Letters to the Editor
Scorpio News readers may be interested in a current Mirage-driven project. This
is called PPPP. It is not s sign of incontinence but stands for Pascal Program
Porting Project and is aimed at those who have written marketable programs in
extended Pascals (SVS, Turbo, MT+ or UCSD for example) and who would like a
larger market by porting to Mirage via its excellent Swifte-Pascal compiler.
Straightforward code presents no porting problem to a multi-user environment and
only the file-handling routines need to be re-written to use either Mirage’s
Locke Manager or the TRAP ISAM file processor. Ported programs may either be
marketed by their authors of by Sahara Software together with Marston Spurrier.
Current currently underway include the port of the Omnis 3 database manager
from the IBM AT environment and two CAD packages. It would be very interesting
to port some 80-BUS software which used the
boards to the Challenger using
the new range of 68K-BUS graphic boards. Anyway, I would consider most things
and London-based programmers could use a terminal on my Gemini Challenger system
for development work.
Nick Spurrier, Marston Spurrier, __ _________ ____, ________ ____, London ____.
TINGE OF SADNESS
[Ed. – This letter was received by 80-BUS News after its imminent demise had
been announced. It was passed to David Hunt to write a reply. At the time
David was running the Computer Section of Henry’s Radio, a London based Gemini
and Nascom dealer. Both the original Letter and reply are now published her.]
Dear 80-BUS News,
With my final, one-issue subscription, there is a things of sadness about
your demise – a sadness which also accompanied the end of the uP Nascom
Newsletter. Looking back at the years between Nascom 1 and this funeral
occasion, it is possible to state that all the 80-BUS adherents must have
achieved a great leap forward in their knowledge and experience as the result of
our contact, and that the nation as a whole must have benefited, both
economically and educationally.
Where these benefits to the individual and the system have been greatest is
in having encouraged exposure to machine code and electronics, with the result
that many enthusiasts have gone on to develop there interests on other
computers, from ‘micros’ right up to mainframes.
Nascom originally stood in the almost unique position in offering a fairly
sophisticated and eminently communicable board to the unskilled public; the pity
is that its original high cost never came down with the reduction in chip
prices, which encouraged other board producers to ‘hike-up’ their prices, and
also that the original board nor its add-ons ever advanced into boards organised
through ULAs, or with the additional lines needed for extended memory
Having complained previously, in several publications about the urgent need
for a simple board with 80 column display but otherwise software compatible
(with the Nascom?? – Ed), I would like to say again (and obviously for the last
time): our [Nascom customers’] investment in Nascom and Gemini products now
stands at somewhere around £4,000,000 (original boards, add-ons, disk drives,
Software and firmware); it is a tragedy that much of this investment will go to