80-Bus News


July–August 1984 · Volume 3 · Issue 4

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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,

NasDos Users

Further to the note that was included in Dr Dark’s article in the 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 their wares.

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, ___ ___

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