My Misfires
As Gavin Monk finds, games can't always be great - someone's got to get the raspberries.
Sexing Your Spectrum
If you're not too sure about the gender of your Speccy, Stephen Adams reveals its most intimate secrets.
Extending Basic
Toni Baker sheds some light on the Shadow ROM for those of you with an Interface 1 unit.
3D Plotting - part one
For realism, you just can't beat three dimensions. Damir Skrgatic goes into graphic detail.
Adding Zip - part one
Add a little zip to your programming with Simon Goodwin's nifty compiler.
Variables on a Theme - part two
Dilwyn Jones delves even deeper into the Spectrum ROM.
Stack Competition
If you fancy your chances as 007, shoot off your entries to us now ...
Your Spectrum
& QL User

YR.03 cover - Click for the BIG picture

Issue 3, May 1984
- contents -
Tower of Power
With the odds stacked against him, SQ Factor pulls through with a comprehensive review of the Basicare system.
Wet Screams
Unarmed but fearless, explore the watery depths of the ocean with Mike Mepham - all without getting your feet wet.
QL User
Our special magazine supplement, complete with a look at SuperBasic and the four Psion packages.
  • Frontlines
  • Forum
  • Spectrolysis
  • Rumbles
  • Spectrum Soft
  • Paper Data
  • Top 20
  • Subscriptions
  • Play Power
  • Circe


