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it great to have the Amiga back in the shops again? Admittediy, it would be nice if it were in more shops and being actively promoted, but hey, at toast it's there, right? But what about the next génération of Amigas? These new PowerPC-based beasties, how witt they fare in the big, compétitive world of home computing? The otd Commodore attitude of building down to spec to save cash can't continue with the new owners of the Amiga, and here's why. From about 1990 the computer industry has buitt up enough momentum to ensure that new products get introduced more and more frequentty took at the compétition for smatt physical size removable media. We had a 128Mb Magnéto Optical drive about four years ago which was sluggish enough when reading, but unbearably stow when writing to a disk. Now we have Zip and EZ drives, and tater this year we witt get Jaz and SyJet drives that hotel around a gigabyte on a smatt 3.5" cartridge and transfer at rates that would acceptable in a hard drive. To top it att off, scientists now reckon that they can increase the storage capacity of hard drives some twentyfold due to a process that works around the magnetic résistance of the media. Now how about the poor otd Amiga? Wett, as much as it may seem at the moment, 4.2Cb is your timit when it comes to storage space there's no more room in the RDB (Rigid Disk Block) that is stored on every hard drive and hard drive partition. The reason for this is that the RDB is only 32-bits tong and as we att know from studying our binary, the largest number you can have in 32-bits is in the 4.2 bittion range, hence the timit on size. Previously, this hasn't mattered for Amiga owners, but with desktop video and hard drive hungry apptications, the amount of space we need is going to grow incrementatty, and anyway, why should we be restricted in this fashion? After att, a few years back Amiga owners were laughing at the fact that our PC owning friends coutel only have 32Mb partitions, but who's laughing now? tfs not just storage space thats becoming an embarrassment. The Amiga supports

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ISSUe 98 April 1996 £4.50 Overseas price £4.50 H1I Why not take it out on a friend with Capital Punishment APRIL 1996 '*25 5 -oryjie Amiga An Biclmwi Amiga Computing demo ot the ultra violent beat em-up Capital Punitluntnl trom the Canadian maiothuts Click 8oo n weeping W things in focus with the ultimate in DTV APRIL 1996
• MCP vl.10 - the ultimate utility I* back'
• Am.ToolD.ir - Windows 95-style toolbar-
• UrouHack - MUI tor all program!
• BrsaihlassPatch - fix and improve Breathless
• Palls - keep patches under control
• Quru3 - rind out what crashed your machine
• ScroenWU - advanced public screen control
• Play 16 - advanced 16-bit sample player
• BettarEd - ailenda normal tail gadgets
• SlrlnqRaq - pop-up Ills requesters for text gadgets
• PcrtMon - watch your Amiga work t Year of AT
• Final Data Digital Quill
• Laser Guidance
• Ethernet special Counting House, i Internet Pack Beginners
Guide The XL Drive allows you to store a
1. 76MB on a high density disk.
1. 76 XL DRIVE A4000 ...£75 PC880B EXT.POWER DRIVE .
£49.95 INTERNAL DRIVES PC881 A500 ......£30.95 PC882
A2000 ....£35.95 PC883 A600 1200 ..... £35.95 HARD
340MB 2.5 IDE .....£CALL 510MB 2.5 IDE ...£CALL
810MB 2.5 IDE .... £CALL 1 GIGABYTE 2.5 IDE .£CALL
OTHERS 120MB 2.5 IDE .£95 M-TEC HD External IDE
hard disk for the A500 comes complete with an internal ROM
switcher, and upgradable to 4MB RAM M-TEC AT500 BARE
SIMMS OVERDRIVE HD External PCMCIA 3.5* IDE hard disk
ZIP DRIVE 100MB SCSI.....£179.95 100MB DISKETTE .£15.95
r SYQUEST EZ1 35 The Syquest EZ135 drive is an ideal storage
device. The EZ Drive stores 135MB on a single 3.5* cartridge
and has a seek time of 13.5ms. Comes complete with one 135MB
cartridge. (A SCSI interface is required) SYQUEST EZ135MB . ,
£239.95 135MB CARTRIDGE .fCALL Backup to 520MB onto a
4hr VMS tape.
Version 3 has new backup modes for Amiga's with a 68020 or higher CPU.
3...... £20 FLOPPY EXPANDER Save 1.5MB on a standard floppy
drive and 3MB when used in conjunction with the XL Drive 1.76.
add upto to 50% to your hard drive capacity and works with all
drives including SCSI, IDE, Floppies and even the RAM disk.
Disk Expander works on any Amiga with any Kickstart.
DISK EXPANDER £19.95 EXTERNAL CASES SCSI case suitable for CD-ROM HD DAT and Optical drives.
5. 25 SCSI or IDE CASE .....£79.95
3. 5“ SCSI or IDE CASE ......£79.95 SX-32 SX-32 is an Internal
add-on card for your CD32 and features: VGA port. RGB port,
parallel port, serial port, external disk drive port (1.76MB),
clock, controller for
2. 5* hard disk, and a SIMM socket (up to 8MB). Turn your CD-32
into a A1200.
SX-32 MODULE ...£199.95 CHIPS & SPARES 256 x 32 SIMM 72-PIN (1MB) . £40 512 X 32 SIMM 72-PIN (2MB)____£75 1 X 32 SIMM (4MB)......£125.95 2X32 SIMM (SMB) £235.95 4X32 SIMM (16MB)......£499.95 1 X 8 SIMM 32-PIN (1MB) ......£30 4 X 8 SIMM 32-PIN (4MB) .....£139 1 X 4 STATIC COLUMN A3000 . . £25 1 X 4 DIP .£25 256X4 DIP £5 1 X 1 DIP .£5 CIA ....£12 GARY ...£19 PAULA ...£19 DENISE ..£19 SUPER DENISE .£25 KEYBOARD IC .£12 FAT AGNUS 1MB
......£19 FAT AGNUS 2 MB ......£29 PRINTER CABLE .£6 RS232 CABLE ..£6 SCSI EXTERNAL £15 WORKBENCH 3.1 A500 2000 ____£85 WORKBENCH 3.1 A3000 4QQO . . £95 ROM SHARE DEVICE ...£19
£99 GVP G-LOCK Award winning Amiga Genlock.
G-LOCK AMIGA GENLOCK £259 IO-EXTENDER Zorro II card that provides an additional serial port, parallel port and connection for optional RS422 and RS232 port.
Call for details ioEXTENDER £59 Official GVP RAM SIMMs.
4MB GVP RAM ...£159 16MB GVP RAM ...£549 0 68060 mu A 68060 accelerator board for the A2000 running at 50MHz and allowing upto 128MB of user installable memory and a SC5I-II hard disk controller.
A2000 68040 (0MB RAM) . . . £TBA A2000 68060 (0MB RAM) . . . £TBA 4MB STANDARD ADD £125.95 4MB GVP ADD ..£159
- S P C t AI. OFFf-R MODEMS ACEEX V32 BIS 14.4 notbtapproveo £99
SCSI INTERFACE . £59.95 AURA £79.95
MEGALOSOUND .. £29.95 squirrel tcsi Interface included
where you see this logo SURF SQUIRREL Surf Squirrel offers an
even higher SCSI performance, auto-booting, and ultra-fast
serial port. Surf Squirrel is the ideal expansion peripheral
for your Amiga
1200. Please call for more information.
SURF SQUIRREL .... £POA SQUIRREL MPEG Squirrel MPEG allows you to play VideoCD and CD! CD-ROM's, Squirrel MPEG brings high quality digitally mastered images and 16-bit Stereo sound to you and your Amiga.
SQUIRREL MPEG £POA RAM EXPANSION ¦ POWER SCANNER I I SCANDOUBLER he award winning Power Scanner includes the following features: Scan In 24-b t at Upto 200DPI (all Amigas not just AGA)*, Scan in 256 greyscales at up to 400DPI (all Amigas), Thru'port for printer connection. Fully supports AGA chipset.
Display HAM8 24bit images on a non- AGA Amiga (via image conversion), full editing facilities included. Works with 2.04 ROM or above, min 1MB (recommend 2MB).
A 5 0 0 68020 EC H FLATBED SCANNERS 24-bit A4 flatbed scanners, complete with software, cables and manual.* EPSON GT-5000 24-BIT, INC. ROWERSCAN SORTWAU EPSON GT-8500 24 BIT. INC ROWERSCAN lORTWARI EPSON GT-9000 24-BIT, INC IMAGE »* Rtv 1 ADPRO SOFTWARE IMAGE FX 2.0 S W £729.95 VAR!
SCANNER SOFTWAREh SIRIUS II GENLOCK I* £249.95 £399.95 £25 A 68020 EC processor accelerator card for the A500 and A500+, with an option to fit a 68881 or 68882 co-processor (PLCC or PGA). This card can fit upto 4MB FAST RAM and is fully auto-configuring.
NOT COMPATIBLE WITH GVP HARD DRIVE A500 68020 EC 0MB RAM £99.95 A500 68020 EC 4MB RAM £239.95 A 2MB RAM board for the A500 which i in the trap door slot.
A500 2MB RAM ....£90 MEMORY CARDS 512K RAM WITH CLOCK ____£24.95 512K RAM WITHOUT CLOCK £19.95 A600 1M8 RAM ...£39.95 A500+ 1MB RAM £29.95 ¦ Increase your Amiga 500 2000 chip RAM to a total of 2MB. MegaChip does this by using its own 2MB RAM and also now includes a 2MB Fat Agnus. No soldering is required.
MEGACHIP RAM .£159.95 MICROVITEC 1438 14“ £289 EPSON STYLUS INC.PAPER , £489 EPSON STYLUS PRO XL A3+ £1499 EPSON STYLUS PRO XL INCLUDE STUDIO U SOETWAUf STUDIO II SOFTWARE . . . £49.95 PRINTERS MONITORS VGA ADAPTOR VGA ADAPTOR .....£15 GLIDEPOINT PICASSO II 2MB RAM ¦NClUOtNG TV RAMT ML PICASSO II 2MB RAM INCLUDING TV RAINT 1 VIDEO DAC IB-BIT GRARMJCS A DART04 Just like the Neptune-Genlock. The new Sirius II combines excellent quality with user friendliness. In addition, this genlock disposes of blue-box keying, bypass, RGB-colour correction, a stereo-audio control with
microphone input as well as an integrated test pattern generator for adjustment.
SIRIUS II GENLOCK.....£919.95 GLIDEPOINT £59.95 Intuitive cursor control at your finger tips .Tap’ for an instant selection. Connects to the Serial port. (This is not a graphics tablet) ALPS GLIDEPOINT ..£59.95 POWER TABLET Pen and cursor controlled graphic tablet, including cables and software.
POWER TABLET 12 X 12 . .£195.95 INCL. RfN. CURSOR AND ROWER TAB S W GURU-ROM V 6 A SCSI driver for all Series II host adaptors and accelerator cards for all Amiga computers. This ROM has a very fast transfer rate of up to 3.5MB S, maximising your CPU processing time. Guru supports all SCSI device types including hard drives, CD-ROM drives, scanners, Syquest drives etc.Guru ROM is compatible with Amiga OS 1.3 through to 3.1 and is SOI • I SCSI-2 compatible. Please call for further information.
G* nd GURU-ROM V6 ....£49.95 phone efdtn We accept most major credit cardi and are happy to help you with any quent*.
Postal orders Ordering by cheque PO please make payable to Power Computing Ltd and ip*t% wh*h del very is required.
Warranty All Power products come with a 12 month warranty unless Otherwise specified technical support Help is on hand with a full Technical Backup service which is provided for Power customers ¦all-order price* All prices listed are for the month of publication only, call to confirm prl « before ordering.
Export orders Most items are available at Tai Free Prices to non-EC residents. Call to confirm prices. BFPO orders welcome.
¦atl-order ter«s All prices include VAT Specifications and prices are subject to change without notice All trademarks are acknowledged. All orders in writing or by telephone will be accepted only subject to our terms and conditions of trade, copies of which are available on request FOR ANY INFORMATION PLEASE CALL TELEPHONE NO.
MINIMUM DELIVERY £2.50 ALLOW UP TO 7 DAYS FOR CHEQUES TO CLEAR omsnjs +§ystSm* EVI EWS System news 84 Andy Maddock brings you all that is weird and wonderful on the AMIGA gomes scene Player manager 2 extra 88 We haven't seen a football management game for absloutely ages and finally we get one. Will it be as good as its predecessor?
Speris legacy 90 We present you with a three page bumper review featuring Team 17's latest offering Watchtower 93 Take control of a commando soldier and watch everything from up a tower. Check out the preview Hints and tips 94 Our dedicated feedback page where you, the readers, can write to us and complain your socks off. Co on. We can take it Doom roundup 96 The Doom issue is no longer doom and gloom!
Tt's more Fears and Breathless. Ho, ho, ho.
Now, that's funny!
Final data_ES Gareth Lofthouse looks on as Softwood's database saga continues with yet another facelift for the familiar LightWave 4.0 EE3 Ethernet special ES Could the age-old problem of Amiga networking finally have a simple and inexpensive solution Printer punchup_ 23 Two printers - Hewlett Packard's DeskJet 850C and the Epson Stylus Colour lls fight it out Internet pack 23 Nei Mohr pulls the planned AT Internet Pack together to deliver the sneakiest of sneak previews Counting house__23 Digital quill_EZ3 Unde Neil asks if there's a place for yet another text editor in the Amiga market Wave
rider's guide ED Ben Vost continues the 3D theme with a look at the latest i LightWave tutorials on screen and in print We ask the key players their opinions on the efforts of Amiga Technologies over the last twelve months EATURES AT ONE YEAR ON ES LASER GUIDANCE Database _ES Paul Overaa kicks off a six part programming special on the building of databases from the bottom up The shining silver platters are under the microscope again.
The CD buyers guide goes from strength to strength Beginner's guide _ ES Steve White continues his insider guide to the finer points of mastering the idiosyncracies of the Amiga Amiga Computing 4 APRIL 1996 c OVER STORY HE COVERDISKS Capital punishment It's time to switch off your brain and engage your primeval, animalistic, blood lusting emotions. Yes, release your anger and join the dark side with our ultra-violent demo Utilities unlimited II It's back and it's bigger and better. MCP* the mother of all Workbench utilities. How did you live without it?
Plus: Breathless Update, UrouHack Play 16, Screen Wizard, The Guru, Palis, AmiToolBar*, BetterEd and StringReq
* requires Magic User Interface Video special_E3 Adam Phillips
provides a definitive guide to the art of pro-quality video
production. From scripting to story boarding, producing to
directing, it's all here.
Plus, a roundup of the best video cameras and recorders Letters The Amiga C Questions an Acas ECU LARS Comment_ ?
E t m Ben Vost looks asks when the promised move to the PowerPC will make an appearance in the high street Technical trickery, Q&As and all things confusing put in their place by our resident Amiga whiz kid News Tina Hackett reports on the disappointing Christmas sales that present yet another hurdle in the Amiga's recovery CD js confusing pu liz kid Public sector CD Dave Cusick, the man with more floppies than an infertility clinic delivers the low-down on Amiga PD The Amiga Computing letters page in all its glory.
Questions answered and myths put into perspective CD Subscriptions MIGA GUIDE For details of Amiga Computing's subscription offers turn to page 80 AMIGA Amiga Computing pi
• - t ssssp* r»e zxpAtisjiom A1200 trapdoor fitting memory
expansions feature a battery backed clock and a socket for an
accelerator FPU.
LiibbliUJS'J Discology is the ultimate in disk copying power for the Amiga. The package composes the Discology Disk, manual and Discology cartridge for making copies of heavily protected programs with an external disk drive. Discology will also format disks, check disks for errors etc. £19.99 EACH OR BUY BOTH for £24.99 j j-_tj vjjjijjs ' Anti Virus Professional is the most powerful tool for detecting and removing viruses. Anti Virus pro will check and device hard drives, floppy disks and even CD ROM dnves for viruses. Very straight forward to use. Includes a full 50 page manual.
ONLY £234.99 or £274.99 with a Squirrel or Dataflyer 135mb EZ cartridge £15.99 72 pin simms suitable for Apollo accelerators. A4000, A1200 memory expansions etc. lmb £39.99 2mb £77.99 4mb £114.99 8mb £219.99 'JL'J'Jji liArr rilDii2 Our unique and highly rated external Clock Cartndge will enable your Amiga to continually store the correct time and date in its own battery backed memory.
Simply plugs onto the back of the Amiga and does not invalidate the warranty.
Compatible with ALL Amigas ONLY £19.99
• plus £1 00 postage ar.u parking) FC AbVV £ ¦rJAiiU Dst7.23
These hard drives simply push onto the side of the A500 Of
A500+ and wiH give your computer ail the benefits that hard
drives offer. The dnves are supplied formatted, partitioned
and have Workbench installed for immediate use.
Fun instructions and software supplied The hard drive also has the facility to add 2.4.6 or 8mb of RAM nsideH Highly rated SCSI drive will store lOOmb per cartndge. Comes Complete with power supply, SCSI cable, instructions and cartridge.
ONLY £189.99 or £229.99 with a Squirrel or Dataflyer ! LOOmb ZIP cartridge £15.99 DaiArUZh ¦ Now includes CD ROM drivers and instructions.
The Dataflyer is a 16 bit SCSI II controller card that converts the signals on the internal IDE interface to also run SCSI devices at the same time as the IDE hard dnve.
The Dataflyer SCSI+ will operate upto 5 SCSI devices such as CD-ROMS, hard drives. SyQuest removeable drives, tape back up drives etc. Unlike other SCSI interfaces, the Dataflyer SCSI+ is com patibte with ail known accelerators etc and it does not stop you from utilising any of the important expansion ports on your A1200 A600.
The Dataflyer SCSI+ easily installs Into the A1200 A600 (simply pushes in. No need to remove the metal shield) and provides a 25 way D connector through the Wanking plate at the back of the A1200.
Full instructions and software supplied.
,3Jj'jJ 0XJr3 3.L) This superb package is a must for any CD-ROM user.
Includes CD32 & CDTV emulation, audio CD player software including librarian features. Direct reading of 16bit audio samples, full support for Kodak and Corel PhotoCD DisCS.
Includes the 'FISHMARKET' CDROM disk packed with public domain Fred Fish disks and a huge 115 page Information packed spiral ASIM CDFS I bound manual.
Only £49.99
- iuuoss.
A40CX) SCSI controller expansion card that allows up to 7 SCSI devices to be connected to the A4000. Includes full user manual and installation software including CD-ROM drivers. Includes connecting cable for internal SCSI devices and rear mounting bracket with a 25way connector for external devices.
Tl Dsil 733 Incredibly fast (upto 4x faster than a ZIP drive) SCSI dnve will store a massive 135mb per cartridge. Comes complete with power supply.
SCSI cable, instructions and cartridge.
- J M IJ i ~ ?
] 1 J APOLLO 1220 ONLY £99.99 APOLLO 1220 +lmb £139.99 APOLLO 1220 +4«nb £214.99 An incredibly powerful trapdoor fitting accelerator based around a 68030 complete with MMU, 2 SIMM sockets 72 PIN SIMMS), socket for a floating point unit and battery backed clock. Runs at just under 9.5 MIPS million instructions per second!)
APOLLO 1232 50 £199.99 4mb SIMM £114.99 8mb SIMM £219.99 68882 FPU £69.99 Our highly rated, top quality feature packed modems are ideal for Amiga users. All modems include our J £19.99 which includes a cable to connect the modem to the Amiga. NCOMM comms software. Amiga Guide to Comms and a list of Bulletin Boards from which you will be able to download vast amounts of free software as well as have access to E-MAIL facilities
• MNP 2-4 Error Correction
• MNP 5 Data Compression , • Fax Class I and II compatible.
Group 3
• Hayes Compatible
• Full 80 page manual
• 12 Months guarantee WORKBENCH 3.1 for A500 1500 2000 only
£89.99 for A1200 3000 4000 only £99.99 RENO CD WITH SQUIRREL
£174.99 WITH DATAFLYER £174.99 SPEEDCOM+B (14,400 V32bis)
£79.99 SPEEDCOM+BF (28,800 V34) £159.99 Bring your Amiga into
us for fitting for ONLY £10.00 Include the appropriate
Workbench 3.1 ROMS, disks, manuals and fitting instructions.
Our high speed 2.5' IDE hard drives for the Amiga A1200 & A600 computers come complete with fitting cable, screws, partitioning software, full instructions and 12 months guarantee. All drives supplied by us are formatted, partitioned and have Workbench (WB2 for the A600 and WB3 for the A12Q0I installed for immediate use. Fitting is incredibly simple; if you can plug the mouse into the mouse socket, you will be able to r 1 plug the hard drive Vouf pOty into the hard drive , Wcfeo ' socket PLEASE PHONE FIRST!
Internally fitting A6Q0 Accelerator features 60020 and FPU both running at 28MHZ. 72 pin simm socket for up to 8 Mb of FASTRAM. Easy fit.
Makes your 600 faster than a 3000!!
APULLU ; ±2t)L) j £22L2ib- l!jIt3 Amazing power for such a low pnee. This superb accelerator uses a 68020 running at 28hz and comes complete with a 68882 FPU to enable your A1200 to run at 5 MIPS million instructions per second)! Uses standard 72 pin SIMMS and includes a battery backed clock.
Simple trapdoor fitting.
JJAiiu UiiJ UZ5 Ar’ULLL) A22U 85mb £89.99 120mb £104.99 170mb £119.99 250mb £139.99 340mb £174.99 540mb £284.1 APOLLO A620 ONLY £134.99 + 2MB £199.99 + 4MB £284.99 Please phone first to check availability of any item.
From the M62 Junction 17 head towards Bury.
We are 50 yards on the right hand side after the third set of lights.
The door to our premises is next to the florists opposite the Masons Pub.
SIREN SOFTWARE, 178 BURY NEW RD WHITEFIELD, MANCHESTER M45 6QF, ENGLAND Send cheques or postal orders (made payable to Siren Software) or credit card details to:- No.l FOR AMIGA IN MANCHESTEF tel: 0161 796 527 for enquiries or fax: 0161 796 3201 No.l FOR MAIL ORDEI Ak pnees include VAT Postage and packing will be cnarged ot £3.50 per order (U.K.). £7.50 Europe and £12.50 rest of the world.
Order NOW for immediate despatc Monday to Friday 9am to 6pn Saturday mornings 9am to 12p Access. Visa. Switch. Delta.
Connect etc accepted redit switch card sales i FREEPHONE 0500 340541 Osn't it great to have the Amiga back in the shops again?
Admittedly, it would be nice if it wprp in more shops and being actively promoted, but hey, at least it's there, right? But what about the next generation of Amigas? These new PowerPC-based beast- ies, how will they fare in the big, competitive world of home computing? The old Commodore attitude of building down to spec to save cash can't continue with the new owners of the Amiga, and here's why.
From about 1990 the computer industry has built up enough momentum to ensure that new products get introduced more and more frequently - look at the competition for small physical size removable media. We had a 128Mb Magneto Optical drive about four years ago which was sluggish enough when reading, but unbearably slow when writing to a disk. Now we have Zip and EZ drives, and later this year we will get Jaz and SyJet drives that hold around a gigabyte on a small 3.5" cartridge and transfer at rates that would acceptable in a hard drive. To top it all off, scientists now reckon that they can
increase the storage capacity of hard drives some twentyfold due to a process that works around the magnetic resistance of the media.
Your limit Now how about the poor old Amiga? Well, as much as it may seem at the moment,
4. 2Gb is your limit when it comes to storage space - there's no
more room in the RDB (Rigid Disk Block) that is stored on
every hard drive and hard drive partition. The reason for
this is that the RDB is only 32-bits long and as we all know
from studying our binary, the largest number you can have in
32-bits is in the 4.2 billion range, hence the limit on size.
Previously, this hasn’t mattered for Amiga owners, but with
desktop video and hard drive hungry applications, the amount
of space we need is going to grow incrementally, and anyway,
why should we be restricted in this fashion? After all, a few
years back Amiga owners were laughing at the fact that our PC
owning friends could only have 32Mb partitions, but who's
laughing now?
It's not just storage space that's becoming an embarrassment. The Amiga supports Back for the practically none of the now established standards like TWAIN - the standard for scanners which allows any TWAIN-compliant package to use any TWAIN-compliant scanner, that includes paint packages and even word processors, and systemwide support of TrueType or Postscript fonts, copy and paste, and many other things (I haven't even got onto OLE or OpenDoc yet...). This must be addressed. It doesn't matter if only a few people use these features, the point is that when businesses are buying machines
they are going to want the most seamlessly inte grated system for their current setup. A company that wants to do so (insert something the Amiga still beats other machines at, er, video?) Might still end up buying a PC or a Mac, not only because that's all they'll get future?
Amiga Technologies assures us the Amiga is back for the future, but have they been looking that far ahead? Ben Vost wants to know told about, but also because they are practically guaranteed compatibility.
On another front, have you heard the one about the world's largest database company, Oracle, asking for a S500 Internet box, one that would have the ability to be connected to a TV, have a modem and no local storage so that applications could be downloaded from the Net and used that way? Acorn have and are apparently doing the business with Oracle, but it would seem that Amiga Technologies haven't. Shame really, because they could offer Oracle an Internet box that did have local storage along with all the other criteria for not much more than the requisite half a grand. JT& The HI team EDITOR
Paul Austin DEPUTY EDITOR Ben Vost ART EDITOR Tym Leckey NEWS EDITOR Tina Hackett COVERDISK EDITOR Neil Mohr PRODUCTION EDITOR Judith Chapman GAMES EDITOR Tina Hackett STAFF WRITERS Andrew Haddock Dave Cusick ADVERTISING MANAGER Liu Bracewell AD SALES Jane Normington AD SALES Sue Horsefieid AD PRODUCTION Barbara Newall MARKETING MANAGER Claire Mawdsley PRODUCTION MANAGER Sandra adds SYSTEMS MANAGER David Stewart CIRCULATION DIRECTOR David Wren COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Denise Wright DISTRIBUTION COMAG (01895) 444055 SUBSCRIPTION 0151-157 2961 Member of the Aud* Bureau of Crcubtions CHAIRMAN Richard
Hrase MANAGING DIRECTOR Ian Bloomfield We regret AMIGA Computing cannot offer technical help on a personal basis either by telephone or in writing. AH reader enquries should be submitted to the address in tfw panel for possible publication.
Amiga Computing a on independent publcotron and AMIGA fethnotopes GmbH ore not responsible for any of the omdes in Ms issue or for any of the opruorc expressed 27,871 JuvJune 1995 Published by IDG Medo. Meda Howe. Admgton Part.
MacctefcidSKI04NP T*i 01425 878888. Fix 01625 850652 Emul contact!: Editors! C4t@acomp.demon.couk €1996 IDG Media No material may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission While every care is taken, the publishers cannot be held legally reponsible for any errors in articles, brings or advertisements All prices bted m the editorial content of this migazine are inclusive of VAT unless stated IDG MEDIA For six yean AMIGA Computing has been the leading magazine for Amiga enthusiasts. As a key member of the IDG communications group, AMIGA Computing promises to inform, educate
and entertain its readers each month with the most dedicated coverage of the Amiga available.
12 issue subscription £44.99 (UK), £49.99 (EEC) £44.99 (Worid) Ongoing quarterly direct debit £10.99 (UK only) Printed and bound by Duncan Webb Oft set (Maidstone) Ltd Amiga Computing 8 APRIL 1996 Order NOW for ~ immediate despaU Siegfried DISCOLOGY FREEPHONE 0500 340541 I included is the Discology disk. Discology Cartridge and a 36 page printed manual (credit switch card sales onh Features a cartridge backup mode for heavily protected disk (Requires the use of an external disk drive) tel: 0161 796 527!
For enquiries or fax: 0161 796 320: Send cheques or postal orders (made payable to Siren Software) or credit card details to:- Modem users can backup disks via a modem to another Amiga anywhere in the world Fully multi-tasking, copies with high density disk etc Full update service is available for registered users SIREN DISCOLOGY is available PRICE SOFTWARE Discology comprises all the functions that are 178 BURY NEW Rl demanded from a WHITEFIELD, MANCHESTER M45 6QF, ENGLAND top quality back-up Telephone for a fitZZ full information sheet program.
Access. Visa. Switch, Delta Connect etc accepted OPEN: Siegfried Anti Virus Professional is a multifunction tool for combating virus attacks. H features powerful early recognition of viruses and includes preventative measures for infested Monday to Friday 9am to 6pn Saturday mornings 9am to 12p Personal callers zlcome Please phone first to check availability of any item.
Siegfried ANTI Virus search on any device (Hard disk, floppy disk CD-ROM etc,) Quick tracing of link and file viruses etc. Block Test to search for viruses at the block level of a device Automated unpacking of compressed programs for virus checking Recognition of Bootblock Viruses with analysis Safeguards hard dnves Rigid Disk Blocks Includes a comprehensive 50 page pnnted manual Full update service to registered users Includes many more features.
DIRECTIONS: From the M62 junction 17 head towards Bury.
We are 50 yards on the right hand side after the third set of lights.
The door to our premises is next to the florists opposite the Masons Pub.
ANTI VIRUS is available PRICE Telephone hr a fttSS full information sheet M, % % f Off 90 0 C( Discology is the optimum package for beginners & experts alike who wish to create back-up copies of original floppy disks speedily and easily.
The World of Amiga UK Show is all set to happen on the 13 and 14 April and two long-standing Amiga supporters are already promising to launch ten new products at the show. Both Digita International and HiSoft Systems have products planned for the event, with Digita premiering Wordsworth 5 and Wordsworth 5SE which is intended specifically for A1200 owners with 2Mb memory and only one disk drive. They will also be showing Organiser 2, a personal diary, and their database, Datastore 2.
HOW STOPPERS HiSoft intend to show off their new products too with the Squirrel Mpeg add-on which allows the playing of Video CD and Cdi discs from SCSI CD-ROMs to broadcast monitors, Tvs or video recorders. They will also be showing their Surf Squirrel which is a new version of the Squirrel SCSI interface. This has a high-speed serial transfer for high-speed modem use and auto-booting drivers to allow full auto-booting from SCSI hard disks.
Amongst the plethora of products there will also be an update on Terminate TCP and CinemaFont, an add-on which allows the loading of any Type 1 font directly into Cinema4D. There will also be CinemaWorld, another Cinema4D add-on which creates 3D worlds and landscapes plus CinemaTree which creates trees (no surprise there).
So there you have it - World of Amiga is the place to be and with any luck should get some much needed attention back onto the platform attracting old and new users alike.
BOETRY CORNER T wo of the most unlikely pastimes have ¦ been united in some bizarre anthology being put together by Poetry Now. They want budding Keats to send poems in to them (in no more than 30 lines) on the topic of technology in the world today. Anything from opinions on the Internet to console bashing would be appreciated, so get out your quill and parchment and send your scribblings to Poetry Now, The World Of Technology, 1 -2 Wainman Road, Woodston, Peterborough PE2 7BU before the 30 April 1996.
There’s no entry fee required but a stamped addressed envelope is appreciated. The copyright remains with the author and if accepted for the anthology, royalties will be paid.
A miga upgrade specialist Eyetech have ™ brought out a new package which will help the Amiga realise its multimedia ambitions. With every A1200 AV (Audio Visual hard drive upgrade kit they will also supply a copy of Optonica's Mme, their multimedia authoring system.
Mme will be installed on the drive and comes with a hard disk-based tutorial and on-line help facilities.
They will also have over 40 PD and Shareware utilities ideal for multimedia on them.
Mme has been chosen because it's the only UK system of this type which is designed to run on and produce stand-alone applications that run on a standard 2Mb A1200 or CD32.
Eyetech promise that even a nontechnical user will be able to install the drive (without having to cut or drill the case) and have it running within half an hour. The price for this little bundle is £229.95 which includes VAT. A full manual and backup program tutorial diskette pack is also available for a small charge.
O With the drive cornea Optonica's MM* multimedia authoring aoftware Amiga Computing iewSonic, renowned monitor makers, have a new 17“ monitor in store which they will launch at the forthcoming CeBIT show in Hannover. Called the SonicTron PT-770, it has an aperture grille mask rather than the conventional shadow mask and has a maximum resolution of 1600x1280 pixels. It will cost £819 + VAT. Also on the cards from ViewSonic is the 15“ 15GA multimedia monitor with two hi-fi loudspeakers and integrated microphone. The picture is produced by a
0. 27mm Invar shadow mask and a Super- Contrast screen with
special antireflection anti-glare coating. It should retail
at £379 + VAT. And finally, they are also releasing a 20"
model which will cost £1039+VAT.
Offering a 50cm screen, it has non-interfaced resolutions up to 1600x 1280 and a high refresh rate of up to 76Hz at 1280x1024. It also allows the user to be able to adjust screen colours to match printed output Bmiga is Qiew to a thrill Bmos Pro EXTENSION |U| ilton Keynes company Blittersoft have a new Amos Pro Extension kit I™ ready for UK distribution. Priced at £49.95, it should give a whole new lease of life to Amos Pro with over 600 new commands. Now you will be able to program fully Multi-Tasking software, Gadtools (gadgets and menus) Datatypes, DOS functions and StoneTracker support To
run it requires OS2jc or better and has 100 help procedures to allow even the novice to get started straight away. We'll be bringing you a full review soon. Watch this space.
Q AMMING IT HOME Premier Mail Order are offering some bargain price SIMM chips SO you too can get all the benefits from the latest Doom clones like Breathless.
They believe that if more people had FastRAM on board then developers would take more interest in the Amiga (good, guilt-inducing advertising techniques there), so they are offering the following at these prices which include VAT and delivery: 4 Meg 72 Pin 70ns-£119.99 8 Meg 72 Pin 70ns - £239.99 16 Meg 72 Pin 70ns - £445.99 PCI208 RAM Board - BARE - £59.99 Contact Premier Mail Order on 01266 271172 for more info.
THE STAR The Amiga 4QQQ was in the spotlight recently at the MIDEM festival at Cannes. A music video starring a pop band called Cramp in the Leg (hmm) was made using the machine and won the producers a bronze medal for editing. The video was produced by Myth Machine and used VlabMotion and Lightwave 3.5. As well as including rotoscoping of chronicle material, there was also a scene with modern musicians standing in Red Square in 1930.
Stuck on Speris Binary Emotions are lending a helping hand for players of The Speris Legacy. A hints and tips book is now available and is priced at just £2.99. Call 01722 416074 for more details.
SCALA Anyone wishing to contact Scala should note that they have a change of telephone number which is: 01920 484148.
The review we featured last month on the Blizzard 1260 accelerator had the wrong scores put on it They should read as follows: Ease of Use: 95%, Implementation: 95%, Value for Money: 72% Overall: 92%. These scores are higher than the ones we printed and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Inn 5 . I Shock, horror Check out the Softwood Web site (http: www.Softwood.com ) for all the latest information on their products such as Final Calc and Final Data. As well as a brief history of the company (they began in 1986, you know) there is also the shock announcement that after two years in the making they have Final Writer - for Windows '95. Hmm. Oh well, who says PC owners get the best things first?
Amiga Computing online Amiga Computing are pleased to announce that their Web site is up and running once again.
Check out, for example, the current news, updates on what we’re up to, plus games hints and tips. Follow www.idg.co.uk amigacomp for all the latest and greatest.
Amiga Computing survey Amiga Computing's reader survey has attracted a good amount of replies. It seems most of our readers so far have actually got machines with a much better spec than the default, with CD-ROM drives being the most popular hardware add-ons (so look out for a CD coverdisc) and the sections of the magazine that are proving most popular are ESP and ACAS.
We will be running the survey until the end of March, so there's still plenty of time to get your entries in, but do send them in as we can only make a better magazine for everyone if you all tell us what you want As a reminder, the entry that we draw out of a hat will win £200 worth of prizes tailored to your machine. So get writing and send us your entries.
Amiga Computing S VI N Speedy access OS Robotics have a new modem on the horizon which will offer a speed of 28,800bps. Priced at £199 (exc.
VAT) it is the Internet ready version of the Sportster Vi fax modem. The 28,800bps version follows on from US Robotics 14,400 bps modem and for those who spend long periods browsing the Web, it could make a more economical option. It includes a voice mail feature which could be taken advantage of if any- j body writes the software for it!
N ro-Soft have annou- ¦ need the launch of their latest program designed to get even the most scatterbrained of us organised.
As a slight diversion from their usual gambling- related programs, they are launching Pro-Organiser, a personal organiser program at a budget price.
Running on all Amigas with 1 Mb, you can get a free usable demo by sending a blank disk and Stamped Addressed Envelope to Pro-Soft, PO Box CR5J, Leeds LS71XJ.
A recent case which was brought before the House of Lords has raised controversial issues on computer security. The case involved a police officer who asked a police computer operator to get him information for his job as a debt collector, a role which is outside his duties as a police officer. He was found out and charged with 'using' personal data against the laws of the Data Protection Act.
He appealed, arguing that reading information off a screen could not be considered 'use of data' and the House of Lords upheld this. However, if he had actually taken action on this information, it would have come under the Act.
Elizabeth France, the Data Protection SAE to: Association of British Insurers, 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ.
And in the same vein, news just in reports that the Dixons Group has joined the Computer Weekly campaign to combat computer theft. Dixons, together with the Metropolitan Police, have launched a campaign to deal with the problem and have already met with 19 of the major manufacturers of electronic goods to ask them to build anti-theft safeguards into their future products.
Dale Heathcote, co-ordinator of the Dixons Police projects commented: "We will work together with those involved in this campaign to share information and help to encourage the industry to ensure that the next generation of expensive consumer electronics equipment such as computers become less attractive to the criminal."
F omputer crime has been estimated to cost the country around £1 billion a year. According to the Association of British Insurers, insured theft losses cost £200 million a year, but in fact this figure is estimated to be much higher due to non-insured losses, lost production, and lost business opportunities.
Recent incidents such as a factory in Scotland having £2.3 million worth of computer chips stolen and an armed gang stealing £150,000 worth of computer equipment from a South London Factory have shown how bad the situation is.
The Association want to help combat this, so are issuing an information sheet with advice on how to ensure your computer and electronic equipment is safe from thieves.
Businesses and the public can get this sheet by sending an Registrar, remarked: "Reports of Thursday's ruling in the House of Lords case, R v Brown, may have given the impression that accessing information from a computer screen is not covered by the Data Protection Act" She continued: 'The Lords clearly ruled that processing data in this way is covered by the Act and where it is carried out improperly, I can take enforcement action against the data user against which appeals can be brought to the Data Protection Tribunal." However, an individual employee cannot now be prosecuted under the
Data Protection Act for 'browsing' personal data, although it may be possible to prosecute under the Computer Misuses Act 1990.'
Qounting the costs ECURITY FEARS News from the Net Net protest at Telecom Act This February saw President Clinton sign an act which has huge implications for Net censorship. This wide-reaching legislation should reform and benefit some of the laws regarding communication but on the other hand - and the cause for all the controversy - there is the Communications Decency Act which some believe could lead to widespread censorship.
The CDA will make it an offence to post ‘indecent’ material on the Internet with prison sentences or fines of up to 5250,000 dished out for those who break the law.
However, those opposing the CDA believe the term 'indecent' is extremely vague and fear that even things like works of art showing nudes could be banned.
Don't duly DALLY ON THE Web!
America - the first case of divorce on the grounds of 'adultery' on the Internet is being put to the test John Goydan found explicitly sexual exchanges between his wife and another man which they'd been having over the Internet.
Although the relationship had never been consummated, Mr Goydan of New Jersey claims they were planning a rendezvous at a New Hampshire hotel. The case raises interesting legal implications as his lawyer believes it could change the way adultery is defined in law but Mr Goydan's accessing his wife's email could be seen as a violation of her personal privacy.
Banned book out IN PUBLIC A book which was published only to be banned soon after has found its way onto the Internet. The book in question, 'Le Grand Secret', caused uproar because it revealed allegations about the health of the late French president, Francois Mitterand. Written by Mitterancfs personal physician, it claimed that Mitterand ordered the fact that he had prostate cancer to be kept quiet It also claimed that his medical records were falsified. The book found its way onto the Internet via a French Cybercafe owner who scanned in the pages into his computer and then released them
onto the Web.
ONIC PRESERVED FOREVER T he British Film Institute has begun an initiative to
* preserve video games to make sure they do not become lost
forever. The Institute fears that games such as Sonic and
PacMan could go missing as happened to some of the earliest
films, so they have set space aside amongst the 275,000 films
housed there. Assistant Director for the BFI commented: "The
BFI is taking the bold initiative to preserve games - from the
first primitive blips of the early '70s to the sophisticated
virtual reality of today's games. This move will enable
researchers and young people in 100 years time to find out a
great deal about the lifestyle's and interests of young people
in the 1990s."
The BFI are appealing to anyone who has any particularly old games, especially those that can be played on the Lynx, Dragon 32, BBC Micro, Texas T1994A, Sharp M2700, Commodore Vic 20, Atari VCS, Coleco Vision, Jupiter Ace and Mattel Intelevision, to get in touch. If you do come across any gems contact Tony Hetherington, BFI, 21 Stephen Street, London W1P 2LN.
Also on the agenda at the BFI is an Interactive Encyclopaedia of Computer and Video Games and an exhibition which will show games and machines from the last two decades.
Amiga Computing 12 APRIL 1996 EW GVP TO UNVEIL 060 ACCELERATORS T he 'Nev GVP, a collaborative effort between M-Tec and Power Computing, is on the ¦ verge of releasing its first new products. Of particular note is the Amiga 4000 060 accelerator, sporting a Motorola 68060 chip at 50MHz, 4 SIMM slots for up to 128 megs of RAM, and a SCSI-II controller. Pricing has yet to be announced.
At present, GVP is considering building an A3000 design based on the A4000 card. The space constraints of the A3000 would dictate a reduction in SIMM slots to 2, for a maximum of 64 megs of memory. In addition, GVP is the distributor for the MacroSystem Falcon A1200 040 060 card in North America. They also plan to restart production of several of the 'old' GVP products, including the DSS-8+ and PhonePak in the near future.
GVP can be reached at +610-522-9350 voice, +610-522-9354 fax, and 102150.1665@com- puserve.com via e-mail.
Ilent Paw soliciting INVESTMENT PARTNERS Silent Paw Productions, creators of the Personal Amiga Workstation (PAWS) laptop kit and the Gecko display enhancer, are looking for investors to help further their development and bring their products to market. Shares in the company as well as bonds were offered in an attempt to replace lost capital, caused by the collapse of their earlier potential investor.
The company can be reached at +703-330- 7290 voice, +703-330-5752 fax, or via e-mail at slntpaw@ix.netcom.com. onder Computers ENTERS BANKRUPTCY Barely a month after the successful World of Amiga Toronto show, the hosts, Wonder Computers, Incorporated of Canada entered court supervised bankruptcy proceedings.
The news came as a tremendous shock to the North American Amiga market, to say nothing of Wci employees. While Wonder's six retail outlets continued to be profitable, the low returns on Wci's Information Technology and Lazarus Engineering divisions prompted a recall of a large Wci loan. Unable to meet these terms, Wci was forced to enter bankruptcy. The firm of Ernst and Young has been appointed to oversee Wci's operations and liquidation.
Wci CEO Mark Habinski is attempting to organise a buyout of the Wci assets in order to form a new, debt-free corporation. While so far the trustees have expressed willingness to work with Habinski, time is limited.
Any customers, manufacturers, dealers, or distributors with outstanding accounts should immediately contact Ernst and Young at Wonder Computers' Ottawa headquarters on +613- 226-0000 or by fax on +613-226-9990.
By Jason Compton roVector CATCHES THE WAVE C tylus Inc., developers of the ProVector 3 structured drawing package for the Amiga, have released their Lightwave saver module. The module, a 'plug-in', allows ProVector projects to be saved as Lightwave object files, for further use and manipulation in NewTek's popular 3D rendering environment The patch is available directly from Stylus for registered users and can also be found on Aminet FTP sites and from Stylus' new Web site, http: www.ezlink.com ~stylus ProVector.html. For more information, contact Stylus at +970-484-7321 voice, or
stylus@ezlink.com via e-mail.
Miga Atlanta celebrates 10th anniversary i H IBRARY SERVICES becomes Cronus A miga Atlanta, one of the oldest user groups in the world, rang in its 10th Anniversary on 20 January with a large banquet for members and special guests from across the country.
Booked as special guest speakers for the evening were Amiga Corporation legend and former 3DO executive RJ Mical, Amiga librarian extraordinaire Fred Fish, Commodore and Amiga hardware guru Dave Haynie, and myseff.
In addition, Dale Luck, formerly of Amiga Corporation and now Senior Software Architect for 3DO, attended the event, as did a sizeable entourage from NewTek led by company president Tim Jenison.
Motorola RISC Marketing representatives were on-hand to plug and promote the PowerPC, the next generation of Amiga computing. The event was presided over by CNN TalkBack Live host Susan Rook and Computer Chronicles host Stewart Cheifet (a proud owner of two Amigas himself). Quite a bit of reminiscence and a few derogatory remarks about other computer platforms were the order of the evening, which stretched past midnight.
The film crew of Amiga Atlanta tirelessly committed the evening to videotape, and a professionally edited presentation of the banquet will be available for sale from Amiga Atlanta soon.
To learn of its release and keep up to date with other Aai events, check them out on the Web at http: www.mindspring.com --amigaatl . f you start to see an unfamiliar name behind some familiar products " in the coming months, don't worry. Fred Fish has renamed his Amiga Library Services company to Cronus. All subscriptions with ALS are still valid, and support for Amiga products will continue.
