Update: BBC Acorn

From: Rob O'Donnell <rob_at_irrelevant.fsnet.co.uk>
Date: Mon Jan 13 12:56:42 2003

At 23:00 12/01/2003 +0000, you wrote:

> Got it working about three hours ago. Since then I've been reading the
> docs (online) and trying out everything. It's very different from most US
> computers and the keyboard layout is STRANGE!

lol - it was hard getting used to a PC keyboard after using a BBC for
years; and I did like the arrows+copy concept of being able to cut+paste
text from anywhere on the screen.

>you can key *HELP for a list of installed ROMs, and other
> >accessible system commands.
> Cool! Thanks for the tip. I tried it and got:
> DFS 1.00
> Utils
> NFS 3.40
> View A2.1
> Stored
> Cmode
> OS A1.0

ok; you can key *HELP .... (any of the headers or indented options) for a
list of commands and their syntax - these are handled by the support ROMS -
the BBC had (generally) 32K of RAM, 16K of operating system (the OS rom)
and up to 16 pageable 16K application / language ROMs (basic machine had
space for four). Each ROM could service *.. commands - many are languages,
or applicatations posing as languages (eg View word processor) or are
toolkit or support ROMs. There are hundreds if not thousands
available. Newer machines and add-on boards provided RAM in this location,
into which ROM images could be loaded off disc instead.

> >
> >I recently sold an American beeb that had been converted back to British
> >specs. Interesting piece. I've also got a German one (also with a dodgy
> >PSU) that is pretty much the same. The "normal" British ones didn't have
> >any of the heavy metal screening around the case.
> >
> Any idea how many were exported to the US or how many were
> re-imported to the UK?

No idea, I'm afraid, though this page may help:
See http://8bs.com/ for front page - excellent web site for all things BBC.

> >
> >Oh, newbie list member here (thanks to the slashdot article).
> Oh, well welcome to the list. What kind of stuff are you interested in?

BBC mostly, though not in a "must have everything" sense. Just because I
spent many years making a sort of living off them. I've got one of Acorn's
original ARM development systems though (connects to the BBC) which I've
had since they were hot off the press.

> >
> >The PDP talk makes me want to kick my boss - he chucked two PDP11/23 clones
> >(but original boards inside) on the tip last year, as well as sone S100
> >machine. I knew they'd have been worth something, but he's something of a
> >chuck-out maniac.
> We all have stories like that to tell :-/
> Joe

I do have a microfive 1000 (if I brave an antagonistic ex-wife to collect
from the attic) - multi-user 8088 based machine. I was trying to write a
MUG on it at one point.. Anybody got any interest?


Received on Mon Jan 13 2003 - 12:56:42 GMT

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