News Archive - 2006

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2006 News Archive

All the news items archived from 2006. Please note prices may have changed since these news items.

Mayhem Accelerator Update 16th December 2006

The test PCBs for the final production version of the Mayhem Accelerator have arrived, and i've been busy soldering them up ready to under go testing. More news soon....!

Price Drops 16th December 2006

Stratosphere - now only £4.99! (previously £9.99)
Written back in 1997, Stratosphere was one of the largest games I wrote for the Sam Coupe, and took 11 months. It instantly received high acclaim for what it achieved... It received amazing reviews and was quoted as 'The Best Game Ever On Sam'... And there's been nothing since to rival it! The mission objective is to collect all the cyber flags on the level and destroy as many of the enemy cybercraft as you can - they range from the slow drones, up to technologically advanced Shadow and Ultimate cybercraft, and at the centre of cyberspace you’ll come face to face with the Dreadnought cybercraft. Stratosphere is the first true 3D wireframe game specifically written for the Sam and features lightning fast 3d wire frame line vector graphics - all in graphics mode 4! From the animated introduction, the static menu and option screens to even when the game screen shakes when you’ve been hit, attention has been paid to every detail to make every part of Stratosphere graphically stunning. The screenshots may look impressive but you really have to see them moving to believe the action! If you have a Quazar Surround soundcard then you’ll enjoy the extra two megabytes of enhanced music tracks and other sonics for the Quazar Surround. And of course Stratosphere will run without one so you have no excuse for missing out on this spectacular game! Also, if you have an Atom HD interface, then Stratosphere can be installed to the HD to give lightning fast loading times!

Money Bags 2 - now only £4.99! (previously £9.99)
This is sequel to the original 'Money Bags' (See Soundbyte 15 or Sam Revival issue 9) and is a collasal 'Jetset Willy' style game, spanning over 230 rooms which will keep you busy exploring for a long time! Money Bags 2 takes advantage of extra Sam hardware if you have it such as over 1 megabyte of digital music for the Quazar Surround soundcard, and an extra install disk for the Atom IDE interface.

Super Byke Championship - now only £4.99! (previously £7.99)
Super Byke Championship is a mutli level lightcycle style game, and there's plenty of extra levels available on the Soundbyte disks. Please note that S.B.C. requires you to have a Quazar Surround soundcard.

Soundbyte - each issue now only £0.75 (previously £2.00 each)
Disk magazine produced to accompany the Quazar Surround soundcard - packed with demos, games and utilities to take full advantage of the multichannel digital surround sound from the soundcard. 76 issues to date.

Quazar Surround Sampler Module - now only £19.99 (previously £26.99)
Add-on expansion for the Quazar Surround to allow you to record sounds in stereo.

Mayhem Mug 16th December 2006

Something different 'hardware' wise for the Sam Coupé user... a brand new limited edition Mug to commerate the Mayhem Accelerator! Costs including postage are £12.99 to the UK or £14.99 to the EU. To order, please see the 'placing an order' link on the left navigation bar.

Mayhem Accelerator Update 18th November 2006

The new Sam startup screen when the Mayhem Accelerator is plugged in

I'm running behind with the final PCB design for the Mayhem Accelerator, but i'll be working on it this coming week to get the PCBs and first orders shipped as soon as possible. As a teaser, above is the new startup screen you are greeted with when you turn the Sam on.

Pre-orders are now being taken for the accelerator - see Sam Revival 15 for details, or drop me an email. A full Mayhem webpage will be uploaded shortly.

Editorial 18th November 2006

It seems NoChex has changed its policy for allowing anyone to send a payment by Credit/Debit cards without setting up an account (for which they charge a fee), so I no longer recommend using them if you don't already have a NoChex account.

PayPal have however started a system where you can pay for items without a PayPal account - if you use any of the PayPal buttons on this site, for example buying an issue of Sam Revival magazine or a subscription, you'll be given the option now on the PayPal screen to pay by card without an account.

And as always, cheques and postal orders are also accepted for payment, drop me an email and i'll forward you my postal address.

Editorial 10th November 2006

A word of warning. There's a Sam currently listed on ebay by the seller "firestickiom", which was a reconditioned one I sold to a customer a week or so ago. I don't know why it's being sold on straight away, and the real name of the seller in the payment info isn't even that of the original customer.

The main point I am getting to is that the auction text in the listing is a cut and paste of the text from my own previous Sam Coupe listing, along with my photos, and the way it is all worded with reference to what I did to recondition the Sam, and what I do for the Sam in general it makes the seller sound as if they are me - especially with all the "I" references still in the cut and pasted text. I have asked the seller to change the auction text or I will go on further to report the listing to ebay for reusing my own text + photos (it's against eBay rules to use other peoples text/photos as it is classed as a breach of copyright)

So please be aware this listing is not from me, nor am I responsible now for the condition as it's being sold privately on. (When I do list Sam items on ebay myself, my username is quazar-sam-coupe-sales)


Update: 8pm, 10th Nov
Well, it seems the seller has updated their listing text removing most of the 'I' references and other bits of cut and pasted text about what I do... in his editing of a cut and pasted piece of text from my 'About Quazar' blurb saying that I started off Quazar in 1995 with the release of the Quazar Surround soundcard, it now says there is a Quazar Surround fitted in the Sam!

