making they have Final Writer - For 
Windows r 95, Hmm, Oh well, who says PC 
owners get the best things first? 

Amiga 
Com puti n g 

ONLINE 

Amiga Computing are pleased to announce that 
their Web site is up and running once again, 
Check out, for example, the current news, 
updates on what we're up to, plus games hints 
and tips, follow www.idg.co.uk/amigaccimp/ for 
all the latest and greatest. 

Amiga 
Com puti n g 
survey 

Amiga Computing's reader survey has attracted 
a good amount of replies. It seems most of our 
readers H> far have actually got machines with a 
much better spec than the default, with 
CD-ROM drives being the most popular hard- 
ware add-ons (so look out for a CD coverdisc) 
and the sections of the magazine that are 
proving most popular are ESPandACAS. 

We will be running the survey until the end 
of March, so there's still plenty of time to get 
your entries in, but do send them in as we can 
only make a better magazine for everyone if you 
all tell us what you want. 

As a reminder, the entry that we draw out of 
a hat will win £200 worth of prizes tailored to 
your machine. So get writing and send us your 
entries. 


Amiga Comp u t i n c 


A PR ft 19 96 









Nm. s 


0ET ORGANISED 

Q rn-Solt have anncu- 
■ need the launch of 
their latest program 
designed to get even the 
most scatterbrained of us 
organised. 

As a slight diversion 
from their usual gambling- 
related programs, they are 
launching Pro-Organiser, 
a personal organiser 
program at a budget price, 

Running on all Amigas 
with tMb, you can get a 
free usable demo by send- 
ing a blank disk and 
Stamped Addressed Envelope to Pro-Soft fl Pro OfganJsi^ win hetp you 
PG Box CR53, Leeds L57 tXI. E M—lfc f Jmjjortanr diary dates 



Speedy 

access 

O S Robotics have a new 
modem on the horizon 
which will offer a speed of 
2S r 800bps, Priced at El 99 (ext. 
VAT) it is the Internet ready version 
pf the Sportster Vi fax modem. The 
2B, BOO bps version follows on from 
US Robotics 14,400 bps modem 
and for those who spend long peri- 
ods browsing the Web, it could 
make a more economical option, tt 
includes a voice mail feature which 
could be taken advantage of it any- 
body writes the software for it! 


ECU 


RITY FEARS 


News from 
the Net 

Net protest at 
Telecom Act 

This February saw President Clinton sign an act 
which has huge implications for Net censor- 
ship. This wide- reaching legislation should 
reform and benefit some Df the laws regarding 
communication but dp the other hand - and 
the cause for all the controversy - there is the 
Communications Decency Act which some 
believe could lead to widespread censorship. 
The CD A will make it an offence to post 
'indecent' material on the Internet, with prison 
sentences or lines of Up to 3250,000 dished 
out for those who break the taw. 

However, those opposing the CDA believe 
the term 'indecent" is extremely vague and fear 
that even things like works of art showing 
nudes could be banned. 


J| recent case which was brought 
before the House of Lords has 
raised controversial issues on computer 
security. The case involved a police offi- 
cer who asked a police computer opera- 
tor to get him information for his job as a 
debt collector, a role which is outside his 
duties as a police officer. He was found 
out and charged with 'using' personal 
data against the laws af the Data 
Protection Act. 

He appealed, arguing that reading 
information off a screen could not be 
considered 'use of data' and the House 
of Lords upheld this. However, if he had 
actually taken action on this information, 
it would have come under the Act. 
Elizabeth France, the Data Protection 


Registrar, remarked: "Reports of 
Thursday's ruling in the House of Lords 
case, R v Brown, may have given the 
impression that accessing information 
from a computer screen is not covered 
by the Data Protection Act." She contin- 
ued: "The Lords dearly ruled that 
processing data m this way is covered by 
the Act and where it is carried out 
improperly, I can take enforcement 
action against the data user against 
which appeals can be brought to the 
Data Protection Tribunal," .lawever, an 
individual employee cannot now be 
prosecuted under the Data Protection Act 
for 'browsing' personal data, although it 
may be possible to prosecute under the 
Computer Misuses Act 1990." 


Qounting the costs 


^ omputer crime has been estimated to cost the 
^ country around £1 billion a year According to the 
Association of British Insurers, insured theft losses cost 
£200 million a year, but in fact this figure is estimated to be 
much higher due to non -insured losses, lost production, 
and lost business opportunities. 

Recent incidents such as a factory in Scotland having 
£2.3 million worth of computer chips stolen and an armed 
gang stealing El 50,000 worth of computer equipment from 
a South London Factory have shown how bad the situation 
b, 

The Association want to help combat this, so are issuing 
an information sheet with advice on how to ensure your 
computer and electronic equipment is Safe from thieves. 
Businesses and the public can get this sheet by sending an 


5AE to: Association of British Insurers, St Gresham Street, 
London EC2V 7HQ. 

And in the same vein, news just in reports that the 
Dixons Croup has joined the Computer Weekly campaign 
to combat computer theft. Dixons, together with the 
Metropolitan Police, have launched a campaign to deal 
with the problem and have already met with 19 of the 
major manufacturers of electronic goods to ask them to 
build anti-theft safeguards into their future products. 

Dale Heathcote, co-ordinator of the Dixons/Police 
projects commented: "We will work together with those 
involved in this campaign to share information and help to 
encourage the industry to ensure that the next generation 
of expensive consumer electronics equipment such as 
computers become less attractive to the criminal." 


Don't duly 

DALLY ON THE 

Web! 

America - the first case of divorce on the 
grounds of 'adultery 1 on the Internet is being put 
to the test John Goydan found explicitly sexual 
exchanges between his wife and another man 
which they'd been having over the Internet, 
Although the relationship had never been con- 
summated, Mr Goydan of New Jersey claims 
they were planning a rendezvous at a New 
Hampshire hotel. The case raises interesting 
legal implications as his lawyer believes it could 
change the way adultery is defined in law but 
Mr Goydan's accessing his wife's e-mail could 
be seen as a violation of her personal privacy. 

Banned book 

out IN PUBLIC 

A book which was published only to be 
banned soon alter has found its way onto the 
Internet. The book in question, 'Le Grand 
Secret', caused uproar because if revealed 
allegations about the health of the late French 
president, Francois Mitterand, Written by 
Mitterand's personal physician, it claimed that 
MStterand ordered the lad that he had prostate 
cancer to be kept q u iet. 

It also claimed that his medical records were 
falsified, The book found its way onto the 
Internet via a French Cybercafe owner who 
scanned in the pages into his computer and 
then released them onto the Wet. 



ONIC PRESERVED FOREVER 


V he British Film Institute has begun an initiative to 
* preserve video games to make sure they do not 
become lost forever. The Institute fears that games such 
as Sonic and PacMan could go missing as happened to 
some of the earliest films, so they have set space aside 
amongst the 275,000 films housed there. Assistant 
Director for the BFI commented: "The BFI is taking the 
bold initiative to preserve games - from the first 


primitive blips of the early 70s to the sophisticated 
virtual reality of today's games. This move will enable 
researchers and young people in 100 years time to find 
out a great deal about the lifestyle's and interests of 
young people in the 1990$." 

The BFI are appealing to anyone who has any particu- 
larly old games, especially those that can be played on 
the Lynx, Dragon 32, BBC Micro, Texas T1994A, Sharp 


M270Q, Commodore Vic 20, Atari VCS r Coleco Vision, 
Jupiter Ace and Mattel Intel evi si on, to get in touch, if 
you do come across any gems contact Tony 
Hetherington, BFI, 21 Stephen Street, London W1P 2Lhl. 

Also on the agenda at the BFI is an Interactive 
Encyclopaedia of Computer and Video Games and an 
exhibition which will show games and machines from 
the last two decades. 



Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 






Qew GVP to unveil 
|060 ACCELERATORS 

X ^ ,Nevv '' GVP, a col I a bor alive effort between M-Tee and Power Computing, is or the 
verge of releasing its first new products. Of particular rote is the Amiga 4000/060 acceler- 
ator, sporting a Motorola 6B060 chip at BOM Hi, A SIMM slats far up to 1 23 megs of RAM, 
and a SCSMI controller. Pricing has yet to be announced 
At present, GVP is considering building an A300U design based or the A4000 card. The space 
constraints of the A30OO would dictate a reduction in SIMM slots to 2, for a maximum of 64 
megs of memory. In addition, GVP is the distributor for the MacroSystem Falcon A 1200 040/060 
card ir North America. They also plan to restart production of several of the ■'old' GVP products, 
including the D55-8+ and Phone Pak in the near future 

GVP can be reached at +610-522-0350 voice, +610-522-9354 fax, and 1 02 150,1 665 @com- 
puserw.com via e-mail. 


ILENT Paw soliciting 

INVESTMENT PARTNERS 


C ilent Paw Productions, creators ol the 
^ Personal Amiga Workstation (PAWS) 
laptop kit and the Gecko display enhancer, are 
looking for investors to help further their 
development and bring their products ro mar- 
ket. Shares in the company as well as bonds 


were offered in an attempt to replace lost cap- 
ital, caused by the collapse of their earlier 
potential investor, 

The company can be reached at +703-330' 
7290 voice, +703-330-5752 fax, or via e-mail 
at alntpaw® ix.netco-m.com. 


onder Computers 

ENTERS BANKRUPTCY 

B arely a month after the successful World of Amiga Toronto show, the hosts, Wonder 
Computers, Incorporated of Canada entered court supervised bankruptcy proceedings. 
The news came as a tremendous shock to the North American Amiga market, to say noth- 
ing of WCi employees. While Wonder's six retail outlets continued to be profitable, the low 
returns on WCi s Information Technology and Lazarus Engineering divisions prompted a recall of 
a large WCi loan. Unable to meet these terms, WCi was forced to enter bankruptcy. The firm of 
Ernst and Young has been appointed to oversee WG's operations and liquidation. 

WCi CEO Mark Habinski is attempting to organise a buyout of the WCi assets in order to form 
d new, debt-free corpora iron. While so fa r the trustees have expressed willingness to work with 
Habinski, time is limited. 

Any customers, manufacturers, dealers, or distributors with outstanding accounts should 
immediately contact Ernst and Young at Wonder Computers' Ottawa headquarters on +613- 
226-OOM or by fax on +6 T 3-226-9990. 




B miga Atlanta celebrates 

lOTH ANNIVERSARY 


A miga Atlanta, one of the oldest user 
" groups in the world, rang in its 30th 
Anniversary on 20 January with a large banquet 
ror members and special guests from across the 
country, 

Soaked as special guest speakers for the 
ev ening were Amiga Corporation legend and 
■Qrmer 3 DO executive RJ Mica I, Amiga librarian 
extraordinaire Fred Fish, Commodore and 
Amiga hardware guru Dave Haynre, and myself, 
in addition, Dale Luck, formerly of Amiga 
Corporation and now Senior Software Architect 
■Jr 3170, attended the event, as did a sizeable 
■-ntourage from NewTek fed by company 
president Tim Jenison, 

Motorola RISC Marketing representatives 


were on-hand to plug and promote the 
PowerPC, the next generation nf Amiga comput- 
ing. The event was presided over by CNN 
TalkBack live host Susan Rook and Computer 
Chronicles host Stewart Cheifet (a proud owner 
of two Amiga* himself). Quite a bit of reminis- 
cence and a few derogatory remarks about 
other computer platforms were the order of the 
evening which stretched past midnight. 

The film crew of Amiga Atlanta tirelessly com- 
mitted the evening to videotape, and a profes- 
sionally edited presentation of the banquet will 
be available for sale from Amiga Atlanta soon. 
To learn of its release and keep up to date with 
other AAj events, check them out on the Web at 
http :/Avww.mi ndsprin g. com/ -amigaati/ 



by Jason Compton 


B roVector 

CATCHES THE WAVE 

LH, ~ 1 q pjj 



C ^ lnc -r developers of the Projector 3 structured drawing package for 
the Amiga, have released their Lightwave saver module. The module, a 
■plug-in', allows Pro Vector projects to be saved as Lightwave object 
files, for further use and manipulation in Newtek's popular 3D rendering 
environment 

The patch is available directly from Stylus for registered users and can also 
be found on Aminet ftp sites and from Stylus' new Web site, 
http://wvvw.ezlink.com/-stylu 5 /Rr 0 VectQr.htmf. For more information, con-tact 
Stylus at +970-404-732 1 voice, or stylus^ezli nk.com via e-mail. 


B IBRARY SERVICES 

becomes Cronus 

J you start to see an unfamiliar name behind some familiar products 
rn- the coming months, don't worry. Fred Fish has renamed hrs 
Amiga Library Services company to Cronus. All subscriptions with AL5 are 
still valid, and support lor Amiga products will continue. _ _ 


Contact point 


You can contact Jason Compton with your American news at: 

jcDirt pronijsxnet.com 

Editor-in-chief, Amiga Report Magazine 

(708) 74 1 -0689 FAX 

Afi on Aminel ■ docs/mag5/ar???.lha 

Aft Mailing list - Mail me WWW - httpy/MVww.omnipresence.com/Amig^/News/AIL 
vwvw.cucug.org/ar/ar.html 



UAJM.mvunjm 

APRIL 1996 







FUST 

contra, 

HffTHfT 


K«KSr*i n 


AMIGA REPAIR 
CENTRE 




Uli T^iAMIbriU 

an PWi ! Idim ufwi k r All Thu nv«Mi*h tM A /i lw Tmcn iri 

JlKH- n 141 wAmJ qi p™*T fiml toil I*- li. krd fee AM 

w* wAU ItffiKif ~3»n £MBn« i ’■faiefc ii«hkj Air^hf ^mnorj-. 


RENO 


HP CD-R 4020k 


Amiga A 1 200 
Magic Pack 
IncJTOMbHD 
& Scala MM300 

Fnc ludri -same software pAck 15 

Magic Pick. Blit adsn jnchjdfK 
Sola MMJD&fRuq. 4Mb>, 


Portable 

CO ROM 


CD- Recorder 4x reid'Li write 
TonToiTCftwt /rtlrt Art 

tfaJWmikj® today LT AT . 7 ” 

74 Min. Media 

ID -off £9 4.66 IDO nil £ 575.66 

Master-ISO CD-R software 

C-.W T-W *-» CP ™ . tut CD X— It* in> *-l 

„ ur ^.Call for de tail* 049,9? 


Prim? sharrwarr CD ROM 
Valued at CLP Free with Repm drive 


Amiga Technologies 
1 24 1 Q- Drive Quad Speed 


[ : win \ M1438S Monitor Only!! *£275.99 


When bought 
with a. e*mf*aE*r 


Quad speed external CtMtnm 
Dnw, for A I 296. -4» PCMCIA 


only!!£239.99 


*1 rnsml. 


First Starter Pack 

* A 1 20 ft dual covet 

* 1 0 >: D 5 DD disks * labels All for 

* Top quality joystick onl y 

* DtluM mwrtt nut / | a aa 

* 3 x A HOD (iitiei t- 1 jfmff 


Internal SCSI CD ROM drives 

A40QD compatible CD ROM drives 

Toshiba 5401 B** Speed £169.99 

Toshiba 370 1 Bx*.T5o«d £319.99 

fosh-ib-l drrvv-t nm xt*OrtTr iJixn xtd. al rmi £. 
Ml Hi intida [hr A 40 OC CUE. 


SCSI Controllers 

Squirtel SCSI-1 1 Interface 'fdS.OQ 

•Wtwfi bn#i: -kh i-rHPCE HOW m-*, upnu. 

SiJrf Squirrefl SCSMI Interface *£79.9 5 

G VP 400?+ / Okmgon SCSI-1 1 controllers £99.99 


A4000T 

68040-25 £2089.99 
68060-50 £2359.99 


Telephone 0113 23 1 9444 


24 HR MAIL ORDER SERVlCEFAX: 01 13231-9191 
NEW ass Sales £ Technical line Teh 0113 231-1 422 

E Mail firiltcnvflrirt-tnet.Cij iik i^T XVf.TJM I.-M j Mt l TW ‘I f ' " I 


^&Sffte?SS5!SS X^^EST 5 

chc^llc pI^T-MT- m.ikr pn-y-Tble* to: fJlRST ®NCKt W€€K Day £5.95 

COMPUTER CEWTftE- Irv all •Saturday delivery £ 1 0.00 

woriting days cheque clearance- All prices include VAT , W 1 7,5% 

SHOWROOM. ADDRESS: •Lar^e showroom with parking 

DEFT AC, DNJT 3 P ARM LEV PARK • M ulti-mil lioti poo n d company 
COURT, STANNfNGLEV ED, • O vorseas orders welcome 

LEEDS, LSI 2 2AE •Educational purchase orders welcome 

j jk OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 

“- 1 * ■ Anti-, jii turret: ,ii the ilnw of fotftj! t» prc-H 

Lnmlharril Trir itv low rate *>*“* ^ l*™ prku befan wtoy-nR A4 

Lomoaru I nuiy luwnun mu IM b|*ti to tw Kondard terms h 

fi n anc e now avail able, call . o., ehoe. 


COMPUTER CENTRE 


CD ROM Drives 


UK'S cheapest 
Amiga's 
A 1 200 
Magic Pack 


ffcpg a A 1 200 
Surf Pack 
Inc. 260Mb HD 
& 14.4 Modem 


Inchidn-. Wimlwnrlli V-l'nF . Ouri i ■.!■ ir- . 
Q 1 , :;.iiii-i!.T , T ■■ r 1 1 1 : ■ I ■ 3.5. F.-noil.il 

P-unr ¥ 6 . 9 , Fhatufenlci 1 , tSE, 
pinball l*mi!i ft WhiT-r 



2 . 5 ’' Hard Drives for A 600 / 
A 9 200 with installation kit 

he. software, serrwi. cables 
arid instructions 


J.5" Hand Disk Drives 1 
with A 1 200/600 install kit 

(W* i ri Miiininiil 1 S" diiv*i b# flKFd rip quaJHWd 
rttnfnlW repawn.) 

I ik. software, tables and instructions 
6JQMb-.tltlS.99 a?0Mh..£l9?99 
l,0&Gig..£l4b 9? 2.1 GHg,.EJ79.99, 


Zip Drive 


■ tnckdK- 
t JLfl ?«l« HflW« 
i IXIJDHIujrt-yIr 
i a ii> f-i ■•■■■! i ami. 

Zip- ftjrtf l# ji a 4 I 5 tf 


M1438S 


Surf Squirrel 

4 Hi speed serial port 

• SCSMI interface 

♦ AutDbpptnit HD I 


senate njf™ CGtsvs* 

80 Mb,„„„£a ?,99 130 Mb.. 1 1 09 99 
1 70 Mb.. E I 14.99 2S0Hb.,£l 39,?? 
340Mb..£l 79.99 S I QMbt.034.99 
8 1 OM h..f 349.99 I.QG ig~£ 4 1 ?.?? 


^ Amlya branded 

nmc specifioitkw U &# ^ &tlkQI ‘ 
IHrovkec M 38 . bx* akcl , _ _ ^ 
hut SecrcQ spcaJitrs. 

Microvitec 1438 monitor 

without speaken £264.99 

Extra adaptor may be req. tb .79 


External Hard Drives 
for all SCSI aware Amiga’s 
500Mb £19?. 9? I <0Gfg £299,99 
2.0Gig £639.99 40Gig £1 069.99 

kK. 11 ^ 1 1 >- il 77f SUI-l/fJiu'Lum m«hajram widv j ifan 
utbo dma,iiwniJ! > 15U,iCtl Diiltcrar. 


rncvk available ir| 


£16.99] 


Sy quest EZ- 1 3S £234.99 

additinnal media i I S '-* " 


f Squirrel 

* SCSI-11 Interface 


J.6" F-llird DrWe msta.ll kicTlK.9? 


A- titek 1084 S £199.99 


Amiga External drive £49.99 
A 1 200/600 Intern*) drive £ 3 9.9? 
AS 0 0/5 OO+lnierna' d nvt- £39.99, 


dy *£ 45 . 0 (^?^. 


Inr Indi-v Ml i.4J lultwirl, l Jjkl arid 111* 
nivrruLULpriS. fiU Hard Orlvt. 


ViiIpm D^ul RGD Aulsf Irfiu:*! 

unitor dust cover £ 


( Accelerator Cards ) 


VTIKVl A 1 200 RAM 
liilLuUl Expansion 

A I 200 I MB RAMS(Jdcft3/price'. r £69.99 

Al 200 2 MB RAM £99,99 

Al 200 4 MB RAM £124.99 

Al 200 9 MB RAM £199,99 

AIZ00 IMB/J3Mhi Co Pro £99,99 

A I 200 2 MB/33 Mhi Co Pro £124.99 
A I 200 4 MB/33Mhz Co Pro £159.99 


WI ARE PREFERRED 
USA DEALERS 


Viper 11-50 £19 

U|i Id I iSMti RAM, FPU 5ocX« 8 Hit ChKJl 

Viper 11-18 £11 

Up ED I li Mb RAM. FPU focfcci * RiT ClMk 


• Class I Fax V 

• Persona: Voire M.i I 

• Fax on Demand 

• Call Uiscriminatinn Jfl 

B ABT Approved 

• 14,400 Data/ 14,400 Fax 


(. ■0-6'- KAh t =, insiorT t 


PRIMA ASM 51 2k RAM n 0 d«k £1 9 99 
PRIM A A 500+ 1 Mb RAM £29,99 

PR IMA AMO I Mb RAM no dock 1 1 9 n 


• 3 3,600 Data- I 4,400 Fax 


Courier V34+ 

irrr.u i T jKi pi Vi 3 I]Ib nn lut cry V 14 

£287.99^1 


• up»i 

• LEt> 9 hpk r 

• V34Surd*r* 


P*rt exchange available on, four old 


mtrnDry, Call for pHting. 


Squirrel I/face 


Monitors 


Hard Drives 


Disk Drives 



E Mb 72 PifiSJMM 

£2?-?? 

2 Mb 72 PinSIMM 

<59,99 

4 Mb 72 Pin SIMM 

£69.99, 

8 Mb 72 Pin 51 MM 

£ 1 45.99 

16 Mb 72 pin SIMM 

£315,99 

1 Mb 3D pin SIMM 

<33,99 

254x4 DRAM 

(eacb)£6i?9 


SupraPM^Modertt 

Iflohotics 


RAH Expansion/Accelerators 


Canon 


Canon BJ j D fl& 4.99 

PvubU mtHH-jpiinar, M pifi AW buic to. 

Canon BJC 7 QCE»four 

rvubli cakirr pmcir, JO picv MP. 

Canon BJlDGr* £ 107,99 

I lifh qortty mom zri-cpr. sinual riO dpt. 

hTowdPCarmn BJI I C- £ 119.99 

HaiH-pmnv. 7 UK 3 H^I.EDl«irupiri. 4 cBblE 

C9AQfiB|C4IQ0Cck4our ZlAfJf 

Mlfti DuiJq^ caksurtiiT: rr-ar.:- priminj 5H d;i. 

Cmorl BJC6 ! 0 CiDlo.iF 14 I D.M 

TJfl ■ Tlfi dfj . Hi 


Printers 


CITIZEN 


All Cli. i »n printer! have ■ 1 pir warrmnep 


Consumables 


ARC CdJour printer 

Svnpi* Jui BAflf u UCi m i» 24 pin errmr. 
0 .„i_ u,dU.J H mm *ju ilaic h-**r 
T^jtr M wBrnl M U4.ft 

C:c ijm rrintiva t.Oftc £.399.99 

I6»6|B (VW>. 1 1“ .Ip. mhni priubr, 
btVIiabfU A^ji iH --■■ , , ppil— n. v,l‘, 
bdvinrfe^ nierfr Dry prinl rithrir^ap 


ilE©nr 


SurL.C90Tpmir«- £107.99 

*« Swill L-..pv,h irf Elwul 

StirLCIRQnHnc^Dur £129.99 

! M a™*, n «pi WLIJ. Amlp drl.nxi. 

StaE LC244i+pin-»<« £123.99 

IflCpiHl'tft.-tihAS* Mini 

Stai LCJJDCHP-.CW— £M5.99 

W W» I". 1 1.0 ««¥*■ 

Sr.ii-Sji-d4cpinLr- £229.99 

C«ln!F i I n mil] truirfr prirrlv. biw nnnti| 
£_■«!. 3 mnwi. Ii .4 #j| 


HEWLETT* 
PACKARD 

MPJ4flFvn»iw £224.99 

CfAour uprri d»iMi! porlfliiv p*wii*» 

HPSOi £232.99 

C*p, ,uu MkpPOA PUtHl.Ef. 

HP SSO Cotaw £319.99 

K,. ;aluir .r„|n Iwi Hr 

H RR 5 D Colour £ 416.99 

tn.,M 6 #1 up » * |y#ini nwni PfH'plm rftlajr 

HP ',Ll J-M-J r j,, nr*r £449.99 

« p P". «<> dpi 

HPSP Laser pr i rarer £? I S?9 

t. p.p. m H.jp dpi 


EPSON 

Styiui Cufour II £ 13 S .99 

716 df, BJirl; IppmCahur. 

Scrfuii Colour II* £ 249.99 

TIMA 1 Korn*!**. »p*™ cm**- 
StrlkrtllO £ 219.99 

310 ilp , 2.E|^rri Bluk, Cdair U^frui«ib4i 

Srylus-Prn £49S-99 

1 Mr* W dpr «i.-.n*aH»l 411111 ^' hh*uc. 

OKI 

RIP R< HtfiHP A |p 

Authorised OKI dealer 

CL600ex £119.99 1 

LEO Ins'- [>««'*', ■* rtim. I >“l l*m. 

OL 6 IOU). £ 479.99 

|J& llJI- p™t,r. 1 -plplSti. l«h Wfttrrt. 


Miscelfaneous 

Prim IT Swilu Is BsJd Ztriy ! i ] -1 
Prin 6 rrSwltt 6 aas Iwiy J iTflV 
Prif|t*r Sirnik (Uflhttl-fiaJJ : d ■■ 6 

I.SM«N»pri#iiarMbl» ' 1 4:-*9 

1 Mrln? prisiE,:> cable f 4.99 

5 MaEtsa prlncer c atil« t« .6 

K-Ki-tri printer tab-ft tij.es 

Parallel part me. cablt- : ¥ ■ 6 


Ribbon 4 

Citnen SwIft'ABC nuirm 

Citizen Ssiilft'AtC colour 

Six, LCJj nkjriL' r ■ ti b Li ' l 

Sh,rLCIfl;|IKri(iiWi 

SnirLCiai'IOepjMu.r 

9wLCl£9etiA7ur 

Sur Lt 54 flc mono 

Seas LCUD m«io 

Sur LCIt - 1 IhlDWStW Colour 

ftr-lnk 5 or*f Inr rrti'mD rlbbOIK 


llif 
til 49 
£4 99 
£3.46 
£7 *9 
113 *f 
£8 99 
£5 99 
£ 1 3 99 
£M 9 t 


lA^e ( 

consumables for all pnntrts 
Lasers, Dot Matrix and 
lukjr-ei tiki and new. 


PREMIER-INK 
Cartridge Refills 

Saw, ■ Iprbunv 'n (*4tt ^ll. ft— l Ihl, 

Ubla jai. Cp^ipailbM wHh tXw HH Ll. i-|r ■ 
IHla.*. Cjii.... B 1 1 3 ia'IH.' I 9D'14D'1D[. ;j«. 

Si pr Sf46. ClElawn tftd ixii'r « h *' I 

FuB hHqp al ralaura laimMa. 

Siih^l* Fafllk £ 6.94 

Twirarvtlh (*4rrti] ■ I J 99 

Three- colour kir (66nnl) £1949 

FulUohMrkk (Mml| £17.99 

Bulk rrill^a (IlSmi) £1*99 


Printer 




spetialbti 

trote 


Ink Cartridges 

Canon B]lfli'SMrSj 48 ( 1 * 9 * 

Cins.nB|^(l.' 3 HJ t |»,19 

C-i non BJ ID (| pick) £ 11*9 

Canon BJC 79 rra-wngOp**!) £ 11*9 

Canon B|C 79 fottnirfJiMicki £> 4 .tf 

Canon 6 jiC * 0 M coMur ( 6 in E «rl , i 6 *m 

Canon BjC tMD mono (ilnRlo) £ I . *9 

Canon BfC 1900 mono high exp. ■ (P 4 w 
Canon BjCiOOe mono hlih cap. £1 1.49 
Canon SjC 660 e colour £8 *9 

Citizen P-rintiyaStd rotourp (6 *9 

Citizen FnaitwaMetaliic colour* l 1 6 iv 

HP. beikjet 460 double mono £ 54.76 

HP. Dc Ek| 6 T 660 (dlnur £ 27 , 99 

Epun Sijilui ninno £1549 

E[ixuii Si^lui colour £ 16.69 

Fpinin Stylui Cut. II'S'HO Horan £ 17 , 99 

Fpiwjp Styllxl Cul . U.'S'B IG Colour - : 4 99 

Epxmi Seylui ft!(J iIixIljut upgrade 44 99 

Scxr 5 J I 44 m,iipiai£ukiur (nnf le h ( 8 ** 

Covers 

All printer duxt coven £4.6* 


Fa/ifakd (trojctar fci id) 5fl0 sheets 
Fanfold rtrac toe feed} I ODD sheets 99 

F 4 ntaM finitwirfowfl iDOOsheect ■ 7 99 

Single ilieet SCKi-thwrtt (i. 9 » 

Sinslrrimt IHCih«*u £94* 

Single Street 2(Krt*h«ts ( I 7 99 

Epsoor5PFllH7Wq|ii|sapei‘luu;t M6 


Disks 

ilp 

Bulk OS DO 

19x0-44 190* £1446 

39 x £9.65 190 x £5446 

59 a £1546 
Branded OSDD 
19 x £4. 65 1 90 * £3546 

39 a £124* 260 x £93.(76 

59 x £25.6* 560 x £14149 

Bulk DSHD 

19 k < 3- 66 190 x £ 31.96 

JO >: £11 96 100 x £1646 

» t £ 1 7 . 6 * 506 p(fl 34 . 6 * 

Branded DSHD 

16 x £4.66 I Q0 a £4 7.99 

3 Ox £15.69 100 js £8446 

16 a £25,66 5p0x£l66.W 

Diik label* x 500 ii.9? 

Dhk labels *1000 £9-99, 




























Video 


Genlocks 




uantum 



VIDI A miga 24 (RT)+ 

Colour Real Time 
Amiga video 
capture system 

Ccwnpcsste lb 5VHS Input*. 
T*mr Lawn renrart: arshtiiry. 
aMP.TIFF « PCX Fite Support 
imin 



I 24 Hi; li ftH 

£139.95 

VIOi Amiga 24 (RT) Pro 

Professional Colour 
Real Time Amiga 
video capture system 

CumpnjzvF 4 SVFfS M!*uU. 

94.7 mrilkMi t«4«W ffl Ibbnftg 

WIM1FF, PCX, AN9N, ILflK 
controls 4- effects 

£224.99 


Chunttflite withVHS 4 SVHS 
Saw 4 toad *11 multiple die liimuti 
* Support ibe virtual menu ry n,, 

AsmHfWUil teferem teetetses $ ii* 

Uppi|«rwww<ikw 

for only.,,. £ I 29.95 


Music 




I i 

"v_r 



Technosound 
Turbo 2 Pro 

S' 1 1 2 Lift Stereo 5»" ■?'< pFu* 
nxHiJiy mart jd.MHnj tenures 

A bargain at t»nfy £27.99 

M e ga- Lo-So u n d 

9 bit direct -Lii-disk umpirr 

Great value a? Only £25.99 

ProMIDi 

Interface 

• MIDI III. MltM thru 4 3 . M«D* oar 

• Lucnpiriblt- wnfi mjctj. uhM 

only!! £19.99 

* 2 x 3 metre MIDI cables £9,99 

AURA 

100% £74,99 

Octamed compatible 

12.' 16 bit. sLcreu direct -todiih 
PCMCIA simpler 

Octamed 6 

Official CD 

£24.95 

Lu«[ reramn of the bnt uwi 
rnalrin j prijrfr.ru bjr pv ftnip 
Over *BtWlfe of Mid fife* WnpHl 


Peripherals 


Mega Mouse+ 400 dpt . 

Mega Mouse 400 dpi £11.49 
Amiga Mouse 560dpi £ 1 2.49 
Mousemat 4mm £3.99 
Alfa Data Trackball £34.99 
Zip Stick joystick £9.99 
Gravis Amiga joystick £ 1 9,99 
ZyFi-2 Speakers £26,99 
ZyFi Pro Speakers £57.99 
Roboshift rnpu-tL'i-j J,4fn k v*ilrh £9 + 99 
Amiga Contol Pad £9.99 


Amiga Modulator £34,99 
Amiga PSU £34,99 


Kickstart 2.04/2.05 
CIAB520A I/O chip 
FPU 25mhz PLCC 


£24.99 

£18.99 

£34.99 



Genlock 290 

■ FqM L«|bi| rwl |np*K1 

* I Mjfh (fUdHry -r^l 

# IV.3R.pdr.4u.> f...» pylf 

£639.99 




Genlock 292 

■ r-iil pipfen 





£264,99 
A-Cut 



£164,99 

Fusion Genlock 

: 


Cot™ vrtri* ScaAa H I IW 
T2\ AmJp ^hufyfi juhr N 
M.Jr W.U~ 1. 


Only!! £95.99 

Entry level Genlock 


Wordprocessing 


I Final Writer 4 

Word PKKeiiadPuhlishEr 
Lacect wnion oftWl award 
winning luFtwarr 



only!! £72,99 


Final Writer 
Lite 

Word PrtfCeMur 
Acquiree KifkfMrt 10^ at 
ihwe. 2Mb at Him ,i nd t 
Floppy Dri»f. Hard Drive 
•nitaHablc if d cured. 


£39.95 

m 



Mini Office 

Integrated Patkage 

• SWer'dpnjte-l.iuir 
•nwetufiffc /yg o n 

• DitiIhk LjO ,7 T 

• Graphics 

• Dur UrilhiM All in one pa 


Wordworth Ver. 5 

*4f,, Arnij, 2 64 or IvgMfr 

• SMfc Of Mrrmyry 

• irFtoppi drtfnn «ir HDnw 


£74.99 


Cables 


Special 

Offer 


Amiga. Semet Cable 
Amiga Pa rnct Cable 
Modem Cable 9-I5/IS-2S 
Null Modem Cahle 
Amiga- VGA Monitor 
Amiga-TV Cable 
Amiga-CM8033 Monitor 
Amiga-Scarl Cable 
Printer Cable {1,8 metre) 
Disk Drive. Monitor Ext 
PC Analogue J, stick Adapt. 
Muu« ! Joy stick Extension 
Mouse Joystitk Autoswitrh 
MIDI Cables (3 metre x2> 
Cen tro n icsCen tronics 
SCSI D2S-50 way Cent 
SCSI D25-50 way Micro-D 
SCSI Adaptors from., 

SCSI Terminators from... 
Internal SCSI Cables from, 
2,5 IDE Hard Drive Cable 
uga-3.5 M Hard Drive 


£24.95 
£14.95 
£9,95 
£9.95 
£12-95 
£2.45 
£9.95 
£9,95 
£4.95 
£14,95 
£7.95 
£4 95 
£9.95 
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£15,95 
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.. £9.95 
£5.95 
£10.95 


Graphics 




Graphics Software 


D Paint V 

AwariJ winning Faint & 
Animation package. 

£59.9$ 


Art Department Pro, 

Image pmrpssing software 

£129.99 


Scala MM21 I 
£ 1 39.99 

* MM3 00 £224.99 

* MM400 £274.99 

Photogenics vL 2 # 

24 hit graphics rnanSpulatiOfl 

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IT Bit Calleertiemf Double) £24,99 

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I T&itVLSD compendium 3 £16.99 


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COVERDISK 

PROGRAMS 


The first coverdisk with the Capital 
Punishment demo an 15 self-booting and 
can be run direct oft the disk, or hard drive 
users can install the game cm their hard 
drive by dragging the disk, icon to wherever 
they want the Capital Punishment game 
drawer. 

To extract programs from the second 
cover disk, you need to boot your machine 
with the second disk T □ extract ary single 
program you should double clkk its icon 
and follow the on screen instructions if 
you wan! to quickly extract the program to 
RAM, select the NOVICE level on the 
Installer welcome screen, press proceed 
and then press it again on the next screen. 
After a short pause and if no error 
messages appear, the program can be 
found in your RAM disk. 

You also have the option of using a 
floppy disk. If you pick this make sure you 
have a blank formatted disk at the ready - 
you can formal disks from the Workbench 
menu - and if you only have one disk 
drive be prepared for a long wait and 
plenty of disk swapping. 

Hard drive users 

Hard drive users can boot the it machines 
as normal Once the Workbench has 
loaded, if you do not have, or are not sure 
that you have the Amiga Installer program 
or Lha. you should double-dick on the 
SetUp-HD icon and this will copy the 
refative programs across lo your hard drive. 
It will check beforehand if you already 
have these programs before copying the 
cover disk versions over. 

If you wish to extract a frle archive to a 
specific place on your hard drive, when 
you double-click on a file you should select 
EXPERT and then press proceed You will 
then be able to select the destination. You 
also have the option of using the 
MuftiExtrac t Installer scrip! which allows 
you to extract either all or just some of the 
cover disk programs to a destination of 
your choice 



On this month's exclusive Amiga Computing 
cover disk we give you the chance to kick hell 
out of a friend. Hurrah 


Capital Punishment 


Author: Pxl Computing 

AI2G0 


You are a warrior about to 
embark on a most dangerous 
journey. Your goal is to 
dethrone the evil master of an 
immense castle, You begin your 
mission in the rancid, putrid 
catacombs of this castle. 
However, the master is aware 
of your presence and has 
placed guards on every floor, 
You must work your way up to the top of the castle and 
defeat all who stand in your way in order to battle the 
master.. 

Helping you along wifi be the spirit of your deceased 
mentor but f even with his aid, this will, without question, be 
a physically-draining experience. By journey's end you will be 
injured, bruised, and tired, but if you think of the price of 
failure, this is a small price to pay, for should you lose a 


battle, you will suffer a fate worse than death. You see, the 
master looks favourably upon assassins, Thus, he has the 
power to make you immortal and you will be forced to serve 
him for eternity in this most unpleasant environment Even 
worse, you will be confined to a single room, becoming one 
of his guards. Almost as bad as being forced to watch the 
Girlie show., 

Controls 

The Capital Punishment demo is a two-player game - player 
one plays with a joystick in port 2 or the cursor and alt keys, 
while player two uses a joystick in the mouse port. On the 
initial menu screen, use left and right to flick through the 
various warriors that will be available in tie full game - for 
the demo you can only pick the bare-chested, muscle-bound 
guy. In play, Capital Punishment takes a slightly different 




Joystick controls 


JUMP 


BACK 

FLIP 



JUMP 

FORWARDS 


WALK 


/ > 

tut 


WALK 


DEFENSE 



POWER 

TOSS 


DUCK 


STREET 
SLAM HOOK 


HEADBUTT 



HIGH 

BUST 


SPINNING 

DRAGON 


4 Q t 


CROSSBOW 

KICK 


KNEEKTCK 



LOW 

KICK 


cahtalcut 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 


You can <jef 0 srwak pmvi*w of of (h« 

ctairacftpr* m ttm Anal ganto 







Shareware 


ATaop of the programs on the second 
cover disk are what are commonly frrtcwn 
os Shareware, Such wetf written programs 
take many hours to write and a lot of 
hard work and dedication an the port of 
the programmer , 

When a program is called shareware it 
means the programmer has generously 
off owed you to try out their program, a tot 


of the time with no restrictions , and if > 01 / 
then dectde you tike it you are obliged to 
send the author the shareware fee. 

Normally this is no more than ten 
pounds and in return the author wilt 
usualty keep you supplied with the latest 
version of that program , along with their 
undy ing qrattitude of course. 

So ptease don't forget to send your fee. 



slant than other fighting games. Instead 0 ^ 
losing a set amount of energy from a starting 
total each time you get hit, in Capital 
Punishment the energy bar takes the form of 
a tug of war. Each lime you hit your oppo- 
nent they lose some energy and you gain a 
little, meaning if you can put together some 
combos you can quickly regain an advantage. 

The other unusual game element is the 
addition of two stamina bars. The pink bar 
represents the head, while the blue bar indi- 
cates body stamina. Player One's stamina is 


on ‘ H -~- eft while Player Two's is on the right. 

ir fckfitwn to robbing an opponent of vital 
' ■ : r "t will also take away their 

slim na head ;r &ody, depending on where 
the h ■ an Jed If all their stamina is taken 
sway the piaver falls into a dangerous state 
of fat £ . r nd at this paint the other oppo- 
site" car get as many hits in unopposed. 
When fatigued, a player can rejuvenate 
himself by quickly tapping the fire button, 
and the ■ way to get stamina back as to 
stand still. 




To use the fallowing 
program you need 
to have the Magic User 
interface v2,3 installed 
on your system . With- 
out it you will not be 
able to ran cup MUI program, MW is 
available from Jfl) H good PD house. 



Errrgh, your 
feet small 
awful 


MCP vl .1 

■ 

Author: Alien Design 


Magic User Interface v23 

Workbench 2-04 



Welt it's back, the Master Control Program 
has an update and as now packing more 
hacks, patches and groovy little features than 
ever before. If you do not know it, MCP is one 
in a long line of Workbench improvement 
programs - there have been plenty of 
these over the years, with many falling by the 
road side and never getting any more 
development. 

MCP and the similar program MultiCX are 
both trying to change this old trend. By 
offering constant new updates or regular beta 
versions, they assure that new features and 
patches to Workbench are constantly added. 

This latest release comes with a full 
installer program so you should have no 
problem getting the program set up and run- 
ning, and you should use it as there are a 



It dices, i( allcea t it wifi 
even feed the cat. MCP 
will do everything you 
need and ftrobifify a 
fa w things mere 


That'll iting 
for a while 


number of extra small libraries that need to 
be copied into your Libs drawer. Another 
small command you get with MCP called 
'Patch control' has to be installed separately 
by copying if into your C directory and insert- 
ing the command C:Patchcontrol near the top 
of your startup-sequence. 

The MUI preference program means you 
can easily configure MCP. It comes with a 
demo configuration to help you gel going, 
and with over 50 different types of functions 
there is plenty for you to play with. 

For all you hard nosed MCX users there are 
a few really helpful extras provided in MCP 
that MCX does not have, for example an XPK 
auto-decrunch patch, a complete screen 
mode promotion patch, tool alias patch and 
assign preferences - there is more than 
enough for everyone. 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 


l 







Play 1 6 


Author: Thomas Wenzel 

Workbench 2.54 


It may seem as if every other modern 
computer has 16-bit sound and is using 
16-bit sample formats, but this should not 
stop Amiga users being able to play them, 
should it7 

Well, this latest version of Playl 6 allows 
you to do exactly that 16-bit samples recor- 
ded at SSkhz, no problem. PI ay 16 will allow 
your lowly Amiga sound output to handle it, 
playing the sample back at 14-bit quality, due 
to a special technique, and it's all at the 
correct speed. 

Sound channels are requested in a friendly 
manner from the operating system, and sam- 
ples can be played directly back from your 
hard drive, so any super huge samples you 
have on CD will not be a problem. There are 
also a good number of automatically recog- 
nised hie formats, all from different computer 
formats - such as Wave, Voc r Sun Audio, 
Maud and Aiff - and they are all supported 
in their 16-bit mono or stereo compressed 
formats. 


Breathless 

Patch 


Author: Fields of Vision 


The original Breathless game was pretty 
amazing, and on an At 200 with extra mem- 
ory it was very playable. For all owners of the 
original game you are about to get a little 
bonus in this update to the nriginat game 
engine. 

Installing the new version should be no 
problem - hard drive owners can use the 
installer script to copy the new version into 
the original Breathless directory, while floppy 
owners should copy the program file onto a 
copy of the original first game disk, 
Improvements over the original include: 

• now works from a non-PAL Workbench 
screen 

• added Mouse control and Configuration 
save option 

t smooth look up and down facility 
• frame rate Increase by up to 20 % 

• configurable player inertia and mouse 
sensitivity 

• autosaves last level code 



String Req 


BetterEdit 


Author: Enrico Altavilla 

Workbench 2.04 


Author Allan Gdgaard 

Workbench 3.5 


Eveiy row and again you get a small program 
that does something so useful that you 
wonder why no one thought of it before. 
Well, String Req is ore of those programs. It 
allows you to pop up a file requester when 
□sing any string gadget and insert the file Of 
directory name that you choose. 

To install String Req you should drag it into 
your WBStartup drawer, and that is it. You can 
now double-click in any string gadget and a 
file requester will appear, and by editing the 
tool types you can, alternatively, use a hot key 
to pop up the requester. 


The Guru 3 


Author: Emiel Lensink 

Workbench 2.04 



W 1 

C 

Ijd 

II! 

F 

[set 1 

■L.L 

ii 

u 

fi 

JL 

-d.il 

GURU 


fg 

s. 

