APPLICATIONSDIVERS ★ ZXM|Amstrad Action) ★

ZXMApplications Divers
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Simon used to own a Speccy, you know. And just recently he got hold of another one, in the form of a 3-inch disk...

I t was a sad day when my poor Speccy finally conked out several years back - it took the acquisition of a brand spanking new CPC464 a couple of days later to perk me up. I remember it clearly It was the week issue 10 of AA came out. That was the first issue I bought and I was hooked. All memories ol my Spectrum were consigned to some dark, dank corner of my ROM to tape using a command ksted in the manual and load the tape rto ZXM (but check out the box , Beware)

Once you've gone through the start-up sequence (whch you only have to do once - not every tme you toad ZXM). you'll be presented with the standard Speccy start-up line. Aaah - nostalgia.

There are only two drawbacks:

  • Screen Memory - Though the Speccy screen is held intact in memory, obviously programs that use sprite routines and access screen memory directly won't show up on the CPC screen (as the system it uses isn't compatible with the Speccy) This problem has been overcome with the aid of a command built into the emulator, allowing you to access the Speccy screen as normal. This does, in effect, cure the problem, but it also serves to slow the whole shebang down a little.
  • Ports : -Every now and again , you will come across a programmer that writes his software to access the ports directly The causes problems similar to the Plus compatibility situation we hear about in the CPC work).

To see how well ZXM could impersonate a Speccy do I decided to put it through its paces in two main areas:

  • Simple Usage - In other words, how does ZXM cope when pretending to be a Speccy that someone's using to write simple BASIC programs and to carry out simple tasks , ie , routines to carry out complex calculations and recursive operations, or slightly more advanced BASIC programs that require no special functions other than standard BASIC operations' ZXM performed these functions perfectly. The ROM copy used is , as the term suggests, an exact copy and so is not likely to throw up any problems.

  • Advanced Functions - By advanced functions, I mean programming tricks using , say , ports that would normally speed up certain areas of operation within an arcade game. This is where you could reasonably expect to come across problems. But get this , you don't . 

You see , though we experience a lot of compatibility problems or the Plus range when it comes to this kund of software on the CPC , you realty won't see as much 'lazy programming ' when it comes to the Speccy , Why this is , I'm not quite sure, but it may be due to the fact that (though they are both Z80 machines ) , the system architecture of the Spectrum is quite differente to CPC

As far as memory limitations go , you may have difficulties finding software that that'll fit what effectively an old style Speccy , but once you overcorne that hurdle, you should be quite successful in using quite a few older games.

All in all , it has to be said that if you once had a Speccy , or if you've always wanted to see what they were like , this is the package for you. The Speccy was one of the first home computers on the market (along with its predecessor, the

ZX81) , and if you don't use one at least once , you're missing out a huge chunk of home computing history.

Simon, AA

★ PUBLISHER: BETASOFT
★ YEAR: 1993
★ CONFIG: 64K + AMSDOS + ALL CRTC
★ LANGUAGE:
★ LICENCE: COMMERCIALE
★ AUTHOR(S): ???

★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ DOWNLOAD ★

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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.