My other programs

Over many years of owning a Sam, I've had my name appear in many places and in many forms. Since the occasional stage-extra cameos in Crash and Your Sinclair, I've had an involvement in Zodiac, with guest appearances in Blitz, Persona and SamPD, and of course a steady input into Fred; I've achieved fame for my programs and notoriety for writing odd letters.

Most of my early programs were written under the pseudonym of "ILLUSION" meaning myself and (sometimes) my brother Ian, which is a name I still use occassionally for any Sam programs I write outside of MNEMOtech, the coding group I formed shortly after becoming fluent in assembly language. There are two major collections of ILLUSION programs available: the first is Syncytium, a commercial package with 18 games, demos and utilities; the second is ILLUSION available from SamPD. Some of the programs on each of these disks are exclusive, but there have been a large number of more widespread releases which are listed in roughly chronological order below. You can download many of them, as gzipped .DSK files for use either in SimCoupe or transferred onto real disks for your real Sam.

Deflection, Basic, Fred 38:L

A shareware puzzle game (registered owners recieved another game, "On The Tiles"1) It involved finding hidden markers by shooting lasers into the grid and looking where they came out.

Universe Sim, Basic, Fred 41:N

A small program demonstrating the motion under gravity of two point masses.

Stereogram, Machine code by Ian - Basic control by me, FRED 42:L

This program will print out a random dot 3D autostereogram, given a mode4 screen as input. The program itself is able to create some basic shapes, such as a sphere, a cylinder, and a mandelbrot set.

Missile Base, GamesMaster, Fred 44:K

A sort of not-quite Missile Command game. (Okay, I'd only seen screenshots of the original and never really knew how to play it)

Tape Labeller, Basic, Fred 44:L

Helps you print out nice labels for your cassette boxes. Quite advanced considering how it was written, with mouse control and menus, block selection, and even an almost WYSIWYG environment with italics, bold fonts etc.

Atoms, GamesMaster, Fred 45:D

Sam version of a well-known two player strategy game involving rival atoms and huge chain reaction explosions...

E-Tunes, Machine Code, Fred 49:I

One of my first ever machine code programs! A replacement for Stefan Drissen's elderly program. Not as good, I'll admit, but variety is the spice of life...

Sensible Demo, Machine Code, Fred 49:E, Sam Prime 7

My first real m/c demo. Includes border effects, my first five ever E-Tunes, and a long scrolltext.

Menu, Machine Code, Fred 50

Featuring two scrollies, the larger of which featured cylinder-mapping for the first time ever.

** Release of Syncytium by Phoenix Software Systems **

Menu, Machine Code, Fred 53

Featuring a vertical sin-wave scrolly, announcement of a new coding group, and a controversial new angle on the logo...2

Christmas Demo, Machine Code, Zodiac 14/15

Featuring lots of snowflakes, and plays several Christmas carols printing the words up Kareoke style.

** Release of ILLUSION PD by SamPD **

See the MNEMOtech pages for more recent releases.....

1 On the tiles, Basic, circa Fred12
Young novice Basic programmer sends a game to Fred, and Colin MacDonald promises to publish it (but soon gets sent the Impatience games and his concentration is immediately shattered) See Syncytium for full enhanced version.

2 I'd been using the same logo for years, right? The S in the middle of the word ILLUSION was made from two triangles with bits cut out (mostly because it was too hard to draw good curves in Flash!) and it was used as far back as the original 'On The Tiles' almost a year before Entro1...
In fact, I never even noticed they were similar until Fred 53's menu for which I drew my S at a semi-3D sort of angle and everybody suddenly said "Hey look! He's ripping off the Entropy logo!". And Cookie got a bit peeved, which is one reason I stopped using it.3
NB. I'm not saying anyone copied my logo either (probably only Colin had seen it that early) but that the whole thing is coincidence. See for yourself...

3The other reason was that Wayne Coles burst onto the scene, called himself 'ILLUSION Software Developments' and started confusing everybody. He claims to have "thought of it years ago". I'd been already actually using it years ago, but to save the hassle I made sure that the new coding group I formed had a different name.

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