80-Bus News


April–June 1982 · Volume 1 · Issue 2

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Welcome to Issue 2 of 80-BUS News.

We have been very pleased to receive all of the letters congratulating us on the first issue. It is obviously very encouraging that so many people have taken the time to comment on the format and content of the magazine and we will endeavour to make some of the modifications that have been suggested.

There have also been, inevitably, one or two letters with an amount of criticism, but this criticism has been mainly aimed at the inefficiency of the INMC80 magazine, which we have, as you know, taken under our wing. Steps are being taken to rectify the shortcomings in these areas, as we are well aware of them. One problem has been in maintaining an accurate mailing list, as until now this has been handled manually. We are about to take a somewhat retrograde step and computerise!! This will mean some considerable fun during the changeover period and we would ask you to have a little (lot of?) patience as we move the sizeable mailing list from paper to disk.

Another complaint has been at the irregularity of issues. Well, again we know, we apologise, we have had a little hiccough at the start, but we have made a promise to produce a given number of issues within a given time period, and this we will do !! (We will, we will, we will.)

In the last editorial I commented on the amount of material we had received (and published) on disk systems. Well, there seems to have been a natural reaction to this, and this magazine escapes with hardly a word about disks. (Well, nearly.) But there are articles about disk systems arriving for the next issue already, so anti-disk readers had better get scribbling quickly if they want the magazine to maintain a nice even balance ! We have also received a couple of hardware articles and so Issue 3 is well underway.

A number of people have written asking ‘Whatever happened to the INMC program library?’ Not an easy one this. The program library was, to put it mildly, too successful. Vast numbers of programs used to arrive at the INMC, with no-one with the time to even look through then, let alone sort out which of the 27 versions of Hangman, or 18 versions of Life was the best. In addition some programs arrived hand-written, or as carbon copies, or printed on an arthritic antique teletype, or on Nascom 1 format tapes (single or 3.83642 times speed!), and even the occasional Nascom 2 tape (which was about the only promising media, until it was discovered that the sender had forgotten to plug in the cassette lead and all that was there was Joey the budgie saying rude things). All in all a disaster. Then one day a volunteer was found to sort it all out (mad fool) and so off he went with van-fulls of paper and tape ...... never to be seen again (not so mad). And that brings us almost to date. So, in answer to this recurring question, all I can say is that we do hope that one day we will be able to resurrect the library, but in the meantime, please don’t call us.........​(P.S. Anyone seen the van driver?)

One popular item in this sort of magazine is the review. If anyone has purchased any software or hardware that they think everyone else should either buy or steer well clear of, then please send us a review. (We pay, you know?)

And finally a little glimpse into a few items that we hear may actually have appeared at last, or may appear in the next few weeks. Anyone who manages to find any of them please write in to let us know if they work! I/O Research’s Pluto ; Nascom’s AVC; Gemini’s GM816 I/O Board, GM813 combined CPU-I/O-64K RAM, & GM822 Real Time Clock; Nascom’s, Gemini’s and Hi-Soft’s PASCALs. Plus, has anyone any comments to make on Nascom’s N3, Gemini’s Galaxy 1, EV Computing’s IEEE488 or Microde’s Static RAM board. We look forward to hearing from you.

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