? 

posJ 

LftST 

0 

± 

% 

3 

DEFAULT 1 [ 


about | 


QUIT | 


Hie Sfurfflni str^p.iue 5 

flw m Jitof grasshopper 


Anyone out there 
who has not 
owned a Work- 
bench 1.3 machine 
may not quite 
understand the 
title of this pro- 
gram, but they will 
be more than 
likely well aware 
of a certain red 
flashing rectangle, 
This is the 
dreaded software 


It always seems to be the case that every part of 
the Amiga's operating system was written to be 
functional - not that this is a bad thing but it 
usually means that these functions are not 
particularly great to use, One of these parts is 
the string gadgets whidi only provide the barest 
□ f editing functions. Well, BetterEdit adds marry 
great new features on top of the usuai ones. To 
run BetterEdit just double-click its icon, or to 
permanently install it drag the icon into your 
WBStartup drawer. 

One of the additions of this utility is 
Blockmode which allows you to copy a section 
of your entered tart, By hitting the Amiga b keys 
at the start of the area you can mark out the 
text you want and then copy it to the clipboard. 
An undo buffer is provided so all the changes 
you have performed can be undone by hitting 
Amiga q, Similar to KingCOM, there is a file 
name completion function which works by 
typing the start of a filename, hitting Amiga tab, 
and BetterEdit will do its best to work out what 
file you are typing and complete it 


Screen Wizar 


Author 1 : Raymond Fenners 

Workbench 2.04 


FIRST UQRLD - SECONU 
RETRIES LEFT % 


n 



This latest vvrKici) of OroalMess is faster, wn<HHfr*r and mors centiQWabl# 


failure which means almost nothing to the 
normal user because when it pops up you are 
faced with an unintelligible list of numbers. 

The Guru is a program that will help 
decipher the meaning of these strange 
hexadecimal numbers. 

The reason it is called The Guru 
is that the original programmers of 
the Amiga's operating system, who 
were a little eccentric, had a board 
they used to sit on. However, they 
had to sit on it as still as possible, 
otherwise it crashed their 
machine. 

Therefore, a guru meditating on 
the board could cause a crash, so 
a crash became known as a guru 
meditation, or 50 the story goes, I 
hope you understood this. 

Unfortunately, this was all 
changed in version 7 of the oper- 
ating system to plain old software failure - 
obviously to make it look more professional 
when your machine crashes, 

When you run the Guru you get a straight- 
forward interface. There are two string gad- 
gets into which you can enter numbers - the 
left one accepts software failure numbers, 
while the right one takes DOS error numbers. 
Hitting return will then display the meaning of 
the number. 

There is also a number that will automati- 
cally get the number of the last software fail- 
ure and explain what caused the crash, 
Therefore, after all this, at least you know why 
the machine crashed. 


I have probably said it before, but one of the 
handiest abilities of the Amiga's operating sys- 
tem, due to the copper, is its ability to have lots 
of separate screens open at the same time. 
This makes it so much easier to use programs 
and copy files around because the Workbench 
can be separate from any programs you may 
want to run. For example, Macs can be a night- 
mare to use because you need to keep hiding 
programs, and as 
the window redraw- 
ing is dreadfully 



. [M E! i S ' 




*"g£: 




ScreenWiz w iff puipmatiealty create 
i fin (c^bmi* you specify whtu * 
program tries to appear on it 


slow this is very 
laborious. 

A problem with 
Amiga screens is 
that you have very 
limited control over 
them. 

Public screens 
were introduced 
with Workbench 2 
and allow many 
programs to share a 
single screen, but il 


gave no way of configuring how the screen 
should look or act The only one you could con- 
figure was the Workbench scieen. Sure, some 
programs allow you to open tlheir own screens 
but control via these programs is normally still 
limited. 

Screen Wizard is an all-singing,, all-dancing 
solution to this predicament Once installed vie 
its installer script you can add new screen? 
from the preference program. Here you car 
choose the screen mode, the screen font 
what palette it should use, a background pat- 
tern, and a number of other options such a; 
shanghai which will make all new program: 
open their windows on that screen, 


EEnHEmznna 

APRIL 199€ 













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' 






O he 20 and 21 ApriE 1995 
marked the final buyout of 
Commodore, The victors were 
Escom and for 510 million they 
bought .‘ill Commodore's intellectual proper- 
ties, technologies, trademarks and patents. 
This April marks exactly a year since all this 
took place, so Am/qci Computing is taking a 
look back at the year Escom dragged the 
machine from what seemed to be inevitable 
oblivion. We talk to the key players from 
both Amiga Technologies and the Amiga 
community and take a took at the high and 
low points of the year. 

Looking back over the last 12 months, 
everyone's going to have their own opinions 
of how much or how little Escom have 
achieved. One thing's for sure, for a machine 
that was off the shelves for over a year, they 
had a tough job ahead of them to re- 
establish the machine in a market place 
where everyone was looking forward to a 
new generation of consoles and 'serious' 
users were contemplating owning, or already 
owned, a PC. 

However, there was still strong opinion in 
the industry that there was room for an entry 
level computer that could not only run the 
latest games but could be used for serious 
applications - something that wasn't just a 
games machine but a cheap, reliable 
computer that was a 
quarter of the price of 
a PC. It was for this 
reason, perhaps, that 
it came as such a 
shock to learn the 
intended price of the 
new Amiga packs. It 
was in our October 
issue that we found 
out that the 
relaunched A 1200 
would cost EJ99 “ 

£50 more than when 
it left the market 
place. The Increased 
cost of DRAM and rushed manufacturing was 
blamed for ramping up production costs. 

A month later, though, some of our initial 
fears were quashed as the software that 
would be in the £599 bundle was 


It's been a year since scorn bought the 
Amiga. Tina Hackei takes a look back at 
the machine's progress 


worth much." However, he stresses that time 
was of the essence if Amiga Technologies 
wanted to meet the pre-Christmas deadline, 
*They should have got the product right but 
again they were strapped for time and that's 
one they missed unfortunately. They could 
have been a little bit more stringent in their 
QA [Quality Assurance] but they'd run out of 
time, they had to get the machine back into 
the shops before Christmas." 

Despite setbacks, the year saw many posi- 
tive events and significant achievements. One 
that springs to mind is Amiga Technologies' 
agreement with Mierovitee, and in a deal 
worth £20 million, Microvitec were to pro- 
duce rhe official monitor for the Amiga. They 
celebrated the first official Ml 43 8 5 monitor 
coming off the lines at their factory in 
Bradford back in Autumn. A deal was also 
reached during the year with VISCORP who 


shelves in time but, unfortunately, it was at a 
price. It was soon discovered that there was a 
compatibility problem and that Some existing 
software would not run on the new 
machines. Barry Thurston, Managing Director 
of Seal a UK, pointed to this as one of the low 
points of the year: "What I think was unfortu- 
nate was that the product came out with fun- 
damental problems, with the disk drive being 
different and therefore not being compatible 
with most of the software." 


Compatibility 


f ■ The Anglo Corporation 
*avaa alruggiinq S&L 


He continued: "It would appear at the 
moment that Amiga Technologies GMbH 
don't understand how important if is for the 
product to be compatible with all the current 
software that's out there. Ifs great having a 
lovely piece of technology but if you don't 
have good applications to run on it, it's not 


announced. Quality tides such as Word worth 
4 SE and Personal Paint v6.4 were included, 
along with Sea la MM30Q with the hard drive 
Amiga bundle - however, Amiga 
Technologies'' choice of games did raise an 
eyebrow. 

Comeback 

if the Amiga was to stand a real chance ol 
comeback, its new owners were also faced 
with the problem of getting the Amiga back 
into production; in time to take advantage of 
the Christmas sales. This they achieved and 
the first Amiga rolled off the production lines 
on 13 September at the Solectron factory in 
France. For Gilfes Bourdin, PR for Amiga 
Technologies, this was one of the high points 
of the year: "There were several high points 
for the Amiga in 1 995. Everybody remem- 
bers the day when the first Amiga 1200 
came out of the production line in Bordeaux, 
That was a very exciting day for all of us." 

They got the machines back on the 


Development 

| CONTINUES... 

For the Amiga to succeed there has to be new software in development to keep users interested. 
One of the key Amiga packages is Scala, and Amiga enthusiasts were concerned to see this title 
ported to the PC- However, Thurston was quick to allay fears that they would stop developing for 
the machine, 

“From our point of view there are applications In some of the markets we're in where an 
Amiga is still the best option It's still the most cost effective and as long as those market oppor- 
tunities are there and as long as the platform is available, we will continue to offer that" 

He went on to comment: "ff the market grows again and Escom manage to pull the phoenix 
Ovt of the fire then we will be working with them with the next platform - the new RISC- based 
machines - to develop a new generation of Scala product based on the new technology we've 
developed for PC We'll have to see how the future of the Amiga lies first before well commit, 
but if that success is there then you will see an object-oriented Scala family of products come out 
for the new Amiga based on the backbone technology for our PC products." He stressed their 
loyalty:, "We've beer- very Successful on the Amiga platform and Scala i$ not a company about to 
forget that"' 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 19 96 


22 








WWA 


Salfta at (ft* H*9K PAck were disappointing over Christmas 


€ ASUALTIES OF 

Hr 1 Commodore 

As Escom attempted to get the struggling machine back onto its feet, the 
take-over came just too late to save some long-standing Amiga compa- 
nies which were badly affected by the lack of Ami gas on the shaves. The 
first victim was ZCL who on 30 May 1995 called in the receivers, ZCL 
were one of the biggest Amiga distributors and despite launching the 
Calibre PC range in an attempt to make up for the loss of the Amiga, it 
was not enough to compensate for the losses caused by the absence of 
the machine. 

SDL Amiga distributors and owners of the retail chain Silica, did not 
escape Commodore's crisis unhurt either and, having been hit by severe 
dif-iculties, saw them having to apply for an Administration Order in 
October, The company who were chosen to distribute the new A 1 200s 
and 4QQQTs were one of the luckier ones, however, as only four weeks 
after this news, the company was saved by a take-over by Anglo 
Corporation, 

On the games side of things, Rasputin, the publishers behind Base 
lumpers and Charlie J Cool also disappeared with their staff being taken 
on by Soundscape Multimedia, The future of Kompart, another company 
which was prevalent in the Amiga games scene, remains uncertain. 
Reports are comsng through that Kompart, publisher of Football Glory and 
Tactical Manager, have hit problems and have fallen into voluntary liqui- 
dation, The company handled numerous firms such as Arcane, and Max 
Design, 



wished to use Amiga technology in their set 
top boxes. This could have far reaching impli- 
cations for the future of the Amiga and, in 
effect, could mean millions of households 
seeing Amiga-based technology in their living 
rooms to do things like accessing the 
Internet, home shopping and playing game$- 
5hows too like the Video Toaster Expo, 
held in Los Angeles in November, Speculation 
had been rife over what processor was going 
to be used for the next generation of Amiga, 
with PA- RISC being rumoured. However, the 
show put an end to the gossip with the 
PowerPC finally being announced 

Confirmation 

The Cologne show was the next major event 
on the Amiga calendar and it was here that 
the plan for an Internet package was 
revealed, The final details were confirmed 
with the package containing an A 1209 with 
2Mb RAM, a 260Mb hard drive, a 1 4.400 
baud modem, and all the software needed to 
access the Internet If it does hit the shops at 
the estimated £600 price tag then it could 



prove a very viable option for those looking 
for a cheap way to surf the Net - a bit of 

advertising wouldn't go amiss though 

But as we've seen over the year, little has 
been done in the way of advertising the 
machine, and many have expressed disap- 
pointment at the iack of any marketing from 
Escom - especially in the run up to the 
important Christmas period. It seemed they 
were content to let the enthusiasts and 
Amiga press fly the flag on their own. 


C th* Cologne Show 
pravArf iuc»iM 


However, as Thurston commented, their bud- 
get had been limited: "There wasn't enough 
done to market the machine but they spent an 
awfuf lot of money acquiring the assets and 
there was a lot of fudging going on about 
what assets went where, what were real, and 
what weren't" 


He continued: "I know they have experi- 
enced problems where manufacturers who got 
stung by Commodore are not co- ope rati rig 
with AT to do products. They've really got 
some major problems and what they've had to 
spend to get round them has limited their 
budget. They needed to see whether or not 
there was a market there that was sustainable 
before they threw lots of money at it," 


' 7 he Amiga has a chance to 
catch a whole new generation 
of enthusiasts and a whole new 
generation of developers." 
Barry Thurston, Scaia UK 



He also 
believes that 
everyone has 
been over criti- 
cal of Amiga 
Technologies: 
“They never 
made any bold 
claims. Amiga 
Technologies 
thought 'Okay, 
well we've got 
the product, it's 
cost us an 
awful lot of 
money and 
we've got an 
awful lot of 
work to do.' I 
think the per- 
ception in the 
Amiga market was that the knight has come 
up on his white charger and will wave a magic 
wand and everything is going to be wonderful. 
But I know, having worked at Commodore, the 
scale of the task they've got, It's not an easy 
task to get it back into the shops. "However, 


> 


Amiga Computing 


A PR ft 19 96 


2 







“The forecasts have not 
been reached the way 
we expected and this 
forced us to reorganise 
our operations in the 
UK” Gifles Bourdin, 
Amiga Technologies 


A year has passed and as we look back it 
seems pertinent to see what the future has in 
store. Escam have already proved that an 
Amiga is rot just for Christmas, with promises 
of new technology and major plans on the 
horizon. Amiga Computing, not content to 
crystal -ball gaze, asked the major players to 
reveal their plans. 

Bourdin told us: "We hope to be able to 
show the new Amiga model at the CEBIT fair 
in Hannover this March. Our contracted engi- 
neering office is progressing as planned so 
far. The power PC port has started in dose co- 
operation with Motorola,, our strategic partner 
who supports us tremendously, We have for- 
mer Commodore engineers working for us 
on that project" 

They are also attempting to redress criti- 
cism of the lack of advertising so far and 
Bourdin confirmed that there would be more 
moves in that direction this year: “We have a 
new marketing plan for 1996, with interna- 
tional coverage. We wifi go into non-Amiga 
media to attract new customers and, hopefu- 
lly, our mother-company Escom wifi support 
u$ in this direction." 

John Smith, General Manager of Amiga 
Technologies UK, gave us his hopes for the 
future: "I hope we can continue with the 
research and development that will enable us 
to bring new and exciting more powerful 
Amigas to the market Amiga Technologies in 
Germany continue to assure us that they are 
forging closer links with Motorola in this quest 
and, like most Amiga fans, I say the sooner 
the better, in the meantime we will continue 
to enhance our current range with exciting 
new packs like the 'Surfer.' I also hope to see 
a more powerful Amiga 1200 emerge in the 
not so distant future." 

We asked Barry Thurston about what he 


■ ■ • 

hoped to see from Amiga Technologies in the 
future: *Wne primarily interested in the tug 
machines for professional applications, We ! 
just want a product that is reliable so that m 
can sell professional solutions based on the 
Amiga, A lot of people, when asked [what 
they would like from Amiga], go on about 
having a machine with lots of DSP chips and 
multiple processors and all the rest of it and 
yes, that would be nice but we r re dealing 
with reality. We just want a good solid 
machine with good marketing from Escom to 
get the Amiga into the position it used to 
enjoy." 

He also believes that recruiting new devel- 
opment teams is the way forward: "We need 
a lot of work from them [Amiga Technologies] 
in encouraging new developers to write good 
applications, programs and games. I stress 
new because a lot of people who cut their 
teeth and made money on the Amiga have 
got to a size whereby they now look at the 
global market and are only interested in big 
platform coverage like PCs, Saturns, and 
Playstations. I think those guys have got 
rather big on the back of it and ane now look- 
mg forward. What the platform needs to sur- 
vive is a lot of new and upcoming program- 
mers. I hope there are some and that the kids 
haven't been too busy playing games!" 

He concluded: 'Some are being a little 
cynical at the moment and are knocking 
Amiga Technologies and what they are trying 
to do, but it's only out of frustration I think. 
Given the product is through and it's con 
stantly on the shelves, l think some might 
come back. Some of the big boys who got 
really f-at won't - it's just not a viable platform 
for them. The Amiga has a chance to catch a 
whole new generation of enthusiasts and a 
whole new generation of developers." 


1 1 The Amiga and ScaIr proved > winning combination llifs year 


even though the machines were back in the 
shops, the sales over the Christmas period 
were not as high as were hoped. Lack of mar- 
keting, compatibility problems, and BDL's 
troubles were put forward as possible 
reasons, 

Bourdin admits that the company had 
Some problems over the year: ‘The bad expe- 
rience we made last year was related to our 
former distributor in the UK, who went into 
financial difficulties. The forecasts have not 
been reached the way we expected and this 
forced us to reorganise our operations in the 
UK/ 

We asked him whether they'd achieved 
everything for the Amiga that was hoped for 
over the year. He pointed out: “Not every- 
thing. But we are still satisfied by the 
results regarding difficulties we 
encountered during that year, We 
sold about 40,000 machines 
worldwide, which is a good result 
for only three months of sales 
activities- And considering the 
actual situation in the computer 
industry, I would even say that 
this is an excellent result." 

He admits, when asked 
if he wished he'd 
done anything 
differently: “Our dis- 
tributors, dealers 
and outlets includ- 
ing myself w^re too 
enthusiastic. Our 
forthcoming fore- 
cast will be more 
conservative/ 


O Amiga Technologies 
signed a deal with 
MicrcxilK to produce the 
otticiai mo Ft if or 


John Smith hopes to 
bring n*W powerful 
rtnij^ira to the market 


Gg^KillE 




GillM&Guijft 




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Amiga Computing 


APRIL 19 96 









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O he Amiga is not a serious business 
machine. Despite its undoubted 
strengths in so many fields, it 
never did look right in the office 
environment, end nobody has made great 
efforts to change that fact The Amiga first and 
foremost is about being creative and having 
fun in the process. 

But though Commodore's baby, for one 
reason or another, never made it into the 
accounts department, companies that have 
priced their business products affords bty for 
the home market have successfully been 
reaping the rewards over the years. Amiga 
users have demanded top class features from 
word processors, spreadsheet analysers and 
databases, but they could rarely afford to pay 
the prices businesses regularly fork out for 
their PC software equivalents. 

And so we turn to Final Data Release 3, 
No-cme's expecting the most advanced data- 
base software m the world for fust under £40,, 
but expectations for a product that combines 
q uality and value will nevertheless be high. 

The questions is, have Softwood done 
enough to keep Final Data up-to-date 7 
For any newcomers to Softwood's database, 
the basic design and interface is in keeping 
with the dean cut approach found in the com- 
pan/s other high-profile products. Final Writer 
and Final Catc 

There are menus, sue able windows, and 
keyboard shortcuts to give users maximum 
convenience. It lacks the pretty but unneces- 
sary icons that characterise Uigita's rival offer' 
ing, but since such embellishments generally 
slow programs down, that's as much of a 
benefit as a handicap. 

As becomes a program from the Softwood 
stable, you can expect a high-quality manual 
providing an easy-to-follow guide to the pro- 
gram's various features. Final Data is all about 
the boring but necessary task of organising 
and recording data in a way that's easily 
accessed at a later date; thankfully. Softwood 
have made it a relatively painless and swift 
process. 

Users can develop databases with an unlim- 
ited number of columns and rows, all of which 
can be resiled and repositioned at a later date 
if required. As you'd expect with such software, 
data is edited and formatted differently 
depending on whether it's a date, a time., an 
amount, a calculation, or text. 

A neat way of attaching more in-depth 
information to an entry is achieved by Final 
Data’s use of multiple memos. If, for example, 
you had a list of names and addresses, you 
might want to add a note on a particular 
individual's birthday. Having attached a memo 
with this information, the individual's row 
would indicate that there is extra information 
that can be accessed with the click of a button. 
Generally, however, notes are kept tidily Filed 
out of site. 

Of course, building a record of names, 
addresses or whatever is only half the purpose 
of a database, The ability to conveniently sort 
and search through that information is equally 
important, and fortunately Final Data has 
always been quicker than the opposition at 
doing both. Incidentally, sorting will allow you 
to organise a database so the data is easier 
to access, but it also allows users to sort 



I Softwood's popular 
database has received 
yet another face lift, but 
do the new features 
add up to make it an 

I attractive overall package? 
Gareth Lofthouse 
puts it to the test 


Final Data 

bubtof Manager l"f ibe Amiga 



fhutl If i L 


information for reports or a set of labels. The 
option to print these reports and labels, or tq 
'print to disk' is also unusually quick. 

The searcher gives users a complex query 
requester that means they can be quite specific 
about the criteria under which the software 
should search a database. Then there's the Find 
and Replace function, a commonly used option 
within the searcher tool that allows users to 
locate specified information and then replace it 
automatically with another value. 

This allows you to keep your database up-to- 
date much mote conveniently than if you were 
maintaining a set of records on paper, 

Softwood don’t wish us to forget that this is 
part of an overall suite of business programs for 
the Amiga, and hence Data can be integrated 
with Final Copy or Final Writer via the 
numerous ARexx macros that come supplied. 


It's slightly strange, however, that there still ! 
doesn't seem to be similar support for use with 
Final Cain 

With Final Data it’s possible to have multiple 
databases opened simultaneously, making 
moving between relevant records a simple a 
process as one could expect. The program also 
indudes a few other small but handy extras 
such as I filter national Date, Time and Currency 1 
options,' 

Users can, of course, add, modify, and delete 
columns at any time, or give them left, right or 
centre alignment Another strong point about 
the program is the ability to select multiple 
columns for processing, saving and printing to, 
speed organisation up. The first version of Final 
Data only allowed users to do this with 
adjacent columns, but since Release 2 this ' 
shortcoming has been rectified. 



EW 


FANCIED FEATURES 




An at-a-glance summary of the latest updates 
to the Amiga's cheap and cheery database; 

• User-defined sort, search and column views 

• Hide columns from view on screen or print 
out 

• Save default for Find and Replace requester 

• Conversion of data from one type to 
another - e.g. from a text to a memo column 

• Extensive user-defined preferences 


• Automatically adjust window size to 
column widths 

• Automatically adjust column widths to 
show all data 

• Automatically adjust column widths to fit 
window site 

• Standard Amiga A5L file requester option 

• Displays graphics and animations 

• Plays sounds 

• Slide show facility 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 19 96 







Your rfa tabases need no longer be dowdy now 
Final Data can rfj>pJfly flniina^oflf Md piay sound 


Qpruced up 


Release 3 of Final Data, of course, comes with 
a number of new features. A typical example 
» the new option that allows users to define 
sort, search and column views. This really 
boils down to a method tor breaking data- 
bases down into subcategories. For example, 
you could divide your music database into dif- 
ferent 'views' named rock, classical, and jazz 
so that Final Data will create a sub-list from 
trie overall database. That's no big deal, 
maybe, but it adds another possible level of 
helpful organisation to the program. 

One complaint about previous incarnations 
of Final Data was that in comparison to 
Digital Data store it was bland and grey in 
appearance. Hobbyists who want to embellish 
their CD catalogue with pictures of pop stars 
and sound samples will be pleased to find 
that Release 3 supports graphics and sound 
files. It will also run animations, though the 
value of this feature in a database is rather 
questionable. 

To make that data really sing and dance, 
however, Softwood have also been good 
enough to indude a slideshow facility. Hence 
you can have graphics updating one after the 
other, either within their own screen or within 
the screen in which Final Data is running. 
The time between pictures depends on the 
undefined delay, 

Not only does the Final Data interface look 
like a spreadsheet, but it also operates on the 


same basic principles. Thus, users enter 
figures and text into cells, and they can have 
running calculation columns and screen totals. 
Release 3 continues to borrow essential 
features from the accountancy packages by 
offering a hide columns option which means 
that selected information in a database will 
not be displayed to others when it is shown 
on screen or printed. 

The option of converting a column's data 
from one type to another also makes it easier 
to modify a database once it's created. 
Changing the data type will often change the 
way it is formatted few display,, as well as- the 
way it’s edited for data entry. 

Other than this, the update only really 
tweaks the familiar program to make it more 
user-friendly. The program will automatically 
adjust Window size to column width, or 
column widths to show all data, or column 
widths to fit a window size. You can save the 
default for the Find and Replace requester, 
and Data's overall functionality is increased by 
the addition of a greater number of user- 
defined preferences than were previously 
available, 

One final point charts the steadily rising 
demands of Amiga software as time moves 
on Final Data will still run on any Amiga run- 
ning WBl l or higher, but Softwood are now 
recommending it for use with TMb+ Amiga? 
funning on VVB 3. 



E RDICT 


Final Data has always been- a competitive 
little database, one that is fast efficient, 
and simple to use. Lightning quick sorting 
and searching facilities and flexible 
editing functions mean that developing 
and printing databases is as simple a 
procedure as it ideally should be. 

The latest update is slightly disappoint- 
ing because the new features are gener- 
ally no more than cosmetic. However, 
those who previously found the program 
off-putt in gly bland in appearance will 
welcome the chance to jazz their data- 
bases up with graphics and sound, The 
interface has also received some simple 
but important improvements in its gene- 
ral ease of use, and one or two true new 
features. 

Of course, we have to be grateful that 
Softwood are continuing to develop this 
product line at all. The fact that every 
Amiga Magic Pack now sold includes 
Digits Datastore means that newcomers 
to the market are unlikely to be buying 
another database in a hurry, regardless of 
the fact that Softwood's latest release is 
better. 

Maybe there are hordes of old Amiga 
users out there who have been meaning 
to get a database for ages and just 
haven't got round to it yet. Sadly, how- 
ever. one suspects that this handy prod- 
uct's market will be rather limited, and 
that this really could be the Final Data of 
them all. 

Regardless of that it's pretty much the 
same old perfectly dependable program 
we've come to expect 


Bottom 

line 


Requirements 

RED essential BLACK recommended 



A camplom ffiircft 

( err allow* you to 

locate information eaally 



Product 

DETAILS 

Product 

Final Data Release 3 

Supplier 

SoftWdod Europe 

Tel 

01773 521 S06 

Price 

£39.95 

Scores 

Ease of use 

90% 

Implementation 

78% 

Value For Money 

72% 

Overall 

80% 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 














Flexible interface allows for 
quick access to individual 
countries via continental 
maps, country lists, capital 
lists or the general index. 


Ethiopia in situated in 
north-easi When, Emperor 
Haifa Selassie ruled! from 
1 9 vi until ig' - u when the 
military Hatred power. In 
15Q.J1 she Workers 1 Pady 
was formed and a eWHlan 
government esiatili'jheo;n 
iSB? Civil v«r and iiurilne 
i hen ravaged r hi cpuniry. 
Tihe i amine, In fact , '.vas tha 
>nspirfifian tor fhe Band Aid 

_ i i » l 


nmaa£i Concise, informative 
country histones. 


IMB*? ' 




X \ 





Each country is supported by a series of 
maps depicting regional position, major 
cities, rivers and lakes, and mountains 

All maps in HAM -8 High Resolution 

‘ 7 • ® 

t " : :/ , 




SniPc^sJatlwi 


0 







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ITS 

ITiP. 74 L 

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DUHDlHUAJ Tim, trtHARk HUB THIlUftH 12*. 
SIDHtrt 9%. BMRlUl B*. bDMLIW 

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Basic national facts are 

d 


represented graphically 
and comparative to the UK. 


1) 


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Background cultural and 
economic information is 
available at a glance. 


CD 32 

A 1200/4000 

cv ' 


Tel: (0181)570 3: 


j: 


* 




(BLOCK CAPITALS please) ■ 

3 I 

* NAME 




HI 


iV 


tip ► 


ADDRESS 




-1 


\V 


ii 


Post Code 


I 


WISEDOM 


V 

HL 


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Please send me d copy of the World Atlas P&P) 

1 enclose a cheque tor £29.99 mode payable to WISE DOME LTD. 

£1 surcharge for overseas orders. Please allow 14 days tor delivery 

Wkndnme Ltd Flat 20 Breeder s Court. 20 The Highway, London El 9BE 







I 


I 

I 

I 


I 




Paul Overaa 

starts a 
programming 
project aimed at 
producing a really 
easy-to-use 
database program 


O ver the next six issues these pages 
are going to be devoted to the 
writing of a database program. 
■ EasyBaseAC There are already 

plenty of commercial and PD/shareware 
database programs around for the Amiga, so 
why write another? One reason is that even 
.Mth the PD/shareware offerings around, no 
5fie gives away the source code not explains 
how the programs work One objective of this 
project is to look at how a database program 
tan be written and provide both the finished 
- nitty and the source code to examine! 

flut that's not the only reason for the series 
The aim is to produce a utility that is both 
useful and easy to use. On-line help is high on 
the list, too is a scheme for easy record 
creation, and I think you'll like the approach 
Fve chosen here. Another requirement is the 
abil ity to merge related database files because 
one of the things I intend to use this util irv tor 
5 to provide details of Amiga library functions, 
headers of my regular ARexx and Assembler 
programming columns should find tons quite 
useful because they'll be able to take the 
descriptions provided on disk each month and 
■ead them into a single library function 
database whose contents can be retrieved ait 
The touch of a button. 

Design work 

As far as the desigti/coding issues are con- 
cerned, I’m letting you in near the start, having 
only started work on the project last week, 
New, I know this is risky but, with the coding 
approaches 1 use, any alterations/e nhance- 
nents, bug fixes {heaven forbid) and so on 
ffial need to be made will he straightforward. 
Ahat I didn't want to do was make everyone 
art until the end of the series before deliver- 
any kind of usable program, so you will, in 
+ :Kt. find a preliminary version of EasyBaseAC 
On this month's cover disk. 

There are plenty of things that still need to 
be added, of course but the current version is 
• -T- e. I'm developing EasyBaseAC on an 
AA00O/O40, but the final executable version, a 
mere AOk in size, is going to run on all Amigas 
,L -^t have Workbench 2 or greater. 

The thing to do now is explain how this ver- 
uon of EasyBaseAC is used. To run the program 
just open the EasyBaseAC drawer and double- 
ts on the EasyfiaseAC icon No special installs- 
Ten procedures are necessary to run (he program 
'“ . m hard disk - just drag/copy the complete 
: '-EiaseAC drawer over to your chosen partition. 


L JADING 


A Database 

Select toed' frvm the Profit menu 
and use ffre asi requester that 
appears tu thao.se a database file. 
Apart teem the help database 
(called help.eb), i r ve provided 
small name/address ( address. eb) 
and Amiga function library (fun c- 
tlan.ab) example databases. 



HE INITIAL DISPLAY 


The EasyBase help engine is just a cut-down 
version of the main program and the help 
file 3 conventional EasyBase AC database. 
When the program first loads it runs the 
help engine as a separate process and you'll 
see a display similar to figure 1 containing a 
list of help topics. J ust mouse-select the sub- 
ject you wish to view and a window will 


open to display the help information (see 
figure 2), At the moment, the on-line help 
available is at its ‘bare minimum' level but 
the help file will grow over the coming 
months, This 'click and view' method used 
with the help fife, incidentally, is the basic 
approach used for viewing the records of all 
databases. 




HE MAIN WINDOW 


By closing or moving the help windows you 
will see the main EasyBaseAC scroller-based 
list window. This window is always present 
when EasyBaseAC is running and dosing it 
(either from the window's dose gadget or 
the 'Quit To Workbench' menu option) shuts 


down the program. In addition to this, the 
main EasyBaseAC program has a Display- 
Only window and a separate 'Record 
Creation and Editing' window (used for 
building record definitions and for editing the 
records of existing databases). 

> 



' " The nrafn S*my»P*9AC display-only window containing a trial d atotajj# 




UAiHu.i'iJinm 

APRIL 1996 





i 



EW RECORD DEFINITIONS 



HE TECHIES 


Just select 'New' from the program's Project 
Menu and a Record Creator and Editor window 
will appear that contains a sizing gadget in the 
bottom left corner. Alter the height of the 
window until you've got the number of felds 
you want, then alter the width until the stnng 
gadgets on display look suitable for the infor- 
mation you want to store. At this stage you 
should type the field names you require into 
the string gadgets (see figure 5). 

Field names at present can contain up to ' 5 
characters and the only restriction on the for- 
mat of the first field is that it must not start with 
a space. At the moment, the first field is used 
as a fined record sort key and you should bear 
this in mind when creating records. If, for 
instance, you were creating a name 
and address database that you wanted to be 
sorted by surname, you might build a record 
description like this: 


Alternatively, you could decide to store both 
first names and surnames together: 


Hist: 

Iddrm; 

cufitltlid field! \q pro^ii at eitro Hum "' e 

aadrt 5 ,s> 

Tel no: 


On-line 


but in this case, it you wanted the database file 
sorted by surname, when entering data into 
the records you would need to enter the 
surnames first in this fashion: 


Hair: 


Ovtria Pa jl 


Sursiaii: 

Firsi na«es: 

Addrtss; 

< un ,iUtd Hills U provide mu Lines far Lhe 
iddresSJ t*l No: 


When databases are loaded .t is always the 
content of this first field that gets placed in the 
main display's scrolling list. So, in the first case 
you'd see a list of surnames whilst in the sec- 
ond H would be a list of Surnames followed by 
first names. As soon as you aie happy with the 
field names, click on the 'Store' gadget. At this 
point your new database is ready for use and 
you'll be provided with an Editing window for 
entering data, Record information can be 
entered straight away! 


HELP 

At tfia moment on-line help is 
restricted to the firey&MeWefp de- 
ploy chert appears whan the pre- 
gwm first roods, if you hove 
zlased the scmlling fist help tvio- 
dfaiv you can re-start the help 
engine by daubJe-cfrOfjrTg on Tht 
fosyfloseHdp icon. Even roof IV. 
rhe idt-u js to provide ■cwrtizxr sen- 
sitive help by driving the help 
engine using messages sent from 
the moi'n fosyBosieflC program 1 


One of the most important initial design 
considerations with a utility like this is not su 
much to get the file structure completely nght 
first time, but to allow some flexibility. What 
happens, of course, is that as the develop- 
ment proceeds you often decide you want to 

store additional data items. 

With EasyRaseAC I am adopting a format 
that includes both a global file header and 
individual record headers- In other words, 
this sort of arrangement: 


ditifUe-Wt* hf*dir> t r*md tie*iir»<r«P''d 
dm* f 1 


EasyBaseAG is being written using Dice C 
and, as a C structure, the file header looks 
like this: 


Saving a 


itfust QiUbmHssdtr t 
JL0I6 dh_ll; 

UUDKb db_nat ab*i.#HeaiJBrD*taSiie; 
jt|»TE dhJitldCaufllj 
llEVTE dkjl il-dSHi; 

J9*TE dh_<t|Flttd; 

UfilTE Oh_Pad; 

UVQtD dh_FL*aS| 


DATABASE 


); 


□ CTINC/ DELETING/ EDITING 

l ■ % AiJatn a narnrrf iust Select it bOffl the T 


Once a database file has been loaded (or crea 
ted), the Editor window can be used to enter 
the details you wish to store You can copy any 
Misting record into the editor simply by moving 
to the mam scrolling list display window and 
clicking on the record entry you wish to wnrk. 
on. Providing you create records whose first 
{key) fields are different to any existing records, 
the record information will be stored as a new 
record- If you create a record whose first field is 
identical to an existing record then the new 
information will overwrite the exiting database 
entry. 

You update record entries then by selecting 
the record, altering any of the data except the 
first (key) field, and then re-storing the record. 


To delete a record just select it from the main 
display list and choose 'Delete Record' from the 
'Records' Menu. If, incidentally, you want to 
expand the width or field count of the record 
y ou can do this from the editing window. 
Simply use the sizing gadget to adjust the win- 
dow size to suit and then save the database. 
You will not loose information rf you cut the 
window width so that field information 
becomes hidden, but if you cut the number of 
fields being used then only those fields that are 
on display will be written to disk. The new 
window size definitions will be used next time 
the database is loaded (at present, I've not 
provided any field re-labelling facilities so any 
extra fields you create will be unlabelled). 


i f you are fast saving a previously 
boded file., f asyBoseAC wi V saw 
the (He us soon as you select 
'Save' from the Pm fact mem r. H if 
is o neivty created fib that Gas naf 
tew named, this option will dis- 
play an as! requester to cr/Jow you 
to fboase a name few the tile, l 
suggest using Genomes wrth a 
'\tb* extension for consistency, bur 
EasydaSeAC doesn't oduafy care 
how you name The tiles. II you 
vvrSih fa save on existing fiJc- fn 

memory under q different name, 

use the Sav* As' Project menu 
option. 


The four byte identification field is just 3 
protection against users trying to load non- 
database files into the program, and the way 
I do this is to use this macro: 


Idifine <i,:<<2tL 1 

(LHfi) (tJ«l6L I I ' :dl ] 


to create a four byte header id 'DHDO usin{j 
this statement: 


tdtflni F1UJS NikeltCB’ 1 /H'/O'/C 1 



lipboards 


You can copy the details of the currently 
selected record to the clipboard. If, for 
instance, you have built up a names and 
addresses database and were wnting a letter 
with your favourite word-processor, you could 
select a name, copy the name and address to 
the clipboard, and then paste those details 
into the letter. 



n Creating * 
recent dfl*enpHon wtth 
EaayOaseJC i* V*ry 
*t/fl»gAttorwaPtl 


True 

150C 

osin* 

H-Di 


To wm «*,«• W» ; the »ding d 

to fix them! 


w 


The header size field is an important inclu- 
sion because it will allow the preliminary 
version of the program to continue working, 
even if the size of the header is increased 

later on. 

The program reads the header size and is 
able to skip over any additional entries that 
might be found in files produced by later 
versions of EasyBaseAC. The individual record 
headers, incidentally, adopt a similar format, 
only they are currently given a J RHGO' id 

value. , . - j*. 

The field count and field size entries at the 

database file header have a special use when 
files are read into the program, 

When a user creates a new record defini- 
tion by altering the dimensions of the record 
creation windows, the program looks at the 
sort of Workbench screen and font in use and 
works out how many string gadgets can be 
used, and roughly how much text they can 
contain without the entered text scrolling out 
of view as you type. 

These field count and field size values get 
stored in the database header and, when 
such a file is read back in. the dimensions are 
used to re-open a window the same size as 
when the record format was created. 

To find out exactly how this window open- 
ing is done however you are going to have to 
wait until next month! 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1 9 9 6 




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htWave 



* 


At long last Paul Austin delivers an exclusive 
review of the ultimate in Amiga 3D 


* 


O f you can cast your nmnd back to 
issue 86 of Amiga Computing you 
may recall a preview of Lightwave 
4 which promised that a full 
review of the finished package was already 
in the post. At last, and a mere twelve 
months on r postie has finally come good, 
and I've got the chance to deliver the long 
awaited goods. 

Given the importance of NewTek's latest 
release and the scale of change throughout 
horn 3.5 to 4,0, I'll be breaking the review 
over two issues, kicking off with a tour of the 
latest additions and improvement in Layout 
At first glance there appears little change 
from the previous incarnation., but look 
closely and you'll soon discover an impres- 
sive collection of new and improved features 
lurking behind the familiar grey interface fes- 
tooned with buttons, sliders and envelopes. 

To kick things off well start with a stroll 
along the control panels, the first and obvi- 
ous choice being the Scene section which, 
ironically, only offers a couple of subtle 
changes but important revisions, The first of 
these is the introduction of adjustable frames 
per second because an adjustable FPS 
makes designing lor a whole range of appli- 
cations rather than just video much easier - 
CD-ROM being a prime example, with play- 
back rates generally hovering around the 15 
FPS rather than the traditional 25 FPS of PAL 
video. 

However, perhaps the most important 
■underlying change is Lightwave's approach 
to textural animation in relation to time. In 
I he past the program calculated all its anima- 
tion in metres per second but that’s all 
changed with the introduction nl FPS as the 
default measuring system Now, textures ani- 
mate over FPS. therefore a scene designed at 
15 FPS will automatically have textural 
animation to suit the playback rate. In short, 
there is much more control and tar less 
guess work within scenes running at non- 
standard frame rates, 

The next new addition is the arrival of 
hide and show menus for all objects, bones 
and lights, Although not earth shattering, 
both can be very handy when things start to 
gel seriously complex or cluttered- 




Surface 

panel 

Here again, there are some fairly major 
changes across the board, with much improved 
reflection mapping options being one of the 
highlights, including Backdrop only. Spherical 
map, ray traced & backdrop, and finally ray trac- 
ing £ Spherical. As you've probably guessed, 
the two latter examples offer a new and much 
more flexible method ol adding realism - if 
perhaps at the expense of rendering time - to 
the reflections options within a scene. 

Another excellent addition is an Alpha shad- 
ow option which provides an easy method of 
adding shadow to backdrops or mask objects 
that have been projection mapped within a 
scene - 'dancing on the desk effects' - with 
added believability. There are yet more 


O 4n *Jcampte af 
light Wave * pnaw*ss as fl" 
anflfTTatierT djFstarn, with 
superb modelling and 
texturing combined with a 
fully actuated skeletal 
structure that can not only 
walk but also run araurtri 1 Its 
virtual world 



BIECTS PAN 


After minimal change in the Scene panel, 
Object control delivers a more dramatic make- 
over, It's here that the first plug-in, entitled 
Disp map, appears with its counterpart Object 
replacement - alias Obj rep - both offering 
access for third-party developers to produce 
add-on displacement programs, automated 
object manipulation and deformation systems 
and, ryf course, particle animation software. 

Next-up comes Unseen*by-rays. This, again, 
is another major innovation, allowing selected 
objects to be rendered as nonrtraced ele- 
ments, even though they're part of a ray 


EL 

traced scene. An obvious advantage of this is 
the time saved by reducing the amount of ray 
tracing calculations in a frame. However, the 
other essential use is to stop mask objects in 
a front projection mapped scene from being 
affected by shadow and object reflections, 
both of which would destroy the illusion 
Gnsetn-by-fog is another newcomer and 
does exactly as the title suggests, thereby 
enabling certain objects, backdrops and 
projection-mapped elements to play an 
uninhibited part in scenes employing the 
fog effect 


32 


APRIL 1996 






AM ERA 
PANEL 

To be honest, camera control hasn't really 
seen too many changes, if you exclude the 
j r rrval of a motion bfur dithering Option. In 
J act. the only big-ish change is numerical 
nput for aspect ratios. For the average 
v ideographic altering aspect ratio isn't 
exactly an everyday event, but lor anyone 
looking to work in film or print, it can often 
be an essential. 



*' jg-ins, this time in the textures department 
fortunately, the promised Steve Worley 
Election of Essence procedural textures - 
: r igmaliy from Imagine ~ isn't part of the 
-■ghtWave v4 software compendium. 

A late arrival in the Surfaces section is the 
long-awaited, and processor hungry Glow 
^ect. Courtesy of glow you can add a user- 
— J| nab(e aura or incandescence around any 
*.rface - no need anymore to slap lens flares 
everywhere if you need to fake some radiosrty. 
5**ter stilt Clow offers a means of easily gener- 
is some very tricky effects, such as realistic 
■*ers, neon lighting and so on, the only down- 
being the outlandish rendering times that 
ts application incurs. 

Needless to say, a plug-in also lurks in this 
section in the form of a shader plug-in which, 
fe its counterparts, awaits the attention of 










' 1 * ctM*PC demops s Iration of IK m action .is 
(tie amt lurn*, twndi and twist* fa cample te 
ifs imaginary tntf marotono u* duty 

third* party developers to produce assorted 
image processing add-ons for surfaces, 

Perhaps the most dramatic change between 
the finished surface panel and its beta prede- 
cessor is the arrival of the surface previews. 
Although part and parcel of the PC version, it 
was unsure whether this feature would make rt 
into the Amiga version. Thankfully it has, 

If you open the surface panel and hit the S 
key. Lightwave will automatically render the 
selected surface to the selected display device, 
along with a caption containing the name of 
the surface in question, Better still, holding 
down shift and the $ key prompts a panel 
where you can define the diameter of the 
texture on the spheres surface as well as 
specifying whether you want a checkerboard 
on the sphere to help define texture 
transparency. 



H MAGES 
PANEL 

The image section is unique because it's the only 
section not to boast any major changes. Not surpris- 
ingly, support for Flyer Clips has been added to the 
sequential image section but that's about it, 
Unfortunately, there's still no direct support for the 
PAR. VLM or any other third- party DV system. In fact, 
apart from a minor change which has been added to 
accommodate file naming conventions, the panel is 
pretty much the same as in version 3.5. NewTek 
would no doubt argue that there’s no need to mess 
with perfection^ y 


A<vuga Co m putin c 


APRIL 1996 










□ 


ECORD PANEL 


The most notable changes in this section are the option tor 
user definable file naming conventions and the long-awaited ability 
to save in a variety of file formats. The former is an obvious attempt 
to make Lightwave files more compatible with the filename require- 
ments of other packages, in particular pre-Windows 95 PCs, vuhere- 
as the latter is a much more attractive addition for Amiga fans. 
Courtesy of Elastic Reality - formerly ASDG - it gives Lightwave the 
ability to save out in no less than 1 9 assorted file formats including 
IFF 24, pict Jpeg, Tiff, YUV, Targa, and lots more besides. 

