7-13 June 1984 Vol 3 No 23

BRITAIN'S BEST-SELLING MICRO WEEK

CLASSIFIEDS START HERE

E TITANIC.

SEE PAGE 36 Computer Swap 01-437 4343

Free readers entries to buy ог sell a computer.

Ring 01-437 4343 and give | us the details. |

SPECTRUM SW 10 swap or sel Gamos Designer. Scope, Zeus, PSST, Espionage Island. Roadrunner. Jetpac For Night Gunner, Quil, Scubia. write to Wilson Sinclair, "Gramoir Carsioge Road, Cupar. KY15 4HY.

GOT THESE? Phone me'i need Audio- genics "Fort, Rabbits “Myriad Computers First Book of Vic, Thom EMI's "Computer War” and Epyxs ‘Crush, Crumble and Chomp" (Phone now) 0558 822509.

SWAP VIC 20 Mission Impossible for ‘Sargon Chess or VCS Batiezone, Tei: (01) 673 5819 after врт

Time-A-Climber on Spectrum See page 10

The end of the road for Dragon?

DRAGON Data has called the receiver

Man director Brian Moore explained: “With the continuing difficulties of esta

blishing profitable trading in the home computer markets in the UK and abroad, Dragon Data Ltd has requested its bankers to call in a receiver.

This is despite great efforts in the last 12 months when the management was strength- ened, the overheads cut, advi sors brought in, several new models developed and further finance provided by the share- holders.

The decision to call in the receiver comes just eight months after Prutech organi- sed a £4.Sm rescue (PCW 8-14 September, 1983). The package consisted of £1.25m in new equity, £1.25m in loans and a £2m guaranteed over: draft

There have been signs for some time that Dragon has been in trouble, most recently with British Home Stores drop- ping the Dragon 32 and Boots deciding to add the Amstrad and MSX machines to its range.

continued on page 5 >

The ill-fated Dragon Professional, launched at CETEX just days before the receiver. was called in.

Argus buys out Quicksilva

ARGUS Specialist Publica- tions (ASP), a subsidiary of the giant BET group, has taken over Quicksilva. The deal which was concluded last week, is understood to be worth several million pounds, "Negotiations have been held over eight months, follow. wing an approach from the Chief Executive of the Argus group, and they reached their conclusion on May 29 at 11.30pm,” said Quicksilva ma- naging director Rod Cousens. Co-founders and principal slapehótder NEE- api Der. and John Hollis have now left the company, but Quicksilva will retain the first option on their future programs. Rod Cousens continues as mana- ging director with ASP chief executive Jim Connell beco- ming chairman. Ron Harris and Mike Dougan of ASP become non-executive direc tors while Mark Eyles becomes creative design executive. Included in the deal are Software Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of Quicksilva and the label under which Games Designer was launched continued on page 5 >

000000000 ШЕК(273222522229229 °

David Kelly talks to Rod Cousens, vice chair of GOSH оп page 14. &

Malcolm

Davison takes a detailed look ai

he Quill program on the QL. See page 24. @

James Marsden

helps those with exams approaching with a Chemistry revision program on page 28. @

Lords of

Midnight from Beyond Software and Sea Adventure from Virgin Games are among

the programs reviewed on

page 56.

For computer experts «and their parents

Help Caesar clear the larder of mice; a delightful game now for the BBC B and Spectrum 48K, £6.95, and the Commodore 64, £8.95

Mental arithmetic with a space-age flavour; for the Spectrum 48K, Electron, BBC B or Commodore 64. Price £6.95.

Cheeky Oliver helps your Child to count and adc a new program for the Spectrum 48K, BBC B ог Commodore 64.

