ScuzzBlog: 6th Oct 2007

Subject 01: scuzz software: new arrivals
Subject 02: scuzz gaming: new arrivals
Subject 03: scuzz software: new arrivals 2
Subject 04: scuzz books: new arrivals
Subject 05: scuzz computer: new arrivals
Subject 06: Bizarro World: Grapevine Disk Magazine

Entry 0744: Blogs: 06

scuzz software: Oct 2007

Entry 0744: Blog: 1

scuzz software: new arrivals


PageStream Disks: I never knew there was so much 

OK Help here guys. I have had just arrive PageStream 3.1
from Soft-Logik and I guess I am somewhat overwhelmed
by the number of disks I have here. No doubt there is more
than one version here and so any idea what came with the
original and what is later editions. Here is the list:

Amiga v3.0i Disks 1 to 7
Disks 1 to 5 Amiga v3.3a
Wordsworth Filter Amiga
PPD disks 1 and 2
Text FX Amiga
WorldFlags Disks 1 and 2

The box talks about PageStream3.1
and the manual is dated 1997. So what
exactly do I have here... Can't recall what
year I got my cover disk.

[ NEXT ]

InterOffice2.0: The name of precision

We are talking about the InterOffice Suite of software
that is InterWord, InterSpread, InterBase and InterTalk.
Sadly, although boxed didn't come with the manuals.
I am assuming that each of the applications came with
its own book. Dunno. 

[ NEXT ]

Digita: Organising stuff

Digita were an amazing company for the Amiga. They
constantly delivered class products of a most professional
quality. They even produced newsletters and the like to
inform their user base. Such easy software to use, and so
user friendly. 

Today arrived another application of theirs that I hadn't
got. This being Organiser complete with manual. I am
pretty sure, that I had a cover disk version of this, which
had limited entries. Dunno. Just great to have the real

[ NEXT ]

Atari ST BASIC: Heavy Stuff

My goodness, I needed my iron tablets today before grappling
with the software box for the Atari, ST BASIC. With this you get
the 332 page book of the revised edition for use with....
[ scratches head ] ' Metacomco Basic '. Evidently this is very
similar to mainstream BASIC albeit with drop down menus.
What you get are the three panes.. List - Output and Command
Never used BASIC in this manner, but certainly looks an
interesting way display the command lines.. With it came
two disks both called UK Language Disk, though one is
1986 and the other 1987. The 1987 is Rev D so I am 
guessing a later version. 

The software was created by Digital Research who created
the GEM software.

[ END ]

scuzz gaming: Oct 2007

Entry 0744: Blog: 2

scuzz gaming: new arrivals


OutRun: It's Hip It's Hot

Outrun for the Spectrum 48/128 +2 and +3 on cassette
must have ported to so many platforms. Just shows
that  a very simple racing driving game can be very
successful. The game is by Sega no less and dated
1986 ' Beware this babe's hot '

[ NEXT ]

Lara: On the Saturn

Sega again and this time its Lara and Tomb Raider
on the Sega Saturn. She looks so old hat on the cover
given that I am currently playing Anniversary on the 
PS2. I could never work out why the Saturn had these
larger CD cases. Maybe they wanted them to sit like
books on bookshelves.

[ NEXT ]

Wipeout: by Psygnosis

We all know of Psygnosis. Few that play games seriously
won't have ventured too far on any platform without coming
across these guys. There are few games that will last
the test of time longer than WipeOut, except perhaps
WipeOut 2097. Magic games to be honest. 

' Its 2052 AD. Anti gravity racing has become the worlds
most popular sport. F3600 Race League is where its
at. Tracks stretch across terrain in every corner of the
world '

Another game on the Sega Saturn. 

[ NEXT ]


Three for the price of one here with three classic Silmarils
games in one heavy box. 

Ishar Legends of the Fortress, Transarctica and Storm Master.

Probably one of my best loved games of all times was Ishar 2.
Sitting every night through cold winters nights huddled next
to the Amiga playing Ishar is how I recall Christmas 1993. I have
played the other games in the series, and already possess
Legend of Fortress, but I just couldn't pass up the chance
of these other two Silmarils classics.

