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Vol 5 No 4 

The Australian 

April $3* 



Change the colour of your ... inkjet 

wcwwi t^«ts9ii 

«**■* yi! I -br 



• - tTT^OKiiTOjl^^* 

^Basil the Great Mouse Detective Amiga business 

^Project Stealth Fighter 

^Apoiio 18, Platoon Inside a software house 

New 128 and GEOS columns 

Registered by Australia Post Publication No NBG 6656 

'Recommended retail price 

y"% T mm f*s 


"Open the door to your children's education 
and computer awareness" 

This brilliant series encourages your child to participate in a 
wide range of educational activities by presenting them 
with colour, sound and animation. Featured throughout the 
series are the ever-popular characters from the 
world-acclaimed chitdrens TV show (BIG BIRD, GROVER, 
OSCAR THE GROUCH etc.). They are all characters that 
your children are familiar with, and comfortable with. The 
learning process is aimed at environment, puzzle solving, 
logic and reasoning. Above all else, they are presented in 
the same easy, comfortable format as the TV show. 

Counting, addition and subtraction 
Shape and colour matching 
Object recognition and classification 

Available for C64/ 128. 


Animals and their environment 


Planning, predicting and puzzle solving 


Humans, their environment and interaction 
PC compatibles , and Atari 


SCHOOL SOFTWARE is a complete range of programs covering most age groups, in most topics. 
The programs aimed at the lower age group are strongly enforced with a visual and audio "fun" 
element to retain your childs interest. The higher level programs are presented in a quiz-type 
format, giving you two chances to enter the correct answer. Each of these higher level programs 
specifically cover a single subject, but cover a multitude of topics within that one subject. At the 
end of each session you are given the option of printing out a copy of your results. 

BIOLOGY (Age 12-16) 

Cells, mamtnais, photosynthesis, respiration, 

reproduction etc, 

PHYSICS (Age 12-16) 

Pressure, heat, matter, electricity magnetism, 

light etc. 

CHEMISTRY (Age 12-16) 

Oxygen, hydrogen, atoms, acids, carbon etc. 

GEOGRAPHY (Age 12-16) 

Weather, climate, pressure, wind, temperature 


BETTER MATHS (Age 12-16) 

A comprehensive mathematics program 

covering a wide range of topics. 


"Strange" plurals, plurals ending in -e.-i, 

commonly confused words etc. 

MATHS MANIA (Age 8-12) 

Multiplication and division made "fun". Has 3 

ievels of difficulty. 

MAGIC MATHS (Age 5-8) 

Addition and subtraction with a strong "fun" 



N.S.W. : Pactronics Pty Ltd, 33-35 Allcyne Street, Chatswood. (02) 407 0261 
VICTORIA : Pactronics Pty Lid, 51-55 Johnston Street, Rtzroy. (03) 417 1022 
QUEENSLAND : Pactronics Pty Ltd, 12 Stratton St, Newstead, 4006. (07) 854 1982 
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Baringa Pty Ltd, (08) 271 1066 cxL 6132 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Pactronics W.A. 1/757 Canning Highway, Ardross (09) 364 8711 
Mail Order - "Software To Go" - (02) 457 8289 
Available from Myer (selected stores), Grace Bros, Chandlers, Maxwells Office Equipment, Big W (Kwifc range), 
Harvey Norman Microcomputerspot Stores and from leading computer retailers around Australia. 

The Australian 

Commodore and Amiga Review 




1 . Interview - An amusing interview with the creators of Lord of the 
Rings Part 2. 

18. Reflections - Looking back at the C64. 

30. GEOS - A look at an alternative operating system for the C64. 

35. 128 Printer Driver - Experimenting with Commodore's printer 
driver on the 128 under CPM. 



Double Image II - 

An Australian-made disk and file copy system. 



Animation Station 

more fun. 

- Enhance your graphics 

capabilities and make it 



Arcade Action - Platoon, Apollo 18, Project 

Stealth Fighter 


Basil - the great 

mouse detective 


between pages 24 and 25 

Australian Commodore Review 

21 Darley Road, Randwick, NSW 2031 
Phone: (02) 398 5111 

Published by: Saturday Magazine Pty Ltd. 
Editor: Andrew FarreH 
Assistant Editor: Adam Rigby 
Advertising: Ken Longshaw 
(02) 398 51 1 1 or (02) 817 2509 
Production: Brenda Powell 
Layout; Amanda Seidell 
Subscriptions & back issues: 
Tristan Mason (02) 398 51 11 
Distribution; NETWORK 


Superbase 4 - Reorganising databases/files. 


2. Editorial 

3. Ram Rumblings 
6. Letters 

45. Adventurer's Realm 




Promises. New machines, improve- 
ments on existing models and 
new peripherals. All due real soon 
now. What does Commodore have in 
mind? Bigger, faster Amigas have been 
talked about for some weeks. They seem 
to be the most likely candidates. Howev- 
er word has it that they are further off, 
and won't be seen until later in the year. 

A revamped Commodore 64 is also a 
possibility. Perhaps a built in 3.5 inch 
drive could be the way to go. But then 
the 1581 never really kicked off, and too 
much commercial software would only 
work on the 5.25 inch format. Speed im- 
provements maybe? 

My slightly informed guess leans to- 
ward an improved range of PC's. Perhaps 
a 386 machine, improved XT's and AT's. 
The Commodore 64 continues to rule su- 
preme as the ultimate home hobbyist 
machine, but for serious uses, every man 
and his dog seems to be buying MS- 
DOS compatible gear. Commodore must 
upgrade their PC range to keep pace with 

the ever increasing power being offered 
by other clone manufacturers. What five 
years ago cost $8000 today sells for 
S1500. It's a fast changing market 

For the home user, a PC doesn't ap- 
pear to have a lot to offer. It's not as en- 
tertaining, musically or graphics wise. 
You can't program one as easily, or buy 
good software as cheaply. There are how- 
ever some practical reasons for having a 
PC at home. For once you really can 
bring the office work home, or stay 
home the whole week and make home 
your office. There are more packages to 
choose from to do a job, and public do- 
main software collections are now readi- 
ly accessible. 

Some believe the future for uncon- 
ventional machines, and hybrid graphic 
and music based designs, is not as rosy 
as three years ago. It is said that with 
more people giving serious consideration 
to the practical uses of their investment, 
especially in the light of the prevailing 
economic climate, fewer people will be 

spending money on a computer whose 
prime attributes relate to entertainment. 

With the Amiga you get the best of 
both worlds - great graphics and music, 
and business software too. And optional 
IBM compatibility with the Amiga 

Andrew Farrell 

Cover picture: 
printed on the Xerox 4020 
colour ink jet printer - see 
review in the Amiga section 


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Randwick NSW 2031. 
" (02) 398 5111. 

Australian Commodore Review 

Ram Rumbles 

The J 54 1-2 

COMMODORE'S NEW 1541-2 disk 
drive should be shipping by the time you 
read this. It's a new cost-reduced design 
with a shorter 1571 -styled case and re- 
mote "brick" power supply. The drive 
motor is still belt- drive, and the ROMs 
do not, as has been rumored elsewhere, 
include any speed enhancements. Howev- 
er, save-with-replacc, block-read, and oth- 
er bugs have been fixed. The new drive is 
100% compatible with the old 1541, and 
has an even better software compatibility 
record than the rev B board 1541, accord- 
ing to project engineer Fred Bowen. ■ 

New CBM PC clone 

FCC approval for and be shipping its 
new 3- speed IBM/PC clone with built-in 
ports and sleek, small-footprint styling. 
List price for a monochrome-card 
equipped unit will be US$699, US$899 
for the color version. The margins are 
said to be good, so discount prices may 
be lower. Wasn't it Atari who promised 
to deliver something like this??? ■ 

1571 ROM 

THE NEW 1571 ROMs are incom- 
patible with most of the copy programs 
on the market. Fast Hack'em, SuperKii, 
Copy II, and just about everything else 
that delivers superfast disk copying will 
not work with the new ROMs. Remem- 
ber, the new ROMs are in the drive in 
the new C128D, too. In addition, the 
drive in the C128D replaces the Western 
Digital programmable controller chip 
with a PLA (Programmable Logic Array) 
chip that is not as flexible. It will still 
read all the standard CBM and CP/M disk 
formats, but will not be programmable 

to read other formats. I don't think this 
will create any problems with existing 
software, but it may get in the way if 
someone is working on a multi- format 
conversion program, ■ 

Teflon disks 

KODAK'S VERBATIM division re- 
cently unveiled a new diskette that is 
Teflon coated. They claim you can spill 
anything on one, wash it off, and recover 
the data. They'll cost a little more than 
normal diskettes (a box of 5.25" disks 
lists for $????), but the peace of mind 
might be worth it, especially for impor- 
tant program backups and data disks. ■ 

Sales and profits 

NOBODY KNOWS for sure what 
impact the downturn in the stock market 
will have on the personal computer in- 
dustry. Some people don't think it will 
hurt Commodore as much as it will IBM 
and Apple, since business traditionally 
suffers more in hard times than entertain- 
ment,. In fact, entertainment was the 
only industry to thrive in the Great De- 
pression of the 1930's. Of course, there 
were no computers back then, but it 
would seem to us that home computers 
could weather hard times as well as radio 
and film did in the 30's. Time will tell. 

Meanwhile, in spite of the fact that 
they sold a million of the new PS/2 ser- 
ies computers in their first 7 months on 
the market, IBM's market share and total 
PC sales arc down. It seems that corpo- 
rate America is more interested in buy- 
ing "industry-standard" MS/DOS clones 
from IBM's competitors than they are in 
buying into the unproven PS/2 line. Of 
course, PC sales account for only 15% 
of IB Ms revenues. 

On the other side of the fence, Ap- 

Update 13 

If you remember Arkanoids from 
your arcade playing years, then you 
will certainly want to buy a great new 
game called impact from Pactronics, 
now available from your local Com- 
modore 64 and Amiga retailer. 

I must say I have been very 
pleased so far with the number of 
Classic Quest Adventure Games that 
have been sold as, to be honest, I 
was a little worried because they 
were text only games. But the feed- 
back has been that they are so inter- 
esting, and so well made, that you 
soon forget about any need for 
screen graphics. 

I am pleased also to announce 
that there have been very few di- 
vorces caused by addiction to the 
Classic Quest games. In fact, I know 
of one case where, having forgotten 
her husband's birthday, a very clever 
wife rushed out and bought him all 
three games, and he has not spoken 
to her since (not out of anger, but 
because he is so engrossed in the 
games). By the way, we have also of- 
fered them to Weight Watchers as an 
ideal way for people to lose weight, 
as nobody wants to break off in the 
middle of a game just to eat!!! 

I know I go on again and again 
about educational software but I real- 
ly do believe that current trends 
make it essential that children can 
use their computers, and are inter- 
ested in using their computers, and I 
think we really need to start off that 
interest at a very early age. We have 
there fore signed up a distribution 
deal for Sesame Street Educational 
Games, suitable for children be- 
tween the ages of 3 and 7, or maybe 
8. I sincerely believe that by getting 
your kids started on educational 
games such as these you will make it 
far easier for them to cope with the 
use of computers at school. 

Open the door to the magic fun 
world of computer education with 
Sesame Street educational soft- 


Australian Commodore Review ■ 


pie's new Mac models are selling like the 
proverbial hotcakes. Apple sales for their 
fourth fiscal quarter ended in Sept. were 
up 54% over the same period last year, 
Apple won't say, but the Wall Street 
Journal is guessing that figure represents 
sales of about 175,000 Macs for the quar- 
ter. Ironically, sales of the lowly Apple 
II still accounted for about 40% of Ap- 
ples's total dollar volume, which repre- 
sents a great many more actual Apple II 
computers than Macintoshes when you 
take the price difference into account. Ap- 
ple sales for the year hit $2.66 billion. 

Just for comparison, Commodore's 
fiscal 1987 sales were $806.7 million, 
and Commodore insiders are projecting 
sales of half a million Amigas for the 
coming year. ■ 

Hottest game all year 

THE PEOPLE at Questor were very 
keen to point out that the movie conver- 
sion, Predator, is now available on the 
Commodore 64. The orders are coming 
in thick and fast and predictions are being 
made that this is going to be one of the 
biggest hits of the year. A full blown re- 
view will be in next months issue. ■ 

New games 

A BUS LOAD of new software has 
arrived the past few days, most of it be- 
ing of quite high standard. The movies 
are still one of the biggest sources for 
computer games these days and Platoon. 
has just come out on the C64 along with 
just about every other computer under the 

Also in the realm of war simulations 
is the naval task force simulation (try 
saying that with a mouthful of dry Sao 
biscuits) Strikefieet, Electronic Arts' lat- 
est software wonder. 

Electronic Arts have also given us the 
sequel to Skyfox; Skyfox II - The Cyg- 
nus Conflict. 

Project Sleallhfighter gives you the 
full feel of a super high-tech fighter with- 
out the risks, this is one of my personal 
air combat favourites - it has a real Top 



Gun feel to it. 

Yet another beat- 
em-up game has man- 
ager to slip into the 
market, Bangkok 
Knights written by 
System 3 (Authors of 
The Last Ninja) this 
is brilliantly pro- 
grammed with some 
fantastic use of graph- 
ics and sound. This is 
a good one if you ha- 
ven't already got a Ka- 
rate game. 

In the theme of the winter games, 
Winter Olympiad 88 has appeared on 
both the C64 and Amiga. It has some 
features that Winter Olympics and the 
like left out 

Ozi Soft has also laid its hands on 
Apollo 18, a simulation of the first trip 
to the moon. This simulation is quite re- 
alistic with digitised sound and some 
very nice artwork. ■ 

PC news 

THE ONLY game to become famous 
throughout the universe, Elite, has now 
become available on MS DOS format. If 
your machine is faster than 6Mhz then 
you can also have complete shaded 








Commodore User 



East Coast Amiga 

The friendly groups on 
the NSW Central Coast. 

For more information on 
meeting times and dates 
phone (043) 23 2179 or 
(043) 41 8140. 

Apollo 18 from OziSoft 

graphics which looks fantastic. If you 
don't have a PC already this could be a 
good reason to get one. ■ 

Amiga games 

THE AMIGA was granted its fair 
share of software this month with four 
good titles and a few ordinary games. 
The game Time Bandits made a big 
splash and is probably going to sell very 
well, anyway we liked it 

Electronic Arts released a game called 
Return to Atlantis, this two disk game is 
a fantastic simulation and idea, it has a 
real adventurous feel to it that kept us 
playing for hours. 

A go cart racing game called Karting 
did well with our mad drivers panel of 
Andrew Farrell and Adam Rigby who 
thought the game simple but a real lot of 

Slug soft 

(Software that is downright slimy.) 

THIS PARAGRAPH is dedicated to 
the games that would have been accepta- 
ble in the heyday of the PET, but for 
them to have just been released on the 
market now is a downright poor effort on 
the part of the software houses. 

This month's SLUG SOFT game is 
Kwasimodo on the Amiga. The original 
C64 game released in 1985 had faster, 
smoother and more playable action, ■ 

-Australian Commodore Review 


ONLY $79.80 

SAVE $160 


Commodore is offering 
Viatel adaptors for only $79,80, 
§&.. a saving of $160. So if you 

ir own a Commodore 64C, 1 28 
or I28D, transform your computer 
into a 2-way system, through which 
you can receive and act on information. 
Send in this coupon now. Offer closes April 31 , or until stocks last. 


Qz. commodore 

Commodore Business Machines SPECIAL OFFER 
PO Box 404, Round Corner, NSW 2158 

Please send me (number required) Viatel Adaptor/s at a cost of $79.80 each 


. Postcode: 


Address: . 

Method of Payment (Please tick): 

□ Cheque □ Money Order □ Bankcard 

□ Mastercard □ Commodore Credit Card 

Card No 

Expiry Date 

Card Holder's Signature: 

.Today's Date: 

I Cheques and money orders should be made payable to: Commodore Business Machines Pty Ltd 

John Singleton Advertising COM 0147 



Oldest viafelian? 

Four years ago I purchased a 
C64, dataset and 1526 printer. My 
immediate need was to print labels 
for my small mail order business 
instead of typing envelopes each 
mailing. Piices then were much 
higher and I was unable to afford a 
disk drive as well. I used a tape pro- 
gram Totl. Label 2.6 and this has 
served me until quite recently, al- 
though when I bought my 1541 
eighteen months later the program 
was transferred to disk. 

Being pleased with the results 
with the labels, 1 got a cartridge 
word processor Heswords and from 
then on started to process my own 

I worked through Introduction to 
Basic part I, and then had to wait 
for Part n coming on the Australian 
market Meanwhile I purchased sev- 
eral books of games and other pro- 
grams, and after inputting them I 
improved them using the knowl- 
edge thus gained, especially in re- 
gard to colour and neatness in open- 
ing screens etc. My other need was 
for a stock control program which I 
wrote early on and then wrote an 
improved one whilst still using 

After acquiring the 1541 1 went 
ahead in leaps and bounds writing 
my own programs, for invoices (to 
suit my existing invoice forms), 
statements, quotations, single la- 
bels and many other programs 
which suited my purpose. 

Just over two years ago I ac- 
quired Superbase and set up systems 
for both personal and business use. 

My first need was for a stock con- 
trol file as the tape programs were 
no loner flexible enough. This also 
enabled me amongst other things to 
produce quick, easy and clear infor- 
mation for tax returns, I finally 
transferred my mailing list into SB 
about six months ago, I now spend 
most of my spare time writing pro- 
grams to make more use of SB. 

Using Newsroom I put out a 
family newsletter for friends and rel- 
atives ail around the world. (I have 
had a new ROM chip put in the 
1526 to do graphics). 

Well, what is so unusual about 
all this? I am a touch typist. I do 
confess though I am completely un- 
able to understand machine code so 
I stick to Basic, but am now study- 
ing Simons Basic too. 

Eighteen months ago I got a 
modem and joined Viatel (actually I 
often wonder if I am the oldest Via- 

I am also a keen adventurer and 
have completed Smugglers Inn, In- 
fidel and Zork and I am working on 
others at the moment. 

If you care to publish my ad- 
dress in full I would love to com- 
municate with other older users. 

Barbara Holmes 
PO Box 180, Beiair, SA 5052 

Ed; How about it, veterans, let's 
hear from you. 

Any prizes 

Hey what's this about "old tim- 
ers" in their 50s (Dave Evans' letter 
ACR, Feb. 88). I passed the 50s 
quite a few years ago but have just 

bought a basic Amiga 500 in the 
hope it will help me with my writ- 
ing and information storage. 

However, I must agree with 
Dave in his comments on 
"Compuspeak", that dreadful termi- 
nology which assumes we were all 
taught computers in Infants School, 
and this has nothing to do with age. 
Any newcomer to the game must 
be equally frustrated and annoyed at 
its use. My reaction when I come 
across such terms is to switch off 
and go on with something I do un- 
derstand. A prime example would 
be on a Shareware disk where the 
instructions started "After un- 
arcing". That disk is due for re- 

And what of the Amiga 500? It 
is obviously going to be a great 
help (and lots of fun) when I learn 
to pedal it properly - and find the 
right software. Perhaps my big 
problem is when it hiccups. Is it 
the machine, the disk or me? Is it a 
minor ailment or does it require the 
services of a computer engineer? 

Gordon Barnett 
Macquarie, ACT 
PS — If there is a prize of a disk- 
drive, memory or Word Perfect (or 
all 3) for being the oldest user, I 
will admit to 66 birthdays so far. 
PPS — This is not written on the 
Amiga - the printer has hiccuped! 

Ed: Another old timer! Welcome to 
the ranks. Your Amiga problems 
are not unusual. Battle on. Try 
checking out the BBS's for info on 
ARCing. As for the prizes - we'll 
give it some thought - can anyone 
beat 66? 

-A ustralian Commodore Review 


128D earns its keep 

I was interested to read "over 
50s square" Dave Evans' letter in 
your February edition. 

This letter is from an over 60s 
rectangle (a square that has sagged a 
little), as I was 62 last August. 

I bought my first Commodore 
64 and a Datasette in late 1983, and 
then bought a 1541 Drive and a 
1526 printer in early 1984, As I 
wanted portability as I was using 
the computer for work, I subse- 
quently sold the 64 and bought an 
SX 64 and found out that too much 
sex was not the only thing which 
could make you go blind. (Have 
you ever tried to use a spreadsheet 
on a 5" screen?) Using a circuit 
from Electronics Australia, I con- 

verted a small colour TV into a 
monitor, and used that at home. 

At that time I worked in a large 
State Government Department and, 
as I was one of the very few people 
who knew anything at all about 
computers, I was co-opted into giv- 
ing lectures and demonstrations to 
staff on the benefits of using com- 
puters in their work. Thus in my 
own time I had to quickly find out 
what word processors, spreadsheets 
and data bases were, and how and 
why to use them. 

After teaching myself how to 
use Easy Script, Easy Calc and 
Multiplan, and Infomaster (and Su- 
perbase to a limited extent) I was 
then considered to be an expert (a 
drip under pressure?) on things 

computer at work, and found myself 
being called on to advise others in 
the use of these types of program. 

The Department had a few Ap- 
ple II's, and a few Z80 Machines 
running CP/M, so I found myself 
learning Visicalc, Zardax, Multi- 
plan, and Wordstar in addition to 
finding out how my own box of 
tricks (the SX64) worked. 

Anyhow, my "do it yourself" 
system of learning and then teach- 
ing worked so well that during the 
last few months before I retired in 
August 1985 I was given the job of 
designing and implementing a Per- 
sonnel Database for the Department 
on an IBM PC with a 20 meg hard 
disk. The system I implemented 
(using the Smart Series) is still in 

Keep up with Commodore at 

MaXWell The Commodore Centre 




Hard Drives 3.5" & 5.25 r ' Drives, Parallel & 
SCSI Drives, Digiti sers, EasyL, Penmouse, 
Synthesizers & M.LD.L, Graphics & C.A.D. 
Music & Sound Samplers, Games & Business 
Colour Dot Matrix, Thermal & Inkjet 
Printers, Desktop publishing, Modems, 
Screen Filters, A2D00/A10OQ Interfaces, 
A2088 PC Bridgeboard, A2090 ST5067SCSI 
Drive Controller 


Too many to list. 

Sec our advertisement in the "Age 

Green Guide" weekly for prices and 

special offers. 

The largest range 
the very latest and 

No. 1 





1201/1802/1901/ Monitors. 
154 1C/1 570/1571 Disk Drives, Cartridge 
Expanders & Joysticks, 128 Ram 
Expansions, Lightpens, Mouse EPROM 
programmers & Blank Cartridges, Business, 
Accounting, Word Processing, Databases, 
Spread sheets. Inventory, Gen Ledger, 
Languages, CAD, Disk Care Kits, 
Multifunction Disk/CD Boxes 


$1500 Prize Draw! 

Entries close 27-2-88 


Gold Card discounts still apply. 





C^PC ■■ 





Hires Mono, Hires Colour, Business 
Software, Hard Drives, Hard cards, AG A 
cards, Multifunction Cards, Mouse & 
Joysticks, Ram upgrades, Package offers. 
Clock Cards, EGA Cards and Monitors, 
RS232 Cards. 



CALL (03) 419 6811 (6 Lines) 
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Australian Commodore Review 


use and has not been modified as it 
provides all of the Personnel Man- 
agement information and reports 
they need. As I had never even 
touched a PC.DOS machine until I 
started work on this project, and had 
to learn the intricacies of PC.DOS 
and the database program in my 
spare time, I feel that it was not a 
bad effort for an old square. 

After I retired I sold the SX64 
and bought a 128D plus a second 
1571 Drive and a Star NX-IOC 
printer, and this combination does 
everything I want it to do. 

What do I use my computer for 
now that I have retired? Again 
mainly word processing, spread- 
sheet, and database work. I maintain 
my investment portfolio and my 
taxation records on a spreadsheet 
(Swificalc 128), my household in- 
ventory on a simple database (Data- 
manager 128), and use Superscript 
128 for word processing. 

Many people might ask what is 
the use of putting your household 
inventory up on a data base? My 
wife and I were shipwrecked on the 
Russian Ship Mikhail Lermontov 
off New Zealand in 1986 and, by 
being able to list all of the personal 
belongings we lost, we were able to 
claim for, and be recompensed for 
all of our losses. 

Finally, do I do any program- 
ming? The short answer is no. I do 
fairly simple things like writing 
my own Printer Driver for the NX- 
10C and Macros for Superscript, 
but do not like programming as it 
is too time consuming. 

With the number and diversity 
of programs available for Commo- 
dore computers, either commercial- 
ly, or in the public domain, I think 
it is rather like re- inventing the 
wheel. I want my computer to work 
for me, not me for it. 

Graham Robinson 
Stafford, QLD 

Ed: Bravo! A fine example of how 
rewarding a hobby computing can 
be. Any other old timers who 
would like to entertain us further, 
please do write! 

What's the problem? 

Something has gone wrong 
with my C64 computer setup. I've 
connected my keyboard to the disk 
drive. Then I connected the disk 
drive to the printer. Everything 
switched on I attempted to load one 
of my printing programs. A search- 
ing message appeared, but the disk 
drive didn't start to load my pro- 

The disk drive could be used just 
with the keyboard, but as soon as 
you plug in the printer the disk 
drive doesn't work again. The exact 
same thing happens with the print- 
er. You plug in the printer only and 
it works fine but when the disk 
drive is hooked up both of them 
konk out. Could you please help 
me with my problem. 

Kelso, Bathurst 

Ed: Try pressing the "on line" 
button on your printer, this should 
fix the problem. 

Serious slant 

Just a few words to compliment 
you and your staff/contributors on 
the improved "Review" of the last 
few months. Although I've often 
flicked through the magazine in the 
past, it has usually been left on the 
newsagent's rack because of insuffi- 
cient items of interest, too much 
concentration on games and reviews 
for my liking. However, the last 
few issues, with the articles on Ea- 
sy script and Super base, program- 
ming and the hardware modifica- 
tions are right up my alley! So, 
too, the reviews of software such as 
Fontmaster and Mini Office II. 

Following the Easy script series, 
how about some comparisons 
(showing similarities and differenc- 
es) with the more advanced Super- 
script"! On the Superbase scene, I'd 
like to see an application for sched- 
uling of plant maintenance - includ- 
ing provision for maintenance 
records, plant details, printing of 
appropriate input forms for use in 
the field calling up of reports, etc. 
Another application, (as I'm a li- 
brarian for a small club), is a suita- 
able program for the indexing of 
magazine articles, with cross- 
referencing by subject category, and 
provision for a borrowing system 
for, say, 30-50 users. 

Another series in which I'd be 
interested is the use of integrated 
program packages, or experiences 
and hints of those users who have 
managed to combine programs not 
necessarily intended to work togeth- 
er. Is there a spreadsheet which is 
compatible with Easyscript and/or 

Finally, a plea to not complete- 
ly forget the 'orphan' Pius/4 com- 
puter or the 1570 disk drive. Some- 
times, just a hint of the 
compatibility of an article, a pro- 
gram, etc., with these items would 
make their owners feel that at least 
someone is prepared to offer sup- 
port. For instance, ScriptlPlus is 
almost identical to Easyscript, and 
Superscript 64 also operates on the 
Plus/4. (CalclPius is quite a good 
spreadsheet, too, but doesn't appear 
to be compatible with any wordpeo- 
cessor or database). 

Mike Maloney 
Delacombe, Victoria 

Ed: As far as we know there is 
no spreadsheet compatible with Ea- 
syscript or Superbase, but for inte- 
grated wordprocessor, database and 
spreadsheet try Mini Office II. 

-Australian Commodore Review 

Computer support 

I would like to make a comment 
about your article in the February 
88 edition about supporting the 
small computer stores, page 45. 

