Electron User Index 3

By Will Watts

Originally published in EUG #13

Continuing from last issue, our look through the back issues of Electron User magazine:

Electron User 1. 7, April 1984

INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING (Part Three), Pete Bibby. Looked at the REM and LET keywords and also discussed string variables.
BE ADVENTUROUS WITH YOUR ELECTRON, Merlin. The mysterious master of text adventure games made his first appearance and related the history and nature of the genre.
MATHS WORKOUT, Mike Bibby. This article, like others which were to follow, was based on material which first appeared in The Micro User and explored binary code.
FRIEZE THAT SCREEN, Alan Plume. Using a short listing as its main focus, this article described how a repeating pattern could be drawn on screen using blocks of User Defined Characters. In this case the design took the form of a dragonfly. A certain amount of space was devoted to an explanation of how decimal parameters could be converted to space-saving hexadecimal when using the VDU23 command.
GET YOUR MESSAGE TAPED, author unknown. A half page quickie which suggested storing messages on tape, where each string began with a line number. In effect, this created an unexecutable program but a listing which could be read as if it were a primitive word processor file.

PELICAN, Alan McLachlan. A simulation of a pedestrian crossing!!
LIMERICK, Owen & Audrey Bishop. This program was culled from the book TAKE OFF WITH THE ELECTRON & BBC MICRO and generated semi-random nonsense rhymes...
   There was an Elk owner called Will
   whose talents were practically nil.
   "It makes me so sad!"
   he cried to his dad.
   "My poetry makes people ill!"

CHESS TIMER, Andrew Phillips. A move counter and clock for those who understand the game that uses Prawns, Castles, Horses and the like.
SOUNDS EXCITING. The aural marvels in this issue were: Payphone, Engaged tone, Busy tone, Cut-off, Alien swarm, Car alarm, Crazy birds and Pinball.
ASTEROIDS, Eric H. Crisp. In this game your task was to collect red and green planetoids and avoid being blown up by mines.
ROMAN NUMERALS, Mike Mahon. Converted Roman numerals to decimal and vice-versa.
CASTING AGENCY. Yes, it's the section you've all been waiting to hear about! This time the User Defined Characters appeared in the shapes of: Muncher, Tank, Monkey and Telephone.
SPACE HIKE, Martin Hollis. This was basically the FROGGER game with flying saucers and rockets instead of motor vehicles and logs.
DOG, DUCK, GRAIN, Pete Davidson. A different version of the Fox, Chicken, Corn puzzle that appeared on the Electron Introductory tape.
BUNNY BLITZ, Mark Smiddy. The point of this game was to dash around the screen collecting Easter eggs whilst avoiding the rabbits. Bumping into them caused you to lose a life. There was a little-known cheat for this game called myxomatosis...

Electron User 1. 8, May 1984

INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING (Part Four), Pete Bibby. Tackled the subject of naming and using numeric variables.
PROGRAM PROBE, Nigel Peters. Took a peep behind the curtains at graphics windows.
Graphics, Mike McManus. Explained how to change the default palette colours using VDU19.
WHAT'S THAT (WHEN IT'S AT HOME)?, Mike Cook. Delved into the different properties of Random Access and Read Only memory.
MATHS WORKOUT, Mike Bibby. Continued to investigate binary numbers.

RALLY DRIVE, Eric H. Crisp. Car, track, time limit. 'Nuff said.
MANDALA, Nigel Peters. Nothing to do with the new President of South Africa. Rather, very nice geometric patterns from an 11-line program.
EDDIE'S CODING PROGRAM, Pete Davidson. Perhaps I should explain that "Eddie" was Electron User's logo/mascot in those early days and looked like a cross between a frog and a dustbin. The program encoded and decoded messages.
CHASER, Peter Mitchell & James McPherson. A two-player version of the classic "Light Cycles" game.
ELECTRON DRAUGHTSMAN, Mike Cook. A drawing utility with Line, Triangle, Rectangle and Polygon facilities.
JUMPING SHEEP, Michael Rowe. Animated graphics demo featuring sheep that um, jumped.
SOUNDS EXCITING. Gave you the opportunity to feast your ears on: Electric alarm clock, Alien monster howling, TV gone wrong, R2D2, Modern music, Tank moving and Soldiers marching.
SPACE PODS, Nicolas Timberlake. I'm fairly certain this game involved shooting at something!
TIC TAC TOE, Mark Smiddy. Allowed you to play NOUGHTS AND CROSSES against your computer.
CASTING AGENCY. The perky pixel pictures were: Fred the dragon, Umbrella, Television, Devil's head, a Quaver and a Crotchet.
Fruit Machine, J. Rook. Simulation of an ironing board. Not really.
SHADY CHARACTERS, Peter Gray. Three different programs to generate random User Defined Charaters. Very useful if you had need of a pointless splodge.
ROTATE, Mark Smiddy. Short animation demo using VDU19 palette changing.

Will Watts, EUG #13