April/May 1980, Issue 7

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Doctor Dark’s Diary –5

Keyboary Repeats–An Awful Warning.

The article on keyboard repeats in INMC news 5 was most welcome, and I have made use of the routine provided in several recent programs of mine. Programs such as the “Road Race” and “Walled Chase” seem to contain very similar routines, for they certainly have keyboard repeat action. Someone I know has made a very significant discovery about the behaviour of these programs when loaded into a Nascom which has had a hardware repeat added.....

There’s a user of Nascom in Street,
Who thought Road Race would be a real treat.
But it just wouldn’t run,
Which ruined his fun,
This was caused by his hardware repeat.

There are three morals to be found here:

1) Add-ons should have off switches.
2) The software way is the cheapest,​and often best.
3) Poetry should be left to experts!

More Add-Ons: Glowing Praise.

I have just added a Bits and P.C.s dual monitor board and control keypad to my Nascom 1, so now I can switch between Nasbug T4 and Nas-Sys, and don’t have to remember which five keys to press at the same time when I want Nas-Sys to do something fancy. Oh alright, three keys then. Delivery was very rapid, and the person who answers their telephone is very helpful. They did have problems with one of their suppliers however, and it was necessary to wait an extra week for the keycaps.

The dual monitor board is a small single-sided PCB, on which one assembles two normal 24 pin sockets, two of the wire wrap type with long legs, four resistors and a DIL switch. Guess what? The pins of the wire-wrap sockets plug into the sockets where your monitor was, and you plug two monitors in on top. Simple ideas are often the best, and this one has given me a good idea for a modification to their graphics board! (Anyone think of a good name for an add-on to an add-on?)

The control keypad is more complex, and of the same high quality as the dual monitor board. This PCB will also carry the keys of a Hex keypad, if you want one, I just didn’t have space in my keyboard box. When it is assembled and connected up as shown in the instructions (which are also clear) the keyboard has ten extra keys, and Nas-Sys copes happily with them. T4 ignores some of them, as does my Microdigital bleep device. I am very satisfied with these additions, and consider the money well spent. My main worry is how long my 3 Amp power supply will be able to cope!

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