This redirection will have remarkably little effect on the work in progress.
All work underway by PSA is conversion of QBASIC programs. These will be portable to the compatible QBASIC on the 68000. Obviously, assembly language routines should be avoided wherever possible. PSA's NOSMODEM will remain applicable as long as a 9900 host is retained, which will probably be for quite some time. Then they can convert it. Any development in SPL or QBASIC should be safe. The work on WORD will have to be carefully coordinated with the conversion. Maybe this is the time to rewrite WORD in QBASIC or SPL, or maybe PSA should convert WORD to the 68000 while adding the enhancements. Discussion is needed. PSA should avoid 9900 assembly programming like the plague.
EC will drop the 9995 node board project. The 9918A board will continue and Marinchip will market it as agreed. Marinchip's QBASIC drivers for the 9918A will not be converted to the 68000. This board will be offered primarily to existing customers who have expressed an interest in it. We won't advertise it heavily. EC will do the prototyping research on the 68000, hand wire a prototype node board, layout, tapeup, and prototype the actual node board. We anticipate a yield from the prototype run to supply MS, EC, PSA, and OS with all the 68000 node boards needed for development. EC will produce final separations, solder mask, etc., for MS to begin actual manufacture. MS will pay EC a per-board royalty on the 68000 node board, and will defray development and prototyping costs. The actual manufacturing of the node boards will be done with MS existing vendors and contractors and will not consume any EC resources, except for possible revisions and corrections as needed. EC may undertake the META conversion, and will convert SPL. FORTRAN should be developed with the large address space of the 68000 in mind. EC and MS should consult over features needed in the new linker to support FORTRAN.
OS can use a node board in the Z8002 system and work on 68000 code. Depending on the market we can stir up for the Z8000 code, OS will continue to develop and support that code. The Z8000 C should be evaluated for portability to the 68000, as that would be a very desirable product to have. Optimally, we could consider converting the OS machine to a native 68000 processor (when we can get one), and letting OS do the 68000 host support (NOS/MT conversion). This would not affect work with or use of the node board. We can lend OS a 9900 to bridge the conversion gap, if needed.
MS has no development work in progress, to speak of. We'll be busy enough converting code, we reckon, without taking on anything else.
Editor: John Walker