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Questions tagged [bbc-micro]

For questions about the BBC Micro, programs written for the BBC Micro or peripherals for the BBC Micro.

7
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1answer
343 views

On the bbc-micro, a half-size mode 1 screen mode with 16 colours instead of 4 can fit in memory but can the video chip be programmed for it?

Screen Mode 2 on the BBC micro is 160 x 256 with "16"* colours. This uses up 20Kb of memory. Horizontal-rectangular pixels ( 2 x squares each). 4 bits per pixel (0-15 values for 16 colours) Screen ...
3
votes
2answers
150 views

Do all Econet devices need the same clock speed?

Econet was a network used by the BBC Micro, conceptually similar to Ethernet, two orders of magnitude slower and correspondingly cheaper. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Econet it ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

How did the BBC Micro stay cool?

The BBC Micro used the extended variant of the classic 'computer in keyboard' design; like the Apple II, the case went back far enough that you were encouraged to put the monitor on top of it. All ...
13
votes
1answer
445 views

Origin/source of “One Line” one-key game

Circa 1985 in our school BBC Micro lab, we wasted much time playing a tiny type-in game that looked a bit like this: The playfield was filled with a random arrangement of asterisks, and the player ...
10
votes
1answer
494 views

BBC/Acorn BASIC, what made it so fast?

As I look over old versions of BASIC trying to piece together their history, I come across repeated indications that BBC Basic was really fast. One list puts it running the Ahl benchmark (for all its ...
8
votes
0answers
138 views

BBC Master 128 not been switched on for over 20 years [duplicate]

I have a Master 128 that I am hoping to revisit now that I have retired. It hasn't been used for about 25 years so I was wondering what would be the likelyhood of it working. I am not a computer/...
7
votes
2answers
338 views

BBC model B, 20 pinouts port on keyboard below speaker used for what?

Wondering what the 20 pinout holes was used for. It is below the speaker on the keyboard, has a further four pinouts above, and has something to do with the cartridge system in later models, I guess. ...
3
votes
1answer
205 views

Can the BBC Master co-processor execute a program in the I/O processor's memory?

Whilst researching the 65C102's memory layout, it occurred to me that, since the I/O processor's memory is mapped to 0xFFFFxxxx, it might be possible to store code there and execute it by setting the ...
5
votes
1answer
295 views

Cost differential between 2 and 4 MHz RAM chips in 1982

The most common speed of the 6502 was 1 MHz, allowing the use of 2 MHz RAM chips (half the bandwidth went to the video chip to refresh the screen). In 1982, the BBC Micro shipped, with double speeds ...
7
votes
1answer
367 views

Screen “garbage” in Acorn Electron games

A common feature of later games released for the Acorn Electron was the use of screen memory to store game code. This was commonly known as screen "garbage", and can be seen on games like Exile. I ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Was the first ARM “processor” a BBC BASIC program?

The best background I have found so far on the early development of the ARM processor at Acorn comes from this interview with Steve Furber. The interview does not mention the development of the first ...
8
votes
3answers
380 views

Can the BBC Master 128 work fine with no battery?

The BBC Master 128 has a CMOS NVRAM and battery system for storing configuration information. I assume that a dead or removed battery just leads to the NVRAM reverting to defaults or other non-harmful ...
10
votes
3answers
257 views

What kinds of expansion ROMs and cartridges are available for the BBC Micro?

The BBC Master 128 has 3 empty expansion ROM sockets and 2 cartridge slots, which seems like a lot of potential. I have already discovered that it is common to add an expansion ROM to support a filing ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the TUBE interface of the BBC micro all about?

I keep reading of the BBC micro's tube interface that was apparently designed as a co-processor interface to the 6502. I would be interested in what were actual applications of this interface and ...
29
votes
2answers
999 views

What BBC Microcomputer features were requested specifically by BBC engineers?

When requirements for the BBC Microcomputer were developed as part of the BBC Computer Literacy Project, an outline specification was created by an independent consultant, the late John Coll. This ...
12
votes
1answer
379 views

BBC Master 65C102 co-processor — test memory

Out of the blue the other day, my friend found an internal 65C102 co-processor for the BBC Master in his attic, and gave it to me. It wasn't in particularly good physical condition (all the pins were ...
18
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3answers
2k views

How did Elite (BBC Micro) compress resources?

Elite, an Acornsoft game for the BBC Micro, is a game in space. Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.     -- Douglas Adams ...
11
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2answers
434 views

Reading the BBC Domesday Project

In 1986, the 900th anniversary of the original Domesday Book, the BBC coordinated a project to document modern Britain. This was claimed to be data to last for the next thousand years. Data was ...
11
votes
1answer
419 views

How did the Sideways address space work?

I was researching the BBC Micro when I found the Sideways address space: a 16KiB memory space allowing access to up to 16 16KiB external blocks of ROM (or RAM). But 16 blocks of 16KiB is 256KiB, ...