My First BBC

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Commodore
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My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:06 pm

Hi, I just bought my first BBC model B, well my first BBC or Acorn Computer at all actually.

It has 32K SWRAM, and it has some sort of SD storage facility that fits in the User Port and has been reconditioned (PSU Capacitors swapped out etc).
I remember these at school in the 80s of course, but never owned one myself, I couldn't persuade my parents to part with that type of cash!

My first Computer was a VIC 20, we then upgraded to a Spectrum +3, although I did always question if that really was much of an upgrade after all.
After that onto an Amiga. I then was in the Computer wilderness for about 10 years before getting my sister in Law's old 486. From then on it was PCs all the way.

I started into retro computing about 10 years ago, when I bought a 48K Spectrum. I now have 2 48K Spectrums, a Spectrum +3, a Commodore VIC 20, a Commodore 64, a Dragon 32, and now a BBC Model B. I may offload the spectrum stuff soon though, I'm not really a fan.

Anyway, I have told my poor wife that the collection is now complete!

I am no programmer, and I'm not much good at hardware modifications, but I do have a keen interest in these old machines. My boys like the games andi like to see how they can be stretched to the limits in ways that we never thought possible in the 80s.
Most of all, I like that I am preserving a piece of history. For us in our Mid to late 40s we were the very first Computer generation.

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Multiwizard
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Multiwizard » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:17 pm

Hi,

welcome to this great Forum... :D


Greetings from my little Dutch Acorn Attic, Wim... :-)

Commodore
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:33 pm

Thanks Multiwizard, I am looking forward to discovering a bit more about the BBC Micro, and what has been developed for it over the last 25 years or so.

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Lardo Boffin
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Lardo Boffin » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:50 pm

Commodore wrote:Thanks Multiwizard, I am looking forward to discovering a bit more about the BBC Micro, and what has been developed for it over the last 25 years or so.


Welcome! Quite a lot has been developed for it - you can even plug in USB sticks and all sorts now.

I have just recently got a C64 (for my wife) and have to admit it being blown away by Mayhem in Monsterland! You could be forgiven for thinking it is running on a Megadrive. =D>
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Retroclinic Datacentre + HDD, matchbox co-proc, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, acorn cassette
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc, Acorn 6502 coproc

Commodore
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:54 pm

Well the C64 was also a pretty impressive beast.
USB on a Beeb, that sounds impressive.

Not sure which OS my Beeb will have. It's an issue 3 board. Is the OS easy to upgrade? Is there any point?

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CMcDougall
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Re: My First BBC

Postby CMcDougall » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:56 pm

welcome C,

I like the way you say downgrade from Vic20 to a speccy3 =D>

can't beat bomber city, first personal computer I played too before a electron 8)
ImageImageImage

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danielj
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Re: My First BBC

Postby danielj » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:00 pm

Welcome! Type *FX 0 and it'll tell you the OS version. You're rather likely to have 1.2 - most people upgraded to it. It's possible you have basic version 1 though. If you type REPORT it'll report a year - 1981 is BASIC 1, I think 82 is BASIC 2.

d.

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Lardo Boffin
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Lardo Boffin » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:17 pm

If you need to upgrade your OS or BASIC ROM you can generally buy them from Mark at a Retroclinic. They are pretty easy to fit.
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Retroclinic Datacentre + HDD, matchbox co-proc, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, acorn cassette
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc, Acorn 6502 coproc

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marcusjambler
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Re: My First BBC

Postby marcusjambler » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:24 pm

Welcome Commodore...

Congratulations on your new addition =D>

This is a great forum for everything Acorn and more...

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daveejhitchins
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Re: My First BBC

Postby daveejhitchins » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:39 pm

Welcome to the Forum, Commodore . . . Enjoy . . .

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

Commodore
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:10 pm

Thanks everybody, I can see that this is a really great and friendly forum already.

I definitely think going from a VIC 20 to a +3 was a downgrade! And yes, I loved Blitz on the VIC 20 Welcome tape AKA City Bomber.

Is there a BBC Version anybody?
When my Beeb arrives I shall definitely check the OS and Basic version as per the tips suggested.

I may even get so excited that I list all the facts and figures about it and take the hood off and post some photos.

My poor wife, well she will get the TV to herself for a bit!

