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John Lambert
Chris Bourne


WITH ALL the excitement over the 128 and what it can do, what it can't do tends to be overlooked. One of the drawbacks is that it can't run many of the better hardware add-ons.

While adapting Discovery 1 to run on the 128, Opus has managed to enhance the performance of the machine. You can now go from 128 mode to 48 mode and back again, open files to the RAM disc and access the same RAM disc in 48 mode.

In the standard Discovery 1 you can use the top 32K of a standard Spectrum as a RAM disc - drive five. With the 128 you can use the extra memory as a Discovery RAM disc - drive six. The advantage of this over the Sinclair RAM disc is that you can now use all the microdrive type commands with it, plus the added Discovery features.

When using the Sinclair RAM disc you can only Load and Save, with Discovery attached you can do that and set up a proper filing system with random access files. It should also be faster than the Sinclair version.

In the 48 mode the Sinclair RAM disc is inaccessible; with Discovery that memory can be accessed so you can save a program, go to 48 mode, and then load it back. More importantly you can do the same from 48 mode to 128 mode.

Unlike the Spanish 128, the program in memory in the English version is retained when going from 128 to 48. Unfortunately, if you want to use the Discovery facility of returning to 128 mode the program in memory gets deleted in the process. Hence the need to be able to access the RAM disc in both modes.

The new, enhanced Discovery 1 still works on the Spectrum Plus and rubber Spectrum. The only difference in the new version is the Discovery ROM which can be updated for a moderate sum.

The Discovery still has a 3.5in drive, parallel printer port, joystick port, monitor port, through connector and built-in power supply which also powers the computer.

Opus has gone a long way to correcting some of the more glaring omissions in the 128. It is, as far as I know, the only disc drive manufacturer to have successfully converted its product to run on the 128, and so for that reason alone should do well.

Opus Supplies Ltd, 55 Ormside Way, Holmethorpe Industrial Estate, Redhill, Surrey RH1 2LW.

Not Rated