Raising the BEEP standard
The SPECTRUM was launched nearly three years ago. At the time of its launch it was demonstrated to be very innovative and indeed proved itself worthy of praise.
What have we got now? Well, for £129 we can now get a machine with a huge software base and huge expandability. For the same price we could have bought a complete computer such as a Commodore 64, or an Amstrad CPC464. These machines are gathering large user bases and future innovative software will be for those machines because both have good medium resolution graphics, both have good sound facilities, and both have large user memories.
You may say that the good old Spectrum can match two out of three, and you would be right.
Good sound facilities on a machine will have an increasing effect on the popularity of games software. The Spectrum has long since struggled with its BEEP, but the only way forward for the Spectrum is to have a standard sound interface. No longer will the Spectrum be paralysed every time a sound is made, and games software will improve 100 percent.
I recommend that the Fuller Box be accepted by us dedicated Spectrum users as our standard sound interface.
I G Moar
WE ARE in the process of forming the official White Lightning User Group, as recognized by Oasis software. We hope to provide an information and help service for the users of this Forth-based utility. We will provide information for users of White Lightning on the Spectrum 48K, the Commodore 64, the Amstrad and the MSX machines. Anyone requiring information on the group should send a sae.
I AM one more of the Sinclair readers, which own a Spectrum 48K. I'm 17 years old and live in Portugal and would like to correspond with other Spectrum owners in English, French or Portuguese all over Europe.
Frogs of Midnight?
REGARDING Beyond Software's Lords of Midnight, do any of your readers agree with me when I say astounding graphics, but tactically speaking about as demanding as Frogger? Where does the challenge lie, beyond manipulating thousands of characters and the necessary cartographic skills?
Last, having shelled out the appropriate readies for a copy of the otherwise excellent Melbourne Draw by Philip Mitchell, Melbourne House, on the understanding it was the selfsame program which produced the acclaimed graphics in The Hobbit, Psytron and the not so acclaimed graphics in Mugsy, I find it hard to believe it is not possible to paint a picture - or Fill, if you prefer - more than one colour. How were the demo screens on the B side of the tape done? Pixel by pixel?
High flying Rocket Man
I RECENTLY purchased the highly acclaimed ZX-81 Rocket Man which is now my number one game. I do not understand the flying of the vulture on screen four. When you get onto the vulture's back and press the flap key the vulture only moves down thus making it impossible to collect diamonds. I hope someone can find a solution to this mystery. The highest score I have achieved is 30,327.
Ashley Morris, aged 13
Up against a brick wall
I RECENTLY purchased Wanted: Monty Mole. I got on fine with it until I started to get good. On the sixth screen - including the bucket screen - you come down the rope, avoiding being crushed on the previous screen. You should see an axe, a genie, a cartwheel, a piece of coal and a solid brick wall, between Monty and freedom.
How do I get past? I've tried walking through, I've also tried to get over a thousand points, in vain.
Alan Scott, aged 11
Low down on Underwurlde
HINTS on Underwurlde: Always look for the bow first; then look for the sword; kill the large beetle with the sword; look for the torch; kill the minotaur with the bow; kill the devil with the torch; make your way to level zero; use gems to go down rather than using ropes; use ropes to swing into side-rooms; and if the eagle takes you up to a high level, where if you fell you would die, then stop firing.
A Brown and R Laverick
I FIND IT so thoroughly depressing to discover that even stores such as Dixons in Southend, who have retained the ZX-81 on their shelves for so long, have finally succumbed to the powers that be, and discontinued selling it.
I abhor the look one gets when a ZX-81 is mentioned in computer-based circles, as though they were rendered obsolete during the war. I have had my 16K '81 since February 1984 and it can now speak when spoken to, play music of a sort, emit sound effects, and has a professional keyboard. I am currently in the process of fitting into the metal cabinet that houses the rest of it, the workings of a CB-type echo mike pre-amplifier to give the obvious effect. All that has cost me less than £90.
I do not feel that it is likely that I will ever need anything flashier than my '81. Apart from anything else, being one of the nation's UB40s I could not find it possible to afford even a 16K Spectrum.
At the moment, I am trying to teach myself the art of Z80 programming, and would be very glad to hear from any other poor soul in the same boat, especially from owners of Maplin Talk-back or sound generator modules, as apart from the obvious, I'm running out of ideas as to what to do with them.