APPLICATIONS ★ THE GENESIS OF NEMESIS|Amstrad Action) ★

The Genesis of NemesisNemesis
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In the beginning, Colin Harris was one of many who bought a ZX81 for his computer capers way back in 1981. Impressed by the hobby, if not by the machine, he soon graduated onto the Dragon 32. About the time he set up Nemesis, Dragon folded and the machine became an endangered species. Soon after that the 464 appeared, and his first adventure game software was released about the time that the machine appeared in Dixons.

How long have you been running Nemesis?

'Well, full time. . must be about three years. At least. I've coined a crust doing it since I started. I think T've sold around 12000 copies of Bonzo Super Meddler, which probably means around 100000 in use round the country. At a guess, given the way the world is."

And who is Bonzo?

"Bonzo was a kitten who grew into a fourteen pound cat. I had to spend three months indoors with a badly broken ankle, Bonzo, and a computor. Duiing the time I learned machmc codc. Bonzo dissappeared two years ago, but he's remembered in a sentimental way".

"My private life, before you ask. revolves around my wife and three more cats, called Blitz, Bobby and Tilly. Til even go as far to admit that I'm a professionally trained photographer, but that's all."

Why did you call your company Nemesis?

"Well, it's a bit lateral. Nemesis is the Greek goddess of retribution. I'm a (failed) adventurer, and I wanted to get my own back on those people who produced bad adventure games. The tape-disk aspect is similar, getting your own back on companies... you know, tlie difference between spending minutes loading a cassette, and 10 seconds loading a game from disk."

It's nothing to do with the price difference between tape and disk games then?

"Er.. no.”

Why did you produce tape-disk transfers?

"Back in the days when I was producing adventures. I would get some good reviews, place some advertising, and sell a mere handful. One I did had a really marvellous review and a quarter of a page ad. i sold five copies."

"I went back to something I'd been doing on the Dragon called Super Meddler, a gen eral purpose tape/disk. Lots of interest was shown, and I made some money for a change.'

"When the CPC dies,
I shall probably die
with it”

'Don't get me wrong. I'd much rather be a philanthropic adventure writer. They're more fun to write and more entertaining to play. Tape-disk stuff is a bloody hard slog and gives me brainache. But I can make a living at it, which is why I do it.'

What sort of after-sales service do you give?

"Well, I realise that the programs aren't infallible. There arc plenty of one-off games, ones that need a unique touch. I do tape-disk transfers

on an individual basis for these. But I do insist on an original tape or inlay being included with the order."

"Four people have been
brought to my attention,
one of who was so incorrigible
he was pirating my stuff too!"

"Then there's the Bonzo Bulletin, which comes out at irregular intervals. I charge £10 for eight copies, but the entire collection of back issues (all 24) costs £13. The quality's been getting better, and it's packed out with tape-disk transfer methods. Of course. I'm always available on the phone.''

Doesn't that place a strain on you?

'Wot really, in fact I carry a transportable phone around with me. I don't wan: to miss anything."

What are your thoughts on piracy?

'Mixed. The vast majority of my customers appear to be honest, regularly getting in touch about transfer problems. The ones who don't talk much, just ask for occasional information and disappear, they can be rogues. When I find out for sure, I throw them off the mailing lists and I don't help again.

"A lot of people are getting
in touch now who've just
got 6128's"

"Four people have been brought to my attention, one of who was so incorrigible he was pirating my stuff too! I'm not going to encourage piracy, but there's not a lot I can do about it. I can cut off supplies of updates, but that's about all.'

"I suppose I'm too pleasant really. When one company. Pride Utilities, disappeared, another competitor laughed an awful lot. I don't like that.

I prefer competition - it keeps you on your toes, stops the market going stagnant.'

How busy are you during the year?

"In October business was quiet, but now (coming up towards Christinas) it's absolutely crazy again. Mind you, for me August has always been my best sales period -can you believe that? - apart from the lead-up to Christmas. I s'pose it's the kids on holiday."

"There's no drop against this time last year. A lot of people are getting in touch now who've just got 612B's. Okay, so some had 464's but quite a few got. their machines new. Alan Sugar's bundling the 6128 with a desk and a chiming alarm clock seems to be working. I find it a bit surprising, myself. Personally I would have thought a price cut or bundling it with a printer would have done the trick, but Lhen I'm not the chairman of Amstrad."

"You know, around 60% of my business is tape-disk transfer. I only cater for the CPC nowadays. I don't touch other machines a I all (can't stand the Atari). When the CPC dies, I shall probably die with it.”

AA#40

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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.