80-Bus News


January–February 1983 · Volume 2 · Issue 1

Page 33 of 56

In the third game, it is assumed that you have defeated the bad guy of “Adventure Quest”, and have decided to go and liberate all his treasure. Your plans go badly wrong when all your weapons and equipment are stolen, and the game starts with you waking on a mud bank by a river. So far, this seems a very difficult game to crack, as almost everything seems able to kill you, while you have no weapons to do likewise to them. On the other hand, this could well be just the result of my lack of experience with this game, and it is true that the satisfaction of cracking these things is directly proportional to the difficulty experienced on the way. Perhaps when I find a way to defeat the “hideous yellow bird” I will do better? The program accepts the word “Buzby” without question, which makes me wonder what they have against him…

This sort of thing is of course very much a matter of personal taste: I read all the hardware oriented science fiction I have time for, and never bother with “sword and sorcery” books at all. These programs are a taste that I seem to have acquired in spite of myself, much to my own surprise. It is fortunate that you can save the status quo on tape for later reloading, or I would get even less sleep. Have a go with one, and if you hate it, never mind. If you find it starts to get to you, then my recommendation is to get the Syrtis adventure and the second and third of the two Level 9 adventures. That will keep you off the streets for ages. As I have failed to mention, they are very reasonably priced, especially when you consider just how long they will keep you busy. They are definitely not the thing for people who like to hammer the space bar until all the funny shaped blobs have been destroyed…

The program library is dead! Long live…

Well, I have ordered a copy of the source code of the famous Lollypop Lady Trainer, in the hope that it will help me to write a fun program for the Pluto. Lots of red, when the cars hit the dear little kiddies…

The reason why the library is no more, we were told, was that all that paper took up a lot of space. That makes sense. The computer revolution is supposed to do away with all this tree murder, after all. So I put on my thinking cap, and I think I have thought of something to put in the place of the old paper library. See what you think, bearing in mind that the proposals are in rather embryonic form, and that they are addressed mainly to disk users. There is no reason at all why tape users should not do a similar thing, of course.

“The Circle of Iron”, or some such corny name, would consist of a group of users posting a disk around in a circle, adding their programs to it, and copying any of the ones already on it that they wanted. Let us be clear from the start, these will be your programs, not borrowed ones! When a disk arrives at your abode, what do you do? Well, first you wipe out anything you put on it the last time you saw it. Then you look at what is new, and help yourself to any you like. Put your new files on the disk, and put it back in the post. Much easier than all that bother with paper, I am sure you will agree.

So now we get a bit technical. There are a variety of disk systems, to understate things rather. There will need to be a separate circle for each of them. This will mean one for each of the following:–

  1. Gemini single density – Henelec FDC + 48TPI drives (e.g. GM805)
  2. Gemini double density – GM809/​GM829 + 48TPI drives (e.g. GM815)
  3. Gemini quad density – GM809/​GM829 + 96TPI drives (e.g. GM825/​Galaxy/​Quantum)
  4. Nascom disk systems (yes, they do read this!)
  5. Whatever I have forgotten....

Now you will have to stir yourselves. If you want to join in the fun, I want you to write to me, saying what sort of system you have. I am NOT going to organise the whole thing, but am willing to do the donkey work of setting up the Gemini double density loop. So if you use some other system, and are willing to start up their loop, let me know. Now, as everyone knows, apathy will do its evil work, and none of you will write. Prove me wrong, please!

Page 33 of 56