Here’s NICK ROBERTS with all the latest software and
hardware to appear on the SAM Coupé. Probably the best 8-bit computer in
the world (unbiased as always, aren’t you Nick? — Ed).
GET THE MESSAGE
Plugging straight into the back of the Speccy, the SAM Messenger gives perfect ports
Have you been desperately trying to convert all your old
Spectrum games onto the SAM so you can load them quickly and get playing? The
problem most people have come up against is compatibility: some games crash on
loading and some just won’t load at all!
Well SAM Co have the answer, their new toy named The Messenger. This is an
interface that plugs into the expansion socket of any Spectrum (except the +3)
and has a lead that goes into the MIDI OUT socket on the SAM and a switch to
attach to the Euroconnector.
Having loaded the Messenger software on the SAM and a game on the Spectrum,
you simply press the Messenger button and tap ‘receive’ and the
game ports over from the Spectrum to the SAM in a matter of seconds! You can
then save the whole game onto SAM disk and add POKEs, alter the memory, etc.
It’s all very similar to the way that a Multiface works on the
Once you’ve ported over your software collection, you won’t need
the Spectrum anymore (unless you want to continue buying games to convert); to
use a game, simply load it off SAM disk and play away!
Multiload games are a little more complicated, though. The instructions that
come with the Messenger say to port level one from the Spectrum to the SAM then
use the transmit facility to send the game back to the Spectrum again to load
up the second level. This all seems a bit of a waste of time to me. Why not
just play the game on the Spectrum in the first place?
Software piracy is a very touchy subject when you’re talking about the
Messenger. SAM Co stress that it should only be used to back up your software
collection onto disk for quick, easy loading but there’s always going to
be the odd one or two that will use it illegally. Of course, what most SAM
owners with Spectrums will do is put all their games onto disk then sell their
Spectrum and all the games.
The Messenger is a useful thing to have for backing up your games but SAM
owners aren’t likely to go out and buy brand new software to convert.
Once they’ve used the utility to put their software collection onto disk
the Messenger will just sit in a cupboard. The Messenger costs £29.99 and
is available direct from SAM Co.
ARRGGH! THE ATTACK OF THE DISK MAGAZINES!
Well, not quite. Actually I’ve had two new disk magazines
arrive this month and they’ve both been pretty spiffy, too.
Here’s the demo pic from Ron Stirling’s SAM art package — its Nick’s tip for the top
The first has an ingenious name. It’s called Review and is a
bi-monthly disk for £3. Ron Stirling is the creator and claims each issue
of Review will be done in a different style, the first being Teletext.
Three quid is a lot of money for a disk magazine when you think that most of
the others are only £1, but Review is packed to the brim with
great stuff. The Teletext menu system takes a while to get used to but is fast
when you have, each section being given a different number from 1 to 99, and
demos, programs, text and screenshots accessed from a separate page.
The first issue of Review has some useful utilities for grabbing
sprites, creating fonts and giving incredibly small text for listings as well
as games and demos written by Ron himself. One annoying thing was the inclusion
of PD demos that have been seen absolutely everywhere, like the Chocolate
Factory one from Zenith Graphics. It was funny the first time but the
Hidden on the disk (very crafty) is a demo of a new art utility Ron’s
working on. It looks set to blow Flash! away (what couldn’t?)
and appears similar to the Amiga’s Deluxe Paint series.
Review is great value and excellently programmed and presented. Get
your copy from Review, Ron Stirling.
Oooh! Scarey, isn’t it? Wolves Bane art on the SAM Coupé
RTJ Soft are responsible for the second disk magazine. This one’s
strange because it’s to have a different name each month!? The one I was
sent (on a psychedelic orange disk!) was named The Wibbly Bits.
RTJ are Chris Jeeves, Lee Tebby and Nathan Reynolds. The disk isn’t as
full as Review but has some interesting items on offer. There are reviews of
all the hardware to come to the SAM, a really bad sample demo and some great
cartoons to have a giggle at.
There are also previews of two games the lads are working on called
Strike Force and Wolves Bane, which is set to be six disks
long with hundreds of locations and character interaction!
I wouldn’t really go out of my way to get a copy of The Wibbly
Bits but they promise the next disks will be better. For more information,
contact Nathan at RTJ Soft.
If you have anything to say or send in on the Coupé, you
can contact me at: Newsfield, NICK’S SAM PAGE, CRASH. And that’s
your lot — more SAM happenings next month. Byeeee!