Search found 810 matches

by paulb
Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: acorn atom
Topic: Crazy idea? Downgrade Electron to an Atom? Possible?
Replies: 19
Views: 937

Re: Crazy idea? Downgrade Electron to an Atom? Possible?

", and actually used some kind of bizarre networking arrangement that had an Apple 2 as the fileserver, at least for the ones that were networked. Probably best to move this into a different thread but do yo you have any more details about how this was setup? No, sorry. And sorry to the OP for the ...
by paulb
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:56 am
Forum: acorn atom
Topic: Crazy idea? Downgrade Electron to an Atom? Possible?
Replies: 19
Views: 937

Re: Crazy idea? Downgrade Electron to an Atom? Possible?

I wasn't arguing to remove the video connectors But previously... if you're targeting the home market, things like the RGB connector and composite connector are largely superfluous Yes, well, if you're going to trim away the rest of the sentence and ignore qualifiers, plus ignore the corresponding ...
by paulb
Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:35 pm
Forum: acorn atom
Topic: Crazy idea? Downgrade Electron to an Atom? Possible?
Replies: 19
Views: 937

Re: Crazy idea? Downgrade Electron to an Atom? Possible?

Well, I wasn't arguing for routing the video signals through the expansion connector, merely pointing out that Acorn could have deleted more stuff from the Electron to save pennies, Sinclair-style, if that was the aim. Deleting from the spec something which can be provided by an expansion makes a l...
by paulb
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: acorn atom
Topic: Crazy idea? Downgrade Electron to an Atom? Possible?
Replies: 19
Views: 937

Re: Crazy idea? Downgrade Electron to an Atom? Possible?

But a bigger issue is that, once you have one video output, providing alternatives in the main unit is cheap, and providing them via an expansion port is relatively tricky. Looking at the circuit diagram, once you have the UHF output, adding RGB just needs the socket, a 3-pin header, a quarter of a...
by paulb
Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: acorn atom
Topic: Crazy idea? Downgrade Electron to an Atom? Possible?
Replies: 19
Views: 937

Re: Crazy idea? Downgrade Electron to an Atom? Possible?

The ethos of the Electron was to leave out absolutely everything that could be left out. Yes, I think most people realise this. But as Thomas notes, if you're targeting the home market, things like the RGB connector and composite connector are largely superfluous: only later would it become more co...
by paulb
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:48 pm
Forum: acorn atom
Topic: Crazy idea? Downgrade Electron to an Atom? Possible?
Replies: 19
Views: 937

Re: Crazy idea? Downgrade Electron to an Atom? Possible?

The other possibility is a created Atom on an Electron sized PCB. I mention this I now own a few electrons with dead ULAs but all the other parts are 'ok'. You'd be better off helping to get modern ULA replacements into service and reviving those Electrons. (Some background here .) As for the Atom,...
by paulb
Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:33 pm
Forum: general
Topic: Maplin Electronics in administration
Replies: 110
Views: 5677

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

As I've said elsewhere, I think Maplin's latest (since 2014) owners misjudged things drastically. They pivoted away from being a hobbyist/semi-pro electronics chain just as the maker revolution was starting, turning the shops into spartan Apple Store wannabes selling dash cams and drones. But there...
by paulb
Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:17 am
Forum: general
Topic: Maplin Electronics in administration
Replies: 110
Views: 5677

Re: Maplin Electronics in administration

I'm pretty sure that the remark in the article about Maplin not selling components isn't correct, although a cursory examination of their Web site would probably prove me wrong. Still, I got the impression that they were pushing IoT and "smart home" stuff pretty seriously, which isn't commercially s...
by paulb
Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: wanted
Topic: Would like to borrow: Hydra controller card
Replies: 29
Views: 2426

Re: Would like to borrow: Hydra controller card

To be perfectly honest I haven't the faintest idea what he's on about. Bin Doon? Human Rights Movement? Nothing ever seems to get deleted? Our right to freedom of association? What? Indeed. Must be "alt-right" or Daily Telegraph conspiracy memes or something. Maybe something to do with this . Or pe...
by paulb
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:25 pm
Forum: hardware
Topic: Acorn's Second Processors and the Tube - what, and why
Replies: 47
Views: 3256

