I’ve been involved with electronics and computers for as long as I can remember.
I discovered programming when I was 11, at my comprehensive school. Back then we only had one computer for over a thousand kids, a Research Machines 380Z. I spent as much time as I could on it.
I think about a year later I inherited some money and bought a VIC 20. I spent all my time learning how it worked and teaching myself machine code. I had no assembler, software or anyone to help, just a book on 6502 (which was complicated for a 12 year old!), and a reference book.
After many, many hours, I worked it all out and started writing games in machine code and BASIC. There was lots of poke’ing numbers into memory, crashes and hours saving and loading from tape.
Then, after seeing an ad in a magazine I sent some of my games off, thinking I would never hear back. To my surprise, a few days later I got a call from Interceptor Micro’s. Richard, the owner loved some of the game’s I’d written and wanted to publish them. That started my relationship with Interceptor.
A year or so later I was given a Commodore 64 by Interceptor. Programming that was much easier and fun, as I had a disk drive and an assembler cartridge.
My first game on the C64 was Frogger 64, which was written in compiled BASIC and machine code.
It took a while to get to grips with the capabilities of the C64 as there was little information available, just the reference book, which looking back was crap. It did not explain raster splits, sprite multiplexing, smooth scrolling or anything really interesting. I remember seeing Fort Apocalypse and being amazed at the scrolling. So I pulled the code apart and worked it out for myself.
We had no internet back in those days, the information available now just blows your mind. If i’d known then what I know now, I could have written some really amazing stuff.
Some of the software I had published;
Wallie goes to Rhymland
Into The Eagles Nest
Caverns of Sillahc
Microload turbo tape system (used by Interceptor to speed up tape loading times)
Loadagame (sub game to play while main game loaded from tape)
Azimuth Head Alignment
I spent several years writing for the C64 and still consider it my favorite platform.
I left Interceptor in 1988 and took a new career path. I’d lost the enthusiasm for programming full time and wanted something more hands with my first passion, electronics.
Now, in my spare time I like to tinker with programming and electronics, hence this website showing a few of the projects I’ve undertaken.