A train simulator is a computer based simulation of rail transport operations. They are large complicated software packages modeling a 3D virtual reality world implemented both as commercial trainers, consumer computer game software with'play modes' which lets the user interact by stepping inside the virtual world; because of the near view modeling at speed, train simulator software is far more complicated and difficult software to write and implement than flight simulator programs. While commercial trainers on mini-computer systems had a longer history, the first two mass-market English'computer game' railway simulators, MSTS and Trainz, arrived within a few months of one another in 2001 and could run on Intel 80386 microprocessor based systems. Some, like the first wide-market release, Microsoft Train Simulator, are written and modeled for the user interested in driving. Others, like MSTS's principle rival, were aimed primarily at the rail enthusiast-hobbyist markets, supporting features making it possible to build a virtual railroad of one's dreams.
Accordingly, for four years Trainz releases bundled a free copy of gmax digital model building software on each CDROM, hosted an asset swap website, encouraged user participation and dialog with an active forum, took pains to publish in-depth how-to model guidelines and specifications with its releases. Several other challengers as well as Trainz soon matched or eclipsed MSTS's driving experiences one way or another. Railsim a successor using the MSTS game engine upped the challenge to the aging MSTS by adding much improved graphics, so Trainz did as well, but added interactive industries and dynamic driving features such as product loading and unloading, load-sensitive physics modeling affecting driving and operating and user interface changes to improve User eXperiences, such as a free camera mode allowing roaming away from the train cars and clear of the Train being operated-while still controlling it; this latter makes particular sense given the dearth of an assistant on a walkie-talky while operating a train during coupling operations or other position sensitive tasks such as loading and unloading.
Railsim and a couple of others came and went out of business, Railsim was reorganized as Rail Simulator with the software company that wrote MSTS as its core, while MSTS aged and never did get upgraded as Microsoft had once begun and announced. In the last few years, Rail Simulator has changed its name to Train Simulator 2016; as the world market has shaken out, Australian Trainz in 2014-2015 upgraded itself with Trainz: A New Era, still servicing the wider route builder and driving markets, but now matching the 64bit computing and graphics of Train Simulator 2013, 2015, Train Simulator 2016. In the same five-year period, Train simulators have moved to pad phone platforms. Like flight simulators, train simulators have been produced for railway training purposes. Driver simulators include those produced by: Ongakukan in Japan EADS in Germany Bentley Systems in the UK Lander Simulation & Training Solutions, Spain Transurb Simulation in Belgium CORYS, a French company with offices in Grenoble and Jacksonville, FL, USA Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co KG http://www.kmweg.de/, a German company based in Munich Oktal Sydac in Australia, France and the UK SMART Simulation - part of the Neokon Baltija group from Lithuania with offices in the UK and Russia.
New York Air Brake, an American company based in Watertown, NY. PS Technology, an American company based in Boulder, CO. Signaller training simulators have been developed by Funkwerk in Germany, The Railway Engineering Company in the UK, OpenTrack Railway Technology in Switzerland, PS Technology in the US. There are two broad categories of train simulation video games: driving simulation and strategy simulation. Train driving simulation games allow a user to have a "driver's view" from the locomotive's cab and operate realistic cab controls such as throttle, brake valve, sand and whistle, lights etc. One of the first commercially available train simulators was Southern Belle, released in 1985; the game simulated a journey of the Southern Belle steam passenger train from London Victoria to Brighton, while at the same time the player must comply with speed limits, not to go too fast on curves and keep to the schedule. It was followed with Evening Star in 1987. Other train driving simulation software includes: BVE Trainsim is a Japanese three-dimensional computer-based train simulator.
It is notable for focusing on providing an accurate driving experience as viewed from inside the cab, rather than creating a network of other trains—There are no outside views, drivers can only look directly ahead, other trains passed along the route are only displayed as stationary objects. Trainz, an extensively expandable and user extendable simulator with intuitive GUI world modeling and asset creation facilities, an extensive freeware library of over 250,000 assets, an attention to Train physics; the simulator offers 4 viewing modes, for beginning drivers or learning a route, a control mode similar to that of a H. O. scale model train set. Densha de Go!, a Japanese train simulation game series focused on driving. Microsoft Train Simulator, with limited route building and difficult expansion capabilities. Rail Simulator, another extensively expandable and user orientated creation simulator with intuitive driving modes and editing tools; the main focus is on driving a train from the cab while performing a series of pre-determined tasks.
