Your Spectrum
Issue 2, March 1984 - Frontlines
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Despite the news that Sir Clive managed to notch up his 'millionth Spectrum made' on December 9th 1983, a few unlucky people may have been cursing the Cambridge wizard over Christmas.
Demand for the ZX Spectrum in the three-month run-up to Xmas was, to quote a Sinclair Research spokesperson, "beyond our most optimistic expectations". (Quite an understatement for reported sales of approaching half a million Spectrums.) However, what that meant to Joe Punter on his Clapham Common omnibus was a distinct lack of Spectrums on the shelves. Indeed, it's actually rumoured that, at a late stage, Sinclair Research reduced the number of adverts placed in the press - purely in an attempt to curb catastrophic demand!
Even with production figures topping 100,000 units per month in the pre-Christmas period, shops found themselves having to
turn away many a potential micro buyer eager to join the ranks of the computer literates. And not even those wise and wealthy faces at Sinclair Research could foresee that the 48K Spectrum would outsell the 16K model at a reported ratio of eight to one.
High street chain, WH Smith, announced unprecedented sales of home computers over the Christmas holiday and for many of its customers, it was a case of "yes, we have no computers, we have no computers today". But the record, at the time of writing, seems to rest with the Princess Street branch of Menzies where a delivery of 75 48K Spectrums was snapped up by eager Yuletide fanatics in just 15 minutes. Can anyone beat that? And lastly, the good news for you one or two people still not owning a Spectrum - by the time you read this, supplies should have returned to an even keel.
Roger Munford
Thanks to the incredible level support that Your Spectrum's first issue received, we'll be going monthly from our April issue.
Despite the very obvious overcrowding in the computer magazine marketplace, we've proved that there is a very definite need for a
'grown-up' Spectrum magazine. We make no secret of the fact that we deliberately set out to produce a much more demanding user magazine than ever before.
And that approach has worked. So no longer will you have to wait two months for your new copy. After April, we'll be with you every month. See you then.

So confident is Automata that its adventures are horrendously difficult to solve, the company keeps offering prizes of inestimable value for the first correct solution.
The first of these challenges appeared back in October 1982, and the news is that it's still to be beaten. This evolved around Automata's very popular Pimania adventure and, 15 months later, still no one has come within a mile of wining the diamond encrusted golden sundial (valued at £6,000) - not even, alas, some poor chap who planned to travel all the way to Bethlehem on Xmas day!
Asked whether the game was too boring, too complicated or just plain not
complicated or just plain not selling in enough quantity, Automata's spokesperson hedged two-thirds of the question and would only commit herself to saying "It's not at all boring."
But it would be wrong to draw too many conclusions from that and, spirits never dampened (and not content with just one prize puzzle), Automata is now offering a free trip to Hollywood to meet the 'star' who can be identified by solving its laboriously named package 'My name is Uncle Groucho. You win my fat cigar'. The excited winner will fly out on Concorde, stay at the Waldorf Astoria, sail back on the QE2, and receive £500 pocket money to boot. But hurry, because the competition ends on June 1st, 1984.
Ron Smith
GROUCHO screen
Big prizes await those first solving Automata's adventure games.
GROUCHO screen
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