Home > Books > Amstrad CPC

Sean's Amstrad CPC 464 and CPC 6128 games and BASIC programming book

Sean's Amstrad CPC

My first computer was an Amstrad CPC464, a home computer that had a then-massive 64k of memory and a built-in tape deck. At first, I had the green screen version. I later upgraded to an Amstrad CPC6128 with a disc drive.

Today, I write books about computers and technology, and I think a lot of us who work with computers today are able to do so because of what we learned on those 8-bits in our bedrooms.

The Amstrad also gave me my first opportunities to be published. During the 1990s I contributed type-ins and the odd article to Amstrad Action and Amstrad Computer User. In 1993, I wrote the advanced Amstrad Basic programming book 'The Basic Idea'. Now you can download my Amstrad games and utilities and read the book in full online.

Amstrad emulator and web fun

Download my free Amstrad CPC games and utilities
You can download a disc image which contains nearly all the games and utilities I wrote for Amstrad Action and Amstrad Computer User. It also includes all the demonstration files from my book 'The Basic Idea', which you can read online below.

Here's a preview of my disc:

Screenshot from Sean's Amstrad disc

How to use a CPC emulator on your PC
Play popular Amstrad games using a free Amstrad emulator on your PC. Read my instructions for using Winape here.

How to use a CPC emulator on your Nintendo DS
Get retro on the Nintendo DS with my blog post about using the CrocoDS emulator to play Roland on the Ropes, Chuckie Egg and more.

The Basic Idea - Amstrad Basic tutorial

This Amstrad Basic programming tutorial was commercially published as 'The Basic Idea' by Campursoft and was awarded 85% in Amstrad Action's review (May 1994), which concluded "it's difficult to see how Campursoft managed to come up with a tutorial that will not only hold your attention long enough to shove information down your throat, but will be friendly and straightforward enough that you'll want to swallow." I've put the whole tutorial online now, and you can get the demonstration programs on my Amstrad disc.

B is for Basic: Discovering the joy of Amstrad CPC Basic
This article introducing Amstrad Basic appeared in Wacci as part of its 'A-Z' of the Amstrad, and introduces Amstrad Basic and the programming culture that surrounded the machine.

A comedy of errols: Debugging common errors in Amstrad Basic programs
How to debug Amstrad Basic programs, including a quick lookup table for each error message.

Downgrading: How to convert Amstrad CPC6128 programs to the CPC464
How to make programs for the Amstrad CPC6128 or CPC664 work on the 464. Includes a table of commands that don't work on the 464, and a routine to add FILL to the CPC.

The protection racket: Protecting Amstrad basic programs
How to protect your Basic programs, and circumvent some of the common protection methods.

A character building experience: How to define your own characters in Amstrad Basic
Exploring user defined graphics, used for creating customised typefaces and special effects. This section includes a lookup table of control codes, together with demonstrations of how they can be used for screen layout.

The colour of magic: How to use colour swapping in Amstrad CPC Basic programs
By using colour swapping, whole screens can be quickly animated. This includes several demonstrations of the technique and full instructions to use it in your own programs.

This is a journey into sound: Creating music and sound on the Amstrad CPC
How to write sound effects and music for your games, including a sound effects editing program.

The road to code: Adding machine code to Amstrad CPC programs
How to integrate machine code with Basic programs. This includes a program for making DATA statements from code and some tips on using CALL and relocating machine code programs.

The sprite idea: How to make sprites for Amstrad CPC Basic programs
A full toolkit for putting machine code sprites into your Basic games is included on the disc. This extends the version which appeared on an Amstrad Action covertape with a more precise and more compact sprite driver.

Misfit: Sliding puzzle game for the Amstrad CPC computer
Bringing a lot of these techniques together is our final game, the sliding puzzle game Misfit.

Hacking and updating The Further Adventures of Fred
In 2020, I revisited my machine code game The Further Adventures of Fred to see if I could improve it. There were things that always niggled me about the game. The question was: could I fix them, 30 years later?

S.M.S. H.Q. screen from Further Adventures of Fred

SMS HQ screen from The Further Adventures of Fred

Amstrad book review

Book review: The Apprentice by Alan Sugar
Read my review of Alan Sugar's book accompanying the TV series.

Play games in your browser

Play my Javascript Games in your browser now
I'm now writing games you can play in your browser using Javascript.


© Sean McManus. All rights reserved.

Visit www.sean.co.uk for free chapters from Sean's coding books (including Mission Python, Scratch Programming in Easy Steps and Coder Academy) and more!

Discover my latest books

100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

Power up your Microsoft Excel skills with this powerful pocket-sized book of tips that will save you time and help you learn more from your spreadsheets.

Scratch Programming in Easy Steps

Scratch Programming IES

This book, now fully updated for Scratch 3, will take you from the basics of the Scratch language into the depths of its more advanced features. A great way to start programming.

Mission Python book

Mission Python

Code a space adventure game in this Python programming book published by No Starch Press.

Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps book

Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps

Discover how to make 3D games, create mazes, build a drum machine, make a game with cartoon animals and more!

Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Set up your Raspberry Pi, then learn how to use the Linux command line, Scratch, Python, Sonic Pi, Minecraft and electronics projects with it.



In this entertaining techno-thriller for adults, Sean McManus takes a slice through the music industry: from the boardroom to the stage; from the studio to the record fair.

Scratch Homeschooling resources

Scratch cat with balloons invites you to visit my Scratch resources

Sean's Scratch Resources

Tips, tutorials and free book chapters for Scratch, a coding language widely used in schools.

Walking astronaut from Mission Python book Top | Search | Help | Privacy | Access Keys | Contact me
Home | Blog | Copywriting Services | Books | Free book chapters | Articles | Music | Photos | Games | Shop | About