Electron User Index 4

By Will Watts

Originally published in EUG #14

Another look through the back issues of Electron User magazine:

Electron User 1. 9, June 1984

INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING (Part Five), Pete Bibby. The list of BASIC commands already explained was growing. This time the ins and outs of INPUT were discussed.
Graphics, Mike MacManus. Delved deeper into the use of VDU19 to enliven screen displays.
PROGRAM PROBE, Nigel Peters. Explained how multi-coloured User Defined Characters could be constructed by using VDU5 to join the text and graphics cursors together creating an overlay effect.
MATHS WORKOUT, Mike Bibby. The wonders of Bits, Bytes, Nibbles and Hexadecimal numbers were revealed.

RANDOM COLOURED LINES, A. Farmer. It's strange to think that ten years ago we were all enthralled by programs like this that had almost no merit whatsoever!
SCREEN SET-UP, A. Oldham. This program took 34 lines to set the background and foreground colours of the screen display when two simple VDU19 statements could have done the same job.
CODE BREAKER, Roland Waddilove. Long before he became Electron User's editor, Rolly baby was sending in well-written little programs like this which was a computer version of the 'Mastermind' colour peg logic game.
LASER SHOOTOUT, Marcus Adams (I think!). This shoot-a-moving-target game appeared as an accompaniment to a review of the Signpoint Joyport - a joystick interface designed to fit straight onto the Electron's expansion bus, which wasn't much use if you wanted to add a Plus 1 at a later date! If you didn't have a Joyport, you could use the keyboard instead.
SOUNDS EXCITING. You were invited to pin back your lugholes and sample: Piano Scale, Wasp, High Dive, Singing Alien, Crash Landing, Boing, Foghorn and the rather pretentiously-titled 'Music of the Spheres'!
FUN WITH CIRCLES, M. Philips & A. Golden. A short, well-structured program that used (pinchable) procedures to draw filled circles and semi-circles. The resulting picture was of that smiley face that first appeared in the early 70s and was later hijacked by Acid-House music freaks in the late 80s.
CASTING AGENCY. Modes of transport seemed to be the theme this month. The bit patterns were for Bomber, Oil Tanker (ship), Motor Bike, Car, Plane and Racing Car. Vroom, vroom!
MONEY MAZE, Roland Waddilove. Rol (or 'R' as his friends called him) presented his second offering which was a PacMan clone.
V.A.T., Simon James. A short program to calculate the Value Added Tax for a given item.
CRYSTALS, David Davies. Graphics demo that used palette changing to create the illusion of rotating crystals.

Electron User 1.10, July 1984

INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING (Part Six), Pete Bibby. This article actually claims to be part five but, as we know, that appeared in the previous edition so someone done a silly somehow! FOR...NEXT loops were under scrutiny this time.
LET YOUR TEXT WALK TALL, John Woollard. You may recall that in a previous EU INDEX article, I said that there would be times when it would be hard to decide if an item should be classed as an article or a listing. Well, this is one of those. There were three different listings (including one in machine code) for creating on-screen double-height text, each of which were discussed in a detailed article.
CLASSROOM COMPANIONS, Phil Tayler. Phil (or 'Old Poo Pants' to his pupils) was a teacher explaining how the Elk was used in conjunction with the Beeb at the school where he taught.
Graphics, Mike MacManus. The graphics cursor plus the MOVE and DRAW commands were put through their paces.

Solitaire, Russell Cartwright. Thanks to our trans-Atlantic cousin's habit of using the name Solitaire for the card game Patience, I never know if I'm supposed stack playing cards in their suits or clear a board of counters. This game is of the latter variety.
SOUNDS EXCITING. This time you got Too Many Chocolates, Dog Whistle, Alien Laser, Overload, Air Leak, Dizzy Daleks and Percussion.
TIMES TABLE, J. C. Curtis. 1 x 2 = 2, 2 x 2 = 4 ... Get the idea?!
GUESS THE WORD, Pete Davidson. Like Hangman but without the capital punishment.
IMPOSSIBLE TRIANGLE, Phillip Rasmussen. Graphics demo wherein a 3D triangle was drawn with impossible joints at the corners, rather like those used by modern double-glazing companies.
Golf, Roland Waddilove. Rol's at it again; this time letting you decide how hard to whack your balls...
BANK ACCOUNT, Ken Smith. A simplified Spreadsheet to keep a check on your finances. Wish I had enough money to need it.
CASTING AGENCY. More modes of transport: Oil Tanker (Lorry), Off-road Pick-up Truck, Loco and Tender, Paddlesteamer, U-boat and Battleship.
CHARTIST, J. Willington. Produced 3D Bar Charts from data input by the user.
VOLUME-AREA-TRIGONOMETRY, Richard Rennie. Program to calculate things like the volume of a sphere and lots of other clever mathematical things that I can't begin to understand.

Will Watts, EUG #14