Joystick - Wiz Card|Amstrad Computer User)Hardware Joysticks
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First into the ring was the slightly mystic Wiz Card (or Drac Ziw for black warlocks). Now this doesn't look or sound much like a joystick, and I was initially rather dubious. After all, it resembles a cursor key cluster to a remarkable degree and there's already one of those on the keyboard, thank you very much. In fact, it's billed as "The ultimate cursor controller" - not a joystick - but it's difficult to see quite where the advantage lies. Until you use it.

Like a cursor cluster it takes just a finger to use; unlike a cluster there's lessthan a centimetre between the centre of each key. This gives it a responsiveness similar to a joystick, but with much less effort. Herein lie a small problem or two, as it is very easy to press the wrong key at the wrong time and there goes another planet (genocide was never so easy).

Another manifestation of this funny is that, by pressing down on the centre of the pad, "impossible" directions such as up, down and left can be generated. But given a bit of time and a steady hand, it can really give a bona fide joystick a run for your money with most games.

It just doesn't work for some. Exploding Fist was significantly more difficult with the Wiz. The card should enjoy a long and happy life as there's less strain on the system and fewer moving parts than with a joystick.

Inside, the system uses a similar technology to calculator keyboards, each key has a small pad of graphite in a rubber cup which presses down on to a pad of exposed printed circuit board. Sounds a wee nasty, but it works. And, as they say in the adverts, goes on working. It should come into its own with graphics utilities and icon-based games, but isn't ideally suited for use as a sole stick.

ACU #8609

★ YEAR: 1986

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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.