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).


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 Spectrum.

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.


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 20th... aargh!

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!