Scor­pio News


April–June 1988 – Volume 2. Issue 2.

Page 26 of 35

Neasden branch, but the relief, I was known and greeted like an old friend. Yes, they had some controllers, would I like to borrow one to see if it works ?

It was totally anonymous, no manufacturers markings at all, just enough to guess it was Taiwanese. It was a totally different design, no recognisable controller chip numbers, but incongruous chips from the Z80 chip set lying about (but no SDLC or HDLC controllers as I might expect), it even came with a manual, although that turned out to be a little more than useless, as it contradicted itself every other page. I rushed home and plugged it in. This was worse, the drive didn’t even select. I spent the rest of the evening trying to get some sense out of the manual and moving links about. Simply no joy. Back at Techno’s on Wednesday, this time with the drive. I took about two minutes moving the links about (in an undocumented fashion) to make the drive wake up, but of course, it wouldn’t read it. Ok, format it ! Fine, it formatted and no drive faults, it’s all back in order.

Back home again, screw it all back together, and fired it up. It works ! I’ve lost two days work on the disk, and spent the best part of another day chasing around trying to get it fixed. But it works and it cost a lot less than a new Western Widget one. My thanks to the guys at Technomatic for the trouble, effort and advice. Not even the DH condescending glee at the thought of another guy who doesn’t keep backups, just commiseration.

I’ve put the new card through it paces now, it’s very slightly slower, it only shovels data at about 140K/sec. rather than the 167K/sec. of the old, but I’m not complaining. Oh, and the good news, give it the right DRIVPARM statement and all my old DDDS disks can be used at 730K – no hassle.

Back to what I intended to write.

So on with the original article, this was written for someone else, I say this unashamedly, and if the ‘Dodo’ approach shows, then I don’t apologise. Fortunately, the article itself wasn’t lost in the disk crash, only the ‘tweaks’ (mainly deletions of the obvious) done for this reprint, I’ve had another go at it today, but if you find bits which don’t add up, or look like they’ve been badly edited, it’s because they have – sorry.

Now, I’ve almost completed the latest project for work, the largest yet and it looks the most saleable. It’s a Digital Imaging System. The latest idea for replacing paper in the Corporate office, or small office for that matter. So I guess it’s about time I gave you some idea what imaging systems are about. As I said, this article is the basis of a small booklet (with pretty pictures, when I get round to doing them) which we will publish at work to help the numerous but ignorant visitors we’ve had looking at the system. So keep in mind that it is aimed at the Office Manager, Senior Filing Clerk and the ‘Computer chap’ they inevitably have in tow when they visit.

Page 26 of 35