Electron User was a magazine targeted at owners of the Acorn Electron microcomputer. It was published by Database Publications of Stockport, starting in October 1983 and ending after 82 issues in July 1990, it was included as a 16-page pullout supplement to The Micro User but after four such editions it became a standalone title and within a year had grown to an average length of around 64 pages. The focus was type-in programs and software reviews, it contained cheat codes and a long-running column on adventure games by "Merlin" in a column entitled "Merlin's Cave" and subsequently by "Pendragon". Its advertisers included the top BBC/Electron games distributors of the day, such as Acornsoft and Superior Software; the April-dated edition of the magazine included an April Fools' Day joke consisting of a short machine code type-in listing which claimed to do something useful and of wide interest but which in fact printed APRIL FOOL on the screen. Examples included: a program to predict what text the user would type next a program to compile BASIC programs directly into machine code leveraging the machine's BASIC interpreter a program to display colours on a monochrome screen by modulating the pixels Acorn User The Micro User / Acorn Computing Archive BEEBUG / Risc User
Zzap!64 was a computer games magazine covering games on the Commodore International series of computers the Commodore 64. It was published in the UK by Newsfield Publications Ltd and by Europress Impact; the magazine launched in April, with the cover date May 1985, as the sister magazine to CRASH. It focused on the C64 for much of its shelf life, but incorporated Amiga game news and reviews. Like CRASH for the ZX Spectrum, it had a dedicated cult following amongst C64 owners and was well known for its irreverent sense of humour as well as its extensive, detailed coverage of the C64 scene; the magazine adopted an innovative review system that involved the use of the reviewers' faces, artistically rendered by in-house artists Oli Frey and Mark Kendrick, to express their reaction to the games. These evolved into static cartoons as the magazine began catering for a younger market. By 1992, the magazine had changed so in design and editorial direction that then-publisher Europress decided to relaunch the magazine.
Thus, issue 91 of Zzap!64 became issue 1 of Commodore Force, a magazine that itself lasted until March 1994. The first issue of Zzap!64, dated May 1985, was released on 11 April 1985. Its inaugural editorial team included editor Chris Anderson, Software Editor Bob Wade, freelance writer Steve Cooke, reviewers Gary Penn and Julian Rignall, who won their jobs after having placed as finalists at a video game competition; the editorial headquarters was in Yeovil, more than 120 miles from Newsfield's headquarters in Ludlow. Anderson would found Future Publishing and the TED Conference; as the Amiga gained popularity in the UK, Zzap!64 began to publish occasional reviews of Amiga games. The Amiga coverage became a fixed feature of the magazine in issue 43, when the title was renamed to Zzap!64 Amiga. The magazine experienced controversy in 1989, when three out of four reviewers were fired and replaced during production of issue 50; the only one remaining, Paul Rand, had been employed at Zzap!64 a mere two months.
Issue 50's editorial mentioned nothing of what happened, the issue featured content from the three fired reviewers without discussing their fates. Issue 74 saw the dropping of all Amiga coverage, the magazine became devoted to the C64 once more. Four months the publisher Newsfield declared bankruptcy and publication was suspended for a month. Europress Impact became the new publisher of Zzap!64, beginning with issue 79. Issue 90 was the last official Zzap!64 issue. From the following month, the magazine was replaced by Commodore Force; the Italian edition, authorised by the original publisher, was not limited to Commodore 64 games, but it reviewed games for other 8-bit machines like the ZX Spectrum, MSX, Amstrad CPC and the Atari 8-bit family. Around 80% of the content was translated with the remainder written in Italy. From issue 1 to issue 73 it was released as an actual magazine. From 1996 to 1999, Zzap! became an online magazine, a PC gaming website with a different "cover" each month and a mailbag, which reviewed games with the same style of the original magazine.
In 2002, a special "issue 85", dedicated to recently released games for 8-bit machines, was released in PDF format. In March 2002, a special "Issue 107" of Zzap!64 was published digitally in PDF format receiving a limited print run of 200 copies. Intended as a fan project based on a suggestion by journalist Cameron Davis in a Zzap!64 discussion forum, a number of ex-Newsfield writers volunteered to join the project, including former editors Gordon Houghton, Robin Hogg and Paul Glancey. The special issue reflected the C64's continuing popularity in the 21st Century as a platform for retro gamers and hobbyists, with the majority of reviews focusing on released C64 games; the magazine's design was based on "classic era" Zzap!64, the front cover was based on an illustration by former Newsfield artist Oli Frey revised by designer Craig Grannell. Another special issue of Zzap!64 was created in July 2005 to celebrate the magazine's twentieth anniversary. Dubbed The Def Tribute to Zzap!64, it was professionally printed and given away with issue 18 of Retro Gamer magazine.
