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Ramasoft - Font Master (Amstrad Action)Applications Divers
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When you switch on your trusty CPC. a familiar message ripples across the screen. It's written using particular shapes for the characters; this is called a character set. Now, if you could change the character set, your machine will use the new set whenever it prints to the screen.

This may not seem very useful, until you realise that this new set need not contain just the usual characters. Printing the sequence "ABCDE" could quite easily print a spaceship of your own design. More than useful for games, eh.

Okay, how do you do it? The Amstrad CPC machines have a built in function called symbol This will build up your new character line by line. The difficulty lies in the fact that you have to painstakingly draw out new characters on graph paper.

Enough lecturing. This new product from Ramasoft enables you to do all the hard work on your machine, rather than paper. No big deal, you say. Listings in AA have done the same. What's so special about this?

Edit takes you to the core program; the actual character editing. Load and Save to recall and store character sets. Reverse Inks will let you edit in dark on light colours, as opposed to light on dark. Test lets you see the characters in all three modes. Print New will dump the set to a printer. Erase gets rid of any unwanted files, and Display will print all the new character sets with their associated ASCII values.

The whole approach of the program is to keep track of the built in (rom) character set as well as the new set. That way, you can see what type of character to edit next, rather than looking it up in the manual.

The core program lets you edit up to 2 x 2 (four) characters at the same time. This is moderately useful, but it would have have been nice to input the size of the matrix so you could edit huge graphic creations.

The Select ROM option lets you pick up a character from the ROM to edit: Select New does the same for your customised set. Quit takes you back to the front end. Invert, Rotate and Mirror option are all available, as are two scrolling modes. One lets you scroll just one character in any direction, the other scrolls the whole grid. All scrolling is by one pixel at a time, and is wrap around in nature. Clr will clear one quarter of the grid. Del will delete a row, and TAB will add one to a character. Utilise will add your creation to the character set.

Included in the package are two customised character sets. One is full of useful icons, the other is a gothic/schrift set for all Ye Olde adventure games etc. Also included is a program to reduce your new character set to a list of symbol statements.

All screen layouts have been thoughtfully done. In use, the program behaves just as expected, and really is a pleasure to use. The documentation is adequate, but is printed in black ink on green paper. Without good lighting it's a difficult read.

I really do think this program is a darn good tool. If you are looking for a character generator, look no further.

AA

★ PUBLISHER: Ramasoft
★ YEAR: 1988
★ CONFIG: ???
★ LANGUAGE:
★ LICENCE: COMMERCIALE
★ AUTHOR(S): ???
★ PRICE: £8.50(tape) , £11.50 (disk)

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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.