A few weeks ago I bought my 
first computer, an Amiga 500, from 
one of your advertisers, Computer- 
scope Blacktown. 

You could imagine the hair 
pulling I was doing, being the first 
time I had ever put a finger on a 
computer. Three times I have gone 
back to the shop and each lime I 
have received excellent service from 
Patrick Ryan who runs it. 

The problems haven't been with 
the computer but with me. 

Patrick each lime sat down with 
me at his instore computer, I ex- 
plained my problems to him, every 
time he showed me what I was do- 
ing wrong, he showed me on his 
computer what I should do, then he 
had me sit at the computer and 
watched me go through what he had 
shown me. This wasn't for five or 
ten minutes, sometimes he has kept 
me there over one hour, making 
sure I understood. 

I would like to say to all your 
readers, if you buy your computer 
from a department store salesperson 
who 10 minutes before you entered 
the store was probably selling un- 
derwear, and after you left was prob- 
ably stacking shelves, where is the 
technical backup? You might pay a 
little more at your computer shop, 
but the back up service far out- 
weighs the few dollars you save. 

I would like to thank all the Pa- 
trick Ryans and the small business 
computer shops for their excellent 

If anyone has bought their Ami- 
ga from a department store and are 
having problems they could contact 
Allan White of White's Computers, 
who also is another advertiser in 
your magazine. He has just started 

an Amiga beginners course, it is 
held in a very friendly atmosphere. 
The course is an evening course and 
goes for about three hours for 3-4 
weeks, one night a week. 


Ed: A good point that should 
be considered especially by first 
time computer buyers. You just 
don't get service from the depart- 
ment stores. 

Extra tracks 

Like a lot of people, soon after 
buying my 64 I started program- 
ming. A lot turn out to be rubbish, 
but surprisingly some programs 
have been quite useful. Then came 
the disk drive and with the help of 
this invaluable book Inside Com- 
modore DOS I really enjoyed work- 
ing with the 1541C. Eventually, 
for sheer pleasure and intellectual 
stimulation, I worked out a protec- 
tion scheme for some of my disks. 

However my problem is, how 
do you format 36, 37 or even up to 
40 tracks on a disk? If there's an 
easy answer to this question let me 
know as it would be most appre- 

Froggie Francois 
Kathcrine, NT 

Ed: Try any good copy pro- 
gram or Dolphin DOS/ 

Part needed 

I urgently require some help in 
finding a supplier for Skai 64 disk 
drive parts. I have been in contact 
with Benson Computers, the origi- 
nal suppliers, but they no longer 
deal in the Skai 64 and are most un- 
helpful with information concern- 
ing the disk drive. 

I need to purchase a C3359 tran- 
sistor for the power section of the 
drive. It would appear to be a new 
type of transistor, or at least it 


doesn't appear in the catalogues 
available to us here. 

I would be grateful if you, or 
one of your readers/columnists 
could put me on to a supplier for 
the part or give me some informa- 
tion regarding an alternative transis- 

Dennis Dowling 
Katherme, NT 

Ed: Any help, please write to 
us. Perhaps the makers of the Ex- 
celerator drive have a similar com- 

Horseracing, Trots or 


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The Race Selections 

Analyser— A program which will allow you to 
bet up to 3 runners in a race. (Similar to the 
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how much to bet on each runner ($1 units) and 
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Disk or tape $39 post included. 
The two power programs $59 

Our book Treasure Chest for C64/128 is still 
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Australian Commodore Review 



by Michaei Spiteri 

with the creators of Lord of the Rings Part 2 

A candid interview with three hilarious chaps about al- 
most everything concerning adventure games - creat- 
ing them, playing them, selling them. I even got them to 
give out a few secrets and hints. Yes, folks, these are the 
guys who are brave enough to attack infocom and are 
mad enough to turn Frodo into a binary number. 

i wm 

From left to right Paul Kidd, John Hazwood, Norton Trutet 

The men behind the second part of Lord 
of the Rings - Shadows ofMordor. 
John Harwood - Project Leader 
Paul Kidd - Storyline Developer 
Norton Tr liter - Programmer 

(For those who don't know, Beam 
Software is the name of the Australian 
fiim who have been producing world- 
wide classics for many years - including 
The Hobbit, Castle of Terror, Sherlock, 
Lord of the Rings, Mor don's Quest, etc. 

These games are distributed under the 
Melbourne House label. However, I re- 
cently discovered that Melbourne House 
do not exist in Australia anymore, and 
that the English MH has been bought up 
by Mastertronic - who incidentally, have 
kept the Melbourne House name. Mel- 

bourne House products are distributed in 
Australia by S.L.M Publishing, which 
are the old Melbourne House mob. Any- 
how, Beam Software is still a strong 
firm and is still churning out the classics 
- Shadows ofMordor is one of them.) 
What were you doing before you 
worked for Beam Software? 
Paul: I carefully did a university course 
in Aztec religion and culture and English 
Civil War history, you see, which suited 
me to living on the dole till I found a 
job doing something esoteric, so that's 
how I ended up here. 
John: I came from computer meteorolo- 
gy through a couple of unexciting jobs 
working at computers to a relatively ex- 
citing job in computers. 

Norton: I walked straight out with a 
Bachelor of Science degree into this job. 
When did you first touch a 64 

Norton: The first time I used one was 
when my brother in law bought one a 
lonnnggg time ago, when they first came 
out for around S600, but I didn't get to 
use it much until before I came here. 
John: My first experience was not until 
about a year ago, and it had very little to 
do with Shadows ofMordor, because the 
development of our adventure game scr- 
ies is done on a 16 bit mini-computer 
and then we cross-assemble as appropri- 
ate to the different machines. So we had 
finished Shadows of Mor dor and gone 
onto other projects before we had actual- 
ly seen a Commodore, 

The 16 bit gives us a lot of power to 
do testing and development which we 
just don't have on a Commodore 64. 
Paul: I don't touch them at all! I leave 
machines alone because they are evd and 
they plot against me. I'm not a program- 
mer at all. 

John: It might be worth us telling you 
our actual positions here. 

I'm the project leader and I inherited 
the development of Shadows ofMordor 
when Phillip Mitchell left, who mainly 
developed the adventure system. Norton 
is the one who actually does the pro- 
gramming, and Paul is the storyline de- 
veloper, so the way the games are devel- 
oped is Paul will say "Okay, we are 
doing another Tolkien game!" 
Paul: With screams of "DON'T, 
DON'T, DON'T ! ! !" coming from the 

John; And he will come back with 
about 30-40 printed pages of game ideas, 
maps, things like that. 

Then we will all sit there and review 
it in terms of the last couple of games. 


Australian Commodore Review 


I'm the one who watches the silly ide- 
as that come up. Then Norton actual- 
ly takes it away and transforms the 
brilliant dreams of Paul as edited by 
me into machine code — hopefully! 
So was it just you three who 
put together Shadows of Mor- 

John: Phillip Mitchell started the de- 
velopment but he had certain other de- 
mands around that time, and the game 
was about halfway completed at the 
dme he left. Then we found out that 
we had gone grossly oversize by 
about 33% more than we could afford, 
so we had to do some major plot revi- 
sion, and that was an interesting in- 
troduction into the whole thing. 
Then realty, Shadows of Mor- 
dor was your first project. 
John: Yes, it was my first, but not 
Paul's first He had previously worked on 
Fellowship of the Ring (part 1). 
Norton: Shadows of Mordor was the 
first thing I did when I first came here. 
Mike: Is it necessary to be a whiz at ad- 
venture games to be able to take part in 
producing one? 

Paul: I loathe adventure games. I hate 
wrestling with parsers, they bore me to 
tears. I don't see why anyone would vol- 
untarily sit there and constantly try and 
tell the machine what they know it is go- 
ing to accept but they can't find the 
words for it. So, I try and avoid that as 
much as possible! 

Did those feelings occur before 
you started doing Lord of the 

Paul: Yeah, they've always annoyed me, 
but er, now I write them! 
John: It's useful to have all of the other 
adventure games just to find out the 
things to avoid as much as possible. 

1 mean, the inevitable problem of the 
parser, it's always a problem. You can 
never account for every single way it's 
going to work. We've had a lot of prob- 
lems lately because up until the last 
couple of years the company has been 
aiming mainly at the British market, 
then we recently changed over to the 

American market and it's almost not the 
same language they're talking over there; 
they have different grammar and they 
will say things very differently. It pays 
to know the limitations of the machine, 
but beyond that, it's closer to novel writ- 
ing than anything else. 
When you were creating Shadows 
of Mordor, what did you take 
into account when preparing it? 
Did you take a serious look at 
the first game? 

John: Well, there were a lot of com- 
plaints about the first Lord of the Rings 
game, particularly part 1, in that it was 
different from Tolkien, that there was 
non -Tolkien elements, so we went 
through it ruthlessly and eliminated 
many things that were really quite inter- 
esting but couldn't be based in Tolkien, 
and then people started saying it was too 
slavish, so I don't know what the happy 
medium is. 

Norton; When we started going though 
it, there was really a straight line - the 
characters went from point A to point B 
and did very little inbetween, so when we 
came to establishing an idea of what was 
going to happen in that area of Mordor 
in the game, we pushed harder to take 
out the things that were not even close 
to the book. 

John: Yeah, and we had the big space 
problem as well. 

J noticed when the first game 
was released everyone was 
complaining that the game was 
too slow. However, when 
playing its sequel I noticed 
that game play was much fast- 
er. How did you achieve that? 
John: Fundamentally because the 
biggest time consumer in the adven- 
ture system was the interactive charac- 
ters. Shadows only has two whereas 
the first part had four, so that resulted 
in an increase in speed. 
Norton: And there were some major 
changes in the parser which was 
speeding things up. 
John: And it was also getting rid of 
the bugs that popped up. From a tech- 
nical side, what happened was, we made 
a list of every complaint. I had the habit 
of collecting all the hate mail that we get 
and so collected together the complaints 
that we could do something about. So 
when we actually plan the game we dis- 
cuss what we can handle and what we 

The idea was to make something that 
was better than Lord of the Rings, which 
definitely had faults. 

Were you trying to make some- 
thing that was increasingly bet- 
ter than The Hobbit? 
Paul: I don't think The Hobbit actually 
came into consideration, because that 
was a very different game. The system 
we used for The Hobbit changed quite a 
lot for Lord of the Rings, and it was the 
layout we were using with Lord of the 
Rings that we used with Shadows of 
Mordor. The Hobbit was also a while 
ago; for it's time it was heading the field, 
but as everything else caught up with it 
we couldn't use it as a benchmark. 
Who did you have in mind when 
you were writing Shadows of 
Mordor? Was there a certain mar- 
ket you were aiming at or was it 
basically the people who had 
bought Lord of the Rings you 
were after? 

Australian Commodore Review 



Paul: No, we actually expected that this 
would be the first game in the series peo- 
ple would be buying. Anyone who en- 
joyed the first game would buy the sec- 
ond, but hopefully we might be able to 
sell this as a game in its own right, so 
that it is not seen just as a follow-up. 
And as John said, it was aimed specifical- 
ly at the English market. 
Norton: We made an effort to steer 
away from anything that forced you to 
play the first game before Shadows of 
Mordor. We wanted the player to under- 
stand what has happened, but not to have 
played the first game. 
What about the American mar- 
ket? I understand that Lord of the 
Rings sold quite well in Ameri- 

John: Certainly the amount of care and 
attention the American market requires 
when releasing the games is about 50 
times more than the English market 
does, mainly because of the higher quali- 
ty, in general, in America, and because 
they produce fewer units and titles than 
the British do. 

In Britain there is certainly the pres- 
sure to push everything out into the mar- 
ketplace; I mean, you get about 1 8 new 
titles a week in Britain! Of course, it's 
not worth spending the time and atten- 
tion on a game because you won't get 
your money back. Whereas in America 
they'll spend a lot of money on small 
things like the packaging, including fold- 
outs, and maps, and making the rule 
books in little parchment-type paper- 
backs, things like that. You know, the 
attention to grammar, etc. 
Can adventurers expect a third 
part to be released? 
John: Yep, we're working on that now! 
"When can we expect it? 
John: Definitely by Christmas. We'd 
like to get it done well before then, but 
it's up to the marketing people whether 
they are going to release it before then. 
Do you have a name for it at the 
All: Nope!! 
John: The closest we got to it is "Frodo 

is Very Silly". 

Paul: Shadows of Mordor almost went 
under the title "Where Hobbits Dare", 
however it was decided the last minute 
that software contract obligations pre- 
vented it 

Norton: We didn't like the title Shad- 
ows of Mordor as it was so we made up 
some more, and when "Where Hobbits 
Dare" came up it caught people's imagin- 
ation and everyone loved it! A possible 
title for the upcoming one is "The Naz- 
gul Has Landed"! 

John: No, we've got the storyline, 
we've got everything figured out, but the 
name is always the problem. 
Did you have a big problem with 
the publishers of the Tolkien 

John: I ended up spending a lot of time 
answering phone calls from the respec- 
tive publishers who objected to this little 
bit or that little bit, and I had to explain 
to them why we can't do this, or no, 
we're not going to do that, or OK, we'll 
do this if it's going to keep you quiet for 
a little bit! 

I think everyone just likes fiddling 
and once they get the idea that you're pre- 
pared to change a small thing, it just 
grows from there. It gets to the point 
where they say things like "Can you 
change the giant spider to a frog!" 
So there is quite a bit more in- 
volved when basing an adventure 
game around a novel. 
John: We're limited from the start; and 
because the work has to be passed by be- 
ing in a Tolkien state, we automatically 
can't do certain things. I think it has put 
us a bit out of touch with the British 
market because they are very much into 
immediate gratification, and adventure 
games that don't give them four-letter 
words just aren't selling. It's a pity. 

The Americans are incredibly con- 
cerned about grammar, and as I said, it's 
a different language. Fortunately those 
things are easier to cope with, 
/ suppose with a market hogged 
by Infocom you have to careful. 
Paul: I don't know to what extent any- 

one has ever typed in any of those phras- 
es that Infocom says their parser can 
cope with. Yeah, but who wants to re- 
move the small midget from the red cof- 
fin sitting with the whiskey bottle and 
holding the fish in the right hand? I 
mean, no-one does! 

Our system will handle me long sen- 
tences as long as you don't try to do in- 
credibly silly things. I'm not pretending 
that it's the most complicated out - but it 
works! Infocom's one will handle incred- 
ibly silly sentences and you need incredi- 
bly silly people to put them in! 
Do you have any favourite ad- 
venture games, besides your 

John: I've got to admit that my adven- 
ture games are all warped due to the fact 
that I've done most of my programming 
on a mainframe computer, and on the 
mainframe, of course, there's that game 
Rogue, which is almost an adventure 

On the 8 -bit machines I haven't really 
played a lot. I think that games like De- 
jaVu are great. That's a lovely idea - I'd 
like to see something proper done with 
it. It was a very static game, and in some 
ways more primitive than the Zork ser- 
ies, but the technique used to actually 
play the game was such a delight to dis- 
cover. As soon as someone does some- 
thing really interesting with it, it should 
sell really well. 

Can you see the adventure mar- 
ket dying off? Is the third part 
of Lord of the Rings your last 
adventure game? 

John: It will be the last adventure game 
for a while because we really want to 
take the adventure system out of com- 
mission and look at something seriously 
better. It's reaching that level where 
we've go to face the fact that other peo- 
ple are moving on. I think the biggest 
problem we have at the moment is just 
finding the time to do all these things. 

The thing with adventure games is 
that they don't sell as well as the arcade 
games do; particularly in the British mar- 
ket. However, they keep selling. The 


-Australian Commodore Review 


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Hobbit is still selling at about half of the 
rate it sold out during the couple of 
months after its release. It will keep do- 
ing that for years. Lord of the Rings is 
still up there in places and it just lasts 
and lasts. 

Norton: Arcade games have the habit of 
selling well, then suddenly dropping off, 
whereas adventure games maintain a 
steady run in the market They start low, 
stay low, and stay forever! 
John: In America adventure games will 
stay. The British market is swamped in 
this surreal self-gratification angle, but 
the American market is much different 
because of the age of the average comput- 
er owner. 

In England you've got a 14 year old 
with a Spectrum and in America you've 
got a 28 year old with an IBM, and they 
want to buy different things. So, from 
that side, I don't see the adventure market 

I'd like to think that Australia is a bit 
on the intellectual side too. 
Forget the market pressure for a 
few minutes. If you had your 
way, would you produce a text- 
only adventure? I remember hear- 
ing that Sherlock was going to 
be just a text adventure but the 
market wanted graphics. 
Paul: The punters want all graphics. I 
feel it dresses up a game. Text scrolling 
past drives me bananas. 
Norton: A well placed picture lightens 
up the adventure. 

John: Certainly when you have adven- 
tures like The Pawn, you have that gosh- 
wow factor, "I've never seen anything 
like that before!!" 

What are the stages you go 
through when writing a game 
like Shadows of Mordor? 
John: First, if it's based on a book, 
well... read the book. 

You've got to create some sort of 
map and break it up into problems that 
will be handled by the player, so it's a 
matter of reading through, no matter how 
well you know the book, with a million 
reams of paper next to you. You start to 

get an idea of which directions they take, 
and every time a problem appears or even 
suggests itself, you then take notes be- 
cause it could be a potential game prob- 
lem. Then you sit down and expand these 
game problems out into little tasks, fig- 
uring the programming aspect - is it a 
feasible thing to do? Is it an interesting 
thing to do? Because when we were doing 
Shadows of Mordor there were some 
problems in there which I consider to be 
mind-numbingly tedious, but Phillip 
Mitchell insisted they go in because he 
likes very complex problems that require 
a lot of repetition and everything. 

I have a role-playing background - and 
I'm not so much into immediate gratifi- 
cation - but I hate having to drag myself 
through something when I'm playing a 
game for entertainment, so with the cur- 
rent game we are doing at the moment 
(Lord of the Rings 3) we are trying to 
avoid those problems. 

Anyway, we then tie the problems 
into the locations on the map, then we 
have got a plan we can work from for 
figuring out the programming tasks! 
Is the player restricted to solving 
one problem at a time, or can the 
player choose what problem he/ 
she wants to solve first? 
Paul: The problem with having it tied 
in with the Lord of the Rings books is 
that we have to follow their storyline as 
much as possible; so, what we are set- 
ting up is a system where a problem 
opens the way for you to continue on 
deeper into the adventure. You can't 
move into this new area of terrain with- 
out figuring out how to get past the 
swamps, or you can't get to this area 
without figuring out how to kill that par- 
ticular monster, 

Norton: But we always try and have 
more than one obvious way past a prob- 

John: We hate a single solution. 
Paul: For example, you have this cliff 
(in Shadows of Mordor there's this infa- 
mous cliff)- It's possible to do several 
things — like push Sam over the cliff, 
climb down, tie rope to Sam's embedded 

corpse, and climb down again , . . 
John: This is bad . . . 
Paul: And then there is the sequence by 
which you roll the rock, uproot the tree 
giving you a nice safe way down. 
Yes, but by giving different so- 
lutions to one problem, aren't 
you cutting the player off solv- 
ing other problems and creating 
no-win situations? 
Norton: Not necessarily. Take the cliff 
section - there are two valid ways to get 
down the cliff, that will get both Sam 
and Frodo down. The other way is to kill 
one of them, but later on you are going 
to need the other character. They didn't 
die in the book, that means you are go- 
ing to need them together in certain sec- 
tions. There is always a way through the 
cliff section, but if you happen to lose 
one of the characters you are not going 
to make it through a section further on, 
A bit like in The Hobbit where 
if you kill Gandalf and Thorin 
you won't be able to escape from 
the goblin's dungeon. 
John: Yeah, but we try to avoid many 
dead-ends because that's a really really ir- 
ritating thing. 

Norton: But with a major element like 
"Frodo is now dead" the storyline seems 
to drift out We do consider that when we 
design the game and offer various op- 

John: The obvious one in this game is 
that in the book Frodo, Sam and GoIIum 
all get to the Crack of Doom and the 
Ring is destroyed. We've had to think 
about suppose Sam dies along the way, 
or what if Frodo dies along the way ... 
Norton: ... if GoIIum had killed him ... 
John: So we've taken these into account 
in the design and there are a whole range 
of different possibilities. Obviously the 
one closest to the book is that they all 
get there, but if you get there without 
one of them, the game is not going to 
say "Sony, you have not got the right 
collection of characters - you cannot fin- 
ish the adventure." 

Is it essential for the player to 
have read the book before play- 


Australian Commodore Review 


ing the game? 

Paul: The best clue sheet for playing the 
game is to read the book, which was how 
it was intentionally designed. We don't 
intend for someone to have read the book 
as a prelude to playing the game. 
One of the problems we had with setting 
up the design was to make sure that 
someone who is very familiar with the 
book can't just walk through the whole 
game. That is a difficult proposition 
when you are trying to make the game as 
accurate to the book as possible. It's a 
fine balance that I hope we have 

Okay, this is the inevitable ques- 
tion, it had to come out sooner 
or later - everyone in the world 
knows about the Jam us bugs - 
can we see the end of these in 
Shadows of Mordor? 
John: I don't think Shadows of Mordor 
has any bugs. I think that is one of the 
reasons why the game is faster. The 
game has been tested - it's had about two 
months of steady testing - and doing our 
development on the mini-computer we 
can have the machine doing testing for 

How long would it take to iron 
out a single error in the pro- 

John: When I first arrived here during 
the Lord of the Rings project I was asked 
"Listen, do you mind testing it - the 
game IS perfect, but test it anyway! " 

Well, it had been tested by people 
who knew what to do to get through the 
game, bat they hadn't had people running 
around trying to eat tables, or collect eve- 
ry single item and put them in a pile, or 
kill every single living thing in Middle 
Earth, and it's amazing how you can 
make a program crash when you abuse 

The best example was perhaps, mon- 
sters; in the first version of Shadows we 
thought, the player has done pretty well 
so far and he gets to the climactic scene 
where he meets Shelob (giant spider), and 
Shelob is well upon him with dripping 
fangs ready to tear him to bits, and the 

player enters "Say to Shelob, Go East" 
— and Shelob goes east. WHAT! ! we all 
scream! The way the system had worked 
originally is that we left a little loophole 
so that any monster did exactly what you 
told it to. 

That was relatively easy one to fix, but 
there have been others ... 
Paul: If anyone does want to cheat in 
getting through Lord of the Rings, there 
was one stage - I'm not sure if it was 
fixed or not - when the Black Riders ap- 
pear. What you should do is "Give Ring 
To Black Riders", because the Black Rid- 
ers were programmed to attack whoever 
had the Ring. 

What happens is one Black Rider 
takes the Ring, another Black Rider sees 
the Ring and kills that Black Rider, and 
the other one sees the Ring and kills that 
Black Rider; then Frodo says "Give me 
the Ring" and the Black Rider gives Fro- 
do the Ring and ride off! ! There are many 
odd things like that which people haven't 

John: Shadows had a lot more testing 
than that, a great deal more, but things 
still turn up and there is not much we 
can do about them because some of them 
we have not thought of. 
Now to the funny sides. An im- 
portant part of all adventure 
games is the perfectly-timed fun- 
ny. Do those occur in the series? 
John: That's a difficult question. In 

Shadows the feeling of the publishers at 
the time was that humour was inappro- 
priate. It was initially set up with a fair 
bit of humour, as we were told. There are 
a few funnies in Shadows , not as many 
as we wanted because the English pub- 
lishers would write back and say "This is 
silly!! Get rid of it!!" One good one that 
managed to slip through, for example, if 
you try swimming, and there is no water 
around, Frodo will be told that there is 
no water for him to drown in. 

We like to do things like that, but it 
was unfortunate with Shadows because 
we were asked to get rid of them. Hope- 
fully we'll have a bit more control on 
this one (part 3). 

Norton: The last time Shadows of Mor- 
dor was reviewed by the publishers they 
didn't like the humour in the game. 
John;Well, you don't really find that 
photos fit in Middle Earth, pictures of 
fighting pigs, that's silly. There was 
even a watery tart, but there are too 
many implications in that. It was not ap- 
propriate. We did have bathing ores - 
they were quite cute, they used to have 
some quite good lines. Do the highway 
patrolman still do their WW2 movie 

Norton: I think they do.... 
John: (interrupts), Be quiet, thanks, we 
don't want anything secret to slip 

Norton: Yes, you're right. 
A lot of the fun in playing the 
games actually comes from find- 
ing secret laughs. 
Paul: Right. They are there if you look 
for them, however the obvious course 
doesn't have them because we knew that 
was the path the reviewers would take. 
John: Two ores sitting there waiting 
for you to pass, just slip the ring on, 
hide in the bushes and listen to them 
talking between themselves. 
When I reviewed Shadows I made 
mention of the funny parts be- 
cause that's what people want, 

Paul: They are really a memorable part 
of the game. 

Australian Commodore Review 



Norton: If you are playing it and you 
see a really good line, you'll remember 

Especially once you have solved 
the game after three or four 
months, it is good to be able to 
go back and explore the place for 
funny incidents. 

Paul: What we're probably moving into 
in the third game is to be much heavier 
on the atmosphere ... 
John: They're not having a good time in 
this game, let's face it, there's this water- 
less ash and desolation surrounding them, 
as well as hostile ores which just might 
as well eat them. It makes it moderately 
hard to start cracking one-liners as they 

Paul: It's a lot heavier on the atmo- 
spheric bits of text, because a lot of the 
feedback we get is that people want more 
of this. 

John: But if you do something absurd, 
we'd like to give a witty reply. 
Next, to the graphics. Who were 
responsible for the graphics in 
Shadows of Mordor? 
John: Three of our artists worked on it, 
two of whom are no longer with us,(Paul 
makes sounds like arrows shooting) no, 
they left voluntarily. 
Were they the same artists who 
worked on Lord of the Rings? 
Basically I'm asking because The 
Hob bit and Lord of the Rings 
featured the same sort of graph- 
ics whereas Shadows went into a 
better resolution. 
John: I don't think so. The artists were 
told what the system could cope with and 
they did an excellent job within that 
J won't go away without asking 
for a few clues on Shadows of 
Mordor ... 

John: We can give you the perfect solu- 
tion if you want. We have developed a 
system. I have a copy of file that will 
play the game perfectly and score 100 out 
of 100. 

Paul: It will play it for you . . . 
John: Yes. Just sit there and watch it. 
It's a good way of testing it- 

Paul: And there's a silly version that 

will walk around and do all the silly 


Is there a problem in the game 

that you think is a bit too hard? 

John: Yes, the log. 

We mustn't speak ill of those before 
us, but that was Phillip Mitchell's fa- 
vourite. It is also the one I hate most. 
Norton: The log problem was very rep- 
etitious and you had to keep going back 
for logs. Once you've worked it out, 
once is probably enough. 
John: And we had to invent a special 
verb for the movement of logs; obscure 
stuff, um, like lever and such. 
Paul: The other one I'm not fond of is 
the ambushing ores on the road. You 
have to be quite experienced knowing 
which order the ores come past, because 
there is a perfect order in which to get 
them, otherwise you're gonna die! Hav- 
ing played this game about 400-500 
times over the last year or so, it drives 
me batty because after a while I get so 
blase, I forget which ores come where, 
and because I got so blase I'm not both- 
ering to save the thing anymore. 
John: There is an easier way of handling 
those ores, and that is for Frodo to stay 
in the tree and get Sam and Gollum to 
jump out. Gollum is much tougher than 
the hobbits are, he's a much better fight- 

I found that the key to success. You 
give Gollum a sword, and hope he's still 
behaving nicely. 

