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lffi cial Amstrad Magazine
December 1986
"elartiand previev
pictures with
Joycespelling - LocoSci
finds a dictionary
Plus: Dan Dare map, Pokes and competition.
Win goodies from Ariolasoft, a calendar from
Level 9 and a robot arm from Spectravideo
Norway NOK 20.00, Spain 300 Piz's, Turkey 1650 TL, Denmark Kr-31.00, New Zealand NZ$4,95 Rec.
After years of neglect rnony strorPge and
ciongerous /ife-forms hove al-rested Amon The
fuel,roas so e
been token from the Po*er Chamber and lost
in her web ofdecks, ch
ambers a
must loca these and retum them to their
correct lte ocation. Mon), obogers lurk around
every corner Roclootion woll peneh-ate your
ActivArotes outer skin. Time is limited.
Ni ou ore QUEST OR - on8 onty you
bovelllePower.The power onct tbe will to
deliver your t(ingclorn tram the eytt Gory.
f or Gorr would cte,stroy oil tbot stoncls
between Wtmsett and clor6noli°n. but you
ore strong wttbille Power,'Iou con use
NVie Power and enter wbere teor cleteots
the We d it 0 1 WO.
- 1 1 1
79 Understanding
Defining function keys can make your
life much easier
74 Pinball
Since I was a young boy I played the
pixel ball._
70 Goin' Loco
Playing TAG with graphics
31 Assembly Point
Pete Green sorts his bubbles
5 News
11 Letters
61 Gallup Chart
122 Least Significant Bit
sea d a sk„.
r •
54 Odin's Heartland
John Baker explores the world of the
mystic book
66 LocoSpelling test
Your Joyce can now spell - but how
good is it?
49 Rombo digitiser
Turn stars into digits with this box o'
95 Games reviews
Colin, Liz and Nigel fight the Joystick
i• •
62 A.L.I.E.N.S
Can a computer game be spooky? It
can when Aliens come to play
45 Why I want a 968
When we asked who wanted a
firmware guide we had no idea you
could be so inventive
38 Christmas list
What to buy and where to buy it. All
ACU recommended
22 Dan Dare
A map and Poke to help in defeating
the evil Mekon
83 Adventures
Bill Brock unmasks spies and
examines Leather Goddesses
16 The Hairy Hacker
Pokes by the plenty, hints by the heap
Ad • Ad&
S • M.J1 li BS Ah
29 A helping hand
Win a robot arm
21 Virgin Competition
Win a Dan Dare book, poster and
super-yuppie T-shirt
25 Win a year with
Level 9
Fifty calenders to be won
93 Ariolasoft Stole a
An Ariolasoft goody bag up for grabs
118 The ACU shop
Backnumbers and binders,
subs and savings
Editoria l a n d Ad ve rtisin g o ffi ce s:
169 Kings Road, Brentwood, Essex CM14 4EF.
le i: 0 2 7 7 -2 3 4 4 5 9 (Ed it o ria l), 0 2 7 7 2 3 4 4 3 4 (Ad ve rt isin g )
Telecom Go ld : 7 2 .M AG0 2 1
Published Isiv Avralite Ltd. 36/38 St. Petersgate. Stockport SKI 1HL
News t ra d e d isro b u t io n : D ia m o n d Eu rvo re ss Sa le s D e st rib u t io n L t d
Unit 1 , 8 .rg a ss R o a d . lvyn o u se L a n e .. H a st in g s, Ea st Su ss'. T n 1 3 5 4 1
Am st ra d e s a re g ist e re d t ra d e m a rk, a n d w it h t h e t it le
Am st ra d C o m p u t e r U se r, is u se d w it h t h e p e rm issio n
of Am st ra d C o n su m e r Ele ct ro n ics p lc. N o p e rt o f t h is
publication m a y b e re p ro d u ce d w it h o u t p e rm issio n .
Wh ile e ve ry e f f o rt is m a d e t o e n su re t h e a ccu ra cy o f
all f e a t u re s a n d list in g s w e ca n n o t a cce p t a n y lia b ilit y
for a n y m ist a ke s o r m isp rin t s. T h e vie w s a n d o p in io n s
expressed a re n o t n e ce ssa rily t h o se o f Am st ra d o r
Am so t t b u t re p re se n t t h e vie w s o f o u r m a n y re a d e rs.
owners. m e m b e rs a n d co n t rib u t o rs We re g re t t h a t
Am st ra d C o m p u t e r U se r ca n n o t e n t e r in t o p e rso n a l
Avralite Ltd 1986.
re l. 0 4 2 4 4 3 0 4 2 2 .
