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the legendary Greek group for Amstrad CPC

FOCUS, our diskzine for CPC..

Focus was a CPC diskmag made by the Chaos team.

Main editor & coder: FG Brain

We managed to release only 2 issues. Will we see a FOCUS issue number 3 ?

Truth is, what difference will it make, after so many years?


You can enjoy the last issue

This second issue is bug-free, has over 32 pages, better layout, slightly different intro and 4 new tunes.

Of course, you can read the first issue as well. Click here:

Focus philosophy & history

Focus is open to all CPCers! We don't want to make wars with others and  we aren't the best nor we want to be! Our primary task is to have fun while  trying to bring together all -old & new- CPC freax. The key is total  addiction to this good, old computer. A really demo-cratic society, yes!

Requirements: CPC or CPC+ (not so emulator-friendly, due to split screens!), AMSDOS,  Z80A/4Mhz, 128KB RAM, 48KB ROM 1.0, Crtc types 0/1/2, 40-track drive (3/ 3.5/  5.25" runs on A or B drive), Direct-X 0.01(!) and some good scene spirit.

Alternatively, a Pentium PC running Win APE (The best CPC emulator so  far!)...


History (of issue 1):

The first issue was released in the end of 1996, after a lot of  problems. Really, almost 2 years of delays! Because it was -firstly- planned  to be coded by Catloc (after killing his project of Excess mag). Secondly,  because we spent many months trying to "advertise" it. You see, we wanted to  organize a group of permanent "reporters" from all countries of Europe, thus  creating sources of frequent, updated information & articles. Many dreams  and plans were made, we forced many times various guys to write something. Perhaps we overestimated the power of the scene, but the response was not  sufficient. This way, if you read Focus, you will realize why most articles  are mine.

Time was passing, the code was not complete but we had an obligation. Everybody asked "I'm waiting for Focus..." - But only few contributed (Thanks  to them!). At some time, I got sick of waiting from others so I decided to  take over the project. After having made (for a part for Chaos Megademo in  1994) a nice pixel-perfect vertical scroll routine, I optimized it and altered  it to be used as a text viewer. I remember facing strange bugs, thanks to the  screen addressing system, but eventually by the summer of '96, the code  was ready.

Another complexity was the fact that I wanted a font easy on the eye  (unlike the tiring-to-read mode 2 characters) and the ability to display icons  and pictures on-screen along with the text, much like the web-pages. Such  stuff is time-consuming and also eats up memory. So, while finishing the main  code, I had also to create another program to convert ASCII documents to the  new enhanced Focus format. After lots of efforts, the result was to use  8x16-pixel fonts in Mode 1 (with 3 colors). Still, there was more work to be   done! Fortunately I had prepared enough Soundtracker tunes, so the music stuff  was settled. But what about graphics? I was lucky to find Rex and drew for me   some icons (he couldn't cope with the fonts I reckon), while Catloc gave me  the main logo and a tune.

The biggest problem remained though. My aim was to release it before   1997 with about 40 articles (I hate small fanzines), but we only received  about 5! So I started writing, even translating texts that found interesting.  The above may sound a bit disappointing, but that was the climate in that  period. Just to make things worse, no other Greek freax bothered to offer  enough articles, not even the other Chaos members! Only after many calls of  help we eventually collected over 30 texts. Then, the editing and page set-up  were the final stage. Me and Catloc managed to draw some bad icons and because   I had nothing better, they were used also. Finally, I thought of a small intro  and coded it in a hurry to finish up the project. What a great relief it was,  when this burden was removed!

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