UNIVERSAL JOYSTICK PRODUCED BY AGF
AGF has produced a programmable version of its joystick board which works on either the ZX-81 or the Spectrum. There are two joystick sockets for standard Atari-type joysticks but they both operate the same keys. There is no longer a need for a specially-modified joystick. The programming is done for each of the five positions of <, >, :, /, and FIRE button by two crocodile clips for each of the positions.
One clip selects one of five 'D' bars and the other one of the 'A' bars. Thus any of the keys on the 40-key keyboard can be simulated by various combinations of the two clips.
A chart is given on the back of the joystick giving the 'D' and 'A' numbers for the various keys.
It would have been far easier to use if it had been set out like the keyboard in a 10 by 4 line matrix instead of an 8 by 5 matrix. It would also have been useful to see that or a picture of the keyboard showing the relative 'A' and 'D' lines in the instructions.
Ten programming cards allow the user to mark the position of the clips for various games, so reference to the instructions is not required every time. Extra packs of 10 can be purchased for £1.
The board has an extension piece on the back for any other add-ons and is easy to use.
One difficulty might occur for people who have fined a ZX-81 or Spectrum into a case; the crocodile clips may not fit between the case and the board which is tight against the back of the computer. The board should be very popular with games users as it means that any software can be converted to use joysticks without special tapes or joystick-adapted programs. It cannot be out-dated as all games have to be designed to use the keyboard.
The joystick board costs £33.95 and includes a demonstration tape. Joysticks cost £7.54 from AGF Hardware, Freepost, Bognor Regis, West Sussex PO22 9BR.