A journey into Retro land
The BBC Micro Model B is special to me as it was one of my first computers. After 25 years, I recently re-purchased one.
My gateway drug was a BBC Micro Model B, a ZX Spectrum and a nameless CPM ten-tonne monster. So as young kid, without knowing what a computer really was, I taught myself. It grew into a life-long passion and has provided me with an education and career. As I grew-up, so did the computer industry; information-technology went from the periphery of society to the pervasive center of modern life.
And it all began with a BBC Micro Model B.
Two decades later, I own one again. But this time, I have all the knowledge and resource to really do some damage. ;-)
Enter eBay and a BEEB (BBC Micro Model B)
I found a BEEB that had sat in the loft for 20 years and now it is all mine to play with. But where to begin?
But where to begin?
- Learn some 6502 assembler
- Try to find a hi-level language other than BASIC
- cc65 C compiler
- Replace the mono-green screen with a modern colour LCD Howto, With pictures
- Identify the additional ROMs in my beeb?
- Integrate the Beeb to my PC
- Serial terminal RS232
- Mount a flash disk (requires custom chip)
- Write a 6502 app (Sokoban)
- Find a community of like-minded people
What have I learned so far
- Acorn/BBC hardware cheat sheet
- You can plug a RaspPi-zero in as a co-processor! TDL - BBC Micro PiTubeDirect Raspberry Pi Coprocessor
- You can upgrade the Video sub-system. VideoNuLA (Part 1) : A New Graphics Card for 8-bit BBC Micro (Wi-Fi Sheep Tech Video)
- You can 'expand' the RAM capacity Acorn BBC Micro Model B DIY 32K Sideways NVRAM Upgrade
- Quickly play around with ideas on an emulator. BeemEm installed and looks to have a load of features.
- It seems the Beeb power supply's capacitors are liable to explode after many years. Most experience users suggest that the PSU should be refurbed.
- "The task of replacing the capacitors is fairly straight-forward if you are confident with a soldering iron: open the power supply, desolder the two bad capacitors, fit two new ones, and reassemble. Many people choose to replace a third capacitor (C9) too while they've got it open. A kit of capacitors is sold online by RetroClinic (and others?), and at least two individuals offer a mail-away PSU refurbishment service if you don't feel confident yourself." via StarDot
- Cheap online kit
- Fast serial transfer utilities for the BBC Micro: UPURS
- How do I load a disk image from a PC?
- How do I load a disk image from a flash disk/usb thumbdrive?
What ROMS are these?
Then one day
- Write a 6502 emulator
- Write a system emulator with just a 6502 chip; but all the pins 'virtualised' by connection to a ardenio/raspi and RAM/ROM/ periferals simulated on PC.