Go downto the

farm and out into space with Simple

games for sharp sighted kids - a games to prepare the very young for New program for the Spectrum reading; for the Spectrum 48K, BBC B, 48K, BBC B, Electron ог Electron or Commodore 64. Price £8.95,

Commodore 64. Price £7.95.

lease dett ту ACCESS /BARCLAYCARD tor the sum ot £- por ТТ -

7-13 June 1984 Vol 3 No 23

This Week News 5

x Dragon goes under

10 Time-a-Ciimber for Spectrum by Alan Jarvis Street Lite 14

David Kelly talks to Rod Cousens, vice chairman ofGOSH

Reviews 20 In-depth software analysis 22

24

Psion’s Quill by Malcolm Davidson Commodore 64 28 Chemistry Revision by James Marsden

rum 30 Graph plotting by lan Trout BBC & Electron 35 Maths Program by A Fennell Open Forum 37 Fourpagesolyourprograms |00 - Microradio 39

41 Tony Kendie's arcade check-out Adventure Tony Bridge's comer New releases Latest software programs. This week 58 Top 10 plus all this week's software 59

Dragon burst onto the micro scene two years ago. In modem parlance, it rose without trace. Sadly, it now seems set to disappear the same way.

Dragon was very much the brain- child of Tony Clarke, its former chair- man and managing director, While a director of the ailing Mettoy toy firm, he spotted the potential of the home computer market. he persuaded Met- toy to set up Dragon and to fund the development of its first computer the Dragon 32.

This machine was extremely suc- cessful when first launched, particu- larly since both Acorn and Sinclair were suffering from production pro- blems at the time. However, the post- Christmas slump and delays in produ- cing a successor to the 32 left Dragon in a precarious position.

Prutech mounted a rescue operation in September last year, but Tony Clarke resigned and was replaced by. Brian Moore from GEC. Now the wheel has come full circle and, barring another last minute rescue, Dragon looks set to follow Jupiter Cantab and Grundy into obscurity.

With market share playing an increa- singly important role in the success or otherwise of micro manufacturers, companies such as Oric and Memo- tech must be nervous about their future prospects. Amstrad and the MSX companies too will have to take a significant slice of the market if they are to avoid Dragon's fate.

catch the fruit before you die of starva tion!

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News Desk

01-437 4343

Dragon Data continued from page 1 However, Dragon appeared to have weathered its latest problems with the launch last week of the Dragon Professio- nal a 6809-based machine with 64K Ram and integral Зип disc drive. Additional business and MSX machines were also in the offing.

But Brian Moore still hopes to salvage something from the company, “The Dragon mana- gement has confidence in its new products and the market opportunities. they represent and will be using their best endeavours in helping the re- ceiver to explore ways of conti- nuing trading."

Other companies which pro- duce software and peripherals for the Dragon also hope to continue in business, “It is the blackest day so far for the 6809,” said Ted Opyrchal of Compusense. “But whatever happens, we will continue to support the machine for as long as customers want software.”

Quicksilva continued from page 1 last year (PCW 15-21 Septem- ber, 1983), and Quicksilva's US arm, Quicksilva Inc. Rod Cousens believes that the takeover will help Quicksil- va to expand both at home and overseas, “It is an opportunity 10 speed up Quicksilva's ex- pansion programme, and an Opportunity to diversify into new technological arcas.

John Hollis (left) and Nick Alexander

“We would also anticipate substantial investment over- seas in promoting the of Quicksilva." Southampton-based Quicksil- va, which was founded in 1981, employs 14 staff and currently has 70 software titles on the market. Another 10 programs are due to be launched on June 14 at The Computer Fair at Earls Court.

7-13 JUNE 1984

Nothing new at CES

THERE was little new on dis- play at the Consumer Electro- nics Show which opened in Chicago on Sunday

Commodore showed its +/4 the renamed 264 which was first shown at the CES show in Las Vegas in January Few details were available, but the machine will cost under $300 and will include four built- in software packages File Manager, Spreadsheet, Word Processor and Сга sand a machine code monitor

Sig Hartmund revealed that the machine would be available in September and said: “The +/4 is a more serious machine a productivity machine

whereas the 64 is a more gene- ralised computer.”

