I am writing to point out an error in the Chairman’s Bit in INMC80 issue
4. The third paragraph of page 3 mentions a new computer and suggests that
the software for it will be virtually identical to the Nascom software. I
assume that you are referring to the Gemini system, which is described on page
57 of that issue. Since I wrote NASBUG T4 and NAS-SYS 1 and 3, and have just
completed development of the RP/M software which is the operating system for
the Gemini machine, I should be in a good position to know that you have made
an incorrect assumption.
In fact, RP/M bears no resemblence to the Nascom software since it is the
result of a new and original design. Differences include the commands (all
different), the tape data format (totally different) and the operating system
call support (completely different)! In fact, RP/M pretends to programs that
it is the CP/M disk operating system, and it can run software such as the
Microsoft 24K Disk Basic. Incidentally, that takes 4 minutes to load from
cassette, but you only need to do it once each session – anyway you need some
reason to upgrade to disks eventually!
I must agree that it is possible that software written by independent
suppliers, such as ZEAP, NASDIS, DEBUG etc. might be converted if they feel
like it. This will depend on many factors, and does not alter the fact that
the systems are very different.
Richard Beal, Kingston.
(We have heard that some software is being rewritten for RP/M, notably NASPEN,
which in its 4K GEMPEN version is virtually identical to the existing DISKPEN,
itself and enhancement of NASPEN rewritten to run under CP/M on the Gemini
Henelec G805 disk system. NASPEN, GEMPEN and DISKPEN are available from the
Microvalue (‘Gang of Six’) dealers. Ed.)
THE BUS DEBATE
Here is a small selection of the letters we have received on the ‘Bus
Debate’, in most cases these have been edited as most covered other points not
relevant to the debate. We hope to catch up on the more general letters in the
next issue, and perhaps publish more from the debate then.
Though I can understand why John Deane should want INMC80 to stick
with Nascom alone, my support must go to the bus.
But in any case, keep going.
P. D. Taylor.
You asked for comments from readers on future policy towards Nascom
products and 80-BUS products.
I wish Lucas Logic every success in getting it all going again and
feel that the INMC80 should give priority of space to news and information on
their products, particularly the technical updates which we hope will be
forthcomimg from their design team.