Click on a highlighted entry to view the full article
Frontlines 5 Our views on the news - including the delights of Debuggit, Project 3 and the original Pacman.
Add-ons (keyboard, soundbox, Action Replay (Ricoll Electronics)
Centronics interface 'Model E'
( letter )
(Kempston MicroElectronics)
Mechanical joysticks (EEC, Grant Designs)
Programmable joystick interface (Rainbow Electronics)
Sure Shot joystick (Cookridge Computer Supplies)
Educational programs (Sulis Software)
Linkword language learning system (Silversoft)
Pacman (DJL Software)
Prolog (Sinclair Research)
Spectrum emulator for CBM64 (Phoenix Software)
Trashman release (New Generation Software)
Ant Attack competition winner
Blank tape levy proposal
Chess Challenge competition winners
Fuller rumours
Game Lords magazine (Quicksilva)
Redefining the character set
Spectrum carrying case (Treetop Designs)
YS Spectrum Help hotline service (Peter Shaw)
Spectrum & QL News 65 Rumbles
Rumours of new launches abound on the games software scene - and there's no love lost between competing software houses, eager to market an original product. Get the up-to-the-minute report from Ron Smith, whose beady eyes remain fixed on the software horizons. Melbourne House release schedule, Mugsy (Melbourne House), Hype (Virgin), Quasimodo's Revenge & Gilligan's Gold (Ocean).
86 SinclairWatch
QL delays, Motorola 68008 chip, Advertising Standards Authority
Software Reviews 67 Spectrum Soft
This month, it's the Heald Green Computer Club giving us the low-down on the latest software packages. Your Spectrum is continuing to scour the country's computer clubs to get the undiluted thoughts, feelings and impressions of dedicated games enthusiasts - thus providing our readers with unbiased evaluations.
1984(Incentive Software)73%
Alchemist(Imagine Software)90%
Cavern Fighter(Bug-Byte)66%
Classic Adventure(Melbourne House)80%
Dinky Digger(Postern)56%
House of the Living Dead(Phipps Associates)76%
Magic Meanies(CDS Microsystems)76%
Nightflight 2(Hewson Consultants)86%
Oh Mummy!(Gem Software)63%
Pinball Wizard(CP Software)96%
Robot Riot(Silversoft)80%
Skull(Games Machine)86%
Spectron(Virgin Games)43%
Super Snails(Games Machine)50%
Software Features 60 Wet Screams
Unarmed but fearless, explore the watery depths of the ocean with Mike Mepham - all without getting your feet wet.
Hardware Features 29 Spectrolysis: Double Standards?
Ian Beardsmore reveals the truth about the RS232 interface. Although somewhat diverted by the oft-misleading use of the word 'standard', especially when applied to RS232 interfaces, Ian Beardsmore presents two programming tips from YS readers.
( letter; letter )
33 Tower of Power
Towering above competitive add-on units for the Spectrum, the Basicare system offers a wealth of new applications for the 'professional' user. SQ Factor finds out whether the system measures up ...
38 Sexing Your Spectrum
An amusing divertissement for any known collection of true Spectrumists is to enquire innocently whether someone can identify a particular ZX model - or ask how A's machine differs from that of B. It's a guaranteed crowd-puller! Stephen Adams fancies he can supply the answers and, taking the Spectrum by the chips, he details the various stages of development since its April 1982 launch.
Programming 43 Extending Basic
Stand by to have your mind ever so slightly blown because, for those proud possessors of a ZX Interface 1, Toni Baker is about to explain the procedure by which new commands can be added to the Spectrum vocabulary.
45 Plotting in 3D - part one: Graphics & Mathematics
The concepts behind computer-aided design (CAD) and, in particular, the delights of three-dimensional plotting, are such that they have usually remained the preserve of 'big' computers. Mathematician and engineer Damir Skrgatic sets out over this issue and the next to prove that usefulness in this area is within the reach of our honest but humble eight-bitters.
53 Adding Zip - part one
Designing good software is all a matter of organisation. Starting this month, Simon Goodwin begins a three-part feature that not only shows you how best to construct your Basic programs - but which gives you an excellent compiler program into the bargain!
(letter), (letter)
97 Variables on a Theme - part two
Continuing on from last issue, Dilwyn Jones completes his investigation of the Spectrum ROM's system variables - those useful housekeeping routines which give the Spectrum its character. And if you fancy delving deeper into your machine, try some of the suggestions Dilwyn has to offer ...
Miscellaneous Features 24 Misfires of the Year
1983 has seen a large growth in both software games product and the houses that supply it. And with this growth has come an interesting change in advertising techniques - for now, it seems standard to start promoting games at least a month before they become available. Fortunately, for those whose mouths cannot stop watering, much of the software released in '83 was of a high quality. Some, however, fell rather short of the mark and Gavin Monk adds his pennyworth to the moans.
Reader's Programs 105 Play Power
Get those fingers tapping with our three annotated listings. Whether you're a patient puzzler or an arcade adventurer, there's lots in store in the following pages, courtesy of Colin Young and Richard Archdeacon. And if it's machine code utilities you're after, look no further than the contribution from Andy Wright.
Flat Cube (Colin Young), REM Remover (Andy Wright), Hopalong (Richard Archdeacon).
Books 89 Paperdata: A Touch of Class
A mid-term report from Sandy Dewhurst on what's available in the educational books department. Home computers, they tell us, are the ideal vehicle for education - but what exactly supports this claim? Sandy Dewhurst, computer studies schoolteacher, sifts through the pages of various literary texts devoted to the subject.
40 Educational Games for the Spectrum (Granada)
Educational Programs for the Spectrum (Century)
Educational Uses of the ZX Spectrum (Sinclair Browne)
Learning to Use the ZX Spectrum (Gower)
Learning With Your Computer (Windward)
Programming for REAL Beginners - Stages 1 & 2 (Shiva)
Spectrum in Education (Shiva)
Interviews 120 Grahame Daubney (Prism)
Phil Manchester puts Grahame Daubney - the man behind the machines - on the spot. Amongst the fear and loathing of the bright lights of London's West End, Phil Z Manchester gets hot on the trail of Prism's robot revolution optimist, Grahame Daubney.
Competitions 14 Debuggit
119 Stack Competition
If you fancy your chances as 007, shoot off your entries to us now ...
Odds & Ends 19 Forum
Hear all the hearsay as YS readers get it off their chest. If you fancy 'writing on spec' - put pen to paper and tell us what's on your mind.
The Heavens Open(Nigel Searle)
Some Speccys 'ave Adam(Mr Crasley)
Playing Hard to Get(RP Taylor)
Out of the Closet ...(Stephen Oxford)
Wake Up at the Back!(Martin Flenley)
It All Adds Up(Iain Radford)
Restez Regulier(ER Boulad)
What's the Connection?(David Wooding)
Mistake!?!(J Jack)
Clock That(Ian Turtle)
Do The ContinentalP Ob de Beeck)
Going with the Flow(W Jones)
75 YS Top 20
It's the YS chart countdown!
95 Subscriptions
If you can't live without every copy of YS - for goodness sake, don't!
QL User 80 QL News
While rumours abound, QL User checks out the truth behind the add-ons currently being advertised for the QL.
81 Around the Houses
More over-the-fence gossip from Ron Smith on the support expected from the software houses. With tongues wagging throughout the industry, Ron Smith, software sleuth, tracks down the rumours to their source and tries to answer the question on everybody's lips - just who has got a QL?
82 Soft Sells
Quentin Lowe examines Psion's freebie software packages for the QL - with annotated screen pics! The old story that software sells computers is taken to heart on the QL where the four Psion packages that come with the machine provide serious business tools at a home micro price. Quentin Lowe has a look at the software that maketh the machine ...
84 Holy Structures ... it's SuperBasic
What are the possibilities for structured programming on the QL? Andrew Pennell takes a peek at the provisional manual and reveals all ... Zap, Pow, Blam ... just when you thought it was safe to get back to unstructured waters, along came the Cambridge Joker in his QL-Mobile with a surprise present - SuperBasic - to threaten an imprecise programming world. Andrew Pennell battles to explain ...