[ubuntu-uk] memory lane, was: Please can someone look at this and try to help

Tony Travis ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Mon Nov 12 20:34:20 GMT 2007

Sean Miller wrote:
> BBC Micro was a great machine... the ZX81 was somewhat more limited... 
> don't get me wrong, it was my first home micro but it wasn't really up 
> to any great programming challenges...

Hey, Sean!

I beg to differ - I wrote a self-hosting 6502 Small-C compiler for the 
BBC Micro, with shared linraries and a (very) minimal "sh" in ROM:


My description of Small-C is plagiarised in many places on the internet!

> the BBC was a class act, whatever 
> Sir Clive might tell you.

I bought the infamous Science of Cambridge 'MK14' SC/MP kit from him, 
which could be used to control our local power station according to the 
advert. Like many people, I was deceived into buying what I thought was 
'Mark' 14 (i.e. version 14) of the kit. In fact the MK14 refers to the 
post-code of the shed in Milton Keynes where the kits were packed up. 
Took me a long time to get it working because the PCD had no solder 
resist(!). I eventually found a tiny solder splash across two tracks and 
ran "Super Bat Snatch!" in 512 bytes of 'expanded' memory.

> Some of my programming adventures on the BBC might still be referenced 
> on the web somewhere, or perhaps not... with some school friends in the 
> mid-eighties I created a bulletin board software that closely mimiced 
> Prestel, it was called "Datahost+" I think... though I might be wrong, 
> was a long time ago... water under the bridge etc. ;-)

It was a great machine: I had the BBC Micro Z80 second-processor running 
CP/M then an 80186 running DRDOS + GEM. Tried the Archimedes, but traded 
it in for an Amstrad PC1512 running Minix and I've never looked back :-)

Best wishes,

Dr. A.J.Travis,                     |  mailto:ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Rowett Research Institute,          |    http://www.rri.sari.ac.uk/~ajt
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,          |   phone:+44 (0)1224 712751
Aberdeen AB21 9SB, Scotland, UK.    |     fax:+44 (0)1224 716687

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