Also on display from ‘Commodore were the sub 1100 16 micro, the SFS 481 fast disc drive and the DPS 1101 letter quality daisy wheel printer.

Sinclair showed the QL, which it will sell mail order for $499, and its flat-screen tv

JVC demonstrated its MSX micro, which was linked up t video-disc showing a golf simu- lation, but said it had no plans to release the machine in the US.

The upcoming Olympics made their presence felt on the software scene, with both Hess and Activision producing athletics-based games.

War of the Worlds

СКІ. has launched its video game version of War of the Worlds, based on the music from Jeff Wayne's top-selling albu

The game takes the form ofa graphic adventure, in which you control with the key- board or joystick a journa- list wandering through the Home Counties after a Martian invasion.

War of ihe Worlds will be available on Spectrum from June 14, when it will be on show at the Computer Fair at Earls Court, priced at £7.

Prestel for BBC

BBC MICRO owners can now take advantage of Prestel with the launch of Acorn’s Prestel adaptor.

The adaptor comes complete with a viewdata telecomms Rom and user guide. The adap- tor plugs into the RS423 port оп the micro and the Type 600 BT telephone socket. The Rom slots into one of the spare sideways Rom sockets inside the computer.

Italso has an autodial facility and built-in sofware 10 down- load telesoftware programs from Micronet 800.

The Prestel adaptor costs £113.85 andis available on mail order from Vector Marketing, London Road, Deningion Es- tate, Wellingborough, Nor- thants.

Spectru goes public

SPECTRUM Group. leading distributor of computer har- dware, software, peripherals and photographic equipment, will be going public on June 19.

Although chairman Michael Stern and managing director Alan Warren only founded the company in 1980, by Decem- ber 1983 turnover had reached £15m with profits of £1m. Pro- jected profits for the six months ending June 1984 are well over £1.7m.

Much of Spectrum's soft- ware distribution goes through its subsidiary Micro Dealer UK, whose own turn- over is running at about £4.8m.

After the flotation, Spec- trum plan to expand Micro Dealer UK further, and set up а service company for manu- facturers, distributors and users,

MSX at CETEX

WELL over 100 clectronics companies exhibited at CE- TEX (Consumer Electronics Trade Exhibition) at Earls Court last week.

Three Japanese companies JVC, Mitsubishi and Toshi- ba had their MSX machines on display, although the micros Teaching the UK this autumn will be modified versions,

А number of working Ams- trad CPC 4645 were on view with running software from Bourne Educational Software, GEC were also displaying the now ill-fated Dragons 32, 64 and the new £700 Professional machine, plus a new range of business software for the latter.

Оп the software side, Atari were advertising their new range of software, both for the Atari machines and conver- sions of games such аз Pole Position for Spectrum, Commodore, BBC and Elec- tron,

Atlast...

ULTIMATE has launched its cagerly awaited program Sabre Wulf. Like Aric Atak, the pro- gram is a mixture of arcade and adventure styles.

Essentially а maze game, you must move through a jungle avoiding wild animals while searching for a map. The Wulf of the title is one of the more dangerous animals lurking in the jungle. include Parrots and Fruit Bats. Sabre Wulf costs £9.95 pre- vious games have retailed for £5.50. The price move appa- rently reflects "increased deve- lopment time”,

Printer for Amstrad лар 10.50 characters.a

НМ

BY September а dot matrix printer should be available for the Amstrad CPC 464.

The printer, called the РМР 1, will use the standard centro- nics 7-bit printer interface, which will be supplied with the printer.

second with а maximum width of 80 columns, It contains a dot-addressable graphics capa- bility and full screen dump facility.

The print is created by a5 7 character matrix, and it has facilities for both traction and plain paper feed.