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DutchAcorn
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Re: My First BBC

Postby DutchAcorn » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:17 pm

Welcome to the forum! Glad to hear you are making space for more Acorn computers selling the Speccies. :D 8)
Paul

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flaxcottage
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Re: My First BBC

Postby flaxcottage » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:30 pm

Welcome. :D
- John

Currently running Level 4 Econet with BBC B, BBC B+ 128K, Master 128K, 4Mb A3000, 4Mb A3020, 4Mb A4000, 4Mb A5000 dual FDD; UK101; HP41CX setup; Psion 3a, 3mx and 5mx; Z88; TI-58c, TI-59 and printer, HP-16C programmer's calculator

Commodore
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:55 am

DutchAcorn wrote:Welcome to the forum! Glad to hear you are making space for more Acorn computers selling the Speccies. :D 8)



I've never liked them very much, always seemed a bit half finished to me.
Acorn on the other hand, is like the Rolls Royce of 80s computers.

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martinw
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Re: My First BBC

Postby martinw » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:34 am

Commodore wrote:Anyway, I have told my poor wife that the collection is now complete!


Ahh .. that old chestnut :wink:

Commodore wrote:Most of all, I like that I am preserving a piece of history.


Commendable, I have a similar feeling with my stuff, it'll probably end up in the skip when I pop my clogs though :lol:

If you're interested in seeing what the BBC can do that would have blown our minds back in the 80's, check out the Retroclinic Data Centre and the VideoNula =D>

Welcome :)

Martin

Commodore
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:31 pm

martinw wrote:Ahh .. that old chestnut :wink:


Yes, Indeed.... I think she bought it for now!


Commendable, I have a similar feeling with my stuff, it'll probably end up in the skip when I pop my clogs though :lol:


You're probably right. My boys may save some of it though, the stuff that doesn't have a Sinclair badge on it that is...

If you're interested in seeing what the BBC can do that would have blown our minds back in the 80's, check out the Retroclinic Data Centre and the VideoNula =D>


I had a look, impressive stuff. Thank you. I can see Acorn ownership is going to tempt the cash form my wallet!

I had half considered getting an Electron, but I think part of me would always have felt the machine I really wanted was a Model B, so in the end, that's what I thought best to get.

Welcome :)


Many thanks. This seems to be a very welcoming and great forum.

Commodore
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:09 am

Eagerly anticipating its arrival today.
Latest tracking update is that it has been to local depot and is now with the courier, so hopefully it may arrive today...

I have been thinking what I remember of the BBC, which isn't much, as I never had one, I was limited to use at school.

I remember *TV25, having some interesting results. I think *FX247,76, followed by the BREAK key was quite a good one too.
Sometimes I would combine them for added fun/chaos.

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oss003
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Re: My First BBC

Postby oss003 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:26 am

Welcom,

and enjoy the forum ....

Greetings
Kees

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tricky
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Re: My First BBC

Postby tricky » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:05 pm

Welcome, sorry I missed this before.
I can't remember the *TV stuff, but I think 255 moves the picture down or 1 up, after a break and maybe you can add ,0 to turn off interlace for the graphics modes.
For newer software, try http://bbcmicro.co.uk/index.php?rt_N=on&search= or take a look at the post linked in my signature.

Commodore
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:19 pm

Thanks Guys, that's great.
I'll definitely have a better look at those games.


Anyway, she has arrived and she's switched on.

The OS is 1.2 as predicted, but REPORT gives 1981, which maybe Basis version 1. Does that matter?

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danielj
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Re: My First BBC

Postby danielj » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:49 pm

It's certainly fine for running most things, but does miss a few commands that are in BASIC 2 - OSCLI etc. You might find the odd incompatibility. You can either drop Mark Hayesman a line (Retroclinic) to see if he has any original mask ROMs for BASIC2 (most likely he does), or else burn one if you've access to an eprom programmer?

d.

Commodore
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:18 pm

OK, thanks.

I'll probably drop him a line.

cmorley
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Re: My First BBC

Postby cmorley » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:26 pm

Welcome!

IIRC he had 10 on eBay a week or so back so he is probably swimming in them. I've got some hanging around as have others I'm sure so it won't be a problem to get hold of BASIC II.

