by Peter Hand
Me write for Scorpio News? Well, I suppose somebody has to, otherwise it will
disappear ... so I’ll have a go. I’ve always held that if a person doesn’t have anything
to say, the least they can do is to shut up; therefore this is really against my principles.
Maybe once I get started I’ll think of something.
I do not own a Gemini system, and never have. I do, however, have a Nascom 1
sharing an uneasy existence with a California Digital S100 mother-board and a
bunch of unreliable hand-made cards. This system will live for ever, because it
includes an 8748 programmer, though looking at it now I am amazed that it ever
worked at all. Dynamic RAM skyscrapers, Veroboard interfaces and more wire
links on the Nascom than tracks ... to think that a mere six years ago it was the envy
of my neighbourhood. The 8-inch disk system died last year, so data goes in and out
via the RS232 link and a little program called. NASCOMMS by which my other
computers pretend to be a cassette deck.
I have an interest in Gemini, though, and it is commercial. Some years ago I was
designing an industrial monitoring system and needed a graphics video display.
After an inordinate amount of research I decided that the
best value for money bearing in mind the system requirements, and the whole design
was therefore based around the 80-bus. That’s not to say that I have been entirely
satisfied; Pluto is extremely SLOW and if there’s any technical data on it, I never
IO Research have always been supremely unhelpful to me. I have never, ever, got
past the receptionist with a technical enquiry. Listen, chaps, if you’re reading this,
customers make pay-days possible. The only reason I didn’t design you out last year
is that I was too busy. I came close, though. The contents of your trash bucket arrived
at my premises in 1987 and some of it is still here – like the Pluto marked “IOR 5”
which writes half its text sideways down the screen. Could this be your fifth X-model