Editorial and Letters to the Editor
There was no Editorial
owing to lack of time (I assumed you would
prefer a mag. without my bit, rather than no mag.!), and this time I thought I
would restrict myself to answering a couple of letters that raise quite a few
interesting points between them.
It is nice to see that the range of BUS compatible products is still
increasing, although it is now very difficult for the average Hobbyist to keep
up with many of the more sophisticated features. I have a hybrid Nascom/Gemini
system at home, and I look after two Nascom 2s and a Gemini Galaxy 2 at my
place of work.
I look forward to the new EPROM programmer that is soon to be available.
Looking into the future, can we expect CP/M 3 to be available, (including a
version for N2/Pertec Drives as well)? Will Richard Beal produce even more
powerful SYS’s to enable us to implement CP/M 3 on a variety of hardware such
RAM-DISKs and all the combinations of Keyboards and Disk
Drives? A little further ahead, are there any plans for a Z800 CPU card ?
I am very puzzled by the extremely high prices that Gemini are asking for
some source listings. As an amateur ‘hacker’ I have disassembled SIMON for my
own use. This took a lot of time and I would have been very happy to have paid
£10-£15 for a listing. I think that quite a few other people would feel the
game. People who wish to ‘rip it off’ will either pay the high price, or
disassemble it anyway. Can there be any justification for not making CBIOS
listings available at a sensible price to the benefit of the author and end
user? One of the things that helped make the Nascom system superior was that
operating system listings were provided FREE. Many of the Nascom and Gemini
users are still enthusiasts rather than ‘plastic box’ users and they enjoy
modifying and adapting. Their enthusiasm for a good product must often
favourably affect sales. That enthusiasm will fade if essential information is
not easily available to those that need it. It is nice to see that most
suppliers of cards still provide a circuit diagram and hardware description,
even with ready made cards. Let us hope that this will continue. It would be
nice if system software were reasonably priced too.
Yours sincerely, C.Bowden, Truro, Cornwall.
[Ed. – There are quite a few interesting points raised by this letter and so I
shall try to comment on then.
First of all, “What EPROM programmer?” I’d be interested to hear about
this as I am not aware that anything is imminent and I do like to keep in
touch with things.
Well, I do not pretend to be an expert on this (in fact I don’t pretend
to be an expert on anything!) but I shall make a few statements, if you’ll
accept that there may be some inaccuracy in them. Firstly, the official name
is CP/M Plus. The reason for this is quite simple – CP/M 2 was an upgrade of
CP/M 1 and was always intended to be a replacement. CP/M Plus, on the other
hand, is intended to be an option to CP/M 2 for those wanting the additional
facilities that it provides, and CP/M 2 continues to be available. I have NOT
seen any real signs that CP/M Plus is being made available by many
manufacturers, and that is probably because of three major reasons – all cost!
Firstly you may have noticed that a copy of CP/M 2 goes for about £120 on
average, whereas a CP/M Plus will set you back about £260. Secondly, as far as