Although more celebratory and retrospective in design than issue 107, it featured a great deal of new content, including a foreword and articles by former Newsfield director and Zzap!64 editor Roger Kean and new material from former editors Gary Penn and Chris Anderson. The front cover and centerfold featured rare illustrations by Oli Frey from his pre-Newsfield days. Jeff Minter - writing a diary of the production of Iridis Alpha, he left early. Andrew Braybrook - doing the same for his game Morpheus, titled Mental Procreation Martin Walker - following suit for his game Citadel, titled Walker's Way Apex Computer Productions - the Rowlands Brothers, John & Steve, doing the same for their game Creatures
The Amstrad CPC is a series of 8-bit home computers produced by Amstrad between 1984 and 1990. It was designed to compete in the mid-1980s home computer market dominated by the Commodore 64 and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, where it established itself in the United Kingdom, France and the German-speaking parts of Europe; the series spawned a total of six distinct models: The CPC464, CPC664, CPC6128 were successful competitors in the European home computer market. The plus models, 464plus and 6128plus, efforts to prolong the system's lifecycle with hardware updates, were less successful, as was the attempt to repackage the plus hardware into a game console as the GX4000; the CPC models' hardware is based on the Zilog Z80A CPU, complemented with either 64 or 128 KB of RAM. Their computer-in-a-keyboard design prominently features an integrated storage device, either a compact cassette deck or 3 inch floppy disk drive; the main units were only sold bundled with either a colour, green-screen or monochrome monitor that doubles as the main unit's power supply.
Additionally, a wide range of first and third party hardware extensions such as external disk drives and memory extensions, was available. The CPC series was pitched against other home computers used to play video games and enjoyed a strong supply of game software; the comparatively low price for a complete computer system with dedicated monitor, its high resolution monochrome text and graphic capabilities and the possibility to run CP/M software rendered the system attractive for business users, reflected by a wide selection of application software. During its lifetime, the CPC series sold three million units; the philosophy behind the CPC series was twofold, firstly the concept was of an “all-in-one”, where the computer and its data storage device were combined in a single unit, sold with its own dedicated display monitor. Most home computers at that time such as Sinclair’s ZX series, the Commodore 64 and the BBC Micro relied on the use of the domestic television set and a separately connected tape recorder or disk drive.
In itself, the all-in-one concept was not new, having been seen before on business-oriented machines and the Commodore PET, but in the home computer space, it predated the Apple Macintosh by a year. Secondly, Amstrad founder Alan Sugar wanted the machine to resemble a “real computer, similar to what someone would see being used to check them in at the airport for their holidays”, for the machine to not look like “a pregnant calculator” – in reference to the Sinclair ZX81 and ZX Spectrum with their low cost, membrane-type keyboards; the CPC 464 sold more than two million units. The CPC 464 featured an internal cassette tape deck, it was introduced in June 1984 in the UK. Initial suggested retail prices for the CPC464 were GBP£249.00/DM899.00 with a green screen and GBP£359.00/DM1398.00 with a colour monitor. Following the introduction of the CPC6128 in late 1985, suggested retail prices for the CPC464 were cut by GBP£50.00/DM100.00. In 1990, the 464plus replaced the CPC 464 in the model line-up, production of the CPC 464 was discontinued.
The CPC664 features 64 KB RAM and an internal 3-inch floppy disk drive. It was introduced in May 1985 in the UK. Initial suggested retail prices for the CPC664 were GBP£339.00/DM1198.00 with a green screen and GBP£449.00/DM1998.00 with a colour monitor. After the successful release of the CPC464, consumers were asking for two improvements: more memory and an internal disk drive. For Amstrad, the latter was easier to realize. At the deliberately low-key introduction of the CPC664 in May 1985, the machine was positioned not only as the lowest-cost disk system but the lowest-cost CP/M 2.2 machine. In the Amstrad CPC product range the CPC664 complemented the CPC464, neither discontinued nor reduced in price. Compared to the CPC464, the CPC664's main unit has been redesigned, not only to accommodate the floppy disk drive but with a redesigned keyboard area. Touted as "ergonomic" by Amstrad's promotional material, the keyboard is noticeably tilted to the front with MSX-style cursor keys above the numeric keypad.