Add to that 1 6 assorted alpha save formats and you have a save 
selection that caters for just about every eventuality. NewTek have 
even included a fader alpha button to accommodate external video 
faders, linear keyers* and external compositing programs which may 
require a specific type of alpha image to control switchers that use 
an alpha image as a fade control. 



Options 

panel 


1 

- - 

I.K urU 

Irm «>»r< t*l#H 



Perhaps the biggest disappointment in tn-= 
Layout redesign is the lack of improved suppor 
for third- party RTG boards. Meedless to say, the 
Picasso It is still catered for with BOO x 6GQ am 
1024 x 7GB screenmodes, but unfortunatel 1 
that's it. The manual once again falls back oi 
plug-ins as a passible solution to the problert 
by speculating that developers could use then 
as a means of adding their boards to displa 
available options. 

However, this doesn't really offer an answe 
as to why the one board that is directly sup 
ported doesn't actually work correctly in BOO 
600 and 1 024 x 76B. Although the interface 
marginally faster when running a BOOxGD 
display, it's sti 


Lights 

panel 



The changes to the Lights panel fall Into the 
interesting, rather than essential bracket a prime 
example being the Global Flare Intensity. 
Basically, this provides a means of ramping all 
the lens flares in a scene up or down automati- 
cally. This feature was a specific request of the 
boys and girls in the SeaQuest DSV production 
team in order to simplify the process of control- 
ling lens flares during power ups, power outs 
and explosion sequences. 

Individual flare control is another area that's 
seen something of a facelift, with one of the 
biggest changes being the ability to add a user- 
defined Anamorphit distortion. This b ideal foT 
the sci-fi classics, as seen in Star Tiek TNG, as 
warp jumps and other spatial anomahes. 
Combine that with user-definable streak settings 
which include the ability to set streak, intensity, 
density and sharpness, and you arrive at a much 
more comprehensive- set of tools for controlling 
flare effects. The final and fairly subtle tweak is 
the addition of envelope control over intensity 
fall-off. Mot exactly earth shattering, but very 
handy when the need arises. 


O A very m*riouw mw*mpi9 
of dedjjiv aflinullnn and 
Hr* ubiwi< DU > tens ft*roM 
ai a fppCB craft hurtles 
through, a virtu** ctty, 

lights fiatfit ng *nd 

prasumabl^ s iron a blaring 



Jargon 

-box 


Effects 

panel 


RTQ - retargetabte graphic 
card 

Inverse fcj'nemotrcs - (wrttJmtTfed 
relational ntovemenj between 
□ib/ects oird bones 
P)og-rn$ - input optinns for 
entidocements 

r-v,P - Perse net ^nirndtJor? 
flecprrfef 

DV- Digital vid so 

.4SJ2C - the makers of ADPro 

and MarphPluS 

\/LM - Viob Itfation 

Goal - the target otyert cw inane 

j'rt d ^ihenioti'c chain 


CREAM ERN ET 



For the big boys in the rendering business-, there are a few minor chan ^=3 to 
lightwave's shared rendering solution. New arrivals include an option to switch 
between ScreameiNet original and ScreamerNet 2 which unlike its predecessor, 
supports distributed rendering over a suitable network - up to 1000 CPUs 
rendering simultaneously. Arguably the biggest disappointment of ScreamerNet 
in version 3.5 was the tack of batch rendering, Fortunately, NewTek have seen 
the error of their ways atvd built the ability to have a maximum of 16 scenes 
queued and ready to go prior to a ScreamerNet session, 


In most cases, UghWVave's control panels have 
undergone a minor reshuffle rather than a 
complete overhaul, mainly in order to 
accommodate the odd new feature. However 
the Effects/composition, panel is a major 
exception. 

Effects and, more importantly, composition 
are massively undervalued aspects of 
Lightwave, Hopefully, the overhaul will help to 
redress the balance by providing a much clearer 
indication of exactly what's on offer and, more 
importantly, what's actually going on during a 
composition. 

Apart from the physical change, the panel 
also holds some new features including 
foreground dissolve with envelope, plus a new 
high/low colour feature for colour keying 
operations. 

For some bizarre reason, composition is also 
the home for the control system for the glow 
effect and the now ubiquitous plug-in which, in 
this case, allows access for third-party image fil- 
ters. 

Unfortunately, like Essence, the rumoured 
ImageFX image processing plug-in is nowhere 
to be seen - watch this space, you never know 
with NewTek... 


very clumsy i 
comparison to If 
standard displa 
And worst sti 
wireframe ar 
bounding box pr 
views flatly refosi 
to play back, 
short, if you wa 
to see your anirr 
lion before yr 
commit to rendi 
mg, the standa 
display is still t 
only option. 

Unfortunately, there's an even more anns 
ing problem when it comes to display si i 
Although Layout has its limitations in higl 
resolutions, Modeller is simply superb - 
dally in BOO x 600. However, if you r 
Modeller from Lightwave the two must sh 
the same resolution to work conectly - wh 
can obviously cause problems, if like me, \ 
use the import and export functions fiequei 
during a modelling session, yet still want 
preview animations from within layout 
The obvious solution is to run the t 



programs separately in different resol ut 
and simply save and load alterations Irom 
A solution perha ps, but hardly a pretty one,. 

To finish on a good high note, there is s 
very welcome news when it comes to 
Picasso II, Thankfully, NewTek have returns 
the original 3.0 render display for the Pk 
which actually Sets you keep track of the 
deriing process without constantly diving or 
Amiga N & M keys. 

Aside from the still unresolved PTC prat 
the only practical change to the pan 
the arrival of a Show field, chart option. 


Imhj. 


APRIL 1996 




i the 
pport 
\j f the 
] am) 
lately 
:k cm 
:jlem. 
them 
splay 

ISWHT 

sup- 
100 x 
ice h 
«eoa 
still 
f in 
> the 
play, 
still, 
and 
pre- 
used 
En 
want 
ima- 
you 
ider- 
dard 
the 

noy* 
izes 
gher 
s pe- 
ru n 
hare 
hidi 
you 
fntfy 
it to 


two 



ons 

lisk 


■me 
the 
j to 

550 

en- 

the 

I is 
'his 



ARD COPY - MANUALS 


r Lr "? past, Lightwave's documentation has tended to deliver the essentials rather than in-depth 
= ^ples for the functions on offer. To a much lesser extent that tradition still continues. 
‘ v.ever, to be fair, there rs a marked improvement across the board, with much more detail and 
* ■■-•‘t*ng style that Jeans far more towards actual application. 

n order to make navigation of this massive package a little simpler, Newtek have wisely split 
~vr manual into two separate volumes, one acting as a user guide while the other' delivers a refer- 
■: to all the available functions, the former is particularly useful for the beginner courtesy of a 
collection of tutorials for both Layout and Modeller. 

3 ut together, the two add up to almost 800 pages of well written essential information. My 
r real complaint is that the indexing of the two volumes could be a little dearer - as finding 
specific hits of information can be a httle more arduous than it need be. Other than that a 
’good job* as they say in the States. 


really overlays a cross-hair on the layout 
: iplay which rs meant to aid object 
demerit whilst at the bottom of the panel 
• - :an import new plug-ins to the Lightwave 
lata base, and define the current working 
: rectory for load and 1 save operations. 

Inverse 
Kin ematics 

first glance, life on the main layout screen 
*^ms almost identical to 3-5. In fact, the only 
: bvTQus difference is the change from, XY r 5C 
* " d ZY view buttons to a far more 
^prehensible Front, Top and Side selection, 
rtfrrvever, look a little closer and you’ll notice 
*hat has to be the most important new 
r- val in the entire package, namely the 
“vsterious IK Opts. Believe it or not. this 
“■significant little gadget is the key to Inverse 
1 nematics. 

After a little experimentation, it's obvious 
the arrival of features like bones, child 1 bone 
auto Key adjust in 3.5 was no accident 
•'lien these features, especially the bone 
options* are blended with the new IK Opts 
I’i'j arrive at something spectacular. 

In most 3D programs kinematics can be a 
uriful experience, but in Lightwave ft's both a 
-'earn to use and very simple to set up, the 
bat arm being a classic Illustration of the 
technique However, you can use bones in 
exactly the same way - and 1 with even more 
mp-nesswe effect 

^rstfy, you add the basic dements - which 
" most cases will be just two null objects. 


Then you add The component objects in the 
kinematic chain, jfl of which should be parented 
one to the other starting with one of the null 
objects - that’s where the child bone function 
can come into its own if yoi/ne using bones to 
form a kinematic chain 

Finally, you simply instruct the last object in 
the chain to heat the remaining null object as its 
goal. 

The only real difference between bones and 
objects is that with objects you have to pay close 
attention to the pivot point of the individuals in 
order to make the joints function correctly - and 
more importantly realistically. From then on its 
playtime! You simply grab the second null object 
and move it around - ar which point all the 
objects or bones will bend at their joints in an 
attempt to track the goal, 

When you’ve arrived at a pose you like, a 
simple 'key all items' coir marvd makes it perma - 
nent. If you wish you can still move and edit the 
components in the kinematic chain without 
affecting their counterparts, or the basic 
kinematic relationship. 

All things considered, this is a perfect and 
painless solution which has been made all the 
better since the beta with the addition of option - 
dl limits on the movement, or angle of rotation 
for the various elements in the chain. For 
example, a forearm can now be constrained so 
that it revolves at the elbow but won't do the 
impossible, no matter how much kinematic 
force is applied. 

Needless to say, bones are the major bene- 
factors, with believable flexing and bending of 
organic forms - all without a single seam or 
hinge in sight Effortless kinematic movement in 
a matter of minutes.. 


E EP 


PLUG-IN AWAY 


Given the profusion of plug-in options throughout the program, it's pretty obvious that they are 
seen as playing a big part in the future development of Lightwave. Howe vet, after browsing 
\'ewTek’s FT? site it is also pretty obvious that most (developers are pointing their programming 
power towards other LrghtWave friendly platforms. 

During our initial preview the likes of WaveMaker, Dynamic Motion Module, Power Macros and 
impact were afi on the way for Lightwave 4.0. This indeed may be the case, but there's still no 
Sign of any of them for the Amiga version. 

Admittedly, this could be down to NewTek's ever-changing release date for the Amiga version. 
However/ Brad Pebbfer's, initial claim that a number of projects ''were well under construction* 
over a year ago, seems a little, well let’s say, hopeful.,. 

On the other side of the coin, NewTek have indeed come good with their deal with A5DG 
regarding loaders and savers as a standard element, and will cater for all the major image 
formats, across all platforms - thereby taking a lot of the pain out of post production. 



A famous exampfn vf ju&t haw neod UghiWav* Mirada coo Again, 
modelling combined wild excellent animation ar the he to of 
Desert Ste/m mmkew track* In the send *nd Masts away at thr 




ATCH THIS 


SPACE 


Although not immediately obvious kinematics also provides a solution for 
another missing link in the Lightwave chain. In previous revisions it was 
impossible to target one object to another, but thanks to IK Opts we finally 
have a solution. 

Because objeds/bones don’t need to be physically linked to each other, 
or the goal they're tracking, making one object 'watch and follow' another 
is really easy. 

All you need is a parent, the tracking object, and a target or goal object. You 
then parent the tracker and tell ft to use the target object as its goal. Better 
still, you can target the goal object with as many trackers as you wanL so 
you could have every head in a crowd follow the ball, or every gun on a 
ship track the incoming attacked 

This may not sound particularly revolutionary, ft's a feature that many pro 
animators have been longing for. In fact, for many this wilf been just as 
important as full kinematics. 


What's 

in THE 
BOX 


Although there hove teen 
rumours that the Lightwave 
4 CD would be fit to burst 
with assorted freebies, it actu- 
ally contains roughly 87 Mb of 
assorted scenes, images, 
objects, foots and surfaces. 

This may not seem too 
impressive considering the 
storage capacity of a CD, but 
the material that has been 
included is well worth homing, 
featuring a collection for 
excellent example scenes, pro 
quality objects and example 
scenes which, if explored, go 
a long way torrarefs explain- 
ing many of the mysteries of 
UghtWave , Particularly nice 
touches include a useful 
selection of type l fonts and 
on equally handy array of 
surfaces. 


KWCwfll 

r - line 


Requirements 

R£ P esst 5 T.v BLACK recommended 


GBB<2£> ca 

RAW Workbench Hard Drive 


% 

Picnaso II 

mm 

RAM 

Product 

details] 

Product 

Lightwave 

Supplier 

Premier Vision 

Tel 

0171'721 7050 

Price 

£635 plus vat 

Scores 

Ease of use 

85% 

Implementation 

90% 

Value For Money 

82% 

Overall 

89% 


Amiga Co m p ut i n c 


APRIL J 996 













Qecord panel 


The most notable changes in this section are the option for 
user-definable file naming conventions and the long-awaited ability 
to save in a variety of file formats. The former is an obvious attempt 
to make Lightwave Fries more compatible with the filename require- 
ments of other packages, in particular pre-Windows 95 PCs, where- 
as the latter is a much more attractive addition for Amiga fans. 
Courtesy of Elastic Reality - formerly ASDG - it gives Lightwave the 
ability to save out in no less than 19 assorted file formats including 
IFF 24 r pict Jpeg.Trff, VUV r Targa r and lots more besides 
Add to that 1 6 assorted alpha save formats and you have a save 
selection that caters for just: about every eventuality. Newlek have 
even included a fader alpha button to accommodate external video 
faders, linear keyere* and external compositing programs which may 
require a specific type of alpha image to control switchers that use 
an alpha image as a fade control. 



Options 

panel 


Perhaps the biggest disappointment in itr 
Layout redesign is the lack of improved suppcft 
for third-party RTG boards Needless to say, fte 
Picasso II is still catered for with 800 x. 600 and 
1024 x 76a screen modes, but unfortunate^ 
that's '± The manual once again falls back ert 
plug-ins as a passible solution to the pfoWert 
try speculating that developers could use them 
as a means of adding their boards to displa 
available options. 

However, this doesn't really offer an answer 
as to why the one board that is directly sup- 
ported doesn't actually work correctly in £00 
&GQ and 1024 x 76B. Although the interface™ 
marginally faster when running a 800x600 
- display, it's stUlf 



Lights 

panel 


The changes to the lights panel fall into the 
interesting, rather than essential bracket a prime 
example being the Global Flare Intensity. 
Basically; this provides a means of ramping all 
the lens flares in a scene up or down automati- 
cally. This feature was a specific request of the 
boys and girls in the SeaQuest DSV production 
team in order to simplify the process of control- 
ling lens flares during power ups, power outs 
and explosion sequences. 

Individual flare control is another area that's 
seen something of a facelift, with one of the 
biggest changes being the ability to add a user- 
defined Anamorphic distortion. This is ideal for 
the salt classics, as seen in Star Trek TNG, as 
warp jumps and other spatial anomalies. 
Combine that with user-definable s&eak settings 
which include the ability to set streak, intensity, 
density and sharpness, and you arrive at a much 
more comprehensive set of tools for controlling 
flare effects The final and fairly subtle tweak is 
the addition of envelope control over intensity 
fall-off. Not exactly earth shattering, but very 
handy when the need arises. 



n A vary jarteu* pumpte 
of dej^grr. anfrrUItten and 
(lie ubigjiloui ten* (Panes 
as o ipiee craft 
thrtiufi If a virtual city, 
lights tlaattlng and 
prtTKumatoiy wirmrtt hlarmg 


Jargon 

r_box 


Effects 

panel 


RTG - retargetoble graphics 
card 

Inverse kinematics - outtsmufetf 

refationcl ro&remertf between 

abjedts end bones 

Plug-ms - input options (or 

third-party enhancements 

PAR - Persond Animation 

Recorder 

OV- Digital video 

ASDC - (be movers of ADPra 

and MorphPlus 

VIM- Vtoi Mcrron 

Coe- 1 - the target object or bane 

in a kinematic chain 


In most cases, Lightwave's control panels have 
undergone a minor reshuffle rather than a 
complete overhaul, mainly in order to 
accommodate the odd new feature. However 
the Effects/composition panel is a major 
exception. 

Effects and, more importantly, composition 
massively undervalued aspects of 


very clumsy n 
comparison to rht 
standard display, 
And worst still 
wireframe and 
bounding bo* pre- 
H views flatly refused: 
to play back, lit 
short, if you want 
to see your aniiM 
tion before yew 
commit to rende- 
ing, the standsn 
display is still thi 
only option. 
Unfortunately, there's an even more anner 
ing problem when it comes to display sites 
Although Layout has its limitations in high? 
resolutions, Modeller is simply superb - espe- 
cially in 800 x 600. However, if you nfl 
Modeller from Lightwave the two must shar 
the same resolution to work correctly - which 
can obviously cause problems, if like me. yw 
use the import and export functions frequ 
during a modelling session, yet still want 
preview animations from within layout 
The obvious solution is to run the twoj 


are 


creamerNet 


Tor the big boys in the rendering business, there are a few minor changes to 
Lightwave's shared rendering solution. New arrivals include an option to switch 
between ScreamerNet original and ScreamerNet 2 which unlike its predecessor, 
supports distributed rendering over a suitable network - up to inofJ CPUs 
rendering simultaneously. Arguably the biggest disappointment of ScreamerNet 
in version 5.5 was the lack of batch rendering. Fortunately, NewTek have seen 
the error of their ways and built the ability to have a maximum of 16 scenes 
queued and ready to go prior to a ScreamerNet session. 


Lightwave. Hopefully, the overhaul will help to 
redress the balance by providing a much clearer 
indication of exactly what's on offer and, more 
importantly, what's actually going on during a 
composition. 

Apart from the physical change, the panel 
also holds some new features including 
foreground dissolve with envelope, plus a new 
high/low colour feature for colour keying 
operations, 

For some biiarre reason, composition is also 
the home for the control system for the glow 
effect and the now ubiquitous plug-i.n which, in 
this case, allows access for third-party image fil- 
ters 

Unfortunately, like Essence, the rumoured 
ImageFX image processing plug-in is nowhere 
to be seen - watch this space, you never know 
with NewTek,.. 



programs separately in different resolution 
and simply save and load alterations from 
A solution perhaps, but hardly a pretty one... 

To finish on a good high note, there is sen 
very welcome news when it comes to tha 
Picasso IL Thankfully, NewTek have returned' 
the original 5,0 render display tor the Pka 
which actually lets you keep track of the 
dering process without constantly diving on i 
Amiga N ft M keys. 

Aside from the still unresolved RTG problem 
the only practical change to the panel is 
the arrival of a Show field chart option, Ths 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 19 96 







The Amiga is not exactly up to its 
eyes with networking products. 
Neil puts an American 

solution to the test 








i 


,'J 


etworking is one of the most 
important aspects of business cam- 
pitting. The ability to quickly share, 
j-oeess and analyse information is of para- 
mount importance, and the ability to do so is 
taken for granted in the PC and Mac world, so 
■'.nat about the Amiga? 

Well a very good networking standard was 
ntroduced by Commodore called SANA-1 L and 
i couple erf ethernet cards were produced by 
Commodore themselves, but perhaps due to 
’“e Amiga not being accepted as a business 


"ichine, or Com mod are not pushing net- 
-v irking as standard on any Amiga,, or possibly 
■ anufacturers jjust producing products for the 
"Y level Amiga machines, there are only a 
few SAfJA-ll products around. 


Well a low-cost, fully SANA-1! compatible 
networking solution has appeared in the form 
of Amiga Link. This sort of low-cost network is 
M the thing the Amiga could have benefited 
m years ago if it was fitted and supported as 
aandard. For instance, the Mac has really ben- 
• ' -d from Apple's foresight of including the 
Apple Talk network in every Mac model, as not 
only does this give it the advantage of having 
networking out of the bone, but you get the 
> ■ ded bonus of the system software support- 
networking, so the programs you run an 
** Mac ail support and take advantage of 
networking as a matter of course. 


I Demands 

The other advantage is as. people use the net- 
work and take advantage of all its facilities, 
they ire going to demand more from the sys- 
‘■em software. So the Mac has gained useful 
Actions like multiple printer sharing and print 
spooling aver the network, as well as having 
full user and group options allowing you to 
strict access to machines over networks. 

When 1 first got hold of the Amiga Link 

F - age I really had no idea what sort of hpr- 
installing it would hold, so when I had our 




I ZJ . 


lit i l rzat ion 


per 

Packets sent 


|5 M 

Timeouts 

88 

Packets received 

w 

Repe t i 1 1 one 

90 

fie knowledges 

sent 

(37“ 

ms Transfer time 

88 

fie knowledges 
Reset | 

received 

Name 

server jShagged400 

Quit f 


O Find out mac Ur ftow AwtT the network if working 

_ation 

Hosts 


Dev ices 


RAM Ram Disk- 
HD 134605282 Ext 1 
Workbench Workben 



mounted 

J 



Save 


Local device name 1 4 m &- Workbench | 
Local volume name jf 4000-Ro r kbencFTj 

Ok I 


a 


rou cfln link to any other machine* driven at it fft*r woro on your own machfnm 


three Amigas networked together and sharing 
devices in under T5 minutes I was pleasantly 
surprised. It is also very reassuring thar the 
Amiga OS is that simple to extend, which is 
the way it should be. 

Installation is very simple, Initially you need 
to set up your network of Ami gas, Amiga Link 
works from a small interface that plugs, unusu- 
ally, into the disk drive port - if you have exter- 
nal disk drives this does not matter as you just 
plug the interface into the external drive's 
through port, though you will only be able to 
have, at most, two external drives. 

Each interface is connected together using 
standard coaxial cable, with the ends of the 
networks having an end cap. Up to 20 Amigas 
can be on a single Amiga Link network, and 


the total length of this can be up to 100 
metres. As each stretch of coaxial cable you 
get with Amiga Link is five metres this works 
out quiet nicely, and as most Amiga compa- 
nies use their machines in dose proximity, this 
is mare than long enough, If needed, AmiTrix 
do supply the coaxial cable in other lengths 
and apparently tire total number of connected 
computers and length of the networks can he 
exceeded, but the reliability of the network 
could suffer depending on the amount of focal 
electrical interference. 

Once all the interfaces are in place and con- 
nected together with the coaxial cable, you can 
install the software, for which there are two 
options. As standard, you now get the original 
Amiga Link software as well as the far more ► 



Amiga Commuting 


APRIL 1996 






MATURE 







Cl Envoy imta you ehoooo exactly who curt a««*» your maehtn^a private part* 


rnflan or uss: 


Groups 



A dpi ih 




Hinionl 





* 






lKLnlon* 


Cr»*te 





" 11 System Administrators c an *#t*ty develop a gootf 

superiority compfci Jn MfMamwndms* w™» Envoy 



advanced Envoy software, The original software 
ha§ a number of advantages over Envoy, being 
simpler to set up as well as running under 
Workbench 1 .3 and from a floppy. 

Setting up the Amiga Link software is very 
straightforward,, with an icon to copy the net- 
work device driver and an Amiga installer script 
to set up the network file system. When 
installing the file system you are given the 
choice of having the current machine being 
able to export devices, allowing other machines 
access to hard drive partitions or any other stor- 
age device on that machine over the network. 
Normally, you would want this as you still have 
to specify these drives as being accessible over 
the network from that madhine, but if security 
is a consideration you can choose not to. 

Flexible 

The network is very flexible when it comes to 
adding or removing computers at a later date. 
The hardware seems very robust as you can 
disconnect and reconnect machines at any 
time, and the software also handles this very 
well. Adding extra machines is just a case of 
fitting the interface to the machine then con- 
necting it up with the coaxial cable. The 
machine can be added to the end Of in the 
middle of the existing network and once the 
software has been installed you will be able to 
access other mach ines straight away. 

If you will be regularly removing a computer 
from the network AmiTrix can provide extra T 
connections that you place in the network 
where the machine should go - this allows 
machines to be added with no disruption to 
network traffic at any time. 

To allow other people access to your hard 
drive partitions or other devices on your 
machine, including CD and floppy drived you 
need to mark these as exported devices using 
the export program. The Amiga Link file soft- 
ware only works on the device level and has no 
additional security measures, Therefore, any 
device you marked as exported will be avail- 
able to everyone on the network but I would 
imagine that in most cases, like in the Amigo 
Comptrtf'rtfj office, this is not a problem. You 


Biujmura 

APRIL 199 6 


E NVOY 


Also available tor use with Amiga link is the Commodore written Envoy re- 
working software which has a number of major advantages over the conver 
lion a I Amiga Link software. Instead of working on the device level, EflM* 
allows you to export any directory and give it a specific export name. So on 
FTP download directory, which is hidden in a good few other directories, 
be exported onto the network as downloads. 

Possibly more important is that once Envoy is installed using a stands 
Installer script proper groups and users can be set up r allowing you to specify 
if necessary, who can and cannot gain access to directories. This is dM 
backed up with full password protection ensuring there can be no unautho- 
rised access. _ ( 

One currently under-used part of Envoy is its services which make Envcm 

frilly extendible, giving the network new capabilities Therefore, at any point tn 
the future you can add a new service such as a conference or talk service 
allowing you to communicate with others on the network, or anything else 
that may appear. 

Envoy also works with AmiTCP, and allows mail and FTPing to be p-- r - 
formed between machines. Using AmiTCP does open up the possibility of 
accessing PC machines over the network because you could either FTP them 
or, using the right software, actually mount their drives as a normal Amiga 
device. 


can make these devices automatically available 
each time you reboot your machine by diking 
on save. This creates a new file in the 
WBStartup drawer that automatically places the 
device on the network. 

Similarly, if you want to get access to a 
device on someone else's machine you need 
to import that device using the import program. 
This has two list views from which you choose 
the machine you want to access and then the 
device you want to mount Clicking cm mount 
will immediately make your machine mount 
that device, and you will see the device icon 
appear on the Workbench. If this happens to 
be a hard drive partition that has icons left left 
out* on the other machine's workbench you 
will also get these appearing, which can cause 
a bit of a clutter. 

Another helpful feature here is one that 
allows you to change the name of the volume 
you are about to mount The main reason for 
this is that when you first mount an imported 
device it has the name of the machine prefixed 
in front erf the device name, Therefore, if you 
have an AmigaDOS or installer script that refers 
to the original device name, they would stop 
working unless you remove the machine's 
name extension. 

In use, it Is hard to find fault with the Amiga 
Link software, you could complain about lack 
of security or the inability to have password 
protection for users and groups, but there is a 
simple solution to this in the form of the Envoy 
software that comes with Amiga Link 
Hardware wise, Amiga Unk is simple to set up 
and appears quiet robust in use 1 , and as it is a 
peer to peer-type network speed should not 
suffer with additional machinesconnected. 

Amiga Unk is very good, but for the money 
you are paying l would have preferred the 
transfer speed to be higher as these hover 
around the 30k/sec mark, which is usable but 
not exactly staggering. As a low cost network, 
Amiga Link is your only choice and is some- 
thing that should have been available a long 
time ago. Wow when b someone going to write 
some SANA-II games so we can have a good 
blast in the office? 


S PEED TESTS 


Opefatan 

File Create 
File Open 
File Delete 
Dir Scan 


Envoy 

1 2 files/sec 
1 2 files/sec 
21 files/sec 
197 files/sec 


AmigaLink 


1 3 files/sec 
13 files/sec 
23 files/sec 
21 files/sec 


Seek/Read 1 1 seeks/sec 14 seeks/sec 


Amiga Link is very 
good but for the 
money I would have 
preferred the transfer 
speed to be higher 


Create File 
Read from file 
Write to Tile 


27'k/sec 3fik/sec 

25k/sec 37k/see 

BOk/sec 34k/sec 


Jlltulll 


t a 


line 




RED (^entiai 


BLACK recommem 


Kickstarl 


D a fP) 


Hard Drive 


ROOUCT DETAIL! 

Amiga Lin 
AmiTri 

5312 -47 Street, Beaumon 
AB, Canada TAX 1H 
USS3275 - 2 uml 

$ 135 - 1 u fi 

+001 (403) 929 84S 
sales@amitrix.co 


Scores 


Ease of use 
Implementation 
Value For Money 
Overall 


38 









Macro Form 

Plug-ins and go 


•4******,*t**4 



Impact — ..... ...X2 95 

Surface Pro....,,..,,.,,,. . £85 

FX Kit for Lightwave ********************* ** .£34,99 

Wave Filter*. , . * . £i 79 

Logo Wizard ................ .,..,.,£299.99 

In. Focus Layout Tips and Tricks £59.99 

Fiber Factory Exclusive £99 

Hollywood FX £1 40 

Motion Master I Exclusive ... £99 

Motion Master II ...Exclusive £99 

Wavemaker ,.,...£185 

Interchange Plus V3 £495 

Humanoid .£170 


Forge £POA 

City Builder * • »*■* Pf-# ff+t*#****#*# ftiMfM «•+ * m ** -9 ■ m + r ■ • w mm w * ■ * » * m # # # p #«# + + «-» r * +* £95 

Lightwave 4*.*..*,,,,, £495 

Power Macros * , *....£9£> 

Batch Factory ... ,...........,£59 

Pro Textures ...£POA 

Moving textures £285 

Autos Vehicles £75 

Space essentials £75 

Interior Design Collection. ...............£220 

Scene Machine , £250 

LightROM 3 - BCD collection...... £39 


Please note that some advertisers prices do not include VAT or ship* 
ping from the USA. All our prices are fully inclusive of all charges 
including delivery to your door next day if required, We also support 
sli products we sell - if you have to send your product back to the 
US how long are you going to wait? 



ho 




C ° ny er'te^ fe< t, 

ecf <fe fa 


Digital Data labs are 
dedicated to the art 
of 3D animation and 
modelling for the pro- 
fessional and amateur 
alike. 

If you have an item that 
you want digitising then we 
can produce the data for you 
at a very reasonable rate with 
quality assurance, if you would 
like your own head 
preserved forever in your 
favourite 3D package/ come 
along and we will zap you with 
the laser and send you home 
with your head on a disk. 

We carry in stock at all 
times" as many products as we 
can find to do with 3Dand 
Lightwave as you can see by 
our list We are also in the last 
stages of development of our 
new desktop 3D digitiser due 
for release soon at a price tai- 
lored for the home user with- 
out compromising on quality 
and accuracy. 

Ring us for the best 
prices for hardware and ask 
about our expert Lightwave 
tutorials. 

*$ub 







nufacUrer’s availability 



Ring (01277) 365249 






II it sounds like I raved, then I've communieided snetesslnlly cxaelh lam groovy tills pniduel is 


II makes as much SCSI^Zorro 1 1 1 cnnlroller from hell 


miiVti-tasking capability to the max 


£69.75 in* ^ 

multi' useir 

* N° u 1 
.vC t^ C ’ ‘ 
t > V 


AFS: the Amiga Power 




convey^ Up to 650Meg on 

o^ V \> C% c? W : C^n HC One AFS Hard drive 

^ ^ £ 29-75 No MuFS 

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^ ^ Otherwise as Pro-Version 

Tried with Mail Managed again. My *GOD* it was amazing! Tossing sped up from around SO© messages/min up to 1200 


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limn Jut 








12 


/ 


10 nr 




" 


ORED WITH 

he Amiga 

Escom first 'saved' the Amiga after the 
tore fiasco, I held high hopes that 
•CJuld build the machine into something 
‘ would put todays competition to 

fc*ever, in the light of the recent inactiv- 
b this company to produce anything 
i»ie, l r m not sure if my first impres- 
** .sere correct Yes, Escom have put the 
*Ot back on sale, but they seem to already 
towing signs of getting bored with their 
machine. 

Where are all the new games coming out 
l 7 There are some, indeed, but nowhere 
ft many as there are for rival machines 
ft the 'super' consoles and PCs. 

C' r stmas is a time when a company 
ne pushing their products for all they 
worth, Not so with Escorn, While rival 
■Mputers are receiving extensive limelight 
to- -ewspaper and television advertising 
arraigns, Escom have simply left their 
on the starting blocks as if it will be 
to? to go out and sell itself ? 

i’ - ne attitude of the people at Escom does 
to .^ange in the foreseeable future, t am 
Jfehly tempted to trade in my A?2QC for 
•other machine - perhaps a PC - before the 
A- § a truly does die, something which - if 
to Escom - may unfortunately not be in 
to t w distant future. 

As an Amiga magazine you are in a prime 
^ iron to rally your readers to lobby the 
at Escom in the hope that They can pull 
tor socks up and keep the Amiga in produc- 
ton and, most importantly, in popular 
demand. Please see what you can do. 

C Burley, Sheffield 

toiga Technologies reported that they had 
t : appointing Christmas, but it comes as 
•o surprise to you or I, nor many other 
people. 

There does need to be some promotion 
<- ■ I he machine. If you read the Undercover 
* " r uga article in January's issue you will 
to" aw how difficult it is to buy an Amiga 
tos* days, and with Acorn getting at least 
part of a huge Internet deal with industry 
f ants Oracle instead of Amiga 
technologies, it makes you wonder if AT 
i-e doing anything to rectify, the situation. 

Unfortunately, while we print articles 
raising the amazing qualities of the 
^niga, we are writing for a converted audt- 
en.ce. No PC owner is just going to pick up 
; miga Computing just to see if there is an 
alternative to what he already has, the 
wme as most Amiga owners would rather 
ipend their money on magazines which 

■ d I k about the machines they own, I 
believe this year will be make or break tor 
Amiga Technologies. They have had prob- 
lems with the new CE mark standards 
mposed by the EC and they have achieved 
quite a lot considering they haven't actua- 

> been going for a very Jong time, but as 

■ ou say, they need to pull their socks up 
before they lose all support. 



ola Amigo! 


Keep 
those fetters 
coming! If you 
can't be 
bothered to find 
a bit of paper and a stomp, 
why not e mail us? Simply 
point your mailer to: 
E$P&acomp, demon, co . uk 
There's a £56 pound prize for the 
best letter printed as an incentive 


Keep your letters coming in 
Ezra Surf and you cuid be a 
fifty pound prize winner 


; £-J 

r JA 


£S 


Nowadays, almost everyone writing to 
you is telling you how the Amiga 
should be in the future and that's 
whal I'm going to do too. 

I am studying electrical engineering 
and frequently have ta present information 
with lets of graphs and mathematical expressions, for 
which I use a PC equipped with Windows, I use Word to 
write the text. Word's formula editor for the mathematical 
expressions, Excel lor the graphs, and sometimes a CAD 
program to make plans. When I have alt the basic work 
done I edit the layout of the document in Word and then 
print it. The last step is very hard as Windows is nut very 
efficient - it needs lots of memory and things do become 
very slow, but at least I can do my work and the results are 


very impressive, 

I can't do any of this with my Amiga because although 
there are some very good word processors, spreadsheets 
and CAD programs (does anyone know of any formulae 
editors?), there isn’t a standard way of passing data 
(objects) between different programs like OLE in Windows. 
The Amiga has the clipboard, but if a program wants to use 
the data there it must understand that data. Things have 
become better with datatypes, but this is not an ideal solu- 
tion because datatypes are only bitmaps which means the 
print out from them is very bad. To top it off, how many 
programs give you a datatype for their data format anyway? 

I think this is one ol the principal directions in which the 
OS must grow. I can live without virtual memory, network 
capabilities, or internet access - all these things can be 
done by third party developers. But a standard way to 


interchange objects between applications must be 
integrated into the 05 by Amiga Technologies. 

Now some words about your mag. I think Amiga 
Computing is the best magazine for the Amiga. Your 
reports are clever and about interesting matters, and the 
aesthetic is very pleasant. The only thing l don't agree with 
are the demos of commercial programs on the coverdisks. I 
would prefer you to invest your money in shareware and 
amateur programs which, ate the best the Amiga has. 

Salvador Fandmo Car do. Son Sebastian, Spain 

You know, you're quite fight. The Amiga does need 
some form of object interchange, and a lot of the other 
things people go on about could be integrated by third 
parties, but as you say, it would have to be done 
properly. 

it would also almost certainly mean that the Amiga's 
OS would have to run from a hard drive, but that would 
be no bad thing anyway. As for your comments about 
developers giving datatypes for their file formats, I think 
that would be a great idea and could mean that 
Multiview {or a similar program) could become a univer- 
sal file viewer for programs like DOpus. It would also 
increase programs' abilities to import foreign file 
formats. 

Finally, we actually ran a formula editor on one of our 
coverdisks last year {July 95's in fact). It needed MUf 
which was on the same coverdisk and was called 
FalconMath. 

There are other equation editors available now on 
Ami net, try the misc/fnath directory. 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 



LB 




□ C/M AC EMULATOR? 



When I was reading the Workbench 96 article 
in the January issue of Amigo Computing. I 
could not help to think that WB96 would be 
like Wmdows95 or a System 7 done, I do agree 
on some features that need improvements 
(printing, networking) and the addition of an 
ARexx recorder and small things that are cur- 
rentty addressed, by PD software, but for the 
most part, if WB96 Is implemented as 
described, it would be just like other operating 
systems- Where is the innovation? Why should 
we follow what others have done? If Mister 
Ben Vast has a lack of imagination, he should 
ask Amiga users lor input. We would be more 
than happy tu do so. 

I am part of two Amiga user groups in 
Ottawa, Canada. We could send Mister Vost a 
FAX, e-mail, or even snail mail features that 
would really blow other operating systems in 
the water! And not just the Mao or Windows, 
but Unix, NextStep, 052.,, I wander if Ben Vest 
has ever really used an Amiga. 

D&HS Desjardins via e-mail 

May I speak on d matter of personal alarm over 
a few things I've seen in your magazine in the 
last tew months? They all deal with where the 
Amiga is now and where it is going (and then 
again, what little has appeared in Amiga 
Computing recently that hasn't focused in 
some way on that issue?) 

I feel as though some bad decisions, and 
some unfair judgements, have surfaced con- 
cerning our favourite machine in recent times, 
same of them through your magazine. 

First of all, I would like to address the issue 
of the Amiga's operating system. The compari- 
son made recently in Amrger Computing 
between the various 05s was very interesting 
and "one of those things we always wanted to 
see." But I feel this article made the same mis- 
take many people have been making lately, 
that is the separation of 05 from QJl. This was 


I recently purchased a new Canon BJC70 colour printer. It's a lit- 
tle beauty - little being the operative word! Anyway, as you're 
undoubtedly aware, this type of printer is nearly always only 
shipped with printer drivers for DOS and Windows on the PC. 
This, of course, may be standard procedure with any new prin- 
ter these days and it shows a willingness to help the end user 
get better results. 

Unfortunately, this is of no benefit to us lucky Amiga users! I 
am a registered user of the excellent Studio 2 printing enhance- 
ment program though, and while I would have undoubtedly 
been able to find a suitable driver, there was not a dedicated 
driver for the BJC7Q, unlike other Canon printers. When l 
returned the warranty card to Caron (UK) Ltd. I included a letter 
expressing my concerns. Bearing in mind that this letter was 
only sent an a Monday morning. I was very pleasantly surprised 
to receive two separate envelopes with the Canon stamp on 
them in the early Thursday morning post 

One envelope contained the two year extended warranty I'd 
requested (a steal at only £25!), the other, from a separate 
Canon department contained a disk full of Canon drivers- As I 
found out in a .readme file, it was actually a cutdown version of 
J Canon Studio', although a fairly recent one as it contained 
EJC70 specific drivers. 

And even though this one works perfectly, not satisfied with 


supposed to be a comparison of Workbench 
3.1 to System 7.5,1 to Windows 95, Isn't there 
something wrong here? Workbench is little 
more than a graphical representation of the fil- 
ing system, Amiga DOS, or Amiga OS (whatever 
they're calling it these days) is where the real 
power is. Exec and Intuition form the core of an 
extremely powerful operating system whose 
poweT, in some ways, has only begun to be 
realised, Workbench certainly does it no justice 

Focus 

Granted, the review did indude some informa- 
tion about the OS itself but it focused primarily 
on the Workbench and software included with 
h. This is in comparison to the Macintosh where 
you used System 7.5,1, the whole OS, rather 
than just (what do they call it? the Finder?)., the 
true analog of Workbench, And Windows 95 
seems to be just some big convoluted insepa^ 
table mass. Technicalities? I think not If you're 
going to compare operating systems, compare 
the whole operating system. I think that despite 
the weaknesses of Workbench, when viewed in 
this light, the Amiga's 05 is far ahead, in terms 
of speed, power, efficiency, and ease of use, of 
the competition. 

Another issue that concerns me is the 
debate over custom chipset versus graphics 
card for the next Amiga, Many people are using 
this as a complaint oveF the Amiga's lack of 
compatibility with other platforms. Come on, 
people, that's the point! If you want an IBM 
compatible, get an IBM compatible. Macintosh 
user? don't complain about the lack of compati- 
bility between their platform and the IBM PC 
They view that as a strength, not a weakness. 
We Amiga owners should too. If we don't slop 
viewing ourselves as a little upstart computer 
subclass, rather than a separate platform in its 
own rigjht. nobody will! 

To elaborate further on the issue of the cus- 
tom chipset, I don't see why on earth we 


what they had al readydoneforme, they'd also included a letter 
with a reference number and phone number on it explaining 
they were currently working on a new BJC70 printer driver for 
the Amiga and that l would receive it free of charge as soon as 
it was available. 

All this goes to prove that they had read my letter thoroughly 
and not only taken note of the points I raised, but acted on 
them what must have been almost immediately, when you 
consider that I received their reply only three days after I had 
posted my letter! Mow that's what I call great service and eager- 
ness to enhance customer satisfaction and relations. I have 
absolutely no reason to doubt that every customer is, or would 
be, treated ary differently. 

I'd be very grateful If you would see fit to include an 
undoubtedly cutdown version d this letter by way of thanks 
and appreciation for their efforts, and to make fellow reader? of 
Amiga Computing aware of not only what should be expected 
of any major company, but the level of service they will 
definitely receive from Canon (UK) Ltd, 

David S Duncan , Chester 

rs good to know that there are still companies out there 
that take their obligation to their customers seriously. Nke 
one Canon. 


hould Canon be canonised? 


Amiga Computing 


should ditch this in favour ol some grap- 1 , 
card.. Very few graphics cards can keep up wi 
even the QCS or ECS for animation spee 
much less AGA My 486 PC can get about 3 f 
from a precalculated Lo-res animation! A 
680 3D Amiga, on the other hand., con star 
passes 30 fps in Lo-res, even in HAM moc 
and it doesn't animate much faster then it c 
when it was a 68000 machine, Very few graf 
ics cards can do this, and if they can, thev 
likely to be very expensive. Besides, the dif 
processing power of the blitter and copper i 
still amazing. Plus, the still-high quality sou 
system and all sorts of I/O originate in t 
chipset. 

The chipset is one of the Amiga's great 
strengths, The only real weaknesses of the c 
rent chipset are Sack of 24-bit modes, low re 
lutions, and the slowness of the planar displ 
It would only be a natural progression for 1 
AAA chipset to bring 24-bit graphics, a 64- 
1 28-bit video bus, higher resolutions, and 
addition of chunky pixel modes, not to ment 
improved sound capabilities ("it's about tirr 
to the Amiga. TTiis, combined with the Ait 
05 and the PowerPC, could help launch a n 
surge of Amiga use in the video a 
multimedia industry. 

Michael Webb via e-n 

I am die owner of an A3000 and have bi 
since its introduction, I did not purchas 
because of its similarity to any other compi 
At the time I bought it, IBM compatibility i 
available through the 286 powe 
Bridgeboard and Mac compatibility through 
original AMAX system. I did not buy eithe 
these as I saw no point in having ther 
bought my A3QOD because, for its price, it ■ 
the best graphics system available, and sc 
might even argue that it was the best grap 
system at the time, period. Neither 
Macintosh, nor the PC compatible could « 
dose in the animation abilities of the An 
without very extensive and expensive upgra 
To this day, I have not added an accele* 
and still I have friends coming to me to do 
mations on my system using Imagine 3,1, t 
though they have PowerMac 81D0A/V syst 
and Strata Studio Pro software. They daim 
animations done on my A3000 using D 
look better than theirs - partly because 
Amiga doesn't drop frames when i 
overtaxed as the PowerMac is known to do 
Much of the success ol the Amiga in the 
and of my animations, can be attributed tc 
ECS graphics chips In. the machine. They n 
this cheap computer system almost as po 
ful a graphics workstation as an SGI Indy, 
without the high software costs. This is w 
bought the computer for and what I be ; 
made it a limited success in the United St 
Yes, other computers can display more col 
than my system, but in order to animate tx 
most need MPeg decompression hairdo 
added to them. Even lOCMHi Pentium 
PPt604-based systems have annoying pa 
to their animations without these upgrade 
must animate in lower resolutions and srr 
screen sizes than my Amiga can. 