T* Contact point You can contact Jason Compton with your American news at: jcompton@xnet.com Edrtof-in-Chief, Amiga Report Magazine
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Call for further details COVPr 'ter On this month's exclusive Amiga Computing cover disk we give you the chance to kick hell out of a friend. Hurrah Capital Punishment Author: Pxl Computing A1200 battle, you will suffer a fate worse than death. You see, the master looks favourably upon assassins. Thus, he has the power to make you immortal and you will be forced to serve him for eternity in this most unpleasant environment Even worse, you will be confined to a single room, becoming one of his guards. Almost as bad as being forced to watch the Girlie show.
Controls The Capital Punishment demo is a two-player game - player one plays with a joystick in port 2 or the cursor and alt keys, while player two uses a joystick in the mouse port. On the initial menu screen, use left and right to flick through the various warriors that will be available in the full game - for the demo you can only pick the bare-chested, muscle-bound guy. In play, Capital Punishment takes a slightly different You are a warrior about to embark on a most dangerous journey. Your goal is to dethrone the evil master of an immense castle. You begin your mission in the rancid,
putrid catacombs of this castle.
However, the master is aware of your presence and has placed guards on every floor.
You must work your way up to the top of the castle and defeat all who stand in your way in order to battle the master.
Helping you along will be the spirit of your deceased mentor but, even with his aid, this will, without question, be a physically-draining experience. By journey's end you will be injured, bruised, and tired, but if you think of the price of failure, this is a small price to pay, for should you lose a The first coverdisk with the Capital Punishment demo on is self-booting and can be run direct off the disk, or hard drive users can install the game on their hard drive by dragging the disk icon to wherever they want the Capital Punishment game drawer To extract programs from the second cover
disk, you need to boot your machine with the second disk- To extract any single program you should double-click its icon and follow the on-screen instructions If you want to quickly extract the program to RAM, select the NOVICE level on the Installer welcome screen, press proceed and then press it again on the next screen.
After a short pause and if no error messages appear, the program can be found in your RAM disk.
You also have the option of using a floppy disk. If you pick this make sure you have a blank formatted disk at the ready - you can format disks from the Workbench menu - and if you only have one disk drive be prepared for a long wait and plenty of disk swapping.
Hard drive users Hard drive users can boot their machines as normal. Once the Workbench has loaded, if you do not have, or are not sure that you have the Amiga Installer program or Lha, you should double-dick on the SetUp-HD icon and this will copy the relative programs across to your hard drive It will check beforehand if you already have these programs before copying the cover disk versions over.
If you wish to extract a file archive to a specific place on your hard drive, when you double-click on a file you should select EXPERT and then press proceed You will then be able to select the destination You also have the option of using the MultiExtract Installer script which allows you to extract either all or just some of the cover disk programs to a destination of your choice.
COVERDISK PROGRAMS Joystick controls I i y p I HIM" Wl -P ¦ .¦ w beta dvMO v«l,i 1 * * * AJ , t * 'W 4
* ,*• e » V V URRRIOR B UPRMIOR D WALK You can got a sneak
preview ot some of tho character* in tho final game Amiga
the programs on the second cover disk are what are commonly
known as Shareware. Such well written programs take many hours
to write and a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of
the programmer.
When a program is called shareware it means the programmer has generously allowed you to try out their program, a lot of the time with no restrictions, and if you then decide you like it you are obliged to send the author the shareware fee.
Normally this is no more than ten pounds and in return the author will usually keep you supplied with the latest version of that program, along with their undying grattitude of course.
So please don't forget to send your fee.
To use the following program you need to have the Magic User Interface v2.3 installed on your system. Without it you will not be able to run any MUI program. MUI is available from any good PD house.
MCP v1.1 slant than other fighting games. Instead of losing a set amount of energy from a starting total each time you get hit, in Capital Punishment the energy bar takes the form of a tug of war. Each time you hit your opponent they lose some energy and you gain a little, meaning if you can put together some combos you can quickly regain an advantage.
The other unusual game element is the addition of two stamina bars. The pink bar represents the head, while the blue bar indicates body stamina. Player One's stamina is on the left while Player Two's is on the right In addition to robbing an opponent of vital mam energy, a hit will also take away their stamma. Head or body, depending on where the hit landed. If all their stamina is taken away, the player falls into a dangerous state of fatigue, and at this point the other opponent can get as many hits in unopposed.
When fatigued, a player can rejuvenate himself by quickly tapping the fire button, and the only way to get stamina back is to stand still.
Author: Alien Design Magic User Interface v2 J Workbench 2.04 Well it's back, the Master Control Program has an update and is now packing more hacks, patches and groovy little features than ever before. If you do not know it MCP is one in a long line of Workbench improvement programs - there have been plenty of these over the years, with many falling by the road side and never getting any more development.
MCP and the similar program MultiCX are both trying to change this old trend. By offering constant new updates or regular beta versions, they assure that new features and patches to Workbench are constantly added.
This latest release comes with a full installer program so you should have no problem getting the program set up and running, and you should use it as there are a I J-'s Encfcted | v?¦yygan* LS..." |ttfc »oc») fort mem (%pf%) I _ Free Vmit-ftam n K Paroent of total Frt n * •' '-fW " OFF an an ? An ? An an an number of extra small libraries that need to be copied into your Libs drawer. Another small command you get with MCP called 'Patchcontrol' has to be installed separately by copying it into your C directory and inserting the command Cpatchcontrol near the top of your startup-sequence.
The MUI preference program means you can easily configure MCP. It comes with a demo configuration to help you get going, and with over 50 different types of functions there is plenty for you to play with.
For all you hard nosed MCX users there are a few really helpful extras provided in MCP that MCX does not have, for example an XPK auto-decrunch patch, a complete screen mode promotion patch, tool alias patch and assign preferences - there is more than enough for everyone.
Amiga Computing Dl ISK 2 1 2 BetterEdit Play 16 Author: Allan Odgaard Workbench 3.0 Author: Thomas Wenzel Workbench 2.04 It always seems to be the case that every part of the Amiga's operating system was written to be functional - not that this is a bad thing but it usually means that these functions are not particularly great to use. One of these parts is the string gadgets which only provide the barest of editing functions. Well, BetterEdit adds many great new features on top of the usual ones. To run BetterEdit just double-click its icon, or to permanently install it drag the icon into your
WBStartup drawer.
One of the additions of this utility is Blockmode which allows you to copy a section of your entered text. By hitting the Amiga b keys at the start of the area you can mark out the text you want and then copy it to the clipboard.
An undo buffer is provided so all the changes you have performed can be undone by hitting Amiga q. Similar to KingCON, there is a file name completion function which works by typing the start of a filename, hitting Amiga tab, and BetterEdit will do its best to work out what file you are typing and complete it It may seem as if every other modern computer has 16-bit sound and is using 16-bit sample formats, but this should not stop Amiga users being able to play them, should it?
Well, this latest version of Play! 6 allows you to do exactly that 16-bit samples recorded at 56khz, no problem. Play 16 will allow your lowly Amiga sound output to handle it, playing the sample back at 14-bit quality, due to a special technique, and it's all at the correct speed.
Sound channels are requested in a friendly manner from the operating system, and samples can be played directly back from your hard drive, so any super huge samples you have on CD will not be a problem. There are also a good number of automatically recognised file formats, all from different computer formats - such as Wave, Voc, Sun Audio, Maud and Aiff - and they are all supported in their 16-bit mono or stereo compressed formats.
Anyone out there who has not owned a Workbench 1.3 machine may not quite understand the title of this program, but they will be more than likely well aware of a certain red flashing rectangle, This is the dreaded software 9 Breathless Patch Screen Wizar Author: Raymond Penners Workbench 2.04 Author: Fields of Vision I have probably said it before, but one of the handiest abilities of the Amiga's operating system, due to the copper, is its ability to have lots of separate screens open at the same time.
This makes it so much easier to use programs and copy files around because the Workbench can be separate from any programs you may want to run. For example, Macs can be a nightmare to use because you need to keep hiding , programs, and as The original Breathless game was pretty amazing, and on an A1200 with extra memory it was very playable. For all owners of the original game you are about to get a little bonus in this update to the original game engine.
Installing the new version should be no problem - hard drive owners can use the installer script to copy the new version into the original Breathless directory, while floppy owners should copy the program file onto a copy of the original first game disk.
Improvements over the original include:
• now works from a non-PAL Workbench the window redrawing is
dreadfully slow this is very laborious.
A problem with Amiga screens is that you have very limited control over them.
Public screens were introduced with Workbench 2 and allow many programs to share a single screen, but it screen
• added Mouse control and Configuration save option
• smooth look up and down facility
• frame rate increase by up to 20%
• configurable player inertia and mouse sensitivity
• autosaves last level code Tlr MU -S fr-r ee.we _l ScreenWiz
will automatically create the screens you specify when a
program tries to ap$ *ear on It FIRST MORLD - SECONb ARENA
RETRIES LEFT 3 gave no way of configuring how the screen should
look or act The only one you could configure was the
Workbench screen. Sure, some programs allow you to open their
own screen; but control via these programs is normally still
Screen Wizard is an all-singing, all-dancing solution to this predicament Once installed via its installer script you can add new screen; from the preference program. Here you car choose the screen mode, the screen font what palette it should use, a background pat tern, and a number of other options such a; shanghai which will make all new program; open their windows on that screen.
This latest version of Breathless Is faster, smoother and more configurable T P Amiga Computing APRIL 1996 failure which means almost nothing to the normal user because when it pops up you are faced with an unintelligible list of numbers.
The Guru is a program that will help decipher the meaning of these strange hexadecimal numbers.
The reason it is called The Guru is that the original programmers of the Amiga's operating system, who were a little eccentric, had a board they used to sit on. However, they had to sit on it as still as possible, otherwise it crashed their machine.
Therefore, a guru meditating on the board could cause a crash, so a crash became known as a guru meditation, or so the story goes. I hope you understood this.
Unfortunately, this was all changed in version 2 of the operating system to plain old software failure - obviously to make it look more professional when your machine crashes.
When you run the Guru you get a straightforward interface. There are two string gadgets into which you can enter numbers - the left one accepts software failure numbers, while the right one takes DOS error numbers.
Hitting return will then display the meaning of the number.
There is also a number that will automatically get the number of the last software failure and explain what caused the crash.
Therefore, after all this, at least you know why the machine crashed.
Every now and again you get a small program that does something so useful that you wonder why no one thought of it before.
Well, String Req is one of those programs. It allows you to pop up a file requester when using any string gadget and insert the file or directory name that you choose.
To install String Req you should drag it into your WBStartup drawer, and that is it You can now double-dick in any string gadget and a file requester will appear, and by editing the tool types you can, alternatively, use a hot key to pop up the requester.
I 0000000 I 000 SEU jjll CJ2 8j 9 EjFj SETj AJBJ JJ GURU kj5 0| 1 6 | 7 | DOS | LAST 2 1 3 f DEFAULT | QUIT I The student surpasses the metier grasshopper The Guru 3 Author: Enrico Altavilla Workbench 2.04 Author: Emiel Lensink Workbench 2.04 String Req VISIT INTERNET LIVE!
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¦Tel +44-181-325 8465 " ; Rendersourus I V ( tL test Technology! | Amiga Computers For People Who Want More Than Just A Pci AMIGA A4000T Super Low Price 275MHz Alpha Systems!)
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AlightWave WorkStotions CALL AC SUPER SOFTWARE BUNDLE FROM AMIGA HCHNOlOGitS PI US FROM ANTI GRAVITY: P6ol«9fnict 12aSt P(f jnml Pjinl 44. . Prt intu'iad on your systftn Orgamrcr I I. Wordwwth 4 11. Internet $ oltw»*.
Woidnwth Pilot Manager, Turbo Cite l.sj Magic Workbench OoUitoit H Whin. Hobo* Mmla | Wiglc Mrnue [RECORDABLE CD-ROM DRIVES' 12 Node Rederfarm Package j B Pinnacle External 2X Recordable 57245 TV Ei Lun.-DI 2 Ethernet Car 10 ft Cable, 2 T-conecters, 2-Terminators NET, Windows Intel Win-NT Alpha Win-NT rVIIRS AMIGA SOI S 895 $ 2395 $ M A $ 895 $ 2595 Toshiba 2X Recordable $ 995 if- Expandor Bus Card Pentitrator $ 245 Together with the ACL Tower Case it provides a home for the Pentitrator Don e heep Incell Outside Your Amiga. Put a Pentium Into Your Amiga with the Pentitrator System Card From Anti
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ADM Tower Case WitnOut Power Supfitr SJ9S mt It uodor Bus $ 640 Win Power Supply $ 49S Wtin ItptoOat Bus $ 740 Spedfcations: BUS: 132MB sec PCI Bus CPU: Pentium 75 150MHz ROM: PC104 EPROM RAM: Upto 128MB Cache: 256K-1MB Int. PORTS: IDE & Floppy Ext. PORTS: COM1, COM2, PS 2 Mouse, High Speed RS-232, Enhanced Parallel Slot: Fits in the PCI and ISA bus slot ** MU Tower Case $ 1895 "(Soon lor A1000.4000T) '’(Requires Expandor Bus Card and ACM Tower Case) MlM Fomva WaveLink Ver-1 $ 95 Connects any two Amigas tor file sharing and distributive rendering using LightWave or light Rave. You can even
batch render!
A a unsrs ¦ a a w Ovcen tWWrru rfixyrwmm
- zJ* SSSStZ Z Lock & Key $ 745 Lock 6r Key is a powerful Motion
Plug-In for Lightwave sD v4.0 that allows you to: NEW! Version
2.1 Pixel 3D Professional $ 195 UPGRADES Scall Use PixPro2.1 to
load, save and display seventeen different 3D tile formats,
including 3D Sludio. Imagine, complete Dxf AutoCAD and
LightWave scenes Oftd obietts. Pixel 30 has become a standard
«s the Video Toaster and 3D animation workplace.
I is the most powerful object logo utility available.
Use PixPro2 to convert bitmap pictures of logos and shapes to 3D with unrivaled speed and quaMy Smooth, extrude end bevel y uuuuc.u OT.ul your converted bitmaps with precise control.
I load and save 17 different 30 file formats including: UghtWavc scenes. IkOstWave objects. Imagine Objects (with hierarchy uppoft) complete Dxf AutoCAD suport. 3 Available tor Amiga, Intel, and Alpha pUtformsi Anim Workshop Ver-2 $ 95 Aworks provides tools to create, play, process, edit and add sound to your animations Add Sound V.2 supports all ACA modes. AnlmS, 7. 6 8 formats.
Lock 6f Key is 0 full LightWave3D 4.0 Plug-In and runs from inside layoutA * Replica Technology Interior Design 2 Interior Design 1: Over $ 0 RealWorid Scaled Fur n. lure Ob jet tv V beds, tablet, chain, B cabinets. And more O Dbbrt and drawers can || be animated! 91 Interior Construction: $ 95 S Create rooms and interiors with over 100 Objects doors, windows, stairs, fixtures, mold logs, walls, floors, ceilings and rooms.
Interior Design Co.
REP Over 50 Kitchen b Bathroom Objects: Lighting Objects, appliances. Cabinetry, sinks, vanities, bathtubs, toilets k toiletry, k more Doors k drawers can be animated!
Homes: S95 Four complete, scaled homes for Lightwave. Exteriors, Interior rooms. Doors and windows animated. Over 120 surfaces per home.
Interior Design 3: Over SO Real World Scaled Office Objects: chairs, desks, book BB cam. Me cabinets |ljf shelves. PC workcenters k more. I Over 50 Objects In All!
PERSONAL ANIMATION RECORDER (PAR): Amiga NTSC S1595 PAL S 2995 PC (ISA bus) NTSC S 1595 , PAL S 2995 DIGITAL Visual Inspirations New Flyer 6r V-Lab Motion EDL generator and VTR controlli PERCEPTION PVR-2500 S1695 Out standard PVR WndcwwNT'*
• ppicaton wTtaWRrcJuds tunc video edfng toots CAPTURE CARD
AD-2500 S 895 VIDEO DRIVES SeaGate 2GB S995 4GB S1395 9GB S2595
cool ton Volume one by Leo Martin and volume two by Mark
Thompson are State Of-The-Art Fx. The impressive front end ol
Visual FX gets you into production now, no previous Lightwave
experience needed The transition volumes are perfect for use
with the NewTek Video Flyer or the DPS Personal Animation
Recorder, just select what images or video seaucnccs you want
to use and Visual fX will da the rest. The logo volumes are
just as easy Simply select what object you wish to replace our
default and you are off on yin* way to creating profrsnrm.il
nuolity aninutiom that you never thought possible Visual
Fxreauestef* actually open up on the Lightwave screen and walk
you through each step. Visual tx is perfect for batch
processing. Each volume comes with 20 effects, each of which
has a full JO frame preview animation attached to it to you
will know exactly what the effect will look like. Vhual fx
works With both the Video Toaster and stand alone tight Wave
IMMU ? Import. Create. Export EOL s (CMX k GrossVafley) ?
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Keeps track of multiple source tapes ? Digitise and Rcdegiti c
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must be reported directly to me canter wahin 10 days Federal Express logos used w*h permission This advertisement, its contents, and its stylo are tho Copyright of Anb Gravity Products and cannot be duplicated without express written permission Al trademarks are the property ol thoro respectrve companies • Software BurxJie a tree whle supplies last Ad Etiocsvo Dates 3-V96 to 4-3096 No prices I feted m this advertisement mduda VAT or any orher duties or taxes Ohe 20 and 21 April 1995 marked the final buyout of Commodore. The victors were _Escom and for SI0 million they bought all Commodore's
intellectual properties, technologies, trademarks and patents.
This April marks exactly a year since all this took place, so Amiga Computing is taking a look back at the year Escom dragged the machine from what seemed to be inevitable oblivion. We talk to the key players from both Amiga Technologies and the Amiga community and take a look at the high and low points of the year.
0 Looking back over the last 12 months, everyone’s going to have their own opinions of how much or how little Escom have achieved. One thing’s for sure, for a machine that was off the shelves for over a year, they had a tough job ahead of them to reestablish the machine in a market place where everyone was looking forward to a new generation of consoles and ‘serious’ users were contemplating owning, or already owned, a PC.
It's been a year since Escom bought the Amiga. Tina Hackett takes a look back at the machine's progress However, there was still strong opinion in the industry that there was room for an entry level computer that could not only run the latest games but could be used for serious applications - something that wasn't just a games machine but a cheap, reliable computer that was a quarter of the price of a PC. It was for this reason, perhaps, that it came as such a shock to learn the intended price of the new Amiga packs. It was in our October issue that we found out that the relaunched A1200 would
cost £399 - £50 more than when it left the market place. The increased cost of DRAM and rushed manufacturing was blamed for ramping up production costs.
A month later, though, some of our initial fears were quashed as the software that would be in the £399 bundle was announced. Quality tides such as Wordworth 4 SE and Personal Paint v6.4 were included, along with Scala MM300 with the hard drive Amiga bundle - however, Amiga Technologies' choice of games did raise an eyebrow.
EVELOPMENT CONTINUES.. Comeback For the Amiga to succeed there has to be new software in development to keep users interested.
One of the key Amiga packages is Scala, and Amiga enthusiasts were concerned to see this title ported to the PC However, Thurston was quick to allay fears that they would stop developing for the machine, “From our point of view there are applications in some of the markets we're in where an Amiga is still the best option. It's still the most cost effective and as long as those market opportunities are there and as long as the platform is available, we will continue to offer that" He went on to comment: 'If the market grows again and Escom manage to pull the phoenix out of the fire then we
will be working with them with the next platform - the new RISC-based machines - to develop a new generation of Scala product based on the new technology we've developed for PC We'll have to see how the future of the Amiga lies first before we'll commit but if that success is there then you will see an object-oriented Scala family of products come out for the new Amiga based on the backbone technology for our PC products.” He stressed their loyalty: "We've been very successful on the Amiga platform and Scala is not a company about to forget that" If the Amiga was to stand a real chance of
comeback, its new owners were also faced with the problem of getting the Amiga back into production in time to take advantage of the Christmas sales. This they achieved and the first Amiga rolled off the production lines on 13 September at the Solectron factory in France. For CiHes Boyrdin, PR for Amiga Technologies, this was one of the high points of the year: "There were several high points for the Amiga in 1995. Everybody remembers the day when the first Amiga 1200 came out of the production line in Bordeaux.
That was a very exciting day for all of us."
They got the machines back on the shelves in time but, unfortunately, it was at a price. It was soon discovered that there was a compatibility problem and that some existing software would not run on the new machines. Barry Thurston, Managing Director of Scala UK, pointed to this as one of the low points of the year: "What I think was unfortunate was that the product came out with fundamental problems, with the disk drive being different and therefore not being compatible with most of the software."
Compatibility He continued: "It would appear at the moment that Amiga Technologies GmbH don't understand how important it is for the product to be compatible with all the current software that's out there. It's great having a lovely piece of technology but if you don't have good applications to run on it, it's not worth much." However, he stresses that time was of the essence if Amiga Technologies wanted to meet the pre-Christmas deadline.
"They should have got the product right but again they were strapped for time and that's one they missed unfortunately. They could have been a little bit more stringent in their QA [Quality Assurance] but they'd run out of time, they had to get the machine back into the shops before Christmas."
Despite setbacks, the year saw many positive events and significant achievements. One that springs to mind is Amiga Technologies' agreement with Microvitec, and in a deal worth £20 million, Microvitec were to produce the official monitor for the Amiga. They celebrated the first official M1438S monitor coming off the lines at their factory in Bradford back in Autumn. A deal was also reached during the year with VISCORP who Amiga Computing ASUALTIES OF Commodore As Escom attempted to get the struggling machine back onto its feet the take-over came just too late to save some long-standing
Amiga companies which were badly affected by the lack of Amigas on the shelves. The first victim was ZCU who on 30 May 1995 called in the receivers. ZCL were one of the biggest Amiga distributors and despite launching the Calibre PC range in an attempt to make up for the loss of the Amiga, it was not enough to compensate for the losses caused by the absence of the machine.
SDL Amiga distributors and owners of the retail chain Silica, did not escape Commodore's crisis unhurt either and, having been hit by severe difficulties, saw them having to apply for an Administration Order in October. The company who were chosen to distribute the new A1200s and 4000Ts were one of the luckier ones, however, as only four weeks after this news, the company was saved by a take-over by Anglo Corporation.
On the games side of things, Rasputin, the publishers behind Base Jumpers and Charlie J Cool, also disappeared with their staff being taken on by Soundscape Multimedia. The future of Kompart, another company which was prevalent in the Amiga games scene, remains uncertain.
Reports are coming through that Kompart, publisher of Football Glory and Tactical Manager, have hit problems and have fallen into voluntaiy liquidation. The company handled numerous firms such as Arcane, and Max Design.
Wished to use Amiga technology in their set top boxes. This could have far reaching implications for the future of the Amiga and, in effect, could mean millions of households seeing Amiga-based technology in their living rooms to do things like accessing the Internet, home shopping and playing games.
Shows too like the Video Toaster Expo, held in Los Angeles in November. Speculation had been rife over what processor was going to be used for the next generation of Amiga, with PA-RISC being rumoured. However, the show put an end to the gossip with the PowerPC finally being announced Confirmation The Cologne show was the next major event on the Amiga calendar and it was here that the plan for an Internet package was revealed. The final details were confirmed with the package containing an A1200 with 2Mb RAM, a 260Mb hard drive, a 14.400 baud modem, and all the software needed to access the
Internet If it does hit the shops at the estimated £600 price tag then it could prove a very viable option for those looking for a cheap way to surf the Net - a bit of advertising wouldn't go amiss though.... But as we've seen over the year, little has been done in the way of advertising the machine, and many have expressed disappointment at the lack of any marketing from Escom - especially in the run up to the important Christmas period. It seemed they were content to let the enthusiasts and Amiga press fly the flag on their own.
However, as Thurston commented, their budget had been limited: Hthere wasn't enough done to market the machine but they spent an awful lot of money acquiring the assets and there was a lot of fudging going on about what assets went where, what were real, and what weren't" He continued: “I know they have experienced problems where manufacturers who got stung by Commodore are not co-operating with AT to do products. They've really got some major problems and what they've had to spend to get round them has limited their budget. They needed to see whether or not there was a market there that
was sustainable before they threw lots of money at it" He also believes that everyone has been over critical of Amiga Technologies: “They never made any bold claims. Amiga Technologies thought 'Okay, well we've got the product it's cost us an awful lot of money and we've got an awful lot of work to do.' I think the perception in the Amiga market was that the knight has come up on his white charger and will wave a magic wand and everything is going to be wonderful.
But I know, having worked at Commodore, the scale of the task they’ve got. It's not an easy task to get it back into the shops. "However, Amiga Computing 'The forecasts have not been reached the way we expected and this forced us to reorganise our operations in the UK." Cities Bourdin, Amiga Technologies The Amiga and Scala proved a winning combination thla year BRIGHT FUTURE... ?
Even though the machines were back in the shops, the sales over the Christmas period were not as high as were hoped. Lack of marketing, compatibility problems, and SDL’s troubles were put forward as possible reasons.
Bourdin admits that the company had some problems over the year: “The bad experience we made last year was related to our former distributor in the UK, who went into financial difficulties. The forecasts have not been reached the way we expected and this forced us to reorganise our operations in the UK."
We asked him whether they'd achieved everything for the Amiga that was hoped for over the year. He pointed out: wNot everything. But we are still satisfied by the results regarding difficulties we encountered during that year. We sold about 40,000 machines worldwide, which is a good result for only three months of sales activities. And considering the actual situation in the computer industry, I would even say that this is an excellent result" He admits, when asked if he wished he'd done anything differently: 'Our distributors, dealers and outlets including myself were too enthusiastic.
Our forthcoming forecast will be more conservative."
24 O Amiga Technologies signed a deal with Microvitec to produce the ofllelal monitor APRIL 1996 A year has passed and as we look back it seems pertinent to see what the future has in store. Escom have already proved that an Amiga is not just for Christmas, with promises of new technology and major plans on the horizon. Amiga Computing, not content to crystal-ball gaze, asked the major players to reveal their plans.
Bourdin told us: "We hope to be able to show the new Amiga model at the CEBIT fair in Hannover this March. Our contracted engineering office is progressing as planned so far. The power PC port has started in close cooperation with Motorola, our strategic partner who supports us tremendously. We have former Commodore engineers working for us on that project" They are also attempting to redress criticism of the lack of advertising so far and Bourdin confirmed that there would be more moves in that direction this year: *We have a new marketing plan for 1996, with international coverage.
We will go into non-Amiga media to attract new customers and, hopefully, our mother-company Escom will support us in this direction."
John Smith, General Manager of Amiga Technologies UK, gave us his hopes for the future: "I hope we can continue with the research and development that will enable us to bring new and exciting more powerful Amigas to the market Amiga Technologies in Germany continue to assure us that they are forging closer links with Motorola in this quest and, like most Amiga fans, I say the sooner the better, In the meantime we will continue to enhance our current range with exciting new packs like the 'Surfer.' I also hope to see a more powerful Amiga 1200 emerge in the not so distant future."
We asked Barry Thurston about what he hoped to see from Amiga Technologies in the future: “We're primarily interested in the big j machines for professional applications. We [ just want a product that is reliable so that we can sell professional solutions based on the Amiga. A lot of people, when asked [what j they would like from Amiga], go on about having a machine with lots of DSP chips and multiple processors and all the rest of it and yes, that would be nice but we're dealing : with reality. We just want a good solid machine with good marketing from Escom to get the Amiga into the
position it used to enjoy," He also believes that recruiting new development teams is the way forward: "We need a lot of work from them [Amiga Technologies] j in encouraging new developers to write good applications, programs and games. I stress new because a lot of people who cut their teeth and made money on the Amiga have got to a size whereby they now look at the global market and are only interested in big platform coverage like Pcs, Saturns, and Playstations. I think those guys have got rather big on the back of it and are now looking forward. What the platform needs to sur- i vive
is a lot of new and upcoming programmers. I hope there are some and that the kids haven't been too busy playing games!"
He concluded: 'Some are being a little cynical at the moment and are knocking Amiga Technologies and what they are trying to do, but it's only out of frustration I think.
Given the product is through and it's constantly on the shelves, I think some might come back. Some of the big boys who got really fat won't - it's just not a viable platform for them. The Amiga has a chance to catch a whole new generation of enthusiasts and a whole new generation of developers' 1*1- m U te cr u ®-§ :fr| J . Qj U U J 31 ?
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hh® *: 3 °2 + + w in in 82 § Ohe Amiga is not a serious
business machine. Despite its undoubted strengths in so many
fields, it ____never did look right in the office Dealing with
data environment, and nobody has made great efforts to change
that fact The Amiga first and foremost is about being creative
and having fun in the process.
But though Commodore's baby, for one reason or another, never made it into the accounts department, companies that have priced their business products affordabfy for the home market have successfully been reaping the rewards over the years. Amiga users have demanded top class features from word processors, spreadsheet analysers and databases, but they could rarely afford to pay the prices businesses regularly fork out for their PC software equivalents.
Final Data And so we turn to Final Data Release 3.
No-one's expecting the most advanced database software in the world for just under £40, but expectations for a product that combines quality and value will nevertheless be high.
The questions is, have Softwood done enough to keep Final Data up-to-date ?
For any newcomers to Softwood's database, the basic design and interface is in keeping with the clean cut approach found in the company's other high-profile products, Final Writer and Final Calc There are menus, sizeable windows, and keyboard shortcuts to give users maximum convenience. It lacks the pretty but unnecessary icons that characterise Digita’s rival offering, but since such embellishments generally slow programs down, that's as much of a benefit as a handicap.
As becomes a program from the Softwood stable, you can expect a high-quality manual providing an easy-to-follow guide to the program's various features. Final Data is all about the boring but necessary task of organising and recording data in a way that's easily accessed at a later date; thankfully, Softwood have made it a relatively painless and swift process.
Users can develop databases with an unlimited number of columns and rows, all of which can be resized and repositioned at a later date if required. As you’d expect with such software, data is edited and formatted differently depending on whether it's a date, a time, an amount, a calculation, or text A neat way of attaching more in-depth information to an entry is achieved by Final Data's use of multiple memos. If, for example, you had a list of names and addresses, you might want to add a note on a particular individual's birthday. Having attached a memo with this information, the
individual’s row would indicate that there is extra information that can be accessed with the dick of a button.
Generally, however, notes are kept tidily filed out of site.
EW FANGLED FEATURES Of course, building a record of names, addresses or whatever is only half the purpose of a database. The ability to conveniently sort and search through that information is equally important, and fortunately Final Data has always been quicker than the opposition at doing both. Inddentally, sorting will allow you to organise a database so the data is easier to access, but it also allows users to sort Softwood's popular database has received yet another face lift, but do the new features add up to make it an attractive overall package?
Gareth Lofthouse puts it to the test information for reports or a set of labels. The option to print these reports and labels, or to 'print to disk' is also unusually quick.
The searcher gives users a complex query requester that means they can be quite specific about the criteria under which the software should search a database. Then there's the Find and Replace function, a commonly used option within the searcher tool that allows users to locate specified information and then replace it automatically with another value.
This allows you to keep your database up-to- date much more conveniently than if you were maintaining a set of records on paper, Softwood don't wish us to forget that this is part of an overall suite of business programs for the Amiga, and hence Data can be integrated with Final Copy or Final Writer via the numerous Arexx macros that come supplied.
An at-a-glance summary of the latest updates to the Amiga's cheap and cheery database:
• User-defined sort, search and column views
• Hide columns from view on screen or print out
• Save default for Find and Replace requester
• Conversion of data from one type to another - e.g. from a text
to a memo column.
• Extensive user-defined preferences It's slightly strange,
however, that there still doesn't seem to be similar support
for use with Final Calc With Final Data it’s possible to have
multiple databases opened simultaneously, making moving between
relevant records a simple a process as one could expect The
program also includes a few other small but handy extras such
as International Date, Time and Currency options.'
Users can, of course, add, modify, and delete columns at any time, or give them left right or centre alignment Another strong point about the program is the ability to select multiple columns for processing saving and printing to speed organisation up. The first version of Final Data only allowed users to do this with adjacent columns, but since Release 2 this shortcoming has been rectified.
• Automatically adjust window size column widths
• Automatically adjust column widths show all data
• Automatically adjust column widths to window size
• Standard Amiga ASL file requester option
• Displays graphics and animations
• Plays sounds
• Slide show facility Amiga Computing EPRUCED UP Release 3 of
final Data, of course, comes with a number of new features. A
typical example is the new option that allows users to define
sort, search and column views. This really boils down to a
method for breaking databases down into subcategories. For
example, you could divide your music database into different
'views' named rock, dassical, and jazz so that Final Data will
create a sub-list from the overall database. That's no big
deal, maybe, but it adds another possible level of helpful
organisation to the program.
One complaint about previous incarnations of Final Data was that in comparison to Digita's Datastore it was bland and grey in appearance. Hobbyists who want to embellish their CD catalogue with pictures of pop stars and sound samples will be pleased to find that Release 3 supports graphics and sound files. It will also run animations, though the value of this feature in a database is rather questionable.
To make that data really sing and dance, however, Softwood have also been good enough to include a slideshow facility. Hence you can have graphics updating one after the other, either within their own screen or within the screen in which Final Data is running.
The time between pictures depends on the user-defined delay.
Not only does the final Data interface look like a spreadsheet but it also operates on the same basic principles. Thus, users enter figures and text into cells, and they can have running calculation columns and screen totals.
Release 3 continues to borrow essential features from the accountancy packages by offering a hide columns option which means that selected information in a database will not be displayed to others when it is shown on screen or printed.
The option of converting a column's data from one type to another also makes it easier to modify a database once it's created.
Changing the data type will often change the way it is formatted for display, as well as the way it’s edited for data entry.
Other than this, the update only really tweaks the familiar program to make it more user-friendly. The program will automatically adjust window size to column width, or column widths to show all data, or column widths to fit a window size. You can save the default for the find and Replace requester, and Data's overall functionality is increased by the addition of a greater number of user- defined preferences than were previously available.
One final point charts the steadily rising demands of Amiga software as time moves oa final Data will still run on any Amiga running WBU or higher, but Softwood are now recommending it for use with 1 Mb+ Amigas running on WB 3.
Amiga Computing Q A complex search requester allows you to locate information easily QERDICT final Data has always been a competitive little database, one that is fast, efficient, and simple to use. Lightning quick sorting and searching facilities and flexible editing functions mean that developing and printing databases is as simple a procedure as it ideally should be.
The latest update is slightly disappointing because the new features are generally no more than cosmetic. However, those who previously found the program off-puttingly bland in appearance will welcome the chance to jazz their databases up with graphics and sound. The interface has also received some simple but important improvements in its general ease of use, and one or two true new features.
Of course, we have to be grateful that Softwood are continuing to develop this product line at all. The fact that every Amiga Magic Pack now sold includes Digita Datastore means that newcomers to the market are unlikely to be buying another database in a hurry, regardless of the fact that Softwood's latest release is better.
Maybe there are hordes of old Amiga users out there who have been meaning to get a database for ages and just haven't got round to it yet Sadly, however, one suspects that this handy product's market will be rather limited, and that this really could be the Final Data of them all.
Regardless of that it's pretty much the same old perfectly dependable program we've come to expect Bottom line Requirements RED essential BLACK recommended n Workbench ¦fBI 512k 1 RAM ¦ 1 Mb | RAM Workbench Product details Product final Data Release 3 Supplier Softwood Europe Tel 01773 521606 Price £39.95 Ease of use 90% Implementation 78% Value For Money 72% Overall 80% CD-ROM AFRICA E COMOROS CONGO DJBOUT1 EGYPI EQUATORIAL GUM-A GAMUA GHANA Flexible interface allows for quick access to individual countries via continental maps, country lists, capital lists or the general index.
ETHIOPIA ¦ ..AM Ethiopia is situated in north-east Africa Emperor Haile Selassie ruled from id30 until 1974 when the military seced power. In 1884 the Workers'Party was formed and a civilian government established m 1987 Civil war and famine then ravaged the country.
The famine, in fact, was the inspiration tor the Band Aid Concise, informative country histories.
(Ml-; I I I UN Each country is supported by a series of maps depicting regional position, major cities, rivers and lakes, and mountains.
All maps in HAM-8 High Resolution.
Siw 4 Population Basic national facts are represented graphically and comparative to the UK.
CD32 A1200 4000 Background cultural and economic information is available at a glance.
Tel: (0181)570 3: (BLOCK CAPITALS please) rf . I NAME I ADDRESS Post Code Please send me cbpy of the World Atlas priced at £29.99 (incl. P&P).
L I enclose a cheque for £29.99 made payable to WISE DOME LTD.
, £1 surcharge for overseas orders. Please allow 14 days for delivery, i , Wisedome Ltd, Flat 20 Breezer's Court, 20 The Highway, London El 9BE v ' - .m' *7
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S0HBI. UHHBE ¦OP U2.7M.BKJM cmmnrt inn STBTU5 nBVQBMHL HurTUIV UVUMMUT 0 I Paul Overaa starts a programming project aimed at producing a really easy-to-use database program Operation database Over the next six issues these pages are going to be devoted to the writing of a database program, EasyBaseAC. There are already plenty of commercial and PD shareware database programs around for the Amiga, so why write another? One reason is that even with the PD shareware offerings around, no one gives away the source code nor explains how the programs work. One objective of this project is to look at
how a database program can be written and provide both the finished utility and the source code to examine!
But that's not the only reason for the series.
The aim is to produce a utility that is both useful and easy to use. On-line help is high on the list, so too is a scheme for easy record creation, and I think you'll like the approach I've chosen here. Another requirement is the ability to merge related database files because one of the things I intend to use this utility for 5 to provide details of Amiga library functions.
Readers of my regular Arexx and Assembler programming columns should find this quite useful because they'll be able to take the descriptions provided on disk each month and read them into a single library function database whose contents can be retneved at the touch of a button.
HE INITIAL DISPLAY The EasyBase help engine is just a cut-down version of the main program and the help file a conventional EasyBaseAC database.
When the program first loads it runs the help engine as a separate process and you'll see a display similar to figure 1 containing a list of help topics. Just mouse-select the subject you wish to view and a window will open to display the help information (see figure 2). At the moment, the on-line help available is at its 'bare minimum' level but the help file will grow over the coming months. This 'dick and view' method used with the help file, incidentally, is the basic approach used for viewing the records of all databases.
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C) The EaayBasoHolp windows HE MAIN WINDOW Design work As far as
the design coding issues are concerned, I'm letting you in
near the start, having only started work on the project last
Now, I know this is risky but with the coding approaches I use, any alterations enhance ments, bug fixes (heaven forbid) and so on that need to be made will be straightforward.
What I didn't want to do was make everyone wart until the end of the series before deliver- ng any kind of usable program, so you will, in fact find a preliminary version of EasyBaseAC on this month's cover disk.
There are plenty of things that still need to be added, of course but the current version is usable. I'm developing EasyBaseAC on an A4000 040, but the final executable version, a mere 40k in size, is going to run on all Amigas that have Workbench 2 or greater.
U Vl.w-Un.y BUP Man* i [union riiHrilT IHO |Mt»m Mvumr The thing to do now is explain how this verson of EasyBaseAC is used. To run the program just open the EasyBaseAC drawer and double- ick on the EasyBaseAC icon. No special installation procedures are necessary to run the program from hard disk - just drag copy the complete EasyBaseAC drawer over to your chosen partitioa Loading j&n.
[Mt» ImftTCIM wnw" |Mncrur«rTTCo- fcnrnrTHr Paa lend. I (¦Mil Vm*- Id I No ¦ [¦ 1 4II-I7M•• rmm Mo: | l«a 1l HHAB2 h A Database Select 'Load' from the Project menu and use the as! Requester that appears to choose a database file.
Apart from the help database (called help.eb), I've provided small name address (address.eb) and Amiga function library (function. ) example databases.
The main EasyBasoAC display-only window containing a trial database By closing or moving the help windows you will see the main EasyBaseAC scroller-based list window. This window is always present when EasyBaseAC is running and dosing it (either from the window's close gadget or the 'Quit To Workbench' menu option) shuts down the program. In addition to this, the main EasyBaseAC program has a Display- Only window and a separate 'Record Creation and Editing' window (used for building record definitions and for editing the records of existing databases).
HE TECHIES Just select 'New' from the program's Project Menu and a Record Creator and Editor window will appear that contains a sizing gadget in the bottom left corner. Alter the height of the window until you've got the number of fields you want, then alter the width until the string gadgets on display look suitable for the information you want to store. At this stage you should type the field names you require into the string gadgets (see figure 3).
Field names at present c-an contain up to 15 characters and the only restriction on the format of the first field is that it must not start with a space. At the moment the first field is used as a fixed record sort key and you should bear this in mind when creating records. If, for instance, you were creating a name and address database that you wanted to be sorted by surname, you might build a record description like this: ? Surniae: First niaes: Address: entitled fields to provide extra lines for the !d jress Tel No: Alternatively, you could decide to store both first names and surnames
together Nik: Address: untitied fields to provide extra lines for the iddress Tel No: but in this case, if you wanted the database file sorted by surname, when entering data into the records you would need to enter the surnames first in this fashion: Overn Paul Kaae: When databases are loaded it is always the content of this first field that gets placed in the main display's scrolling list So, in the first case you’d see a list of surnames whilst in the second it would be a list of Surnames followed by first names. As soon as you are happy with the field names, dick on the 'Store' gadget
At this point your new database is ready for use and you'll be provided with an Editing window for entering data. Record information can be entered straight away!
On-line HELP At the moment, on-line help is restricted to the EasyBaseHelp display that oppears when the program first loads. If you have closed the scrolling list help window you con re-stort the help engine by double-clicking on the EasyBaseHelp icon. Eventually, the idea is to provide context sensitive help by driving the help engine using messages sent from the mom EosyBaseAC program!
Saving a Data base One of the most important initial design considerations with a utility like this is not SO much to get the file structure completely right first time, but to allow some flexibility. What happens, of course, is that as the development proceeds you often decide you want to store additional data items.
With EasyBaseAC I am adopting a format that includes both a global file header and individual record headers. In other words, this sort of arrangement: COMP SOFTV CONNl COMP datafile=C fil« headtr record h*id*r r*C0fd data ) EasyBaseAC is being written using Dice C and, as a C structure, the file header looks like this: (A True 150C usim H-Di struct DatabascHeader t DIONS dhjt; UUORD dbJIatabastHeadertatiSizc; UBTTE dh FicldCount; UBTTE dkJiildSii*; UBTTE dhjtj-fiald; UBTTE dh.Pad; DWORD dh Flags; }; Once a database file has been loaded (or created), the Editor window can be used to
enter the details you wish to store. You can copy any existing record into the editor simply by moving to the main scrolling list display window and clicking on the record entry you wish to work on. Providing you create records whose first (key) fields are different to any existing records, the record information will be stored as a new record. If you create a record whose first field is identical to an existing record then the new information will overwrite the exiting database entry.
You update record entries then by selecting the record, altering any of the data except the first (key) field, and then re-storing the record.
LIPBOARDS You can copy the details of the currently selected record to the clipboard. If, for instance, you have built up a names and addresses database and were writing a letter with your favourite word-processor, you could select a name, copy the name and address to the clipboard, and then paste those details into the letter.
THOSE BUG REPORTS To assume, only one week into the coding of EasyBaseAC, that we already have a bug-free utility would be naive in the extreme (particularly since I'm only able to test it on a single Workbench 3- based A4000 040 machine). I've had it running under Enforcer etc, and everything seems fine, but if you find that the program doesn't run on your Amiga, or crashes with a Cum message, then write to me care of Amiga Computing. The sooner I know about any snags, the sooner 111 be able to fix them!
To delete a record just select it from the main display list and choose 'Delete Record’ from the 'Records’ Menu. If, incidentally, you want to expand the width or field count of the record you can do this from the editing window.
Simply use the sizing gadget to adjust the window size to suit and then save the database.
You will not loose information if you cut the window width so that field information becomes hidden, but if you cut the number of fields being used then only those fields that are on display will be written to disk. The new window size definitions will be used next time the database is loaded (at present, I've not provided any field re-labelling facilities so any extra fields you create will be unlabelled).
If you are just saving a previously loaded file, EosyBaseAC wM save the file as soon os you select “Save' bom the Project menu. If it is a newly created file that has not been nomed. This option will display an asl requester to allow you (0 choose a name for the file. I suggest using filenames with a '.eb' extension for consistency, but EosyBaseAC doesn't actually care how you name the files. If you wish to save an existing file in memory under a different name, use the 'Save As' Project menu option The four byte identification field is just a protection against users trying to load non
database files into the program, and the way I do this is to use this macro: cting delet inc editing fdtfine NakttD a,b,c,d) ( (LONG) (a)«24l | (LONG) (b)«16L | (c)«8 | Id) ) P to create a four byte header id 'DHOO' using this statement: Idafin* FILE.IO NakellCIVHVOVO') The header size field is an important inclusion because it will allow the preliminary version of the program to continue working, even if the size of the header is increased later on.
The program reads the header size and is able to skip over any additional entries that might be found in files produced by later versions of EasyBaseAC. The individual record headers, incidentally, adopt a similar format, only they are currently given a 'RHOO' id value.
The field count and field size entries of the database file header have a special use when files are read into the program.
When a user creates a new record definition by altering the dimensions of the record creation windows, the program looks at the sort of Workbench screen and font in use and works out how many string gadgets can be used, and roughly how much text they can contain without the entered text scrolling out of view as you type.
