Think you know about computers? Then this isn't the Quiz for you. The Sinclair User Christmas Quiz has been especially designed for those who wouldn't know a bus it it ran them over and those who think chips were always better wrapped in newspaper. Could you make it in the computer world? Find out below:
|IF YOU WERE A PROGRAMMER ...|
1) Sir Clive Sinclair approaches you at a party with a job offer working on a serious computer based on latest transputer technology - it will have a keyboard made of sticky-back plastic. Do you:
- Look impressed and say "tell me more"
- Laugh hysterically
- Offer financial backing
- Pretend to be unwell and run to the loo.
|YOU ARE AN ORDINARY PERSON ...|
2) You are thinking of buying a computer in a well known electrical chain store. You would like some information. Where do you find it?
- From a colour advertisement in the Sunday Times
- From Norman Bates (you can read the little plastic label on his nasty junior management type suit) who works in the computer department of the store.
- From a man next to you in the shop who says he had just had to return his sixth computer because it does not work properly.
- From Sinclair User magazine (Price £1.00 monthly)
|YOU ARE A SOFTWARE HOUSE ...|
3) You are the owner of a software house called Firework software (They're Explosive! is the imaginative ad copy.) You decide to launch a budget range. What do you call it?
4) You are about to launch a Christmas title. Which best describes it?
- A mammoth multi-part graphic adventure that's taken five years to finish and pushes the Spectrum to its limits.
- A serious but extremely useful business utility
- Based on Sky Angels, a recent Hollywood blockbuster starring Tom Voyage, released on twelve formats, awful on every one.
- Probably not actually going to be out by Christmas as such except possibly on the ST.
5) Firework Software is about to launch a mammoth five cassette adventure. It comes with an enormous map and a 300 page booklet. This begins "Long ago in the time beyond time in the dark land of ..." What would be a suitable name for the dark land?
- Nooky Vale
6) The mystic orb which features prominently in the game (stolen from the elves by the Prince of Elron) is known as the orb of ?
7) The hero's name?
8) The adventure is complete and is, quite honestly, appalling. How are you going to get a good review?
- Introduce the editors of the magazines to Mugger Marty your new public relations man who says "I am an ex-paratrooper and member of the SAS and don't like to see bad fings written about Firework products."
- Offer it to one magazine only, telling it the game is an exclusive, bring it over in a suitcase with two armed guards to emphasise the effect.
- Take several pages of advertising space
- Send over Brian Blunter, a company minion, to the magazines to ask discreetly "Eh, how much does it cost for a good review?"
|YOU RUN A COMPUTER MAGAZINE ...|
9) A PR man rings you up and says "Listen, I wouldn't lie to you and you know you can trust me, Lunar Blast is going to be bigger than Elite." Do you:
- Feel interested and offer him major coverage.
- Think he's lying and resolve not to trust him an inch.
- Suggest he arranges a lunch at Maxims for you both to discuss it further.
- Ask to see the game without committing yourself
- Laugh hysterically
10) On the back of the cassette box is a brilliant screen shot which makes Lunar Blast look astonishing. Just below it in very, very small type it says "screen shot may be of a different version of game". Is it, in fact, a picture of the Spectrum version?
11) You are stuck with a boring feature on Icons that has to go in the mag. What headline do you give it?
- Icon do that!
- Icon Tina Turner
- Icon see clearly now the rain has gone
- Icon front end interfaces
12) You feature a three page colour special on a brand new mega game which you believe you have as an exclusive. Unfortunately you discover that your magazine's closest rival has, suffering from the same delusion, done the same thing. It comes out a day before you do. The PR people are laughing all the way to the bank. There is still some time. What do you do?
- Relax and just make sure the word EXCLUSIVE is even bigger on your front cover.
- Ring the other magazine and propose that since both of you have been deluded, both magazines drop the game.
- Do nothing
- Take out all reference to the word EXCLUSIVE in the piece.
13) You are producing a TV program for micro owners. What do you feature?
