AMOS Professional

Welcome to AMOS Professional, the dedicated creation system for producing professional Amiga programs. With this system at your fingertips, you can exploit the full potential of your computer, and release the full creativity of your own imagination. There is not a single style of best-selling computer game that cannot be produced with AMOS Professional, and by reading through this User Guide and examining the hundreds of ready-made examples on disc, you will soon discover that all of the hard work has been done for you.

AMOS Professional has evolved over several years until it can now provide beginners and experts alike with full control over superb graphics, animation, audio sampling, synthetic speech, menus, interactive control panels, and above all, ideas! Most importantly, you can customise AMOS Professional to suit all your own needs, quickly, simply and precisely.

If you get into any sort of trouble, AMOS Professional offers instant on-screen Help with every command and aspect of your programming, and there is even a built-in Program Monitor to examine what is happening within your routines.

Experienced AMOS users will be amazed how many new features and improvements have been added to the original system. Beginners will probably take it all for granted!

How to exploit this User Guide

A system that has been designed to satisfy all Amiga programming needs must offer its facilities clearly and simply, otherwise the sheer scale of the package can seem overwhelming, and some of the system's wonders may be completely overlooked by the user. To make this User Guide as helpful as possible, it has been divided into a series of self-contained Sections, and each Section deals with a specific aspect of the AMOS Professional system. Where these Sections cover several related subjects, each subject is examined in its own Chapter.

However, the printed word can never convey the look and feel of a programming technique, which is why everything that you read in these pages can also be demonstrated and analysed on screen, at the touch of a button! AMOS Professional comes complete with pre-programmed instant examples of everything from a single command to complete arcade games, strategy simulations and practical utilities!

Normally, you will be able to call for ready-made demonstrations and Help directly, but where it is necessary to load a particular demonstration program from a disc, a special pointer symbol is used in this User Guide. Similar pointers also appear to make it clear which examples you can type in.

There are four different pointers that can appear at the left-hand side of the page, and they have the following meanings:

DP> Disc Pointer. Please load this ready-made demonstration program from disc.

E > Edit Pointer. This printed example can be typed in exactly as it appears on the page, from the AMOS Professional Edit Screen. It can then be Run, and is seen on screen.

D> Direct Mode Pointer. This printed example can be typed in exactly as it appears on
the page, from the AMOS Professional Direct Mode Window. It can then be demonstrated by pressing the Return key.

X> This printed example demonstrates a particular programming technique or part of a routine. There is no need to type it in, because it cannot be demonstrated in isolation on the screen.

Printed examples of AMOS Professional programs appear in special type, and they are indented on the page like this:


AMOS Professional provides over seven hundred command words ready to be exploited in your own programming routines, and many of them are staggeringly powerful. Because these command words are so important, they are printed in prominent type throughout this User Guide. When they appear in the main body of the text, they are printed in capital letters. For example the simple command word for printing items appears as PRINT. Where a command word is introduced for the first time in the User Guide, it is indented on the page and printed in large bold type, along with a summary of its use. For example:


instruction: print items on screen
Print items

Everything else is fully explained as it is introduced, or is completely self-explanatory. Now that AMOS Professional has been introduced to you, and before introducing AMOS Professional to your Amiga, here are a few words of welcome from some of the key players in the team.

A few words of welcome

Welcome to AMOS Professional! Many thanks for buying it and many more thanks for helping us create it. Since your feedback from the very first versions of AMOS, we have had one constant policy of listening to you, the user. We have read every letter, and recorded all your comments, suggestions, bouquets and custard pies! Everything has been evaluated and taken into account, and the result is in your hands right now.

So much has been added to the original software, and special attention has been paid to the interface between our software and your brain: the Editor.

I really want you to be comfortable within AMOS Professional, and I am happy to tell you that the Editor can be reconfigured to exactly how you like it, and I mean exactly. You can even reprogram my menu options.

We'll keep on listening to your suggestions, so please fill in the Registration Card and when you have taken a little time to discover the insides of AMOS Professional, tell us your impressions of the product. Old AMOS users, you are in for a big shock! New users, I want you to be surprised, delighted and made passionate about my software!