These field count and field size values get stored in the database header and, when such a file is read back in, the dimensions are used to re-open a window the same size as when the record format was created.
To find out exactly how this window opening is done however you are going to have to wait until next month!
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PLEASE CALL FOR A QUOTATION IN ADDITION WE OFFER THE FOLLOWING EXPRESS SERVICES: SATURDAY DELIVERY NORMAL RATE PLUS £15 PER BOX. MORNING. NEXT DAY NORMAL RATE PLUS £10 PER BOX, E4QE PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE. ALL TRADEMARKS ACKNOWLEDGED At long last Paul Austin delivers an exclusive review of the ultimate in Amiga 3D htt'ave' next generation URFACE PAN EL Here again, there are some fairly major I ori changes across the board, with much improved I Ug reflection mapping options being one of the I highlights, including Backdrop only, Spherical I loi map, ray traced &
backdrop, and finally ray trac- I Eff ing & Spherical. As you've probably guessed, I de the two latter examples offer a new and much I su more flexible method of adding realism - if I ev perhaps at the expense of rendering time - to I Be the reflections options within a scene. ¦ ati Another excellent addition is an Alpha shad- I la; ow option which provides an easy method of ft sk adding shadow to backdrops or mask objects I its that have been projection mapped within a I scene - 'dancing on the desk effects' - with I S€ added believability. There are yet more I HI Qbjects panel traced scene.
An obvious advantage of this is the time saved by reducing the amount of ray tracing calculations in a frame, However, the other essential use is to stop mask objects in a front projection mapped scene from being affected by shadow and object reflections, both of which would destroy the illusion Unseen-by-fog is another newcomer and does exactly as the title suggests, thereby enabling certain objects, backdrops and projection-mapped elements to play an uninhibited part in scenes employing the fog effect After minimal change in the Scene panel, Object control delivers a more dramatic make
over. It's here that the first plug*in, entitled Disp map, appears with its counterpart Object replacement - alias Obj rep - both offering access for third-party developers to produce add-on displacement programs, automated object manipulation and deformation systems and, of course, particle animation software.
Next-up comes Unseen-by-rays. This, again, is another major innovation, allowing selected objects to be rendered as non-traced elements, even though they're part of a ray Of you can cast your mind back to issue 86 of Amiga Computing you may recall a preview of Lightwave 4 which promised that a full review of the finished package was already in the post. At last, and a mere twelve months on, postie has finally come good, and I've got the chance to deliver the long awaited goods.
Given the importance of NewTek’s latest release and the scale of change throughout from 3.5 to 4.0, I'll be breaking the review over two issues, kicking off with a tour of the latest additions and improvement in Layout At first glance there appears little change from the previous incarnation, but look closely and you'll soon discover an impres* sive collection of new and improved features lurking behind the familiar grey interface festooned with buttons, sliders and envelopes.
To kick things off we'll start with a stroll along the control panels, the first and obvious choice being the Scene section which, ironically, only offers a couple of subtle changes but important revisions. The first of these is the introduction of adjustable frames per second because an adjustable FPS makes designing for a whole range of applications rather than just video much easier - CD-ROM being a prime example, with playback rates generally hovering around the 15 FPS rather than the traditional 25 FPS of PAL video.
However, perhaps the most important underlying change is Lightwave's approach to textural animation in relation to time. In the past the program calculated all its animation in metres per second but that's all changed with the introduction o FPS as the default measuring system. Now, textures animate over FPS, therefore a scene designed at 15 FPS will automatically have textural animation to suit the playback rate. In short, there is much more control and far less guess work within scenes running at nonstandard frame rates.
The next new addition is the arrival of hide and show menus for all objects, bones and lights. Although not earth shattering, both can be very handy when things start to get seriously complex or cluttered.
Amiga Computing AM ERA PAN EL To be honest, camera control hasn't really seen too many changes, if you exclude the arrival of a motion blur dithering option. In fact, the only big-ish change is numerical input for aspect ratios. For the average videographer altering aspect ratio isn't exactly an everyday event, but for anyone looking to work in film or print it can often be an essential.
Pfcjg-ins, this time in the textures department Unfortunately, the promised Steve Worley collection of Essence procedural textures - originally from Imagine - isn’t part of the bghtWave v4 software compendium.
A late arrival in the Surfaces section is the long -awaited, and processor hungry Clow Beet. Courtesy of glow you can add a user- definable aura or incandescence around any surface - no need anymore to slap lens flares «*rywhere if you need to fake some radiosity.
Better still, Clow offers a means of easily gener-
* "g some very tricky effects, such as realistic lasers, neon
lighting and so on, the only down- sde being the outlandish
rendering times that ft application incurs.
Needless to say, a plug-in also lurks in this section in the form of a shader plug-in which, Bre its counterparts, awaits the attention of O A classic demonstration of IK in action as tho arm turns, bonds and twists to complete its imaginary and monotonous duty third-party developers to produce assorted image processing add-ons for surfaces.
Perhaps the most dramatic change between the finished surface panel and its beta predecessor is the arrival of the surface previews.
Although part and parcel of the PC version, it was unsure whether this feature would make it into the Amiga version. Thankfully it has.
If you open the surface panel and hit the S key, Lightwave will automatically render the selected surface to the selected display device, along with a caption containing the name of the surface in question. Better still, holding down shift and the S key prompts a panel where you can define the diameter of the texture on the spheres surface as well as specifying whether you want a checkerboard on the sphere to help define texture transparency.
MAGES PAN EL The image section is unique because it's the only section not to boast any major changes. Not surprisingly, support for Flyer Clips has been added to the sequential image section but that's about it Unfortunately, there's still no direct support for the PAR, VLM or any other third-party DV system. In fact apart from a minor change which has been added to accommodate file naming conventions, the panel is pretty much the same as in version 3.5. NewTek would no doubt argue that there’s no need to mess with perfection.... y Amiga Computing ECORD PANEL The most notable changes in
this section are the option for user-definable file naming conventions and the long-awaited ability to save in a variety of file formats. The former is an obvious attempt to make Lightwave files more compatible with the filename requirements of other packages, in particular pre-Windows 95 Pcs, whereas the latter is a much more attractive addition for Amiga fans.
Courtesy of Elastic Reality - formerly ASDG - it gives Lightwave the ability to save out in no less than 19 assorted file formats including IFF 24, pict, Jpeg, Tiff, YUV, Targa, and lots more besides.
Add to that 16 assorted alpha save formats and you have a save selection that caters for just about every eventuality. NewTek have even included a fader alpha button to accommodate external video faders, linear keyers, and external compositing programs which may require a specific type of alpha image to control switchers that use an alpha image as a fade control.
Lights pan el The changes to the Lights panel fall into the interesting, rather than essential bracket a prime example being the Global Flare Intensity.
Basically, this provides a means of ramping all the lens flares in a scene up or down automatically. This feature was a specific request of the boys and girls in the SeaQuest DSV production team in order to simplify the process of controlling lens flares during power ups, power outs and explosion sequences.
Jargon _box RTG - retargetable graphics card Inverse kinematics - outomated relational movement between objects and bones Plug-ins - input options for third-party enhancements PAR - Personal Animation Recorder DV - Digital video ASDG - the makers of ADPro and MorphPlus VLM - Vlob Mobon Goal - the target object or bone in a kinematic chain Individual flare control is another area that's seen something of a facelift with one of the biggest changes being the ability to add a user- defined Anamorphic distortion. This is ideal for the sci-fi classics, as seen in Star Trek TNG, as warp jumps and
other spatial anomalies.
Combine that with user-definable streak settings which include the ability to set streak, intensity, density and sharpness, and you arrive at a much more comprehensive- set of tools for controlling flare effects. The final and fairly subtle tweak is the addition of envelope control over intensity fall-off. Not exactly earth shattering, but very handy when the need arises.
CreamerNet For the big boys in the rendering business, there are a few minor changes to Lightwave's shared rendering solution. New arrivals include an option to switch between ScreamerNet original and ScreamerNet 2 which unlike its predecessor, supports distributed rendering over a suitable network - up to 1000 CPUs rendering simultaneously. Arguably the biggest disappointment of ScreamerNet in version 3.5 was the lack of batch rendering. Fortunately, NewTek have seen the error of their ways and built the ability to have a maximum of 16 scenes queued and ready to go prior to a ScreamerNet
Effects panel In most cases, Lightwave's control panels have undergone a minor reshuffle rather than a complete overhaul, mainly in order to accommodate the odd new feature. However the Effects composition panel is a major exception.
Effects and, more importantly, composition are massively undervalued aspects of Lightwave. Hopefully, the overhaul will help to redress the balance by providing a much clearer indication of exactly what's on offer and, more importantly, what's actually going on during a composition.
Apart from the physical change, the panel also holds some new features including foreground dissolve with envelope, plus a new high low colour feature for colour keying operations.
For some bizarre reason, composition is also the home for the control system for the glow effect and the now ubiquitous plug-in which, in this case, allows access for third-party image filters.
Unfortunately, like Essence, the rumoured ImageFX image processing plug-in is nowhere to be seen - watch this space, you never know with NewTek... Options pan el Perhaps the biggest disappointment in the Layout redesign is the lack of improved suppor for third-party RTG boards. Needless to say, the Picasso II is still catered for with 800 x 600 arx 1024 x 768 screenmodes, but unfortunate!'
That's it The manual once again falls back or plug-ins as a possible solution to the problen- by speculating that developers could use then as a means of adding their boards to displa available options.
However, this doesn't really offer an answt as to why the one board that is directly su( ported doesn't actually work correctly in 800 600 and 1024 x 768. Although the interface marginally faster when running a 800x60 display, it's sti very clumsy i comparison to tf Standard displa And worst sti wireframe ar bounding box pr views flatly refusr to play back, short if you wa to see your anirr tion before y commit to rendt ing, the standa display is still t only option.
Unfortunately, there's an even more ann ing problem when it comes to display siz Although Layout has its limitations in higl resolutions, Modeller is simply superb - es| cially in 800 x 600. However, if you r Modeller from Lightwave the two must sh the same resolution to work correctly - wh can obviously cause problems, if like me,) use the import and export functions frequer during a modelling session, yet still want preview animations from within layout The obvious solution is to run the t programs separately in different resolut and simply save and load alterations from A solution perhaps,
but hardly a pretty one.. To finish on a good high note, there is s very welcome news when it comes to Picasso II. Thankfully, NewTek have return* the original 3.0 render display for the Pk which actually lets you keep track of the dering process without constantly diving 01 Amiga N & M keys.
Aside from the still unresolved RTG prot the only practical change to the pan the arrival of a Show field chart option.
Amiga Computing ARD COPY - MANUALS in the past, Lightwave’s documentation has tended to deliver the essentials rather than in-depth oamples for the functions on offer. To a much lesser extent that tradition still continues.
However, to be fair, there is a marked improvement across the board, with much more detail and a writing style that leans far more towards actual application.
In order to make navigation of this massive package a little simpler, NewTek have wisely split the manual into two separate volumes, one acting as a user guide while the other delivers a reference to dll the available functions. The former is particularly useful for the beginner courtesy of a collection of tutorials for both Layout and Modeller.
Put together, the two add up to almost 800 pages of well written essential information. My only real complaint is that the indexing of the two volumes could be a little dearer - as finding t*ry specific bits of information can be a little more arduous than it need be. Other than that a 'good job* as they say in the States.
I the pport i, the )and lately :k on lem.
Them splay iswer sup- 100 x ice rs 600 still I in ) the play, still, and pre- used
t. In vant ima- you ider- dard the noy- izes.
Jher spe- run hare hich , you tntly t to Bottom line Requirements BLACK commended 8 Mb Hard Drive Workbench RAM 4* Picasso II 6 Mb EEP PLUG-IN AWAY Given the profusion of plug-in options throughout the program, it's pretty obvious that they are seen as playing a big part in the future development of LightWave. However, after browsing NewTek's FTP site it is also pretty obvious that most developers are pointing their programming power towards other LightWave friendly platforms.
During our initial preview the likes of WaveMaker, Dynamic Motion Module, Power Macros and Impact were all on the way for LightWave 4.0. This indeed may be the case, but there's still no sign of any of them for the Amiga version.
Admittedly, this could be down to NewTek's ever-changing release date for the Amiga version.
However,' Brad Pebbler's, initial claim that a number of projects "were well under construction," over a year ago, seems a little, well let's say, hopeful... On the other side of the coin, NewTek have indeed come good with their deal with ASDG regarding loaders and savers as a standard element, and will cater for all the major image formats, across all platforms - thereby taking a lot of the pain out of post production.
RAM Product details ons lisle Product LightWave Supplier Premier Vision 0171-721 7050 £695 plus vat me the I to sso en- the im, I is his Tel Price Ease of use 85% Implementation 90% Value For Money 82% Overall 89% S»cally overlays a cross-hair on the layout s*play which is meant to aid object jncement, whilst at the bottom of the panel
• •x can import new plug-ins to the LightWave iatabase, and
define the current working rectory for load and save
Inverse Ki n ematics first glance, life on the main layout screen stems almost identical to 3.5. In fact the only obvious difference is the change from XY, XZ and ZY view buttons to a far more comprehensible Front Top and Side selection.
However, look a little closer and you’ll notice »hat has to be the most important new arrival in the entire package, namely the Serious IK Opts. Believe it or not, this significant little gadget is the key to Inverse nematics.
After a little experimentation, it's obvious the arrival of features like bones, child bone
* )d auto Key adjust in 3.5 was no accident When these features,
especially the bone options, are blended with the new IK Opts
you arrive at something spectacular.
In most 3D programs kinematics can be a painful experience, but in LightWave it's both a dream to use and very simple to set up, the robot arm being a classic illustration of the technique. However, you can use bones in exactly the same way - and with even more repressive effect Firstly, you add the basic elements - which m most cases will be just two null objects.
Then you add the component objects in the kinematic chain, all of which should be parented one to the other starting with one of the null objects - that's where the child bone function can come into its own if you're using bones to form a kinematic chain.
Finally, you simply instruct the last object in the chain to treat the remaining null object as its goal.
The only real difference between bones and objects is that with objects you have to pay close attention to the pivot point of the individuals in order to make the joints function correctly - and more importantly realistically. From then on it's playtime! You simply grab the second null object and move it around - at which point all the objects or bones will bend at their joints in an attempt to track the goal.
When you've arrived at a pose you like, a simple 'key all items' command makes it permanent If you wish you can still move and edit the components in the kinematic chain without affecting their counterparts, or the basic kinematic relationship.
All things considered, this is a perfect and painless solution which has been made all the better since the beta with the addition of optional limits on the movement, or angle of rotation for the various elements in the chain. For example, a forearm can now be constrained so that it revolves at the elbow but won't do the impossible, no matter how much kinematic force is applied.
Needless to say, bones are the major benefactors, with believable flexing and bending of organic forms - all without a single seam or hinge in sight Effortless kinematic movement in a matter of minutes- Although not immediately obvious, kinematics also provides a solution for another missing link in the LightWave chain. In previous revisions it was impossible to target one object to another, but thanks to IK Opts we finally have a solution.
Because objects bones don't need to be physically linked to each other, or the goal they're tracking, making one object 'watch and follow' another is really easy.
All you need is a parent the tracking object and a target or goal object You then parent the tracker and tell it to use the target object as its goal. Better still, you can target the goal object with as many trackers as you want so you could have every head in a crowd follow the ball, or every gun on a ship track the incoming attacker.
This may not sound particularly revolutionary, it's a feature that many pro animators have been longing for. In fact for many this will been just as important as full kinematics.
What's in THE BOX Although there hove been rumours that the LightWave A CD would be fit to burst with assorted freebies, it actually contains roughly 87Mb of assorted scenes, images, objects, fonts and surfaces.
This may not seem too impressive considering the storage capacity of a CD, but the material that has been included is well worth having, featuring a collection for excellent example scenes, pro quality objects and example scenes which, if explored, go a long way towards explaining many of the mysteries of LightWave. Particularly nice touches include a useful selection of type 1 fonts and an equally handy array of surfaces.
ATCH THIS SPACE Amiga Computing T- Qecord panel Options PAN EL The most notable changes in this section are the option for user-definable file naming conventions and the long-awaited ability to save in a variety of file formats. The former is an obvious attempt to make LightWave files more compatible with the filename requirements of other packages, in particular pre-Windows 95 Pcs. Whereas the latter is a much more attractive addition for Amiga fans.
Courtesy of Elastic Reality - formerly ASDG - it gives lightwave the ability to save out in no less than 19 assorted file formats including Iff 24, pict Jpeg, Tiff, YUV, Targa, and lots more besides.
Add to that 16 assorted alpha save formats and you have a save selection thqt caters for just about every eventuality. NewTek have even included a fader alpha button to accommodate external video faders, linear keyers, and external compositing programs which may require a specific type of alpha image to control switchers that use an alpha image as a fade control.
Lights panel The changes to the Lights panel fall into the interesting, rather than essential bracket, a prime example being the Global Flare Intensity.
Basically, this provides a means of ramping all the lens flares in a scene up or down automatically. This feature was a specific request of the boys and girls in the SeaQuest DSV production team in order to simplify the process of controlling lens flares during power ups, power outs and explosion sequences.
Jargon _box RTG - retargetoble graphics cord Inverse kinematics - automated relational movement between objects and bones Plug-ins - input options for third-party enhancements PAR - Personal Animation Recorder DV - Digital video ASDG - the makers of ADPro ondMorphPlus VLM - Vlob Motion Goal - the target object or bone in a kinematic chain Individual flare control is another area that's seen something of a facelift, with one of the biggest changes being the ability to add a user- defined Anamorphic distortion. This is ideal for the sci-fi classics, as seen in Star Trek TNG, as warp jumps and
other spatial anomalies.
Combine that with user-definable streak settings which include the ability to set streak, intensity, density and sharpness, and you arrive at a much more comprehensive set of tools for controlling flare effects. The final and fairiy subtle tweak is the addition of envelope control over intensity fall-off. Not exactly earth shattering, but very handy when the need arises.
CreamerNet For the big boys in the rendering business, there are a few minor changes to Lightwave's shared rendering solution. New arrivals include an option to switch between ScreamerNet original and ScreamerNet 2 which unlike its predecessor, supports distributed rendering over a suitable network - up to 1000 CPUs rendering simultaneously. Arguably the biggest disappointment of ScreamerNet in version 5.5 was the lack of batch rendering. Fortunately, NewTek have seen the error of their ways and built the ability to have a maximum of 16 scenes queued and ready to go prior to a ScreamerNet
Effects pan el In most cases, Lightwave's control panels have undergone a minor reshuffle rather than a complete overhaul, mainly in order to accommodate the odd new feature. However the Effects composition panel is a major exception.
Effects and, more importantly, composition are massively undervalued aspects of LightWave. Hopefully, the overhaul will help to redress the balance by providing a much clearer indication of exactly what's on offer and, more importantly, what's actually going on during a composition.
Apart from the physical change, the panel also holds some new features including foreground dissolve with envelope, plus a new high low colour feature for colour keying operations.
For some bizarre reason, composition is also the home for the control system for the glow effect and the now ubiquitous plug-in which, in this case, allows access for third-party image filters.
Unfortunately, like Essence, the rumoured ImageFX image processing plug-in is nowhere to be seen - watch this space, you never know with NewTek... Perhaps the biggest disappointment in ttit Layout redesign is the lack of improved support for third-party RTG boards. Needless to say, the : Picasso II is still catered for with 800 x 600 dud 1024 x 768 screenmodes, but unfortunate2 that's it The manual once again falls back 0II| plug-ins as a possible solution to the | by speculating that developers could use t as a means of adding their boards to dis| available options.
However, this doesn't really offer an an as to why the one board that is directly « ported doesn't actually work correctly in 800 d 600 and 1024 x 768. Although the interface 31 marginally faster when running a 800x6001 display, it's stilj very clumsy fj[ comparison to I standard display!
And worst still,[ wireframe an bounding box | views flatly re to play back. I short, if you wa to see your anir tion before you commit to rerv ing, the stand display is still I only option.
Unfortunately, there's an even more an ing problem when it comes to display sin Although Layout has its limitations in higl resolutions, Modeller is simply superb - i daily in 800 x 600. However, if you i Modeller from LightWave the two must s the same resolution to work correctly - can obviously cause problems, if like me,) use the import and export functions fre during a modelling session, yet still want U| preview animations from within layout The obvious solution is to run the t Amiga Computing (rKrllOi call The Amiga is not exactly up to its eyes with networking products.
Neii Mohr puts an American solution to the test I u i -r-
lx) 37~ X Timeouts Repet It Ions ms Transfer time Name server
|Shagged400 Sail I Hosts Devices mounted _Saue_ I J the total
length of this can be up to 100 metres. As each stretch of
coaxial cable you get with Amiga Link is five metres this
works out quiet nicely, and as most Amiga companies use
their machines in dose proximity, this is more than long
enough. If needed, AmiTrix do supply the coaxial cable in
other lengths and apparently the total number of connected
computers and length of the networks can be exceeded, but the
reliability of the network could suffer depending on the
amount of local electrical interference.
Once all the interfaces are in place and connected together with the coaxial cable, you can install the software, for which there are two options. As standard, you now get the original Amiga Link software as well as the far more etworking is one of the most important aspects of business com- puting. The ability to quickly share, process and analyse information is of paramount importance, and the ability to do so is taken for granted in the PC and Mac world, so what about the Amiga?
Well a very good networking standard was Produced by Commodore called SANA-II, and a couple of ethemet cards were produced by Commodore themselves, but perhaps due to the Amiga not being accepted as a business machine, or Commodore not pushing networking as standard on any Amiga, or possibly manufacturers just producing products for the entry level Amiga machines, there are only a lew SANA-II products around.
Well a low-cost, fully SANA-II compatible networking solution has appeared in the form of Amiga Link. This sort of low-cost network is just the thing the Amiga could have benefited from years ago if it was fitted and supported as standard. For instance, the Mac has really benefited from Apple's foresight of including the Apple Talk network in every Mac model, as not onty does this give it the advantage of having networking out of the box, but you get the added bonus of the system software supporting networking, so the programs you run on the Mac all support and take advantage of networking
as a matter of course.
Demands The other advantage is as people use the network and take advantage of all its facilities, they are going to demand more from the system software. So the Mac has gained useful Vmctions like multiple printer sharing and print spooling over the network, as well as having tuti user and group options allowing you to
• etna access to machines over networks.
When I first got hold of the Amiga Link package I really had no idea what sort of hor- installing it would hold, so when I had our J three Amigas networked together and sharing devices in under 15 minutes I was pleasantly surprised. It is also very reassuring that the Amiga OS is that simple to extend, which is the way it should be.
Installation is very simple. Initially you need to set up your network of Amigas. Amiga Link works from a small interface that plugs, unusually, into the disk drive port - if you have external disk drives this does not matter as you just plug the interface into the external drive's through port though you will only be able to have, at most two external drives.
Each interface is conneaed together using standard coaxial cable, with the ends of the networks having an end cap. Up to 20 Amigas can be on a single Amiga Link network, and Packets sent Pac ke t s rece i ved Acknowledges sent Acknowledges received i Vou can link to any oiltor machino't drivaa at It thoy woro on your own machlno a Utilization ieT 10 j Jld _Resel_ Local volume name 14000-Uorkbench~| Local device name 14000-Horkbench I D Find out oamctly how hmrd tho network im working Ok Amiga Computing flltow Volune snapshotting: niiou left-out icon*; Full file security No security 1 Users and
Groups Hdnin Paul s:i‘
- L.
J »*4£«a _ndd_ Hdd Cancel 1 Save | Envoy lets you choose exactly who can access your machine's private parts Groups E NVOY Also available for use with Amiga Link is the Commodore written Envoy networking software which has a number of major advantages over the converv tional Amiga Link software. Instead of working on the device level, Envq allows you to export any directory and give it a specific export name. So ou FTP download directory, which is hidden in a good few other directories, cm be exported onto the network as downloads.
Possibly more important is that once Envoy is installed using a standard Installer script proper groups and users can be set up, allowing you to specify, if necessary, who can and cannot gain access to directories. This is aisil backed up with full password protection ensuring there can be no unauthorised access.
One currently under-used part of Envoy is its services which make Envqf fully extendible, giving the network new capabilities. Therefore, at any point m the future you can add a new service such as a conference or talk service, allowing you to communicate with others on the network, or anything else that may appear.
Envoy also works with AmiTCP, and allows mail and FTPing to be per formed between machines. Using AmiTCP does open up the possibility d accessing PC machines over the network because you could either FTP them or, using the right software, actually mount their drives as a normal Amiga device.
1 System Administrators can safely develop a good superiority complex In safe surroundings with Envoy . Advanced Envoy software. The original software has a number of advantages over Envoy, being simpler to set up as well as running under Workbench 1.3 and from a floppy.
Setting up the Amiga Link software is very straightforward, with an icon to copy the network device driver and an Amiga installer script to set up the network file system. When installing the file system you are given the choice of having the current machine being able to export devices, allowing other machines access to hard drive partitions or any other storage device on that machine over the network.
Normally, you would want this as you still have to specify these drives as being accessible over the network from that machine, but if security is a consideration you can choose not to.
Flexible The network is very flexible when it comes to adding or removing computers at a later date.
The hardware seems very robust as you can disconnect and reconnect machines at any time, and the software also handles this very well. Adding extra machines is just a case of fitting the interface to the machine then connecting it up with the coaxial cable. The machine can be added to the end or in the middle of the existing network, and once the software has been installed you will be able to access other machines straight away.
If you will be regularfy removing a computer from the network, AmiTrix can provide extra T connections that you place in the network where the machine should go - this allows machines to be added with no disruption to network traffic at any time.
To allow other people access to your hard drive partitions or other devices on your machine, including CD and floppy drives, you need to mark these as exported devices using the export program. The Amiga Link file software only works on the device level and has no additional security measures. Therefore, any device you marked as exported will be available to everyone on the network, but I would imagine that in most cases, like in the Amiga Computing office, this is not a problem. You can make these devices automatically available each time you reboot your machine by clicking on save. This
creates a new file in the WBStaitup drawer that automatically places the device on the network.
Similarly, if you want to get access to a device on someone else's machine you need to import that device using the import program.
This has two list views from which you choose the machine you want to access and then the device you want to mount Gkking on mount will immediately make your machine mount that device, and you will see the device icon appear on the Workbench. If this happens to be a hard drive partition that has icons left left ouf on the other machine's Workbench you will also get these appearing, which can cause a bit of a clutter.
Another helpful feature here is one that allows you to change the name of the volume you are about to mount The main reason for this is that when you first mount an imported device it has the name of the machine prefixed in front of the device name. Therefore, if you have an AmigaDOS or installer script that refers to the original device name, they would stop working unless you remove the machine's name extension.
In use, it is hard to find fault with the Amiga Link software. You could complain about lack of security or the inability to have password protection for users and groups, but there is a simple solution to this in the form of the Envoy software that comes with Amiga Link.
Hardware wise, Amiga Link is simple to set up and appears quiet robust in use, and as it is a peer to peer-type network, speed should not suffer with additional machines connected, Amiga Link is very good, but for the money you are paying I would have preferred the transfer speed to be higher as these hover around the 30k sec mark, which is usable but not exactly staggering. As a low cost network, Amiga Link is your only choice and is something that should have been available a long time ago. Now when is someone going to write some SANA-II games so we can have a good blast in the office?
Amiga Link is very good but for the money I would have preferred the transfer speed to be higher S PEED TESTS Operation Envoy AmigaLink File Create 12 files sec 13 files sec File Open 12 files sec 13 files sec File Delete 21 files sec 25 files sec Dir Scan 197 files sec 21 files sec Seek Read 11 seeks sec 14 seeks sec Create File 27k sec 36k sec Read from File 25k sec 37k sec Write to File 30k sec 34k sec ifcjULi.Il line D Kickstart CD!
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collection ....£39 Please note that some advertisers prices do not include VAT or shipping from the USA- All our prices are fully inclusive of all charges including delivery to your door next day if required. We also support all products we sell - if you have to send your product back to the US how long are you going to wait?
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’subject to manufacturer's availability Ring (01277) 365249 ’If it sounds like I raved, then I've communicated successfully exactly how groovy this product is .
Ami-FileSafe makes as much difference as adding some fast SCSI Zorro III controller from hell”.
Ure rr S?Plic»UonseSyst'»N0 . Mhoeri. St of di* Shgibler % K dlrt*‘on£lk sp*CO. J
a. .v (j. . n ’tdcc ss! £ U U rFiUng atinS rni f A3000 030
OHSgon SCSI PP°n . a ** ,« °ne*SAFE* - '® y *w *69.75
inc multi-use? *fLnr Amiga multi-tasking capability to (he
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* 1 j conveV* Up to 650Meg o POQ 7C One AFS Hard drive Zly.l J
No MiiFS p&p £3 Private user licence ser eA * Otherwise as
Pro-Version -__pKcwoi i Mail Manager again. My *CiOD* it was
amazing! Tossing sped up from around 500 messages niin up to
1200 "WithoutAFS! -nothanks NEW A1200's & A4000s Ensure you
get AFS with your new Amiga Without AFS you are likely to have
an an unvalidated hard drive if you reset or your system
crashes whilst writing to disk.
Dealers- ask your distributor for details of our special your new Amiga with AFS from | dealer.
Tnents eV°V V e Distributors : FI,Distribution ermany: Stefan Ossowskis Schat trulie weden: Orebro Videorcklam taly: Db-Line A I-'ourtiTLevel outh fricasMLSystcms Dexclopment SA: AIM Distributor & Dealer Enquiries +44 (0) 117 955 8225 ( ORED WITH the Amiga Escom first 'saved' the Amiga after the ore fiasco, I held high hopes that I build the machine into something i would put today's competition to ia
* r, in the light of the recent inactiv- pt *9 this company to
produce anything Nile, I'm not sure if my first impres- i were
correct Yes, Escom have put the I back on sale, but they seem
to already t lowing signs of getting bored with their i
• here are all the new games coming out f There are some, indeed,
but nowhere r as many as there are for rival machines i as the
'super' consoles and Pcs.
Christmas is a time when a company I be pushing their products for all they f worth. Not so with Escom. While rival iters are receiving extensive limelight i newspaper and television advertising paigns, Escom have simply left their on the starting blocks as if it will be Hr to go out and sell itself!
F the attitude of the people at Escom does or change in the foreseeable future, I am [ fcfhty tempted to trade in my A1200 for | «wher machine - perhaps a PC - before the iwga truly does die, something which - if it to Escom - may unfortunately not be in he too distant future.
1 As an Amiga magazine you are in a prime ition to rally your readers to lobby the I at Escom in the hope that they can pull r socks up and keep the Amiga in produc- I bon and, most importantly, in popular | temand. Please see what you can do.
C Burley, Sheffield Keep your letters coming in to Ezra Surf and you culd be a fifty pound prize winner ola AMIGA!
Keep those letters coming! If you can't be bothered to find a Dit of paper and a stamp, why not e-mail us? Simply point your mailer to: ESP@acomp.demon.co.uk There's a £50 pound prize for the best letter printed as an incentive Amiga Technologies reported that they had a disappointing Christmas, but it comes as
• o surprise to you or I, nor many other people.
There does need to be some promotion
• I the machine. If you read the Undercover Amiga article in
January's issue you will
• now how difficult it is to buy an Amiga these days, and with
Acorn getting at least part of a huge Internet deal with
industry giants Oracle instead of Amiga Technologies, it makes
you wonder if AT are doing anything to rectify, the situation.
Unfortunately, while we print articles praising the amazing qualities of the Amiga, we are writing for a converted audience. No PC owner is just going to pick up Amiga Computing just to see if there is an alternative to what he already has, the same as most Amiga owners would rather spend their money on magazines which talk about the machines they own. I believe this year will be make or break for Amiga Technologies. They have had problems with the new CE mark standards imposed by the EC and they have achieved quite a lot considering they haven't actuary been going for a very long time,
but as you say, they need to pull their socks up before they lose all support lowadays, almost everyone writing to you is telling you how the Amiga should be in the future and that's what I'm going to do too.
a r£jl I flUiiHIT”* I am studying electrical engineering frequently have to present information with lots of graphs and mathematical expressions, for which I use a PC equipped with Windows. I use Word to write the text. Word's formula editor for the mathematical expressions, Excel for the graphs, and sometimes a CAD program to make plans. When I have all the basic work done I edit the layout of the document in Word and then print it. The last step is very hard as Windows is not very efficient - it needs lots of memory and things do become very slow, but at least I can do my work and the
results are very impressive.
I can't do any of this with my Amiga because although there are some very good word processors, spreadsheets and CAD programs (does anyone know of any formulae editors?), there isn't a standard way of passing data (objects) between different programs like OLE in Windows.
The Amiga has the clipboard, but if a program wants to use the data there it must understand that data. Things have become better with datatypes, but this is not an ideal solution because datatypes are only bitmaps which means the print out from them is very bad. To top it off, how many programs give you a datatype for their data format anyway?
I think this is one of the principal directions in which the OS must grow. I can live without virtual memory, network capabilities, or internet access - all these things can be done by third party developers. But a standard way to interchange objects between applications must be integrated into the OS by Amiga Technologies.
Now some words about your mag. I think Amiga Computing is the best magazine for the Amiga. Your reports are clever and about interesting matters, and the aesthetic is very pleasant. The only thing I don't agree with are the demos of commercial programs on the coverdisks. I would prefer you to invest your money in shareware and amateur programs which are the best the Amiga has.
Salvador Fandino Carcia, San Sebastien, Spain You know, you're quite right. The Amiga does need some form of object interchange, and a lot of the other things people go on about could be integrated by third parties, but as you say, it would have to be done properly.
It would also almost certainly mean that the Amiga's OS would have to run from a hard drive, but that would be no bad thing anyway. As for your comments about developers giving datatypes for their file formats, I think that would be a great idea and could mean that Multiview (or a similar program) could become a universal file viewer for programs like Dopus. It would also increase programs' abilities to import foreign file formats.
Finally, we actually ran a formula editor on one of our coverdisks last year (July 95's in fact). It needed MUI which was on the same coverdisk and was called FalconMath.
There are other equation editors available now on Aminet, try the misc fnath directory.
Amiga Computing ? C M AC EMULATOR?
When I was reading the Workbench 96 article in the January issue of Amiga Computing, I could not help to think that WB96 would be like Windows95 or a System 7 done. I do agree on some features that need improvements (printing, networking) and the addition of an Arexx recorder and small things that are currently addressed by PD software, but for the most part, if WB96 is implemented as described, it would be just like other operating systems. Where is the innovation? Why should we follow what others have done? If Mister Ben Vost has a lack of imagination, he should ask Amiga users for input
We would be more than happy to do so.
I am part of two Amiga user groups in Ottawa, Canada. We could send Mister Vost a FAX, e-mail, or even snail mail features that would really blow other operating systems in the water! And not just the Mac or Windows, but Unix, NextStep, OS2-. I wonder if Ben Vost has ever really used an Amiga.
Denis Desjardins via e-mail May I speak on a matter of personal alarm over a few things I've seen in your magazine in the last few months? They all deal with where the Amiga is now and where it is going (and then again, what little has appeared in Amiga Computing recently that hasn't focused in some way on that issue?)
I feel as though some bad decisions, and some unfair judgements, have surfaced concerning our favourite machine in recent times, some of them through your magazine.
First of all, I would like to address the issue of the Amiga's operating System. The comparison made recently in Amiga Computing between the various Oss was very interesting and "one of those things we always wanted to see." But I feel this article made the same mistake many people have been making lately, that is the separation of OS from GUI. This was hould Canon be canonised?
I recently purchased a new Canon BJC70 colour printer. It's a little beauty - little being the operative word! Anyway, as you're undoubtedly aware, this type of printer is nearly always only shipped with printer drivers for DOS and Windows on the PC.
This, of course, may be standard procedure with any new printer these days and it shows a willingness to help the end user get better results.
Unfortunately, this is of no benefit to us lucky Amiga users! I am a registered user of the excellent Studio 2 printing enhancement program though, and while I would have undoubtedly been able to find a suitable driver, there was not a dedicated driver for the BJC70, unlike other Canon printers. When I returned the warranty card to Canon (UK) Ltd. I included a letter expressing my concerns. Bearing in mind that this letter was only sent on a Monday morning, I was very pleasantly surprised to receive two separate envelopes with the Canon stamp on them in the early Thursday morning post One
envelope contained the two year extended warranty I’d requested (a steal at only £25!), the other, from a separate Canon department contained a disk full of Canon drivers. As I found out in a .readme file, it was actually a cutdown version of ‘Canon Studio', although a fairly recent one as it contained BJC70 specific drivers.
And even though this one works perfectly, not satisfied with supposed to be a comparison of Workbench
3. 1 to System 7.5.1 to Windows 95. Isn't there something wrong
here? Workbench is little more than a graphical representation
of the filing system. AmigaDOS, or Amiga OS (whatever
they're calling it these days) is where the real power is.
Exec and Intuition form the core of an extremely powerful
operating system whose power, in some ways, has only begun to
be realised. Workbench certainly does it no justice.
Focus Granted, the review did include some information about the OS itself but it focused primarily on the Workbench and software included with it This is in comparison to the Macintosh where you used System 7.5.1, the whole OS, rather than just (what do they call it? The Finder?), the true analog of Workbench. And Windows 95 seems to be just some big convoluted inseparable mass. Technicalities? I think not If you're going to compare operating systems, compare the whole operating system. I think that despite the weaknesses of Workbench, when viewed in this light the Amiga's OS is far
ahead, in terms of speed, power, efficiency, and ease of use, of the competition.
Another issue that concerns me is the debate over custom chipset versus graphics card for the next Amiga. Many people are using this as a complaint over the Amiga's lack of compatibility with other platforms. Come on, people, that's the point! If you want an IBM compatible, get an IBM compatible. Macintosh users don't complain about the lack of compatibility between their platform and the IBM PC They view that as a strength, not a weakness.
We Amiga owners should too. If we don't stop viewing ourselves as a little upstart computer sub-dass, rather than a separate platform in its own right, nobody will!
To elaborate further on the issue of the custom chipset, I don't see why on earth we what they had already done for me, they'd also included a letter with a reference number and phone number on it explaining they were currently working on a new BJC70 printer driver for the Amiga and that I would receive it free of charge as soon as it was available.
All this goes to prove that they had read my letter thoroughly and not only taken note of the points I raised, but acted on them what must have been almost immediately, when you consider that I received their reply only three days after I had posted my letter! Now that's what I call great service and eagerness to enhance customer satisfaction and relations. I have absolutely no reason to doubt that every customer is, or would be, treated any differently.
I'd be very grateful if you would see fit to include an undoubtedly cutdown version of this letter by way of thanks and appreciation for their efforts, and to make fellow readers of Amiga Computing aware of not only what should be expected of any major company, but the level of service they will definitely receive from Canon (UK) Ltd.
David S Duncan, Chester It's good to know that there are still companies out there that take their obligation to their customers seriously. Nice one Canon.
Should ditch this in favour of some graphi card. Very few graphics cards can keep up wi even the OCS or ECS for animation spee much less AGA. My 486 PC can get about 3 f from a precalculated Lo-res animation! I 68030 Amiga, on the other hand, constan passes 30 fps in Lo-res, even in HAM mo and it doesn't animate much faster then it c when it was a 68000 machine. Very few graf ics cards can do this, and if they can, they likely to be very expensive. Besides, the digi processing power of the blitter and copper I still amazing. Plus, the still-high-quality sou system and all sorts of I O
originate in t chipset.
The chipset is one of the Amiga's great strengths. The only real weaknesses of the c rent chipset are lack of 24-bit modes, low re lutions, and the slowness of the planar displ It would only be a natural progression for I AAA chipset to bring 24-bit graphics, a 64- 128-bit video bus, higher resolutions, and addition of chunky pixel modes, not to ment improved sound capabilities (it's about tin' to the Amiga. This, combined with the Arr OS and the PowerPC, could help launch a n surge of Amiga use in the video a multimedia industry.
Michael Webb via e-n I am the owner of an A3000 and have t since its introduction. I did not purchas because of its similarity to any other compi At the time I bought rt. IBM compatibility i available through the 286 powe Bridgeboard and Mac compatibility through original AMAX system. I did not buy eithe these as I saw no point in having ther bought my A3000 because, for its price, it • the best graphics system available, and s might even argue that it was the best grap system at the time, period. Neither Macintosh, nor the PC compatible could a close in the animation abiliti& of the An
without very extensive and expensive upgra To this day, I have not added an accele* and still I have friends coming to me to do mations on my system using Imagine 3.1, though they have PowerMac 8100A V syst and Strata Studio Pro software. They daim animations done on my A3000 using D look better than theirs - partly because Amiga doesn’t drop frames when i overtaxed as the PowerMac is known to do Much of the success of the Amiga in the and of my animations, can be attributed tc ECS graphics chips in the machine. They n this cheap computer system almost as po ful a graphics workstation as an
SGI Indy, without the high software costs. This is w bought the computer for and what I be made it a limited success in the United St Yes, other computers can display more col than my system, but in order to animate h most need Mpeg decompression hardv added to them. Even 100MHz Pentium PPC604-based systems have annoying pa to their animations without these upgrade must animate in lower resolutions and srr screen sizes than my Amiga can.
Perhaps in living only a short drive Amiga Computing 42 4 PRIL 19 96 Qnd finally raphicsl Apple's corporate headquarters I have a some- jp with j unique view of the differences between speed,! ** Amiga and the Macintosh, but the article jt 3 fps by Mr Vost would seem to imply that Dn! Myj ** Amiga and its users would be best served istantMJ making the Amiga very much more like the mode,! Mac Most of his references to changes in the 1 it did! Amiga operating system referred directly to graph-1 System 7, and his suggested changes to the they're! Hardware would seem to imply that a CHRP digital
'Common Hardware Reference Platform) er are j design is the one Amiga Technologies should sound I adopt, specifically a PowerPC-based system, in the I using a PCI bus, and with no custom chips.
When the first PowerMacs came out, reatest j almost all of the operating system that came re cur-1 »ith them was emulated 680x0 code. They r reso- actually ran slower than the 68040-based lisplay. I Macs when running the same task. In light of or the I this I can hardly believe that emulating the 64- or I AGA chips in software will allow a PPC604- id the, based Amiga to run as fast as an Amiga 4000 ention *+ien animating, or doing anything else for time!) I that matter. If anything, the custom chipset Amiga needs upgrading, or even complete redesign, a new but abandoning the idea of blazingly
fast and I graphics on the system bus in favour of making the Amiga like other computers will only entail j hurt Amiga Technologies here in the US, and will contribute to the extinction of the Amiga, been I not advance its cause. Changes made to the ase it ? Hardware and operating system of the Amiga puter. Should be seen as improvements to the entire i was system and not just an attempt to build rered I another Macintosh or PC ;h the I am not stating that I disagree with all of rer of Mr Vost's observations. I agree that the em. 11 PowerPC is a good chip for Amiga t was Technologies to
adopt and that the Amiga some hardware and operating system need to be iphics : more than simply dusted off. But, quite
• the frankly, if Amiga Technologies brings out a :ome i
CHRP-based Amiga why should anyone buy it miga ! Mstead of a
CHRP-based Macintosh when the ades. Price would likely be very
close, especially ;rator . Considering that the Mac already has
a much ani- J wider software base?
Even In short the Amiga is much more than a terns Macintosh imitator with an offbeat operating i that system and a small software base. It is a sepa- )CTV I rate computer system with its own strengths i the and these should not be compromised in the it is I search for similarity,
i. | Edward K. Smallwood the Ben Vost replies- nake As pleased as
I am to have received so wer- i much feedback from one of my
pieces, I , but feel all those letters that are printed here
hat I I have missed the point (with the exception ieve of Mr
Lyon's e-mail covering 0 S2. The rea- ates. Son I didn't cover
it was because a) I am not ours ; very familiar with 0 S2 and
b)l only wanted !tter, ' to cover one OS per platform, and
since all i are I the flavours of Windows outsell 0 S2 by a
and fair amount I decided against it). I was not jses
advocating that the Amiga should be turned 5, or I into a Mac
or Windows clone, merely that aller I other systems have
features that the Amiga ought to have, not because they are
rom I Windows or System 7, but because they are I'm writing to
you to take to task Ben Vost's article on operating systems.
The article set out to compare the top “three' operating
systems. Problem is, you ignored the 32-bit OS that has
somewhere in the range of 10,000,000 installed users - OS 2.
I've used an Amiga since 1987, a PC since 1988, had the
misfortune to need Windows and discovered OS 2 (2.1) back in
1992 - now I use Warp (v3.0). The object-oriented desktop of
OS 2 has similarities to the object-oriented Amiga Workbench,
you really should have compared it as well. Here's your
sidebar list with OS 2 added in: Add-in System Extensions
24-bit support Multiple Screen Support Networking CD-ROM
Support Comms & Internet Security Pre-emptive 32 bit
Multitasking Runs from floppy Foreign Language Support Plug &
Play CLI&GUI Systemwide Programming Language Representational
Interface Universal Menus System pref changes during op.
Three Button Mouse Support Undelete Function Hard Drive Self Repair Hard Drive Optimisation Virtual Memory Support Quickstart Applications Menu Disk Compression Style Guide Help For The Disabled Online Help Dynamic RAM Disk Yes, via the Startup Folder Yes, direct support Yes Yes Yes Yes, IBM's excellent Bonus Pack contains them Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes - OS 2 Desktop, OS 2 CLI, DOS CU, Windows 3jc GUI Yes-REXX Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes - user selectable on a drive-by-drrve basis Yes Yes - especially so under HPFS Yes - both dynamic & user selectable Yes - user configurable LaunchPad Yes - third
party Yes Yes Yes - more comprehensive than Win95 - context sensitive, hypertext links, etc No There's more, but that basically covers your own areas As I need to swap between the PC & Amiga environments many times each day, I find OS 2 & Amiga more easily workable than OS 2 & Windows
(3. x or 95).
