Autumn 1979 · Issue 4

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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 construction manual.

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

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