Re: Acorn's Second Processors and the Tube - what, and why

http://www.apollo-accelerators.com/wiki/doku.php/fpu does this have anything in common witht he pi accelertor model?(pi tube system) No, this appears to be something that replaces the CPU with a FPGA-plus-other-stuff board, at least as far as I can tell from the manual . What they've done looks qui...
by paulb
Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: general
Topic: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?
Replies: 14
Views: 835

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

I couldn't find a PC tool to convert sprite files to JPEG or PNG, even after a couple of promising false starts, so I have to use Acorn's own ChangeFSI instead. davidb's Spritefile code should work for this: it's written in Python and provides some command line tools. It also provides an extension ...
by paulb
Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: hardware
Topic: AP5, Pegasus/AP3-4/EUPURS Metal Case Design
Replies: 24
Views: 1597

Re: AP5, Pegasus/AP3-4/EUPURS Metal Case Design

Prices are tentative (shouldn't move - just haven't got the proforma from the painters, yet) at: AP5 £7.16 Pegasus £6.22 - The new AP3/4 will also use this case EUPURS £7.54 Hmm. that's slightly cheaper than one-off 3D printing, but not massively so. Dave H would know what the "home printing" costs...
by paulb
Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:28 pm
Forum: general
Topic: little optimistic???
Replies: 28
Views: 1465

Re: little optimistic???

Acorn neglected floating point arithmetic support, leaving the A7000+ as their only machine in the Risc PC series (architecturally) that did this in hardware, and that at a much slower clock frequency. Not much help if you're doing MP3-related things towards the end of the 1990s. MP3 decoding, at l...
by paulb
Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: general
Topic: little optimistic???
Replies: 28
Views: 1465

Re: little optimistic???

With Acorn, we have the BBC B+ and Master 128 which don't have that much (games) software written to take advantage of the extra memory and hardware. I think that most people missed or ignored the BBC B+ - I don't think I was even really aware of it at the time - and the Master series was largely s...
by paulb
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: general
Topic: little optimistic???
Replies: 28
Views: 1465

Re: little optimistic???

The 3000 had a 25mhz 68030; the top end 4000 had a 25mhz 68040 which managed about 18mips - not a slouch for the time but no better than the desktop Arcs or a 25mhz 486. Now that we have the benefit of hindsight, it is interesting to see how similar the fates of Acorn and Commodore were at the star...
by paulb
Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: software: other
Topic: Hacking the school Econet
Replies: 15
Views: 1039

Re: Hacking the school Econet

When we were at school my brother reckoned he knew someone at a neighbouring school who was so successful at hacking Econet that the teachers gave up and just let him have the system password. Looking back I'm not sure the story was true but it fascinated me at the time and I spent hours trying to ...
by paulb
Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:13 pm
Forum: general
Topic: little optimistic???
Replies: 28
Views: 1465

Re: little optimistic???

Without industrial suppliers, is it actually possible to affordably fabricate each and every part of a BBC or Commodore 64 within a cottage industry? Given that there are custom ICs in these machines (the ULAs in the Beeb, Electron, and so on; the SID and VIC in the C64, I guess), people have alrea...
by paulb
Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: hardware
Topic: Screen shadow memory
Replies: 18
Views: 883

Re: Screen shadow memory

So far as I'm aware, the Aries board was the original shadow RAM, as an expansion for the model B. It pre-dated the model B+. Indeed, I've often wondered whether they were in cahoots with Acorn from the outset, or whether Acorn then borrowed the idea. More information on this here , with Aries boar...
by paulb
Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: hardware
Topic: P.R.E.S. AP3 and &E00
Replies: 25
Views: 1062

Re: P.R.E.S. AP3 and &E00

I won an auction for a PRES AP3 + 3.5 inch drive off thatEbay yesterday and it should arrive in a few days. I know that the ADFS system used by the original Plus 3 and the AP3 both have a nasty habit of setting the memory to (IIRC) &1D00. I have a Master RAM Board and was wondering if that'll be us...
by paulb
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: emulators
Topic: Elkulator compilation on Kubuntu 13.10
Replies: 11
Views: 1607

Re: Elkulator compilation on Kubuntu 13.10

ThomasHarte wrote:If you were willing to try an alternative, I'd be really grateful for feedback on the build process. I'm not generally fantastic at Linux-type tasks.
Reminds me of the wrappers I did for ElectrEm (Classic and Future!) a few years ago now.
by paulb
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:39 pm
Forum: projects
Topic: Going great guns on a Prince of Persia port...
Replies: 224
Views: 21249

Re: Going great guns on a Prince of Persia port...