Norton: We did have some problems 
with the rocks and even with the branch, 
stuff like poling the raft, levering the 

John: That's not too bad, lever rocks is 
okay, poling the raft is a bit sus. 
Norton: ONLY just okay. We couldn't 
find any way around that, apart from tak- 
ing the cliff out all together and that 
would make it very easy to get from 
point A to point B. We couldn't find a 
way of getting around that verb! We had 
dictionaries, thesauri! Nope, no other 
John: Yes, it's a world number one 

bookstore around here. 
Finally, I suppose you'd get a 
lot of letters from kids who want 
to write their own adventure 
games. What advice would you 
give someone? 
Paul: Get a job! 

John: No, no, I'm the one who has to 
deal with these things. We get a lot of 
submissions from people; they send a 
letter and the letter says "Hey, I've got 
this really great adventure game and it's 
called Spagbat! Yours sincerely, Fred 
Smith"! And that's it I wonder what ma- 
chine it runs on. I just get a cassette. It's 
not labelled. So for a start, my advice is: 
Please say what machine it's for - that 

Norton: How to load the game. 
John: Yep, how to load the game, how- 
ever with the Commodore it's not too 
difficult, but some machines can be quite 
challenging. The Amstrad can be pretty 
dreadful sometimes. 

Also, they're sending in this game in 
the hope that we'll sell it for them, so it 
would help if they enclose documenta- 
tion; what the game's about; what prob- 
lems there are in the game. A map of the 
game would be terrific, because that 
means I can go through and test it prop- 
erly and not spend weeks trying to work 
out what the obscure parser verb is. 
Paul: Yes, we would like to see what 
the game could do. So if you've got a 
nifty section - give us a cheat sheet! 
John: We're looking to review the 
game, not to crack it. We are always 
happy to look at games because SLM 
does a reasonable amount of business in 
that line! 

And with that I left the shores of 
Beam Software, convinced that the crea- 
tors of adventure games are just as friend- 
ly as the people who play them! 

And to show how nice they are, 
SL.M publishers have offered 10 copies 
of Shadows of Mordor as prizes for the 
first Adventurer's Realm Competition — 
see page 45. ■ 


■ Australian Commodore Review 

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Reflections: looking back at the 64 

through the eyes and mind of Adam Rigby 

MANY THINGS HAVE transpired 
since the introduction of the 
Commodore 64 - two new Com- 
modore models have been introduced, 
Commodore have brought in their range 
of IBM clones, the Amiga has made its 
rather large splash on the scene, and An- 
drew Farrell has purchased a new car. 
Looking back through the issues of Aus- 
tralian Commodore Review we can see 
that the face of the computer market has 
changed somewhat, for instance: 

March 1984 

The Commodore 64 is fresh in the 
market and much interest has been in- 
spired by this new machine. The intro- 
ductory price was S699 - not much less 
than you could pick up an Amiga 500 for 
nowadays. Garcth Powell published the 
first Australian Commodore Review to 
support the new wonder of the home 
computer scene. 

Some of the first pieces of software 
available for the C64 were from Com- 
modore themselves and were very sim- 
ple compared with the games available 
on today's market. Do you remember 
such titles as Le Mans, Jupiter Landing, 
Clowns and Laiarian - all these were 
available on cartridge for $??.?? 

April 1984 

Commodore released the SX-64, the 
executive transportable C64 with built in 
monitor and 1541 drive. Gareth Powell 
described it as "the screen with a built in 
headache", but sales were good and the 
SX-64 found its way to many homes. 

OziSoft released the Koala Pad and 
drawing package which led to a variety of 
other drawing board packages such as the 
Super Sketch package. Even nowadays, 
some time after it was discontinued, the 

Koala Pad is a sought after commodity. 

May 1984 

In the merry month of May 1 984, we 
started to see some more serious games, 
faster, smoother and more complex - 
such as Jumpman and Attack of the Mu- 
tant Camels. Also we saw the first com- 
plete text adventure for the Commodore 
64, Underworld ofKyn - produced by our 
very own Andrew Farrell. 

At this time Andrew Farrell became 
the editor of The Australian Commodore 
Review, a radical move by Gareth Pow- 
ell which turned out to be a successful 

June 1984 

Some more of Minter's software 
made it into the hungry 64 spot, Matrix 
which proved to be just as popular as his 
earlier games. This was another fast 
paced game which 
was the sequel to 
Gridrunner and had 
some reminders of 
the bizarre Mutant 
Camels game with 
camels floating 
around the screen 
on occasion. Eagle 
Empire, a conversion of Phoenix, was 
also released with some positive results. 

August 1984 

The latest games list was 
comprised of such greats as 
Pingo, The Hobbit - which 
gave this writer many sleep- 
less nights, and Aztec Chal- 

The first in a long line of 
1541 speed boosters, the 
1541 Express made its way 

into the pages of Australian Commodore 
Review with a rave review of the speed 
increases possible whilst using this new 
fanglcd cartridge to produce amazing re- 
sults - up to three times faster than the 
ol' 1541. 

November 1984 

Music starts to take the spotlight and 

The Incredible Musical Keyboard hits the 
market. With the newfound interest in 

the musical and sound potential of the 
64, the development of this feature be- 
came more rapid. 

The first of many movie conversions 
made its way to the C64 entertainment 
software Tange - Ghostbusters hit the 
scene and sold very well indeed. 

Many of the biggest and bestest ad- 
venture games hit the market place, such 
titles as Ultima IIP. Exodus, which kept 
mc without sleep for several weeks 

January 1985 

A new speed phenomenon is released, 
Turbo 64, which changed the format of 
the file and created an 
atmosphere whereby 
the files were loaded ap- 
proximately six to ten 
time faster than nor- 
mal. This did however 
have its inherent prob- 
lems, all your files had 


-Australian Commodore Review 


to be converted into the new formal. Also multiload programs 
had to be changed into single file programs as Turbo 54 
doesn't like multi-loads at all - not art easy task if the program 
itself is protected! 

In the realm of new games, Pitstop II made its way into 
the market place and became one of the best racing games ever 
produced for the C64. Monty the Mole started his epic run - 
with all the numerous sequels to his adventures one could be 
excused for thinking that this was the film industry. 

March 1985 

The Currah speech cartridge gives the C64 a voice and 
makes all those scenes from wargames possible in your own 
home - what a luxury. This was all very exciting but perhaps 
the most important news around this time was the information 
that a Commodore 128 had been developed by CBM and was 
going to be in Australia very soon. 

April 1985 

Andrew Farrell endeavors to gain new heights in popularity 
by changing his image, seen with advertising guru Ric Rich- 
ardson - the first appearance of the Bolle sunglasses on the edi- 
torial page. 

Not quite as fashionable as Bolles but perhaps more practi- 
cal is the new release from Commodore, a IBM compatible 
PC- 10 - the standard machine came with two 360K drives and 

256K of RAM, at $1995 this was 
a bargain indeed. 

Also in April we saw the in- 
troduction of the Skai 64 disk 
drive, in the words of Andrew 
Farrell, a 90% compatible drive. 
The Skai however did have its 
place and helped to fill the gap 
caused by the slow shipments of 
the 1541's, besides it was 25% faster. 

Another 1541 dos speeder- upper- er appeared and was duly 
welcomed. The 1541 Express, a cartridge that plugged in and 
there you were hitting warp speed in your revamped 1541. 
Still the 1541 Express did not quite cure the "1541 blues" as 
there were still a few side effects of this generation of turbos. 
We had to wait until the Cockroach Turbo ROM for a truly a 
satisfactory upgrade. 

Carriers at War hit the headlines as did Spy vs Spy, Ghost- 
bus (ers and Boulderdash - all these proved to be very popular 
and were followed up by Spy vs Spy II and the various Boul- 
derdash sequels. 

June J 985 

Communications are coming increasingly within the reach 
of the average hobbyists with the average budget. With the 
Micromodem EI direct connect modem we saw the price of get- 

ting into the bottom end of communications fall considerably. 

F-I5 Strike Eagle is delivered to the hungry C64 market, 
and with it came rave reviews on the quality of the game and 
reports of how happy Ronald Reagan was that the youth of 
America could be trained in mercilessly destroying the enemy 
from the cockpit of F-15 Eagles. 

Questran, an Ultima style game, also found itself on the 
market in June with a very good response - the adventure 
freaks like myself lapped it up with eagerness. 

July 1985 

Wow, amazing, truly wonderful and astounding. All these 
and many more superlative statements were made over a new 
birth at Commodore, the Amiga. This was just on news and 
hearsay, not for many weeks would we have the machine in 
Australia. The estimated price for the Amiga was $2000 not 
including colour screen. Since Commodore managed to squeeze 
it down to $1900 including monitor, it placed the Amiga 
streets ahead of its competitor the Mac. 

Back in C64 mode, new software titles were pouring out 

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Australian Commodore Review 



on to the market with a definite in- 
crease in the quality level of the soft- 
ware. Way of (he Exploding Fist was 
the first in an influx of Karate style 
simulations - getting away from high- 
tech destruction to "back to basics" 

Amongst the literature and drama 
conversions we saw the musical clas- 
sic, Rocky Horror Picture Show and 
the space comedy, Hitchhikers Guide to 
the Galaxy converted to Commodore 64 
games of the highest nutritional value. 

September 1985 

Isepic - A small step forward for tech- 
nology and a giant step forward for pi- 
rates. This new innovative copying/ 
breaking device allowed a snapshot to be 
taken of memory, therefore all disk pro- 
tection techniques had just become obso- 
lete, nothing was safe except perhaps the 
disk based software package. A very use- 
ful package if you wanted a backup of 
your software collection as this whiz 
bang cartridge made it possible, and it 
also made loading 10 times as fast. No 
wonder Isepic sold very well. 

Summer Games //was released and 
many a person strove diligently through 
the spring trying to outdo those world 
records. Skyfox was also re- 
leased - a popular buy for 

Elite, one of the best 
computer games ever in my 
and many others' opinion, 
was released on the C64 and 
started up an almost cult 
following of enthused inter- 
galactic traders. I can't wait 
for it to come out on the 
Amiga, that will be some- 
thing to see. 

October 1985 

Again Andrew Farrell has changed his 
image, to the straight-out-of-school look. 
Wearing a white shirt with a crooked col- 
lar and a ragged white sloppy joe, he tried 
to appeal to those in a school atmosphere 
- noj it won't work, the mirror sunglass- 

es just don't inspire 
trust. How can the pub- 
lic believe in the editori- 
al of a man who con- 
ceals his face, the very 
window of his soul. 

Even with setbacks 
the home computer 
scene managed to fight 
back with the release of 
some new and very interesting software. 
Spy vs Spy II - The Island Caper, which 
not only pleased the average game player 
but MAD magazine reader as well. Ken- 
nedy Approach was released with excep- 
tional response from the media, who said 
it was one of the best simulations ever 

November 1985 

Cockroach Turbo-ROM came into 
commercial existence this month just in 
time for the Christmas buying pandemo- 
nium. The Turbo-ROM is a smart little 
ROM indeed, speeding up loading, sav- 
ing and verifying by a factor of five and 
formatting by a factor of three. Also a 
complete DOS wedge has been incorpo- 
rated in the ROM to make life a lot easi- 

More news on the Amiga hits the 
scene and people are start- 
ing to get very excited 
about this new machine. 

On the game scene, 
another movie conversion 
had made it big in the 
computer entertainment 
world as well as on the 
big screen - A View to a 
Kill. Also the next in the 
sequence of Olympic style 
games came out, appro- 
priately Winter Games ar- 
rived just at the beginning of summer. 

January J 986 

With the arrival of the Amiga into 
Australian waters comes much fuss and 
excitement, with many hailing all sorts 
of technological revolutions because of 
this silicon wonder. Of course, there 

were those ignorant people (I came into 
this category at the time) who just want- 
ed to see the amazing new games that 
could be played on the Amiga - how 

Yet another movie conversion to 
computer format - The Goonies. Our old 
favourite, Zorro, also made his way over 
to the C64 format to prove that sword 
play was still alive and kicking. 

February and March 

Hardball made its big splash (or 
should I say hit) on the market and was 
famed as the best baseball game on the 
C64. Never Ending Story made it to the 
C64 market and, as do most movie con- 
versions, sold well. 

Monty on the Run, the sequel to 
Monty Mole, sold better the original and 
this is probably something to do with 
the vast improvements in music and 
play ability - Monty can also do funky 

Hacker gave all those caught in the 
War games fantasy a chance to live out 
their dreams as a computer hacker and for 
the rest of us it was a chance to play 
quite a good little game. 

The C128D hit the stores and proved 
to be such good value and sense that 
even Commodore didn't expect such a 
big demand. 

April 1986 

This month saw the arrival of some 
of my persona) favourites, such as Para- 
droid, Racing Destruction Set and Fran- 
kie goes to Hollywood. 

The above events took place over the 
first 24 months of the Commodore 64's 
life which we so fondly remember. This 
represents about half of the Commodore 
64's existence, the half which we person- 
ally found the most interesting and with- 
out a doubt the most exciting. 

Don't be fooled however, there is 
more life left in the good ol' 64 yet. I 
don't expect that we shall see the end of 
this amazing piece of technology for 
quite a while. ■ 


- Australian Commodore Review 

Software Review 

Image II 

here means that it's set up 
especially to cater for both 
Australian and European computers 
(which have a different timing system to 
the American ones). Double Image II 
comes complete all on one disk and is 
itself copy-protected. 

The manual ins true ts you first of all 
to disconnect all peripherals and remove 
all cartridges as those things would inter- 
fere with the loading of the program. I 
did that and also had to switch out the 
Cockroach TurboRom. This didn't mat- 
ter as Double Image II has its own fast- 
loading routines and in pretty quick time 
the disk loaded in OK and I got a very 
nice animated title screen complete with 
catchy music. 

Loading then continued and I was pre- 
sented with a comprehensive menu {again 
with some nice animated effects) offering 
the various copy programs and other util- 
ities. Here's that selection: 

A - Nibbler. For copying 

tracks 1-35 with automatic 

density scan. 

B - 1.5 Minute backup. For 

non copy-protected disks. 

C - Parameter menu. Specific 

bits of copy-code for various titles. 

D - Super Parameters. Special 

codes for nominated heavily 

protected disks. 

E - File Copier. For single 

file transfers. 

F - Super Nibbler. Duplicates 

heavily protected disks. Needs 

optional cable. 

G - Dual Nibbler. Two drive 

version of the Nibbler. 

H - High Nibbler, For copying 

This is an Australian-made disk and file 

copy system, by Sector Software for the 

Commodore 64/128. 

A review by Eric Holroyd 

tracks 36-40. 

I - Disk Eraser. Returns a disk 

to its un-fcrmatted state. 

J - Compactor. Reduces file 

size. Can also "encrypt" a program 

for safety. 

With the exception of "G" the rou- 
tines are for use with a single drive sys- 
tem, I tried out most of them and they 
all seemed to work OK, with speed be- 
ing somewhat slower than some of the 
disk- copiers that I've seen from the 

In spite of the longer times needed to 
copy a disk, the fact that a reliable back- 
up can be made is probably the all- 
important "bottom line", so the time 
you spend in making the backup would 
be a good investment anyway. 

The Nibble copiers are highly intelli- 
gent ones, which accounts for the longer 
copy times, and they apparently do a 
more thorough job of analysing each 
track being read than do a lot of the copy 
programs from overseas. 

The instructions refer specifically to 
many of the current software releases and 
tell you which program to use to copy it 
and how to use the appropriate parameter 
to permanently de-protect it. Over 200 
parameters are included, all of which are 
designed (as I said above) for Australian 
and European computers so you know 
they're going to work. 

The "disclaimer" in the manual states 
that the manufacturers deplore software 
piracy and market this disk system pure- 
ly as a means to make your own legally- 
allowed backups which should even then 
only be used by you personally. 

Distribution of such backups, wheth- 
er for profit or not, is piracy and is a 

contravention of the software owner's 
copyright. 'Nevertheless, some of the cur- 
rent copy protection schemes make load- 
ing very difficult on a drive which is 
only marginally out of alignment, and 
Sector Software claim that a backup 
made with their software wtil load easier 
and quicker and also prolong the life of 
your disk drive due to making its work 
less difficult. 

Disk Eraser is a useful utility as it re- 
turns a disk to "virgin" state, ie un- 
formatted. This allows re-formatting for 
further use, a process not always possi- 
ble on a disk which has become corrupt- 
ed for one reason or another. I salvaged a 
disk with this program which I was just 
about to consign to the garbage bin, be- 
ing unable to format it due to corrup- 

Another useful utility is the Compac- 
tor which lets you squeeze down the size 
of your own programs and which offers 
the option to "Encrypt" the finished file 
as a protection measure. 

Instructions for using the various sec- 
tions of the copy system are easy to fol- 
low with good results assured. 

Sector Software have an update poli- 
cy and they're apparently working on 
other items which are soon to be availa- 
ble. These include: a Digital Track 
Gauge, Double Image Update disk I 
(more parameters), Isepic Plus, and the 
Parallel Expander cable for menu option 
"F" above. Some or all of these may 
have been released by the time we go to 

Double Image II is distributed in 
Australia by Computermate Products 
(02) 457-8118. It's available at $55 RRP 
from good retailers everywhere, ■ 

Australian Commodore Review 


Hardware Review 

A review by Eric Holroyci 

Animation Station 

name doesn't really explain what it 
is and what it does so let me en- 
lighten you. 

First and foremost it's a "Computer 
graphics sensor pad" which takes over 
where the KoalaPad left off. I've used a 
KoalaPad for the last couple of years, 
both for drawing and for adding to (or 
otherwise altering) pictures captured with 
the Cockroach Graphics Utility. I enjoy 
playing around with graphics and the An- 
imation Station has made it even more 
fun now. 

For a start it's a very robust piece of 
equipment. It's made by Suncom (who 
make those excellent joysticks) and fea- 
tures a working surface marked off into a 

**The Animation 

Station will enhance 

your graphics 

capabilities and 

make it more 

fun too.** 

grid pattern and with a pair of "action 
buttons" on either side of the touch-pad. 
This ensures, by the way, that left- 
handed folk can use it just as easily as 
right-handers. To make it even easier to 
use, Suncom have provided a little fold- 
out "easel" at the back of the unit so that 
you may prop it up at an angle if you 
prefer working that way. Of the two 

pairs of buttons the bottom one is the 
"DO" button, the top one is "UNDO". 

Use the stylus provided to point at 
something you want from the menu, 
then press either bottom button to load 

The software provided with the Ani- 
mation Station is called the Design Lab 
and is very similar in layout to Blazing 
Paddles. Not surprising as it's written by 
the same guy, Sean McKinnon (he also 
wrote my wife's favorite C-64 game: 
Mummy's Tomb), and is copyrighted by 
the same software house - Baudville. 

So, if you're familiar with Blazing 
Paddles you'll know all about the soft- 
ware already. If not, it'll take you all of 


Australian Commodore Review 

Hardware Review 

three minutes to start drawing with Ani- 
mation SxsXionfDesign Lab. It's just that 
easy to get started. 

Design Lab has all of the usual draw- 
ing program features: Lines, Boxes (plain 
or colour- filled), Dots, Fill, Zoom, 
Ovals, etc etc, and lets you draw with a 
wide variety of "Brushes" (actually differ- 
ent tip sizes), and in a great range of co- 
lours. There's a nice feature in the colour 
menu which lets you "mix" two colours 
into a "textured hue" which is actually a 
striped or dotted pattern mix of the co- 
lours you chose. Some really great ef- 
fects are possible with this feature. 

There's a "spray-gun" on the menu 
too, which lets you spray with colour to 
get the degree of shading you want, very 
handy it is too. Then there's a feature not 
usually found, and that's the "text" fea- 
ture which allows you to put text onto 
the screen anywhere you like and in a 

good selection of "fonts" or type-styles. 
Bold, Italics, Gothic, Script & Standard 
are just a few of the fonts on the disk. 

Also, there is a nice library of 
"shapes" on the program disk which can 
be loaded into memory and used either to 
build a picture from scratch or to enhance 
a picture you've already captured or creat- 
ed. Shapes include; Animals, Tools, 
Face parts, Weapons, Vehicles etc etc 
and any shape loaded may be rotated or 
enlarged before placing it anywhere in 
your picture that you want it. 

Talking about libraries, you may 
build your own library of "windows" 
with the Design Lab software as it lets 
you "Cut & Paste" any section of a pic- 
ture as well as saving it to your data disk 
for future use. Handy if you design your 
name tag or signature and you wish to 
add it to pictures that you create. You 
may get a hardcopy of your picture by 

pointing at the printer icon and follow- 
ing the prompts. 

The software supports a good range 
of printers including: Commodore 1525, 
Gemini 10X and 15X, Epson 80 and 100 
Series and Okimate printers (both black 
and white and colour versions are sup- 
ported). Cardco and Buscard printer inter- 
faces are supported and it's a simple mat- 
ter to get a printout. Most users will find 
a combination of the above will be suita- 
ble, for instance I got a good printout on 
the Star NX- 10 with Xetec Super Graph- 
ics interface by selecting CBM 1525/ 
Cardco. Experimentation (as always!) is 
the key to this kind of printer selection. 
All in all, the software provided with the 
Animation Station is very good and I 
liked it a lot. 

The master disk has a few more good- 
ies on it including some ready-made pic- 
tures (Colourwatch, Micrometer, World- 



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Australian Commodore Review 


Hardware Review 

map and Authors) for you to view and/or 
manipulate. There's also a program 
which will convert your Koala pictures 
to Design Lab format so that you can use 
the extra features provided in the soft- 

Also, if you're a Basic programmer 
wishing to display Animation Station 
pictures there's a handy program supplied 
on the program disk which may be used 
as a subroutine in your own programs. I 
tried it and it works well. It's well- 
commented with REMs so it's easy to 
use. There's even a printer dump to do a 
graphics printout on the Commodore 

the pad the cursor will automatically cen- 
tre and to ensure complete accuracy there 
are two "fine adjustment controls" on the 
back of the pad housing. It works with 
literally thousands of games designed to 
use joystick or paddles as controls. 

The Animation Station is a useful 
business graphics tool too! With it you 
can create very effective bar charts, pie 
charts, lively graphics and plans etc. The 
package containing the unit and its soft- 
ware etc is full of actual examples all 
produced with the unit 

I'd mentioned earlier that the Design 
Lab software is quite similar to Blazing 

"This is a great outfit for 

any computer hobbyist 

who's at all interested 

in graphics." 

as you can buy it currently for $30 less 
than that. 

If you're really into graphics you'll 
know already that it's great fun convert- 
ing pictures from one format to another, 
altering them in some way, then perhaps 
converting them back to the original or 
perhaps some other format. Design Lab, 
Blazing Paddles, Koala etc 
are all "multi-colour" format 
pictures whilst Doodle pic- 
tures (and some others) are 
in the "Hi-Res" format. If 
you need a graphics conver- 
sion program to do any of 
this I believe Computermate 
Products has just such a 
program in the pipeline. 

nniHATian sTiiTian siihple hv e.h 


1526! All you do is save your picture to 
a datadisk, then load this program and 
follow the prompts. Very useful for 
those 1526 owners who can't do graphics 
printouts of their favourite pictures. 

On the front of the touch-pad is a 
small switch which, when in the down 
position, allows the Animation Station 
unit to emulate a video game controller! 
The bottom buttons then act like fire- 
buttons and you steer/guide with the sty- 
lus on the pad. If you lift the stylus off 

Paddles and when I loaded in the latter to 
check it out it worked beautifully. I 
checked out also Suncom's claim that 
Animation Station will work with Koala 
Pad software. It sure does, which makes 
the unit just so much more versatile. 
The Koala Pad itself is no longer availa- 
ble and I believe that it's out of produc- 
tion. The last price I remember on Koala 
Pad here in Sydney was S195 and that 
was a year and a half ago. That makes 
Animation Station even more attractive 

All in all this is a great 
outfit for any computer hob- 
byist who's at all interested 
in graphics. I know there are 
many people out there who, 
like myself, play around 
with pictures "grabbed" with 
one of several cartridge sys- 
tems which allow the cap- 
turing of C-64 screens. I 
mentioned above the Cock- 
roach Graphics Utility 
which does a great job of capturing 
screens. The Expert Cartridge (also from 
Computermate Products) allows picture 
■capturing (and a lot more!) as does the 
Super Snapshot which I reviewed in the 
February 88 issue of Australian Commo- 
dore Review. The Animation Station 
will enhance your graphics capabilities 
and make it more fun too. 

Animation Station is available at 
good computer shops at S169.00 RRP. 
Australian distribution by Computermate 
Products (02) 457-8118. ■ 


Australian Commodore Review 

Registered By Australia Post Publication Mo NBG 9302 



s n 

Word processor -Textpro 

Expanding Your Amiga 


entes amtuettes 


Game Reviews: 

*t Time Bandits 

fe Return To Atlantis 

Xerox 4020 
colour printer 

Vol 2 No 4 

Inserted in The Australian Commodore and Amiga Review 





L i,?K ntr-mnl'y c.-.p,indnblf- to iMh 

K!JLl 1- 1 ASKING 



4 nclHfwindcnl '.Lr-Teo L.h.irnck b-iill 

n Tn^fc- nnrl iorr svrcthf-iij^r- 



More thir, bCO ram 

'itiwd ivi-ifranT; avni-abf- 

5?49Sc^lirine tic 


: ,..T Trr-ij-, ^ tr."M;: 





4 rideusrukrir i[e>to Lhdili'cl^ bull 


Mm* than 'JT.Q 


■f-r.iuc prc^'iTr-i •ivnilab'-e 

AMIGA 2000 


MEroOEcv MULTi-ii'Ai.k:iNL_. 


* ndr.iM'ntt'nl '.Icrc ■ : hnr -(■■'■■ bif'i .i'." 

in n-nrtK -and *Q<Cfr syft T l>i?iih<!i 


Marc than SCIG .--".-t-- ■:■; .-. .■ ■; m,;:: i'-^ji n "i d"-= Jin.' 

Too bad you couldn't just a little 
bit longer. 

Because Commodore has just released 
the complete Amiga range. 

And any conventional PC is in grave 
danger of becoming rapidly obsolete. 

There are three computers in the Amiga 
range, and each one of them has its main 
processor boosted by three co-processors. 

So when it comes to performance, 
comparing Amiga with the conventional 
PC is like comparing the family car to a 
Formula I racer. 

And we're not just talking about speed 
and power, either 

'IBM is a register rrJ trademark of International Business Machines 



Every Amiga, from the A500 to the 
incredible A2000, offers no less than 4096 
colour options. The opportunities for graphics 
and animation are incredible. 

Every Amiga can multi-task (run more 
than one program simultaneously). 

And every Amiga has 4 channel stereo 
sound, a built in music synthesiser, and a pitch 
and tone modulated speaking voice. 

And yet. the most impressive thing 
about the Amiga is not the features. 

It's the price tag. 

Less than £1000 for the Amiga 500, S2495 
for the Amiga 1000, and only $2999 for the 
Arpiga 2000 with optional IBM* 

With a wide range of business software 
and specialised graphics tools, the Amiga is 
the only choice for home, education and 
business use. 

So why invest money in the technology 

of the past, when the technology of the 

future is available today. 

From Commodore, naturally 

For further information on the Commodore Amiga I 

I Range, send this coupon to Marketing Department. 
Commodore Business Machines Pty Ltd r 67 Mars Road, 
Lsuie Cnve. NSW, 2066. 




John Singleton Advertising COMQQ69 


AMIGA SOFTWARE is taking a turn for the better. 
Not only have prices dropped considerably, but some 
really original titles have appeared. New themes with 
fandangled graphics and music, and multiplaycr options that 
only the Amiga could make possible. This month wc take a 
look at two new big titles, Time Bandit and Return to Atlan- 

We also welcome Tony Pilgrim, our new financial and 
business applications columnist, kicking off with a look at 

And in the sock removing department is a special story 
that appeals mainly to the rich hut is of general interest to 
all, on an amazing new colour ink jet printer. 

