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The Memotech MTX Series

The Memotech User Group - Genpat

Despite their relatively small following, Memotech computers did have their own user group called Genpat - the name of the command in MTX BASIC used to generate patterns, i.e., to define the shape of a movable graphical element called a sprite. The club magazine was called Memopad.

Much to my surprise, I have rediscovered my old copies of Memopad ! I thought that I had made a big mistake and disposed of them during a house move a few years ago, but no, they are still here. Anyone who has grown up accustomed to the availability of high quality, low cost, Word Processing and Desk Top Publishing tools may be rather surprised to see what we had to put up with in the early eighties, so, with apologies for the quality, scanned copies of most of the Memopad editions are available here. I kept the magazines in A4 ring binders, which means that they have stood the test of time pretty well, the downside is that there are some holes in the pages at sometimes inconvenient places, i.e., in program listings, but they are still very useable.

I have every copy from the first issue until Volume 3 Issue 10. I'm not sure how long Memopad continued after that, I'm pretty sure that my subscription expired around then. The quality of the articles had fallen off and I think that I had decided that I wasn't getting anything new from it at that point. The User Group probably did continue for at least a little while after that and there may be additional copies of Memopad available from other sources. If you can provide copies of any missing editions I'd really appreciate it.

In addition to the "highlights" that I have noted in the table below, many of the magazines, particularly the early ones, contain handy hints and tips to explain the nuances of the MTX computer hardware to allow programmers to get the most out of the machine. Indexing all of these topics without a reliable OCR package is too much like hard work, so I'm afraid you will just have to read them for yourself :-)

Going through these old editions in preparation for scanning them to PDF, it was interesting to see the change in tone in the editorials from strong support for the Memotech company to becoming highly critical of the management style. You can almost read see company's decline from the change in tone of the words of the editorial leaders.

Feel free to download as many of these as you like, but if you post them elsewhere, please give me a mention for scanning and making them available online.

Paul Daniels has kindly sent me scanned copies of a number of editions of the magazine.

 

Including those from Paul, Issues 1 (September 1984) to 23/24 (August 1986) - the first two years worth of the magazine, are now available. I am continuing with the additional copies that I have, the ones that I am currently doing are awkward to scan, they were printed on A3, folded to A4 size for the magazine.

 

Volume 1 - 1984/85

Click to open

Edition

Highlights

Premier

September

1984

(24 pages)

"Premier Edition" - that's Issue 1 to you and me!

Connect 4 game written in BASIC

BASIC for Beginners

Teach yourself MTX Assembly Language - Part 1

Software reviews, including "Maxima", "Obloids", "Contact" (CP/M)

  2

October

1984

(40)

Programming in Pascal - MTX Graphics Extension Package

Programming the VDP & VRAM - 13 page technical guide

MTX Keyboard scanning

Assembly Language - Part 2

Software reviews, including "Brunword", "Qogo", "Pothole Pete, Colossal Adventure"

  3

November

1984

(41)

Taking the PLOD out of NODDY (NODDY Programming example)

Assembly Language - Part 3

Program examples: Sound routine, Screen formatting, Sprite detection

MTX Graphics Memory Block Load & Save.  Programming the VDP Part 2

Software reviews, including "Turbo, First Letters", "The Zoo"

 4

December

1984

(27)

Programming in Pascal - MTX Graphics Extension Package Part II

Using the MTX Front Panel

Assembly Language - Part 4

How to utilise MTX Interrupts

Software reviews, including "3D Tachyon Fighter", "Agrovator", "Snowball"

 5

January

1985

(38)

Assembly Language - Part 5

3D Graphics Tutorial - Part 1

Hardware Project - How to automate your cassette player/recorder

Programming Technique - Using Z80 Interrupts, continuation of last months article on interrupts

Software reviews, including "Agrovator", "Snowball", "Spelli-Copter", "Heli-Maths", "Return to Eden"

6

February

1985

(30)

Hardware Project - Using the Cartridge Port, a simple program showing how to use it

