Scor­pio News


July–September 1987 – Volume 1. Issue 3.

Page 4 of 67

We are quite willing to help arrange something, and again would ask for opinion on what that should be. The scope could range from half a dozen of us meeting in a Pub in the London area for a couple of drinks and a chat, to a hundred people at a week’s conference in Jersey, with guest speakers such as Richard Beal, Dave Hunt, Doctor Dark, etc, plus representatives from various past and current 80-BUS suppliers! Of course, the cost of this might range from nothing to, say, £500 a head!

So, again, please drop us a line if you are interested. A quiet get together? Equipment demonstrations (your own, or manufacturers’)? Talks? An afternoon, a night, a weekend? Chesham (where it all started), London, Scotland, Bahamas? How much are you willing to spend? If there seems to be any pattern to what people want (and please give some options/​ranges), and if there is sufficient interest, then we will propose something in the next issue. I guarantee that there will be something happening, but it may just be John Marshall, Dave Hunt and I having half a pint in a Pub in Harrow! LET US KNOW WHAT YOU WANT.

Support our supporters

If you are purchasing something for your system, hardware or software, why not buy it from one of the companies that advertise in this or other issues of Scorpio News? They are supporting your magazine, so please support them. Let them know that your business is because of their advert here! And if your usual dealer doesn’t advertise in Scorpio News, then tell him he ought too!

What’s New?

New products continue to become available for 80-BUS based systems. Here are a few details – contact a Gemini dealer if you want to know more.

Gemini have released the GM873 RAM-DISK board. Exceedingly similar in looks and function to the GM833, a 512 Kbyte RAM-DISK board, the GM873 has a capacity of 2 Mbyte. All Gemini CP/M BIOSs, from Version 3.2 onwards, will automatically ses and use it as drive “M”. Price is £595. (Add VAT to all prices here.)

PBM Memory Systems in Ireland have also launched a RAM-DISK board. This is fully compatible with Gemini’s GM833, also with a capacity of 512K, but the PBM board is non-volatile. An on board battery gives two months date retention. The board can be supplied with or without memory devices, and can support any 28/32 pin device, including EPROMs. With 512K, £370. With 0K, £270.

A new range of frames and frame based systems are now available from Gemini. The frames are based on 19″ 5U units and there are various optional power supply enclosures, drive enclosures, etc. The systems are targeted at Development markets, and are available in floppy or Winchester/​floppy versions, with either Z80/​CP/M 2.2 or 8088/​MS-DOS, host CPUs/​Operating Systems. Frame prices start at £72, system prices at £1495. The systems are called “Odin”.

Gemini are now promoting the Costgold 8088 based CPU/​256K RAM board, as used in certain versions of the “Odin” systems above. This board can run the MS-DOS Operating System, and price is £350. Rumours too of an 80286 in September?

Gemini have also launched a new version of their disk transfer Multi-Format-BIOS system. (M-F-B 2 remains available.) The new system is renamed DX-3 (for Data eXchange. Physically the system varies in having all of its drives in a single unit – 5.25″ 96tpi, 5.25″ 48tpi, 8″, 3.5″ and 3″ floppies are supplied as standard, plus a Winchester. The system is now driven from a Wyes-50 terminal.

The DX-3 software is also extensively revised, and more comprehensive. Code conversion and mass duplication facilities are now incorporated as standard, and AMIE (All Media Interchange Environment – I think!). With AMIE, support is relatively easily added for different Operating Systems, and various options will become available over the next few months. Complete systems from £7950.

Page 4 of 67