Scor­pio News


January–March 1988 – Volume 2. Issue 1.

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Folly Bidden Printed Circuit Designer

by P. D. Coker

This interesting piece of software came my way as a result of an enquiry to our august editor about CAD packages for the 80-BUS range. I had seen and used some of the packages available for the BBC and PC market and wondered if there had been any developments from the program that Scorpio had offered last year. I hadn’t come across any Folly Bidden software before (an unusual name which even in my usual absent-minded state, I would have remembered!)

It came, a little before Christmas, with the request that a review be done as soon as possible.... So here goes.

The software is presented as a single 80 track QDDS disc with a 23 page manual which, in the review copy, was done on a dot-matrix printer. The manual is well-laid out, with a good table of contents which should prove adequate for most users.

System requirements

This package requires the Gemini GM832 SVC (video controller card) and the program aborts if it is run on a system which includes the MAP80 Video-Floppy card. I couldn’t test it with the Gemini GM812 IVC owing to lack of time but I suspect that problems might arise. [Ed. – yes, as the IVC does not have a graphics mode.] As supplied, the package requires CP/M-80 version 2.0 or higher, and should work with Nascom 2, Gemini (Z80) and MAP CPUs. Memory requirements are modest, with 44k quoted as “plenty”. Hard copy can be produced using a dot-matrix printer with graphic dump facility – more or less any Epson RX compatible printer (Canon, Panasonic etc.) will work satisfactorily. For those lucky people with access to an X-Y plotter, a much higher quality copy will be produced. Suitable dump routines are provided on the disk. The recommended maximum size for the design is 8″ square but in fact, larger boards could be produced in sections and the author states that it is capable of producing double-sided boards of almost unlimited size. From a perusal of the instruction manual, I gathered that the hard-copy output was at a 1:1 scale.

I used a used a fairly standard Gemini Multi-board system which included the SVC and produced dumps using a Panasonic KX-P1082 printer. I was unable to check the claims for the plotter output since the only X-Y plotter to which I had access

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