Assembly Language - Part 6

Hardware Review - Monitors

Data Save & Load - Assembly Language Program

Software reviews, including "Lords of Time", "Firehouse Freddie", "Bouncing Bill", "Pontoon&Blackjack"

7

March

1985

(36)

Hardware Review - "Speakeasy"

Converting Connect 4 (Issue 1) to machine code

3D Graphics - Part 2, "Type-in" BASIC utilities in Assembly Language

Assembly Language - Part 7

Software reviews, including "Qogo2", "Hunchy", "Man From Granny", "Brunning Datafile", "Miner Dick"

8

April

1985

(34)

Assembly Language - Part 8

Utilities Part 2 - BASIC "type-ins" incl. RENUMBER etc.

Structured Programming - Part 1

Hardware Reviews : 250K Single Disk Drive
 

Jaro "Speed Splitter" Board  (1200/75 speeds for Viewdata)

Converting Connect 4 (Issue 1) to machine code - Part 2

Software reviews, including "Emerald Isle", "Fathoms Deep", "EDASM", "SpeakEasy" (Hardware)

9

May

1985

(36)

3D Graphics - Part 3

All About Basic - Part 1

Starting Forth

Structured Programming - Part 2

Disc Mania (All about floppy disks) [Memotech had just released the 250K SDX]

Basic Graphics - Part 1

Music Type-in - "Music Box Dancer"

Software reviews, including "Quantum", "Memo-sketch", "Miner Dick", "Jack Flash", "Target Zone"

10

June

1985

(40)

Basic Graphics - Part 2

Disc Mania (How to use Disk Drives from CP/M), Structured Programming - Part 3, Starting Forth

Hardware Project - Making a Track-ball for the MTX

Converting Connect 4 (Issue 1) to machine code - Part 3

Software reviews, including "Dr. Frankie", "Escape From Zarcos", "Chamberoids", "Surface Scanner"

11

July

1985

(28)

Basic Graphics - Part 3

Disc Mania (How CP/M works on your computer)

Structured Programming - Part 4, Starting Forth - Part 2

40 Column Graphics

Software review, "Purchase Ledger & Payroll"

12

August

1985

(40)

Hardware reviews - FDX, DMX80 Printer

Using the Assembler.   Starting Forth - Part 2

RST28 - The Facts

Speedy-3D (Assembler Routines)

Basic Graphics - Part 4, 3D Graphics - Part 4 plus listing for the program in Issue 9

Hardware Project - An Easy Interface : The User I/O Port

Sound Generator BASIC program

Software reviews, including "MBASIC", "Fig Forth", "Son of Pete", "Manic Miner" plus map of "Alice"

Volume 0010 - 1985/86

Click to open

Edition

Highlights

1

September

1985

(32)

Keyboard Capers - Peeking the Keyboard

Starting Forth - Part 3, Forth - Another View

Speedy-3D - Part 2, Take a Note - Sound Tutorial, Basic Graphics - Part 5

Assembler subroutines including Bubble-sort, ASCII to Hex, Hex to ASCII

An Easy Interface - The User I/O Port - Part 2, RST28 - Floating Point Functions

Software reviews, including "Downstream Danger", "SMG", "Quazzia", "Crystal", "User BASIC"

2

October

1985

(28)

EDASM Patch - Load/Save Programs without EDASM being present

Take a Note - Sound Tutorial - Part 2, Sound Input from Cassette (ASM program)

Hardware Review - Fidelity CTM1400 TV/Monitor

Starting Forth - Part 4, 3D Graphics - Conclusion

Chainsaw Mania - "Type-in" BASIC Game by Andy Southgate

Software reviews, including "Quantum", "Ghostly Castle", "Surface Scanner", "Combat", "Jack Flash"

3

November

1985

(30)

CP/M - Using the Dynamic Debugger

Take a Note - Sound Tutorial - Part 3

Basic Graphics - Part 6, Pascal - Some MTX Graphics Procedures

"Shared Bank Account" - "Type-in" BASIC Utility

Software reviews, including "Karate King", "Supa Coder", The Wall", "Paintbox"