Manufactured by Sikosha in Japan, the printer will cost £199.00 and will be available in the same four stores stocking the Amstrad CPC 464— Boots, Dixons, Comet and Rumbe- lows.

NUN 2 А. д Ж” kJ ER Y ен Ne

E ant Dt,

Lo

his program will draw out Тос logo, using the Plot, Draw and Pi commands, It shows that you do not need a fancy drawing program 10 achieve quite accurate dra- wings

Martin Peapell 61 Whitworth Road Swindon

Wilts

Jet set pizewinners

о all Jet Set Willy fans

we have some very good news, Congratulations to Ross Holman and Cameron Else of London who haye successfully guided Willy around the 60 screen labyrinth, collected all 83 items and deposited the exhausted jet setter into his long-awaited four poster

Not only did Ross and Ca-

meron beat thousands of other entries to claim their super prizes, but they have also sub- mitted ideas to enhance the game. They didn't particularly like Matthew's sneaky random hazards feature which pulve- rises you after a visit to the attic, so if you want an easier route and an easier game pro- ceed as follows: Rewind Jer Ser Willy tape, Enter: Merge. Press Play on cassette. Once the first section of program has

loaded, * Stop the cassette and Enter: Clear 32767 Load Code Start the cassette. After the main part of the program has loaded, * Enter: Poke 60231,0 Poke 42183,11, Poke 59901.82, Poke 56876,4 If you would like to save the new version of Jet Set Willy prepare a blank tape and enter: Save “Jetset” Line 10 Save “ISW” Code 32768,32768 1f not, to play the new game type Goto 40. Remember when saving to change recorder leads. More good news for 64 owners, the Jet Set Willy conversion is almost complete and should be in the shops shortly; this en- hanced version includes 64 screens so get to bed early now, in anticipation of days without sleep. Software Projects Bear Brand Complex Allerton Road Woolton Liverpool.

TEZY, May 3 and May 24 your correspondents repor- ted problems regarding the loa- ding of tapes caused by EMI (electromagnetic interfer- ence). One way of rectifying this problem is to obtain a thin lead sheet (about the size of a cassette player) and earth it by connecting it to the earth pin of the mains. Then place the lead sheet between the offending piece of equipment (usually the

ee |

iS! @, x

“Га heard they were drop- ping out"

1v set) and the cassette player.

This blocks the EMI travelling.

through the air, but not that

travelling through interconnec- ting cables.

Carl Pickin

Levens

Tunstall Road

Knypersley Stoke-on-Trent

QL comments and queries

ws reference to your page on the QL, which I find to be rather premature considering the availability (or rather the non-availability) of the QL, Ihave a few comments about the machine, 1) Why call the programming language SuperBasic when it bears no resemblance whatsoc- ver to Basic? 2) Why not make the machine, manufacture a few hundred and then announce it rather than announcing it and then designing it? 3) Microdrives hardly do jus- tice to the rest of the machine. and defeat their purpose of cheap, high-speed, storage de- vices by their high cost (5p per K). 4) QDOS may be the best thing since the floppy disc, but 1 prefer CP/M and Wordstar. А Cunningham 47a Pentwyn Hill Top Ebbw Vale Gwent

ону опе

Һе letter from J Roberts

(PCW Peek & Poke 17-23 May headed ‘Waiting Game’), and your reply, те- quire further comment. You suggested that you would not submit a program for evalua- tion to more than one company at a time. If I had taken that approach I would still be wai- ting for my first reply!

My son wrote а program for the most popular machine, the 48K Spectrum, during 1983. The program was most origi- nal, and to date there is still nothing like it available. After local expert advice, and many favourable comments, he was urged to get the program on the

7-13 JUNE 1984

market. I forwarded a copy to a number of software houses ad- vertising for programs, but on- ly received one reply. The others still have the tape, and have not sent any acknowled- gement after over four months.