Indeed OS 2 has many similarities to the Amigas' OS, but one must say, has done much better and far more professionally. Anyway, that's my two cents worth, next time you guys do a comparison, at least try to remember that the worlds' leading 32-bit Operating System is OS 2, remember Win95 is not a true 32-bit OS, indeed much of Win95's code is 16-bit A last quickie. Thanks for a fine magazine, yours is one of only two foreign mags I pick up (the other being Byte), I just wish it'd get here earlier rather than two months behind England-.
Lance Lyon, via e-mail cheap prices and get them to run on our Amigas.
All aids to a better working environment Youll notice that I didn't ask for the animations that Windows 95 plays when you are copying files or checking your memory status, and I didn't ask for the filetyping that can really make Mac use a pain -1 just want the Amiga to have the best operating system (and front-end if you want to be pkky Mr Webb) possible. And to my mind, the best OS around is an amalgam of the features of Workbench, Windows and the Mac OS (and 0 S2, NextStep and so on).
Why shouldn't Amiga Technologies leam from the mistakes of other OS providers and make a next generation interface all Amiga users can be proud of. And it's no use saying Ooh we have to keep the custom chipset* when it is woefully slow compared to even the cheapest graphics card now available when run under the same conditions. The whole point of the Amiga going CHRP would be to take advantage of all those graphics, sound, ethernet and other cards available for other platforms at And why would anyone buy a CHRP Amiga? Because by that stage the Amiga would need to have proper multimedia
support video and audio inputs and outputs, an Amiga Technologies graphics card with built in genlock, etc It doesn't matter what it is that makes the Amiga unique in the future, but it does matter if no-one can do anything with the machine because its operating system and hardware isn't modem enough.
By the way, I have owned Amigas since 1987 when the A500 first became available , in the UK. I have had an A3000T now for over three years and have expanded it to the point where there is no further room in the case, so yes, I think I can say that I have used an Amiga. As part of the jobs I have held, I have also become at least a journeyman when it comes to PC use and have even spent a time building them, and I use Macs every day as our office is full of them.
Amiga Computing BLITTERSOFT TOWER PRODUCTS OS 3.1 Out new range ot Amiga Tower System w« further enhance the specification of your Amiga Options include Shuttle expansion boards, uprated PS ITS and complete PC solutions.
Towers (Dimensions 660x 190x430 mm with over ten different styles) £179.95 PSU-s available 230W £ 59.95 250W £ 74.95 300W £ 89.95 Shuttle 1200 Upgrades the A1200 to provide 7 x Zorro III (5 DMA), 6 x PC ISA. 2 x Video. 1 x CPU Expansion Slot and a Real Time Clock Shuttle 1200PCI As per Shuttle 1200 except 3 x PC ISA. 3 x PC PCI Shuttle 3000 and 4000 Upgrades A3000 or A4O00 to provide 8 x Zorro III (5 DMA). 6 x PC ISA and 2 x Video Shuttle 3000PCI or 4000PCI Upgrades A3000 or A4000 to provide 7 x Zorro III (5 DMA). 3 x PC ISA ISA. 3 x PC PCI and 2 x Video 486DX2 4 Board 128Kb Cache. 2 x Serial,
1 x Parallel. Floppy and HDD Controller. Keyboard SOCfcet. External Power Connector. PC104 Expansion Port.128MD RAM max. Accepts 486DX2 4 Processor al 33 to 100MHz (Not Included) 486DX2 4 Eprom Board As 486DX2 4 Board plus auto boot Eprom.
Pentium Board 256Kb Cache (Expandable to 1Mb). 2 x Serial, 1 x Parallel. Floppy and HDD Controller. Keyboard socket. External Power Connector.PC 104 Expansion Pori. 128Mb RAM max Accepts Pentium Processor and 133MHz (Not included) DX2 66 £ 34.95 DX4 100 £ 79.95 Pentium P75 Pentium P90 £219.95 Pentium P100 £229.95 Pentium PI20 Pentium P133 £449.95 Now available for ANY Amiga! The full Amiga Technologies licensed OS 3.1 pack will bring your Amiga up to the very latest operating system OS3.1 is more efficient, offers more features (such as CD-Rom file access and control, extra
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Colour Work Bench icons are created for easy Identification Support tor resolutions from 192 x !2fl up to 3072 x 2644 Preferences Editor for all AsimCDFS settings Full Arexx command set available for all programs Localised Interfaces for English. French and German languages.
Fufl ATAPI CO-ROM support with A12«yA4660 Master ISO allows me user to control a CO-ROM recorder in order to create custom CD-ROM and CO-Audw CO-ROM s An j ISO 9860 bold ul«y Which the user to create universally compatible CO-ROM volumes Amga specific support also 4 Manama*, special characters. COTV wx! C032 auto-booting CD-Audio CO-ROM'S can be cre*!od wtfi Master ISO.
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Desktop Video Backdrops is a collection of hundreds of Backdrops suitable for the Desktop Video Professional. Each backdrop is broadcast-ready and in broadcast resolution This CD-ROM is compatible with every computer platform. The Backdrops are represented by thumbnail renderings in the INDEXES directory for easy previewing. This collection varies from geometric shapes to floral pattern , perfect tor any application, for cable access programs, home video productions, training videos and national broadcasts. £ 9.95 A huge collection of high quality textures!
2. 500 Texture Treasures contains approximately 2.500 textures
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£ 9.95 t Software w*h full multitasking* 2 Intuition (Screens Windows. Gadgets. Menus Drawing!
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DEM ROM consists ol ovw 1.000 Dqssl EvvaBcn Maps Irom the USGS The** hies can do loaded nto Vista Pro. Scenery Animator and World Conatrucaon Set to create bmalhtaking scenic sails or excrtng animated rights through landscapes. These rights could be saved and loaded into a 30 program aa a cad.ground anage seouenoa *nfe taking a 30 oNeet Stcri as an aeroplane or a spaceship and rendering ,t in the foreground to create realrstc tlightt of fancy These OEM’s can also be loaded nto any 30 conversion programs such as interchange. PmalPro. Pofytorm etc to aeaie 30 landscapes m UghfWave. Mag no 30
Stuoo. TrueSpaoe etc Complete with thumtinad renderings of tie topographical map oral the OEMs £9.95 WORLD CONSTRUCTION SET 6 Drakes Mews. Crownhill Industry, Milton Keynes. MK8 OER. UK.
World Construction Set is a 3-D terrain modelling and | animation program that offers unlimited flexibility and control. WCS provides a wealth of solutions, whether, you are creating for video, pnnt media, commercial or' scientific applications, or just for fun. There are too I many features to list, but this program is regarded by many as the best * scenery generator on any platform. WCS requires OS 2.04 or greater. 4 Mb RA recommended) Both 68030 and 040 optimised versions are supplied,
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As a subscriber to various Amiga mag-
* * azines I have found their help invalu- able. When I bought
my A1200 it came with German instructions, and as there is no
one around here that can help, I have been battling alone.
ISK DOLDRU The problem I am having is that when I try to run certain disks or programs, error requesters keep appearing. I hope to be able to solve these problems with your help before I die as I'm 71-years old, and it is good gymnastics for my brain to battle with computers:
1) Cannot find V37 reqtools.libraiy. How do I dear up this
problem, and where do I find v37 of the reqtools.library.
Should this be dragged into Libs, or what other place?
Helping you to sleep easier at night, ACAS will soothe all your troubles away
2) I need explode.library, or I need oplode.library v4+. I have
found where the explode.library is located but where do I drag
the file to so I can get rid of this problem?
3) Unable to open your tool. Here I have a number of problems
with CamigaGuide, C:More, Clnstaller and Sys:c mmpp. Where can
I find mmpp, and where do I drag it to?
The same goes for the others. I have tried dragging AmigaGuide into Tools and a requester appears saying it already exsits there. Should I drag it into Tools or C?
Edith Bosson, France The problems you are experiencing are things I am sure every Amiga owner has had the misfortune of suffering and are due to a number of reasons. To start off, one of the Amiga's strong points is its ability to have new features easily added at a later date through the use of what are known as run time libraries. These allow programs to access new features that were not originally available in the operating system. This all started years ago when the ARP library was first written which gave programmers access to a decent file requester, for the time. This was then
quickly overtaken by the req and then finally the reqtools library.
I This is all very well and good, but if you do not have these extra libraries you are stumped as you are normally unable to run a program without them. To answer your first two problems, the reqtools and explode are two commonly used libraries - reqtools particularly so. Normally, you find coverdisks do not carry these extra libraries, but disks from PD houses that have been specifically put together for one program will have the libraries on the disk.
Partition called System x.x, where x is the version of the KickStart - this does have the advantage of keeping all the files completely separate.
If you really want to get rid of the 1.3 partition there are only two options available to you. Firstly, you could just format it which would leave you with a blank 6Mb partition - not the best solution but the most straight forward.
The problem you have is that you will never be able to repartition your drive because you have to leave your System 2.04 partition alone, and if this is damaged you will not be able to boot your machine at all, not even being able to get an AmigaDOS window.
The only other option is to buy the 3.1 KickStart ROMs and fit these to your A3000.
You could then re-partition and format your hard drive, and replace the files on it, but even this is not a perfect process because if you have important files on your System 2.04 partition, you would need to back these up before hand.
The problem here is that unless you actually boot your machine from the floppy disk, it will not be able to find these libraries. As you have already guessed, you need to copy the library file from the floppy into your hard drive's Libs drawer, if you open the floppy1 s drawer and choose show all files from the Workbench menu, you should normally find a Libs drawer icon in which the libraries are stored. All you need to do now is drag the required library across to your Workbench partition's Libs drawer. Unfortunately, things are not always as simple as this. If you do not already have the
library then no problem, go ahead and copy the new library into your libs drawer.
If, however, you already have a copy of the library then you should not automatically copy this over as it could be a more recent and, therefore, more up-to-date version than the one you are to replace it with.
As there is no simple way for beginners to check the version of libraries, I would say that unless you are having problems running programs that are specifically stating that a library is too old, do not replace it The simplest way of telling if one library is newer than another b to check the library size. A more recent version will almost always be bigger than an older version because new features will have been added, so making the file bigger.
Need to copy AmigaGuide to the C directory, or change the tooltype to simply read AmigaGuide In the long run, neither of these solutions is very practical because you would either have lots of copies of AmigaGuide all over the place, or you would have to change every Icon's tooltype. However, there are two more attractive alternatives.
Firstly, you could use a program such as ToolManger to place an Icon on your Workbench for Multiview. This would allow you to drop any AmigaGuide or text file into the icon and view it The other alternative b to use a ToolAlias program such as MCF.
This allows you to get Workbench to ignore certain programs and use others in its place, so when you double-click on any text file's icon that tried to run MMPP, you could, instead, get the file to load into MultiView.
If people creating icons would stick to the standard Amiga viewers, or just Multiview, then people that do not like these can just use ToolAlias or a ToolManager icon to use their preferred programs.
Your other problem involves the way people are expecting hard drives and disks to be set up. Again, many floppy disks have things set up so they work fine if you boot your machine from the floppy, but as soon as you try to do anything from the hard drive you get all sorts of errors appearing.
When people create a text or AmigaGuide file they give a specific path where the program used for viewing the file should be found. Even if you have a copy of this program, as you do in the case of the AmigaGuide, you will get an error message unless there b a copy of that program in the specified path. In your case, you would uper KickStart I use an Amiga 3000 bought back in 1991 that came preloaded with Workbench 1.3. When Workbench 2.04 became available I immediately updated my 3000 and in doing so created a problem that has been frustrating me for some time now.
Although my Amiga operates well with Workbench 2.04, try as I may I have been unable to get rid of the System
1. 3 partition.
This is wasting precious hard drive space, slows down response time, and sits there intractable with its icon glaring at me every time I open my Workbench. How can I get rid of it?
Joseph Cohn, Fairfield USA & An A3000 handles the KickStart differently from any other Amiga model. Whereas all the other models have the KickStart stored on a ROM in the computer as standard, the A3000 stores it on a specific hard drive Amiga Computing I am a programmer on the, dare I say it, PC, but have had an Amiga for a few years now. I have only really used it for games but now I have decided to start using it for more serious purposes. I have just bought a 270Mb HD and am now trying to get to grips with using Workbench rather than Windows, which I admit is easier for a lot of
purposes. However, there are a few areas that I am not familiar with, and they are not mentioned in the manuals and books I have.
I understand that every icon has a .info file which has in it the data for the icon's picture and position. I would like to know how the data is stored and how I could edit this data. I have tried to use the Workbench tool IconEdit but this seems limited to icons of 80 by 40 pixels or less, yet I know icons can be huge. Perhaps there is a way I can save Dpaint brushes and convert them to icons?
J I am also interested in how the system- configuration works. I know this contains data for the colours and resolutions of Workbench, speed of the mouse movement keyboard sensitivity and the mouse sprite. Is there a program that allows you to edit this? Could I replace it with a program written in Blitz or any other language, or would I have to use 68020 assembly language?
Finally, is it possible to use the standard SVGA non-interlaced monitor I have on the PC with my A1200, or do I have to shell out an extortionate amount of money to get a multisync monitor so I can read dearly the smaller fonts on Workbench?
Eric Palmer, Grimsby am glad to hear you find the Amiga's Workbench easy to use. Version 3 did bring quite a lot of useful improvements over the earlier versions, even though you still need a few programs such as Magicmenus to make it really easy to use.
I cannot tell you how the icon data is stored, but I doubt it would be complicated. The best advice I could give you is to get hold of the program Iconian. This is an extremely powerful icon editor, with more functions than you will probably need. Along with the ability to have icons of any size, it has direct support for the Amiga clipboard so you can cut and paste brushes from Dpaint straight into Iconian. It also has Datatype support so any picture file that you have the Datatype for can be loaded directly into Iconian. The picture is then automatically scaled and dithered to your
The system-configuration file is a throw-back to the old Workbench 1.3. Stored in the devs drawer, it holds basic information about the screen colours and position, pointer sprite and keyboard speed, and is now really redundant.
Workbench 3 still reads this file but all its preferences are overridden by the new iPrefs program that gets its settings from the files stored in ENV:Sys. These are set by the Amiga's preference programs.
Apart from using the old 1.3 preference program to change the system-configuration, you would have to get hold of a program called Pprefs that can be found on an old Freds' Fish disk.
It should be possible to use an SVGA monitor on your A1200, but the problem is with setting your machine up. What you need to do is copy the MultiScan monitor driver into your DEVS:Monitors drawer, which will either be in your storage drawer, or you can get it off the Storage Workbench disk.
Once done, double-click on the monitor icon and load up the ScreenMode preference program. You will now be able to select the new multiScan modes that the SVGA monitor can use. The problem here is as soon as you select save, the screen on a normal TV will go haywire and you will need to switch off the TV and computer and then hook up the SVGA monitor and restart the computer.
If all has gone well you should have a nice rock steady Workbench display. This happens because SVGA monitors cannot take the normal TV signal that normal Amiga screen modes work at ,_s (•I ACK MAD I have been attempting to install SysiHack, but to no avail. I can get the program to alter ;the sizes of the sliders but cannot get the 3DLOOK option to work at all. I have added the Run NIL: SysiHack 18 14 16 13 3DLOOK line just after the C:SetPatch command in the StartUp-Sequence, so what am I doing wrong? All the screen shots in your February
- issue of ImageVision have 3D gadgets, so it must be working for
Mark Mountford, Staffordshire I think you have missed something here. ImageVision's buttons always look that way, and Sysihack just affects the look of the Window gadgets and sliders, if you want to effect the look of system buttons, the new Urouhack does give your programs a more MUI look, and works quite well, replacing SysiHack and MagicFrames.
Do you have a problem? Do you sometimes find yourself poised over your Amiga with axe in hand, spouting profanity at the Stubborn refusal of your software or hardware to behave properly?
Well, calm down and swap the axe for pen and paper, jot down your problems, along with a description of your Amiga setup and send it off to Amiga Computing Advice Service. IDC Media. Media House. Adlington Park. Macclesfield SK10 4NP, Alternatively, e-mail us at ACAS acomp.demon.co.uk QC CONVERT Jargon bo SCSI - Small Computer Systems Interface, an standard interface that allows you to have up to peripherals connected at any one time IDC - Integrated Drive flertromcj Zorro - the name of the exponston dots in the The AIOOO hod the original Zorro I. while the I had the 16-bit version, with the
A4000 sporting extended 32-bit Zorro 3 version Kickstart - the name of the Amiga's Oper.
System. Specifically it is normally used to refer to version of the operating system you have. Version rs Workbench 3.
Partition - when a hard drive is being set up you split A into a number of separate sections which treated as completely separate drives.
DataTypes - Datatypes were introduced Workbench 3 and are modules for looding di' file types. In theory, any program can use dot for loading files, thus creating a system• translation tool.
HAT S YOUR Interface?
I have an A1500 and a friend of mine recently gave me a hard d~ What I want to know is how can I get the drive to work, is it an IDE SCSI drive, and what interface do I need? The drive is made by Rod' I can find no mention of its capacity, and it has a 50-pin male connee tor at the rear. Also, is anyone selling accelerators for the A15001 days? There must be some bargains out there for 030 040’s, but advertises them any more?
David Daly, County Cork, l~ If the drive has a 50-pin interface then this means it must be a SCSI drive because IDE drives have either 40 or 46 p depending on whether they are 3.5 or 2.5 inch mechan' Therefore, to get this to work you will need a Zorro 2 S interface, such as the Oktagon 4008.
What you must remember is that the A1500 is just a rebadged A2000, the same peripherals will work with both machines. Phase 5 and GVP duce 060 accelerators for the A1500 2000, and another option would the Apollo 030 board. You should also remember that most of the A1500 2000 accelerator cards come with 5CSI interfaces, so you could kl two birds with one stone.
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Dave Cusick sails the good ship Amiga into the warm waters of the shareware sea... Ohis month's Public Sector definitely reflects the impressive diversity of PD and shareware. We've got demos, diskmags, game creation packages, Dungeon Master aids, adventure games, and Amos extensions.
As the old saying goes, the best things in life are free, although sometimes there's a registration fee involved... ?
MOS 1 Intuition Extension vl Programmed by: Andy Church Available from: FI Licenceware Disk No: FI-120 Amos users are a very patient bunch, bearing with their favourite programming language even though it's always lagged a long way behind the cutting edge of Amiga technology. Fortunately, various Amos devotees have, in recent months, dragged it forcibly into the '90s, first with the ACA Extension (reviewed a couple of issues back) and now with the Intuition Extension.
One of the greatest problems with programming in Amos is that the language is totally system unfriendly.
The irritating Amiga-A multitasking combination (instead of the usual Amiga-M) and the program's habit of opening a spare blank screen are bad enough, but they are not half as annoying as the hideous Amos requesters and the need to create nasty Amos screens rather than using proper Workbench ones.
Fortunately, thanks to the AMOS Intuition Extension, there is an alternative to learning C programming. The Intuition.lib file, which needs to be placed in the AMOS.system drawer, comes in two flavours, catering both for Classic and Pro programmers. The extensive range of commands added by this library are all neatly described in the comprehensive AmigaCuide documentation, which helpfully cross-references entries and provides some command templates.
It would have been helpful if a few example files had been included, but this isn't a major omission and I suppose disk space was limited. This is another essential purchase for keen Amos programmers everywhere because it adds a whole new lease of life to the language.
* **** _ _ £ D C5 D cs r? ; C The extensive AmigaOuide
documentation means using the Intuition Extension shouldn't be
too tough QmosZine More Amos stuff from FI Licenceware, who
appear to have become the lone champions of the legendary
The first of these three disks contains the actual diskmag, unsurprisingly written with Andy Gibson's own excellent Disk Mag Creator, meaning the presentation throughout is extremely impressive and the interface is friendly and easy to negotiate.
As usual there are plenty of articles, ranging from readers' letters to general Amos-related news stories, personal opinions, and discussion of programming matters.
The other two disks are filled with archived bits of source code, demonstrating techniques and enabling keen Amos’ers to exchange ideas and methods. These are all well commented and many are discussed in articles on the first disk.
The whole package is definitely worth a look if Amos is your mug of steaming herbal stuff.
Fcac LIKE YOU I want to hear from you if you have in program, whatever to purpose, which yoi consider worthy Of review Whether it wii be freely di ritmoibiJ public domain shareware or bcencewnre, if you feel it' of sufficient quality to merit coverage the stick it in a |iffy ba; gripr.-padded envelop and send it »n wHH alfnastii, Althoug Public Sector too many subm sions to covw them all, i promise i'll least look at voiif work - evW» if ifs y another Lottery pt'ogram or Klondike c,ir set It does mak e my jobtflot easi though if disks are cleaify labelled. Pleas also include a cS Wfer
detailing th disk contentsnind prtr£ and giving sor basic insifurtirms.THemaKic acfdress is- •J Dave Cusick * T' Dave Cusiar JBj PD submission Amiga Computing Media i toose Adlington Park * Macclesfield SKI0 4NP Nobody B ATMAN QARASITE Demo Programmed by: Shaun Waters Available from: FI Licenceware Disk No: FI-119 Produced by: Batman Group Available from: Mon PD Z Continental letters FREEHAND NODE Yoa pressed the letter ? Or v. For quick learning this letter is grouped with the letters II and U These letters all start with adit.
Send one of these codes bv press mg the corresponding F*ke».
I've never really been a big demo fan, largely because I just don't see the point in talented programmers wasting their time making fancy texture-mapped cubes rotate and bouncing balls zoom around the screen when they could be employing their talents in producing something altogether more, well, useful. The Batman demo starts out well, but alas falls into the usual trap eventually.
The opening sequence is eerily atmospheric, with dark visuals and some suitably sinister music. The Caped Crusader stands high above Gotham City as the lightning hashes and the thunder rolls, and then suddenly an ill-defined polygon spacecraft shoots past like some sort of Frontier reject and things are somewhat spoilt After that it goes rapidly downhill, and before you know it, you're watching rotating texture- mapped cubes and animated running Cheetahs.
It's not as though all Batman references are then abandoned, however; it's just that from there onwards, all you get are a large Batman Returns poster scrolling up and down, and a wireframe model of Batman's mask thing spinning slowly around. It really s a bit disappointing that what starts out looking like an impressive animation dete- norates into a rather run-of-the-mill technical workout. It could have been so much better.
The frightening aspect Is that Batman is probably still the most imaginative demo I've seen in a while.
It's Dungeon Master! No, wait; it's got a two- player split-screen mode. It's Bloodwych!
Alright, so originality wasn't high on Mr Waters’ priority list when he sat down in front of his trusty machine to commence production of his latest effort But graphics and style obviously were, and so was playability.
Parasite scores highly for its slick presentation, which puts many commercial offerings to shame. If Parasite was a car, it'd be something like a Capri; not new, but certainly attractive. If it was a television program it would be Baywatch; nice to look at, and without any sort of pretence of a plot You see, in a sentence, Parasite is a tasty first-person 3D maze walkaround thingy, with knobs on.
It's an ACA-only game, and the moody graphics and the fun-packed, often confusing two-player option are what set Parasite apart from the numerous Black Dawn clones currently knocking around the Public Domain.
There are only really a couple of complaints I can level at Parasite. Firstly, it appears that two mice are necessary for the two-player mode (just like Lemmings... blimey, there’s a blast from the past). Secondly, if you don't happen to have a handy chum with an extra rodent, the walky-fighty action can feel a little dated at times. Still, once you've cracked the control mechanism (which is not especially complicated) you really can get engrossed in a game of this kind. Not bad at all.
The latest version of this rather specialised program is impressively slick, with a wide range of features.
There's a 'freehand' mode in which the user can simply press keys and find out the appropriate morse code signals. Helpfully, the program also lists other letters with similar signals so that groups of associated letters can be learnt The complete alphabet is, of course, covered, along with continental letters, numerals, punctuation, procedure signals, informal amateur CW abbreviations, international Q-codes and RST codes (although I confess to not knowing what half of those actually are).
Morse Code Trainer also supports the Farnsworth method, in which letters and numbers are transmitted at a relatively low speed allowing distinctive rhythms to emerge.
There are plenty of drills to practice, and the multiple speed settings allow you to start out at a comfortable pace and work up to full pelt.
The presentation is excellent, with a colourful and uncluttered screen layout and a sensible overall design. Whilst it will obviously be fairly limited in appeal, Morse Code Trainer is an accomplished effort which serves its intended purpose extremely well.
The program should run on any Amiga and is available directly from the author for £2. By the way, it's shareware, so radio buffs making regular use of Morse Code Trainer ought to send Mr Cassar a crisp fiver.
Orse Code Trainer Programmed by: John J Cassar Available from: John J Cassar Norse (ode Trainer Amiga Computing raphic Adventure Creator (GRAC) v2.0 Programmed by: Edmund Clay Available from: FI Licenceware Disk No: FG-001 (2 disks & printed manual) C The Amos-writ ten GRAC front-end tables such as those listing saving throws and hit rolls.
Many of the modules interact with one another so, for example, details of defeated beasties are automatically recorded in the Game Log.
Whilst ImpPro is not yet finished, it is already an essential program for any DM. Although specifically tailored for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game, the world's most popular RPG system, it can easily be adapted for use with other fantasy systems. In the future, extra modules are planned, most notably including ones to handle horses and combat and basic details on constructing your own modules are thrown in too. Totally excellent I Something HOT IN A COLD vwn ¦ rv ¦ 31 Wellington Road, fxett i Mkmon.cQ.uk E-mail: st evejdi John i 31, St Mungo Aventi Jj I f~.£ * •
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Roberta Smithes 190 Falloden IV lyfc nffste Garden
Suburb ondtxMWW ifig:: If you've always wanted to create your
very own Monkey Island-style pointy- dicky graphic adventure
but could never be bothered cracking some nasty programming
language, then GRAC is the ultimate solution. A far cry from
graphic adventure creators of yesteryear, which basically
produced text adventures sprinkled liberally with some static
images, GRAC is capable of creating some really impressive
games. An example game, Lethal Formula, is proof of just what
can be achieved with this excellent system.
GRAC allows you to tie together images and animations created in other packages such as Deluxe Paint to create a believable game environment Music and sound effects can, of course, be added too. Some of GRAC's fancier features indude character scaling for realistic perspedive effects, a script editor which is vastly improved from GRAC 1 to indude 31 new commands, the facility to include up to 32 background objects in every room, and the option of switching between charaders at any point in a GRAC game.
The whole package costs £6.99, including an excellent 40-page manual which talks you through the entire game creation process. From helpful advice on designing background graphics to a detailed look at the GRAC scripting language, everything you'll need to know to create top quality adventure games is included in this well-written booklet. There is also a step-by-step tutorial, which demonstrates the basic operation of the GRAC editor.
This is most definitely the best non-commercial games creation package in existence. I can’t recommend this program enough to eager game designers, and I confidently predid that over the next few months Public Sedor will be flooded with scores of cracking GRAC-created adventure games.
Programmed by: Zach Forsyth Available from: Aminet (as game role lmpPr620.lha) As anyone who's ever participated in a fantasy role-playing game such as Dungeons & Dragons will know, a Dungeon Master's job is not an easy one. His task is not only to conjure up a believable fantasy environment in the minds of the adventurers, but also to handle all the rules and behind-the- scenes details.
ImpPro makes the task much simpler by placing a variety of useful aids at the DM's fingertips. An intuition-based modular program, ImpPro can keep track of game time, generate monsters using information from its large monster database, create suitably impressive names for charaders and Cities, and even generate lists of shops for towns and supply details of price and availability for the wares they sell.
It can also display a scrolling dungeon map which the author hopes will soon be linked to an events module, making it much easier to run dungeon romps. Once monsters have been slain, treasure hoards can be swiftly generated and experience points dished out to the players responsible.
Other impressive and incredibly helpful features include the facility to simulate the rolling of dice, either individually or in large quantities, and to keep track of monster and charader hit points, as well as allowing swift access to important gaming mp Pro v0.620 Amiga Computing he Power CD-ROM for the Amiga 90 1200 plugs directly into the dCIA port and provides a direct CSI-I and SCSI-II interface, allowing to six additional devices to be annected. What's more the Power
- ROM features a 'Hot-plug' which illows you to connect and
disconnect the CD-ROM and any other additional devices even
when the Amiga is switched on.
The CD-ROM drive comes with a SCSI
• nterface, PSU, manual, audio lead, mains lead and software
which includes Audio CD, CD32 Emulator.
MPEG Film Decoder and Photo CD.
AMIGA 600 1200
* 2 SPEED CD-ROM inc.squirrcl . £179 A4 SPEED CD-ROM inc squirrel
CABLE ......£10 Diggers Oscarl Chaos Engine!
P C 1 2 0 8 FALCON 68040RC 25MHZ . £399.95 FALCON 68060RC 50MHZ . £649.95 4MB SIMM ......£89.95 8MB SIMM ..£189.95 16MB SIMM ....£399-95 FALCON NO CPU ..£389.95 SCSI ADAPTOR ....£29.95 All Falcon's come complete with a cooling fan The Viper 28 can have up to 128MB RAM installed, full Kickstart remapping, optional SCSI-II adaptor, on-board battery backed clock. 68882 coprocessor optional, instruction and data burst modes.
VIPER 28 MKII BARE £119.95 VIPER 28 MKII 2MB £179.95 VIPER 28 MKII 4MB £199.95 VIPER 28 MKII 8MB £299.95 VIPER 28 MKII 16MB £489.95 VIPER MKII SCSI ADAPTOR .£69.95
1. 5 Times more powerful than the Amiga 4000 040 RAM Access 3.5
times quicker than the Amiga 4000 040 Easily upgradable to the
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state for Blizzard compatibility.
20MHZ FPU PLCC ...£20.95 33MHZ FPU PLCC ...£39.95 40MHZ FPU PLCC ...£60.95 50MHZ FPU PGA ...£89.95 VIPER MK1 SCSI-ADAPTOR . £79.95 4MB SIMM £89.95 8MB SIMM . £189.95 A1200 BMB RAM card which uses 1 x 32 SIMMs and is PCMCIA friendly.
PC1208 BARE ......£55.95 PC1208 1MB ......£85.95 PC1208 2MB .....£119.95 PC1208 4MB .....£145.95 PC1208 8MB .....£249.95 The Viper 50 can have up to 128MB RAM installed, and the same features as the Viper 28.
VIPER 50 BARE ...£199.95 VIPER 50 2MB ....£269.95 VIPER 50 4MB ....£289.95 VIPER 50 8MB ....£389.95 VIPER 50 16MB ...£599.95 CO-PROCESSOR VIPER 50MHZ FOR ORDER FORM SEE OPS ADVERT P 0 w LU R .
TEL 01234 273000 fax: 01234 352207 IbbiH POWER COMPUTING LTD 44A B STANLEY ST. BEDFORD MK41 7 R W Frank Nord takes a look at some of the most popular video recorders and cameras to see which is most suitable for your editing needs All hands to the deck First up is our selection of video recorders, starting with the cheapest and working our way up.
HILIPS MATCHLINE VR757 Price: £429.99 Tel: 0181-689 4444 The cheapest deck in our round-up, the Philips Matchline is a veiy good-looking machine with unusual top-of-deck controls and a stylish remote handset For a relatively cheap machine, the Matchline has an extremely good picture and its four head mechanism gives good re-recording fidelity. As is becoming the norm, the Matchline features PDC in addition to the now familiar Video Plus+, so it will be good for off-air recording sessions as well as editing.
Editing features on the Philips indude an assemble edit feature for up to eight edits, and Philips have taken the precaution of adding a synchro edit socket on the back of the machine which can cope with a wide variety of connector types.
The machine automatically performs a pre-roll to ensure that your in out points are matched to your requirements. Finally, the deck also caters for 16:9 recording and will automatically switch a compatible wide screen television over to wide screen mode when playing them back.
Connections: 2 x SCART, stereo audio in, stereo audio out synchro edit socket front video and stereo audio connections Features: Synchro edit assemble edit (both with pre-roll), Video Plus+, PDC, Index searching, 16:9 recording, NICAM stereo Format: VHS M ITSUBISHI HS- M 1 000 Price: £699.99 Tel: 01707 276100 deleted manually, which is very handy for finding those special moments on your tapes and the Ml000 has the ability to pla) an indexed section over and over agair indefinitely should you wish it to.
B Mitsubishi's gold-sprayed recorder is getting on a bit now, being the oldest recorder in the bunch we are reviewing, but that doesn't stop it from being the best edit deck in our roundup. Although its looks may be ostentatious eighties in style, its performance leaves little to be desired. The only S-VHS deck in our selection this month, the Ml000 has a full complement of useful functions.
For a start, the Ml000 has the ability to play back NTSC recorded tapes, although it can only do so with the linear stereo track on the tape, not the Hi-fi one, and it can also play back and record the specially formulated 16:9 broadcasts from television. The M 1000's Jog Shuttle dial is used to choose options from the on-screen display when recording or setting video functions and gives a very fast visual search. Index marks can be created and Perhaps more useful for the budding edito is the Mitsubishi's date and time insert func tion which will add eg text to your recordinj to make it easier
to catalogue or timestamp. I good deck for a very reasonable price.
Connections: 2 x SCART, Y C, stereo audit out edit socket front video (CVBS and Y C and stereo audio connections (All gold platei connectors) Features: Assemble edit index searching, fa; visual search, 16:9 record and playbacl NTSC playback, child lock, datestamp fun tion, on-screen controls, NICAM stereo sound Format: S-VHS JVC's new stereo video is another stylish looking deck. The controls on the front panel and remote are all well laid out and the picture and sound quality is up to JVC's usual standard.
There are two outstanding features on this recorder for editing. One is the extremely fast roual search with 14 x normal speed. The other is JVC's random assemble edit feature which allows the user to set up eight edit points from a tape and reorder them as desired. The video performs a pre-roll to ensure that the edit points are as accurate as they can be without any sort of timecoding, and results are generally good with this system.
The video comes with the ubiquitous Video Plus (with the oft neglected 'add time' feature.
This will become obsolete when PDC comes to ail channels, but until then it remains a feature only found on a few VideoPlus+ compatible decks and the original VideoPlus+ handset) and the becoming-ubiquitous PDC for off-air recording, and has the usual complement of facilities. In short a good buy in the sub £500 bracket Connections: 2 x SCART, stereo audio out, edit socket, front video and stereo audio connections Features: Random assemble edit Video Plus+, PDC, index searching, fast visual search, NICAM stereo sound Format: VHS Camera action ) madness VC HR J 72 5 PS I Price: £469.99 Tel:
0181-450 3282 Starting with the cheapest again, we present four cameras that might suit your budget needs and format All the cameras we reviewed came with a standard set of accessories which included a battery, battery charger, shoulder strap and tape. The JVC camcorders also came with an adaptor to play back VHS-C or S-VHS-C tapes on standard VHS or S-VHS video recorders.
You can buy one of these separately, but expect to pay about £20 for 3 motor wind version like those included with these cameras. Don't be tempted to buy one of the cheap ones that retail for £10 or less as these are hand-wound and quite often damage your tapes because of over tensioning.
AMSUNG VP-U 1 2 oldstar Double Deck Recorder DV1 71 Price: £799.99 Tel: 01753 500400 other. The recorder also has pretensions towards standard home use with VideoPlus+ and PDC recording and a child lock.
The recorder also has manual index insertion and deletion functions, but the lack of any A V connections must limit this deck’s attractiveness to the home editor.
Connections: 2 x SCART Features: Synchro edit (from one deck to the other), manual index insert and remove and index searching, child lock, VideoPlus+ and PDC, NICAM stereo sound Format VHS Hi8 The only twin format recorder in the round up, the Goldstar is a death star of a deck. Big, black and bulky, it has a Hi8 slot on the left of the machine and a standard VHS slot on the right The LED display has been widened accordingly to provide information for both tapes and the machine is obviously designed for recording from one format to the other. However, the quality of the deck, while
satisfactory, is not outstanding, and the choice of VHS rather than I S-VHS does seem a little odd in combination for with a Hi8 tape as the best quality won't be ipes, achievable in the transfer from one to the play ditor unc- ding ip. A Connections: Video and audio out, external Mic DC RF Features: 12x Zoom, remote control, titling, program modes.
Special effects: Fader, Posterisation, interval recording (for time lapse) Format: Video8 APRIL 1996 Price: £459.99 Tel: 0181-391 8258 Our first camera up for testing is Samsung's very cheap U12 model. The U12 actually manages to look slightly more expensive than its price tag should warrant The only giveaway is the tacky looking viewfinder arm which is plas- ticky and feels insecure. The viewfinder itself is mono, unsurprisingly, but the picture from it is sharp and dear. The camera is in the mid-range for weight coming in at an acceptable 0.8kg, and the mono microphone is set well back on
the body to avoid lens noise from the autofocusing motor.
For such a cheap camera you may well be surprised to learn that it has a variety of tricks up its lenscap such as a portrait mode, sports mode, and high speed mode, although the manual doesn't actually mention how fast the shutter speed is on these last two. It also has a fader and posterisation trick functions to add to the fun, and a titling function. Unfortunately for me, the camera we received came with a manual in either Norwegian or Swedish, neither of which languages I j am particu- j larly fluent 1 in, so I had a little trouble, but providing you get a manual in a language you are
familiar with, this camera is well worth auditioning if you are on a restricted budget Jargon
- box PDC - Programme Delivery Control. PDC is currently used by
BBC2 and Channel 4 . It sends a signal out at the start and end
of programmes so that video recorders can start and stop
recording a programme al the appropriate time. This should mean
that even H a football match goes into overtime, you won't miss
Nicam - Near Instantaneous Compounded Audio Multiplex. A stereo broadcast system developed by the BBC and adopted by the UK and several other countries for stereo transmission.
Pre-Roll - a method to help get edit points right.
Because videos take some time to start playing back or recording, a pre-roll is necessary to ensure that you start recording at the time set and not after.
Index searching - an index mark is a tog on your video tape that normally indicates when you have started recording. Some video recorders, as you can see from the reviews, can manually insert index marks. Index marks can be searched for using an index search facility on your remote control.
Harp VLH420H VlEWCAM am slightly worried about the durability of the connection between the body of the camera and the lens arm as my review model seems slightly wobbly.
Connections: Video (composite and Y C) and stereo audio out, DC RF (all on a plug-in module), headphones, external Mic Features: 20x zoom, remote control, manual focus and exposure, program modes, snapshot, image stabiliser, macro lens Special effects: Fader, Widescreen Format: Hi8 GR-SX1 versa. Both JVC cameras are equipped with an edit socket and offer an assemble edit function I to synchronise your video recorder to the I camera, and the Sxl can create index marks I from the remote.
Ill finish as I started. This camera represents extremely good value for money and should be snapped up by anyone with an eye to better I than average quality.
Connections: Video (composite and Y C) and I stereo audio out, edit, DC RF, external Mic Features: I Ox variable speed zoom, remote I control, program modes, manual focus ond I exposure, image stabiliser Special effects: Colour fader Fader, Widescreen, Sepia, Twilight interval recording (for time lapse) Format: S-VHS-C stop there though. It also has a wide range of trick features to suit every occasion, as they say.
There’s a 'widescreen' mode that chops the top and bottom off your footage to give it that cinemascope feel, and a sepia mode that turns everything a dull brown to make it look like you are actually using a very old super 8mm camera with veiy old stock instead of a state-of-the-art piece of far eastern technology.
If you are shooting at dusk or dawn you can turn on the twilight function which changes the white colour balance to try to ensure that your colours are a bit more true to life. There's also the usual gamut of portrait modes, sports and high-speed modes with vastly increased shutter rates for capturing the action as it happens.
Overall, the HF900 is a great little camera, particularly since its price drop of £50.
VC GR HF900 Price: £749.99 Tel: 0181-450 3282 Our first camcorder from JVC in this round up is a neat square VHS-C Camcorder which weighs in at just under 0.8 of a kilo.
This little box is feature rich with a list that can start with stereo audio facilities (along with an external mic connection), a powerful floodlight for those poorly lit parties, a colour viewfinder, that, unlike some, is quite true to the actual colours recorded to tape (apart from a slight yellow tinge), and an image stabilising feature. The HF900 doesn't Connections: Video and stereo audio out, edit, external Mic DC RF Features: I2x Zoom, remote control, titling, program modes, focus fixing, image stabiliser, limited selection of preset titles (wedding, Christmas, birthday, etc) Special
effects: Widescreen, Sepia, Twilight, Fader, interval recording (for time lapse) Format: S-VHS-C Sharp made a complete departure from the normal handgrip-at-the-side, look-down-a- small-tube-style of camcorder with this new design. In case you've never seen one before, the photos show the way it works. The viewfinder is the large LCD panel on the back of the camera body and the camera's lens is on a swivel mounted arm on the side of the camera and almost looks like an afterthought.
One of the major benefits to this manner of operation is that you can hold the Viewcam up above your head if you're standing in a crowd without losing the ability to see what you are recording. Similarly, if you want a puppy’s eye view of things, you can hold the camera down low (tie it to a broom handle if you're really brave) and run along with it like that. The Viewcam also makes taking footage of yourself much easier as the screen can swivel all the way around to face the front of the camera. As you do so, the on-screen controls all flip so that you can still read them
- a nice touch.
As for performance, the Viewcam is okay, but not outstanding in the quality stakes. The stereo sound on the camera I received for review was particularly clear and the picture was certainly reasonable.
The camera does weigh more than your average camcorder at 1.2kg, but its design means that this rarely becomes a problem unless you need a hand free. I have to say I Price: £799.99 Tel: 0181-450 3282 The last camera got a great review and I stand by it, until that is, you have a look at this one.
The SX1 (not to be confused in any way, shape or form with the CD32 add-on, by the way), is the S-VHS-C big brother (it weighs slightly more too, at 1kg) to the HF9O0 and used to cost £1000. With the price reduction to only 800 quid, you'd be a fool to pass up this opportunity for better quality. You might, of course, need to upgrade your video recorder to a more suitable spec as well, but that’s the price of progress.
The Sxl has the same raft of features as the HF900 - the widescreen, sepia, twilight and sports highspeed modes (highspeed on the Sxl actually goes up to 4000 frames per second), and adds the ability to fade in or out and fade in or out from colour to mono, or vice Amiga Computing of the imera eems ) and ug-in mual j ides, Ohe world is crammed with people itching to unleash their vision onto the cinema screen or even just the local town hall in front of a mass of friends and relatives. While wild enthusiasm may start you off _thinking about that glittering career, moviemaking usually has a
very defined process that needs to be learnt The very nature of putting a production together from start to finish can be a complex and lengthy process, here for your perusal is a bitesized guide that'll hopefully start you on the road to becoming a doer instead of a dreamer.
'There's a novel in all of us.'
Adam Phillips believes there's a film or two tucked away inside us as well... th an ction i the larks ents Id be
• etter and note and der, ding ACT I ic?n ACT in exposition:
development: resolution intro win char “throf rocks’ at but the
hero aid "the problem' nun cbar, more comes through or
obstacle; vbat's complication, "the (usually), ’the the char
need and That's plot thickens’ happy ending" in the wy?
FflHPOIKT PLOT PODfl PLOT POIJT (pp 25-30): (pp 55-60): something happens in the again, something happens story to shift focus, to to shift focus, increase tighten tension and f&ake danger to main char getting the problem obstacle tougher ehat s he wants; reversals than it seemed before of fortune can happen FISAL PLOT Pom (pp85-90): the hero nay fail; danger abounds, obstacles everywhere HE CREW For a small scale amateur production, you'll ideally need the following: Writer - without a decent one, you might as well return that camcorder to Dixons now.
Producer Director - who organises the fundamentals, brings what money there is to a production, and then changes hats and calls the shots.
Production Assistant - the vital organiser who helps the director stay on track.
Lighting Camera operator - who'll turn that vision into a reality. A thorough understanding of how to get the best out of lighting in any shape or form will add immeasurably to a production (after all, in somewhat pretentious terms, you are 'painting with light' so to speak.
Sound Recordist - ideally, a detachable microphone and manual sound controls included on your camcorder are vital.
For maximum effect, these will require the aural expertise of the sound recordist to get the maximum benefit Editor - the person that splices all those shots together into a seamless masterpiece.
Amiga Computing 0R E-PRODUCTION Actors beg for them. Directors dream of them. And the public (usually) loves them - good scripts are gold dust The foundation of any film or video, the art of screenwntng has been dissected by many professional word maestros. Judging from the production line that is Hollywood, it's painfully clear that even some of the top dogs haven't got their heads round the basics.
Any script starts off usually with a story. The favoured route is to start at the beginning, work through the middle, and wind up at the end. It's the classic movie structure split into three acts. There are always successful opposites to this (take a look at Pulp Fiction's leaping time frame), but you can't break the rules unless you’ve leamt them.
If you have a relatively clear idea about the story you wont to tell, the best place to start is to tell the story in simple words in the shape of a treatment Flick on the Amiga, boot up Wordsworth, and type away. Don't include any dialogue - dassic movie teachings dictate that the story should be told in images and actions, not through the spoken word. Once you've bashed out the story, leave it for a couple of days and then read through it If you find yourself flinching at certain moments, change them for something more appropriate.
