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2004 News Archive

All the news items archived from 2004. Please note prices may have changed since these news items.

Sam Revival issue 10 released 7th September 2004

Issue ten of Sam Revival is out now...

Inside this issue you'll find two great feature articles along with the usual mix of Quazar News, Sam Scene Roundup and Sam Snippets!

The feature articles start off with an interview with Warren Lee, who is the author of the game on this issue's coverdisk. The interview asks what other Sam programming he has done, as well as looking at behind the scenes of his past releases.

You may all be familiar with the Sam Coupe being able to emulate the ZX81 and the ZX Spectrum, but Simon Owen has taken things further - by writing an emulator to emulate the PacMan Arcade Machine! His feature article in this issue looks at just how he was able to accomplish this, and is a fairly technical look at the in's and out's of the emulator.

On the accompanying coverdisk is an exclusive game, called 'Invasion II' which was written by Warren Lee. Although originally written in 1996, Invasion II was never released until now. Invasion II is a platform adventure game where you have to battle against the invading aliens. Warren has paid particular attention to detail with all the animation and scenery, as well as a fully animated introduction. See the screenshots below...

This issue of Sam Revival costs £3.00 (or 5.50 euro for international readers).

More Spares Available 7th September 2004

A couple of hardware announcements, mostly spurred on by the need for them for repairs...

The first new item is a replacement UHF modulator for the Sam, which is designed to fit inside the Sam PSU where the original modulator PCB sits. To keeps things straight forward, I have designed the new modulator PCB so that the wires connecting to the old modulator board connect to the exact same places on the new one.

To fit this, you will need to dismantle the PSU, and do a spot of soldering inside. Also, a wire link has to be fitted across a resistor on the Sam motherboard for this modulator to get the correct signal from the Sam.If you are unable to do this yourself then please drop me a line and we can sort out sending the Sam and PSU up to me, and Iíll fit it all for you.

The new modulator boards are available now and priced at £14.99.

Next up, also on the repair front, is that I now carry a stock of drive belts for the original Citizen disk drives in the Sam.

With the age of the disk drives, a fair percentage of drive failures can be attributed to the belt connecting the motor to the disk spindle becoming worn and lose. I also have several reconditioned Citizen drives should the mechanical failure be more severe, and the drive controller board can be transplanted from the old drive over to the replacement.

If you are in need of a disk drive repair, drop me a line, or post up the drive and iíll take a look at it for you and see what can be done.

Lastly, the final new items just now is that I can now offer two solutions now should require a new power supply for your Sam:

The first is a straightforward cable to allow you to connect a standard PC style PSU to the Sam. The second is a full power supply based around a 5v switchmode power supply and a DC to DC convertor to generate the 12v power line, very much like the power supply systems I have built up for use in the ĎSam In A Caní systems. This will be housed in one of the transparent blue boxes I use for other hardware so it all matches.

Both of these solutions can be made up with the UHF modulator board as an optional extra if you are not using the Scart output from the Sam for your TV or monitor.

Sam Revival issue 9 released 21st June 2004

Issue nine of Sam Revival is out now, and this issue features the first cover disk!

The magazine starts off with the usual Quazar News, as well as the Sam Scene Roundup, listing news and events from around the Sam world. There's also some reviews and a sprinkling of the ever popular Sam Snippets!

The feature articles start off with two interviews, the first with Matt Round who was well known for writing games in 1994/5 with the GamesMaster game creation system as well as having one commercial release in 1995. The second interview is with Ken Jarvis, the graphics artist involved with Sphera which was on of the first Sam games from Enigma Variations way back in 1990. The final feature article looks at a quirk in an undocumented Z80 opcode in a newer revision of the Z80 from Zilog which I discovered after replacing a Z80 in a Sam Coupť.

Onto the accompanying cover disk - the first ever Sam Revival cover disk features two great games. The first is 'Manic Miner' - I've secured the rights with the copyright holder of the Sam version (David Ledbury) of the ever popular game to have it feature on the first Sam Revival cover disk! If you've got a Sam and you don't already have Manic Miner in your collection then you don't know what you are missing! The Sam version of the all time classic features the original 20 caverns plus 40 all new ones! (David Ledbury has written a six part series in the previous issues of Sam Revival looking back at all the levels and development work on the game!). Also on the cover disk is a special edition of 'Money Bags'. Originally this was a game for the Sam Coupe that used the Quazar Surround soundcard to give it a great sampled soundtrack, but i've reduced the quality of the soundtrack to 4 bits so it can play through the soundchip in the Sam, as well as improving all the graphics.

