80-Bus News


January–February 1983 · Volume 2 · Issue 1

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and comprehensive programming interface to the operating system to facilitate sophisticated applications programs. The SBIOS for Nascom has been implemented via AllBoot (mentioned above) that enables the disk drives to be configured under software control. Thus almost any legal combination of 5″ and 8″ drives with Nascom and Gemini(GM809) FDC cards and format (including the ability to use 48 tpi formatted disks on 96 tpi drives) can be catered for and reconfigured, at will, while the system is running. The system can be run (although with a couple of inconveniences) using the normal Nascom 16*48 display. However facilities for a Gemini IVC and/or serial console are provided as are “hooks” to enable a Lucas Logic AVC, or other CRT or keyboard of the user’s choice, to be used.

The printer can be software configured to use either the PIO (for a Centronics type) or the UART (serial).

AllBoot sits at F000 – F7FF and RAM is required from FC00 for the SBIOS and F800 if Nascom video is used (can be changed on booting to any other address to which the VRAM select is decoded). A minimum of 48K (60K is more suitable) RAM is required below F000 and at least one disk drive (two is more sensible) with at least 175K.

The Gemini version will be essentially the same except that it will be totally RAM based (and with about 1K extra RAM at the top end of the memory map), the Gemini boot ROM paging out after loading, and the Nascom video option will obviously not be possible.

(Many thanks to Lucas Logic for their help with 5.25″ disk drives, by the way, and also to Dave Hunt at Henry’s for patiently answering countless queries.)

User Group

About two years the UCSD p-System Users Society (USUS) was set up in the USA, followed shortly by USUS(UK) over here. They have a large library of programs (about 20 single density 8″ disks’ worth) in various formats available for the cost of the media and copying.

They also organise two full-scale conferences (usually at a University) every year and distribute a Newsletter rather like this full of technical tips and reviews of the latest aplications packages.

They can be contacted via:

Mark Woodman
Membership Secretary USUS(UK)
Mathematics Faculty
The Open University
Walton Hall

How to get it

I almost forgot (he said lying through his teeth) you can buy the Nascom implementation (and soon Gemini/​Galaxy/​Quantum versions) from me, see my Ad. in this mag. Alternatively hassle your Nascom/​Gemini dealer and tell him/​her to order one thousand copies from me as soon as possible if they don’t want to be left out of the rush.

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