4

December

1985

(37)

40 Column Graphics (Z80 Assembler)

"Shared Bank Account" - Part 2 (BASIC)

Disc Mania (Disc Storage from Assembly)

Going Forth (Tutorial), "Picking Pears" (BASIC game), "Fruit Machine"  (BASIC game)

Software reviews, including "Purchase Ledger"

5

January

 1986

(31)

The History of Computing - Part 1 by P. Knaggs (Really the history of numbers and counting)

Assembly Line - Creating Sprites, Printer Driver & a Fill command extension to PANEL

Disc Adaptation for EDASM

Assembler - Keyboard de-bounce and adaptation of the cassette version of EDASM to use disk

"Shared Bank Account" - Part 3 (BASIC), Sound Editor (BASIC)

Clash of the Robots - "Type-in" BASIC Game

6

February

1986

(28)

Confirmation that "Memotech" will close on 31st March and is to be re-launched as "Memotech Computers Limited" by Geoff Boyd

Basic Graphics - Part 7

The History of Computing - Part 2

CP/M - The ED Text Editor

A Simple Disc Database - "Type-in" BASIC Utility

Light Riders -  Like "Light Cycles" in the Tron video game, "Type-in" Assembler

7

March

1986

(29)

 

News that the Memotech factory closed in mid February, 6 weeks before Geoff Boyd will take over.

A small Forth utility to speed up the start-up of FIG Forth

Hardware Project : The MTX EPROM Programmer

BASIC "Type-in" - "Twonky" - converted from the Creative Computing TRS-80 version

BASIC "Type-ins" - "Planetarium", "Label Designer", "Sprite Designer", 

Software reviews, including "Sales Ledger"

8

April

1986

(30)

Using the Assembler - MTX Screen Dump

Disc Mania - CP/M BDOS Calls

Hardware Project : The MTX EPROM Programmer - Part II, (assembler program)

Forth - String Handling

BASIC "Type-in" - Disk File Handling Routines

Assembler - MTX Screen Dump Utility, later printed in PCW

Short letter from Geoff Boyd upon starting up Memotech Computers Limited

9

May

1986

(28)

The editorial had a breakdown of the Syntaxsoft company structure

Prices for Memotech's new products were included (3.5" drive, 80 column card etc.)

Disc Mania - Part 2 - Assembler program to count the number of words in a CP/M file

Hardware Project : Minor corrections to the PROM programmer software from issue 8

BASIC "Type-in" : "Mastermind"

MTX Tokens - How BASIC lines are stored in memory

Introduction to using MTX ROM routines from HiSoft Pascal

Software review, "Highway Encounter" (reprinted from another magazine)

10

June

1986

(28)

 

Introduction to NODDY - 6 Page Article

BASIC "Type-in" : "Disc based Spreadsheet"

Disc Mania - Part 3 - Auto-backup utility for SDX

Hardware : Article on Laser Printers

Pascal "Type-in" : "Mandlebrot's Function"

Software review, "Tournament Snooker", "Zork III" (CP/M),

11 & 12

August

1986

(50)

Faster Forth : Speeding up MTX Forth using Assembler

Hardware : Monitor Selection Advice

Disc Mania - Part 3 - Detecting changed disks when using an SDX

Using the MTX VDP in Bit Mapped mode

Floating Point maths in Forth

BASIC "Type-ins" - Trek (Game), Annuities (Financial), Graphic Plotter

Assembly "Type-ins" - Inverse characters, Play music while a program loads

Software review, "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes"

This edition is missing a number of pages (sides), but I think it's a Genpat numbering "quirk", rather than actual missing pages - unless you have a copy and know better?

Volume 0011 - 1986/87

Click to open

Edition

Highlights
Vol.

0011

1

September

1986 ?

These magazines are a pig to scan, they were printed on folded pages of A3 !

Forth Language - Written in Assembler

VDP Bit Maping - Part 2

Vol.

0011

2

October

 1986 ?

