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Written in 68000. So even a machine code program which uses the OS extensivetv wiII run fast(;r on an Amiga. Yvhite 0502 can bemixed with tktsic intine - where mnemonics are tvpedstraightintoBasic-OHOOO rotBinos can becaMed as extensions, so it is verv easy to tweak programs which need a speed boost. 1' is possihte to run the system without Basic. This drops you into a simpte machine code monitor which witI accept AmigaDos CEI mmmands. Dump or aItcr memory or registers and disasscmbtc and run 0502 programs. Some things the Amiga can't cope with. The BBC has an anatogue joystick port. The command ADVAE is used to rcad this. And since the Amiga uses digitaI joysticks Beebutator ADVAE is tlxed to atways return zéro. I he Amiga keyhoard is différent and so some substitutions have been made. The flO function key mirrors the BBC fO. DEL is used as a copv kev for the BBC's interesting screen editor and Ieft Amiga-hetp performs a break - which resets the machine. Heip on its own coutd have been used. But was considered too IikeIv to he pressed by mistakc. Bits of the operating system which are dupticated by Amiga preferenœs are not imptemented. Things tike the key repeat speed are set from Amiga Workbench. Disc formatting is done from AmigaI)os. And the BBC Ii(TO command *C()MPA(n which tidics up a fragmented ftoppv produces the error message llton Aldflrs?. The Amiga has t)een made to feet Iike a BBC hy emutating the graphies modes {sceIaI)Ie).aIthough the eharacter set tooks very simitar. It is actuaüy ctoser to th(I originaI tetetext design than the Acorn version. The tteehutator powers up in Mode 0. A text onIy. Two cotour mode because this is the fastesI at writing to the screen. On a reaI BBC Mode 7. The tetetext mode - eight cotour with timited graphies - is very much faster because it has hardware support. Whitc Ariadne's Mode 7 is useahte it is not rccommendcd for editing-the manuaI describes it as being tike a very skiüed painter trying to produec toxt as fast as a crummy typewritrr. The speed of Beebutator graphies is most impressive. Amiga

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NSHIIadifeoiropiirdl.n ¦CONTENTS!
Rm m* fi SOFT WA R E ¦ AMIGA SCENE ¦ A FORMER Atari executive has been recruited by Commodore to spearhead its growing impact on the education marketplace.
Commodore appoints education supremo Bill Owen, who becomes sales manager for education, was won over to the Amiga at the Hanover computer fair in Germany.
Owen first came across the machine when he was working for leading distributor SDL, He told Amiga Computing: "I was convinced that 68000 machines were right for edu- enough good software around for the ST. “What I saw at Hanover convinced me that the Amiga sales success story Commodore is one of the success stories of the year.
It is clearly emerging as Europe's second largest supplier after IBM according to a leading research organisation.
Dataquest's European Monitor reports Amiga sales are booming and Commodore's Pcs are increasingly finding favour in the busi- Awards for Mirrorsoft THREE best-selling games from Mirrorsoft - Tetris.
Dungeon Master and Falcon have won honours in Europe.
In Paris the programs captured four Tilt d'Or awards the highest number received by any software publisher - from France's Train as a commando AT a secret location within a dense forest lies one of the world's Amiga outstripped the ST's capabilities in education, both in terms of software and flexibility in the classroom. It will be good to be working with a company that is really committed to education".
Owen worked for Atari as a regional sales manager, was head of Eltec's public service division specialising in education, and then was national sales manager for SDL in its corporate and education division.
Commodore's sales manager for education. Peter Talbot said: "I believe this appointment is a clear statement to the market that Commodore is committed to the education sector".
“Commodorc is obviously riding high", commented Dean Barrett, the company’s UK marketing manager.
"Worldwide, our first quarter profits to September 30,1988 were up 92 per cent to S9.6 million on the corresponding quarter for 1987.
"The Dataquest figures are further proof that Commodore is taking control of the home computer market and advancing strongly in the business sector".
Biggest circulation computer games magazine. Tetris was voted Best Strategy and Best Original game, while Dungeon Master was voted Best Role Playing game and Best Animation.
Germany's. Leading entertainment software magazine.
Happy Computer, had earlier given its Best Concept award to Tetris and Best Adventure to Dungeon Master. Falcon was voted Best Simulation.
Toughest schools, where trade. Tha°*s the scene "in Action Service, from Info- grames (01-364 0123). Soon to be released for the Amiga priced £19.95. Taxi out and scramble Flyers, including chief test pilot of makers General Dynamics, were consulted during the writing of FI 6 Combat Pilot.
The new simulation from Digital Integration (0276 684044) will be released on the Amiga shortly. It follows each mission from the crew room through to postmission debriefings.
Players get to pilot one of the most advanced multi- role fighter planes in the US Developing in Germany Commodore - Amiga Technical Support (CATS) is to hold a second European Developers' Conference. The first conference was held two years ago in Brighton, but as the aim is to take in all European programmers the second meeting will be held in Frankfurt, Power from a compiler fully exploit the power of their machine without having to learn another computer language.
Hi-Soft Basic is a new high specification compiler editor which takes Basic programs and converts them into super fast machine code within an easy-to-use environment like that of the Borland Turbo' products for the PC.
Following the world standard Microsoft Basic, as well as compiling Amiga- armoury through its five major roles air defence, battlefield support, offensive counterair. Interdictor strike F16 Combat Pilot sin lates all these activities, fr scrambling and desperate dogfights to tank-busting battle support.
Digital Integration director Dave Marshall (third from right in the Digital te above) said: "We are very grateful for the assistance w received from General Dynamics and FI 6 pilots our game is the closest y can get to flying tf aircraft" All the discussions will b in English, with talks from the Amiga design team which will be flying in from Los Gatos, the Californian birthplace of the Amiga.
It is aimed at professional developers, so if you think a long word is something like sesquipedailian. You would be better off skiing. And a: the conference is to be held in January you might g the chance.
Basic interpreter programs, it also greatly extends the language to include many features from QuickBasic for the PC and HiSoft Basic for the Atari ST. Additional language features include full recursive sub-programs and functions, parameters passed by value or reference, and flexible looping constructs.
HiSoft Basic supports all Amiga library routines: programs can be as large a memory allows, strings cai be up to 16Mb in length and arrays any number of dimensions. Price £99.95 from HiSoft (0525 718181).
IT used to be called the Pet show, when Commodore's Personal Electronic Trans- ir was king. Then with rise of the Commodore Amiga practically stole the show I selling home computer "proper" name of The Commodore Show took After hearing one C64 owning visitor complain that there was nothing new for r machine, it probably m't he long before we all irt calling it the Amiga Still the Commodore Show it remains, and this was the Commodore Christmas, so it snowed on the Sunday.
Shows at the Novotel have always seemed split between the bargains in the basement and the posh lot upstairs.
The big news from Commodore was the BBC Emulator, but there was no n of the new hardware it has shown in the US. Commodore seemed genuinely pleased and surprised in the interest shown in the emulator and announced a January 12 launch date.
Digita launched two new products in its range of small business programs. Day by
- a simple diary - and E-type a "typewriter emulator", which
sounds an excuse for a word processor. Expect reviews in Amiga
Computing soon.
Basic seems to be an up nd coming language with Microdeal previewing GFA Basic and HiSoft demonstrating its compiler. Neither language was finished, but both seemed pretty comprehensive.
HiSoft seemed to be doing a roaring trade in cut-price Devpac assemblers and the v Devpac II, as well as answering techie questions s of v s C compilers.
Mandarin was demonstrating Time and Magik.
Lancelot and Pioneer Plague.
Rich drew the crowds, many of them asking what had happened to the Lombard Rally game. It was due to bo finished on the Monday after the show.
Up market' company Microway showed why the Flickerfixer is worth £300 but refused to say anything about the possibility of an dore education National sabs manager Peter educational drive Amiga 500 version.
Video add-ons were very much in evidence. A couple of stands were showing the Mini-gen £99 genlock and Rendale had a slightly more up-market device for a shade under £200.
Pam Smith from Triangle Television was showing some very exciting video hardware including a Hitachi video printer which dumps screens from RGB on to a special paper, and selling a tape of video effects produced using an Amiga and various video gizmos.
Tony Sellingcr from Pure Graphics sold out of his CombineR. GB units which take and split an RGB signal so that you can use DigiView without needing the filter wheel.
Two teletext adapters were on show, one from Solidisk and a much more impressive device from Microtext which follows Commodore guidelines to the letter. It will be reviewed soon in Amiga Computing.
The people from Microtext were very patient, having a stand next to Ariadne which was showing a pre- production version of Opus 1, the music language.
Perhaps the Microtext people didn't need to be patient because the sounds emanating from Ariadne were really pleasant a great selection of jazz and classical tracks using sound generated by Paula and a crowd of Midi boxes.
Simon Cobb from Siren Software was making a lot of noise with Soundblaster, a device which plugs into the phono connectors and a pair of speakers to deafen the neighbours.
Precision Software gave demonstrations of its products on a big screen TV, including the first games in the range from Mindware in the States and the latest versions of Superbase and Superbase Pro. The best database programs for the You had to queue to spend money with Silica Shop.
There was some interesting software, for example Who framed Roger Rabbit on special US import.
The bargains continued at HB Marketing which was selling ComicSetter for under £50 and showing a stupendous demo of a Star Wars AT-AT walking past an Amiga 2000 running on a 2MB A500.
But for real bargains you needed to go downstairs.
Super-slim second drives with a disable switch for £75 from Evesham, really cheap discs from Centec and a wide range of C64 and Amiga goodies from Postronix.
AUG and ICPUG both had good shows, the latter celebrating its 10th birthday, and it was good to see an historic computer on its stand.
Driving ambition CRAZY Cars II is under development in France by Gil, the top programmer at Titus Software which claims that this is the road game which does the things which other driving games fail to do, complete with cars that spin and a road which splits at a fork.
It features the fastest Ferrari ever, the 200mph F40, doing battle with the police and collecting speeding First out of the Chrysalis NEW software house Chrysalis 10709 370102) is releasing its first game for the Amiga this month.
Prison, based on a penal colony planet deep in space, is pure escapist entertainment in more ways than one.
The player must search a series of screens for clues to the location of a hidden spaceship which is the only means of escape from the Programmed by Michael Hart, with graphics by Jason Wilson, Prison will cost £19.95. Chrysalis has emerged from Teque, the development house responsible for such titles as Terre max and Pac Mania. "Consequently the company differs from other software houses as it is product rather than marketing orientated", said a spokesman.
Hot on the scent I* Staffing signals Amiga success JIM BUTTERFIELD reporting from Canada i MIGA ¦ XRobcrlson, of Tooting Junction, London, has reached the final of the Mandarin Software competition to win a £5,000 replica of (he Holy Grail.
Using his Amiga, Ian has come up with a possible location for the replica which is buried somewhere in Britain.
He is one of the first nine finalists to be named. A further 27 will come to light in Vanquish a vampire Amiga cntcrtain- viewed at Comdex in the USA by Microdeal (0726 68020).
Arcade adventure Fright Night is based on the film and gives players 12 hours to wipe out the vampires or become their victim.
International Soccer has nine difficulty levels, digitised sound effects and Here there be dragons FULL eight way scrolling is featured in Dragonscape. The latest offering from Software Horizons (01-348 4577) for Ihe Amiga. Due out next month, priced £14.95. the shoot-em- up action game includes wacky puzzles and elements of strategy involving dragons and mystical lands.
Fax service facilitated Microlink subscribers have been spared the problems reported by users of Telecom Gold's, new fax service Mailfax.
Because Mailfax bewildered many people, up to 30 per cent of messages were being addressed to invalid numbers.
But MicroLink (0625 878888) has come up with a simplified method for using the facility - called Easy Fax.
"People were being asked to key in all sorts of different sequences in order to send fax messages", said Micro- Link systems manager Tim Clarkson. "Even I found Mailfax difficult to use. But devised by Mandarin (0625 678888) to coincide with the launch of its latest title Lancelot, based on the legend of King Arthur. All clues to the whereabouts of the Grail are in code within the program.
¦AMIGA SCENE!
Hand crafted in solid sterling silver, the goblet is gilded inside with 22 carat gold and encrusted with amethysts, garnets and Along with other finalists, Ian will now take part in a play-off in February.
