John Chandler is the Product Manager of AWA-Thorn and has had the responsibility of ensuring a smooth launch to the CPC464. We managed to drag him away from his busy schedule to answer a few questions.
Q: John, since the launch of the CPC464, how well are the sales going, in particular within Australia?
A: The sales have been quite amazing and surpassed even our most optimistic predictions. In the first six months of the CPC464's release in the UK the sales reached 200,000 making it the country's No. 1 seller, and the trend here already looks very promising.
Q: How widespread is the current dealer network?
A: We have dealers covering all of Australia, country and metropolitan areas. Some States achieved good dealer coverage quicker than others. However, all major population areas are now well catered for.
Q: For those users who have a green screen unit, is it possible to purchase a colour screen seperately?
A: At this point we are not selling colour monitors seperately but will review the situation if required. The green screen users may purchase the MP-1 power supply modulator to connect the computer to their colour television.
Q: Why did Amstrad choose an unconventional joystick which requires a second joystick to "piggy-back" the first?
A: The joystick is a standard 9-pin type commonly used Amstrad decided to provide access for a second joystick on the first, largely to conserve space on the rear of the keyboard.
Q: What's so special about Locomotive Basic?
A: Locomotive Basic is the most recent and advanced version of Basic yet developed It is a very versatile, fast and powerful version which contains some exciting new commands and additional facilities. Particularly in its'graphics and sound and use of real time clocks. A complete list of commands may be found in the manual SOFT 157 Basic Specification.
Q: The CPC464 has a warranty for 12 months. In the event of a breakdown after that period, where do we get it fixed?
A: In the event of a breakdown, the customer may return the computer to the point of purchase and a quick repair and return of the product will be applied.
Q: Apart from the DMP-1, what other printers are compatible with the CPC464?
A: Most printers with a standard Centronics interface are compatible with the CPC464.
Q: If anyone has a really technical problem they can't solve, do you offer any kind of support service?
A: Yes, we do offer technical support The customer need only phone his/ her nearest branch of AWA-Thorn. If the local office can't give an immediate answer, the question will be relayed to our central office in Rydalmere, where our technical staff will relay a prompt answer back. Alternatively the customer may write direct to Rydalmere at 348 Victoria Road, Rydalmere, N.S.W., 2116. (Phone: (02) 638 8444).
Q: Looking ahead, are there any new peripherals in the pipe-line or upgrades to the CPC464, including modems and interfaces?
A: Several new peripherals are planned with MODEMS, RS232 interface and network facilities high on the priority.
Q: What about software? A We now have over 200 titles (games, educational and business) available from AMSTRAD. The product is also supported by most other large software houses in Australia with approximately a further 150 titles already available. In addition, let's not forget the 5000 plus titles available on CP/M through the DDI-1 Disk Drive.
Q: Finally, how do you see the future of the home computer?
A: The Home Computer is the key to the future. By having access to a computer at home, the younger generation are being given a head start in tomorrow's technology where computers will be common place in all aspects of everyday life.