80-Bus News


July–October 1982, Volume 1, Issue 3

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Dave Hunt has asked me to categorically state that the delay in producing this issue is NOT his fault [this time!!]. So I think I’ll have to blame the current aspects of the planets, or something. Anyway, (he says, rapidly changing the subject) thanks once again for all articles that have been coming in. The response to the request for reviews of various new products has been good, but unfortunately most were received too late for this issue, so next issue will be a pumper review one.

The summer (Now, when was that? Ah yes, July 23rd.) has, as usual, been relatively quiet on the ‘New Product’ front. Now, as Winter draws in and the computers come out of hibernation (?), let’s hope that we can look forward to lot’s of nice (cheap) goodies, both hardware and software. As these come out we’ll try to keep you informed, provided that we are kept in the picture ourselves (certain vendors please note). I also hope that in coming issues we’ll be able to publish more programming tips and tricks, as the mag. has so far tended to be very hardware biased. So, if there are any budding Bill Gates/​Paul Allen’s out there, please drop us a few lines. (Note: BG & PA are the guy’s who wrote a little BASIC interpreter, formed a company called Minisoft or Microsoft or something, and were/​are multi-millionaires by their mid-twenties. (Not that I’m jealous or anything, honest.))

PCW Show Review

Many of you were probably not fortunate (?) enough to get to the recent PCW show at the Barbican (Barbarian?) Centre in London, so a few notes follow on what was there worth seeing.

The show this year was split into two sections in two halls, supposedly one section for ‘hobbyists’ and the other for ‘more serious’ users. In reality life is not so simple, and there were quite a number of companies that were either in the wrong hall, could really have been in either, or who hedged their bets (notably Acorn) and had stands in both!

Nascom were there with quite a large, but relatively empty stand. On show was a production version of the AVC running colour, another running 80x25, a Nas-Net slave (Nascom 3), and a Nas-Net master (N3 with disks). IO Research were there with a somewhat narrower, but fuller stand, showing off ‘Pluto’ on a number of different machines including Apple, IBM, ACT and Gemini Galaxy. Also on show for the first time (in prototype form) was ‘Pluto Pallette’, an expansion board for ‘Pluto’ containing umpteen more Kbytes of RAM to give lots of extra colours.

In contrast to the above ‘tidy’ stands, was the ‘MicroValue’ one. Quite a lot on show, but not enough space for it! The Quantum was making its first public appearance since production began, and there were two there, one standard and one running ‘Pluto’. Then there were a number of Gemini Galaxy is (Galaxies?), one boasting an add-on 6MB Winchester unit, one with a prototype Climax colour card (looks very good, uses the Thomson 9365(?) chip, available Novemberish, about £200), two joined together via EV Computing IEEE488 cards (and one of those also sporting the EV printer spooler unit), one with the EV Computing RTC and bleeper boards (both add onto the IVC), one not in a case (i.e. a standard MultiBoard system) with the new GM825 disk drive unit (2 x Micropolis 5.25″ + PSU), and a number of the afore-mentioned now sporting the new Gemini keyboard with fully programmable function keys and numeric pad. (Phew!) To add to the chaos MicroValue were also running a number of ‘Special Offers’ on Nas/​Gem compatible products and showing a couple of machines that I won’t mention here.

I believe Ikon were there showing their digital cassette system for the Nascom, and Vero with their prototyping cards, frames, etc, but I didn’t get to either of these stands unfortunately. In addition there were numerous companies with printers, monitors, media etc. All in all quite interesting.

Next issue we should have reviews on a sound board, CMOS RAM board, digital cassette system, CPU board, plus more from Doctor Dark and no doubt another book from Dave Hunt!! Watch out for it.

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