Phil Campbell, of Sydney Morning Herald fame, contin- 
ues our hunt for word processors with a review of Text Pro. 
Several other alternatives have also just been released, which 
we will be examining in coming issues. 

Until then, enjoy. . , _ „ 

Andrew Farreil 

Australian Amiga Review 

21 Darley Road, 

Rand wick, NSW 2031 

(02) 398 51 1 1 

Published by: 

Saturday Magazine Pry Ltd. 

Editor: Andrew Farrell 

Publisher: Gareth Powell 

Advertising: Ken Longshaw 

(02) 398 51 1 1 or (02) 81 7 2509 

Production: Brenda Poweii 

Layout : Amanda Selden 

Subscriptions & Back 


Tristan Mason (02) 398 51 1 1 


Selected dealers 

and as part of Australian 

Commodore Review 

Printed By: 

Ian Liddell Pty Ltd 

Directory of Advertisers 

Amigo 1 

Commodore 1FC, OBC 

Computermate Products 19 

Computerscope 9 

Diskworks 7 

Megadisc 15 

Microcomputer Spot 10,11,12,13 

Pactronics 2 

Whites Computers 3 


1. Editorial 

3. Notepad - Whafs happening, what's new on 
the market , 

4. Letters 

5t XerOX 4020 - Colour ink jet printer review 

6. Time Bandit - A game that spans time, space 
and episodes of Star Trek. 

8. Textpro - A word processor with a lot to offer 

14. Return to Atlantis - Right wrongs and find 
treasures in the deep blue sea. 

16. Number Crunching - VIP Professional 

18. More on version 1.3 the new system 

20. New software packages & public 
domain disks 









98 6th Avenue Maylands 6051 

P.O. Box 1253 Booragoon 6154 

Ph: (09) 272 3685 

Fax: (09)272 3154 

AA rated software 
Amiga and Abacus 

from a name you've learned to count on 





"^ . ■■■■■ s -■ 


P^miDaabaW 2113 ^ 


TEXTPRO — The full-function word processing package that shares Ihs true 
spirit of the Amiga — easy to use, fast and powerful with a surprising number 
"extras". Fast formatting on the screen: bold, italics, underline, etc. Centering 
and margin justification. Page headers and footers. Automatic hyphenation of 
text. Customize the TextPro keyboard and function keys to suit your 
preferences. Merge IFF-graphics right into your documents, Includes BTSnap 
for saving IFF graphics. This package can also convert and use other popular 
wordprocessor files. TextPro sets a new standard for wordprocessors in this 
price range. Easy to use and packaged with advanced features — the ideal 
package for all of your wordp recessing needs. 

DATARETRIEVE — Powerful database for your Amiga that's fast, has a 
huge data capacity and is easy to use. Now think DataRe&ieve. Quickly set up 
your data files with onscreen mask templates. Select commands from the 
pulldown menus or time-saving shortcut keys. Customize the masks with 
different text fonts, styles, colours, sizes and graphics. DataRetrieve is easy 
to use — but has the professional features you need. Password security for 
your data. Sophisticated indexing and searches. File size limited only by disk 
space Customize function keys to store macros. Easily outputs to most 
popular printers to produce form letters, mailing labels, index cards, reports, 
etc. Data management couldn't be easier. 

IMPACT — Get off the cocaine, opium and marijuana, don't try another HIT, 

try an IMPACT! A. far healthier addiction. 

The game you never want to stop playing. Superb graphics, colour, digitised sound. 


BRILLIANT BOOKS — Learn and get the most out of your Amiga with these 

great books from Pactronics. Amiga for Beginners, Amiga Basic Inside and Out, 

Amiga Tricks and Tips. 

Don't forget that we have Amiga compatible Joysticks and Glare Filters and 


N.B. Pactronics will be getting in a terrific range of Amiga products over the new 

few months. Please send your name and address to PO Box 187, Wi I lough by, 

NSW 2068 marking the envelope "Amiga". 

ASSEMPRO — Program your Amiga in assembly language with ease. 
AssemPro is a completely interactive assembly language development 
package. Editor with multiple windows, block operations and search and 
replace. Fast two-pass macro assembler does the linking for you 
automatically. Perform conditional assembly. Advanced debugger with 63020 1 
single-step emulation. Built in disassembler and reassembler Supports 
6801 if installed. Includes entire library of functions. Everything is included 
for hassle-free development. 

Available from Grace Bros, Chandlers, Maxwells Office Equipment, 
Big W (education and Kwik range only) and from leading computer retailers around Australia. 

N.S.W. : Pactronics Pty Ltd, 33-35 Allcyne Street, Chatswood. (02) 407 0261 fc 

VICTORIA : Pactronics Pty Ltd, 51-55 Johnston Street, Fitzroy. (03) 417 1022 ^51 P<3Ct TOniC*^ 

QUEENSLAND ; Pactronics Pty Ltd, 12 Straiten St, Newstead, 4006. (07) 854 1982 Ma^HH^ 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Baringa Pty Ltd, (08) 271 1066 ext, 6132 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Pactronics W.A. 1/757 Canning Highway, Ardross (09) 364 8711 

Mail Order - "Software To Go" - (02) 457 8289 





Commodore engineers are 
said to be close to a new De- 
nise chip (or the Amiga that will 
deliver 640x400 non- 
interlaced video. Initial reports 
say that all past Amigas 
should be able to upgrade to 
the new chips when they be- 
come available. 

Meanwhile, the Really Fat 
Agnes chip (which will expand 
chip RAM accessibility to one 
meg, among other things) is 
very close to release. A50G 
and A2000 owners will be able 
to upgrade, but the new chips 
are incompatible with the 
At 000. It's not clear whether 
it's just a problem with the 
physical board layout, or 
whether it just plain won't be 
adaptable to the A1 000 at all. 

Though Atari ST sales are 
said to remain strong in Eu- 
rope, they appear to be dying 
on their feet in the U.S. With 
the response to the Mega STs 
so flat and developers bailing 
out of ST development, it 
looks like the 2600 Game Sys- 
tem will remain Atari's best- 
selling "computer". 

New user group 

We recently received the 
following letter: 

"I am just starting up an 
Amiga users group in Perth. 
My aims are to help all the 
members out with their prob- 
lems, and to provide a good 
service to the members, for 
the cheapest possible price. 

"To keep the cost down, I 
have made the membership 
fee $5.00 per annum. You can 
buy the newsletter separately 
for 50 cenls, and we meet on 
the first Sunday of every 
month. We keep a certain 
amount of disks in stock, 

which sell for cheap prices 

"We have a tutoring ser- 
vice for new Amiga owners 
who want to know more about 
the computer. And the few 
members that we have are will- 
ing to help out and do different 
things, like tips on adven- 
tures, helping out on program- 
ming, graphics, sound. We 
have over half of the public 
domain library which is free, 
no media costs or anything. 
Oh, and if you were wondering 
about the name KalAmiga, 
Walliston is about 1km east of 

"I hope you will be abls to 
help me acquire new members 
for my group as we are des- 
perately lacking them in our 
first month of operation. 

"Shannon O'Rourke, KalA- 
miga Users Group, 7 Norma 
St, Walliston, WA 6076." 

Photon Paint 

Microillusions announced 
this week the release of Pho- 
ton Paint, a third generation 
graphics program. They say it 
has the following features: 

— 64 colour palette with 4096 
colour alternatives 

— state of art surface map- 

— sophisticated brush opera- 

— real-time operation of draw- 
ing tools 

— allows Ham to modify co- 

— total menu movability with 
brush and colour palette menu 
size reduction 

— light source specifications 

— palette colour spread with 
both (RGB) and (HSV) func- 

— compatible with most third 
party art and animation sys- 
tems, including Photon Video. 

This looks like quite a pow- 

erful package and we are keen 
to get a closer look at it. 

Distributed by Questor 
(02) 662 7944. 

Photon Video 

Also from Microillusions is 
Photon Video, the video cell 

Using eel animator you 
create each drawing only 
once, then by identifying the 
frame by number it can be 
called up at your discretion. 
The equipment allows for con- 
tinuous piay, processing and 
editing, even allows digitized 
sound effects or pre-recorded 
tracks to be added frame by 

Photon video products are 
fully compatible with most 
third party art, animation and 
rendering software systems. 

Distributed by Questor 
(02) 662 7944. 

Neriki video 


The Neriki Image Master 
Pro GENIock, a video inter- 
face device allowing Amiga- 

graphics to be manipulated on 
video, is entirely designed and 
manufactured in Australia. It 
is said by the manufacturers 
to be a price and function 
breakthrough in providing the 
means for PC-generated 
graphics, characters, titling 
and animation to be synchron- 
ised with ordinary video imag- 
es.At $2695 (ex tax} it is much 
cheaper than current profes- 
sional equipment. 

It operates at a resolution 
of more than 600 lines, giving 
full broadcast resulution and 
full broadcast encoding. The 
interface operates with 1/2- 
inch, 3/4-inch and 1-inch for- 
mats, and handles either PAL 
or NTSC standards. 

For further information, Ne- 
riki Computer Graphics Pty 
Ltd, (02) 957 4778. 

Polaroid Palette 

Also from Neriki is the 
Image Master Polaroid Palette 
Software System which allows 
connection of the Polaroid 
Palette image recorder to the 


External disk drives, cream front panel, 
switch and 12 months warranty $345. 

Proton memory exp. modules from $640, 
Star NX 1000 colour printer $695 incl. cable. 
Star NxlOOO printer $520 incl. cable. 
Avtek 123 modem $449 incl. cabie. 

Quality Computer and printer accessories, 
Amiga World - May issue. Other publications 
and tatest software available. 

Classes for beginners - bookings essential. 

White's Computers 
(02) 634 6636 

37 Daphne Ave. Castle Hiil 21 54. 
Bankcard/Mastercard Welcome 

Amiga Review 3 



Amiga (and to the Atari ST). 

It provides the means of 
transferring images from the 
Amiga onto full colour 35mm 
slides, prints or overhead 
transparencies. The system is 
mouse driven for ease of use. 

The Neriki Software Sys- 
tem supports on the Amiga 32 
colours in LoRes and 16 co- 
lours in medium or high resolu- 
tion (640x400). Image Master 
also utilises the advanced 
Hold-and-Modify (HAM) mode 
of the Amiga, giving the ability 
to manipulate 4096 colours. 

An on screen print co- 
lour adjustment is incorporat- 
ed in the software. 

For further information, 

contact Neriki on (02) 957 


A simulation type, top gun 
combat game by Sublogic. 
What makes this so special is 
that the U.S. defence used it 
to help train their fighter pilots 
in combat simulation. 

Fly the most technically 
advanced fighter planes, the 

F-16 fighter Falcon or 
the navy's newest multi-role 
fighter. The screen shows full 
instrumental controls and su- 
perb 3-D graphics environ- 

The player can choose be- 
tween several excellent van- 
tage points. The cockpit, a 
spotter plane, tower, full 
screen, map and missile-eye 

The player in the jet can 
choose a free-fight mode 
which takes combat over sea 
or land to attack various tar- 

gets, or match the skilful com- 
puter's MIG21 and M1G23S. 
These machines definitely 
don't give second chances! 

The player has a deadly ar- 
senal or weapons with special 
radar, automatic tracking 
computers and just in case an 
ejection seat. 

A game which is very rea- 
listic, and demands skillful 

Watch for a full review in 
the next issue. 

Distributed by Guestor 
(02) 662 7944, RRP $119.95. 

Word Perfect 

I recently purchased an 
Amiga 2000 and although I 
have had many years' experi- 
ence using electronic type- 
writers and word processing 
machines, computers as such 
are new to me. I therefore find 
your magazine an invaluable 
source of information and 

Word processing is very 
important to me as I earn my 
living doing just that, so your 
article about Word Perfect 
was extremely interesting. I 
purchased this package on 
the strength of everything I 
have read about it including a 
review in Amiga World, Your 
Computer, Australian Commo- 
dore and Amiga Review, Ami- 
ga Annua! 1988 and others. 
Apart from some minor criti- 
cism about the speller I 
thought I was making a very 
wise investment. 

Admittedly, buying and re- 
searching software is a new 
experience for me but for the 
sake of other readers in the 
same position, I cannot em- 
phasise strongly enough how 
easily one can be misled. One 
of the features of Word Per- 
fect is described as "border 
draw" accessed by Ctri-F3. In 
my ignorance I thought this 
was the same as the IBM ver- 

JLCttCTSxo the Editor 

sion of Word Perfect named 
"line draw", also accessed by 

Unfortunately, boxes can 
only be made with characters 
in 1he Amiga version of Worcf 
Perfect, unlike the IBM ver- 
sion which actually draws 
lines. I knew, of course, that 
Word Perfect was not a true 
WYSIWYG system. However, 
I assumed, wrongfully as it 
turned out, that a "preview" 
feature would exist as on the 
IBM version. 

I have no doubt Word Per- 
fect for the Amiga deserves 
some aspects of the glowing 
reports it receives and proba- 
bly serves its purpose admira- 
bly for most people. I'm afraid 
1 bought it before i discovered 
that it did not have the fea- 
tures which I particularly want- 

By the way, please tell me 
if there is a way I can draw 
lines with Word Perfect (I have 
a Toshiba 3-ln-One Printer). 

Marjorie Robertson, NT 

Ed: Remember that the 
above feature in WordPerfect 
Amiga is called Border Draw, 
not Line Draw. The Border 
draw feature helps you draw 
boxes, graphs, borders and 
other illustrations using char- 

acters. Using the arrow keys 
to move the cursor, you can 
draw in a clear window, or 
around and over existing text. 

Border draw operates in 
the Typeover mode. When the 
cursor passes through ex r :-i 
ing characters, they are -o. 
placed. Any codes in from of 
the cursor are pushed for- 

Refer to the WordPerfect 
Amiga manual, page 313 in the 
Reference Section. 

You may find that by con- 
densing your border draw to 8 
lines per inch that the printout 
will look more presentable. 

There is an indepth review 
of Word Perfect on Megadisc 

Pricing outrageous 

I am writing to enquire if 
you could shed some light on 
why Amiga software is so out- 
rageously expensive in Aus- 

I came over from Scotland 
last year and I can't believe 
the prices for software. The 
games are two and three times 
the price of what they should 
be. Take for instance Karate 
Kid 2. Going price in Britain 
£15 ($33 Aust). Price here 
$80. How can the shops get 

away with it? Don't they real- 
ise that if they sold their 
games at half the price they 
are charging, then they would 
sell a lot more? As long as 
they charge these prices then 
they have got a bloody cheek 
to complain about piracy. I 
know piracy happens in Britain 
but not to the same extent as 

Do you know of any Amiga 
groups in the Sydney area and 
also do you know if an Amiga 
500 bought here would work in 

Weil that's everything off 
my chest. Keep up the good 

Roy McCarroli, NSW 

Ed: Software pricing is 
certainly a very sensitive is- 
sue with everyone blaming 
everybody else. Prices should 
start to fall by now. If not it 
could be time to do a little of 
our own importing! 

An Amiga 500 bought here 
should work fine in Britain (you 
may have to change the posi- 
tion of the switch on the RF 

There is a listing of Amiga 
User Groups in our issue of 
February this year. Sydney 
area groups are in North Syd- 
ney, Burwood and Dulwich 

Amiga Review 4 


X©TOX 4020 - colour ink jet printer 

by Andrew Farrell 

INK JET printing technology has been 
around for some time. Unlike conven- 
tional printing, the ink is propelled 
from small nozzles, rather than pins 
physically striking a carbon ribbon. The 
process is exceptionally quiet, and in- 
volves fewer moving parts. However, ink 
jet printers are inherently slow. 

Improvements have been made. Using 
Drop-On -Demand ink jet technology, ink 
drops are generated by vibrations of piez- 
oelectric transducers. Maintenance is 
down to an all time low, although it's 
still higher than average. 

The Xerox 4020 Colour Ink Jet print- 
er prints an acceptable 80c ps in draft 
mode, using only black ink. In four co- 
lours speed drops to 40cps, still in draft. 
NLQ would be slower still. The figures 
are a bit iffy, but then the 4020 is not 
meant for churning out great chunks of 

Coloured bar graphs, pie charts, and 
illustrations are it's forte. You can even 
print directly onto transparencies. 

The really exciting pan is the poten- 
tial to print in up to 4000 different 
shades of colour. That's only 96 short of 

Amiga's own 4096 colour 
palette - don't ask what 
Xerox did with the differ- 

Before we progress any 
further, I should mention 
that we're talking about a 
$3999 printer. At that 
price you could almost afford a laser 
printer, so in real terms the 4020 has to 
win out with its colour capabilities. 
How good are they? 

The results are exceedingly impres- 
sive. Good enough to frame, print onto a 
T-shirt or reproduce on the front cover of 
a computer magazine! Colour desktop 
publishing may also be a possibility. 


Four ink cartridges are used, cyan, 
magenta, yellow and black. Each colour 
has four nozzles and black has eight 
nozzles, providing a grand total of twen- 
ty. Standard printing may be carried out 
in any one of seven distinct colours. By 
using a Diablo CI 50 printcT driver, en- 
hanced mode may be accessed providing 
the complete range of 4000 colours. 

Black and white graphic printout on the Xerox 4020, reduced to two-third.'; size 


For best results, you'll need to use 
the specially coated paper available from 
Xerox. In fact, I'd recommend that's all 
you use. Most other papers allow the ink 
to run and smear. 

Before starting continual use of the 
unit, it's necessary to instal the mainte- 
nance fluid - much the same as replacing 
a small photocopier's toner. You must 
then run the recovery cycle four times to 
ensure the ink is flowing freely, and that 
the ink jets are unclogged. A small but- 
ton on the rear panel facilitates this pro- 
cess, which takes four minutes for each 

Next up you need to ensure that the 
ink wells arc all full. Now the idea of 
topping up an ink well may sound a 
messy job, But surprisingly it is very 
clean and simple. A small canister slots 
into the reservoir, and with a gentle 
push, the ink flows into the 
printer. No grubby hands or 
fouled up ribbons to worry 
about. However there is one 
snag, and one of our staff man- 
aged to fall for it. If you move 
the printer be sure to replace the 
rubber plugs or, as we discov- 
ered, the ink can easily spill out 

On the front panel there are 
the usual line and form feed 
buttons, as well as a start/stop 
or on-line button. LEDs display 
status for paper out, ready, 
power and the condition of each 
ink reservoir. A fiat pressure 
sensitive panel is used - prefera- 
ble providing the tactile feed- 
back is positive, and it is. 
At the rear of the unit is ei- 

Arniga Reviews 

iher the Centronics or RS-232 type con- 
nector, as well as a self- test and recovery 
switch. Two sets of dip switches allow 
language selection, print modes, font se- 
lection and LF/CR selection. Five fonts 
are available:- 10 pitch gothic, 10 pitch 
gothic italic, 12 pitch gothic, 12 pilch 
roman and 17 pilch gothic. 

Print quality in text mode is fairly 
good, although somewhat slow. 

The operator's guide included is well 
written, and there's also a getting started 
pamphlet - which unfortunately fails to 

mention a few needed steps. We had 
some difficulty getting a consistent ink 
flow at first However, once the recovery 
cycle had been run, all was well. 

Power up and power down sequences 
are longer than usual with various self 
maintenance sequences being performed 
to the tunc of motors and pulleys chug- 
ging away. 

Overall the 4020 is a solid, well de- 
signed printer by any standards. The co- 
lour results were better than expected, 
with no telltale white lines, smearing or 

glitches. Excellent quality, a touch belter 
than the competition from Hewlett Pack- 
ard - which has far fewer colours, be it at 
a slightly higher price. 

For Amiga owners, the Xerox offers 
power £o produce stylish business re- 
ports, colour graphics for presentations, 
mock ups, colour transparencies and the 
like. Already several users have plans to 
put the 4020 to good use, with several 
units on order already. For further infor- 
mation contact Computermate on (02) 
457 8188. ■ 

Time Bandit 

by Adam Rig by 
a game that spans time, space and episodes of Star Trek 

TIME BANDIT represents the 
best of all worlds, the distinct 
flavour of an adventure with the 
fast action of arcade play and the en- 
tertainment capabilities of a two 
player game. 

You begin each leg of your ven- 
ture from the Timegates. You move 
the bandit across the landscape 
which is dotted with landmarks, each 
representing a gate to a different 
time and place. By moving onto one 
of these Gates, you will be trans- 
ported to a new land. The new playing 
field will appear, along with the name of 
the land. 

Each land in the Timegates has 16 
different levels: four major phases (1 to 
4), each with four sub-levels (A to D). 
Each time you re-enter a land, you ad- 
vance to the next level. As your skill in- 
creases, you will be able to go further 
into each land, seeing new areas, crea- 
tures, and situations appear. The name of 
the land and the current level are dis- 
played on the bottom of the screen as 
you play. 

The lands in Time Bandits are what 
set the game apart from other 3D style 
games. Everything from Star Trek to 
Pactnan is included in this game and the 
style of play needed to succeed is always 
varied. To mention a few of the games 
included in this box of tricks, there is a 
Star Trek adventure complete with Spok, 
a Game of Pactnan, a medieval adventure 

called King's Crown, a Ghost Town and 
many more. All these can be played in 
one or two player mode. 

When you select a Two-Bandit game, 
two people can play at the same time. 
Both will be playing in the same land, 
but each will have his own viewing 
screen - similar to most split screen 
games these days. In the two player 
mode you can either work with or 
against the other player, which can lead 
to some very interesting playing. Just 
make sure, if you decide to play against, 
that your opposition is willing to for- 
give and forget after the game is over. 
Some very nasty situations can develop 
from a sore loser - Amigas don't much 
like being thrown across a room into a 
fish tank. 

The fust bandit to die will return as a 
shadow. The shadow can haunt the other 
bandit, aiding or hindering his progress, 

depending on how mischievous the shad- 
ow is feeling (this can he highly de- 
pendent on the circumstances of the 
bandit's death). The shadow can 
shoot other creatures (and the other 
bandit) and steal treasure, although 
his score will never advance. The 
shadow is temporarily stunned when 
hit by a creature or shot by the other 

The concept and gameplay is not 
wholly new but the execution of 
them is indeed novel. The gameplay 
is fast without being taxing and the 
adventuring side of the game is sim- 
ple without being boring. Seems like a 
perfect combination and it may well be. I 
enjoyed playing the game for quite some 
time, and it wasn't until Andrew prompt- 
ed me to start on actual work that I real- 
ised how long I'd spent in the Time- 

The adventure side of the game is 
simple but is quite entertaining, as you 
explore the Star Trek setting you view 
the Enterprise after it has been taken over 
by an alien force. The plot detail is rea- 
sonably good, as you can see by reading 
the Captain's Log - but I won't give any 
more away. 

Time Bandit is a fun game that I am 
sure you will find much pleasure in. It 
comes recommended in preference to 
similar games that concentrate more on 
dungeon theme - this has the works. Dis- 
tributed by OziSoft (02) 211 1266, RRP 
$69.95. ■ 

Amiga Review 6 

178 Pacific Highway, St Leonards 2065 
PO Box 1437, Crows Nest 2065. Tel (02) 436 2976 Fax (02) 437 4919 


UNIDRIVE- $349- $329 'simply the best" 

• Twelve month warranty • Super slimline (1" High) • Very low standby power (Typically 6mA) 

• Hinged dust cover • Does not click when diskette is removed • Quiet • Round cable (removable) 

• Attractive beige metal case • May be powered from the computer or an external 9v DC source 

• May be disabled by switch on the rear panel • Upgradable 


Features of the unidrive + logic and connector for 
5.25" drive plus 2 x 3.5" drives. 
TRI DRIVE: $769 3 x 3.5" drives + above 
REMEMBER - We guarantee to upgrade 
Unidrive -»Twindrive -» Tridrive 

• Wo loss of initial investment 

• No need for messy pass thru 

• A neat compact package, whatever your 
requirement, now or in the future 


For the cost conscious, who . 

don't need the advanced features S28 9 

of our other drives — TRY THIS! V 

- I «=~ 

: ~ ' 'jrTJ 



178 PACIFIC HIGHWAY ST. LEONARDS 2065 TEL (02) 436 297« 


We usually have 
magazines available 7-10 
days after their release in 
the USA. 


Single Issue $9 

3 month subscription $28 


Single Issue $8.50 

3 month subscription $27 

Note: Subscriptions 
include p.&p. 
Deduct $4.50 per 
subscription if collected 
from office. 




FISH 1-138 

AMICUS 1-26 
ADD $3 p&p regardless of 
number of disks 



A DISK $5 


Boxed Nashua 
1-4 $36.50 per box 
5-9 $34.50 per box 
10+ call 

Bulk Diskettes 

$2.70 per disk 
— any quantity 




©SYNTH1A $159 






©DIGIVIEW $2 99 


©ANIMATE 3D $2 49 






AMIGA „£& 


EXCLUSIVE: ShowSay . v 
The Talking Desktop j&~ 

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Plus: §5? 

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• $15. B0 per Issue 

• Subscribe: 

3 month $49 

S month $90 

12 month $156 
AUGUST 1986 
$15 each 


I © X i |D r O by Phil Campbell 

A word processor with a lot to offer 

TEXTPRO, a new Amiga wordpro- 
cessor from Pactronics, offers a 
number of unusual features at a bud- 
get price. If you have been searching eve- 
rywhere for a wordprocessor that auto- 
matically hyphenates, helps you to 
format C-language source code, and al- 
lows you to insert IFF format graphics 
in your text, then "this one's made for 

But let's look first at TextPro as a 
simple wordprocessor. On loading the 
program, the first thing that you will no- 
tice is that the usual system font is not 
used. Diamond 10 is the replacement font 
- one of the system fonts that I like least. 
But that's just a personal preference. 

Editing follows most of the usual 
point and click traditions of the Amiga, 
with a few minor exceptions. All opera- 
tions can be selected by pulling down 
menus at the top of the screen - File, 
Edit, Style and Formatting menus are 

Editing functions are generally line 
and paragraph based - in other words, val- 
ues selected are operative only within the 
specific line or paragraph for which they 
are activated. There are some good rea- 
sons for taking this approach, I just can't 
think of any. 

In fact, let's air the dirty linen first - 
it's a real pain in the neck. Each para- 
graph must be individually formatted, and 
any changes can have a dramatic effect. 
At times formatting becomes scrambled, 
and it is necessary to press the "Help" 
key to reformat the entire document. 
This, mercifully, is fast. 

Text enhancements work on a 
similar basis - underlining, italicising 
and boldfacing are only operative one line 
at a time. Thus, if you want to italicise a 
sentence that extends from one line to an- 
other, you will need to highlight the area 
on each line individually. 

Having got that little grievance off 
my chest, let's be positive for a while. 

Amiga Review 8 

Where, for example, have you ever seen 
a wordprocessor that lets daisy wheel 
owners with a two colour ribbon specify 
text to be printed in red? It's here, and it 
even prints the red sections in colour on 
the screen. Very impressive 

Printing in fact, is what TextPro 
does best. I was immediately impressed 
with the range of printer files offered for 
selection at the start of the program. 
Even my three month old Star NX 1000 
was included. And to top it off, the man- 
ual goes into great detail about creating 
your own printer files, allowing you to 
customise the program for even the 
strangest printer in the world. 

This section of the manual made in- 
teresting reading, even though I did not 
have to modify a file - it is probably the 
best explanation of the intricacies of 
printers that 1 have yet found. 

Graphics can be printed as an inte- 
gral part of your documents; a simple 
Graphic Load command on the file menu 
imports any suitable IFF file with the 
correct suffix. A neat utility called 
BTSnap is included, which allows you 
to take a snap shot of virtually any IFF 
graphic screen. The program sits in the 
background waiting to be activated at 
any time. I loaded Chessmaster 2000 and 
took a snapshot of the 3-d chessboard - 
easy. Then I reloaded TextPro, imported 
the graphic file and printed it out. 

