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 I0-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?