Finally, because of the lack of any subsidy, the newsletter has to be totally
self-supporting. The calculation size of Scorpio News is extremely low when
considered against most other publications – this is obvious because of its
extremely specialise subject matter. Production costs are basically fixed
regardless of the circulation size, and are therefore high per subscriber if
there are few subscribers, while printing costs are high for small quantities,
but drop dramatically with volume. And this beings us full circle to why the
subscription rates are as they are.
So please, do your bit to help increase the number of subscribers. Tell your
friends and colleagues about us. DON’T give them a photocopy of the newsletter
– we know that this happened with 80-BUS News at certain user group that meets
in Windsor! – make them buy their own. This ie not only contravening copyright
laws, and no doubt costing various employers unnecessary photocopying charges,
but it is also putting the on-going production of newsletters such as this at
risk. To put it quite simply end bluntly – if we can’t make ourselves a
profit from doing this then there’s no point carrying on, Sorry about that,
lecture over, but there ‘enthusiasts’ doing a so called ‘favour” for their
friends do irritate us. Support us and we’ll ‘support you.
WHAT’S WEW ?
And so now onto a Little product news. There has been s fair amount of activity
since the last 80 BUS News was published and so we will try end summarize some
of that here
Newburn Electronics, based in Ireland, are becoming an increasing force in the
80-BUS marker. They specialize in I/O boards, and now have 5 different ones
available (see their advert in this issue). They are also the main distributors
for memory upgrade kits for various 80-BUS boards. And finally, they have taken
over manufacture of the Microcode 14-slot backplane, as Microcode have decided
to drop out of the 80-BUS market to concentrate on some of their other projects.
Most of Gemini’s efforts of late have been concentrated on their 68000 based
product range. The Challenger comes with a 12MHz 68000 processor, 512K RAM, two
serial and one parallel ports, 1.2MByte floppy (formatted), battery-backed RTC
etc, Winchesters of approx 20, 30, 46 or 73 MByte (formatted) and optional 1/4″
tape streamer. Operating Systems are extra and are currently CP/M-68K, p-system,
multi-user BOS (MBOS) and multi-user, multi-tasking Mirage. A neat
touch is that multiple operating systems can be installed on a single Challenger
Winchester, although only one may be run at a time. Expansion boards available
are 4-port serial 1MByte and 2MByte RAM, and various graphics boards.
Available shortly will be an
input/output board with
various D/A A/D and digital facilities.
On the 80 BUS front there should be a tape streamer available shortly, using
Audio cassette size digital tapes. There is an Intel 80186 based board in the
pipeline that should give ‘reasonable’ IBM compatibility, but availability is
unknown. Similarly a 2MByte RAM DISK is also known to be on its way.
Ev are known to be responsible for the 80-BUS tape streamer software, with
Gemini being responsible for the hardware. They have also announced a number of
new products – see their advert in this issue.
A new Pluto 1 is rumoured, similar to the old
but complete with
Most of Io’s efforts of late have been in IBM compatible Plutos, and they have
some very impressive software for there, called ‘Designer’. Arctic Computers of
Wetherby can demonstrate most of the Pluto range.