for words ..). I have been trying to “diskify” it, but not really with any
success. One is left with the impression that, inspite of the published
‘Alteration Guide’ for HP4, Hi-soft never really intended such a modification.
Yours truly, W RS Webber, Lewisham, London,
Further to the
that was included in
Dr Dark’s article
Nov/Dec issue of 80-BUS News
it may interest some readers to know that there is now an
active Nas-Dos Users Group circulating a single disk between members which is
proving, so far, to be reasonably successful, despite only having 7 members (1
in Australia). That’s one up on the 6 members of the PolyDos Users Group run
by ‘Angry’ of Tonyrefail!.
Anyone who would be interested in participating within the group can
obtain details by sending a SAE to me at the address shown.
Yours truly, Roger Dowling, ___ ________ ____, Sidcup, Kent, ____ ___
Seeing two examples of entirely home-brewed single-board micros recalled
an unfinished conversation with two other NASCOM-users during which we mused
on the possibility of a home-constructed NASCOM replacement. It was not
contemplated that it should be a threat to either the LUCAS or GEMINI
organisations, but that it could provide a single-board solution to desire for
a machine which could cannibalise a NASCOM for hardware, software and
firmware, to produce a more modern, 40/80 col. x 25 lines monitor-display,
driven by external RAM and ROM, have on-board DOS and hi-res graphics, and
find room for all these via a reduced chip-count in the connectve logic area.
Provided that the constructor re-uses all of the existing bits of NASCOM
entirely for personal use, the proprietors of firmware and software can raise
little objection to the concept, and with 20,000 machines and a host of
subsidiary boards already dedicated to NASBUS and 80-BUS, all concerned should
be rather enthusiastic that anyone remains committed to preserving the
existing user-base on which their sales and profitability are pre-dictated.
Tentatively coded ‘MOSCAN’, for ‘Mode Of Computing Simulating A Nascom’
(the reverse spelling is purely coincidental), it was contemplated that a
dedicated group should raise a specification for the board and overall memory-map,
then work with a small number of prototypes and a larger number of
software-oriented enthusiasts to design cut-and-patch links between existing
systems-software, NASCOM BASIC and its TOOLKIT or LEVEL 9 extensions. Although
this would not necessitate violation of copyright, because it is feasible to
publish patches without listing the orignal code, there is little doubt that
proprietors of the most useful programs would find themselves in better
standing with the NASCOM cognoscenti if they were to permit limited licence to
users, contributors and magazine-editors to quote illustrative examples of
At the participants’ level, the program would consist of acquiring a £40
double-sided,through-plated, bare boad, using their existing machine to load
existing programs into RAM to cut-and-patch them into comprehensive system-firmware,
burn these into an agreed standard size of on-board EPROMs, then to
strip down their old machines for buiding into the new board, monitor and PSU
and enter a new phase of NASBUS/80-BUS existence!
Would anyone like to comment? Better still: would LUCAS, GEMINI and the
other 80-BUS board-manufacturers like to enter into a co-operative venture to
write the specification and make the bare board available?
Yours truly, Bert Martin, __ ____ ____ _____, Shirley, Solihull, ___ ___