Back in 1983 or 1984 I got my first computer; a BBC Model B. This was
a shared Christmas present with my brother. A few years later (1987?)
I traded him my Amstrad stereo system for his half, so it was all mine.
In the mean time I had expanded it with a Solidisk DDFS (1770 based)
and a Solidisk SWR card; I tried a couple of variants before settling
on the 2Meg128 card. This had 4 additional ROM slots and 128K of
RAM. I'd also had an EPROM programmer and eraser and had built and
burnt a few EPROMs. I'd written my own manager ROM (based off the STL
code) and added the E00 DFS to the back of the EXMON code (both were 8K
ROMs so I could store the E00 DFS in the 2nd half of a 16k ROM and add
a command that'd copy it into a SWRam bank).
When I moved to America I took the Beeb, one floppy drive and my floppies
with me, but left my manuals, EPROM programmer etc etc behind. I'd never
need 'em again! It took many years before I could actually use the Beeb
properly, but I finally got hold of a composite-video to VGA converter that
would work on PAL standards.
Recently I found a thriving community of Beeb fans. One person has
created a board that allows you to have ramdisk, USB, MMC and so on. On
a Beeb! Another person has created a simpler MMC adapter. I got a varient
of that. And so I found myself coding for the Beeb again.
TOOLS and REVIEW
- Solidisk 2M128 Manager ROM
I wrote/hacked/stole code to be a (IMHO) fairly decent Manager ROM
for the Solidisk 2M128 board. More recently I further hacked it to
work with other boards... but with reduced functionality
- MMB Utilities
A set of Perl utilities that can manipulate MMB files (as used in
the MMC variants)
- Beeb program to image disks
Once I got a MMC card card, the next step was to get data off my floppies. MMB files basically contain
a bundle of SSD files. SSDs are 200K floppy images; 80 track single
sided single density. Most of my floppes are double sided double density;
320K per side. Obviously won't fit! Also Solidisk uses extended catalogues
to store more than 31 files per side. Further complication! This code allows
me to get images of the larger disks onto a PC so I can then work with the
files and build smaller SSDs from the results.
- TubeHost code for Unix
This is a Unix TubeHost filesystem written in perl based around JGH's
HostFS concept. It's basically a serial port filesystem for the Beeb!
- UPURSFS ROM
This is what happens when you take the
TubeHost concept and
combine it with a UPURS cable.
Summary: connect the BBC User port to a PC serial port and then run
a filesystem over it!
- Steve Picton SWR/Flash board
As part of the data recovery, I was given a second Beeb (for free!).
Naturally I couldn't leave well alone, so I added a modern day SWR board to it
- Growing Collection
Slowly my collection grows!
- And I re-arrange them
Make them a little easier to access
- Adding a second (and third) user port
My attempts to build an expansion board that can add a 2nd user port
to the Beeb.
- BASIC extension ROM
Back in the day I wrote (or hacked up) a ROM that would extend BBC BASIC
and add new commands and functions.
- Michael Brown's "30th Anniversary BBC and Electron Collection"
I've built an index of all the discs Michael has uploaded, in order to make
it easier to find and download them.
So much fun from a 30 year old computer!
Last modified: Thursday, 26-Aug-2021 21:40:54 EDT