With ony story, never be precious - think of all the options for your characters and how they'll face the conflicts thrown up throughout the Film's journey. Rewrite, chop and change until you're happy you have what appears to be RODUCTION The shoot itself is where all that preplanning comes into fruition. Schedules should flow like clockwork.
Actors will get their lines in the first take and the storyboard makes the transition from paper to the big screen gracefully. The reality is somewhat different.
Things can go wrong. The weather will change. A passing jumbo will drown out the sound, and certain shots will eat into your schedule more than you'd like.
Throughout all this, you must be prepared to make compromises and have a PA sharp enough to rearrange times in a matter of minutes to help put you back on track. Above all, always appear to be in control - if you've done your planning properly, you'll invariably find that your mind is focused enough to come up with informed decisions on the spot. Call it a form of programming your subconscious [see Freud].
To keep morale high on set. Try and keep the shoot running as fluidly as possible so that complacency doesn't set in (very apparent at times on ama» ir shoots when people realise that filming isn't as glamorous as they thought it was).
Always check everything you've shot there and then.
This doesn't mean you have to look all the way through the entire two minute take, but simply at the end of the section to make sure the tape isn't a dud. At the end of each shooting day, look through the rushes (takes) to make sure you don't need to reshoot anything. If you do, it's better to find out there and then than later in the heat of editing.
One final note is to remember continuity - use a Polaroid camera to take snaps of what the actors are wearing, how a location looks and so on if the shooting of a particular scene is spread out over a few days.
Intel the best options at that time. Once this is done, you should hopefully have a that is already very scene oriented. To further aid the octual structure of the story, necessarily the content itself, write out each scene on a piece of paper with a header. Arrange each card on a wall and take a long hard look-ask yourself if one the scenes might be better if moved fonward in the film and vice versa. This visual ence guide can really help to blow away any cobwebs of analysis when viewing bulky text onscreen.
When done, it's time to plough into the actual screei ing itself. This process should be far less taxing if you've all your homework beforehand. Keep dialogue to a minii and use it as an opportunity to set up further intrigue for viewer - simple exposition of the plot is dull and unin For further info, and if you have a N account, visit the Screenwriter's Resource (httpy www.i portcom ~cdeemer Screenwriters.html) which offers able insights into the craft and, more importantly, many pros who are constantly talking to one another oval the Web about the ins and outs of writing for the screen.
Once the script has gone through various drafts when it has been honed, sharpened and structured, it's time H sit back and ask yourself how much all this is going u cost you. Tf you've written an epic Genghis Khan screenplay that runs at four hours, you may as well throw it in the bin now or try your luck flogging it to someone (that's a whole book in itself).
Meanwhile, if you've managed to construct a simple but intriguing piece, you could easily shoot it on your Hi-8 camcorder. The thing to always remember is that while on initial thought you might possibly perceive WANNA A WINNEBAGO. ..NOW!!
Alfred Hitchcock referred to them as "cattle.” James Cameron has dismissed them as "puppets." The general public think they can be "luwies." Good actors, however, in the amateur scene can be difficult to hunt down. There are places to begin that search for the right face for the part - try hooking up with the local amateur dramatics society and go along to see a performance. There may well be another Emma Thompson strutting her stuff in a Noel Coward play desperate to get some film video experience. Have a chat with the director to see if they can recommend anyone.
Universities, colleges and drama schools are also ripe hunting ground for blossoming talent - put up advertisements in the student bars and other public places to see if anyone takes a bite. Again, they usually will. To them, as with you, they want experience and aren't too bothered about payment as long as they are working with someone who has a professional attitude and they don't have to cough up £30 for their travel expenses.
The pros have screentests and casting couches (regrettably alive and kicking even in humble little Britain). The newbie has enthusiasm and sincerity as their principle tools. With any interested parties, interview them and make sure they are both confident and flexible enough to offer ideas for the performance and also receive direction. Rehearsals are vital for any production - it can alter the storyboards and shot list as you and the performers work on the script to bring it to life. How you treat actors varies between individuals. While there's straightforward direction giving, some per
formers need to be handled with kid gloves or an iron hammer respectively. For example, Sigourney Weaver is quite happy to admit that she likes the director to look after her and 'nurture her performance' while others will start eating the set if you decide to interfere too often. For identifying what type of approach youll need, that interview is especially important Directing actors has had several hundred books written about it over the years, For first timers, the rule is basic - keep it simple Don't stand waxing lyrical about 'character arcs' and other chin stroking exercises. It can
help the very inexperienced to envisage what they need but, more often than not it'll end up in confusion - by about half way through the shoot the performers will know more about the character than the director ever will if each has done their job property.
Give to-the-point directions. A single word or explanatory phrase. The more you explain a scene or a line, though, the less impact you'll have and less chance the actor will have to 'make it their own'. It's important that the penny drops on its own accord instead of you trying to shove it down everyone's throat Directing actors is all about experience and you will make mistakes.
Amiga Computing APRIL 1996 there are only a few minor expenses to incur, there are always a myriad of costs to consider. First off the bat you'll need actors, a skeleton crew (only three to four members), video stock, lighting, locations and more. Sit down with the script and go through it rtfxrt props are needed? What locations? Any extras? Put basic headings for each part of tfw process - Crew, cast equipment editing, stationary and so on. Then fill in all die elements under each heading - you'll find that sheet of paper can suddenly become very full.
While you may well be able to get much of the listed for free in the shape of enthusiastic film fans and friends giving a helping hand, itll help you work out every element that is vital to the production. Use Final Calc, the Amiga’s premier spreadsheet to lay out your needs and their prices to create a budget sheet Armed with an overall cost that you feel can be achieved, it’s time to start organising die shoot Unless you're a hyper confident director, storyboards are a vital element of any production. Terry Gilliam (ex-Monty Python and director of Fisher King and Twelve Monkeys) has only
just started not to use them. By using drawings to map out each shot, a dear vision can be built up for you to work from. The finished result should by no means be absolute - the very nature of film making is that you might get a better idea on the day or be forced into another while on location. Never be afraid to change your mind and deviate from the storyboard, unless you're adding effects in post production using your Amiga and Lightwave (these need to be exactly planned). With each frame of the storyboard, fill in a short description below of exactly what is happening and any dialogue
that is to be spoken.
Don't worry if you're not an accomplished drawer - basic stick men, buildings and so forth will do the job adequately. Just make sure they're clear enough for the camera operator to understand though. If you have absolutely no faith in your drawings whatsoever, then writing out what each shot will entail can be enough.
Once you've achieved this, it's time to write up a shot list With your production assistant sit down and go through the storyboards, giving each shot a number. Then construct a list of shots, a brief description, and work out roughly how long each is going to take to shoot After this, schedule each scene into your shooting days. Certain scenes may be shot together due to the same location, but never expect to shoot shots in exact order. Moving about and constantly resetting can take too much time.
While you're juggling all this info, also list all the costumes, locations and props thatll be required for the production. Ask a friend to help out with the organising - if you can't, you're going to need the patience of a saint Location hunting should be carried out with the camera operator and can be done before or after the storyboards - expect changes though on the day. That imagined shot might just prove to be too impracbcal or time consuming to carry out Once the storyboards, shot list, and time schedules have been drawn up. It’s time to search out the actors (see panel]. On securing
their talents, setting the date of the big shoot is the final step before the plunge OST PRODUCTION Most of us can't afford the sometimes extortionate prices that editing facilities cost For more info on what the Amiga can do for you, check out this issue and in the February issue for details on the rather fabulous Draco system that would have most pro editors whimpering to their bosses for money.
The first stage before jumping into the rushes is to log every shot This can be done during the actual shoot itself, but it can be carried out at leisure afterwards by going through the tapes and marking down what time each take starts at on a particular tape.
Also, decide there and then which takes you will most likely use - this all saves time with the actual editing process.
The editing process itself usually has the three stages - the rough cut (slapping everything together with no real attention to exact timings to see how well the whole production hangs together), the second cut (making accurate cuts and taking out unnecessary shots) and the final cut (where the video is honed to near-as- damn-it perfection). Never be afraid to write off shots if they aren't necessary - if they're not needed, they'll dissolve the impact of the film when showed to an ever-crhical audience.
Never underestimate the power of editing. It sets the pace of the entire film and breathes life into your separate shots and makes it a whole, attention-grabbing experience. Once you're done snipping, all you need to do now is show it to as many people as possible [see panel].
The one truly valuable thing to always bear in mind when considering a professional career is simple - talent is a prerequisite. The real deal is that you must make contacts.
There are certainly plenty of talented people without jobs in the industry and plenty'of average directors and writers peddling their wares on our TV and cinema screens. How come they made it? Because they know someone in the business either as a friend or relative, or they have the social skills to network themselves into a job.
It's an incredibly important talent and vital for success in the film industry where socialising and getting your face seen means everything. If you have a friend or relative in the business, don't just sit there with your lower jaw stuck out in indignant pride thinking "I will do this myself. I'm not jolly well going to leech off someone else* Get out there and wring every last drop of career-building juke out of a contact. If it's family, all the better - nepotism is good.
Another vital element to ‘making it1 is to get your work seen. Short of being put out on general release or broadcast on television, it's vital that your production must make a splash somewhere, film festivals are the first and most obvious port of call.
From county film shows to international festivals, the amateur does have plenty of places to put their work on show. You'll usually find that the smaller affairs are simply for enthusiasts who want to enjoy the experience of movie-making but are non-plussed about getting anywhere. Again, set your targets feasibly high. Find out which festivals have high profile - while the Oscars are obviously a no go in most cases, the likes of the Cork film festival and the Chicago film festival do attract a fair-sized audience. Check out the British Film Institute's film and television handbook for more
Depending on how much money you have for video dupes and how good you think your work is, send out tapes to targeted production companies and individuals.
Again, just pick up a copy of BFI's handbook to see the amount of different production companies and what they may be interested in. One note of caution though - don't always expect to have your tape sent back to you - these people are usually horrifically busy.
Bear in mind, having a contact who can recommend your work to someone in authority can give them that j push to put the tape in the video machine. Quentin j Tarantino handed the Reservoir Dogs script over to a tennis coach who happened to play with Harvey Kietel's wife.
She read it, thought it was excellent and recommended it!
To her husband. He read it, committed to it and the money started pouring in. It's all about exploiting contacts and targeting your audience funders.
Film seminars, workshops, and local arts meetings are also useful meeting places where equally struggling but determined fresh talent are looking to meet mingle and work with people of a similar attitude.
Finally, never forget that 'making it requires gut determination and ever abundant motivation - you'll never get anywhere unless you're prepared to work like a horse.
The film and TV industry is not a nine to five job with a company car. 7*¥ Amiga Computing uti ISSUE 8
• • • 'ng on your Amiga The revolutionary S-VHS ProGrab™ 24RT
Plus with Teletext is not only the best way to get crisp colour
video images into your Amiga, from either live broadcasts or
taped recordings, it also costs less than any of its rivals.
This real time PAL SECAM NTSC* 24-Bit colour frame
grabber digitiser has slashed the price of image grabbing on
the Amiga and, at the same time, has received rave reviews for
its ease of use and excellent quality results. ProGrab™ has
earned honours from just about every Amiga magazine and Video
magazines too!
And... with ProGrab™ you needn't be an expert in Amiga Video Technology, a simple 3 stage operation ensures the right results - Real Time, after time.
STAGE I... Select any video source with S-VHS or composite output This could be your camcorder. TV with SCART output, satellite receiver, domestic VCR player or standard TV signal passing through your VCR player... the choice is yours.
STAGE 2... With ProGrabs software, select an image ya wish to capture us ng the on screen preview window and Grab (because the hardware grabs frames in real time, there's no need for a freeze frame facility on the source device!)
Once grabbed, simply download and v ew the full image on your Amiga screen. ProGrab also includes a Teletext viewing and capturing facility from either TV or satellite sources.
STAGE 3... Use the grabbed' image with your favourite word processor. DTP or graphics package.
• X loads tougn In IFF llfiM. IFF 1LBM24. JPEG. BMP and 'ARGA (Be
formats. ProGrab tavet aramatiom as Ates and animations with
sound Requires PCMCIA and separate sound sampler] as AnimS ?
8SVX files of image processing effects, palette computing IAGA
only) and drthenng methods are also new to Version 2.5.x
Photogcmcs fully supports ProGrab a -stem loader to enable
grabs directly from within the program ¦ saving YOU time!
ProGrab'*1 has built mono and colour animation facilities of frames Is dependant upon your Aimgat RAM ProGrab'” Retease 2.5.x software now Includes... ProGrab really does make it that simple!
Camcoffle*Use*comnvrwd fyoureiocfjng fee a rwyi naofuwn 2* bit (Agmcr run * tm pncc.
ProGriO represents Of at wiue Vv money.- amcordt For just £1 29.95... ProGrab a supplied with everyVmg you* need +
• ProGrab” 2ART Plus Digitiser ¦ Latest ProGrab Version 2.5.x
• Mains Power Supply Unit ¦ Parallel Port Connecting Cable
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The Best Video Hardware A nqs This n «pe w 4y pfetting betause tru- award comei ftcrr lhe Atrqa Sfcppet -extol
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• LARGER PREVIEW WINDOW Double Resolution and 4 times the area
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74RT Aus t it wanef* ProGrabS optional PCMCIA mtertace
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• INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT Now works with composite PAL. SECAM and
NTSC Straight from the box!
Rtonow ProGwb iwiMwr r P1VSKAWNT5C ccnvBiOr fctoacc mode oproos are avalaoc wth PH. & SECAM arty ,W5C Ony mod« ,*r .twnW*- to spetwl order wtitti tom Mocr toe interlace myje Uty Please ask us for ful aeons i ftoGr,ov • Amg» form* 9)% Goto Rxrng and comments W 'iSoGraD 24RT Pvis n quie umply ire dijusei» get' tetrode vauc for none • no orvr oqnscr oftrts so mxfi for so *»' an 'Cfleri» maetMtwK m?n any are* dgesff rva tre yrre pnet CU Ar»ga v?»:i PtoGtaO'" is JjU riepb fcw Dtonren rxl smvp'CfwUanais on a ngrt budget' and *»ety hwd to beat for the money. Ootong can coach if ProGrab"'
supports any Amiga with Kiclutart 2.04 or later 4 a minimum of 1.5Mb. free RAM. + A vdec source wCte wii be requms as match your cmvn egucmeni vet ip - Aa for deals your hands on NEW ProGrab Plus • Pos or FAX requirements (Quantity Trade Prices Available) on e order form provided OR. If you'd simpfy Wee funhe* nformacon please coniaa Mr Mrs .Mks Ms: Initial! Sh Surname: Address: County (Country): Daytime Phone: ProGrab Plusv « £129.95 £ PCMCIA Interface f £$ 4.95 £ V 2.5JC S W (User Upgrade) 9 £4.95 £ : Optional EAST Courier Delivery t £6.95 £ : TOTAL £ : I enclose a Cheque Bank Draft Postal
Order for £ HARWOOD MPUTE RSC3C3G3 don Harwood Computers Limited.
Street, Alfreton, Derbyshire DES5 7BP FAX: 01 773 831040 or... TELEPHONE 1 773 836781 All the ususal and more in our monthly review of the latest Amiga Cds. Andy Maddock reveals all Qctamed 6 O I'm not entirely sure why I picked this oft the Artworn CD, I can't think of any reasons... Qhase 3 The 6th official version of the major music maker on the Amiga has landed. Over the last few months there have been demos of it pop- ping up now and again around various Internet sites, but now the final version is here we can happily make spring time a musical one.
My favourite version of Octamed was 5. The previous versions weren't my cup of tea, mainly because they had a very PO look and feel and were extremely unfriendly, and I could barely live with them. However, having said that I was still able to produce some half decent tunes.
Therefore, when version 5 came out I was particularly pleased, mainly because of its user-friendliness. In fact the whole of my hard drive was packed with samples and I managed to spawn the occasional dance remix, even to rival some of the pap that was already out there. Unfortunately, none of my tunes saw the light of day - mainly because there wasn't much I could do with them - and when winter time comes I like to hide away and listen to a bit of indie, which just cannot be created on an Amiga. Sorry.
So Octamed 6 arrives and I instantly injected some life into my own tunes. These can be imported from other versions of Octamed which, incidentally, was difficult to do with version 5.
Obviously, the main difference that most users are pleased about are the extra channels. Basically, instead of always being able to play four samples at once you can now play eight, which in turn means you can have far more variety and more sounds to choose from to make your tunes.
Previously, if I made a dance tune, for example, I usually needed a drumbeat, bass- drum and a melody, which left only one channel to use for either cymbal crashes, hand daps or even vocals, so the choice wasn't exactly what I'd deem wide. So without explaining all the new features in great detail, which would take around seven days, I'll give you an idea of the new additions, and what you'll get for your money.
MIDI - which stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface - was first introduced around version 2 and can be linked to an external device such as a synthesiser which can be conneded through a MIDI interface which connects to the Amiga’s serial port.
Basically, all the options and selection boxes are now cleverly positioned in windows for you to move and resize to your own preference. The prime example of this is the Tempo window which, usually found at home at the top of the screen, now has its own windows.
The prime reason for this is so the options you use a lot will have priority because the amount of options would litter the screen ridiculously. Also, each sedion of the adual program is split up into around four main windows which can be closed down, especially if you need some free memory to edit samples or other memory-consuming processes.
If you use Med frequently then this is an essential purchase and one that should never be missed, but for people like me who don’t take their Amiga music too seriously, version 5 is more than enough. However, if you have neither, I can't recommend Odamed version ‘ Bottom l-line Ease of use_§9% Implementation_ 0% Value For Money_ *9% Overall 90% Two months ago we reviewed E.M Computergraphic’s second image, fonl and clipart package and it received 90 pei cent, The third CD in the series has now arrived and I can tell you that this on« doesn't alter E.M.C's superbly consistent record.
The latest volume contains hundred; of images of excellent quality along witf many more diredories containing font; and clipart This time, the clipart caught my eye. I tested the quality of the disc thinking of different topics which I woulc need relevant images for to accompam this text, and I came up with ancient pot tery, sewing and pants of the world Unbelievably, I found clipart suitable fo all these pseudo-documents, and I'm stil in shock after finding several pidures o pants. There truly is a use for all th Amiga Computing Qothing but gifs aga Qrtworx The Amiga is well known for its
Graphic werehange Format or GIF as it is more widely laoon. Basically, if you haven't worked it out dready this CD is devoted completely to GIF mages which are always one of the best quality formats on any home computer.
Not only will you get hundreds of ¦segabytes of images but you will also receive wnous viewers such as the standard FastView or others such as image converters and 4*atypes. There are plenty of converting utilises on the CD so you will never have any mage viewing problems.
The image directory is divided into suitable categories, each one containing its own
• «umbnails file. You can't really get better quality pictures
than the ones contained on
* 5 CD-ROM and the choice of pictures are Ao pretty varied. The
main CD is split into twee directories - digitised, rendered
and ¦lli t i These wooden toy things wore used reflect your
mood. It didn't work for
dm. Because I kept sticking them In t positions Xtures contained
on the CD. As usual, all the pictures have been categorised
correctly and each directory has its own thumbnails ®e The
pictures are of the highest quality ¦hich is nothing short of
what we expect from E.M. Computergraphic, and the cate
gories, as mentioned before, are of a varied selection.
Without doubt you will find something to use, so whether
you're after
* “«ages or dipart for desktop publishing, or tou're after a
fancy desktop picture, you’ll be
* po»lt for choice.
The images are just the tip of the iceberg.
There are more volumes of postscript and magine fonts, and to top it off it's all presented in a very professional way. This is certainly a CD you wouldn't be forgiven for
• sssing. A true essential.
Bottom Implementation Value For Money Two months ago we featured a nice cute mg to demonstrate Phase 2. So for Phase 3, Gate's a nice cute cat with a cute dog!
88% Overall 91% hand-drawn pictures - and in each directory there are a number of categories.
The whole CD is polished off by an excellent AmigaGuide which displays the contents of the CD superbly. Just dick on the file name to show the picture, along with a short description of what you're going to be looking at However, some of them don't actually have a description which does get slightly annoying, although the thumbnails file more than makes up for this.
Overall, Nothing but GIFS is a very high quality CD, and shouldn't be missed by any art fan.
Bottom line Product details Nothing but GIFS AGA Product: Supplier: 17 Bit Software Price: £19.99 Phone: 01924 366982 Ease of use 94% Implementation 90% Value For Money 92% Our collection of image Cds has grown immensely over the past few months and the best so far has been Phase 2 by E.M. Computergraphic Other than that all the others have come way down the line. However, most of these Cds are under a tenner so they usually just about warrant their price tag.
The images contained on Artworx are of a fairly standard quality and most of the pictures are contained on other cheap Cds elsewhere.
So what can you expect for your £9.99?
The images are split up into various categories ranging from the usual Dogs to Cars, so there are no annoying pictures referred to as something like '10034 10' which is probably just a Chaffinch pecking at a nut All the images have come courtesy of various Amiga artists and every single one is in colour which is a bonus - especially when you own a colour printer, although for something as widespread as desktop publishing the choices are not so vast Although £9.99 is a nice cheap price for a packed CD, the images aren't particularly outstanding and you'll be pushed hard to find anything
good enough to use yourself.
V r S' s ss s s s rr-r tt S' r s T » T T T
* • s f s s s s s S S S' S' S' s s s s s s s s s O Hot only does
Artworx contain a variety of images, there's also a bundle of
stereograms Bottom line Amiga Computing Owo printers, two
inkjet printers, to be precise, from the two biggest
manufacturers landed on my desk the other day. The Epson Stylus
Colorlls and the Hewlett Packard DeskJet 850C are from the new
range of inkjet printers that can manage an incredibly high
The high quality resolutions like the ones that these printers offer mean that printers are getting to the point where they can provide a cheaper alternative to reprints of photographs, especially if you have the right quality paper available.
Both of the printers on test today share certain features. They can print at very high resolutions (720dpi for the Stylus and 600dpi for the DeskJet), they both really require the use of high quality coated paper to get the very best results from them, and they are both just about cheap enough to make even the most thrifty DTP'er look twice. Both printers also use the cartridge system that is fast becoming standard, where the black ink is held in a separate cartridge.
Output This is particularly important if you are using the printer for all your output and not just pictures because it will mean you use more black than any other colour. The Hewlett Packard offers the user the facility for both cartridges to be used at once, meaning you get true CMYK performance while printing pictures, and it can take a larger sized cartridge for black, a definite bonus if you print a lot of text in addition to all your pictures.
But first appearances can make a difference, so how do they look? Well, top points have to go the DeskJet for this, although even it doesn't seem to be up to the same standard I have come to expect from Hewlett Packard.
The printer's case is somewhat plasticky and because there is such a large amount of room inside the case, the glowing LEDs that show the printer's status, etc shine onto the back of the printer's insides which doesn't look too good.
However, overall construction is superior to the Stylus which continues Epson's odd tradition of seemingly leaving the design of their printers to the last minute. The Epson printer itself is much smaller than the DeskJet, but has a fold out sheet of plastic underneath to act as the Stylus' paper tray.
To be honest I think I would rather have a moulded tray like that on the DeskJet that:
a) doesn't look as flimsy and
b) works more effectively But even Hewlett Packard have been
cutting costs. The familiar smoked grey plastic paper tray
cover has gone, making the printer slightly more noisy than
the DJ500C I still occasionally use.
In fact, noise was a problem with both printers (not much of a problem, obviously, when compared to dot matrix printers, but a problem none the less). Now, I should really point out that I wasn't actually using the printers in the best possible location for deadening noise, but I was running out of room in my office, so they both ended up having to stand somewhere where noise could come from the punch up Hewlett Packard and Epson are probably the two biggest names in desktop printers. Frank Nord sees how their latest output matches up bottom of the printer as well as the top, sides nd front
Despite this, both the printers, particularly on head clean or startup cycles, were noisier Tvan I had expected. But hey you don't really care about the noise do you? What you care Aout is Output, output, Output Both printers performed pretty well with a
* sriety of types of output, from a high
• solution render (1000x1500 pixels), to a standard Dpaint
screen, from a general DTP layout from PageStream 3 (which
supports both printers with its new XPD files), to output torn
a text editor using printer fonts.
In my opinion, the DeskJet outperformed the Epson in terms of output quality, notwithstanding the Stylus' higher resolution, but the Epson
* as faster than the DeskJet particularly in the PageStream 3
tests because SoftLogik have taken advantage of the fact that
the Stylus can skip blank lines.
Actually, the Epson showed signs of banding when running on normal paper, but this improved with the high quality paper Epson gave us for the review, but then Epson themselves say that you shouldn't try 720dpi printing on plain paper.
Unfortunately, the lack of a fourth colour for printing with the Stylus meant that black was created by mixing the other three colours, resulting in poor quality at low point sizes. This manner of printing will also increase costs if you intend mixing colour with black on your pages, unless, of course, you are willing to try and overprint your pictures afterwards.
Another plus point in the DeskJet's favour is the quality of the ink they use. Even in areas of dense coverage, the HP's ink doesn't seem to bleed too much and paper wrinkles are kept to a minimum.
So it's still neck and neck as we go into the final decision. Which will win?
A plus point in the DeskJet's favour is the quality of the ink they use. Even in areas of dense coverage, the HP's ink doesn't seem to bleed too much Well, if I had to pick one of these two, it would have to be the DeskJet The Stylus is much cheaper, has a higher theoretical resolution, and is faster under certain conditions, but the DeskJet gave the feel of a quality piece of hardware, is backed by Hewlett Packard's globally reknowned name, and gave results that were still impressive. Until Epson solve the problems I encountered with banding and the general tacky design of the Stylus, I'm
not going to buy one for myself.
F 1 1 Bottom line Requirements RED essential BLACK recommended nz on Studio II Product DETAILS | Product Hewlett Packard DeskJet 850C Supplier Hewlett Packard Tel 01344 461274 Price £450 s .s I Ease of use 75% | Implementation 75% [ Value For Money 75% I Overall 75% i J MllfJl 2 ETA 1L S Product Epson Stylus Colour lls Supplier Epson Tel 01734 303681 Price £240 S 3 ES 1 Ease of use 75% I Implementation 75% I Value For Money 75% 1 Overall 75% Amiga Computing etting online to the Internet has never been an easy business for the Amiga user. Sure, the Amiga has all the necessary software to use
the Internet, but the trouble is that the main source of software is on the Internet itself, and even if you had all the software you have to be a fairly well experienced Amiga hand, and have a smattering of Internet knowledge.
The major stumbling block when trying to set up the software is how you configure it The Internet uses the TCP IP protocol to transfer information between all the machines connected to it. Currently, the most widely available version for the Amiga is AmiTCP - originally shareware the latest version is commercial. Even though it is a very good TCP IP stack, every piece of-Internet software you want to use with it has to be separately configured, which for even experienced users is easier said than done.
0 get on and The only real solution is to provide a single complete package, giving the user a configured TCP IP stack along with all the necessary Internet tools, all set up and ready to run.
Originally, only a few Internet providers gave this sort of support for Amiga owners, and then the software was only really just adequate. However, the planned Amiga Technologies Surfer pack looks like it could kill both of these problems in one fell swoop.
There seems to be little newsgroup support. Normally, Web browsers do allow you to access these groups, and do work very well with text only entries. We will have to wait for the final pack to see what newsgroup functions MindWalker will have.
When the Surfer pack finally hits the street we will be able to comment on how well everything has been integrated. It's no good having great programs if they are hard to run, but by all accounts the pack looks and runs great and I cannot see any reason why the final version shouldn't too.
Amiga Technologies are quite lucky with the most important part of the pack, the TCP IP stack. Before the demise of Commodore, one of the last useful things they managed to Amiga Technologies' forth coming Surfer Pack is almost upon I us, and Neil Mohr has gathered all the packages together to take a sneak preview Ejorth the wait produce was AS225 - their very own implementation of a TCP IP stack - which by all accounts is very good, better than AmiTCP.
However, up until now it has only been available to registered developers.
The Surfer pack will see the first official public release, which in the long run will probably mean little to owners of the Surfer pack, but it will be the last remnants of the old Commodore to be seen by Amiga users. We do not yet know what implementation of AS225 will be used, but it may be one written by a third party - possibly iNet225 by Interworks, an American Amiga company specialising in networking.
From the initial versions of the Surfer pack we have looked at. The software is going to be very good, but there are a few surprises. Firstly, Just from this quick look at the programs that will be provided in the Surfer Pack, it looks like it should be an excellent buy. AmlRC and AmFTP are both extremely well written programs and provide every function you could want in both types of program, all backed up with an interface a fool could use. MindWalker is made by the same people, so hopefully the same can be expected of that even though I would not expect it to match NetScape. Voodoo also
looks the part and is again very easy to use, which is what is really needed in such a package.
Currently, the only possible problem with the pack is that Qnvisible mail Suffer mail package is called Voodoo which is a full Mime-compatible mailer, f-mai only deals with plain text, which is fine for text messages, but if you need to ¦nd anything else such as pictures, sounds or programs you have to specially encode « ter e-mail transmission. The recipient of the mail then has to cut out the picture part the mail and decode it - not the most elegant system in the world, ifcme is an attempt to make this encoding decoding process invisible to the user, ¦teen sending mail you can simply
include pictures and the such by dragging and ¦opping them into the mail window, or via a file requester. Each of these files are tien treated as separate parts of the mail that you can view by clicking on the icon ¦hch appears in the speed icon bar. When the person on the receiving end gets their
• nai they will see exactly the same thing.
Voodoo seems very simple to use. With all the mails listed in the top section of the wndow, and with support for multiple mail boxes and a straight forward e-mail address book. Voodoo certainly looks the part and provides everything you need.
Lution Cl Mindwalker will hopefully be every bit as good as Am FTP and AmlRC
* a very interesting to note that not one of the ¦Mppfied
programs uses the standard Amiga
• •efface library GadTools. The IRC, FTP and
• eb browsers use the Magic User Interface, ¦teie the mail
package uses a more recent GUI package called ClassAction.
Three of the programs are produced by the ume programming group. Called Vaporware, ¦ley are responsible for the IRC and FTP clients
* ng with the as yet unseen Web browser. All
• wee programs require MUI 3, so provide all ttee advantages and
disadvantages that come wMth MUI programs.
Internet Relay Chat is an open forum where people from anywhere in the world can join dBcussion groups and talk about every subject
• naginable, and probably a few you cannot.
AmlRC is going to be the way you get onto IRC from the Surfer pack. The version we have been testing is only a beta but after using it for a while. I can safely say AmlRC is going to be one of the best IRC dients on any computer, never mind the Amiga.
FT I juat eon’f restrain myself. It’s all so lovaly, I don't know how I lived without AmFTP When you first start AmlRC you are confronted with a list of servers that you can connect from - you would normally use your Internet provider. Once you have selected your server, AmlRC can be made to auto-join a channel so you can jump straight into your favourite channel. The main AmlRC window allows you to access just about every feature of the IRC. As you would expect, the major part of the interface is taken up with the talk window, but an extremely handy window, lists all the other users on the
current group, along with a number of function buttons.
The buttons are configurable, allowing you to add your own commands, but the standard Jargon box Internet - refers to the worldwide network of computers 4 thot poss information between eoch other. Eoch computet forms 0 tiny port of the whole thing.
TCP IP - when dato is passed between computers connected to the Internet the doto hos to be pockoged in o specific way. This protocol is called TCP IP. The ma or one on the AMIGA is AmiTCP.
IRC - Internet Relay Chat is one of the Internet services that you can access via an IRC client. On IRC you can chat about ony subject on various chat 'channels', even though the sex channel seems to be inhabited by people talking about how big their Pentium is.
FTP - File Transfer Protocol another Internet service that albws you to access files on other mochines thot are acting as an FTP server. This is the best way of oecessmg Aminet and getting all the latest Amiga PD.
Setup has most of the more useful IRC functions, such as DCC transfer and talk which allow files and messages to be sent direct to another IRCer.
AmFTP is the VaporWare FTP client As with AmlRC, this is an excellent well thought out program. When you first run it you get a large list of FTP sites into which you can enter more, along with the normal log-in routine and directory that you use.
A really helpful option here is to connect as an ADT server, which I think is an Aminet-only phenomena, but it allows you to connect to an Aminet site and get a list of the most recent uploads, sorted by date or subject. This makes it so easy to get all the latest programs, and as AmFTP remembers when you last connected, you only see the programs from days you have not connected.
For normal FTP, use AmFTP which is an absolute dream. One of the major problems with other FTP programs is that their response time to user input is terrible. You press an abort button and are lucky if you get a response a minute later. As AmFTP has completely asynchronous transfers, the main program can respond instantly to any user requests.
Unfortunately, the only piece of software from Vaporware that we have not been able to cast a critical eye over is the Web browser.
Originally known as Voyager, it has managed to find a name change for the Surfer Pack to MindWalker.
MindWalker is again a MUI program and from what we have seen it handles forms - an absolute necessity for a Web browser - and has eight network connections that allow multiple Web page graphics to be loaded at the same time, so greatly reducing the time it takes to load a single page. This is a big problem with Amosaic as it greatly increases the amount of time you are left hanging around for pages to load. With multiple connections, text and graphics are loaded simultaneously.
Amiga Computing Imagine what you could do with Best Prices Best Service .guaranteed The UK’s leading LightWave and Alpha experts ...Newtek LightWave 3D v.4 (the new manuals are excellent) The definitive 3D rendering and animation software package.
As used in Babylon 5. Grim, Sea Quest DSV, Star Trek TNG.
Star Trek Voyager, Golden Eye.
Desktop Images Videos Ron Thornton’s new tapes and Modeler I. Modeler 2. Camera and lighting techniques. Displacement mapping, morphing and bones.
Surfaces and textures.
We also handle direct from manufacturers the Draco and all Macro System products.
Raptor 3 We are the official distributor of Deskstation products in the UK.
Anim Workshop £25 Pixel 3D2 was £199 now £60.
We also supply for the UK, Ssnapmaps. Building Objects.
Humanoid. Sparks. WaveMaker. Impact & many more.
Exclusive Alpha LightWave Distributor, DPS Personal Animation Recorder Broadcast Quality Video System.
Perception Speedrazor Broadcast non-linear video editing system.
Warthogs Raptor 3 275MHz (Alpha 2I064A chip) 266MHz. 300MHz & 333MHz (Alpha 21164 chip) Direct from Manufacturer' The New Cyberstori 060 We sell the tools to fire your imagination, Loads of new add-ons' for LightWave
- Phone for latest details Sales and credit card hotline 0171 721
7050 ow I wished I had waited! How m many times have you said
that or heard it being said when it comes to electronic
equipment. The TV and video you bought two years ago now ©ok
shabby compared to the latest state of * art the computer you
bought six months o now seems woefully underpowered, and the
magneto-optical you bought just before Christmas now appears to
be less of a bargain ?an it first seemed. And why? Because
electronics companies are never standing still.
They create, innovate and disseminate at a ate unseen anywhere else in industry. And ?»us there will always be the early adopters who end up seeming like has-beens rather
* on people at the cutting edge of consumer electronics because
they bought Betamax or es latest equivalent.
So enter the SyQuest EZ Drive, the latest in a long line of technological innovations that wfl doubtlessly be superseded in a matter of months. But let's take it on its own merits, as we should. The EZ Drive takes a leaf out of the Zip drive's book with its stylish, designer looks that are as far from the original SyQuest's looks as to be almost unrecognisable. It's only when you see the familiar SyQuest button lever approach to inserting and ejecting a cartridge that it becomes apparent that the drive may be new, but it has its roots firmly based in early ’80's technology.
Pedigree However, you needn't be worried by this SyQuest's pedigree - it is far in advance of the early 40Mb drives with their noise, slow speeds and unreliability. The EZ drive is not only compact, but it is also very quiet, fast to spin up, read and write, and very reliable in the time I've had it for review. I can honestly say that I'll be sorry to see it go.
If you want to know just how fast it is, the EZ drive gives me speeds of about two and a half meg a second according to the notoriously inaccurate Syslnfo, only half a meg short of what I get from my hard drive. I tried it in a more 'real world' setting, copying animations from a hard drive to the EZ drive and from RAM to it and you couldn't really tell it apart from a hard drive.
The EZ drive is obviously going to be compared with Iomega's Zip, so let's do it. The Zip drive still looks nicer than the SyQuest in my opinion, with a real BladeRunner feel to it but the SyQuest feels more solid. The EZ Drive is also more expensive, at about £240 compared to £190 for the Zip, but the cartridges cost the same price and you get an extra 30-odd Mb of space on them. I don't know if there is a similar deal where you get discount for buying multiple cartridges as with the Zip, but even if there isn't the SyQuest cartridges still look good value for money.
Part of the reason that the SyQuest drive is larger than the Zip is owing to the fact that it has proper external SCSI connections in the form of two 50-way, Centronics-type connectors familiar to external hard drive owners (you get a 25 to 50 way cable and active terminator w*h the SyQuest drive), and the EZ drive can also be set to any SCSI ID, unlike the Zip which is restricted to only SCSI units five or six.
Ail in all. The EZ dm* ts a very nice piece of kit which only has a couple of bad points. The first is the cumbersome eject mechanism which has been SyQuest's trademark since their first drives, and the other s the power supply for the drive. It's one of tnose plu- cable-transformer-cable-plug jobs, but while the cable from the wall socket plug is of adequate length, the cable coming from the transformer is more than a little short, meaning you end up with the lump of the transformer sitting on your desk next to the dnve.
Overall though, the EZ drive is well deserving of a Blue Chip award, so we've given it one.
SyQuest's competitor to the Zip drive gets a critical eye from Frank Nord Bottom l line Requirements RED essential | BLACK recommended SCSI controller Internal version HATEVER NEXT?
Product details SyQuest EZ Drive Product Pinnacle’s Magneto optical drive might not be as fast as the other rwo but it will hold
4. 6Gb on a single disk and read and write data at an impressive
2.4Mb second (impressive for Magneto optical that is). All
these drives should cost less than the current cost for the
drive size they use, i.e. the Jaz drive will cost less than a
1Gb hard disk, the SyQuest will cost less than a 1.3 Gb drive,
and the Pinnacle will cost less than a
4. 6Gb drive (and will also act as a CO-ROM drive...) SyQuest's
EZ Drive is also available in an internal IDE version which
retails at about the same price os the Zip drive (around
El89). But ive haven't had the chance to test this one on our
The race to provide swift reliable removable media is hotting up even more this year with the announcement of I Omega's Jaz drive, SyQuest's SyJet, and Pinnacle's Magneto Optical drive. Omega's Jaz drive will have a I Gig capacity and access the data on its disks at about 3Mb second, the SyJet is supposed to hold 1.3Gb and will transfer data at 4Mb second, but SyQuest say it will also have a burst mode for motion video and other time critical functions that will boost that speed even more.
White Knight Technology £239 for SCSI, £169 for internal IDE 01920 822321 Supplier Price Ease of use 90% Implementation Value For Money Overall Amiga Computing Of there was ever an accounts package that had its roots on an Amiga, you would definitely be ¦ ¦ able to point to The Counting House as a prime example. How many accounts packages on other platforms even know the term metaphor - let alone use it?
The metaphor that The Counting House is based around is that of a house (surprisingly enough) with rooms holding various details dealing with traders, inventory, management and so on.
The program has up to nine levels of security which are all managed through the Management room and three levels of familiarity which allow you to choose exactly how much handholding you need. The Counting House comes with an on-line manual and printed tutorials in addition to the extensive password protection list which, curiously, is about 100 pages of plant descriptions.
Fortunately, the way the password protection works is far friendlier than most games.
Along with the usual page, line and word numbers, you get a letter count for the word in question making it easier to narrow down whether you need to account for blank lines, headings and so on in your line count.
Efficient The Counting House is not your average accounts package and it does things a little differently to how you might expect It has grown out of a need for a business accounts package for Applied Research Kernel over a period of about ten years and is actually used in-house as well as being made available to other users. If you are familiar with standard stock management purchase&sales ledger-type systems like Accpac or other similar products, you'll find it difficult at first to find your feet. But as the bewilderment wears off, you will see that The Counting House's way of doing
things can be a lot more efficient The whole system hangs off a SuperBase 4 professional runtime module and consists of a variety of databases that are all interrelated. The user never sees this because they are hidden behind a set of forms that have been created either to suit a standard Hi-res screen (640x256) or Hi-resLace screen (640x512). The forms are all very well laid out, presenting the information you would expert to see where you would expect to see it and are all in a muted and very businesslike mid-blue.
Every time you start The Counting House it sets up temporary directories in RAM: to help speed processing up, but everything is constantly backed up onto the hard drive so a crash needn't mean that you lose everything.
The fact that The Counting House is actually a SuperBase database means that users of SuperBase will be instantly at home with the way it works, but people coming from other accounts package backgrounds will not appreciate the fact that you can't overtype fields or leave data entry mid-way through a form. However, they will like the easy access to features and the clear requesters that SuperBase affords the user.
So let's work our way through the installation of a fully-blown cash and credit accounting system. To start with you are asked vari- Counting oui some money A complete business accounting system based on an Amiga? Frank Nord investigates ous details like your company's name and address and trading name, if any. You wil also be asked your position in the company, whether or not your company is VAT registered, and other pertinent details.
Your next task will be to enter some inventory, but if you're a bit confused as to how to go about doing this, there are guided tours to entering information in all the sections of The Counting House in the Quick Tour Hall in The Counting House. Assuming you've already read this (you can print the information out too), you should find K relatively easy to enter some stock items. You* inventory can consist of Vattable items, items with barcodes, items with serial numbers, and many other identifying features. Using SuperBase's multimedia features, you can even have pictures of your stock or,
perhaps you might be running a record shop, you might want to have samples for each CD you stock (of course, you might need to talk to the Performing Rights Society about having samples of people's records on youi machine).
The inventory database also allows foi additional information if size is actually important or for related items and so on. Ycx can set up your buying price and your selling price to distributors, retail and end users, al with settings for volume discounts, specia offers, or end-of line discounting if you wish Special offers can have end-of-sale date* attached to them to make sure your staf aren't underselling products, and to top it al off you can view the inventory database a three different levels of complexity, depend ing on your needs.
Okay, so we've entered some items tha we want to stock and or sell on. If we nov O It's a good Job the management room ha% on-line help he Dictionary This is a searchable database of information that can be entered on such diverse topics i postage information, company rules and regs, addressing, basically anything you can think of. Bi you have to enter it all in. The problem with this is that SuperBase's text field entry doesn't su| port pasting text from the clipboard or loading text in, so you'll have to fill out each descriptic from scratch without the benefit of any editing features like
moving the cursor a word at a tirr or selecting a block of text Once you have entered all your descriptions you can also add flags and filters to furth categorise each bit of information and add external files for further explanation (for instance, you were to enter an emergency plan for fires, you could have a map of your building showir the available exits).
Amiga Computing 1 f es and will any,
• giS" ime s to ded sec- jick ling the ela- rour ems ers, sing
can taps you you k to ‘ ing our for ally You ling .all cial
fish, ites laff [ all » at nd- :hat IOW Do YOU ACCEPT CASH?
There is o cash only version of The Counting House suitable for shops and other non-credit based companies. Priced at only £59.95 you might actually want to spend the extra £40 and get the full version- The agenda room acts as an organiser for the whole company which ads in conjunction with the personnel file in the management room to allow for cross-scheduling of appointments and inter-personnel messaging.
RED essential Mil UCCKtPt »ti: i MMT s as But option ime ther
e. if I ving 01983 551496 £99.95 richardgark.co.uk 75% 80 W 95%
84% set up two traders we can arrange it so that we buy from
one of them and sell our stock on to the other. The version of
The Counting House I am reviewing deals with both cash and
credit accounting so that we can sell direct to end-users on a
cash basis while deferring our payments to our suppliers until
the end of the month. Entering company data is just as easy as
entering inventory data, and just like n the inventory section
(and indeed every other section) of The Counting House, you
can click your left mouse button on any of the labels in a
form and get a helpful r«quester up explaining what the field
is used lor.
For companies you can specify whether you are buying from them or selling to them, and whether this is on a cash or credit basis.
You can also subdivide your trader entries nto categories like advertising, public relations and so on, to provide greater flexibility.
Once you have set up your trade accounts, you can start the process of commerce very easily by just going to the 'process' menu in the traders database. This will bring up a new HE LIBRARY The Counting House is a pretty unique program in the fact that it allows you (and your business) to collate information that might not be considered necessary to an accounting package, but which, nevertheless, is very useful. The library is there to catalogue media like CD-ROMs, records.
ANAGEMENT This is the mother of all rooms in The Counting House. It has so many options it is hard to know where to start The management room itself is subject to personnel restrictions with only people with a security rating of five or higher (the highest is nine) being allowed access.
Once inside a higher security rating is required for certain operations. As previously noted, it is here that you enter personnel HE AGENDA form that represents a purchase order. You can then choose from your inventory the items you wish to order and The Counting House will present you with a default price you are accustomed to paying for these goods (which you would have previously entered in the Inventory database). All these items then get put onto your purchase order which can then be printed out and faxed or posted to your supplier.
When you are entering a purchase or sales order you can even state the method by which you contacted your supplier, or how your customer contacted you, whether by phone, fax, mail or in person. For some entries like these you are also offered an 'any method' option if you are not interested in tracking things like this. Another aspect that offers the 'any method* option is payment where you can choose from direct debit, standing order, cash, cheque or credit card options, along with that handy ’any method.'
Okay, so that’s the traders and inventory sections looked at but what of the library, the dictionary, the agenda and the management rooms? Well let’s start with the library details and set security levels and passwords for your employees. But that merely scratches the surface.
