80-Bus News


November–December 1984 · Volume 3 · Issue 6

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More Dave Hunt Bits

80-BUS News

So the July-August issue has at last emerged (at the end of January?). Oh well, only six months late, but then I haven’t been exactly productive either. All sorts of things have been getting in the way; work, family, earning money, and many others things even more sordid. In the end most of the issue was a solo production by Paul, so I can hardly complain about the irregularity of 80-BUS. Anyway, I’ve just finished reading it (most of which I hadn’t seen before publication) and feel a few comments are in order. (Is this to be a review of the reviews (of the reviews.....), etc, no way.) On the subject of irregularity of 80-BUS, Dr. Coker suggests an increase in the editorial staff, a reasonable idea, but whoever is interested should live reasonably close to North West London, obviously know something of what they are talking about and have plenty of free time. A quick scan through the 80-BUS distribution database reveals about 200 to 300 names in the area, if they feel they qualify in the other respects, perhaps they’d like to give me a buzz.


One predominant feature of the letters is the treatment that some contributors feel they have received from Nascom, particularly regarding their helpfulness (or lack of). I feel the letters as printed represent a fair balance, as being in a position where I see a number of Nascom owners, many report the same sort of things. The latest issuing from Nascom has been a new trade/​retail price list, dated November 1984. Now this is the first price list that I have seen since May 1982 (shows how well they keep in touch with their dealers) and the joke is the 10% increase in the retail price of most of the hardware, and the drastic reduction in dealer margins for those who don’t buy enough these days. The nett affect of this is that Henry’s Radio at least will no longer stock Nascom products. A pity, as many bits of Nascom gear are still viable and the new things like Lotti are superb. But it seems the Lucas is no longer interested in the home user, but rather the dedicated system user working for a company which can afford to pay for the complete system in one go.


Mind you, Gemini could not be accused of pandering to the home user either, as their prices are usually worse on the wallet than Nascom. But at least they continue to supply the home user and allow enough margin in their products to allow their dealers to support their smaller customers.

Cheap Video

A thought for some enterprising person not too keen on paying out for the Gemini video card. Have a serious look at the 80 x 25 card manufactured as an add-on to the Einstein, it costs 50.00 (including VAT) and looks very like a cut price version of the MAP VFC. Is got on board RAM, a 6845 video processor and all the I/O to fit the Einstein ‘PIPE’ which looks just like a buffered Z80 bus (and what is 80-BUS if it’s not a buffered Z80 bus?). Mind you the superficial simliarities between the Einstein and Gemini/​Nascom product don’t stop there. The software ‘feels’ very familiar, and anyone used to using NAS­SYS wouldn’t need the Einstein software manual for the machine code operating system! Do I qualify for my personally signed Lawrence picture for suggesting that one and thereby saving our hero some loot?

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