Your Spectrum
Issue 13, April 1985 - Frontlines
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The ZX Spectrum is dead! Long live the Spectrum+! Yes, you heard right - the original Spectrum, 16K and 48K, is being phased out from Sinclair Research's product line ... rubber keys and all!
Of course, you'll still be able to buy the Spectrum - but its days are numbered. WH Smiths, one of the major retail outlets in the UK, is selling off its old Speccy stock at £99.95 for the 48K machine; the 16K model is going for £69.95 (If you can find one that is! Ed.). And as this is probably the last chance you've got to buy yourself a piece of micro history, we'll forgive you if you don't want to read any more and shoot off down the shops.
Of course, there'll always be a Spectrum - it's no accident that the Spectrum+ is nothing more than a Spectrum in a new box. To reinforce its new position in life, the Spectrum+ is now carrying the reduced price-tag of £129.99!
Sinclair Research is also offering current Speccy owners the chance to upgrade (?) to a Spectrum+ with a £20 'keyboard kit'; if you're feeling lazy, Sinclair Research will do the job for you ... but it'll set you back another tenner! Vile rumours that Sir Clive is selling off the extraneous rubber keyboards to be melted down and made into puppets for TV's Spitting Image are, of course, blatant lies especially since Sir Clive's last appearance on the show!
And so it really looks as though the micro- war's hotting up, especially when you note that Acorn Computers has reduced the price of the Electron in direct competition to the Spectrum+. Good mates, Sir Clive and Chris Curry (of Acorn) were seen recently attempting to battle the micro-war on a more personal basis - but we're happy to report that they've since made up.
Incentive, a company which actually cares about its customers, has announced the winner of the Ket Trilogy competition.
Tom Frost, aged 47, from Montrose collected his £400 of video equipment from Ian Andrew (Incentive MD) and Richard McCormack (author of the adventures). This news arrived just as Incentive was about to launch its officially licensed version of the arcade game, Moon Cresta. The incentive to beat Moon Cresta comes in the form of Nichibutsu's original Moon Cresta machine. To get hold of this free standing wonder, all the player has to do is amass a score of 30,000 points.
Moon Cresta is now available for the Speccy at £6.95 from usual dealers. More details of this and Incentive's new game, Confuzion, on (nnnn) nnnnnn.
To quote the press release, Dk'Tronics has a "delightful announcement for the industry". And that's that the recently-crashed Currah Micro Products has been swallowed up in the arms of the Dk empire.
The good news is that anyone holding a guarantee from Currah will find that Dk will honour the original agreement - so your Currah equipment is safe for a bit longer!
If you're a bit worried as to your warranty arrangement, give Dk a ring on (nnnn) nnnnn.
Well, it had to happen! Someone had to take a POKE at Sir Clive's "new power in personal transport".
Exploiting the Sinclair Research accessory offer of an educational battery to double the effective range of the vehicle, certain sources are marketing thoroughly illegal wiring kits that promise to double effective speed. Trickery is apparently based on series battery connections.
As ol' Sir C's technical chappies have pointed out, the actual result is a burnt-out motor rather than a souped-up go- chart. So, here's a warning for all those parents out there thinking of purchasing one of Sinclair's 'less than finest' - if you see your young sprog zipping round the neighbourhood at frightening speeds, it's worth checking to see if the Hoovermatic's been looted for more traction!
Channel 4 has taken the plunge ... and come up with a computer chat show called 4 Computer Buffs. Geddit?
Produced by the Database team, C4 calls it "a weekly news and current affairs programme for serious computer users". Back in the early days of computing, Edward Barnes, the then head of children's programmes at the BBC, said that computing shows were "looking through a glass darkly". It'll be interesting to see if C4 has managed to break the mould, and produce a show that's actually worth watching! But, of course, we'll all just have to wait and see ...
C4 also announced that it's launching an adaptor for the Spectrum (manufactured by OEL) allowing users to 'download' programs from it's own 4-Tel teletext service.
Channel 4 will be happy to tell you more about the adaptor and the new 4 Computer Buffs show on nn-nnn nnnn.
Nordic, the company that bought up all the Fuller stock in the liquidation flurry of last year, seems to have got itself in the same mess at its forerunner - perhaps the disease is catching!
Ex-Fuller man, Neil Roberts, told YS that Nordic has laid of all its staff and gone into voluntary liquidation. Here at the YS bunker we were hardly surprised to hear the news. Our very own Tony 'Slim' Samuels wrote a program for Fuller early last year, the idea being to fully demonstrate the versatility of the Fuller Master Unit. But, as Fuller never officially bought the rights to the program, Tony got decidedly twitchy when he saw Nordic using it at the first - and last - Microfair the company attended.
Apart from the threatened court injunction from our friend Tony, ex-fuller
MD Roy Backhouse, also stepped forward to remove the copyright of the EDS keyboard from Nordic - which effectively meant that Nordic wasn't able to make any more of the units. No product equals no turnover and this left Nordic in the proverbial ...
Further bad news comes from scouser Neil. The word is the so-called 'ultra- improved' version of the FDS keyboard is actually no different from the Fuller unit - apart from the logo sticker, and it still didn't work with Tasword Two.
The moral of this sad and tearful tale? Well, apart from the clear realisation that it's not a wise idea to mess with our large Mancunian friend, if you're going to pay good money for the rights to a crashed company, then take a good look at what you're actually buying.
Claiming that it had 'the first ever interactive multi-player arcade adventure', Games Workshop launched the Spectrum version of its fantasy game, Talisman.
The program, which can involve up to four players in any one game, is said to be the true successor to Valhalla. Talisman is a race to reach the 'Crown of Command' and control the destiny of the world - of course! A horrific array of deadly creatures are out to stop you in
your task, including those that are controlled by the computer and the other players.
As, at the time of writing, we at YS haven't actually seen the game, we can only ask you to believe what Games Workshop are letting on.
Try looking out for Talisman in the usual outlets at £7.95 - but if you have any problems, give Games Workshop a bell on nn-nnn nnnn.
GW's Talisman - Valhalla's follow-up?
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