101 Uses for a CPC

This list was compiled from a thread of articles on comp.sys.amstrad.8bit, the Usenet group for Amstrad CPC and PCW owners. We finally got to 101 in February 2000. Not bad, considering we started in 1998(!)

Contributors: Marcus Durham, Sam Holloway, David Cantrell, Kira L. Brown, JEB 926, Mex, Philip Lynx, MLNewline, Chris Mills, David L., Brian Watson, James Coupe, Andy Cadley (Thanks 106!)

  1. Use the monitor as a fishtank
  2. Put the keyboard on your chair for osteopathic purposes.
  3. Use the disc drive to keep small pieces of bread.
  4. Nail it to your front door and use it as a 3 channel doorbell.
  5. Tie it to the end of a piece of string and take it for walks.
  6. Sell off your old tapes to the local teenagers who will think they are the latest thing in techno music.
  7. Use it as a frisbee.
  8. Nail it to your dashboard to make it look as if your Y reg Capri has lots of electronic gadgets.
  9. Sell it to a bloke in Brentwood as being the latest thing in home computing.
  10. Use it as bait at the end of a fishing rod.
  11. [Phil Craven's DIY ROMboard]
    #13: Cliff's cash-machine fiddling device.
    (Oi, that's my ROMboard! Give it back!
    -- Phil Craven)
  12. Place it on the lawn with a copy of Galactic Plague running. Guaranteed to stop the neighbours cat from crapping on your garden.
  13. Use a speech synthesis to pretend you have a friend to speak to.
  14. Get Cliff to build you a unit that plugs onto the printer port that will allow you to fiddle the local cash machine.Note this will require a very long extension lead for the power supply.
  15. Write a program in basic that has a flashing screen with random colours. Then hold your own rave.
  16. Take all the keys off and put them all back on in the wrong place. Great for confusing people.
  17. Smash it up.
  18. Play Oh Mummy!
  19. Learn how to count from 0-27, and use a colour to help you memorise each number. (6128 owners only)
  20. Reset the machine by linking those two pins on the expansion port together with a paper clip.
  21. Link the wrong two pins with a paper clip and watch what happens.
  22. Buy a blank ISA card (Maplin), and connect it to the CPC with a piece of string. Impress your PC owning friends by having a dedicated External Retro Gaming Device (Plug 'n' Play Compatible).
  23. Run Windows 98
  24. On second thoughts, don't. Not on the CPC, anyway.
  25. Surf the net. (Place machine on a net, stand on monitor and wiggle hips in time with "Wipe Out" music)
  26. Run CP/M. Gasp at how easy it used to be. Yeah, right...
  27. Go into Mode 0, and help those with sight difficulties.
  28. Install a lot of ROMs. Aim to make the startup messages scroll off the top.
  29. Do the suggested extension to the telephone number database program in the manual. (This was connecting your CPC to the phone network and getting the machine to automatically dial numbers. Subject to permission from British Telecom, of course!)
  30. Write "Roland Goes To Thurrock Lakeside."
  31. Put a picture of it on your Downloads page for that Microsoft look.
  32. Keep it in your pocket as a handy calculator. (Large people only)
  33. Sell it to local businesses as a Year 2000 proof machine. (There's a thought - is the DKTronics little clock thingy Y2K compatible?)
  34. Expand the memory to 512K. Use this as cache memory for your PII system.
  35. Hijack the flyback oscillators from the monitor, and together with the PSU chopper transistor, use to form part of a handy TV/monitor repair kit.
  36. That's enough. I've got maths to do.
  37. Do maths on it. Erm. Someone else, please.
  38. Run it over with a van and use the bits for high tech wreckage in a film.
  39. Use the FD-1 floppy drive to prop up non tilt-n-swivel monitors
  40. Cut it up into little pieces, jump on them, and then glue them back together. Exhibit in art gallery, win Turner prize. (Do I win £5? - Kira)
  41. Remove case, take all the internal bits and strap them to your head, then walk around saying " Resistance is futile.....You will be assimilated! "
  42. Scare young children with storys of how long it took to load games on tape.
  43. Boat anchor
  44. Buy a brand new PII 500MHz pc from PC world, remove all the main cards and board and replace with the internal of the CPC, then take back to the shop and complain and see if you get a refund.
  45. As above but phone Microsoft helpline and ask for assistance ( well NT should run considering they have a CPC on the tech support webpage! ).
  46. Put it in your garage and get laughed at when you try to explain why you still have it.
  47. Place it on prominent display in your lounge room in order to stop unwanted sexual advances from members of the opposite sex.
  48. Invite epileptics around and show them how much easier it is on a cpc to program flashing borders in basic.
  49. Draw pictures of a naked Alan Sugar in OCP art studio.
