INMC 80 News

  

May–September 1981, Issue 4











Page 2 of 71











The ‘Boss’

Chairman’s Bit

D. R. Hunt

THE GOOD NEWS

Nascom have been bought by Lucas Logic at Warwick. Yes, that’s a bit of Joe Lucas the car parts and aerospace people.

A couple of weeks ago I went up to Warwick wearing my dealer’s hat to a dealer’s meeting to introduce the new company. We were entertained right royally and allowed to wander over their operation and put out sticky little paws over some of the thing they are already doing. The already produce micro based industrial monitoring equipment. Lots of 8085s in pretty boxes talking to DEC PDP11s with hard disks. The idea is to monitor machines in a factory, and allow the system to keep a real-time record of everything that’s going on. That way, if anything goes wrong, or is running inefficiently it’s possible to back track the past history and see what areas (design, product materials, management, etc) need attention.

Another thing they are into a big way, is Computer Aided Design. That’s using a mainframe to emulate the performance of structures and predict design faults, or make savings through more efficient use of material and all that. They also have a system for drawing three dimensional shapes and then feeding the data to profiling machines to make anything from pretty shaped coffee pots to car body panel tools. These last two prove that Lucas has considerable expertise in software in general and computer graphics in particular. Perhaps there will be some interesting spinoffs in Nascoms direction.

I’ve had a chat with Mike Hessey, the technical manager, and he says they intend to re-enter production of most of the existing Nascom products as soon as possible (I got the impression that would be fast). My comments in the last Chairman’s Bit don’t apply, as Lucas Logic already have a design team raring to go, and it shouldn’t be anything like as long as I predicted before new ideas and goodies start to appear (although at this stage they’re not letting on what).

Anyway, thanks lads for a fascinating day out and for the the insight into what you do. The whole outfit was very impressive and seemed most professional.

NOW, WHAT THE HECK DO WE DO??

When I wrote last Chairman’s bit, I think we were all resigned to the odds on probability that Nascom would be no more by middle of May. Which left this Newsletter well and truly up a gum tree. You see, during the decline of Nascom’s fortunes, our membership has declined at much the same rate. Not new members, they are arriving as usual, but the re-subscription rate has dropped alarmingly, and the new members gained from the fewer Nascoms being sold have not stopped the decline. The nett result is that membership is on the slide. When the first news of a purchaser for Nascom broke, renewals increased with it, but since, down we go again.

Now we recognise there are three reasons for this, although the affect of each is difficult to judge. Firstly, there is the irregular appearance of this newsletter. We have always said that there should be six issues a year, but we’ve not yet quite reached our target. In our defence we will add that it was envisaged that the newsletter would be about 20 to 30 pages, whereas, the most recent newsletters have averaged 54 pages, so we reckon you’ve still hat you money’s worth. Also, of late the main preparers of the newsletter have bee less busy (Speak for yourself! –Ed.) so the last two issues and this are more or less up to schedule. Secondly, there have been the ups and downs at Nascom. This has been seen to definitely affect membership. Lastly, there have been direct sales of the newsletter, in fact the print runs for the newsletter are bigger that ever, but the majority go to the rotailors. Now our retail price for the newsletter has been 1.00, and it doesn't take much arithmetic to decide that an average of, say, four issues a year bought from your retailer will cost you


This is an OCR’d version of the scanned page and likely contains recognition errors.











Page 2 of 71