01 September 2005
In the 90s I wrote type-in games and programs for the Amstrad CPC computers which were published in Amstrad Action and Amstrad Computer User magazine. The format of type-ins imposed some limitations on the software - brevity was important, so you often couldn't do everything you wanted to. It was bad form to lock people out of a program which might have (their) errors in it by the time they came to run it, so you couldn't do anything too tricky with hiding the screen.
Last year I revisited my programs, which had already been on this site for a few years by then, and took the opportunity to improve them. It was mainly the presentation and music, although I also enhanced some elements of gameplay and the user interface.
I was surprised that after ten years I could still program the machine - not just by remembering what I'd done before, but by creatively solving new problems I hadn't come up against before. I hope to become as fluent in some of the new technologies I'm looking at, as I am in this obsolete platform.
Today I've replaced the two discs of Amstrad software that used to be here with one disc. I've removed programs that haven't aged as well or that don't make sense in an emulator (eg tape header reader) to make room for the improved type-ins. The disc still includes all the files referenced and tools used in my programming tutorial and still includes my machine code game 'The Further Adventures of Fred'. The disc also includes a puzzle called PixelMaze, which only had an obscure release before and so which can be considered new.
It's useful to know I can use the Amstrad as a prototyping platform on challenging projects before I get knee-deep in other programming languages I understand less instinctively. But I don't plan to begin any further Amstrad programming work. This was just a project I wanted to finish off properly, and now the updated disc has been uploaded, I have.