Compared to the CPC464's multicoloured keyboard, the CPC664's keys are kept in a much quieter grey and pale blue colour scheme. The back of the CPC664 main unit features the same connectors as the CPC464, with the exception of an additional 12V power lead. Unlike the CPC464's cassette tape drive that could be powered off the main unit's 5V voltage, the CPC664's floppy disk drive requires an additional 12V voltage; this voltage had to be separately supplied by an updated version of the bundled green screen/colour monitor. The CPC664 was only produced for six months. In late 1985, when the CPC6128 was introduced in Europe, Amstrad decided not to keep three models in the line-up, production of the CPC664 was discontinued; the CPC6128 features an internal 3-inch floppy disk drive. Aside from various hardware and firmware improvements, one of the CPC6128's most prominent features is the compatibility with the CP/M+ operating system that rendered it attractive for business uses; the CPC6128 was released in August 1985 and only sold in the US.
Imported and distributed by Indescomp, Inc. of Chicago, it was the first Amstrad product to be sold in the United States, a market that at the time was traditionally hostile towards European computer manufacturers. By the end of 1985, it replaced the CPC664 in the CPC model line-up. Initial suggested retail prices for the CPC6128 were US$699.00/£299.00/DM1598.00 wit
A computing platform or digital platform is the environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage. A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network. Platforms may include: Hardware alone, in the case of small embedded systems. Embedded systems can access hardware directly, without an OS. A browser in the case of web-based software; the browser itself runs on a hardware+OS platform, but this is not relevant to software running within the browser.
An application, such as a spreadsheet or word processor, which hosts software written in an application-specific scripting language, such as an Excel macro. This can be extended to writing fully-fledged applications with the Microsoft Office suite as a platform. Software frameworks. Cloud computing and Platform as a Service. Extending the idea of a software framework, these allow application developers to build software out of components that are hosted not by the developer, but by the provider, with internet communication linking them together; the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are considered development platforms. A virtual machine such as the Java virtual machine or. NET CLR. Applications are compiled into a format similar to machine code, known as bytecode, executed by the VM. A virtualized version of a complete system, including virtualized hardware, OS, storage; these allow, for instance, a typical Windows program to run on. Some architectures have multiple layers, with each layer acting as a platform to the one above it.
In general, a component only has to be adapted to the layer beneath it. For instance, a Java program has to be written to use the Java virtual machine and associated libraries as a platform but does not have to be adapted to run for the Windows, Linux or Macintosh OS platforms. However, the JVM, the layer beneath the application, does have to be built separately for each OS. AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4 FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD IBM i Linux Microsoft Windows OpenVMS Classic Mac OS macOS OS/2 Solaris Tru64 UNIX VM QNX z/OS Android Bada BlackBerry OS Firefox OS iOS Embedded Linux Palm OS Symbian Tizen WebOS LuneOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Cocoa Cocoa Touch Common Language Infrastructure Mono. NET Framework Silverlight Flash AIR GNU Java platform Java ME Java SE Java EE JavaFX JavaFX Mobile LiveCode Microsoft XNA Mozilla Prism, XUL and XULRunner Open Web Platform Oracle Database Qt SAP NetWeaver Shockwave Smartface Universal Windows Platform Windows Runtime Vexi Ordered from more common types to less common types: Commodity computing platforms Wintel, that is, Intel x86 or compatible personal computer hardware with Windows operating system Macintosh, custom Apple Inc. hardware and Classic Mac OS and macOS operating systems 68k-based PowerPC-based, now migrated to x86 ARM architecture based mobile devices iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers devices running iOS from Apple Gumstix or Raspberry Pi full function miniature computers with Linux Newton devices running the Newton OS from Apple x86 with Unix-like systems such as Linux or BSD variants CP/M computers based on the S-100 bus, maybe the earliest microcomputer platform Video game consoles, any variety 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, licensed to manufacturers Apple Pippin, a multimedia player platform for video game console development RISC processor based machines running Unix variants SPARC architecture computers running Solaris or illumos operating systems DEC Alpha cluster running OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX Midrange computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM OS/400 Mainframe computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM z/OS Supercomputer architectures Cross-platform Platform virtualization Third platform Ryan Sarver: What is a platform
The Amstrad PCW series is a range of personal computers produced by British company Amstrad from 1985 to 1998, sold under licence in Europe as the "Joyce" by the German electronics company Schneider in the early years of the series' life. The PCW, short for Personal Computer Word-processor, was targeted at the wordprocessing and home office markets; when it was launched the cost of a PCW system was under 25% of the cost of all IBM-compatible PC systems in the UK, as a result the machine was popular both in the UK and in Europe, persuading many technophobes to venture into using computers. However the last two models, introduced in the mid-1990s, were commercial failures, being squeezed out of the market by the falling prices, greater capabilities and wider range of software for IBM-compatible PCs. In all models, including the last, the monitor's casing included the CPU, RAM, floppy disk drives and power supply for all of the systems' components. All except the last included a printer in the price.