The Z80 Counter Timer Circuit (CTC)

Smart EPROM Decoder

Memopad Index 1984/1985

Vol.

0011

3&4

December

1986 ?

Using CP/M - Part 1

Using the Assembler - MTX Recover

Machine Code Conversion Routines

Screen Dump Routine

Vol.

3

5

February

1987 ?

Using CP/M - Part 2

Using the Assembler - Sprites

Connect 4 game written in BASIC - Deja Vu from Edtion 1 !

Vol.

0011

6

April

1987 ?

Using the Assembler - System Reset Modification

Converting Connect 4 (Vol. 3 Issue 6) to machine code - Again !

 

Vol.

3

7&8

 

June

1987 ?

Converting Connect 4 (Vol. 3 Issue 6) to machine code - Part 2 & 3

MTX Tokens - Again !

NODDY Commands

Vol.

3

9

August

1987 ?

Using the Assembler - Sound Routines

Converting Connect 4 (Vol. 3 Issue 6) to machine code - Part 3

Vol.

3

10

September

1987 ?

Converting Connect 4 (Vol. 3 Issue 6) to machine code - Part 4

The End ? - wrong!

I thought that Genpat must have folded after Volume 3 Number 10, I have my original receipt, paying for 12 Issues from Volume 3 Number 1, but I did not receive any copies after Volume 3 Issue 10.

Jim Wills has obtained the final editions of the magazine which went up to Volume 4, Issue 7, in May/June 1988.

New

11

October

1987

(30)

Now advertising itself as "The Official User Magazine of M.C.L"

Extending Your BASIC - adding "User" Commands. ROM Calls, including RST 30:

Continuation of Random Number discussion from Vol.3 Issue 10

BASIC "Type-ins" : Database program and "Football Pools Predictor" - Part 4

BASIC "Type-in" : "Measure", a conversion program (length, area, volume, etc.)

ASM "Type-in" : "Explode", no description, but it runs to 4 pages - get typing!

Converting Connect 4 (Vol. 3 Issue 6) to machine code - Part 5

Software reviews : "Football Manager"

New

12

November

1987

(28)

ASM "Type-in" : "Video Display Panel", debug VDP graphics by copying to RAM

NewWord : Graphics on NewWord ( in 'C' )

Floating Point Numbers

BASIC "Type-in" : Database program - Part 2

ASM "Type-in" : "Explode" - Part 2, smaller board size than last month's version

Converting Connect 4 (Vol. 3 Issue 6) to machine code - Part 6

Volume 4 - 1987/88
New

1 & 2

December

1987

(46)

A slightly less than glowing review of the Atari ST

Errata for Football Pools Predictor, Writing a strtok() function ( for 'C' )

BASIC "Type-ins", Database program - Part 3 and "Minuet in B Flat" (music)

ASM "Type-ins" : "Video Display Panel" - Part 2 and "Space Mission"

ASM/BASIC "Type-in" : "D.I.Y Invoicing"

Converting Connect 4 (Vol. 3 Issue 6) to machine code - Parts 7 & 8

Software reviews, Contact 3

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

Miscellaneous User Club Documents
 

Date

Description

September

1984

Letter sent to Memotech owners announcing the formation of the User's Group (Genpat) and inviting subscriptions at 16 p.a.

(Courtesy of Paul Daniels)

1984

"Compliments" Slip sent out by the User's Group with Memopad

(Courtesy of Paul Daniels)

1984

Order form for Back Numbers of Memopad

I suspect that you might not get a reply if you send this in :-)

(Courtesy of Paul Daniels)

1984/85

A later, undated, Genpat subscription application form

Courtesy of Claus Baekkel

1985

Syntax Software (The Uses Group's own software label) Order Form

Including "Arcadians" & "Missile Command" on one tape, "Little Devils" and "Bouncing Bill"

(Courtesy of Paul Daniels)

July

1985

Memotech User Club change of address from Burnley to Nelson, notice sent out by Memotech Limited.

Courtesy of Claus Baekkel

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