The local press heard of my son's program, and did a very nice article on him, which led to an approach from Anglia Television. Two months ago he was featured on Anglia News, and during the interview his program was highlighted and explained better than any other computer program or advert- isement I have seen on televi- sion. I wrote again to the same companies, pointing out the publicity, and asked for a deci- sion on marketing, as the need to have the program available жаз urgent, Only one company had the decency to reply.

Т know this program is far superior to a lot of the disap- pointing software currently ap- pearing in glossy advertise- ments, a fact which has been confirmed from many sources: However, like Mr Roberts, when it comes to contacting the people who matter, we get no satisfaction. Could it be that these companies are already making too much money?

Keith Alston

2, Rosetta Close Wivenhoe

Essex

Music and micros

the Capital Region Infor-

mation Centre (CRIC), part of the Micro-electronics Education Program (MEP) are producing a booklet for music teachers and students entitled Micro-computers and. Music Education. Following an intro- duction to the subject, the booklet will contain а list of useful software/hardware cur- rently available.

Could you find room in your next issue to announce this, and ask any readers with rele- vant information regarding software/hardware to send de- tails to the following address.

Nick Pickett

Music Dept. Middlesex Polytechnic. Trent Park Cockfosters Hertfordshire

7

AGF

JOYSTICK: INTERFACE

Programmable Interface

Interface Il

Hardware programmed, this interface attains Joystick or Trackball compatibility with ALL Spectrum or ZX81 software.

Without internal memories or tapes to load the direct addressing mode offers the fastest com- Puter response to controller movement with programming being retained when the power is off,

Eight directional capability is automatically achieved by just setting up, down, left and right.

The hardware approach is totally compatible With all key reading techniques unlike memory programmed devices.

Supplied with Quick Reference Cards, to speed

up setting to your favourite games, demon stration cassette and twelve months guarantee,

2695 plus £1 post & packing RomSlot

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All ROM Cartridge software can be keyboard controlled so а joystick is not essential.

Only high quality programs are available on ROM and soon а whole new range is to be launched by Parker Games exclusively ‘on cartridge, for the Spectrum.

Нотбіо/% unique "бате Restart’ will restart the game at any time during play. When no game cartridge is in use this becomes a useful computer reset facility from crashes or conventional machine code programs.

RomSlot is fully compatible with all other add-ons via a rear ‘connector and is cased and fully guaranteed for twelve months.

onl 1195 plus 50p post & packing

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Itloads Spectrums four times faster than an ordinary cassette player, uses standard cassette software, and has improved loading reliability.

деттер, All for just £64.95. |.

and save Spectrum programs at four times the speed of ‘Spectrum and be the envy of your friends. conventional cassette players, this even applies to Ifyou have Visa or Access cards you may phone your standard program and games cassette software that has ^ ordértoensure faster delivery by calling Potters Bar been pre-recorded at normal speed. All this plus (0707) 44063. or post the coupon below.

improved loading reliability is available for just £64.95 Please allow 28days for delivery. If you are not delighted inclusive of post. packing VAT anda I2month guarantee. with your Challenge Sprint simply return it within 7days

The Sprint is dedicated to both the І6Капа 48K Spectrum and we will refund your money in ШІ.

and providesan innovative but inexpensive new concept

in cassette tape storage. TRADE ENQUIRIES WELCOME Use of the Sprint is simplicity itself:

Retains the standard Spectrum commands and format. ө Advanced digital circuitry and signal processing improves loading reliability and eliminates volume setting. ‘© Simply plugs into the Spectrum port no interface or external power unitis required. it even has it's own expansion slotso that you can still use other peripherals at the same time.

© A full 48K program will load or save in 75 seconds rather than five minutes with a conventional cassette recorder.

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7-13 JUNE 1984 9

Time-A-Climber

Collect three fl:

'ime-a-Climber is a 10 screen climbing

game, where you (the climber must collect three flags before your enemy (time) runs out. The flags always appear at the same positions on the screen every time, but the scenery around them always changes.

