Computer enthusiast Garry Knight started his programming career with a Sinclair ZX81. After mastering the ZX81's BASIC programming language he was soon ran into the limitation of the 1K of RAM on the ZX81, and started to learn to program in Z80 machine code. During the following year Sinclair Research the ZX Spectrum, having a 16K memory Garry bought one. Garry was getting more practice at Z80 machine code programming. Garry never used an assembler and it was a while before there was even one available so he had to code the hard way, looking up the hexadecimal equivalent for each of the Z80 opcodes and entering them in POKE statements.
Some time after that Steve Vickers and the Jupiter Cantab team released the
Jupiter Ace. Seeing that it was similar in many ways to the ZX81 and Spectrum
but running Forth, "I just had to get one".
"I found Forth a lot of fun to learn and use and quickly realised that you could cram a lot more into the available memory with Forth than you could with BASIC. Once I'd got Forth under my belt I worked out how to program the beast in Z80 assembler and started coding some games and utilities."
"One day I spotted an advert for Remsoft, who were looking for new software for the Jupiter Ace, in one of the weekly computer mags. Having got enough confidence that I knew what I was doing, I contacted John Noyce and we agreed to meet in Brighton. I think it was at that first meeting that I met John's friend Doug Bollen. We discussed the software I'd written and my plans for other software and John expressed an interest in publishing just about all of it. I demonstrated some of it for John and Doug and I think John asked Doug to quality-check it. Pretty soon my software made up a substantial percentage of Remsoft's catalogue."
Garry also worked with John Noyce and Microkey on the Microkey 4500 Forth-based micro
back in, 1984. He wrote a cardfile database program as a demo of the
"The Ace was a nice machine to play with but the Spectrum was a lot more popular and I got a lot more experience with it than with the Ace. I answered an ad placed in a computer mag by a couple of guys looking to expand their software company by taking on another programmer. One of these guys explained to me how to program 2D sprite-based platform games using the standard cookie-cutter technique which was the one of the most important pieces of knowledge I gained during my entire computing career."
" I also wrote a version of Forth for the ZX Spectrum (G-Forth for graphics and games) which I continued working on after the Jupiter Ace sales trickled to nothing and my working relationship with John Noyce tapered off. I'd vaguely been thinking of getting this published but I left my day job in 1985 to become a full-time freelance programmer working with Softstone then Ocean, US Gold, and other software publishers on chart-busting games for the Spectrum, Atari ST, Amiga, and PC such as Impossible Mission and V."
- Forty key machine code - ETI Magazine November 1983.
- Useful ROM Routines - Ace User No3 page 11.
- Multiple Key Presses - Ace User No3 page 12 & 13.
- Spectrum Forth's Comparison - Forth User Vol.2 No2/3 page 3.
- REMSoft Tape 4 - Four Challenging Games 3k - MIA
- REMSoft Tape 5 - Frogger 19k
- REMSoft Tape 6 - Toolkit/Screenkit 3k
- REMSoft Tape 7 - Character Designer 3k - MIA
- REMSoft Tape 8 - Picasso 19k - MIA
- REMSoft Tape 10 - Strings 19k - MIA
- REMSoft Tape 13 - Ace Assembler 3.9k - MIA
- REMSoft Tape 15 - Aliens 19k - MIA
- REMSoft Tape 20 - Super strings 3.7k - MIA
- Forty key machine code routine.