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The Official Amstrad Magazine
October 1986
LocoMail PCW
mailmerge delivers
Amdrum, Speech and
Rainbird's Advanced
Music System sounded out
Compiler speed trials
Pius: News, reviews, programs and pokes
T-tv 771
ItEl%.11.) Latno
rtti Iti
5 News
11 Letters
54 Gallup chart
New look top twenty
28 Sounding off
Amdrum, The Advanced Music System
and Speech' given aural inspection
34 Animator
Making movies on your micro, the
Gremlin way
40 In the air tonight • • •
Take off without leaving the keyboard -
which fl ight simulator is best?
106 Least Significant Bit
rwri It MT Tilricoli_
57 Supercharged Basic
HiSoftTurboBasic meets the Ocean Laser
Compiler in a high speed race
64 Amstrad PC1 512
Guy Kewney looks at Amstrad's newest
micro and sees how it measures up
73 Basic 2
A new Basic for a new computer, Basic 2
is very different. Simon Rockman takes a
quick look at what it offers
77 LocoNlail
Speedy mass mailing on the PCW
17 Adventure column
Playing Old Scores and Mandragore
23 Hackers Haunt
Hacking help and hints
52 Tubaruba map
Where does the money lie?
36 Goin' Loco
Get in the queue for some smart sounds
45 Helicopter
Eight levels of absorbing action with this
type-in treat
86 Games software
Liz falls in love with a Centipede. Colin
takes to the skies with Thrust and Nigel
runs away from a Helichopper
85 Win a PC1512
CDS software is offering a PC as a prize
for answering three simple questions
100 The ACU shop
Backnumbers and binders,
subs and savings
Editorial and Advertising offoces
169 King's Road, Brentwood, Essex CM14 AEF.
Tel. 0277-234459 (Editorial); 0277 234434 (Advertising)
Telec om Gold: 7.2!MAG021
Published by Avralite Ltd. 36/38 St. Petersgate. Stockport SK1 1HL.
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Amstrad Computer User, is used with the permission
of Amstrad Consumer Electronics plc, No part of this
publication may be reproduced without permission
White every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of
on features and listings we cannot accept any liability
for any mistakes or misprints. The views and opinions
expressed are not necessarily those of Amstrad or
Amsoft but represent the views of our many readers.
owners, members and contributors. We regret that
Amstrad Computer User CAnnot enter into personal
c Avralite Ltd 1986
Editor: Simon Rockman
Assie t e n t Ed it o r: Ale xa n d e r M a rt in
Ad ve rt ise m e n t M a n a g e r: Ja n e N o la n
Ad ve rt ise m e n t Assist a n t : L o rra in e D a y
The o f fi cia l m a g a zin e f o r a ll
users o f Am a t ra d co m p u t e rs
Amstrad User October 86
Page 3
per hour (cheap rate) to run
(Assuming Prestel local call access).
Special Introductory offer: We'll
pay your VAT. A complete CPC pack —
Modem and Software — for just i119.90.
PCW Pack (Voyager II and Serial Interface) £199.95.
Fill in the coupon then stand by to access mainframes
and micros worldwide,
„.or Tuesday_ or Thursday_ the
sooner you send off the coupon,
• a
the sooner you'll have the entire
knowledge of the world at your fingertips.
The Voyager range of Modems has full BABT approval
and is fully compatible with just about any micro
throughout the world. And you could pay twice the price
for a modem and still not get these features:
• Multi Speed — including 300/300, 1200/75, 75/1200
full duplex, and 1200/1200 half duplex • Full
Function LED Display • More software support than any
other Modem — and the best.
The Voyager CPC range of Software gives you:
• Auto Dial/Auto Answer • Full Colour Prestel/
Viewdata Emulation • Full Prestel/Viewdata Graphics
Emulation • Full Telesoftware support • File Upload/
Download and/or Spooling to Cassette, Disk, Memory
and/or Printer • X-Modem File Transfers Bulletin
board Software available soon • The total software on
ROM package for just £39.95 (ex-VAT) • PCW Software
available — the most powerful and bestselling pack —
,E75,00 (ex-VAT).
With Voyager 7 you can link Prestel, Micronet, Viewfax,
Amsnet, BT Gold, Microlink — and most other data bases
and for 98% of the country it'll cost you only around 40p
APPPOVE0 • 1 2 ,m,Q
70 Longbrook Street. Exeter.
Devon EX4 6AP e
tr .
11'3,5n:1442 1
As Stocked by AO)
Please send me: ( Ti c k which requiredj
I 1. Voyager! Modem 191. 94 (Inc VAT)
1 2. Complete Amstrad CPC pack Inc. Software & Modem 1119.90E1
1 3. Complete PCW Pack (Voyager II Software &Serial Interface)i199.95E1 i
1 I enclose cheque/PO payable to 'Modem House for
OR Access No:
I Post to:- Modem House. 70 Longbrook Street. Exeter, I
Devon EX4 6AP Tel: (0392) 213355 ACU/10/8E.
