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Chris Bourne


ONE OF TWO programmable joystick interfaces for the Spectrum this month is from Custom Cable International, one of the backers of the Aquarius computer. The interface plugs into the back of the Spectrum and can accept any of the standard joysticks with an Atari-style plug. In common with many of the interfaces available there is no extender card on the back, so it must be the last add-on plugged in.

Programming the interface is very straightforward. A tape has to be loaded and that asks if you wish to program each of the four directions and fire, in order, and then asks you to press the necessary key - in all, 10 key- presses plus two to confirm that everything is in order.

The program, which takes only 15 seconds to load, is written entirely in Basic, which makes it very easy to customise for your use. The instructions, however, are sadly lacking in that respect.

It is a good interface and priced very competitively at £15. It is reasonably easy to program using the given system but it could have been better if a little more thought had been paid to the end-user.

Readers of Sinclair User may remember the light pen reviewed in the April issue. CCI has now taken over its marketing and has made three improvements. First, it now works - the review model defied all attempts. Second, it has the added facility to store screens in memory and to recall them, so that animated displays can be made; and, last, the price has been halved to £15. It is still not so accurate as it could be but it is adequate.

Custom Cables International Ltd is at Units 3 & 4, Shire Hill Industrial Estate, Saffron Walden, Essex.

Not Rated