The guys at Silmarils were never short of a good idea or two
and were most creative in their gameplay. Transarctica  is a
huge steam train which you plan and build as you steam
across an ice locked landscape. Storm Master on the other
hand is just that... A game about mastering the storms as
you build a flying machine in the land of Eolia. Great times
these for the Amiga, and always new and interesting slants
on games available... Sadly Silmarils lost the plot with
Robinsons Requiem, but hey everyone has a bad day.

[ NEXT ]

SPY vs SPY : Challenging Software

More like challenging to get hold of. I managed to get two
versions of the game for the C64, one in a small cassette
case called The Island Caper and the other in the classic
larger box. Game by Mike Riedel, and which even today
is a classic. Like OutRun this has been ported to so
many platforms. For those that didn't know, these black
and white dressed secret agents first appeared in MAD
magazine, the creation of Antonia Prohias.... in 1960.
Beyond Software were the first to bring Spy vs Spy to
the computer gaming world. ... The most interesting
aspect is the concept of ' Simulvision ' which provides
split screen for two players.

[ END ]

scuzz software: Oct 2007

Entry 0744: Blog: 3

scuzz software: new arrivals 2


HyperBook: The free-form personal information manager

Gold Disk from Canada no less:

HyperBook is a revolutionary new concept in computer software.
It's a database, a word processor, a graphics program, and much
more. HyperBook is a free-form personal information manager
that let's you create, combine and customise many forms of
data in ways that make sense to you, With HyperBook you can
create specially tailored applications including interactive
presentations for point-of-sale or training and customised
databases such as personal calendars and phone books...
With HyperBook you create on-screen pages of information
quickly and easily. Type text in multiple fonts, import IFF
pictures, or draw directly onto the page. Pick up text or graphics
and move it around. Scale pictures to any size....

And the date 1990... Most impressive.

[ NEXT ]

Photogenics: Almathera

The ultimate 24-bit graphics and manipulation package.
For the Amiga A1200 and A4000 series. 

With the amazing array of features included with this 
application there are few paint packages that can equal
or even rival Photogenics: Natural Paint Tools, Image
Processing Effects, vast array of supported image
types and many other features. 

Complete in a handy ring binder boxed.

Credits: Paul Nolan, Jolyon Ralph, Keith Smith and
Jason G Doig. 

Copyright Almathera: 1995.

[ end ]

scuzz books: Oct 2007

Entry 0744: Blog: 4

scuzz books: new arrivals


Illustrating BASIC: Donald Alcock

This book is so cute. All hand written with simple sketches
to explain the concepts of BASIC programming. I love the
way the whole book is produced like a note book. Dated 
1977 with reprints 79, 80 and 81. 

' My book is informal in language and unusual in
presentation. Rather than write a justification I would
only remark that a careful reader might disgnose a
severe astigmatism in my eye and persistent shake 
in my hand '.....To my sons Andrew and Gavin.

When you start reading this you just can`t put the thing
down. And you just find yourself reaching for your old

[ NEXT ]

Dark Blue : Commodore 64 Users Manual

I have seen many copies of the C64 Users Manual
but none to dreary as this one. With just the deep
blue cover ' Published by Commodore Business
Machines Inc ' all in all a very uninviting book. Mostly
about the language of BASIC and less inspiring than
the previous publication.

[ NEXT ] 

The Working Commodore 64: That's Better

This is a library of practical subroutines and programs
by none other than David Lawrence. Dated 1983. 176
pages of ... you guessed it more BASIC command structures.
Life on the computer needed tremendous imagination as
with so much code you rarely joyed in the graphics till
you pressed the old RUN function.

[ NEXT ]

40 Educational Games for the Commodore 64: By Vince Apps.

Not sure that that's a serious name or not.  And so what do
you think this book is filled with... You guessed it, more BASIC

Vince App's was a regular contributor to journals such as
Popular Computing Weekly, Home Computing Weekly.
Remember him... er no.

[ NEXT ]

Mastering the Commodore 64: by AJ Jones and GJ Carpenter

372 pages of....... glorious BASIC coding.  Evidently there is an
interesting chapter here..