Editor: Sim o n R o ckm a n
Assistant Editor: Alexander Martin
Advertisement Manager: Jan. Nolan
Advertisement Assistant: Lorraine Deli
The o ffi cia l m a g a zin e fo r a ll
users o f Am stra d co m p u te rs
Amstrad User December 86
Page 3
Wa k
- Lks$1
We are pleased to announce the third major issue
of MASTERFILE. This is no mere update, but a
thoroughly enhanced and streamlined re-design of
MASTERFILE 128, packed with new features, and
a delight to use. We included some of the best ideas
which our earlier MASTER FILE customers contri-
buted. We sent prototypes out to our eager "test"
users, and they kicked it as hard as they could, and
came up with even more ideas. We spent several
weeks further honing MASTERFILE III. Then we
sat down and totally rewrote the manual.
For the benefi t of newcomers to the CPC
machines, MASTER FILE III is a very powerful and
flexible data filing and retrieval system. All -
base" systems require that your data is organised
into fields and records. But unlike most, MASTER-
FILE does not commit you to fi eld lengths or
formats, since ALL data is variable-length and
optional. Files are not pre-formatted, and only
used bytes are saved to disc. Also, unlike the rest,
MASTERFILE allows multiple user-defined ways
of viewing/printing your data. And unique in its
price range, MASTERFILE offers RELATIONAL
FILE options, whereby common data can be
entered just once and shared by many records.
Maximum fi eld size is 240, maximum fields per
record is over 50, and maximum fi le size is 64K.
Room for 1,000 full names and addresses, for
example. Only one disc drive is required. It is
menu-driven throughout, and comes with detailed
illustrated manual, and example files.
Just about Any kind of information can be
handled by MASTERFILE. You can Export the
data to other systems (e.g. PROTEXT/MERGE and
TASWORD). You can even merge your own USER
BASIC to MASTERFILE for customised fi le
processing. You can build new fi les from other
sources -- e.g. transfer data from Spectrum
MASTERFILE. The speed of Search of MASTER-
FILE is second to none. We even get calls from
customers who say that "The search did nothing";
they simply blinked and missed the revised status
saying how many records had been found! Records
can he sorted ascending/descending, character or
signed numeric, even embedded keys such as
surnames. We simply don't have room to list all the
features; give us a call if you are still in doubt of
the power of MASTER FILE
How much does it cost? Just 139.95. Our test
customers all say this is far too low — but then we
didn't charge them this! However, we appreciate
that many of you are "home" users who do not
want to pay a "business" price. So we kept to a
realistic figure. But don't be fooled by the low
price. This is no toy written in Basic, nor is it a
lumbering CP/M dinosaur. This is real machine-
coded computing power. We have had IBM and
Apricot users beg us for a MASTERFILE for their
machines — when they had seen the earlier CPC
MASTERFILE. They are going to be more frus-
ass 0-
fAz Oe
cts8 go
v, ,
tnrstetvripl 4 0 0 ..
tie C /
we Ut"
tr. t
Cie 0 '.
'1 Coff P. &Aft
Pa rte , . $ ca lito .
trated now. So are the PCW plodders. Alas, many
of you pay a lot more, because you buy one
database after another before you throw them all
out for MASTERFILE. The trick is to ask around,
read the reviews and choose MASTERFILE III fi rst
time. Try telephoning our competitors and ask to
speak to the programmer for technical informa-
tion. Then try us. We think you will spot the
For those of you who already have an earlier
MASTERFILE, we tempt you with some of the
extras that "III" has:
Three Times faster disc load/save than MASTER-
FILE 128/II. Twice the screen speed. Total +/—
values. Merge all/selected. Save all/selected. Disc
file erase options. Implicit record numbering, both
physical and selected. GOTO selected record
number. Simpler but more powerful search. Full
data name prompting. Print report width up to 160
columns. Page numbering. Insert records anywhere.
Record Cursor for direct update within a display
page. Smart new text editor. Format printing.
Extended User Basic options. Compatible with all
earlier CPC MASTERFILE fi les. Field-to-Field
MASTERFILE III complete costs 139.95. We
can provide an UPDATE onto your original
MASTERFILE 464/128/11 disc for 119.95 —
inclusive of the new revised manual. If your
original MASTERFILE 464 is on tape, we ask
/22.95 for the exchange.
