Qombi is a new
game from Per Witte. It runs on modes 16 to 33 GD2 colour systems only and
needs just under 1MB of fast disk space and 1MB RAM with a minimum screen
resolution of 512 x 384 pixels.
rules are pretty easy to pick up, but here they are:
are 81 cards. Each card has four attributes: Shape, Number, Colour, and Fill.
Each attribute has three different “states”: The shapes are Ovals, Diamonds,
and Rectangles. Numbers are One, Two and Three. Colours are Red, Green, and
Blue. The fills are Full, Shaded, and Empty.
12 cards are laid out on the table. If you can make up one or
tricks, you can remove those cards. After one or more tricks have
removed, You can replenish the table repeatedly, until the deck is
trick is any three cards that have from zero to three attributes in common,
with all the remaining attributes being different.
are given for each trick removed: one for each difference, two for each
similarity. The points double for each extra trick removed without replenishing.
Replenishing costs three points, unless you remove all the cards from the table
in one turn.
you get stuck and cannot remove any tricks from a full table, you can
one or more cards and have them replaced. Each card replaced costs three
can choose to play a timed game, it which case you start off with 20 extra
points. However, each minute used, costs one point.
news yet on a release date at the time of writing, sadly.
Not many new
features but lots of internal improvements. The Sort Key can be set from the
DATA menu. A bug in locating the edited and sorted record from View is fixed. Better
detection of Read-Only media. Updated ReadMe and Help files.
QCoCo is now
new binary _thb files next to the ascii _thm theme files. APPLY needs a Confirm
or Undo action. RESET can reset the current theme or to the startup theme. A
new Theme Viewer (by PJW) is included showing the colours and hex numbers. Incomplete themes should not crash
the program and are automatically
completed through the SYNCHRO option. Invalid, referenced and 3D items
are marked when Viewing the colours. Can be started with a theme as CMD$ which
overrides the config item. Updated ReadMe file.
of SMSQ/E from about version 3.00 feature high colour and high resolution
screens along with the new Window Manager. This makes them very suitable for
displaying colourful and attractive background images behind your program
are called wallpaper. SBASIC provides a convenient to use command called
BGIMAGE which lets you display saved screens as background wallpaper. With the
wealth and variety of free images available on the internet as JPEG, GIF and
PNG files, for example, I decided to write a program which converts these
images to the type of QL screens which the BGIMAGE command can use.
program uses David Westbury’s PHGTK toolkit which shoulders the burden of the
work in converting these files and resizing images to fit your system or
emulator’s screen. It can convert the graphics to mode 16 (Aurora and QPC2),
mode 32 (QPC2, SMSQmulator and QXL), or mode 33 (Q40, Q60, Q68 and possibly
even a registered QemuLator with its own customised mode 33 version of SMSQ/E).
Simply select a
JPEG, PNG or GIF file using the pointer driven file selection menu, then select
whether it needs to be rotated, and how to resize the image (e.g. preserve
aspect ratio, stretch, crop) and wait a few seconds for the conversion to take
place. Small previews help you view the screens. Once the conversion is done,
you can see a preview in full-screen mode, apply it as a BGIMAGE wallpaper,
save as a screen in the current screen mode for future use and even get help
editing your boot program to add or amend a BGIMAGE command so that the
wallpaper is loaded at startup.
The program can
even select a background colour to use in place of wallpaper if you wish (e.g.
apply a dark background colour late at night to save your eyes from a bright
The downside of
using wallpaper on a high-colour system is the amount of memory it takes. On a
16-bit colour system such as QPC2 each pixel needs two bytes of memory, so a
1024×768 pixel display in mode 32 or 33 could need up to 1,572,864 bytes just
to hold the uncompressed wallpaper – at the time of writing SMSQ/E does not
support compressed wallpaper screen images. Couple this with the copious
amounts of memory needed during conversion, and you can see that you will need
to set your emulator to have quite a generous amount of memory! So, the
Wallpaper program lets you choose whether the graphics are converted more
quickly in RAM, or as files on your hard disk if you keep running out of memory.
program uses the system palette so will follow whatever colour theme you’ve
applied to your system (colour themes can be designed using the Q-CoCo program
from Wolfgang Uhlig and Bob Spelten Jr.)
