Memotech MTX: Title

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Last update: 2-JUNE 2012

Memotech MTX: Title


Welcome to :
A Interview with: 
Keith Clatworthy


First a little bit about Keith Clatworthy:

Keith Clatworthy is 44 and a Microsoft Certified Professional. He started working with computers in 1973 as an Operator of an ICL 1906 mainframe. Five years later Keith was a programmer, initially on ICL equipment and later on Digital VAXs. Since them he have worked in most areas of IT, most notably IT Security. Currently Keith is working as a web developer for a large American IT services company. 

Keith is the programmer of the wellknown Memotech MTX games called: "TapeWorm" and Keith was the first programmer from back then, who actually concacted US.

Here is the Interview!:

How much time did you spend written the Game "TapeWorm" ? 
Actually writing the first 'working' copy of Tapeworm took about two days to write, but to get the game to look presentable enough to market took about another week. It took a lot longer to initially work out how I was going to get things to work, before I ever started coding. 
For how long time did you have your Memotech MTX, before you begun writting, games for it ? 
: I had owned a Memotech for about two weeks before I started writing Tapeworm, but I was already using BASIC on a VAX and the Memotech Basic was a lot simpler, so it didn't take much time at all to learn it. 
When did you get your Memotech MTX, and do you remember the cost-price of it ? 
I can't really remember too well, but I think it was about £200 (A lot of money at the time!) 
How much money did you get out of the deal with Continental Software ? 
It soon became clear that I was not going to get rich by writing this game :-). I got an initial advanced royalty payment of £100 with a promise of a Royalty cheque every month. No monthly royalty cheque ever arrived as Continental went out of business. The copyright of the game was passed to Memotech International and as Continental owned the rights to the game I got nothing. A valuable lesson to me on understanding contracts!  
When You sold your product to Continental Software, did you get any free copies of "your own game" 
Yes, Continental sent me one free copy. They rang me several times to let me know how production was going and also to ask if I would be interested in writing other games for the machine, most notably a flight simulator. 
The Name "TapeWorm", was it changed after you sold the product to Continental Software, or is it the Original Tittle? 
The game was always called Tapeworm. Continental didn't like the name but I made it a condition of them marketing it that it went out as Tapeworm. 
Did you ever wrote other software products for Memotech MTX ? 
I write another program called 'Towers of Hanoi' but Continental went out of business before it got marketed. I wrote a lot of other programs, but only for my own amusement, the best of which was a word processor (these were still fairly rare in 1984). 
It is well know that the Memotech MTX Fail, (I think in Denmark, the last MTX was sold around 1987) what do you think the reason was ? 
It was a time when many manufacturers were scrambling to get a place in the market. There were no clear standards and no clear direction as to what users wanted. It was a time of experimentation, and to me the most exciting time there has ever been in computing. Basically the marketplace was too crowded and there simply were not enough customers to support so many different types of computers. In the end the big players won (IBM, Apple etc), the small players could not produce computers at a price where they could make a profit. 
Did you get in touch with other Memotech MTX Programmers ? 
I actually work with one! His name is Phil Clark and he wrote several titles for the Memotech. (I will find out the names and let you know) 
Do you still have (and use) your Memotech MTX Today
I still have my Memotech and it is in good working order, but I only use it rarely, just for nostalgic reasons. 
Do you think there are any place in the world where the MTX "Lives", I mean usergroups etc. 
I very much doubt it. :-(


Thanks to Keith Clatworthy for giving this Interview, maybe this could be a idea for other programmers from the good old Memotech MTX Time too. We are always interested to get connected with people who will share there comments and informations with us!

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