We also have one of the fastest and friendliest
spread-sheet programs around, MASTERCALC
128. For this we ask 133.00. But as a SPECIAL
OFFER to customers who buy MASTERFILE III
complete and N1ASTERCALC 128 together, we
offer the spread-sheet at 110 OFF, just /23.
(162.95 in total for both programs.)
All prices include VAT and P&P to anywhere in
Europe. Outside Europe please add 20% for air-
mail service. ACCESS/VISA/MASTERCARD wel-
come, written or telephoned. Please quote your
card expiry date if ordering via credit card. If
paying by cheque, make out to "Campbell
Our normal response is return of post, 1st class.
Dept AU 12186
Epping, Essex CM16 411A, ENGLAND.
Tel: Epping (0378) 77762
%Eii.. 3
, g 'a g
3 -•'-•''...a
raps PC
The Sunday Times carried an article on
October 19 which claimed that Amstrad
PCs overheated and gave the impression
that Amstrad had lost a E4million
contract with ICI.
Both Amstrad and ICI have refuted
this story, Malcom Miller of Amstrad has
been quoted as saying: "It was inac-
curate and damaging. We are seriously
considering what further action to take."
ICI also denies that it has rejected the
Amstrad PC.
The Director of Information Tech-
nology, Derek Seddon. says: "It is far too
early for us to make a decision on the PC
1512. Our tests last three months and we
have only just started. We have taken
samples of the PC1512 for test because
this machine could offer very good value
for money".
One of the most widespread rumours
was that the Amstrad PC did not work, or
overheated with network cards fi tted.
This is untrue. Amstrad tested a large
number of cards before the machine was
One facet of the Sunday Times story
which did bear an element of truth
referred to an unpredicted high demand
for hard disc models.
No hard discs are fitted with machines
when they are manufactured. All PCs
have the hard discs added in Amstrad's
Shoebury factory after the basic com-
puter has been tested.
rumours are
coolly refuted
A businesslike show
but are a little awkward to move from
place to place. Arnor seems to have taken
a liking to a big stand at the bottom of the
stairs. It had three new products: The
long awaited CP/M Protext, on show but
still not available, a new 3D graphics
package called Model Universe and a
rom version of the BCPL language.
Kempton Data was selling its mouse
and joystick interface for the PCW and
the Nabitchi Gem-like front end,
That stalwart of the word processor
scene Tasman was moving with the times
bv selling Tasword PC, a version of the
popular Spectrum program for the IBM
PC. A demo version costs £2 and the full
thing E24
The Electric Studio had its video
digitiser on display. This works with both
the Joyce and the 6128. The fast frame
rate was illustrated by running a copy of
2001 through a 6128.
Glentop has had PC books available
since the launch of the machine with the
help of Digital Research_ At first glance
these looked very good — not the usual
global replace job which usually
accompany a new computer.
PCW owners will appreciate the book
The last Amstrad show was in October
and you'll be reading this in November.
However the lore of magazine publishing
means that this is the December issue,
which brings us on to the next show in
January. The shows don't seem to stop,
but they do get better and better.
Amstrad and Database (the show's
organisers) had insisted that no tape
copiers were allowed, The one exception
to this rule allowed companies to sell
hardware which could save memory to
disc if' that same unit was required to
re-load the software. This meant that
Romatic Robot was free to sell its
specially modified Multiface two.
A new name on the Amstrad scene is
DataPhone, which has an unapproved
modem for the PCW based on the Demon
modem. It can operate at 300/300 baud
and 1200/75 baud. The KiwiChat
software (written by the one and only
Hairy Hacker) will work with both
scrolling and Viewdata systems.
Joyce (PCW ) peripherals were very
much in evidence. ASD was showing its
10 and 20N1b hard discs, and the ideal
thing to put your Joyce on was on view on
a nearby stand --IQ desks look very smart
More discs
— and they're
cheaper, too
The shortage of Amstrad discs seems to
have eased and production is meeting the
demand from disc hungry Arnold and
Joyce users.
In fact things are going so well that
Amstrad has decided to cut the
recommended retail price to E2.99 per
disc. They will be available from the
Amstrad user club and approved
Amstrad stockists
Page 5
Amstrad User December 86
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