Three graphic print modes are 

supported - random shading, raster, and 
black and white. AH three are subject to 
the age old problem of representing 4096 
possible colours on a dot matrix printer 
with a single black ribbon. Random 
shading made a pretty decent stab at 
things, but for professional results I sug- 
gest you use monochrome pictures - 
simple line drawings and diagrams would 
be a snap. 

This feature in itself may make Text- 
Pro a worthwhile proposition for many 
buyers. While not quite a fully fledged 

"Desktop Publishing" system, it still 
has plenty to offer if you arc putting to- 
gether newsletters or other illustrated 

"C-Source Mode" is another un- 
usual feature. If you are a C-Programmer 
- meaning, if you have rocks in your 
head, or a Spock-like brain - this option 
helps you write nicely indented and for- 
matted code. I didn't try it, because C- 
Programming scares me witless. 

Auto-Hyphenation is an unusual fea- 
ture to find on a budget priced word pro- 
cessor. Using a set of grammatical rules, 
die program hyphenates long words auto- 
matically, and seems to pick suitable 
spots to do so. "Immediately", for exam- 
ple, became "immedia - tely", which is 
fine. Sometimes, however, I tend to disa- 
gree with the program's idea of what con- 
stitutes a "long word" - four letter words 
split over two lines look a bit odd. But if 
yon don't like the results, you can either 
turn "Auto-Hyphenation" off, or manual- 
ly override specific words. 

Function keys can be redefined as 
text and command strings with a maxi- 
mum length of 160 characters. Thirty 
definitions can be stored using the func- 
tion keys in combination with the 
SHIFT and ALT keys, making this a re- 
markably powerful feature. For a small 
mail merge operation, for example, you 
could easily assign a name and address to 
each of the 30 function keys - or you 
may like to reconfigure the whole com- 
mand structure of the program, and oper- 
ate everything with function key se- 

TextPro is unusual. It offers much 
more than expected in most areas, but is 
constrained a little by clumsy editing and 
formatting functions in others. Even so, 
at a recommended retail price around the 
$150 mark, the program is good value - 
especially if you are convinced that a pic- 
ture is worth a thousand words. 

Distributed by Pactronics, (02) 407 
0261, 33-35 Alleyne St, Chatswood, 
NSW 2067. ■ 

ii! ; ■ iiiii 


AMIGA 2000 $2495 
IBM CARD $1100 
1084 MONITOR $549 
A1000, A500 EXT DRIVE $349 



PUBLISHER 1000 $199 

















OLIVETTI DM-105 $549 
EPSON LX-800 $499 
CITIZEN 120-D $439 


North- Syctney 
1st Tl Tower Sq, 
155 miXer St, 
Ph:957 4690 

Shop 2, 

1-3 Patrick St f 
Ph:B3t 1718 

microcomputer Spot 

Phone: 417 7395. Front 13 Gibbos Street, East Chatswood, NSW 2Q67 

,777.1 €VT 



Shop 3. 99 Elizabeth St. 
Sydney, NSW 2000 
Phone 221 1910 


Shop 21a, Greenway Arcade. 
222 Church Street, 
Parramatta, NSW 2150 
Phone 891 1170 


Shop G9, Chatswood Place, 185 Burwood Road 

EndeavourSt, Burwood, NSW 2134 

Chatswood, NSW 3067 Phone 7448809 
Phone 4192333 


35F Hunter Street, 
Westfield Shopping town, 
Hornsby, NSW 2077 
Phone 477 6886 



Shop 1, Carvan Arcade, 
389 High St, 
Penrith, NSW 2750 
Phone (047) 32 3377 



Sine uii ... 

1Q1C Dnu e? 

1034 Monitors 

Arnica 1QQQ kit 


Armoa 2000 

Amiga Modulatoi 

Am igs SCO y, meg RAW 


Fasfcfiii«2fl,raflg . 

Fulure Sound 

Genlock -PAL 

Hard Disk Comrolla 

Internal ay NEC 

Midi i/tace 

PeiteclSound S149 

Supie Duve 20 meg 51995 

Tame Saver S149.95 

XimDDrivE .5329 

M-BnutaMr S149 

Dioi View & Camera S1295 



. ...Call 

.... Call 

. S2495 




. S1 539 



1040ST... S1199 

MnnoMomlor SIM 

Colour Monitor S649 


10B4 monitor- . 

128D computer 


1541 disk drive 

Comm 64/128 Bcelasatesi 0/ Drive 
iao2 mrmilor -cat .. 
Nice modem 



..SS9 95 




. 1299 

DnlpfiinDOS $139.95 

Family pack 



&4 power supply 
12S power Supply . 
Freeze machine 

S79 95 


539 95 




1 084 CDJOiff manitw S5SS 

?fl meg hand BlSk + COfllrQHer S7&9 

20 meg tord disk card 5999 

33 meg hard disk card $1399 

Joystick i/iace . 559,9-5 

Logipflint & Mouse S369 

Willy Mouse $gg 

PC 5 & Mobile- S&99 

PC 10 4 disk drive £ monitor ...S1199 

PC20 i hard disk +- monitor $1B99 

TTl grwn monitor 5399 

Amsirad 151.2 S/D mono ST495 

Amsirad 1512 O/D mrjno S1795 

AmjErgci (513 Dr'D colour J229S 

Arrotrarj 1640 H/D colour .. ...53195 

Nice modem. . S299 


Qiraen 123E i/iace SS9 9b 

2E printer i /lace $99 95 

Wscq 3 way ipyftw* S73 95 

50OJX joystick $39-95 

Apple joystick S49.95 

ALto iwmtire joysiick" £29 95 

Bat handle JLivstick $5995 

Bit bitzer f $479 

BitDitzer $399 

Boss joystick ... 149.95 

C&M poysTlcfc $19.95 

Cerlronics pic - 5119 95 

Challenger joystick ... . .529.95 

lBMjoyslick ... 555.95 

2CWX joystick S34.95 

NJCEmDdem64/RS232 $299 

Nace modem II . S6M 

Nke mortem [l| $599 

Netcom modem 64 §289 

Amiga 2&QQ PC emulator $999 

PrmOOD joystick 529 95 

.""""• ... sta.95 

Pro 5000 joystick S3995 

□mcksrwt 10 J/S $59.95 

Quick shut 1J/S. . S24 95 

Quick shot 2 J, 'S.. S29.95 

Ourck shot turbo J/ 5 S49.95 

Tac ? joystick 549 35 

Track -ball $49.95 

Viatel 1 no dan I ' 64 ■.: \?s,* boy 1 £.y3 % 

XetEcjrm/lJce $124 

Am iya printer c-ables . 539 95 

Amiga serial cables £39.95 

IBM printer cable $39-95 

IBM serial cables .. S39.95 

Gender bender .... $49.95 

tomputcrdesk S29& 

Eroonosnic chair $T29 

Computer covers alt si^es from Sy.95 

Monitor slant! $39.95 

Prrnler stand . 539.95 


Amiga Intuition Ret Manual . 

549 95 

Amiga ROM Kemal Pel Maniial 


ftim^H RDM Kefnal Fjee Ret Manual .. 


■ :,vaieRel Iftnaal 

S49 95 

Compute Animation 

. 549 95 

Mastering .ArraflaBfls 

S3S 85 

Inside Amiga Grapncs 

. 533 35 

nR4 PTognffrtrBets EW Guide 

544 35 

C12E Proarsmmerf Ri5t Guide 

. S6S.95 

S19 95 

Megsdisk - Magazine on Djsk 

i'9 95 

Mr.05 U'jest 1 11 III Hint Books 


Leisure Suit Larrv Hmt &?ok 

SI 9. 95 

Suaoe Quest Hint Book 

. StS 35 

BanfsTsl! 1 II Hint Books 

S29 95 ea 



Epson LCSOOtNEWt 5699 

LXflOO.. 1499 

EXaOO S999 

L0850 . 

60 3500 laser 



LQ105O ... 

LQ26CK] plus 

EX colour option 

LQ250G colour opt 

Citijen 120C i Inpkjetes i '^ue I 




MP Sol a -64/1 28 Colour 
MPS820- Annua Colour 


LPoMLaaer . 






5K" dOt Diss; Kashira 
■li Disks 

Nashua ay," (1 a) Disks 

[All above lilelipe warrant/) 

' ■ .. ■ : 

3y ? " storage (60) Box 

5^" steel storage {10) Fjox 

Paper A4 2CW6 

Paper quarto 2000 

Mouse ma rr, BIG 

Pnnter stand 10" 

Monitor stand 

Epson Ribbons 

ET. LX£.n notions 

Lxero ribbons 

LQNO ribbons. 

L0 1000 ribbons. 

Commodore Ribbons 

801. SO!, 803 

Call for morel 

SI 099 

. S3495 
SI 495 
. SI ,'95 
. ..S149 





S2'3 35 

SIS 95 

5'3 35 

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S59 95 

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519 9i 
S39 95 

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Si'J Si 
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529 95 



3 Musketeers . Adventure Computer Navel 

AC BASIC Compiler Let's Get Serwus With Basic 1 .. 

Alien Fires Epic Arcade Adventure Game .. 

Acquisition Database Professional Fully Programmable . 

Adventure Construction . . . Create and play your own games . . 

Aesop's Fables ■ .Leam to read educational 

Aegis Audio Master Best sound sampler /editor! 

Aegis Animator/ Images Top quafi ty graphics package ..... 

Aegis Art Pack 1 .Fufl of pics arid an 'matins 

A^ui> Dean P us Updated -'■ s •.■. e 

Aege Son** Musi-: «Sta and swifl P*™ 

Actje /fdeo&ape 3D 3D an manm rendering 

Aegis Video Titter, .Character generator presenter 

Aegis Impact Business presentation pack 

Amiga Pascal .Metacomco version 

AmigaDDS Enhancer .NEW 1 ? system 1 3 disks 

Amiga Karale Fast kung 1u action ujarne . 

^.m-gaTa!:h Viatel package iTui nwrJetrffi) 

AmigaDGS Express- AmtgaDQD manual on a disk . . 

Amegas Another Arcanoid clone.. 

Analyse' Jl just thai little bit better!.. 

ftnimalfi 30 . 3Bray toaetog 

Animation Effects 3Dulil ■'-, 

Animation SiaiKi 3D 

ArazoK's Tomb New adult graphic adventure . 

microcomputer Spot 

Phone: 417 7395. Front 13 Gibbes Street, East CHatswood, NSW 2067 


Arcrmn . 
Archon || Adept. 
Arctic Fox . 
AM Lil GhEK 
Aztec "C" Compiler 
Badrar an 
Ball Rditiet 
Balance j j Fuw- 

Beat It!...,. 


Animated chess sype ajtade 
..Part 2 of theonginaJ . 
Arcade aci ion in super Lank! . . 
Arcade [fame various sports 

Gheffi tr:i ■ 

Programme's delight 

Fanl"astic I 
..Tops Arcanmd clone. 
3Dencounlei lype ai Lade game 

..Run your own B.B S. 
..Strategy bead removal game.. ... 
Full amaum 

Brack Jack Academy Professional card game 

Borrowed Time 



Bndge40 _.. 

Business Dard Maker 
r. .:-<--. || 


Championship Baseball 
Championship Basketball . 
Championship Football 

Chiimpionsllip Golf 

to 2000 
C i ! v Detence 
Ctfj Dflsh 
Crazy Cars . 

Jcorl driven adventure? g.amr> 

Strategic arcade game 

Comic siyled arcade advenuire 

Play pcflfe&Sional br idge 

Create arid print your own. 
Extra bLrcfwr roofe 

GofDurfLil tonts 

Space actjon dogem game . . . . 

Baseoall simulation 3D 

Two un two basketball Simulator 

Fantastic 3D simjjlaiicn 

Protessronal 3D golf.. . 
Nu&Iekb defense arcade 


reef racing garr 

-4 cars.. 

Custom Screens 
Dark Castle 


Decimal Dungeon 
Deep Space 

..Amiga basic utility . 

..Lotus 1-2-3 compatible 

Educational junior high 5th 

. Arcade space conquest game 

ubwuik ■ n i. uv.i Beslarcade anyv 

Deluxe Music Construction Desk toe music/ midi control 

3 aJnl 'l fe:-- ;■- . : 

Deluxe Pairtt Help .. . Great tulQtmg package 

Deluxe Paint Utilities Art and utility package 

Deluxe Arts and Parts Art package lor deluxe paint 

Deluxe Art Pack Seasons and holidays 

Deluxe Music Data Disk Rock "rf rol I riata dFsk . 

Deluxe Print Design and print signs cards etc. 

Dduxe Prim Art Disk Clip ail pack vol. 2 

Deluxe Viden ...Design and run video productions 

Demonstrator Records all you do and replays !. 

Demolition Greai new arcade shoot 'errrup 

Defrayer Vtastfup simulation 

Diablo Strategic puzzle a/cade game 

Digal Best terminal software package' . 

Digi'.'iew Software and filler only 

Digi'.'iew II tfatsion 2cl the so ftware 

Diginew wir- Cawra Panasonic wv :4in en* and cable 

OigiPaEnt Professional HA Al paintbox! . 

Discovery - Maths . . . Space educational game 

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Return to Atlantis 

Adam Rig by, a man rumored to be involved with 
bottom of the harbour schemes looks deeply 
into this new undersea software from Electronic 

and the Man from Atlantis you can 
pioneer, right wrongs and find treas- 
ures in the deep blue sea. Fresh out of 
the Academy, you're the agent who 
shows the most promise. Daring deep-sea 
diver, undersea warrior, expert marine bi- 
ologist and high-tech explorer (or so the 
blurb says) - sounds like enough qualifi- 
cations to rival Gareth Powell at the end 
of a snorkel. 

Being an agent of the Foundation 
your purpose is to help maintain the bal- 
ance between the forces of land and sea: 
to protect the creatures that swim in the 
ocean waters; and to oppose all those 
who seek to exploit the sea's wonders at 
the expense of the ecosystem - a very no- 
ble cause indeed 

From The Founda- 
tion's base on Isla Per- 
dida, you receive your 
assignments from 
headquarters through a 
holographic projection 
from The Foundation's 
head agent. Headquar- 
ters gives you details 
of the mission and 
points out any dangers you need to be 
aware of. 

Once your briefing is complete, you 
go to the Sea Thief Cafe on Isla Perdida. 
This is the hot spot for buying and trad- 
ing secrets. Here, you question the mys- 
terious informants for leads that can help 
you with your mission. After you've col- 
lected your leads, a map of the world ap- 
pears and a red line traces the flight pat- 
tern of your ship, the Viceroy. When you 
reach your destination, the Viceroy lands 
and your mission begins. During your 

mission, ART, your onboard computer, 
keeps you posted on your status. If you 
fulfill your objective, ART gives you 
information about the mission just com- 
pleted and about your next mission. If 
you don't succeed, ART outlines the ef- 
fects of your failure. 

Also at your disposal is a robotic 
drone, RUF (Remote Underwater 
Friend), who can help in your searches 
throughout the game. RUF can manage 
to search for specific properties in order 
to locate various items, for example 
RUF can try to locate Chemicals, Tem- 
perate Change, Radioactivity or Metal. 
The more of these characteristics that arc 
searched for, the more of your precious 
mission time is used up, so it pays to be 

In this game as 
in many other role- 
playing games you 
create a character or 
an alter-ego to play 

through series of 
missions. Your 
character will build 
in competence and 
skill and if you die 

you will start over again from scratch. 

Seven attributes control your alter-cgo's 

abilities, these include: 

Psychology The informant's behav- 
ior towards you. Being strong in psy- 
chology makes it easier to get informa- 
tion because the informant will be more 
receptive. You can develop this strength 
by studying the informant's behavior and 
using the right methods to question him 
or her. 

Athletics Your underwater maneuvera- 

bility and your ability to swim against 
the current. 

Telepathy The maximum range at 
which you can communicate with RUF, 
your underwater robot. 

Awareness Your self-awareness. The 
greater your awareness, the slower you'll 
use up your oxygen supply, and the less 
you'll have to interrupt your mission to 
surface for air. 

Programming Your ability to pro- 
gram RUF to search given coordinates. 
Strong programming skills let you pro- 
gram RUF to search a larger area for each 
minute invested. 

Weapons How well you load and fire 
your weapon. This is critical when 
you're confronted with enemies. 

Health Your overall well-being. All 
agents begin with 1 00% health, but that 
can change according to what you do and 
how you perform your tasks. Health af- 
fects all your attributes. For instance, if 
you're at 50% health, all your attribute 
values are reduced by 50%; you will use 
air twice as fast, your range with RUF is 
cut in half, and so on. When it's down to 
zero, it's time for you to change your 
identity and start your career over again. 

Once you reach the dive location you 
have various tools available to make the 
searching process more productive; such 
as the scanning device that ART has 
made available to you. Also there is the 
equipment room where you can equip 
yourself with any useful tools that you 
might have found during previous mis- 
sions - some of which are necessary to 

Amiga Review 14 

complete laicr missions. 

If you have missed the tool after having completed the 
mission you may rerun that particular mission to find the tool 
in question. No experience is awarded for the mission but you 
can be injured. 

To cure any wounds that you may incur due to undersea at- 
tackers you have a medical chamber at your disposal that re- 
places health points in exchange for experience. So if you ever 

use up all your experi- 
ence points in healing 
yourself you will be 
up the creek without a 
regulator (that's dive 

Whilst you are un- 
derwater you are pre- 
sented with a three di- 
mensional view of the 
ocean floor complete 
with a variety of plant and marine life. The perspective is quite 
good, allowing the player to experience the feeling of being 
underwater complete with the claustrophobic bubbling sounds 
coming from your diver. Movement is controlled through ci- 
ther the joystick or the mouse - surprisingly the joystick was 
no better than the mouse. 

Communication with ART and RUF arc carried out 
through a control panel on the bottom of your screen which 
also shows your Health, Air and Energy. Communication with 
these two robotic friends is vital because they can provide use- 
ful information not about the only location of yourself and 
other objects but the nature of other objects which may not al- 
ways be visible. 

ART has the ability to beam things up and down, this is 
your method of recovery and in some cases it may be necessary 
to beam an object down in order to complete a task. To com- 
plete the game you must have a full understanding of how to 
use these robotic friends, ART and RUF, as they are the key to 
your submerged success. 

The game spreads itself over fourteen missions, the first of 
which is a simple search and recovery. The missions get pro- 
gressively more difficult until you must negotiate the source 
of all the problems you have been facing. Your last mission is 
to return to Atlantis - the mission brief doesn't give much 
away but as far as I can tell from the documentation you will 
return to Atlantis with a colleague of the Academy. 

Having completed the first two missions I can say that this 
is a good game indeed and especially good if you are into un- 
dersea activities. Electronic Arts have managed to capture an- 
other piece of innovative, interesting and entertaining software. 
Return to Atlantis is distributed through ECP at a RRP of 
$83.29. ■ 





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Amiga Review 15 



Number Crunching 

Our new resident business software analyst Tony 
Pilgrim, shows us around the current market in the 
coming issues, beginning this month with 

VIP Professional 

THE NUMBER of business applica- 
tion programs available for the 
Amiga continues to grow. A re- 
cent survey of Amiga retailers showed 
that the following business packages are 

Best - an accounting package S699, 
Lattice Unicalc $199, Analyze S200, Lo- 
gistix $299, Maxiplan 500 $249, Maxi- 
plan Plus $299 and VIP Professional 
$299. This article looks at the features 
offered by VIP Professional. 

One of the most valuable programs 
for business use is the spreadsheet. A 
spreadsheet can be likened to a word pro- 
cessor for numbers, in that numbers can 
be moved around the screen and edited. 

In fact a spreadsheet is much more 
powerful than this, and it is ideally suited 
for applications where a table of figures 
are used for calculations and where chang- 
es need to be made in the table and new 
totals calculated. 

However the uses for a spreadsheet are 
by no means confined to business, there 
are many applications for it in the home. 
Some of these are student use, home bud- 
geting, use as a database for videos or au- 
dio tapes and as a register of your soft- 
ware. In fact any list that needs to be 
calculated, updated, sorted or accessed. 

One of the recognized standards in 
spreadsheets is Lotus. Lotus is a spread- 
sheet package for business use which has 
achieved almost universal use and ac- 
claim. Lotus uses a particular standard of 
screen presentation and offers a a series of 
choices in the form of a menu at the top 
of the screen. This is quite an advantage 
because the commands available are con- 
stantly before the user, 

A spreadsheet is like an imaginary 

shet of paper in the computer's memory. 
A very large sheet of paper which is 
ruled in columns and rows. Each column 
is labelled with an alphabetic character 
whilst each column is numbered. At the 
intersection of each column and row, ie 
the coordinate, there is a cell where num- 
bers (values) or text (labels) can be en- 

With the Lotus standard the main 
menu has a subset of submenus offering 
more detailed use of the command in- 
volved. Another important feature of the 
standard is the availability of mini helps 
which appear at the top of the screen as 
the cursor is moved to each choice on 
the menu. 

VIP 123 Professional uses the Lotus 
standard and in fact the programmers ac- 
knowledge this in the manual. VIP 123 
is often called a Lotus clone but this by 
no means suggests any nefarious plagiar- 
istic activity. 

The first point to be made is that 

VIP is not mouse driven. This however 
is not a disadvantage as all commands 
can be accessed by pointing the cursor 
using the arrow keys, or by pressing the 
First letter of the command involved, so 
the system is probably more efficient 
than using a mouse. 

VIP is a powerful product as it not 
only offers spread sheet functions but also 
graphing and limited database capabilities 
such as sorting in either ascending or de- 
scending order, and searching for records 
which match a certain nominated criteria. 

A particular benefit of VIP is its 
compatibility with Lotus. As well as 
the ability to interchange files with Lo- 
tus by file transfer using a modem, I 
consider it a substantial advantage for 
any student contemplating a business ca- 
reer to know VIP as this knowledge can 
be used directly in an IBM environment 
operating with Lotus. 

Another advantage is the availability 
of specialised books on Lotus and spread- 
sheeting in general, the information of 
which can be dirccdy applied to VIP. 

VIP offers a sheet of 8192 by 256 
cells which means that quite a large table 
can be calculated. Of course this is de- 
pendent on the memory available. I have 
a 512K Amiga and after inserting a three 
digit value in each cell I found that VIP 
could operate with a sheet consisting of 

A fall 

C <','' 

2 markup 40% 

c ^. {in n c 
o per v i o u. v 

si & fax 

9 400 +A9*B$1 +A9*B$ 
:TQ $400.00 $80.00 $160.00 


in vote© 

Figure 1 

Amiga Review 16 


about 800 cells. 

When a sheet is constructed it con- 
sists of a table in the computer memory 
which may not be all visible on the 
screen at the same time. VIP provides a 
screen which shows 160 cells, as the 
sheet is 8 columns wide and 20 rows 

As the sheet is set up, cells contain- 
ing values are accessed by other cells 
which carry out calculations. An example 
of this would be where a sales record is 
being prepared. The user could have a 
column which would hold the cost of the 
product, other columns could show sales 
tax, markup, delivery charge etc. 

Figure 1 shows a fairly simple exam- 
ple. I will refer to ibis to explain other 
features of VIP. 

In fact this is a very basic example, 
as the formulae can be as complex as is 
required, and may access many other cells 
as part of the calculation, in fact almost 
any arithmetical calculation can be per- 

VIP spreadsheet 


Spreadsheets allow the user to enter 
complex formulas in any cell. What is 
displayed however is the result of the cal- 
culation. Cells B9 and C9 in Fig. 1 
show some of the formulae which might 
be entered. Cells BIO and CIO show how 
VIP would display the result. 

Note. The S sign used in B9 and C9 
is part of the convention used by VIP to 
denote an absolute address rather than rel- 


This facility allows the user to copy 
whole blocks of the sheet. This means 
that where a formula has already been 
used it is only necessary to copy the for- 
mula to another part of the sheet where it 
is required. This also has the advantage 
that the movement is relative, ie cells 
which are referred to by the formula are 
still referenced although they do not 
move to the new location. 

EXAMPLE. In Fig. 1 Line 9 could 
be copied as many times as required, so 
that although for each transaction the 
cost value is entered in Column A the 
formulae need only be entered once. 

— Move 

This allows the user to move blocks 
of the sheet around without affecting the 
results. So if a sheet has been construct- 
ed and it is realized that a table is in the 
wrong place on the sheet, it can be 
moved without affecting the results. 

— I nserf /delete 

These commands allow the sheet to 
be changed by the addition or deletion of 
rows or columns, again there is no effect 
on the totals. EXAMPLE. If it was de- 
sired to insert rows between the labels 
and the first row of figures this could be 
done without altering the results. 

— Column width 

This feature allows the user to in- 
crease or decrease the width of a column. 
This would be useful where a figure is 
too large for the existing column. 

— Erase 

Allows blocks of the sheet to be 
erased just like with a word processor. 

— Titles 

This command is particularly useful 
if the sheet is larger than the screen (it 
usually is). This means that when the 
cursor is placed somewhere on a large 
sheet it is often possible for the user to 
become confused about just which col- 
umn or row is being accessed. Not with 
this command however, either the row 
and/or column titles can be frozen so that 
they always remain on the screen, elimi- 
nating any confusion. 

— Format 

This command allows a range of cells 
to be set so that any amount placed in 
that cell is formatted in the manner set, 
eg. a certain number of decimal places, a 
currency sign before the amount, a per- 

centage sign etc. 

VIP allows the user to set the format 
of any number of cells and different for- 
mats can be used on the same sheet at 
the same time. 

— Range names 

This feature allows a range on the 
sheet to be named. This has the advan- 
tage that the operator does not need to re- 
member where a particular formula is to 
reference it. For example if a series of 
cells are named "revenue" these can be 
found easily. 

— Protect/unprotect 

This command allows part of the 
sheet to be "protected" so that they can- 
not be altered accidentally by you or tam- 
pered with by an unauthorised person. 

— Graphing 

Remember your school days when 
you had to draw line, bar, and pie graphs 
by hand? Well, not any more if you 
have VIP. Graphs are a breeze. My 13 
year old son was able to efficiently use 
VIP to do his graphs after about 10 min- 
utes of instruction, and the graphs are 
well presented. There are sufficient com- 
mands to ensure that anyone can easily 
produce business graphs that aren't em- 
barrassing to show to the boss or the 
teacher. VIP includes a print graph pro- 
gram to allow printers supported by pref- 
erences to produce a hard copy of your 


These can be likened to the functions 
that are found on calculators eg. even the 
simplest of calculators have a key which 
will calculate square roots. VIP can do 
much more than this, some of the types 
of functions include Statistical, Finan- 
cial, Logical, and Math. 

The functions given below are not in- 
tended as a comprehensive list of func- 
tions but provide an indication of the 
power of the package. 
• Statistics: Sum, Average, Count, 
Min/Max value, Std. Dev., Variance. 

Amiga Review 17 


• Financial: Future Value, Present 
Value, Payment of an Annuity, IRR, and 

• Math functions: Exponential, In- 
teger, Log, Rounding, Absolute Value, 
Cos, Sine, Tan, Pi, Random Number, 
and of course Square Roots. 


An important feature of VIP is the 
macro function. Put simply, this allows 
you to program the package so that com- 
plex operations can be carried out by acti- 
vating the macro. It is even possible to 
have an auto execute macro so that when 
your spreadsheet loads the pre- 
programmed sequence is carried out auto- 

Basically any of the VIP commands 
can be programmed into a macro. For 
example one macro could load data, copy 
some cells to other parts of the sheet, re- 
calculate, then save the new data out to 
another file. 