This issue of Sam Revival costs £3.00 (or 5.50 euro for international readers).

SAA1099 Soundchips in Stock 21st June 2004

You are all probably familiar with the SAA1099 soundchip that is used in the Sam Coupť, and possibly with the fact that it has been obsolete since the mid-1990ís. Up until now I have been unable offer replacements for the Sam repair service I offer.

Well, Iíve been lucky enough to track some down and purchased a tube full through a company that specialises with sourcing unused obsolete chips so I can now offer the SAA1099 should you wish to have one to keep as a spare. I will also be keeping back a limited number for future repairs too, and for the time being I should be able to source more if required.

The SAA1099ís are available for £18.00 each, and iíll also supply them with a chip socket so when you come to fit them you can solder the socket into the Sam and plug the chip into the socket instead of soldering the chip in directly, or if you would require it fitted for you please drop me an email.

Sam Revival Expanding 13th April 2004

To best explain what's happening to Sam Revival, here's an extract from my editorial in Issue 8...

I am pleased to be able to announce the first new development here just now - the evolution of Sam Revival! It was my initial aim of Sam Revival to fill the void left when other Sam magazines such as Format, Fred, Blitz and Sam Community vanished, and the time is now right to expand Sam Revival further. Iíve already let a couple of Sam people I know very well in on whatís happening and I can only say that the responses I had were phenomenal!

So whatís happening I hear you ask, well from issue 9 onwards Sam Revival is expanding, and issue 9 will feature the first Sam Revival cover disk to accompany the magazine. Iíve spent a considerable amount of time planning out the next few issues of the magazine and there will be some great features lined up in the pipeline so Iím sure you will enjoy the forthcoming issues!

Of course, with the added expense of disks etc and increased postage the price of Sam Revival will be rising to £3.00 per issue, and £8.00 for three issue subscriptions. (For the new international rates with airmail postage included please see the back cover). Current subscriptions are unaffected by the price change and the remainder of your subscription will be honoured at the price you have already paid, and also back issues for Sam Revival issues 1 to 8 will always remain at their original price.

So that's right, Issue 9 will feature a cover disk, and it's due to be released around the end of May!

Sam Revival pricing:

For subscriptions (issue 9 onwards):
One issue: £ 3.00 (EU: 5.50 euros, including airmail postage)
Three issues: £ 8.00 (EU: 15 euros)

For back issues (issues 1 to 8):
One issue: £ 2.00 (EU: 3.75 euros)
Three issues: £ 5.00 (EU: 10 euros)

Sam Revival issue 8 out 13th April 2004

Issue eight of Sam Revival is out now! Subscribers issues were posted today so expect them to arrive in a day or two.

This issue kicks off with the usual Quazar News, as well as the Sam Scene Roundup, listing news and events from around the Sam world. The first feature article in this issue is 'The Forgotten Artifacts of Sam", which looks back at some of the hardware and software that has been released for the Sam over the years but was never well known about, in this issue we take a look at the Voicebox from Blue Alpha Electronics which was briefly on sale from 1990 to 1991. Other articles include the last part of David Ledbury's walkthrough of Manic Miner, taking a look at the last four levels in each section, as well his closing words with some more anecdotes from the time the game was developed. And lastly Wolfgang Haller finishes off his History of B-DOS looking at the more modern versions of the hard drive DOS.

This issue of Sam Revival costs £2 (or £3.75 euro for international readers).

Sam Revival issue 7 out 1st January 2004

Issue seven of Sam Revival is out now! Subscribers were sent their issues a few days ago so hopefully it will have arrived by now.

Inside this issue it starts off with a roundup of news from the ORSAM show, and other Sam going ons. The main articles start off with 'MODE 1 Contention' where Simon Owen has carried out an indepth look at the extra slowdown created by the ASIC when in Mode 1. Wolfgang haller carries on with his B-DOS articles and David Ledbury continues his walkthrough of the Manic Miner levels with his usual anecdotes about the games' development. My own articles look at using high capacity Compact Flash with the CF Interface and Atom, as well as a detailed look inside the 'Sam In A Can' I made for David.

Sam Revival is released bi-monthly, and costs only £2 per issue (or 3.75 euro for international readers). Subscriptions are available for £5 for three issues. (10 euros internationally). To make things easier I can now accept payments online by NoChex and Paypal. Issue 8 is now expected to be out at the end of January.