80-Bus News


January–February 1984, Volume 3, Issue 1

Page 22 of 55

which would then either drive the SVC or the Climax from the same graphics programs.

With the advent of either black and white high-res or colour graphics perhaps some enterprising software writers will have a go at writing some arcade type games for the Gemini and Nascom hybrid machines. These would have to written for fun as there would be little money in it, but it is surprising how often we get asked about games for the Gemini. There are a number of the more intellectual type, Adventure, Chess, Planetfall, etc., but the arcade types tend to get overlooked. I know I personally have no patience with arcade games, both lacking in the necessary co-ordination to play them and also in the necessary patience to practice. I also realise for the cost of a Climax card (now Gemini GM837) I could buy a Spectrum and a whole bag full of Space Invaders tapes. But some people seem to want them and where there is a need someone will usually try to fill it.


Whilst still on the subject of colour graphics, the expensive Pluto card (now only available in the full 8MHz, extended monitor form) has gained a very versatile graphics package shortly to be made available by Gemini. Called Qwikdraw, and written primarily for use on the Gemini networks installed in the Manpower Services YTS training scheme, Qwikdraw is an easy to use graphics package with some very novel features. Input is either from the keyboard (using the cursor keys with selectable step rates) or, ultimately, from a bit pad. Drawing of graphical displays is quite easy with automatic circle and smoothed curve creation. Block and complex shape fills and colour floods are also catered for. An optional colour mixing package will allow up to 32 colours to be displayed, and a ‘picture compiler’ which can convert the stored picture format into a .COM file for immediate execution. Limited animation is also possible. Display is normally to a high resolution colour monitor or to a dot matrix printer or to a multicolour plotter. Very extensive ‘help’ facilities are provided, which are an education in themselves with animated graphics demonstrating the points queried. One interesting use demonstrated was the preparation of the cels used for overhead projectors in an educational environment. The cels being drawn on the plotter using oil based pens. Whilst not as versatile as the Nascom Lotti, it is extremely quick and easy to use with a powerful editor, it should find lots of applications outside the YTS scheme particularly in the education field.

Printer. RS232 interface. 180 cps. Bidirectional. Buffered. True Descenders. #80. Crawthorne (____) ______.

Nascom 2 with Nas-Sys 3, Naspen, 48K RAM and Castle interface – #300; additional 48K RAM B – #75; self-contained keyboard with lead – #35; graphics chip – #10; PSU – #25; Bricomp Real Time Clock/​Calendar – #17; Nasbus EPROM/​ROM card with Naspen, Debug, ZEAP – #45. ____ ______

Colour card (Holmes/R&EW) – 16 colour + sprites. Also has 2 sound generators, 2 clock chips, 8 port A-D, CMOS RAM, CTC. Fully built, working with hardware and software. All ic’s (socketed) except 1 off AY-3-8910. All xtals and backup battery. Also interface card to convert colour diff. signals to RGB, offers around #100. Tel C. Bowden ____ ______ for details.

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