Perhaps in living only a short drive 


A PRIL 19 96 






raphir? 
jp with 
speed 
Jt 3 tps 
xi ! My 
ist a ntk 
mode, 
i it did 

graph- 

they're 
digital 
jer are 
sound 
in the 

mates! 

is cur- 

iz resd- 
libpldy 
: or the 
64- or 
ad the 
enlinn 
lime! 
Amiga 
a new 
■ and '■ 

e-mo; 

been 
ase it 
puter. 
y was 
.■ered 
[h the 
i?f of 
em. 1 1 
t was 
some 
phics 
r the 
:ome 
■miga 
ades. 
jfator 
> ani- 1 
even 
terns 
i that 
)CTV 
? the 
5t is 

i r 

f US. 

s the 

nake 

wer- 

. but 

hat i I 

li eve 

ates, 

outs 

tfter, 

'-■are 

and 

jses 

?, or 

dlier 

torn 


V . s corporate headquarters I have a some- 
what unique view of the differences between 
t- Amiga and the Macintosh, but the article 
w^tten by Mr Vast would seem to imply that 
t - Amiga and its users would be best served 
by making the Amiga very much more like the 
Mm. Most of his references to changes in the 
A" ga operating system referred directly to 
System 7 r and his suggested changes to the 
adware would $eem to imply that a CHRP 
Common Hardware Reference Platform) 
feign is the one Amiga Technologies should 
•dopt* specifically a PowerPC- based system, 
jvng a PCI bus, and with no custom chips. 

When the first PowerMac s came out, 
ar-icst all of the operating system that came 
.vth them was emulated 660x0 code. They 
actually ran slower than the 60-040- based 
’■tacs when running the same task. In fight of 
this I can hardly believe that emulating the 
AGA chips in software will allow a PPC604- 
t ised Amiga to tun as fast as an Amiga 4000 
■* r hen animating, or doing anything else for 
matter. If anyth ing r the custom chrpset 
"^eds upgrading, or even complete redesign, 
but abandoning the idea of blajingly fast 
lAiphics on the system bus in favour of mak- 
ing the Amiga like other computers will only 
nutt Amiga Technologies here in the US, and 
Mil contribute to the extinction of the Amiga, 
■at advance its cause. Changes made to the 
hardware and operating system of the Amiga 
should be seen as improvements to the entire 
system and not Just an attempt to build 
another Macintosh or PC. 

I am not stating that I disagree with all of 
Mr Vest's observations. I agree that the 
PowerPC is a good chip for Amiga 
T ethnologies to adopt and that the Amiga 
hardware and operating system need to be 
’lore than simply dusted off, But, quite 
"dnkly r if Amiga Technologies brings out a 
ZHRP-based Amiga why should anyone buy it 
instead of a CHRP-based Macintosh when the 
?rite would likely be very close, especially 
considering that the Mac already has a much 
wider software base? 

In short, the Amiga is much more than a 
Macintosh imitator with an offbeat operating 
system and a small software base. It is a sepa- 
rate computer system with its own strengths 
and these should not be compromised in the 
search for similarity, 

Edward K. Smallwood 

Ben Vest replies.. 

As pleased as I am to have received so 
much feedback from one of my pieces, I 
feel all those letters that are printed here 
have missed the point {with the exception 
of Mr Lyon's e-mail covering G/S2. The rea- 
son I didn't cover it was because a) I am not 
very familiar with 0/52 and b)t only wanted 
to cover one 05 per platform, and since all 
the flavours of Windows outsell 0/S2 by a 
air amount I decided against it). I was not 
advocating that die Amiga should be turned 
into a Mac or Windows done, merely that 
other systems have features that the Amiga 
ought to have r not because they are 
Windows or System 7, but because they are 


Qnd finally 

I’m writing to you to take to task Ben Yost's article on operating systems. The article set out to com- 
pare the top three' operating systems. Problem is, you ignored the 32-bit OS that has somewhere in 

the range of 10,000.000 installed users 

- OS/2. I've used an Amiga since 1967, a PC since I9BB, had 

the misfortune to need Windows and discovered OS/2 (2.1) back in 1992 - now 1 use- Warp (v3.0). 
The object-oriented desktop of OS/2 has similarities to the object-oriented Amiga Workbench, you 

really should have compared it as well. Here's your sidebar list with OS/2 added in : 

Add-in System Extensions 

Yes, via the Startup Folder 

24-bit support 

Yes, direct support 

Multiple Screen Support 

Yes 

Wetworking 

Yes 

CD-ROM Support 

Yes 

Comms & internet 

Yes, IBM’s excellent Bonus Pack contains them 

Security 

Yes 

Pre-emptive 32 bit Multitasking 

Yes 

Runs horn floppy 

No 

Foreign Language Support 

Yes 

Plug & Play 

Yes 

OJ &GUI 

Yes - OS/2 Desktop, OS/2 OJ, DOS til, Windows 3 jc GUI 

Systemwide Programming Language 

Yes - REXX 

Representational Interface 

Yes 

Universal Menus 

Partial 

System pref changes during op. 

Yes 

Three Button Mouse Support 

Yes 

Undelete Function 

Yes - user selectable on a drive-bydrive basis. 

Hard Drive Self Repair 

Yes 

Hard Drive Optimisation 

Yes - especially so under HPF5 

Virtual Memory Support 

Yes - both dynamic & user selectable 

Quicksort Applications Menu 

Yes - user configurable LaunchPad 

Disk Compression 

Yes -third party 

Style Guide 

Yes 

Help For The Disabled 

Yes 

Online Help 

Yes - more comprehensive than WfeiSS - context sensitive, 
hypertext links, etc. 

Dynamic RAM Disk 

No 

There's more, but that basically covets your own areas. As 1 need to swap between the PC a Amiga 
environments many times each day, 1 find OS/2 & Amiga more easily workable than OS/2 & Windows 

(3.x Or 95). 


Indeed OS/2 has many similarities to the Amigas’ OS, but one must say, has done much better 

and far more professional Anyway, that's rny two cents worth, next time you guys do a comparison, 
at feast try to remember that the worlds' leading 32-bit Operating System is OS/2, remember Win95 is 

not a bue 32-bit 05, indeed much of Win95's code is 1 6-bit 

A last quickie. Thanks for a fine magazine, yours is one of only two foreign mags 1 pick up (the other 
being Byte), f just wish it'd get here earlier rather lhan twn months behind England.. 


Lance Lym, via e-mail 


ail aids to a better working environment 

You'll notice that i didn't ask for the ani- 
mations that Windows 95 plays when you 
are copying flies or checking your memory 
status, and I didn't ask for the filetyping 
that can really make Mac use a pain - 1 just 
want the Amiga to have the best operating 
system (and front-end if you want to be 
picky Mr Webb) possible. And to my mind, 
the best OS around is an amalgam of the 
features of Workbench, Windows and the 
Mac 05 (and 0/52, NextStep and so on). 

Why shouldn't Amiga Technologies learn 
from the mistakes of other 05 providers 
and make a next generation interface ail 
Amiga users can be proud of. And it's no 
use saying 'Goh we have to keep the cus- 
tom chipset' when it is woefully slow com- 
pared to even the cheapest graphics card 
now available when run under the same 
conditions. The whole point of the Amiga 
going CHRP would be to take advantage of 
all those graphics, sound, ethernet and 
Other cards available for other platforms at 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL J996 


cheap prices and get them to run on our 
Amigas. 

And why would anyone buy a CHRP 
Amiga? Because by that stage the Amiga 
would need to have proper mu iff media sup- 
port, video and audio inputs and outputs, 
an Amiga Technologies graphics card with 
built in genlock, etc. It doesn't matter what 
it is that makes the Amiga unique in the 
future, but it does matter rf no-one can do 
anything with the machine because its 
operating system and hardware isn't 
modem enough. 

By the way, I have owned Amigas since 
1987 when the A500 first became available „ 
in the UK. t have had an A3QOOT now for 
over three years and have expanded if to 
the point where there is no further room in 
the case; so yes, ■ think 1 can say that I have 
used an Amiga. As part of the jobs I have 
held, 1 have also become at least a journey- 
man when it comes to PC use and have 
even spent a time building them, and 1 use 
Macs every day as our office is full of them. 


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0ISK DOLDRU 

As a subscriber to various Amiga mag- 
azines I have found their help invalu- 
able. When I bought my Al 200 it 
c&me with German instructions, and 
as there is no one around here that 
can help, I have been battling atone. 

The problem I am having is that when I try 
to run certain disks or programs, error 
requesters keep appearing, I hope to be able 
to solve these problems with your help before 
die as I'm 71-years old, and it is good gym- 
"dstics for my brain to battle with computers: 

'!) Cannot find V37 reqtools-library. How do I 
ear up this problem, and where dp I find 
■ 57 of the reqtoo Is. library. Should this be 
dragged into Libs, or what other place? 

2) 1 need explode. library, or I need 
rtplode. library v4+. I have found where the 
explodeJibrary is located but where do t drag 
the file to so 1 can get rid of this problem? 

3) Unable to open your tool. Here I have a 
number of problems with C:AmigaGuide, 

More, C :1nstaller and Sysic/mmpp. Where 
can I find mmpp r and where dp I drag it tQ? 

The same goes for the others. I have tried 
lagging AmigaGurde into Tools and a 
requester appears saying it already exsits 
there. Should I drag rt into Tools or C? 

Edith Sosson, France 

The problems you are expe- 
riencing are things I am 
sure every Amiga owner 
has had the misfortune of 
suffering and are due to a 
number of reasons. To start off, one of the 
Amiga's strong points is its ability to have 
new features easily added at a later date 
through tie use of what are known as run 
time libraries. These allow programs to 
access new features that were not origina- 
lly available in the operating system. This 
all started years ago when the ARP library 
was first written which gave programmers 
access to a decent file requester, for the 
time. This was then quickly overtaken by 
the req and then finally the reqtools library. 

This is all very well and good, but if you 
do not have these extra libraries you are 
stumped as you are normally unable to run 
a program without them. To answer your 
first two problems, the reqtools and 
explode are two commonly used libraries - 
reqtuols particularly so. Normally, you find 
coverdtsks do not carry these extra 
libraries, but disks from PD houses that 
have been specifically put together for one 
program will have the libraries on the disk. 

The problem here is that unless you 
actually boot your machine from the floppy 
disk, it will not be able to find these 
libraries. As you have already guessed, you 
need to copy the library file from the floppy 
into your hard drive's Libs drawer, if you 
open the floppy's drawer and choose show 
aII files from (fie Workbench menu, you 
should normally find a Libs d rawer icon in 
which the libraries are stored. All you 
need to do now is drag the required 
library across to your Workbench 
partition's Libs drawer. Unfortunately, 



Helping you to sleep easier 
at night, ACAS will soothe all 
your troubles away 

need to copy AmigaGuide to the C directory, 
or change the tooltype to simply read 
Am/go Guide 

In the king run, neither of these solutions 
is very practical because you would either 
have lots of copies of AmigaGuide all over 
the place, or you would have to change 
every Icon's tooltype. However, there are 
two more attractive alternatives. 

Firstly, you could use a program such as 
ToolManger to place an Icon on your 
Workbench for Multiview. This would allow 
you to drop any AmigaGuide or text file into 
the icon and view it The other alternative Is 
to use a Tool Alias program such as MCP- 
This allows you to get Workbench to ignore 
certain programs and use others in its place, 
so when you double-dick on any text file's 
icon that tried to run MMPP, you could, 
instead, get the file to load into MultMew, 

If people creating icons would stick to the 
standard Amiga viewers, or just Multi View, 
then people that do not like these can just 
use Tool Alias or a Tool Manager icon to use 
their preferred programs. 


MS 


things are not 
always as simple 
as this. If you do not 
already have the library 
then no problem, go ahead and 
copy the new library into your libs drawer. 
If r however, you already have a copy of the 
library then you should not automatically 
copy this over as rt could he a more recent 
and, therefore more up-to-date version 
than the one you are to replace it with. 

As there is no simple way for beginners 
to check the version of libraries, I would say 
that unless you are having problems run- 
ning programs that are specifically stating 
that a library is too old, do not replace it. 
The simplest way of telling if one library is 
newer than another is to check the library 
size. A more recent version will almost 
always be bigger than an older version 
because new features will have been 
added, so making the file bigger. 

Your other problem Involves the way 
people are expecting iard drives and disks 
to be set up. Again many floppy disks have 
things set up so they work fine if you boot 
your machine from the floppy, but as soon 
as you try to do anything from the hard 
drive you get all sorts of errors appearing. 

When people create a text or 
AmigaGuide file they give a specific path 
where the program used for viewing the file 
should be found. Even if you have a copy of 
this program, as you do in (he case of the 
AmigaGuide, yo*u will get an error message 
unless there is a copy of that program in the 
specified path. In your case, you would 



uper KickStart 


1 use an Amiga 3000 bought back in T 99-1 that 
came preloaded with Workbench 1.3. When 
Workbench 2.04 became available I immediately 
updated my 3000 and in doing so created a 
problem that has been frustrating me for some 
time now. 

Although my Amiga operates well with Workbench 2.04, 
try as I may I have been unable to get rid of the System 
1.3 partition. 

This is wasting precious hard drive space, slows down 
response lime, and 5 its there intractable with its icon glar- 
ing at me every time I open my Workbench, How can I get 
ild of it? 


Joseph Cohn, Fairfield USA. 


is 

Y 


An A 3 000 handles the KickStart differen- 
tly from any other Amiga model. Whereas 
all the other models have the KickStart 
stored on a ROM in the computer as stan- 
dard, the A3000 stores it on a specific hard drive 


/ 


partition called System x.x, where x is the version of the 
KickStart - this does have the advantage of keeping all 
the files completely separate. 

If you really want to get rid of the 1.3 partition there 
are only two options available to you. Firstly, you could 
just format it which would leave you with a blank 6Mb 
partition - not the best solution but the most Straight 
forward. 

The problem you have is that you will never be able 
to repartition your drive because you have to leave your 
System 2.04 partition alone, and if this is damaged you 
will not be able to boot your machine at ail, not even 
being able to get an AnrigaDOS window. 

The only other option is to buy the 3.1 KickStart 
ROMs and fit these to your A3000. 

You could then re partition and format your hard 
drive, and replace the files on it, but even this is not a 
perfect process because if you have important files on 
your System 2.04 partition, you would need to back 
these up before hand. 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL J 996 






ACK MAD 


1 have been attempting to install SyslHadk, but to no avail, I tan get the program to alter 
the sties of the sliders but cannot get the 3DIQQK option to work at all. I have added 
( *' the Run >NIL: SysiHatk IB 14 16 13 3DLOOK line just after the CSetPatch command in 
“ ’ the Startup-Sequence, so what am I doing wrong? All the screen shots in your February 
issue of ImageVision have 3D gadgets, so it must be working for you. 

Mark Mountford, Staffordshire 



I think you have missed something here, I mage Vision's buttons always look that 
way, and Sysihack just affects the look of the window gadgets and sliders. If 
you want to effect the look of system buttons, the new Urouhack does give 
your programs a more MUI look, and works quite weil, replacing SysiHack and 


MagicFrames. 



CONVERT 


i am a programmer on the, dare I 
say it, PC, but have had an Amiga 
J for a few years now. I have only 
really used it for games but now I 
have decided to start using it for 
more serious purposes, I have just bought a 
270Mb HD and am now trying tp get to 
grips with using Workbench rather than 
Windows, which 1 admit is easier for a lot of 
purposes* However, there are a lew areas 
that l am not Eamiliar with, and they ara not 
mentioned in the manuals and books I 
have. 

I understand that every icon has a .info 
file which has in it the data for the icon's 
picture and position. 1 would like tp know 
how the data is stored and how I could edit 
this data I have tried to use the Workbench 
tool I con Edit bur this seems limited to icons 
of SO by 40 pixels or less, yet I know icons 
can be huge. Perhaps there is a way i can 
save DPamt brushes and convert them to 
icons? 

I am also interested in how the system- 
configuration works. I know this contains 
data for the colours and resolutions of 
Workbench, speed of the mouse move- 
ment, keyboard sensitivity and the mouse 
sprite, Is there a program that allows you to 
edit this? Could I replace it with a program 
written in Blitz or any other language, or 
would I have to use 6B020 assembly 
language? 

Finally, is it possible to use the standard 
SVGA non-interlaced monitor I have on the 
PC with my A1 200, or do I have to shell out 
an extortionate amount of money to get a 
multisync monitor so I can read dearly the 
smaller fonts on Workbench? 

Eric Palmer , ; Grimsby 



I am glad to hear you find 
the Amiga's Workbench 

/ easy to use. Version 3 did 
bring quite a lot of useful 
improvements over the earlier 
versions, even though you still need a 
few programs such as Magkmenus to 
make it really easy to use. 

I cannot tell you how the icon data Is 
stored, but I doubt it would be complicat- 
ed, The best advice l could give you is to 


get hold of the program Icon! an. This is 
an extremely powerful icon editor, with 
more functions than you will probably 
need. Along with the ability to have icons 
of any ske, it has direct support for the 
Amiga clipboard so you can cut and 
paste brushes from D Paint straight into 
Iconian. It also has Datatype support so 
any picture file that you have the 
Datatype for can be loaded directly into 
Iconian. The picture is then automatically 
scaled and dithered to your settings. 

The system-configuration file is a 
throw-back to the old Workbench 1.3. 
Stored in the devs drawer, it holds basic 
information about the screen cal ours and 
position, pointer sprite and keyboard 
speed, and is now really redundant. 
Workbench 3 still reads this file but all its 
preferences are overridden by the new 
i Reefs program that gets its settings from 
the files stored in ENV:Sys. These are set 
by the Amiga's preference programs. 
Apart from using the old 1,3 preference 
program to change the system-configura- 
tion, you would have to get hold of a pro- 
gram called PRrefs that can be found on 
an old Freds' Fish disk. 

It should be possible to use an SVGA 
monitor on your AI300, but the problem 
is with setting your machine up. What 
you need to do is copy the MultiScan 
monitor driver into your PE VS 'Monitors 
drawer, which will either be In your 
storage drawer, or you can get it off the 
Storage Workbench disk. 

Once done, double-click on the moni- 
tor icon and load up the ScreertMode 
preference program. You will now be 
able to select the new multi Scan modes 
that the SVGA monitor can use. The prob- 
lem here is as soon as you select save, 
the screen on a normal TV will go hay- 
wire and you will need to switch off the 
TV and computer and then hook up the 
SVGA monitor and restart the computer. 
If all has gone well you should have a 
nice rock steady Workbench display. This 
happens because SVGA monitors cannot 
take the normal TV signal that normal 
Amiga screen modes work at 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 19 96 



Da you have a problem? Da you 
tome times find yours elf poised 
over your Amiga with axe in 
hand, spouting profanity at the 
stubborn refusal of your software 
or hardware to behave properly? 

Well, calm down and swap the 
axe for pert and paper, jot down 
your problems , along with a 
description of yowl - Amiga setup, 
and send it off fa Amiga 
Computing Advice Service , IDC 
Media , Media House, Adlingtorr 
Park , Macclesfield $KIQ 4NP, 
Alternatively , e-moil us at 
ACAS \§acomp, demon, co.uk 


Jargon 

bo 


SCS/ - £n?cH? CwnpirtW Systems Interlace, an 
standard rntwfdf'e ftert aMows you to terra up to i: 
connected at any ewe tonr 

IK - tniegreited Drive Becirwucs 

Zurffi - (fte name of toe eyponwor \ doif in toe^ 

The Aiwa hod the nngiml lano while toe A? 
had the t&-bit L-ersjLip mto the sporting i r * 
extended tt-bit Zorn? 3 version 

Kkk Start - toe rrome of (Jlte Amiga's Operot 
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vetffbn o t toe opening system you hCNQ- Version I 
jj Vtai-fri-ento I, 

PtortWoi? - vtowt 0 hatd drive is bemg set up you 
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Ganrrypci - Datatypes were jurtfocfocerf 

-I and ore modules hr landing efi 
fife types, to theory, orry program can use a'or 
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ttgfutotion 6m/. 




HAT S YOUR 

Interface? 


I have an A 1500 and a friend ol mine recently gave me a hard dr 
Whal I want to know is how can I get the drive to work, is it an IDE « 
SCSI drive, and what interface do l need? The dnve is made by Rodr 
I can find no mention of its capacity, and it has a 50-pin male connet 
tor at the rear. Also, is anyone selling accelerators for the Al 500 these 
days? There must be some bargains out there for 030/040‘s, but ncMa 
advertises them any more? 

David Daly, County Cork, Irek 

If the drive has a 50-pin interface then this means it must be i 
SCSI drives because IDE drives have either 40 or 46 pins, 
depending on whether they are 3.5 or 1,5 inch mechanist 
Therefore, to get this to work you will need a Zorro 1 SCSI 
interface, such as the Gktagon 4008, 

What you must remember is that the A 1 500 is just a rebadged AIOOO, so 
the same peripherals will work with both machines. Phase 5 and GVR pus- 
duce 060 accelerators for the A 1500/5000, and another option would U 
the Apollo 030 board. You should also remember that most of the 
A 1500/2000 accelerator cards come with SCSI interfaces, so you could HI 
two birds with one stune. 








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Affordable gubbins ahoy! 


Dave Cusick sails the good ship 
Amiga into the warm waters 
of the shareware sea... 


O hfe month s Public Sector definitely reflects the impressive diversity of 
PD and shareware, We've got demos, diskmags. game creation pack’ 
ages, Dungeon Master aids, adventure games, and Amos extensions. 
As the old saying goes, the best things in life are free, although 


sometimes there's a registration fee involved... 



MOS 


I NTU ITION 


Extension v 1 . 3 a 


Programmed by: Andy Church 
Available from: Fl Lkencewarc 
Disk No; FM20 


Amos use re are a very patient bunch, bear- 
ing with their favourite programming lan- 
guage even though it's always lagged a 
long way behind the tutting edge of Amiga 
technology. Fortunately, various Amos 
devotees have, in recent months, dragged it 
forcibly into the r 9Q$, first with the AC A 
Extension (reviewed a couple of issues 
back) and now with the Intuition Extension. 

One of the greatest problems with pro- 
gramming in Amos is that the language is 
totally system unfriendly. 

The irritating Amiga- A multitasking com’ 
bination (instead of the usual Amiga-M) 
and the program's habit of opening a spare 
blank screen are bad enough, but they are 
not half as annoying as the hideous Amos 


requesters and the need to create nasty 
Amos screens rather than using proper 
Workbench ones. 

Fortunately, thanks to the AMDS Intuition 
Extension, there is an alternative to learning 
C programming. The Intuition-lib file, which 
needs to be placed in the AMOS.system 
drawer, tomes in two flavours, catering 
both for Classic and Pro programmers. The 
extensive range of commands added by 
this library are all neatly described in the 
comprehensive AmlgaGuide documenta- 
tion, which helpfully cross-references 
entries and provides some command tem- 
plates. 

It would have been helpful if a few 
example files had been included, but this 
isn't a major omission and I suppose disk 
space was limited. This is another essential 
purchase for keen Amos programmers 
everywhere because it adds a whole new 
lease of life to the language. 



C Th« «ua«nsiv* 
AnfiguOLride 

means w±ing the 
Jntuifton £.i>cnii«n 
ihoulftn't ti* (m 
tough 


c 

With plenty of 
BxiWWjTons fn*i*rled. 
Ctar prospect of 
in 

Amen meomtP 

«(hUl( pieasartt... 



MOSZlNE #10 


Produced by: Andy Cibso 
Available from: FI licence ware 
Disk Not FI-121 (3 disks) 


it vi i i iin lttf 

|* Mi ^ „ 
sr 

pa- Stun# 


□ 


Moire Amos stuff from Fl Litenceware, who appear to have 
become the lone champions of the legendary language. 
The first of these three disks contains the actual diskmag, 
unsurprisingly written with Andy Gibson's own excellent 
Disk Mag Creator, meaning the presentation throughout is 
extremely impressive and the interface is friendly and easy 
to negotiate. 

As usual there are plenty of articles, 
ranging from readers' letters to gene- 
ral Amos- related news stories, person- 
al opinions, and discussion of 
programming matters. 

The other two disks are filled with 
archived bits of source code, demon- 
strating techniques and enabling keen 
Amos'ers to exchange ideas and 
methods. These are all well commen- 
ted and many are discussed in articles 
on the first disk. 

The whole package is definitely 
worth a look if Amos is your mug of 
steaming herbal stuff. 


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Amiga Computing 


APRIL 199 6 


ARflDY 


l want to hear from you i! you have an^ 
program, whatever its purpose, which yoi 
consider worthy of review. Whether i 1 wi. 
be freely distributable public domain 
shareware or kericewnre.. il you feel it 
of sufficient quality to merit coverage ihei 
slick it in a Jlily bug ur paddftd -rcvHopi 
and send it in 'with all haste. Althbugl 
Public Setter receives too many submit 
stems to c-m.-tE them all, t promise Hi a 
least luok at yOUf work '-.^n if it' y, 
another Lottery prugi^m- Klondike r-ir 
set II does n?»kt my job ? lot easifc 
though if disks we clearly Sahefl^d. Pleas 
also include a (Over letter detailing lh 
disk conte i til'll prfre. and giving som 
basic ir.struciinnsi i ho magic address is: 


Dave CuSick^ 

PD submissions 
Amiga Cqmpuffng 
Media House 
Adliugton Park 
Vtacdesfiftld SK 1 ti ANP 






B atman 
Demo 

Produced by: Batman Group 



If*mt*vU ft |Mrt« out dark an d moody .. 


I've never really been a big demo far. 
jrgely because I just don't see the point in 
talented programmers wasting their time 
-•aking fancy tejctu re- mapped cubes rotate 
and bouncing balls loom around the 
screen when they could be employing their 
t i tents in producing something altogether 
"’die, well, useful. The Batman demo Starts 
ut well, but alas falls into the usual trap 
eventually. 

The opening sequence Is eerily atmos- 
pheric, with dark visuals and some suitably 
sinister music. The Caped Crusader stands 
high above Gotham City as the lightning 
’ ashes and the thunder rolls, and then 
suddenly an ill-defined polygon spacecraft 
moots past like some sort of Frontier reject, 
and things are somewhat spoilt After that 
t goes rapidly downhill, and before you 
know it, you're watching rotating texture- 
-apped cubes and animated running 
Cheetahs. 

If s not as though all Batman references 
ere then abandoned, however; it's just that 
* T om there onwards, all you get are a large 
-rtman Returns poster scrolling up and 
down, and a wireframe model of Batman's 
mask thing spinning slowly around, It really 
« a bit disappointing that what starts out 
looking like an impressive animation dete- 
nu rates into a rather run-of-the-mill techni- 
cal workout. It could have been so much 
better. 

The frightening aspect fe that Batman is 
probably still the most imaginative demo 
i ve seen in a while. 



■..It Finishes up crap -and cheesy 



AR AS ITE 


Programmed by: Shaun Waters 
Available from: Ft lice nee ware Disk No: Ft-tis 


It’s Dungeon JM aster! Mo, wait; it's got a two- 
player split-screen mode, ft's Bloodwych! 

Alright, so originality wasn't high on Mr 
Waters' priority list when he sat down in front 
of his trusty machine to commence produc- 
tion of his latest effort: But graphics and style 
■obviously were., and so was playability. 

Parasite scores highly for its slick presenta- 
tion, which puts many commercial offerings 
to shame, It Parasite was a car. if d be some- 
thing like a Capri; not new, but certainly 
attractive. If it was a television program it 
would be Baywatcb; nice to look at, and with- 
out any sort of pretence of a plot. You see, in 
a sentence, Parasite is a tasty hrst-person 3D 
maze walkarourid thingy, with knobs on. 

It's an AGA-only game, and the moody 
graphics and the fun-packed, often confusing 
two-player option are what set Parasite apart 
from the numerous Black Dawn clones cur- 
rently knocking around the Public Domain, 

thtire are only really a couple of complaints I can level at Parasite Firstly, it appears that 
two r-ice are necessary for the two-player mode (just like Lemmings... blimey, there's a 
blast from the past). Secondly, if you don't happen to have a hanefy chum with an extra 
roden: :he walky fighty action can feel a little dated at times. Still, once you've cracked the 
control mechanism (which is not especially complicated) you really can get engrossed in a 
game of thes kind. Not bad at all 



' 1 Hat evaclly a new idea, 
but Parasite's playable 
enough a II Ell* 


[Horse Code Trainer 


Program med by: John J Caspar 
Available from John J Cassar 


The latest version of this rather specialised 
program is impressively slick, with a wide 
range of features. 

There's a ‘freehand 1 mode in which the 
user can simply press keys and find out the 
appropriate morse code signals. Helpfully, 
the program also lists other letters with simi- 
lar signals so that groups of associated letters 
can be lea ml The complete alphabet is, of 
course, covered, along with continental let- 
ters, numerals, punctual ion, procedure sig- 
nals, informal amateur CW abbreviations,, 
international Q-codes and R5T codes 
(although I confess to not knowing what half 
of those actually are). 

Morse Code Trainer also supports the 
Farnsworth method, in which letters and 
numbers are transmitted at a relatively low 
speed allowing distinctive rhythms to 
emerge. 

There are plenty of drills to practice, and 
the multiple speed settings allow you to start 
out at a comfortable pace and work up to full 
pelt 

The presentation is excellent, with a 
colourful and uncluttered screen layout and a 
sensible overall design. Whilst it will obviou- 
sly be fairly limited in appeal, Morse Code 
Trainer is an accomplished effort which 
serves its intended purpose extremely well. 
The program shouid run on any Amiga and is 
available directly from the author for £2. By 
the way, it's shareware, so radio buffs making 
regular use of Morse Code Trainer ought to 
send Mr Cassar a crisp fiver. 


horse (ode Trainer 


You pressed the litter ? nr u. 

For quirk Leant i«g this letter i s 
grouped utlh the lit firs H and fj 

These litters all start uith a dit. 



O fi'* fie f higJ).inch end trendy ms 

but fflwsa code la atiti ueefuL Manes f 

i 

HHVH 

horse Cade Trainer 




tending; Q 



n Oat dot daih, dal dal ata*H 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 19 96 







HA RE WARE 


a 



aphic Adventure Creator (CRAC) v2-0 


Programmed by: Edmund Clay 
Available from: FI Licenceware 
Disk No: FC-001 {2 disks & printed manual) 


If you've always wanted to create your very own Monkey Island-style pumiy- 
dicky graphic adventure but could never be bothered cracking some nasty 
programming language, then CRAC is the ultimate solution, A far cry from 
a t aphic adventure creators of yesteryear, which basically produced lent 
adventures sprinkled liberally with, some static images, GRAC is capable of 
creating some really impressive games. An example game. Lethal formula, is 
proof ol just what can be achieved with this excellent system, 

CRAC allows you to tie together images and animations created in other 
packages such as Deluxe Paint to create a believable game environment. 
Music and sound effects can, of course, be added too. Some of GRAC s fanc- 
ier features indude character scaling Sor realistic perspective effects, a script 
editor which is vastly improved from GRAC 1 to include 31 new commands, 
the facility to include up to 32 background objects in every room, and the 
option of switching between characters at any point in a GRAC game. 

The whole package costs £6.99, including an excellent 40-page manual 
which talks you through the entire game creation pmcess. From helpful 
advice on designing background graphics to a detailed look at the GRAC 
scripting language, everything you'll need to know to create top quality 
adventure games is included in this well-written booklet, There is also a 
step-by-step tutorial, which demonstrates the basic operation ol the GRAC 

editor. . 

This is most definitely the best non-commercial games creation package 

in existence. 1 can't recommend this program enough to eager game design 
ens, and I confidently predict that over the next few months Public Sector will 
be flooded with scores of cracking CRAC-created edvenrure games. 




vtjfk tfietsi 



iW 

: ••.ra 'HsA 




i 


C Thv 

QHAC front-end 


U Lathfll Formats: no! 
p mltUon rrtftes from 
the iogondory M ottkey 
r$land game* 



Qmp Pro v0.62 



Programmed by: Zach Forsyth 
Available from: Aminet (as game/role/ImpPfSmltia) 



As anyone who's ever participated in a fantasy role-playing 
game such as Dungeons & Dragons will know, a Dungeon 
Master's job is not an easy one. His task is not only to conjure 
up a believable fantasy environment in the minds ol the 
adventurers, but also to handle all the rules and. behind-the 
scenes details. 

lmpPro makes the task much simpler by placing a variety at 
useful aids at the DIM'S fingertips. An intuition -based modular 
program, lmpPro can keep track of game time, generate mon- 
sters using information from its large monster database, create 
suitably impressive names for characters and titics, and even 
generate lists of shops for towns and supply details of price 
and availability for the wares they sell. 

It can also display a scrolling diungeo n map which the 
author hopes will soon be linked to an events module, making 
it much easier to run dungeon romps. Once monsters have 
been slain, treasure hoards can be swiftly generated and 
experience points dished out to the players responsible. 

Other impressive and incredibly helpful features include the 
facility to simulate the rolling of dice, either individually or in 
large quantities, and to keep track of monster and character hit 
points, as well as allowing swift access to important gaming 



tables such as 
those listing 
saving throws 
and hit rolls. 

Many of the 
modules Inter- 
act with one 
another so, for 

example, details of defeated beasties are automatically 
recorded in the Game Log. 

Whilsi ImpPTo is not yet finished, it is already an essential 
program for any DM- Although specifically tailored for the 
Advanced Dungeons £ Dragons game, the world's most pop> 
uIpt RPG system, it can easily be adapted for use with other 
fantasy systems. In the future, extra modules are planned, 
most notably including ones to handle horses and combat, 
and basic details on constructing your own modules are 
thrown in too. Totally excellent 



IT fri4d Ouyno lelces on a motley coJJ*#lfan of hoastia* 
*miad only with Ate tm»ty staff, **9*r to la* tow mils on 
thm small unoraaimd orymtat hraziar with pictures. 

AOjS D, so rFiuch bottm than rl looked in E -T, 


C The fantasy city of 
Hfjeh0lilV«ld; in tf» 
words of 6an Koitobi, 
until not WW b 
more wratohed hive 
of gfruiti and villaJiiy' 


Something 

HOT IN A COLD 









Power CD-ROM for the Amiga 
I 1200 plugs directly into the 
* VI C I A do rt and provides a direct 
l and SCSI-1! interface, allowing 
. p to six additional devices to be 
t nnected. What's more the Power 
“ -^OM features a 'Hot-plug' which 
••Hows you to connect and disconnect 
the CD-ROM and any other additions 
devices even when the Amiga is 
twitched on 

Tne CD-ROM drive comes with a SCS! 
interface, P5U, manual, audio lead, 
mains lead and software which 

■ 'ludes Audio CD. CD32 Emulator, 
VPEG Film Decoder and Photo CD 

AMIGA 600/1200 

1 2 SPEED CD-ROM incsqumrel .£179 

■ 4 SPEED CD-ROM imc squirrel £249 

AMIGA 4000 

DIMl SPEED CD-ROM EXT £1 39 

3 JAD SPEED CD-ROM £XT £1 99 

AMIGA 4000 SCSr-lNTERFACC £129 

SCSI CABLE £10 





SCSI SCSI ID AUDIO 

CONNECTORS SWITCH IN /OUT 



AMI NET SET 1 {4 CD'S) 

£25 

AMINET5ET 2 

£2 5 

AMINET6 . 

£12 

AMINfT 7 

£12 

AMINET6 

.... £12 

AMINE! 9 . . . , 

...... £12 

MEETING PEARLS 1 . . . 

£10 

meeting PEARLS 3 

, £10 

AMIGA TOOLS 3 , , , 

£25 

X 1 PAINT V3 2 

£35 

CD- WRITE . . , . 

...... £39 

CD-8001 1.0 

£29 


FOR ANY CD-ROMS NOT LISTED 
PLEASE CALL 01234-273000 

'Dual SpLLS CD-ROM CASING 
DIEfERS FROM UNt SHOWN 
SCSI INTERFACE REqUIRED FOR A4DDQ 



1.5 Times more powerful 
than: the Amiga 4 DOO/ 040 

RAM Access 3.5 times quicker 
than the Amiga 4000/040 

Easily upgradable to the 
630 60 Processor 



FALCON 68040RC 25MHZ . £399,95 
FALCON 68060 RC 50MHZ . £649,95 

4MB SIMM . £89.95 

SMB SIMM . £189.95 


16MB SIMM 1399.95 

FALCON NO CPU £389.95 


SCSI ADAPTOR .......... £2 9 .9 5 

All Falcon'ii cam* complete with a cooling fan 


■ IIIHIIII^ 

The Viper 2S can have up to I2BME 
RAM installed, full Kickstart remapping, 
optional SCSI II adaptor, on-board 
battery backed clock, 6S-BB2 co- 
processor optional r instruction and data 
burst modes, 

VIPER 28 MKII BARE £119-95 

VIPER 28 MKII 2MB , , , . £1 79-95 

VIPER 28 MKII 4MB £199.95 

VIPER 28 MKII BMB £299.95 

VIPER 28 MKII 16MB £489.95 

VIPER MKII SCSI ADAPTOR .£69.95 


VIPER 50MHZ 


The Viper 50 can have up to 128MB 
RAM installed, and the Same features 
as the Viper 28. 

VIPER 50 BARE £199.95 

VIPER 50 2MB £269.95 

VIPER 50 4MB .......... .£289.95 

VIPER 50 SMB £389.95 

VIPER 50 16MB .£599.95 


CO-PROCESSOR 


fPU's complete with crystal. Please 
state for Blizzard compatibility, 

20MHZ FPU PLCC £20.95 

33MHZ FPU PLCC £39.95 

40MHZ FPU PLCC £60.95 

5QMHZFPUPGA £89,95 

VIPER MKT SCSI-ADAPTOR , £79-95 

4MB SIMM £89-95 

BMB SIMM , £189-95 



AT200 SMB RAM card which uses l x 
32 SIMMs and is PCMCIA friendly. 


PC120B BARE , £55,95 

PC 1208 1MB £85,95 

PC120B2MB . .. £119.95 

PCI 208 4MB £145.95 

PCT208 SM0 £249.95 


OR ORDER FORM SEE OPS ADVERT 


T£L: 01234 273000 fax: 01234 352207 


Md KB 


POWER COMPUTING LTD 44A/B STANLEY ST. BEDFORD MK4 1 7 H W 



P 0 w 

LU 

■ 

CC 


»il Nki- v.LUIlt lit-' VUlFCAllO"! 4H[I "HOtiME iUI rff Id I HAHUi ■V'l- IUl HI?ri(E.*l| rkaOiUARlt AM JKKHMkUIMId *1 L aims H millHb QKH1 lhIMliStt ML M «IW tD IHIir lAMA* • <0 UJ> fHU<, nv;i >;i m - m ■ i- 1Mp(, COKtO* MMMI *b*fc.U.I mi Of CIIMGCON UQIK11 
















Frank Nord takes a look at some 
of the most popular video recorders 
and cameras to see which is most 
suitable for your editing needs 

All hands to the deck 

first up is out selection of video recorders, starting with the cheapest and working our way up,.. 


B hilips Matchline 

VR 757 

Price: E 429.99 Tel: 01 Bl -689 «444 

The cheapest deck in our round-up, the Philips Matchline is a very good looking 
rnachine with unusual top-of-deck controls and a stylish remote handset Fot a 
relatively cheap machine, the Matchline has an extremely good picture and its 
four head mechanism gives good re-recording fidelity. As is becoming the norm, 
the Matchline features PDC in addition to the now familiar Video Plus*, so it wilt 
be good for off-air recording sessions as well as editing. 

Editing features on the Philips include an assemble edit feature for up to eight 
edits, and Philips have taken the precaution of adding a synchro edit socket on 
the back, of the machine which can cope with a wide variety of connector types. 
The machine automatically performs a pre-noil to ensure that your in/out points 
aTe matched to your requirements. Finally, the deck also caters for 16:9 recording 
and will automatically switch a compatible wide screen television over to wide 
screen mode when playing them back, 

Connections: 2 x 5<Ml stereo audio in r stereo audio out, 
synchro edit socket front video and stereo audio connections 
Features: Synchro edit assemble edit (both with pre-roli), 

Video Pius+ f POC, index searching, 16:9 recording NICAM stereo 

Format- VH$ 




M 

ITSUBISHI 

HS-I 

M 1 000 


Price: £699.99 Tel: 01707 276100 

Mitsubishi's gold-sprayed recorder is getting 
on a hit now, being the oldest recorder m the 
bunch we are reviewing, but that doesn't stop 
it from being the best edit deck in our round- 
up. Although its looks may be ostentatious 
eighties in style, its performance leaves little 
to be desired, The only 5-VHS deck in our 
selection this month, the M10M has a full 
complement of useful functions. 

For a start, the Ml 000 has the ability to 
play back NTSC recorded tapes, although it 
can only do so with the linear stereo track on 
the tape, not the Hi-fi one, and it can also play 
bad and record the specially formulated 16:9 
broadcasts from television. The MlOOO's 
Jog/Shuttle dial is used to choose options 
from the on-screen display when recording or 
setting video functions and gives a. very fast 
visual search. Index marks can he created and 


deleted manually, which is very handy fo 
finding those special moments on your tapes 
and the Ml ooo has the ability to pla 1 , 
an indexed section over and over agait 
indefinitely should you wish it to. 

Perhaps more useful for the budding edito 
is the Mitsubishi's date and time insert fun: 
tion which will add eg text to your recording 
to make it easier to catalogue or timestamp. I 
good deck for a very reasonable price. 

Connections: 2 x SCART, Y/C Stereo audh 
out edit socket front video f CVB5 and Y/t 
and stereo audio connections ( Ail gold plots 
connectors) 

Features: Assemble edit index searching, fo: 
visual search , record and ploybacl 

NTSC, playback , child lock , dotestomp fum 
tton, art-screen controls, NtCAM stereo sound 
Format: 5-VHS 

mi i ii mi wi—iii 1 1 ii nifirnifrrnrri tim 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 




) madness 


rs 


K 

up-. 




f for 

V&r 

play 

gain 

ditor 
unc- 
ding 
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Y/Q 

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nd 


VC HR J 72 5 




Price: £ 469.99 Tel: 018 MS 0 S 2 B 2 

• ■C's new stereo video is another sty I ash 
looking deck. The controls on the front 
: anel and remote are all well laid out and the 
lure and sound quality is up to JVCs usual 
standard. 

There are two outstanding features on this 
lecorder for editing. One is the ertremefy fast 
rsual search with 14 x normal speed The 
ther is JVCs random assemble edit feature 
which aflows the user to set up eight edit 
points from a tape and reorder them as 
desired The video performs a pre-rail to ensure 
that the edit points are as accurate as they can 
be without any sort of timeco-dm^ and results 
re generally good with this system. 

The video comes with the ubiquitous Video 


OLDSTAR D 

Recorder 


Prke: £799 99 Tel: 01 755 540400 

The only twin format recorder in the round up, 
the Goldstar is a death star of a deck Big. black 
and bulky, it has a Hi8 slot on the left of the 
-nachine and a standard VHS slot on the right 
'he LEO display has been widened accordingly 
to provide information for both tapes and the 
machine is obviously designed (or recording 
bom one format to the other, However, the 
quality of the deck, while satisfactory, is not 
outstanding, and the choice of VHS rather than 
S-VHS does seem a little odd in combination 
with a Hie tape as the best quality won t be 
achievable in the transfer from one to the 


Pius {with the oft neglected 'add time' feature, 
This will become obsolete when PDC comes to 
ail channels, but until then it remains a feature 
only found on a few Video Plus+ compatible 
decks and the original VideoPlus+ handset) 
and the becoming-ubiquitous PDC for off-air 
recording, and has the usual complement of 
facilities. In short a good buy in the sub £500 
bracket. 

Connection*: 2 x SOW 7! stereo audio out 

socket front video add Stereo audio connec- 
tions 

Features: Random assemble edit Video Pfus+ t 
PD G index searching, fast visual search 
NiCAM stereo sound 

Format: VHS 


ouble Deck 

DV171 


other. The recorder also has pretensions 
towards standard home use with VideoPlu$+ 
and PDC recording and a child lock. 

The recorder also has manual index 
insertion and deletion functions, but the lack of 
any A/V connections must limit this deck's 
attractiveness to the home editor. 

Connections. 2 x SCAR! 

Features: Synchro edit (from one deck to Che 
other), manual index insert and remove and 
index searching, child lock, VideoPlusd and 
PDQ NiCAM stereo sound 
Format VH$/Hi8 




Camera action 


Starting with the cheapest again, we present four cameras that might suit 
your budget, needs and format, All the cameras we reviewed came with a 
standard set of accessories which included a battery, battery charger 
shoulder strap and tape. The JVC camcorders atso came with an adaptor to 
play back VHS-C or 5-VHS-C tapes on standard VHS or 5-VHS- video recorders. 
You can buy one of these separately, but expect to pay about £20 for a motor 
wind version like those included with these cameras. Don't be tempted to 
buy one of the cheap ones that retail for £10 or less as these are 
hand-wound and quite often damage your tapes because of over tensioning. 


AM S U N G VP-U 1 2 


Price: £459,99 Tel: 01 81-39 1 825S 




Our first camera up for testing is Samsung's very cheap U12 model The U12 
actually manages to look slightly more expensive than its price tag should 
warrant. The only giveaway is the tacky looking viewfinder arm which is plas- 
ticky and feels insecure. The viewfinder itself is mono, unsurprisingly, but the 
picture from it is sharp and dear. The camera is in the mid- range for weight 
coming in at an acceptable CLSkg, and the mono microphone is set well back 
on the body to avoid lens noise from the autofocusing motor. 

