Sunday, January 16, 2005

Computer Dinosaurs

Anyone out there who remembers the old Commodore Sixy fours? or maybe Sinclaire ZX Spectrum series of computers? How about the BBC Micro Computers? click click, ding dong!

The BBC Micro

The old BBC Micro will be a famous one and a known one to most if they did computing back in school (1990 to maybe 1995/6). I LOVED these machines, this was the very fist computers for many of us. This is where the "code'n" started off! BBC Basic! Hacking through the codes; trying to draw pictures. Yeah! That's how it worked back then. We never had such tools like coral Draw or anything, there was a few software's but then mostly none. So we typed or programmed the thingy to draw us lines and paint it! "PLOT" and "DRAW" commands. I still remember them. I guess the very first programs I did was on the ZX Spectrum. But I would say it started off with the BBC's. It was magical back then, everyone will be all excited about the computer class. Waiting to try out the codes they wrote on papers after u plotted the pictures on graph papers and took the coordinates.

The BBC Micro was launched to coincide with a computer literacy drive by the BBC. The machine had possibly one of the best versions of BASIC out of all of the computers at the time and also had good expansion capabilities including networking (Econet), a disc interface, and a second processor.

The BBC Console with BBC Basic (remember that screen?)

Model A

  • Processor: 6502A, 2MHz
  • 16k RAM
  • 32k in ROM
  • Sound: 3 channels + noise
  • Text display: 80x32
  • Graphics display: 640x256, 8 colors + flashing
  • Keyboard: Typewriter-style
  • 8-bit parallel port
  • Expansion port
  • Cassette interface
  • RGB socket (6 pin DIN)
  • RF interface
  • Released: 1981 at £299

Model B

As the Model A, with the following changes:
  • 32k RAM
  • Released in 1981 at £399

Model B+

As the Model A, with the following changes:
  • 64k RAM
  • Released in April 1985 at £499
anyway I found sme links to BBC Micro Emulators, this might be fun. I did try BeebEm a few years back. It is fun. Getting back the feel of making double height chars; using the CHR$(141) and trying to hack through the old game codes like the snapper.


Anonymous said...

Hi there... if you remember Granny's Garden on the Beeb, you might like this interview I did with the bloke who wrote it. He's got some good stories about the attitude of schools to computers in the early '80s...

Penny-a-thought said...

Yeah, i remember similar types of machines (mostly out of commission) sitting around the old PC-lab in Majeedi'yya. Of course we werent allowed to operate them.

It is amazing though that there are a lot of ppl around the globe are enthusiasts of older machines and collect these for the sake of its own.