Hardware Feature #39
Name Manufacturer Price
AMX Mouse AMS 79.95

AMX Mouse


The following advert was taken from Sinclair User - August 1986

As a spectrum user you already enjoy some pretty sophisticated equipment.
So it's a pity if you are still missing that sophisticated, positive control your equipment deserves.

Let's face it, there's not much joy in a joystick, and keyboards can be all fingers and Thumbs. Frustrating, especially if your imagination is much faster than your fingers!

What you need is an AMX Mouse.
Already thousands of Spectrum owners have adopted an AMX Mouse and wouldn't be without it. We didn't claim it was `the best input device'. The press said it for us. In fact it has received outstanding critical acclaim, and no wonder !

The AMX Mouse brings to Spectrum users the same freedom and versatility which has, up to now, been the exclusive province of much more expensive computers.
So, its no surprise that nearly all the new 16 bit `State of the Art' computers now come with a Mouse as standard. Proof, If proof were needed, that The Mouse is here to stay. There are three superb programs included with the Mouse,

AMX ART - Making full use of on-screen windows, ions, pull-down menus and pointers, you'll be astonished at the quality of the work you can produce, save and print using either ZX or Epson compatible printers.

AMX COLOUR PALETTE - The wonderful pictures you create with AMX ART can be brought vividly to life with rich vibrant colours.

AMX CONTROL - Now you can create a `Mouse' environment in your own programs, AMX Control adds 28 commands to normal Sinclair Basic.

There is also a growing list of programs available from other leading software houses, which also utilize the Mouse, including, Artist II and The Writer from Softechnics, and Art Studio from British Telecom's Rainbird software collection, and many more titles will be available soon.

Isn't it about lime you trapped an AMX Mouse?

The following review was taken from Sinclair User November 1986

AMS produces what is easily the most comprehensive mouse package for the Spectrum - the AMX.

It's been around for more than a year and is regarded by many software houses as the standard mouse for their database, spreadsheets and graphics packages. Rainbird has taken this attitude with Art Studio and Softechnics, which currently favours the Kempston mouse, is about to take a nibble at AMX in Aitist II.

It's the best dressed mouse in town with a rugged, easy to grip, body, a long lead which connects to a flat, Kempston-like interface. The interface includes a Cenfronics printer interface which can be controlled with four AMX Basic instructions.
AMX is the only mouse to sport three click keys. They can be independently programmed and AMX uses them to the limit of their potential in its graphics programs.
To prepare the printer option you must type *Mouse Off which stops the interface from generating interrupts when the mouse moves. LPrint and Llist will then send data to your printer.
If you want to list a program, rather than doing a screen dump, you enable die Basic tokens by typing *Tokens command. Your printer may not issue line-feed instructions automatically so the fourth extended Basic command, *LF produces a line feed as well as a carriage return.

The package comes with four artist packages, the simplest of which is AMX Art. Its similar to Rainbirds Art Studio but the icons are displayed at the side of the screen and the three click buttons are programmed. Execute menu option. Leave menu option and Move mouse, and Cancel last order.
Drawing tools include a pencil, paintbrush, paint roller, spray can, palette, text layer and eraser. The pencil can be used to draw lines, the paintbrush can be programmed to use a selection of eight tips which vary in density and width. And the paint roller use textures set up in the palette option. There are 40 textures which can be used to paint lines of varying width on to the screen or fill shapes. The shapes include shaded box and circle.
The text menu gives you access to five type faces which can be printed at normal or double-height, and, if you want to go over the top, in italics. The type forts consist of standard Sinclair character set, Bold, and futuristic 2001.

AMX Art gives more control over its mouse hardware than any of the other packages on the market - which isn't surprising.
For instance the Lock command will trap cursor movement in an invisible grid which has character squares either 4 x 4 or 8 x 8. The former is useful for accurate mouse positioning and drawing long straight lines while the latter enables you to keep colour within attribute boundaries.

Screen pictures can be saved to and loaded from tape or Microdrive. You can store your own effects or load in screens from professional programs.

The package displays all screens in black, white or shade.
To add colour to your designs you'll need Colour Palette. It's a short program but, nevertheless, effective in adding Ink, paper, flash and Bright. Just load in your screen which has been exported from AMX Art and set up the paint brush for the type of colour and effect you require. Then run the cursor over the screen and the colour appears. Ifs as easy as painting a wall.

While paint-and-play is an addictive occupation, particularly with a mouse, you'll soon want to control the AMX in your own programs - won't you !

The AMX Control Program extends Basic to incorporate mouse orientated commands. There are 23 commands which create menus, find out which menu options have been clicked, choose type fonts, display icons, set mouse sensitivity and define screen windows.
The commands are freely mixed with Basic and can use parameters such as variable arrays and codes. AMS has included an icon designer - which works in the same way as a UDG designer. Using it you create and store icons for use within Basic or machine-code programs. There's no reason why you shouldn't even create your own operating system.

It you have problems with the technical side of mouse usage you can load the demonstration program on the second side of the AMS cassette. It shows the type of applications which can be written and shows the considerable power of the package. A four-function calculator and sliding puzzle are written in Basic but for speed and type of application they could equally have been written in machine code. Even my jaundiced eye could not tell the difference.

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