APPLICATIONSCREATION GRAPHIQUE ★ PARROTRY PLUS ★

PARROTRY PLUS|Amstrad Action)PARROTRY PLUS|Amstrad Computer User)
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Back in March '87, issue 18, we reviewed Parrotry - a graphics package with a difference. Since then Parrotry has joined the ranks that have sprouted a Plus.

Parrotry Plus is unlike any other art package: it is unique in the manner in which graphics are designed and displayed.

Parrotry remembers every brush stroke arid, later, can redraw your picture - parrot fashion. The advantage of this system is two fold: the screen is not static (as with standard graphic screens) and amount of disk space used is considerably less. Any picture produced with Parrotry may be re-drawn from within your own Basic listings which is a nice touch. Of course, if you do prefer static pictures, the design may be saved as an ordinary screen.

Any graphical operation performed within Parrotry is remembered or stored. Coordinates of lines, colours they are drawn in, filled areas and such are all kept in two Basic arrays. This method of storing picture information means that the computer can perform operations quickly and easily on the data - like increasing by a factor, or copying or running through different speeds.

Pieces of eight

A single line, dotted with letters, at the bottom of the screen represents Parrotry's main menu Not very friendly, but then the manual is there if needed. From the drawing mode you can move a cursor anywhere on screen. Once positioned, circles, lines or points may be plotted, text printed, areas filled and colours changed. If you make a mistake there is a handy undo command Unlike usual delete operations though, you can keep on undoing all the way to the first line you drew or area you filled.

If you wish to position text or shapes accurately then the grid comes in handy. This simply draws vertical and horizontal guide lines on the screen. The grid squares can be set to any size.

At any time during the design of a picture it is possible to re-draw everything you've done up to that point. The speed at which the picture re-draws is definable - it is even possible to single step through the display, that is, after each command the program waits for you to press a key During playback it is possible to erase any section that doesn't look up to scratch.

Included is a loop function which enables any part of your drawing to be repeated, any number of times, anywhere on the screen. While you draw you will notice a sequence number alongside the cursor co-ordinates This simply shows the number of commands that have been entered To perform a loop you will need to know the first and last numbers of the sequence. You can find this out by redrawing at slow speed. In addition to sequence numbers, the loop function needs to know how many times to repeat a sequence, new left or right cursor position and new up or down cursor position. You can't have nested loops (loops within loops), but this isn't too much of a restriction.

Land ahoy

There are a group of instructions collectively known as the data handling commands. These include:

  • Move - shifts a selected area of the screen in any direction.
  • Reverse - mirrors a selected part of the display.
  • Invert - turns a selected area on its head (top to bottom).
  • Rotate - moves an area by 90° in the chosen direction.
  • Change size sections of the display may be enlarged or reduced
  • Slant - slants areas of the screen (left or right) by up to 48
  • Merge - designs can be loaded from disk and merged with the screen contents
Short change

Pay an extra £6.95 on top of the Parrotry Plus price and you get an additional two disks. One contains a library of designs and fonts, the other holds an educational program, ABC This special price of £26.90 for all three disks lasts until the end of February. After that you can purchase ABC on its own for £12.95, the Library disk on its own for £9.95 or Parrotry Plus and the Library disk together for £27.95.

 

The arrays themselves may be edited if necessary. All the information required to re-draw your design is stored in two arrays: X and Y. You can inspect, change, delete or add to this data by usmg the editing facilities. Each sequence or command starts with a control code (or command). These are usually numbers above 9000. Anything after a control code can be a horizontal or vertical cursor position, pen colour, or text. Absolutely anything in the array can be altered or removed. It is even possible to create pictures simply by editing the array but this isn't advisable if you wish to stay sane.

Treasure me hearties

The screens you create with Parrotry may be saved as either standard screens - binary files that can be loaded into other art packages - or array data. Whatever form you decided to save your designs, they may be loaded back (or re-drawn) from within your own Basic listings.

It is very odd. even ludicrous, that you can't dump a screen to either printer or plotter from Parrotry Instead you must buy the Library disk, but even that only contains a plotter dump routine. If you wish to send a picture to the printer then you must hunt elsewhere for a routine.

Parrotry Plus cannot compete with the Art Studio or Melbourne Draw in terms of quality and options. Indeed, it doesn't try: Parrotry is aimed at those wanting a live screen, animated graphics and colour switching, rather than the still pictures produced by other graphics programs.
What's new

The original Parrotry sold for £12.95. The Plus version is £7 more. What exactly do you get for the extra pennies?

  • Mode 2 drawing is now acceptable.
  • Circle routine improved
  • The whole screen can be used {previously the bottom line was gobbled by the menu).
  • A new section - data handling has been added. This has been explained elsewhere in the review, but put simply it allows you to modify parts of the design. For example, invert, rotate and delete areas.

If you decide to pay an additional £6.95 the package as a whole becomes much more worthwhile: you get two extra disks. The Library disk has a handy plotter dump routine, not to mention a character set and other useful designs. ABC on its own makes it worth paying the extra.


Adventure games would gain by using graphics made from Parrotry as the picture data takes up far less memory than conventional screen data Shop advertising and presentation displays could easily be made with Parrotry's output. The potential is there for many great things. A genuinely useful package.

What came first, the software company or the program? In this case Parrotry was first to see light of ' day. A fining name for the company was desperately needed. Treasure Island Software was eventually born.

AA

★ PUBLISHER: Treasure Island Software
★ YEAR: 1987
★ CONFIG: 64K + AMSDOS
★ LANGUAGE:
★ LICENCE: COMMERCIALE
★ AUTHOR(S): ???
★ PRICE: £12.95 (disk only)

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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.