April/May 1980 · Issue 7

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letters to the editor

Read, Try and Learn

Dear Sir,

There have been several letters from people who have built’ their Nascoms and have yet to acquire the “knack” of programming. Perhaps my experiences would hold out some hope.

Before last April when I bought my Nascom I knew very little about computers, in fact I wasn’t even sure what Hexadecimal was. After building the kit and getting “hands-on experience” through the Software Manual things became a little clearer, but it wasn’t until I bought the “Z80 Instruction Handbook” published by Scelbi that I really began to understand what it was all about. The Scelbi book is pocket sized and explains all the Z80 instructions in simple language, assuming that the reader knows very little, which was certainly true in my case.

It was about this time that my children were doing tables at school and so I thought of the “Table Tester” which times their answering the table of their choice, in random order, and if all answers are correct, compares their time with the previous best.

I have enclosed the program for consideration for the library, if only as an example of what can be done by a beginner. I can now see that it is not very well compiled, having, for instance, no entry verification. But IT DOES WORK, if only the correct keys are pressed.

Now to hardware.

No doubt there are others beside myself who have Nascom 1’s and would like 2’s but do not have the necessary. Apart from that, part of the reason for my buying a Nascom was that it was easily and, relatively, cheaply expanded. Apart from Nas-Sys and the Basic ROM, what else is required to bring the Nascom 1 to Nascom 2 standard (apart from speed)? Is there to be a conversion kit or is it to be done piecemeal?

My thanks to yourself and the INMC committee for such an enjoyable and informative magazine.

Yours faithfully,
A. Marshall

Ed. replies:

Well congratulations on “getting it together”. Your program will be considered for the software library.

We are afraid that expanding an N1 to an N2 is piecemeal as apart from the items you mention, you will also require expansion RAM and buffer, an Econographics kit from NM, the Cottis Blandford cassette interface from Newbear, not to mention sundries like the “snow plough” and “Reset jump” multiplexer.

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