For such a cheap camera you may well be surprised to learn that it has a 
variety of tricks up its lenscap such as a portrait mode, sports mode, 
and high speed mode, although the manual doesn't actually 
mention how fast the shutter speed is on these last two. It 
also has a fader and posterisation trick functions 
to add to the fun, and a titling 
function. Unfortunately for me, 
the camera we received 
came with a manual in 
either Norwegian or 
Swedish, nei- 
ther of which 
languages 1 
am particu- 
larly fluent 
in, so 1 had a 
little troubfe, 
but providing 
you get a manu- 
al in a language you ate 
familiar with, this camera is well worth 
auditioning if you are on a restricted budget 


Connections: Video and audio out external Mic DC RF 
Features: }2x Zoom , remote control titling, program modes . 

Special effects: Fader, Posterisation, interval recording (for time lapse ) 
Format: VideaS 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 


E 










VC GR 
HF900 

Price: £749,99 Tel: 0181 -450 1291 

Our first camcorder from JVC in this found up is a 
neat square VHS-C Camcorder which weighs in at 
just under 0,8 of a kilo- 

This little boot is feature rich with a list that can 
start with stereo audio facilities (along with an 
external mic connection), a powerful floodlight for 
those poorly lit parties, a colour viewfinder, that, 
unlike some, is quite true to the actual colours 
recorded to tape (apart from a slight yellow tinge), 
and an image stabilising feature. The HF9O0 doesn't 


Jargon 

— box 


stop there though. It also has a wide range of trick 
features to suit every occasion, as they say. 

There's a 'widescreen 1 mode that chops the top 
and bottom off your footage to give it that cine- 
mascope feel, and a sepia, mode that turns every- 
thing a dull brown to make it look like you are 
actually using a very old super 8mm camera with 
very old stock instead of a state-of-the-art piece of 
Ear eastern technology. 

If you are shooting at dusk or dawn you can 
turn on the twilight function which changes the 
white colour balance to try to ensure that your 
colours are a bit more hue to life. There's also the 
usual gamut of portrait modes, sports and 
high-speed modes with vastly increased shutter 
rates for capturing the 
action as it happens. 

Overall, the HF9O0 t% 
a great little camera, 
particularly since its price 
drop of E50. 

Connections: Video and 
stereo audio out, edit, 

® ffemat Mic DC RF 
Features; J2x Zoom, 
remote control, titling, 
program modes, focus 
fixing, image stabiliser, 
limited selection of 
preset titles (wedding, 

Christmas, birthday, etc.} 

Special effects: Wide- 
screen, Sepia, Twilight, 

Fader, interval recording 
(far time lapse) 

Format: 5- VHS-C 


PDC - Programme Delivery 
Control ■ FDC currently 

used by BBCl and Channel 
4 . Si sends a signal out at 
the start and end of 
prugramme s sc that vrttea 
iwanrfers cow sfarr and stop 
recording a programme at 
the appropriate tv me. This 
shou/d mean that even if a 
football match goes info 
overtime,, you won'r miss 
anything 

ft'icam - fli'e-pr Jnstanl- 
traeaus Compounded Audio 
Multiplex. A stereo broad- 
cast iystem developed by 
the BBC and adopted 
by the UK and several 
other countries far s/ereo 
tjwismjss«iT. 

Pre-Rai! - a method to help 
get edit points right. 
Because take some 
time to stun 1 ploying bad or 
recording a pre-roSI is nec- 
essary to ensure that you 
.start recording or fire time 
set and oof after, 
rode* .searching - an index 
mark: is a tog on your wtteo 
tap* that normal indicate'-. 
when you fra ye started 
recording. Same video 
recorders, as you e an lee 
from the reviews, can 
mdoueriify insert index 
maria. Index marts can be 
searched for using an index 
search f aohty on your 
remote contra/. 


harp VLH420H 

VlEWCAM 


Price: £ 1,200 Teh OfiOO 2*2 95 B 

Sharp made a complete departure from the 
normal handgrip-at-the-side, iook-down-a 
small-tube-style of camcorder with this new 
design. In case you've never seen one before, 
the photos show the way it works. The 
viewfinder is the large LCD panel on the back 
of the camera body and the camera's lens is 
on a swivel mounted arm on the side of the 
camera and almost looks like an afterthought 
One of the major benefits to this manner of 
operation is that you can hold the Viewcam 
up above your head if you're standing in d 
crowd without los- 
ing the ability to 
see what you are 
recording, Sim- 
ilarly, it you want a 
puppy's eye view 
of things, you can 
hold the camera 
down low (tie it to 
a broom handle if 
ycu J re really brave) 
and run along with 
it like that. The 
Viewcam also 
makes taking foot- 
age of yourself much easier as the screen can 
swivel all the way around to face the front of 
the camera. As you do so, the on-screen 
controls all flip so that you can still read them 
- a nice touch. 

As for performance, the Viewcam is okay, 
but not outstanding in the quality stakes. The 
stereo sound on the camera, I received for 
Teview was particularly clear and the picture 
was certainly reasonable. 

The camera does weigh more than your 
average camcorder at 1,2kg, but its design 
means that this rarely becomes a problem 
unless you need a hand free I have to say I 


am slightly worried about the durability of the 
connection between the body of the camera 
and the lens arm as my review model seems 
slightly wobbly, 

Connections; Video (composrle and Y/Q and 
stereo audio out , DC RF (all on o plug-in 
module), headphones, external Me. 

Features: 20x zoom, remote control, manual 
focus and exposure, program modes, 
snapshot, image stabiliser, macro lens 
Special effects ; Fader, Widescreen 
Format: Hid 


R-SX1 


Price: £79939 Tel: 0181450 3282 

The last camera got a great review and I stand 
by it, until that is, you have a look at this one. 
The 5X I (not to be confused in any way, shape 
or form with tfre CD32 add-on, by the way], is 
the S-VHS-C big brother (it weighs slightly 
more too, at 1kg) to the HF9C0 and used to 
cost £1000, With the price reduction to only 
300 quid, you'd be a fool to pass up this 
opportunity for better quality. You might, of 
course, need to upgrade you r video recorder to 
a more suitable spec as well, but that's the 
price of progress. 

The SXi Has the same raft of features as the 
HP9D0 - the widescreen, sepia, twilight and 
sports/highspeed modes (highspeed on the 
SX1 actually goes up to 4000 frames per sec- 
ond), and adds the ability to fade in or out and 
fade in or out from colour to mono, Of vice 


versa. Both JVC cameras are equipped with an 
edit socket and offer an assemble edit function 
to synchronise your video recorder to the 
camera, and the SX1 can create index marks 
from the remote. 

I'll finish as I started, This camera represents 
extremely good value lor money and should be 
snapped up by anyone with an eye to better 
than average quality. 

Connections: Video (composite and Y/Q end 
stereo audio out, edit, DC RF, external Mk . 
Features: Wx variable speed zoom, remote 
control [ program modes, manuo/ focus ood 
exposure, image stabiliser 
Special effects: Colour fader/ fader. 
Widescreen, Septa, Twilight interval recording 
(for lime (apse) 

Format: S-VH5-C 


Amiga Computing 








For s small scale amateur produce 

tion, youll ideally need the 

following;: 

Writer - without a decent one, you 
might as well return that 
camcorder to Dixons now. 

Producer/ Director - who organ- 
ises the fundamentals, 
brings what money there 
is to a production, and 
then changes bats and 
calls the shots. 

Production Assistant - the vital 
organiser who helps the 
director stay on track. 

Lighting Camera operator - who'll 
turn that vision into a real- 
ity. A thorough under- 
standing of how to get 
the best out pt lighting in 
any shape ot form will 
add immeasurably to a 
production Rafter all, m 
somewhai pretentious 
terms, you are painting 
with light* so to speak 
Quite). 

Sound Recordist - ideally, a 
detachable microphone 
and manual sound con- 
trols included on your 
camcorder are vital, 

For maximum effect, 
these will require the 
aural expertise of the 
sound recordist to get the 
maximum benefit 

Editor - the person that splices alt 
those shots together into 
a seamless masterpiece. 


'There's a 
novel in 
all of us.' 
Adam 
Phillips 
believes 
there's a 
i; film or two 
tucked 
away 
inside us 
as well... 


O he world is crammed with people itching to unleash their vision onto 
the cinema screen or even just the local town hall in front □! a mass 
of friends and relatives. While wild enthusiasm may start you off 
thinking about that glittering career, movie-making usually has a very 
defined process that needs to be learnt The very nature of putting 3 production 
together from start to finish can be a complex and lengthy process. Here for your 
perusal is a bite-sired guide thatTI hopefuFly start you on the road to becoming a 
doer instead of a dreamer. 


ACT I 

iCT II 

ACT HI 

exposition 

dmlopMfc: 

resolution 

intro lain okr 

"ttrot rocks' at 

hut the hero 

ard "the problem 

Min char, tore 

cones through 

or obstacle, that's 

complication “the 

(rally), "the 

the char and That's 

plot thickens r 

happy ending" 

in tk lay? 

ILDfOlPT PLOT POUT 


PLOT fm (pp 25-30): 

(pp 55-60) : 


something happens in the 

again, southing happens 


story to shift foots, to 

to shift focus, increase 


tighten tension and intake 

linger to mam char getting 


the prohlem/okUcle tongkr 

pkt s/he rants; reversals 


than it seemed before 

of fortune can happen 



Friil PLOT four (ppB5-90): 

the hero nay fail; danger 
abounds, obstacles ewjrohere 



Amiga Computing 









RE-PRODUCTION 


*■*■**» ««-SE «**m «* r^^°*ri of ?rJZ?z 


qood scripts are gora oust me founaocion or any nun ur nucn, u “ * , =* 

to been disserted by many jWflfessianaf ward maesfrai. Judging from Cbe production 
fre that is Hollywood, it's painfully dear that even same of tie tap dags baven r f got 

(bar beads round the basics . , . . - 

w scnpf starts off usually with a story. The favoured route is to start at the begin 

ning, work through the middle, and wind up at the end. Jfr die da$&c movie struct 
fare split into three arts. There are afways successful oppo 
sites to tb/s (take a look of Pulp Fiction' s 


leaping time frame), but you con t break 
the rules unless youVe teornt them, 
if you bo ire o re/atrve/y clear idea 
about the story you wont to tell, the best 
place to start is to tell the story in simple 
words in the shape of a treatment Flick on 
the Amiga , boot up Wordsworth, and type 
envoy.. Don't include any dialogue - classic 
movf’e teachings dictate that the story 
should be told in images and actions, nor 
through the spoken word. Once you've 
bashed out the stoty leave it for a couple of 
days and then read through ft. ff you find 
yourself flinching at certain moments, change 
jboat for something more appropriate, 

IMth any story, never be precious - think of 
all the options for your characters and bow 
theyll face the conflicts thrown up throughout 
the film's journey, Rewrite, chop and change 
until you're happy you have what appears to be 




RODUCTION 


The shoot Itself is where dll that preplanning comes 
into fruition. Schedules should flow like clockwork. 
Actors will get their lines in the first take and! the sto- 
ryboard makes the transition front paper to the big 
screen gracefully. The reality is somewhat different 
Things can go wrong. The weather will change. A passing 
jumbo will drown out the sound, and certain shots will 
eat into your schedule more than you'd like. 

Throughout all this, you must be prepared to make 
compromises and have a PA sharp enough ta reor range 
times in a matter of minutes to help put you back on 
track. Above all, always appear to be in control - if you've 
done your planning properly, you'll invariably find that 
your mind is focused enough to come up with informed 
decisions nri the spot. Call it a form of programming your 
subconscious [see Freud] 

To keep morale high on set, try and keep the shoot 
running as fluidly as possible so that complacency 
doesn't set in (very apparent at times on am# if shoots 
when people realise that filming isn't as glamorous as 
they thought it was). 

Always check everything you've shot there and then. 
This doesn't mean you have to look all the way through 
the entire two minute take, but simply at the end of the 
section to make sure the tape isn't a dud. At the end of 
each shooting day, look through the rushes (takes) to 
make sure you don't need to reshoot anything. If you do. 
it's better to find out there and then than later in the heat 
of editing. 

One final note is to remember continuity - use a 
Polaroid camera to take snaps of what the actors are 
wearing how a location looks and so on if the shooting 
of a particular scene ts spread out over a few days. 



mar rs atreaay very souk w«meu. — • 

rasssarifr the content itself, write out each scene on a piece of paper with a $» 
header. Arrange each card on a wall and take a long bard look - ask y&ursetl if one | 
th e scenes might be better if moved forward in the film and vice verso, This visual rate' 
ence guide can realty hdp to blow away any cobwebs of os 
analysts when viewing balky text onscreen, 

When done it's time to ptougb rata toe artuaf scree™ 
ing itself. This process should be far less taxing if you've dc 
all your bomeivarfc beforehand. Keep dialogue to a minimi 
and use it as on opportunity (a set up tortbef intrigue for f 
viewer - simple exposition of the plot is dull and unlnvotvit 
For further info, and if you have o Nt 
account visit the Screenwriter's Resource (http://www.it 
portcom/-cdeemer/Screenwriters.html) which offers val 
able insights into the craft and, more importantly, he 
many pros who are constantly talking to one another o vt 
the Web about the i ns and outs of writing for the screen. 

Once the script bos gone through various drafts whe . . 
jf bas been honed l sharpened and structured, it's time fr 
st bad and ad yourself how much all this is going to 
cart you. If you've written an epic Genghis Khan screen- 
play toot runs at four hours, you may as well throw it \ 
toe bin now or try your luck flogging it fa some"' 
(toots a whole book in itself). 

Meanwhile, if you've managed to construct a simj. 
but intriguing piece, you could easily shoot ft on F 
Hi-8 camcorder. The thing to ahvxjjrs remember is todl 
white on initial thought you might possibly percew 


h tuf** 1 * ,y# £ 


four drawing sfcllN 
don't rwAd to be 
Bj(*rnpJarr lor 
rt«ryib0arcl* - s* 
Jdfifl af Ui«y 
fonnnrtunjcatp 



APRIL 1996 



I 












~ cr there e ire only a few minor expenses to incur, there are always a myriad of costs to 
consider. First off the bat you'll need ortcws, a skeleton crew (only three to four mem- 
rtrbJ, video stock, lighting , locations and more. Sit down with the script and go through it 
A to* P r op$ ore needed? What locations? Any extras? Put has k headings far each part of 
“• process - Crew; cost equipment editing, stationary and so on, "hen fill in oil the efe- 
" ents under each heading - you'll find that sheet of paper 
can suddenly become very full. 

Mile you may well he able to get much of the listed 
’■:-r free in the shape of enthusiastic film fans and friends 
y-vmg a helping hand, itll help you work out every efe- 
^-errf that is vital to the production. Use Final Calc, the 
Amiga's premier spreadsheet, to lay out your needs 
cod their prices to create □ budget sheet Armed with 
m overall cost that you feel can be achieved, it's time 
to start organising the shoot 

Unless you're a hyper confident director, story - 
boards ore a vital element of any production. Terry 
Qlliam (ex-Monty Python and director of Fisher 
' ‘og and Twelve Monkeys) has only just started 
not to use them. By using drawings to map out 
eacfi shot, a dear vision can be built up for you 
to work from. The finished result should by no 
rneons be obsofirte - the very nature of film 
making is that you might get a better idea on 
the day or be forced into another while on 
location. Never be afraid to change your 
mind and deviate from the storyboard, 
unless you're adding effects in post produc- 
tion using your Amiga and LightWave 


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(these need to be exactly planned). With each frame of the storyboard, fill in a short 
description below of exactly what is happening and any dialogue that is to be spoken. 
Don't worry if you're not on accomplished drawer - basic stick men. buildings and so 
forth will do the job adequately. Just make sore they're dear enough for the camera 
operator to understand though . If you have absolutely no faith in your drawings whatso- 
ever, then writing put what each shot will entail can be enough. 

Once you’ve achieved this, it's time to write up a shot list. With your production assis- 
tant, sit down and go through the storyboards, giving each shot a number. Then con- 
struct a list of shots, a brief description, and work out roughly how long each is 
going to take to shoot After this, schedule each scene into your 
shooting days. Certain scenes may be shot togeth- 
er due to the same location, but never expert to 
shoot shots in exact order. Moving about and can- 
stonily resetting can take too much time. 

While you're juggling all this info, also list all the 
costumes, locations and props that'll be required for 
the production. Ask a friend to help out with the 
organising - if you can't , you're going to need the 
patience of a saint Location hunting should be carried 
out with the camera operator and can be done before 
or after the storyboards - expect changes though on the 
day That imagined shut might just prove to be too 
impractical or time consuming to carry oof, 

Once the storyboards, shot list, and time schedules 
haw- been drawn up, it's time to search oof the actors f. see 
panel}. On securing their talents, setting the date of the big 
shoot is the final step before the plunge 






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ww 


Alffed Hitchcock referred to them as "cattle." James Cameron has dismissed them as "puppets," The general public 
think they can be luwies." Good actors, however, in the amateur scene can be difficult to hunt down. There are places 
to begin that search for the right face for the part - try hooking up with the local amateur dramatics society and go 
along to see a performance. There may well be another Emma Thompson strutting her stuff in a Noel Coward play 
desperate to get some film/video experience Hame a chat with the director to see if they can recommend anyone. 

Universities, colleges and drama schools are also ripe hurting ground for blossoming talent - put up advertisements 
in the student bars and other public places to see if anyone takes a bite. Again, they usually wilL To them, as with you, 
they want experience and aren't too bothered about payment as long as they are working with someone who has a 
professional attitude and they don't have to cough up £30 for their travel expenses. 

The pros have saeentests and casting couches (regrettably alive and kicking even in humble little Britain). The new- 
bie has enthusiasm and sincerity as their principle tools. With any interested parties, interview them and make sure 
they are both confident and flexible enough to offer ideas for the performance and also receive direction. Rehearsals 
are vital for any production - it can alter the storyboards and shot list as you and the performers work on the script to 
bring it to life How you treat actors varies between individuals. While there's straightforward direction giving, some per- 
formers need to be handled with kid gloves or an iron hammer respectively. For example, Sigourney Weaver is quite 
happy to admit that she likes the director to look after her and 'nurture her performance' while others will start eating 
the set if you decide to Interfere too often. For identifying what type of approach you'll need, that interview is especial- 
ly important 

Directing actors has had several hundred books written about it over the years. For first timers, the rule is bask - 
keep it simple. Don't stand waxing lyrical about 'character arcs' and other chin stroking exercises. lit can help the very 
inexperienced to envisage what they need but, more often than not it’ll end up in confusion - by about half way 
through the shoot the performers will know more about the character than the director ever will if each has done their 
job properly. 

Give to-the-point directions, A single word or explanatory phrase. The more you explain a scene or a line, though, 
the less impact you'll have and less chance the actor will have to 'make it their own. it's important that the penny 
drops on its own accord instead of you trying to shove it down everyone's throat Directing actors is all about experi- 
ence ancf you will make mistakes. 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 


B 






Most of us can't afford the sometimes extortionate prices that edit- 
ing facilities cost For more info on what the Amiga can do for you, 
check out this issue and in the February issue for details on the 
rather fabulous Draco system that would have most pro editors 
whimpering to their bosses for money. 

The first stage before jumping into the rushes is to log every 
shot This can be done during the actual shoot itself, but it can be 
carried out at leisure afterwards by going through the tapes and 
marking down what time each take starts at on a particular tape. 
Also, decide there and then which takes you will most likely use - 
this all saves time with the actual editing process. 

The editing process itself usually has the three stages - the 
rough cut (slapping everything together with no real attention to 
exact timings to see how well the whole production hangs togeth- 
er), the second cut {making accurate cuts and taking out unneces- 
sary shots) and the final cut (where the video ts honed to tiear-as- 
damn 'd: perfection). Never be afraid to write off shots if they aren t 
necessary - if they're not needed, they'll dissolve the impact of the 
film when showed to an over-critical audience. 

Never underestimate the power of editing. It sets the pace of the 
entire film and breathes Life into your separate shots and makes it 
a whole, attention-grabbing experience. Once you're done snip- 
ping, all you need to do now is show it to as many people as possi- 
ble [see panel]. 




H 


ERE TO NOW? 


The one truly valuable thing to always bear in mind when 
considering a professional career is simple - talent is a 
prerequisite, The real deal is that you must make contacts. 
There are certainly plenty of talented people without jobs 
in the industry and plenty' nf average directors and writers 
peddling their wares on our TV and cinema screens. How 
come they made it? Because they know someone in the 
business either as a friend or relative, or they have the 
social skills to network themselves into a job. 

It's an incredibly important talent and vital for success in 
the film industry where socialising and getting your face 
seen means everything. If you have a friend or relative in 
the business, don't just sit there with your lower jaw stuck 
out in indignant pride thinking "I will do this myself. I'm 
not jolly well going to leech off someone else." Get out 
there and wring every last drop of career-building juice 
out of a contact, if it's family, all the better - nepotism 
is good. 

Another vital element to 'making if is to get your work 
seen. Short of being put out on general release or broad- 


cast an television, if s vital that your production must make 
a splash somewhere. Film festivals are the first and most 
obvious port of call 

From county film shows to international festivals, the 
amateur does have plenty of places to put their work on 
show. You'll usually find that the smaller affairs are simply 
far enthusiasts who want to enjoy the experience of 
movie-making but are non-plussed about getting 
anywhere. Again, set your targets feasibly high. Find out 
which festivals have high profile - while the Oscars are 
obviously a no go in most cases, the likes of the Cork film 
festival and the Chicago film festival do attract a fair-sized 
audience. Check out the British Film Institute's film and 
television handbook for more details. 

Depending on how much money you have for video 
dupes and how good you think your work is, send out 
tapes to targeted production companies and individuals. 
Again, just pick up a copy of BFTs handbook to see the 
amount of different production companies and what they 
may be interested in. One note of caution though - don t 


always expect to have your tape sent back to you - these 
people are usually horrifically busy. 

Bear in mind, having a contact who can recommend 
your work to someone in authority can give them that 
push to put the tape in the video- machine, Quentir 
Tarantino handed the Reservoir Dogs script over to a ten- 
nis coach who happened to play with Harvey Kietels wife, 
She read it, thought it was excellent, and recommended k 
to her husband. He read it, committed to it, and the 
money started pouring in, It's all about exploiting contacts 
and targeting your audience/funders, 

Film seminars, workshops, and local arts meetings are 
also useful meeting places where equally struggling but 
determined hesh talent are looking to meet, mingle anti 
work with people of a similar attilnde. 

Finally. never forget that 'making rt' requires gut deter- 
mination and ever abundant motivation - you'll never get 
anywhere unless you're prepared to work like a horse. 
The film and TV industry is not a nine to five job with a 
company car. /Z& 


Amiga Computing 


ISSUE 8 







HARWOODgeC 

MPUTERSG3C3G3 

\n Harwood Computers limited. 
Street, Alfreton, Derbyshire DESS 7BP 
AX: 01 773 831040 Of,., 
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All the ususal and 


Qctamed 6 



The Sth official version of the majtiT music 
maker on the Amiga has landed. Over the last 
few months there have been demos of it pop- 
ping up now and again around various 
Internet sites, but now the final version is here 
we can happily make spring time a musical 
one. 

My favourite version of Octamed was 5. The 
previous versions weren't my cup of tea r 
mainly because they had a very PO look and 
feel and were extremely unfriendly, and t 
could barely live with them. However, having 
said that., I was still able to produce some half 
decent tunes. 

Therefore, when version. 5 came out I was 
particularly pleased, mainly because of its 
user-friendliness. In fact, the whole of my hard 
drive was packed with samples and I man- 
aged to spawn the occasional dance remix, 
even to rival some of the pap that was already 
out there. Unfortunately none of my tunes 
saw the light of day - mainly because there 
wasn't much I could do with them - and 
when winter time comes 1 like to hide away 
and listen to a bit of indie, which just cannot 
be created on an Amiga, Sorry. 

So Octamed 6 anives and I instantly injec- 
ted some life into my own tunes. These can 
be imported from other versions of Octamed 
which, incidentally, was difficult fo do wiith 
version 5. 

Obviously, the main difference that most 
users are pleased about are the extra chan- 
nels. Basically, instead of always being able to 
play four samples at once you can now play 
eight which in turn means you can have far 
more variety and more sounds to choose from 
to make your tunes. 

Previously, if I made a dance tune, for 
example, I usually needed a drumbeat, bass- 
drum and a melody, which left only one chan- 
nel to use for either cymbal crashes, hand 
daps or even vocals, so the choice wasn't 
exactly what I'd deem wide, So without 
explaining all the new features in great detail, 
which would take around seven days, HI give 
you an idea of the new additions, and what 
you'll get for your money. 

MIDl - which stands for Musical Instrument 
Digital Interface - was first introduced around 
version 2 and can be linked to an external 
device such as a synthesiser which can be 
connected through a MIDI interface which 
connects to the Amiga's serial port. 

Basically,, all the options and selection 
boxes are now cleverly positioned in windows 
lor you to move and resize to your own prefer- 
ence.. The prime example of this is the Tempo 




more in our 
monthly review of 
the latest Amiga 
CDs. Andy 
Maddock 
reveals all 


not mntirmly 
lure why I 
picket* rhl* oft ihe 
Artwnrr GO, I ean H f 
mrnk of any nsion(.,i 


window which, usually found at home ait the 
top of the screen, now has its own windows. 
The prime reason for this is so the options 
you use a lot will have priority because the 
amount of options would litter the screen 
ridiculously. Also, each section of the actual 
program is split up into around four main 
windows which can he closed down, espe- 
cially if you need some free memory to edit 
samples or other memory-consuming 
processes. 

If you use Med frequently then this is an 
essential purchase and one that should never 
be missed, but for people like me who don't 
take their Amiga music too seriously, version 
5 is more than enough. However, if you have 
neither, I can't recommend Octamed version 


Bottom 


1 line 

Product 

DETAILS 

Product: 

Octamed 6 

Supplier: 

Webd Science 

Price: 

£29.93 

Phone: 

0116 234 06B2 

Scores 

Ease of use 

M% 

Implementation 

90% 

Value For Money 

■9% 

Overall 

90% 


Qhase 3 



Two months ago we reviewed E.M 
Computergraphic's second image, fonl 
and clipart package and it received 90 pei 
cent, The third CD in the series has now. 
arrived and I can tell you that this one 
doesn't alter E.M-C's superbly consisted 
record. 

The latest volume contains hundred! 
of images ol excellent quality along witl 
many more directories containing font! 
and clipart. This time, the clipart caugb 
my eye, I tested the quality of the disc b^ 
thinking of different topics which I woulc 
need relevant images for to accompany 
this text, and I came up with ancient pot 
tery, sewing and pants ol the world 
Unbelievably, l found clipart suitable Id 
all these pseudo-documents, and I'm slit 
in shock after finding several pictures o 
pants. There truly is a use for all thr 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 







0 TH 1 NG BUT 


Amiga is welt known for its Graphic 
Her change Format or GIF as it is mare widely 
■town. Basically, if you haven't worked it out 
■ready this CD is devoted completely to GIF 
stages which are always one of the best 
: ihrs formats on any home computer. 

Sot onfy will you get hundreds of 
megabytes of images but you will also receive 
■8 xs viewers such as the standard FastView 
'hers such as image converters and 
& rtatypes. There are plenty of converting utile 
te on the CD so you will never have any 
•Rage viewing problems. 

"he image directory is divided into suitable 
: itegories, each one containing its own 
~ jrnbnaiFs file, Tou can't really get better 
lualrty pictures than the ones contained on 
3m CD-ROM and the choice of pictures are 
► pretty varied. The main CD is split into 
Or« directories - digitised, rendered and 



tt»*w wooden toy tJi/ngi w«re used 
^ r *Neel your mood. |( didn't wort for 
r Iripr atiekfnif M«ti* in 
MvfMy positions 


. lures contained on the CD. As usual, all 
•w pictures have been categorised correctly 
i'- each directory has its own thumbnails 
i The pictures are of the highest quality 
» f ch is nothing short of what we expect 
from EM Com pule rgraphic, and the cate- 
(□nes, as mentioned before, are of a varied 
•election. Without doubt you will find 
•omething to use, so whether you're after 
■Rages or clipart far desktop publishing, or 
few re after a fancy desktop picture, you'll be 
tpC'ilt for choice. 

Th e images are just the tip of the iceberg. 
Ihece are more volumes of postscript and 
fr’agme fonts, and to top it off it's all pre- 
texted in a very professional way. This is cer- 
U-Tily a CD you wouldn't .be forgiven for 
i - ng. A true essential. 



GIFS AG A 

hand-drawn pictures - and in each directory 
there are a number of categories. 

The whole CD is polished off by an excel- 
lent AmigaCuide which displays the contents 
of the CD superbly. Just did on the file name 
to show the picture, along with a short 
description of what you're going to be looking 
aL However, some nf them don't actually have 
a description which does get slightly annoying, 
although the thumbnails file more than makes 
up for this. 

Overall, Nothing but GIFS is a very high 
quality CD, and shouldn't be missed by any art 
fan, 

Bottom 

I line 




Bottom 





Our collection of image CDs has grown 
immensely over the past few months and the 
best so far has been Phase 2 by E M 
Computergraphic. Other than that, all the others 
have come way down the line. However, most 
of these CDs are under a tenner so they usually 
just about warrant their price tag. 

The images contained on Artwora are of a 
fairly standard quality and most of the pictures 
are contained on other cheap CDs elsewhere 
So what can you expect for your £3.99? 

The images are split up into various cate- 
gories ranging from the usual Dogs to Cars, so 
there are no annoying pictures referred to as 
something like '10014./ 10' which is probably 
just a Chaffinch pecking at a nut 

All the images have come courtesy of various 
Amiga artists and every single one is in colour 
which is a bonus - especially when you own a 
colour printer, although for something as wide- 
spread as desktop publishing the choices are 
not so vast 

Although £9.99 is a nice cheap price for d 
packed CD, the images aren't particularly oub 
standing and you'll be pushed hard to find 
anything good enough to use yourself. 


T- 'T* 

vdjft # # 

■'!** T? 13* 

T- -w* r> ^ mm 

* -■* -* ** * •* 






O only daas Artworx contain a variety of 
iirugos, t here's also a bundle pf * teroograms 


Bottom 

line 



Ease of use 

93% 

Implementation 

93% 

Value For Money 

88% 

Overall 

9T% 


Ease of use 

90% 

Implementation 

86% 

Value For Money 

80% 

Overall 

81% 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL J996 

















O wo printers, two inkjet printers, to 
be precise, from the two biggest 
manufacturers landed on my desk 

the other day. The Epson Stylus 

Cobrlls and the Hewlett Packard DeskJet 95CC 
are from the new range of inkjet printers that 
can manage an incredibly high resolution. 

The Hugh quality resolutions like the ones 
that these printers offer mean that printers are 
getting to the point where they can provide a 
cheaper alternative to reprints of photographs, 
especially if you have the right quality paper 
available. 

Both of the printers on test today share cer- 
tain features. They can print at very high reso- 
lutions (?2Qdpi for the Stylus and 600dpi for 
the DeskJet), they both really require the use 
of high quality coated paper to get the very 
best results from them, and they are both just 
about cheap enough to make even the most 
thrifty DTFer look twice. Both printers also use 
the cartridge system that is fast becoming 
standard, where the black ink is held in a 
separate cartridge. 

Output 

This is particularly important if you are using 
the printer for all your output and not just 
pictures because it will mean you use more 
black than any other colour. The Hewlett 
Packard offers the user the facility for both car- 
tridges to be used at once, meaning you get 
true CMYK performance while printing pic- 
tures, and it can Lake a larger siied cartridge 
for black, a definite bonus if you print a lot of 
text in addition to all your pictures. 

But first appearances can make a difference, 
so how do they look? Well, top points have to 
go the DeskJet for this, although even it 
doesn't seem to be up to the same standard i 
have come to expect from Hewlett Packard. 
The printer's case is somewhat plastkky and 
because there is such a large amount of room 
inside the case, the glowing LEDs that show 
the printer's status, etc shine onto the back of 
the printer's insides which doesn't look too 
good. 

However, overall construction is superior to 
the Stylus which continues Epson's odd tradi- 
tion of seemingly leaving the design of their 
printers to the last minute, The Epson printer 
teelf is much smaller than the DeskJet, but has 
a fold out sheet of plastic underneath to act » 
the Stylus' paper tray. 

To be honest, l think I would rather have a 
moulded tray like that on the DeskJet that: 

a) doesn't look as flimsy and 
b) works more effectively 

But even Hewlett Packard have been cutting 
costs. The familiar smoked grey plastic paper 
tray cover has gone, making the printer slightly 
more noisy than the DJ500C I stilt occasionally 
use. 

In fact, noise was a problem with both 
printers (not much of a problem, obviously, 
when compared to dot matrix printers, but a 
problem none the less). Now, I should really 
point out that I wasn't actually using the print- 
ers in the best possible location for deadening 
noise, but l was running out of room in my 
office, so they both ended up having to stand 
somewhere where noise could come from the 




punch up 


Hewlett Packard and Epson are probably the two 
biggest names in desktop printers. Frank Nord 
S ees how their latest output matches up 





APRIL 1996 




es. Studio again 

know we mention Studio every time we do a printer review or round-up. which must make it 
the single most publicised piece of software for the Amiga other than Workbench, but t does 
bear reiterating. If you want to get the best possible results from your printer, gel a copy of 
Studio. That's all. Just factor the extra fifty quid into your budget for a printer and make su j e you 
let it 


Bottom of the printer as well as the top, sides 
rd front 

Despite this, both the printers, particularly on 
head dean or startup cycles, were noisier 
f'an l had expected. But hey,’ you don't really 
ore about the noise do you? What you care 
■tout is output, Output, output 
Both printers performed pretty well with a 
Mriety of types of output, from a high 
resolution render (1000x1 500 pixels) r to a 
standard 0 Paint screen, from a general OTP 
layout from PageStream 3 (which supports 
both printers with its new XPD files), to output 
born a text editor using printer fonts 
In my opinion, the DeskJet outperformed the 
epscm in terms of output quality, notwithstand- 
rtg the Stylus' higher resolution, but the Epson 
was faster than the DeskJet, particularly in the 
PageS tream 3 tests because SoftLogik have 
■jum advantage of the fact that the Stylus can 
skip blank lines. 


Actually, the Epson showed signs of band- 
ing when running on normal paper, but this 
improved with the high quality paper Epson 
gave us for the review, but then Epson 
themselves say that you shouldn't try 72Qdpi 
printing on plain paper. 

Unfortunately, the lack of a fourth colour for 
printing with the Stylus meant that black was 
created by mixing the other three colours, 
resulting in poor quality at tow point sizes. This 
manner of printing will also increase costs if 
you intend mixing colour with black on your 
pages, unless, of course, you are willing to try 
and overprint your pictures afterwards. 

Another plus point in the DeskJefs favour is 
the quality of the ink they use. Even in areas of 
dense coverage, the HP's ink doesn't seem to 
bleed too much and paper wrinkles are kept to 
a minimum. 

So ft's still neck and neck as we go into the 
final decision. Which will win? 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 


A plus point in the DeskJet's 
favour is the quality of the 
ink they use , Even in areas 
of dense coverage f the HP's 
ink doesn't seem to bleed 
too much 




I I N AL 
WORDS 

Well, if I had to pick one of these two, it 
would have to be the DeskJet, The Stylus ts 
much cheaper, has a higher theoretical res- 
olution, and is faster under certain condh 
E cms, but the DeskJet gave the feel of a 
quality piece of hardware, is backed by 
Hewlett Packard's globally reknowned 
name, and gave results that were still 
impressive Until Epson salve the problems I 
encountered with banding and the general 
tacky design of the Stylus, I'm not going to 
buy one for myself. 


Bottom 

line 


Requirements 

RED essen&'tj/ BLACK recommended 


Studio II 


Product details 


Product Hewlett Packard DeskJet B50C 


Hewlett Packard 


Td 


01344 461274 


Mo 


£450 


Scores 


Ease of use 


Implementation 


Value For Money 
Overall 


75% 

75 % 

75 % 


75 % 


^1 1 
Product 
Supplier 
Tel 


ETAI LS 


Epson Stylus Colour I Is 


Epson 


01734 3036-8 1 


Price 


£240 


Scores 


Ease of use 


75 % 


Implem entation 


75 % 


Val ue For Money 


75 % 


Overall 


75 % 


0 












ft 1 y 

\ 1 

v 

ftl \ 

|l k 


1 1 I | * 


O etting online to the Internet has 
never been an easy business for 
the Amiga user- Sure, the Amiga 
has alt the necessary software to 
get on and use the Internet,, but the trouble is 
that the main source of software is On the 
Internet itself, and even if you had all the soft- 
ware you have to be a fairly well experienced 
Amiga hand r and have a smattering of Internet 
knowledge. 

The major stumbling block when trying to 
set up the software is how you configure it 
The Internet uses the TCP/IP protocol to trans- 
fer information between all the machines 
connected to it. Currently, the most widely 
available version for the Amiga is AmiTCP - 
originally shareware the latest version is 
commercial. Even though it is a very good 
TCP/IP stack, every piece of- Internet software 
you want to use with it has to be separately 
configured, which for even experienced users 
is easier said than done. 

The only real solution is to provide a single 
complete package, giving the user a configured 
TCP/IP stack along with all the necessary 
Internet tools, all set up and ready to run. 
Originally, only a few Internet providers gave 
this sort of support tor Amiga owners, and 
then the software was only really just ade- 
quate, However, the planned Amiga 
Technologies Surfer pack looks like it could kill 
both of these problems in one fell swoop, 
Amiga Technologies are quite lucky with the 
most important part of the pack, the TCP/IP 
stack Before the demise of Commodore, one 
of the last useful things they managed to 



Amiga Technologies' 

I forth coming Surfer 
Pack is almost upon 
us, and Neil Mohr 
has gathered all the 
packages together to 
take a sneak preview 


produce was A5225 - their very own imple- I 
mentation of a TCP/IP stack - which by all 
accounts is very good, better than AmiTCP. I 
However, up until now it has only been I 
available to registered developers. 

The Surfer pack wilt see the liral official pub- 
lic release, which in the long run will probably 
mean little to owners of the Surfer pack, but it 
will be the last remnants of the old 
Commodore to be seen by Amiga users. We do 
not yet know what implementation of AS225 
will be used, but it may be one written by a 
third party - possibly iNet225 by Inteiworks, an 
American Amiga company specialising in | 
networking. 

From the initial versions of the Surfer pack I 
we have looked at, the software is going to be I 
very good, but there are a few surprises. Firstly, I 


Qorth the wait 


Just from this quick look at the programs that will be provi- 
ded in the Surfer Pack, it looks like it should be an excellent 
buy. Am IRC and AmFTP are both extremely well written 
programs and provide every function you could want in 
both types of program, all backed up with an interface a 
fool could use. Mind Walker is made by the same people, so 
hopefully the same can be expected of that, even though 1 
would not expect it to match NetScape, Voodoo also looks 
the part and is again very easy to use, which is what is really 
needed in such a package. 

Currently, the only possible problem with the pack is that 


there seems to be little newsgroup support Normally, Web 
browsers do allow you to access these groups and do work 
very well with text only entries. We will have to wait tor the 
final pack to see what newsgroup functions MindWalker 
will have. 

When the Surfer pack finally hits the street we will be 
able to comment on how well everything has been integra- 
ted. lt J s no good having great programs if they are hard to 
run, but by all accounts the pack looks and runs great and I 
cannot see any reason why the final version shouldn't too. 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 19 96 





Surfer mail package is called Voodoo which is a lull Mime-compatible mailer. 
I deals with plain text, which is fine for text messages, but if you need to 
** - thing else such as pictures, rounds or programs you have to specially encode 

i tor e-mail transmission. The recipient of the mail then has to cut out the picture part 
df tie I and decode it - not the most elegant system- in the world 
Wme (s an attempt to make this encoding/ decoding process invisible to the user. 
■Nn sending mail you can simply include pictures and the Such by dragging and 
fcpp ng them into the marl window, or via a file requester. Each of these files are 
fl*n treated as separate parts of the mail that you can view by eliding on the icon 

* appears in the speed icon bar. When the person on the receiving end gets their 
w i they will see exactly the same thing. 

• nodoo seems very simple to use, With all the mails listed in the lop section of the 

* " jdw, and with support lor multiple mail boxes and a straight forward e-mail 
*' dress bonk, Voodoo certainly looks the part and provides everyth ng you need. 


mi ily if 
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t fj irery interesting to note that not one of the 
■applied programs uses the standard Amiga 
•^rtace library CadTools. The IRC, FTP and 
•fcb browsers use the Magic User Interface, 
■rfnde the mail package uses a more recent GUI 
package called ClassAction. 

Three of the programs are produced by the 
**tw programming group. Called Vaporware, 
**y are responsible for the IRC and FTP clients 
with the as yet unseen Web browser. All 
tv« programs require MUI 3, so provide all 
t e advantages and disadvantages that come 
rth MUI program* 

: ntemet Relay Chat is an open forum where 
people from anywhere in the world can join 
- scussion groups and talk about every subject 
maginabte, and probably a few you cannot. 
AmIRC is going to be the way you get onto IRC 
bom the Surfer pack. The version we have 


been testing is only a beta but after using it for 
a whfle„ I c an safely say AmIRC is going to be 
one of r ■ ■ - - isc diems or any computer, 
never mind the Amiga. 

When you first start AmIRC you ate 
confronted with a list of servers that you can 
conned from - you would normally use your 
Internet provider. Once you have selected your 
server, AmIRC can be made to auto-join a 
channel so you can jump straight into your 
favourite channel The main AmIRC window 
allows you to access just about every feature 
of the IRC. As you would expect, the major 
part: of the interface is taken up with the talk 
window, but an extremely handy window, lists 
all the other users on the current group, along 
with a number of function buttons. 

The buttons are configurable, allowing you 
to add your own commands, but the standard 



Jargon 

box 

internet - refers f-p the wprld- 
Wtde network of computers 4 
rfiorposs information 
between each other. Fnch 
computer forms a hoy part of 
the whole th\ng. 

TCP/IP when data ts 
passed between computers 
connected fo the internet the 
data has to be packaged m a 
sped/tc way. This protocol U 
called TCP/IP, the major one 
an the Amiga is Ami TCP. 

IRC Internet Relay Chat rs 
one of the Internet services 
that you can access via 
IRC client. On !RC you can 
chat about any subject on 
various efim channels', even 
ffiOLrcjfl the Sex Channel 
seems to be inhabited by 
freopic talking about howbtg 
their Pentium is. 

r r p - hfe transfer Protocol 
another Internet service that 
allows you to occeis hies on 
other machines that am art- 
wig as an FTP server . This is 
the best way of accessing 
Amine; and getting oft the 
fates! Amiga PD 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 19 96 


setup has most of the more useful JRC func- 
tions, such as DCC transfer and talk which allow 
files and messages to be sent direct to another 
IRCer. 

AmFTP is the Vaporware FTP client As with 
AmIRC, this is an excellent, well thought out 
program, When you first run it you get a large 
list of FTP sites into which you can enter more, 
along with the normal log-in routine and 
directory that you use. 

A really helpful option here is to connect as 
an ADT server, which I think is an Aminet-only 
phenomena, but it allows you to connect to an 
Ami net site and get a list of the most recent 
uploads, sorted by date or subject, This makes ft 
so easy to get all the latest programs, and as 
AmFTP remembers when you last connected, 
you only see the programs from days you have 
not connected. 

For normal FTP, use AmFTP which is an 
absolute dream. One of the major problems 
with other FTP programs is that their response 
time to user input is terrible. You press an abort 
button and are lucky if you get a response a 
minute later. As AmFTP has completely asyn- 
chronous transfers, the main program can 
respond instantly to any user requests. 

Unfortunately, the only piece of software 
from Vaporware that we have not been able to 
cast a critical eye over is the Web browser. 
Originally known as Voyager, it has managed to 
find a name change for the Surfer Pack to 
Mind Walker. 

Mind Walker is again a MUI program and 
from what we have seen it handles forms - an 
absolute necessity for a Web browser - and has 
eight network connections that allow multiple 
Web page graphics to be loaded at the same 
time, so greatly reducing the time it takes to 
load a single page. This is a big problem with 
AMosaic as it greatly increases the amount of 
time you are left hanging around for pages to 
load, With multiple connections, text and 
graphics are loaded simultaneously 

IF 


■ f JPua-C ra* train myself . It r » ail so lovely, t donl Vncuv how I find without AmFTP 







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ow 1 wished l had wasted! How 
K many times have you said that or 
heard it being Mid when it comes 
to electronic equipment The TV 
and video you bought two years ago now 
o < shabby compared to the latest state of 
ire art, the computer you bought six months 
!<*■ now seems woefully underpowered, and 
•te magneto-optical you bought just before 
r- r stmas now appears to be less of a bargain 
“ in \1 finst seemed. And why? Because efec- 
to -cs companies are never standing still. 
They create, innovate and disseminate at a 
We unseen anywhere else in industry. And 
there will always be the early adopters 
who end up seeming like has-beens rather 
fwn people at the cutting edge of consumer 
electronics because they bought Beta max or 
ts latest equivalent 

So enter the SyQuest EZ Drive, the latest in 
* jflg line of technological innovations that 
wifi doubtlessly be superseded in a matter of 
months But let's take it on its own merits, as 
we should. The EZ Drive takes a leaf out of 
the Zip drive's book with its stylish, designer 
looks that are as far from the ori 
SyQuest's looks as to be almost 
unrecognisable, tfs only when you 
see the familiar SyQuest but- 
ton/lever approach to inserting 
and ejecting a cartridge that it 
“ecomes apparent that the 
drive may be new, but it has its 
roots firmly based in early '30 r s 
technology, 

Pedigree 

However, you needn't be worried by this 
SyQuest's pedigree - it is far in advance of the 
early 40Mb drives with their noise, stow 
speeds and unreliability. The EZ drive is not 
only compact, but it is also very quiet, fast to 
spin up, read and write, and very reliable in 
the time I've had it for review. I can honestly 
say that 111 be sorry to see it go. 