- "an ordinary everyday BBC Micro"
- "an ordinary micro - like this BBC for instance"
- "your own micro - something like this BBC perhaps ..."
- The Spectrum
14) The feature pages of a colour supplement run (it being seasonal) a feature on computers. If there was a competition as well what would be the prize?
- A Vic20 complete with datacorder and software (Rat Maze 3K)
- A Dragon 32
- Ten copies of The Hobbit
- Ten copies of StarGlider
15) You are an advertising copy writer (you thought up 'They're Explosive!' for Firework software) and your current job is to prepare an ad for a game called Monster Mayhem. What does it say?
- It's a monster!
- Monster value
- A game that bites
- Quite a good not too expensive value-for-money game
16) Study the picture: Who is the cheerful Christmas character?
- Sir Clive Sinclair
- Santa Claus
- Alan Sugar
- David Bowie
Bet it was easier than you thought for you to start thinking like a computer industry person. Here are the results with explanations:
|1)|| a. 0 Points. You obviously have a lot to learn, this response would only be appropriate if you were a journalist out to extract information. If you were a programmer forget it.|
| || b. 20 Points. This has to be the only rational response of a sensible person.|
| || c. 0 Points. Hahahaha, what are you a government department or something?|
| || d. 10 Points. Nearly as good as b but more cowardly.|
Back to q1
|2)|| a. 0 Points. Oh come on, the Oric was described as a powerful computer, the QL beat the IBM on spec etc etc. The first step is never to believe the ads.|
| || b. 10 Points. No, No, No. The people who work in the chain stores are not only biased in favour of the product they stock but are usually just plain wrong. Try asking how to connect the cheapo printer the store sells to the Spectrum and watch 'em squirm.|
| || c. 5 Points. Not a bad option, except that you probably won't end up buying anything at all ...|
| || d. 20 Points. Yep, we'll tell you straight, except, of course, that since we only cover Sinclair material ...|
Back to q2
|3)|| a. 0 Points. Just try it brother, just wait for the little white letter.|
| || b. 0 Points. No, imagine the advertising copy "they go off with a fffrrrrrpppt".|
| || c. 0 Points. Sounds like a medical condition.|
| || d. 20 Points. Good stuff. If you want to be particularly inventive you could even have a logo of an exploding sausage. Nifty eh?|
Back to q3
|4)|| a. 0 Points. No. Sorry, but listen carefully, this is a big mistake - you will get great reviews and the program will get to the bottom of the charts. The younger kids won't buy it because they don't grasp concepts that aren't on TV or film, and you will never recoup your money and effort.|
| || b. 0 Points. Don't be silly, the 'people doing serious things with their computer' are about ½ a % of the market. They're often doing fine things but spend about £12.57.|
| || c. 20 Points. Yep, this is the one. Take a look around the most successful software houses ... we want licencing deals ...|
| || d. 5 Points. Well, you are a realist anyway ...|
Back to q4
|5)|| a. 5 Points. Well, names ending in 'ia always sound foreign. c.f. Transylvania but on this occasion ...|
| || b. 0 Points. A dark land, all right, but lands in adventure games must have more than six letters.|
| || c. 10 Points. Always a good standby.|
| || d. 0 Points. Lacks a bit of threat don't you think?|
Back to q5
|6)|| a. 10 Points. Always a good standby.|
| || b. 10 Points. Yes, household cleaning materials often provide good names for the incredibly unimaginative people who write adventure games.|
| || c. 5 Points. As above except that names of mystic orbs in adventure games have to have at least four letters.|
| || d. 0 Points. Nah, sounds cheap and shoddy instead of mystically powerful.|
Back to q6
|7)|| a. 0 Points. The writer would quite like to see an adventure hero with this name, but can't advise that you take a chance.|
| || b. 0 Points. The people who play adventures avidly are youths between 10 and 20 and they don't want to be a woman (mostly).|
| || c. 10 Points. Always a good standby.|
