Scor­pio News


January–March 1988 – Volume 2. Issue 1.

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very well while Quickbasic comes in two versions, and you use the one appropriate to your system. Their list prices are £70 and £85 (+ VAT) but Digitask (____ _____) are offering them at £47 and £67. The best thing about these BASICs is the fact that they are compilers with excellent screen-editing facilities. They really make MS Basic under CP/M look positively antique. If you are looking for a good, well-featured alternative to Basic-2 at a price which won’t bankrupt, go for Turbo-Basic.

Prospero have recently introduced MSDOS versions of PASCAL and FOR­TRAN-77 with GEM bindings at round about £100. You get quite a lot for your money but it is worth shopping around – try Grey Matter at Ashburton — they often have quite substantial discounts and very fast delivery. I didn’t like GEM very much at first but, when trying out the Fortran version, found it to be quite friendly – much more so than ****** MSDOS!

P.D. Coker, Orpington, Kent.

User friendly CP/M with a Nascom system

Clive Bowden’s very interesting article on “Making CP/M more User-Friendly (Scorpio News, Jan-March 1987) mentions that he has no knowledge of the Nascom Bios. I have been using their Version 2.1 of CP/M 2.2 for several years, in conjunction with their AVC board and Avctext terminal software, and have found it very satisfactory.

However, I recently wanted to make some changes to it.....! Being an ex-electronic design engineer in my early 60’s I am more “at home” with hardware than software but, having acquired at least some ability in this over the past few years, I decided to “have a go”. Nascom (Lucas Logic) would not supply the source code for their Bios or Avctext so I dis-assembled the Bios and managed to identify a few of the ares of interest to me. Half of it is in ROM so I devised a simple hardware modification which enables me to switch out the ROM and operate entirely in RAM after the initial booting. (I haven’t yet found a way of putting it all neatly on the disk system tracks, but don’t regard this as a high priority at this stage.)

Without the original source it is still very difficult to make major modifications so I have tried to adapt a version of SYS (Version 16.0 for a Gemini system) for which I happened to have the source. This has proved very difficult, and I am not yet sure why, but having half the original Bios at D600h and the other half at F000h certainly doesn’t help!

This project has been dormant for quite a while now, but I intend to spend some more effort on it, partly because I want the results but also because I don’t like being

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