Scor­pio News


October–December 1987 – Volume 1. Issue 4.

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The Dave Hunt Pages – PCs & MS-DOS

The Prologue

Well this is the October article, and would you believe the date today is the 1st of June? Heck, this disciplined writing bit will be the death of me. Not, of course that I’ll finish today, no, whatever I write today will end up on the Scorpio archive disk and stay there for the next two or three months, then the editor will be hounding me for it, and I still won’t have finished.

As mentioned in the last article (I’ve just re-read it, despite the fact that you won’t see it for the best part of a month yet) I note that this might be the last magazine. Pity! I have less time for writing these days, and that writing I do, I prefer to go were it will be most helpful (assuming that anything I write could be constructed as helpful), that’s why I rather like writing for low circulation ‘private’ magazines, this one in particular. I certainly don’t do it for the machismo, I’ll never get famous trotting out this rubbish, and it certainly isn’t for the money, hint!!

It could be something about the fact that they’ll take anything I care to write, “Never mind the quality, feel the width”, without too much blue pencil work. I’ve never been asked to revise what I’ve written and only on a few occasions have I had anything rejected (never by this magazine). So the possible demise of this magazine means that I could be deprived of an ever copy-hungry publisher and you will be deprived of the few pearls of wisdom I might accidentally throw out every now and then between the 6000 odd words of my usual articles.

So don’t let it die folks. At over four pounds a copy, it’ not cheap, but so long it publishes enough to keep you happy and for you to feel you’re getting your money’s worth, spread the word; don’ rip it off or share copies, get people to buy their own; that way, there way be just enough subs to keep it alive.

Anyway, enough of that, come the copy deadline things may have changed so the above paragraph, and this, may yet have to be deleted.

New Toys ?

There has been a lot pontification in the computer press lately about what Big Blue has been up to. All their new machines and things. A lot of fuss about nothing if you ask me.

“IBM have scrapped the PC type computers”Mixed boo’s end cheers
“They’ve invented a new computer”Hooray
“With an incompatible BUS”Boo
“Which goes faster”Hooray
“It hasn’t got 5¼″ 360K drives”Boo
“It’s got 3½″ 1.44 Mbyte drives instead”Hooray
“It doesn’t have to have a winnie”Eh??
“It can use an optical disk instead”What? you’re kidding!
“They bunged a new DOS on it”On no!
“But it’s not available yet”Thank God for that
“It got a new BUS controller to stop people cloning it”That figures

and so on.

So the new machines are faster, bigger and cleverer, with 3½″ drives. That’s good. The new micro-channel BUS will only accept IBM approved add-on bits. That’s bad. The new operating system OS/2 isn’t even available yet. But what dows that all mean? Particularly to someone like me who has just forked out a considerable sum (my money, not anyone else’s) for an IBM AT clone. Well reading between the lines, and also following some of the remarks by software houses, other computer manufacturers, etc.; it’s not all bad news.

Firstly OS/2 is upwards compatible from MS-DOS, so that most of the old stuff should work. OS/2 isn’t IBM property, and Microsoft will be marketing it themselves with a particular eye on the AT and AT clone upgrade market. Many of the software houses aren’t that happy, they see that concentrating effort on the new machines could split their markets and many have stated that they will continue to write for MS-DOS, with considerations that OS/2 is upward compatible. That means

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