Hi-res graphics. It can be played using Microdeal's four-player adapter.
Microdeal also showed its AMAS advanced midi Amiga sampler, an 8 bit stereo digitiser with a full implementation Midi interface.
And, from Michtron, it had VTX on line for the Amiga - described as "the ultimate in telecommunications packages for Amiga owners” - plus VIVA. Visual Interfaced Video Authoring, software combining video, sound, colour and graphics.
We’ve re-written the front end of the program for our own subscribers now all they need do is type in the telephone number of the fax machine they want to send their message to".
At the same time, Micro- Link has introduced Fax Check a method of seeing whether messages queued for transmission have been "The whole principal behind using electronic mail for faxing is to make it as easy to use as possible", said Derek Meakin, head of MicroLink.
"We feel that with Easy Fax and Fax Check as add-ons to the Telecom Gold fax gateway, we've managed to get it right for our subscribers".
AUTUMN has been showtime for Amiga fanatics. AmiExpo in Los Angeles was poorly attended, but developers were out in strength. Some West Coast software houses expressed unhappines's when Commodore indicated that it was acquiring ARP.
The Amiga Replacement Project system pioneered by Scott Ballantyne and Charlie Heath.
Many users are pleased with the ARP system, but that opinion is not unanimous, at least not yet.
In contrast, the first World of Commodore of the season, held in Philadelphia, was mobbed by enthusiastic users. Perhaps the most encouraging sign of all was that Commodore had set up a booth whose specific purpose was to hire new employees. Seems like a sure sign of Amiga success.
Commodore saved its new product displays for the Comdex show. They included such items as the 590, an Amiga 500 expan- 2Mb of expansion ram and a SCSI controller for hard disc.
Reports from the show also tell of the AT board, the Unix-style system and (perhaps shown behind closed doors) the Amiga transputer, a system that includes networking.
David Klein, formerly of Electronic Arts, is now a Vice President at Commodore. At EA he headed the 64 games division. At Commodore some observers view his role as VP of game machines.
Industry guessers wonder if a new machine is on its way using Amiga custom chips. It wouldn't likely carry the Amiga name, but I suspect that there would be no mistaking those great graphics.
Interest is growing in messaging systems, which allow information to be passed in a standard form from one program to another.
Commodore has indicated that it might standardise on AREXX. Another contender is IPC, a protocol developed by a group of UseNet programmers.
The network discussions continue to be fast and furious. Systems programmers see the need for such systems, whereas most general users don't relate to them.
WordPerfect Corporation has a high reputation for supplying user updates for its word processor. This summer, the company outdid itself. By mistake, it shipped a new product, Library to several hundred.
When some asked for the documentation, WordPerfect discovered its error, and politely declined to be that user-friendly.
Early glimpses of the 1.4 system can now he obtained via a Commodore system-in- testing. Jumpstart 1.4. The current version is being made available in selected areas to developers willing to buy the chip set and participate in testing.
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The world has been treating you badly, but the peace and quiet under a clear blue sky clears your mind and gives you a real sense of wellbeing. A pillar of blue light appears before you. Lasting for seconds only, it disappears, leaving behind an amulet and two books wrapped in thick cloth.
The amulet is an ankh. A cross with a loop atthe top. The cloth is an ancient map and one of the books is The History of Britannia by Kyle the Younger. Fascinated, you settle down to read about the realm of Britannia.
Finished reading, you become aware of music, and following its haunting melody And what appears to be a Renaissance Fair. The music leads you to a gypsy caravan set apart from the rest. An old gypsy, also wearing an ankh, welcomes you and asks you a number of questions. Each has two answers and you reach deep response. After the final question the fabric of your universe seems to wrench, split and meld back together... You open your eyes and find yourself somewhere in Britannia. Life now has a new meaning. Ultima IV - Quest of the Avatar has begun.
This role playing adventure is vast in its scope. There are plenty of monsters to fight but there are also the underlying quests to solve. In each of the castles, towns and villages of Britannia you must talk to the people and thread together the information they give you. There are more than 200 people or creatures to interrogate. Many will have something useful to tell you and seven are willing to join you.
YOUR ability to reach a solution and destroy the evil force found in the Abyss depends on a number of things, some material, others spiritual.
From the Sanskrit, it literally means a You must show by your actions and deeds that you are worthy in eight attributes - compassion, honesty, honour, humility, justice, sacrifice, spirituality and valour. You then visit the eight shrines, carrying the correct rune and meditate, intoning the correct mantra, to attain Avatarhood.
You will need some help to stay alive long enough to reach this first goal. Each of the main towns of Britannia is the home of a specific class - paladin, fighter, ranger, druid, tinker, bard, mage and shepherd. The questions you answered for the old gypsy will have determined your class, and you will arrive in Britannia near the appropriate town. One person will join you in each of the other towns. However, some may not join straight away if they think you are not yet worthy of their friendship.
Most evil creatures carry gold. If you fight them and win. They will leave behind a chest which you must open to get the gold. Many carry traps
- beware of acid, bombs and poison.
Gold is necessary to buy food, weapons, armour, the ingredients to prepare magical spells and a few special items from the Guild. In your spell book you will find how to prepare many of the simpler spells.
The more powerful will need research, and the gathering of two ingredients not on sale at any shop.
ALKING to people is simple, there are three main questions that may be posed to all you meet - their name, job and health. The replies may encourage you to pursue an additional subject. For example, a young mage met in an out of the way village may say "I seek the wisdom of magic". If you throw "magic" back at him he will tell you who and where his master.is, and that he knows the "gate” spell. When you meet his master you can ask him about this spell.
Some lines of enquiry will lead you to many different places scattered around Britannia. Persevere and make careful notes of who you meet where, and what they have to tell you. As ' CREATIVITY t HAS ITS UNITS.
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A mumi weapons, but in the early stages I found the missile weapons, sling, bow or crossbow to be most effective.
Let the monsters get too close and they will damage you. This may mean either the use of a heal spell or a visit to the healers.
You gain information you will learn that becoming an Avatar is not all that is required of you.
There are a number of objects to find and some lie in the dungeons deep below the surface. Needless to say the creatures found on these trips are powerful. Make sure you have prepared plenty of spells before you entor the deepest levels.
Visit the castle of Lord British often.
If your experience has increased enough, he will raise your level, giving you greater hit points and increasing your basic attributes, such as strength and dexterity.
He will also heal your wounds, but beware of not going to the healers.
They will ask you for a gift of blood to help others, and agreeing to this will help your elevation to Avatarhood. Also in this castle is LTIMA IV is great to play and will take you a long time to solve. The graphics are similar to those of Ultima HI - simple and explicit. Normal travel out in the open Hawkwind the Seer, who will instruct you on obtaining perfection in the eight virtues of the Avatar.
Or in a town is shown as a plan view with your party represented by a single figure.
Enter battle and a larger scale plan view is displayed showing the position of each of your party members. You may then manoeuvre them in turn to place them in the most effective position.
There is a reasonable choice of Being attacked by a pirate ship can be a blessing. Having beaten them, you end up a ship to the good. You may now sail the high seas and explore further still. The cannon on board is quite powerful, but beware of other pirate ships' armanment.
Boarding and engaging in hand-to- hand combat is a safer option.
Dungeons are 3D corridors divided into relatively small sections where it is not too easy to get lost. The dungeons are separated by battle sections that contain creatures and puzzles which must be overcome before passing through.
It is possible to walk your party out of an available exit without giving battle, but presumably the program will record your lack of valour.
Likewise, ignoring a needy beggar in one of the towns decreases your compassion and I'm sure Hawkwind the Seer will have something to say if you follow this path. Be warned, there arc hints that your companions may leave you if you do not measure up to their high ideals.
Ultima IV is a feast for the role playing adventurer. The only minor criticisms I can make are of the lack of noticeably' increasing difficulty in the battles as you progress and the sometimes laborious sequential movement of eight characters in connected battle sections.
It is a must for all followers of the active role playing adventure.
LANCELOT is the latest adventure from Mandarin Software and sadly it signals the end of the company's short but useful collaboration with top adventure writers. Level 9. The game is based on the historical and legendary accounts surrounding King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
Apart from King Arthur, the best recognised name linked with that era is Lancelot. It is as this shining example of knighthood that you will adventure through mediaeval Britain.
The adventure is loosely divided into three parts. The first concerns the arrival of Lancelot at Camelot and the court of King Arthur and his elevation to knighthood. This achieved, the second section involves his exploits to prove himself worthy of his knighthood by rescuing a number of wrongly imprisoned knights. These in turn return to Camelot to swell the ranks of the Order of the Round Table.
The third part follows on some 20 years later where your goal is to help Lancelot in his attempt to find the Holy Grail. The third part may be IS AMIGA COMPIITIM; January I9S9 iszr Err gHBft- Sihu S”" gr i&z j§K tai£S»l« '« “» «6S« i”««s s tir- gar ass s*'1" SET See S* ssftu.
IsssT SHI9” CHARACTER interaction is a vital part of the game. Cooperation between Lancelot and others who are with him is necessary on a number of Level 9’s command Wait X means that characters can be instructed to perform an act at a particular time.
Played independently of the first two.
As with all adventures from Level
9. The descriptive text is full and highly atmospheric. The
command interpreter is an improved version of what was already
a very acceptable system used in its previous games.
Knight Ore and Gnome Ranger. The high quality graphics complement the flavour of the text.
For example, if a rock is too heavy for one man to move, it is pointless to tell others to move it without coordinating their push with yours.
Gawain, wait 2. Push rock. Ector, wait, push rock, and finally push rock; would ensure that all three of you would be pushing the rock at the A small scale map showing the major places you will need to visit in parts one and two of the adventure is supplied with the game. The command goto xxxx (or run to xxxx) will take you to that area. You should still draw your own maps to ensure that you explore all possible locations.
Remember throughout that Lancelot has always been depicted as the perfect knight. This was the time when chivalry grew of age and was the watchword of the Knights of the Round Table. To succeed in either part of the adventure, manners.
Honesty, mercy and honour must be interpreted correctly. His relationship with Queen Guinevere proving to be an exception. There is no room in this game for today's lager lout.
At the beginning, when Squire Lancelot first visits Camelot, he is unable to see the king straight away.
He must wander around the town and find somewhere to rest for the night.
While here visit Merlin. Although he has no major role in the adventure, his books are worth reading. On the following day be certain to end up at the court of King Arthur.
Having felt the touch of Arthur’s sword upon your shoulder, remain in his presence until dismissed. You will now have a clue as to where you should go next. A number of quests have to be completed and several hints will be supplied to send you in the right direction. The completion of individual quests is not easy.
It is possible to perform some quests out of sequence, but only when you have tackled all of them will the program automatically lead into part three - The Quest for the Holy Grail.
This final section introduces Lancelot's son Galahad. It is only with his help that the quest may be accomplished. Again cooperation between Lancelot and others is vital The instructions are clear and explicit with a number of hints to novice adventurers. There is also a very readable section giving a resume of the Arthurian saga.
Lancelot is one of Level 9's finest adventures. It is not easy but for those that falter, an excellent hint sheet is available. Used sensibly this will enhance the enjoyment and elation at solving the many puzzles.
REPORT CARD LANCELOT Level 9 Mandarin The Amiga can already emulate an IBM PC and a Commodore 64.
Simon Rockman looks at a package which will add the BBC Micro to its repertoire of impersonations The Amiga that thinks ii SCHOOL. A place where life is determined by bells, torture is . * 5 with an excellent Basic and a 3k Vic 20 I think the school made the right The usual rule is that a computer only succeeds if there is software written for it, and software only gets written if the computer is successful.
This loop is what has kept the IBM PC going when there are many better machines around. The usual solution lot of effort Acorn struck lucky, the machine sold without software. Brilliantly designed, it was the computer buffs dream. The BBC took 10 per cent of profits and based a computer literacy programme around the beige box; the computers in schools scheme meant doting parents bought the machine little N'igel had at school for him to So the BBC Micro reversed the li and became a success before the software was written. Keen to capitalise on this, lots of small companies produced software for
i and thanks to the educational foothold the BBC ended up as the only machine with a respectable quantity of educational programs worth a second look.
Com sold 600.000 BBC Micro.
