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Bits & Bytes (NZ)

Bits & Bytes was a New Zealand multi-format magazine published by Neill Birss, Dion Crooks & Paul Crooks (Sep 1982 to Jun 1984) and Bits & Bytes Ltd (Jul 1984 to Dec 1987). It covered all aspects of computing including hardware & software reviews, pocket computers, games, and using computers in farming. It was published monthly apart from the January issue, which was always bi-monthly. A total of 59 issues were produced, from Sep 1982 to Dec 1987. The editors were Neill Birss (Sep 1982 to Feb 1985), Gaie Ellis (Mar 1985 to Aug 1985), Steven Searle (Sep 1985 to Aug 1986) and John King (Sep 1986 to Dec 1987).

Download all programs from this magazine on one disk:

Bits Bytes.d64

23 programs

Program Author Requirements Files Info
Fun Sounds and White Noise

Vol 1 No 2 (Oct 1982),
Pages 28-29.
B M Bullen Unexpanded fun sounds.t64
Programming tutorial, six programs demonstrating how to use sounds.
Choose freq: Find out what frequencies sound like by entering two numbers, a voice (1-4) and a frequency (128-255). For your first entry, type "5,15" to turn the volume on.
Change freq: Plays a scale.
Alternate freq: Plays an alarm.
Change volume: An explosion that fades away.
Effect of pause: A ringing telephone.
Combined effect: A Doppler effect of something flying past?
The Sound of Music

Vol 1 No 5 (Feb 1983),
Pages 22-23.
B M Bullen Unexpanded sound of music.t64
Programming tutorial, four programs demonstrating how to play a tune. It starts with a basic melody, and builds into complex harmonies.

Enter the tempo, and how many times to repeat the tune.

Vol 1 No 6 (Mar 1983),
Page 36.
John Bowater Unexpanded builder.prg
Tron game. Drive your car around filling the screen, but don't hit the blocks or your trail.

A (up), Z (down), N (left), M (right).
A Graphic Game

Vol 1 No 7 (Apr 1983),
Pages 24-25, 38.
Brian Bullen Unexpanded a graphic game.prg
Simple one-player tennis game. Use your bat to keep the ball on the screen.

F1 (up), F7 (down).
Using the Internal Clock

Vol 2 No 2 (Oct 1983),
Pages 48-49, 58.
Peter Archer 8K expansion clock 8k.prg
Programming demo. Enter the time, and a clock will be displayed at the top of the screen.

Follow on-screen prompts.
Programs That Write Themselves

Vol 2 No 2 (Oct 1983),
Pages 49-50, 54.
B M Bullen Unexpanded dynamic keys.t64
Programming demo, showing how programs can modify themselves via the keyboard buffer.
Prog1 Type a word, and it will be added to the program listing as a DATA statement.
Prog2: Like Prog1, but the program automatically re-runs itself.
Prog3: Type 10 names, and they will be added to the listing as DATA statements.
POKEing Around

Vol 2 No 3 (Nov 1983),
Page 39.
Tony & Paul Graham Unexpanded poking around.t64
Programming demo, showing how to POKE the screen. Prog1 fills the screen with random characters. Prog2 draws a border around the screen.

Musical VICs

Vol 2 No 4 (Dec 1983/Jan 1984),
Page 64.
? Unexpanded musical vics.prg
Play various sound effects.

0-9 (play chosen sound).
Print At Routine

Vol 2 No 5 (Feb 1984),
Pages 54 & 60.
Vol 2 No 6 (Mar 1984),
Page 41.
Tony Graham Unexpanded print at.t64
Two short machine code routines that implement a PRINT AT function, for use in your own programs.
Print At: Put the location in variable A, type SYSP, then use the PRINT command. e.g. A=406: SYSP: PRINT"test"
Plot At: Put the location in variables X & Y, type SYSP, then use the PRINT command. e.g. X=10: Y=18: SYSP: PRINT"test"
Alien Attack

Vol 2 No 6 (Mar 1984),
Pages 40-41.
Andrew Gordon Unexpanded alien attack.prg
Space Invaders game. Shoot the aliens, and hit the saucer for bonus points.

Z (left), C (right), F7 (fire).
Machine Code Saver

Vol 2 No 7 (Apr 1984),
Page 50.
Tony Graham Unexpanded mc saver.prg
Utility. Save a block of memory to tape or disk.

