Scor­pio News


January–March 1987 – Volume 1. Issue 1.

Page 33 of 63

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 Pluto 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 ____.


[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.]

19th April 1986

West Midlands

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 addressing.

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

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