Scor­pio News


April–June 1987 – Volume 1. Issue 2.

Page 33 of 51

Short and to the point

Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for Scorpio News Vol 1 Iss 1 received yesterday. May I congratulate you on an excellent product in the best, traditions of INMC, INMC-80 and 80-BUS News, all of which I fave avidly read and re-read!

Yours sincerely, c.c Woodford, Torquay, Devon.

Gemini – what’s going on?

Deer Sir,

Dave Hunt’s comments about IBM compatibles in the first issue of Scorpio News are timely, to say the least. What a pity that Gemini didn’t exploit the potential of the 80-BUS to produce a card that would run MSDOS programs and graphics. It’s too late now and some 80-BUS users will have purchased (depending upon their financial state) one of the PC clones that are widely available at present, in spite of the reported lack of technical beckup. Perhaps we have been spoilt by receiving good service from the majority of companies supplying 80-8US in the past but I am left with the impression that even this is declining fast. It’s all rather sad.

Gemini, in spite of promises, don’t appear to have produced any information on new 80-BUS products or even a price list recently and Lucas – well..! I asked them if I could have copies of the circuit diagrams for the RAM A and Buffer boards (really up to date stuff, this!) and was politely told that due to company policy and copyright laws, they do not issue circuit drawings. How pathetic! Gemini don’t appear to answer letters these days – perhaps they are all beavering away on the Challenger. I (and many others) would be very interested to know what new boards are available for 80-BUS, and the advertisements from Map 80, EV Computing and Newburn in the first Scorpio News were most helpful – and Kenilworth Computers are amongst the most courteous and helpful of dealers.

Sadly, one has to forget about any significant help or new offerings from Lucas for the Nascom, but I am less willing to accept that Gemini have gone down the path. Perhaps I am being naive but the 80-BUS (and the Z80) are by no means obsolete – one of my machines, with the aid of some excellent software from Map 80, is currently being used to transfer all sorts of software between different disk formats for both micros and mini-computers. No other manufacturer has anything even remotely approaching the versatility of this of the Gemini MFB or Mike York’s All-disk systems. Dave Hunt mentioned the excellent Gemini modem card – and there are the Pluto boards from Io Research which have become a de facto industry standard (I’d like one of those but the piggy bank won’t stand it now I’ve bought an Amstrad PC1512!) The quality of the customised BIOSs for CP/M 2.2 and Plus are outstanding compared with the feeble offerings for other machines, thanks to the efforts of Messrs. Beal, Parkinson and Watkins, to mention just a few contributors.

There’s no point in moaning about the lack of information from Gemini or Lucas’s peculiar company policies unless one is prepared to do something about it. Lots of polite letters from users of 80-BUS products to Mr Marshall might persuade him to reveal the goodies which we were assured were to come from Gemini in support of 80-BUS – possibly in the form of an insert to Scorpio News. Lucas are probably beyond hope, but I intend writing to Mr Marmion, the sales coordinator, to let him know what I think (politely, of course) of company policy!

Yours sincerely, Dr P.D. Coker, Orpington, Kent

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