8-Bit Software
Back to Electron Games

WORKSHOP

 

 

Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only

 

Game Type          : Utility; Educational Art Package

Author             : Richard de Grandis-Harrison

Standalone Release(s)   : 1984: WORKSHOP, Acornsoft, £9.95

Compilation Release(s) : None

Stated compatibility    : Electron

Actual compatibility    : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128

Supplier            : ACORNSOFT, Betjeman House, 104 Hills Road, CAMBRIDGE CB2 1LQ

                    Tel: (0223) 316039

Disc compatibility     : CDFS E00, DFS E00

 

 

Instructions

WORKSHOP provides a microworld in which to discover what each of the program's amazing 'machines' can do with simple shapes. Users will set their own aims, developing their plans and experimenting as they explore alternative methods of working. In exploring the functions of these strange machines, creative thinking can be as effective as a logical approach, though users who wish to review their strategies will enjoy the lively replay sequences. In the microworld of Workshop there will always be new shapes and new things to try - and finding out is fun.

 

The program uses a small number of words and symbols that can easily be found on the computer keyboard. Additionally the function keys have picture-labels and each machine generates its own particular sounds, so Workshop will serve as an amusing and imaginative introduction to the computer for young learners from the age of three upwards.

 

Introduction

WORKSHOP provides a microworld in which to discover what each of the program's amazing 'machines' can do with simple shapes. Users will set their own aims, developing their plans and experimenting as they explore alternative methods of working. Strategies can be examined during the lively replay sequences on the LOOK page. Experiments can be immediately reversed by simply pressing the DELETE key, so trying things out is recommended. In the microworld of Workshop, there will always be new shapes and new things to try - and finding out is fun.

 

The program uses a small number of words and symbols that can be easily found on the computer keyboard. Additionally the function keys have picture-labels and each machine generates its own particular sounds, so Workshop will serve as an amusing and imaginative introduction to the computer for young learners from the age of three upwards.

 

Sound

The program begins on the SHELF page with the sound option on. Pressing Q will switch the sound off; S will restore it. Sound may be switched on or off whenever you return to the SHELF page.

 

Function Key Card

This is placed at the top of the computer keyboard. If you lose your function key card you can make a new one. Simply ensure that the name and symbol for each machine lines up above the following keys:

1  =  DRILL     2  =  PAINT    3  =  NOT       4  =  SCALE   5  =  CUT

6  =  SQUASH    7  =  GLUE     8  =  ROTATE    9  =  LOOK    0  =  SHELF

 

In The Workshop

Workshop is designed for experimentation. There is no right or wrong way of working and surprising effects can be achieved. This section gives details of a planned method of approach that you may wish to follow. Others will prefer the challenge of exploring the workshop on their own.

 

There are four main 'pages' or operating areas: SHELF, PLAN, MACHINES and LOOK.

 

Shelf Page

The SHELF is in front of you when you enter the workshop.

 

You may select a shape (circle, square or triangle) from one of three boxes that contain shapes, by pressing number key 2, 3 or 4. The shape chosen will then be placed in the main box:

 

DELETE  -  cancels your choice

RETURN  -  confirms your choice

 

If you confirm your choice, you are given further options before you leave the SHELF page:

   Number key 1 moves the chosen shape from the main box into box 1

   Number key 0 empties the main box

   Number key 2, 3 or 4 will now place another shape in the main box

 

If number key 1 is pressed when both 1 and the main box are full, the shapes will be exchanged

 

COPY    -  enables a shape in box 1 to be copied into the main box. This option becomes available immediately after number key 1 has been pressed

DELETE  -  allows you to undo the last action

ESCAPE  -  takes your chosen shape from the main box to the PLAN page

 

Plan Page

The chosen shape remains in the main box. Symbols corresponding to those on the function key card surround the area and show the machine options.

 

At this point it is possible for you to ROTATE the shape in the main box (by pressing the labelled function key) and move it UP, DOWN, LEFT and RIGHT with the arrow keys. The shape can then be taken to a machine by pressing a labelled key.

 

You can return to the SHELF at any time from the PLAN page or select the LOOK page.

