80-Bus News


March–April 1983, Volume 2, Issue 2

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other Thursday at the Frogmore Hotel, Alma Road, Windsor. Anyway, the Thames Rip-off Society, sorry, NAS-TUG have what they call an organised evening on one Thursday followed by what they call a disorganised workshop evening the following Thursday fortnight. They attract members from a very wide catchment area (I’ve even been known to go along myself and I don’t exactly live in Windsor) because they’re a friendly bunch. Membership is not restricted to Nascom owners – if their latest newsletter is to be believed, a couple of members are currently ‘down-grading their equipment to Gemini’ and one member admits to owning an Osbourne but comes along to find out what real computing is about. Details of who to contact can be sought through The Chertsey Computer Centre or Henry’s Radio. Sorry to mention shops, but they are the only places I can remember who would know the relevant numbers. (There you are Mark, a plug, now how about bumping our circulation up a bit by enlightening many of YOUR members who are unaware of OUR existence.)

CCPZ Revisited.

To follow up my piece about CCPZ elsewhere in this mag, I made comment about having a go at persuading CCPZ to accept something like .13 as a command line, that is using the full stop in place of the command word USER because it’s three letters less to type. Well during a chat with Mike Waters of Norwich, who was using CCPZ and had fixed a bug concerning the way CCPZ generates form feeds, I mentioned my problem, and he has since kindly sent me a fixed version with the form feed bug fixed and the full stop fully implemented. In fact he notes that it was quite surprising that the command line parser did what it did when I tried to make it go as, of course, a full stop is the delimiter between the file name and the file type. So of course, it should have gone away and looked for a file called "   .13 " or some such. I guess the strange behaviour I experienced was something to do with the way I patched the full stop command into the command line parser, oh well .... I can’t have been thinking at the time, ’cos I should have twigged that .13, or such like, would in fact be interpreted as a file name. Whether I would have come up with a solution quite as elegant as Mikes and got it in the remaining space .... well that’s a different matter.


And so at long last it should now come round to the DH bit about databases. I say ‘should’, because I’ve run out of time to write it. Paul has been nagging me for this copy for the last week and this edition is well behind time as it is. So it looks as if there is going to be no discourse on databases from me this episode (do I hear cries of shame??). Any way it is perhaps as well, as with the arrival of MAXiFILE the data handler for PEN, it forms a very relevant transition from the simple to the all laughing dancing databases (future episodes to come). So this ‘lay-off’ for a few weeks will give me a chance to master MAXiFILE and see exactly how good it is.

Coming Soon!

Future writings from the DH PEN are also planned. I’ve recently had the opportunity to spend some considerable time playing with all three of the popular colour cards for 80-BUS/​NASBUS – the Nascom AVC, the Climax MV256 and the Pluto card (that’s why this article is incomplete this time). Anyway I’ll be writing at length about colour cards over the next couple of weeks. Whilst I’m at it, I’ll also be talking to a colleague at Paddington Tech who is having a go at interfacing a BBC model B to a Gemini as an intelligent terminal. He thinks it will provide him with all the colour and hi-res (about 320 x 256) he wants and save him the cost of buying a keyboard and a video card in to the bargain. Should be fun if he ever gets that beastly thing called the ‘Tube’ to work. I don’t think Acorn know how it works, so who else do you ask?

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