I’m clattering this out on my faithul old Hermes
typewriter, surrounded by a mountian of huge carboard boxes. ‘Pick up
your things and leave, Mangram!’ said Those Who Must Be Obeyed.
Is this the end of the road for me? Not on your life! But It’s the end
of the old CRASH Towers: fed up with falling debris all around us we’re
moving to salubrious new (so we’re told) offices on the riverside. The
minute I hit the final key for this month’s Live Circuit the Hermes will
be packed up to be delivered (still in one piece) to NEWSFIELD, LLOYD
MANGRAM’S FORUM, CRASH. Which is where all your letters should now be
addressed — do that and you could win £40 of software! Just like
lucky Ryan this month...
Off the Streets
I am writing this letter on behalf of my son Ryan who is eight years old,
hoping he will win the £40 just to give me a break.
We bought him a +2 last year for Christmas and for 12 months we’ve
hardly seen him as he’s always in his bedroom playing it. At the moment
he’s just playing games but I hope he will keep it up to the programming
stage (why wasn’t there any when I was at school?). Is Ceri Williams a
genius or what! I saw your last tape and couldn’t believe a 14-year old
could do that, keep it up, son.
I believe it’s the best investment we made, at least a computer keeps
them off the streets causing trouble or just being plain nuisances; not only is
it an educational asset but we’ve noticed a welcome change in his
attitude and manner.
I’ve even had to cancel my Angling Papers so we can order him CRASH. I
normally watch sport on TV on Saturdays but now get banished to his bedroom so
he can bring his computer downstairs to use on the colour TV, while I watch the
black and white. At the moment he’s trying to save up to buy a multiface
or a mouse (there’s no more pets coming in this house, said his mam!) so
his sister can use it as well, for drawing purposes.
Anyway thank you for keeping my son entertained and out of trouble. Can you
recommend any books which tell you what add-ons you can get for the +2 and what
they do, ie interface, multiface etc.
Silence is golden isn’t it? Anyway — it’s
nice to see a letter from a parent who doesn’t reckon that gamesplaying
is freaking their child out — as the TV programme QED implied a while
back. There are no books that I know of listing add-ons, but why not write to
Romantic Robot, Datel or MGT for information — all have a huge stock of
useful utilities. And have £40 of software — it’s worth it for
Here are four reasons why my letter should be printed.
I read your mag
I’ve got a plus 2 Speccy
I fancy Clare Fielding
Cos I say so.
And just what does Clare Fielding think about all this,
Hip And Kool
Wow! You dudes really make a radical mag! When I saw new look CRASH, like, I
flipped out, dude, get my drift?
Four hot games every month, wow, freak out city, party time, get my joystick
man!! And you also gave us 11 games throughout December and January — games city.
Well done ladz, like, you’re fandabidozy, dude, so LM keep up the good
work, and like don’t freak it out man!!! and also, keep trendy, Nicko,
your one coooooool dude, if you get my drift, (well, so am I)
The teacher shortage is showing — isn’t it, readers?
But you’re right I am kool!
What I want to do is use my Spectrum to drive a printer which will make a hard
copy of what I play in standard musical notation. The piano can be linked to
the Spectrum by a series of touch sensitive pads mounted under the keys and
plugged into the two keyboard sockets inside the Spectrum in place of the
The aim is to monitor my playing by producing records over a period of time,
hopefully showing an improvement!
The tasks of the program seem to me to be fairly simple:
To register which key or keys are pressed (ideally up to 8 or 9
simultaneously but I suppose I ould make do with up to 5);
To measure the length of time each key is pressed for; and
To make a hard copy of the notes played.
The program doesn’t have to work over all 88 keys; I could make do
with 61 keys, from c two octaves below middle c to c three octaves above middle
Justin A Dix
Right — anyone help this chap? We’ve cut the letter
down to the bare essentials — it fills three pages in total! But should
any CRASH readers know of a program that could achieve what Justin wants
— or should they want to offer to program the utility — then let us
know: we’ll pass the information on.
Please could you print this so someone can help me. I have bought a Star LL-10
colour printer for my Speccy+ 48K, but I do not have a colour screen dump
program. If get one, or can help me with this problem I will be very
I am writing in response to the advertisement that states ‘Piracy is a
theft’ which has been recently displayed in your magazine. I’m
sure software houses could cut down the vast amount of piracy if they reduced
the preposterous prices of their games as they are only recordings which cost a
few pence to produce. Also prices of games are increasing rapidly, for example
the price of yet average game a year ago was £7.95, now its £9.99;
even the prices of budget games have gone up; and according to my calculations
if this continues, by the year 1995 (if the Speccy market holds out that long)
the average price of a game will be approx £23 (the present price of a
16-bit game) So I ask you who’s being ripped off: them (due to
piracy) or us; being ridiculously overcharged.
PS. I know software companies have to pay vast amounts for
copyrights, and programmers need profits, but this does not account for us
being charged so much for a mere recording.
