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Personal Computing Today (GB)

Personal Computing Today was a British multi-format magazine published by Argus Specialist Publications. It was published monthly, with the first issue appearing in Aug 1982. Your Commodore issue 0 was given away as a free supplement in Jul 1984. The editors included Ron Harris and Elspeth Joiner. Note: It appears that only a small number of issues have been scanned, so there could potentially be lots of missing programs from this magazine.

Download all programs from this magazine on one disk:


PC Today.d64

25 programs

Program Author Requirements Files Info
Breakout

Vol 1 No 1 (Aug 1982),
Pages 12-13.
Tim Hartnell Unexpanded breakout.prg
Screenshot
Breakout-style game, use your bat & ball to destroy the coloured bricks.
Controls:
Z (left), M (right).
Making Better Use of Colour

Vol 1 No 1 (Aug 1982),
Pages 69-71.
Chris Palmer Unexpanded making colour.t64
Screenshot
Four subroutines demonstrating how to use colour in your own programs. Prog1 sets the screen & border colour. Prog2 sets the character colour. Prog3 draws a border around part of the screen. Prog4 uses multicolour characters.
Controls:
Follow on-screen prompts.
Solitaire Maze
(Amaze/2)

Vol 1 No 1 (Aug 1982),
Pages 72-73.
Mike O'Neill Unexpanded solitaire maze.prg
Screenshot
Maze game. You control between one and five circular pieces, which all move simultaneously. Try to position your pieces so that each one covers a different diamond. It may seem easy with one piece, but try it with multiple pieces...
Controls:
A (up), S (down), K (left), L (right), Space (stop).
VIC 20 Function Keys
(Define Keys)

Vol 1 No 4 (Nov 1982),
Page 18.
Dave Tong Unexpanded define keys.prg
Screenshot
Assign commands to the function keys. Change what each key does by modifying the listing before running it.
Controls:
F1 (list), F2 (gosub), F3 (run), F4 (print), F5 (goto), F6 (chr$), F7 (load), F8 (return).
Shaping Up Graphically

Vol 1 No 4 (Nov 1982),
Pages 48-51.
Chris Palmer Unexpanded & Super Expander +3K shaping up se3k.t64
Screenshot
Three programs demonstrating the VIC-20's graphics capabilities, for comparison with the Sinclair Spectrum. Windows & Circles (SE3K) draws a pattern. OCR Characters (UN) replaces numbers 0-9 with user-defined characters. Sin Cos Average (SE3K) draws a graph showing a sine curve, cosine curve, and the average of both curves.
Controls:
None.
Listing Pause

Vol 1 No 6 (Jan 1983),
Page 75.
Kevin Irving Unexpanded listing pause.prg
Screenshot
Utility. When using the LIST command, the output can be slowed by holding the Ctrl key. This machine code routine lets you pause & restart the output.
Controls:
Commodore+Arrow Left (pause), Return (resume).
VIC Directory

Vol 1 No 6 (Jan 1983),
Page 82.
D A Goodier Unexpanded vic directory.t64
Screenshot
Make a directory index of the contents of a cassette tape. The instructions in the magazine need to be followed carefully
Controls:
See magazine for details.
One-Touch Entry

Vol 1 No 7 (Feb 1983),
Pages 66-68.
P Hintjens Unexpanded one-touch entry.prg
Screenshot
Utility. Creates a single-key entry system, similar to the Sinclair Spectrum and other computers.
Controls:
Access the shortcuts by pressing CTRL and the required key, e.g. CTRL+P displays POKE on the screen. See the magazine for a full list of shortcuts.
Billiards

Vol 1 No 8 (Mar 1983),
Pages 14-15.
Eugenio Rapella Unexpanded billiards.prg
Screenshot
Billiards game. Move the cue ball around the snooker table, and try to pot all the balls.
Controls:
W (up), X (down), A (left), D (right), Q/E/Z/C (diagonals). Hold the Shift key for a stronger shot.
Yhatzi

Vol 1 No 8 (Mar 1983),
Pages 42-43.
Mychajlo Dubil 3K expansion yhatzi 3k.prg
Screenshot
Yahtzee-style dice game for 2-8 players. Each player has a maximum of three rolls with five dice, selecting which dice to keep after each roll. In this version, you score points in these categories: 2 pairs (two pairs of numbers, e.g. 45664), 1 prille (three of a kind, e.g. 34336), 4-fold (four of a kind, e.g. 66646), poker (three of a kind plus a pair, e.g. 33434), 5-fold (all dice the same number, e.g. 66666) and yhatzi (a straight run, e.g. 35642).
Controls:
Press T to roll the dice, enter the numbers that you want to hold, enter S when ready to score, then select a category (A-F).
VIC Tips

Vol 1 No 12 (Jul 1983),
Pages 66-67.
? Unexpanded vic tips.t64
Screenshot
How to read the joystick and paddles.
Controls:
Joystick & paddles.
VIC Letter Writer
(Letter Processor)