Follow on-screen prompts.
Character Generator

Vol 2 No 9 (Jun 1984),
Page 53.
M Vickers Unexpanded character gen.prg
Character editor, make your own user-defined characters. This program works by converting binary strings into graphic characters.

Type the character as a binary string, entering '1' for a highlighted pixel and '0' for a blank pixel. The program then converts these into decimal for use in DATA statements, and offers a couple of options such as inverting the character or viewing it on the screen.
Auto Screen RAM Selection

Vol 2 No 10 (Jul 1984),
Page 49.
Paul Graham Unexpanded auto screen ram.prg
Programming demo, showing how to write programs that automatically adjust to any memory expansion setting. It displays a line and cycles through various colours.

VIC Writer

Vol 3 No 1 (Sep 1984),
Page 43.
Aaron Enright Unexpanded & 1525/1526 printer vic writer.prg
Mini word processor. Write, edit and print letters by typing them one line at a time.

Follow on-screen prompts. Remember to put your own name & address in lines 700-740 before using it.

Vol 3 No 1 (Sep 1984),
Page 44.
Hugh Calveley & Roy Davies Unexpanded line-blaster.prg
Casio Number Invaders game. Numbers scroll across the screen towards your base. You must shoot them by pressing the appropriate number key, but sometimes they will mutate into other numbers.

1-9 (shoot that number).
Postage Finder

Vol 3 No 2 (Oct 1984),
Page 49.
Steven Darnold Unexpanded postage finder.prg
Utility. Enter how much it will cost to post something, and find out the optimal number of stamps to use.

Follow on-screen prompts.
Space War

Vol 3 No 4 (Dec 1984/Jan 1985),
Page 58.
A Gordon Unexpanded space war.prg
Destroy the huge space ship on the right side of the screen, and dodge the missiles.

Q (up), A (down), F7 (fire).

Vol 3 No 6 (Mar 1985),
Page 40.
Alastair Brown 8K expansion & printer signwriter 8k.t64
Enter a short message, and print it in large letters. There are two versions of the program: 'signwrite-pr' outputs to the printer, and 'signwrite-sc' outputs to the screen.

Type a message.
Decimal Converter

Vol 3 No 8 (May 1985),
Page 36.
Joe Colquitt Unexpanded decimal conv.prg
Programming utility. Convert a decimal number into binary and hex.

Type a number (1-255).
Space Ranger

Vol 3 No 11 (Aug 1985),
Page 43.
R M Doull Unexpanded space ranger.prg
Text adventure. You are a space ranger who has been captured by rebels intending to invade Earth. You must escape from your prison cell on the moon, find their secret plans, and return to Earth.

Use the following commands: N, S, W, E, U, D, EXAMINE, GET, DROP, SHOOT, LIFT, HIT, OIL, FILL, USE, GIVE.
Line Graph

Vol 4 No 1 (Sep 1985),
Page 79.
Vol 4 No 2 (Oct 1985),
Page 65.
B G Speers Unexpanded & 1520 plotter line graph.prg
Enter seven data values, and print them on a line chart.

Follow on-screen prompts.
Death Mission

Vol 4 No 4 (Dec 1985/Jan 1986),
Page 66.
Julian Murphy Unexpanded death mission.prg
Blitz game. Use your spaceship to drop bombs on the abandoned city, so that you can land.

Shift (drop bomb). Hold the Shift key to control the trajectory.
Walking the Dog

Vol 5 No 7 (Apr 1987),
Page 75.
Vol 5 No 8 (May 1987),
Pages 72 & 86.
Vol 5 No 9 (Jun 1987),
Page 60.
Vol 5 No 10 (Jul 1987),
Page 68.
Joe Colquitt 8K expansion dog walk 8k.prg
Text adventure. It is time to take the dog for a walk. If only you could remember where you left the lead, collar and other things you'll need... There are no puzzles to solve, you just need to find everything. The dog is in a random room each time you play, and the game is considered finished when you reach the pavement.

Use the following commands: N, S, W, E, UP, DOWN, INV, LOOK, GET, DROP, OPEN, CLOSE, EXAMINE, HELP, SCORE.


  1. Musical VICs (83-12) was also published in Commodore Computing International (83-01) and VIC Games.
  2. Death Mission (85-12) appears to be a modified version of Vogon (Games For Your VIC20).

Further information about this magazine can be found at the New Zealand Bits & Bytes Computer Magazine Archive.

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