' an introduction to machine code programming on the 6510
and the use of a machine code monitor for simple machine
code programs, including a programming model for the 
6510. There are examples using interrupts and other RAM
vectors. The use of KERNAL routines is described with
useful examples '

Thank goodness for that, I hear you say...

[ NEXT ]

Computer Programming in BASIC by E Huzan

Amazingly not much code here, more explanation of
what BASIC is all about. 

Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code is
a widely used programming language in education
commerce and industry, particularly for mini-and
microcomputers, and by hobbyists. 

1981 and quite informative this. Actually giving some
useful and practical explanations without bombarding
you with pages of code.

[ NEXT ]

Commodore 64 Computing: by Ian Sinclair

You have probably spotted the theme of these recently
acquired books.... A desire to give myself to brain damage
through induced BASIC overload. Not sure this was such
a good idea. 

Whilst this concentrates on the programming side of things
there is a very useful opening chapter on some basic C64
operational issues.. Did you know that an interesting feature
of the 64 is that it can transmit signals to the sound section
of the TV receiver in addition to the picture circuits. This can
be a useful ' attention getter ' for the programmer... duh !

[ END ]

scuzz computer: Oct 2007

Entry 0744: Blog: 5

scuzz computer: new arrivals


The Commodore 386SX-20: Looking strangely like an A4000d

OK this is freaky. This is an actual 386 PC based Commodore
in what was termed slimline design. Thing is the chassis and
the front panel look remarkably like the A4000, complete with
3 slot lower section and sloping top bezel. The colour of the 
unit has the look and feel of the 4000d. I know that the 4000
was made from old cases, and I can`t help thinking that what
I have here is the basis of that computer. As I say, kinda creepy.

Just taken the case apart ... Quite clean. The old barrel battery
will need removing. The memory is rather like the modules
found on the GVP cards. They are in pairs left and right to the 
side of the case. The hard drive is a Quantum ProDrive.  A
small daughter board rises to the centre and there is quite a
hefty sized graphics card attached. 

I have switched her on and whoo hoo she works. She has lost
the boot configuration cus the battery died yonks ago. 

Commodore 80386SX BIOS Rev 1.03
Copyright 1985-1990 Commodore Electronics Ltd
Copyright 1985-1990 Pheonix Technologies Ltd

640K Base Memory 04096K Extended 

Works fine... I just plugged in my MSDOS 6.22 setup disk
and I have the blue screen asking me to back up before
continuing with set up... So no problems. Looking good.

Another classic machine to add. Something of a curiosity.

[ END ]

Bizarro World: Oct 2007

Entry 0744: Blog: 6

Bizarro World: Grapevine Disk Magazine

Just giggling here, realising that the Grapevine Amiga Disk mag
is more about jokes than computing. But reading through the
101most hated things for 1991... 

13. Atari ST owners, who don't accept that the ST is crap !

..... Not very informative this though sometimes amusing.

Something's I don't understand

77 Pack Disk Rippers
78 People who do cli compacts ( Utils exempt )
79 Coders who don't use register names in their codes
80 Coders that don't use  allocmem and just trash mem
81 Coders who don't turn off sprites properly
82 People who crunch utils with absolute address packers
83 Absolute packers

duh !

Of the 101 most hated things I like 102

102 People who can't count

By Death/Destiny and Batfink/Quartz

I do like the review of the toilets at Granada Service Stations

OK OK... I have been on disk 2 of my collection now for over
an hour, I have about 50 000 disks here, I guess this is going
to take a long time.... :-)


[ response from Amigan Paul Q ]

I am sure Paul won`t mind me quoting his responses:

[ quote ]

> Just giggling here, realising that the Grapevine Amiga Disk mag
> is more about jokes than computing.

Ah, Grapevine... I love that mag! Read every issue cover to 
cover (or should that be disk to disk?)

If you look on the disks there are often hidden text files 
with extras not in the main mag!

> 13. Atari ST owners, who don't accept that the ST is crap !

It was fairly crap, it has to be said... The graphics 
hardware has major issues and the OS was a port of GEM, 
not the most well designed graphical OS.