VIP even provides a single step facili- 
ty for debugging macros. 

Negative Aspects 

There are not many and these are rela- 
tively minor. Cursor movement down 

the sheet using the down arrow is slow 
when compared to moving across the 
sheet. However there are a number of 
ways to move quickly around a large 
sheet including paging, and Goto which 
will go instantly to any ceil. 

Another complaint is that, at least on 
my 512K machine, the program loads in 
almost every command required resulting 
in a delay of a few seconds, apparently 
this is due to the Amiga's rather primi- 
tive disk access. 

Another minor complaint of mine is 
with the Lotus standard itself. I would 
like to see a choice provided for absolute 
or relative copying in the copy menu. 
Admittedly formulas can be set so that 
they are relative or absolute so this is 
not a real problem. 

VIP is an excellent program that 
comes with a 236 page spiral bound 
manual which is clear and concise, al- 
though in comparison to some other 
spreadsheeting programs at $299 it is a 
lit lie overpriced. However I would rec- 
ommend it to any business with a 
spreadsheet requirement, or to any parent 
with children undergoing secondary or 
tertiary schooling who plan on a busi- 
ness career. ■ 

More on Version 1.3 

the new system software 

COMMODORE has just released 
Test versions of the new 1.3 
software to registered develop- 
ers, and it promises to be quite an im- 
provement over 1.2. 

For those who are new to the Amiga, 
a word of explanation may be required - 
most computers have their fundamental 
operating system software "burnt into" 
the innards, so that it just works invisi- 
bly in the background to let you com- 

When the Amiga was released this 
software had been written in a few short 
months and was far from being a finished 

Amiga Review 18 

product, so the decision was taken to 
provide it on disk until such time as it 
was a final product. Hence early Amiga 
buyers received version 1,1 on their 
Kickstart disk which was upgraded before 
too long with version 1.2. This version 
found its way into the innards of the 
A500 and A2G00 as they now are, but 
still has quite a lot of room for improve- 
ment. Hence 1 .3 which should be availa- 
ble to A 1000 owners on disk and to oth- 
er Amigas on chip (one way or another). 
Some of the features of the new soft- 
ware are (according to Commodore): 

• users will be able to boot up from a 
hard disk or similar expansion device 
with complete compatibility with 1.2 
greater speeds of hard disk access up 
to 7 times faster 

• hard disk partition limits are raised 
to 2 Gigabytes (!) 

• graphics printing up to 6 times fast- 

© Colour- correction will be possible 

(ic, the printed output is the same colour 

as the screen) 

anti-aliasing for smoother graphics 

will be automatic 

9 the Maths library is faster and is 

configured for 6888 1 maths co-processor 


• text output to the screen is much 

• there will be a Recoverable Ram 
disk {ie, whatever's in the Ram disk will 
remain there until you turn the computer 

• there will be new screen fonts as 
standard fonts (about time, considering 
those weird gem fonts) 

W by use of AUX; a second person will 
be able to use the Amiga, thus bring 
multi-user capabilities to the multi- 
tasking Amiga 

9 there will be speech capabilities for 
most programs 

© there will be numerous new com- 
mands for greater case of use of the 

Now while many of these capabilities 
have been around for a while, such as the 
Recoverable Ram Disk, on the public 
domain, the new software will be inte- 
grated and bugfree and easy to use. 

The decision to make this software 
upgradable was a wise one and benefits 
us the users. If Commodore had seen fit 
to release a copy to your dedicated report- 
er, you might have got some harder in- 
formation - next time perhaps. ■ 

a printer that paints 

Make your next presentation 

a masterpiece with the Xerox 4020 

Colour Ink Jet Printer, 

If you use a colour screen and graphics 
software then you've already got the canvas 
and paint brushes to create brilliant graphics 
on screen. 

Now the 4020 Colour Printer brings you a 
palette of vivid colours that will give those 
graphics life in documents and presentations 
that really show off your brilliance. 

Choose from 4,000 shades. 

The 4020 Colour Printer offers seven dis- 
tinct colours - Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, 
Violet, Green and Red - using advanced 20- 
nozzle drop-on-dernand ink jet technology. 


But best of all, you can mix these colours for 
up to 4,000 shades, from the most powerful 
reds to the softest pasteis. 

Use these colours to draw delicate lines for 
technical drafting. Colour text and headlines 
for desktop publishing. Fill blocks for pie 
charts and graphs. And even produce complex 
multi-colour graphics. All in the one page, 
printing straight onto transparencies or paper. 

The 4020 works with most popular software 
developed for Amiga, Atari ST and IBM PC 

It's quick. It's quiet. 

Print a typical graphics page in just two 
minutes for standard resolution. Wait another 
two minutes in the enhanced resolution mode 
and you've got a page that looks 
professionally drawn. 

Print on pages of up to 1 1 inches wide on 
cut sheets, roils or tractor-feed paper. And of 
course you can print on overhead trans- 
parencies for greater impact in presentations. 
It won't leave you in the red. 

The 4020 Colour Printer is highly aftord 
able making it one of the best printing values 

And because of its self-cleaning vacuum 
action the 4020 is almost maintenance-free. 

Want to know more? 

To find out more about how the Xerox 4020 
Colour Ink Jet Printer can help give your 
documents, designs and presentations the 
attention they deserve, call Computermate 
for the name and address of your nearest 
authorised dealer. 


9 High Street, Mt. Kuring-Gai, N.S.W. 2080. Telephone: (02) 457 81 1 8 FAX: (02) 457 8739 


Some interesting 




This is known as an Image Process- 
ing program - just as Word Processors 
process text and allow you to manipulate 
it in many ways, trying out effects, 
cutting, pasting and so on, so with this 
program you can import a graphic of any 
kind and subject it to all kinds of pro- 
cesses to (hopefully) enhance it 

These techniques were originally de- 
vised to enhance images sent back from 
NASA space probes and then to X-rays. 

Some of ihe effects are - edge empha- 
sis and contrast changes (good for digit- 
ised images); rainbow colour effects (so- 
larisation); photographic negative effects; 
changes of size and resolution; tiling and 
turning your image into a mosaic; flip- 
ping on various axes; the list goes on. 

Pixmate lets you devise effects which 
were until recently only available on very 
expensive computers, and it is a very 
stable program - 1 couldn't get it to crash, 
and the programmer Justin McCormick 
seems to have thought of every possible 

If you're at all interested in graphics, 
you'll want to try this program - you can 
get dozens of different images by simply 
messing around with one. 

Price: $110 RRP 

Availability: Local dealer, or Disk- 
Works (02) 4362976 

Superbase Professional 

Currently out in its non-PAL ver- 
sion, this program is about to be released 
in PAL and promises to be more than 
just a successor to Superbase Personal, 
which was and is an excellent relational 
database for the Amiga and as powerful 
as many more expensive databases on 
other computers. 

If you want an easy -to -manage data- 
base which has all the normal features, 
Superbase Personal will do the trick. 

Professional however is another leap in 
power - it is a "programmable" database, 
meaning that you can customise it in 
many ways for your own purposes. You 
can create your own forms (invoices, re- 
ports, etc) according to a template you 
devise and fully integrate all that data 
that you spent so much time entering. 

It will be ideal for small business 
owners who don't want to spend all their 
time on administration but still want a 
professional-looking result. 

Price: $500 approx. 

Availability: Local dealer 

What's on 
recent public 
domain disks 

Public domain software keeps pour- 
ing out, and the standard remains high. 
Here is a brief overview of what is on 
the latest four Amicus disks which are 
put out in association with the Amiga 
magazine Amazing Computing, one of 
the best information sources for the 

To get your hands on these or any of 
the other 180 or so public domain disks, 
get in touch with your User group, or 
contact Mcgadisc (see ad this issue). 

Amicus Disk #23 

— 1. Instruments - noncopyrighted 
instruments used to play the demonstra- 
tion scores on this disk. These IFF in- 
struments can also be used in Instant 
Music, Deluxe Music, Deluxe Video, 
SoundScape, and Sonix. 

— 2. Music - Songs that can be 
played with the public domain player 
SMUSPlay provided on this disk. The 
scores are limited because they are the 
only ones I could find that are not copy- 
righted songs. If you like the limited se- 
lection of music here, CAMEO suggests 
you buy one of the commercial music 
programs for which there are many 
scores are available in the PD. 

— 3. MCraft2SMUS - This is a 
program to convert old Pre-Release ver- 

sion MusiCraft scores to SMUS (an IFF 
standard). Once in SMUS they can be 
imported into Deluxe Music, Sonix, or 

— 4. 18I20verture - The full 1812 
Overture by Tchaikovsky, since this is 
over 1 8 minutes of music complete with 
cannons your computer must have more 
than 512K of memory to play it. 

— 5. SMUSPlay - This is a public 
domain program that plays songs in the 
SMUS format. It is used to play the 
songs in the music directory. 

— 6. ListlNSTR - A handy utility 
to list the instruments required to play a 
song. This is necessary because several 
programs simply say "Cannot find in- 
strument", and do not tell you which in- 
strument is missing. 

— 7. MStudio2SMUS - This pro- 
gram converts Music Studio songs to the 
SMUS format. The advantages or this 
are described above. 

Amicus Disk #24 

BNTooIs - Three examples of As- 
sembly language code: Setlace, Why and 

Daisy - Example in C of using the 
Translator and Narrator devices to make 
the Amiga talk 

CodeDenio - Modula-2 program 
converts assembler object files to inline 
CODE statements, comes with screen 
scrolling example 

VirusCheck - Several programs for 
finding and eliminating the SCA virus, 
and an explanation of it 

BoingMachine - Ray-traced anima- 
tion, with Movie program which can 
play sounds along with the animation 

AmiBug - Workbench hack 

Sectorama - Disk sector editor, re- 
cover hard disk files, etc. 

DGCS - Deluxe Grocery Construc- 
tion Set... 

bmon - System monitor AmigaBas- 
ic program 

Moose - Random background pro- 
gram, Bull winkle says witty things, 
To be continued next month 

Amiga 20 


About expansion devices 

by Tim Stro chars 

NOW THAT MANY people have 
had their Amigas for some lime, 
thoughts tend towards getting ex- 
tra pieces of hardware - RAM expansion, 
digitisers, hard disks and so on, Amigas 
love added peripherals, as they are open 
architecture machines, so the problems 
arc A. the money and B. which one? 

The first necessity for the Amiga is 
expansion memory. Anyone buying an 
A500 should automatically get the A501 
expansion module to bring their Ram up 
lo one megabyte, especially with the ex- 
cellent prices that are being offered for it 
at the moment. A2000 buyers get their 
machines with one meg standard, but 
should consider another two megabytes if 
they will be doing any graphics-intensive 
work, such as Desktop Publishing or 
Animation. And A1000 owners have a 
variety of alternatives which have devel- 
oped over the past two years, both local- 
ly made and foreign. 

All Amiga owners should invest in 
an external disk drive too - because the 
Amiga looks for commands off the 
Workbench disk (system disk) it means 
that every time a command is issued to 
the system, that disk must be accessed, 
necessitating disk-swapping. This can 
drive you crazy. If you have another 
drive, however, you can keep the Work- 
bench in the internal drive, and your ap- 
plication or data disk in the external 

And with extra memory you can add 
what is a "Virtual disk", ie, you can or- 
ganise your system to set up a RAM 
disk which can act just like a normal disk 
drive (but faster), thus freeing up your in- 
ternal drive and giving you virtually three 
drives to play with. Even that is not too 
many - I usually have three external 
drives along with a virtual disk and a hard 
disk. That may seem like overkill, but 
with the Amiga you can use them all to 
advantage. In short, anyone using the 
basic Amiga (512K, one drive) is run- 
ning the machine at about 10% efficiency 
and convenience. 

You can get either Commodore drives 

at about S400 or locally made ones at 
about $340 ir you shop around. It is also 
worth considering 5.25" drives for the 
Amiga - it is possible lo get such a drive 
which can store 880K on the much 
cheaper floppies, and act just like a nor- 
mal 3.5" drive (see Megadisc for details). 
Having got your external drive and 
extra memory, you may begin to yearn 

"Anyone using the basic 
Amiga (51 2K, one drive) is 

running the machine at 
about 10% efficiency and 
convenience 9 * 

for a hard disk. This is like a large and 
(fairly) reliable floppy disk, and has the 
benefits of greater speed, storage and 

Sizes of these disks arc anything 
from 10 megabytes to 500 (say 12 to 
600 floppies), at corresponding cost. The 
convenience comes from having all your 
programs and data on one disk which is 
always accessible, so that you don'i have 
to keep swapping disks. 

Any serious computer user must 
eventually get a hard disk, and what with 
the Amiga's memory-hungry graphics 
and sounds, it would be worth starling at 
a 40 meg hard disk. However, if you get 
a 20 meg one, you can always add more. 

To remember about hard disks - al- 
ways do regular backups (I just spent a 
day trying to recover data from a crashed 
hard disk, and it's no fun). There are now 
some good hard disk backup programs 
available for the Amiga - a couple of 
public domain ones, which work but re- 
quire reasonable knowledge of the CLI, 
and a couple of commercial ones, specif- 
ically QuarierBack by East Coast Soft- 
ware, which allows you to backup and 
restore with a minimum of pain and a 
maximum of mouse. 

Approximate prices of hard drives (20 
meg) hover at about $1600 at present. 

Then there are modems, with which 
you can access the many bulletin boards 
around the country. These are dropping 
in price quite rapidly to the point where 

you can get a good 300/1200 baud mo- 
dem for about $350. There is a lot of in- 
formation and good public domain soft- 
ware to be got on these BBSs, and you 
can also access databases, Viatel, some 
banks and other services whose numbers 
are growing. 

You can also get "digitising tablets", 
on which you can draw, or mimic the ac- 
tions of a mouse, though with a pen-like 
device. And speaking of digitising, you 
can find audio digitisers which can digit- 
ise sound samples for playback and edit- 

There are other more exotic devices 
you can add to your Amiga - video digit- 
isers such as Digi-View, which allow 
you to grab any graphic as an image on 
your screen; Gen-Locks, which are used 
to synchronise and combine the video 
output of your Amiga with any other 
video source; and very soon Frame- 
Grabbers which allow you lo grab any 
instantaneous image from any video 
source, such as your video camera or 
VCR and turn ihcm into graphics for fur- 
ther enhancement. 

The main problem with all this of 
course is having ihe cash to pay for it all 
- these extras don't come cheap, and for 
the enthusiast they are very tempting. 
And you can be sure that more will be- 
come available, and that prices will drop 
as the number of Amigas increases. 

Some contact numbers: 
5.25" External disk drives - Mr P 
Chatfield (02) 9595804 
3.5" Internal disk drives - Disk- 
works (02) 436 2976 
RAM expansion units - Andrew 
Wilson (08) 2933960 
RAM expansion/SCSI interface 
& hard disks - Megadisc (02) 9593692 
Genlock and Polaroid Palette - 
Neriki (02) 9574778 
Audio Digitisers - George Vokalck 
Modems (Bit Blitzer) - (08) 2870191 



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Arcade Action 

Most of you have seen the movie, now here is your chance to catch the computer game. 

PLATOON IS similar to your aver- 
age Commando style game - all 
killing, no thinking, although it 
does have some extra features that make 
gameplay a little different. 

You must lead your platoon deep into 
the depths of the Vietnamese jungle and 
ultimately find the village. Once there, 
you will search the hots for useful ob- 
jects and ultimately find a trapdoor in one 
of the huts that will lead you to an under- 
ground network of tunnels. 

The jungle contains many perils such 
as armed patrols, booby trapped wires, 
assassins in trees and concealed "hides" 
where deadly snipers lie in wait. During 
your trek stay vigilant for a box of ex- 
plosives left by a previous platoon, as 

**You must lead your 
platoon deep into the 

depths of the 
Vietnamese jungle^ 

this must be collected before reaching 
the bridge which must be blown up to 
prevent a large patrol following you (and 
effectively wiping your platoon out). 

Food, ammunition and medical sup- 
plies left by enemy guerillas can be 
picked up and used. For best results, 
spread supplies equally between the sol- 
diers in your platoon. 

After fighting your way to the village 
you must then search the huts for the en- 
trance to the tunnel network. The objec- 
tive of this section is to find two boxes 
of flares and a compass that are essential 
for the next section. 

The next few sections are the con- 
cluding scenes that portray getting back 
to safety. This not unhindered with 
everything from betrayal to napalm get- 
ting in your way. 

This game is full of action, however, 
the fact that it glorifies war simply by 
reproducing it for entertainment purposes 
I cannot agree with. 

Distributed by OziSoft (02) 21 1 1266 
RRP C64 C: $29.95, D: $39.95. ■ 




• Compatible with Commodore 64, 64C, Vic20, +4, 
C128 (in 64 Option) and 16. 

• 30% Faster than the 1541 and 1541 C Disk Drives. 

• Si im lire Construction. 
This is the slimmest, most compact disk drive available. 

• Guaranteed compatibility. 

• 1-Year Warranty. 

• Ready to run — and virtually maintenance free. 

• Quiet direct motor for silent 

• 1 74 K storage. 

• .1 44 Directory Entries. 

• 256 Bytes Per Sector. 

• 35 tracks. 
Weight: 2,3 kg. 
Size: 11" it 5.5" x 1.75" 






• Maximum versatility and efficiency 

• MTBF- 10,000 hours 

• Durable and reliable 
Af [-metal chassis 
Light weight 

Has special select swftch and 
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External power suppfy eliminates heat built- up 

i Sturdy and Stackable 
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Australian Commodore Review - 



Arcade Action 

Apollo 18 

by Adam Rigby 

There have been at least two generations who have wanted to be as- 
tronauts when they grow up, now for all those people who haven't 
quite grown up yet here is a game on the Commodore 64 and Amiga 
that allows the spaceman in your childhood dreams to rocket to life. 

WITH SO many different types of 
simulations now available on 
computer, it is not surprising 
that a true to life space exploration 
simulation has come along on. 

Now Accolade gives you the op- 
portunity to share the thrill, tension 
and exhilaration that only a handful 
of brave explorers have experienced. 
Apollo 18 is a simulation of an actu- 
al Apollo Moon flight, with realistic 
depictions of every stage of the mis- 

So with joystick in hand and Da- 
vid Bowie's Space Oddity playing on 
the stereo we were well equipped to 
handle anything that this simulation 
was ready to dish out. The gold fish 
bowl was on stand by in case we 
were thrown out into space - being 
prepared never hurt anyone. 

Some very nifty intro screens 
plus some crackly digitisations of as- 
tronauts preparing the Apollo for 
take off. 

"Roger, affirmative." 
"Apollo ready for ignition." 
"First stage pressurise." 
All this plus some very impres- 
sive silhouettes of various astral 
scenes set the standard for the game. 
Apollo 18 is broken up into vari- 
ous sections of the mission much 
the way like the real expedition 
would have been carried out. There 
are seven sub-missions to be com- 
pleted during the course of the game, 
these start with blast off and include 
landing on the moon, a space walk, a 
satellite capture and re-entering the 
earth's atmosphere. For each sub- 

mission you must go through a teleme- 
try screen in which you set all the neces- 
sary conditions to their respective val- 

Apollo Command/Service Modules 

Urn.iirtii Mec-J'"-"' 

^ I cu Weils 

Control 5 u rj5y5 

Hitliit EirteflfiiOr] 

ucs. Then you return to the current visu- 
al screen which represents the sub- 
mission or stage that is relevant to you. 

The whole style of gameplay of this 
game is successfully completing various 
liming tests, which involve pressing the 
joystick button at the precise mo- 
ment that a timing meter hits its 
mid point. The measurement of 
your success is measured on how 
many lOOOths of seconds that your 
timing was out. As you can imag- 
ine the bar moves very fast and the 
whole procedure is not an easy task. 
It took me at least five of six 
tries just to get the damn rocket in 
the air and moving, meanwhile I 
cost our simulated NASA a few bil- 
lion dollars. Once you've got the 
hang of the timing it's all smooth 
sailing from then an, or should I 
say smooth rocketing. All the tim- 
ing tests are basically the same 
throughout the game - the main en- 
tertainment comes from the anima- 
tion and sound of the simulation 
rather than the playing side of it 

Apollo 18 is a very interesting 
exercise in computer gaming and 
would simulate the expedition of 
space travel quite well - the majority 
of it is done by the computer, you 
just sit back and watch the view. 

For people who like to be a very 
integral part of a game Apollo 18 
would not be very interesting, how- 
ever, if you are interested in how the 
guys with the "right stuff did it the 
first lime this could be of interest to 
you. The sound and graphics are of 
the highest quality. 

Apollo 18 is distributed by Ozi 
Soft. The Amiga version is not 
available yet. C64 RRP C: $29.95, 
D: $39.95. ■ 


-Australian Commodore Review 

Arcade Action 

Project stealth fighter 

RIGHT IN there with the best 
flight simulators comes a new 
game called Project Stealth Fight- 
er. Its flight simulation is good enough 
so that it could be just that, however it is 
also a complete combat simulation with 
various missions and levels of difficulty. 

Complete with Heads-Up display, 
your jet has the latest in technological 
innovations. Extensive target tracking 
systems as well as radar and stealth tech- 
nology put you in a performance class of 
your own. 

There are various different areas that 
can be involved in conflict that you may 
need to visit. You start in Libya and 
from there you can go to the Persian 
Gulf, the North Cape or perhaps even 
Central Europe. 

Whilst this may seen like just anoth- 
er shoot-to-kill game, it is far more in- 
depth than the average. The manual it- 
self is quite a comprehensive text that 
covers extensive information about the 

armament and tactics recommended for 
use during encounters. 

The most impressive feature about 
this game is its realism — nol that I 
have actually flown a F-19 Stealth 
Fighter to compare it with. The game 
holds your attention and definitely does 

make you feel you are there. 

Distributed by Questor (02) 697 
8666. RRP C64 QS39.95 D:$49.95.B 

Commodore and Amiga Annuals 1988 

The most valuable publications you could ever hope 
to add to your magazine collection. 
Special Annual editions, one each for the Commodore and Amiga 
Computers, provide the most exhaustive guide to home computing 
in Australia. Each issue contains a comprehensive glossary of 
terminology divided into special subject categories. 

Subjects such as communications, graphics, music, 
small business and entertainment 
will be given coverage. 
For beginners there's tutorials, and for the expert articles on 
subjects you've only heard about - such as how to put sprites 
in the border. Listings of software packages as well as 
comparisons of leading brands will also appear. 

Don't MiSS Them! At $5.95 they're bound to go fast 

Name „ To order your personal copy 

Address. I now, fill in the form at the 

Postcode 4 bottom of this page and send 

Cheque Bankcard. .No. Exp j it to: 

, Gareth Powell 

Please Send me Copies of Amiga Annua] 1988 

Please Send me Copies of Commodore Annual 1988 

- at a cost of $5.95 each plus $1.00 P. & P. 


1 Publications, 21 Darky 
1 Road, Randwick, 2031 

Australian Commodore Review 



Arcade Action 

Basil the Great Mouse Detective 

by Adam Rigby 

AT last a theme that is free of alien- 
killing and tank zapping, an inno- 
cent game of hunting out clues 
and solving crimes. The fact that you 
play the entire game as a mouse also adds 
a certain innocent charm to the game. 

Basil the Great Mouse Detective who 
lives in the basement of 221b Baker St 
(Sherlock Holmes' famous London ad- 
dress) is the greatest detective in all of 
Mousedom - a charming little town I'm 
sore. Basil is attempting to solve a case 

which has lead to the kidnapping of his 
chubhy friend, Dr. Dawson, by the evil 
Professor Ratigan, criminal mastermind 
of London's rodent underworld. Perhaps 
this little fiend was responsible for The 
Great B us Robbery, 

This mysterious case leads Basil from 
London's seedy waterfront district 
through the backwaters of London's sew- 
ers and finally to the sinister clutches of 
the notorious Professor Ratigan. 

As Basil, you are caught within the 
most sinister and fiendish criminal plan 
of Ratigan' s career. You must rescue Dr. 
Dawson from Ratigan's lawless London 

To rescue Dr. Dawson you 
must collect clues from each of 
three scenarios - the shops and 
docks of London, London's sew- 
ers and Ratigan's den. Five clues 
must be collected, which will 
lead you to the next scenario and finally 

into Ratigan's den. 

To find your clues exam 
me objects such as jam 
jars, tin cans, small sacks, 
cider jars, chests and car- 
pet bags. Pressing the 
space bar allows Basil to 
investigate an object. The 
object under scrutiny will 
appear in you magnifying 
glass in the bottom right-hand 
comer of the screen. 

As you look through your magnify- 
ing glass you will notice that to it's left 
a red "DROP" symbol begins to flash. 

when you have filled all five 
pockets can you deduce 
which clues are false and 
discard them. Do this 
by holding down the 
question mark on the 
keyboard, and your 
magnifying glass will 
tell you the answer. 
When you have col- 
lected the fifth correct clue 
you will be given a message 
which asks you to go to an area where 
the exit to the next scenario can be 

w As BasiL you are caught within 

the most sinister and fiendish criminal 

plan of Ratigan's career." 

Pressing up or down on the joystick se- 
lects between "Pick Up" and "Drop". 
Press fire to choose your action to affect 
whatever is in each of your five pockets. 

If all your pockets are full, selecting 
"Pick Up" will make a cursor appear, al- 
low you to select an ob- 
ject to discard, thus mak- 
ing room for a new one. 

Professor Ratigan, 
however, has cun- 
ningly covered 
his tracks by 

clues in each scenario. Only 

If by chance you should lose your 
way, you can use each of your five clues 
to give you a hint as to which direction 
you must go. This too is done by hold- 
ing down the question mark on the key- 
board. The best direction to go will ap- 
pear in the place of the clue. 

In addition to clues you will also 


NOTHING AT ALL. Cheese will top 

your energy; Mousetraps can be kept in 

your pockets and later dropped in the 

path of Ratigan's henchmen, who will be 

caught and made harmless. Press "T" to 

drop the mousetrap; nothing at all 

speaks for itself. 

The game definitely has a cute feel 

to it, as Basil jumps 

around collecting 

clues and climb- 

ing through 

mail boxes. As 

you run from 

room to room 

looking for clues 


Australian Commodore Review 

Arcade Action 

you are reminded that you 
'have done this sort of thing 
once before - Mission Im- 
possible. The overall gam- 
eplay is indeed simi- 
lar to Mission 
but with less 
which is a fea- 
ture that is well received. 

Music during gameplay is non-existent, only the occasion- 
al beep and murmur from the monitor. However, the music 
during the opening titles more than makes up for the lack dur- 
ing the game. In fact the lack of music whilst playing the 
game makes it easier to concentrate on the objectives. 

There is a hint of Sherlock Holmes about Basil as he struts 
around the screen in his trench coat, searching the land of 

Mousedom for anything 
I that will bring him 
closer to his colleague. 
Basil exists as an ani- 
mated sprite, pretty lim- 
ited life style, which is 
quite smooth as are the 
other characters that 
roam the world of 

After playing the 
game for some time and getting absolutely nowhere I realised 
that you could jump up and into the letter shutters in the front 
doors that appear quite often through the scenery. After you 
crawl your way through this hole you have access to quite an 
increased playing area. 

Basil the Great Mouse Detective is 
a good game with a rather re- 
freshing plot. Obviously it 
isn't quite the same fast- 
action as some of the 
other latest titles but 
it would make a great 
game to introduce 
the kids to - per- 
haps a little com- 
plicated for the 
two year-old 


• The shops 
have front and 
back doors. 

** The lack of music whilst 

playing the game makes it 

easier to concentrate on the 


• The baddies will follow you if you are on the same level. 

• Keep walking in the same direction to pick up speed for a 
long jump. 