Is it really five years since two French guys visited our offices with STOS Basic in tow? It had sold a couple of thousand units in France and all its support programs looked terrible! But there was something magical under the hood: STOS had an amazingly fast sprite engine, a powerful music facility, and it was perfect for writing games. We got incredibly excited, decided to publish STOS in the UK as The Games Creator, and got the author to write a Low res sprite editor and a game, for which we supplied all the graphics. STOS was transformed! It was launched in August 1988 and stormed straight to Number One in the Gallup Charts. It has since sold 40,000 copies through the shops, and a further 90,000 when Atari bundled it with the ST for a year.

AMOS was started soon after the STOS launch. Until then, François had hardly seen an Amiga, and boy, did he have problems coming to terms with its idiosyncrasies! Since then, AMOS has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Amiga programmers! Easy AMOS followed on, to meet the demands of first-time programmers. François made so many improvements to the original environment that we had to give AMOS a complete overhaul, and the result is AMOS Professional: what must be the most sophisticated development system for the Amiga yet.

I am sure that as you use AMOS Pro you will appreciate the sheer amount of hard work and love that François, Richard, Mel, Stephen, Ronnie and the team have put into the package. They have worked long hours, seven days a week to bring you their pride and joy, based on conversations and questionnaires from very many AMOS users. I hope that this is exactly what you've been waiting for, and I wish you many happy hours using AMOS Pro to transform your dreams into reality.


I've been involved with AMOS from the very beginning. It's been a wonderful program to work with and I have always been excited by each new version created by François. With AMOS Professional we have turned the tables on you, the user. Instead of dictating what this new version was to be, we contacted over two hundred AMOS enthusiasts to see what they wanted. From their replies we created a Wish List of major features. The ones that made the most sense and offered the greatest benefits to the majority of users were grafted into the system. AMOS is a very wholesome product, and it leaves no boulders unturned. Its creative powers allow you to produce endless types of programs. Have strength in all your programming efforts, and if your human machine tries to defeat you and you feel like giving up, rely on the strength of AMOS Professional. The satisfaction is well worth the effort. Go for it!


I remember my first glimpse of AMOS Basic, three years ago. A package popped through my letter box containing a three-and-a-half-inch disc bearing the label AMOS-1 written in biro. Ten minutes later I was completely hooked! All through the next year, new versions arrived on my welcome mat, and I never quite knew what to expect. It was like opening Christmas presents every week! There were many surprises along the way, including the AMAL animation language, but the potential of the system was obvious from that first disc. As the project drew to a close, I resolved to get down to some serious AMOS programming. Three years and several hundred programs later, I'm still raring to go!

It looks like Christmas has arrived early this year, and I'm even more enthusiastic about AMOS Professional. It heralds an exciting new chapter in the world of Amiga programming, and I'm delighted to be part of it. There are dozens of great new features, and I have already programmed each and every one of them. AMOS has provided me with years of enjoyment, and AMOS Professional promises more to come. So join me on an extended journey into the fascinating world of AMOS Programming. you won't regret it!


When I first became interested in computers, they were an unknown quantity. Friends would ask me, "What can you do with a computer?", and there I was for six hours a night with my ZX80, 1k RAM, no colour, no sound, no graphics, writing 101 different programs that printed my name to the screen. At the time I didn't have an answer to their questions. About twenty years have passed since I plugged in my first transformer, and home computers have evolved into powerful and complex beasts. AMOS Professional is the tamer of my beast, and with a little effort on your part, I'm sure it will become one of your best friends as well. Since using the AMOS system, I have the perfect answer to the old question "What can you do with a computer?" I simply reply, "Anything I like!"


I was a computing crustacean: a creature with an interesting past and possibly extinct. I evolved from the digital slime when computers were as big as a whale and as daft as plankton. Two years ago They said to me "This is an Amiga, and this is Easy AMOS. If someone like you can understand how the two go together, then anyone can!" I understood. I evolved. There were only three things wrong with Easy AMOS: it was sleeker, smarter and friendlier than its big brother AMOS. So now They have come up with AMOS Professional. I can understand this too. I have evolved some more.

Now I'm a computing dolphin: streamlined, intelligent, well-loved and a protected species. Thanks everyone.


A potted history of AMOS

We end this Welcome, with a brief summary of the evolution of AMOS Professional.