About half of them are in schools. These institutions would lovt to upgrade, but know that to do so would mean waving goodbye to the best base of educational programs they are ever likely to see.
Commodore would love to sell Amigas to schools, partly to improve the sales of the Amiga 2000 but also to get the Nigels of the future to ask for an Amiga at Christmas.
Now if the Amiga could run all the educational software that Mrs Marlin, the computer studies teacher keeps under lock and key. She might wake up to the joys of Commodore computing. While Nigel is blase about a ray-traced five bitplanc blittcr-objoct unleashing megabytes of digital death on the kreeblies. Nothing impresses snowman which can count three green balloons.
Which will meet Mrs Martin's exacting standards. Commodore commissioned a BBC emulator from Ariadne Software. Emulators are difficult beasts. Anyone who has some experience of Transformer (the Amiga PC emulator) or the Readysoft C64 emulator will know that such software is of limited use.
Ariadne was chosen by Commodore to produce a genuinely useful program which could run the majority of BBC Micro programs used in schools, including a hit list of 12 major ones compiled by the Department of Trade and Industry.
The result is the Beebulator. This is an Amiga program which makes the Amiga function like a BBC B. It docs more than turn the Amiga into a BBC Micro, and is far more advanced than just an implementation of BBC Basic for the 68000.
Beebulator emulates the Acorn operating system (OS) which means Send » FAX with the Xerox 4020 Colour Ink Jet Printer Now you can use an Amiga (or any other computer) to send correspondence in seconds to ANY of the many millions of fax machines in ANY part of the world.
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from 0626 878888 Graham Wayne, professional musician and former
manager at Rainbird Software, looks at Midi magic SEQUENCERS
are the tricky end of Midi programming design and
implementation. Timecode, Midi clock rates.: tape, loops and
sequencers are more complicated. The more yoi pay the more you
get. So unless you are considering buying a top end of the
market sequencer the only way you can evaluate the available
software is by the kilo, as it wei In other words, what doesn't
it do. And how important are the omissions, anyway? Midi Magic
is a 16 track American team Circle Design.
It sells for Si 30 in the US. So we can reasonably expect it tc about £80 in the UK. Putting i middle band of prices for this kind software. It should. I believe, offer substantial range of facilities require the most advanced types of data handling and control, since puts it out of the fooling for fun budget and into the let's get serious At least. I get serious for £80; dor know about you.
The front end of Midi Magi thought out. If you've already had experience with a sequencer syster is quite possible to find your way around the wine reference to the manual.
Commendably, all the buttons work more or less as you would expect.
Some exceptions are necessitated by the Wimp environment. Things such as clicking on a numeric value and holding down the mouse button down while moving the mouse left or right to increment and decrement the number.
On start-up. The inappropriately named Tape Transport. Track Display and Don't Panic windows are opened.
This last option halts the sequencer in mid-stride and sends note-off commands on every channel. A bar meter on the right side of the screen gives a visual and percentage display of the available memory, and above it the play-through buttons control the output and rechannelling of Midi AT the top of the screen pulldown menus reveal Project, which we'll come back to. Controls, which deals with clocks, tempos and Midi control messages. Song, through which the architecture of sequences is built and manipulated, Sequence, which contains similar options to the Song menu but for the individual
component parts of the song, and finally Track, which is where the editing of track data, quantising and track copying may be selected.
The pull-down menus are nested.
This appears to be a sensible method of grouping available options, but in practice the computer has to draw drag the pointer down the menu to select your choice, and the speed of selection is irritatingly tardy.
Many of the menu choices open other windows through which new entered, and all windows can be placed and sized according to user requirements. There is also a startup file accessible via the workbench through which the user can set startup preferences.
Recording with Midi Magic Is straightforward. Select a track, or tracks for recording in the Track Display window - Midi Magic allows THE AMIGA CENTRE 77 79 Rochester Row, London SW1 01-931 7161 SELECTED ITEMS Digita - Home accounts .£29 Infinity -Shakespeare ...£129 Soft Vis. - Microfiche Filer Plus £79 A Squared - Live (A1000) ...£249
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multiple track recording on different MIDI channels, a feature
not found on many sequencers of this price - by clicking on the
record select button for the track, which blinks red, just like
a 24 track in record ready mode.
When you are ready to record, you come across a nice touch which my much more expensive sequencer could do with; instead of galloping off recording a load of nothing while I prepare myself for another performance, Midi Magic will wait until the first note is played before it uses any memory, although the metronome is running all the time.
The program will assume that the first note, if played just before beat one (when I jump the gun, usually) should actually be on beat one (where its maker intended it to be). Some sequencers simply won’t acknowledge anything that occurs in the countdown period, cutting off the first chord or beat.
RECORDED tracks can be manipulated with the mouse - here the thought that has gone into the user-interface shows. Operations such as trimming a track or setting in and out points for further work such as drop-in recording can be done quickly and efficiently, often without leaving the main display area.
It is also at this point that one comes across the most glaring omission in Midi Magic, the lack of an Undo function. Early on in my test I wanted to correct the timing of some sloppy rubbish I'd played into a track.
Using the quantise menu, which is well conceived and offers four different kinds of correction, I blythly selected the wrong note value to correct to and turned my opus into an unintentional waltz. Oops.
But moving on, we come to event editing, which requires a menu selection to that effect from the track menu. Events are represented following the numeric conventions of most sequencers and you are presented with various editing options for the recorded data. Events can be added, inserted or deleted either separately or as a group, by dragging the pointer over the required range of events. Don't make any mistakes though, or you'll have to redo whatever you’ve undone.
If I was working with tape, the next creative stage would be to cut up all my tracks and join them together in one long line. Midi Magic arranges the construction of multiple tracks in sequences and songs in the fashion of the drum machine.
A song may contain any of 26 sequences called A to Z and the sequences may be of any length constrained only by memory.
Sequences in turn may contain up to 16 tracks of Midi data of any length, This window allows you to build and nodify songs. A song is a list of sequences in the order you wish then played.
There are also a nunber of available Modifications idiich can affect the sequences at playback tine.
The Song Editor title and drag bar are found at the top of the Hindoo. To the right of the title is the Delete sadset. Lihen Tapped, any highlighted song events will be deleted. To the right of the delete gadget is the Insert tadget, lapping this will insert a new, eivty, line in the song chain. The next synbol to the right represents the sequence Select gadget. As you Tap this gadget, each sewence (in sequence) will be displayed in the selected «•* step. When the sequence you want is displayed, stop
• Wing already!
OTES can also be entered in step-time, but it is here that the design seems, for once, rather clumsy.
Even the manual admits that “you may have to be something of a contortionist..." since you must press a note or chord and select the note value by clicking with the mouse simultaneously.
There is no default setting for steptime note value. You must click on the note value window for each note input. A strange eccentricity in the design stage here, boys.
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Any manual that informs me that "Some of you Virgo types may want | to clean up the sequence...” or warns me that I “..may be about to have a good time..." wants burning over a charcoal brazier, in my opinion.
Luckily, the Project menu contains an extensive Help file available by topic.
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ONLY £59.00 + VAT if ordered with monitor £55.00 + VAT HERE can be no prizes for X guessing what must be the all- time favourite "first Basic program you have ever written”. As I recall, it goes something like this (give or take a few REMs and the odd bug. Of | 11 PRINT 'HELLO MOULD!' | Wouldn't it be nice to play a variation on that age-old theme and write a first program that goes like this instead: | | quite as easy as that. If you load your Extras disc and double click on AmigaBasic, you can see the speech synthesiser at work, and start experimenting with it.
Easiest things first. In the List window, type the following line: Speaking Basic In Part Two of his speech synthesiser series Rex Last tries out an interesting variation on an all-time favourite beginner’s program f I "'N ( L ¦)' 1 AmigaBasic beginners will see with relief that this is one of a new generation of Basics like Turbo Basic which doesn't require line numbering and which positively encourages structured programming.
Let’s consider the Say statement in a little more detail. The speech synthesiser goes through the following stages:
• First, it requires a string. This can either be a literal
string or a string variable like fred$ . Or even bits of strings
or concatenated strings.
• Now the string has to be converted into a phonemic
representation which the synthesiser can understand, and that's
done with the TRANSLATES)) function.
• Finally, you use SAY to make the translated text come out as
speech.
If at this point you are muttering to yourself "A phonemic what?". I'm simply referring to the way in which the synthesiser program takes the ?
? * * si ' % siring of characters and carves it up into what it thinks are the right sounds before then going on to utter Try this out with a program like the following: PRINT f red!
JotS = TRANSLATEStfredt) SIT jotS PRINT joeS That breaks down the first demonstration program line into its component parts.
The output should Include the line we saw in last month's article: | Hin dhehTT That's the Translate-d phonemic representation of the string “hi there" One way of experimenting with the Say command is to find out how the synthesiser "speaks" the letters of the alphabet. That can easily be achieved: sait''abcdtfghijklinopQrstuvuiyr* FOR i * 1 to U Sir TRANSLITESCHtDtsaaS,!,1) So far, so good. But if you’ve taken which the synthesiser operates you'll know that you have quite a lot more control over it than simply throwing strings at it and leaving it to muddle through by itself.
In fact, the command SAY is a lot more complicated and powerful than appears at first sight. There is a mode- array feature which can be added to Say, a string of parameters which alter the default values.
It's a rather neat way of overcoming the problem of a function with a whole succession of variables. If you have to cope with nine parameters, as here, then the error potential is pretty impressive if you have to tag a list of them after the function each time you use it. So the mode-array concept gets round this problem in a neat fashion.
If you have a nine-element array params% to hold the parameters, you you simply fill it up with a READ statement from a DATA statement, and then you can play around with the spoken word as much as you like, so long as you don't give Say silly Program first, explanations later: BAT* 11M,1SM,222N,«4,1I,M REN Input 'Changes please: ',aX,bX FOR i = 0 TO 8:READ paraasX(i :NEXT REA paraasltaXMbl SAT TRANSLATEK'Hi there'),paraasX Note the comma after the string in brackets, with the mode array params% immediately after it.
Run that, and you'll find that the Amiga speaks in its default mode.
Now let's take the gloves off and remove the REMs, which will enable us to tinker with the parameters, which we'll now go through one at a time. To get the full picture of what these variations achieve, I suggest you lengthen the string to be spoken to a reasonable length sentence. Here are the parameters for Say: Parameter 0 - Pilch The pitch of a voice is defined as the relatively lowness or height of a sound. This is conditioned by the speed with which the vocal chords vibrate. So a high-pitched voice will be one in which the chords vibrate faster and (you guessed) a low- pitched gruff and
manly voice will do the opposite. The default value is 110, which AmigaBasic defines as the normal male speaking voice.
Run the program, and at the prompt, type 0,320, then you'll get the highest pitch. The lowest value allowed is 65. Try typing a value outside this range, your screen will flash orange, and up comes the error message Illegal function call. You'll have to click on the OK box before you can continue.
Parameter 1 - Modulation In other words, whether the voice is inflected or stays on a monotone, and whether syllables are stressed or not (remember, the numbers in the Arpanet strings indicate stress). Have a go at the program with the value 1,1. The value 1 gives you a passable imitation of an Amiga-Dalek. And the intoned value 0 is the default.
This parameter determines the speed at which the words are spoken.
The permitted range is between the languid drawl of 40. And the machine- gun rattle of 400. The default value is a measured 150. To my ear, anything over 300 sounds garbled.
Parameter 3 - Voice The default value is 0, that's a male voice. To try and turn your Amiga into a real lady, run the progam with the value 3,1 and you'll be a little disappointed. It's faintly feminine, but it sounds like one of those American TV chat show hostesses with razor- sharp little tongues who gargle in gravel every night. There's nothing wrong with your synthesiser - it's just an indication of how complex speech is, and how cleverly the Amiga copes with it.
Click on the List window, and change the parameter of the Data line (that's the Pitch parameter) to around
250. And then you are treated to a much more seductive sounding
set of Parameter 4 - Tuning This parameter controls the
frequency which is sampled in order to generate the best
sound balance.
To see what happens, try the extremely low and almost incomprehensible lower limit at 4,5000.
The squeal that comes from the upper limit is on 4,28000. The default value is 22200.
Parameter 5 - Volume Here we are dealing with a simple volume control in the range 0-64. The loudest. 64. Is the default. 0 is no sound. Run the program with the setting 5,5.