You start at the bottom level each time and must scale the levels to reach the flags in as fast a time as possible. Each screen is made up of girders and ladders (there are no ladders on the first two screens).

The climber can jump from girder to gir- der, ladder to girder, ladder to ladder, drop from ladder to girder etc. But beware of

for 168: ‘Spectrum by Alan Jarvis

some flags! Collecting the third flag on each screen will put you into the next screen, but some flags must be left until last. These flags can easily be collected but are often ‘out on a limb’ and the drop from them is often big enough to kill the climber.

The climber also dies when his time runs out, he jumps into a girder. or falls too far from a girder/ladder. Beware the 'Z key, it will move you down whether there is a girder below you or not.

Short instructions are given in the game, but the keys аге: a-up п-ий CAPSin— jump ien 2-down m-rgh CAPS jump right

ıs before time runs out in this game

Main variables

t= time

1= Ives

$ = score

le = level

9 = fags collected

x + y = man’s co-ordinates

һ = high score Main routines

1014 Poke graphicsigraphic data 45-50 Variables

200230 Main loop

300330 Man's drop

500-525 Lose Melgame over 600420 Мап jump

900-820 Colect flagiciear screen 1000-1030 Set screen

2001-3010 Girders and ladders data 4000-5000 Instructions

10

POPULAR COMPUTING WEEKLY

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7-13 JUNE 1984

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for the widest range of software for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, VIC 20, and Atari plus many titles for New titles are stocked within hours of release the Dragon, Apple, BBC and Electron. call our friendly knowledgeable staff for details.

VIRGIN GAMES CENTRE, 22 OXFORD ST., LONDON WI. (1637791

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Spectool

makes Basic easier, faster, more efficient The most comprehensive toolkit ever devised for the 48K Spectrum

Spectool gives you 30 powerful new single-key entries to make Basic programming easier for the beginner, faster and more efficient for the advanced programmer. Commands include AUTO start, CLOCK, COPY, HEXDEC, INSERT to, JOIN line no, MEM, MOVE, PEEP, REMKILL, REN, SLIST,

SQUASH, TRACE and lots, lots more.

Look out for Mikro-Gen's superb selection of sensational games. software in Boots, Menzies, W H Smiths, Co-op and other leading retailers. Write for complete list:

Enter the realm of Dream

and Paradox Survive 150 locations on what is

the most difficult task

you've ever been set

If you сап!

Popular Computing Weekly (15:04:84): “Paradox looks, from a {рау and he complex тара ve ben sent explaining t the one Taare ot the most complicated adventures ever designed probably ensured." LOOK for the

RUNESOFT С) Logo

3% COMMODORE VERSIONS AVAILABLE SOON xs

7-13 JUNE 1984

£7.95

complete with operating manual Post & Packing: 40p

Send cheque/PO, payable to Mikro-Gen, or phone your

Access/Visa number for.

immediate despatch.

PARADOX, SPOOF and SPECTREALM | game for budding is Spi di cu a i fom selected shops

PARADOX: : £7.50; sPoor: £7.50; SPECTREALM: £6.95

їп case of Фу, ask your local stockist to contact his distributor, or send Cheques/POs direct to:

RUNESOFT

Charnwood House, 67 Lower Parlia

ment St, Nottingham NG1 3BB. (Tel: 0602 (STD) 287667 & 271748

13

` „Street Life]

Gosh, it’s GOSH

David Kelly talks to Rod Cousens, Vice Chairman

of the Guild of Software Houses

t ће end of last month GOSH the Guild of Software Houses approved its constitution and formally inaugurated itself as the representative body for the interests of the British games software companies.

Membership of the group is now over 30 including most of the top names іп the industry. So it seems an appropriate time to take a look at the group's aims.

Undoubtedly the biggest challenge fa- ced by GOSH is the job of controlling the now rampant commercial piracy of its