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An interview with James Fowler - the creator of the Grand Prix 1 Memory Enhancer - which helps Windows users get F1GP to run on their systems without the "not enough memory" error.

By John
18 April 2000

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself

A. I work at Southern Water in Health & Safety Department. I'm 17 and love Sega, programming, HTML and women LOL. I'm a fan of GP1 and 2 but 3 looks excellent! Not much else exept I'm working on a web page for Sega @ www.sega2000.net.

Q. How long have you been playing F1GP?

A. I first played GP1 on the Amiga back in 91/92. Back then this game was amazing and top of the range, not that it isn't anymore, but what I mean it has lost its graphical flair that it used to have :(

Q. What does GPMem do?

A. GPMem basically swaps Autoexec.bat and Config.sys files so you have enough conventional memory, as GP1 takes up 600Kb, which means your not able to play GP1 on most machines with Windows 9x.

Q. Why did you create GPMem?

A. I first come across the problem on my old 486 DX4. But when I brought GP1 again in 1997 it came up with the error "not enough memory". I thought the problem was only for under spec machines, but then I later realised what the error actually meant - GP1 was written for DOS, not Windows, and didn't think about conventional memory. But I thought to myself maybe I can configure my computer to run GP1. But what if other people couldn't, like real beginners to computers, they wouldn't be able to play GP1 at all.

Q. How was GPMem created (which programming language)?

A. The first version was made using different batch commands, I then compiled it with a bat-exe compiler program that stopped people editing the code - which I was worried about at first. I later realised the compiler made the program unstable on about 90% of machines. Because I'm a one man band I only tested it on my machine, and it worked on that. But version 2 has much more advanced code and is open source so people can edit it in any way they want - although this is not advised just in case you completely delete config.sys and autoexec.bat settings.

Q. Do you have any plans to add any more features to GPMem?

A. I think that maybe its GPMem that caused sound cards to not work on GP1. So anyone who has this problem please email me and tell me if your sound card worked before running GPMem. If it did please tell me and I will on GPMem to work with this error.

Q. Why do you think that so many people have downloaded the program?

A. So many people have downloaded this program because GP1 is such a good game and people want to be able to switch on and play GP1 without having to configure files to run the game. I think Geoff Crammond should pay me for keeping his game alive on Windows machines *Laughs*. GPMem just makes it easier for everyone to play GP1!

Q. Did you think that the program would be as popular as it is? (GPMem is currently downloaded about 500 times a month)

A. I was expecting maybe 100 downloads maximum to be honest, but not this many

About Author

This article was written by John. John is the resident programmer ("CGI-Guy") of SimRacingWorld.com. He has designed the site and written all of the code that serves the content.

John has written 36 articles for SimRacingWorld.

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