You can just about hear the sound.
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is over before going on to the program. The If yc inted
"This is what I am saying" as the next program line, then the
string "This is what I am saying" would appear as it is being
spoken. With the default, the synthesiser speaks first, then
the string appears.
Parameter 8 - Conlrol When the Mode setting is T. the situation when a number of Say statements come one after the other.
The default is 0. In other words, one string is dealt with at a time. The other values either stop the string being spoken (1). Or interrupt it (2).
Good. But iv ic i demons!, leech and hi i a little s? You 'll ic for that.
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Some spend years in silent contemplation on a Tibetan mountainside, some try to amass the definitive collection of Belgian stamps. And the sane own Amigas.
For many of this last group of dissatisfied souls, there is but one route to Nirvana the possession of the perfect colour printer.
But most of us have to compromise.
The perfection of the glossy photographic poster is still out of reach somewhere in the financial stratosphere. The better ink jet printers will still leave the current account in need of an oxygen mask.
However, there is a large choice of cheap, and not so cheap, impact printers for those who still dream but prefer to breath as well.
One of the not-so-cheap variety is the new Citizen HQP-40. Citizen, initially a Japanese watch maker and still ticking along as such, has recently set up a factory at Scunthorpe. Many Japanese companies are busy with such ventures, tempted both by the attractive packages otfered in economically depressed areas and by the thought of having a production facility inside Europe when 1992 comes around and trade restrictions really start to bite.
Enough of the economics. The What’s got 24 pins and looks good on paper? No, not a dozen Madonna clones, but the new model Citizen HQP-40 colour printer. Rupert Goodwins checks its forms and sees if this citizen’s arresting HQP-40 - boring name, whatever happened to the Valiants and Imperials of old? - is a 24 pin dot matrix, plain paper and inky ribbon printer that has a colour option. It's quite expensive, with a price tag of £559 and the rainbow bits costing another £50. Coming from Citizen it has to be good, but £600 good?
First impressions are of yet another printer. Finished in the legally required off-white, it has a set of buttons on the front poised above an intriguing flap. The first button chooses the type style from draft (as fast as you can, my man. I've got a train to catch), correspondence (for Hi C o o © fj s cr Amiga Computing r strui rord processor might produce will look mighty odd. Which is why Citizen puts the option on a button.
The next button selects the kind of font. Or rather it doesn't, because the HQP-40 only comes with the one font.
Pressing the button makes a little light d IC CARD flash in a yellowish way; this is nature's way of telling to go out and spend another £35.
• e on this potential expenditure writing letters), letter
quality (for writing quality letters) and prop spacing.
This isn't for airmail, rather it prints text with the space between the individual letters adjusted to look good rather than constant. This has the secondary effect of changing the length of words on tables ANOTHER button is marked both Line Feed and Form Feed; press it briefly and the paper advances just the one line. Hold it down for more than a second or so and the rest of the page spools out.
The final button is the On Line switch, and connects and disconnects the printer from the computer.
That flap, marked with a tempting Push, hides a healthy complement of DIP switches. DIP? Dual Inline Package, the jargon for the way in ' ich the electrical connections leave switch and completely irrelevant to their function, which is to control the way the printer works.
'hese switches, unlike the more public buttons atop them, only have i effect when the printer is First vitched on and are thus used for
s. The twitches with which the HQP-40 is blessed set up things
like the baud printer has both serial and parallel as standard
- the type style in which the print to the inch, all that sort
of thing.
Boring but necessary, and it's nice to see that these essential functions are easy to get at and to change.
Remember that flashing yellow light? This stroboscopic inducement to personal impoverishment is trying to tell you to plug in an extra font card. On the flap of plastic that covers the top of the printer is a sort of plastic sunroof, beneath which are a couple of slots. These accept cards containing a memory chip which can either hold a new typeface or a program for the printer to make it pretend to be something other than the Epson I.Q-800 it normally Other printers have adopted this approach before, but apart from laser themselves to a costly life, it hasn't taken off.
The new wind of sanity that's ruffling the toupee of the printer world hasn't missed Citizen, as the sockets for the serial and parallel interfaces have moved from the normal back position to the right- hand side where they can't foul the paper. Or rather they wouldn't if I didn't usually put my printers to the right-hand side of my computers, but that’s probably my fault.
HAVING both sorts of interface is useful, especially if the sampler or somesuch. Unfortunately.
The printer, a problem mitigated because it's offset from the area wher the paper enters and exits.
Paper movement is an area where many printers have problems. The to wind in the woodpulp. Including an effective automatic paper load.
Programmers, hackers and leaflet producers tend to use fanfold paper.
Gamers with the odd letter to write prefer the single sheet.
The HQP-40 copes with both, coming as it does with a plate k sheets and a tractor mechanism hold ush con lull 01 Furthermore, the paper can enter either from behind or beneath, which means that most people should be able to slot the Citizen into their current layout.
The automatic paper load came as a I was trying to load up a single sheet without realising that the printer was capable of grabbing it from my hand.
It was and it did. Pausing only to position the paper perfectly before lining up the head. This, and all the many other options, are detailed in the manuals.
Unfortunately, the manuals fall down on a number of points. Firstly.
There are two of them - the User's Manual and the Reference Manual.
Why? Goodness knows; where, for example, would you expect to And the DIP switch settings to make the printer start up in Letter Quality and where the code to tell your word processor to switch the printer into Letter Quality? One of these is in BYTEBACK DEPT AC, 6 MUMBY CLOSE, NEWARK, NOTTS NG241JE ¦IRENI ¦yOFTWAREI NEW AMIGA SOUNDBLASTER
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LI I I II I I I II I I I II II I I | SOFT WA R F THIS is a preview of Protext, rather than a review, as it has been carried out on beta test versions rather than the final release and minor changes may well have taken place by the time this is published.
Protext is a word processor and makes no pretences of being a poor man's DTP program. It has no facilities for importing graphics into documents.
This is the first version of Protext to use a Wimp environment and a lot of thought has gone into integrating it with the feel of Intuition while retaining all the existing features and quick keystrokes which have largely remained common through all Protext comes on two discs, with an A5 ring bound manual, about which I shall make no further comment since I wrote it. Two versions of the program are supplied. The spelling checker is an integral part of Protext in the full version, but the second version has the spelling checker as a separate program to reduce its size and is for use when less
than 1Mb of memory is available.
A comprehensive configuration program is provided to change settings of most aspects of Protext.
Other utility programs create new printer drivers and convert files from other programs into Protext, or Ascii, format.
In common with WordPerfect.
Protext does not use the standard Amiga printer drivers and a wider range of printers is supported by the supplied drivers, including the HP LaserJet, Kyocera and Epson GQ3500, together with the facility to create special drivers for virtually any printer. Only a single drive is necessary, but if a second one is available Protext will make full use of rinimising the amount of disc changing required. Installation on to a hard disc is also possible.
It may be run from either Workbench or the CLI and may be loaded as part of the startup process if required. Once loaded, Protext displays a status line at the top of the window, giving details of various settings such as word wrap, insert overwrite mode and details of page, line and column numbers.
Edit mode is where all entry and correction of text is carried out. You can select editing commands from pull down menus or by shortcut keystrokes. The pull down menus are standard Intuition type, but Protext does not make use of requestor boxes to use its own status line.
Movement around documents is fastest by using keystrokes, to move by character, word, line, paragraph.
Screen, a page at a time, or immediately to the start or end of a document. The mouse can be used to move within a screen, but Protext does not use scroll bars. Positioning the pointer on the status lines or the bottom line of a document and clicking, scrolls the screen. Protext is not particularly well integrated into the Amiga environment.
NOT only is it possible to delete single characters to left or right, but also part or full words, or delete to the start or end of a line - all with single keystrokes. Unlike KindWords and WordPerfect, where you have to mark a line to delete it.
Lines can be deleted at a single keystroke without the need to mark blocks, although in practice you want to delete whole sentences which don't fall neatly into lines. (Why can 'I someone produce a word processor with a delete to full stop keystroke? - Characters may be converted to upper or lower case by positioning the cursor on the first character and using a shortcut keystroke. Two characters entered in the wrong order may be swapped round with a keypress. Small points, maybe, but they all go towards making editing quicker and more efficient.
In addition to all the usual block editing features which work with areas of contiguous text. Protext also has a Wordstar-like box mode, in which any rectangular block in the document can be marked and copied, moved or deleted.
Protext supports two file editing.
And copying text. When two file editing is in use. Only one document is visible at a time, the complete window being switched. This is not as flexible as WordPerfect, which allows up to 32 documents, but it is a good deal faster.
Find and Replace are fast and powerful. Searches may be carried out globally, forwards, backwards, only on marked blocks, for complete words only, ignoring the case and either stopping at each occurrence for confirmation, or replacing automatically. Repeat searches require a single keypress rather than a return to the menu each time.
Up to 10 place markers and unlimited multiple markers may be positioned in the text for instant BOLD, italic and underline effects are displayed on screen and may be in any combination. Super subscript and enlarged condensed printing are supported but are not displayed on screen. All the usual hyphens are available, as well as soft The screen display may be toggled so that control codes are shown to make re-editing text easier, rather like working in WordPerfect s reveal codes window. Protext can handle fully proportional, right justified printing and micro-spacing with suitable printers.
Any number of rulers may be incorporated into documents and e is no limit to the number of tabs. Rulers are typed into the text where required and may be moved, copied or deleted. Both normal and decimal right justify tabs are supported, as well as indented left and right margins.
Default settings for most things, from page dimensions to what mode Protext starts in. May be configured to suit in Config, but may be over-ridden at any time by the use of stored commands. These are entered into the text, but are acted on by Protext rather than printed. A stored command takes the form of a "greater than" symbol at the start of a line, followed by two characters such as LATEST RELEASES 1 Comic Sattar eeOJS] VIDEO TITLING GRAPHICS Kstpow! Croal your comic strip page and I printer to colout or B W graphics printer. I Comic Sattar Clip Art Dlaka Super Ftereos £24.95 Science
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Tel: 0895 444433 Fax: 0895 441962 Telex: 934689 HBMK IN THE BEGINNING... PA to force a page break, or LS 2 to give give double line spacing.
Multi-line headers and footers are supported. These may be different for odd and even numbered pages and iv be turned on or off. Or the contents changed, at will. A simple footnote facility is also included, but odng and contents generation are provided, although with a bit of unity it can be achieved using the I merging stored commands.
Mmand mode on the Amiga has less importance than with versions for other computers, as all loading and saving of text files and disc file management can be carried out from edit mode, using the pull down menus. But a press of the Esc key - or a click in the appropriate menu will take you into command mode.
IX command mode the lower part of the screen beneath the status line clears, and a command prompt similar to the CLI prompt appears.
This may be used for loading, merging and saving text. Many other tasks may be carried out from munand mode, including RUNning Protex Macros and exec files are two further features of Protext. Exec files reated as normal text files and contain a mixture of editing and nand mode commands. Exec files be run at any time and the commands are read from the file and is if they had been typed in at the keyboard.
Exec files provide an ideal method of automating frequently used sequences of commands. Protext can also be configured to run an exec file when it loads. This might contain commands automatically to copy the dictionaries into RAM: and load a special macro file.
Macros, sequences of keystrokes that may be recalled with a single designated keystroke, may be a mixture of editing commands, text or and mode commands and Pretext has a “learn mode". Press Ctrl-Fl and then specify the key nation to be used to call the . And from then on Pretext will store every keystroke until Ctrl-Fl is repeated to end the macro. Macros Protext and Amor are names that will probably be new to many Amiga owners, although they are well known to owners of other makes of computer.
Protext started life as a source code editor called Maxam for an assembler for the Amstrad CPC and received so much comment about its speed and efficiency that Amor was ’ produce a word
t. The resulting program was called Protext, and fully integrated
mail merging and spell checking programs followed.
May be saved for future re-loading and may also be edited by loading into Protext as a text file.
The package has powerful mail merging features in the form of stored commands. Data files can be created as normal text files, or database export files can be used. Once data has been read from a data file, it maybe manipulated and used in a document.
Text and numeric data can be split and merged together. Mathematical calculations may be carried out on numbers. Conditional printing is supported and requests for user input may be made during the course of markets two further programs. Protext Filer and Protext Office, which are largely written in the stored command language and provide flexible menu driven data filing, mail merging and Protext.