:l you want to know just how fast it is, the 
EZ drive gives me speeds of about, two and a 
half meg a second according to the notoriou- 
sly inaccurate Syslnfo, only half a meg short of 
.'.Hat I get from my hard drive, l tried it in a 
more 'real world' setting, copying animations 
from a hard drive to the EZ drive and from 
RAM to it, and you couldn't really tell it apart 
Horn a hard drive- 

The EZ drive is obviously going to be com* 
pared with Iomega's Zip, so let's do it. The Zip 
drive still looks nicer than the SyQuest in my 


opinion, with a neat Bladefiunner feel to it, but 
the SyQuest feels more solid. The EZ Drive is 
also more expensive, at about £240 compared 
to £190 for the Zip, but the cartridges cost the 
same price and you get an extra 3Q-odd Mb 
of space on them. 1 don't know if there is a 
similar deal where you get discount for buying 
multiple cartridges as with the Zip, but even if 
there isn't, the SyQuest cartridges still look 
good value for money. 

Part of the reason that the SyQuest drive is 
larger than the Zip is owing to the fact that it 
has proper external SCSI connections in the 
form of two 50- way, Centronics-type conned 
tors familiar to external- hard drive owners 
(you get a 25 to 50 way cable and active 


term mat or wsfri the SvQuest drive), and the EZ 
drive Con afeO be set to any SCSI ID, unlike the 
Zip which a restricted to only SCSI units five 
or sol 

All m all. the EZ dr*e n a nice piece of 
kit which only he a couple of bad points, The 
first is the cumbersome eject mechanism 
which has been SyQoesft trademark since 
their first drives, and cffher s the power 
supply lor the drive It's one of rest s 1 ^- 
cable-tTansformer-table-pfug jobs, but — Me 
the cable from the wall socket plug is of ade- 
quate length, the cable corning from the 
transformer is more than a Irtt e short mean 
ing you end up with the lump of the trans- 
former sitting on your desk nett tr re :■ 
Overall though, the 11 drive ts well deserving 
of a Blue Chip award, so we r ve given it one 

W 



"If you want to know 
just how fast it is, the 
EZ drive gives me 
speeds of about two 
and a half mega 
second" 


SyQuest's competitor to 
the 2ip drive gets a critical 
eye from Frank Nord 

iottOM 

line 






w 


HATEVER NEXT 


Internal 

version 


The race to provide swift reliable removable 
medio is hotting up even more this yea r 
with the announcement of f Omega's Jaz 
drive , SyQuest's SyJet, and Pinnacle's 
Magneto/Qptical drive. Iomega's Jaz drive 
wifi hove a I Gig capacity and access the 
data on its disks at about 3Mb/second, the 
SyJet is supposed to hold 1.3Gb and will 
transfer data of 4 Mb/second, but SyQuest 
say it wifi also have a burst mode for 
motion video and other time critical func- 
tions that will boost that speed even more 


Pinnacle's Mogneto/optical drive might not 
bo os fast as the other two but it wilt hold 
4.$Gb on a single disk and read and write 
data at an impressive 2.4Mb/$ecand 
(impressive for Magneto/optical that is). All 
these drives should cost less than the cur- 
rent cost for the drive size they use, /,e the 
Jaz drive will cost /ess than a I Gb hard disk, 
the SyQuest will cost less than a 1.3Gb 
drive, and the Pinnacle will cost less than a 
4.6Gb drive (and will also act as a CD-ROM 
drive...) 


SyGaeshs EZ Pave is also 
available in an irrtsrnal IDE 
version which retails a. r about 
the same price os r. r, F Zip 
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Ami c a Computing 


APRIL 


199 6 


EVfEW 










O f there was ever an accounts 
package that had its roots on an 
Amiga, you would definitely be 
able to point to The Counting 
House as a prime example. How many 
accounts packages on other platforms even 
1 ( 00 w the temn metaphor - let alone use it? 
The metaphor that The Counting House is 
based around is that of a house (surprisingly 
enough) with rooms holding various details 
dealing with traders, inventory*, management 
and so on. 

The program has up To nine levels of 
security which are all managed through the 
Management room and three levels of famil- 
iarity which allow you to choose exactly how 
much handholding you need- The Counting 
House comes with an on-line manual and 
printed tutorials in addition to the extensive 
password protection list which, curiously, is 
about 100 pages ol plant descriptions. 
Fortunately, the way the password protection 
works is far friendlier than most games. 
Along with the usual page, line and word 
numbers, you get a letter count for the word 
in question making it easier to narrow down 
whether you need to account for blank lines, 
headings and so on in your line count. 

Efficient 

The Counting House is not your average 
accounts package and it does- things a little 
differently to how you might expect. It has 
grown out of a need for a business accounts 
package for Applied Research Kernel over a 
period of about ten years and is actually 
used in-house as well as being made avail- 
able to other users. If you aTe familiar with 
standard stock manegemenl/purchase&sales 
ledger-type systems like Accpac or other sim- 
ilar products, you'll find it difficult at first to 
find your feet. But as the bewilderment 
wears off, you will see that The Counting 
House's way of doing things can be a lot 
more efficient 

The whole system hangs off a SuperBase 
4 professional runtime module and consists 
of a variety of databases that are all interre- 
lated. The user never sees this because they 
are hidden behind a set of forms that have 
been created either to suit a standard Hi-res 
screen (640x2 56) or Hi-resLace screen 
(640x512). The forms are all very well laid 
out, presenting the information you would 
expect to see where you- would expect to see 
it, and are all in a muted and very business- 
like mid-blue. 

Every time you start The Counting House it 
sets up temporary directories in ft AM: to help 
speed processing up, but everything is con- 
stantly backed up onto the hard drive SO a 
crash needn't mean that you lose everything. 

The fact that The Counting House is actu- 
ally a SuperBase database means that users 
of SuperBase will be instantly at home with 
the way it works, but people coming from 
other accounts package backgrounds will not 
appreciate the fact that you can't overtype 
held* or leave data entry mid- way through a 
form. However, they will like the easy access 
to features and the clear requesters that 
SuperBase affords the user. 

So let's work our way through the installa- 
tion of a fully-blown cash and credit account- 
ing system. To start with you are asked vari- 



Counting out 


some money 


i 


A complete business accounting system 
based on an Amiga? Frar Nord investigates 



( ; ffi* first ffrfng see yau've witerMf Ifte password 



ous details like your company's name and 
address and trading name, if any. You will 
also be asked your position in the company, 
whether or not your company is VAT regis- 
tered, and piher pertinent details. 

Your next task will be to enter some 
inventory, but if you're a bit confused as to 
how to go about doing this, there are guided 
tours to entering information in all the sec 
tions of The Counting House in the Quick 
Tour Halt in The Counting House. Assumin; 
you've already read this (you can print the 
information out too), you should find it rela- 
tively easy to enter some stock items. Your 
inventory can consist of Vattable items, items 
with barcodes, items with serial numbers, 
and many other identifying features, Using 
Super Base's multimedia features, you can 
even have pictures of your stock or, perhaps 
you might be running a record shop, you 
might want to have samples for each CD yen, 
stock (of course, you might need to talk tc 
the Performing Rights Society about having 
samples of people's records on youi 
machine). 

The inventory database also allows foi 
additional information if size is actual!} 
important or for related items arid so on. Yol 
can set up your buying price and your selling 
price to distributors, retail and end users, al 
with settings for volume discounts, specs 
offers, or end-of line discounting if you wish 
Special offers can have end-of-sale date* 
attached to them to make sure your staf 
aren't underselling products, and to top it el 
off you can view the inventory database a 
three different levels of complexity, depend 
ing on your needs. 

Okay, so weVe entered some items tha 
we wart to stock and/or sell on. If we nov 


f > lt H s 9 good Job (h* 
oMoogertlint room has 
on-ffne help 


□ 

HE 

Dictionary 

This is a searchable database of information that can be entered on such diverse topics ; 


postage information, company rules and regs, addressing, basically anything you can think of. 
you have to enter it all in. The problem with this is that SupcrBase's text field entry doesn't suf 
port pasting text from the clipboard or loading text in, so you'll have to fill out each desaiptin 
from scratch without the benefit of any editing features like moving the cursor a word at a tirr 
or selecting ,a block of text 

Once you have entered all your descriptions, you can also add flags and filters to forth 
categorise each bit of information and add external files- for further explanation (for instance, 
you were to enter an emergency plan for fires, you could have a map of your building showir 
the available exits). 


■jj.iwm*ij,iiiwbh 

APRIL 1996 


jp two traders we can arrange- it so that 
** buy from ore of them and sell our stock 
to the other. The version of The Counting 
* '.e I am reviewing deals with both cash 

■fid credit accounting so that we can sell 
direct to 

end-users on a cash basis white deferring pur 
Moments to our suppliers until the end of 
lh* month. Entering company data is just as 
M5Y as entering inventory data, and just like 
fi the inventory section {and indeed every 
tther section) of The Counting House, you 
an dick your left mouse button on any of 
the labels in a form and get a helpful 
■e : jester up explaining what the field is used 
for. 

For companies you can specify whether 
you are buying from them or selling to them, 
■fid whether this is on a cash or credit basis, 
•:j can also sub-divide your trader entries 
r :- categories like advertising, public rela- 
t ths and &□ on, to provide greater flexibility. 
Once you have set up your trade accounts, 

■ - can start the process of commerce very 
fisiiy by just going to the 'process' menu in 
the traders database. This will bring up a new 

IQhe library 

The Counting House is a pretty unique program 
in the fact that it allows you l,and your business) 
to collate information that might not be consid- 
ered necessary to an accounting package, but 
which, nevertheless, is very useful. The library b 
there to catalogue media Irke CD-ROMs, records. 

□ he agenda 


form that represents a purchase order. You 
can then choose from your inventory the 
items you wish to order and The Counting 
House will present you with a default price 
you are accustomed to paying for these 
goods (which you would have previously 
entered in the Inventory database) All these 
items then get put onto your purchase order 
which can then be printed out and faxed or 
posted to your supplier 
When you are entering a purchase or sales 
order you can even state the method by 
which you contacted .our supplier, or how 
your customer contacted you. whether by 
phone, fax, mail or in person. For some 
entries like these you are abo offered an 'any 
method' option rl you are not interested in 
tracking things like this Another aspect that 
offers the 'any method' option is payment 
where you can choose from direct debit. 
Standing order, cash cheque or credit card 
options, along with that handy any method/ 
Okay, so that's the traders and inventory 
sections looked at but what ol the library, the 
diction a r, Che agenda and the management 
rooms? Weil let s start with the library 


books, videotapes or any other form of 
reference m otasl i r^ven't worked out how to 
link the lit ran, database with my inventory so 
that I can amply ooss-reference the two, but I 
have littk ' ' ' ma? even if it can't be done 

nght now rt .v -H-, be a matter of time. 


The agenda room acts as an organiser for the whole tor,: r- , in acts n conjunction with the 
personnel file in the management room to allow for cross - he : ding of appointments and 
inter-personnel messaging. 



O Your inventory doean* t ha va to look » 
mm (hf< - thirr^t nrv thf»s levels of complexity 


Do YOU 
ACCEPT CASH? 

There is o cash only verson of 
The Counting House suitable for 
shops and other non-CJ i edj'f 
timed companies. Pwed of onjy 
£59,95 you might actually wanf 
to spend the extra £40 and get 
tfie full version.. 


Qonclusions 

The Counting House is a very serious piece of 
software that really can r t have justice done on it 
in a brief two page review, but in the time I 
have had to run through its features it has been 
solid, and even when I crashed the machine on 
purpose the amount of data that I lost was 
minimal. The approach that The Counting 
House has will almost certainly confuse people 
used to the more traditional approach favoured 
by packages like Sage and AccPac, but The 
Counting House's power lies in this as much as 
anything else. I would hope that the author 
continues to expand on the on-line help as the 
lack of a full book-based manual is somewhat 
disconcerting at times, particularly since the 
user cannot access help files while entering 
data. Overall though. The Counting House is an 
impressive entry in the shrinking library of 
serious applications that the Amiga can boast 




A NAG EM 


ENT 


This is the mother of all rooms in The 
Counting House, tt has so many options it is 
hard to know where to start. The management 
room itself is subject to personnel restrictions 
with onty people with a security rating of five 
or higher (the highest is nine) being allowed 
access, 

Once inside a higher security rating is 
required for certain operations. As previously 
noted, it is here that you enter personnel 


details and set security eveb and passwords 
for your Employees Sot mat merely scratches 
the surface. 

As you'll see from the soeengrab, there are 
more buttons here than I would ever be able 
to cover in a two p a-^e rev iew but they tend to 
deal with configurer on :i the- various databas- 
es, setting flags and filters and doing final 
accounts, profit and loss statements and other 
such important financial data 



Counting House wifi ask tor additional details 



iii A cash Ml* invoice I* produced 


Bottom 

i line 


Requirements 

RED i.vM\'7ffcj/ BLACK v. omnuvjdft/ 


Mjl <33> j 3 

Kicks tart Hard Drtve 

>/ 

6SO30 


Product 

DETAILS 

1 Product 

The Counting House 

L 

Cash & Credit version 

| Supplier Applied Research Kernel 

Tel 

01 983 551496 

Price 

£99.95 

E-mail 

richafdgart.co.uk 

Scores 

Ease of use 

7S% 

Implementation 

80% 

Value For Money 

91% 

Overall 

84% 


Amiga CoMPUiiNC 


APRIL 1996 










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The Multi- Data Machine gives you a 4X CdRom plus a 
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I L E ME 
DOWN 

tht great pluses of Amiga 
•ch 5 is the ability to add back- 
er - ages to both the desktop and win- 
do this via the WBPattem program 
: r. The Prefc drawer, 

: noose from the eight preset patterns, 
four own, ot even load in a picture. The great 
YVBPattern is that it tiles small images to fill up 
□r window. This proves an excellent way of display- 
without wasting precious RAM, As long as your pattern can 
up on all edges you'll have no problems, 


* «« i 








1 french tries small imago s to fit the desktop ^nd windc** i u ttifrt 
- -n cm at* stunning backdrops mtli very little RAM 


If you want to become an 
Amiga expert and leave 
behind beginner's blues, 
here's a helping hand to 
set you on your way 



t there are certain files on your 
Workbench that are vitally important you 
B*r> actually protect them from deletion 
*nd evert stop prying eyes from reading 
four personal information. 

The command that lets you lock away 
n:ur secrets is called Protect and allows 
k-j to set certain protection flags associa- 
ted with the hie you are working on. Let's 
“iagine you had a file called Bootup in 
the Utilities drawer which you wanted to 
protect from deletion. 

In order to do this you would load up 
the Shell and type In: 

5'Stitt ler* hf'lfll ,Q“llt1 liti fi/flootup -d 

To unprotect the file you would type: 

s “3'«ct VcrkbinttT .fhUH H t if s?Bisc (vp +c 

If you want to stop people from reading 
your text files or any other file m fact, sim- 
ply use the following (substituting 
Texl/Fi nances with the appropriate path 
and filename): 

£ f :(srt Kor fbf i : h 3 . 0 : Tb i e j'?i nsncti -r 
And to unprotect it: 

: ‘ 3 E e c t Vorlfciiu " 3 . D : ‘esti Finirces tr 
ft's as simple as that. 


I 


U5TOMISING 

Shell 


□2 


IT 


Although the Shell 
requires you to work 
in DOS (Disk 
Operating System it 
is far more powerful 
and quicker than 
performing functions 
from the Workbench 



n*«.j 


menus. And, just like 
Workbench, it can be customised to a certain 
extent. 

The biggest gripe with She I is rt small sae 
and important information often bleeds off the 
bottom of the window. Sure, you can re-size it 
but wouldn't it be nice if you could set the size 
permanently? Well,, you can and its simply a 
case of clicking the Shell window once and 
selecting Information., from the Icons menu. 
In the Tool Types gadget you will see 
something like: 

H I H DO ll=C DN rfl? 50 ? / 1 3 f) Mil gaS h« l l/CLOS E 

It is this line that allows you to alter the size of 
Idie Shell as well as a few other useful attribu- 
tes. The complete syntax of the WINDOW 
command is: 

y 2 H [-:u=>- PN : X y N i d t h ? h e i g h t / tl t L e cp ^ i on 

Don't worry too much about the option part 
(see the Jargon Box), it is the x, y, width and 
height settings that are of interest to you. By 
clicking the line in the Tool Types you cam edit 
these values to suit your own requirements - 
you could even change the title for that 
personal touch. 


Customising the Shall is 
eurremely mt | f and almost 
alt its attribute* can bo 
.tllarod in f(ims way 


tartue-ii 
yip 


mil rVce 17, -9 ! 9 .a . 9-Jf 


: it b *N I L : t*r* : 1 9 


SIRiR? 


if you own a hard drive, the prospect of 
backing it up can be fairly harrowing. 
However, there are several short-cuts which 
will considerably reduce the time and disk 
space taken to back up. 

As you progress with your Amiga you'll 
find that the C directory rapidly starts to fill 
up with your own programs, and you'll soon 
become confused as to what the original C 
fifes are and which are the ones you've 
added. In the end, youTI most probably end 
up backing up the entire C directory which 
will mean more disks. 

One way around this is to create another 
drawer called Cl in the same directory as C 
in which you can copy all the programs you 
have added. You then need to add a new 
Assign in the Startup- 
Sequence using Ed. 
Open the Shell and 
enter: 


mil::! niii siisiK/wis. 

*HiL*rv *H1L: £: SYS: (Jr Abe 


fC EUtBr^p-SlSuMie 


An 1-gfl 

IM, 1 
}Si J iJ 'i 

)»»■ on 
«"1" 


tow 

. Wl ; C l IHbAar-di. 
j[M: BCVS: Print fri 


' ’* Sa™ trrrjff and disk 
space when backing up by 
separating Workbench’ 
specific fifes trem ones 
you have added 


Now, under the line 
which reads Resident 
>NiL : C: Execute PURE 
■■'fr’nmmc iHisggg?g>y : g< ^ (he following: 

Assign >HtL; C: iTSrtZ * D» 

You can then save the new Startup- 
Sequence fife by pressing Esc, X and then 
Return, 

This new line informs the Amiga 05 to 
look in C2 as wdl as C for any files it would 
expect to find In this directory, And in thE 
future, all you need to do is back up the C2 
directory. 


APRIL 


I'lJIWliM 

1996 






Hooks with buttons 

One of the most welcome additions to Workbench 3 was Multiview, 
Multi view uses a hypertext language that provides the user with an inter- 
face capable of displaying text, viewing pictures, and listening to sound 
samples. In fact, Multiview is limited only by the file datatypes present in 
your Datatypes drawer in Devs. 

The great thing about this program is that you can simply click on a 
button within text displayed in Multiview and skip to another section of 
test 

Many commercial programs now use Multiview for their on disk docu- 
mentation. Provided you have the correct datatype, you can direct text, 
pictures and sound samples to Multiview by clicking once an their icon, 
selecting Information. .. from the icons menu and typing in the Default 
Tool gadget; 

STSlUti litin/'l-iHim* 

A file will only display buttons if it has been written in the Multiview lan- 
guage, but even for reading plain text it is certainly far better than most 
other text readers which can't even display pictures or play sounds. 



("l Muli'rvtow allows you tv r**d text, view pictutw* and listen to sound samples 


B am not a 

NUMBER 

When using the Shell for certain tasks you 
will invariably come up against the 
Amiga's error messages, Unfortunately, 
most are pretty vague so here is a list of 
the most commonly encountered error 
messages, there meanings and recovery 
suggestions: 

11$ Required argument missing - you 

have failed to type in the command cor- 
rectly. Check the command instructions 
and try again. 

I IB Too many arguments - you have 
entered too many arguments to the com- 
mand. Check the command instructions 
and try again, 

Ui File Is not executable - you have 
either misspelled the command or the Tie 
may not be a loadable type such as a text 
file. Check the file type and try again. 

202 Object is In use - the specified file or 
directory is already being used by another 
application. If a program is reading a file 
no other program can write to it, and vice 
versa. Stop the application that is using 
the File or directory and try again. 

105 Object already exists - the name 
that you specified already belongs to 
another file or directory. Use another 
name or delete the existing lile or 
directory. 

105 Object not found - AmigaDGS can- 
not find the file or device you have speci- 
fied- Check the filename and retry the 
command. 

225 Not a valid DOS disk - the disk in 
the drive is not an Amiga DOS disk, it has 
not been formatted or it is corrupt. Check 
the disk for compatibility and if the disk 
worked before use a recovery program to 
salvage its files, 


Jargon 

box 

\KWDOW^OHx/y/widtk- : 'hdgti 

t/tRie/option 

X - ifw .Tu.-T^r Ilf pixels foil? Ifli? 
tee edge of she Screen to tfie I'efT 
iraridfciriifrfa? ivmdow 
f - the number of pmh from Site 
Cop of fJie wreen to the to of (fte 
VWtdoW 

wdtf> - the va&h of the window in 
path 

lihc haght of the window 

Art/sueTs 

Mfe - the (#tf Jbuf appears in the 
window rfcJe tor 

CLOSF - the mndaw to 
ait the standflitf gadgets, including 
cretose g(H%er 

MTO (option) - the Mndaut outc- 
motkdUy appears wbm the pro- 
gram necdi input or produces 
infN/r. the wmda w con only t>e 
dosed wtih the twOOi am™™ 1 
flCOTWOP (option) - the window 
qppeo.rs on (he desktop behind ail 
(he Htaritbencb mnd’wrt- only 
gadgri m the ttvndbw boroW rS 
She man? gadget 

MMOflESt (option) - the window 
•opens wrihout any left or bottom 
mi 'irviLi' border 

NQDflAG (option) - the window 
wnnot be dragged 
HQ5&E (option) - the window 
anry has a depth gadget 
SCREEN (option} - the window utTiV 
appear on <f public screen. You 
must specify the nflrwe of fbe 
screen ofer the HCREEtysption 
OMPL£ (option) - if you enlarge 
tor iMiiLi'u^ the tptf hti V etpond to 
(tit iih-c rtfwfp available space , 
ottawmg to see (ext that has 
been scrolled out of the window 
SMART (option) - if you enlarge 
(he window, the tejrr does nof 
expand to to* nertiV mailable 
space 

HW T (c&foo) - the window con 
only be closed by Selecting the 
dose gadget 



Unable to open your tool J c:readme 


Retry 


■ 


A Make sure icon* mrO pointing to the correct Chetault Twl 
We otb&rwiw yvv'H 9*t rfcfs error requestor 



ISSING TOOLS 


When copying programs to your hard drive or 
floppy disk you may, at times, be required to 
alter certain information so that the program 
will function correctly. This is mostly the case 
with text file documents, commonly known as 
readme files and you may already be familiar 
with the alert requester stating: 

UnabLe to uptr, your toat 'onipp' 

If you click once on the icon of the text file 
and select Information... from the Icons menu 
on Workbench you be able to see the actual 


program being called in the Default Tool gad 
get - in the example above it would b> 
e:mmpp. You can then change this Defaul 
Tool setting to the location of your text reade 
on your hard drive or floppy disk. This wouli 
most likely be: 

Uar kfaen: h3 .&: Uti L i Tus/NqLtn isy 

Multiview is the Workbench 3 supplied te> 
reader. You may have a preferred text reade 
of your own, in which case just type it 
location and name instead. 



ERMANENT ICONS 


As you become proficient with Workbench and Amiga DOS (Disk Operating System), you w 
find that much of your time is spent copying and deleting files from the C and S director!* 
These directories are not immediately visible, so you may want to attach a drawer icon to the I 
so that you can simply drag fries to their location rather than using the Shell. The best way to d 
this is to load up IconEdrt and use the default drawer icon. Make sure the icon type is set t 
drawer and then simply save the icon as Cjnfo or S.info in the directory these drawers are loc; 
ted in. They will now always be visible. You could also perform this procedure for the Libs an 
Fonts directories, 



S B ft FI 

?2B 

M2H 
21 h f -J 

A a? 

351 B 
n*l 

32 
2 


' * Copying tfl*s to Uie C dirvCtory can 60 made by 

attaching a drawer icon to t#i» actual dirvotvry 


Am ic a Computing 


72 


APRIL 199 6 








r 


o 


new text editor is hardly going to 
Set the world alight Most people 
have a text editor lurking on their 
hard drive and at some point are 
going to have to use iL For many, this will mean 
battling with the original Commodore £d r which 
5 barely usable. Anyone that has owned an 
Amiga for a while would normally have got hold 
cf a better one, either from the public domain - 
fcldEd springs To mind - or from one of the- 
Oammercial editors such as CygnusEd Of Turbo 
Test*; both of which are competent at their jobs 
aid will take some beading. 

Digital Quin comes on one disk along with a 
'.try thorough manual covering every part of the 
program, including its extensive Aft&xx poit The 
Thai installation is straightforward thanks to 
tie use of the Amiga Installer, and allows you to 
have Digital Quill set up for use with either Dice 
L $A5 C or Benchmark Modula-2. This sets the 
program up with preset hot keys, menus, and 
speed buttons for compiling programs direct 
horn the Digital Quill interface 

Debates 

file first thing you are going to notice when 
fou run Digital Quill is that it has a button bar 
running across the top of its window, Whether 
this is of any real use or not is debatable, but 
either way it is there lor you if you want iL A 
very powerful feature is the macro recorder 
which allows any combination of key presses 
and functions to be recorded and played back 
i any time, or saved off as an ARexx script for 
uture use as an external Digital Quill macro. 
These macros allow you to automate repetitive 
tasfes such as reformatting a table or document, 
and, as they are ARexx scripts, allow other 
complex functions to be performed. 

One problem not just with Digital Quill but 
with just about all Amiga text-related programs, 
is that there is no way to search and replace for- 
matting commands such as tabs, returns and 
new paragraph marks. The only program I am 
aware of that allows you to do this is 
Wordworth. Digital Quill's search and replace 
facility offers all the usual limited controls along 
ivith the- ability to use the full set of Amiga wild- 
cards. So a search qn Text#? will spot every 



word beginning with text, Comparing Digstal 
Quill against other editors means it has to com- 
pete with the speed of CygnusEd and the sys- 
tem compliance and configurability of Tufbo 
Text, but overall it does a good job on both 
counts. Firstly, it is completely style guide com- 
pliant so can be run on any screen, including 
RTC boards such as the Picasso II, and it has 
font sensitive windgws and menus so it looks 
the part too. Speed wise it loads and saves as 
fast as CygnusEd, and matches it for scrolling 
speed around even very large documents. 
Finally, its full ARexx port cannot be faulted. 

Where Digital Quill does fall down is when 
you start editing large documents. Whereas 
CygnusEd and Turbo Text will not even show 
any sign of strain, Digital Quill seems to slow a 
little. In CygnusEd, if you hold the return key 
down new fines will be added as fast as usual, 
but Digital Quill's response is slow. It does have 
a very comprehensive undo function allowing 
many levels of undo, similar to CygnusEd, but 
again does not work as fast, with a slight delay 
each time an undo is done. As an avid 
CygnusEd user the editing speed is the real 
problem. Even though this ‘slight delay in 
editing does not make Digital Quill unusable, 
it does detract from an otherwise 
excellent program. 


Another Amiga text editor 
jostles for a place in the 
already crowded market. 

I Neil Mohr reviews- 



i* a. 


jgafe gaa a-saFst. 1 



1 ) Thv fuiiy alyl* guide-compliant 
in tert*tm looks rha part 


Bottom 


HOP AT MACRO 



Requirements 


Kflystrct* 


Mite™ 


SA 


Though Digital Quill does not provide the flexibility that Turbo Text 
does in being able to define every aspect of the program's menus, it 
does have a much simpler and user-friendly way qf adding macros 
to the program, 

From the Assign Macro menu option you get a straightforward 
bokrng window from which you can choose to assign a command 
to either a hot key, menu option, or via a new speed button. A com- 
ma nd can be a previously saved macro, an AmigaDOS command, or 
one of Digital Quill's built-in commands. If you select a Quill com- 
mand you get a requester with & list of all the available commands, 
otherwise you get a file requester from which you can choose a pre- 
viously saved macro or Amiga DOS command. 

Adding a new hot key or menu function is just a case of selecting 
the new command you require and specifying the key combination 
c r menu en.iy if id' you want, The final method of adding a new speed button is very much in 
the Final Writer Wordworth vein, Press New Macro, select one of the available icon images and 
the new command you want executing, and you have a new speed button, 


Meru Karri 


'j aafT 


S(y?ed 0uNr.r. 


-Q 


A 

tm 


I 


airniarrl TarMi.-:rn 

E&v Macro | 

. J j“ 


Ina^ 


RED essential 


BLACK recommended 




ETA I IS 


E-mail 


O Apply your o wn 
comrtiamr* to hot A try*, 
user menus and fh* speott 
button bar 



Digital Quill 
Phantom Development 
£19.35" 
caldii'usa.nai.nel 


Scores 


Ease of use 


91% 


Implementation 


75% 


Value For Money 
Overall 


BQ% 


75% 


□ 


mmi'H 


A PRIL 







m 


r* 


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A mic a Computing 


iglu now, it seems like the only 
growing industry on the Amiga is 
producing add-ons for the reign- 
ng champion of 3D animation 
- Lightwave. In recent months 
have come to light and we pre- 
nere f of your delectation. It's a 
• ■ : a 'eview this lime since we have 
2 nd a video tutorial guide called 


Lightening 

the wave 


i start with LightSpeed, a two-hour 
thly video magazine dedicated to 
tg Lightwave users' skills. The video 
of a variety of sections with reviews 
Lfht Wave-related products and advert is- 
I ’“terspersing the tutorials. The tape I 
e sent was from last October and to give 
some idea of what was on it we had a 
it explaining how to build and animate 
frith o use scene and a corridor scene, an 
Lert tor Impact! visually demonstrating the 
Itnefits of using it, something yon could 
•ever do in a print ad, a tutorial on building 
If GO another on building spaceships out of 
r i a review of World Construction Set, an 
m motion gallery and several other bits and 
bote. 

The video seems to be constructed by a 
« ir ety of people recording their own 
lections and sending them to the editors 
inhere they are all joined together to make 
*e video. This means the quality of record- 
ing is variable (especially since the whole 
tr ng has to be standards converted to PAL 
Rewards), but it is encouraging to see that 
j : l the systems used by the tutors were still 
Amigas. 

The quality of the tutors was variable too, 
with the lighthouse guy being particularly 
jnsuitBd to teaching. The scene he created 
.'.as nice enough, but there was no explana- 
tion of what he was doing. The tutor merely 
repeated back the numbers he was entering, 


making for a very sterile experience. How^ 
ever, the rest of the tape was pretty good 
and the adverts for the add-ons certainly 
had more impact than their print equiva- 
lents. The reviews section pulls the tape out 
of the 'its-an-empensive-LightWave 
tutorial-tape’' category and into 
the magazine field, and it would be 
nice to see mare reviews in each 
issue. 

The other section that lifted the 
quality of the tape was the ani 
mation showcase where estab- 
lished and apprentice artists' 
work was shown, with Alan 
Chan (author of the 
Lightwave book covered later 
in this review) showing off 
his techniques, The tape 
can also be purchased 
with a high density PC 
formatted disk contain- 
ing the scenes and 
objects used in the 
tutorials on the tape. 

I would need to 
see more tapes 
before 1 could give 
an honest overall 
opinion of the subscription, 
but the quality of the tape I saw would 
be enough for intermediate Lightwave users 
to snap up their copy of LightSpeed. 


3D packages always need 
add-ons to make them 
easier to use. Ben Vost 
examines a couple 


TARTLING FX 


The FX kit for Lightwave is our next item up for review. It's a 
wire bound, 310 page volume with an advert for LightSpeed 
on the inside back cover and it deals with a good variety of 
topics in Lightwave. It starts gently enough with introductions 
to both Layout and Modeler, but soon gets stuck into some 
more meaty subjects like tunnel chases, page turns and flag 
waving. The tutorials then proceed onto creating fractal-type 
landscapes replete with nice clouds and water. Alan Chan 
makes no secret of the fact that there are certain things that 
are difficult to achieve in Lightwave and says that things like 
tumbling waterfalls and rapids are probably not subjects 
suitable for a beginner's book. 

He goes onto devote a whole chapter to that most 
overused of Lightwave's talents - the space scene - and 
starts it with a caveat to not simply try to duplicate the effects 
used by Ambli matron or Foundation Imaging, but to create 
something new. While imitation might be the sincerest form 


of flattery, it certainly won't get you any work if you 
want to make a living from CQ. He covers building a 
spacecraft from the initial sketch to the final model 
using all the tools in a Lightwave owner's arsenal 
including the dreaded metaform. Alan Chan then 
goes on to discuss surfacing techniques for your 
models and the best way to light a scene. 

The book doesn't just deal with what might 
appear basic principles to experienced 
Lightwave owners, but also goes on to tricky 
effects like volumetric lighting (you know, 
when you see a laser in a video and people 
chop holes in its beam, that kind of thing) 
and compositing digital images with live 
action, The book finishes up with a look 
at bones and the inverse kinematics 
featured in Lightwave 4.0 







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Order over £25 and cct akvoni a* the following 

f TITLES FREE OE CHARGE ^ -SUHO «CNE ■ PCI «ir1 
ILLUSIONS l«3ta- PROFESSIONAL t-CK 1 “ TERRA SOUHPS 
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DROM.iCD-ROM.XD-ROM.XD-ROM.. CD-ROM. 



Workbench Add-On 
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Atll-nillHl CCTl It EWB|M'l 
Irari# fm Mi* 4nrt*f iKtlf * 

4>irlHlfllRII>nnE A lirlniura r illImpiAff 


Contents 


System news 


The latest news from the Amigo gaming world 
plus a chance to win □ prize worth £100 


Speris Legacy 


Legend of Zeld... Oops. I mean this is a unique 
game, completely original and one of its kind. 
Honest. 


Player Manager 2 Extra 


The updated version of Anco's fabulous football 
simulation has arrived. Is it as good as we 


We preview OTM s Commando-like shoot- em- 
up. If it s half as good, it will be nothing short of 
superb 


Doom debate 


At last, the whole Doom issue has finally come to 
an end as we look back on the epic tale 


And more 

All the latest chips and feats in our new section 
- Ll Grea$y Food and Milk Supplies 1 ' Er. I mean tips and cheats 



r k 


. 1 

BJ 


I j 

f t 


P 

rev 

i 

ewed 






Watchtower 

r 











SYSTEM 


news 


By Andy Maddock 



April mi 


Vulcan Software’s new releases 



ortsmouth's 
finest who have 
refused to leave 
the Amiga scene 
are back with a batch of 
new releases which should 
be making their way on, to 
your screens later this year. 

Firstly, they are releasing 
an expansion disk for the 
excellent Timekeepers 
which should be out soon 
and will have a price tag 
of just £5.99. It will contain 
60 more levels which wilt 
b© made slightly harder. 

The second release will 
pleas© almost every gam- 
es player as Vulcan have 
planned to bring out the 
latest Valhalla edition enti- 
tled Fortress of Eve. The lit- 
tle prince has now grown 
up and he's after a wife. It 
will have four levels, a 1000 
word vocabulary, a text option tor the hard of 
hearing, and a brand new pseudo-isometric 
view instead of overhead. And all this for only 
£14.99, Watch this space. 

The last two releases are pretty sketchy at the 
moment, although you may be familiar with the 
first. It was entitled 'Penguins’ by a geezer called 
Scott Hayne, and he was going to publish the 


ms third Valhalla adventure will bo released later in the year, 
it's certainly something to took forward io 


game himself until h© found a better offer, Yep. 
Scott Hayne has sold the idea to Vulcan who will 
be re-designing the graphics and selling it under 
the new Title of Bagrats. The other release Is 
called Mat's World and will be similar to Valhalla 
- It's a multilevel platform speech adventure 
and that's about all we know. We'll keep you 
posted. 




I’m a rock ‘n roll star 


How would you like to help us in a large opera- 
tion, Well, it's a big job and It involves us wearing 
protective clothing and heading for the tatty, 
poor unfortunate, dying games cupboard, if you 
can help us by emptying it slightly you can keep 
some of the contents! But we can't just give them 
away willy nllly, Oh no, 

That would be too easy, and there's loads of 
excellent stuff in there too! 

What we want you to do is show your creative 
side in the best passible way. If you've heard of 
'Everybody’s Girlfriend' by David Pleasance then 
you'll know what I mean, 

You've got It. We want you to write a song 
about the Amigo. And you are completely free to 
do anything, You can just write some lyrics, make 
a tune using Gctamed. or record it Oh to tape. 
Well promise to look at every single one of the mi, 
And remember - we're not expecting that much, 
but if you can impress us enough we may even 
send you a special prize worth around £1 00. And 
don't forget, there will be loads of runners up 
prizes. 

So come on! How much does the Amiga mean 
to you? 



Name; 

Address},.. 


Age: 

Song Title:... 


Send entries to: Hey look. I'm Noel Gallagher 
Competition, System. Amiga Computing. IDG 
Media, Media House, Adlingfon Park, 
Macclesfield, Cheshire SKID 4NP, 












Guildhall’s release schedule 


We have just received the latest news from 
Guildhall Leisure that they are to further their 
excellent track record with more duality 
software than ever before. 

Firstly there is Fears and Gloom £ for the 
CD32, If you’ve been dying to play them on the 
32-bit machine then your waiting is up as you 
will be pleased to know they should be avail' 
able now. 

Over the next month or so 1 we should be 
seeing a brand new game by the name of Blitz 


Tennis,, and the release of Wembley 
International Soccer which I am looking 
forward to as I never got to play it the first 
time around when it was published by 
Audiogenic, 

Late in the year we shall also be seeing 
games entitled Microlyte Warriors and the 
much awaited Brian tara '96, 

It looks like it's going to be a good year for 
Guildhall! with a mountain of excellent releases. 

Stay tuned for more information. 


Caught in the Net 


If you're looking for Amiga games on the 
internet here are some links to get you 
started. Whether It's Public Domain or 
commercial demos you “I find something 
on these sites. 

Virtual Software Library 

n ttp ; / / vsl , cnet, c om / 

This contains an excellent software 
searcher - it's fast, efficient and very large. 
Just select 'Amigo' from the menu end 
you'll be away 

Aminet 

ftp;//src. doc. ic.ac.uk 

^is is probably the best place anyone 
could want to go to to search oil aspects 
of the Amiga world it's also updated daily 
so you will be able to access all the latest 
software. 


* 


Tl» *ul mipbunt flM* b AbfiTtMUW m (to ftt 

n»e Amiga ffW SimlaiyU ifclUHnl lj: 


linn * "iwfayflMta * ma* Hm * WfljUsHjHsi 
n* fipitannr * gpfEnw Si] ppm i * Hajdfw* Inml 1 TMe wton 

a»»iEkLiiM2 • cpa-faii ■ mm * uanw'SH 

* tKEiaLiLSfil 


rfipis is on Amigo owner's second home, If you Of& on enthusiast you'll 
probably spend moffl fflrrre hero than anywhere 


cu-online 

' .'l ;• K *LV lilLkl -*1 •• E“. Idir 


The Champaign -UrtuirM 
Comrnedone Users Groirp 



Amiga Web Directory 

h ft p: //www . cue ug . erg /a mi g a . html 
You will occasionally find news of up and coming 
Amiga games releases as well as some excellent 
lalks to other similar related sites. 


The Games Domain 

http://wcl-rs.bham.ac.ul/gamesdomain 
You will find mountains of software littered ail over 
this place far various formats as well as loads of 
Amiga goodies 


Official System top 1 0 


This is our up to dote, official fop i D most played games in. the office. As you can see the standard of 
software over the last few months has been absolutely outstanding and we hope rt will continue. 


Game 

Publisher 

Score 

1. Worms 

Team 17 

91% 

2. Sensible World of Soccer 95/96 

Time Warner 

92% 

3. Pinball Prelude 

Effigy Software 

90% 

4. Super Tennis Champs 

Audiogenic 

80% 

5. Xtreme Racing 

Guildhall 

90% 

6. Breathless 

Power Computing 

92% 

7. Alien Breed 3D 

Team 17 

91% 

8. Coaia 

Empire Int. 

91% 

9. Gloom Deluxe 

Guildhall 

N/A 

10 Flight of the Amazon Queen 

Time Warner Interactive 

93% 



The European Computer 
Trade Show is once again 
making its annual return The 
dotes are 14-16 of April and 
whether there'll plenty of 
Amigo games on show will 
be another matter. It won't 
surprise me if the show is 
dominated by the 
Playstation. Saturn and PC. 
but we'll give you o full run 
down in a future issue any- 
way on all the present 
Amiga software titles 


B5 


IplUttt 












SYSTEM 


System Selections 


Sensible World 
of Soccer 95/96 

Scores 92% 



“It you're a real fan of Sensible 
Soccer then this an absolutely 
essential purchase" 


Breathless 


Score: 92% 




"Breathless features some 
excellent graphics and sound 
effects, and it plays like a 
dream" 



April 1191 


SB 



"The best thing about Xtreme Racing has to be 
the 3D texture map 


Zeewolf 2 


Score: 90% 



"The missions are reasonably challenging and if 
you're into war and guns and that then Zeewolf 
is an excellent purchase" 


Soccer Stars ‘96 

Score: 90% 



“Soccer Stars ’96 is probably one of the best 
football compilations and at £34.99 it is excellent 


value for money" 


Pinball Prelude 



Score: 90% 



“Along with all these presentational features 
there are many additional ones which make the 
game more interesting " 



Hillsea Lido 

Score: 90% 


"Superbly designed and a real bargain to boot - 
you'd be crazy not to buy this' 


Worms 




Score: 91% 






“Hours of entertainment from one game - who'd 
have thought that a garden invertebrate could 
be so much fun" 















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A mica Computing 











SYSTEM 


review 



PUBLISHER 


Anco 

H=W=H 

In-house 
£24.99 

B 

4 

Q 

No 

AT 200 


DISKS 


HD INSTALL 


SUPPORTS 



ci**t ifwt dYin* f*- Uh 


77ie new highlights screen is sptit into 
quarters and each one displays graphics 
relating to certain incidents 



The beet room Is nc fenger empty as it 
always used to be. It is now futl of three 
players sitting there doing nothing 


Manager 


§J1C<0 Offl® 

W l iHUtS 

Carlisle surrender to 
A W ddook 


Slnminshirt City woe* i <to« <u? t* 
yesterday i Ctrtffc fide 

full of coMMitr'ien-t. P.Uak- -ar e littLed 
the opening ae-al •after' ? nimut es » 
Carlisle took tht . Ium 

stf uck foi' Bimitthan tvty wMfi Wt 
thumpina uofiesl frop cwLstfe the box 
levelled fllittips in the t6lh minute , 
fl.niddeck mounded o-if Ui>t sw^im wiUi 
his dth go-al of the st isvr- *tteh 64 
Minutes with a strike that just menaced 


to coos? the line to leave Carlisle to wonder wene it all went 



The newspaper witl give you an in-depth 
report on the match you have just played 



layer Manager 2 was released last year 
sometime and to be honest It was 
nothing short of excellent, ft received 
94% in our September issue. Now 
comes the pseudo data disk - well 
completely new version actually. 

I mentioned in my previous review that the 
player's names were truly awful especially as 
they kept real life teams and then invented com- 
pletely fictional names. I don't know whether 
Anco acted upon my criticisms, but m the Extra 
version all the names are updated, Obviously 
there's no Juninho at Middlesbrough, because for 
a start they still haven't managed to ossign the 
clubs into their proper divisions, but a rumour did 
occur that if nil the reel life teams were included 


it would take too long for a season. 

Most of the differences that have been added 
to the Extra version ore quite in depth, To begin 
with there is a knockout and challenge made 
where you can take on other human opponents 
In a league just to see who does best The 
challenge option is to see how many points you 


extra 

Reviewed by Andy Maddock 

can possibly get. with the more points gained 
resulting in better offers being received from 
other clubs. 

The other changes are more or less cosmetic. 
Instead of walking around an empty stadium, you 
will know find the chairman sitting in the correct 
seat and secretaries where they should be, but 
there's still no-ane rn the treatment room I 

To be honest Player Manager 2 received 94% 
only because of the management part being so 
realistic and detailed. The actual arcade action 



The new highlights are by far the best addition. 
Especially when you Ve winning end you're fit 
the limelight ail the time 


mu 














Now many? 


Al these changes haven't really made the 
?3Tie better because under all the make- 
.z + here are quite a few changes whEch 
ere pretry annoying. 

