#05
29 февраля 1996

Part 4 - Alchemist research.


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*********************************
*  PART 4 - ALCHEMIST RESEARCH  *
*********************************

A  section  of  the magazine this month is
devoted   to   Alchemist   Research,   the
Spectrum  PD  company  which  produces the
excellent  tape/disk  magazine,  Alchemist
News.  The  editor  of the mag, Andy Davis
has  kindly  allowed  me  to  include  the
latest  issue  of  this  magazine with the
snapshot  pack  for you all to see. He has
also written a piece giving information on
what  is going on in the world of the real
Spectrums.

If  you are interested in finding out more
about  Alchemist Research, you can contact
Andy Davis at:
62 Tithe Barn Lane, Woodhouse, Sheffield,
                                   S13 7LN

Or by E-Mail at:  101543.3611@compuserve
                                      .com

==========================================

THE 'REAL' SPECTRUM SCENE FAQ
By Andy Davis, Alchemist Research

For  quite  some  time,  I've  not had any
Internet  and  EMAIL  access  and  a  good
friend  has  supplied  me  files  from the
newsgroups,  text  files and the like, all
relating   to  the  Spectrum.  There  were
countless questions, many blatantly simple
to  myself,  but  I had no access to them.
Before you all consider me to be something
of a big head, let me introduce myself.

My  name  is  Andy Davis. I run a Spectrum
computer  club  called  ALCHEMIST RESEARCH
and  have  done  since  1986.  What really
upset  me  was  a  recent  FAQ  by Stephen
Smith. He said that only EMULATE was still
available. Certainly not so. What I cannot
understand  is why AlchNews was completely
missed. The issue gets posted regularly to
some  site  or other on the 'Net, plus has
had  a  mention  a couple of times in this
very magazine!

Anyway,  Alchemist  Research STILL exists,
and  is  always  available  to  answer any
questions  you can put to us. The majority
of   our  original  Spectrum  members  are
elderly,  unemployed  or  single  parents.
These   people   cannot   afford  or  risk
purchasing  such  an expensive PC, and are
contented   with   what   they  have.  The
original  Spectrum community is a friendly
place  with  lots  of  people like myself,
willing  to give up free time to help, and
all  for  nothing. My service is free, and
always has been.

Although  I  also  cover  and  support the
emulators,   I'll   write  this  from  the
position  I  was  a  year  ago  - no PC or
'modern' computing technology.

WHAT IS THE SCENE LIKE?

Great fun. Theres lots of dedicated people
running  some excellent services. However,
remember  that  these people use Spectrums
to run their business so don't have EMAIL.
Post  may  be  slow,  but  please use it -
you'll not regret it.

NAME SOME.

Magazines:
AlchNews.  62  Tithe Barn Lane, SHEFFIELD.
S13  7LN  Run  by myself, it's a quarterly
tape or disk magazine, covering everything
Spectrum  related, plus humour, little bit
of S/F and some fiction / supernatural.

Software :
Fountain  PD.  11  Camel Road, Silvertown,
LONDON  E16  2DE.  Alchemist Software. 126
Hayward Road, Redfield, BRISTOL BS5 9QA

These  two Spectrum software libraries are
the  biggest  and  best in the world. They
have  thousands  of  titles, covering just
about anything you desire.

A more detailed list is available.

WHAT IS THE SOFTWARE SIDE OF THINGS LIKE?

Unlike  you,  we  cannot freely distribute
snapshots.  In  the eyes of the law, it is
ILLEGAL.   Some  services  get  away  with
murder,  but  if  anyone  did  it  on  the
Spectrum,   they   would   be  in  serious
trouble!

SO WHAT DO YOU DO?

We  rely  heavily on PD. There is a lot of
stuff   about.  The  PD  games  aren't  of
commercial  standard,  but  there are some
gems. The utilities are first rate and you
wouldn't  get them anywhere else. However,
recently,  I have been contacting software
houses  for permission to distribute their
old games. As a result, Alchemist Research
holds   distributing   rights  to  GREMLIN
GRAPHICS GAMES, to name but one.

There  are  two  sides  to it though. Even
though the law infuriates me, that you can
blatantly  advertise  and distribute stuff
which  was  originally written for US! But
then  again,  I  worked  hard  to  get the
rights  to some games, and it upsets me to
see  them being passed around willy nilly!
So,  if  you  have any Gremlin Software, I
expect  you  all  to destroy it and get it
OFFICIALLY from me for free (!)

WHAT HARDWARE DO YOU USE?

The  most  common  machines  are  the grey
Amstrad Spectrum +2. It had 128k of memory
and  a  built in tape deck. A lot of users
have  added  their  own  tape  sockets, to
allow  a  different  tape deck to be used.
The most popular disk system is the +D, to
those who can afford it. With a 3.5" drive
and the SNAPREAD utility (greatly improved
by  one  of  our  +D  programmers - screen
corruption  has  been eliminated!), we can
play  PC snapshots. We can also read PC DD
disks  and convert files. The Spectrum +3,
which  is  a black 128k machine with built
in  3"  disk drive, can simply plug a 3.5"
self  powered, external drive on the back.
Then,  a  program  allows  users  to read,
write and format PC AND +D disks! There is
now a +D emulator program for the +D.

Microdrives  and  Wafadrives  are  popular
among  a  few,  but information is usually
passed around via tape and +D disk.

As  for  printers,  we mostly use the Star
LC-10, LC-100 and Epson machines, from the
old  LX series, right to the new LQ models
around.  There  are also a few Citizen ABC
and  old  120D  users  out  there.  Hardly
anyone uses the Thermal printers.

I  hope  this  has  been  of  some use and
interest  to you. Remember, our scene runs
parallel  to yours and is just as popular,
and  we  have been here longer, so yah boo
sucks to you!

Andy Davis, Alchemist Research.

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Темы: Игры, Программное обеспечение, Пресса, Аппаратное обеспечение, Сеть, Демосцена, Люди, Программирование

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