Letters to the Editor
I am the SYSOP of CBBS South-West. This is a
bulletin board running the CBBS type of software
that runs under CP/M 2.2. The system is Nascom
based with a Nascom 2 and Nascom FDC with
Gemini 64k RAM board and Gemini RTC. The
Modems used are ex-BT and cater for 1200/75,
75/1200 and, of course, 300/300, and the selection
of modem type is AUTO select. The System has
been on-line for about 16 months and has received
around 15,000 calls. The computer is on-line 24
hours a day and the number is 0392 53116. 1 am a
member of AFPAS (Association of Free Public
Access Systems). The word format is 8 bits, No
Parity, 1 stop bit. I do get quite a few callers with
Nascom and Gemini systems.
Yours truly, B Hitchcock, Alphington, Devon.
80-BUS Reader Survey
With reference to the 80-BUS reader survey (i.e. the
Questionnaire) I have the following additional
comments to make:–
Why are Gemini still in the computer business?
Many rivals of 5 years ago have long
since gone. I believe that it is at least partly
due to offering things which others do not,
like ‘hardware support’ and ‘software support’
to end users.
A user-expandable system is offered which
meets the ever growing needs of owners.
Multi-sourcing of some types of hardware for
use on a common BUS is a feature which
gives some feeling of security when parting
with hard earned money. The fact that rival
board suppliers suffer differences of opinion
does not seem to matter too much so long as
the end result works satisfactorily. It might be
better if rival manufacturers settled their
differences and concentrated their efforts on
mutual survival of the 80-BUS.
We can all make rash decisions to buy imported
‘plastic boxes’ which will perform well in the
‘ immediate future, but what about product support
in 2 – 3 years time? Or being in possession of a
comprehensive hardware and system manual from
Day 1? The internal workings of many rival
computer systems are a well kept secret to owners.
Markets seem to be divided at present, between the
8-bit, 64K RAM, CP/M-80 or other,
16-bit, 256K RAM, CP/M-86 or other, machines.
When considering larger machines or hard disks,
the price takes off and reaches a level which is
beyond the sort of users buying our computer. It is
very desirable when a system is being expanded by
Obsolescent board types could be offered at
reduced prices or as kits for those who have the
ability to assemble and test them but are short on
the means of paying. At least boards sold in this
way would stimulate a market for software, which
Gemini also sell. The trade in secondhand boards
should be encouraged to assist customers improving
their systems by adding facilities or disposing
of redundant boards. Where would the motor
industry be without a used vehicle market?
For the 80-BUS News, I would like to see an article
on mains borne interference suppression. A different
‘fridge in this household made my system
unusable until modifications were done to mains
input circuits. The magazine could support Microsoft
BASIC in UK as nobody else seems to. To the
user, features on aspects of programming in pure
Microsoft BASIC, together with membership of
CPMUGUK, gives a useful software base without
a large financial outlay which would only be
justified if the computer was being used in
conjunction with a profitable business.
Keep up the good work.
Yours truly, A A Bryan, Cambridge.
Turbo Pascal —1
Has anybody else bought TURBO PASCAL for a
Gemini? I bought it a few months ago after reading
glowing reports in various computer journals
including the CPMUG magazine. I bought it from
Grey Matter Ashburton, Devon, who can supply
software in Gemini formats. I do not intend to
review it as it has been done many times before.
The software comes with a built-in screen editor
and installation program. As I have come to expect,
Gemini is not on the standard fist of terminals but
facilities are provided to enter each control code
separately so that the Gemini IVC can be used.
Obviously, you have to read the IVC Manual to
check the required codes.
On attempting to use the screen editor (which is
like a mini WordStar), it did not work and the
computer hung up. We have all seen this before.
The problem is associated with polling the keyboard
while sending control codes to the screen.
This upsets the IVC. I found that if locations *4133
— 4135 are patched to *0 and location *413B
changed from C8 (RET Z) to C9 (RET) then the
editor works. This patch removes a call to the
keyboard. The only difficulty that I have discovered
so far is that the ‘FIND + REPLACE’ function will
now only work in option ‘N’ mode and not in the