Greetings to all and to BBC fans

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Greetings to all and to BBC fans

Postby Trevcharl on Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:12 pm

Hi there, I'm a great computer fan, always was from the first time they hit the market. I own BBC B, Epson HX20, RCA 1802 and a tablet using Android.
The first "computer" I got was the RCA 1802 kit, one had to use a micro terminal and enter the programs in machine code. Then we got a Siemens at work with an 8" floppy disk, and it had "Commercial Basic", which I took a liking to, the only problem was the remarks were written in German, so I had to seek out some one who could speak German. I found it easier to learn programming from how other people programmed.
Then the XT IBM computer came out, and about the same time the smaller computers came out too like ZX81, Acorn Atom, Commadore and lots of innovative units from all over the world. I researched the lot, and having experience in machine code programming and Basic, I chose to buy the BBC, directly from the UK.
As it turns out, the BBC basic is very similar to Turbo Basic on the IBM, only that the BBC had facilities to access machine code routines directly from Basic and also one could add an EPROM which would give you a lot of new commands.
The HX20 is a portable unit, quite small, and its basic is similar to the IBM GW BAsic, with a few added commands to accommodate the tape system. It has a 40chr x 4 line LCD display, but it is good enough if you need to show results of calculations, and it also has an on board micro printer.
I am currently working on a process to eliminate disk drives from the BBC. My floppies are over 20 years old and they are packing up, so I need an alternate way to store all the games and utilities I have gathered in the 80's. I bought a floppy emulator, it works on an old IBM I have in the garage, but it doesnt want to work on the BBC. (The BBC uses the same floppy drives the IBM uses)
Hoping we can exchange ideas
Cheers Trevcharl
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:01 am

Re: Greetings to all and to BBC fans

Postby tezza on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:41 am

Hi Trevcharl and welcome to the forums.

I have similar systems including a BBC and Epson HX-20. The latter was one of the first "A4" sized computers with a good version of BASIC, although that tiny screen was pretty limiting. I remember seeing a few of these hooked up to lab equipment in the day.

The BBC was a highly underrated computer in my opinion. Too bad it was so expensive in New Zealand.
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Re: Greetings to all and to BBC fans

Postby machinecoder on Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:03 am

BBC's are cool :D

I have a BBC model B

And somewhere between 100-200 Floppy Disks with BBC software, unfortunately I still havent gone through them all, and there are quite a few old IBM software floppies mixed in so I need to sort them out.

There is a product called a "KryoFlux" disk sampler, I recieved a few VZ300 floppy samples and was able to write some software to decode the sample back to emulator compatible images, I believe the software for the BBC is already avaliable by them, (If not I could write it).

The sample reads the intervals between Flux transitions at a high resolution, there could also be a chance of minor error recovery (If there software is upto it).

Once you have a sample your software is safe from bit-root.

:idea: I have thought of making my own sampler (just got me-self a MCU development board) and sampling my own floppies

Congrats on your good taste in vintage hardware.

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