100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel
Power up your Microsoft Excel skills with this powerful pocket-sized book of tips that will save you time and help you learn more from your spreadsheets.
09 June 2021
I've created a new video for Waiting for Goto, the ambient track near the end of my album Artificial. You can watch it below. Artificial is available to stream in popular streaming sites, and available to download at Bandcamp. At Bandcamp, you can also download individual tracks. Find links to stream and download Artificial here.
08 June 2021
Today, we can download pretty much anything: news, books, games, music, films. It doesn't even feel magical any more: the internet has been piping digital information into our homes for about twenty-five years, and we probably don't appreciate it as much as we should.
Back in the 80s, magazines were the core of many communities. They were how you learned new techniques for your hobby, and how you got the news, up to a month after it actually happened. Still, you were as well informed as anyone else, except those making or writing the news.
Computer magazines were hugely popular, and often carried type-in listings. These were games or applications where the user had to type the entire program into the computer to use it. Sometimes the listings covered several pages, and you had to get every line right to make the program work. It was a cheap way to acquire new games, utilities, and programming ideas, if you had the time to type the code in.
My first published pieces were programs written for Amstrad Action magazine. I also contributed listings to Amstrad Computer User, and this led to the opportunity to write my first magazine articles. I included my Amstrad type-ins on my website on an emulator disc when my website launched, and they've been online for 20 years now.
Now, I'm excited to say, I've integrated an Amstrad CPC emulator in my website, so you can try the type-ins without needing to set up your own emulator. I've also included scans of the magazine pages containing the listings, and added some new thoughts about the programs. I hope this will shine a light on the type-in culture of the 80s.
You can try these type-ins in your browser now:
I've also embedded my machine code game The Further Adventures of Fred in my site. This is a machine code game that was due to appear on the AA covertape before AA was axed. Last year, I hacked the game to make it easier to play.
My Amstrad CPC BASIC programming tutorial The Basic Idea included a number of programs on the disc. I've put the game Misfit and the User Defined Graphics (UDG) generator online. Hosting the UDG definer online enables coders to generate UDG data without having to load another program into their emulator or computer. I've included instructions for using the UDG data in Amstrad, BBC, and ZX Spectrum BASIC. If you're a Beeb or Speccy expert, please take a look and confirm the code works!
If you just want to have a bit of fun playing with an Amstrad after all these years, I've set up an empty emulator so you can
10 PRINT "I AM GREAT!"
20 GOTO 10
...to your heart's content.
Many thanks to Andre Weissflog for creating the emulator, making it so easy to use, and providing me with some pointers on email. Thanks also to Amstrad for making the CPC's ROMs available for use in emulators.
© Sean McManus. All rights reserved.
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