I have no hesitation in recommending the
card, despite the poor
documentation. It is well engineered and works perfectly. With the growing
popularity of virtual disks, it is likely to be a success. I look forward to
seeing the next MAP product which is rumoured to be a memory mapped (paged out)
80 by 25 video card complete with an optional floppy disk controller which is
software compatible with the Gemini
disk controller!!! Gemini are rumoured
to be producing a new memory card, but there is no information yet on how much
memory it will have. My guess is that 256K is the minimum they will consider, and
512K could be possible! Anyway, it looks as if Gemini are getting some tough
competition, which will no doubt be good for us all.
The MAP RAM is available from MAP 80 SYSTEMS LTD., as advertised in this issue.
SYS – LATEST DEVELOPMENTS
by RICHARD BEAL
In the December 1981 issue of INMC 80 (Issue 5 and last) I wrote an
article about SYS.
At that time I said that I had just finished a new version which
supported the Gemini double density disk card. That seemed quite a step forward
at the time, but a lot has happened to SYS in the last year, and a new version,
Vi5.0 has just been released, so I thought it would be a good time to bring you
up to date on the latest developments. First I will just give a few hints of what
it now includes:–
NASCOM ––– GEMINI
––– GALAXY ––– QUANTUM
MICROPOLIS ––– WINCHESTER ––– SHUGART ––– ‘SHUGART COMPATIBLE’ ––– 8 INCH
PERTEC ––– CROMEMCO ––– RML ––– XEROX ––– SUPERBRAIN ––– RAIR
VIRTUAL DISK ––– VIRTUAL BOOT ––– MAP 256K ––– MEMORY MAPPING
MEGABYTE OF RAM SYSTEMS ––– CONFIGURATION MESSAGES
‘FIXED’ SCREEN EDITING ––– SCREEN PAGING CONTROL ––– SCREEN DUMP
First a brief description of what SYS is, for those few of you who are not
yet using it!
SYS is a CP/M program which replaces the BIOS of the CP/M system with an
expanded BIOS which has many additional features. The BIOS is the part of CP/M
which deals with input and output.
SYS can be executed automatically on Reset or Cold Boot and it automatically
relocates the new BIOS to match whatever size CP/M system is in use. This means
that it can easily become an integral part of the computer system.
SYS is always stored on disk with the standard name of SYS.COM, but there
are a vast number of possible configurations which support different hardware
requirements. These are selected by conditional assembly.
SYS may be used on Nascom or Gemini computers. It requires a Gemini
double density disk card. At present it supports Version 2.2 of the CP/M
SYS contains two versions of the disk software. The first of these supports
only Pertec 35 track 48 t.p.i drives or Shugart compatible 48 t.p.i drives (if
the time constants are changed to suit). However it has the advantage that it is
able to provide support for a whole range of disk formats which are described
below, allowing data to be exchanged with many other types of computer. The
second incorporates the Gemini standard disk software which includes support for
Winchester hard disks and standard eight inch floppy disks, aa well as further
options for Pertec, Micropolis, and other ‘Shugart compatible’ 96 t.p.i five inch
disk drives. See the suppliers note on Winchester version availability at the end
of the article.