As you'll see from the screengrab, there are more buttons here than I would ever be able to cover in a two page review, but they tend to deal with configuration of the various databases, setting flags and filters and doing final accounts, profit and loss statements and other such important financial data.
Books, videotapes or any other form of reference material. I hadn't worked out how to link the library's database with my inventory so that I can smply cross-reference the two, but I have little douM that even if it can't be done right now. T wi only be a matter of time.
Imni »¦* • W m«1 .r Ictrll 1(1 •• (HIM sosi*' i i.m vv.tii..... i.ih
- ?J«t || 1......**
* auM D A cash sale invoice is produced Qonclusions The Counting
House is a very serious piece of software that really can't
have justice done on it in a brief two page review, but in the
time I have had to run through its features it has been solid,
and even when I crashed the machine on purpose the amount of
data that I lost was minimal. The approach that The Counting
House has will almost certainly confuse people used to the more
traditional approach favoured by packages like Sage and AccPac,
but The Counting House's power lies in this as much as anything
else. I would hope that the author continues to expand on the
on-line help as the lack of a full book-based manual is
somewhat disconcerting at times, particularly since the user
cannot access help files while entering data. Overall though,
The Counting House is an impressive entry in the shrinking
library of serious applications that the Amiga can boast
Product The Counting House ___- Cash & Credit version Supplier
Applied Research Kernel Td Mu E-mail Bottom line Product
details Requirements BLACK recommended Ease of use 68030 RAM
Kickstart Hard Dr,vo Implementation Value For Money 3 Mb
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UK Orders to FLDistribution 31 Ashley Hill Montpelier Bristol BS6 5JA VfSA I L E ME DOWN t the great pluses of Amiga 3 is the ability to add back- I images to both the desktop and win- lou do this via the WBPattern program I«the Prefs drawer.
UTO R I AL I car choose from the eight preset patterns, r own, or even load in a picture. The great t WBPattern is that it tiles small images to fill up Or window. This proves an excellent way of display- ? Without wasting precious RAM. As long as your pattern can (¦•ched up on all edges you'll have no problems.
If you want to become an Amiga expert and leave behind beginner's blues, here's a helping hand to set you on your way USTOMISING Shell IT
- rfgfL- IT.
O Customising the Shell Is extremely easy and almost all Its attributes can be altered in some way rrmr MIM*T is IJSI m Sit&St Nb ¦ l«n XML: Cl SY9:C HDD ; RWJ:tHW PS. AM1;(l «H o«rdk Mtcli: DCVt:Printers O Save time and disk space when backing up by separating Workbench* specific tiles from ones you have added ft there are certain files on your
• orkbench that are vitally important you can actually protect
them from deletion and even stop prying eyes from reading wur
personal information.
The command that lets you lock away lour secrets is called Protect and allows to set certain protection flags associated with the file you are working on. Let's »nagine you had a file called Bootup in the Utilities drawer which you wanted to protect from deletion.
In order to do this you would load up the Shell and type in: frvttct Uorkbench3.0:lit1 Ittles Bootup -d To unprotect the file you would type: protect Workbench3.0:UtfIities Bootup *e if you want to stop people from reading your text files or any other file in fact, simply use the following (substituting Text Finances with the appropriate path and filename): prelect KortbenchJ.OrTeit Flnencei -r And to unprotect it: protect Workbencl3.Q:Text rinincei *r It's as simple as that.
Although the Shell requires you to work in DOS (Disk Operating System), it is far more powerful and quicker than performing functions from the Workbench menus. And, just like Workbench, it can be customised to a certain extent The biggest gripe with Shell is it small size and important information often bleeds off the bottom of the window. Sure, you can re-size it but wouldn't it be nice if you could set the size permanently? Well, you can and it's simply a case of clicking the Shell window once and selecting Information... from the Icons menu.
In the Tool Types gadget you will see something like: WlNDOM=CON:0 50 130 Aaig«SheU CLOSE It is this line that allows you to alter the size of the Shell as well as a few other useful attributes. The complete syntax of the WINDOW command is: U!NDOU=CON:x y width height tftie option Don't worry too much about the option part (see the Jargon Box), it is the x, y, width and height settings that are of interest to you. By clicking the line in the Tool Types you can edit these values to suit your own requirements - you could even change the title for that personal touch.
I If you own a hard drive, the prospect of backing it up can be fairly harrowing.
However, there are several short-cuts which will considerably reduce the time and disk space taken to back up.
As you progress with your Amiga you'll find that the C directory rapidly starts to fill up with your own programs, and you'll soon become confused as to what the original C files are and which are the ones you've added. In the end, you'll most probably end up backing up the entire C directory which will mean more disks.
One way around this is to create another drawer called C2 in the same directory as C in which you can copy all the programs you have added. You then need to add a new Assign in the Startup- Sequence using Ed.
Open the Shell and enter: I ed s:startup-seauence I Now, under the line I which reads Resident I NIL: Cexecute PURE add the following: Assign 1111: C: STS:C2 AD» You can then save the new Startup- Sequence file by pressing Esc, X and then Return.
This new line informs the Amiga OS to look in C2 as well as C for any files it would expect to find in this directory. And in the future, ail you need to do is back up the C2 directory.
? 2 Amiga Computing Qooks with buttons One of the most welcome additions to Workbench 3 was Multiview.
Multiview uses a hypertext language that provides the user with an interface capable of displaying text, viewing pictures, and listening to sound samples. In fact. Multiview is limited only by the file datatypes present in your Datatypes drawer in Devs.
The great thing about this program is that you can simply click on a button within text displayed in Multiview and skip to another section of text Many commercial programs now use Multiview for their on-disk documentation. Provided you have the correct datatype, you can direct text, pictures and sound samples to Multiview by clicking once on their icon, selecting Information... from the Icons menu and typing in the Default Tool gadget: SYS:Utlllties Hultivicw A file will only display buttons if it has been written in the Multiview language, but even for reading plain text it is certainly
far better than most other text readers which can't even display pictures or play sounds.
Use the up and down arrow keys to reveal nore of a topic.
? For nore detailed infornation on usin9 this help file, press the “Help- key.
F) Uultivlew allow• you to r*ad text, view pictures and listen to
sound samples AM NOT A NUMBER Jargon .box
WINDOW-CONx y width heigh l btitoptnn X- the number of pixels
from the left edge of the screen to the left border of the
ivindow y- the number of pixels from the top of the screen to
the top of the window width - the width of the window in
pixels height - the height of the wmdow m pixels Me - the text
that appears m the window tide bar CLOSE (opdon) - the wmdow
has o« the standard gadgets, tndudmg adosegodget AUTO (option)
the window automatically appears when the program needs
input or produces input. The window can only be dosed wtth the
ENOCH commond BACXDROP (option) - the window appears on the
desktop behind all the Workbench windows. The only gadget in
the window border is the zoom gadget NOBORDGt (option) - the
wmdow opens without any left or bottom window border NODRAG
(option) - the window cannot be drogged NOSIZE (option) - the
window only has a depth gadget SCREEN (option) - the window
will appear on a public screen. You must specify the name of
the screen after the SCREENfoption SIMPLE (option) - if you
enlarge the window, the text wiH expond to fill the newty
available space, allowing you to see text that has been
scrolled out of the wmdow SMART (option) - if you enlarge the
window, the text does not expand to fitt the newly ovaHabte
space WATT (option) - the window con only be closed by
selecting the dose gadget When using the Shell for certain
tasks you will invariably come up against the Amiga’s error
messages. Unfortunately, most are pretty vague so here is a
list of the most commonly encountered error messages, there
meanings and recovery suggestions: 116 Required argument
missing - you have failed to type in the command correctly.
Check the command instructions and try again.
118 Too many arguments - you have entered too many arguments to the command. Check the command instructions and try again.
121 File is not executable - you have either misspelled the command or the file may not be a loadable type such as a text file. Check the file type and try again.
202 Object is in use - the specified file or directory is already being used by another application. If a program is reading a file no other program can write to it and vice versa. Stop the application that is using the file or directory and try again.
203 Object already exists - the name that you specified already belongs to another file or directory. Use another name or delete the existing file or directory.
205 Object not found - AmigaDOS cannot find the file or device you have specified. Check the filename and retry the command.
225 Not a valid DOS disk - the disk in the drive is not an AmigaDOS disk, it has not been formatted or it is corrupt Check the disk for compatibility and if the disk worked before use a recovery program to salvage its files.
ISSING TOOLS program being called in the Default Tool gad get - in the example above it would b c:mmpp. You can then change this Defaul Tool setting to the location of your text reade on your hard drive or floppy disk. This woul most likely be: When copying programs to your hard drive or floppy disk you may, at times, be required to alter certain information so that the program will function correctly. This is mostly the case with text file documents, commonly known as readme files and you may already be familiar with the alert requester stating: Horkber ch3.0:Utilitie» Rultivien Unable to
open your tool '«:iapp' Multiview is the Workbench 3 supplied te reader. You may have a preferred text readc of your own, in which case just type it location and name instead.
If you dick once on the icon of the text file and select Information... from the Icons menu on Workbench you be able to see the actual Q ERMANENT ICONS As you become proficient with Workbench and AmigaDOS (Disk Operating System), you wi find that much of your time is spent copying and deleting files from the C and S directorie These directories are not immediately visible, so you may want to attach a drawer icon to ther so that you can simply drag files to their location rather than using the Shell. The best way to d this is to load up IconEdit and use the default drawer icon. Make sure the
icon type is set t drawer and then simply save the icon as Cinfo or S.info in the directory these drawers are loci ted in. They will now always be visible. You could also perform this procedure for the Libs an Fonts directories.
]]| 3 | S E3B r- ni r zii n Copying file* to the C directory can be made eaeler by attaching a drawar icon to the actual diractory Amiga Computing Onew text editor is hardly going to set the world alight Most people have a text editor lurking on their hard drive and at some point are going to have to use it For many, this will mean battling with the original Commodore Ed, which is barely usable. Anyone that has owned an Amiga for a while would normally have got hold of a better one, either from the public domain - GoldEd springs to mind - or from one of the * (ommercial editors such as
CygnusEd or Turbo Text both of which are competent at their jobs and will take some beating.
Digital Quill comes on one disk along with a wry thorough manual Covering every part of the program, including its extensive Arexx port The hitial installation is straightforward thanks to tie use of the Amiga Installer, and allows you to have Digital Quill set up for use with either Dice C SAS C or Benchmark Modula-2. This sets the program up with preset hot keys, menus, and speed buttons for compiling programs direct from the Digital Quill interface.
Debates The first thing you are going to notice when you run Digital Quill is that it has a button bar Mining across the top of its window. Whether thts is of any real use or not is debatable, but either way it is there for you if you want it A very powerful feature is the macro recorder which allows any combination of key presses and functions to be recorded and played back at any time, or saved off as an Arexx script for kiture use as an external Digital Quill macro.
These macros allow you to automate repetitive tasks such as reformatting a table or document and, as they are Arexx scripts, allow other complex functions to be performed.
One problem not just with Digital Quill but with just about all Amiga text-related programs, is that there is no way to search and replace formatting commands such as tabs, returns and new paragraph marks. The only program I am aware of that allows you to do this is Wordworth. Digital Quill's search and replace facility offers all the usual limited controls along with the ability to use the full set of Amiga wildcards. So a search on Text ? Will spot every word beginning with text. Comparing Digital Quill against other editors means it has to compete with the speed of CygnusEd and the
system compliance and configurability of Turbo Text, but overall it does a good job on both counts. Firstly, it is completely style guide compliant so can be run on any screen, including RTG boards such as the Picasso II, and it has font sensitive windows and menus so it looks the part too. Speed wise it loads and saves as fast as CygnusEd, and matches it for scrolling speed around even very large documents.
Finally, its full Arexx port cannot be faulted.
Where Digital Quill does fall down is when you start editing large documents. Whereas CygnusEd and Turbo Text will not even show any sign of strain, Digital Quill seems to slow a little. In CygnusEd, if you hold the return key down new lines will be added as fast as usual, but Digital Quill's response is slow. It does have a very comprehensive undo function allowing many levels of undo, similar to CygnusEd, but again does not work as fast with a slight delay each time an undo is done. As an avid CygnusEd user the editing speed is the real problem. Even though this 'slight' delay in editing
does not make Digital Quill unusable, it does detract from an otherwise excellent program.
Another Amiga text editor jostles for a place in the already crowded market.
Neil ?Vloh reviews kdftaL | |-HBM | O The lully stylo guide-compliant Bottom line HOP AT MACRO Requirements RED essential Product details Supplier Phantom Development BLACK recommended Implementation caldi@usa.nai.net Digital Quill Workbench Ease of use £39.95 Value For Money Overall | Though Digital Quill does not provide the flexibility that Turbo Text does in being able to define every aspect of the program's menus, it does have a much simpler and user-friendly way of adding macros to the program.
I From the Assign Macro menu option you get a straightforward looking window from which you can choose to assign a command to either a hot key, menu option, or via a new speed button. A command can be a previously saved macro, an AmigaDOS command, or j one of Digital Quill's built-in commands. If you select a Quill command you get a requester with a list of all the available commands, j otherwise you get a file requester from which you can choose a pre* I viously saved macro or AmigaDOS command.
Adding a new hot key or menu function is just a case of selecting the new command you require and specifying the key combination or menu entry that you want The final method of adding a new speed button is very much in the Final Writer Wordworth vein. Press New Macro, select one of the available icon images and 1 Mb RAM Product Price E-mail 95% the new command you want executing, and you have a new speed button.
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gru- some images, tons of gory animations Bloody games Spine tangling horror type sounds. Horror stones. Eanoe music modules.
Pictures & animations from hundreds of horror films and hoaps of roal-Ute blood n gut* (Adults only) a HORROR SENSATION NEW coi44) £19.99 World Of Clipart is a double CD- ROM contaning around 40.000 mono and colour ckpart images contained in over 100 catagones in IFF. GIF. PCX. CDR. EPS. TIP.
& BMP. Tools for converting images to another format are included for both the PC & Amiga Subjects include: Animals, Anatomy. Babies. Men. Women. Trees. Reptiles. Insects, Xmas. Religious, Planes Vehicles, Ships, Toys, Zcxfcac signs. Eye catchers, Humour. Cats, Dogs, Computers, Technology Sealrfe. Space. Symbols. Royalty, Dinosaurs.
Plants. Nature. Ads, Tools. Astrology. Hands. Birds.
Business. Office. Workers. Cartoon. Lion King. Education.
Food. Gardening. Holidays. Houses & Buddings.
Helicopters, ChikJron. Banners. Medieval. Military, Monsters. Music. Sports (football, golf, Aerobes. Olympics, etc). Transport. Trains. War and more Rated 94% WORLD OF CLIPART Plus DOUBLE co icd 7) £17.99 THE SPECCY CD 1996 (CD119) £17.91 i
• JA * 03* wojfio
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* ; C11MK7 The largest collection of Magic Workbench loons.
Backdrops and tools ever compiled Includes well over 5.000
Icons, Over 600 seleded Magic WB backdrops, and megabytes of WB
desktop enhancer tools utilities.
Suitable for any Kiekstart2 3 based Amiga SPECIAL FX Vo 1:1 Achjal Am'°a Scr**n 8ho*6 MAGIC WORKBENCH ENHANCER (CD152) £9.91 John Patemak's "Movie Maker" series takes you step by step through the professional techniques of Spocial FX. Horror and Action film making. Explained in every detail are all the camera angles, editing techniques, prop building, make up etc, all using easily available domestic equipment and materials. This Multi-media AGA AMIGA title Contains over 60mmuto$ of video toofage MOVIE MAKER SERIES NEW (CD184) £29.99 The Grolier electronic Multimedia encyclopedia contains
thousands of pages of information on every subject with Thousands of great colour photographs and illustrations and hundreds of sound clips from the BBC this CD-ROM is an essential purchase lor all CD-ROM users Rated 97% AC - 94 AF GROLIER ENCYCLOPEDIA_ cp46x) £24.99 This CD contains almost 100 variations of the worlds most addictive and loved game Nearly all the aamos are read) to run directly from CD. And archived versions are also included.
This NEW CD rom contains Thousands of al-txne classic Commodore 64 games and emulator to run mom... Available shortly. Order now as stocks are bound to go quickly Lucky Dip volume 2 contains stacks of games, demos, clipart. Fonts, music, tools, graphics Utilities. Ananations, Sound FX. Samples, and loads more, (now with Amiga front end) A bargain!
The CO ocrtens ntormotion lhat NOBOOY warts you to know about arti ndudos tons erf megabyias d text ctocumerts and photographs relating to UFO sx tngs and abduo- tcre et sree 1941 aswel as hu cJwfcfofctisafef rtwjmgnts.
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GAMES CD NOTHING BUT TETRIS Wjg £9 99 ENCOUNTERS C64 GAMES CD (CD182) £29.99 LUCKY DIP Volume 2 (coi63)£5 99 PRIORITY ORDER FORM NAME_ ADDRESS_ ) £14.99 PLEASE SUPPLY pR'cesincv UK FREE PHONE Order line: 0500 131 486% Cluercaica Hrrlni £mi«m lin -TTXO I-l OO ITEMS QTY £££ UK & EUROPE Open Monday-Saturday . EPIC - 138-139 Victoria Rd. Swindon, Wilts. UK P&P in UK = Cl per title. Overseas P&P = £2 per title. E&OE MACHINE_ PA YMENT METHOD_ CREDIT CARD DETAILS mpm * Australia or New-Zealand you can now purchase any of fho :tOM Mies from our Sydney based premises. Send your orders or enquiries
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CD-AC1 qxd AMOUNT ENCLOSED ¦- For a Price top Lightening the wave ight now. It seems like the only growing industry on the Amiga is producing add-ons for the reigning champion of 3D animation
- Lightwave. In recent months ; have come to light and we pre-
here for your delectation. It's a media review this time since
we have and a video tutorial guide called 3D packages always
need add-ons to make them easier to use. Ben Vost examines a
couple of flattery, it certainly won't get you any work if you
want to make a living from CGI. He covers building a spacecraft
from the initial sketch to the final model using all the tools
in a Lightwave owner's arsenal including the dreaded metaform.
Alan Chan then goes on to discuss surfacing techniques for your
models and the best way to light a scene.
The book doesn't just deal with what might appear basic principles to experienced Lightwave owners, but also goes on to tricky effects like volumetric lighting (you know, when you see a laser in a video and people chop holes in its beam, that kind of thing) and compositing digital images with live action. The book finishes up with a look at bones and the inverse kinematics featured in Lightwave 4.0 The FX kit for Lightwave is our next item up for review. It's a wire bound, 310 page volume with an advert for LightSpeed on the inside back cover and it deals with a good variety of topics in
Lightwave. It starts gently enough with introductions to both Layout and Modeler, but soon gets stuck into some more meaty subjects like tunnel chases, page turns and flag waving. The tutorials then proceed onto creating fractal-type landscapes replete with nice clouds and water. Alan Chan makes no secret of the fact that there are certain things that are difficult to achieve in Lightwave and says that things like tumbling waterfalls and rapids are probably not subjects suitable for a beginner's book.
He goes onto devote a whole chapter to that most overused of Lightwave's talents - the space scene - and starts it with a caveat to not simply try to duplicate the effects used by Amblimation or Foundation Imaging but to create something new. While imitation might be the sincerest form start with LightSpeed, a two-hour ly video magazine dedicated to Lightwave users’ skills. The video of a variety of sections with reviews LfhtWave-related products and advertis- mterspersing the tutorials. The tape I i sent was from last October and to give i some idea of what was on it, we had a Monal
explaining how to build and animate «kfhthouse scene and a corridor scene, an t for Impact! Visually demonstrating the benefits of using it, something you could
• ever do in a print ad, a tutorial on building IfGO, another on
building spaceships out of tents. A review of World
Construction Set, an arwnation gallery and several other bits
and bobs.
The video seems to be constructed by a variety of people recording their own sections and sending them to the editors where they are all joined together to make video. This means the quality of record- ng is variable (especially since the whole thing has to be standards converted to PAL afterwards), but it is encouraging to see that ail the systems used by the tutors were still Amigas.
The quality of the tutors was variable too, with the lighthouse guy being particularly unsuited to teaching. The scene he created was nice enough, but there was no explanation of what he was doing. The tutor merely repeated back the numbers he was entering, making for a very sterile experience. However. The rest of the tape was pretty good and the adverts for the add-ons certainly had more impact than their print equivalents. The reviews section pulls the tape out of the 'its-an-expensive-LightWave- tutorial-tape' category and into the magazine field, and it would be nice to see more
reviews in each issue.
The other section that lifted the quality of the tape was the animation showcase where established and apprentice artists' work was shown, with Alan Chan (author of the Lightwave book covered later in this review) showing off his techniques. The tape can also be purchased with a high density PC formatted disk containing the scenes and objects used in the tutorials on the tape.
I would need to see more tapes before I could give an honest overall opinion of the subscription, but the quality of the tape I saw would be enough for intermediate Lightwave users to snap up their copy of LightSpeed.
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software from the 10 dsk pack) Highly recommended as you will get 3 tones more software per dsk Various latest games (10 &ks) only £9.90 Various latest utilities (10 disks) only £9.90 | OnrfOOmptfCO M«uitjmpjtUvV iVAwgis r hoe VdKcfOia 5] WvyasyrouwUfui RRP MEW PRICE Bekw nw gjmes p*ck reeased due to popular dtmard V ith any ot these games packs, you know exactly what son ot games you're buy rg.
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+49-6171-85937 Fax +49-6171-8302 Email: CompuServe 100336,12 Asurmm Contents System news The latest news from the Amiga gaming world plus a chance to win a prize worth £100 Speris Legacy Legend of Zeld... Oops. I mean this is a unique game, completely original and one of its kind.
Player Manager 2 Extra The updated version of Anco’s fabulous football simulation has arrived. Is it as good as we expect?
Watchtower We preview OTM’s Commando-like shoot-’em- up. If it’s half as good, it will be nothing short of superb Doom debate At last, the whole Doom issue has finally come to an end as we look back on the epic tale All the latest chips and teats in our new section
- "Greasy Food and Milk Supplies" Er. I mean tips and cheats news
Vulcan Software’s new releases By Andy Maddock ortsmouth' s
finest who have refused to leave the Amiga scene are back with
a batch of new releases which should be making their way on to
your screens later this year.
Firstly, they are releasing an expansion disk for the excellent Timekeepers which should be out soon and will have a price tag Of just £5.99. It will contain 60 more levels which will be made slightly harder.
The second release will please almost every gam- esplayer as Vulcan have planned to bring out the latest Valhalla edition entitled Fortress of Eve. The little prince has now grown jr e Valhalla adventure will be released later In the year.
Up and he's after a wife. It ifs certainly something to look forward to will have four levels, a 1000 word vocabulary, a text option for the hard of game himself until he found a better offer. Yep, hearing, and a brand new pseudo-isometric Scott Hayne has sold the idea to Vulcan who will view instead of overhead. And all this for only be re-designing the graphics and selling it under £14.99. Watch this space. The new title of Bograts. The other release Is The last two releases are pretty sketchy at the called Mat's World and will be similar to Valhalla moment, although you may be familiar with
the - it's a multilevel platform speech adventure first. It was entitled 'Penguins’ by a geezer called and that's about all we know. We'll keep you Scott Hayne. And he was going to publish the posted.
I’m a rock ‘n roll star How would you like to help us in a large operation. Well, it's a big job and it involves us wearing protective clothing and heading for the tatty, poor unfortunate, dying games cupboard. If you can help us by emptying it slightly you can keep some of the contents! But we can't just give them away willy nilly. Oh no.
That would be too easy, and there’s loads of excellent stuff in there too!
What we want you to do is show your creative side in the best possible way. If you've heard of ’Everybody's Girlfriend' by David Pleasance then you'll know what I mean.
You’ve got it. We want you to write a song about the Amiga. And you are completely free to do anything. You can just write some lyrics, make a tune using Octamed. Or record it on to tape.
We'll promise to look at every single one of them.
And remember - we're not expecting that much, but if you can impress us enough we may even send you a special prize worth around £100. And don't forget, there will be loads of runners up prizes.
So come on! How much does the Amiga mean to you?
Address: Age: Song Title:.
Send entries to: Hey look. I'm Noel Gallagher Competition. System, Amiga Computing. IDG Media, Media House, Adlington Park.
Macclesfield. Cheshire SK10 4NP.
We have just received the latest news from Guildhall Leisure that they are to further their excellent track record with more quality software than ever before.
Guildhall’s release schedule Firstly there is Fears and Gloom 2 for the CD32. If you’ve been dying to play them on the 32-bit machine then your waiting Is up as you will be pleased to know they should be available now.
Over the next month or so, we should be seeing a brand new game by the name of Blitz Tennis, and the release of Wembley International Soccer which I am looking forward to as I never got to play it the first time around when it was published by Audiogenic.
Late in the year we shall also be seeing games entitled Microlyte Warriors and the much awaited Brian Lara ‘96.
It looks like it’s going to be a good year for Guildhall with a mountain of excellent releases.
Stay tuned for more information.
Caught in the Net Official System top 10 This is our up to date, official top 10 most played games in the office. As you can see the standard of software over the last few months has been absolutely outstanding and we hope it will continue.
Game Publisher Score
1. Worms Team 17 91%
2. Sensible World of Soccer 95 96 Time Warner 92%
3. Pinball Prelude Effigy Software 90%
4. Super Tennis Champs Audiogenic 80%
5. Xtreme Racing Guildhall 90%
6. Breathless Power Computing 92%
7. Alien Breed 3D Team 17 91%
8. Coaia Empire Int.
9. Gloom Deluxe Guildhall N A If you're looking for Amiga games
on the Internet, here are some links to get you started.
Whether it's Public Domain or commercial demos you'll find
something on these sites.
Virtual Software Library http: vsl.cnet.com This contains an excellent software searcher - it's fast, efficient and very large.
Just select ’Amiga' from the menu and you'll be away.
Aminet ftp: src.doc.ic.ac.uk This is probably the best place anyone could want to go to to search all aspects of the Amiga world. It's also updated daily so you will be able to access all the latest software.
10 Flight of the Amazon Queen Time Warner Interactive 93% The Games Domain http: wcl-rs.bham.ac.ul gamesdomain You will find mountains of software littered all over this place for various formats as well as loads of Amiga goodies This is an Amiga owner's second home. If you are an enthusiast you'll probably spend more time here than anywhere AMIGA WEB DIRECTORY ppw" mmmmm TW Hit coBprahimstT* |lMi • AJUft iwowm o» IW Wtk Tht Amiga Wet Dtrretojyv »pon*on nn-nnl inp ThcChampj»9,,u,b3na vr,„ Commodore User, Group MtViilU1 * * Aa«» Nit? * UlQJtoSlKtt rtk CoUmoqm • fofrry* *»WJi • HmiMB-JMIfin •
CoMttnruJ • Dtoo Scti» • T«1m' PP?) • UIDLQBUM 03 tLAai»ilab * po»rRLUma« * Atom to ATO Ttti 8l* ? Stai Nil C0BK19 * tKCtiLilnl Amiga Web Directory http: www.cucug.org amiga.html You will occasionally find news of up and coming Amiga games releases as well as some excellent links to other similar related sites.
The European Computer Trade Show is once again making its annual return. The dates are 14-16 of April and whether there'll plenty of Amiga games on show will be another matter, it won't surprise me if the show is dominated by the Playstation. Saturn and PC.
But we ll give you a full run down in a future issue anyway on all the present Amiga software titles.
System Selections news Xtreme Racing Sensible World of Soccer 95 96 “If you're a real fan of Sensible Soccer then this an absolutely essential purchase” Zeewolf 2 Pinball Prelude Score: 90% Score: 90% "The best thing about Xtreme Racing has to be “Soccer Stars ‘96 is probably one of the best the 3D texture map football compilations and at £34.99 it is excellent value for money' Soccer Stars ‘96 Score: 90% 'The missions are reasonably challenging and if you're into war and guns and that, then Zeewolf is an excellent purchase” Breathless “Along with all these presentational features there are
many additional ones which make the game more interesting” “Breathless features some excellent graphics and sound effects, and it plays like a dream' Worms Score: 91% “Hours of entertainment from one game - who'd "Superbly designed and a real bargain to boot - have thought that a garden invertebrate could you'd be crazy not to buy this' be so much fun” Hillsea Lido Score: 90% Lowest Priced Top Quality Ribbons, Inkjets, Toners & Disks aa mm Printer W & ft ft 1*8 Ul
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J All prees include VAT and carnage to MOST IA mainland SATURN SATURN . DAYTONA USA 309 99 PLAYSTATION . DOOM SATURN - PANZER OflAGOON 309 99 WITH ONE CONTROLLER. DEMO CO SATURN . YlRTUA FIGHTER .309.99 AND DOOM GAME WORTH £44.99 WITH ONE CONTROLLER ANO OTHER OEALS AVAILABLE FREE FAST DELIVERY FREE FAST DELIVERY Oversea* orders must be paid by credit cord Harden'i* items (battery or mams) are only supplied lo the UK mainland Overseas surcharge £2.00 p« software item or 25% on orhef asms £40 OFF™* SWITCH ISSUE NO.
MIGA COMPUTIN El APRIL 1996 Uol 1 I**o* S review Ithe new highlights screen is split into quarters and each one displays graphics relating to certain incidents Carlisle surrender to Ajtaddoek Birmingham City won * cU « run cup t«* yesterday aga-nst a battfa* Cartsk Side full of commitment P.Uaknbne netted the opening goal after 7 nirwtes as Carlisle took the .nitiative. R Hani struck for Birmingham City when his thumping volley from outside the box levelled natters in the 16th rtnute ft Maddock rounded off the scoring with his 4th goal of the season after 84 minutes with a strike that just
managed _ to cross the line to leave Carlisle to wonder were it all went The newspaper will give you an in-depth report on the match you have just played Player Manager 2 was released last year sometime and to be honest it was nothing short of excellent. It received I 94% in our September issue. Now comes the pseudo data disk - well completely new version actually.
PUBLISHER DEVELOPER PRICE DISKS HD INSTALL SUPPORTS I mentioned in my previous review that the player's names were truly awful, especially as they kept real life teams and then invented completely fictional names. I don't know whether Anco acted upon my criticisms, but in the Extra version all the names are updated. Obviously there's no Juninho at Middlesbrough, because for a start they still haven't managed to assign the clubs into their proper divisions, but a rumour did occur that if all the real life teams were included it would take too long for a season.
Most of the differences that have been added to the Extra version are quite in depth. To begin with there is a knockout and challenge mode where you can take on other human opponents in a league just to see who does best. The challenge option is to see how many points you Reviewed by Andy Maddock can possibly get. With the more points gained resulting in better offers being received from other clubs.
The other changes are more or less cosmetic.
Instead of walking around an empty stadium, you will know find the chairman sitting in the correct seat and secretaries where they should be, but there's still no-one in the treatment room!
To be honest, Player Manager 2 received 94% only because of the management part being so realistic and detailed. The actual arcade action How many?
Al these changes haven’t really made the game better because under all the makeup there are quite a few changes which are pretty annoying.
Firstly, when you are ready to go off and head for the boot room, a long wait follows while all the results are calculated. When each wait lasts around two minutes, at the end of the season you will have waited well ever an hour. Surely there's something else worthwhile you could be doing. If you try sitting absolutely still for an hour, you'd probably go mad!
The last annoying feature is probably the worst In the entire world and was fairly well h»dden in the last version. There used to be three disks - one to load the game, the second for the management, and the third for the arcade bit. Consequently, if you wanted to just play the management side it was no problem because you always kept one ask in the drive.
Now, disaster has stuck. The introduction of another disk has had disastrous effects.
For example, when you want to visit the boot room you have to insert disk 2. And if you want to quickly check your bank balance insert disk 4. God help you if you click the wrong button.
At first, I thought I could sneakily get around this problem by only visiting the rooms from one disk, but eventually I was told to report to the boardroom. I felt my stomach almost dissolve into nothing as I worried about my job security. I put on a brave face and knocked on the door only to hear a manly voice sounding extremely disgruntled. Oh no. I've finally entered the world of football management!
I came out of the room somewhat peeved and also relieved because not only had I had a warning about turning up to a match ten minutes before kick off. I'd also had messages from my scouts and coaches complaining that they had had no work all season. And this was all because you have to insert a cSsk every tme »c*j want to visit one of your empe .e s What's the problem. I near you ask7 f didn't I just install the game tc resolve these problems? Well, this is the p-ece of programming in the entire world Usuafy when someone writes a program that has to use more than one disk they'll to
themselves, why don't I just write a nee easy install script so they won't have to lift a finger? Marvellous.
You don't even get a sniff of hard drive all the way through the manual - apart from the PC version! Typical. “That s alright,' I thought to myself. I'll do it the long way by going through Workbench, copying all the various files into a directory, and then assigning the volumes. It would take time of course, but at least it'd be better in the long run.
What do I find when Workbench loads up? 'DFO: Is not a DOS disk'. Excellent - I'm not playing this anymore.
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51 The match day screen now gives player ratings and a
man-of-the- match award it's slightly long winded and when
you've seen one animation, you've seen them all.
The second feature is by far the best. The highlights option splits the screen into quarters and every now and again you will be shown still pictures of rendered footballers controlling, shooting, passing and fouling. And although they're only still pictures, it presents more of an atmosphere than any other options.
Final word 6 To be honest, Player Manager 2 received 94% only because of the management part being so realistic and detailed • was pretty pathetic. I suppose I could have marked the game down slightly because of this, although you could switch it off and just watch or manage.
Although this option is still present in the Extra version, there is also the addition of two new features. One is a scoreboard which shows rubbish pictures of various incidents happening on the pitch all the way through the game. To be honest You will now have to attend all relevant press conferences to answer the questions posed by the press The match scanner displays all the information at once, although unfortunately it’s far too bland If you're a very patient person who would wait a lifetime just for a beloved management simulation to finish mulling over some simple calculations,
then Player Manager 2 would be a great purchase. If some extra thought went into the actual technical side of the game it could have been absolutely excellent, possibly even the greatest ever football game in the world.
The game is there, the statistics are there, everything is almost there, but the lack of thought spoils everything.
Review The Sperislands in all their glory. Aaah, looks idyllic, ey?
This is one of those games that seems like it's been in the pipeline forever.
Some games just pop up out of the blue in a reviewable state with no introduction at all, whereas others meander along, eventually appearing when they're good and ready. Speris is in the latter category, and when a title takes this long to appear, you build yourself up for something really special. So does it live up to our high expectations?
On first impressions the answer is yes - the graphics look bright and cheerful and a lot of attention to detail has obviously been paid but when you start playing, things are a little slow to say the least. There are plenty of characters to interact with and places to explore but it's the amount of repeating yourself you have to do - walking around the same places and talking to the same people just becomes exceedingly tedious.
Well, those are only first impressions and it would be unfair to judge the game on these initial findings. Okay, so a description of the game is Hardly a plot that will blow your mind, but nevertheless it gives the game a point. You play Cho, the hero, who is on a mission to avenge his friend's death. His friend. Kale, was murdered by his evil brother Gallus in a quest to steal th% kingdom away from him. The King promises Cho the throne, so he sets off to fight Gallus.
Story time The playing screen needed here. I feel. As you can probably see from the screenshots, it takes its inspiration ??)
From Zelda on the SNES. It's an overhead adventure game which requires you to collect objects, get past enemies, and solve puzzles. You control the game either via the keyboard, joystick or CD32 controller, and walk around eight different levels on your quest. On the first level called Keys Collect the keys as you go around to open doors Sharma City, you wake up on the first day of your adventure, adjust to your surroundings, and find out the mission from the king. You also need to find the sword to arm yourself and get to grips with collecting gems - the main form of currency needed to buy
things In shops.
You will also need to interact with other characters to find out clues. However, the speech is Control freaks Control is either via the joystick, keyboard or CD32 controller. The controls you need to master are, of course, walking, using weapons (for instance, the sword or bombs) and speaking. Whenever you meet another character a speech bubble will appear over their heads and you can choose the appropriate reply you want to make. When you come into contact with an object, an eye icon will indicate that you can examine it to see what it is - you will probably also get a clue as to what
it can be used for later. To access the inventory screen you can press F2 which allows you to look at and select the objects or weapons you have collected.
I I'm not going to completely write this off
- it's still a playable enough game and if you're into adventures
then I'm sure you'll gain quite a lot of enjoyment from it 5
rather time consuming and when you've already spoken to a
character and just happen to walk past them again, you really
do have to pay attention and walk quite far away from them or
you find yourself talking to them again.
The sound effects work quite well with teleportation effects, sword whooshes and so on, but it s such a shame the absolutely terrible music continues throughout. The tunes do change depending on which area you are in, but they're all dreadful and the only way to avoid it is to turn the music off which is a shame as you miss the sound effects.
Remember we previewed a very similar game called Legends way back In Christmas 1994? Well, this was being published by Krisalis and looked set to rival The Speris Legacy but unfortunately, we don't know what on earth has happened to it.
Last we heard on the rumour mill was that it was ready for release, but Krisalis weren't publishing it and it had been passed on to someone who was. But who is the mystery company and are we ever going to see this game? Let's hope so because although the graphics didn't look up to the same standards as Speris (when we saw it anyway), it looked very good fun and. Dare I say it, more imaginative.
Graphics are worthy of a mention because they are so detailed and perfect for this style of game. The sprites look good and blend well into the cartoon backgrounds. And each part of the Sperislands have been thought out nicely, from the dinky little rooms to outdoor scenes.
To be fair, there is nothing technically wrong with this game - the graphics are superb, the scrolling smooth, and some of the effects, such as teleportation, have been done very well. It looks the part with some cute sprites and detailed backgrounds.
However, playability wasn't quite up-to-scratch and although it did deliver some quite nice puzzles, I felt that some of the time you were left wandering around without a clear idea of where to go next or what you're supposed to be doing.
Another point which Just can't be ignored is the way you have to stand in exactly the right place to destroy obstacles such as flowers. It would be OK if you could casually slash them with your sword as you walk past but oh no. Sometimes you end up spending precious minutes lining up your sprites to hit the flowers. And you do have to destroy them because underneath there are vital supplies and teleport squares. Teleporting becomes rather boring at times too, especially if you teleport yourself to the wrong place and have to wander around the maze all over again
- very frustrating. Re-appearing enemies also become tedious.
I'm not going to completely write this off - it's still a playable enough game and if you're into adventures then I'm sure you'll gain quite a lot of enjoyment from it, but for the casual player who demands to be instantly entertained by a game (and why shouldn't we be?) Then it's not going to be for you. There's too much to- ing and fro-ing for my liking, so I'll give this a miss and leave it to those who are fans of arcade adventures.
Preview Here's some of the plot.
It’s the same sort of heroic rescue missions and everyone loves you The action screens are much like a cross between Commando and Ikari Warriors £1.99. Blimey! A game for less than two quid! And to this day it's still one of the greatest games ever to grace computer screens. Not because of the graphics or sound, but for sheer playability.
Watchtower is based on the same idea, although it will obviously be far superior in presentation and hopefully in gameplay too. You can play two players on the screen at once and both can battle through three different stages including the Desert, Jungle and City, with six missions in each one.
Just like the original Commando, there are tanks, helicopters and other vehicles to battle against which will take an enormous amount of firepower to destroy, and when you've got foot soldiers firing at you from all angles, it gives you an idea of the challenge.
I can't remember if Commando had end-of- level guardians, although I seem to recall a big door where the enemy used to come pouring out.
£ You can play two players on the screen at once and both can battle through three different stages} STM are fast becoming one of the leading forces in the Amiga games industry, and hopefully this new release.
Watchtower. Will secure their place.
Basically, it's Commando. Yep. Remember that now dusty old arcode game which you'll probably find locked away in a dark room, most ijkely because it's so old It'll be falling apart and already vandalised by school kids during kinchtimes. Commando was one of the greatest games ever.
When I was little. I used to wander into some social place, usually with a good reason, and walk straight past the Snooker and Pool tables and head for the arcades to continuously ram lOp's down their throats until they were blue in the face.
Back then it was either Frogger, Asteroids or Commando. It was a tough choice, although they were all frustrating so. Inevitably, my temper frayed and the machines were abruptly abused with my feet, fists and anything I could generally throw at them.
Well. Commando was a top-viewed war action game. It featured this little war guy who had a machine gun and some grenades. I could never remember the plot because it was simply a case of sticking your coin in and achieving the highest score - the intro screens barely saw the light of day. It was set in the jungle and the idea was to kill all the enemy, release hostages and blow up bridges.
After receiving a Spectrum during the '80s. I managed to find Commando in the shops for Watchtower is only around 75 per cent complete and should be ready around early April. It's already looking pretty polished not to mention, very tough. Hopefully we'll bring you a full review as soon as the game is in its complete form.
Insight S3 mwm hints & tips lt *h ? ?
I: I One of the many Doom clones that has appeared on the Amiga game scene is Alien Breed 3D Hints, tips and helpful answers on all your gaming problems.
Andy Maddock sorts them out Feedback Breeding problems?
After having purchased a copy of Alien Breed 3D and installing it onto my hard drive (not as easy as It sounds), I then found the game icon hidden within the drawer (call me stupid, but I thought game icons were normally visible) and loaded it with anticipation. As the game loaded I noticed a definite similarity between this game and Doom on my sister's PC (I still haven't converted her). Am I correct In this assumption or am I dreaming?
Please find enclosed a list of codes which have been compiled in a time consuming but very satisfying way, followed by a couple of helpful tips to ease the pain of dying so quickly.
(depends on your armaments). It can also raise your vitality level.
¦ Colonization allows you to build up your own colony Also, here is a way of defeating the last alien in the 'Test Gamma' level one. When the alien is freed, run back to the first arena and make your way up to the balcony where the alien is. There you can crouch down and watch the alien bomb itself into oblivion. Thanks for your magazine and your coverdisks Darren White. Ipswich Colonization If you name your new colony ’Charlotte' you will be able to view all the maps, ports, and other county's statistics instantly. And as an added bonus, your bank balance will be topped up by a total of
$ 50,000.
Behind the Iron Gate Michael Jepson from Reading has obviously been hard at work these last few months because he's managed to churn out level codes for one of the first Doom-type games on the Amiga.
2-* El 13333FAS" 3-’G224444ETJ' 4-“H224444EUJ" 5-'GBL2222CLL“ 6-“TQOPPPPW2E'' 7-“43CCCCC2TE* 8-'NADTTTTKMr 9-'3Y3NNNNUKC'' 10-'RUQBBBBY23' 11-'GAEVWVM3W" 12- “5Z4MMMMVLT 13-'AAEWWMWK* 14-"KLP5565HRT' 15-'IK06666GU3" 16-“FGCTTTTK2G" 17-'H260000X3B' 18-'ZEARRRRID3 lP-'KUQBBBBYEC" 20-*QPLl 111DXX' 21 -'UMIZZZZA5W" 22-*D15PPPPWHC' 23-XY3NNNNUAG' 24-'G4ZIIIIR6N' 25-*K51 LLLLSGE' } Breathless was one of the finest Doom Mr Brown is obviously a Doom fanatic clones on the Amiga - and so say all of us! From the amount of games he plays Brutal: Paws of Fury Enter NINE SPROGS on the password screen. This
will now make you invincible.
Thanks to Martin Phillips from Chesterfield for that one.
Premier Manager 3 if you dial 400040 on the telephone screen your players will now have a higher fitness rate and better morale.
If you are lacking in the financial department you can just dial 343343 for some extra money.
Out of breath Read your piece about Breathless. Doom type clones. Review coming out soon. I would like to praise AB3D which is just brilliant. Playability superb. Aliens at different locations each time I play. Intelligence fantastic.
I do want to see better graphics. I want to see games programmed for the best set-ups rather than the lower grade set-ups, then we can all go out and upgrade our Amigas a bit more.
Also, loaded your freebie, Image Vision. I simply get a drawer containing two icons. One of which restarts the loading sequence all over again. Cannot get Image Vision to run!
A Brown. Northampton Well, Mr Brown (we think that’s your name, we couldn't quite make out the signature) it's nice to hear your thoughts on Doom clones. And I’m sure we'd all like to see more 'high spec’ games on the Amiga.
We’re a little stumped on your problem with Image Vision because we don't know what setup you have, so we can’t really help. Having said that, try reading the instructions carefully to see if there’s anything you may have missed. The cause maybe that you don’t have the required specifications to run the program. If the symptoms still persist then write to ACAS at the usual address and state in more detail the problems you have encountered and, more importantly, what sot-up you have.
Some might say If you have ony questions about anything whatsoevec or If you have any cheats, either put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and either write to us at System Feedback Amiga Computing IDG Media Adllngton Pari Macclesfield SKI (MNP or e-mall us on: ecSt® ocomp.demon.co.uk. And remem bee If your letter H any good or If you robe any Interesftrg subjects, we may even dg deep In our already we«-stocked game* cupboard and reward you. Sa come on let's hear what you have to say.
I’m having an absolute Nightmare!
I am a subscriber of Amiga Computing and the articles ore oil relevant ond superbly written. I was wondering whether you would be able to send me a guide of how to complete Nightmare.
I know it's a very old game but also very difficult to complete. I thank you in anticipation.
Lee Jones London I haven't heard of a game called Nightmare, and when I asked around the office the only one we managed to think of was Knightmare, the game conversion from that bland TV show that came on around tea time. However, we don’t think this is the one you're thinking of, so I'm afraid we can’t really help. Sorry.