Firefly, when you are ready to go off and 
head for the boat room, a long wait follows 
white all the results are calculated. When 
each wart lasts around two minutes, at the 
er a of the season you will hove waited well 
: ver an hour, Surely there's something else 
worthwhile you could be doing. If you fry sit* 
hng absolutely still for an hour, you'd prob- 
acy go mad! 

The last annoying feature Is probably the 
* out In the entire world and was fairly weil 
hidden in the last version. There used to be 
ttvee disks - one to load the game, the sec- 
:-nci for the management and the third for 
*^e arcade bit. Consequently, if you wan- 
tea to just play the management side it was 
no problem because you always kept one 
ask in the drive. 

Now. disaster has stuck. The introduction 


of another disk has had disastrous effects. 
For example, when you want to visit the 
boot room you have fc insert disk 2, and tf 
you want to quickly check your bank bal- 
ance insert disk 4, God help you if you click 
the wrong button. 

At first, I thought I could sneakily get 
around this problem by only visiting the 
rooms, from one disk, but eventually I was 
told to report to the boardroom. I felt my 
stomach almost dissolve into nothing as I 
worried about my job security, I put on o 
brave face and knocked on the door only 
to hear a manly voice sounding extremely 
disgruntled . Oh no. I've finally entered the 
world of football management! 

I come out of the room somewhat pee- 
ved and also relieved because not only 
hod I had a warning about turning up to a 
match ten minutes before kick off, I'd also 
had messages from my scouts and coac- 
hes complaining that they had hod no 
work all season And this was all because 


you have to insert a dbk oxry nme you 
want to visst one of , r = . eej 

Whet s the problem hear . ; , jsi" 
didn’t i just Install the game to resolve of 
these problems? Well, this is the worst piece 
of programming in the entire w arid . s .. a h 
when someone writes a program that has 
to use more than one disk they II mm* *: 
themselves, why don't I just write a ' . « 
easy install script so they won' t have to 1 ft a 
finger? Marvellous. 

You don't even get a sniff of hard d T , e 
all the way through the manual - apart 
from the PC version! Typical, " Th at 5 
alright.' I thought to myself. I'll do it the long 
way by going through Workbench, copying 
all the various files into a directory, and 
then assigning the volumes, it would take 
time of course, but at least it J d be better in 
the long run. 

What do I find when Workbench loods 
up? 'DFO: Is not a DOS disk'. Excellent - I'm 
not playing this anymore, 


k To be honest 

Player Manager 2 

received 94% only 
because of the 

management part 

being so realistic and 
detailed ^ 

■-.as pretty pathetic, i suppose I could have 
marked the game down slightly because of this, 
3 though you could switch if off and just watch or 
manage. 

Although this option is still present in the Extra 
- ersion, there is olso the addition of two new fea- 
tures. On© Is a scoreboard which shows rubbish 
p ctures of various incidents happening on the 
:: - ch all the way through the game. To be honest 


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Possession Or?' 49 



Possession St 


Han Or SI* Wa’cft AiUfcfthS 


Tit c match day screen now gives 
prayer ratings anti a man-of-the- 
match award 

Ifs slightly long winded ond when you've seen 
one animation, you've seen them oil. 

The second feature is by far the best. The high- 
lights option splits the screen info quarters and 
every now and again you will be shown still pic- 
tures of rendered footballers controlling, shooting, 
passing and fouling. And although they're only still 
pictures, it presents more of an atmosphere than 
any other options. 



Vou will now have to aft And 1 alt relevant 
press conferences to answer th# 
questions posed by the press 



The match scanner displays alt 
the information at once, although 
unfortunately it’s far too bland 


Fina 





if you're □ very pafienf per- 
son who would wait a life- 
time just for a beloved man- 
agement simulation to finish 
mulling over some simple 
calculations, then Player 
Manager 2 would be a 
great purchase. If some 
extra thought went into the 
actual technical side of the 
gome it could have been 
absolutely excellent possi- 
bly even the greatest ever 
football game in the world. 
The game is there, the statis- 
tics are there, everything is 
almost there, but rh© lack of 
thought spoils everything 


DO lr»1« 








E mm 

review 



PUBLISHER 


Team 17/Ocean 


DEVELOPER 


Binary Emotion 


PRICE 


£25.99 


DISKS 


4 


HD INSTALL 


Yes 


SUPPORTS 


A 1200/4000 + CD 32 



















Th« Speri$iand$ in afi ffwir 
glory. Aaah t looks idyffic, ey? 



Destroy rhc flowers to 

uncover sum# treasures 



D Thts is one of those gomes that seems 
like it's been in the pipeline forever. 
Some games just pop up out of the 
blue in a re viewable state with no intro- 
duction at all whereas others meander along, 
eventually appearing when they're good and 
ready, Speris is in the latter category,, and when a 
title takes this long to appear, you build yourself 
up for something really special, So does it live up 
to our high expectations? 

On first impressions the answer is yes - the 
graphics look bright ond cheerful and a lot of 



* rtfl'J 

- « M 


Enter the p atecu to find out 
your mission from the king 


Legacy 


Reviewed by Tina Hackett 


attention to detail has obviously been paid but 
when you start playing, things are □ little slow to 
say the least. There are plenty of characters to 
interact with and places to explore but it's the 
amount of repeating yourself you have to do - 
walking around the same places and talking to 
the same people just becomes exceedingly 
tedious. 

Well,, those are only first impressions and it 
would be unfair to judge the game on these ini- 
tial findings. Okay, so a description of the game is 



Hardly a plot that will blow your mind, but nev- 
ertheless It gives the game o point, You play 
Cho, the hero, who is on a mission to avenge his 
friend's death, His friend. Kale, was murdered by 
his evil brother Gallus In a quest to steal thfc king- 
dom away from him, The King promises Cho ‘he 
throne, so he sets off to fight Gallus. 







The playing screen 


Ob/$cl 
Selection 
Shows the 
object Cho has 
selected 


Score 

The more 
enemies you kill 
and putties you 
solve r the more 
paints you g«( 


Vitality Bar 

Keep an eye out art 
this bar as your 
guest will end when 
this runs out 



Weapon 

Selection 

Cho has a 
choice of 
weapons «f 
His disposal. 
This shows 
you which 
one he has 
5 elected 


Keys 

Collect the 
keys as 
you go 
around to 
open doors 



Experience Bar 
your 

experience 
but ids as 
the game 
progresses. 

Kilt monsters 
to build this up 


Bomba 

Bombs should be 
picked up on the 
way te destroy 
obstacles in your 
path 


I 

Gems 

Find the Gems in 
order tp buy things 
from the shop 


1 

Power Bar 
The bar builds up to 
increase power of 
some weapons 


^eeded here, I feel, As you can probably se© 
from the screenshots, it takes its inspirationC???) 
f, om Zelda on the SN£$ It's an overhead adven- 
ture game which requires you to collect objects, 
jet past enemies, and solve puzzles. You control 
the gome either via the keyboard, joystick or 
CD32 controller, and walk around eight different 
levels on your quest. On the first level called 


Sha rmo City, you wake up on the first day of your 
adventure, adjust to your surroundings, and find 
out the mission from the king. You also need to 
find the sword to arm yourself and get to grips 
with collecting gems - the main form of currency 
needed to buy things in shops 

You will also need to interact with other char- 
acters to find out clues. However, the speech Is 


4 I'm not 
going to 
completely 
write this off 
- it's still a 
playable 
enough 
game and if 
you're into 
adventures 
then I'm sure 
you'll gain 



When you do actually get somewhere you can 
walk around the lands from a large map 


2E1 

Control is either via the joystick 
keyboard or CD32 controller. The 
controls you need to master are, 
of course, walking, using weapons 
(for instance, the sword or bombs) 
and speaking. Whenever you 
meet another character □ 
speech bubble will appear over 
their heeds and you can choose 
the appropriate reply you wont to 
make. When you come into con- 
tact with an object an eye icon 
will indicate that you can exam- 
ine it to see what it is - you will 
probably also get a clue as to 
what it can be used for later. To 
access the Inventory screen you 
can press F2 which allows you to 
look at and select the objects or 
weapons you have collected. 



freaks 


quite a lot of 

enjoyment 

from it 9 


lyiitffl 










review 



Choose your speech by cJicfring 
on (he reply you want tp make 


Where is it now? 


Remember we previewed O very simitar 
game called Legends way back in 
Christmas 1994? Well this was being pub- 
lished by Kri sails and looked set to rival The 
Sperls Legacy but unfortunately, we don't 
know what on earth has happened to it. 
Last we heard on the rumour mill was that 
it was ready for release, but krisatis 
weren't publishing it and it had been 
passed on to someone who was. But who 
is the mystery company and are we ever 
going to see this game? Let's hope so 
because although the graphics didn't 
look up to the same standards as 
Speris (when we saw It anyway), it looked 
very good fun and, dare I soy it, more 
imaginative. 


Vour hpme from hem^ SAB wifh ail the comforts 
you’d expect - but what about any clue s? 

rather time consuming and when you've already 
spoken to a character and just happen to walk 
past them again, you really do have to pay atten 
lion and walk quite far away from them or you 
find yourself talking to them again 

The sound effects work quite well with telepor- 
tation effects, sword whooshes and so on, but It's 
such a shame the absolutely terrible music contin- 
ues throughout. The tunes do 
change depending on 
which area you ore j 
in, but they're all 
dreadful and the 
only woy to 
avoid it is to turn 
the music off 
which is a shame 
as you miss the 
sound effects. 

Graphics are worthy 
of a mention because they are so detailed and 
perfect for this style of game. The sprites look 
good and blend well into the cartoon back- 
grounds, and each part of the Sperislands have 
been thought out nicely, from the dinky little 
rooms to outdoor scenes. 




r 

f/jG 4 I i / ? J 

•i ' -s -s. ■ - ‘4Li^k-4. r •<kh 8 Es> ® 

l ~ n n 

vrqv i mm hi ■ i, x. | gr ^ 

; is! 

' 

[ !■■» 111 1 1 


- SCOFf - 


UITC 

f KF“C 

«- Z 








Bye, I hope you can nake the 
King happy again. It riakes rte 
sad seeing hir^ like this. He 
always |Gf;&<?d be? so cheerful! 


Interact with other characters to find cut vital clues 





These sign boards tell you where 
certain places are but fjttte else 


al w 


To be fair, there Is nothing technically wrong with this game - the graphics are 
superb, the scrolling smooth, and some of the effects, such as tele port ation, have 
been done very well. It looks the part with some cute sprites and detailed 

b °Ho we vef playability wasn't quite up-to-scratch and although it did deliver some 
quite nice puzzles. I felt that some of the time you were left wandering around 
without a clear idea of where to go next or what you're supposea to be doing. 

Another point which just can't be ignored is the way you have tc isfand m exac- 
tly the right place to destroy obstacles such as flowers. It would be OK. if you could 
casually slash them with your sword as you walk past but oh no, sometimes you en 
up spending precious minutes lining up your sprites to hit the flowers, And you do 
nave to destroy them because underneath there are vital supplies and teeport 
squares Teleporting becomes rather boring at times too, especially if you teleport 
yourself to the wrong place and have to wander around the maze all over again 
- very frustrating. Re-appearing enemies also become tedious. 

I'm not going to completely write this off - it's still a playable enough game and 
if you're into adventures then l J m sure you'll gain quite a lot of enjoyment from it 
but for the casual player who demands to be instantly entertained by a game 
{and why shouldn't we be?) then it's not going to be for you. There s too much to- 
ing and fro-ing for my liking, so I'll give this a miss and leave it to those who are fans 

of arcade adventures. 


W 


Mrfl AH 


92 







SYSTEM 



preview 


Previewed by Andy Maddock 


Here's some of the plot. 

It's »jhe seme sort of heroic 
rescue missions and 
everyone love s you 


S IM are fast becoming one of the lead- 
ing forces in the Amigo gomes industry, 
and hopefully this new release. 

| Wafchtcwer, will secure their place. 

Basically, it's Commando. Yep, remem- 
ber that now dusty old arcade gome which you'll 
era badly find locked away In a dork room, most 
kkely because it's so old it'll be foiling apart and 
already vandalised by school kids during 
lunchtimes. Commando wos one of the greatest 
games ever 

When I was little, I used to wander into some 


Thp action screens are much lift# a cress 
between Commando and Ikari Warriors 


social place, usually with a good reason, and walk 
straight past the Snooker and Pool tables and 
nead for the arcades to continuously ram 10p r s 
down their throats unit they were blue in the face. 
Back then it was either Froggec Asteroids or 
Commando, It was a tough choice, although they 
were all frustrating so. inevitably, my temper 
‘ r ayed and the machines were abruptly abused 
with my feet, fists and anything I could generally 
throw at them. 

Well. Commando was a top-viewed 
war/actlon game. ! t featured this little war guy 
who had a machine gun and some grenades. I 
could never remember the plot because it was 
simply a cose of sticking your co^n in and achiev- 
ing the highest score - the intro screens barely saw 
the light of day, If was set in the jungle and the 
idea was to kill ail the enemy, release hostages 
and blow up bridges, . 

After receiving a Spectrum during the J 80s, I 
managed to find Commando in the shops for 


£1.99. Blimey! A game for less than two quid 1 And 
to this day it's still one of the greatest games ever 
to grace computer screens, Not because of the 
graphics or sound, but for sheer playability. 

Watchtower is based on the same idea 
although It will obviously be far superior in presen- 
tation and hopefully in game play too. You can 
play two players on the screen at once and both 
can bottle through three different stages Includ- 
ing the Desert, Jungle and City, with six missions in 
each one. 

Just like the origin ol Commando, there are 
tanks, helicopters and other vehicles to bottle 
□gainst which will take an enormous amount of 
firepower to destroy, and when you've got foot 
soldiers firing at you from all angles, it gives you an 
idea of the challenge. 

I can't remember if Commando had end-of*- 
level guardians, although I seem to recall a big 
door where the enemy used to come pouring 
out. 


£ You can 

play two 
players on 
the screen 
at once and 

both can 

battle 

through three 



The enemy rate will increase 
dramatically, especially when 
you stick it on the hardest level 



Wa tc hto wer is onl y a re lj nd 75 
per cent complete and 
should be ready around early 
April. It's already looking 
pretty polished not to men- 
tion, very tough. Hopefully 
we'll bring you a full review as 
soon as the game Is in its 
complete form . 



The briefings report will 
take you all around the 
world on different missions 


different 
stages 9 


93 









SYSTEM 


hints & tips 


Hints, tips and helpful answers 
on all your gaming problems. 

Andy Maddock sorts them out 

Feedback 



Breeding problems? 

After having purchased a copy of Alien Breed 3D 
and installing it onto my hard drive (not as easy as 
it sounds), I then found the game icon hidden 
within the drawer (call me stupid, but i thought 
game icons were normally visible) and loaded il 
with anticipation. As the game loaded I noticed a 
definite similarity between this game and Doom 
on my sister's PC (I still haven't converted her). Am 
l correct In this assumption or am I dreaming 17 
Please find enclosed a list of codes which have 
been compiled in a time consuming but very sat- 
isfying way, followed by a couple of helpful tips to 
ease the pain of dying so quickly. 

LEVEL 1 No code needed 

l£VEL 2 CMQFFJE N PPH H FFFF 

LEVEL 3 MIOOEDEOPPFFFFFF 

LEVEL A KPKOFOPOHOEHFFFF 

LEVEL 5 NUAMBOOPHHFHFFN 

LEVEL 6 FOllNM POCNFFFFF 

LEVEL 7 CCCGIDOPPFEEFFFF 

LEVEL 6 PPKKNQPLJIEFMFEN 

LEVEL 9 DBAMHFPPA6EFIFFN 

LEVEL 10 JMCGDICKPLFBDCGN 
LEVEL 1 1 HKAMHRPPFFFFFFEF 
LE VE L 1 2 D PIGCKPPEEE BFFFF 
LEVEL 1 3 OLKOLEOOAPE1A1HP 
LEVEL 14 GGAOLMOOMNMILKKJ 
LEVEL 15 LKKOPHPPAIOJBIOH 

if you replace the last eight tetters of any code 
with the letters EEEEDCGN. or the last four with 
AIHR or the 7th and 8th letters with OCX you will, in 
most cases, raise the level of firepower and help 


your cause greatly (depends on your 
armaments). It can also raise your vitality level, 
Also, here is a way of defeating the last alien in 
the 'Test Gamma' level one. When the alien Is 
freed, run back to the first arena and make your 
way up to the balcony where the alien Is, There 
you can crouch down and watch the alien 
bomb itself into oblivion. Thanks for your maga- 
zine and your coverdisks 

Darren White, Ipswich 

Colonization 

If you name your new colony Charlotte you will 
be able fo view all the maps, parts, and other 
county's statistics instantly, And. as an added 
bonus, your bank balance will be tapped up by 
a total of $50,000. 



Colonization allows you to 
build up your own colony 


um mi 94 





Breathless was one of Mho finest Doom 
dp nos on the Amiga - and so say ait of us, 1 


Brutal: Paws of Fury 

Enter NINE SPROGS on the password screen This 
will now make you invincible, 

Thanks to Martin Phillips from Chesterfield for 
that one. 

Premier Manager 3 

f you dial 4(30040 on the telephone screen your 
players will now have c higher fitness rate and 
better morale. 

If you are lacking m the financial department 
you can Just dial 343343 for some extra money. 
Simple. 



Footbatt crazy. Think, you can do hotter than the 
managers of the moment? Try Premier Manager 3 



Mr Brown is obviously a Doom fanatic 
from fho amount of games he plays 


Out of breath 

Read your piece about Breathless. Doom type 
clones. Review conning out soon I would bke to 
praise AB3D which is Just brilliant Playability 
superb, Aliens at different locations each time i 
play. Intelligence fantastic. 

I do want to see better graphics. I want to see 
games programmed for the best set-ups rather 
than the lower grade set-ups, then we can oil go 
out and upgrade our Amigos a bit more. 

A ! so r loaded your freebie. Image Vision, I sim- 
ply get a drawer containing two Icons. One of 
which restarts the loading sequence all over 
again. Cannot get Image Vision to run! 

A Brown. Northampton 

Well, Mr Brown {we think that’s your name, we 
couldn't quite make out the signature) It’s nice to 
hear your thoughts on Doom clones. And I m sure 
we'd all like to see more 'high spec 1 games on 
the Amiga, 

We’re a little stumped on your problem with 
Image Vision because we don't know what set- 
up you have, so we can’t really help. Having said 
that, try reading the instructions carefully to see if 
there’s anything you may have missed. The 
cause maybe that you don’t have the required 
specifications to run the program. If the symp- 
toms still persist then write to AC AS at the usual 
address and state in more detail the problems 
you have encountered and, more importantly, 
what set-up you have. 


I’m having an absolute Nightmare! 


I am a subscriber of Amiga Computing and the 
articles are all relevant and superbly written. I 
was wondering whether you would be able to 
send me a guide of how to complete Nightmare, 
i know if s o very old game but also very difficult 
to complete, 1 thank you in anticipation, 

Lee Jones London 


\ haven't heard of a gome called Nightmare, 
and when I asked around the office the only on© 
we managed to think of was Knightmare, the 
game conversion from that bland TV show that 
came on around tea time. However, we don't 
think this is the one you're thinking of so I’m 
afraid we can't realty help. Sorry. 


Behind the 
Iron Gate 

Michael Jepson 
Reading has obvious . bee'- 
hard at work these v- 
months because he's man- 
aged to churn out level 
codes for one of the first 
Doom-type gomes on the 
Amiga. 

2- "Etl3333FAS" 

3- "G224444ETJ" 

4- ■ H224444ELLT 

5- 'GBL2222CLL" 

6- * T QOPPPP W2E ' 

7- M3CCCCC2TE" 

8- # NADTTTTKMr 

9- J '3Y3NNNNUKC' 
TQ-'™GBBBBY23‘' 

1 VGAEWWM3W* 

12- “5Z4MMMMVLF 

1 3- " AAEWWMW K ' 

14- ‘KLP5555HRr 

1 5- 'IK06666GU3" 

16- 'FGCTTTTK2G* 

17 - ^ 260000 X 36 " 

18- VEARRRRID3 

1 9- " KUQBBB6V EC " 

2Q-‘“QPL1 1 \ 1 DXX“ 

21- 'UM!ZZZZA5V\T 

22- *Df 5PPPPWHC" 

23- * C Y3N N N N U AG " 

24- "G4ZMIlR6N" 

25- 'K51LlLLSGE' 


Some might say 

If you have ony questions about 
anything whatsoever, or if you 
have any cheats, either put pen 
to paper or Anger to keyboard 
and either write to us of 

System Feedback 
Amiga Computing 
IDG Media 
Arlington Park 
Macclesfield 
SKI0 4NP 

or e-mail us on: 

«St®acamp.dfernori,co.uk. 

And remernbec If your letter s any 
good or If you robe any Irteremg 
subjects, we may even-, efig deed 
In our already wefl-stoefced gc mm, 
cupboard and reward you So. 
come on, let's hear what you 
have to soy. 







SYSTEM 


review 



Ultima 


Reviewed by Andy Moddock 




v&n though we protest we don' t com- 
pare the Amigo Doom clones to the PC 
or Playstation Doom. I suppose deep 
down we do. In fact I'm sure we'd alt 
like to see something that would wipe 
them off the face of the Earth completely, So much 
so In fact that accounting offices would then be 
kitted out with networked Amiga's and instead of 
the staff pretending to work, they'd actually be 
playing a Doom clone on the Amiga. 

Perfect Doom? 

All the games that feature in this round-up dorVt 
really fall short of the 'fun' hurdle, and some still 
leave a lot to be desired, I think what's missing is the 
speed. By monaging to display graphics of super Hi- 
res standard at full screen, we might be on to some- 
thing. Is it possible? Who knows. Most people 
believe the specifications for the Amiga just aren't 
good enough. But with programmers finding new 
ways of manipulating the Amiga, continuous ways 
of upgrading, and even coming up with ideas sur- 
rounding the new RISC-based Amiga, we could 
well see something better than the PC 

One thing we have learnt during the past year 
with the rise of Doom-like releases Is that speed 
does hove a price. Ploying these types of games on 






□ standard A 1200 cannot be justified. We have 
tried it, and it's very slow and jerky - reducing the 
playability tenfold. Consequently, a higher spec 
machine is fast becoming a necessity rather than a 
luxury. 

Everybody knows that computers are an expen- 
sive purchase, and the decision to get one should 
be carefully thought through. However, what peo- 
ple fail to realise is that if you do 
purchase a computer, you must remember that 
the expense will not end at your local computer 


w« 96 

S—r 







store - you'll be forced to west In the world of 

upgrades* 

It's a vicious circle. If you spend £1000 pounds 
.. n a computer, it Is Inevitable that you will need to 
Day even more as time moves oh. especially if you 
want to play the latest 'high spec' gomes and use 
the latest applications, ff you don't upgrade your 
software will become dated and Inefficient and 
you will probably never use it as much as you 
should - you have more or less 
wasted £10tXi or are not potting value for money. 
So what choices do you have'? I'll tell you. 
Absolutely none. 

Let's start with the PC For an average machine 
something like a 436 which would cost around 
£1000, you’d get a monitor, a 1000 meg hard drive 
and probably some games. The 
standard 486 comes with 4 megabytes of RAM. so 
you'll have to upgrade to 8 megs before you start 
- especially if you wont to use the much hyped 
Windows 95. 

So why was a computer released with inade- 
quate memory? The answer is quite obviously 
because PC developers thought that would be 
enough memory for the software available at that 
time. To ploy the very latest games on I tie PC, B 
meg is nothing short of a necessity, and it 


costs around £200. So what about 
1997 or 19987 Will 8 meg be enough 
to cope wilh the software being 
released? Probabry not. and what 
would happen if there was ever 
a Windows 97 or 98? Would 16 
megabytes enough? This is the 
paint where computers manage to 
deem themselves an expensive 
purchase. 

Let's go back to the Amiga - o 
standard A12QQ. Take the Magic 
Pock, for example, which costs any- 
thing up to £5C0 because people 
ho ve begun to realise that life with 
just a floppy isn't good enough. 
Another example of an up-grade 
which was deemed expensive o 
couple of years back is a hard drive. 
Now, however, the majority of 
Amiga users have one, and. thank- 
fully they're now included within the 
package. 

So how con you upgrade an 
Amiga to a suitable level to play all 
these Doom-clones that are curren- 
tly dominating the market? Firstly, the 
main addition to a standard Amiga 
A 1200 has to be the accelerator, 
With mail-order companies selling 
decent ones for about £140 to £200, 
they reglly should be snapped up. 
however if you want to take the 
expense a lot further you'd probably 
be able to lay your hands on a 68060 
board which will set you back 
around £600 - £700. If this is Just to 
o ay Doom clones, you might as well 
t uy yourself a PC and ploy the real 
thing. 

I can remember a few months 
back that we ran a Reader Survey 
which was aimed mainly at games 
players. The amount of people who 
had a higher spec machine than a 
standard ,41 200 was tremendous - there was only 
a small percentage of A500 and A 600 owners out 
there, So when users are upgrading all the time, it 
is quite safe to scry that we will see the perfect 
Doom-clone out there. When? Now, that's 
another matter 

It's just possible that the time may be around 
May. 3y whom? Well it has to be none other than 
Team 1 7. Alien Breed 3D was absolutely excellent 
and they've already begun work on a follow up 
which, from what we've seen is looking pretty 
unbelievable,. If you thought Breathless looked 
good, this will undoubtedly make the average PC 
owner green with envy 

I spoke to Martyn Brown from Team 17 to get his 
views on the whole Doom issue. I began by asking 
him how it all started? 

"Around mid 1994, the Doom thing was just 
starting and we'd seen a beta version of Doom. 
We didn't really consider it possible on the Amiga 
until we got talking to a guy on the Amiga 
newsgroups on Usenet (Anoty C lithe roe) about the 
possibilities, and he claimed to have a similar 
engine. We spoke at length, he came over; and 
the rest is history. Alien Breed 3D was born? 

What is the attraction with Doom? "I played 
Doom to death on the PC. We have played over 






6 With 

programmers 
finding new 
ways of 

manipulating 

the Amiga... 
we could well 
see something 
better than 
the PC 5 



87 


SYSTEM 


review 











1 J' r -“T* t 



















1 * H 





- 













Alien Breed 3D 2 fS looking graphically 
superb - Jet's hope the gameplay 
remains from AB3D 



Doom an the PC and Playstation. We all 
agree it is a good game, but most of us 
would like to he playing it on an Amiga 








K‘ 


■' I 


Fears 

t think this was the second 
Doom done we ever saw and I 
actually preferred this to Gloom 
because l wasn't particularly at 
ease playing it with all those 
pixels, 

And what l liked about Pears 
was the fact you could adjust 
resolutions, screen modes and 
detail tevels to surf your particu- 
lar requirements . Also, as well as 
featuring a level editor, if was a 
challenging game and in my 
mind if still reminds me of Doom, 

Alien Breed 30 

Allen Breed 3D entered our 
offices around the same time as 


Breathless and It was a tough 
choice between the two. 
Eventually I plumped for 
Breathless 

Alien Breed 3D does pack in 
some excellent graphics and 
sound and the gameplay was 
nothing short of excellent, but I 
found Breathless slightly more 
playable,,, but only just 

Gloom 

This was one of the most played 
games in the office, although I 
have to admit if was mainly rne. 
I wasn't particularly happy with 
the graphic display because of 
the resolution, but I still played. 
This was because I used to get 
so far into it, then I'd Just die. 


and then I’d think: 'lean do that 
bit, I can/ And there you have it 
- addictiveness at its most 
lethal, 

The range of weapons were 
good and the death sequences 
were particularly superb, but 
the thing that let it down was 
the fact you couldn't configure 
the game. 

This is a problem, especially 
■when your system setup is not 
particularly fash or you want to 
fake advantage of any other 
peripherals you hove, Other 
than this. Gloom Is still a very 
worthy purchase, 

Breathless 

Some might say this is the 




April 1111 



the Network, and II even own a copy of the 
Playstation. It's because Doom is fun. there's always 
a great atmosphere. It's not complicated, and it's 
easy to pick up and have a blast with. Doom was 
probably one of the first pseudo-3D games that 
really grabbed people by the balls and stuck them 
in an unreal alien environment. 1 suppose the timing 
was good because people were raving about 
Virtual Reality and everything and Doom provided 
a simpler model of this at home anyway - that's the 
way 1 saw it. " 

The latest problem has been the Amiga 's speci- 
fications and the home user's set-up, It is impossible 
to cater for everybody's needs. Marty n believes it's 
because the Amiga has severely lost out in retail 
terms over the last two years. 

“These days it r s becoming less common to see 
Amigo software getting any sort of priority n stores. 
Retailers hove been reluctant to stock A1200 
editions, let alone high-end versions, Alien Breed 3D 


2 is the first game we have ever done that you real- 
ly need an accelerated machine for A bog stan- 
dard At 200 is adequate but it needs more, certain- 
ly a 68030 and true 32-bit FostRAM, AB3D 2 has to 
be severely crippled in terms of on-screen presen- 
tation and imoge-Size to get it to run on anything 
other than pedestrian speed on a standard At 200. 
Having said that, on a decent spec machine it's 
looking phenomenal!'' So. what's the main obsta- 
cle companies such as Team 1 7 mud overcome to 
release a Doom game? 

"It's the feet of the thing, the playability aspects 
There's absolutely no point doing something that 
looks realty great but plays like a bag of old sacks 
With Alien Breed 3D we went for maximum frame 
update and spent time on the atmosphere, leve 
design and playability. You'll soon forget the pixe 
size and screen size and get involved with the 
game, Alfen Breed 3D has no graphical cutbacks 







r uori r» 

CtiND HRLrfH 

RETRIES 

LETT 3 


» 

_ ‘•5s 

„ o 

t r 

r — y 

■* & 

. L * 


r . 


i 


it 

* 



) 

At 


Greathfess features some superb graphics 
although it is slightly f of 4own in fermi of 
action - only lust though 

















u Inmate Doom clone, although 
it s set in the distant future tea 
luring robots instead of beasts, 
n my mind.- the only thing that 
et this down was that the 
weapons didn't really give you 
a feel of power, 

For instance In Doom, run- 
ning around a maze with just a 
Shotgun and then finding a 
Rocket Launcher in a secret 
room would give you that 
instant rush to blow away 
everything in sight. 

However, the weapons In 
Breathless are slightly weak, 
apart from the flame-thrower. 
Other than that, the graphics 
are the best seen on first- 
perspective games, and at the 


moment it looks like only Alien 
Breed 3D 2 can challenge thts 
game 

Behind The Iron Gate 

It's a bit unfair to call this a 
Doom clone, though It was 
based an the same idea. There 
was more RPG-type action 
whereby instead of moving with 
the gun in the middle of the 
screen, you used the keys to 
move yourself and the mouse 
to move a crosshair into various 
positions for you to target. 

It wasn't really a new dea by 
any means, In fact as for as 
games go, It Just slips into the 
'miscellaneous' category. 


Citadel 

Programmed by polish team 
Arrakis Software, this one was 
just too damn hard. The major 
gripe was that when you 
walked into a wall, the blow 
took □ notch off your energy. 
Therefore, if you weren' t partic- 
ularly dainty around the corners 
you'd end up with hardly any 
energy before you had even 
reached your first enemy 

The blood and guts In this 
were good. They may not have 
had the flying limbs as in Gloom, 
but the bodily sotllages were 
nothing short of gut-wrenching. 
Just make sure you've had no 
Cheese and Tomato Pot 
Noodles before you play 


me downside is that you need a fooled up Amiga 
to mean business/ 

With this in my mind I asked him about the future 
of Doom games on the Amiga, 

"The future of this type of 'high spec' game is in 
the hands of the buyers - they must prove there is a 
/table market. However: as far as we're concerned, 
the future rests on the outcome of Alien Breed 3D 2 . 
We are taking It as far as we can." 

Finally, which is the best Doom clone on the mar- 
ket -so far and why? 

"AB3D. I say this without bias because it fett the 
same as Doom, although you perhaps needed 
-astRAM or a faster processor, It really Is the game, 
not just the graphics, Breathless was a bit of tart, 
coked nice, but the novelty wore off after 30 
minutes. Gloom was very nice, although not strictly 
speaking a Doom engine, and more of an out and 
out blast. Fears was pretty unremarkable and just 
about unplayable," 


League division Doom 


This is the official system league table of Doom 
games, On the right are the scares w© have 
given them In our reviews. This is how it stands 
now. 


tofcb* 

Graphics Sound 

Ganwpby Supports 

Overall 

.Hen ireed 3D 

m 

m 

m 

All Amiga* 

91% 

are>oihle» 

93% 

90% 

92% 

A12QG 

m 

'Mrs. 

93% 

m 

m 

APOD 

m 

StaJm 

m 

80% 

14% 

At 200 

31% 

Citadel 

m 

m 

m 

All Arragca 

m 

Behind Iron goio 

71% 

61% 

65% 

All Amiga 

64% 



99 


in mi 







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Phil South begins a series on how to make 
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P Frank Nord demonstrates the importance 
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Create interesting multimedia in A 
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|T1 Paul Overaa reviews a new sound synthesis 
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Frank Nord takes a 
final took at 
Workbench's menus 
- this month Icons 
and Tools menus 





■j^ ight-Qr Onto ffte frcnj and Too/s 
U menus* Hopefully this should see 
the end of the menu item 
1^^* descriptions to thaf we eon sorry 
■on* with other things next month. 


The icons 
menu 


The Icons menu is like the Window menu in ih<jl it, 
loo, is modal Modal means you can only use it when 
certain conditions are fulfilled, in ttas instance an icon 
has to be selected li is also further modal in that cer 
tern menu items are only available when the right sort 
of icon is .selectee Rewembei when a menu item is 
unavailable it is said that it is 'ghosted'. 


□pen 


30 


The firsl of the model mem* items, the open item worts 
differently depending on what Sort of icon is selected 
when you choose it II the icon is a drawer or disk 
icon, then she w indaw appropriate to that icon will be 
opened. It it's a look then the menu ilem will run the 
selected program, and if it's o projecl ioon then the 
program associated with the icon fin the default tool 
held in its icon| will be run and the selected file will be 
oaded into it. You can find out an icon's type by 
using the Information...' item listed oelow. 


3C 


This menu opiion will copy the selected icon. If (he 
icon concerned is a He or drawer, a duplicate wilt be 
placed in the jane drawer but called ' Capy_cyf_file- 
name'., where filename is the name of the File. If you 
wont fo rename ihis copy, moke sure you move ii out 
of the some drawer as AmigaDOS doesn'l like io 
have two files with rhe some name n the same place. 


Rename 


□R 


This item brings up a text Field requester which con- 
rains the nome of rhe File you have selected You can 
type a new name in, but try to steer clear of spaces in 
your filenames as these can cause problems idler on, 
Here ore some handy keyboard shortcuts For when 
yau are editing a sexi field: 


Right Amigo X 
Right Amiga Q 


Shift Righl Cursor 
Shift Left Cursor 


Gears the whole field 
Resets the lent field to its 
original stare 

Moves the cursor tc ihe sod 
of the fax? 

Moves the cursor to the start 
of the text 


If you have a commodity I ke MCX or MCP you will 


part 3 


Would you 
like to 
th 






menu 



Th* tools morru f« 
rMtiy baring 
vnfvsf you have 
* Vtttity Hkm 


have additional abilities in text Fields be ng 
aible to paste text into them or only move the cursor 
a word at a time. 


Information. 


owfly betouu rou con end up having to scroll 
trough iqrge enp-% expanses of window to gel to 
an icon that wets snapshotted m some corner of a 
large Wontoench screen 


This stem will bring up o window giving yau infor- 
malion about ihe icon you have selected 
Depending on the icon type, certain features will be 
present or absent, but you wil always see save and 
cancel buttons. If you are looking at ai fife or dra- 
wer icon you will hove access Flogs that you con sot 
down the righi-hand side of the window, and f is is 
o tool or project you will have tool types you con 
edil. If you wonl fD know what type of file an icon 
is, (he title of the file appears at the ’op of the win- 
dow and you will see what type of file it is nexi to 
the tills m brockets 


Delete... 


This item will bring up q requester asking you if you 
are sure you want to delete whatever i es and 
drawers you hove selected Thts carnal be usea if a 
disk icon is selected, 


Format Dish... 


This item can only be selected when you have a disk 
con clicked on. You wil be given several warnings 
before anything dangerous happens. 


Snapshot E] 

IS 

Snapshot saves the position of the selected 

icon, ff 

you snapshot a drawer you will also snapshd (he 

shape ond size of iis window. 


UnSnapshot E] 

»U 

This item deletes the posilion fand size in* rhe cose 
of a drawer'! from an icon, freeing it to be placed 

wherever Workbench see* Fit. „ * 

i 

Leave Out 

!L 


Empty Trash 


If you still use the iTOihcon Facility offered by 
Workbench you wil need to have its icon clicked on 
before you con use this menu item, 


The to( 
menu 


This ; tem ond Ihe one below (Ful Away| refer to 
Workbench's ability fo have icons sitting on the 
Workbench screen without being inside a window. 
You can always drag on icon onto the Workbench, 
but unless you use ihis menu hem, the icon wi I be 
back msiae ils window the next time you boot this 
machme. 


To start with you will have nothing 
on your fools menu opart from one 
item - 'ResetWB', This tries to restore 
previously saved Workbench settings, 
hut frequently gets frustrated by 
windows being open or ofher programs 
running* l con"|t .remember the last time l 
used it. 


Put Away 


3 P 


This puts icons away that yau have left out. It is a 
good idea to UnSnapshot them before you pul ihem 


• Ttori finishes our look ot the menus of 
Workbench, but ffiern w/JJ be on mp I- 
/ague next man Hi where I introduce you 
to some of the utilities that can make 
Workbench's menus easier ond more 
productive to use. 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 


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Paul Overaa discusses 
the image loading 
example that you' 
find on the cover 
disk of this issue... 




Tricky 

loading 



aving briefly outlined the AmigoDQS gol- 
fer loading routines and indicated tost they 
can be used tor various noa-procesi-toased 
purposes., ii seemed Only right to ptovde a 
'.noble example so thai you con see the ideas in 
nation, IVg chosen 0 fairly simple Workbertchbased 
Intuition program that allows you to vie the a si 
requester to select and d sp a. an m<sge tha“ has 
oeen shored in AmigaDQS bad ; le torn- fas discussed 
last month). 

Needless to say, the code L>sed fa perform this trick 
5 fairly minimal bui in order provide a ru noble 
Example, il is necessary to ncorpornte rhe various 
Statements into a fully fledged Inti fan program You'll 
' nd the source for this on d sit as the f le sea lists and 
f is the overoli structure of *h s code then we need to 
discuss: ihe program peg ns by opening the DOS, 
graphics, intuition, godtodi and oal fibrories using a 
aop arrangement. Immediate . after the library open- 
ng comes a set of □IJixDtion/a&ailocalian routines 
controlled by a series of iub r : Jine calls (this 
arrangement has beer used r many par examples! . 

Once the program <S and running, control 
passes lo on event handling routine whose sole job is 
to identify the various dasser of nlui Message events 
and take he appropriate octic - as events are deheci- 
ed The event handling code on exec W'atlfbrtj] 
call to pul the program to sleep unti Intuition sends it d 


The code on disk 


You'll find fire source,, two loadable test images (loadable _ image f and 
loadable image?}, and a runoble version of ti»e axortlp/e On drift. To run til# prof ram 
j'lisf doubte-dick on tiie 'segtisf' icon and toad one of the images. For simplicity I Ve 
chosen to jusi display the images on fhe Workbench screen bu# of course ideally, we 
should see haw many bitplanes the image needs and open a suitable depth screen 
and window hr the image in question. 

Incidentally, hr those of you without the official Amigo includes, I've provided a 
separate include file , called seglist.i , which contains all the system definitions 
required. Just moke the changes shown in listings 1 and 3 before assembling the 
expmptel 

message. When you look at the tog entries in win- 
dow opening sections of the exam pie, you'll see that 
a WAJDCMP tag is being used in con junction with 
the IDCMP_MENUPICK and FDCMP_C LOSE WIN- 
DOW flags, so the program is noticed whenever fie 
user activates the menu or hits ihe close gadget 

Since I'm adjusting the window size to suit the 
image on display, 1 also ask fair 
DCMP_CHANGEWINDOW event rwrfkflfcn since 
these events- enable us to tell when window resizing 
is complete <jnew images are only ever drawn after 
such events are recetvedf. 

Having cleared any existing image using a call to 



Those official include files 


i 

Commercial Assemblers like Devpar come with fke official Commodore (now Amiga fec/ino/ogres.l include 
files which provide a mass of Amiga -specific system definitions. You con, of course, type in ony required 
definitions for yourself by looking them up in, say , f/ie Addison Wesley Amigo ROM Kernel Reference 
Manuals (listings ore given in tile includes & Autodocs volume}. This approach, hr all bu> tii# simples# of 
programs, would , however, be Jiotiiing short of a nigbfmtrre since even rhe slightest of errors in system 
structures and definitions could cause havoc when you try to assemble your programs , 

Because of this , almost everyone who is serious about low- level Amigo coding either ends up buying 
on Assembler like Devpac or they purchase the system files separately for use with programs like Ctiorfie 
Gibb 1 ' s adSk assembler. The officio/ includes are available from Amiga Technologies on a disk set known 
as the Amiga Developer Update disks ( currently release 3.1) and the price is £30. 


The image loading example In jeltan 

the graphics, library 5dtRastf| function, this routine has 
to bring up the a si file requester and then cccy "re 
user selected File pcth/name to the Filename buffer 
because the example program can be vied to tocc 
more than Dne image, we need to also check tor (or i 
unload] any existing image before loading a new 
selection. It's done like this: 


Ba l *. . L 

tf q.s 
rated' 
callsts 
■uve . L 


,na_ieglist 


is s seglist still slLs- 


LlriLziddS-sq,_DC‘S5asE- 

lO,iegLtitjpcLeir painter 




Having done that we make a call to LoadSegD, ident- 
ify Ire base of the new image structure and :bong# 
the window to an appropriate sizefcee I sting ! j. 


love . L 

iegUst_p,dG 

include 

EKfi/itnorii.i 

include 

eiec/ie»ury P t 

UL.L 

12, dQ 

Include 

lTUuiTic-n/iittuirifln.i 

; include 

intulElo-n/intuit f-an . 1 

iddq„ L 

#*,<10 

Include 

Hbfirtes/des.i 

; include 

libraries,' dcs,i 

■oue.l 

dC , i na g e c presirv- iiife aoiiuti 

include 

libraries/** 1, i 

; include 

Libreriesfisl.i 

■uue, l 

dG,i1 

* Include 

librjcttis^gadtcclsti 

; include 

Libr iriirtgidtanli.i 



include 

eiti/tmc_lifc.i 

; include 

»iecleiec„l;b-i 

■eve. L 

vindcii_3,jC rmiie windey to 

int lude 

i n E ui 1 i on / i n<t u i 1 1 n ti_L t b . 1 

; include 

intuit Sun/ ifttjuiar._. is. - 

nevpq 

■S 3(_5 F F S ET , d 0 suit i«ige lilt 

include 

graphics, 1 graphi C5_l it . i 

; include 

graDhic*lg f ap k ’cs I'S. 

iaueq 

IT CFrSI!1,d1 

include 

tibrarics/doi Uh.i 

; include 

Llbr*tlei/itetjfi.l 

■cve.h 


in: ludf 

Libriries^sUih.i 

{ include 

LihriTiiifisI jil,’ 

add. L 

lit OFFSET OFFS ETj-d? 

include 

tibrm*s/jadto&ls_Lib.1 

; include 

Hi b ra r t ci / g a dt &c . s _ : 

Bdvt .h 

jq ->i i at l : a 1 ) , d J 





-add , L 

IT_0FFSITi+T_&FFSIT2,dl 

’ 

include icglflt.f 

include stgliiLi 

cmsvs 

C hinge rfinlavEcs,^[n|giti3nE3St 









Lifting J. r Commonf gut ttif myntorn 

Listing f : Code fragment which 

Listing 2t Uss tills start to ths example if 

includes and use- the oagiiatJ file if you 

performs 

the window resizing 

you Jm V* thtt elite iot Amiga include* 

haven't got ths official Amiga files 



Amiga Computing 


APRIL 19 96 









\\ i , 

That’s a J 


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* All puces include VAT * AH prices subject to change without notice * Fixed charge tor repair does not include chsk drire/keyboard 
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All sales are only as per our terms and conditions of sale, copy available on request 


5.00pm fax; 0101 S41 4 ATI 



Telt 0181 546 9575 







Paul Overaa offers 
;Dme tips on 
converting existing 
Basic programs to 
run under ARexx 



Making 

changes 


W hen Amiga Basic was g v-sn ?•*:, 
free as part of the Amiga's software 
there was on almost inbuilt incept ve 
to lake Sasic programs written an 
other machines, and ccnve r i them io 
r.n an the Amiga. New users co- ng '2. ,r e Am qg 
‘:;*adays do not have this apporttn*, s: airless 
**ey ga our and buy say Amas or H S;A Haste they 
■ay well have previously useful Sasic prog rams 
written' for other machines now lying unused. 