A Quill _doc
file is included which explains a lot about wallpaper on SMSQ/E systems,the
file formats used, the BGIMAGE command, use of programs such as Photon and so
Wallpaper software and a few example graphic files from
Russia reports that havinbg secured a supply of some EP1810 chips, he is now
able to offer a limited number of Super Gold Card clones via his
The unit has a
switch-mode power supply which imposes less power drain on the system. The
battery backed clock now uses a small standard battery which is easier to find
and replace. A single floppy drive connector allows up to three disk drives to
be connected, which may be DD (720KB), HD (1.4MB), or ED (3.2MB) types.
It has 4MB RAM
and a 24MHz 68020 processor on board.
The Super Gold
Card clone costs $199.99 (US dollar) plus shipping costs.
version of the M-Crunch Pacman-style game has been added to the Games page on
my site. This was one of the softwares originally available for the ill-fated
Medic disk interfaces. Download both a microdrive and floppy disc version fromhttp://www.dilwyn.me.uk/games/index.html
I’ve added a
number of other toolkits to the Toolkits page on my site – thanks to Rich
Mellor for sending me a compilation of such software to add to my site. Some of
these are QL software I’ve never seen before and will no doubt some in useful
to BASIC programmers.
ECman is a screen extinguishing and video memory manipulation
toolkit, with eight extensions from Jacques Tripodi.
Factorial Extension is an extension to return the factorial
of an integer number, while Fract is
an extension to return the fractional part of a floating point number. NDIM is a function to return the number
of dimensions of an array. LWCUPC consists
of extensions to convert strings to lower case and upper case. PTRRTP consists of four extensions for
Polar to Rectangular and Rectangular to Polar conversion. REV$ is a function which reverses the characters of a string. SGN% is an extension function which
returns the sign of a given number, -1 indicates negative, 0 means zero and +1
means it’s a positive number. SWAP is
an extension to swap the values of two variables, e.g. SWAP variable1,variable2.
TRIM$ is an extension to remove
spaces from both ends of a string. TRUE%
and FALSE% are extensions which
return 1 and 0 respectively. Triprodro
extensions TRINT, PROUND and DROUND for rounding off numbers. All by Bruno
WIPE is an extension by Peter Beule to quickly clear the QL
screen to black. This only works on a standard 32K QL screen.
LEVEL2% is a function which tests for the presence
of level 2 drivers on a device attached to a given channel number. This helps
you determine in software whether the device supports directories or not.
Stand-alone extension based on a similar function in Norman Dunbar’s DJToolkit.
Assembler source included.
Toolfin is a financial tools package, with
several extensions to aid financial calculations. Original package in Spanish
with machine-translated English document. Author is Felix Alonso.
QSound v1.31 contains the latest EPROM version for
the ABC QSound interface. The sound examples may be run on the QL-emulator,
provided the sound extension has been activated (SND_EXT).
I’ve added an
executable version of the original Psion Chess program for the QL to the games
page on my site. This is a version modified by Jochen Hassler, which runs as a
standard EXEC file on screen mode 4 systems. It can be run in QPC2 high colour
modes by issuing a QPC_QLSCREMU4 command before executing CHESS_EXE. Even the
3D chessboard display works. And the program can be started from Launchpad.http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/games/index.html
I came across an interesting little toolkit which I’ve added to my site.
“Similarity” or “Sounds like” software is a toolkit for
string search and comparison, providing experimental functions for Levenshtein
Distance (a string metric for measuring the difference between two sequences),
Soundex (conversion of a word into number sequence to aid matching of strings
despite minor differences in spelling) and Phonem (conversion of words into
sequences of sounds, almost phonetic). Provides the sources and three extensions
plus a test program and instructions in German, with a machine translated English
text file translation. The author is Ralf Biedermann. The software is a
10kilobyte download from http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/tk/index.html