Scor­pio News


July–September 1988 – Volume 2. Issue 3.

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and it then became possible to BOOT from the Winnie. CONFIG.SYS was also edited to give the system 40 buffers, use ANSI.SYS, and set COUNTRY=44 for the UK. AUTOEXEC.BAT was set to load the ‘KEYBUK’ file in order to set-up the keyboard for UK codes, and also to set a suitable DOS PROMPT. Subsequently, other commands were added to AUTOEXEC.BAT in order to improve system startup configuration.

Performance and Appraisal

The News Release information describes three methods of configuring the 1Mb of system RAM:

a) 0-512k, 1024-1536k
b) 0-640k, 1024-1408k
c) 0-1024k, to allow a RAM resident BIOS to be loaded.

I had assumed that the card would have been set for system b), since this would appear to be the most ‘normal’ arrangement, but in fact, attempts to set up a RAM-disk in extended memory above 1024k failed, and I can only assume that the RAM was currently set to system c) since the system provides 640k of standard RAM. The software necessary to re-configure 12MHz systems was not available at the time of this review, but will shortly be available. Gemini say that it is possible to configure the system for non-valid parameters, and need to get the software right before releasing it, which is a sound approach, but the inability to be able to re-configure the system caused some problems due to inability to use spooler or RAM.-disk facilities, except in system RAM.

The two versions of PCDOS tried ran without apparent problems, and I was also able to try out a number of software packages on the machine, including a number of more expensive commercial packages. All of the programs tried seemed to run without problems at the full system speed. None of the programs tried relied on timing in the way that certain games do, except possibly Chess. (I am not sure if the game is completely tied to the system real time clock, or runs faster, and therefore performs more evaluations in the allowed clock time, which would of course, increase its power.)

I was not able to try ‘Flight Simulator’ however, which I understand is a particularly good test for compatibility. The commercial packages tried included Wordstar 3.41, Supercalc 3, Xtree, Turbo Pascal, Turbo Basic, Microsoft Basic 5, Norton Utilities, PCII Tools, Cyrus Chess, and Sidekick. A number of ‘Free’ or ‘Shareware’ programs were also tried, without problems.

In addition to the standard 25 by 80 format, the EGA card used supported 43 lines and 132 columns, and drivers were available for certain programs. Wordstar was

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