> Something's I don't understand

> 77 Pack Disk Rippers

Demo groups used to make "pack disks", basically disks with 
lots of stuff compressed onto them. Maybe a two or three 
games, a selection of utils or music etc. Lamers would rip 
them and distribute them under their own name.

> 78 People who do cli compacts ( Utils exempt )

Some people would try to save space on floppy disks by 
compressing basic command line programs like "dir", "rename", 
"del" etc. It was annoying because every time one of these 
basic commands was used, it would have to be decompressed and 
so ran quite slowly. The gains were quite low as well, as most 
of these commands were small to begin with.

The "Utils exempt" bit is because it often was worth 
compressing larger programs like "ed" or music mod players 
because there were big gains.

> 79 Coders who don't use register names in their codes

CPUs have a number of registers, which are like tiny bits 
of memory that can only store one number but are very fast. 
The 68000 series has 8 data registers and 8 address registers. 
Most of the work the CPU does involves these registers, only 
accessing memory to load or save results because memory is 
very slow in comparison.

Wikipedia probably has a better explanation.

Anyway, some coders find it hard to just refer to the 
registers as d0..d7 and a0..a7, so they give them names in 
their coder like "counter", "repetitions", "x_coordinate" 
etc. This is considered the height of lameness as any real 
coder will just understand the raw assembly code.

They have a point really, I mean even a child could 
understand this:

    moveq #0, d0
    moveq #0, d1
    move.w (a0)+, d0
    add.l d0, d1
    dbra d2, loop

> 80 Coders that don't use  allocmem and just trash mem

Some early apps (like the original Sound Tracker IIRC) 
didn't bother asking the operating system for memory, 
they just took over the entire machine and used what they 
liked. This caused two problems. First, it usually meant 
that you couldn't quit the program and even if you did your 
OS would probably just crash and all your data would be 
corrupted anyway. Secondly it caused problems with expanded 
machines as the software either would not recognise extra 
RAM or it would assume it was in the wrong place, or sometimes 
it would not work with certain peripherals.

> 81 Coders who don't turn off sprites properly

Another one that affects quitting back to the OS. If sprites 
were left on by default the OS would not clear them and 
they would be left stuck on the screen.

> 82 People who crunch utils with absolute address packers

Another OS issue. Basically it's similar to 80, only even 
worse. Absolute packers can only load programs into a fixed 
memory address, they don't support asking the OS for memory 

> 83 Absolute packers

See above.


[ end quote ]

Amigan Steven gave me this to reflect on

[ quote ]

Hi Scuzz,

> 77 Pack Disk Rippers
> 78 People who do cli compacts ( Utils exempt )

Boot to a cli and for example ask you to "press 1" for this, 
"2" for  that etc, rather than selecting them from a coded 
menu or WB.

> 79 Coders who don't use register names in their codes

People not using d0-d7 or a0-a7 in their code
eg: move.w #4,d0

> 80 Coders that don't use  allocmem and just trash mem

Failing to allocate memory and just stuffing your data 
into a randomly picked memory location without knowing 
what was there before or indeed saving its contents so 
you can restore it later. This would be a prime 
cause of programs trashing the machine (crashing for example) 
or things just getting messed up (your display for example)

> 81 Coders who don't turn off sprites properly

Hiding hardware sprites such as the mouse pointer for 
example is fairly common, but if you do not do it 
correctly your sprites may (or may not) appear when they 

> 82 People who crunch utils with absolute address packers

Using a program like PowerPacker to crunch a file, but making 
that file expand the utility to a fixed memory location  
(which may or may not exist on your machine, or which could 
contain data from another program which is now just about to 
be trashed by the expanding utility). Most normal people use 
relative addressing so it can expand to any free memory 
location rather that a fixed one.

> 83 Absolute packers

In relation to the above, it would be the actual cruncher 
itself, but instead of allowing the user to select the 
decrunch mode, it will always use absolute address 
decrunching routines.

Hope that helps clear up some of your misunderstandings over 
the terms :)

Kind Regards,

[ end quotes ]

Amiga1200 WB3 Blizzard 1230 IV 32MB RAM Miami YAM

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Last updated 6th October 2007

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