Electron User Index 2

By -

Originally published in EUG #12

After my rather verbose and self-indulgent descriptions of the first four pull-out issues of Electron User which appeared in EUG #11, I think it's best if I confine myself to cataloguing only the articles and listings that appeared in subsequent magazines, although these categories will overlap as many programs included explanatory articles, and some articles used illustrative listings (if you see what I mean!).

I had thought of including accounts of the news of that day, software reviews etc but have decided to do this only if they were of exceptional interest otherwise we would end up with a very long index indeed!...

Electron User 1. 5, February 1984

This was the first issue of Electron User to be published as a standalone magazine available from newsagents and contained the following:

INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING (Part One), Pete Bibby. Aimed at the complete novice and demonstrated the use of the statement in 'direct mode' (no line numbers!).
AUTO REPEAT, Author unknown. A short piece on how *FX11 and *FX12 can alter the rate at which a key repeats when pressed.
LISTING LOOPHOLES, Nigel Peters. Outlined the nine most common errors made by novices (and Will Watts!) when typing in listings.
ELECTRON A LA MODE, Mike MacManus. Explained the properties and characteristics of the Elk's seven screen modes (0 to 6) and also introduced the VDU19 command.
ELECTRON KEYBOARD, Trevor Roberts. Gave details of what each key on the Elk's keyboard does and how to set up the function keys with the command *KEY (n)
MATHS WORKOUT, Chris Barton. Explored the basic mathematical capabilities of the Elk, including 'Operator Precedence'.

SOUNDS EXCITING. SOUND and ENVELOPE parameters for: Phaser Fire, Hangover, Lost!, Descending, More Money (Payphone), Cut Off (Telephone).
MOON RESCUE, R. J. Arundale. You guided a shuttle craft through an asteroid field and rescued explorers from four temporary landing pads.
CALCULATOR, Author unknown. Simple eleven-liner that kept a running total of numbers input by the user.
COLOURED STARS, Author unknown. Printed coloured asterisks at random on a Mode 2 screen. (Oh! Be still my beating heart!)
TOWERS OF HANOI, Denis Smith. The classic posts and disks puzzle.
TAPESTRY, Paul Jones & Pete Bibby. Random coloured blocks in Mode 5.
BALANCE, Author unknown. Mental arithmetic tester that used a graphical representation of a pan-scale to indicate whether an answer was correct (in balance) or not. This program later appeared as part of the FUN SCHOOL bundle of educational software released by Database Publications.
POSITRON INVADERS, Author unknown. A variation of SPACE INVADERS taken from the book 21 Games For The Electron.
DOILY MAKER, Mike Cook. Geometric line drawings.
CASTING AGENCY. User-defined characters in the shape of: Small Snowflake, Large Snowflake, Computer, Duck, Ship, Arrow, Microkid.
LUNAR LANDER, Chris Price. Land a spacecraft on uneven terrain.

Electron User 1. 6, March 1984

INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING (Part Two), Pete Bibby. Reached the dizzy heights of actually using line numbers and introduced the CLS command to clear the screen!
Graphics, Mick MacManus. (Wasn't he a professional wrestler in the 1960s?!?) The basics of coloured text displays were discussed.
MATHS WORKOUT, Chris Barton. Looked at the function and limitation of numeric variables. Of all the beginners' articles from these early issues, the maths series was probably the first to start introducing 'serious' programming techniques.
WHAT'S THAT (When it's at home)?, Mike Cook. Explained the fundamentals of 8-bit memory addressing in terms that can be understood by non-techies...like me!

AUSTRALIAN COFFEE GAME, Dennis Dixon. An impressive-looking word guessing game. A very long listing.
CASTING AGENCY. Slightly more sophisticated than previous User-defined character sections in that short listing were used to animate a helicopter and a Vampire Bat among others.
PAPER SCISSORS STONE, Pete Bibby. The old hand-to-hand combat game given the computer treatment.
RANDOM DRAW, Trevor Roberts. Yet another random pattern drawer. A thing of great wonder in 1984, a bit of a drag ten years on though!
FUN WITH POLYGONS, Mike Cook. An interesting little program that included a colour-switching routine for rapid animation, and a procedure for drawing ploygons that could be included in your own software.
SOUNDS EXCITING. Parameters for: Bird Tweet, Space Satellite (beeping!), Bird Song, Ray Gun, Radiation, Huge Splash, Escalator, The Entire 1812 Overture. [That last one was a lie. I just got bored! - Will]
COUNTER, Pete Bibby. Another mental arithmetic game/quiz/test.
CHICKEN, Eric H. Crisp. Two player car-dodging game.
AVERAGE CALCULATOR, Nigel Peters. See if you can guess what this did!
CHARACTER GENERATOR, Nicholas Timerlake. One of the forty billion User-Defined Character creators that have been written over the past ten years or so. I've written four different versions myself. See EUG #0 and #1 for just two of them.
RABBITS, Mike Rowe. Short graphics demo that 'bred' rabbits until they filled the screen.
PARKY, Author unknown. The possible paths through a pre-set maze became visible as you attempted to solve it against the clock.
DECISION MAKER, Pete Bibby. Mock ('Fun') problem solver.
REACTION TIMER, Pete Davidson. Answers on a postcard, please...

Will Watts, EUG #12