Review Even though we protest we don't com- I pare the Amiga Doom clones to the PC or Playstation Doom. I suppose deep _I down we do. In fact I'm sure we'd all like to see something that would wipe them off the face of the Earth completely. So much so in fact that accounting offices would then be kitted out with networked Amiga's and insteod of the staff pretending to work, they'd actually be playing a Doom clone on the Amiga.
Perfect Doom?
All the games that feature in this round-up don't really fall short of the 'fun' hurdle, and some still leave a lot to be desired. I think what's missing is the speed. By managing to display graphics of super Hires standard at full screen, we might be on to something. Is it possible? Who knows. Most people believe the specifications for the Amiga just aren't good enough. But with programmers finding new ways of manipulating the Amiga, continuous ways of upgrading, and even coming up with ideas surrounding the new RISC-based Amiga, we could well see something better than the PC.
One thing we have learnt during the past year with the rise of Doom-like releases is that speed does have a price. Playing these types of games on a standard A1200 cannot be justified. We have tried it. And it's very slow and jerky - reducing the playability tenfold. Consequently, a higher spec machine is fast becoming a necessity rather than a luxury.
Everybody knows that computers are an expensive purchase, and the decision to get one should be carefully thought through. However, what people fail to realise is that if you do purchase a computer, you must remember that the expense will not end at your local computer store - you’ll be forced to invest in the world of upgrades.
It's a vicious circle. If you spend £1000 pounds on a computer, it is inevitable that you will need to pay even more as time moves on. Especially if you want to play the latest ‘high spec' games and use the latest applications. If you don't upgrade, your software will become dated and inefficient and you will probably never use it as much as you I should - you have more or less I wasted £1000 or are not getting value for money.
I So what choices do you have? I'll tell you.
I Absolutely none.
Let's start with the PC. For an average machine, I something like a 486 which would cost around I £1000, you'd get a monitor, a 1000 meg hard drive I and probably some games. The I standard 486 comes with 4 megabytes of RAM. So I you'll have to upgrade to 8 megs before you start I - especially if you want to use the much hyped I Windows 95.
So why was a computer released with inade- I quate memory? The answer is quite obviously I because PC developers thought that would be I enough memory for the software available at that time. To play the very latest games on the PC, 8 I meg is nothing short of a necessity, and it costs around £200. So what about 1997 or 1998? Will 8 meg be enough to cope with the software being released? Probably not, and what would happen if there was ever a Windows 97 or 98? Would 16 megabytes enough? This is the point where computers manage to deem themselves an expensive purchase.
Let's go back to the Amiga - a standard A1200. Take the Magic Pack for example, which costs anything up to £500 because people have begun to realise that life with just a floppy isn't good enough.
Another example of an upgrade which was deemed expensive a couple of years back is a hard drive.
Now. However, the majority of Amiga users have one. And. Thankfully. They're now included within the package.
So how can you upgrade an Amiga to a suitable level to play all these Doom-clones that are currently dominating the market? Firstly, the main addition to a standard Amiga A1200 has to be the accelerator.
With mail-order companies selling decent ones for about £140 to £200, they really should be snapped up.
However, if you want to take the expense a lot further you'd probably be able to lay your hands on a 68060 board which will set you back around £600 - £700. If this is just to play Doom clones, you might as well buy yourself a PC and play the real thing.
I can remember a few months back that we ran a Reader Survey which was aimed mainly at games players. The amount of people who hod o higher spec machine than a standard A1200 was tremendous - there was only a small percentage of A500 and A600 owners out there. So when users are upgrading all the time, it is quite safe to say that we will see the perfect Doom-clon© out there. When? Now, that's another matter It's just possible that the time may be around May. By whom? Well it has to be none other than Team 17. Alien Breed 3D was absolutely excellent and they've already begun work on a follow up
which, from what we've seen, is looking pretty unbelievable. If you thought Breathless looked good, this will undoubtedly make the average PC owner green with envy.
I spoke to Martyn Brown from Team 17 to get his views on the whole Doom issue. I began by asking him how it all started?
“Around mid 1994. The Doom thing was just starting and we'd seen a beta version of Doom.
We didn't really consider it possible on the Amiga until we got talking to a guy on the Amiga newsgroups on Usenet (Andy Clitheroe) about the possibilities, and he claimed to have a similar engine. We spoke at length, he came over, and the rest is history. Alien Breed 3D was born."
What is the attraction with Doom? "I played Doom to death on the PC. We have played over 4 With programmers finding new ways of manipulating the Amiga... we could well see something better than the PC 5 review Doom on the PC and Playstation. We all agree it is a good game, but most of us would like to be playing it on an Amiga Alien Breed 3D 2 is looking graphically superb - let's hope the gameplay remains from AB3D Under comparison Fears I think this was the second Doom clone we ever saw and I actually preferred this to Gloom because I wasn't particularly at ease playing it with all those
And what I liked about Fears was the fact you could adjust resolutions, screen modes and detail levels to suit your particular requirements. Also, as well as featuring a level editor, it was a challenging game and in my mind it still reminds me of Doom.
Alien Breed 3D Allen Breed 3D entered our offices around the same time as Breathless and it was a tough choice between the two.
Eventually I plumped for Breathless.
Alien Breed 3D does pack in some excellent graphics and sound and the gameplay was nothing short of excellent, but I found Breathless slightly more playable... but only just.
Gloom This was one of the most played games in the office, although I have to admit it was mainly me.
I wasn't particularly happy with the graphic display because of the resolution, but I still played.
This was because I used to get so far Into it. Then I'd just die.
And then I'd think: ’I can do that bit. I can.' And there you have it
- addictiveness at Its most lethal.
The range of weapons were good and the death sequences were particularly superb, but the thing that let it down was the fact you couldn't configure the game.
This is a problem, especially when your system setup is not particularly fast, or you want to take advantage of any other peripherals you have. Other than this. Gloom is still a very worthy purchase.
Breathless Some might say this is the the Network, and I even own a copy of the Playstation. It's because Doom is fun. There's always a great atmosphere. It's not complicated, and it's easy to pick up and have a blast with. Doom was probably one of the first pseudo-3D games that really grabbed people by the balls and stuck them In an unreal alien environment. I suppose the timing was good because people were raving about Virtual Reality and everything and Doom provided a simpler model of this at home anyway - that's the way I saw it."
The latest problem has been the Amiga's specifications and the home user's set-up. It is impossible to cater for everybody's needs. Martyn believes it's because the Amiga has severely lost out in retail terms over the last two years.
“These days it's becoming less common to see Amiga software getting any sort of priority in stores.
Retailers have been reluctant to stock A1200 editions, let alone high-end versions. Alien Breed 3D 2 is the first game we have ever done that you really need an accelerated machine for. A bog standard Al 200 is adequate but it needs more, certainly a 68030 and true 32-bit FastRAM. AB3D 2 has to be severely crippled in terms of on-screen presentation and image-size to get it to run on anything other than pedestrian speed on a standard A1200.
Having said that, on a decent spec machine it’s looking phenomenal!” So. What's the main obstacle companies such as Team 17 must overcome to j release a Doom game?
"It's the feel of the thing, the playability aspects There's absolutely no point doing something that i looks really great but plays like a bag of old socks.
With Alien Breed 3D we went for maximum frame update and spent time on the atmosphere, level design and playability. You'll soon forget the pixel size and screen size and get involved with the | game. Alien Breed 3D has no graphical cutbacks I and the gameplay remains bettete||pn ever, but ultimate Doom clone, although lt‘s set in the distant future featuring robots instead of beasts.
In my mind, the only thing that let this down was that the weapons didn't really give you a feel of power.
For instance In Doom, running around a maze with just a shotgun and then finding a Rocket Launcher In a secret room would give you that Instant rush to blow away everything in sight.
However, the weapons In Breathless are slightly weak, apart from the flame-thrower.
Other than that, the graphics are the best seen on first- perspective games, and at the moment it looks like only Alien Breed 3D 2 can challenge this game.
Behind The Iron Gate It's a bit unfair to call this a Doom clone, though it was based on the same idea. There was more RPG-type action whereby Instead of moving with the gun in the middle of the screen, you used the keys to move yourself, and the mouse to move a crosshair into various positions for you to target.
It wasn't really a new idea by any means. In fact as far as games go, it just slips into the 'miscellaneous' category.
Citadel Programmed by polish team Arrakis Software, this one was just too damn hard. The major gripe was that when you walked into a wall, the blow took a notch off your energy.
Therefore, if you weren't particularly dainty around the corners you'd end up with hardly any energy before you had even reached your first enemy.
The blood and guts in this were good. They may not have had the flying limbs os in Gloom, but the bodily spillages were nothing short of gut-wrenching.
Just make sure you've had no Cheese and Tomato Pot Noodles before you play.
C TA* ***** ii tj-jh
• •• h j* v' ; T sBfhS* the downside is that you need a
tooled up Amiga to mean business."
With this in my mind I asked him about the future of Doom games on the Amiga.
“The future of this type of 'high spec' game is in the hands of the buyers - they must prove there is a viable market. However, as far as we're concerned, the future rests on the outcome of Alien Breed 3D 2.
We are taking it as far as we can."
Finally, which is the best Doom clone on the market so far and why?
"AB3D. I say this without bias because it felt the same as Doom, although you perhaps needed FastRAM or a faster processor. It really is the game, not just the graphics. Breathless was a bit of tart, looked nice, but the novelty wore off after 30 minutes. Gloom was very nice, although not strictly speaking a Doom engine, and more of an out and out blast. Fears was pretty unremarkable and just about unplayable."
League division Doom This is the official system league table of Doom games. On the right are the scores we have given them in our reviews. This is how it stands now.
PuMth« Graphic! Sound Gameptay Supports Ovorafl Asen Breed 3D 91% 66% 90% All AMIGAs 91% m 90% 92% A1200 92% Foots 93% 69% 92% A1200 92% Gloom 85% 80% 84% A1200 81% Citadel 62% 70% 63% AH AMIGAs 70% Behind Iron gale 71% 63% 65% AS Amiga *4% II their RPGs, GDW fold
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ruga amigq GUIDE migo gui In a final visit to Workbench's
menus, Frank Nord looks at Icons and Tools menus Paul Overaa
provides a runable version of last month's scatter loading
routines How to convert your existing Basic programs so they
run in Arexx. Paul Overaa explains amiga g amigcj c?
Phil South begins a series on how to make all your Web page designs look even better !«*« Frank Nord demonstrates the importance of r P getting your pictures pixel perfect 4 VtJ Create interesting multimedia in Amos by a* interacting with on-screen objects Paul Overaa reviews a new sound synthesis program from Blachford Technology Steve White shows you how to create the perfect human figure Paul Austin shows how to get round the problem of spline patching Following on from last month, Cary Whiteley looks at the different video formats available I ' ~~~B C-lrul* vojr L.An •3SCi".i:n:; iCl
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ROHPrlciHpkM aendaMC. Ptanee make chnqum payable lo EPIC MARKETING TOTAL GOODS VALUE POSTS, PACKING EXP DATE AMOUNT ENCLOSED Would you like to see the menu?
Frank Nord takes a final look at Workbench's menus
- this month Icons and Tools menus Right-o. Onto the Icons and
Tools menus. Hopefully this should see the end of the menu item
¦¦¦ descriptions so that we can carry On with other things next
Part 3 The icons menu The Icons menu is like the Window menu in that it, loo, is modal Modal means you con only use it when certain conditions are fulfilled, in this instance an icon has to be selected. H is also further modal in that certain menu items are only available when the right sort of icon is selected. Remember, when a menu item is unavailable it is said that it is 'ghosted'.
Open 30 The first of the modal menu items, the open item works differently depending on what sort of icon is selected when you choose it. If the icon is a drawer or disk icon, then the window appropriate to that icon will be opened. If it's a tool, then the menu item will run the selected program, and if it's a project icon then the program associated with the icon (in the default tool field in its icon) will be run and the selected file will be loaded into it. You can find out an icon's type by using the 'Information...' item listed below.
Copy DC This menu option will copy the selected icon. If the icon concerned is a file or drawer, a duplicate will be ploced in the same drawer but called 'Copy_of_file- name', where filename is the name of the file. If you wont to rename this copy, moke sure you move it out of the same drawer as AmigaDOS doesn't like lo have two files with the same name in the same place.
Snapshot saves the position of the selected icon, if you snapshot a drawer you will olso snapshot the shape and size of its window.
UnSnapshot eE3U r The tools This item deletes the position (and size m the cose menu
- -------1------ ' .9 wherever Workbench sees fit. ,
Rename... OR This item brings up a text field requester which
contains the name of the file you have selected. You can type
a new name in, but try to steer clear of spaces in your
filenames as these can cause problems later on.
Here ore some handy keyboard shortcuts for when you are editing a text field: Clears the whole field Resets the text field to its original state Right Amiga X Right AMIGA Q Shift Right Cursor Shift Left Cursor Moves the cursor to the end of the text Moves the cursor to the start of the text If you have a commodity like MCX or MCP you will have additional abilities in text fields like being able to paste text into them or only move the cursor a word at a time.
Information... This item will bring up a window giving you information about the icon you have selected.
Depending on the icon type, certain features will be present or absent, but you will always see save and cancel buttons. If you are looking ot a file or drawer icon you will hove access flags that you can set down the right-hand side of the window, and if it is a tool or project you will have tooltypes you can edit. If you want to know what type of file an icon is, the title of the file appears at the top of the window and you will see what type of file it is next to the title in brackets.
Snapshot 3S LeaveJDut This item and the one below (Put Away) refer to Workbench's ability to have icons sitting on the Workbench screen without being inside a window.
You can always drag an icon onto the Workbench, but unless you use this menu item, the icon will be back inside its window the next time you boot this machine.
3L DP Put Away This puts icons away that you have left out. It is a good idea to UnSnapshot them before you put them The tools mmnu is really boring unless you have a utility like Too I Manager away because you can end up having to scroll through large empty expanses of window to get to on icon that was snapshotted in some corner of a large Workbench screen Delete... This item will bring up a requester asking you if you are sure you want to delete whatever files and drawers you have selected. This cannot be used if a disk icon is selected.
Format Disk... This item can only be selected when you have a disk icon clicked on. You will be given several warnings before anything dangerous happens.
Empty Trash If you still use the troshcan facility offered by Workbench you will need to hove its icon clicked on before you can use this menu item.
To start with you will have nothing on your Tools menu apart from one item - 'ResetWB'. This tries to restore previously saved Workbench settings, but frequently gets frustrated by windows being open or other programs running. I can't remember the last time I used it.
This finishes our look at the menus of Workbench, but there will be an epilogue next month where I introduce you to some of the utilities that can make Workbench's menus easier and more productive to use.
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Paul Overaa the image loading example that you'll find on the cover disk of this issue... Tricky a I o qding oving briefly oullined the AMIGAOOS scatter loading routines and indicated that they can be used for various rwvproeessbased purposes, it seemed only right to provide a runoble example so that you con see the ideas in oction. I've chosen a fairly simple Workbench-based Intuition program that allows you to use the asl requester to select and display an imoge that has been stored in AmigaDOS lood file form (as discussed fast month).
Needless to say, the code used to perform this trick is fairly minimal but in order to provide a runable example, it is necessory to incorporate the various statements into a fully fledged Intuition program. You'll find the Source for this on disk as the file seglisf.s and it is the overall structure of this code that we need to discuss; The program begins by opening the DOS, graphics, intuition, godtools and asl libraries using a loop arrangement. Immediately after the library opening comes a set of allocation deallocation routines controlled by a series of subroutine calls (this
arrangement has been used in many past examples).
Once the program is up and running, control passes to an event handling routine whose sole job is to identify the various classes of InfuiMessage events and take the appropriate ocfions os events are detected. The event handling code uses an exec WaitPortf) call to put the program to sleep until Intuition sends it a The code on disk You'll find the source, two loadable test images (loadable_imagel and loadable image2), and a runable version of the example on disk. To run the program just double-click on the 'seglist' icon and load one of the images. For simplicity I've chosen to just display
the images on the Workbench screen but of course ideally, we should see how many bitplanes the image needs and open a suitable depth screen and window for the image in question.
Incidentally, for those of you without the official Amiga includes, I've provided a separate include file, called seglist.i, which contains all the system definitions required, Just make the changes shown in listings 2 and 3 before assembling the example!
Vjpr- rTl .. §P
M. ..I jttmJ Jnr.l ja E£*j
- j The image loading example In action message. When you look
at the tog entries in window opening sections of the example,
you'll see that a WAJDCMP tag is being used in conjunction with
program is notified whenever the user activates the menu or
hits the close gadget Since I'm adjusting the window size to
suit the image on display, I also ask for IDCMP CHANCEWINCOW
event notification since these events enable us to tell when
window resizing is complete (new imoges are only ever drown
after such events are received).
Having cleored any existing imoge using a call to the graphics library SetRastf) function, this routine has to bring up the asl file requester and then copy the user selected file path name to the filename buffer Because the example program con be used to lood more than one imoge, we need to also check for (ond unload) any existing image before loading a new selection. It's done like this: Those official include files Commercial Assemblers like Devpac come with the official Commodore (now Amiga Technologies) include files which provide a moss of Amiga-specific system definitions. You can, of
course, type in any required definitions for yourself by looking them up in, say, the Addison Wesley Amiga ROM Kernel Reference Manuals (listings are given in the Includes & Autodocs volume). This approach, for all but the simplest of programs, would, however, be nothing short of a nightmare since even the slightest of errors in system structures and definitions could cause havoc when you try to assemble your programs.
Because of this, almost everyone who is serious about low-level Amiga coding either ends up buying an Assembler like Devpac or they purchase the system files separately for use with programs like Charlie Gibb's a68k assembler. The official includes are available from Amiga Technologies on a disk set known as the Amiga Developer Update disks (currently release 3.1) and the price is £30.
¦ove.l beq.s rated?
• ove.l seglistj ,d1 .no.seglist is a seglist still allo-
UnLoadSeg,_DGS8ase llO,segliitj clear pointer Having done that
we make a call to LoadSegO, identify the base of the new
imoge structure and change the window to an appropriate
size(see listing 1).
¦ove.l segUst_p,dO Ul.l 12,40 addq.l 14, dO ¦ove.l d0,iaage_p preserve iaage pointer ¦ove.l d0,l1 ¦ove.l vindew_p,aC resize uindou to ¦oveq
* X_OFFSET,d0 suit iaage size ¦oveq
* r 0FFSET1,d1 ¦ove.w ig.Width(at),d2 add.1 4X_OFF$ ET+XJFFSET,d2
¦ove.u ig_neiglt(a1),d3 add.1 r_OFF$ ETHYJFF$ ET2,d3 Callsys
ChangeVindovBox,_IntuitionB8se Listing 1: Code fragment which
perform% the window resizing include exec ae»ory.i include
intuition intuition.i include libraries dos.i include
libraries asl.i include libraries gadtools.i include
exec exec_lib.i include intuit ion in tuitionjib.i include
graphics graphicsjib.i include libraries dosjib.i include
libraries asljib.i include libraMes jadtoolsJib.i t include
seglist.i Listing 2: Use this start to the example if you have
the oHlclal Amiga Includes include exec ae»ory.i i include
intuition intuition.i !
Include libraries dos.i i include libraries asl.i include libraries gadtools.i i include exec exec.lib.i f include intuition intuitioa_lib.i include grapkics grapkics.lib.i i include libraries dos_lib.i t include libriries asl.lib.i include Ubraries gadtools_lib.i include seglist.i Listing 3: Comment out the system Includes and use the segfist.i file M you haven’t got the official Amiga files Amiga Computing WHILE-U-WAIT COMPUTERS & MONITORS NEW LOW FIXED PRICE A1200 £49.95 £39.95 Attention Dealers Ring Fax Now for best trade prices and terms on Repairs, Spares, Floppy Drives, Hard Drives, CD
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Basic programs to run under Arexx mmm* Making GOSUB
FOR 12=1 TO •Z:XC1X)*X(IX)-W0RD.X IX):BEXT If Adjust 10 word
Cell SourceO I* -------------------- Get file • Uritech(stdout,PR0NPT1) inputS= * * do while length(inputS)==0 cell UcountO • Get word count * call SpellCheckO * Check spelling ' do 1=1 to »
X. I ¦ I. I -WO t D_X. 1 I* Adjust 10 word values • end
Uritech(stdout,PR0NPT2); inputS=Reidln(stdin) end eiit * End
of progrn! * End of prograa!
Listing 2: The Arexx conversion ol listing 1 hen Amiga Basic was given owoy free as part of the Amiga's software, there was an almost irvbuih incentive to take Basic programs written on other machines, and convert them to run on the Amiga. New users coming to the Amiga nowadays do not have this opportunity so. Unless ?«y go out ond buy soy Amos or HiSoft Bosic, they
* oy well have previously useful Bosic programs written for
other machines now lying unused.
One option is to translate such programs into Arexx form and surprisingly this, in many cases, is not difficult. Some chonges ore obvious: Remark fcnes, which in Bosic ore written either os Rem statements or endof-line remarks, need lo be changed to Arexx's * .... * style comments. Bosic variable The fact that Arexx does not provide conventional arrays might lead you to think that array conversion could be a potential trouble spot. It isn't - because such array variables translate almost directly into Arexx compound variables.
For example the array X(i%,j%) becomes
X. i.j and a loop such as: m ii=i to n FOR JI«1 to 11 X
• EXT 12 con be written as: to 1*1 to II do j=1 to II type
indicators (% integers, & long integers and so on) con be
dropped. Gosub statements used to execute subroutines will
need to be changed to Arexx's function call scheme (remember,
incidentally, that routines that provide return values do not
need explicit call statements).
With Basic Print commands, the easiest idea is to convert them into Arexx Say statements. Arexx’s Say instructions, however, always generate linefeeds, so if your code contains Print commands that have terminal semicolons to suppress linefeed generation, q better alternative is to replace all Print X type commands with Writech(stdout, X) function calls. In this latter cose you con always include an explicit linefeed character when you need one.
Formatted output based on Print Using instructions can be handled in much the same way - just incorporate the appropriate Arexx string handling function [eg left(), to mimic the Print Using field Get file lengths). Basic Input statements can, of course, be similarly converted using Arexx Pull, ReadlnQ or Readch().
Listing 1: Some example Basic code tad end Basic arrays have to be set up using Dim statements, eg Dim X( 15,20). With Arexx this is not necessary, so Dim expressions can be eliminated altogether. What you do need to do, however, is initialise the stems used to represent numeric arrays (especially if there is any chance that any elements are likely to be referenced before a real value is assigned to them). Remember that Arexx automatically initialises unused variables (including stems) to the name of the variable itself. This means that uninitialised elements in, say a numeric array X.i.j,
would by default be set to the letter 'X' and this would cause an error if such values were subsequently used in arithmetic expressions.
For Next loops need to be converted into Arexx do end loops and if a step volue is being used the 'by' keyword needs to be included in the equivalent Arexx version. For example a Basic loop which reads: FOR XX*1 to Nl STEP 2 [ body of loop] NEIT II needs to become... do 1*1 to N by 2 I body of loop] end Similarly, While Wend loops need to be changed to the Arexx do-while end equivalent and here, some of the exit expressions used may need altering.
Basic's 'o' (not equal to) operator, for example, will need to be written as in the Arexx form. Other conditional test statements within the code may also need such alterations.
All these translations tend to be straightforward because in reality they do not affect the overall structure of the program.
The thing to do is experiment - make a preliminary translation tackling the easy areas first. Once you have introduced a recognisable Arexx flavour to the code you will find it easier to deal with any more difficult statement conversions that remain.
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* Hattt Sj(' jfv t onfy Q)(lKobn to biiJwtr tan VERSION 5.11
£ Phil South starts a series of tips on how to make your Web sites look and work better Adventures on the Web It is so easy to get published on the Web these days, it's KardJy surprising that so many people leap into it without first giving a little bit of con- ¦ I sideration to what it is they ore supposed to be doing. More importantly, they rarely give any consideration to the people who are going to have to reod what they put on there and make some sense of it.
With this in mind, I thought it was time there was a definitive guide to what you, as an Amiga user, con do to make the Web o nicer place to be. Sodly, although we hove very good Web browsers on the Amiga, most, as yet, don't comply with the latest version of HTML This doesn't mean you shouldn't cater for users of your Web site who have the misfortune to be running something other than an Amiga. By all means, put in things which make your site look good, and make the best use of text and graphics, Obviously the whole point of using the Web rather than a text-based system is that it can do
text and graphics, and most people use this as an excuse to go haywire. In fact, the less you do in the way of graphics, the more people will like your site. Sounds stupid doesn't it, but it's more important that the quality of the grophics are up to scratch rather than the Phil South Home Page part 1 The LOWSRC image on the left can stand In as a proxy for the more modem-intensive colour image on the right omount or size of them. Take a bit of time to create your graphics. (Note: Amosaic will only show inline images on AmigaDOS 3.0 upwards, so the following chat about inline graphics will
only apply if you use an AGA AMIGA.) Make your graphics with Dpaint by all means, or better still a program with a lot more filters and effects like Art Department or Photogenics. Save all your pictures as GIF or Jpeg and only use Jpegs very sparingly far big colourful pictures which need to hove all the colours of the rainbow in them.
One clever trick is to use the LOWSRC command in HTML to load a low resolution block ond white (that's two colour) GIF picture first so the user con see what you're getting at before the picture .s fuly loaded. That way, if they like what they see they con wait, and if they get the idea they can dick and move on to the next page. Use it like this: Ili6 $ ftt="bigpic.jpg' LWStC biipielo.gif* ilts’Big logo'* The b w picture loads first, then the big colour one.
The 'alt" option means that if for some reason the PhilSoutvT ?
Home Page Search me!
Okay, have you ever wondered how to add a searchable index at another site which is accessible from your own page.
For example, say you wanted to add a search form for Yahoo into your own pages. All you need to do is add the following HTML into your code: !-- Begin Yahoo Starch For» F0tN HETH0DS4ET KTIOR:*kttp: search.yahoo.eoB bin seirch” mP0T SIZE=30 NA«=p IMPUT TTPE-subait
* *lUE*'Yahoo! Search’* FOII ! End Tahoo Search fort and
there you are, a form which searches Yahoo direct from your
Simple, innit?
Picture doesn't load, the dude who logged onto your page still has some idea of whal should be there.
Finally, take note: on browsers based on other platforms, interlaced GIFs 'res-in', and non-interlaced don't. Interlaced GIFs can give you an idea of what is going on in the picture before it is fully loaded, but saving interlaced GIFs is a little bit tricky on all but the most pro spec image treotment programs.
Oh yes, and experiment with the ALIGN command too, when placing pictures. If you put this in: IN6 $ *C='btgpu.jpg" LOUSRC**lowpic.gif” align=right alt='*assive Logo’* then the text will flow down the left-hand side of the page and your graphic will be on the right. Change right to left in the command and the reverse will be true. It's a smoll trick but a very powerful one.
TEXT OPTIONS That's all Although the Web is a graphics heaven, it's hell for some poor suckers, because they are wholly text based. If you don't have a direct link to the Internet, then you are locking at text through some third- party Lynx look-a-like. Always give a text option, like using "alt" in your picture definitions, and always give the links in text, rather than merely as a picture. Don't put any text on your screen as o graphic unless you back this up with a little bit of on-screen text somewhere.
Also, do you have plain text throughout or do you use too many italics and bolds? Don't overuse the emphasisers, make them work for you. Use italics to show emphasis or to describe a title of something, or better yet put "" around titles. Use bold to emphasise headings and other important stuff. That way your pages won't look like they've been gone over with a typographical lawnmower.
Take your lead from other people's pages, and look at magazines and how they use typography.
When do they use italics, when do they use bold, when do they use CAPITALS, how many different sizes of text do they use? All these things are important to design, and play a part in how easy your pages are to read. Or how amateur and hasty they look. The choice is yours.
Okay, enough alreody. So you con’t occess a Iot of HTML fogs in your own browser, but that's no reason why you can't put things in for other users to see. There are developments afoot to bring AMIGA Web browsers up to the current standards In HTML mark-up, ond I'll be covering these m "te next instalment. See you then. In the interim • ,-c-.
Like you can e-mail me at snouty@cix.compulink.co.uk phil.south@ukonline.co.uk and ask me anything about HTML or rv .•frv Any of the best tips I get will be printed m s Amiga Computing m PROMISED YOU tHii I EST EMCS CDS HAVE THE I FOLLOWING FEATURES.
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: 01255 431389 Fax: 01255 428666 Pixels for print mm Printing
your pictures isn't as easy as it first appears.
Frank Nord explains why It's happened to me recently. I started a project to create on odvert for print in a magozine, but when I looked at a chromo- H lin of the finished article, it was all blocky.
A-d why? Because I hadn't paid enough attention to the smallest of matters - the pixels that mode up fe image.
Now, my first attempt at creating images for print came some time ago, ond I swiftly realised 6ot the pixels that make up an imoge aren't necessarily square. PAL pixels aren't too bad, but NTSC pixels are only about 85 per cent as wide os they ore toll. This doesn't matter onscreen, you just run on NTSC screenmode ond view your picture - it looks great. The trouble is that pulling your artwork
* to a DP package will mean you hove to rescale if to make sure
it looks the some in print os it does on rf»e screen. The DTP
packages we have on the AMIGA don't really care about things
like pixel aspect or PPI (pixels per inch), but if you're plan
ning on taking your image to a printers to hove it output,
their software almost certainly will.
When printing you won't be using ppi, but Ipi and dpi. Dpi (or dots per inch) is the hard physical resolution that a printer can output. If your printer con print at 720dpi, it doesn't mean it will also be able to print at 720lpi. Ipi (or lines per inch) is the number of halftone dots that will fit on a line one inch long. Most home printers con manage an Ipi roting of between 65 ond lOOIpi, but the number leSre 11 ok Wuik The process might finish there for you as the origmo- tor of the artwork, but it's not enough for print. Since printers work on a four colour basis, the imoge dso needs to
be in CMYK. This will increase the size of the file even further. You will probably find it difficult to change your file's format to CMYK on the Amiga, certainly I'm not aware of a program that con do it for you. Most printers will be able to cope if you supply them a 24-bit IFF file though.
Of colours they can produce at higher Ipi levels may be reduced.
So how big do you have to create your image?
Well, because the halftones ore created from your image data algorithmically, it is best to have two pixels per halftone dot. This means that to get the best results on a 65lpi output for a full page image (we'll use letter size as the figures for A4 are more complicated), you'll need to multiply 8.5 inches across by your Ipi setting, giving a total of 552.5 pixels. Next we'll check how high the image should be, so we multiply 11 inches x 65lpi to get 715 pixels. So we now have an image of 553 x 715 and we'll double that to be sure of the best quality output possible at this resolution to
a figure of 1105 x
1430. Of course, if you are planning on creating an imoge to be
printed at full page size in a magozine, you should be
aware of the fact that mago- zines like ours tend to use a
screening process at 133lpi or even higher. This means that
the same image for a magazine would have to be 2261 x 2926
- much larger and harder to fit on a floppy.
Obviously, even the most visionary artist is going to find it hard to create a masterpiece in Dpaint at these sorts of resolutions, so this advice is mainly geared towards people using a 3D pockoge and or ImageF X (or something similar). If you are using a 3D package to create these files, you will need to pay far more ottenfion to your modelling and surfacing than before. Edges which seemed smooth in a screen resolution imoge will appear very polygonal in print, and single point or flipped polygons wiil be very apparent.
Hopefully, this should help guide you through the minefield that is pictures into print. FT& PageStream progress It finally arrived, and arrived and orrived. Lote in January I received a copy of PageStream 3.0» from Softlogik, followed by a newer version ond another newer version. I've now got the latest copy installed on my machine and there's no doubt, PageStream 3.0i is now as stable os Page5tream 2.2, their lost commercial release. Whether you think that's bod or good will depend on your experience with PageStream 2.2, but in my mind, it certoinly isn't bod. T he overall feature list for
PageStream hasn't improved, but the number of bug fixes and implementations is pretty large... Text: .Style togs now fully implemented Font caching implemented Object: ......Pen Tool now completely implemented Reshape tool completely implemented Fixed problems with Scale, transforming ond resizing Files: .....Opening a PS2 doc will bring up o requester to help you use PS3's formatting tools so that your doc most resembles its original state Printing: . Arrow heads now print properly on Postscript printers Added HP310, 320, 600C ond the new 850C to the printer
model list ond implemented the resolution enhancement technology used on the newer printers Changed the Epson driver and added a whole bunch of new XPD driver files (There are loods of them!) Printing should be faster on most Epson printers and the microweave function has also been implemented Miscellaneous: As stated last month, PogeStream now works on a CyberGfx screen in up to 24-bit resolutions Changed some Arexx commands ond the macros that use them.
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9, Dunoon, Argyll. PA23 8QQ When the bell tolls Phil South
looks at options for creating interesting multi- media with
Amos Lost month we talked about using animations and sound
with Amos and how you can make a multimedia appli- cation using
our favourite coding engine. Okay, let's get specific now,
Multimedia programs consist of graphics and sound, and are
interactive. This means you must interact with the objects on
the screen, therefore you must be able to click on icons and
buttons to make things happen in the program.
Parv z
• Ideas Imaging V ABOUT To give you a good grounding in making
multimedia buttons which perform an oction when you click on
them, try this simple program for size.
Firstly, you have to reserve a set of zones. Simply work out how many buttons will be on the screen.
(This is okoy os you can always change it all later, should the need arise.) In this example we have three buttons: Kcstrvt lone 3 Now we have to indicate which zones we want to moke sensitive to mouse clicks, and then build buttons on them. The three zones will be button 1 from 10,10 to 30,30, button 2 from 35,10 to 55,30, and button 3 which will be from 60,10 to 80,30.
Remember that screen co-ordinates are horizontal then vertical, with 0,0 being the top left of the screen. This means our buttons will be in a little neat row at the top of the screen. So we set the zones up using the sizes of the buttons as a guide: FLAVOURS RECIPES You con have your cake and eat it when creating multimedia with Amos Set Zone 1,10,10 To 30,30 Set Zone 2,35,10 To 55,30 Set Zone 3,60,10 To 80,30 and we now need to draw the buttons. Of course, you don't have to draw buttons, but in the examples in this column I try to moke them os standalone os possible, without any external
graphics etc., otherwise it makes it hard to follow the text if you don't have the cover disk to hand. You could, of course, substitute a picture of a button designed in Dpoinf, or a digitised picture of a face - anything that you might want people to click on. In fact, you can make any area of the screen clickable, so why not make a whole console? (I'll be featuring a little program to help you map out mouse zones easily in a future issue of this series.) Okay, bock to making some simple bas relief buttons. Firstly we cleor the screen with black: Curs Off : Cls 0 then we draw in the
buttons: Ink I : Bar 10,10 To 30,30 Ink 8 : Bar 12,12 To 30,30 Ink 7 : Bar 12,12 To 28,28 Ink 2 : Bar 35,10 To 55,30 Ink 8 : Bar 37,12 To 55,30 Ink 7 : Bar 37,12 To 53,28 Ink 2 ; Sir 60,10 To 80,30 Ink 8 : Bar 62,12 To 80,30 Ink 7 : Bar 62,12 To 78,28 DECORATION mouse button to see if it has been pressed An AND has been used in the test to only cause a reochon if the mouse button is pressed whilst the pointer is over a button. Click the pointer anywhere else on the screen and nothing happens.
The loop is a standard DOAOOP affair, ond firstly it assigns variables to MQUSE ZONE ond MOUSE CLICK: Z-Poim Zone C=House Click Next we check to see rf the conditions have been satisfied for the mouse and ony of the buttons: If CoO md Z*1 Then Bell If £ 3 and Z*2 Then Boot If CoO and 2=3 Then Shoot If you have any other Amos programs or queries about Amos, then please write to the usual address, which is: Phil South, Amos Column, Amiga Computing, Media House, Adlington Park, Macclesfield SKIO 4NP. Please send routines on an Amiga disk with notes on how the program works on paper, not os text
files on the disk. Make the routines short enough to appear in print, i.e. no more than about 30-40 lines of code, and if possible make them use no external graphics, or if they can't be used without them then be sure to provide them on the disk in native IFF for mat, and the same goes for sound files. Follow these guidelines and you'll be sure of making me a happy man if nothing else.
You'll notice that I've made the buttons with three Bar commands - one for the white highlight at the top and left of the button, one for the dark shadow, and one plopped in the centre for the colour of the button. Next we odd a line of instruction: Pen 2 : Paper i : Locate 0,8 : Print ‘Click the above buttons to *aka a noise."
And we're reody for the main program loop.
The loop basically checks the zones to see if the mouse is over any of them, and olso checks the and if any of the conditions are met, the appropriate sound is heard. If you click on button l you hear the standard bell sound, if it's button 2 you heor the boom, and on button 3 it's the shoot sound. You could, of course, replace the standard Amos sounds with samples from a sample bank, but that's for you to play with.
Right, that's multimedia buttons dealt with. Next month I'll go into how to make animated buttons, plus more hints and tips on making multimedia with Amos.
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Aural Synthetica Paul Overaa looks at a brand new sound
synthesis program I from Blachford Technology... Aurol
Synthetica is a sound sample creation program which uses o
synthesis approach best described os the soft- MH ware
equivalent of an analogue synth with modern digital waveform
Modern synthesizers, of course, are based around oscillators which generate a set of fundamental sounds, filters which cut or boost different frequencies, envelope generators that can change the volume of the sound components over time, and SO on. Mix all that hardware together ond add a keyboard, memory, Midi, touch buttons that con store and retrieve sound combinations from memory instantaneously, and you end up with a typical piece of modern kit.
In the early days (long before Midi was even dreamed of), synthesizers used much the same sort of elements, but they were not connected by electronic switching - they used almost breadboard-like connecting leads to 'potch in' (i.e. route| signals around. As far as signal routing is concerned, these early connection arrangements File formats The initial result is always a 16-bit sound that can be saved in one of five formats - 5AFF (the format introduced in Synthetica's sister program Aural illusion). AIFF, the 16-bit file format used on the Amiga and Apple Macintosh (also turns up on the PC
as .AIF), Windows (PC) WAV, MAUD (for Wavetools sound card users), end (with a corresponding decrease in sample quality) 8-bit IFF 8SVX format. Once saved, incidentally, you may need a touch of editing to remove clicks or other glitches which tend to appear at the beginning and end of Synthetica-generated samples (any sample editor can be used for this).
Were actually more flexible than those found on many synthesizers today, and it is in these early 'modular' signal routing arrangements that Aural Synthetica's methods of working are based. You link oscillators, envelope generators and so on together in order to define a sound.
The top part of the moin Synthetica screen is a window which lets you view and play the resultant sounds. Beneath this is the socalled DMS (Digital Modular Synthesizer) window, most of which is taken up by the buttons for occessing the sound generation and sound shaping modules (there are 66 modules in oil ond each one of them has a button). All the other sample control facilities, namely the Wave Editor, the Basic Synthesizers window, and the program's Potch Programmer, are also reached from the DMS window.
Sound generation To generate sounds the oscillators can use either the 12 basic waveforms or up to 24 user-defined ones. Six sliders controlling waveform, amplitude, delay, note, octave, and detune facilities are available for each oscillator, along with two check boxes which turn the output of an oscillator upside down or reverse its output. In addition to this you can add waveform, phase shift, pulse width and frequency modulation effects.
The waveform editor similarly allows you to create an almost infinite number of waves. You can do things like brighten up a waveform by increasing the number of hormonics in it, or change the harmonic content with time, and there are all manner of waveform modification options. You can reverse, invert, add varying amounts of noise and so on. The patch programmer window is full of buttons which allow the user to arrange the various oscillators, envelopes, filters etc., in any way they choose. There are also a large number of 'basic synthesizer' presets which provide immediately
accessible starting points for users.
Aural Synthetica is an interesting packoge and it's obvious that an immense amount of work has gone into it. The program is dearly capable of producing some excellent results, olthough whilst experimenting I found it all too easy to produce results thot, to put it mildly, were not so good Somple rendering, even on an A4000 040, frequently took a minute or so (sounds ore generated by large numbers of calculations), and one shortcoming of this first release is that once you stort a sample playing you can't stop it, you must wait for it to finish. This is a pain if you've generated a large
sample and needs to be corrected in loier versions.
There are plenty of good points, though including the foct that you have full control over where the rendering output will go (left, right or bom stereo channels) - this mokes it possible to gener ate samples with totally different left right Perec components!
One thing that was apparent right from the star is that Aural Synthetic provides a nigh-on ***- whelming array of controls including some rodw odd functions (like Exclusive Oring of waves I'm sure will mean little or nothing to most prcsoec- tive users. If I have any worries at oil oboef &*% program then it is that the average AMIGA i may feel there are too many options and loo i variables available!
Amiga Computing Multimedia PowerStation options for all Amigas PowerStation Specifications:- Speakers not included Speakers not included The Greatest Drive since the Model T Ford Panasonic PD DRIVE Internal Drive Unit NEW PRICE (oxc. Cartridge £45) £429.95 inc Vat We use them, we know them!
!! A1200 3.5" STAR JTS 840mb Only £199.95 ULTRA SLIM JTS 1Gb Only £229.95 JTS drives formatted, and Magic Workbench plus PD Software installed Includes cable pack.
Fits as easy as a 2.5* Drive, call for details.
Free fitting for personal callers.
UK Post and Packing £7 (CityUnk) SCSI DRIVES Quantum 840mb Lightning £199.95 HiQ Ltd, Gable End, 2 The Square, Hockliffe, Beds LU7 9NB.
Email address:- steve@hiqltd.demon.co.uk All Prices include Vat, Please add 2.5% for Credit cards unless Connect and Delta versions Tel 01525 211327 Call for brochure Fax 01525 211328 NO MORE BANDING!
COLOUR GRAPHICS LIKE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE! ‘ Yes it’s true the new Flcxi 3 will t handing and white lines from dot matrix & bubblejct printers. Now you can have laser quality on your printer Other new features include:-
* Balanced control foe picture enhancement * SelixM area to bo
printed * Select size to be printed ? Page control * Colour
sieve * Ink correction * Automatic poster mode for larger than
A4 * Catnma correction ? Spooler for colour letterhead* etc *
Colour separation * Now with anti-aliasing to remove agged
edges * Large range of dithering (dot pattern) * Variable level
of shingling to totally remove banding and white lines * Colour
catalogue function will print a miniature of each picture
configurable between 1-8 across. ? Suitable lor Citizen, Epson,
Hewlett Packard, NEC, Panasonic, Seikosha, Star and just about
any dot matrix or inkiet bubblejet laser printer.
ONLY CM.95 INC RETURN MASTER DISK How to order Enclose cheques 1*0 made payable to: CARE PRODUCTS or use Access Visa CARE PRODUCTS Dept AMC. 15 Holland Gardens, Garston, Watford, Herts, WD2 6JN. Fax: 01923 672102 ORDER LINE ON 01923 894064 ALL PRICES INCLUDE VAT AND CARRIAGE a COLOUR PRINTER RIBBONS & RELOADS Just take the top off. Take out the old ribbon and reload it with a new one. Full instructions supplied.
Complete One Five ribbon reload reloads Citizen Swift ABC 224 £11.95 £6.99 £29.95 Panasonic KXP2123 2124 2180 £9.99 £6.99 £29.95 Panasonic KXP2135 £9.99 £6.99 £29.95 Star LC200 9 pin £9.64 £5.99 £23.95 Star LC24-10 20 200 £9.64 £6.99 £29.95 Star LC24-30 LC240 £8.99 £4.99 £19.99 Seikosha SL95 £14.95 £6.99 £29.95 INKJET REFILLS For: HP DESKJET 500, 510, 520, 550, 500C, 550C, 560C.
EPSON STYLUS 800. 1000. CANON BUBBLEJET BC-01, BJ10E EX SX, BC02, BJ200, BJ130, BJ300, BJ330.
6 Refill Kit 120ml pure black .£16.99 CANON BJC 600, BJC 4000 20 Refill Kit 120ml pure black ...£16.99 EPSON STYLUS four refills 120ml pure black ...£16.99 EPSON STYLUS TRICOLOUR refill. 4 refills of yellow, magenta & cyan 180ml .£24.99 TRICOLOUR REFILL KITS FOR H P. DESKJET RANGE CANON BJC600, BJC4000 etc. 10 Refills of Yellow, Magenta & Cyan 180ml ....£24.99 Print Head Recovery Fluid for unblocking nozzles ...£5.95 Important: Please state type when
SPECIAL RE-INK For Panasonic 1080 81,1124,1180,2123,2135. Star LC200 9 Pin, Epson LQ100, Oki 182 390. Black bottle will re-ink 100+ ribbons________________£9.95 BLACK PRINTER RIBBON RELOADS Just take the top off, take out the old ribbon and reload it with a new one.
