Public domain software on the SAM is quite scarce, but more and more is being produced all the time. You’ll find that the best of the games and demos around are repeated from library to library, it’s a matter of looking around and finding the cheapest place to get a certain demo from. NICK RBERTS gives ’em a go.
The disk I was sent from Contact PD featured two games and a few short demos. The games can be found in other libraries: SAM Tetris and Soccer Challenge. They’re both well written and presented, showing off some of the SAM’s wide range of capabilities.
A big favourite with all the PD libraries and disk magazines is screen shots. Nearly every PD disk has a section where screen after screen of high resolution pictures whizz by. The majority of these pictures have been ported across from the Atari ST showing that you can recreate 16-bit quality on on 8-bit computer.
Contact sticks out from the crowd because of the last two demos on the disk. One is a short (badly) animated sequence showing a SAM beating up an Atari ST and Commodore 64 and the other is a Batman logo that has weird colour bars scrolling over it. These short demos have the potential of being really good, they just never seem to go anywhere.
Contact PD disks cost £1.60 or you can get them at reduced rates if you’re a member of the Contact Sam Coupé User Group. Write to Contact PD, SAM Coupé PD. If you enclose an SAE you’ll be sent details of the disks available.
Fastline PD have eight disks in all on their shelves. These range from basic slideshows of screens to a disk packed full of animated demos. Again, the software you’ll find on these disks has been used over and over again in other libraries.
The disk I was sent included a game I hadn’t seen before, Satellite ’90. This is a variation on the ‘shoot the satellites before they hit the earth’ theme. The game’s presented very well with a catchy tune and some groovy graphics used on the earth. Playability is a little lacking though, the tiny satellites being hard to destroy.
Each disk from Fastline costs £2.00 and you can obtain a list of the software available from Fastline Public Domain Library.
Turbo PD is an extension of Turbo magazine. They have a total of six disks and unlike the other PD libraries, each is jam packed full of software. Adrian Betts runs Turbo and being a bit of a programmer on the side this is how he distributes his games.
Out of the three disks that fell onto my desk, the one that really blew my mind has a digitized demo of the film Total Recall. With more than 75 frames from the film it’s excellent, but unfortunately needs 512K to run it.
I also received a disk full of games. The games Adrian Betts has written are all pretty basic but in my view classics. There’s a version of Blitz with a plane flying over a city dropping bombs, a terrible race game and the almost impossible Snake, where you move.around the screen leaving a trail and eating the magic mushrooms.
To get a list of disks available (prices range from £1.50 to £2.00) write to: Turbo PD Library enclosing an SAE.
Hot news poop from SAM Computers Ltd, the producers of the Coupé! For those of you who want to go totally overboard on memory expansion, SAM Co is finalising the details for a 1 Megabyte memory upgrade pock! Soon you’ll be able to squeeze even more action-packed code into the Coupé!
SAM Co is in discussion with a Japanese firm to produce a special SAM Coupé mouse which should make Flash! even more of a joy to use!
For the serious Coupé user a Master DOS disk is being worked on to give more computing power than before. As always deals on all the above products are obtainable from SAM Computers Ltd. For extra news check out Alan Miles’ SAM Coupé Hotline service. Calls cost 33p per minute off-peak and peak-time calls cost 44p.
That’s it for this month — SAM returns next issue!