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BBC Micro Thread

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Yes, every home computer with some form of BASIC and ideally colours and sound are pretty comparable with eachother. :)

 

Actually I think the only specific technical detail the TI-99/4A and BBC Micro have in common is the sound chip, the SN76489 a.k.a. TMS9919.

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That is correct about the sound chip. The Wikipedia article on the BBC says that as of 2004 (which is of course a long time ago now) the Jodrell Bank observatory was still using a BBC micro to steer their telescope 8).

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Any idea on how to run disks? I've inserted it, but I don't know the BBC BASIC commands.

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Assuming you have the proper DOS enabled (usually some DFS), the commands you use are *DIR to enable the directory and *CAT to read the catalog. Then you can LOAD, or I believe RUN (BOOT ?) a program. Some disks will automatically boot if the disk is inserted and you perform a cold reset, whether that is CTRL+D. Actually I should know the commands better than I do without looking them up, but these would get you going somewhere.

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That is correct about the sound chip. The Wikipedia article on the BBC says that as of 2004 (which is of course a long time ago now) the Jodrell Bank observatory was still using a BBC micro to steer their telescope 8).

We should make a list about such old computer still being used today for various uses.

I heard that on a French freeway, they used Thomson or Spectrum computers, used for tolls, up to 2003 I think. And they replaced them ONLY because the machine able to read and transfer the tape data couldn't be updated to more recent versions of Windows. But the computer themselves were all still up and running.

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We should make a list about such old computer still being used today for various uses.

That's a great idea! I'd love to know what serious uses these old computers are still employed for.

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some bbc Disc Filing System(DFS) commands if anyone needs them.

 

*FORM40 this formats a 40 track disc

*FORM80 funnily enough-this formats an 80 track disc

*VERIFY verifies a disc

*ENABLE (followed by) *BACKUP 0 0 or *BACKUP 0 1 will copy default disc 0 to drive 0 if using a single drive or drive 1 if using a dual disc drive.

*CAT 0 displays the catalogoued contents of a disc

*DRIVE 1 selects the second drive.

 

The usual *LOAD and *SAVE commands also apply

 

The BBC micro DFS is fairly comprehensive and contains quite a few useful commands such as *ACCESS, *BACKUP, *BUILD, *CAT, *COMPACT, *COPY, *DELETE, *DESTROY, *DIR, *DRIVE, *DUMP,*ENABLE, *EXEC, *HELP, *INFO, *LIB, *LIST, LOAD, *OPT1, *OPT4, *RENAME, *RUN, *SAVE, *SPOOL, *TITLE, *TYPE, *WIPE.(the use of the multiplication sign before commands is usual in BBC Basic).

 

I currently use a BBC master 128 machine that has an onboard MMC drive similar to the TI nanopeb, it also has a toggle switch to allow compatibility between different versions of the DFS, it is a great machine and spec wise is far beyond the TI in most respects, but it has never persuaded me to love it more than my trusty TI.

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I found this on the internet... some of you UK BBC micro user's might get nostalgia pains from this photo...

BOaFQS7CQAAOKUb.jpg

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I found this on the internet... some of you UK BBC micro user's might get nostalgia pains from this photo...

BOaFQS7CQAAOKUb.jpg

What do you mean-Nostalgia, that's my bedroom!!!!!!!

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Was that picture snapped at the VCF-GB 2013? They had a similar classroom setup with a large number of Beebs, but I can't recall if the furnishing was exactly like that one.

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For All the stateside TI lovers-as well as the sound on the BBC being handled by TI, the speech was also handled by TI.(Acorn/TI speech kits for the BBC fetch silly prices on Ebay now).

 

If only TI had given their sound the level of programmability that Acorn gave the BBC sound(full ADSR envelope control).

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The Java Emulator is really cool!

 

How I stumbled on this post was by doing a forum search on 'BBC Micro' Still seems quite popular in the UK, but I haven't found anything for sale in North America.

 

I'd like to obtain a monitor and BBC Micro computer. (software, literature, etc) I never used one, but I'm intrigued by some of the vintage games and this system. Am I looking at a very high shipping cost to obtain one in the UK and getting it sent to me in Canada?