Citizen S vift ABC 120D 5 black reloads--------£9.99 I Epson FX80 LQ800 Range 5 black reloads ....-£11.99 Seikosha 1900 2400 SL& 5 black reloads £9.991 Star LC10 20 100 5 black reloads - ..£4.99 Star LC24 Range 5 black reloads .-..£9.99 I Star LC24-3O O0 5 black reloads ..H4.99 | T-SHIRT PRINTING RIBBONS PRINf Ok NORMAL PAPER IKON OK T-SHIRT 4 Colour Citizen Swift ABC 240 - ......£19.99 4 Colour Citizen Swift (Reload) ....£9.99 4 Colour Star LOO - ......£10.99 4 Colour Star LC200 9
Pin ......£1199 4 Colour Star LC200 9 Pin (Reload) ...£7.99 I 4 Colour Star LC200 24 Pin ..-£19.99 | 4 Colour Star 24 Pin (Reload) - ...£9.99 1 Colour Star LQO ..£9.99 | 1 Colour Star LC200 9 Pin ..£9.99 1 Colour all Star 24 Pin £9.99 1 Colour Epson FX80 LQ400 MX80 £9.99 I 1 Colour Epson LX80 ...-......£9.99 1 Colour Panasonic KXP 1080 ...-..£9.99 | Wide range of other ribbons
COLOUR KITS for MONO PRINTERS Ever wished you’d bought a colour printer instead of a mono one? Wouldn’t it be nice to print out pictures in colour? Now you can with Amiga "FlexiKolor Kit”. Each Amiga FlexiKolor kit comes complete with everything you need to print in colour, including superb software. The colour kit is simple to use, the ribbons fit ex ~.....~ -iL' ‘ -- * * Al 11 *--• alignment is automatic, you do i Amiga FlexiKolor kits for Star LC10, LC20, all Star 24 Pin. Panasonic 1080 81 1123 1124. Epson note colour kits come complete with coloured ribbons. Anti banding now included in
software. COMPLETE KIT £39.95 wm Amiga Computing A D ? I | 1 Q Qfi Head hunters Steve White explains how you can breathe life, bone and muscle into your life forms Due to popular demand I have decided to take a two issue timeout from animation in order to explain some important concepts for designing human figures, after which I shall return to animation. The human form is one of the most common elements in artwork, whether hqnd or computer generated, and therefore an understanding of this subject is essentiol.
In this month's article, I shall be explaining how you can create realistic looking human heads from a side and front profile. Eoch image has been broken down into the different stages required for head design, ond while they may look complicated at first, once the techniques have been mastered they will become second nature.
If you take a look at the side profile, stage Al, you can see that the heod originates from a simple circle.
In profile The front profile con be designed in exactly the same way as the side profile, the only differences being the ellipse for the shape of the head (A3) and the jaw bone profile (A4, AS). In fact, if you want to animate the head, you can easily use one profile as a template for another. Although there are two sides to the front profile, it's simply a ease of drawing one half and then flipping it to the other side.
However, although this is perfectly okay you should make appropriate changes in accordance The circle is cut in the vertical and horizontal and then the bottom-right section is cut in half once ogain with a diagonal line. Stoge Al is then finished with the front line of the face and the chin line, both morked in blue.
In stage A2, we can begin to add an ear. The ear is made up of two overlapping circles, the smaller one for the lobe, both indicated in green. By stage A3 the left half of the cirdes is removed to reveal the eor, from which we can then draw a rough jaw line. We can also dot the eye line which runs from the centre of the circle to the left edge. The red line that extends from the centre through the ear to the bottom of the circle can then be used to find the exact positions of the nose and the mouth.
Grabbing the red line os a brush, halve it in the Y axis. The result is the length of the nose from the eye line. By halving the line ogain you then have the with shadow. As an example, imagine the light source was coming from the left side of the front profile head. The nose would cast a shadow on the right side. But remember - the shadow would also be warped because of the shape of the cheekbone it is falling on. This is why it is important to have a fair understanding of bone and muscle structure - everything has a cause and effect. Obviously, if the head you are designing is small you
won't be required to add as much structural detail as you would for a large head.
Distance from the bottom of the nose to the mouth which is indicated in stage A4. Now that you know where the nose is, you can add it to the profile, shown in stage A5, remembering to dip the brow inward slightly between the eyes. Using the diagonal line which halves the bottom-right section of the c»rde os a reference, you can locate the point gt which the bock of the neck meets the head The front of the neck joins to the chin line just below the jaw line in stage A6.
By stoge A7 the base flesh colour has been odded and in A8 you can start to get to work more on the actual features of the head - here the eor has been enhanced ond the jaw line mode more prominent with shadow cast from the jaw bone. The mouth ond nose detail is added in A9 using the yellow guidelines os a reference and by A10, with the eye inserted, the side profile head is almost complete A rudimentary understanding of muscle and bone structure is essential in adding the final touches to a head or figure, ond there ore plenty of good books dedicated to this subject which will help you in
your quest. Although ot stoge Al 0 the heod has all the main features, it still looks flat, and it is simply the addition of shodow under the cheekbone in Al 1 that really gives the image a realistic ond 3D feel. Shadow is a great way of conveying bone and muscle structure, but you have to be anatomically correct otherwise it just won't work. H's either right or wrong - there is no in-between.
In the final stage, A12, the hair is added as well as the main neck muscle which runs from the ear to the shoulder. The Side profile is now complete and we've ended up with a perfect heod from a just o simple circle.
Aiwica Computing 11 Simple splines Paul Austin pain out of patching Spline patches have always hod a bod press, due in part to fairly poor explanation in the part of the LightWave manual. Ask most ¦¦I LightWave use(s if they're happy with spline modelling and you'll often get o rather norvcommittol response. This basically means they've had a bash in the past, it went horribly wrong, and they grudgingly went bock to metoform in the firm conviction that Spline patching simply isn't worth the effort.
But take my word for it, it is! Once you've got your head around the basic principles, spline patches ore a doddle to produce and in most coses offer a much more accurate, efficient and occasionally even quicker method of generating complex organics, Okay, I’ve dug a hole and jumped in it.
LightWave's basic tutorial is a non-starter - in my humble opinion. So here's an alternative guide to the sticky problem of spline patching.
As you're probably aware, a spline patch is mode up of three or four connected curves which share the same start and end points. Fine, but what does that mean in English, and how do you translate this vague overview into an actual object? The first thing is to get a mentol picture before you begin. Essentially, a completed spline cage is nothing more than a three dimensional loop mode up of three or four segments all connected end to end. Think of it os an elastic band which has moulded into a particular three dimensional shope.
To keep things simple I'll base the tutorial on a spline made up of three connected curves. However, the same principles apply to four curves, the only difference being that four curves generate sheets rather thon triangular shopes.
The inherent confusion surrounding spline construction is moinly due to the two dimensional nature of the X,Y,Z views in modeller. An empty spline cage shown as a screen shot simply looks weird - and therefore it's hord to visualise where the connections are.
The first step is to go into point selection mode and select the points option in the polygon menu. In the top view, and working from bow to stern, mork out the outer edge of half our boat hull as a line of points.
When you've added the last point hit the CrH P key, or the create curve button - you've juSt mode the first section of the cage. Now this is the important bit. While still in point creation mode, place the point creation cross-hair - left mouse button - on the first point in the existing curve. Now check in the other two dimensions that the cursor occupies exactly the same point in space as the original.
When you're certain it's positioned correctly, create a new point in the face view - using the right mouse. It's absolutely vital that this point is precisely the same point in space as the point in the original curve. The reason for this is that these points must be merged later prior to creating the patch.
Assuming the initial point in the new curve is in the correct position, you can carry on in the face view, adding a line of points which form profiles of the bottom of the boat. Once all the points are in place, hit Ctrl P or the create curve button to create the second curve. At this stage you should hove two curves connected at the bow end of the boat.
Taking a bow The final task is to close the loop. To do this make sure the point creation cross-hair is bang-on the last point in the first curve you created - remember check all the views. Now add a new point in the side view, continue to add points to form a half-profile of the boat, making sure once again that the final point you create is exactly on the last point on the second curve, and hit Ctrl P. Your cage is complete.
Enter polygon mode and select all three curves, ensuring the longest one is the last you select. Now click on merge in the tools menu to fuse the three together, then click on the patch tool to create your finished spline patch.
At this point you'll be given the opportunity to define the number of vertical and horizontal polygons that make up the patch. For now, stick with the defaults - you can always undo and alter things if necessary.
To finish the job, mirror the patch to create a complete hull - don't forget to merge the duplicated points running along the keel. Now use the hide function to isolate the bow end polygons and then select them in series and create a new polygon, using the Make ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ command or P key. As a finishing touch, creafe another polygon along the top of the boat, copy the whole thing to another layer, scale it down slightly, position it as a background layer, and then use Boolean subtract to carve it out of the original, thereby giving the sides of the ship some depth. If you like, you
could even add struts by cutting then out of the carving layer before you perform the Boolean to the hull.
Voila! A perfectly respectable dingy in a matter of minutes, as opposed to hours by any other method.
Amiga Computing 118 Gary Whiteley explains the principles of video signal formats Lost month I looked at the various television standards which predominate in different parts of the world. This month I'm ¦¦I going to examine the different video signal formats which are commonly used for playback ond recording in domestic, industriol ond broadcast situations.
Home video formats So what about SVHS or Hi8? Again, these are component video formats, but not quite so sophisticated as the Betacam Mil YcrCb format, since SVHS and Hi8 use only Luminance (Y) and Chrominance (C) in their two-wire YC signal. In many ways YC is a budget Beta cam, though, of course, neither SVHS nor Hi8 can actually achieve Betacam quality. On the other hand, YC signals are generally suitable for 'industrial' videos and are becoming ever-more popular with the home video enthusiast and professional alike, both for the portability of the cameras and the relative quality of the
pictures they produce, not to mention the savings to be made over buying Betacam kit.
New video signal formats are still being developed and as digital video and disk- based camcorders are increasingly developed there will no doubt be further upheavals and more improvements in quality. Some signal formats will be usurped by new rivals and others will just fade away. With video technology still being less than 30-years old, who can say what will happen over even the next ten years?
As you may alreody be aware, there are quite a few different types of video system on the market, all vying to be the one you choose for your video productions. You are no doubt already familiar with YHS, and possibly SVHS, Video8 and Hi8 too. If you have o strong interest in video, you'll probably know about Betocam, and perhaps Mil (pronounced 'M 2') as well. On the other hand, you might not be too sure of the differences (other than the physical tape format) between each of these video systems, and indeed even why there is such a range of systems to choose from. But first we need to
travel back in time....Before the days of home video, there was really only one video signol which everyone hod access to, and that was the signal which was broadcast from the television transmitter to be picked up by your TV set at home. In the early days of television, when the picture was just block and white (monochrome), it was decided the simplest way of transmitting television was to encode both the sound and vision parts of the programme into 0 radio frequency (RF) signol which was both compact ond could be transmitted over long distances at relatively law power.
This type of RF signol is still in use today (with the addition of colour information) and is whot our TV aerials pick up, or our cable providers send direct to our homes. When it reaches our home TV or video recorder, the RF signal is decoded electronically by circuits within the video equipment into the sounds and images we subsequently see on our Tvs or record off-air on our video tapes. Unfortunately, RF is a compromise because it has to cram all its information, both sound and vision (which in turn is made up of colour, brightness ond synchronising information), into a single signal, thus
causing some loss in quality for the sake of being able to deliver the best overall signal to the home in the simplest possible way, and requiring the use of only o single wire to connect equipment together.
In true video applications (such as recording or editing) RF is very rarely used, except by amateurs copying videos, or for ploying back off-air or pre-recorded video from tape to a TV set.
Contact point Gory Whiteley con be e-mailed os drgaz@cix.compulink.co.uk Combination trick The most basic video signal used for true video recording is 'Composite' video, which is a compound signal comprising combined luminance
(Y) , chrominance (C) and the requisite synchronising pulses.
This is solely a video signal - sound is recorded
synchronously via separate inputs - so there is more
'bandwidth' available to carry the picture information and,
hence, composite video is a step up in quality over RF.
Composite video is what VHS and Betamax (remember that?), Video8 and 3 4" U-matic tape recorders use as standard for their video inputs. Most serious cameras and camcorders have a composite video output, even if they also have a component output (e.g. YC).
However, there came a time when composite video was no longer regarded as a suitable signal for professional use so, eventually, along came Betacam with its component (as opposed to composite) video signals. It was realised that the picture quality could be improved by keeping the constituent parts of the video signal as separate as possible, though even to this day it has still proved impractical to work with just RGB and sync information because of the vast amount of information which would have to be recorded to tape. Instead of RGB, another compromise was worked out, but one which offered
much better performance than composite video.
Sony's Betacam system (and later Panasonic's rival, Mil) both use a three-wire video signal format called YcrCb which keeps the luminance information (the monochrome picture) separate from the colour information. In fact, you'll notice that there are only two colour components (Cr for Red and Cb for Blue values), since green is produced by subtracting the red and blue values from unity. Such component signals, coupled with high-quality Betacam tape and top-quality lenses, allow for reasonably small, relatively light-weight, portable camera recorder combinations capable of producing
broadcast-quality pictures anywhere in the world.
Amiga Computing 119 Multimedia At Its Best!
Simple and Easy-to-use Educating and Informative Entertaining and Exciting t Powerful and Amazing!
Main Contents List: Tha History of the Amiga Who Invented It? The old Commodore, Its Programming AMOS. Blitz, as Also!
• Full version ot Dopus v4
• Full version ot Octamed v5.04
• Other full programs (TBC)
• ‘Test Drive*, exclusive version ol Wordworth 3
• Limited Version of Ppalnt v6.4
• Get Connected' to the Internet
- all you need, all ready to go!!
• Essential PD to Get Started!
• Exclusive stuff from various user groups and companies!
Above are toix screen grabs from an early vetwon ol me Gel Started CO merlace The man pa go. 256 colour wrxfcwrs. The floating ddo- | nary and an animation example Advanced AmigaGuide (or AAG) is the language that resides behind the Get Started interface. It offers many enhanced and powerful features over the old AmigaGuide language. To the left of this box Is a list of the features AAG contains. AAG could be used in a multimedia product, interface front-end. On-line help program , disk magazine and much more. Contact us for llcenco details. AAG should be available by May June 1996.
• Fast Rendering of 6 bit (2S6 colour) Image* pmcbcMty
instantaneous dsplay ol 2S6 ookmr piciures even on stock 020
Amga Thera can be more than ona 25
• mag* S'ipijlyed al one lime the m«IW sharer ¦ Is a Stand-alone
Platform Unlike Other “Hypertext" Products (HTML Language etc)
doe* not need other programs such as UU1 or AmiTCP lo run
• Allows Text. Picture and Gadget Links as Opposed to It’s
Pre-desessor click on a pOvta or animated gadget and move to
another page Retrace back to your original position
• Allows the use of Sub-Modules Runnable as Commands tor
instance, play and shorn an animation as a command by clicking
on a button' The commands can allow you to "knit* ID anyfftrto
and anyahan esc* i hr* and gnaeue the dcbonary etc
• Multiple Fonts A Add Colour from 256 Colour Pallets you can use
as many ditterent torts as you Ike. Just use the normai Amga
bitmap toot* m any sire' Hxv can aho add cotour to tha Jam from
a paOata ot 236 colours Highlight a won) ¦ add colour Hqhhght
ditterent Inks addcokpvri Super Bitmap Window cater tor
AmgaGiade Ales which take up more Imes than a avakatM
• Downward Compatibility it attfr to com M 4mga(kirie brmar (am
toon HTUL papa) ’ Drawing Tools AAG a kwrs you to creole Anes
bam. Cadee and colour them by ustng ample commands such as
OORAW 10-40.25-60 or CLINE tO.30.3S ¦ using coordinates and
lengths AAG - GUI OS VERSION Advanced Amiga Gold* (AAG) ewi be
a direct replacement lor the current AmigaGuide In a native OS
GUI version « looks very sim- lar to the existing format,
however it a very ditterent. The kartguago allows more
rtaxixlity such as the coordination of text, images and gadgets
m upto 256 colours and can add more powerful features such as
HTML decoding or use ot multiple fonts on a page AAG can also
read old AnvgaGmde files It also uses the same tectwques for
writing * GUIDE' tiles (see second picture): ONODE.
• LINK, ® COMMAND eic ate Iho same as the old format, but new
conv have been added such as «IMAGE. OREM. OMOD, OSECTION,
OORAW. OUNE. OGOTO. OCEN- TRE etc etc This allows die user to quKfcty understand the simplicity ot among the docum«nttpao« 7ALL YOU NEED7 SECTION GLOBA I r INTERnET Out March 1996 ZZZX?
[AGA Machines] The Gel Started CO should be available from moei good CD mail order and high street Amiga retailers. AJI rights reserved. Contents may be subject to change Blrtz. Assembly, C. Amiga E and AREXX examined Become an Artist Overnight Rsytradng, 3D, animation, bitmap drawing analysed Become an Amiga Music Maestro Octamed axptalned. MIDI cflecussed. Musicians Interviewed Getting Your Words into Print Word processing, Desk Top Publishing, Printers, Capart etc Surfing the Super Information Highway Intro to the Internet Surfing the Internet WWW design. Amiga Internet Providers, Amiga
Internet software. The Amiga Technologies Internet pack taken tor a test drive.
General Arena Emulation, Operating Systems, Storage System*. Amiga In Business, Multimedia etc etc ate The Amiga Future When to the Amigi going? Amiga Technologies'pians. Amiga visions, poestoie Industry comments. Amiga 'Vlatona' - the companies that wfl bring us Innovative products in 1996. We Interview Intersect Developments, Fields o(Vision and mote.
And Finaly Credits, thanks and anything we have forgotten!
Boesee. Ideas, mistakes etc. The Eacom rMvel and much more.
Tha AMIGA fiarJwora Inside, outside, ports, chips all explained Workbench and DOS What le It? Using It Data and file management Workbench environment tips, the CU, advanced WB and CU tricks k a
- to- Am ? Bran ¦ing!
9 Kov and Gareth Craft
- Amga MIDI MIDlCratt Steve Bye
- AMOS Programming
- FI Ucenceware Ed Wites
- Octamed in Depth
- Octamed Expert Larry Hrckmott
- DTP. Primers. Clipart ¦ LH Pubtthrg Peter and David Clarke
• 3D Animation
- The Room Upstairs Smon & Co
- 3D Architecture
- V.S.I. Mark Thomas WWW DesigiYTuUire
- Global Internet Ltd Danny Amor
- The CD and German Mkt Freelance Writer Jason Jordache
- Bitmap Graphics
- Freelance Artist Dale Homortway
- Animation
- Datamation David Taytor
- Storage. Emulation
- Freelance Writer John Kennedy
- internet etc otc etc’ Paragon (Freelanco) Jeremy Ford
- PD Section
- Ground Zero Software Justin Joyce
- Amiga DTV
- Axiom Video Services Andrew Campbell
- AMOS ’Hands-on’
- AMOS Programmer Rchard Bannister
- Music (Soundstudio)
- MED Users Group Spencer Jarvis
- Imagine ’Hands-on' Imagne Users Group The world’s first truly
AGA multimedia, interactive compact disc.
Designed for beginners, new users through to intermediate (and higher!) Levels, it helps an Amiga user understand more about their computer and what it is capable of. Covers many subjects from raytracing to the Internet and from programming to music. Many well-known’ experts and Amiga-buffs are contributing to this CD.
They offer help, answers, tips, tricks and more. Want to know how the experts create a WWW page? Global Internet show how!
Stuck using Internet software? John Kennedy explains all. Also contains forums, opinions and a look to the future with top Amiga developers. Comes with a FREE bonus beginners section with commercial programs, commercial demos and all the PD you need to Get Started, all ready-to-run. If you have an AGA Amiga with a CD player, then get this. PC multimedia CD’s are here!
B 7| The all-you-need- section contains a carefully selected k * I collection of read-to-run material IJJ This section encompasses full (or ? Limited) commercial programs such as Octamed vS.04 Personal Paint
6. Directory Opu* 4 and Wordworth 'Teet-Orlve' wifh commercial
demos and superb pubic domain as chosen by Ground Zero There
are exclusive collections from
M. U.G.. the Imagine Users Group, MIDICmft. AMOSzine authors and
Cloanto The PD contents are highlighted and examined within
the Gel Started interface There is also a superb "Gel
Connected* area all you need.
RcacJy-to-rutvlnaiai (all oxpiarad in the Get Started interface!') to get onto the Internet Global Inlernot wd be providing the access, so immedate net surfing* There are many more reasons to buy Get Started - it's hke 3 CD s m 1 - Multmedte CD, Internet Software CD. Commercial Software!
I n it s HERE' Zoom release 2 - now in ready-to-run and OMS format! Do you want the latest PO CO-Rom that contains the latest PO to January 1996?
Contains the greatest and latest PO from two superb PO libraries. The interlace must be the most easy lo use CD interface on any CD. Codod by the co-author of the superb new Get Slarffld CD • just ponl, read about the disk and click to extract. Superb and very easy to use The contents have also been updated so you get all the latest PD until early January 1996 and loads more as fcslod opposite Comes wrth an on-line help routine. Multitasking search routine ard hotkeys function. If you want 650MB s of the latest PO. Then took here1 Two formats - ready-to-run and tho CMS format (for shops
etc). The pictures below show the enhanced DMS Interface in action.
Superb value CD-Rom at only £19.99 NEW!
NEW - RELEASE YERSION 2 New Search Routine the mun-tasking seaicMind wA seek fie name* or number New 'Hot-Keys' Function just press 'S' for search or 'E' lor extract Help" tor help'
* Restyled Remastered new help end intormainn gude. Restyled
artwork! Superb1
• Greatest & latest PD from eerfy 1995 - January 1996 : Utlla.
Games, demos, slideshows, education, disk mags and moral
- intruding meet ot tint advert end load* of greet PO software
• NEW’ 100 Klondike Card Games Deluxe Cardsatt
• NEW! The complete Active Software Pro Pack collection
• NEWI All the Professional Sound Samples |50 Disks]
• NEW! Over 25MB. Of read-lo-viewluse Magic WB icons ate
• NEW! Special programming' themed area NEW! READY TO RUN & DM5
FI UCENCEWAREl volume one - FI-01 to FI-100 Sick of the
run-of-the-mill old PO CD reteases con- taing collections from
pre-1995?'? This CO contains the complete collection of F1
Ucenceware titles from F1 -001 to FI-100. Over 100 titles or
more than 200 disks! This CO e worth wel over E500. If the
disks were bought separately There is somethmg tor everyone on
the CO - games, utaties. Loots, professional clipart and music,
beginners guides, educational programs and much more. Some
superb matenal is contained within this CD-Rom: Blackboard v3
(image manipulation) Ultimate Quu 2 (general quiz).
Word Plus Pro (ortgeWty valued at C15!), Fortress (strategy God game).
Rakes ol Defdronoye (voted best PD game ever by Amga Format), ERIC (voted second best PD game ever). Powetoase (databee program).
GRAC (superb Monkey Island' style adventure game creator with 000 s ol copies sold on floppy), introduction to WB (besi seftng F1 Title), Absolute Begnnere Guide to AMOS. Junior Artist (kids pamt package) or Tots Time (one ol many kids educational programs). Use some ot the professional music within your games, with no extra charges What about the dipart for your DTP documents? AMOS programmers have a field day with this CD - AMOSzine. Guide to AMOS and AMOS supplements Something for everyone. With a very easy to use AmigaGuide© Interlace with 00% of the programs running straight from the
CD. Remember that the programs are commercial, with copyright owned by F1 ucenceware All proartmman receive a royally for every CD sofd. E32.W COMMERCIAL SOFTWARE - NOT PD!
£29.99 SPACEBALLS present.
SCENE STORM NEW Scene Storm Is a glorious toast ol tempting eye candy prgduded , by the legendary SPACEBALLS Amazing graphic and audio delights to show your tnends what the Amiga can reeBy O: This CD is packed with every major scene production from 1995. Inckjdng aft tha r es from The Party 5 held in Xmas 95. Exclusive Digital Candy material n also ncUM ranging from music competition entries to acomplete Development suite Scene Storm features an oasy to use Magic Workbench Interface that is simple to set up and a joyto us* Much of ihe contents ot Scene Storm are presented as ready-to-run
tiles through custom designed icons No more trawling through archives and fithng your hard drek with includes Productions from over 20 Scene Parties held throughout tha world in 1995 A* the best demos and intros from the last year, slideshows, music disks, the most popular disk mags and charts. Exclusive modules taken from the coolest demos as wel as en from Ogital Candy B8S Music Competitions. A complete development suite that wfl « you to learn how lo code your own demos. Development utfs are Included along w«h exclusive and easy to follow source code AH purchasers of Scene Storm that own a
modem can register to qualify lot 3 r free downloading of the latesl scene files from Digital Candy Bulletin Board. This would normally cost £15 This BBS rt classed as the scence' board in the UK' Place your pre-order now as this wi be the hottest selling CD throughout Europe' CD-Rom - a collection of extensive tutonals. This CD VI comes with a tun colour multi-page referenco booklot for every single texture. An ideal complement to a ray- 4 «J».
Tracing CD such as Light Rom 3 etc Ptaaae note that ECS AGA MIXED £19.99 NFA AGA EXPERIENCE ENCOUNTERS ounrr,:!
I * Experience' THE L :0 pKanon? Too, SALE SALE £12.99 LIGHT ROM VOLUME 3 £38.99 Ught Rom 3 is the most ambitious issue to date, consisting of 3 CD Rom's! Rom 1 is Mod with thousands ol Lightwave objects and scene hies, building upon previous issues. Rom 2 contains huge collections of 3D objetes in different file formats incfuding Imagine (175MB's), 3D Studio (lOOMB's). Sculpt (30MB's) and Real 30 (7MB's). It also includes 700 textures n the JPEG format and a Video Toaster directory with wipes and CG fonts Rom 2 also has a collection of 3D landscapes in the Lightwave. Imagine and 3D Studio
file formats and a collection of useful Amiga and PC PD programs Rom 3 is a "DEM ROM', a bonus CD-ROM containing over 1000 digital elevation maps for use with VistaPro, Scenary Animator and World Construction Set ((available Irom Bfcttersoft) on any platform. All Lightwave objects, textures and DEMs on this collection are represented with thumbnail renderings.
I k Michael Meshew. The aulhor of Ugh! Rom 1.2 and 3, has produced a CD W • ' that offers the Work) artistic tatent for a reasonable pnce.
I Texture Portfolio & Light Rom 3 for £49.99 '8 collection of textures has taken a staggering 5 years to complete, hantasmagona are a professional graphics company, basod in Bristol.
I They have boon providng textures and backgrounds for video, ray-tracing ¦ etc. This CD consists of 500* 248lt backgrounds and textures, it includes the very high quality 24Bit JPEG files for video, graphics and multimedia work. Targa's for PC raytracmg and GIF format for video titling applications. The various sections include Abstract - Phantasmagoria. Abstract - 04 Paints. Abstract - I Mixed, Animal Skins. Clouds. Fire. Food. Masonry.
Rock. Metal (6 sub-sections). Water. Wood Bark, I Wood Gram. Miscellaneous. No wasted space on this TEXTURE PORTFOLIO SALE NFA have been serving the Arrvga scene reconey wen en n maxing amouni of effort. We« known n me UK tor mw Bodyvhoo senes. Excellent AGA-only Wore ask magame arxJ programs sue* aa tfen* Boomm Eck and 'enLocfc- presert the* I'M CO for the Amga UnUa ocner scene roteasea tr» s contain* AGA PO from the leal 3 years of wfaeh 90% *e run magw from the CC Contain* me bevl WB3. Refee* and creative software lOOMBi me greeted AGA game* (100*481 rwjh quoMy AGA slideshows (iSOMB
me mod outstanding AGA demos (200MB). Entertaining ana rtr m-«»t*e «*» megsww* and the best ol Ihe red nckiding the koenced Amga riaporti and a* me Amga Doom' done* NFA have dto ccmpded dad* of aartjarn were* tor the CO: sUdeahow*. Ktondfce carde and more. Al n* and cortamad n suporb sxckisrvo raytraced eorvfwd drawers Ml wervi a Mage Workbench envronmem makes the CO an abeoaee pMeai»e lo use' Tho ha* got to bo I ho mod comprehend'd CO- Rom tor any AGA user. Want lo show o« the power ol your new AGA machine you recetved at Xmas’ Get ihe t you do!
NfiK £15.99 A tint tor the Amga. The UFO phenomenon has hit Ihe computer wen this excolent release Forget the X-Files. UFO’s ere tor real - here it ihe evidence! The most comprehensive UFO compilation ever UFO and the unknown' tans wll not be Ossapomeed wtn tha release Based on AmigaGutde 4 allows the interaction ot ted litos and images on every possible UFO dory Recurved over 90% in a recent Amiga Computing review The only Amga CO source tor UFO and Ihe unknown related subject*.
Buy your copy bo lore stocks nn out*
• Ei-military and Navy testimonies
• Documents and text from the CIA. FBI, NSA, USAF and more ¦
Classified information on top secret projects such as SIGMA.
• Who are the man In black (MIB)?
• Alien origin* and technology
• Cattle mutilations
• Crop circle*
• Alien abductions
• Landing* and sightings
• Recovery of crashed UFO disc*
• Government conspiracies and cover-ups June 95 £- THE AMINET
COLLECTION August 95 £11.99 October 95 £11.99 December 95
£11.99 February 96 (Out Now] £11.99 April 96 (Pre-Order] £11.99
June 96 (Pre-Order] £11.99 AMINET COLLECTION VOL. 1 £22.99 Tho
Amyiet Cokocfton i* a suporb set ol tour CO's tor any AmiQa
user. Contorts Aminet 1-4.
PD Irom 93 to Docerrtjcr 94 4 GIG1* ot data' AMINET COLLECTION VOL-2 £24.99 Aminei Set 2 contains all the Aminei uploads SiriCe release 1. PD Irom December 1994 to November 1995 Gigabytes (tour CO's) ot games, unities, demos, pctures. Onmabona, tods, modules and more Also contains 300 books ttom the Preset Gutenburg CD-Rom.
OCTAMED 6 CD-ROM Ociamed ts Ihe most easy-to-use I sequencer on tha Amga. Oaagnad tor tie beginner ngnt through, ts a m*c e.pe'i Ociamed w4 aSow you to play -pt: *qhe chan nets of sound en *r*y Ar-vg* t*. J*ng * ts%i procesio' (030) you car rvr- _¦»» sample* across at wgne cnamaw doubing me norm* Ku-d oupre (nomaOy tore channels) Octamad also has a bud n sand sarrpwrMSor. Custom sound generator and MtOt suppcrt Tha Codso corfews over eOGMB's of moduias. Ma entire WaOutoout Kxnt sample ccascson and much more. Docrensntfeon comae n a onone tormai and a laser prnted. Full featured aocompanyng
-wrxjsT by Ed Wllae NCLUOfS MANUAL] £29.99 SCI-FI SENSATIONS vol.2 Sci-Fi Sensations a an ectng new CD-Rom containing over 1000MB's Ol science fcton mages, music, arv maiions. 3D otenets for Imagine and lightwave, sound FX. Oocum*ntg t*«. Memtunes. Information and Sct-FI games Categories inctoda Babyton 5. Startrek (Ihe Original. TNG. Deep Space Nne. Voyager and tho films), Batman, Dr Who, Thundwbirds. Robocop. Biaderunner.
Afen*. 200V BatBeetor Oalaciica. TRON. Total Recall and many ckher firm* Ail the information is ready to run from the CO Amiga.
PC and MAC New verson 2 is now available containing more SCIFI Ms than ever before.
0. TO. KM oveKOUB r Kftm'r U • g * UtlUM tor tb( Ar-. « uni PC
cnrxui.il l.lw ¦kiwi of munxi tor eon womw hh. Coww* rtOKr or
Abl .3 tor «m Anga) Suwti erlteSon lo* a k pc £14,99 1 too.
29MB I Ol Otuatop I men loeu.
1 Cf gr«rei [rogrjrra ’3*49
* SmTCt Mil (BUOoICPAo-
I. MM9 (U.TEX 3UWB ei IWK A *ry Mir » Jf» lHl • IpKllI Kmnn
sohdCDWiUtoMl JycwCO1 yeui The CO coMra JOOO. Adolw and Cfl
• arm PS tana. 900. Mnap. *0 eamM*. 240 *P IM Pg. 24 Pratm, 900
TiMhtM. 122 PCX.
JOOGOOS and mo * £7.99 nrtitm K«n mar k« Pon.1 aid ami I pnmaw *» canmcOun to no* cnwpuari SALE £14.99 £32.99 £37.99 £a99 £15.99 W5CUPART 17MTCD5
• liowing cn town iuec.Hlul Phoa. A CORom taCDcoi tatos nun drada
ol mwetYM. Ol data toem l?Bil Scftott-* Th» 90 dbc k* ih. Swim
ocmana only re mry 0s« min« Induing dwnm gsmss. Ultom gupiK*
wTwork Otk mgura mm: modutoi are £18.99 UD VOUMH 3 AMOS vol.2
ThU M an W0RIDMF0 95 SPECCY 2 SOUND WORKSHOP 1 to r cT I sl* f
A I ¦--- allamCD R O M .
Ctcalienl I lormaltieg than 100 fun©- ROCtO M AOEXX wouctnre) rwu r ooncry only, man ol torwgn touatohwa and a I rrw'iu) oboJ tthw.
Io go’ T»w n ¦ i«tu* pjda ttuata toa Exptora dt- tor- cl MS % al mjmt b Uoi b i» cfang»a ¦vya c-xxautcr. OwKOO tOMVOCam. 1000 WAV 1000 rat Aroot PO ovar 200 diM Aoo nctodn. NMdy to njn 1800 ma has. 100 spms banAa 2*0 CM* UrtJ at» mrrpm. ™ bow*
* noi and Amoa P*o aatanaore SALE miB £14.99 £9.99 Olga Qiaetn u
If* ULTIMATE mi- totlton ol srorxx kv re AGA a»»jb omr 000
tnagaa cn ru qj&pMit 1 » mrgrt ar* m 21 Be ird M 8 Siparb pics
to 4 Cdlt a tor .1 AGA A-sga owi pidur.01. tottc.' *»¦!
Abcut a anmar?
£29.99 FCT3 £14.99 FTTX £18.99 £15.99
* d MAC nrpim £7.99 £15.99 LIGHT WORKS CD BOOT v2 3D ARENA
AmjoiBJO ADULT SENSATIONS 2 IMIV ' M 0*2 rin CO « to ucl.iii 1
over 18 ’•*! R*m nil.nil
y. nn ONLY itilljll l0 un 0 j S . M . , modawc P eaa-aamar ceoida
you any uay (mm rthmn Iron pu- crasog ma CD Pnxf a aga us*
orayt n. MM Mian twyng Pm CO No prcnf.no CO COLOUR LIBRARY
tTOO cat** Mm oMi ceiaoortM auch aa Anwo. Boo. Oullng.. Can
Cartoon*. Car*.
CowpMan. Ouuji Doe* Pamaav.
Hwj. Town Mapa. Mwtoal Mitary Mac Paneig Photo. Hoom PtanM So-Pt fe Spar. Sport. Sn* TiM, Swtmul I Tiena. Wars* Vou I iwd to a com a- I cert CO her* i v | too* i*pul to n. ly avary occeaion SOUNDS TBWHC sottttaro tortjto. U
• S'Mcn ol Sctoe vl I J._ toupn. *2 IBHHa n* amasni Vmn Pro VI.
T » CdJ. Vl T21 X ¦ q «u.n cl Wtxkm .m-c, ictev- Coe-V Cwtu vl
I an a.™ vw ¦ I toil Tn« oriwii at CO-W. Ttpv X I imudnj meg*
FX 2 ¦ i, iMDHW art aa«- vary ma e ntope, Tu«oC acv3 Ir bNexuS
¦ m. lup«,b aurtK. La.lj. todv v7 S AJ !•»»* a-. R«W l;, run ¦
ittyim uwi A njcmb ortwecvi £18.99 |S3B £24-99 CtlKB lor
imagina, Llghlaava H 30 to to* Ampi and PC wrpian Cto. N uvn
Mpwr tot ma CO • ma 3*81 Ore i Tfeu-tiurejMi to CqnOMva Ycul
a*i ftod town on IW.I AiK otobuM Hm titonaM Srmme* acuno and
_ part ol any _ amaaaun cOaeacr. 4400 Wbdutaa
14. COO Coma* wih a mnpMi* f njrw bnawnantt. J02 odamw bnwad
mirai* wid can nr nnurvt PUN ol CO32 £24.991B2H £14.99 £19.99
£8.99 stock many other discs. If you not see what you listed
call us for sible availability.
En ordering add 75p for postage I Orders outside UK add £1.00 onl every CD tor postage Makol chequcs P.O % pnynblo to Actlve| Software and send to the oddres below. You can pre order Get Started | by credit card onfy - your card will I not be debited until despatch of the CD-Rom. ZOOM release 2 is r ow| available and In stock for dellvon I When END OF SEASON Active Software, PO Box 151.
Oarlington, County Durham.
RT5I 01325 352260 EXTENDED Look out for the SALE sign.: of April 1996. Normal prices (call) resume after this date. Please check availability before ordering.
Usmber we will :ch and try to boat 1 compact disc price 1 within this maga*
e. Call for details!
SofrTWAREi iggae e llj Please reserve me a copy of Amiga Computing every month until further notice.
A600, 1200 1500 2000 3000 4000 & CD32 95% SUCCESS RATE ON
252 3553 E Mail: Peter &(ntfeotiip domon co.uk_ ? I will
collect ? I would like it delivered to my home.
ADO £5 REPLACE MOUSE _l ADO £5 JOYSTICK SEGA STYLE... J BARGAIN HARD DRIVES FITTED 85 500 Mb CALI EXCHANGE SERVICE MODULATORS ...£19.50 PSU ..£19.50 DISK DRIVES ......£25.50 KEYBOARDS ......£25.50 17 Bit Software .104 1st Computer Centre ......14,15 Active Software ••••••••••••••etc 120,121 Amiga World Show .112 Analogic .106 Antigravity Products .20 Arnold Comp. Supplies .....100
Blittersoft .44 Capri CD Distributors ..100 Care Electronics ......116 Dart Computer ....87 Digital Data Labs 39 DTBS .100 E M Computergraphics ......110 Epic Marketing ...74,102 Fast Amiga Repairs ...22 Fourth Level Development ...40,70
G. T.1 ....82
Gasteiner ..31 Grey
Tronlcs ......36
Harwoods ......47,59 HI
Soft ...0BC
HIQ ....116 Hydra
System .... 114
ICPUG .....100
J. S.M. Trading .....19 Kew
31| ...100 Moore Healy
Marketing ......100 Owl
Associates ...87 PD
Soft ...78,79 Power Computing
...IFC, 3,51, IBC Premier
Vision ....66 S&S
Pd ...100 Siren
Software .....6,7,9 Software 2000
......76,77 Special
Reserve ..87 The Disk
Box ....100 Underground
Pd ......114 White Knight
Technology ....25 Wise Dome
Ltd ..28 Wizard
Development ...108
.....0891 445 787 NEW! Sega Spot-Cheats, 32X, Mega CO, Mega,
Master NEW! Handheld Hot Line • Gameboy, Ga meg ear Lynx...
0891 445 933 0891 445 990 .....0891 445 991 NEW! Super Nintendo
Games Line • SNES . 0891 445 993 .....0891 445 786
iai0UJlc? PROBLEM ,' wto„£Zan? Busters 0891 445 977 SONIC 'N'
KNUCKLES * GAMERS GUIDES ... .....0891 445 946
SONIC 1 2 4
3 .....it,- .....0891
JIM . .....0891
445 985 .....0891 445 951 .....0891 445 987 DONKEY KONO COUNTRY
.. .....0891 445 928
STREETFIGHTER 2: (World Warrior, Super, Turbo. SCI)..... THE
940 .....0891 445 953
17. ASHTON UNDER IYNE. 017 OWW If you ore under 18 please ask
permission lo call Maximum coll charge at peak role (3.68. Calk
cost 39p per min (heap rate. 49p per min al all other times
Amiga Computing 256 AGA COLOURS • 3D RAYTRACED GRAPHICS • 360’
• HD INSTALLABLE • AVAILABLE FOR THE A1200 4000 “Breathless has
boldly taken the Amiga where no Amiga has gone before.” AMIGA
FORMAT MAGAZINE “At the moment there's nothing like it. This
game plays as well as it looks” 92% cu amiga magazine A Touch
More Amiga Ma SuperDouble CD Pack SCSI Zip Drives ,2 OXXIJI *
Jk 11 ww smvn Amiga Zip Tools exclusively from HiSoft Zip
drives from HiSoft include everything you need to get going on
a SCSI-aware Amiga: the Zip 100 drive, a 100Mb cartridge, all
necessary leads and a complete set of software, programmed by
HiSoft, including:
• Easy access drivers • Temporary uilpfOtect
• Ibssuvrd protect • Cartridge initialisation
• Write protection • Cartridge eject Since being introduced, the
Zip’" Drive has caused a storm in the storage industry,
offering an unrivalled level of price, performance and
reliability. This newest, most portable exchangeable hard disk
drive weighs in at just lib, has fast transfer and access times
(up to Imh-'s transfer, 28ms seek), easily fits in your hand,
your bag or your briefcase, stores up to 100Mb on floppy-sized
disks, is perfect for all type? Of application and is priced at
a level that will make you want to unzip your wallet
Price inc 100Mb cartridge, extra 100Mb cartridges £15.95 or less!
Order your Zip drive now to avoid disappointment!
The superb SuperDouble CD-ROM is back! Using an excellent 2.4 speed drive from Sony, this CD-ROM provides outstanding performance at an amazing price. With a 360Kb.'s data transfer rale and a 230ms access time, the SuperDouble CD-ROM provides all the speed for the power user.
The SuperDouble is fully compatible with the new Squirrel MPEG card, supporting the industry standard VideoCD (White Book) format.
The SuperDouble CD-ROM pack includes the award-winning AGA Experience CD-ROM - rated 93% in issue 79 of Amiga Format. This CD- ROM is crammed full of pictures, utilities, demos, animations and tools for AGA Amigas. The SuperDouble pack also include the latest Aminet CD- ROM. This disk is brimming with the latest PD, shareware, utilities, demos and picture files from the Aminet archives on the internet A full classic Squirrel is also included in the pack. This allows easy connection of any SCSI peripheral to the A1200. The package has all the necessary drivers and software for easy connection
of hard drives, CD-ROMs and removable disk drives, such as the Zip'" Drive, to your Amiga.
Cinema4D DiskMAGIC Easy File & Disk Management Constantly doing battle with the Shell CLI? Stop this futile struggle with DiskMAGIC, the easy-to-use file and disk management utility from HiSoft.
DiskMAGIC simplifies every task you perform, from the copying of disks and files, to the viewing of pictures and anims. In fact, after using DiskMAGIC, you'll wonder how you ever used your Amiga without it.
HiScft SYSTEMS The Old School, Greenfield Bedford MK45 5DE UK Tel: +44(0)1525 718181 Fax:+44 (0) 1525 713716 entail: hisoft@cix.compulink.co.uk Cinema4D is the easy-to- use ray-tracing and animation system for your Amiga.
Equipped with an intuition- based multi-tasking editor, Cinema4D is replete with every conceivable option including window-based real-time interactive modelling, direct modelling in 3D, basic and complex primitives with infinite variations, easy object manipulation, floating toolbars, user-defined menus, object and texture lists, definable object hierarchies, optimised versions for 68020 (A1200 etc.) & FPUs, and much more!
The Cinema4D animator brings you even closer to the world of "virtual reality”, breathing life into objects and scenes.
Whether you have your spaceship dock with a spacestation, or take a tour around the darkest dungeon - with Cinema4D it’s so simple.
Just a few mouse clicks and you Professional Ray-Tracing and Animation for your Amiga will have your objects move realistically through time and space.
Cinema4D also includes MagicLink, the flexible object converter.
MagicLink converts all popular object formats (Imagine, Sculpt, DXF, Reflections, etc.) to _ Cinema4D format & back.
Order Hotline (D 0500 223660 To order any of the products shown on this page (or any other HiSoft title) - just call us, free of charge, on 0500 223660, armed with your credit or debit card; we will normally despatch within 4 working days (£4 P&P) or, for only £6 within the UK, by guaranteed next day delivery (for goods in stock). Alternatively, you can send US a cheque or postal orders, made out to HiSoft. All prices include VAT. F.xport orders: please call or fax to confirm pricing and postage costs.
O 1995 HiSoft. E&OE.
¦IB All prices include UK VAT @17.5% Zip is a trademark of Iomega Inc 1 StarLC90*p»nw £107.99 1 Atf 0.1k K rnli I.actor ,ftl,a«t I Star LCI Ooepmcriour £ 129.99 I to cm draft, 4* m NIQ. Amlp d.l. . I Star LC 240 it pm mono £123.99 ill tp driR.eMk AV Mlt in I Star LC240Citpa.coiou. £145.99 ASF 4..IM in, 4 L Q font.
I StarSJI44cotov £229.99 2 inn i programs separately in different resolutio and simply save and load alterations from A solution perhaps, but hardly a pretty one.- To finish on a good high note, there is!
Very welcome news when it comes to I Picasso II. Thankfully. NewTek have returned I the original 3.0 render display for the Pic which actually lets you keep track of the i dering process without constantly diving on t Amiga N & M keys.
Aside from the still unresolved RTG prob the only practical change to the panel i the arrival of a Show field chart option.'
3 quality presentation work, texture and useful image backgrounds (ALL backdrops eg and 256 colour formats), fully tested music modules, countdown timer anims., j sorted high quality sound samples ideal for use tor spot effects, bitmapped fonts in sizes from 18 to 168 pt. Specially selected Fountain,Intetlltont ready CG fonts with automatic install senpts and a whole host of other goodies including ready to run demo versions of Optoraca s Multimedia Experience and the new Image Vision) 4 EMC PHASE 4 - DESKTOP VIDEO DREAMS WILL BE RELEASED ON 25TH MARCH 1996 PRE RELEASE OFFER PRICE IS £29.99 ?
P&P for all orders recleved before Friday 22nd March 1996

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