One option is to tnonslale juc k programs info 
ARexx form and surprisingly this in mar.y coses., is 
‘or difficult Some changes are obvious Remark 
lines, which in Bos'C are wr tr-e - rher a' Rem state- 
RWits or endohfine remarks, need to be changed to 
Afters / * .... */ style comments. Basic variable 


Arrays 


The fact that ARexx doe# Oof provide 
conventional arrays might lead you to 
think that array con version could be a 
potential trouble spat. It isn't - because 
such array variables translate almost 
directly info ARexx compound variables. 
For example the array X(i J * r {%} becomes 
X.i , / and a bop such os: 

FDt IM is t 

fOR JM to n 

l(EX,Jt>rll*JI 

ME I! JI 

mi n 

can be written os: 

eo 1=1 te H 

ds j-1 tfl s 

n.I.W 

end 

end - 

Baste arrays have to be sef up us in 5 
Dim statements, eg Dim Xfl 5 2 D 1 . With 
ARexx this is not necessary, so Dim 
expressions con be ehmmeted altoget- 
her. What you do need to do, however, 
h initialise the stems used to represent 
numeric arrays (especially if there h any 
chance that any elements ore likely to 
be referenced before a real value is 
assigned to them), Remember that 
ARexx auiom otic ally initialises unused 
variables (including stems} to the name 
of the variable itself. This means fhaf 
uninitialised elements in, say o numeric 
array XJ.j, would by default be sef to 
the letter *X' and this would cause an 
error if such values were subsequently 
used in arithmetic expressions* 


typo indicators \% integers, & long integers and sc 
ori) can be dropped. Go sub statements used to exe- 
cute subroutines will need to be changed to 
ARexx' s function co I scheme | remember, incidenta- 
lly, that routines that provide return values do not 
need explicit call statements). 

With Basic Print commands, the easiesi idea is 
to convert them into ARexx Say statements ARokx's 
S ay instructions, however., always generate line- 
feeds, so if your code contains Print commands that 
have terminal semicolons to suppress linefeed gen- 
eration, 0 better alternative is 1o replace all Print X 
type commands with Writechl'stdouf, Xf function 
calls. In this latter case you can always include an 
explicit inefeed character when you need one. 

Formatted output based on Print Using instruc- 
tions can be handled in much the same way - just 
incorporate the appropriate ARexx string handling 
Function eg Leftl'), to mimic the Print Using f eld 



Dispfny formatting tike this can often 
be uchfuvod using ccviiote tie vice 
control character itnngi 


lengths], Basic Input statements con, of course, be 
similarly converted using ARexx Pull 1 , Reading or 
Readchi]). 


E 35 LB SOURCE ' 1 > & e: ffU 

PlIttT PROMPT"* 


UNELE lEN(HK) 

■SOS IIS UCbUlfT '"SET VOIP COUNT " 

IM1IB SPiLLtMEtK" CHEEK. SPILLING" 

m 11-1 TO Nt:HlU-mlMrllRft.mi]iNElT ll' Adjust (0 mri viLuti 
PR J III PROMPT! I ilWUT H 


YEHP 

END 1 . „ . , tint cf prcgrji! 


■:9(l Snjriei] 1 * s Stt ti 

MYi [«ch( s Nfliil; r PE JBPT 1 ) 
iiijut* 3 " 

da .hi s, -s Lensth( inpuli}==D 
catl dtounlt) 
cat L SpfUUfctO 
di E^l to N 


Lifting 1: Soma 
»xamftis Baric 
code 


*( 


f* Dpt ward ccunt *>' 
f* Chtik galling 1 


I . I ■ K . MQIIJE.I !* Jidjjst 10 asrd viluti * 


Jr -tech ! st dcut f ^fllCHSTZ] ; i ho-j t *-t#g dints tdi n J 

Luting a Th* ARmitx fid 
conversion of Hating f Hit i* EM at prflJMl! */ 


for/ Next leaps need fa be converted 
info ARexx do/end loops and if a step 
value is being used the by'~ keyword 
needs to be included in the equivalent 
AR exx version. For example a Basic 
loop which reads: 

EDI KM to hi STEP 2 
[ bedy of leap] 

HE IT ll 

needs to became,., 

de X=1 to If by 2 
I body pi Loop ] 1 
tnd 

Similarly, Whtle/Wend loops need to be 
changed ta the ARexx dowhife/end 


equivalent and here, some of the exit 
expressions used may need offering. 
Basic's [hot equal tej operator, for 
example, will need ta be written as ' 
in the ARexx farm. Other canditranof 
test statements within the code may also 
meed such cite ration t. 

Ail these translation* tend to be 
sfraightforword because in reality they 
da not affect ihe overall structure of the 
program. 

The thing to do is experiment - make 
a preliminary translation tackling the 
easy areas first. Once you have intro- 
duced a recognisable ARexx flavour to 
the code you will find it easier to deal 
with any more difficult statement 
conversions that remain. 


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Phil South starts a 
series of tips on 
how to make your 
Web sites look 
and work better 



Adventures 
rL on the Web 





I t is so easy to get published an the Web ihese 
days, i! r $ hardly surprising that so many oeople 
leap into it without first giving a I He b t of con- 
sideration to what it is they are supposed »o be 
doing. More importantly, they rarely give any consid- 
eration k? the people who are going ic have ia read 
whal they put on there and make some sense erf it. 

Wilh this in mind, I though 1 il was fime there was 
□ definitive guide to what you. os an Amigo user, 
con do to make the Web a nicer place lo be. Sadly, 
allhough we hove very good Wet browsers orr the 
Amiga, most, as yet, don't comply with ihe latest ver- 
l on erf HTML This doesn't mean you shouldn't caler 
tar users of your Web site who have the misfortune to 
be running something other than an Amigo. By oil 
■neons, pul in things which make youi site look good, 
and moke the best use of text and graphics, 
Obviously the whole point of using the Web 
r olher thon o text-based system is that it can da text 
ard graphics, and mast people use 4 his os an excuse 
iq go haywire. In fact, the less you do in the way af 
graphics, the more people will like your site. Sounds 
stupid doesn't it, but it's more important thot (he quo- 
ity of the graphics are up to scratch rather than the 


amount or size of (hem. Take a bil of time lo create 
your graphics. [Noie: AMosaic will only show inline 
images on AmigdDOS 3.0 upward; ; the ta ow- 
ing chat about tnline graphics will on y apply if you 
use an AGA Amigo. | Make your graphics wHh 
Dpoinr by oil means, or barter snll o program wirh □ 
lot more filters and effects like Ait Department or 
Photogenic*. Save all your pictures os GIF pr Jpeg 
and only use Jpegs very sparing iy for b 5 W ourfol 
pictures which need lo hove all the colours of the 
rainbow in them. 

One clover trick is ta use the LOWSRC ommand 
in HTM1. to load a low resolution block and le 
|that's two colour] GIF piclire first sa the ,*• ca 
see what you're getting oi before ihe p chure s lu !y 
loaded That woy, if ihey like whor they see they car 
wail, and if they gel the idea they car, d and 
move on to the next page. Use it like this 

<2P5 5P.[-"»iigpic . L0ltSlC = "fci 9 Fir :.y 

SLt=‘Sig l 3 JD r X 

Ihe b/w picture loads firs' the' ft e r ; 0 >OM or* 
Ihe all" oplion means rha' if fc s 2 in 6 reason ihe 


part 1 



Phil South 


Home Page 


LOWSRC 

an tfid reft can stand in 
ns a proxy for fit* 
HIM 

colour Imago- on rho 
right 



Home 



TEXT OPTIONS 


Although the Web is a graphics heoven if's h#W for some poor suckers, because they ore whef/y fexf 
based, If you don't have a direct link, ta the internet then you are baking of to*! Mi rough some ffc/rd- 
porfy Lynx /ook-a-fike. Always give a text optfon, ffke using in your picture definitions, ond always 
give the links in text rather than merely as a picture. Don't put any text an your screen as 0 graphic 
unless you back this up with a little bit of on -screen text same where. 

Also, do you hove plain text throughout or da you use too many italics and holds? Don't overuse the 
errrpliasiserSj moke them work for you. Use italics to show emphasis or to describe a tit/e of something, or 
better yet put "" around titles* Use hold to emphasise headings ond other important stuff* That way your 
pages won 't look like they've been gone over with a typographical Jawnroower* 

Take your lead from other people's pages, and look of mogorines and how they use typography. 
When do they use italics, when do they use bold, when do they use CAPITALS, how many different siios 
of text do they use? AH these things are important to design, ond pipy a part in how easy your pages are 
to rood. Or how amateur ond hasty they look , The choice is yours. 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 


Search me! 


Okay, hove you ever wondered how to 
add a searchable index at another site 
which is accessible from your own page. 
For example, say you wanted to add a 
search farm far Yahoo into your own 
pages, Ail you need to do is odd the 
following HTML into your code; 

<!-- E«gin fit , do iiarth Fori —> 

KET19D-GET 

liCTldi=' h E t p 1 1 1 1 ' 5 e » r e h H y g hflij . c oi / h i n ^ i e a ft h "> 

<SNFUT sm-30 N-MUp> <1WIJT TTPE=suhsit 

mill-Ti^n! Search"*- 

-c/FDIIU 

<!“ f nd lahdo Search tori — > 

and there you ore, a form which searc- 
hes Yahoo direct from your location * 
Simpler hnit? 

picture doesn't load, the dude who logged orro your 
page sfiil has some icea of what should be there 
Finally, lake note; on browsers based on other plat- 
forms, interlaced GIFs "res-in 1 '', and nqiHnlerlaced 
don't. Interlaced GIFs can give you an idea of whor . 
going on m the oiclure before it is fully loaded. L' 
saving anledaced GIFs is a liHe b l tricky on oil but the 
mosi pro spec image treoiment programs. 

Oh yes, and experimenl wilh the ALIGN command 
100 , when placing pictures. If you put this in: 

<iHS Sfti =k< bi gpic.j p-s'* tCldllC‘' , lflNpiE, gif' 

* L i ^n= right fllt-’Hiillire L&ge'> 

then rhe lexl will flow down the left-hand side of the 
pace and your graphic will be on the righl C' a- 
right to left in the command and ihe reverse w I be 
Irue. It's a small trick but a very powerful one. 


That's all 


Ofcay, enough already. So you con 7 occe js g bf 
oi HTML logs m your own browse/, bur that 1 ’ : 
reason why you can 'r pur things jn for c'ner users 
to see There ore developments ofoo' b r ~z 
Amigo Web browsers up to rhe curren? r - - 

in HTML mod-up, and IT. 1 be covering these n ft- 
next Instalfflent, See you .then, fn the 'ire- m ‘ : 
like you con e-maff me of: 

snouly^c ix. compul ink .co. u c 

ph il . sauth@ukon.l me .co. u * 

ond osk me anything about HTML or she nw’iirf, 
Any of the best tips I get will M p*< * 5 *. K re 

issue. 












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Pr inting your pictures 
isn't as easy as it 
* r st appears. 

: 'ank Nord 


explains why 





Pixels 


for print 


I t's happened to me recently. I storied a 
prefect to create an advert for print in a 
magazine, but when I looked at a chfomg- 
!•* lin of the finished article, it was ail bfocky. 
And why? because I hadn J 1 poid enough attention 
the smallest o* matters - the pixels ?hot mode up 
mage. 

Now, my first attempt at creating images for 
print came some time ago, end I swiftly realised 
* : me pixels that make u-p on image aren't neces- 
wr v square. PAL pixels Oran r too bad, but NTSC 
: ■ e'i are only about 85 per cent as wide as they 
~e tall, Thii doesn't matter onscreen, you just run 
NTSC screenmode end view your picture - il 
• :>s great, the trouble s thai pulling your artwork 
‘"ta a DTP package will mean you have la rescale if 
- *iake sure if looks the same in print ai li does on 
fte screen. The DTP packages we have on the 
Amiga don't really care about things like pixel 
3 s peel or PPl (pixels per inch|. but if you're pbn- 
- ng on taking your image to o printers to have it 
output, their software almost certainly will 

When printing you won't be using: ppi, but I pi 
and dpi, Dpi (or dots per inch) is the hard phyjicol 
-esdutian that o printer con output. If your printer 
son print at 720dpi, if doesn't mean it will also be 
□hie io print at 720lpi. Lpi jar lines per inch) is the 
-•_rnb&r of halftone dots that will hr on a line one 
- :h ong, Most home printers can manage gn Ipi 
■ring of between 65 and UKJlpi, but the number 




of colours they con produce at higher Ipi level? may 
be reduced 

So how big da you hove to create your image? 
Weil, because the halftone? ore crested from your 
image data algorithmically, it is best to have two 
pixels per nolHooe dot. This means that tc get the 
hest results on a 65 1 pi output for a full page image 
(well use letter size as the figures for A4 are more 
complicated), you II need to multiply 0 5 inches 
across by your Ipi setling, giving a total of 552.5 
pixels. Next well check how nigh the image should 
be, so we multiply 1 1 inches x 65 Ipi to get 715 pix- 
els. Sa we now hove an .mage of 553 x 715 and 
well double that to be sure of the best quality out- 
put possible a* this resolution ro a figure af 1 105 X 
1430. Of course, if you ore planning on creating 
an image to be printed at full page size in a maga- 
zine, you should be aware of the fad that maga- 
zines like ours lend io use o screening process ai 
I33lpi or even higher. This mean? -hot the same 
image for a magazine would have to be 2261 x 
2926 - much larger and border Ita fit on a floppy. 


The process might finish there for you as the or gino- 
tar of the artwork, but H's not enough for print S nee 
printers work on a four colour bos s the image i :: 
need 5 to be in CMYK. This w»l! increase the size of 
the file even Further, You will prohobly find it G FFici 1 
to change your file'? formal to CMYK ar the £”• go 
certainly I'm nol awore of a program that can do i 
far you, Most printers wifi be able io cope if yoi sup 
ply them a 24-b4 IFF file though. 

Obviously, even the most visionary on s" s a: ng 
to find it hard la create o masterpiece in DPa- 1 at 
■hese sorts of resolutions, so this advice is main , 
geared towards people using a 3D psekoge tmo or 
IntogeF/X (or something similar|. If you ore using j 
3D package to create these files, you wall need ta 
pay For more attention to your modelling and surfac- 
ing than before. Edges which seemed smooth n a 
screen reso urion mage will appear very polygonal 
in prinl, and single pcsini or Hipped polygons * ! be 
very apparent. 

Hopefully, this should help guide you through -he 
minefield that is pictures into print. / M [wT 



* 

Page Stream progress 

It finally arrive::, and arrived and arrived. Late in January I received a copy of Page5t f eor 3 0 
Irom SoftLogik, followed by a newer version ond another newer version, I've "ow cor ihe otess 
copy installed on my machine and there's no daubb PogeStream 3.Q1 is now as stable as 
PagiSlream 2.2, their los? commercial release. Whether you think ihol's bod or pace will 
depend on your experience with PogeStream 2.2, but in my mind, it certainly isr " beta T 
he overall feature list far PageSlrearo hasn't improved, but the number of bug ■ *e$ and 
implementations is pretty large.,, 

Text: .... 

. , . . Style teas now fully implemented 
Font caching implemented 

Object:. 

. . , . Pen Tool now completely implemented 
Reshape tool completely implemented 
Fixed problems with Scate. transforming and *eiifrn§ 

Files: 

. • . Opening a P52 doc will ormg up a requester tc re-p you use PS3's 
formoning tools so that your doc most resemble? it? original state 

Printing: 

, . . Arrow heads now print properly on Postscript printers Aaded HP31D, 
320, 600C and ihe new 85 DC to ibe printer mode lisl and imple- 
mented ihe resolution enhancement technology used on the newer 
printers 

Changed ihe Epson driver and added a whole bunch of new XPD 
driver files |There are loads of i-em l| Printing should be faste* or 
most Epson printers and the microweave function has also been 
implemented 

Miscellaneous: 

. As staled Iasi month, PogeStream now work? on 0 CyberGfx screen in 
up to 24-bil resolutions Changed some ARexx command? and ‘he 
macros that use them 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 


(Q 



\ 










• All the latest developments from Amiga Technologies 
• The first major launches in two years 





Phil South looks at 
options for creating 
interesting multi- 
media with Amos 



When the 
bell tolls 


asf month we idked about using ani- 
mations aod sound with Amos and 

part 2 

how you can make o mulli media appli- 



cation using our tevounie coding 


engine. Okay, let's get specific no w Multimedia 
programs consisl of graphics and sound, and are 
interactive This means you must interact wilh the 
objects on ihe screen, therefore you must be able to 
dick on cans and buttons to make "ingt happen in 
the program 

To give you a good ground no in making multi- 
medio buttons which perform an action when you 
c ck on them, try ihis sirale program for site. 
c irstly, you have to reserve a set of zones. Simply 
-vork out how many buttons wi I be on ihe screen 
(This- 'S okay as you can always change ii ail later, 
■.hauld the need arise.] In this example we have 
three buttons 

ttiirn lone 5 

Now we hove to indicate which zones we want 
to make sensitive to mouse clicks, and then build but 
tens on them. The three zones w I be button 3 from 
10,10 to 30,30, button 2 from 35,10 to 55,30, 
and burton 3 which will! be from 60, 10 to B0 r 30, 
Remember that screen co-ordinates are horizontal 
’hen vertical., with 0,0 being the lop left of the 
screen. This means our buttons w I pe in o Ne neat 
tew at the lop of ihe screen we set the zones up 
usmg the sizes of the buttons as a guide: 

Set Idas 1,1 It, Id Ts 50,30 Set Innt 2,33,10 To 
Si, 30 Set lone 5, SO, 10 To 00, J& 

and we now need to draw the buttons. Of course, 
rou don't have to draw buttons, bur ir, the examples 
■" ihis column I tty to make them os standalone as 
possible, withoul any external graphics etc., other- 
wise it makes H hard to Follow the taxi if you don 1 
have ihe cover disk ta hand. You could, of course, 
substitute a picture of o button designed in Dpaint, 
or a digitised picture of a face - anyihing thof you 
might wans people to dick on. In Fact, you can make 


Write stuff 


If you have any other Amos programs or queries about 4 mas, 
then phase write to the usual address, which is; Phil South, 4rnos 
Column, 4miga Computing, Media House, Adlmgtcn Parh, 
Macchsfieid SK1Q 4NP. Please send routines an on Amiga disk 
with notes art how the program works on paper, not OS text hies 
on the disk* Make the routines short enough to appear in print, i.e. 
no more than about J0-40 fines of cade, and if possible make 
them use tto external graphics, or if they can't be used without 
them then be sure to provide them on the disk in native iff for- 
mat, and the same goes tar sound files* Follow these guidelines 
and you'll be sure of making me a happy man if nothing dse* 



any area of ihe screen clickable, so why not make 
a whale console? 1 [I'll be featuring a I hie program 
to help you map our mouse zones easily in □ future 
issue qf ih i s series ] Okay, bock 1o making some 
simple bos relief buttons. Firstly we dear ihe screen 
with black: 




Cur 

flff 

c 

S 0 

then we draw in 

the buttons 



Ink 

? 

Bar 

iD f m 

la 

3D, 30 

Ink 

£ 

Ur 

1M! 

To 

30,30 

Ink 

1 

Sir 

n,n 

To 


Ink 

l 

Bj + 

35,1 D 

To 

55,3d 

Irk 

S 

Sir 

37, 12 

la 

53,30 

Irk 

7 

Ur 

$7,n 

In 

53,2B 

Irk 

1 

flir 

&□,- a 

Tc 

00,30 

Irk 

t 

Ur 

MM 

Ta 

00,30 

Ink 

7 

Sar 

il t ‘ l 

Tc 

74, 20 


You'll notice that I've made the burtons with ihree 
Bar commands - one for the white highlight ai the 
lap and leFt af the button, one For the dark shadow 
and one plopped in ihe centre for the colour of lire 
button. Next we add a line oF instruction: 

Pen l i P'apef i ; Latite D,B : Print "I Li tk The 
asove euttsni t-s nakt a noise .' 1 

and we're ready For the mom program loop. 

The loop basically checks the zones to see if the 
mouse Is aver any of them, and also checks the 


mouse button to see if ii has been pressed A* AND 
has been used in ihe test to only cause a react .• ■ 
he mouse button is pressed win 1st if* po ■ s a . e 
a button. Click the pointer anywhere e- :e the 
screen and nothing happens. 

The bap is a slanaard DO LOOP 
firstly it assigns variables so MOUSE ZONE -and 
MOUSE CLICK: 

So 

I=flousr Ic if 
C?ttousi CLki 

Next we check to see rf me oond tionj have been 
satisfied for the movie and any of ihe burtons: 

If to;] iiic 1*1 Tktn Silt 
E f *<HI I n-d 1-2 T'f n £?ci 
It :<*: iftfi 1*3 T*en Shnol 

h«?p 

ai-id if any of the conditions are met, the oppropri- 
ate sound is heard. IF you dick on button 1 you hear 
tee stanaard bell sound, if it's burton 2 you hear the 
room. and on button 3 it's the snoot sound. You 
could, of course, replace rhe standard Amos sounds 
with samples from a sample bonk, but that's For you 
la play with. 

Right, that's multi media buttons dec 1 with Nexl 
monlh i'll go into how to maxe animated buttons,, 
plus more hints and lips on making multimedia with 
Amos, 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 










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NO HARD DISKS? 

way back, when the IBM PC 
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Paul Overaa looks at 
a brand new sound 
synthesis program 
horn Blachford 
Technology... 



Aural 

Synthetica 


A ural Synthetica is □ sou-na sample de- 
al ion program which uses 0 synthesis 
approach besl described as the so+t 
MOBi ware equivatenl oF cm analogue synth 
with modem dig iipt waveFarm generation. 
Modern synrheiizers, af course, ore based around 
oscillators which generate a set of fundomenlql 
sounds, fitters which cut or boos! different frequen- 
c es, enve ope generators lhai can change the voh 
ume of the sound components over time, ond so 
on Mix all "hat hardware logelher and add a key- 
board, memory, Midi r touch buttons ihat con store 
and retrieve sound combinations from memory 
instantaneously, and you end up with o typical 
piece of modern kit. 

In ihe early days |bng betote Midi was even 
area mod of], synlhesizers used much the same 
sort of elements, bu! they were not connected by 
electronic switching - they used dmos-i bread- 
board-like connecting leads to patch in' (i.e. 
rou1e| signals around. As for os signed routing is 
concerned, these early connedion arrangements 



The main Aural 
SirnMwfic* dixpf&y 


were actually more flexible than those found on 
many synthesizers today, or.d it is in these early 
'modular' signal routing arrangements that Aural 
SynthelWs methods of working are based. You 
link oscillators, envelope generators and so on 
logelher in order to define a sound 

The rap part af the mom Synthetica screen is a 
window which bis you view and play "he resultant 
sounds. Beneath this ss be so-called DM5 |Digital 
Modular Synthesizer] winqqw mos’ of which is 
taken up by the bu lions for accessing the sound 
generation and sound shaping modules jihere ore 
66 modules in oil and each one of mem has 0 but- 
ron|i, All the other sample con'rol Foe lilies, namely 
she Wave Editor, the Basic Synthesizers window, 
and the program's Polch Programmer are also 
reached from the DM5 window. 

Sound generation 

To generate sounds the oscillators can use either 
the 15 basic waveforms or up 1o 24 user-defined 
□nes. Six sliders controlling waveform, amplitude, 
delay, nole, octave, and detune facilities ore avail- 
able For each oscillator, along with Iwq check 
boxes which turn the autpui o ; cm a sc I later upside 
down or reverse its output In addition 1o this you 
can add waveform, phase shift pulse width and 
frequency modulation effects 

The waveform editor similarly allows you to cre- 
ate an almost infinite number of waves, You can 
da things like brighten up a waveform by increas- 
ing the number of harmonics in it, or change the 
harmonic content wilh time, and there ore o ! l mari^ 
ner of waveform modification options. You can 
reverse, invert add varying amounts of noise and 
sd on. The patch programmer window is full of but- 
tons which allow ihe user to arrange the various 
oscillators,, envelopes, fillers etc,, in any way they 
choose. There are also o large ngmher of ‘basic 
synthesizer' presets which provide mmedialely 
accessible sterling points tor users. 

Aural Synihet ca is an interesting package and 
it's obvious that an immense amount of work hes 





Symhwf icj * option* provide fimritrility, fru( la if too m«h5 




File formats 


fbe in fib! result is always a 1 6 'bit sound fhot cun be saved 
in one of five formats - SAff [the format introduced in 
Synthetical sister program Aural illusion)* A IFF, the 7 
file format used on the Amigo and Apple Macintosh (also 
turns up on the PC os .4IFJ, Windows (PC) WAV, MAUD (for 
Wovetoois sound cord users] 1 , and fwitfi a corresponding 
decrease in sample qualify) fi-feif IFF SSVX format* Once 
saved, incidentally, you may need a fouc/i of editing to 
remove Wicks or other giitthes which tend to appear of the 
beginning and end of Synthetka-generot&d samples (any 
sample editor can be used for this)* 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL J 996 



gone r,!a it, The program is dearly capable at pro 
dyeing same excellent results, allhough wh i" 
ex peri me riling t found it all too easy to produce 
results thol, to put it mi dly, were not so good 
Sample rendering, even on an A4QQQ/QJC f e 
quently teak a minute cm so [sounds are generaieU 
by large numbers of calcubltonj], and one s*-ac 
coming of this Fir^f release is thal once you short o 
sample playing you can't stop it, you must waii to* 
it to finish. This is a pain if you've generated 3 
large sample and needs to be corrected in ote* 
versions, 

There ore plenty of good points, though 
ing the fad that you have toll control over when 
the rendering autpui will go (left, rig hi Ur both 
stereo channels) - ihij mokes il passible te genet 
ate samples w ih totally different lei; right a 
components! 

One thing that was apparent right Fr rh* iter 
is that Aural Synthetic provides o nigh-on 
whelming array of controls including some 
odd functions (like Exclusive Oiling of waves *U 
I'm sure wilt mean little or nothing to most p D*S 
five users. IF I havE any worries a- a" otK>. + r » 
program then it is lhat ihe average Amiga m 
may feel (here ore loo many options and ta ~ 
variables available! 


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A O ' 


IOQR 









Steve White explains 
how you can breath 
life, bone and 
muscle into your 


Head 

hunters 


Al 

A2 


A3 


A4 



w 

/ 

If'- 

-J 







AS 

AS 


A7j 

fl| 

AS 


j / 




jfl 

W A 


■H 


m 



SIDE PROFILE - deiignfnq real-lito ton m tan j»« ditticull but with an ufierf^nding 
of frsno and niuicf* structure th* bdr fs mad* a groat dmat *xwi*r 



D ue to popular demand I hove decided to 
take a two issue timeovl from animation in 
order to explain some imporioni concepts 
® br designing humon figures, after which I 
shell return to animation. The human farm is one of 
the most common elements in n rfwork, whether 
^qnd or computer generated, and therefore an 
understanding of this subject is essential 

In ihis month's article, I shall b# explaining how 
you can create realistic looking human heads from a 
skie and front profile. Each image “as seen brazen 
down into the different stages required for head 
design, and while they may look complicated at first, 
once the techniques have ceen mastered they will 
become second nature. 

If you take o look at 'he side profile, stage AT , you 
can see that the head originals horn a simple circ s 


The circle is cut in rhe venica! and horizonta and then 
the boHomdght section is cut in half once again with a 
diagonal I ne. Stage Al is then finished with the front 
line of the face and rhe chin I ne, both marked in blue, 

In stage A2, we can begin to add an ear. The ear 
is mode up of two overlapping cirdw, the smaller one 
for the lobe, both indicated in green. By stage AS the 
left half of the circles is removed to rertd the ear, from 
whch we can then draw o rough jaw line, We can 
□Iso dot the eye line which nuns from the oenine of the 
circle ta the eh edge. The red line tnot extends from 
the centre through the ear ta the bottom of the circle 
can then be used to find the exact positions of the nose 
and the mouth. 

Grabbing ihe red line os a ixush, halve it in the ¥ 
axis, The result is the length af the nose from the eye 
line, fly halving the line again you then have the 


In profile 


The front profile can be designed in exactly the 
same way as the side profile, the only differences 
being the ellipse for the shape of the head ( A3} 
and the jaw hone profile { A 4 , AS/. in fact, if you 
want to animate the head, you can easily use one 
profile as a template far another. Although there 
ore two sides to the front profile, it's simply a 
cose of drawing one half and then flipping it to 
the other side. 

However, although this is perfectly okay you 
should make appropriate changes in accordance 


with shadow. As an example, imagine the light 
source was coming from the left side of the front 
profile head. The nose would cast a shadow on 
the right side „ But remember - the shadow would 
also be warped because of the shape of the 
cheekbone if is falling on. This is why it is impor- 
tant to have a fair understanding af b one and 
muscle structure - everything has a cause and 
effect. Obviously, if the head you are designing is 
small you won't be required to add as much 
structural detail as you would for a large head. 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 


distance from ihe bottom af the nose ta ihe mo rti 
which is indicated in stage A4. Wow fear vc. ■ • . * 
where the nose is, you can add ii la f he prafi e sh : 
in stage A5, remembering to dip the brow nwa T d 
slightly between ihe eyes. Using -he dtagon i 
which hakes rhe bottom-rigfii section of the circle oj o 
reference, you can locate the point at which ihe back 
af the neck meets the head The front of ihe neck joins 
to the chin line just below the jaw line in stage A6. 

By stage A7 the base Flesh co - r has been added 
and in AB you can start ta go* ■ -■■ ■ more ■ - e 
□dual features of ihe head - here Ihe ear has been 
e-haneed and the jaw : ne mode more prom r»n« w ih 
shadow cast from the [aw bone The mouth and nose 
detail is added n A9 us ng m* yellow gu de-.-s* as a 
reference and by AlQ * th the eye ftserted 'he side 
profile head is almost complete. 

A rudimentary urtaerstanding of muscle and borve 
Sfruclgre is esserr.a n adding the final touches to a 
head or figure and there ere plenty of good books 
dedicated ta this subject which will help you in your 
quell Although a! stage Al 0 ihe head has oil the mam 
Features, i :Vil looks ■tat. and M is simply the addition cl 
shadow L-nder "he cheekbone in Al 1 that reolly gives 
the image a neolistic ond 3D feel. Shadow is a great 
way of conveying bane and muscle structure, but you 
have to be anatomically correct otherwise ii just won'l 
work, i s either nghlor wrong -there s no m-between. 

In the final stage, A 12, the ha r is added as wel as 
the ma n nock muscle which runs from the ecr io the 
shoulder. The side profile is now complete and 
we've ended up with a perfect head from a just o 
simple circle. 











Paul Austin takes the 
pain out of spline 
patching 



S piine pilches have always had o bod press,, 
due in port k> fairly poor explanation in the 
part of the lighiWave manual. Ask most 
LightWave u$ep if they're happy wilh spime 
modelling ar>d you'll often gel a rasher nonoorrriita 
response This basically means ihey'/e had a bash in 
tft.e post, it went horribly wrong,, and ihey grudgingly 
went back lo metaform in the firm conviction ihal 
spline patching simply isn't worth ihe effort, 

But take my word for it, it is! Once you've got your 
neod around the basic principles,, spline patches are a 
doddle to produce and in most cases offer a much 
more accurate, efficient and occasionally even quicker 
melhod of generating complex organics 

Okay, I've dug a hole and jumped in il. 
LigfttWove's basic tutorial is o non-starter - in my hum- 
ble opinion, So here's an alternative guide to ihe 
sticky problem of spline patching. 

As you're probably aware, □ spline patch is made 



Tth* eemplatad boat courier of a mirror comma*#, 
a tom uc rra poly gen* and a boolean gjwratiprt 



up of three or four connected curves which shore the 
some start and end poirvls, Tine, bul whot does thal 
■ can in English, and haw do you translate this vague 
. erview info an actual obiectf The First thing is to get 
a mental picture before you begin. Essentially, o com- 
pleted so-iine cage is noth ng more than a three dimen- 
sional foap made up of tftiree or four segments oil con- 
nected end la end. Think of if os an elastic band which 
has moulded into a particular three dimensiono- shape. 
To keee things simple 1 1 base (he tutorial on a spline 
mode up of three connected curves, However. the 
same principles apply to four curves, the only differ- 
ence being (hot four curves generate sheets rather lhan 
triangular shapes. 

The inherent confusion surrounding spfline construe 
lion is mainly due to the iwo dimensional nature of the 
)t,Y,Z views in modeile*. An empty spline cage shown 
as a screen shat simply looks weird - and therefore it's 
herd to visualise where the connections are. 

The foil step is to go in-o point selection made and 
select the points option in ihe polygon menu. In he tap 
view, and working from bow to stern, mark out ihe 


outer edge of half our boat hull as a fine of points. 
When you've added ihe Iasi poinl hil rhe Crtf P key, or 
(he create curve buflem - you've just made ihe "irsl sec- 
tion of he cage. Now this is the important bit, White 
still in point creation mode, piace ihe point creation 
crosshair - left mouse button - on he fir si point in the 
existing curve. Now check in tee other two dimensions 
that the cursor occupies exactly he some poinl in 
space as the original. 

When you're certain it's positioned correctly, ere- 
•ate a new poinl in ihe face view - using the right 
mouse. It’s absolutely vital ihal his point is precisely 
the same pornl in space os the poinl n he anginal 
curve. The reason for this is thor these poirvs must be 
merged foler prior to creating -he patch. 

Assuming the initial poml in he new curve is in the 
■correct position, you eon carry on in the face view, 
adding a line of points which form profiles of he bot- 
tom of he boat. Once all the points are in place, hil 
Ctrl P or ihe create cu-ve button lo create the second 
curve. Al ihis stage you should have two curves 
connected at he bow end of the boot 


Taking a bow 


The final task is to dose the loop. To do this 
make sure The point creation crosshair is 
bang-on the lost point in the first curve you 
created - remember check all the views. Now 
odd o new point in the side view, continue to 
odd points to form a half-profile of the boat, 
making sure once again that the final point 
you create is ejeactiy on the fast point on the 
second curve, and hit Ctrl P. Tour cage is 
complete. 

Enter polygon mode and select oil three 
curves, ensuring Che longest one is the last you 
select. Now click on merge in the tools menu 


to fuse the three together, then click on the 
patch fooi to create your finished spline patch. 
At this point you'll be given the opportunity to 
define the number of vertical and horizontal 
polygons that make up the patch. For now , 
stick with the defaults - you can always undo 
and alter things if necessary. 

To finish the job, mirror the patch to create 
a complete hull - don't forget to merge the 
duplicated points running along the keel. Now 
use the hide function to isolate the bow end 
polygons and then select them in series and 
create a new polygon, using the Make 


command or P key. 4s a finishing touch, 
create on other polygon along the top of the 
boat, copy the whole thing to another layer, 
scale it down slightly, position it as a hock* 
ground layer, and then use Boolean subtract 
to carve it out of the original, thereby giving 
the sides of the ship some depth. If you like, 
you could even add struts by cutting then out 
of the carving layer before you perform the 
Boolean to the hull. 

Valid! A perfectly respectable dingy in a 
matter of minutes, as opposed to hours by any 
other method. 


EEHSniEl 

APRIL 1996 



Gary Whifeley 
explains the 
principles of 
video signa 
formats 



L ast month 1 looked at I he various televi- 
sion standards which predominate in dif- 
fecenl parts of the world. This month I'm 
WWU* going to examine the different video sic- 
no I formats which are commonly used for ploy- 
bock ond recording in domestic, industrial ;rd 
broadcast situations. 

As you may already be a ware,, ihere are quite 
□ few different types of video system on the mar 
kef, all vying to be the one you choose for your 
video production. You ore no doubt already 
fomdiar with VH5, end possibly SVHS, VidaoS 
ond Hi & loo. If you hove o strong interesl in 
video,, you'll probably know about Belacam. and 
perhaps M.II [pronounced '.M 2) as well. On. ihe 
other hand, you might not be too sure of the dif- 
ferences [other than the physical tape formal] 
between each of ihese video systems, and indeed 
even why there is such a range of systems to 
choose from. Byt First we need to travel back in 



Home video formats 


So whof about SVHS or HiS? Again these are component video formats, tut not quite 
jo sophisticated as the Betacam 'Mil YCrCb format, since SVHS and Hi 8 use only 
Luminance (Y } and Chrominance (C) in their two- wire YC signal In m any ways YC is a 
budget Bet at am, though., of course, neither SVHS nor HiS con actuary achieve 
Beta com qualify. On the other hand YC signals are generally suitable far 'industrial 
videos and are becoming ever more popular with the home video enthusiast and pro- 
fessional alike , bath for the portability of the cameras and the relative quality of the 
pictures they produce, not to mention the savings to be made over buying Beta cam 
kit 

New video signal formats are still being developed and as digital video and disk- 
based camcorders are increasingly developed there wifi no doubt be further 
upheavals and more improvements in qualify* Some srgn-af formats will be usurped 
by new rivals and others wi/i just fade away , With video technology still being Jess 
than 30-years old, who can say what will happen over even the neat ten years? 


time Before the days of home video, there was 

really only one video signal which everyone had 
access to, and that was the signal which wa-s 
oroadcasl from the television frans™' "ier to ce 
picked up by your TV set at home in rr >e ear y 
days of television, when the picture was ,|usr clack 
and white (monochrome], it was decided the sim- 
plest way of transmitting fe ; evis am -mis to encode 
both the sound and vision parts o* the programme 
into a radio frequency |RFj signal which was both, 
compact ond could be transm tted over long 
distances at relatively low power, 

This type of RF signal s jtil in use loday [with 
the addition of colour information) and is whet 
our TV aerials pick jc, or aur cable providers 
send direct to aur homes When it reaches our 
home TV or video recorder, the RF signal is 
decoded electronically by circuits within the video 
equipment into the sounds and images we 
subsequently see on our TVs or record off-air on 


aur video tapes. Unfa-rfunately, RF is a compromise 
a e cause it has la era mi all [Is information, both 
!OL"id and vision (which in turn is made up oF 
colour brightness and synchronising information], 
into a single signal, thus causing some loss in 
qua Ihy for the sake of being able Jo deliver rhi 
best overall signal to the home in ihe simplesl pos- 
sible way, and requiring the use of only a single 
w.re to connect equipment together. 

In true video ap plica I ions |such as recording or 
editing) RF is very rarely used, except by amateurs 
copying videos, or for playing back off-a^r or 
pre-recorded video from 'ope to 0 TV sol 


Contact 

point 


Gary Whifeley can be e-mai'M os 
drgaz@c ix.compvl ink .co.uk 


Combination trick 


The most basic video signal used for true video 
recording is 'Composite' video, which is a com- 
pound signal comprising combined luminance 
(Y), chrominance [C} and the requisite synchro- 
nising pulses. This is solely a video signal - 
sound is recorded synchronously via separate 
inputs - so there is more 'bandwidth f o variable 
to carry the picture information and, hence , 
co mposjte video is a step up in quality over RF. 
Composite video is what VHS and Betamax 
(remember that?}, YtdeoS and 3/4" Li-mafic 
tape recorders use os standard for their video 
inputs . Most serious cameras and camcorders 
have a composite video output , even if they 
also have a component output (e.g„ YC). 


However , there came a time when composite 
video was no longer regarded as a suitable 
signal for professional use so, evenfuaJiy^ 
along came Befacom with its component (as 
opposed to composite^ video signals. It was 
realised that the picture quality could be 
improved by keeping tbe constituent parts of 
the video signal os separate as possible, 
though even to this day it has stiff proved 
impractical to work with just RGB and sync 
information because of the vast amount of 
information which would have to be recorded 
to tope* Instead of JPGS, another compromise 
was worked out, but one which offered much 
better performance than composite video. 


Sony's Be recant system fond later Panasonic's 
rival , MU) both use a three-wire video signal 
format called YCrCb which keeps the luminance 
information (the monochrome picture } separate 
from the colour information. In fact, you'll 
notice that there are only two colour compo- 
nents ( Cr for Red and Cb for Blue values }, since 
green is produced by subtracting the red ond 
biue values from unity , Such component sig- 
nals, coupled with high-quality Betocam tape 
and top-quality lenses, allow for reasonably 
smo/1, relatively light-weight, portable 
camera/recorder combinations capable af 
producing braadcast-quaiity pictures anywhere 
in the world. 


Amiga Computing 


APRIL 1996 










<£ : Main Contents List: 


l«?hi>ry of ih* Amigo 

nrtrrted IT? Th* ©W COftlmodcrt^ ns 




Also! 


’ Full version Of DOpus w4 

* FuN vers-lon Of □ clamed V5.01 

► OS her hill pro-grame (TBC) 

' Teal Drive’, exclusive version 
Of Wbrdworth 3 

* Limited Version of FPaliU V&.4 

’ ’Gel Connected' la the Internet 
- dll you need, dll ready So jo'l 
" Essential PO lo Get Started! 
h Exclusive stuff from various 
USor groups and Companies! 


The Hi 

Who Inverted II? Tho old Commodore, Its bosesa. ideas, mis- 
IdhH etc. The E#oom rtvfvttl and mydi more, 

Amiga Enrrirannwrt 

ta your Amlflft? Why la It SO special? VWhHt to Ihe 
ae^io 1 ? Who at* Amiga Tachnologtas and what do tf^y < 30 ? 
The Amiga HcnJwan 
Inside, wtekto, porta, dilpa ail soqslajned 

Workbench aw DOS 

What Is IT? Itoirtg It Oeta and nia managefnwrt, Wortfcanch 
environ mam bpe. the Cut. advanced WB and CU trices 
Programming 

AMOS. B iz, assembly; G. Amiga E and AREXX axiumned 

Become an Artijf Overnight 

Raytradng, 3D, animation, bdtmep drawing analysed 

Become on Amiga Musk Atoetfro 

Odamed explained, MIDI discussed, muedans Intarvlewed 

Getting Ywr Worcb Into PrirA 

Word prowtelnfl. Desk Tbp FutHlahlng, Printers* Capart etc 
Surfing fhs Super Informat io n Highway 
Intro 10 the Internet Surfing the Mamet, WWW design. Amiga 
Internet Pravkiwa, Amiga internet software. The Amiga 
T«hnotogj«i Internet padk taken tori test drive. 

General Anna 

Emulation, Operating Systems, Storage Systems, Amtgs in 
Business Multimedia ate etc ale 

The Amiga Futons 

Where la the Amiga gott^7 Amiga Tschnotogiesr piana, Amiga 
vlslona* possible Industry commente. Amiga ■Vlatora' - the 
compenlee that WS1 bring ua mnovath* products In 1090, We 
Irtervfciw Intersect Dewlopmsnte. Rekto ot Vision and more. 
And Finely 

CradltB, than** and anytheig w« have torgoltenE 


Multimedia At its Best! 

if Simple and Easy-to-use 
s/ Educating and Informative 
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f Powerful and Amazing! 

The world's first truly AG A multi media, interactive compact disc. 

Designed for beginners, new users through to intermediate (and 
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They offer help, answers, tips, tricks and more. Want to know how 
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Stuck using Internet software? John Kennedy explains all Also 
contains forums, opinions and a look lo the future with top Amiga 
developers. Comes with a FREE bonus beginners section with 
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And Starring! 


Km t nnd Gareth Cruft 
Steve By* 

Ed Wites 
Larry Hickmott 
Pater and Dswd Clarke 
S*n on 4 Go 
Mark TTkifr.i'. 

Danny Amor 
Jaso- JOrdatho 
Date Hnmgnwary 
David Taytoc 
John Knnnady 
Jeremy FokS 
Justm Jnyce 
Andrew CampbHI 
Richard R;;r "iSler 
Spencer Jarvis 


- Amiga MIDI 

- AMOS Programming 

- Qdamad In Dqplh 

- Dtp Printers, Clipart 
' 3D Antmallm 

- 3D Aiehcjecture 
WWW DesigiYfaiure 

- The CD nncj German Mhl 

- Bitmap Graphics 

- Animation 

- Stowage. Emulation 

- Internet aw tflc etc! 

■ PD Steffen 

- Amiga DTV 

- AMOS Handte-aT 

- Music (5aunil$tudio) 

- Imagiiwi Hands-on' 


MUDfCraUt 

- Fl Licai’iiawnr^ 

- Quamed Expert 

- LH PuteiShiflg 

- Til* Rrjnm Upstairs 

■ V.S.L 

- GlubiU Internet uw 
Fneeianoe Writer 

- Freelant* Artist 
Datematum 

- Freelance Writer 
Paragon (Freelanca) 

- Oroui'd ?n*i] Software 

■ Ajoom Video Servica* 

- AMOS Programmer 

- MFD Usero Group 
ims^ne Users Group 



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arid Real 30 f7MB'£'|. n also includes 70Cr lextures in the JPEG format and 
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lection of 3D landscapes in Ihe Lightwave. Imagine and 3D Sludio file for. 
mats and a oOllectim oF useful Amiga and PC PC programs Rom 3 is a 
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Aii prices include UK 
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will have your objects 
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• 1995 HiSoft, FAlOE. 


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