Commodore
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:24 pm

Excellent, many thanks!

I have another Newbie type question.

My Beeb came with Smart SPI fitted.

I can get up the games that are loaded onto the SD card, of which there are about 20.

I type up

*DCAT

it lists them,

I then type,

*DBOOT 14

for Repton 2, for instance.
This seems to work the same though whether I type
*DIN0
*DIN1
*DIN2
*DIN3 etc

The CD that came with it has some manuals, including SD ones, nut they don't help much.
The CD also contains 576 games. The question is, how do I get them onto the SD Card?
the SD card is 128 MB, am I limited to that, or can I add a much bigger one and put all the games on 1 card?

If somebody could point me in the right direction, that would be great.
I did notice a DFS program and an MMC program on the CD, neither of which I made much sense of, but I assume they are for mounting images onto the card. Strangely when I put the card in the PC, all I could find was an MMC program.

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Lardo Boffin
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Lardo Boffin » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:08 pm

I haven't used my turbommc for a while but I think I am right in saying:-

The file on the SD card will be seen as a single file on your PC, probably with an MMB extension.
You need to install software on your PC to see the individual discs in the MMB image. It will be in the CD by the looks of it.
The 128mb image holds 500 Beeb discs which is a lot!
The CD may have a single image containing all the games - if not I'm sure someone can send a copy.
The other software you can install on your PC will allow you to create new disc images to drag into your MMB image on the SD card - ideal for downloading and using stuff not already on the card.

From personal experience I recommend taking occasional backups of your sd card - mine got corrupted from time to time and the only way I found to fix it was to reformat the sd card and drag the old backup back on again.

It may all sound complicated but it's simple once you get going! :D

Lardo
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Retroclinic Datacentre + HDD, matchbox co-proc, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, acorn cassette
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc, Acorn 6502 coproc

Commodore
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:01 pm

That's great Lardo, many thanks. It has pointed me in the right direction, and I'm sure it is easy once I have the hang of it!

I did wonder if 128Mb may be enough for 500+ images. That's even better.

Commodore
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:08 pm

OK, so the 500 Odd games are on the CD, as is MMB Imager and DFS Imager.

I am pretty sure there are only 20 games on the SD card, as only 21 discs are formatted, although DFS Imager lists 79 Disks.

I can select a game on DFS Imager, but then I am at a loss as what I should do next.

If anybody has the time a proper Idiot's guide would be helpful to assist me getting the 500 games copied over to the SD card so that I can use them on the Beeb. That should be plenty of games then.

If anybody could help that would be great.

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lurkio
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Re: My First BBC

Postby lurkio » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:19 pm

The file on the SD card should be called BEEB.MMB or something similar. Open it in MMB Imager. Then drag the .SSD disc-image file for the game you want to add (e.g. Frak.ssd) onto an empty slot in MMB Imager.

:?:

Commodore
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Re: My First BBC

Postby Commodore » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:01 pm

Thanks Lurkio. I reckon I must be nearly there now...
I opened Beeb.MMB in MMB Imager, and could see the 20 games and 59 vacant slots. I then bought up the list of games on the CD and tried dragging Alien 8.SSD, I got errors, whichever slot I tried.

Path File Access Error 75, or something like that.

Also an import error straight afterwards.

Was I doing something wrong? Is it maybe the slot is unformatted?
If so, do I format on the Beeb, or in MMB Imager? Or indeed DFS Imager?

I really do appreciate your help.

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lurkio
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Re: My First BBC

Postby lurkio » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:13 pm

Commodore wrote:Thanks Lurkio. I reckon I must be nearly there now... I opened Beeb.MMB in MMB Imager, and could see the 20 games and 59 vacant slots. I then bought up the list of games on the CD and tried dragging Alien 8.SSD, I got errors, whichever slot I tried. Path File Access Error 75, or something like that. Also an import error straight afterwards. Was I doing something wrong? Is it maybe the slot is unformatted? If so, do I format on the Beeb, or in MMB Imager? Or indeed DFS Imager? I really do appreciate your help.

Hmm. Not sure. And I'm not at the location where my Beebs and SD cards are at the mo.

Try copying the .SSD to the Desktop first. And then drag the copy from the Desktop into MMB Imager.

:?:


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