Codigo Soft

Sam Juggler

Ray-traced demo of 'SAM the robot', mascot of the 'SAM Coupé' computer, juggling some ball-bearings. SAM, devised by Mel Croucher and put in pen by Robin Evans appeared in the user manual and on most of the advertising literature for the machine, and later made an appearance as the main character in the game 'SAM Strikes Out!'.

The 'SAM Coupé' is the first significantly advanced 8 bit computer based on the popular 'Sinclair ZX Spectrum' 48K. This British home computer, released in late 1989, has all main hardware and system expansions typical for 16 bit machines. Based around a Z80B CPU and clocked at 6 MHz, the Coupé came too late to hit markets – in the times of 'Atari ST' and 'Commodore Amiga' it was mostly compared to these 16 bit machines. However it is a pure 8 bit computer only and still seems to be the most complex system compatible with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

The SAM Coupé provides four graphics modes with up to 16 colors (256 x 192 pixles in modes 1, 2 and 4 and 512 x 192 pixles in mode 3). All modes are paletted, with a 16-entry colour look-up table selecting from a palette of 128 colours. Palette entries consist of 2 bits for each of the red, green and blue components as well as an extra bit which slightly increases the intensity of all three components. The computer also includes a line triggered interrupt counter, allowing video effects to be synchronised to specific display positions with little effort.

© Walter Randelshofer. All rights reserved. Animations used under permission.