For goodness sake! You’re not just getting a recording
when you buy software — you’re getting at least six months of a
programmer’s — and more often these days a whole programming
team’s — work, plus a few months of the publishers’ planning,
artists’ illustrations — the list goes on... You wouldn’t go
out for a meal and expect to pay just for the cost of the food would you?! If
more people bought software instead of pirating it, prices would come down
because software houses would have more buyers to spread the cost over.
There’s a new fanzine on the loose, folks! It’s
called Advanced ZAT Programming (Z-A-T! Geddit Z-80?! Never mind...) and
isn’t at all boring as the title may imply. It’s very well produced
and entertaining and, while covering the gaining side of the Speccy, hopes to
spice up any Z-80 enthusiast’s life with a technical section. It’s
produced just up the road from CRASH in Telford, Shropshire and is run
by a team of three — that’s David Ledbury the Ed, Darren
Blackburn (Art Ed) and Malcolm Seeby (Assistant Ed). Apart from
Speccy and SAM stuff ZAT covers comics, CB radio, and promises sections
on video and science fiction soon! It’s currently running a superbly
illustrated SF strip called Sentinel. You get 32 pages for 60p (and
10p of that goes to charity) — check it out by writing to ZAT.
There’s An Old Mill...
And it’s by a stream and CRASH (and the rest of Newsfield)
are moving to it. We’ll, touch wood, be fully installed in the new
offices by the time you read this (as long as we can catch all the Olibugs in
time), so the old PO Box 10 and 20 address no longer applies.
And this it — the new Towers Lloyd mentioned. A tad
Colditz like, eh viewers? Full report next month!
TAPE TROUBLES SOLVED!
We mentioned it a while back, but now it appears that the
Hi-Spec Load-It Data Recorder from Mills Associates should be
available by the time you read this. They claim this little gadget will end the
frustration caused by your favourite games not loading! As it works on the
full range of Spectrum computers it should be just what the doctor ordered, and
it makes you wonder why they’ve taken so long to develop it! At
£44.99 this gadget could just be the next best thing to (expensive) sliced
Hornby, traditionally regarded as model railway and toy
manufacturers have hit the electronic age! They’re marketing a new range
of hand held LCD video games from Konami. First titles on offer are
Top Gun, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Double Dribble, ‘C’,
Gradius and Skate Or Die. The 6-inch pocket sized gadgets feature
exciting sound effects, multi skill levels and hours of fun. So if you fancy
your own mini walkabout arcade and have £19.99 plus batteries to
spare — off to the toy shop with you!
Coming up from Rainbow Arts are two games programmed by
Probe. Turrican has you as a brave hero fighting a three headed
monstrosity who in days past was responsible for all mankind’s fears and
nightmares. Vanquished once, he has returned, and terror once more stalks the
countryside. Turrican should hit you in May.
Set for a June-ish release is the science-fiction/shoot-ern-up
Apprentice: a budding young wizard undergoes a frightning series of
final tests to become a fully fledged Mage. As usual with scenarios of this
kind failure results in death. Watch out for a review of both games (wands
crossed) next month...
Mark Caswell checks out what’s happening on the
‘graphic novel’ scene this month.
BATMAN YEAR TWO
Titan Books, £5.95 One Off
Yes, it’s another graphic novel about my favourite comic
book hero. Batman Year Two follows on from the Year One
story: Captain James Gordon has been promoted to Commissioner and Bruce Wayne
is just starting his second year as Gotham City’s vigilante protector.
But matters take a turn for the worst when Gotham’s first caped avenger,
The Reaper, returns after twenty years — a fearsome sight with a
skull-like mask, red leather armour and wicked scythe-like swords.
Like Bruce he lost a loved one to a gunman, unlike Bruce The Reaper
kills his victims. This sets Batman on his trail, only to find himself allied
with his parent’s killer and under suspicion of being in league with the
underworld. Titan have come up with another winner in Batman Book Two: the plot
is superbly scripted by Mike Barr and masterfully drawn by Todd
McFarlane and Alan Davis. An essential purchase for all Batfans.
THE NIGHTBREED CHRONICLES
Titan Books, £5.95 One Off
No comic book this, but with the slightly delayed release of
both the movie Nightbreed and the Ocean computer game in
September it’s a good time to take a look at this
‘encyclopedia’ of characters from the movie. Take a trip through
the world of Midian and meet the Nightbreed: mythological
creatures who shun sunlight and ‘normal’ human company, introduced
with colour photo portraits and potted histories of how they came to be. Some
of the make up displayed is quite stunning — not surprising, with
technicians Image Animation who worked on films like Return Of The
Jedi, Dark Crystal and The Never Ending Story. The movie is based
master of the macabre Clive Barker’s novel Cabal and
directed by him. If you’re into horror films, you’ll remember his
Hellraiser and Hellbound — Hellraiser II. Expect some
shocks when Nightbreed appears. Until then read this book and whet your