Spell checking may be carried out in several different ways, and when the full program is in use it may be carried out as text is entered, with Protext checking the spelling as each word is completed. This is at its best when the dictionaries are either on a hard disc or a ram disc. Alternatively, single words may be checked at any- checked. And this is often the fastest lethod. Either the document in Protext was then completely rewritten for the Amstrad PCW. Incorporating further enhancements.
Amor then moved on to the IBM PC and compatibles, and yet again re-wrote the complete program with more features, to take advantage of the PC's features. This was followed by a version for the ST. Amor has now turned its attention to the Amiga and following the usual pattern, it is not lust a simple "port it across from another computer" effort, but a program written to make full use of the Amiga.
A text file ecked.o memory m from disc. The small vers Pretext with the separate spelling checker will only work with disc files.
Speed of checking varies according to how it is being done but. With sufficient memory and the dictionary in memory, speeds of up to 10.000 words a minute are possible.
Multiple dictionaries are supported and new dictionaries may be created.
Unrecognised words may be added to dictionaries, ignored, corrected during checking, or Protext may be asked to suggest suitable alternatives and the correct one inserted into the text. It does not do this autoi is a bit of a bind if yc WordPerfect naticallv.
The supplied dictionaries are British English, rather than the American variety and contain about
70. 000 words. You can view the contents of dictionaries, and add
or delete words. Two commands.
ANAGRAM and FLN'DW. Are provided for crossword and word Printing is flexible, and Protext can print part or all of a document, a specified number of copies, certain pages only and odd or even pages only. Different printer drivers may be loaded so that draft prints on one printer may be followed by final prints to another. Text may be printed to a disc file if required, or to the screen, so that you can view the final layout of headers and so on.
What doesn't Protext have that some programs do? Well, for a start, unlike WordPerfect, it doesn't have a thesaurus, an outliner or true multi- column editing. The thesaurus I can live without, preferring the paper variety, but I would love to see an outliner, as 1 find them very useful.
Multiple columns can be achieved by using box mode to move text EDITOR’S EXPERIENCE printing, but no further editing of that section is then possible. Other than the above features and split screen editing, there is little I can think of that you could possibly want.
Sounds full of praise. I have used many word processors on different computers, and Protext is one of the few that seems to have evolved as a result of feedback and suggestions from users, rather than at the whim of the programmer or the marketing Protext isn't perfect - is any program? - and there are still a few features that I would like to see, but there isn't much missing. What there is works well and quickly. What more could you ask of a word processor?
I used Prolexl on the little Amstrads for many years before going over to WordPerfect on first the PC and later the Amiga. I have written many thousands of words with each.
People tend to get emotional about word processors, but I would like to think that I have equal loyalty to the two programs.
Having spent a month using a prerelease version of Protext I have decided to use the British software in preference to the colonial code.
They both have faults but WordPerfect is better integrated into the Amiga environment. They both tixed m Friday 13th - is a spelling mistake, and Protext can't learn words with mixed case - as in AmigaDos - which is a habit beloved of Amiga software developers.
Protext is faster. The speed of important but it was not until I popped back into WordPerfect that I noticed how much more quickly the Amor product runs. This article took less than two minutes to spell check.
Because Protext uses a lot of ram few people will have the space to multitask it.
A buffer is used for printing and this takes a while to fill. I would have preferred a separate task which would allow me to continue typing as soon as I had issued the print command.
The beta test version shows signs of being rushed, ported from the ST version and Amigaised. If the improvements are done properly before the software goes on sale it will be wonderful.
Even as it is, Protext is merely the best word processor available for the Amiga.
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Saga-----------------.17.95 y ££& RM1 IDA model of your computer when ordering. PSP i Elsewhere add £2 per item for airmail order: 0708 765271 Penny wise, pound wise I MUST confess that I'm more than a little cynical about programs which over-techonologise fairly simple transactions which can be achieved perfectly simply by hand. I am going to take a lot of persuading before I can be convinced that it is worthwhile keying in humdrum transactions into the Amiga when I can get a statement of my account at the bank twice a month.
In fact, as a user of the bank of Scotland’s HOBS system. I can call up their computer more or less any time of the day or night to find out how red the situation is.
But there are many people who like to keep a close check on the money flowing in and out of the household and this may just be the program for It's pretty clear that Digita is determined to established a strong foothold in the non-games Amiga market. This product, like others of theirs I've reviewed, is professionally packaged and comes with a well produced, helpful and informative manual. The one exception to this are I R E V I E W ¦ the screen shots which were taken on a foggy November evening.
When you crank the system up your prime objective is to set up your accounts. After the date has appeared goes worryingly blank with 10 little rectangles sitting across the bottom.
S to the i The r Select Account from the r account. The account number, name and type are straightforward enough.
A similar Min warning, initially set to off. The concept behind these upper you have too much in an account, and it could benefit from being shifted into an interest bearing account.
The Min warning speaks for itself - the all too familiar moment when there is too much month left at the end of the money.
Having entered the details which identify your accounts, these are displayed in summary in the boxes at the foot of the screen. Task number two is to establish the number of types of income and expenditure lich you
• tquire Each type is identified by a code of up to four letters,
plus a longer explanation of what it stands for. So
• 'PTRL" could be petrol, for example.
I supposed calling it "PET" could cause some disasters with the family dog being fed a mixture of four-star and GTX oil. So a little care is called o V- sh iigned to bring together the accounts you have defined, the income expenditure types, and a monthly notional allocation, which of Why home accounts?
Home accounts programs are one of a class of increasingly popular packages which have been around some time on machines perceived to be more business than pleasure.
With home accounts you have to be careful. If the package is designed for a family with one income, a semi, 2.4 children. Volvo and Labrador, then it may not be much use to a freelance writer with several different accounts, an overdraft as long as your arm and wildly varying commitments.
So check in advance that the parameters of the package fall within your requirements. And - oh yes, do make your mind up as to whether you really need one at all.
If you want to go into the matter in full earnestness, then maybe it would be worth your while investing a little more time and effort into a full-blooded spreadsheet like Digita's excellent 9 out of 10.
Course doesn't have to be uniform throughout the 12 month period. Fuel bills will almost certainly vary, but mortage payments tend to be more stable - at least, they used to be until the last year or so.
When trying to type in a year's petrol allocation. Under Acc for account, I managed to type in a monthly sum by mistake, and it took a bit of time to unscramble myself. Why, I wondered, key in Types and Accounts already WELL, it does warn you - but not until you've typed in the carefully calculated list the first time.
Probably me being stupid, but a little delivery could be called for here.
Still, the concept was beginning to build up clearly now. The package offers you:
• A number of different accounts defined by type.
• A list of income expenditure types.
• An annual budget set out by account, income expenditure type,
and laid out monthly.
Now we move on to the next stage IS MERCENA Costing Soon J kind of package which you would find helpful in your money management, and if the way in which All this information can be readily inspected and edited - once I get the hang of it - and you can activate the package. So if the date is moved !o December 25, all regular the previous date and then will be made and the account appropriately updated.
Once all the details are entered, you are ready to go live and watch yourself spiralling into the red from the comfort of your own computer. I suspect, though, that the most useful aspect of this system is the option to budgeted and actual expenditure.
This changes as soon as you alter ME? Quite honestly, I'm going to wait until the day dawns when I can download from Prestel my Home and Office Banking accounts and merge them with a package like this to establish expenditure patterns.
I suspect that day isn’t far distant. In what I spent on the mortgage (did I update the amount?), the airline tickets (have I paid back Amex?), the local supermarket (was it fifty pounds or a hundred and fifty?) ... and so it goes on.
Maybe I'm basically untidy and don't like being reminded of the fact a mere machine. Still, you may yourself a fortune in bank charges.
USEFULNESS... rnam If this is the kind of package you want !
- and you can keep it updated, fine.
The budgeting feature is potentially very useful.
C ear ind' c'onsisten n hang of it. Has the feel of a competently written suite of programs about it.
INTUITION ......HO rrom™he'sTaib''' h"S h**" P°rted bank statemen VALUE ..IIHHWH Again, depends on whether you need this kind of progr.
ARCADE STYLE GAME Chuckie Egg from one to four players.
Who'd have thought a country farmyard could be so stressful?
You must collect the eggs before the nasties get out and eat up all your corn. Watch out for the crazy duck - if she gets out of the cage, you're in real trouble! You must collect all the eggs to proceed to the next screen. Look out for hidden eggs!
CONTROLS Select your own keys or joystick.
Full instructions included in the program.
GAME PLAY The game plays over 4 groups each of 8 screens which become progressively more difficult.
Survive all 32 screens and the speed then increases to present E3 2nd AMIGA DISK DRIVE NEC 880K capacity Disable Switch By selling direct we can provide the best price and maintain the highest quality. Rest assured that if, for any reason, you do not wish to keep the item, then return it to us within 14 days of purchase and we will refund your money in full.
Should any item purchased from us fail during the first 12 months then we will repair it free of charge.
2nd PRINTER INTERFACE Use your Amiga's serial port to drive a second Centronics compatible printer. A 3 metre cable is included - no extras required.
MIRACLE SYSTEMS NBC, Dean Road, Yate, Bristol BS17 5NH Telephone orders welcome on (0454) 317772 AMIGA SPECIALISTS Unit 1, Willowsea Farm, Spout Lane North, Stanwell Moor, Staines, Middx TW19 6BW Telephone: (0753) 682988 ok ¦ A D V I C E ¦ Amiga Answers Library choice Solve your Amiga anxiety with a W i ball. The problem with this game is that after loading, the disc drive does Q program in Amiga Basic and would like to know which book you recommend on the subject of panel of experts is ready to sort out all kinds of tricky problems.
From machine code to midi.
As the Amiga manual recommends you do not remove a disc when the drive light is on, how do Iget out of the libraries. What is a hard disc and what does it do?
G. Evans Dvfed.
ZA We recommend Advanced Amiga Basic by Tom R. Halfhill communications to compilers.
Whatever your question our team will find the answer.
We cannot deal with enquiries personally so please don't send an SAE. But we do need loads of questions. So write to Amiga game? Can you damage the drive taking a disc out while the light is on?
Can this continuous use of the disc drive damage my drive? Is this a form of software protection?
N. Haworth.
And Charles Brannon published by Compute! Publications. Inc. ISBN 0- 87455-045-9. £14.95. North House. 78-84 Ongar Road.
Brentwood. Essex. CM15 9BG.
To quit the game all you have A hard disc is a high capacity storage device which ranges in size from 20 Mb to 150 Mb. Your normal 3.5in floppy disc holds 880k of data formatted but a hard disc can hold 20. 40. Up to 150 times as much, and it has very batch file of executable commands for Amiga Dos to load. It is not possible to create a file from it that will execute itself.
Amiga (the normal three key reset).
You can't damage your drive if you remove a disc while the light is on. But you can severely damage the disc where this particular game is con- fast access times as well.
Using a hard disc, programs load around 10 times faster. The result Loading lament the disc, the head is not actually accessing any information. This isn't transforms the Amiga.
Listen up How can I load a sound file for | 1 1 have had my Amiga for nearly a year and it has recently started having problems loading commercial software, is it possible that protection.
Quick lead playing in Amiga Basic? 1 am thinking of buying the Trilogic Audio Digitiser. As 1 only program in Basic and have the public domain software of Perfect Sound 1 was wondering if 1 the drive heads could be out of alignment. If so what is the easiest way to cure this ?
D. Brooks.
Berks.
I I I recently bought an Amiga A500. Would you please tell me what 1 need to do to connect up my Riteman F+ printer to it?
Can I make a file with ED so that 1 can type the filename and not use EXECUTE ?
N. Lines.
Coventry ZA Amicus Disc 13 contains 4 A. routines to load and play IFF sound files from Amiga Basic, and you Pk Although it is possible that
- 4 V. your drive may be misaligned, it is more probable that the
heads are dirty. The cure for this is simple, just and buy a
head cleaning kit. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to
use.
If the symptoms persist take your Amiga to your nearest authorised ZA If your printer has a Centronics 4 A. port all you need is a cable which you can obtain from Trilogic (0274 691115). They will make you one to order, the charge being £6.99 for one metre and £9.99 for a three metre cable.
