|★ APPLICATIONS ★ PROGRAMMATION ★ GRAPHICS, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING ON PCW 8256/8512 VERSION 2|8000 Plus) ★|
|Graphics, The Universe and Everything on PCW 8256/8512 version 2||Applications Programmation|
Let's just call it AYE. This is the latest version of the package originally designed for the experienced programmer who needs a fast, smoothly-flowing and professional-looking graphics output. The main addition is a set of printer control routines which were missed in earlier versions.
The program is a library of machine code routines which you can use in any language from Mallard Basic to machine code. These routines allow you to produce graphics and graphical effects of the same standard that you can usually only find on professional software. Also included on the disc are a number of demo programs which take you through different ways of using the various routines.
The routines are very wide ranging and certainly represent good value for money: you can, for instance, have control of the disc drive motors, experiment with sound routines, draw and erase lines, plot and erase single points (pixels), fill shapes, alter the character set, send user defined graphics (shapes you make up for yourself) and double height (and width) characters to the printer and so on. There is also ample provision for creating sprites; sprites are those little creatures the size of a few characters of text which you can move around the screen at incredible speeds.
However, most of the new routines are concerned with printer control - setting margins, bold and italic print and so on. These routines were not in the old version and are rather awkward to set otherwise.
The manual is comprehensive: although the package is generally only recommended for relatively experienced programmers, there are some simple, step-by-step instructions for the intrepid novice explorer to follow. There are also some nice touches of humour which bring light relief to otherwise potentially lethal documentation.
For the hardened programmer, the full Z80 source code of the routines is also provided. It was prepared with HiSoft's Devpac 80, so some modifications may be necessary to make it compatible with other assemblers.
Graphics, The Universe and Everything is impressive.
It's got loads of utilities and is quite fast. It will tend to be a bit cumbersome from BASIC, but makes up for that by being accessible from other assembler programs.