SPECTRUM UGHT PENS have never really caught on. Until now most of the offerings have been wildly inaccurate or have flickered badly in use. The new Cadmaster from Trojan goes a long way toward resolving these problems.
The main thing is that it works well. The drawing program, which is supplied with it, doesn't feature the whizz-bang, pull-down menus of the new Art Studio type of program, but it is more than good enough to produce some very acceptable results.
The other advantage over Art Studio and a mouse is the price - £19.95. At less than a third of the price of the Art Studio package more people will be able to afford it.
Using the pen is very simple, just point and shoot. On loading a menu screen is displayed, from this you can select with the pen the type of line you want to draw - thin, medium, thick, dotted, spray can or two types of quill. Various options are then available to draw freehand, lines, boxes, circles etc with the added advantage that the position can be fine-tuned using the cursor keys.
Areas can be filled, albeit painfully slowly, in one of eight patterns, and there is a useful copy facility which allows you to to select part of the screen and to redraw it on one of four sizes. The finished masterpiece can be saved to tape or microdrive.
The Cadmaster has a few disadvantages. Most operations require you to point and then press a key, which may be an awkward manoeuvre for some people. The pen also needs a PP3 battery to power it and though it will last over a year it is one more thing to remember.
Overall, a commendable effort and one which should make Cadmaster the top Spectrum light pen.
Trojan Products, 166 Derlwyn, Dunvant, Swansea SA2 7PF. Tel: 0792-205491.