Pc Show 88|Amstrad Action)Salon Salons
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The 1988 Personal Computer Show, held for the first tune at vast Earls Court, attracted huge crowds, most of them apparently having sharpened their elbows and bought toe-crushing boots especially for the occasion.

Some statistics display space 12,000 square metres (that's 50% bigger than last year) attendance, about 100.000 (up on last year's 73.000) Each visitor is believed on average, to have acquired 79 pieces of paper, 64 plastic carrier bags and eight bruises of varying degrees of intensity.

It was, shall we say. a little busy oil Friday, Saturday and Sunday the 16th-18th September The tube disgorged crowds at approximately two minute intervals, and the harassed security staff shouted themselves hoarse just trying to herd people towards the appropriate doors, and away from the despairing clutch of the Junior Fashion Snow. It is estimated that 3,600 fashion-conscious teenagers found themselves I playing Savage rather than finding out about the latest in partywear What happened to the computer buffs who ended up in the wrong exhibition is. alas, not known...

Display of wealth

Once inside, people were bombarded with a barrage of light and sound from the increasingly over-the top games stands. Microprose had their multipassenger Simulator Super X' in operation, and the queues never subsided. (The trip, by the way, was good - but not that good. The screen itself, onto which was projected film of hang-gliding, motor-cycling, big dipping and aeroplane flying, was of surprisingly poor quality, though the bounciness of the journey partially made up for it.)

There were the usual enormous displays of wealth from the likes of US Gold, Mirrorsoft, Telecomsoft, Pepsi Cola (Pepsi Cola?), and the rest.

However it was Domark, whose appearance at the Show was apparently a late decision, who coolly upstaged everyone with a double-decker bus driven by a grotesquely over-inflated Rambo, complete with knots of blue veins and a bust thai would pul most of the girls on the US Gold stand to shame. Even better, they had a personal appearance from Her Majesty Dame Mrs Margaret Hilda Thatcher Herself, whose quiet understatement and gentle encouragement was a lesson to us all.

Absent friends

Electronic Arts and Media-genic, however, chose not to grace the Show with their public presence at all, and there were mutterings in various quarters that the whole thing was getting too big for its boots'. The business/serious - games/leisure split was as marked as ever, and it seems likely that the two must eventually go their separate ways. As far as Amstrad was con cerned this was a high-profile show, with launches of big new business machines and the PC200 (see elsewhere in Amscene). Their stand was fun to watch, as dozens of puzzled punters lapped a few keys on the PC200 and wondered what a Sinclair machine was doing on the Amstrad stand (Amstrad bought Sir Clive out a couple of years ago). Reaction ranged from Looks like an Atari, pity about the screen', to 'Why the fuss? and even, from one world-weary youngster. 'Sugar's flipped. It'll never sell'. Others, however, were more generous, and could be seen shrewdly calculating Christmas present estimates.

Level 9 bury £5,000!

The quest is back on for the Holy Grail, it was revealed at the Show. Yes, like you we thought all that business had been sorted out long ago - but apparently not.

The search for the £5,000 replica of the mug that gave Arthur and the boys such a hard time back in The Old Days is a publicity stunt - and a good one at that - to publicise the release of Lancelot, Level 9's adventure game out now on the Mandarin label. The item in question is seven inches tall, hand crafted from solid sterling silver and gilded inside with 22 carat gold and encrusted with amethysts, garnets and opals. And instead of nipping round to the nearest jewellers to cash in, 'Sir' Pete Austin and the othei Level 9'ers have BURIED IT!

Four preliminary clues, available on a special telephone hotline, reveal 'possible (but not actual) locations for the hidden treasure'. What use a 'possible (but not actual)' location is to anyone, we hear you ask? Well, the first 36 contestants to guess these locations correctly are to receive a second set of clues which will ultimately lead to the Grail's true place of rest.

• We feature a full review of Lancelot in this month's packed Pilgrim, which also reviews Level 9's other big release of the moment, Ingrid's Back.


And of course Amstrad Action was there in force, signing autographs, posing for photographs and fighting off the screaming hordes (after blood - ed). We enjoyed meeting so many readers, and perhaps even helping one or two of you. Thanks for all the suggestions. though one or two of them would seem to be physically impossible. If your idea is incorporated into the mag before too long, thanks!

Future Publishing also took the opportunity to promote the latest addition to its stable, New Computer Express. Reaction to the free "dummy" was encouraging look out for NCE at a shop near you! (That's enough free ads - ed.)


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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.