• Use the traps where you cannot jump over the baddies. 

• Enter the Sea farer's Inn on level two. 

• Find the secret room on level three. 

Distributed by OziSoft (02) 21.1 1266. RRP C64 C: $29.95, 
D: $39.95. ■ 

C64A28 users: 


We would like users 1o draw for us using the DIGITAL ART 
software, to demonstrate what this package can do. 

There would be three cash prizes to be won: $300, 
$200, and $100, as 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes, respectively. 

Alternatively, there might be just one grand prize: $600. 
And you would be able to vote on this issue, when registering 
with KRYPTOLOGIC to enter the competition. 

In addition, all entries would retain their copyright, and 
those chosen to be used in our instruction manual, or on our 
packaging, would be paid a ROYALTY for every copy sold 
thereafter, during the life of the product. This could be quite 

Your name needs to be on our database for your entry to be 
accepted. To register, sand for a DIGITAL ART package from 
us, either on tape or disk, (state your preference,) for 
$18.95, and start drawing. 

DIGITAL ART is a new concept in design, using the adjust- 
ment of curvature at different points to draw curves smooth- 
ly, in place of jagged, unsteady freehand drawing. More de- 
tails can be found in the March issues of this magazine, or 
obtained directly from us. All enquiries have to be accompa- 
nied by a stamped envelope to get a personal reply. 

Winners would be named in future issues of this magazine. 

Staff of KRYPTOLOGIC and their relatives are not eligible 
to enter the competition. 


Tel (062) 991350 
PO Box 603, KINGSTON ACT 2604 

Australian Commodore Review 



GEOS - a look at an alternative 
operating system for the C64 

NOT LONG AGO a friend of 
mine bought a C-64 Pro-Pack. 
Bundled with the computer and 
disc-drive was a program called GEOS, 
together with a manual which he thought 
was of rather daunting thickness. 

Now, Bob's new to competing and 
tends to shy away from anything that 
even hints at being technical, while your 
correspondent is rather the opposite - 
been around Commodore computing for a 
while and keen to delve into new things. 
A bit of complexity and technical ele- 
gance doesn't hurt, either! So when Bob 
asked me to check out GEOS for him and 
tell him what it does, I jumped at the 

Although I have owned a 64 or 128 
for a while, and GEOS has been around 
for some time, I never took the time to 
investigate it. Let me tell you that hav- 
ing done so over the last week, I have to 
ask myself why I took so long. 

This program is something special. 
It takes a small computer - what some of 
the jealous opposition refer to as a 
"games machine" - and transforms it into 

by Frank Paterson 

an elegant electronic working environ- 
ment where text and graphics can be 
mixed and manipulated at will. Informa- 
tion from spreadsheets and filing sys- 
tems can be called into your document. 
Files can be manipulated without ever 
typing a command - no more complicat- 
ed syntax and the inevitable "SYNTAX 
ERROR". File copying and indeed 
whole disc copying is available without 
the need for separate utility programs. 
Hi -res pictures can be mixed with text 
files, and the text itself can be in a range 
of fonts and sizes .... but let's start at 
the start. 

When you power-up your 64, you 
are not at operating system level. You 
are in BASIC, or more specifically, in 
CBM's BASIC 2. The way Commodore 
has set things up on the 64, BASIC is 
your window - your means of communi- 
cation - with the computer. 

You use BASIC to find out what's 
on your discs. 


Or to change a filename. 


1 5 , 8 , 1 5 ,"R0 : ne wnam e=ol dname" : 


Or to scratch a file. 




It is not a particularly powerful 
BASIC and as the examples show, not 
particularly convenient: it certainly 
doesn't match the capabilities of the 64 
with its powerful graphics and sound fa- 
cilities. In day-to-day computing, per- 
haps the most serious deficiency is the 
lack of simple disc commands. Add to 
that the elephantine slowness of the 
1541 disc drive and you have a system 
in need of upgrading. All of this 
spawned a profusion of BASIC enhance- 

GEOS Desktop, Note the 
pull-down menus at top-left. 
The two disc Icons in the right 
hand border indicate that 
two drives have been rec- 
ognised by GEOS. The high- 
lighted drive icon Indicates 
the active drive , in this case 
the top one. Drive A. Note 
also the ghost of the GEO- 
WRITE icon being dragged 
by the pointer, It could be 
headed for the waste-paper 
bin, in which case it will be 
scratched, or for the non- 
active drive (B), in which 
case if wilt be copied to the 
disc named "VARIOUS". 

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Australian Commodore Review 


merits and accelerators for ihc 64/1541 
combination: Commodore's own DOS 
Wedge, cartridges such as Epyx Fast- 
Load, replacement ROMs such as Cock- 
roach Turbo-Rom, language extensions | 
such as Simon's Basic, and any number [ 
of utilities published in magazines, etc, [ 

Without exception, these are good, I 
but they all share a common property: [ 
you must know a syntax and you must j! 
type a command line or write a program j 
to make the computer do anything. 
Now some people, in fact a large num- 
ber, cannot do that - they may not be 
the slightest bit interested. All they 
want is a result in the simplest and 
most non-technical way possible. This 
is where GEOS is a world apart from 
the above enhancements. 

GEOS stands for Graphic Environ- 
ment Operating System and it's totally 
different from the operating system con- 
tained in ROM in your 64. 

GEOS emulates on the 64 what Ap- 
ple does on the Macintosh, what IBM 
PCs and compatibles do with GEM and 
what Commodore has done with the 
Amiga. Except they use 16 bit technol- 
ogy, hard discs and megabytes of RAM, 
with hardware costs of up to 35000 - 
more if you want bells and whistles. 
Berkley Softworks has managed to do it 
with an 8 bit processor, a slow serial 
Soppy disc drive and a mere 64k RAM, 
for a system cost of about S600. As- 

What a graphic environment achieves 
is to do away almost entirely with the 
need to type commands to the computer. 
Instead, the user is presented with graphic 
representations of certain tasks or with 
lists of choices (menus) which may be 
pulled down from the top of the screen. 
You select your choice by moving a 
pointer to it with a joystick or mouse, 
click the fire or mouse button, and be- 
hold, your chosen instruction is executed. 

Let's get GEOS started and deal with 
specific examples. 

After you have loaded GEOS, things 

GEOS News 

Abacus software have 
brought out a product to make 
life with GEOS even more inter- 
esting. Becker BASIC allows you 
to write your own GEOS applica- 
tions in BASIC, something that 
has been missing for quite some 

Everything is here, use Pull- 
down Menu Construction to make 
your programs look more profes- 
sional and become easier to use. 
Also over 20 new editing com- 
mands have been added to make 
programming a breeze. Included 
are such commands as Trace, 
Renumber, Oump, Dir and Pold, 
also structuring commands such 
as lf/Then/Else, Repeat, White, 
Loop can be inserted to make 
programming a much faster and 
logical process. 

Disk commands are afso in- 
creased with over 50 commands 
added to make disk access not 
only faster but totaify compatible 
with GEOS. Sequential, user and 
relative files can be accessed 
with ease under these new com- 

Over 70 additional commands 
have been added to make sound 
and graphics simple and delight- 
ful to use. Watch the GEOS col- 
umn next month for a complete 
review on this very powerful 

are different. The first module that is 
loaded is a disc accelerator, so that all 
those aforementioned accessories like 
FastLoad and Turbo Rom are not neces- 
sary, and in fact may interfere with prop- 
er operation of GEOS. The GEOS sys- 
tem speeds up BOTH read and write 
operations on the disc by a factor of 
about 5, so system load time is an ac- 
ceptable 31 seconds. 

GEOS supports one or two drives. 
One is great. Two is a dream. It may 
even support more, but Tm not sure 
about that. In any case, when it boots 

iup, GEOS checks to see how many 
drives are available and sets itself accord- 

When everything has settled down 
and the load is finished, you will be pre- 
sented with a hi-res monochrome screen 
representation of your work environ- 
ment, called "Desktop" (Sec figure 1). 
It looks like pages of a large, multi- 
shcet desk-top blotter, with the top page 
dog-eared at the bottom left comer. 
.Somewhere on the screen will be an ar- 
row, which can be moved about with a 
I joystick or mouse in joystick port 1. 
In the top margin of the screen are 
five Desktop pull-down menu titles. 
("Pulldown" because when you point to 
(hem with the arrow and click the fire or 
1 mouse button, a menu of further choic- 
| es drops down.) 

Coming down the screen, the next 
| area is a striped bar which contains the 
name of the currently active disk (im- 
portant if you have two drives). Within 
; the bar, to the right, is a square with a 
black centre; more on that later. 

The next section tells you the num- 
ber of files on the disc, the number of 
bytes used and the number free. This is 
\ a really handy feature because GEOS 
keeps it updated continuously. You al- 
ways know just how much disc space is 
available without having to ask for a di- 
• rectory. The directory itself is always 
a available on Desktop, in the next and 
: largest section of the blotter. 

Each file on the disc is represented 
by a small picture - an ICON - with the 
filename beneath. The icon tells you at a 
glance what the purpose of the file is. 
For example, a GEOS application such 
as Geopaint is represented by an artist's 
palette, with the filename beneath. Geo- 
write, the word processor, is represented 
by a feather and inkwell. Files produced 
by these applications have their own dis- 
tinctive icons - framed pictures for Geo- 
paint fdes and stacked pages for Geowrite 
files, each of course, with its filename 

Each sheet of the Desktop blotter 
holds eight icons and since DOS can 

Australian Commodore Review - 



F % *j ti r <? 


store a maximum of 144 files, there may 
be eighteen blotter sheets. You move for- 
ward through the sheets by pointing at 
the dog-ear at the bottom left of the 
screen and clicking and backward by 
pointing and clicking at the "neat" cor- 
ner. This is the GEOS way of browsing 
through a directory and locating files. 

In the margin at the top-right of the 
screen, to the right of the blotter, is an 
icon representing each accessible disc 
drive, with the disc name beneath. The 
icon for the active drive is highlighted, 
so you always know which drive will re- 
spond to a command. When files are 
transferred, they are always copied from 
the active drive to the non-active drive, 
so it's handy to have this direct pictorial 
indication of which way the data ^____ 
is going to flow. fgeos 

To the bottom-right of the 
screen are icons representing a i 
printer and a waste-paper basket, I 

Now, before we get involved 
in experimenting and creating, 
we should follow the manual's 
worthy advice and make a back- 

Two-drive disk copy. 
The active disc is 'write 
work" in Drive A. Its contents 
will be transferred to 
VARIOUS" in Drive B and 
will overwrite anything 
present on "VARIOUS*. 

up of the master disc and also create a 
work disc. In doing this, we'll get our 
first taste of how programs are run and 
how files are manipulated under GEOS. 
We need to create a woTk disc for two 

Firstly, the master disc is full and 
there is no room for data. Because the 
program does big things with a small 
computer, there is insufficient RAM 
available to hold both the program and a 
decent- sized document or hi-res picture as 

To get around this limitation, GEOS 
applications store part of your work in 
memory and part in temporary disc files, 
which are made permanent when you de- 
cide to save your work. The technique of 

Opening a file. 

The file to be opened is 
"GEOWRITE" on Drive A con- 
taining the disc named "write 
work". An alternative way to 
open this file would be to 
point to the GEOWRITE file 
icon and click twice, rapidly. 
To open BACKUP, the BACK- 
UP file icon would be high- 
lighted by clicking once, fol- 
lowed by "open" on the "file" 
menu. Note that Drive B is still 
present, but the ? mark indi- 
cates no disc in the drive. 

using temporary disc files as accessible 
data storage during program execution is 
known as virtual memory. GEOS needs 
about 8k of disc space for this virtual 
memory, and as there is no free space on 
the master disc, you can't even fool 
around to check it out. 

The second reason is one of principle 
.... you should NEVER write data to a 
master program disc lest the gremlins 
strike and scramble your BAM and your 
data and your program so you miss your 
deadline and the Editor doesn't believe 
you and the wife complains because the 
kids can hear you swearing ... well, you 
get the drift! 

If your copy of GEOS was bundled 
with a C-64, Commodore will have pro- 




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Australian Commodore Review 


vided you with a work disc, but we'll go 
ahead and create one just for the exercise. 

The authors have provided a BACK- 
UP program which appears on page 1 of 
the desktop. To run it, point to the 
BACKUP icon and click. The icon will 
be highlighted, indicating that this file is 
the active file. Now point to the pull- 
down menu labelled "file" at the top of 
the screen and click, A menu will appear 
below the word "file" (see figure 2). 
The pointer will be positioned on the 
word OPEN, which is what we want to 
do ... we want to open the active file. 
Click again and the BACKUP program 
will load and run. 

Another easier way to open a file is 
to point to the file's icon and click twice 
in rapid succession. 

I won't go through the full sequence 
of instructions for duplicating a disc with 
the BACKUP program - just follow the 
prompts as they appear on thescreen, 
swap the discs at the right time, and at 
the end of it all you will have a backup 
copy of the GEOS master disc. 

I suppose Berkeley Softworks is as 
interested as any other software publisher 
in not having their programs pirated. To 
this end, the backup you've just created 
will not boot GEOS - you will have to 
re-boot using the original GEOS master 
disc. To do this now, insert the master 

disc in drive eight and press the RE- 
STORE key by itself. GEOS will re- 
boot and you will find yourself again at 
the desktop. 

We should repeat the backup process 
to make a work disc, but I would like to 
show you another way which is more 
convenient if you are lucky enough to 
own two drives. 

The second drive will have to be set 
as device 9, and it's best to hardwire it 
that way either by cutting the jumpers on 
the circuit board or by installing a 
switch. The modification is easily done 
and I think has been the subject of an ar- 
ticle in a previous issue. GEOS can also 
handle a device number change through 
software by using the ADD DRIVE op- 
tion in the "disk" pulldown menu. If you 
choose to set your second drive device 
number this way, you will have to redo 
it every time you re-boot GEOS because 
at that time the drives are reset, thus los- 
ing their "soft-set" device numbers. Hard- 
wired device numbers remain fixed. 

With the original master disc in the 
active drive (represented by the highlight- 
ed disc icon in the right margin), point to 
the pulldown menu labelled "disk" and 
click. Stay within the boundaries of the 
menu and point to FORMAT. Click 
again and follow the prompts as they ap- 
pear in GEOS's "dialogue boxes" (figure 

4). Dialogue boxes are small windows 
which appear on top of whatever you're 
doing on the screen whenever GEOS 
needs to communicate with you. They 
disappear and leave your work unaffected 
when they are no longer needed. In this 
case, GEOS will tell you to insert a des- 
tination disk in one of the drives, and 
give it a name. 

Once this is done, the disc will be 
specially formatted and will be ready to 
receive GEOS data. You can also use 
discs formatted normally, i.e outside 
GEOS, but these must be converted to 
GEOS format before they can be used. 

When GEOS detects one of these 
discs in a drive, it asks if you want it 
converted to GEOS format. To make 
GEOS detect the disc, place it in the 
non-active drive then point to the icon 
for that drive. Make the appropriate re- 
sponse in the dialogue box and the con- 
version is done in a second or two... 
much faster than a full format which 
takes about ninety seconds. Re-insert the 
master disc if necessary, re- activate the 
drive containing the master disc by 
pointing to its icon and clicking, then 
point and click the "disk" pulldown 
menu (figure 3). 

Point to COPY and click. GEOS 
will ask for confirmation of your inten- 
tions, as the copy process will overwrite 



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Australian Commodore Review 



any data already present on the destina- 
tion disc. Once you have responded cor- 
rectly, GEOS will copy the contents of 
the master disc, file-by-file, to the desti- 
nation disc and again, at the end of it all 
you will have a backup of the master disc 
WILL boot GEOS, so you can safely 
store your original as insurance against 
gremlins and use this one as a master, 
which is what backing up is really all 

If you have followed me to this 
point, you will have two copies of the 
master disc. If you have two drives, one 
of the copies will be bootable: put this 
one aside as your master disc for regular 
use and file the original in a safe place. 
The other copy will be your work disc, 
but first you will have to delete some 
files to create space. You don't need sys- 
tem files on a work disc, so the first to 
be scratched should be the files called 
KERNAL". The way to scratch files un- 
der GEOS is really very intuitive - click 
a file icon twice, slowly, drag it to the 
garbage bin, click again and the file will 
be removed from the desktop. However, 
the three files we want to remove are 
write protected and cannot be scratched 
just yet. 

I should explain here that when you 
scratch a file from a disc, the file is not 
physically removed. What happens in- 

stead is that certain information is writ- 
ten onto the disc which tells the system 
that the file is no longer needed, and can 
be over- written with new data. On receipt 
of that information, the Disc Operating 
System no longer displays the file in the 
directory, so it appears to have been 
erased. When a file is "write-protected", 
that certain information cannot be writ- 
ten to the disc and so the file will not be 
scratched and its directory entry wilt re- 

To "unprotect" a write-protected file, 
activate it by clicking its icon once then 
click the "file" menu. Click the INFO 
option and a dialogue box will appear, 
informing you of various parameters 
such as file-type, size, etc. At the bot- 
tom of the box is a small square labelled 
WRITE PROTECT. If the square is sol- 
id, then the file is protected; to 
"unprotect" it, point to the square and 
click, whereupon it will become hollow 
or outlined. To close the dialogue box 
and complete the operation, click the 
"close button", ie the small square to the 
right of the striped section at the top of 
the dialogue box. While we're talking 
about close buttons, note that there is 
also one in a similar position in the 
Desktop's striped header. If you click 
that, you will close Desktop. There will 
be no file icons displayed and all drives 
will become non-active. I haven't yet fig- 
ured out why you would want to do this! 

Repeat the unprotect operation for 
each of the files you want to scratch, 
then go ahead and scratch them by drag- 
ging their icons into the garbage can and 
clicking. BE WARNED that once a file 
is scratched, it's gone forever. In the 
manual's own words, the garbage bin is 
more like an incinerator - once some- 
thing has been put into it, it's destroyed. 

We set out to learn how GEOS al- 
lows you to manipulate files without 
having to learn complicated syntaxes or 
write programs of your own or use exter- 
nal utility programs. We've done that, 
and in so doing have created both a back- 
up master disc and a work disc. We have 
formatted a disc, jumped out of and back 
into GEOS by running BACKUP, made 
two backups of the master disc, copied 
files, erased files and done some fancy di- 
rectory manipulation without typing a 
single command8 and almost without 
leaving the host environment (Desktop). 
It's all been "point and click", and that's 
what GEOS is all about. 

Next month, I hope to have a look at 
GEOS for the 128, but if that doesn't 
eventuate, we'll look at some of the cap- 
abilities of the word processor, GEO- 
WRITE and the graphics package, GEO- 
PATNT. In the process, we'll talk about 
printers, input devices and the Preference 
Manager. Maybe the Clock, the Notepad 
and the Calculator will get a mention 
too. Until then, re-discover your 64! 

Dialogue Window. 

Enter text at the special cursor 

(the vertical line) and press 

RETURN on completion. You can 

escape by clicking the CANCEL 


This window came from the 

FORMAT option in the 

DISK menu. 


A 1526 printer driver is now 
available for GEOS. it also 
works with the MPS 802. To 
obtain this, send a disk to Com- 
modore's Software Production- 
Dept with a letter requesting the 
latest GEOS printer disk. This 
is provided free of charge. 


■ Australian Commodore Review 

128 printer driver 

Experimenting with Commodore's printer 
driver on the 1 28 under CPM by Frank paterson 


WHEN ALL IS said and done, I 
suppose I am basically a lazy 
person - at least at heart. My 
wife would argue the point. She says that 
I spend so much time and effort on trying 
to make things easier for myself that la- 
ziness doesn't come into it. It's more like 
a perverted sense of dedication, she says, 
and is most noticeable when I insist on 
trying to make my computer do some- 
thing it doesn't really want to do or con- 
versely, not do something which it 
thinks is necessary for the health of its 

Consequently, the grass is too long, 
the car doesn't run well and the house 
needs painting, all because my computer 
and I differ in our ideas. In this case, it 
insists on translating real ASCII to 
Commodore ASCII, and I don't want it 

The problem has its roots in the days 
of the trusty old 64 and all those neat 
graphics-oriented programs which have a 
PRINT option. Some publishers as- 
sumed that a 64 owner would only own a 
CBM printer. Most others assumed (cor- 
rectly) that an Epson compatible, or 
some other, was more flexible, and pro- 
vided all sorts of options in their Printer 
Set-Up menus so that a non-Commodore 
printer could make sense of the Commo- 
dore output from the computer. Add to 
that the options available on some of the 
good printer interfaces, like the Xetec 
Super Graphix, and also on the printers 
themselves, and things can become com- 
plicated. Like ASCII being translated 
twice; line-feeds being added, stripped and 
added again; paper being fed continuously 
through the printer, etc. 

. My approach was to rationalise the 
printer and interface settings so that they 
do not have to be changed from program 
to program. Thus the DIP switches on 
the interface remain set for a Gemini 
10X. ASCII translation is left on 

Australian Commodore Review 

"Transparent", allowing output from the 
computer to go unchanged to the printer, 
and auto line-feeds are not selected. This 
means that the printer, being an ASCII 
printer, is expecting real ASCII (not 
Commodore ASCII) and that it won't add 

"My computer insists on 
translating real ASCI! to 
Commodore ASCII and I 
don't want it to!** 

line-feeds to carriage returns. In turn, the 
program must be set to provide real AS- 
CII output and to add the linefeeds to car- 
riage returns when necessary. 

I found this set-up to be compatible 
with the majority of software, as most 
programs have comprehensive printer set- 
up menus which allow the right choices. 

When I started using CPM on the 
128, everything was fine, except that I 
had to set the interface for CBM 1525 
printer emulation. As would be expected 
in a Commodore implementation of 
CPM in a Commodore machine, the sys- 
tem had been designed to output Com- 
modore ASCII to a Commodore printer. 

No big problem there, apart from it 
not fitting in with my basic way of do- 
ing things ... until I wanted to use Word- 
star and underlined characters. The 1 525 
can't underline, can it?! Also, extra line- 
feeds were occurring, regardless of the po- 
sition of the line-feed switch on the 

"Use a different wordprocessor", I hear 
you say. Not possible, I'm afraid. The 
work manual I wrote two years ago was 
done on Wordstar and required extensive 
revision and I wasn't about to spend 
weeks converting a 100 page document 
to suit another program when I already 
had the correct gear on my desk. As far as 
I was concerned, all that was needed was 
a bit of fine tuning. 

So much for optimism. The best re- 

sult I could get by flicking DIP switches 
was underlining with reversed upper and 
lower case characters! Not very profes- 
sional. The problem was that unlike the 
previously mentioned C -64/1 28 pro- 
grams, neither Wordstar nor CPM gave 
an option to convert ASCII within the 
program, so that the system would 
ONLY deliver Commodore ASCII to the 
printer. An ASCII underline character 
(cbr${95)) became a left-arrow because in 
Commodore ASCII, that's what chrS(95) 
represents. All my underlined paragraph 
headings had left arrows through them, 
or alternatively, were underlined but with 
reversed upper and lower cases. 

After much thought and some guid- 
ance from Gary Mason in Commodore's 
Technical Support department in Sydney, 
I figured the only real way to solve the 
problem was to stop the translation 
(within CPM) from real ASCII to Com- 
modore ASCII. This was not a simple 
task, as it meant altering the printer driv- 
er and re-creating the system files which 
are, in fact, the CPM operating system. 

Before I could do that I had to wait 
for delivery of the CPM Development 
Package from Commodore. (A thick 
book of about 700 pages and two discs 
of CPM source files and utilities origi- 
nating from Digital Research and market- 
ed by Commodore - cost $50.00 and well 
worm every cent.) 

Before I go too much further with 
this, I'll warn you that I am a beginner 
as far as machine code is concerned, and 
most of what I've learned is a direct re- 
sult of this project. If I miss something 
or get it wrong, don't be too unkind - in 
fact, I would be most grateful if you 
would take the time to write and set me 
straight. I know there are other 128 own- 
ers out there who are looking for answers 
to similar problems and I'm sure they 
would appreciate your input. My address 
follows the article. 


128 printer driver 

Listing J 

Listing 1 is the unmodified assembly 
listing of Commodore's printer driver 
called "CXPRJNTER.asm". I will refer 
to parts of the program by the line num- 
bers in the leftmost column as I step 
through the changes I propose and the 
reasons behind them. 

The character to be printed has been 
placed in the C register of the Z-80 by an 
earlier routine. 

Lines 0000 to O00A are preparatory 
instructions:- lines 0003 and 0005 indi- 
cate that the printer device number must 
be 4; lines 0008 and O00A set up the sec- 
ondary address, which is important for 
Commodore printers, as different func- 
tions can be activated by changing secon- 
dary addresses. This routine fixes the sec- 
ondary address at the default value of 7. 

Line 000D moves the character to be 
printed from the C register to the Accu- 

Line 000E performs a logical AND 
on the contents of the Accumulator and 
7F hex (127 decimal). This ensures that 
only REAL ASCII characters are passed 
on. (Real ASCII characters are CHRS(O) 
to CHR$(127) only. Commodore ASCII 
goes up to CHR$(255)). 

Line 0010 is critical as it is here that 
the conversion routine is called. 

My first plan of attack was to de- 
activate the call to CONVERT in line 
0010 by replacing the three bytes CD IB 
00 with NOPs ... 00 00 00. That fixed 
the reversed upper and lower case and un- 
derline problems, but did nothing about 
the extraneous line-feeds. It appeared that 
CONVERT would have to be called after 
all, and the problem attacked in there. 
Back to the drawing-board 

The first part of the CONVERT sub- 
routine tests for a carriage return in line 
001B. If the character to be printed IS a 
carriage return, then a jump is made to IS 
0034, where 80 hex is added to the car- 
riage return (anyone know why?) and a 
return from subroutine is made, back to 
0013 and finally off into another part of 
the system to be printed. (Line 0018.) 

If the character is NOT a carriage re- 
turn, then die program drops through 


into another sub-routine called, surpris- 
ingly enough, NOT CARRIAGE RE- 
TURN (NOT$CR in line 001F). Here it 
starts testing for upper and lower case 
characters. (The '@' is just before the 
start of upper case letters in real ASCII 
and just before the start of lower case in 
Commodore ASCII.) We don't want the 
case conversion to take place, because 
that is what is causing reversed cases on 
the printer. 

This seems promising. Perhaps we 
can kill two birds with one stone by 
checking first for a line-feed and if we 
find it, replace it with a NULL (00 hex). 
After that, we'll force a return from sub- 
routine back to line 0013, so that no fur- 
ther conversion is possible. All this 
should be done without changing the 
length of the CXPRINTER.ASM mod- 
ule so that everything else stays in its 
original location when a new CPM+ 
system file is generated. 

Listing 2 

Listing 2 is the modified CXPRINT- 
ER.ASM file. The first modification is 
to NOTSCR, in line 00 IF, where CPI 
0AH means "compare the accumulator 
with 0A hex." (A line-feed is chr$ 10 dec 
or 0A hex). If the contents of the accu- 
mulator equal 0A, the Z flag of the Z-80 
will be set. The next instruction, JRZ 
UPPERSSYMBOLS means "if the Z 
flag is set, then jump to UP- 
PERSSYMBOLS". Because we do not 
wish to do any ASCII conversion this 
routine is redundant, so we can change it 
to strip the line-feeds. 

UPPERSSYMBOLS is on line 0037 
and the new instruction will be MVI 
A.00H, which replaces the line-feed con- 
tained in the accumulator with a NULL. 
The next instruction, RET, forces a re- 
turn from subroutine to 0013 and back 
into the system to print the character. 

