80-Bus News


March–April 1983, Volume 2, Issue 2

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Random Rumours (& Truths)

by S. Monger

By all accounts Gemini have been busy on the software front lately, taking out licenses with a number of ‘the big names’. These include Microsoft (MBASIC), MicroPro (WordStar, SpellStar and Mailmerge), Sapphire Systems (MARS) and Ashton Tate (dBASE II). Yes, these have all been available on Gemini disk formats from various suppliers for some time now, but at least you will now know that those that need implementing for particular screens etc. have already had that work done for the Gemini IVC. Mind you, Anthian Software, a small northern (Hull?) company have always implemented any software that they have sold on Gemini formats, unlike Lifeboat and MPI.

Readers of magazines other than this, although recognising that they are nowhere near as good, must have noticed the adverts that they contain for the Lucas/​Nascom LX printer. No, this is not a revamp of the Nascom IMP, but it would appear to be an import from Japan under some sort of exclusive deal. One dealer, wanting to know the reputation of the manufacturer before committing himself (or should that read ‘being committed’?) asked a member of the Lucas/​Nascom staff who the manufacturer was. “It’s a Lucas printer”, “Yes, but who makes it?”, “It’s a Lucas printer”, “Yes, I know that’s what the badge says, but who makes it?”, “It’s a Lucas printer”, CLUNK – phone hung up. So, for all of you with insatiable curiosity, one of my usually reliable sources tells me that he believes it may be a Citizen, and that there is at least one other company about to start importing it. Now, if I’ve got my facts right, Citizen is owned by that small watch-making company called Seiko, who also own that other small printer company Epson, and if I worked for Lucas and a dealer asked me who made their printer I would reply, “Well, I really shouldn’t tell you this, but .....”

There are a number of jokes doing the rounds of the dealers about the possibly unfortunate choice of name of Climax Computers. Now, this page is probably read by a number of innocent youngsters, and so I won’t bring up the jokes that have come my way. However, it would be fair to say that their colour board is now coming out of the door in reasonable numbers, after an initial delay, and it appears to be getting a good reception. Good luck to this young company.

Gemini have recently started shipment of their network system, MultiNet. By all accounts it is quite impressive, allowing upto thirty or so workstations to be connected to a single Galaxy Winchester system with printer. To all users it appears as though they are running their own separate twin disk CP/M system, one of the drives being private, and the other a common read-only drive. It is also possible to have Passwording, Auto-program execution at any station, shared read/​write files using a special file-locking technique, and all printer output handled centrally, or at local printers. I’m wondering if I can install one in my house so that I can type this lot in in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom etc. – what fun! Nascom seem to have had quite a reasonable success with their NasDos based network, and they have been advertising it quite heavily lately. Unlike IO Research, whose IO-Net seems to have disappeared into (temporary?) obscurity.

That friendly Irishman, Rory O’Farrell was spotted recently in England doing the rounds of Amersham Computer Centre, Chertsey Computers (MAP to you), and Henry’s Radio. All astute observers commented that he didn’t have any books under his arms. How can he possibly walk, talk and eat without writing a book review at the same time! Maybe the answer is in the fact that he was stocking up with a colour graphics board and A DISK SYSTEM. Now he’ll be able to save the book reviews to magnetic media umpteen times faster! Does this mean more free time for Rory, or more book reviews?

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