Vol 1 No 12 (Jul 1983),
Pages 94-95.
N Jayakumar 8K expansion letter proc 8k.prg
Screenshot
Simple word processor for writing letters.
Controls:
Follow on-screen prompts. Modify lines 700-740 to print your own details at the top of the letter.
The Citadel

Vol 2 No 1 (Aug 1983),
Pages 36-40.
M B Dhun 3K expansion the citadel 3k.prg
Screenshot
Text adventure. The Kingdom of Juliana has been taken over by Brigands. You must find three keys to unlock a secret door in the Citadel and defeat them. Guides will prevent you from getting lost, healers protect against the plague, warlocks protect against curses, and the magic sword defeats dragons.
Controls:
Enter which direction you would like to move (N, S, W, E), and follow on-screen prompts.
Computer Blackboard
(Revision)

Vol 2 No 3 (Oct 1983),
Pages 23-25.
Nick Wilcox Unexpanded revision.prg
Screenshot
Educational quiz. Prepare for school exams by answering these multiple choice questions.
Controls:
Type the correct answer.
Beastie Bombardment
(Alien Attack)

Vol 2 No 3 (Oct 1983),
Pages 93-95.
Paul Burke Unexpanded alien attack.prg
Screenshot
Space shooting game. Use your rocket to shoot as many invaders as you can in 90 seconds.
Controls:
F (left), H (right), F1 (fire).
OXO
(O's and X's)

Vol 2 No 4 (Nov 1983),
Page 73.
Stephen Meredith Unexpanded oxo.prg
Screenshot
Tic-tac-toe puzzle game, for 2 players. Try to get three in a row before your opponent. The characters walk onto the grid.
Controls:
1-9 (position of next move).
Sheepdog Trials

Vol 2 No 6 (Jan 1984),
Pages 66-67.
Richard Sheppard Unexpanded sheepdog trials.prg
Screenshot
Strategy game. Use your dog to round up the sheep and put them in the pen.
Controls:
W (up), Z (down), A (left), S (right).
Clear Screen

Vol 2 No 6 (Jan 1984),
Page 95.
Fergus McDonald Unexpanded clear screen.prg
Screenshot
Subroutine that shrinks the screen using a tunnel effect, as an unusual way to clear the screen. Note: running this as a standalone program will generate a 'return without gosub' error when it is finished.
Controls:
None.
Maze Games Explored
(Pacman)

Vol 2 No 7 (Feb 1984),
Pages 38-39.
Nick Wilcox 16K expansion pacman 16k.prg
Screenshot
Pacman-style game. Move around the maze eating all the dots, and avoid the X's.
Controls:
F (up), S (down), B (left), M (right).
High Score War

Vol 2 No 10 (May 1984),
Pages 68-69.
David Mackay Unexpanded hi score war.prg
Screenshot
Shoot the aliens as they rise from the bottom of the screen. Every missed shot depletes your score so aim carefully.
Controls:
T (up), G (down), L (fire).
VIC20 Basics

Vol 3 No 2 (Sep 1984),
Page 79.
Bob Wallace Unexpanded moving objects.prg
Screenshot
Programming demo, displays a moving asterisk at the top of the screen.
Controls:
None.
VIC20 Basics

Vol 3 No 3 (Oct 1984),
Page 25.
Bob Wallace Unexpanded key show.prg
atom snowflake.prg
Screenshot
Programming demo. Key Show displays the keycode of a depressed key. Atomic Snowflakes is a vertically-scrolling space game, where you must dodge the snowflakes.
Controls:
Z (left), M (right).
Double Height Characters

Vol 3 No 4 (Nov 1984),
Page 36.
P Burke Unexpanded dbl height char.prg
Screenshot
Machine code routine that converts the screen into double height characters.
Controls:
None.
Space Mines

Vol 3 No 4 (Nov 1984),
Pages 81-83.
Kevin Hughes Unexpanded space mines.t64
Screenshot
Guide your ship to the landing pad at the bottom of the screen, avoiding the mines and lasers. On the bonus screen, hit as many mines as you can before docking with the mothership.
Controls:
Joystick, or < (left), > (right), A (abort).
VIC20 Basics

Vol 3 No 7 (Feb 1985),
Page 44.
Bob Wallace Unexpanded beep.prg
Screenshot
Programming demo. IRQ routine to make the keys beep after every keypress.
Controls:
Type SYS828 to run the routine.

Notes

  1. Breakout (82-08) was also published in 50 Outstanding Programs for the VIC 20.
  2. Solitaire Maze (82-08) was also published as Diamond Glory (Games For Your VIC20). Line 20 gives the game a different on-screen name, the rest of the program is identical.
  3. VIC 20 Function Keys (82-11) was also published as Define Keys (VIC Games). The line numbers are different but most of the code is identical.
  4. David Mackay mentions his game High Score War (84-05) on his website. He didn't own a datasette when he wrote the game, so all the code & subsequent changes were written out many times by hand. The magazine paid him £40, which he used to buy a datasette.
  5. A slightly different version of Space Mines (84-11) was published in Commodore Horizons (84-12).

With thanks to World of Spectrum for scanning this magazine.

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