Scor­pio News


January–March 1987 – Volume 1. Issue 1.

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waste. A new board is still a viable proposition, provided that it is a bare board, and given some cooperation from existing copyright holders to provide (or give permission for) software modifications which allow existing users to carry forward most of their existing software and firmware investment. How about it Gemini and Lucas?

My final appeal is that the final issues of 80-BUS News should be spent on much hardware/​software information as can be contained between their covers, since this is the last opportunity, leaving no spare room for humorous anecdotes – the world’s a funny enough place already.

Yours faithfully, Bert Martin.

P.S. How about making all subscribers if they would like a full list of names and addresses?

David Hunt’s Reply

May 1986

Dear Mr Martin,

Thank you for your letter, it’s been passed to me by Paul, probably because he thinks I may be able to give a more objective answer, drawing on my wider experience of the home computer business, covering scenes from behind the shop counter, playing at design engineer (what I was originally trained as) and as supporter of the home computer cause. I have not confined my discussion of your letter to the above but have also reread your letter published in 80-BUS vol 3. iss 3. page 6.

Overall I feel in general agreement with your first two paragraphs, as I for one have most certainly benefited from the original conception of the Nascom 1, through the Nascom 2 and then through the ever growing number of Gemini Components. As these machines have grown in power and complexity, so I have learned to come to terms with them, both in design and software implications. This, to me, has been something of an uphill struggle and has involved the personal investment of many thousands of hours, not to say money in acquiring the machines in the first place. Ok, I did end up with a free Nascom 2 from the Company, but most of the rest has been purchased over the years at only a little more advantageous price than that paid by most other people.

This investment in time and money is at last paying off, as I shall be starting a new job in June which I can honestly say is directly attributable to the knowledge gained by close and diligent learning from these machines.

In 1977 I knew nothing about computers, they only taught me smattering about digital logic when I gained my HNC in the mid-sixties, and most of this study was more applicable to building power stations than computers. Nascoms were the start, followed by Geminis, and now (dare I say it), IBMs, Vax’s and 68000 machines like the Gemini Challenger and Prime. It has to be recognised that in the field of computing I am almost totally self taught, with a little (but invaluable) help from friends I have made along the way. By the time technical colleges woke up to the fact that people wanted to lear about micro-computers, I was sufficiently ahead of the field to be approached from point of view of being a night class tutor rather than a student. (I have turned those offers down and continue to teach the RAE at Paddington College, an altogether more sane occupation.)

So, yes I can agree that the early (and more recent machines) have been of considerable help tome, and I’m sure to many others. I feel it’s a bit strong, to claim these benefits on behalf of the country as a whole, but to me, yes, there have been benefits.

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