Early models used 3-inch floppy disks, while those sold from 1991 onwards used 3½-inch floppies, which became the industry standard around the time the PCW series was launched. A variety of inexpensive products and services were launched to copy 3-inch floppies to the 3½-inch format so that data could be transferred to other machines. All models except the last included the Locoscript word processing program, the CP/M Plus operating system, Mallard BASIC and the LOGO programming language at no extra cost. A wide range of other CP/M office software and several games became available, some commercially produced and some free. Although Amstrad supplied all but the last model as text based systems, graphical user interface peripherals and the supporting software became available; the last model had its own unique GUI operating system and set of office applications, which were included in the price. However none of the software for previous PCW models could run on this system. In 1984, Tandy Corporation executive Steve Leininger, designer of the TRS-80 Model I, admitted that "as an industry we haven't found any compelling reason to buy a computer for the home" other than for word processing.
Amstrad's founder Alan Sugar realised that most computers in the United Kingdom were used for word processing at home, sketched an outline design for a low cost replacement for typewriters during a flight to the Far East. This design featured a single "box" containing all the components, including a portrait-oriented display, which would be more convenient for displaying documents than the usual landscape orientation; however the portrait display was eliminated because it would have been too expensive, the printer became a separate unit. To reduce the cost of the printer, Amstrad commissioned an ASIC from MEJ Electronics, which had developed the hardware for Amstrad's earlier CPC-464. Two other veterans of the CPC-464's creation played important roles, with Roland Perry managing the PCW project and Locomotive Software producing the Locoscript word processing program and other software; the CP/M operating system was added at the last minute. During development the PCW 8256 / 8512 project was code-named "Joyce" after Sugar's secretary.
For the launch the product name "Zircon" was jointly suggested by MEJ Electronics and Locomotive Software, as both companies had been spun off from Data Recall, which had produced a word processing system called "Diamond" in the 1970s. Sugar, preferring a more descriptive name, suggested "WPC" standing for "Word Processing Computer", but Perry pointed out that this invited jokes about Women Police Constables. Sugar reshuffled the initials and the product was launched as the "Personal Computer Word-processor", abbreviated to "PCW"; the advertising campaign featured trucks unloading typewriters to form huge scrap heaps, with the slogan "It's more than a word processor for less than most typewriters". In Britain the system was sold through Dixons, whose chairman shared Sugar's dream that computers would cease to be exclusive products for the technologically adept and would become consumer products. In 1986, John Whitehead described the Amstrad PCW as "the bargain of the decade", technology writer Gordon Laing said in 2007, "It represented fantastic value at a time when an IBM compatible or a Mac would cost a comparative fortune."
At its United Kingdom launch in September 1985, the basic PCW model was priced at £399 plus value added tax, which included a printer, word processor program, the CP/M operating system and associated utilities, a BASIC interpreter. Software vendors made a wide range of additional applications available, including accounting and database programs, so that the system was able to support most of the requirements of a home or small business. Shortly afterwards the Tandy 1000 was introduced in the UK with the MS-DOS operating system and a similar suite of business applications, became the only other IBM-compatible personal computer system available for less than £1,000 in Britain. At the time the cheapest complete systems from Apricot Computers cost under £2,000 and the cheapest IBM PC system cost £2,400. Although competitors' systems had more sophisticated features, including colour monitors, Whitehead thought the Amstrad PCW offered the best value for money. In the US the PCW was launched at a price of $799, its competitors were the Magnavox Videowriter and Smith Corona PWP, two word processing systems whose prices included a screen and printer.
The magazine Popular Science thought that the PCW could not compete as a general-purpose computer, because its use of non-standard 3-inch floppy disk drives and the rather old CP/M operating system would restrict the range of software available from e