A TALE OF WOE
In view of the cries for “articles” for INMC and my own lack of
technical or programming abilities I thought I’d write of my
experiences with my NASCOM 1.
But first a plea – nay, a command – to K.B. Give us this day our
NAS-SYS for our NASCOM 1’s, We want it desperately and if you
cannot or will not supply it at a reasonable price we will pirate
it. So you may as well be on the receiving end of the money. And
why not a re-burn scheme for those of us who bought T4, e.g. we
send you back the two T4 programs and (say) £10 and you re-program
them to NAS-SYS.
But now for my tale of woe.
After much heart-searching and wife-beating and family allowance
stealing I decided on a NASCOM 1, with the intention of building
up from the basic system to one with Tiny Basic and 4K RAM. So
I worked out the cost and plummeted for my NASCOM, with a little
reserve for the power supply (which NASCOM were advertising but
unable to supply). Having built most of the kit I then had to
wait five weeks for the rest of the scarce chips to arrive. I
plugged them in and turned on the power. But it did not work
very well; certain characters were missing. Naturally everyone
said it was my fault – such a complex project. I had to join
INMC to find out it was a design fault; yes of course it was
IC 18, and NASCOM knew all about it, but no mention at all in the
Then my T2 blew up. OK, that may have been my fault, I was
nearly ten feet close when it happened. So I had to replace it –
an unplanned expense. At this moment I think it would be inappropriate
to mention that superb piece of engineering design, the
cassette interface in case you think I’ve lost faith in NASCOM.
I then bought LEVEL A BASIC from CCSOFT which plugs into the two
eprom sockets, replacing the monitor. This is superb value and
an excellent BASIC training product. I then succumbed to local
and advertising pressures and bought T4, It was totally nonfunctional.
I returned it to my local dealer who replaced it
immediately – another argument in favour of your local (if expensive)
dealer. This worked after a fashion, taking 40 minutes to
warm up and then it was very erratic. This also was replaced and
this one seems to work, but all the tape routines fail completely
on odd occasions and the only cure is to switch the power off and
then on again. All the voltages etc. have been checked with a
DVM and scope and my T2 and Level A BASIC always work perfectly.
Now remember the 4K RAM I wanted? Well it was widely advertised,
but never supplied by NASCOM. Now the minimum system expansion
is 8K – stretching my budget again. And do you remember any
mention of the need for a Buffer Board in early adverts? Even