Now we have to go back to 
NOT$CR and deal with characters that 
are not line-feeds. At line 00 If in listing 
2, we tested for a line-feed and if there 
was one, the program jumped to UP- 
PERSSYMBOLS. If there is not a line- 
feed present, the program will fall 
through to line 0023 because the Z flag 

is not set, so the conditional jump set up 
by JRZ will not occur. Now, we've 
dealt with the line-feed problem (hopeful- 
ly) and we don't want the program to go 
on with ASCII conversion, so what we 
need at this point is a RET (RETum 
from subroutine). However, that would 
use fewer bytes than the original pro- 
gram, causing things to move around in 
memory and possibly causing more 
problems. To avoid that, we'll force a 
RET in a roundabout way and in doing 
so, will not alter the length of the pro- 

Remember back in line 000E, we en- 
sured that only real ASCII characters i.e 
to 7F hex (0 to 127 dec), would get 
past that point Meaning that where we 
are in the program, line 0023, no matter 
what character is in the accumulator, it 
has to be less than 80 hex (128 dec). If 
we can compare the accumulator with 80 
hex and organise a return from subrou- 
tine if the accumulator is less than 80, 
then we have effectively forced a RET, as 

Happily, instructions exist which can 
do this in our required number of bytes, 
and they appear in line 0023. CPI 80H 
means "compare the accumulator with 80 
hex". If the accumulator is less than 
80H, the C flag of the Z-80 will be set; 
we know that this will occur because 
only characters less than 80 hex have 
been allowed to get this far. The next 
instruction, RC, means "RETURN if the 
C flag is set", so there we have it - a 
RET in three bytes instead of one. 

The acid test of course, is to create a 
new CPM+.sys file using this modified 
module, and run it I am pleased to be 
able to report that it works as planned 
with only one minor hitch ... I did such 
a fine job stripping line-feeds that to get 
them back, auto line-feeds on the printer 
have to be selected on. This is a com- 
promise, to a degree, of what I set out to 
do but at this stage I am happy just to 
have the system working. I think the 
hitch may be caused by the ISSCR rou- 
tine, where 80 hex is added to a carriage 
return before it is sent to the printer, but 
I'll keep that til next month when I will 
also discuss problems I've encountered in 

Australian Commodore Review 

Don't miss out on these great bargains! 
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Disk Magazine One 


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fcfchhe code paint, border, input and flash routines 

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Disk Magazine Two 


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A terminal program called Teleport 

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Character editor - for designing your own 

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Disk Magazine Three 


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Typing Practice 


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Disk Magazine Five 

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Disk Magazine Six : 


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Home Inventory 


Light Fantastic 


1571 Utility 

DIR@828 Disk Filer 

And More... 

Disk Magazine No 7 - double sided, with some 128 software too - Featuring: 

Utilities: Anti-lsepic, Sledgehammer, Fast Format, Renumber, PS/PM/NR, PS Printer, Graphics Editor. 
Other: Joystick Tester, Irish Jokes, Convenor, Ultimate Writer, Home Finance, Oscilloscope, Dice Roller, 
Chord Maker, Dark Forest, Don Martin, Funny, Music Classics. Demonstrations only: Karate Kid II, Thrust 
Concert, 3D Demo, No More Heros, Recursion. For the 128: Bootmaker 128/64 Utility, Convert Basics utility. 





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OR Use your Bankcard and 
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(02)398 5111 

Please allow two weeks for postage and delivery 


128 printer driver 

using the NLQ mode on the Super Graphix with CPM on my Author correspondence to:- Frank Paterson, 137 Wyangala 

128. Happy hacking! Cres, LEUMEAH, NSW 2560 

Listing 1 

This is the unmodified assembly listing of Commodore's CPM printer driver for the C-128. 
It was produced by running the source file "cxprinte.asm" on MAC.COM, both of which are on the discs 

provided in Commodores CPM Development Package. 
CP/MMACROASSEM 2.0 £001 CXPRINTER.asm Commodore printer drivers 

2 May 85 

TITLE 'CXPRINTER.asm Commodore printer drivers 

12 May 85' 







PUBLIC ?PT$I$1101,?PT$O$l,?PT$OS2 

PUBLIC ?PT$S$1101 






0000 3E05 



0002 21 





0003 3E04 



0005 3202FD 



0008 3E07 



OOOA 3203FD 



000D 79 



000E E67F 



0010 CD1B00 



0013 3206FD 



0016 3E07 



U0018 C30000 



;LXI H,(MVIA,4) 




00 IB FE0D 




Australian Commodore Review 


128 printer driver 







(X)1F EE40 



0021 D8 


0022 FE60 













0026 FE7B 





002A D620 


002C C9 


002D C660 ADI 

002F C9 RET 

0030 FE5B CPI 

0032+3003 DB 

0034 C680 ADI 

0036 C9 RET 

0037 FE5C CPI 

0039 CO 






003A 3EFF 











Commodore Review 

Disk Magazines 
Nos 8 and 9 ! 

Australian Commodore Review 


• ESCOS version 2.99 • 
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• Future Writer • Demos • 
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Screen clock 


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Send me .... copy/s of Disk Mag 8 
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Expiry Date 


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Telephone (02) 398 51 11 

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number and order by 



128 printer driver 

Listing 2 

This listing shows my modifications to the original printer driver. 
Changes occur in line numbers 001 F, 0023 and 0O25, 0037 and 0039 

CP/M MACRO ASSEM 2.0 #001 
12 May 85 

12 May 85' 








PUBLIC ?PT$I$1101,?PT$O$l,?PT$O$2 
PUBLIC ?PT$S$1101 



Commodore printer drivers 
Commodore printer drivers 





0000 3E05 



0002 21 




0003 3E04 



0005 3202FD 



0008 3E08 



OOOA 3203FD 






000E E67F 



0010 CDIBOO 



0013 3206FD 



0016 3E07 



U0018 C30000 



;LXI H,(MVIA,4) 




001B FEOD 




DB 28H,IS$CR-$-l 


■ Australian Commodore Review 








0023 FE80 



0025 D8 RC 


0026 FE7B 






002A D620 



002D C660 ADI 
002F C9 RET 


128 printer driver 





0030 FE5B CPI 

0032+3003 DB 

0034 C680 ADI 

0036 C9 RET 




0037 3E00 MVI 

0039 C9 















Australian Commodore Review - 




by Peter H. Gallen 

Superbase 4 

Reorganising databases/files 

This month we'll examine ways to 
reorganise your files when, as 
happens, you need to redesign 
your screen layouts, change the order of 
your fields or add new fields. 

The simplest case involves adding a 
new field at the end of your record for- 
mat. Strictly speaking this is not reor- 
ganising but expanding. Enter format 
mode and, at the end of the last field, add 
the new field(s) and exit via Fl/run-stop. 
The fun starts when the new data field 
needs to be anywhere other than at the 
end of the file or if the order of the fields 
is to be changed, usually to clarify pres- 
entation, or the file is to be split in two 
or divided over two disks. 

This last case is the easiest to deal 
with although it involves several steps. 
It would he a good idea to make a list of 
the steps in order and then tick them off 
as you complete them. The approach 
needed is covered in Superbase The Book 
on page 146, except that it assumes you 
are using a dual disk drive or one disk for 
both files. As the first case is rare I'll use 
the second as a basis for this example. 

Step 1: Set up the target disk (B) 
ready to receive files ie. formatted and ap- 
propriately labelled, then set it aside. 

Step 2: On the original disk (A) se- 
lect the required database and file. Select 
'maintain' from menu 2 and then select 
'export'. Answer 
the prompt with 
a short, meaning- 
ful name 

eg.'expfile.' This 
will help you re- 
member which 
file is which. 
This name should 
NOT be either 
the original file- 
name or the desti- 

nation filename, Superbase now proceeds 
with the task of exporting the data into a 
sequential file on disk A. When this is 
complete you will be returned to menu 

Step 3: Using a file copy program, 
transfer both the 'expfile' and the file def- 
inition to disk E. Also copy any other 
files you may need such as the start pro- 
gram. If you use the Superbase Utility 
program be sure that none of your files 
is more than 112 blocks long. DO NOT 
copy the database definition file, as all 
the data will be output to the sequential 
file in an unuseable form. 

Step 4: Re-enter Superbase and us- 
ing disk B create the new database when 
prompted. Select the 'file' option and 
when asked, type in the name of the file 
definition you have copied across. When 
Superbase responds *File does not exist: 
create it' answer 'y'. Superbase will then 
find the new file and insert it into the da- 
tabase so that it will appear as an empty 
file when next you enter 'file' mode from 
menu 1. 

Step 5: Select the empty file then 
select 'import' option from the 'maintain' 
submenu. Reply to the prompt with the 
name 'expfile' and the data will be read 
from the export sequential file into Su- 

Step 6: When completed, you will 
be returned to menu 1. Check that the 
number of entries is as expected and that 
there are no strange records by selecting 
the first and then last records and check- 
ing their contents. Often one or two 
stray records exist. These can easily be 
eliminated by deleting them. 

You should now have your data trans- 
ferred to a new file either on the original 
disk or on a new disk. However all com- 
puters are subject to untimely crashes, 
especially when performing delicate oper- 
ations such as above. This applies as 
much to Superbase as it does to PC's 
running dBASE. So before you attempt 
any reorganisation of files, create a back- 
up disk and work on it. If the system 
crashes at least you won't have lost your 
data.. .or you can refer to part two to re- 
cover what you can! 

So far we've covered transfer of 
whole or part (using a list) of your data 
using the same file definition. Now we'll 
consider the 'output' option in order to 
rearrange the fields in the file. This can 
be done either manually or under pro- 
gram control. 

First the manual approach: 
Step 1: Set up the desired new file 
format, preferrably on the original disk. 

Fig 1 - Programmed output for rearranging files 





rem program to output records 

f i 1 e " f i 1 ename " 

b$=" ":b=0:rem set string and numeric variables -for new 


■find "hlist" where (search criteria) 

output -from "hlist" to "out-f i le" C -f ieldi 3 C-f ield33plus 

C f ie 1 d23 b* C f iel d43 b f. -f iel d6 3 

rem lines 50-60 illustrate that fields can be output in 

any order you want 

eol menu;rem eof if not using find' 


-Australian Commodore Review 

Commodore 1526 and 
MPS 802 Owners - Look! 

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cilities? Would you like NLQ print quality? 
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Print several panels using the page- 
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Write large signs. Print Doodle, Printshop 
and Newsroom graphics 

All menu driven. For information read the 
article on page 38 in the January issue 
of Australian Commodore Review. 
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This is the last disk utilities disk you'll ever need, All your favourite disk utilities roiled into 
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rem program to transfer data from file.l to 

file. 2 


file "file.l" 


select f : rem a key field could be used 


a*=EkeyJ : d^CdateJ :c*=Cname] 


file "file. 2" 


c lear : Ccode J=a$ : Cdate3=d : [name] =c$ : store 


file "f ile. 1 " iselect n:eof menu 


goto 40 

Fig 2 - File to file transfer 

This is much easier and when finished 
you can delete the original file and it's 
contents, leaving you with the new file 
only. For this operation use the 'delete' 
program provided on the Superbase disk. 

Step 2: Select the original file and 
then the 'output' option. Type in the fol- 

all to "outfile" [fieldl][field2] etc. 

If you only want to rearrange some of 
your records then select them first and 

all from "hlist" to "outfile"[fieldl] 

The fields can be in any order you de- 
sire, but must correspond exactly in 
number and type to those in the new for- 
mat If there are to be new fields in the 
destination file you must allow for them 
by inserting string or numeric variables 
at the appropriate points in the 'output 
line'. These variables should be set to a 
single space for text fields or to zero for 
numeric fields, eg. 

a$=" ":a=0 <retum>:this enters the 
variables into memory 

then, output all to "outfile" [field l]a$ 

Step 3: Once your output file has 
been created,select the new file or create 
it if you haven't already. Make sure it 

matches exactly the output file format. 

Step 4: Select the 'import' option 
as described previously and proceed as be- 
fore. If any errors occur, check by using 
the 'select first/select last' method. The 
most common errors result from mixing 
up numeric and text variables or trying 
to import a space into a key field (invalid 
FMS parameter). Correct any errors and 
delete any spurious records before retry- 
ing to import. 

Dr Hunt suggests you use 'output all 
fill', but I've found that this creates unne- 
cessary work, as you need to create an 
extra dummy field to capture the extra re- 
turn character that the 'fill' statement adds 
to each record. Afterwards you will need 
to use 'format' mode to remove the dum- 
my field from the end of the record for- 

An example program [REFER 
FIG.l] illustrates how to do the above in 
program mode. This example also uses 
'plus' to extend the number of output 

I must stress the need to leave room 
on your disks to manipulate the files, 
apart from space to store indexes and pro- 
grams. About 150-200 blocks should be 
enough, I once was asked by a friend to 

split up a database over 
two disks. What should 
have been a straightfor- 
ward task took considera- 
bly longer to accomplish 
as the original disk only 
had about 50 blocks free. 
I had to create small ex- 
port files, transfer them, 
delete, and repeat these 
steps many times. 

To emphasise the versatility of Su- 
perbase, next is an example of how to 
transfer data from one file into another. 
[REFER FIG. 2] Here the required data is 
read from the first file by record,the field 
contents arc assigned to variables,the 
swap is made to the new file, the varia- 
bles are assigned to the fields of a blank 
record format and storedfthe critical step). 
Then the program returns to the first file 
to process the next record. 

This procedure can be modified and 
used to merge data from two files. Ee 
sure that the records in both are in the 
same order, and the fields being trans- 
ferred are of the same type and length. 

You can use a similar procedure to 
transfer data from one database to anoth- 
er, either on the same disk or on another 
disk drive. [REFER FIG. 3] 

With these examples you can design 
applications to merge data files or dis- 
tribute data from one file among many. 

If you have suggestions for topics or 
application problems, please share them. 
We'll be happy to discuss them in this 
series of articles. Write care of Australi- 
an Commodore and Amiga Review or di- 
rect to me at P.O. Box 115, Rozelle 
NSW 2039. 

Fig 3 - Transfer between databases 


rem program ta transfer data between databases 


database "dat .one" ,8,0 : f i le "file.l" 


select f 


a*=Ckey] : b$=Cname] sc=tdate3 


database "dat. two" ,9,0: file "file.2":rem assumes two drives 


c lear: Lkey3=a*: Cname3 = b*: Cdatel^' : store 


database "" ,8,0 : f i le " f ile. 1 " :selec t n:eof menu 


goto 40 


■ Australian Commodore Review 

Adventurer's Realm 

Adventurers Realm 

by Michael Spiteri 

super-duper Realm. This month is our Shadows of 
Mordor special, because not only does it feature a 
very exclusive interview with the crea- 
tors of Shadows of Mordor {Lord of 
the Rings Pt II), but you also have 
the chance to win a copy of this 
great 100% Australian adventure 
game in Adventurer's Realm's first 
national competition. 

Meanwhile, normal Realm help 
services are still running strong, and 
now I have finally invested in a decent 
printer (an Epson LX-800), I can now start answer- 
ing your letters quick-flash - as some of you may 

have already discovered. 

So, if you are stuck in any adventure/strategy/ 
wargame programs or can offer help and advice to 
stuckees then write it. I also want your views on 
anything to do with adventure games, and every- 
one is welcome to take part in the current de- 

The address is: 

Adventurer's Realm 

1710 Rhoden Court 

North Dandenong 

Victoria 3175 

The Adventurer's SLM Publishing 
Plot Contest 

The Competition: You have to devise an ingenious plot for any 
adventure game - science-fiction, mystery, comedy, adult, historical - any topic 
you wish. It has to be totally original. We do not want your programs, just 
your ideas! Only one entry per person. 

ihe PrizeS: The best ten entries each will recieve a copy of Shadows 
of Mordor (R.R.P $40). 

The JudQeS: SLM Publishing and Beam Software will decide on 
the best ten winners (bribes will be accepted but not considered). 
Judges decisions shall be final. 
ClOSing Date End of June. 
Ihe ReSliltS: Will be published in full in a future edition of ACT. 

The Address: 

Adventurer's Realm 


Shadows of Mordor 


1/10 Rhoden Court 

North Dandenong 

Vic 3175 

Adventurer of the 

This prestigious award goes to a charac- 
ter named Red Dog who lives out in a 
place called Townsville in QLD. Not only 
did Red Dog help many a troubled adventur- 
er, but he/she (who knows!) also sent me 
solutions to the following adventure games: 
Aztec Tomb, Crystals of Carus, Eureka 
(Prehistoric), Lords of Time, M or dons 
Quest, NeverEnding Story, Seabase Delta, 
Underworld of Kyn, Voodoo Caslle and 
ZZZZZzzzz. Congratulations Red Dog, 

Debate Centre 

The newest debate concerns those awful 
things that live in almost all adventure 
games. Yes folks, I'm talking about mazes. 
Should they be abolished? Or should they 
stay? What are your views on this very im- 
portant issue? 

Australian Commodore Review ■ 


Adventurer's Realm 



THIS IS THAT part of column 
where you can release all your 
frustrations. If any psychiatrists 
out there can help these troubled 
adventurers, please write in as 
soon as possible. 

Michael Bowman of Portland, 
Vic is stuck in a game I've never 
even heard of. The game is called 
Kobyashi Nam. Any hints would 
be appreciated. 

Andrew Phang is stuck on lots 
and lots of places in lots and lots 
of adventure games. 

Buraeacracy :What do I do in 
the jungle and how do I open the 
locked door? After I plug in the 
cartridge given to me by the na- 
tives, what do I do next? Is the 
nerd useful in any way? 

Guild of Thieves: How do I 
get the honey? What do I do in the 
cemetery? What is the pick used 
for? How do I remove the rats in 

Zorker of the 

month ^L- 

NOW TO THE other end of the scale, this month's 
most totally hopeless Zorker is... What? No Zorker! 
There must be one. What do you mean everyone cheated 
out by asking for hint sheets. Eah, humbug. 

Hint sheets for all three Zorks are available from the Realm 
at no cost at all, so he a typical Zorker and try to escape humilia- 
tion by asking for a hint sheet (until, that is, I start listing all the 
names of people who asked for them - wow - bulk humiliation.) 

the cellar? What is the anticube 
used for? 

Spellbreaker: What do I give 
the boulder so that I can ride it? 
And how do I get it? 

Barbara Carter of Brookvale, 
NSW is having great troubles in 
an adventure called Snow 
Queen. How do you get out of 
the garden after reading the book 
in Snow White? 

Brian Bayly is also having 
problems in King Solomon's 
Mines. He writes After going 
east from the Old Zulus Camp, I 
once again become lost in a 
maze I cannot map!' (MS: / 
already had to put Brian out of 
his misery after he was stuck 
in another unmappable maze 
in Mask of the Sun - crikey, 
why do programmers invent 
such a thing) 

Super-Adventurer Red 
Dog is stuck in a couple of 

Rebel Planet: How do I 
stop being arrested when I try 
to remove the sewer cover with 
the deltractor? What do I do 
with the Black Book? 

Rigel's Revenge: How do 
I get out of the desert after get- 
ting the bone? How do I make 
the gap in the bars in the apart- 
ment wider? How do I get out 
of the net? How do I get the mine 
and use it? How do I get past the 

robotank? How do I fill the stun- 
gun? What do I do with it then? 

Paul Pennington of Gatton in 
OLD is stuck in African Safari. 

How do I get the paddle from 
the snake? Any takers on paddling 
the snake for Paul? 

Terry Gilroy is after any pokes 
for Dragon 's Lair, as he cannot 
get through the first stage. (MS: / 
recall Dragon's Lair being an ar- 
cade game! Shame on you, Terry) 


Australian Commodore Review 

Adventurer's Realm 

The smart adventurer's 

of the column. This is the part where all 
the juicy secrets come out, and many a 
troubled adventurer put out of its misery. 
So, if you wrote in with a problem, and 
I couldn't help you with it, then there is 
a good chance you'll see the solution 

To: Mark Glendenning 

From: Vivvienne Slater 

Game: 9 Princes in Amber 

Help: Eric has a pack of trumps, get 
them off him and contact someone who 
will help you get you out of there. 

To: Suzanne Parkes 

From: Vivvienne Slater and Red Dog 

Game: The Pawn 

Help: To get into the workshop 
you'll have to lob something at the ma- 
gician {ask the devil about the wristband 
and he'll give you the goods). To get out 
of the workshop you can ride the plat- 
form but only if she weighs the same as 
the magician. You'll have to experiment 
by wearing and carrying various items. 
Look under the pedestal for a key. Jerry 
Lee Lewis needs a drink. 

To: Michael Lee 

From: Vivvienne Slater 

Game: Leather Goddesses of 

Problem: Keeps blowing up. 

Help: Maybe you should move to an- 
other location before the grenade goes 
off. Don't worry about Trent/Tiffany, 
they can survive anything. 

To: Jim Fang & Andrew Phang 
(MS: No, they are not related?) 

From: Vivvienne Slater 

Game: The Guild of Thieves 

Help: To make the fishing rod you 
need the billiard cue, thread and needle. 

To: David Newmann 

From: Vivvienne Slater 

Game: The Hobbit 

Help: Why don't you go to (he water- 

fall and get captured instead. 
To: Jim Fang 
From: Graham Prider 
Game: Bards Tale 

Help: To get to the Mangars tower, 
take the passage in the sewers at level 3. 
The crystal rod is used on the crystal go- 

To: David Newmann 

From: Graham Prider 

Game: The Holy Grail 

Help: LOB the grenade. 

To: Balrog Breath 

From: Red Dog 


Help: At the beach, get spade, dig 
sand, lift bucket, get bucket, dig sand, w, 
push bike, e, e, ring bell, give bike to 

sandman, e, examine fridge, get cheese, 
close fridge, untie tie, open chest, get all, 
w, w, w, w, drop cheese, e, e, n, (wait 
for sandman), thumb lift!! (MS: So 
much for cryptic solutions.) 

To: Balrog Breath 

From: Red Dog 

Game: Classic Adventure 

Help: Type in fee, fie, foe, foo after 
giving the egg away. Then go back to 
the giant's room to retrieve it. 

To: David Lear 

From: Red Dog 

Game: Underworld of Kyn 

Help: There is no use for the chair of 
the ruf. Wrap the crystal with silk and 
carry it. Throw the rope when at the ver- 
tical slot. The hall of darkness is a dead 

To: Mrs M. Buchanan 

From: Red Dog 

Game: Aztec Tomb I 

Help: Throw cloak, and go to the gate 
to get past the bull. Give cloak in tree 
house to get rid of dwarf. Take the box, 
examine it, and get the map. You must 
have the map before going into the for- 
est, or you will get lost. Go north in the 

That should keep most of you busy 
till next month. So until the May issue, 
farewell. ■ 


by Barry Btotitho 

"GATO" was a fleet class submarine 
of the US navy. Now you can command 
a Gato, in this real time simulation of 
underwater warfare in the Pacific of 
World War II. After Pearl Harbour, the 
US submarine arm was the only force in 
being that could hit back offensively at 
the Japanese war machine. 

US subs were ultimately so success- 

ful that we can but wonder why the Japa- 
nese strike at Pearl Harbour did not in- 
clude the large number of submarines in 
port at that time. 

The Japanese had cause to regret this 
choice as the US subs went on to be- 
come the most successful submarine arm 
of any of the warring nations of the Sec- 
ond World War. 

Australian Commodore Review ■ 


Adventurer's Realm 

In this simulation ,you are tasked by 
SUBCOM to seek out and sink Japanese 
shipping. Missions are assigned to you 
by radio. Hit "M" and a very American 
accented voice will give you your current 

The missions range from intercept to 
lifeguard duty and include covert opera- 
tions; in other words, rescue downed air 
crew, or land commandos on a Pacific is- 
land. If the opposition looks too tough 
to handle, or you do not like the mis- 
sion, press "M" for a change in orders. 

After completing a mission you will 
receive a "Well done, commander" and re- 
sults are entered into the ship's log, 
which can then be saved to disk. 

Controlling the sub 

Gato is keyboard operated and I 
missed waggling the joystick. However 
you soon learn which keys to hit when 
the enemy is bearing down on you. 

A command summary card to prop up 
near your monitor is a big help. Control- 
ling your Gato takes a bit of getting used 
to as the sub is sluggish and good antici- 
pation is needed. The main screen is the 
control panel/periscope view. This is 
where you control speed, heading, depth, 
24 torpedoes, periscope view, oxygen 
level and whether electric or diesel power 
is used. 

Hitting "C" for chart brings up an 
overhead view of the patrol area. There 
are three islands, one of which is your 
home base. Gato shows as green, enemy 
ships black, unless you select difficulty 
four or five then enemy ships are not dis- 
played. There are five levels of difficulty 
in the game. 

Radar gives an excellent reproduction 
of a radar screen. This is the most realis- 
tic screen and is also your best guide to 
tracking enemy ships. Ships and islands 
appear as blips and leave trails on the 
scope, enabling you to plot their posi- 
tion in relation to your own. 

Once in action, the D key will give a 
damage report and will be referred to of- 
ten as things heat up. If you are damaged 
or out of torpedoes, a trip to your home 

base to repair and replenish is required. 

A parameter option is available and 
this allows your sub to move great dis- 
tances by entering the co-ordinates of 
your destination. You cannot use this op- 
tion to escape once you are detected by 
the enemy. It is a good time saver, how- 
ever, the co-ordinates are not shown on 
the chart; so keep the instruction manual 

Keeping it running 

Your objective is to complete as 
many missions as possible while on a 
patrol. The decision to nip off home for 
fuel or repairs is just one of the tactical 
decisions you will have to make. There 
is lots to do in keeping your sub run- 

"After Pearl Harbour, 
the US submarine arm 
was the oniy force in 
being that could hit 
back offensively at the 
Japanese war 

When submerging you must remem- 
ber to switch from diesel to battery pow- 
er. Fuel, battery and oxygen levels have 
to be monitored. Low oxygen will force 
you to surface, perhaps in the midst of a 
formidable and very aggressive enemy. 
Torpedoes are aimed by the periscope and 
as there is no independent provision for 
moving the targeting periscope, you have 
to wait for the sluggish Gato to line up 
on the target. The enemy is pretty good 
at his job and will detect your radar if 
used too often. Once detected you lose 
your sub's precious element of surprise. 
You can then clearly hear the pinging of 
the enemy's sonar as he starts to track 
you down. This is followed by the 
sounds of shellfire and depth charges if 
you are not quick off the mark. 

This is a good simulation that has 
some first class attention to detail, such 

as the radar screen. Unfortunately it falls 
short of the mark in some respects. 

The deck gun is sadly lacking, and 
the inability to swing the targeting peri- 
scope on to the enemy without dragging 
three hundred and eleven feet of sub 
around is tedious. The view through a 
periscope was not all that clear, but it 
had to be better than the chunky unrealis- 
tic graphics that we see in the game. 

The most disappointing aspect in this 
simulation is the slowness of the pro- 
gram itself. Waiting for the different 
screens to appear after selecting them 
seems to take ages. This is especially 
frustrating when in the thick of the fray, 
and you're trying to get that last desper- 
ate shot down the throat of an advancing 

Perhaps we have become spoilt by 
the fast machine language execution of 
the latest programs. This slowness does 
detract from the playability of the game, 
it makes it appear dated. 

The missions, although various soon 
have a similarity about them, and once 
the game mechanics have been mastered, 
gameplay becomes repetitious. Gato is 
not addictive, it lacks the sparkle to be a 
great simulation. 

The inevitable comparison is with 
the excellent Silent Service, which just 
happens to be my favourite and most 
played game. It does seem a pity to criti- 
cise a simulation that not so long ago 
we would have seen as a milestone. 


Perhaps you had better take a look at 
this one and make up your own mind, 
for in my opinion, Gato does not play 
well as a game, and sinks into the depths 
when measured up against Silent Ser- 
vice. ■ 


Australian Commodore Review 


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