8-Bit Software
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Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only


Game Type          : Strategy; Utility To Predict Football Pools' Results

Author             :

Standalone Release(s)   : 1989: SYSTEM 8: POOLS PREDICTORDARTS, Blue Ribbon, £2.99

Compilation Release(s) : None

Stated compatibility    : Electron/BBC Dual Version

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

Supplier            : BLUE RIBBON, CDS House, Beckett Road, DONCASTER DN2 4AD

                    Tel: 01322 21134

Disc compatibility     : ADFS 1D00, CDFS 1D00, DFS 1D00




"Do you fill in the pools every week? Would you like to increase your chances of winning? Could a computer assist in filling out your coupon? If the answer to any of these questions is Yes, then System 8 - The Pools Predictor is for you!"


SYSTEM 8 - The Pools Predictor is a football pools forecaster which can help you plan your coupon for UK football pools.


It predicts the outcome of matches in the four English and three Scottish Divisions. It cannot predict the result of those games involving non-league clubs or Australian leagues.


The program uses a stored database in order to calculate the possible result of the current match from the results of previous matches. This database should be compiled for a minimum of four weeks before any level of prediction accuracy can be assumed.


In order to make life simpler when completing coupons, System 8's 'Perm against Plan' option causes selections to be displayed in columns ready for direct copying to the coupon.


In order to retain the match result data needed to predict future results, the 'Save data' option must be used before the computer is turned off. It is strongly recommended that this data is saved to separate data tapes each week. This makes it very simple to go back to a previous week's data if an error or a recording fault is found subsequently. The master cassette must NOT be used to record match data under any circumstances.


Please not that System 8 is published for amusement only and that whilst Blue Ribbon believe the program to be accurate, they provide no warranty as to its use and will accept no claims for losses incurred.


Main Menu

The five option main menu appears next.


For the first use, or to start a new season, select option '5 - Set up Divisions' and then follow the on-screen prompts. If there is an odd number of teams in any division, enter a dummy team as the entered team total must be even. Once this has been done, save the data via option '4', so that this information is not lost in case of future problems. As a further insurance against loss of effort, record the data twice at least.


To prepare to use for the current week, select option '1'.


Please not that only league games should be entered, not cup matches. For mid-week matches, it is essential that results are entered immediately as the fixture list is not saved for these games.


Saturday fixture lists are saved with the data and so these can be created at any time.


To create a match list simply enter the team numbers at the prompt. Press 'Q' to quit a division if all the teams are not playing.


After the match list is created the selections can be made by following the on-screen prompts. Remember that System 8 needs to have at least four weeks' data loaded before the selections can be expected to have any accuracy.


'Perm against Plan' displays a coupon-like read out of the selections. System 8 makes a maximum of 32 selections.


Option '3 - Enter Results' is used to record the week's data ready for subsequent weeks. Saturday match results can be entered at a later date due to the fixture list/s being stored on tape. Mid-week match results must be entered immediately after creating the fixture list as this list is not saved to tape although the results are.


Data is saved using option '4'. Please note that this should be the final option selection before turning off the computer. Saving the data twice is a good idea in order to decrease the chance of a saving or loading error causing problems.


Result entries are:

Home win            H             Away win            A

Score draw          S             No-score draw       N

Postponed           P


Loading Data

Upon loading the program, you are first prompted to load the previously stored match data.


For the first use of the program you should load the start-up data recorded on the master program cassette.


To do this ignore the prompts to change and/or rewind the cassette and simply press <RETURN>. Remember to have a blank cassette available in order to record the database at the end of this session of program use.


Game Controls

Most of the program controls and options are prompted on the screens concerned. By reading the screen carefully, it should be possible to input all the information required simply and easily.



Instructions' Source   : SYSTEM 8 - THE POOLS PREDICTOR (Blue Ribbon) Inner Inlay


Review (Electron User) - "So Do You Feel Lucky?"

Every week for the last eleven years I have religiously completed my 8 out of 10 column of the pools coupon. The more astute members of ELECTRON USER's readership will deduce that I have still to land my first big pools win, since I am still writing reviews and not living it up on my private Caribbean island.


SYSTEM 8, from Blue Ribbon, is a football pools predictor program that may improve your chances of winning. I use the word may because Blue Ribbon merely hints that its program will improve your success rate.


According to the cassette inlay card, the program's database must contain at least four weeks' results before any level of prediction accuracy can be assumed. This means that you must persevere with the program for a whole month before you can begin to reap the benefits - although you could enter past results.


The data file on the tape is not intended for use with predictions - I know this because when I asked the program for its predictions based upon that data it selected all ten matches from division one. Now this may have been a genuine prediction but I have a sneaking suspicion that sticking pins in the coupon would have proved more successful.


SYSTEM 8 was written in 1988, so the default teams in each division aren't much use for the 1989/90 football season. Job number one therefore is to get hold of your latest pools coupon and shuffle the teams up and down between the various divisions until they are correct, then save the lot to a tape.


While on the subject, I would have found the program far more useable had it included a routine to transfer itself to disc - saving files to tape is positively primitive in these days of cheap disc drives. Perhaps they assume the software will only be bought by hard-up and desperate types!


Setting up the divisions is a once a season task, a more frequent chore is creating the weekly match list for every match in all seven divisions. For Saturday matches this list can be prepared in advance and saved ready for vidi-printer time on Saturday afternoon.


Result entry is actually the easiest routine in the whole program. The day's games are displayed on the screen one by one and all you have to do is press an S for a score draw, N for a no score draw, H for a home win and so on until every game has an associated result. Data entry complete, you can save your work in preparation for the following week's matches.


SYSTEM 8 will predict possible score draws for your treble chance entry or produce Perm against Plan columns that are ready to be copied straight to your coupon. At a price of £2.99 what have you got to lose?

James Riddell


Sound ........................... 6

Graphics ....................... 10

Playability .................... 10

Value for money ................ 10

Overall ......................... 9