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...


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 paddle!

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.


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.


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 55!

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.


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.


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.


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 Out-style bash.

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 fingertips.

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!