Scor­pio News


October–December 1987 – Volume 1. Issue 4.

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financial muscle, which would be advantageous for developing Nascom’s potential. How disappointing the outcome proved to be! It has however ended up by providing KCL with hundreds of poorly Nascoms to repair over the years.

Other than their industrial customers, Kenilworth Computers Limited’s business has ranged from standard word processing systems, spread sheet templates designed to the customer’ specific requirements, a point of sale program, a borehole analysis program to detect land movement due to settling, and a label overprinting package. In fact any area where specialised software is required

As has happened with many dealers, survival has lead to the need to specialise more and more. Kenilworth Computers’ strength is in solving industrial application problems, be they hardware or software, or preferably both. Of course, the diversity and flexibility of the 80-BUS boards have enabled them to offer cost effective solutions to their customers, and are the mainstay of the hardware side of the business.

Gemini GM880 Hitachi 64180 CPU/​RAM Board

Gemini have announced the imminent availability of a new 80-BUS CPU board, the GM880. The following description has been extracted from pre-release information sent by them to their dealers.

Product Overview

Gemini are currently testing a prototype of a new MultiBoard CPU which uses the Hitachi 64180. This board has been designed to replace the GM813, but please note that Gemini have NO intention of discontinuing the existing product.

The Hitachi 64180 (Zilog call it Z180) if fully compatible with the Z80. All object codes are also fully compatible unlike the Z280 which despite advertising “hype” os only “almost” compatible.

The chip itself has the following specification:

  • Operating frequency: 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12MHz versions
  • MMU supports 512k bytes of memory
  • 2 channel DMA for fast memory-memory, memory-I/O, etc.
  • 2 channel full duplex asynchronous serial communication (ASCI)
  • Clocked serial I/O port with high speed interface (200k bits/sec.)
  • 2 channel 16-bit programmable re-load timer

Hard­ware Specification

This design will interface to the MultiBoard range of products in the same manner as the GM813. The basic specification of the board includes the following:

  • A 64180 running at 10  MHz with no wait states (12MHz option)
  • 1 MByte of memory
  • A Z-80 4 MHz PIO
  • Support of the GM833 512k RAM disk and GM873 2MByte RAM disk
  • Drive the BUS at 4 MHz but with the CPU itself running at 10 MHz
  • All existing I/O boards to function correctly
  • Full Z-80 interrupt operation


As there is no specific operating system for this second generation Z-80 device, the 64180 user can currently only use ‘good old CP/M’. One could opt for CP/M PLUS, but the only advantage this would give is faster access to files. However, it would cost a lot more than the existing version 2.2. The other alternative is ZSYS which the user can get free from one of the user groups. In some ways it is a more user-friendly product but people used to CP/M might find it unacceptable.

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