WACCI 138 Index - Home Page www.wacci.org.uk

01 - Thanx & Stuff 02 - Fair Comment 03 - A to Z of the CPC 04 - From the Archives
05 - Twenty Questions 06 - Keyboard Scanning 07 - Meet the Relatives 08 - Programmers' Patch
09 - Genesis 10 - Famous Last Words

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Thanx & Stuff

The Late Western Express

Sorry, sorry, I've missed the two-month deadline again. The last contributions have only just trickled in, but it's arguably my fault, I s'pose, for not having the courage to put out an eight-page WACCI when that was all I had after two months. Never mind. Hope you like it anyway.

I'm on the train

I've just bought a new CPC - sort of. It's a rather swish Apple iBook, a lightweight portable Macintosh with DVD player and all that sort of thing. It runs Quark XPress, so I can edit WACCI on the move, and the CPC emulator Arnold - so I can program on the move.
  Matthew's Programmer's Patch article last issue was especially timely. I read it, thought "ooh, I like the sound of that Zmac", and got hold of a copy. So now I have a portable CPC development system, and two hours' commuting time each day in which to use it. You never know, I might even finish ChaRleyTraCker/Palatine/BTL 5/Fidelity (delete as applicable).
  I've also replaced the monitor on my desktop Mac (see last issue's Thanx & Stuff), which makes laying WACCI out a bit easier. Sorry. I'm sure you don't really want to know all this.

Here is a news

A real news, as well. Amstrad has just announced they're restarting production of one of their 8-bit computers. Not the CPC, sadly, but the Spectrum. No, I'm not making this up.
  Many of you will be familiar with the Amstrad E-m@iler - a glorified telephone with a QWERTY keyboard and Internet capabilities. Aimed at people who'd like to contact friends electronically without the hassle of a PC, it enables you to write and receive e-mails for an outlay of about 100.
  The first version, I thought, was a bit simple - it could have included a web browser, for example. But Amstrad have just relaunched it, and the new E-m@iler is... interesting.
  Not only does it include a very simple browser (Microsoft Mobile Explorer), there's a built-in Spectrum emulator. Should you feel like a quick round of Chuckie Egg, you just connect to an Amstrad website via your E-m@iler, download the game, and start playing.
  Quite astonishing, though not completely unprecedented - I think there was a digital TV set-top box recently that could emulate the Commodore 64, and the C64's fabled SID sound chip has even been repackaged as a MIDI synthesiser for professional electronic musicians.
  And I'm not 100% convinced that the new E-m@iler is very well-thought out. The E-m@iler's target market is largely technology-hostile, and unlikely to be swayed by the promise of Spectrum games. Retro computing enthusiasts, meanwhile, are probably already using a Spectrum emulator on a PC. But time will tell.
  Incidentally, why not the CPC? There's one good reason - the kitsch factor. The Sinclair ZX Spectrum is a byword for all things '80s and retro in the way that the altogether more competent CPC will never be. By way of illustration, I'm happily writing here about Amstrad reviving the Spectrum. I doubt that a Spectrum fanzine would pass comment on Amstrad reviving the CPC.
  Should any of you buy the new E-m@iler, though, do write in and tell us all what it's like.

You're all very clever

Or at least, that seems to be what we're unintentionally assuming at the moment. Most of the past couple of WACCIs have been taken up with techy articles. Which I'm not, personally, complaining about - I love reading that sort of stuff.
  But I'm quite conscious that lots of you do other things with your CPC, and WACCI should appeal to you, too. So a renewed plea. If you'd like more articles on Protext, games, CP/M, BASIC, or whatever, tell us. Better still, suggest what you'd like to read about; best of all, write something yourself. Thank you.
  All of which leads to the big question: the CPC - retro or current? Do we write about the CPC as a fun toy to play around with, an enjoyable relic from history - or as a useful little electronic box that can still fulfil modest computing needs? I don't think the two are necessarily incompatible. But this, more than anything else, will shape future WACCIs.

PdR - International Man of Mystery

It would usually be time to hand you over to your new old Fair Comment editor, Mr Philip DiRichleau, but it's Brian Watson this month. Philip has recently got married and had another kid, meaning that there are now five people in Lincoln with an unspellable surname. He's also been ill.
  That notwithstanding, he would love to receive your letters. Peter Rogerson, where are you?
  Richard 'CRTC' Fairhurst

Editorial address: 5 Nine Acres Close, Charlbury, Oxfordshire OX7 3RD. richard@systemeD.net
Admin enquiries: 'Number Six', Windmill Walk, Sutton, Ely, Cambs CB6 2HN. 01353 777006

01 - Thanx & Stuff 02 - Fair Comment 03 - A to Z of the CPC 04 - From the Archives
05 - Twenty Questions 06 - Keyboard Scanning 07 - Meet the Relatives 08 - Programmers' Patch
09 - Genesis 10 - Famous Last Words

WACCI 138 Index - Home Page www.wacci.org.uk