Can obtain this disc free if you join ICPUG (01-346 0050) or you can buy it from Cavendish Commodore Centre (0533 550993).
You can use ProSound software with dealer who will realign the drive for you. Don't overdo the use of a cleaning kit as you can damage your drive.
In a spin Sound wave 1 J Can you recommend an audio digitiser? And how useful is the routines to play them back from Basic.
ED is a screen text editor which is used to create text or a batch file.
You can create a text file to read or a JJ have recently bought an Amiga A500 and among the free software was a copy of the game WAVE command in Amiga Basic? 1 have been led to believe that this ?
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Rupert Goodwins goes for a drive i | Crimbo. First *•'«« for , Yaen another nnem°1memorf% J | r*en a Aree zUfZnT drive I , ™ZTuer pho,og” ZaZ TZTm I - hove, Simon.
X found stuffed up the chimneys ind down the storage heaters of many in Amiga 5IM) owner come Christmas.
Santa, a kindly chap but now privatised to the point where his team consists of two part-time gnomes and i pink-nosed lack Russell, might scratch his beard at the first two requests, guffaw at the third . . . But Ihe last? A hard disc drive? Who does lie think I am. Father Christmas?
Sad to sav. Hard disc units are ccth-suckinglv expensive. The subject if this review, the SupraDrivc 30 mcgubyte SCSI hard disc, dents the plastic to the tune of some £700.
Considering that this sum would purchase around 800 megabytes of Floppy disc, there would have to be something pretty special about the harder variety. And there is.
The SupraDrivc comes in two parts: The hard disc itself, the same width, depth and half the height of a shoebox, but much heavier, and the SCSI interface, which is about the size of a size 13 trainer. This (no. Not the shoe) plugs into the expansion slot on the right-hand side of the A500 and has a huge socket on the back. This in turn connects, via a huge cable, to a socket on the back of the disc drive itself.
The drive has another, slightly smaller, socket and a mains connector. The second socket is there as part of the SCSI standard - SCSI, pronounced Scuzzy, stands for Small Computer Standard Interface and is so clever it gets a paragraph to itself later. Plugging in the disc drive to the mains completes the hardware installation.
Unlike many peripherals. Ihe sequence in which the SupraDrivc and the Amiga are switched on is important. The manual advises that the drive is turned on 30 seconds before the Amiga, and turned off aftor the computer has been powered down. This might seem annoying, but not in the same league of montal anguish as the dead computer and fried interface that the manual warns of should shortcuts bn taken.
If all goes well the first time you counts to 30 nothing much happens.
The disc drive whirrs at about the noise level of a Hoover in the next room, and the usual upside-down disc icon appears on the monitor. For, due to some ancient design decisions.
UPRADRIVK has all the standai Workbench bits and pieces: Basic. Say. The Cl.l (command line interface) and so on. The other four icons reveal nothing - they are blanl ready to receive almost 30 Mb of yo favourite programs and datu.
To help transfer stuff by the floppyful into the SupraDrivc. A program called Cl.lmate is provided.
This is a picturesque alternative to tl C1.I COPY command: it displays a li: of files on one device like the floppy and lets the user select all e some of them with the mouse before copying them on to another - like th SupraDrive. There are various other facilities like MakeDir and. Although it doesn't do much more than the Cl can. CLImate is much friendlier.
The five icons on the Workbench correspond to five partitions a way of making the acres of space on the SupraDrivc easier to handle. The Amiga thinks there arc five separate hard discs called DH0: to DH4:. You thought the areas were called SupraDrives?
Owning a hard disc is like owning a fast car - it's necessary to know a lot about driving before you can ma the most of it. And the hard disc reveals, with no punches pulled, the darker side of the Amiga. The brighi happy, icons, windows and mice interface that is the Workbench hide a lot of information - information th you must have to use the hard disc.
Transformation scene The SupraDrive is excellent in daily use. After about a week of learning more of the intricacies of AmigaDos than I thought existed. I had installed a healthy selection of software and written a few CLI programs to make them work more or less as I wished to. ComicSetter was a transformed program, since having six discs' worth of clip art only a mouseclick away made experimentation not only possible but painless. And shuffling IFF files between DeLuxe Paint and Photon Paint, and text between Word Perfect and Professional Page w wonderfully simple.
For the first time, the idea of writing a major chunk of software on the Amiga was attractive. Likewise, with all the tools to modify text and graphics to hand, using DTP to produce a magazine seemed almost irresistible. The days of requesters asking me to "Replace WB 1.2 (GB) ir any drive” were forgotten - it was like having a new computer. And they want it back... perhaps I can IS the SupraDrive money? On the 01 imackeroonies is an nonev when a simili emigrate.
CLI. Own the AmigaDos manual and have spent many happy hours
diving in and out of subdirectories, adding ASSIGNS and
pondering PATHs. Then there is little in the SupraDrive to
shock you. But otherwise there is a lot to learn before the
hard disc can be configured exactly to taste.
For example, just copying a program on to DH2: might not be much good if the startup sequence for it makes many references to DFO:.
To be fair, the manual does have a good section on installing something seems not to work. And many programs have a simple hard especially those like Professional Page which are likely to prompt you into biting the bank balance and buying a But there are many places where it's necessary to dive into Dos. So be prepared, and regard the AmigaDos Once this point is passed, and some confidence is gained about the way the disc and AmigaDos interact, some of the more dangerous ideas can be tried. It's possible to change the number of partitions, for example: more partitions makes for a faster filing
svstem but need more memorv and vice versa.
And once many files have been created, deleted, moved around and generally messed about with, the distribution of data on the disc can become widely scattered. This process, called fragmentation, can really slow down loads and saves am can best be cured by copving all the files on to floppy, reformatting the hard disc and then copying everything back again.
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Apolonia Software-presents COMPUSHOP 1 The best prices for the Atari ST and the Amiga Hardware and Software Just have a look at some examples: 8®(FYWMMB[I Amiga Arcade SPACE pirates have been pillaging the Federation's storage depot and made off with assorted jewels, minerals, ammunition and battiecruiser to get the pirates with their plunder. All recovered treasure within a level must be relumed to the depot.
Kail to return the booty within the allotted time and you'll lose one of your six ships. The faster you complete the task, the higher your score - and you’ll gain an extra ship.
Cybemoid originally appeared on 8 bit micros and was designed by Cecco. Author of several ear- Raffa essful g. version for the expertly handled by Tony Cooper.
The game opens with an attractive title screen and a strong theme tune, courtesy of Gary Knight. There are few options. Well, there's only one.
Actually - sound effects on or sound effects off. The game is joystick driven and single player only.
There is an opening feature which I have never seen before. Holding down both mouse buttons while on pirate stronghold. The small, chubby ship moves swiftly and responsively to the joystick. It needs to. Alien craft and a host of defence mechanisms are out to destroy you.
A display panel at the top of the screen shows the number of Cyber- noids remaining, score, value of cargo recovered on the level, the cur- large defence emplacements), act mines |seed them strategically blobs a la Arkanoid) and seekers homing missiles).
While this range of weaponry does en while trying to pick out the When an enemy craft is destroyed it sheds its booty. Flying over the treasure gathers it into your hold.
Drop a yellow canister, and this increments the quantity of your currently selected weapon.
Some dropped objects will alter Timing and speed is all, ai I if. Like spades, you might well find this game to be the cause of a lot of carpet biting. But then manv plavers like their challenges lo come hard.
Cybernoid is great to look at.
Colourful and imaginative graphics with smooth animation make it a real treat. One disappointment is that there's no continuous scrolling, verti- plenty of appropriate spot effects.
Cybernoid is very handsomely presented with quite superior graphical effects. So give it a whirl.
Bob Chappell WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT ¦ !
L 1: I SORCERY PLUS SORCERY plus is a a souped-up version of an old. But in its time very popular, game. The original Sorcery was written for 8 bit machines, and Pm afraid it shows.
In both sound and graphics. Sorcery Plus is really quite effective but it is a different story where gameplav and depth are concerned. There simply isn't enough variety or meat The game is set in the Dark Ages where, as usual, a nasty necromancer is causing havoc, having trapped all the sorcerers of the land and loosed various horrors to do their worst As a small fellow wizard, it is your job to clear the kingdom of this blight and blighter.
The action is divided into two parts. In the first you must free all the imprisoned sorcerers, while the second, an additional scenario to the original 8 bit game, involves you in a seek and destroy mission, the necromancer being the main target The game is basically a puzzlc- cum-colled-'em arcade adventure.
Large number of two-dimensional screens, entrance to each of which is gained by passing through one of the small doors placed (usually) in the To open a locked door, you need to pick up one of the keys scattered around the place. Certain keys can be used to release the captives. There is a large assortment of weapons, each of which can only be used once. Your sorcerer can carry but one object at a time - grabbing a fresh one causes the current item to be dropped.
The main interest lies in discovering which objects do what and because of this trial and error element you'll spend a lot of time flying backwards and forwards between locatious.
To make things more difficult a host of bizarre monsters infests the land: contact with any of them drains your energy. Weapons are the solution to this harassment Water is another hazard - you can fall in and drown -and a time limit on the game means you can't dawdle.
Graphically the game is attractive, although the animation is pretty basic, and sampled spot sound effects - thunder crashes, creaking ( doors and satisfied sighs - liven up the fun. However, although there are plenty of screens, objects and ' puzzles, the gameplav is all much of a muchness - collect and fly. Fly and collect - and soon becomes less than The chances are ‘hat. Despite its good points, you'll either solve Sorcery Plus quickly or tire of it within a fortnight This is a good game but not good enough in today's company.
Bob Chappell Sound ¦¦HUD]] Gameplav BBBEIuH] Value ¦¦Emm Overall - 52% AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS FROM the people who made far too good a job of Katakis for it to have escaped the eagle eye of Activision's lawyers, comes a tale of derring do and adventure from around the globe.
A tale first scripted by Jules Verne of course, as the game is Around The World in 80 Days. The good news for Rainbow .Arts and Interceptor, who is marketing it here, is that I doubt if anyone's lawyers will be raising an having popped hiscloggs longer than 30 years ago.
It all starts in the Reform Club in London naturally with our Phileas Fogg boasting that he can traverse the world in 80 days, and that without a Young Persons railcard.
And so the crusty nobs of the Reform dub force him to bet all be owns, amounting to a tidy £20.000 - which never mind buying you a cottage in Wales, would have bought you Wales itself in those days - to prove his claim.
On October 2 Mr Fogg and his faithful (that is to say. Stupid) butler.
Passepartout set off on the great adventure. Fust stop. Paris! One of the strange things about this game is the way you have to split yourself schizophrenicaUy. Between Fogg and Passepartout Half the time you play the lackey, and the other half the loony Englishman.
Sonal friend, because they come up in certain patterns. Recognise the patterns and you can make a lot of money quickly.
Anyway, the first adventure that our lads find themselves embroiled in has Passepartout running through India in search of? What? A takeaway? Dunno really.
The bottom line is that this is arcade action time, with said butler trotting through the jungle and then a temple while people drop things on him. Or throw spears, or he falls into acrobats on your shoulders, which is difficult to say the least. Should you survive that, dodging wolves in America comes next with a quite silly section in which you must copy an Indian medicine man's dance if Fogg isn't to become an Indian eat-at- Still, an eccentric Englishman's lot is not an easy one. So. After an enjoyable sledge ride it's on to good old Blighty, just in time to get incarcerated in the
dungeons of London. Can you escape in time? Do Although the graphics are quite good. Around the World In 80 Days is just a little repetitive, forcing you to play the same bland sub-games each time you fail. At times it seemed like I'd bwn playing for 80 days, and I hadn't even got further than the kitchen for a cuppa.
NOW OUT!
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You'll find all you need to know about lighting, scripting, directing, sound dubbing . .
And the magic of desktop video - using a home computer to create titles and captions and generate your j own startling special effects.
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Max Tennant’s winning streak HEY, you have been a busy lot.
The postbag this month had a bumper bundle of handy hints for gamelords. It may take a time to send out joysticks and games to the wonderful winners because I've exhausted my supply. A new lot is due in soon and should hit the mat at your place for crimbo.