 

Machine Pages

Each machine page shows the chosen shape in the main box and the machine's symbol in the top-left hand corner. Operating options are shown at the bottom of the screen:

 

RETURN  -  sets the machine in motion

DELETE  -  undoes the machine's operation

ESCAPE  -  transfers the shape (in its current state of working) to the PLAN page where further options may be taken

 

The machines:

The DRILL bores a hole at the centre of the main box. The positioning of shapes will have taken place on the PLAN page. The size of the drilled hole is increased with each press of the <RETURN> key.

 

The PAINTING MACHINE paints the entire shapes in one of seven colours: red, green, yellow, blue, purple, light blue and white (R, G, Y, B, P, L and W). A colour change may adjust the colours of other pages too.

 

The NOT machine acts like a mould which surrounds the chosen shape. The mould will be the new shape.

 

The UP and DOWN arrow keys are used to enlarge or reduce shapes. There may be some simplification of shapes during this process.

 

The CUTTING machine positions a blade over the shape and cuts down in a straight line. The blade may be moved to the left and right using the arrow keys. The section to the right of the blade is discarded.

 

The SQUASH machine can squash or stretch. The DOWN and UP arrow keys are used to show whether the shape is to be squashed or stretched. All parts of the shape are affected.

 

The GLUE machine is used to glue any shape in box 1 to any shape in the main box. The shape from box 1 will be on the right and the shape from the main box will be on the left. Both shapes are scaled down.

 

Look Page

A record of the sequences of operations is kept automatically. It may be referred to from the PLAN page whenever required. A series of symbols shows the pages which have been visited so far. The processes which occured on each page have been stored as a sort of 'program':

 

RETURN  -  enables you to run this 'program'

DELETE  -  will clear the LOOK page

ESCAPE  -  takes you to the PLAN page

 

You will hear a warning tone if the computer does not have enough memory left to record further processes. A flashing LOOK symbol will also appear on the right-hand side of the screen. The LOOK page may not appear to be full when this warning is given if some of the symbols shown represent more than one process. Normal working conditions can continue when the LOOK page is full but further processes will not be

stored until the LOOK page has been cleared with <DELETE>.

 

Designed by Daniel Chandler with David Butler

Programmed by Stephen Butler and Bob Di. Giuseppe.

 

 

Instructions' Source   : WORKSHOP (Acornsoft) Back and Inner Inlay

 

Review (Electron User)

WORKSHOP, from Acornsoft, as you might expect, provides the user with a workshop environment in which to build things. The main fun comes from being able to take objects or shapes such as triangles, squares and circles, then chop bits off them, drill holes and glue them to each other.


Educationally, the idea is that users set their own aims, develop their own plans and experiment as they explore alternative methods of working. Experiments are encouraged as their effects can be immediately reversed by pressing the Delete key thus ensuring no damage is done. There are four main pages or operating areas: Shelf, Plan, Machines and Look.


At the start you are presented with the Shelf page from which you can select an object to work on - either a circle, square or triangle. Once you've made your selection you move on to Plan by pressing <ESCAPE>.


Here your object is shown in a large box in the centre of the screen. Surrounding the box is a set of icons representing the various machines you can use.


You can position your object around inside the box by using the cursor keys and then select a machine from the following:

 

*Drill bores a hole at the centre of the main box, the position of the object being drilled having been selected by the cursor keys. The size of the drilled hole increases with each press of <RETURN>.

 

*Paint paints your object in any of seven colours.


*Not acts like a mould which surrounds the chosen shape. The mould then becomes the new shape.


*Scale allows you to enlarge or reduce your object.


*Cut has a blade which can be moved left or right. When <RETURN> is pressed the blade cuts down through your object.


*Squash squashes or stretches your object.


*Glue will glue your present object to one you have previously made and stored.


*Rotate turns your object through 90 degrees so that you can work on all sides.


These machines are very versatile and the graphical effects quite clever. One very good feature is the Look option. As you build your object, each key press you make is stored.


On selecting Look every process you have taken your object through is impressively replayed in graphic detail.


This is a very useful feature for the teacher or parent who does not have the time to work through the program with the user but wishes to review the work later.


The environment provided by Acornsoft's WORKSHOP is definitely conductive to logical thinking and closely simulates that of a real workshop.

Robin Nixon, ELECTRON USER 3. 5