Checking out the latest and greatest offerings for the SAM Coupé it’s our roving reporter, NICK ROBERTS. What have you got for us this month Nicko?
A new piece of software converted and enhanced from the Spectrum is Flexipage, a viewdata/screen design program for use in business, educational or home situations. Instead of buying expensive software all the time you can write your own, simply and effectively.
The package runs along the lines of the Teletext services Oracle and Ceefax. You design screens and can link them together in a continuous loop or put in questions for the user to answer. Flexipage is already used by police forces for teaching crime prevention. The great thing about the programs that come in the package are that you don’t have to be a computer genius to use them. A quick read of the instruction manual and you’re well away.
The screens you can create with this system are limited in graphic quality: in Teletext tradition they usually end up looking blocky and unattractive. To get round this problem you can display any SAM screen using Flexipage, so artistic masterpieces are not beyond its capabilities.
Whatever kind of business you’re in, if you need to display information in an interesting and simple way then Flexipage is for you. Obtain an order form from Flexibase Software.
Fans of RoboCop and Total Recall may like to know that they can get digitized video trailer demos of them for their SAM Coupé! Robocop and Total Recall were both big earners and have been SAM converted in true ‘grainy’ style. The Robodemo has a total of 112 animation screens split into three scenes: The Fall of ED 209, Arrest Mode and News Report. Fans of the film are able to relive their favourite scenes (filling in the sound effects themselves) and see such characters as ED 209, Robocop, a reporter and the bloke with the beard in the shop doing their stuff. This is no ordinary animated demo though, this one is smart! It’ll sense whether you’re using a 256K or 512K machine and make the appropriate changes to the program. As an extra little gimmick the programmer has included sampled speech from the film in the final scene. It’s not exactly CD quality but you can just about hear Robo if you have the volume at just the right level. All this for only £1.50!
The Total Recall demo comes in two forms. You can get the executive version for £2.50 and the normal version (which runs on a 256K machine) for £1.50. The differences between the two are the quality and number of frames used in the animation. There are 72 frames in mode 4 on the 512K demo and 81 on the 256K. ‘Hold on a minute that’s more!’ I hear you cry. Yes, but the 256K one loads in four blocks and is done in a lower mode.
These animated film demos are available from many PD libraries or direct from the programmer G. Middleton. By the time this is printed two new demos will also be available. A digitised Star Wars demo and a special Christmas Quiz! Both for only £1.50.
For those of you who may be in the dark when it comes to SAM Public Domain here is a little reminder about a couple of new disks to arrive on my desk.
Fred disks five and six have been released in the last few months and are as action packed as ever. Disk six includes previews of some of the latest SAM software demos of grabbing graphics and a section on machine code. Disk five has parallax scrolling demos and a couple of new delights from Zenith Graphics: a Coyote and World In His Eyes (very DM) demo. Of course all the usual reviews and editorial are there too.
Fred is available from Colin MacDonald.
SDC Sam Supplement has a new disk out as well. More for those interested in programming with their Coupé, this disk has useful programs like a sprite designer, disk copier and a special program to help those unfamiliar with the animation side of Flash! the free SAM graphics package.
The ‘supplement’, as those in the know like to call it, is available from B.D. Munsford.
More SAM news next month — in the mean time let that Coupé rip!