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View Full Version : BBC news clip - BBC Micro creators re-unite



nige the hippy
March 21st, 2008, 01:16 PM
little vid clip....
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7306703.stm

DarthKur
March 21st, 2008, 03:00 PM
Nice video. A shame it wasn't a lot longer.
I want a BBC Micro B so bad.

carlsson
March 21st, 2008, 06:10 PM
Within UK, Beebs seem rather common (but still fetch high bids on eBay UK). Outside the kingdom, they're much less found. A couple of BBC Micro users have in recent years moved from the UK to the USA, but generally leave most spare computers behind for shipping reasons.

tezza
March 21st, 2008, 06:36 PM
Very cool. And topical for me as the BBC(b) is occupying my workdesk at the moment.

Yes, they are well-engineered machines, influential machines (at least they were in the UK) and I'm glad I've got one. Not that common in New Zealand either. They were INCREDIBLY expensive out here...a figure I seem to remember is $NZ 1600 for a cassette-based unit when something like the newly released C64 was going for about $NZ 1000 (of course the c-64 price fell quickly after this).

The version of BASIC is powerful and impressive. I love the way they have so many interfaces, ports and like. Too many really, which is why they were so expensive.

A lot appear on the UK ebay site, at very good prices. Shipping is the thing of course and for those in the US, there is the PAL and voltage difference issues to consider also.

DarthKur
March 22nd, 2008, 03:48 PM
Yeah, it's the shipping that's usually the deal killer on most of the ones I see on Ebay. There was one one just a few days ago with a FDD and the shipping was only $60. I figured that was a good deal so I kept an eye on it and planed to hopefully get it. Sadly it got bid up to over $85 so that drove it out of my reach. :(
The voltage difference is no big deal since I have a very nice voltage converter. The PAL to NTSC converter I have, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired. I have both an Amstrad CPC 464 and Sinclair +2 that I use with it. Sadly the colors are terrible. Everything is reduced to a bland looking pale brown, green or blue. I'll have to get a multi-signal TV one of these days so I can finally enjoy the true vibrant color spectrum that I know these both can display.
The only thing I'd need is a scart or a/v cable for the beeb to be able to use it. Of coarse I need to actually get a Micro first. Is there anyone here that has a spare that they wouldn't mind parting with?

tezza
March 22nd, 2008, 06:16 PM
Were there any 100v/NTSC Beebs exported to North America?

As to shipping, well tell me about. I'm a lot poorer financially due to my last aqcisition (the 5150) and that was dontated! However, I certainly don't have any regrets.

Shipping costs for internationally-sourced computers are really all about just how much you WANT the machine. You can never tie them back to the market VALUE of the machine, otherwise you would never get the ones you want.

I think sometimes you just have to save up and, if the machine is a low-risk purchase (tested, has bundled stuff etc) then go for it! Shipping is a one-off cost, after all.

Just don't tell anyone how much it REALLY cost. They will think you're nuts! What is a useless hunk of junk to one person though, is an embodiment of purpose, design and history to another.

After all, that's why we do this thing, right? ;)

andyt31
March 23rd, 2008, 02:53 PM
I also have a Model B. Great machine. I have even found some software I used on the beeb's when I was at school. Anyone from the UK remember Look & Read with Geordie Racer! :)

Ive also put 3 upgrades in. A DDFS controller, a Aries B20 20k RAM upgrade and a Aries B12 ROM board. As I have a EPROM programmer, I can flash my own ROMS.

Im thinking about making the IDE interface for it.... :cool:

carlsson
March 23rd, 2008, 03:48 PM
The only thing I'd need is a scart or a/v cable for the beeb to be able to use it.
Me too. :-D Actually, the BBC and Electron computers output TTL RGB, which I believe may be suitable for an EGA monitor. There are instructions on the Internet how to build a voltage divider to bring down the levels to 0.7-1V as expected on SCART equipped TVs. I've posted about this previously on this forum, and built myself a such cable for my 1084. Some of these days I'm going to build myself a SCART cable as well.

Well, actually the computers output composite video too, but only black and white (greyscale). It is possible to modify the computer to get colours from composite video. I'm not sure why Acorn decided to strip out the colours from the composite signal, perhaps to make it more compatible with NTSC monitors in case it was exported?

nige the hippy
March 23rd, 2008, 04:41 PM
afaik... it's only a case of adding a cap or a jumper (sounds rather knitting patterny!) to make the composite video pal compatible colour. Check out "Sprow" or "the bbc lives"

tezza
March 23rd, 2008, 06:46 PM
The Sprow website is an interesting one. I hadnt come across that one before.

The links Nige is refering to (I think) are http://www.sprow.co.uk/bbc/howto.htm#vgamonitor and http://www.sprow.co.uk/bbc/howto.htm#colourcvbs

Nige, I notice one of Sprow's link is called "The Dump". Is there some association with this website you are not telling us about? (:

nige the hippy
March 24th, 2008, 05:05 AM
The "colourcvbs" link is the one I was thinking of, I'd downed most of a bottle of wine by that point, so wasn't navigating (in both the real and virtual modes) very well.

I've just got my "AverTV" card plumbed in on my pc, so I can use that to watch composite video. AFAIK it can handle pal or ntsc. it certainly displays the BEEB well. Handy for snapshots too.

Funny though, to watch the actions of a 1.8Mhz 8 bit processor I need a 1GHz+ 32 bit processor!