Scor­pio News


April–June 1987 – Volume 1. Issue 2.

Page 15 of 51

NASTUG Expands Beyond Nascom

by P.A. Greenhalgh

There have been, and may well still be, a number of Micro User Groups around the UK with Special Interest Groups dedicated to the Nasbus/80-BUS cause, and I am sure that the readers of Scorpio News would like to know of them. Therefore please send in a brief note if you are aware of any such groups.

One Group that is still very much alive (or perhaps re-born is more appropriate) is NasTug. NasTug is an acronym for Nascom Thames Valley User Group and it was started several years ago. Originally purely Nascom, the type of equipment covered by the group has bee expanding over the years, although the original name has remained. At a recent meeting it was decided that the activities of the club should mow “concentrate on operating systems such as CP/M-80, CP/M-86, MS-DOS, etc rather than a particular hardware system​......​broadening the club membership whilst retaining the original enthusiastic spirit of the NasTug concept.”

NasTug used to have frequent “formal” nights, when a guest speaker would talk on a specific topic for a short time, prior to the evening taking on its normal form of chatting, drinking, exchanging news, views, tips and hints, drinking, chatting some more, and drinking. Speakers included at various times were: Mike Rothery from MAP, myself on a couple of occasions, Dave Hunt, and Richard Beal.

The Group then went into a sort of limbo. It still met regularly, but it was just for the chatting, drinking, etc. Recently renewed enthusiasm has resulted in election of a new committee and re-formalisation. So, a few details are:

Venue:The Crown & Treaty (Pub), ______ ____, Uxbridge.
Dates:2nd and 4th Thursdays of each calendar month.
Normally 2nd Thursday will be a “formal” event.
Times:8 p.m.-ish to 11 p.m.-ish
Costs:£10 per annum including User Group letters
Visitors/​guests £1 per visit.

By the time you are reading this recent speakers will have been Gemini on the Challenger and Chris Southern on the Atari 1040ST. Coming attractions are: Chris Mower demonstrating the Xerox Venture Desk-Top Publishing Software on April 9th. Also soon: Andy Hay talking about the Pick operating system; Demonstration and a talk by PD-SIG(UK) (Public Domain Software Interest Group).

I went along to the Gemini talk on the 68000 based Challenger system. The presentation was given by Barrie Oliver, from the Sales Department, and Travis Benton, from the Technical Department. Barrie did most of the presentation, but unfortunately he did not seem to be aware of the technical bias and interest of hit audience, and not even the most basic technical specification of the Challenger was outlined at any stage. The talk seemed to concentrate on the difficulties of selling a product such as the Challenger into a market dominated by IBM & its clones, and yet did not explain where people may benefit from having a Challenger instead of an IBM or Clone. Barrie went on to say that he was optimistic that over the next few months sales could climb to 10 per month.

Throughout the talk an impressive graphics demonstration program was left running, implying that the machine has a lot of potential in graphics areas, but no application packages were shown, either graphics or otherwise. The meeting was told that both 2D and 3D graphics packages were being ported onto the machine, and the audience’s appetite was sufficiently whetted for a number of them to ask for an opportunity to see the Challenger with graphics again at a future date, once the graphics applications software can be demonstrated.

All interesting stuff. So, if you live within a reasonable distance of Uxbridge why not give NasTug a go? One guy likes it so much he travels from Chelmsford!

[Note co NasTug members. OK, you’ve had a good plug. At the moment only 2 of you subscribe to (as opposed to read) Scorpio News – why not now make it 22?]

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