Scor­pio News


July–September 1987 – Volume 1. Issue 3.

Page 20 of 67

IBM ? Only if you have to.

Dear Sir,

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.

Taking Stock.

Dear sir

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 coming soon.

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

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