Perhaps some others with a loyal following of the Acorn BBC Micro can point me in the right direction, or possibly help me in getting set up with some functioning equipment :)

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In case anyone has other issues with commands for the emulator, you might want to download the attached BBC Users Guide in .PDF format. Enjoy! :)

BBC_Users_Guide.pdf

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Cheers... I've got the binded book version - "borrowed it" from school back at the end of 1985.

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The Java Emulator is really cool!

 

How I stumbled on this post was by doing a forum search on 'BBC Micro' Still seems quite popular in the UK, but I haven't found anything for sale in North America.

 

I'd like to obtain a monitor and BBC Micro computer. (software, literature, etc) I never used one, but I'm intrigued by some of the vintage games and this system. Am I looking at a very high shipping cost to obtain one in the UK and getting it sent to me in Canada?

Perhaps some others with a loyal following of the Acorn BBC Micro can point me in the right direction, or possibly help me in getting set up with some functioning equipment :)

Keep an eye on Ebay for a company called Retroclinic, they sell completely refurbished and upgraded BBC's, they come with onboard MMC storage and USB conectivity, whilst the initial outlay may seem expensive-they are great reliable units that are built like proverbial tanks and should provide you with no problems.

 

I am not a 100% sure about compatibility with NTSC signals but the BBC has numerous connections for monitors,displays-my model runs from the monitor socket to a scart enabled TV.

P.S-the version of BASIC is about as fast and complete as you will get on an 8bit system and they are an Assembly programmers dream.

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I second all of that. I just exhibited some patience on eBay and got various Acorn Electron and BBC Micro models, then filled in the accessory gap with Retroclinic. Just get a good SCART cable, then a SCART to HDMI converter (or any other converter of your choice), and you should be all set, even here in the US.

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In case anyone has other issues with commands for the emulator, you might want to download the attached BBC Users Guide in .PDF format. Enjoy! :)

Ever been tempted to try "real BBC iron" Kevan?, I find TMS9900 assembly to be hard work but the BBC version is really straightforward due to it being easily accessible from the basic console, the format is also easy to work with as it can be entered in practically the same fashion as BASIC using line numbers.

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Ever been tempted to try "real BBC iron" Kevan?, I find TMS9900 assembly to be hard work but the BBC version is really straightforward due to it being easily accessible from the basic console, the format is also easy to work with as it can be entered in practically the same fashion as BASIC using line numbers.

 

Yes, but I'm already deep money-wise into the TI, space is at a premium here and then there are the other additional items that would be required, storage device(s), compatible monitor, possibly even power a converter. If I could come into one in good shape, cheap enough, I might bite, but it's not looking good. :(

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You definitely need a power converter. I have Euro-to-US and Japanese-to-US. The good news is that once you set yourself up for foreign systems, you really don't have to do anything else in the future if you end up collecting others. It's helpful to have on hand a few Commodore 10804S monitors and modern LCDs with multiple connections, as well as the aforementioned SCART to HDMI adapter (I also have SCART to 1084S). That stuff is good to have in general, even for US systems.

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The BBC Micro power supply is reasonably servicable, so if you have the soldering skills and are qualified to service high voltage gear, I wouldn't be surprised if there are application notes which components to replace to convert a 230-240V PSU to a 115V one. I repaired mine previously, replacing a bunch of electrolyte caps and a transistor, and it works like a charm despite I'm not really qualified to do the repair job.

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The BBC Micro power supply is reasonably servicable, so if you have the soldering skills and are qualified to service high voltage gear, I wouldn't be surprised if there are application notes which components to replace to convert a 230-240V PSU to a 115V one. I repaired mine previously, replacing a bunch of electrolyte caps and a transistor, and it works like a charm despite I'm not really qualified to do the repair job.

Not too sure about altering the voltage but there is a well known problem on the BBC power supply, the X2 capacitors (which I believe are noise suppressors) are prone to blowing without warning if the machine has been idle for some time, I replaced mine on a b+64K machine and have had no problems, to be honest-the machine was working fine before I changed them, It was pretty much a precautionary measure.

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Yes, X2 is what I replaced after mine had stopped working, IIRC.

 

When it comes to 115V, it seems it depends on which model of PSU is inside. Some of them have links for 115V so it should be possible just to resolder a link without replacing any components to get it to operate.

 

A few links for those interested, perhaps Bill L would consider that operation to skip one step-up converter?

 

http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5180

http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?p=15375604

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