Hey! What’s going down in SAM town, cucumber-type dudes?!
Well there’s no point me asking you, is there? I’m supposed to be
the one in the know! I’ve got a right rollercoaster ride through
everything SAM-like this issue. Fasten your seat belts and away we go...
SMARTER THAN YOUR AVERAGE DISK!
Are your disks totally unorganised, like mine? If they need a
bit of a kick up the posterior, you need SmartFile.
It uses MasterDOS to help you erase, hide, unhide, protect,
unprotect, unerase and sort out the directories of any disorganised disk. It
can be used with the keyboard or SAMCo mouse and is mainly menu driven.
It’s certainly powerful and if you don’t have a utility like
this in your software collection get one fast! There are many times I’ve
accidentally erased a file and wanted to kick myself, but that’s no
longer a problem.
The biggest drawback of SmartFile is that it needs MasterDOS to
run. It you don’t have it you’re up corrupt disk creek without a
SmartFile’s available from William McGugan for only
£6.50, including instructions.
Looking for yet another cheapo disk magazine to increase your
software collection and titillate your computer chips? Here’s a new one
called Public and needs your help to get it off the ground.
I saw issue two and it was a little bit bare (ooo missus, don’t). The
creator, Sam ‘no relation’ Buchanan, wants people to contribute by
sending him any screens, BASIC or machine code programs, music and letters for
inclusion in future issues.
To order your copies of Public or get fame and fortune by
contributing, write to: Sam Buchanan. It costs £1 per issue.
VEGGIE BURGERS, AHOY!
The boys at Revelation software have been busy searching for SAM
software and have come up with a real winner in the shape of a squashy tomato
on a Vegetable Vacation!
This ain’t no ordinary tomato, though, he’s got wings and can
fly around doing the type of things tomatoes do! I haven’t quite worked
out this hero veg’s mission yet but the game looks excellent!
The 120-screen demo I saw had lots of equally rad fruit and veg inhabiting
every screen: blueberries with trainers on, mutant oranges. bogus lettuce
leaves, bouncing peas with legs and a silly looking teddy bear (that’s
not a vegetable, is it?).
The object of the game seems to be to fly around the landscapes collecting
objects and using them to free other objects. Hardly 100% original but a first
for the SAM.
All the graphics are excellently animated and coloured, with a kind of
semi-3D where you can fly behind some objects and in front of others.
Vegetable Vacation will be released on the Revelation label at a
price to be announced very soon.
ANOTHER SOFTWARE OUTLET!
Here’s a disk magazine many of you may have forgotten
about or never even heard of! Outlet was one of the originl bunch of
magazines that were around in the early days of the SAM and is now on issue
They produce the magazine in various formats — SAM, +D/Disciple, +3,
tape, microdrive and Opus disk — therefore the material they use is quite
general, with the odd SAM-specific piece here and there.
The presentation’s very ‘Spectrumesque’, probably so they
can use the same graphics on all formats. This disk mag obviously doesn’t
use the SAM to its best abilities.
Outlet’s an excellent source of information about the SAM and
Spectrum software industry but if you’re expecting a glorious piece of
SAM software you’d better look elsewhere. Each issue costs £3.50 and
details are available from Outlet.
SAVE THE TREES!
Here’s your chance to do your bit for the environment and
save a few forests from being chopped down. Buy a Comic On A Disk
instead of paper! The genius behind this SAM concept is David Tait (with a bit
of help from the tiny people, like Walt Disney!).
The first disk comic stars those virtually unknown cartoon characters,
Mickey Mouse and friends. The story’s been taken from a Disney comic and
some of the graphics have been borrowed from various PD disks but they’ve
never been put together like this before.
It loads compressed SCREEN$ flies one after the other, each a frame of the
cartoon. The story’s told using speech bubbles in the screens and
narrative text between them and it works really well as long as you’re a
fast reader! You can always break into the BASIC program and change the pause
statements to give yourself more time to read each frame.
You can get your Comic On A Disk for £2 from David Taff.
SIZZLING STUFF FROM SAMCO!
Things are hotting up in the SAM Computers offices these days,
not just in software but with exciting hardware developments, too!
This month should see the launch of a SAM video digitiser. No more fiddling
around on a crusty Atari ST for the likes of Guy Middleton (of digitised film
demo fame), you’ll be able to buy a cheap monochrome digitiser to test
out the SAM’s digitising skills then upgrade it to a colour model for
serious video grabbing.
The reason for an upgrade instead of just one colour package is so those on
a tighter budget can experience the joys of digitising. Saving up to buy a new
piece of hardware can take a long time so now you can do it in two steps!
Besides the other software mentioned in this month’s pages, there are
developments in the business and educational fields. A sort of Flash!
for kids is on the cards, with simplified menus and greater sense of fun. A
state-of-the-art spreadsheet and word processor are being developed which
promise to blow the socks off anything ever seen on the SAM before.
GET THOSE JUICES FLOWING!
Have you ever fancied creating your own arcade game masterpiece
on the SAM but not had the programming knowledge or graphic skills to do so?
There’s something coming your way that could solve your problems for
good. It’s a games designer especially written for the SAM by Glenco
Software and it looks like a powerful tool.
The disk I was sent included a new language for creating demos and games, a
Sprites Alive sprite designer and a brilliant demo of what can be
created using the system. The demo shows some amazing possibilities with a
couple of arcade adventures, a shoot-’em-up or two and a Break
The only trouble with this type of utility is that the games tend to look
very similar. Any budding games programmer will have to come up with some
pretty snazzy graphics to make their game shine out from the rest.
Creating a game’s quite simple, following a good read of the
instructions. You design the graphics, create the maps and define the paths of
the nasties in the designer. The main part of the game is written in a similar
way to BASIC, with lots of new keywords to give immense power to your
Life certainly isn’t dull on the SAM scene! If you have
anything to say about Mr Coupé (Mr 512K if you’re clever) or have a disk
packed with goodies for me to see, send it to this address: Nick Roberts, SAM
Page, CRASH, Europress Impact. See you next time, SAM pals!