For those of you who owned or used BBC Micros, a couple of articles just popped up on BBC Online:
Creators of the BBC Micro re-unite to look at the micro and its legacy — Acorn were working on the Arm chip as a result of the BBC Micro and BBC Master project. It’s a wonderful British success story; Arm chips are in practically every small mobile device that are in the world today.
David Braben (co-author of Elite) looks back at the BBC Micro — It would be great to see the spirit of the BBC Micro live on today; perhaps the excitement of being part of perhaps the most important entertainment sector of the future can be used to entice students into Computer Science, Physics and Maths?
Update: More memories, from those who designed and built the Beeb.
Two of the greatest things about the BBC were:
1) Networking was part of the design from the ground up. It was a piece of piss to write a program to download memory from another BBC into your own – for example I would grab the screen memory from another beeb and dump it into my screen memory so I could view other machines. You could also remotely halt a machine, so a few mates and I would write war programs and team up in different labs and try and take out the other lab before those guys got yours. Was a lot of fun until our programs got to the point where either you would wipe out the opposition instantly or you simply could not win.
2) Interfacing was again standard, so wiring up circuits and controlling them was again a piece of piss. LEDs, motors, you name it. Except the BBC Compact of course, for some reason they stripped off the output ports on that model. Was a lot of fun doing that kind of shit, and something I’ve only recently got back into with interfacing via Ethernet I/O controllers for my home automation system.
Yep, agreed. They designed it for expandability both internally and externally, and using standard ports rather than proprietary — no wonder to this day it’s relatively easy to hook up a modern PC and a Beeb via serial connection.