Blast compiler a damp squib
IT IS NOT very often that I read something which makes me angry, but Marcus Jeffrey has done just that with his review of Blast - October, SU.
The software I received had an errata sheet stating that some commands were not working, and that an updated version would be sent later. After finding that it would not compile a simple ten line program, I requested a refund, but was persuaded to try an updated version.
On receipt I tried once again. This time the program did compile but the runtime was the same speed as Basic. Both versions to P-code and M-code resulted in longer code but no increase in speed which was visible on the screen.
I then tried to compile two Basic programs. The first locked up and the second was even worse. I sent Oxford Computer Systems the program so that they could have a go. It was suggested that I try another version, but at this point I asked for my money back, which I duly received.
I am a serious programmer and Blast, or should I call it Phut, was about as much use to me as a hole in the head. What does Marcus Jeffery do - sell cars?
I tested the product on a wide range of programs, of which only one failed. Unfortunately, you didn't mention which version of Blast you were using. As I undentand it, versions of Blast had been sent out prior to the review, and errors were being corrected. Not only would OCS try to compile any program which failed, but all customers would receive version updates as they became available.
I am told that due to a tape duplication error, a number of copies have been released which incorrectly claim to be version 3.0. Version 3.n will now have been released - still containing one known bug when compiling into machine code - and possibly even version 4.0 which will additionally contain an integer compiler.
Blast does have its drawbacks, and I would not recommend anybody compiling large programs on a tape system. Nevertheless, at the time of the review, Blast was the only compiler claiming to be able to handle all Spectrum Basic.
By the way, is anybody interested in a second-hand Metro? One careful owner ... Marcus Jeffrey.
|Cliveophiles rally round|
I WOULD like to point out to R A Smith - September letters - that the title of your magazine is Sinclair User.
Sir Clive Sinclair doesn't just make Spectrums and QLs but C5s and pocket televisions.
Sinclair User should cover the C5 and any future Sinclair developments to make it worthy of its name.
I agree with Mr Smith that politics should be omitted from SU but Sinclair inventions should feature without question. Keep up the good work.
MAY I be permitted to final comment on the Dietmar Osman - letters, August - saga.
I propose that he should form a society of Latter Day Luddites - there must be at least one other person in the country who would join. They could both ride off in their C5s and drive over the edge of their flat earth.
A Clive fan, (David Cobbe)
I think you're rather overestimating the battery range of the C5.
|Very veird reviewers|
I WONDER what kind of people you are getting to do the software reviews!
I can't imagine how it is possible to give Danger Mouse in Double Trouble as high a rating as your magazine did. The graphics ... OK, but the game is absolutely boring. And then Jet Set Willy 2 got only three stars.
In fact, your reviewers must be very veird humans.
You have no idea how veird ... A more motley gaggle of life-forms I've yet to clap eyes upon.
|Reliable QL shock horror|
I THINK Sinclair Research is doing a great job on their QL, I have found it very reliable and any information I have asked for from them has come first class explaining my problem in full. Sinclair may have made a lot of mistakes in their time but they are getting there. Well done Sinclair I say!
I can spot a letter from Sinclair PR when I see one ...
|Deja vu for Jet Set Willy 2|
IN YOUR November issue I came across some pokes for infinite lives on Jet Set Willy 2. I quote: "I have just completed hacking through Jet Set Willy 2." Rubbish. It is an exact copy of a program which appeared two months ago in Your Spectrum.
Why do people like Gareth Henry recycle old articles and try to make out they devised the whole thing?
|Maintain a good service|
IN RESPONSE to your maintenance article in August I'm writing to compliment a repair firm called Capital Computer Services.
I sent my Speccy for repair and nine days later it returned in full working order. Prices vary for different services, mine costing £16.00 inclusive of everything you can think of.
How's that for service?
Er ... what's a 'Speccy'?
|Way of the Yawning Fist|
DO YOUR reviewers play the games for just a day? If they do they should try the game again for about three days and I'm sure they would not get into the habit of giving Classics to every game.
When I found that Way of the Exploding Fist had received a Classic I rushed out and bought it. The next day I was bored with it. I'd mastered all the moves and the screens are very similar.
The Classic should only be given to games with about three or four weeks lasting interest.
Three days? Half an hour between lunchbreaks if you're lucky. Seriously, though - Fist got a weekend of joystick bashing and all I managed was fourth Dan. I think I'd better crawl back to my hovel in Dun Darach ... Chris Bourne.