• Tag Archives VIC20
  • Commander (June 1984)

    Source: Commander – June 1984

    Commander was a magazine dedicated to the VIC-20 and Commodore 64. However, it was short-lived only lasting from 1982 to 1984. The June 1984 issue includes:

    Education Sector

    • Electronic Blackboard – Children can learn more than just the 3 ‘R’s with Matchboxes, Brain Strainers, Telly Turtle, and Samson & Delilah.
    • The Music Instructor – A unique approach to learning pitch recognition. Intonation and interval identification are included in the program.
    • Explorations with Assembly – Assembly language is put to use in this month’s column; A screen dump program is dissected to show you how it works.
    • BASIC Training: A Beginner’s Introduction to Commodore BASIC Programming – Lesson 4.

    Reviews and Recreation Sector

    • News, Views, Previews & Reviews – Disk drives! Colin reviews the new MSD dual disk drive.
    • Apple Pick’n – Racing against the clock, you must find the way through the labyrinth to your food supply.

    Feature Sector

    • Command Post – Exchanging programs with friends around the world? Yes! Your computer and ham radio equipment can do just that.
    • The Newsletter Editor – This program takes some of the work out of publishing a newsletter. NED reads disk text files written on any word processor, without the program that generated the text.
    • Modify Your 8K Cartridge to include ROM’s – Step by step instructions for upgrading a VIC-20 expansion cartridge.
    • Screen Dump 64 – After you create a picture with your computer graphics, how do you show it off? You give your friends a printed copy of your creation, of course.
    • Functionally Yours – The mysterious four keys on the right side of the keyboard are explained.
    • Func*keys = A utility to bring those function keys to life.
    • BASIC + ML = ? – Examples showing how BASIC and Machine Language can live and work together.

    Hard Sector Departments

    • Key Mander
    • User Groups
    • REMs to Readers
    • New Products
    • Command Board
    • News Releases
    • Letters
    • Advertisers Index

  • Personal Computing Today (February 1983)

    Source: Personal Computing Today – February 1983

    Personal Computing Today was a computer magazine published in the U.K. in the early and mid 1980s. North American readers would find some familiar machines like the TRS-80 and VIC-20 but some of the computers covered were U.K. based like the BBC Micro. The February 1983 issue includes:

    • Spectrum Software: Spectrum Zap – Do battle once more with the malevolent mutants from Mars in this all killing, all blasting game for the Spectrum.
    • News – Brush up on the latest comings and goings in the computer scene.
    • Letters – Comments or criticisms? Then this is your page.
    • TRS-80 Software: Spelling Test – Let your Tandy test your spelling. With this program you can set up your own custom spelling tests.
    • BBC Software: Squash – Learn how to program moving ball graphics and end up playing the computer a game of Squash.
    • Next Month – Find out what we’ll be up to in March.
    • Atari Technique: Quick on the Draw – Find out more about the internal workings of your Atari’s graphics.
    • Review – Catch up with our review team in their latest escapades from the world of computer software.
    • ZX81 Microspot: Instring Routine – Find out how to simulate this useful command on your own micro.
    • Program Submissions – Want your name in print? Here’s what you have to do.
    • BBC Review: BBC Disc System – Thinking about treating your Beeb to some discs? Consult our review first and avoid the pitfalls.
    • Letters: Micro Answers – If your Spectrum won’t speak to you, or your RAM pack has rebelled, then drop us a line and we will set the experts on them.
    • Sord: Review: The Sord’s Edge – As the Japanese prepare to do battle for the control of the home computer market, Personal Computing Today agents sneaked a look at one of their secret weapons.
    • UK 101 Software: UK Blitz – Bring your plane in for a safe landing by flattening the city below you.
    • Survey – Personal Computing Today is your magazine, so complete our survey and help us give you what you want.
    • Programming: Gamesboard – This month’s Gamesboard will tell you all you need to know about setting up your own personal adventure.
    • VIC 20 Software: One Touch Entry – Add a single key entry system to your VIC 20 with this invaluable program.
    • BBC Hardware: Using Cassette Recorders – All you need to know about choosing, connecting and caring for your cassette recorder.
    • Reference: Factfile – Mystified by the massive choice of micros? The Factfile will help you gain your perspective.
    • Reference: Software Checklist – If you want a Toolkit for your Tandy or a Breakout for your BBC then turn to the Checklist to solve your problem.
    • Reference: Micro Terms – If you’re flummoxed by files of baffled by bytes then Micro Terms will straighten you out.

    …and more!

  • Adventureland (VIC-20)

    Adventureland (VIC-20)


    When you think of text adventure games (or interactive fiction as it is sometimes referred to), you probably think of Zork. However, Zork was not the first text adventure to show up on home computers. That distinction goes to Adventureland which was also Scott Adams first text adventure. It was originally released in 1978. It’s true that Zork appeared the previous year but it was originally only available on mainframes. Adventureland beat it ever so slightly to the home computer market.

    Adventureland was a new type of game for most people at the time of its release. Most people had not yet heard of Zork. While pretty primitive, even for text adventures, it was one of a kind at the time and got very positive reviews for the most part. Adventureland accepted one word commands (e.g. North would move you North) or two word combinations (e.g. light lamp). It recognized about 120 words. The ultimate goal of the game was to collect thirteen treasures.

    Adventureland was ultimately available on a wide variety of platforms including the TRS-80, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, TI-99/4A, Commodore PET, Commodore 64, IBM PC (DOS), VIC-20, and others. Screenshot and box art above are from the VIC-20 version of the game.

    Scott Adams and the company Adventure International which he co-founded went on to produce many more text adventures. While these haven’t seen any modern re-releases, similar to the Infocom games there are more modern interpreters, including a Java interpreter, that will allow you to play these games on modern m