Editorial 7th November 2006

Just an interesting odditiy... as you may well know the four rubber feet on the Sam Coupe case are blue, well, except for the very, very rare black footed variety! (My first Sam which I bought in April 1993 came with black feet!)

So, you can guess how surprised I was when a Sam was sent to me for upgrading, and it had light grey feet! Never before in all the years I've been tinkering with the Sam have I seen grey feet before! My guess is that they were test mouldings and somehow got used on a Sam that was sent out!

Website Update 7th October 2006

If you're visiting the site for the first time having seen the recent news in MicroMart's Retro section then welcome to the site!

The start of a big update to the website starts off with a whole new Sam Revival section with all the information on the current issue and back issues of the magazine, and a sneaky peak at the next issue. And easier ordering buttons are now in place for each issue by PayPal. If you've not yet tried an issue of Sam Revival magazine then go on - give it a go! The current issue (15) will bring you quickly up to pace on what's happening in the Sam scene, and it's only £3.99 with UK postage, or £4.79 with EU postage.

Jump to the new Sam Revival pages here: Sam Revival section

Other updated pages:
2nd Hand Hardware
2nd Hand Software
In The Press

More Sam-In-A-Cans ship! 4th September 2006

I've just shipped the 6th and 7th Sam In A Can! These are recased Sam Coupé motherboards packed with a wealth of Sam peripherals, including Quazar Surround soundcards, IDE interfaces, Compact Flash, PC Keyboard Interfaces, Mouse interfaces, SID Interfaces etc - all built up customised to the users' requests.

If you would like more information about having your Sam Coupé converted into a 'Sam In A Can' drop me a line!

Forthcoming shows... 8th July 2006

On Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd July, there's the UK Pinball show in Birmingham. I was originally going to go through just to meet the Editor of 'Retro Fusion' magazine who will have a stand, but as he's going to have a few old machines and consoles setup and asked if I wanted to take anything ... so... jumping at the chance, I'll be there on the Saturday with a Sam, a Mayhem Accelerator and a few other bits and pieces.

I'll be around from about about 12.30 to 5pm on the Saturday, and hope to meet a few other Sam users there!

UK Pinball show website:

Sam Revival issue 15 out now... 8th July 2006

Issue 15 of Sam Revival is now being printed so I can say it's out! Issue 15 starts off with the regular news section, which looks in detail at the completition of the prototype of the Mayhem Accelerator which speeds the Sam Coupe from it's normal 6MHz speed up to 10, 16 and 20MHz! The Sam Scene Roundup looks at news and announcements from around the Sam world including the work-in-progress of an emulator to emulate the Space Invaders arcade machine, the port of SimCoupe emulator to the Sony PSP, and news of a Sam article I wrote for the launch issue 'Retro Fusion' - see an earlier news item on this page for details.

The feature article in this issue takes a look at the 'Kaliedoscope' interface which was released briefly in 1992 by SamCo which offered 32768 colour shades, but in reality was totally unusable. Other magazine contents include the Coupe Correspondense letters page and the Sam Snippets!

Like the previous issue, issue 15 features spot colour throughout the magazine to add life to screenshots and photographs.

The coverdisk with this issue features the classic Sam adventure game 'Legend of Eshan' by John Eyre

Editorial 8th June 2006

I am pleased to announce that the prototype of the Mayhem Accelerator is now complete.

With work on the accelerator starting in January 2004, then first unveiled as a work in progress with an initial (and dodgy!) 12MHz speed at the ORSAM show in November 2004. With work on it spanning two and a half years on and off this has been my biggest Sam Coupé project to date over the 11 years that i’ve been working on the Sam.

There's been plenty of hiccups along the way, including the latest just a couple of weeks ago when I blew the prototype, so for quickness I rebuilt another full prototype from scratch and carried on where I had left off as I really wanted to get the hardware finished!

What does the Mayhem Accelerator offer? Speed! It’s what the Sam Coupé has been crying out for and the Mayhem Accelerator speeds up the Sam to 10MHz, 16MHz and 20MHz speeds, with uncontended memory reading for a further boost. The final design also allows a 6MHz ‘legacy’ speed to be selected as well, to run at stock speed without having to unplug the interface.

