Live Circuit

Success is mine! the Campaign For Mangram To Get A Shiny New Desk is complete! Sort of. Well, thanks to your generous (ahem) donations I now have enough money to afford the first four screws. Real thanks though for this month’s mail bag — a huge one! Keep ’em coming. Letter Of The Month goes to J Stanley this issue for a tale of woe that jerked my heart-strings (ping!). You too could be the lucky winner of a £40 software voucher by writing a great letter and sending it to: NEWSFIELD, LLOYD MANGRAM’S FORUM, CRASH.


Dear Lloyd
I wonder how many other people like myself have naively purchased a ZX Spectrum +2, on the presumption that a 128K machine would enable then to play games of far superior quality than that of a 48K machine or even the Commodore 64, only to find that practically every item of software purchased is to be loaded in 48K mode.

I find this extremely frustrating as I genuinely believed at the time of purchasing my ZX Spectrum, that this machine would provide better graphics and music than the Commodore 64. But now having seen the same game played on both machines I know I was mistaken.

I would be prepared to pay a couple of pounds extra if the software houses were to bring out two versions of the same game, 48K and a better 128K. Should I have saved my money and just bought a 48K machine in the first place?
J Stanley

No, you were right to buy a 128K Speccy. There are many games that take advantage of the 128K’s sound chip and larger memory. In fact most of the big name games do — Batman, Chase HQ, etc.

Don’t be disheartened, indeed — have a £40 software voucher and treat yourself to software which will operate in 128K mode (your local retailer should be able to recommend some). Remember though, that the 128K’s graphic capabilities are essentially the same as the 48’s.


Dear Lloyd
What has happened to the Olibugs? Have they all died off from some terrible disease, or is there a vicious Olibug eater at the new CRASH headquarters? For many editions there have been no Olibugs.

Why? I know Olibugs are an endangered species. People would love to steal them and sell them for loads of money (having them in CRASH might attract thieves). But still, CRASH isn’t the same without the friendly (well nearly friendly!) Olibugs.
Robert Butler

The problem’s this: Olibugs once lived happily on the CRASH designers paste-up boards (where text and pictures were stuck down). Now CRASH is produced on Macintosh computers and the Olibugs are having a bit of bother invading the circuit boards. Latest reports indicate they’ve found the input port and are diving in, look out for an appearance soon!


Dear Lloyd
I’m just writing in to let you know that I’d like to sell copies 1–48 of CRASH, or some of them, according to any buyer’s preference. The first two volumes are in CRASH binders. I’m open to readers’ offers.
Philip Murphy

An issue one? A rare item indeed. If you’re interested in Philip’s offer, get in there quick!


Dear Lloyd
Here’s a poem...
I like CRASH.
I read it while I eat bangers and mash,
I liked the WHAM Bar that was free,
l ate it while I was having tea,
Four free games each month to play,
Three cheers for CRASH: Hooray, hooray hooray!!

That must deserve £40 worth of software. Mustn’t it?
Christopher Bailey

PS. Here is some money to help with the new desk account. Now you have the grand total of erm... £00.05. Congratulations.
PPS I hope this bribe works.

There once was a chappie named Chris,
Whose bribery plot was this,
‘Send Mangram some dosh,
And he’ll be impressed — by gosh!
And award me £40 of software — ah, bliss!’

You must be joking, be off with you!


Wham Bar: the most tooth exploding bar in the world! It really works. On the first bite of my Wham bar, Kerpow!, my tooth broke and fell out. It’s the tooth the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth (groan — LM).

Yours toothless
Marissa Smith (11)

Apparently, (well, there’s this rumour going around) if you stick a tooth under your pillow, this great fairy takes it and in its place leaves 10p — ideal for buying another WHAM Bar! A bit daft. How many fairies do you know who have tooth collections? That’s what I want to know.


Dear Mr Mangram
Yo! How are you doing? (I picked that up from my grandson Peter). I’m an 82 year-old Granny and have been reading CRASH for a long while. To start with I stole Peter’s copy every month, but eventually decided to get a subscription. Peter was most pleased as I stopped cutting out competition entries and posters!

Recently I’ve been playing the games on the Power Tapes. They’re all pretty good (compared with my aged games such as Space Intruders), but I find them a bit hard — my reactions aren’t what they used to be!

Luckily, my husband George bought me one of those green and pink cruiser joysticks for Christmas. I used to find it hard to press down the keys because of my arthritis. The joystick has really helped, it also brightens up the living room and doesn’t clash with the wallpaper. My only complaint is that my +2A doesn’t match the TV very well. Do you know if Sinclair make a Teletext TV to match the +2A?

I’ve always fancied being a pilot, and there are several flight sims about. Is Project Stealth Fighter any good?

One other thing, I really enjoyed the ‘Yummy, scrummy space-age WHAM bar’. The only trouble is my false teeth are still stuck in it.
Mildred Rix

Regarding a Sinclair monitor, I’m afraid there isn’t one. Just adjust the fine tuning on the TV set and a suitable signal should be found. And if you want to get into flight simulations Project Stealth Fighter is good — also try Gunship which is excellent.


Right I’ve done some thinking and I’ve decided that Live Circuit has just about room for two new additions. So, please give a big hand for Help! and Fave Raves (A nation claps). What are they all about? Read on and find out...


This is Help!, a shiny new section designed to, erm, help! It’s a tidy column where you can request help! If you’re stuck on anything technical, or just stuck generally. Hopefully someone out there has an answer!

In CRASH 77 S Wilson asked for help! on how to get his LPRINT function working with a Citizen 120-D dot matrix printer (he has a +3). Well S, your cry for help! has been answered. William Easson, Ray Johnson and Paul Holmes all wrote in with a useful tip:

When you switch on your +3 type this command: POKE 23354,62: POKE 23355,16, then press ENTER. Now the printer will work fully with LLIST, LPRINT and COPY.

Now a plea for help! from Paul Holmes. What seems to be the trouble then Paul? ‘I am going crazy!’ Oh dear... ‘I’m trying to find a parallel INPUT/OUTPUT interface for my +3. Please can you tell me where I can get one and at what price?’. Can anyone help? Send your solutions to me at the usual address.

Who’s this looking for help!? It’s Michael Woodford. Michael says ‘My +2 won’t load any of my games (normally it says nothing at all for the program name). Should I get it repaired?’ Yes! Immediately! Take it back from whence it came and ask for a new one!


Bright new section number two. The idea was prompted by a letter from Phil Wain, who has just recently bought a Speccy (where have you been!) and wants to know how good all the Speccy software that appeared over a year ago is. Well, for a start Phil, you could order a load of back issues, but why not have a look at what other CRASH readers recommend...

So viewers, what I’m looking for is your chart of Speccy Fave Raves (hence the title). Basically, the top five games you’ve played and a short sentence explaining why. We’ll start with this chart... what could you come up with?

  1. PIPEMANIA/Empire
    Ooo, it drives you mad! Simple game but frighteningly addictive!
  2. RICK DANGEROUS/Firebird
    This brilliant platform romp should have been a Smash — very playable!
    A superb arcade conversion, playable, addictive and enormous fun!
  4. CHASE HQ/Ocean
    Simply the best Speccy driving game ever!
  5. MYTH/System 3
    Huge game, full of platforms and action and beat ’em up — it’s got the flaming lot!

What are the five best games you’ve played — get your ideas in the post, to the usual address now!!