Depending on the amount of actual RAM needed, I wonder whether the Mega Games Cartridge could be used as a large data store with 16KBs of data paged in as required? Some kind of adjustable/scrolling window in the 16K sideways RAM/ROM region was done by various filing systems, and I did wonder wheth...
by paulb
Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:25 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Most disappointing conversions from other systems
Replies: 62
Views: 4255

Re: Most disappointing conversions from other systems

I don't think any of these were officially licensed releases. Maybe licensing was the kiss of death for the Beeb! Although not getting "licensed" ports possibly diminished the schoolyard credentials of the Beeb and Electron, both platforms were probably better off as a result. Most of the best game...
by paulb
Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Most disappointing conversions from other systems
Replies: 62
Views: 4255

Re: Most disappointing conversions from other systems

I would have to nominate Green Beret for being a terrible conversion, and just a terrible game in general. It's just too fast to be even slightly playable, and that scrolling is horrific. Green Beret was one of those games that seemed better than it actually was. But we should really be pairing up ...
by paulb
Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Most disappointing conversions from other systems
Replies: 62
Views: 4255

Re: Most disappointing conversions from other systems

SpyHunter. Loved playing the arcade version at the local sports center, then my mate got it on C64 and it looked (to my young eyes) as close to arcade perfect as was possible back then. I agree with the sentiment that you could probably do as well as that on the Beeb, too. Then I got it for my Beeb...
by paulb
Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:55 pm
Forum: hardware
Topic: Acorn's Second Processors and the Tube - what, and why
Replies: 47
Views: 3256

Re: Acorn's Second Processors and the Tube - what, and why

This (rumour) seems worth noting: The Tube was Acorn's way of resolving how a single machine could be all things to all people, as during the design phase one engineer wanted a dual-processor system, another reckoned one would do, chip designer Andy Hopper wanted it to be 16-bits and Chris Curry wa...
by paulb
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:10 am
Forum: off-topic
Topic: How many people found computer self-assembly annoying?
Replies: 10
Views: 810

Re: How many people found computer self-assembly annoying?

Do you just sit around pondering topics that you think might get a rise out of people on here? I don't think that's very fair. I remember encountering microcomputers in the early 1980s, with books about them not yet featuring the BBC Micro, and the need to assemble a kit was a real consideration un...
by paulb
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:08 pm
Forum: hardware
Topic: Which replacement parts are available new?
Replies: 5
Views: 505

Re: Which replacement parts are available new?

Maybe Unicorn Electronics' CRT/disk controller section can at least yield the 6845, if not the WD1770. Other established suppliers exist for older parts, too.

Edit: See also the 6500-series page for 6522 pricing on that site, for reference.
by paulb
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: software: classic games
Topic: Unused Citadel bits
Replies: 42
Views: 3419

Re: Unused Citadel bits

Arcadian -- I don't think a non-garbaged Electron version would be possible, unfortunately. The BBC version just reprograms the ... CRTC (??) ... to mask off those garbage areas. If the Electron doesn't have the hardware to do this, I don't think it's possible. You would need to save several kiloby...
by paulb
Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:37 pm
Forum: wanted
Topic: Would like to borrow: Hydra controller card
Replies: 29
Views: 2426

Re: Would like to borrow: Hydra controller card

RISC OS was the operating system running on the Acorn computers ARM used to perform the demonstrations. This fact proves RISC OS was and is perfectly capable of multi-core operation. I'd be very surprised if that was ever the case. :roll: Maybe someone should tell ROOL, then, if it's that easy: Bou...
by paulb
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: hardware
Topic: A blitter for the beeb?
Replies: 59
Views: 4599

Re: A blitter for the beeb?

tricky wrote:I'm pretty sure that the NES 1983 had DMA and I seem to remember a thread around here about, I think DMA ideas for the elk.
DMA on the Electron