It's good to see another former Amstrad user here. I started with a CPC464 with green screen and cassette - I think my dad traded it for a CD player or something - and eventually he got a CPC6128 with the color monitor and disk drive (360k - x2 - of sheer luxury!). I taught myself to program Basic to start then I got the firmware manual and a book of assembler opcodes and started in on Z80 machine code for sprites and such. Eventually I got an assembler, Maxam (sheer luxury again).
I also got ACU (Amstrad Computer User) with the Hairy Hacker's column in it; and a few years ago I actually contacted him (Vik) to express my appreciation, and he wrote back. His web site doesn't seem to be on the net any more, however.