The first tricky tipster is C.J. West from Holt in Norfolk with a wide cross section of gamey advice. In Ferrari Formula One. Count to two after the green lights come on, he Keep the car in a straight line and your turbo boost will kick in so you'll find yourself moving rapidly up through the pack. Don’t be too keen though, because a sharp corner is Too late to give that advice to Nigel Mansel though, he joins Ferrari just as turbos get banned. Good thing too.
Where was I? Oh yes Cj was about to give some advice on Bone Cruncher.
Password entry to different screens.
Try these: Gole Killer, Golemstench, Morphicle, Scarab. Web of Death.
Underground. Homslut. Oh and always make Soap whenever possible.
Nice one CeeJ. I like your Bionic Commandos tip of throwing the hook to scroll the screen and reveal platforms or defences. This is frequently handy in making progress.
Hut it is back to the track for the best advice. In Enduro Racer, type the word CHEAT after the countdown, then press the letter T if you want an extra 10 seconds, press S to advance to Level One or Press F for turbo speed (210 Kmh).
JAMES Thomson from Glasgow has some totally halibut tips for Better Dead Than Alien. If only one person is playing, both sets of control keys may be changed to the same to give one player control of both spaceships.
But if you really wanna cheat use these control codes: Elektra, syzygy, drambuie. Plug, soprano, mayonnaise.
Jabberwocky. Whimsical, cornucopia, punjabi. Tiddly pom, kewpie doll, sepulchre, euphemism, grammarian, crossword and quarantine His last tip is for Sentinel - a bunch of landscape codes, shown below.
Andrew Davidson's hint is for Menace. At any time during the game, type XR3ITURBONUTTERBASTARD to enter the cheat mode. Once the cheat mode is operative you will receive all the weapons and outriders.
However, the energy levels for the lasers and cannons can still decrease.
To go straight to the end-of-level guardian, press Return and to access the different levels press the relevant number on the numeric pad.
The Great Giana Sisters may have been banned, but not before |ohn Burrows from Bumham-On-Crouch in Essex got his mitts on a copy. He's drawn up a this list of hints: All pits which contain a blue line at the bottom lead to bonus screens.
Be careful when jumping out!
• On some levels you arc able to break through the uppermost
level of bricks. Do this and jump through for easy access to
the end of the level.
Values of n as follows: 171 for yellow, 172 for green, 173 for blue, 174 for red, 175 for grey and 176 for while keys. Do not exceed the value of 255, which is a maximum and plenty anyway.
Thanks Dave, you’re a hero.
N. BILLING from Strood wrote in and here is his utterly brilliant
tip for Peter Beardsley's Football. If you are tired of always
getting tackled, run towards the opponent's goal and keep
continuously clicking the fire button.
You must keep going a straight line and almost certainly you’ll reach the goal without being tackled. The trick is that when you are about to get tackled you kick the ball beyond your opponent and run past him.
A warlike soul is N (please let's have full names; you deserve more than a letter for your letter, if you see what I mean). OK, N. has some tips for Ikari Warriors. We all know it’s good fun running up the screen with the auto fire on crying Die you swines but that's one good method of how not to succeed in this game. If anything many precautions and great care must be taken.
The wise thing to do is to destroy everything in sight, otherwise a few men will run back up the screen straight at you and cause a few problems.
The explosions caused when throwing grenades could catch you by surprise. If you are close enough to destroy a shelter, you are close enough to get killed by the explosion, unless you have picked up a flashing L by killing a red enemy. This will increase the range of your bullets and grenades.
Other flashing letters include Bs, Ks and Fs. Ks act as smart bombs, killing all men shown on the screen. Bs are rare but very useful as they make the explosions from grenades and tank shells more devastating. When you lose a life, your firepower will return to normal but your grenades and bullets will be replenished. When throwing grenades at certain tanks and shelters, chain reactions can be caused, either to aid or to hinder you.
But it is Andy Van-Kerro of Huntingdon who can really rack up the points on Ikari Warriors. Simply on the high score chart. Great!
He has more tips - to complete each level of Menace first make sure that you have the highest score possible by shooting the bonus blocks as quickly as you can until you are given extra energy.
When you reach the end of a level wait for the meanie to start shooting, then move right on to it and start shooting as fast as you can until it is dead. An extra hint. If you are right handed try holding the joystick with your left hand and shooting with your right. You can shoot much faster and will soon get used to it.
Andy also has a hint for Aaargh.
Always make sure that you destroy buildings from the side, he says. This way you can carry on destroying the building by punching it until the gnat is really close, then go for it.
Eat all the food you can - don't bother about eating people, as this wastes time. On the challenge level keep your joystick pressed towards the opposition then keep on pressing fire as quick as possible.
ON the last scene - the volcano
- try to get to the top of the screen as quickly as possible and
don’t worry about the nasties, they won't hurt you that much. I
find it a lot easier playing the ogre instead of the stupid
looking godzilla.
Thanks everyone, keep your tips coming in, I'm aiming for a bumper column next month. I've had loads of letters about StarGlider II. Most of them included tips I've already printed and so won’t win the author's fame on these pages or a Konix Speed King.
What you will get though, is a free StarGlider II poster autographed by the team which wrote the game. So if you have sent in SGII tips wait by the letterbox.
Max Ihe Hacks is always on Ihe lookout for help in the joystick jive.
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CAD I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I AMANDA Barry. Activision's head of public relations, esn't want me to pay a visit. At least not this month. And certainly not with a camera. All of which seems like a mighty strange approach.
But Amanda has a point Activision has just moved into new premises in ding and. Like anywhere else when a move has just taken place, there is still a sense of living out of boxes. In fact, the company should really have held on a month or two before relocating, but the impossibility of packing everything into vans at the height of the pre- Christmas rush forced a slightly premature transition.
Which is why I find myself on the first floor of a brand new building, the ground floor of which still appears to be under construction. The partitions that will divide everybody's offices have still to arrive, giving the place an air of extreme open plan.
The one advantage, according to Amanda, is that you can shout across to your colleagues.
Even the coffee machine is only there for evaluation and I just manage Rod’s John Minson braves builders and tea chests for an audience with the head of Activision UK, Rod Cousens ( to grab a cup before the engineers reclaim it. But it's easy to sec that this new space is going to be attractive and easy to work in. Even a certain royal architecture critic would find it hard to criticise the modem design, with its glass walls which allow us to watch the autumn sun sink Slowly... (Enough of the poetry! - Ed) More importantly, the new offices will allow Activision UK to unite its operations in
one building. In the past The Software Studio's development division was based in Southampton, resulting in many hours wasted roaring down the motorway from London. Later this year all that will change as everybody moves under one roof, though The Software Studio will retain a sense of independence and privacy by being separated from Activision's office space.
Amanda takes me for a brief tour of the inhabited area. Despite the half-finished feel of the place, everybody is hard at work with their day to day business. Meetings . Are taking place and 'K? Phones ring - in
* ' vt ) particular for Julie :k} t Barwick. The newly J _ «, a
appointed consumer relations if -* . Representative.
Call in with an enquiry about an Activision game and you'll find yourself talking to (ulie. Who says she’s already got a number of
• regulars'.
I'm introduced to Martyn Oliver.
Activision's production co-ordinator, Mike Segrue. Sales manager, Emma Bridgwater, who's in charge of European sales and finally Amanda's assistant, Zia Brooks. Despite the initial reluctance we're all getting along fine - and it's a good thing we didn't put off the interview, as I'm ROD Cousens' nickname in the computing industry' is Rod the God. It fits. Not only is he the high profile head of Activision UK but he also moves in mysterious ways - or at least in a Porsche 911 and a variety of international airlines. I’m lucky to catch him between his return from the States and a brief visit to
France and Germany. He makes the return trip across the Atlantic eight to ten All of which serves to give Rod the image of a high-flying entertainment mogul, which is also accurate. "It's not engineered that way", he grins.
"If you spend most of your waking hours working, which I do. And the job's not just confined to sitting in the office but includes conducting telephone calls with America at two and three in the morning - well, yeah, I like to have some fun”.
Rod entered the computer industry with Quicksilva. Publisher of some original games during the golden age of the Spectrum. "It was a thrill to build a company up from very modest beginnings and take it to a position of leadership in the market place". That success eventually attracted Argus Press Software, which bought the company. Even today Rod feels great aflection for his origins.
"There is a certain regret that it is no longer what it once was. I hope that it will return to former glory.
"Following the acquisition, I stayed for a year before leaving to set up Electric Dreams Software. I’d built up various relationships with American companies and one of the individuals I came across at that time, who I now regard as a friend and admire enormously, was a man called Gregory Fischbach, who was then president of Activision International".
Activision's roots lay in video games, which Rod points out is ironic considering the current revival in consoles. Its three founders took the company from zero to a turnover of SI 58 million and went public.
I HE collapse of the cartridge diversifying into home computer software. It was 1985 when Rod took the idea of Electric Dreams to the Americans and they agreed to fund it, and from there it was a short step from turning ftod's constant contact with Activision into an even closer relationship. He became the UK managing director in June 1986 and just over a year ago was made vice president for Europe.
This promotion indicates Activision's close links with the UK.
Unlike some American software houses, which were happy to license their product to British publishers or just set up satellite operations over here. Activision was the first US outfit to have a British operation and, thanks to Rod's hard work, has made the most of British programming talent. But it's not always been easy.
“We had to learn along the way.
Things like the formats to support and the concept of cassettes. Discs have, until recently, been considered a luxury rather than standard in the UK, which restricts the complexity of games to a single load. Often the British market is seen as relatively young and immature compared with America, and it's an assertion that Rod won't dispute. Some of "Californian". * * There was Zenji, a Zen-based block shifting game which some found impenetrable but which has been successful on budget re-release. Then :a computing t r there was Little Computer People, which was not really a game but the ro
equivalent of Pel Rocks. My favourite Activision experiment is Alter Kgo, a psychologically accurate life simulation which judges your reactions to crucial events to create a new biography.
Now deleted, it was ahead of its time, but as the 16 bit users mature Rod indicates that those early programs may well see a new lease of life. "Alter Ego cannot be viewed as a is market product, and I think it's mr credit that we're prepared to be experimental. But it's premature to write these products off. The market has yet to become meaningful in those areas over here and when it does we can re-promotc, re-launch and re-publish.
The commercial reality today is that we enter the market through distribution channels and they have to support products which provide them with a rapid turnover, but as the market matures that will not necessarily be the case. The products will require far greater support and achieve extended shelf life; also the age range that we target is increasing and broadening ail the time".
Rod sees Activision's sensitivity to national markets as one of its special strengths. "We can source product in the key territories in the world - North America. Europe and )apan.
We have facilities to develop product for exploitation in the territory or we take it and we can put it up any distribution channel and benefit the program and its creators". He mentions Microillusions, an Activision affiliate which concentrates a Amiga programs, "That association was brought about because of our strengths in the United States, which they recognise, but also because the largest market in the world for the Amiga computer is Europe, and we were able to offer Ibat to them. They have an incredible range of products both in the UK entertainment software and in terms of the Photon
range. The breadth of their catalogue is very deep and it's something we can bring to Amiga owners and satisfy all types".
In the manner of international corporations, Activision is far more than a computer label, which is why Bruce Davis, the company president, changed its name to Mcdiagenic in May. 1988. This is the corporate umbrella for the many and diverse divisions that cover both the entertainment and business and presentation tool Helds. There's also a distinction between the labels Activision owns and its affiliated publishers.
"Infocom was a corporate acquisition of ours, and a significant one at that. We own a direct mail distribution company in the States called Triton. We have recently acquired a company at the relatively high end of business software for Msdos users. Z Soft. We have our in- I house sports label. Gamestar. We have the presentation tools label which is called Ten Point O and, of I course, Electric Dreams.
"Now on top of that we have affiliated publishers, some of which are familiar to people over here, some are not. They include Microillusions.
Sierra On Line, and System 3 in this country. There's New World Computing in the US. Where we distribute Lucasfilm. In Japan we distribute Access."
As if this wasn't enough, Activision has just announced two new labels for the UK, The first is Vivid Images, a group set up by the authors of Last Ninja and Last Ninja 2, John Twiddy, Mev Dine and Hugh Riley. "They were looking for a personal profile, but we were obviously keen that they should stay with us. We therefore put together a proposal which means that we will publish Vivid Images as an affiliate publisher, and will anticipate seeing four products from them in the next 12 months".