User News
Amstrad PC 1512
In addition to being very good the
Amstrad PC is very cheap - for et PC.
The monochrome model with a single
drive is .E399 and the top of the range
micro with a 20Mb hard disc will set you
back E949. This is around fi ve times
cheaper than a comparable machine.
Amstrad is maintaining its policy of
not allowing upgrades from one system to
another, but has authorised Dictaphone
to do so. You cannot upgrade from a
mono system to a colour one but it is
possible to add a second floppy disc drive
for E149, a 10Mb hard disc for E400 and a
20Mb drive for 1;500. These prices
include fi tting.
The most useful service Dictaphone
offers is a memory upgrade expanding a
512k machine to 640k for just i:45. You
will find a full review of the Amstrad PC
on Page 64 and a review of its new Basic
on Page 73.
Amstrad has launched the long awaited
PC 1512, and it has proved to be a better
buy than anyone predicted. The machine
is IBM-compatible, comes with 512k
RAM and uses a 16 bit 8086 processor
running at 8N1H7..
This means that the computer is very
much faster than the IBM original. It is
available in eight different configura-
tions with colour or monochrome mon-
itors, single or dual drive fl oppy disc
drives and 10 or 20Mb hard disc. There
are serial and parallel interfaces as
standard so printers, modems and a host
of RS232 devices can be connected. The
clock is battery backed up - so the
machine doesn't forget the time when
you switch it off.
The Amstrad PC is unusual in having
both a joystick port and a mouse as
standard, the mouse being essential for
using the Gem software you get with the
Two operating systems are supplied
with the Amstrad PC: DOS Plus - an
improved version of CP/M 86 - and
MS-DOS 3.2, the new version of the
standard operating system for the IBM
PC. Version 3.2 costs more than E100
from IBM. The software supplied
includes Gem Desktop, Gem Paint and
Locomotive Basic 2.
The most impressive feature of the new
PC is the 16 colour graphics mode. This
offers as many colours as the 464 Mode 0
but with the high resolution of Mode 2.
One feature which makes a PC
compatible so flexible is the expansion
slots, which allow the user to add
hardware inside the main unit, Two
types of card can be added, full length
and half' length.
The Amstrad PC has room for three
full length cards. This may sound
restricting when it is compared to the five
slots on some machines, but you have to
remember that the rivals need extra slots
for memory expansion, colour graphics
cards, serial and parallel interfaces and a
mouse port.
All these are built into the Amstrad as
standard, leaving the expansion slots for
more esoteric applications. These
include modems, memory drives, second
processors and a host of special uses.
Unfortunately these cards are often
expensive but with the impact of the
Amstrad PC we should see prices fall.
Star of the
big Show
The new PC is set to be one of the star
attractions at the fi fth Amstrad Com-
puter Show.
Its presence has boosted the new
product launches scheduled for the event
to a record high of more than 200.
Companies are currently working
round the clock to ensure they make the
deadline - October 3, the opening day at
the Novotel, Hammersmith,London.
A survey has revealed that one third of
all the innovations on display at the three
day event will be for the new machine.
One company alone, Digital Research,
will be showing nine products for the PC.
Apart from 1512 versions of four
established products - Gem Draw,
Gem Write, Gem Graph and Gem
WordChart - the company will be
launching five new packages,
These are Gem Diary, a page-per-day
facility complete with notepad, 11
alarms, and card index fi le costing
.09.99: Gem Fonts and Drivers Pack
and Gem Draw Business Library, both
priced at 09.95; Gem Font Editor at
09.95; and Gem Programmers Toolkit
at ,E175.95.
Caxton Software also has two new
products for the PC. Condor Junior, a
relational database and report system
suitable for novices, costs L99•99, while
Timekeeper, a time management
system, is priced at E49.99.
Citadel Products is also aiming to
jump aboard the PC bandwagon with a
and a new printer
To complement the Amstrad PC there
is a new, old, printer. The [)MP-3000 is
a PC compatible version of the popular
DMP-2000. The new printer has slight
differences in the ROM and is coloured
to match the Amstrad PC. As with the
DMP-2000 it has a good near letter
quality mode and bit image graphics.
With a draft quality speed of around
100 characters per second it is a good
budget priced machine. The eight bit
parallel interface on the PC allows full
access to the character set.
The new machine costs .U0 more
than the DMP-2000 at 1'155.65.
Rumours of a forthcoming wide car-
riage version cannot be substantiated.
Page 5
Amstrad User October 86
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