Using ‘BogoMIPS’ (by Frode Tennebo) and ‘Fractal Explorer’ (by Dr Andy Wright and Simon N. Goodwin) as two test programs to give some benchmarks of the final design here are the results:

Fractal Explorer (generating the default Mandlebrot image)

Normal Sam: 21.30 seconds
Mayhem @ 10MHz: 10.56 seconds (202% speedup)
Mayhem @ 16MHz: 7.20 seconds (296% speedup)
Mayhem @ 20MHz: 6.06 seconds (352% speedup)


Normal Sam: 0.360 BogoMIPS
Mayhem @ 10MHz: 0.748 BogoMIPS (208% speedup)
Mayhem @ 16MHz: 1.208 BogoMIPS (336% speedup)
Mayhem @ 20MHz: 1.513 BogoMIPS (420% speedup)

The final stage now is to complete the designs for the PCB for the production version and build one up to go through testing, then the Accelerator will be ready! All going well it will be available in 8 weeks time at the start of August. More information will be in the forthcoming issue of Sam Revival (issue 15 - out later this month), along with pricing and preorder information.

Editorial 20th May 2006

The final prototype of the Mayhem Accelerator is just about complete, and it's looks awesome! I'm aiming to have it completed this weekend, then I'll start the process of creating the PCB layouts for the final production version - don't worry, prototypes are always a messy affair, the final production version will be far smaller and neater! Preorder information will be sent out in about a weeks time, so if you would like more details drop me an email. (Click on the 'Contact Quazar' link on the left navigation bar!)

Seeing as it's May and the launch of the Mayhem Accelerator is now looking to be only 1-2 months away, i'm having a few special offers running throughout the month of May(hem!)

There are several offers on the go until the end of the month. To start the ball rolling if you haven't yet got the latest issue of Sam Revival magazine and want to see what's happening in the Sam world then you can pick up the latest copy with a £1.00 saving, making the price only £2.99 for UK, and £3.79 for EU. There is also £5 off the 'Quazar Surround' soundcard making it only £44.99 and it comes with six issues of Soundbyte too.

Offers Now Closed.

Mayhem Accelerator In Action... 25th April 2006

It's about time that the Mayhem Accelerator was shown in action, so i've captured some videos. Click on the screens below to download and watch each video. Any questions or feedback - please use the 'Contact Quazar' link on the left navigation bar to drop me an email!

Lemmings, running great at 10MHz, probably now just slightly faster than
the original Amiga version. Very playable with the speed boost.
(The only video recorded with the Mayhem Accelerator at 10MHz)

The classic Manic Miner at 20MHz.

Stratosphere at 20MHz. Whoooah toooo faaaast!

Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters at 20MHz.
Nice isometric graphics, but was very slow at normal Sam speed.

Total Eclipse (running under Spectrum Emulation) at 20MHz.
Very playable solid 3D now its got the speed!

Rover demo at 20MHz. Originally a copy of an effect from an Amiga demo
(The Amiga could do this effect so easily with it's bitplane
screen format).I wrote this effect quickly to see how easy the Sam could
do it, but this video is of a newer version re-written from scratch by Simon Owen.

(Video details: Each video approx 4-6MB, 25 frames/sec, divx compressed)

Editorial 21st April 2006

Hello to any new visitors who are having a look at the site after reading the Sam Coupe article in the new Retro Fusion magazine!

For those who don't know, Retro Fusion is a brand new magazine looking at retro gaming covering both computers and consoles, and I had the opportunity to write a Sam Coupe article for the launch issue - covering the history of the Sam, as well as well as looking at what i've developed for it over the last 11 years. You'll be able to find Retro Fusion in GameStation stores in the UK, and it's also available to order online at If you've any questions whatsoever about anything to do with the Sam Coupe then please use the 'Contact Quazar' link to drop me an email!

I've also taken the time during this website update to upload a full list of what classic Sam software I have available in 2nd hand stock - the link on the Navigation Bar on the left is now active and will take you to the list. Still to be uploaded soon are details of the reconditioned Sam Coupe computers I have available - but in the meantime please use the Contact Quazar option and I can send you a PDF with full details of what machines I have available.


Sam Revival issue 14 now out... 9th April 2006

Issue 14 of Sam Revival magazine is now out.

This is the first issue of Sam Revival to feature spot colour throughout the magazine to add life to screenshots and photographs, and kicking off issue is the regular news section to give a lowdown on what's happening in the Sam scene, and this issue features all the latest news of the development of the Mayhem Accelerator - the prototype of which is now speeding up the Sam to 20MHz - there's plenty of photos of the interface during the development and benchmarks too. The Sam Scene Roundup news section looks at several computer shows that have taken place in Europe which had a Sam present, and general news and websites from the Sam Scene.

Feature articles in this issue include an interview conducted by Frode Tennebo with Dr Andrew Wright, the chap who wrote the ROM for the Sam Coupe. The 'Coupe Correspondence' letters page features several readers letters and includes a look at the Sam version of the classic game 'Elite', networking Sams together and the possibilities of new emulators for the Sam with the speed of the Mayhem.

The coverdisk with this issue features the classic Sam adventure game 'Days of Sorcery' by Nigel Kettlewell.

This issue of Sam Revival costs £3.99 for the UK, or £4.79 for EU (including Airmail postage). You can also subscribe for three issues at the discounted price of £10.99 (UK) or £13.49 (EU).

For ordering, PayPal links are below, or alternatively see the 'Placing an Order' link on the left navigation bar for Cheque / Postal Orders online.