The affiliate publisher position gives Vivid Images free range though.
"It's the creative input which we don't want to stifle. When you build an organisation like this you have a number of resources and facilities which can be tapped into by those who have no desires to run a business but who have distinct ideas on where the market should be going and what they can contribute to it. And that's always exciting.
“It sometimes works, it sometimes fails, but that's the nature of this Only £219.00 Colour version also available, Only £269.00 Prices Include 2 extra black ribbons free of charge.
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MicroLink can be used with ANY computer, from a tiny hand-held One Psion Organiser or 288 portable to the most sophisticated computer of all. And from anywhere where there is a telephone point.
So if you want to speed up your mail, tap into a weather satellite, carry out company searches, obtain free legal and financial advice, order flowers, book theatre tickets, negotiate a mortgage, help yourself to free telesoftware programs - or go adventuring in the land of Shades, the world's biggest multi-user game - then there's only one answer - MicroLink.
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The other new label, Motion Picture House, is potentially even more revolutionary. “It can cater for individuals who may not be able to produce four to six titles a year by way of a label. This will be their flag carrier. I would be very much surprised if it's anything other than original programs. It's what those individual programmers make it. It's one thing to work for a corporation but a corporation has to work for you in terms of its flexibility. The first product will be Conqueror, the tank game based on Firebird's Virus.
• 'This is one of the most creative markets in the world. You
only have to look at the record industry or any that. It's an
incredible source but very often it suffers from the resources
and facilities so if we can contribute in any way shape or form
to change that we will".
HOW. I wondered, does all this talk of originality fit in with the Activision and Electric Dream reputation for arcade conversions.
Excellent arcade conversions, admittedly, but licences all the same.
"I accept that entirely. What we try tc achieve in developing our product mix is a balance. But to keep in business we have to be commercial.
"However, I can see a situation where the breakdown would probably be made up of 30 per cent arcade licences. 30 per cent affiliate publishers and 40 per cent original product in various categories.
"But there's no reason why a story that has worked as a film and has been relatively successful cannot be recaptured as a piece of home computer software”. Rod adds.
Indeed, he is just in the process of signing the UK deal for the computer version of the blockbusting movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Providing nobody frames Rod the God, the program should be appearing over here in January. Rod has seen the game in the States, where the lead system was the Amiga, and reports that it looks very good.
"It’s published by Buena Vista Software, which is the Walt Disney arm. That means you’ve got a piece of work direct from the creators of the film. They were very sensitive to the nature of the product. It’s interesting that you've got a major motion picture company which cares so much about their property that it wish The enthusiasm with which Rod expounds his view of the future makes you wonder where he finds the energy. Not only does he jet around the world, he has also found time to organise the annual In-Din industry more importantly, initiated the charity compilations which have helped
raise computing's professional profile as well as earning money for many worthy causes.
“1 thought that the industry could be part of what Bob Geldoff was doing for Ethiopia, so I proposed the idea to a number of fellow software houses who were all fairly receptive.
And the result was Soft Aid which raised £350.000 for Band Aid. Which I thought was an incredible achievement. It was something I was very proud of and was very grateful to everyone who participated, so we tried to make it an annual event".
Though the same level of success couldn't be expected in successive years. Off The Hook raised £75,000 for the Prince's Trust to combat drug abuse and last year the charity was the NSPCC which has already benefited to the tune of £35,000, with Rod expecting £50.000 by the end of the year. This year's proceeds will go to the National Autistic Society and for the first time the compilation will be 16 bit - another sign of the Whether it's business or charity, Rod Cousens makes things happen. It takes a combination of enthusiasm, courage, foresight and energy, and as I leave I ask the vital
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7RW • Tel: 0234 273000 • Plain man’s guide toCLI IT is not until you find yourself using a 16 bit computer that you realise the finer points of text editors.
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When you use an 8 bit computer like all the previous Commodore machines or a Spectrum or Amstrad, the concept of batch files has never arisen. The operating system of these machines doesn't allow you to autoboot or tamper with the configuration of the machine in very many ways.
But the operating systems of the IBM Pcs and their affiliates, of which the Amy and AmigaDos are the direct descendants (with a little C and Unix blended in) had a method by which text files could be stored in memory and executed like programs. What they are is just a series of Dos commands which are executed in order, as if you typed them in.
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So you need to get a series of commands executed. What can you do to generate one? Well, it’s a simple matter of typing out what you want This month Phil South takes a look at the ED and EDIT commands, and runs up some batch files I EH ir20113 [SIt£ n ] | where n is the appropriate workspace.
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£29.95 Praise and problems DAVE Eriksson is doing an excellent job ensuring at least one role-play game is reviewed every month - well done! I hope he keeps this up - Bard's Tale II and Ultima IV arc out now. The artwork for the adventure sections is great.
The Silicon Underworld series is was very interesting and adds greatly to the magazine. Just because I like games and can't program in Assembly (or C for that matter) doesn't mean I can’t understand it and enjoy its revelations about my I would like to know whether it’s safe to pour oil over the rollers in my mouse to stop it squeaking. Can this damage the ball or circuitry?
My A500 power pack occasionally buzzes. Shifting the PSU-A500 lead will make it quiet. Is this a serious problem? Should I get another one?
Brian Phillips, Take your mouse apart carefully and only put the tiniest bit of oil on the bearings. If you get oil on the ball it won't go round properly, and if you block the vanes on the rollers you will lose an axis. You may find that just taking the mouse apart, cleaning out the fluff and rebuilding the mouse cures your problems. A buzzing PSU is not really serious, but get a dealer to have a look at it.
Kickstart memories I HAVE discovered something that will delight owners of the old Kickstart VI.1. Having just bought Interceptor I was shocked to find that it didn't work on my Amiga 1000 because of its primitive Kickstart.
To my relief. I eventually managed to run it faultlessly by loading it via I have not tried this as yet on any other such programs but, if just for playing Interceptor, I feel it is a worthwhile piece of knowledge for all You should look at getting your Kickstart upgraded. A good dealer should be able to supply you with 1.2 and Commodore (0628 770088) will have stocks of the new 1.3 shortly.
Starglider slug WHY is the ST Starglider II faster than the Amiga's? In the preview (issue 1) you said the blitter chip would make up for the slower clock frequency (or whatever). The blitter IS being used isn't it?
Incidentally if both computers have 68000 processors why does the ST’s processor run at 8MHz and the Amiga’s at 7.14MHz? Any simple explanations?
Omar At Farooq, Ilford,Essex.
The reason that ST StarGlider is a mite faster, and it isn't really a noticeable difference, is that the ST runs faster. The Amigas custom chips need the system to be that shade slower so that they can cope with their jobs.
For the routines that StarGIider uses it is faster to draw shapes in software than by using the blitter, so the blitter is only used for clearing the screen.
Give it some stick Write to: The Editor, Amiga Computing, 78-84 Ongar Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM 15 9BG.
We'll send the writer of the best choice more limited? Would the choice of be determined by the application or is there one all round type that would be suitable for use with all or most programs on the Amiga that require a joystick?
I understand that there are at least two operating principles for joysticks.
Which gives the best results?
Robert Macpherson.
Tain, Ross-shire.
Except for IBM users and a couple of other odd machines, joysticks ail have a standard 9 pin connector. This means that the same joystick can be used on an Amstrad, Atari, C64 or The main mechanical principals are leaf spring and microswitch. Leaf springs are harder wearing and often used in arcade machines.
Microswitches are more sensitive and better for home use. It is a matter of taste which joystick you like to use.
A quick survey of games players in the Amiga Computing office came to the conclusion that the Ram Delta is the best desk mounted stick, while a Konix Speedking and Konix Navigator are the best hand-held joysticks around.
Black mark THIS letter is to enlighten all those unlucky people (like me) who got a mono LC-10 before the colour version came out. But just think - they have to pay a fortune for their printer ribbons. Unfortunately, we too have to pay out for ribbons, and at six quid a time it isn't cheap. Luckily I have devised a way of re-inking them by using stamp pad ink. This might also work for other printers but don’t blame me if it does not.
Oh no you don ’t. The ink used on ribbons is specially formulated.
Stamp pad ink will work to start with, ¦LETTERS!
But it may also gum up the pins and burn out the print head.
Some companies re-ink ribbons and do a good job of it providing you have not worn the ribbon's fabric. We would recommend you contact Aladdink (08907) 50965.
Drive coupled up to an Amiga?
Mimi I have quite a lot of records and data on disc and if I cannot access this information 1 would have the task of printing out the data and programs.
This also brings me to the point that if the emulator was installed, could I load a rom image, of say, my word Perfect points WHAT a horrible letter from P. Kenton (September edition). Now it may well be that he is one of the fortunate few who never miss anything when reading instruction manuals, and in that I envy him, but to hit out at people who do miss something in such ah arrogant with me when I say that this excellent magazine is meant to interest and encourage all users of the Amiga, and not just those like P. Kenton, who is, of course, perfect.
A. T.S. Henderson, Watton. Norfolk.
Ites that it is expandable ly to 1Mb and externally to also states that a hard disc idded through the same )n port. Can all of these sec the possibility that I may could look at this and a Supra hard disc, which is probably the neatest sub-system mentioned in the September issue. But you really should take a second look at the A2000.
It allows you to use Commodore's A2090 disc controller, which is probably the best around, and offers direct memory access which is very fast. You can also add memoryi much more easily. As a full system of an A2000 with 3Mb ram and a hard disc the bigger Amiga does not work out any more expensive than an A500 similarly expanded.
WordPerfect has a fine pedigree, but Protext looks to be a good alternative. It is new and needs some debugging but I use it in preference to WordPerfect. And it is half the New monitor I was about to buy an Amiga 500 and 1084 monitor when I read a brief mention in your Amiga Scene of a wondering if it would be worthwhile my waiting for it to come out.
Could you give me some idea of how superior it is to the 1084, and is there any (even very rough) indication of its likely price?
P. Bennett.
St. Albans, Herts.
The BBC emulator is designed to , Basic programs. It will emulate machine code, but will be fairly slow.
To get a program from a BBC Micro Beeb to the Amiga and use a ’CONNECT command in Commodore’s emulator. Legal programs will run. You don't say which word processor you have.
Assuming it is Wordwise, you should contact Computer Concepts about ’ disc version for the Archimedes. I has not been tested but will probably Shop or post I HAVE seen A500s advertised in your mail order adverts for £50 cheaper than the normal price. What is the snag? Would you recommend purchasing from a local store even though they are more expensive?
R. Reeves.
Northampton.
If you can find a good local shop - and that's a big if, some local shops are dreadful - then it is worth paying the extra for the help and advice you A500 beyond 1Mb by using the Spirit inboard. Ram prices mean that expansion boards sell very slowly and so they are hard to get hold of. You The A2024 is a black and white hi- resolution monitor. It is ideal for desktop publishing and word processing, but is bi ' addilii mga Computing's guess at the price would be over £1.000 - although this is purely a guess based on it having a lot of complicated circuitry and expensive ram in the design.
Beebulator THE review of the BBC emulator on page 8 of the October issue of Amiga Computing states that the product would emulate the whole of the BBC Micro and its operating system. Could I run my own programs that are on
5. 25in DFS discs if I had a 5.25in Logoff I HAVE a Voyager 7
modem from Modem House which I purchased from Boots to use
originally with my Spectrum 128.
I have since sold this machine and bought an Amiga A500. I still have the modem and would like to use it with my Amiga. But I have lost the instructions for it and do not have an appropriate lead to connect it to the computer anyway.
Is there anybody out there with one connect it to an Amiga? Also has anybody a spare copy of the instructions for this machine? I would be very thankful.
A. O'Neil, Canley. Coventry.
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C= Commodore AMIGA INCLUDES A500 Computer TV Modulator Photon Paint TenStar Pack TOTAL RRP: LESS DISCOUNT: PACK PRICE & A500 Computer 1084S Colour Monitor Photon Paint TenStar Pack TOTAL RRP: LESS DISCOUNT: PACK PRICfe » TOTAL RRP: £229.50. rTo Silica Shop Lid, DeplAMCOM 01 89,1-4 The Mews, Halheiley Road, Sidcup. Kent. OAI4 4DX PLEASE SEND ME FREE LITERATURE ON THE AMIGA .ONDON

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