IBM ? Only if you have to.
You ask for comment about the future content of Scorpio News.
My interest is solely Nascom/Gemini/Map, I have no intention of deserting the
ship to buy an IBM contemptible, as the CP/M Users” Group calls them.
I would gladly pay a higher sub to keep the firm afloat, but I realise that
others may be lees fortunate financially than I.
It is essential that the sole remaining 80-BUS magazine survives. If lowering
the standards to include articles on IBM’s black box and its relatives will de
that then I will come along reluctantly, But if you do so I trust that the
articles will really get down to brass tacks and not just review programs.
ALL of the IBM users I know seem perfectly happy when all goes well. But when
things go awry none of them, end that includes the people who market the beast,
seem to have the faintest idea what makes the hardware or the software tick.
Yours sincerely, Rodney Hannis, Reading, Berks.
The recent comments in Scorpio News on the subject of content has caused me to
do some thinking about my own situation. Just 8 short years ago my job changed
from heavy current to electronics. My electronics training had been obtained in
the days of valves. The magazines were full of articles on computing, and I
thought I had better learn about it too. I bought a NASCOM 1, which worked on
switch on, and I was hooked. On the basis of ‘todays supplier might be bankrupt
tomorrow’ (especially after the NASCOM saga), I bought anything new that I could
afford, and acquired a NASCOM 2, disks – a massive 140K, DISKPEN etc; and
eagerly awaited the ‘80 Col x 25 Row’ screen that certain DRH told me
Over the years I have continued to expand the system as costs allowed and I have
learnt a lot about hardware and software. A lot of the learning was by sheer
persistence, and I have tried to help others by sharing my experiences. Now it
is 1987 and times are changing. Gemini promise to keep 80-BUS products
available for several years yet, and we, the users have every reason to be
grateful that they are still in business where so many have failed. The main
reason is probably that they have not pursued the popular market, but aimed at
specialist applications. This has meant that the products are not cheap, but
all comments support the view that they are good, and well supported with data
(except BIOS Source Listings!!).
For my pert, I have, like several other correspondents, a good knowledge of the
hardware and software of the system, and I am able to adapt it in many ways that
would be impossible with many modern systems. My Catalog has a large number of
programs, many of which I have not yet investigated. I feel that I have only
scratched the surface of the potential of the system and I want to do so many
things. I have been promising myself to really learn PASCAL, for example, but I
seem to spend so much time word processing, modifying the operating system and
so on that this, like so many other tasks, just never seems to get nearer.
In a business situation, things are different. The larger TPA and additional
speed and facilities of newer machines have obvious advantages: There are a
large number of PC’s in the organisation where I work, and I will have to start
using one ‘for compatibility’. I will continue to use my Gemini system at home
(and work) for the foreseeable future, but I will, like many, have some interest
in the PC. If Gemini do bring out a PC compatible card, I may buy one even at
the price of a clone, since it would probably be much better supported, and