| || d. 15 Points. OK if your hero is a bit dodgy and from the East End but for powerful adventurers wielding mighty battle swords in long forgotten magical lands, forget it.|
Back to q7
|8)|| a. 0 Points. Surprisingly this seldom works, usually the editor will cringe a bit and then write all about it when you've gone away.|
| || b. 20 Points. Never fails. And don't forget, you don't have to be telling the truth.|
| || c. 10 Points. Varies, sometimes successful if the mag desperately needs some ads. Can backfire as some magazines take pride in attacking the products of people who are contributing substantially to their incomes.|
| || d. 5 Points. Never works, journalists never take money for good reviews. Free weekend in Paris, digital alarm clocks, small plastic promotional devices and food are, however, another matter.|
Back to q8
|9)|| a. No. Mega games are never called Lunar Blast.|
| || b. 10 Points. You've obviously been in the business a while ...|
| || c. 20 Points. This is it, you don't have to agree to anything and you get lunch. A winner.|
| || d. 10 Points. Sounds wise but you may have to put up with an irritating PR man in your office all afternoon.|
| || e. 5 Points. Not good. It might be good but, more to the point, what about that free lunch?|
Back to q9
|10)|| a. 0 Points. The screen shot is almost always either from a coin-op (256K, dedicated graphics chip, 32-bit processor) or an ST (they make this one first).|
| || b. 10 Points. That's right.|
Back to q10
|11)|| a. 5 Points. Right idea but too enthusiastic.|
| || b. 20 Points. Has to be a winner, irreverent, irrelevant and mentions an old pop duo.|
| || c. 15 Points. As above for references - except its a song - but too long.|
| || d. 0 Points. Only very very boring mags have titles like this.|
Back to q11
|12)|| a. 20 Points. Actually having an Exclusive is far less important than seeming to have one. This should do it.|
| || b. 0 Points. No, magazines never help one another and they will just take this as a sign of weakness.|
| || c. 10 Points. Well, you'll save yourself a lot of time and worry and it probably won't make much difference.|
| || d. 0 Points. What are you, a complete dingbat?|
Back to q12
|13)|| a. 10 Points. Absolutely old chap, a 'serious' machine. One is trying to educate after all.|
| || b. as above.|
| || c. as above.|
| || d. 0 Points. What are you trying to do, reflect the viewership?|
Back to q13
|14)|| a. 10 Points. Yep, this is naff enough (c.f. Sunday Times).|
| || b. Also good. As colour supplements take such a long time to be organised you often find defunct computers are on offer as prizes.|
| || c. 10 Points. Semi-defunct software too.|
| || d. 0 Points. No. You don't give away anything anybody might want.|
Back to q14
|15)|| a. 10 Points. Yep, this will do. Trite, dull, banal and with the exclamation mark at the end.|
| || b. 0 Points. This is similar to a line used by Amstrad. This will almost certainly involve some of the most expensive lawyers you've ever seen ...|
| || c. 5 Points. Bit naff, and lacks that vital exclamation mark.|
| || d. 0 Points. Ho hum.|
Back to q15
|16)|| a. 0 Points. No, aside from having extensive hair this man is clearly a mason. Sir Clive is a bald member of Mensa.|
| || b. 0 Points. No, you get something for nothing from Santa Claus. This man won't even give you a sensible joystick port.|
| || c. 20 Points. Yes its honest Al himself having a merry Christmas time and wishing you all a very merry Xmas time.|
| || d. 0 Points. No, an easy mistake to make but actually David Bowie has slightly high cheekbones and one pupil smaller than the other.|
Back to q16
Add up your total number of points and check your industry rating below:
Oh dear, I'm afraid you have an awful lot to learn. You are so naive you probably still believe that one day people will learn to live in perfect peace and harmony.
You're beginning to wise up about things but you have a long way to go. Reality is even worse than you are beginning to suspect.
You've been around, probably bought a few duff tapes, had your computer blow up a few times and been told a complete pack of lies in high street shops. Somehow through it all you stick with computers because, what the hell, they're a lot of fun aren't they?