  50. Start loading a tape game and see if you can run to the shops and back before it's loaded.
  51. Pull it apart and put it back together again while blindfolded. Turn the machine on. Being so reliable your cpc should still work. If it does now would be a good time to masturbate.
  52. Build an extension to your house using 464's. Probably cheaper than using breeze blocks.
  53. Use it complete with a generator as a not very portable computer.
  54. Get all the 664's ever made, link them up with serial cables and announce you have built the worlds largest parallel processing computer.
  55. A sex aid for stupid people.
  56. [David Cantrell attempts #27]
    David Cantrell attempts #27.
  57. Use it to hack into a American military installation...... oh sorry you need a C64 for that.
  58. Pull the keys off a 464. Use them as Lego bricks.
  59. Type in random CALLs. Go for the most spectacular crash you can.
  60. Variation on the above: Using this method, see how many times you can make the tape relay go "kchac".
  61. Replace the tape relay.
  62. Try and figure out what that picture on the "Silkworm" loading screen is supposed to be.
  63. Read the CP/M license agreement in the back of the manual. Look scared.
  64. Allnighters playing "Chuckie Egg" with your mates.
  65. Attach a serial port to it, and use the tape port as a primitive, proprietary and slow modem.
  66. Stick one to a wall, spraypaint it black, remove, take wall to art gallery, hey presto, second Turner prize.
  67. Use as mould for molten lead. (Once.)
  68. Pull all the keys off - strip it and mould a plastic bowl the exact shape as the keys and glue onto the 464. An interesting bowl for soup and ice cream!!
  69. Strip 464 base unit to its component parts and use as an interesting wall display.
  70. Battering people on the head who ask on comp.sys.amstrad.8bit for PC assistance.
  71. Running the CAD program I (Kira) wrote in Dr Logo of course :-)
  72. Send random commands to the sound system. Go straight to Number 1.
  73. Connect between PC and printer. Use as a buffer (7-bit only)
  74. Learn how to program RSX commands. Implement |DOG to list files. (Actually, Adam Waring really did this one...)
  75. Learn how to rewrite the jumpblock. Make CAT say "Meow".
  76. Wonder how to access the second 64k. Still wonder today.
  77. Boot into CPM 2. Wonder why it was included.
  78. Run LOGO. Realise it reminds you of school days. Sigh slightly.
  79. Browse the ROM. Discover what 'Amstrad' is in German.
  80. Turn Glasgow into a centre for small business start-ups.
  81. Sex aid for hedgehogs.
  82. Run a design business using BASIC (this only applies if you are in Eastenders and called Colin).
  83. Use the disc drive to store bits of toast.
  84. Send a CPC464 and free games pack to Saddam Hussein. Wait for him to beg to the West to send him some decent games.
  85. Sell it for 16 grand to a gullible owner of a retro computer outlet.
  86. Start a magazine about it. Call it CPC Attack. Don't bother to play the games you review though and close down after 6 issues.
  87. Persuade Microsoft to comission Harrier Attack 2. The game will require 600 meg of disc space and 64 meg of memory..... So basically it will be 6128 only.
  88. Run a PC emulator on it.
  89. Run a CPC emulator on the PC emulator.
  90. Run a CPC emulator on the PC emulator on a CPC emulator.
  91. Use it as a very large portable calculator.
  92. Send it to a leper colony (CPC 664 only).
  93. Sellotape[tm] it to your chin and pretend to be Jimmy Hill.
  94. Overclock the CPU (remove Z80 with chisel, place on top of alarm clock).
  95. Annoy PC users by writing a 2000-word essay with ROM Protext in the time it takes their machine to boot.
  96. Plug CPC into big stereo system. Load Starquake. Realise how comparatively crap Environmental Audio is.
  97. DNS server, web client, network kitchen sink unblocker.
  98. Source of merriment.
  99. Source of frustration.
  100. Golf Club Evaluator*.
  101. Take photos of the CPC464 keyboard and submit it for use as a television test card.
  102. Use it to type a 3000 word essay on why "The C64 was crap!". Post this to every newsgroup you know.
  103. Give yourself a good excuse for a web page.

* Explanation from Brian:

The weird thing is, it's true.

I was playing at Horam golf club many years ago and they had a green screen 464 running software in the Pro Shop to advise on golf club usage, subject to the punter feeding in a few basic body dimensions.

Curiously, when I fed in my height it crashed.


Thanks to David Cantrell for his permission to use his CPC photos from the Obsolete Computer Museum.

ROMboard photo scanned from an old issue of Amstrad Computer User and probably copyrighted to someone.

Sadly, the picture of a CPC that was on Microsoft's downloads page now seems to have gone. But we have witnesses.


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