Cecco’s Log

Diploma of lunacy awarded to Raffaele Cecco

The only award that Raf's won this year

Stardate: 2 September 1988

Well, it’s PC Show month which means that everyone at Hewson (and in the whole industry for that matter) will be charging about getting things ‘organized’. I, thankfully, have managed to wriggle out of having to turn up everyday at the show. Cybernoid II is done (thank God) and Stormlord is once again on the programming agenda.

Stardate: 4 September 1988

Browsing through the Stormlord code. I notice that I have in fact forgotten how most of the programming actually worked. No doubt I shall have to spend a few days getting into the swing of Stormlord once again, as it works in a totally different way to Cybernoid II.

Stardate: 8 September 1988

The Cybernoid II Atari ST loading screens arrive from Hugh Binns. Nick (Jones) offers to write a converter routine for the screens which he says will only take ‘an hour’. Nick remains at my place until the early hours (silly boy).

Nick gets in a bit of training before he attempts to fix the exhaust on his Metro

Stardate: 13 September 1988

Nick Jones and I set off on our way to London for the Hewson do at Stringfellows and the PC Show. We decide to travel in Nick’s Metro (a mistake) as my Fiesta is being serviced today (and boy does it need it!). The journey on the M25 goes without a hitch. But of course once in London, the Metro’s exhaust proves to be totally exhausted and promptly fractures. The consequential noise proves to be most embarrassing.

Well, after a short trip on the tube to Leicester Square, Nick and I make our way to the fabled Stringfellows. The bouncer at the door looks remarkably like a silver-backed gorilla I once saw in a zoo (I wisely decided not to quip about missing links (coward — Andrew Hewson)).

We make our way into the building and are greeted by a leggy blonde with a spiky hair-do. In fact , the whole place is teeming with leggy blondes wearing the skimpiest of outfits. This would explain why there were so many people walking about with eyes popping out and tongues tangled around their feet. Luckily, I prefer brunettes.

Black tiles, mirrors and polished chrome abound at Stringfellows — actually, the whole place reminded me of an extremely sophisticated public lavatory — you know, the type a famous rock star might have. (And by the way, the phone in the gents didn’t work.)

Naturally the whole of Stringfellows is swarming with software distribution people, PR people and ‘the press’ with only a handful of programmers present. Andrew Hewson says that we should ‘mingle and circulate’. Nick Jones and I pretend not to know that dance and promptly disappear into a maze of leggy blondes and polished chrome (see you at the bar).

Well, who should we find at the bar but Dominic from CRASH. We all have a good moan about how we were all forced to attend. (It’s a tough life — Assistant Ed.) Nick foolishly offers to buy a round of drinks and consequently spends his month’s wage in the blink of an eye.

After a video presentation of the new Hewson games, including Cybernoid II, Eliminator and Netherworld (is that plug okay, Andrew? — Ed), there’s an award ceremony for programmers who have excelled themselves or done generally wonderful things. Needless to say, I didn’t win anything.

No caption needed! The picture says it all

Stardate: 14 September 1988

It’s PC Show time! The most important single event in the computer industry. Unfortunately, Nick and I are unable to attend as the old Metro desperately needs seeing to. (A likely story — Ed.)

Stardate: 15 September 1988

At last we’ve finally made it to the Show. Nick and I burst in the entrance shouting: ‘No Pictures! No Pictures!’.

And indeed, no-one took any pictures.

But my word! What a lot of computers there are. Nick and I head straight for the Hewson stand, where I stand gawping at the new Astaroth artwork for no less than half an hour — it really is absolutely amazing — a sort of erotic, naked, lizard-woman on a pedestal of strange symbols (nice one Sandra Cousins, for organising this weird and wonderful one).

Stardate: 19 September 1988

Good friend Chris ‘what’s an iron’ Hinsley has just bought himself a jolly expensive Dell System 310. He could run a dozen or so terminals off that bugger and it would still be faster than my poor old Olivetti (whinge). It’s amazing that all this computing power will essentially be used for developing yet more video games for everybody to play!

Stardate: 21 September 1988

Nick Jones has come to grief as the hard disk on his Amstrad PC has gone down yet again. Being unable to program, Nick amuses himself and entertains me by playing Scott Joplin on his piano.

Stardate: 22 September 1988

Nick suggests how I could improve the way the main character jumps in Stormlord. It just so happens that Nick’s suggestion involves very little work, so I agree that it might be worth altering (me being a generous sort, and all that).

Stardate: 23 September 1988

For some reason this month’s log has to be ended right this instant (why does he always say that? — Ed) because of the backlog work the PC Show caused (among other things — Ed). See you next month with yet more seductive screen shots of Stormlord (with any luck!).