Scor­pio News


January–March 1987, Volume 1, Issue 1

Page 38 of 63

Doctor Dark’s Diary – Episode 24

Just as T was about to start my ovn Nascom fanzine, duplicated badly, and printed on grotty paper, the Leaflet advertising Scorpio News arrived. i wa Gelighted to see it, and’ posted ay subscription the eame afternoon. After ally T’suspect publishing is jolly hard work, printed on decent quality paper as well. Besides, 1 would have needed the address list of the 80- Bus subscribers, and someching to print...


For che benefit of the many who have never heard of me, and have not read the Hous 23 episodes of this column, now sppearing in ite third magazine, T ele amateur computer owner.” I’am enthusiastic because the sachin We all have in common are so good, compared vith the other stuff on the market. ‘And Tam an amateur because there don’t see to be any computer firme with the Sense to offer me a job in this neck of the voods

1 atarted out with a Nascom 1 kit, which amazed me by working after T had built ic’ “T ‘Tearned co program from the Nascom 1 software manual, vhich is no mean feat, av this document wae designed to prevent people from wanting to use their Nascom is. By the time 1 had finished ay machine code blorhytha progra

typed in the hex using the monitor progr:

variout expensive nev boards appeared, I expanded the ‘changing to Nascom 2 when the Nascom 1 refused to cun at az (I’know, Lote do. Mine Wouldn’t). The ye

Navcom 2, ‘8 amp power supply. Gemini C809 dis Pertec FU250 drives, « Pluto graphice board, a Gemini SVC, two MAP-80 256K RAM boards, « Genin! CM870 modem board, a Belectra floating point board, and « Nascom 0 board. There are three screens, one for the Pluto, one for the SYC, and one for the Nascom 2 screen,

Languages {n use are Z80 assembler whenever I vant thing fase, Basic when they can go slowly, and nobody is going te know, Fascal. when t am writing something large, with fancy data structures, and C when I am in the food for tome suffering and can stand the ugliness of it. For instance, my Current’ project, some Prestel software, is being written in assembler, in’ the hope that it will go fast enough not to need fancy queues of data of horrid Anterrupt driven software. I was originally going to write it in Hieoft Pascal, but changed my mind because I thought it might not go quite fast enough, and Because f would have ad to plan everything properly. T decided against & for the simple reason that 1 don’t feel 1 know it fuily yet (Hae anyone seen & book’ that expieing anonymous dace eypee pro jon T didn’t w BASIC, a that Le would never ‘run ‘properly.

vo go particularly

Now all that must sound (I hope) very competent and educated. Fooled youl We Sixch form dropouts sometimes recover from thinking we can not learn new tricks you see In 1978 knew none of these things,

University degree, mostly in mathe. On eecepe committer, I hope to escape from my boring job and Something interesting with micros, and that se quite enough about ae.


‘As is well known, the Gemini GHB70 MODEM board and the Belectra HSA point board both use port addresses £60 and £81, s0T can aot use them both at Once In theory, it is possible to move « Link on the HSA-as other ports, but (agein) mine von’t- I am planning to build some sort of Secoder to select between the two boards, if there is no other cure, but not Unless I have to.

The main reason 1 described interrupt routines as unplessant above ig that the Inst one T wrote, several tines, refuses to work. It tried to use the CTC chip ‘on’my Nascom 1/6 board ‘to interrupt the ayeten regularly, in order to read the

MODEH’s input port, and queue up any input. However, the program Just will not

This is an OCR’d version of the scanned page and likely contains recognition errors.

Page 38 of 63