Booo bip!

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*TAPE
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Booo bip!

Post by *TAPE » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:55 pm

Hello, world!

Yet another n00b!
...and 40 something who self-taught himself many things Acorn in the 1980s, and was (like most) light years ahead of the teachers!

I went to City School, in Sheffield, where we had a teletext service called Cityfax.

It was an absolute rip off of Ceefax, but with their blessing.
I believe it was "Making The Most of The Micro" tv show who ran a competition for schools and colleges to write software.

Cityfax was the entry from the school (CIty), the year before I started there, and I understand it won in its category.
I volunteered my lunch times to help maintain and run the service. In the year before I left I helped upgrade it to new software, Seafax, written by.... Sheffield Education Authority.
Sadly I did not 'obtain' any copies of either suite of software before I left, and it seems there is zero trace nor mention of this anywhere in the whole of the internets.


I had an Electron to begin with and then inherited a model B + Cumana + Cub
I tried to design and build a 16 ROM sideways expansion at university, but utterly failed on the fabrication stage, owing to costs.

Then I had to get a job and all of the Acorn stuff went in the loft.

Some 25 years later, here we are.
My job as a broadcast engineer involves rather a lot of computers and systems integration.
My Acorns are out of the loft, and in need of "attention" which I will detail elsewhere.
And my catalogue of Micro and Electron User mags is on Ebay, courtesy of a friend of mine.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/m.html?_ssn=ralphdot2


Ive been trawling a lot of Acorn content, and TBH Im astounded at the support and efforts that are now going in to these old machines.
The tricks that are being done now are, frankly, mind blowing.
It also makes me rant at the screen asking why we were not doing this back in the day, that we were only scratching the surface!! ](*,)
And, although I definitely knew my onions, I now know how little I knew back in the day! :roll:

cmorley
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Re: Booo bip!

Post by cmorley » Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:06 pm

Welcome! :D

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Multiwizard
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Re: Booo bip!

Post by Multiwizard » Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:20 pm

Hi,

welcome to this great Forum... :D


Greetings from my little Dutch Atomic Attic, Wim... :-)

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daveejhitchins
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Re: Booo bip!

Post by daveejhitchins » Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:12 am

Welcome to the Forum, *TAPE . . . Enjoy . . .

Dave H.

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flaxcottage
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Re: Booo bip!

Post by flaxcottage » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:17 am

Welcome, *TAPE. :D

It is a pity you did not keep either of the 'Faxes' from Sheffield. So little of that has survived. I worked in the next door county and hadn't heard of either of those packages. Just shows how insular we were BITD. :(
- John

Check out the Educational Software Archive at www.flaxcottage.com

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roland
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Re: Booo bip!

Post by roland » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:56 am

*TAPE wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:55 pm
And, although I definitely knew my onions, I now know how little I knew back in the day! :roll:
BITD we didn't have the means to communicate like today. Some people might have access to a BBS system but AFAIK there was not so much exchange of knowledge like nowadays with the Internet, the social media and forums like this one. So don't blame yourself that you knew so little 25 years ago. Reading your story, I think you had quite a lot of knowledge, different knowledge.

Since you're still alive, now is the chance to catch up and learn new stuff. Thanks to this forum, especially by the encouragement and support of Hoglet, I started to learn VHDL for CPLD and FPGA stuff. Now we have build a new FPGA based Atom with features that we couldn't even think about in the 80's, like simple things as 512KB RAM and VGA output.
*TAPE wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:55 pm
It also makes me rant at the screen asking why we were not doing this back in the day, that we were only scratching the surface!! ](*,)
Some things didn't even exist BITD, like MMC storage and WiFi networks, so that's why we weren't doing that .... :lol:

And .... welcome to this forum,
Enjoy your visits here.

Greetings from the South of the Netherlands,
Roland
FPGAtom: 512 KB RAM, Real Time Clock and 64 colours
MAN WOMAN :shock:

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davidb
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Re: Booo bip!

Post by davidb » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:02 pm

Welcome! :D

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*TAPE
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Re: Booo bip!

Post by *TAPE » Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:02 pm

Many thanks for the welcomes, all.

The stuff being done with stock micros is what amazes me most. Demos from Bitshifters and 0xC0DE.

And what is now known as "UX".... ways of presenting information on screen and interacting with the user have advanced.

flaxcottage.....
The original Cityfax was written by 5th and 6th year students at the school. Although it won the BBC competition, and they got their picture in the local newspaper, it was only ever used within the one school.
The follow up version, SEAfax was written by Sheffield Council Education Department*. Looking back, I have no ideas why they would have gone to the effort and expense of writing what was (for the time) quite a good package of software. Other than our one school, I was not aware of any others using it.
*SCC was absolutely broke back then, and famously in complete opposition to the government, and being nick named the Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire. Spending that time and money seems very odd.

As you write, it is a pity I did not obtain a copy of either package before I left. It would have been so easy for me to do, and teachers would have been absolutely none the wiser.

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tricky
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Re: Booo bip!

Post by tricky » Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:46 pm

Welcome, the biggest advance for me has been in debugging with emulated HW features that I didn't think could ever exist. Actually, they probably did with ICE, but I never knew.

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*TAPE
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Re: Booo bip!

Post by *TAPE » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:20 am

flaxcottage wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:17 am
Welcome, *TAPE. :D

It is a pity you did not keep either of the 'Faxes' from Sheffield. So little of that has survived. I worked in the next door county and hadn't heard of either of those packages. Just shows how insular we were BITD. :(
Ive been rummaging through the internets.....
Cityfax in the BBC schools competition, couple of pages shown from 47' 03" onwards.....
https://clp.bbcrewind.co.uk/044f26944a1 ... 30ffde760f
Watch out for "Your coat is nice and big" .....insults were really cutting in 1983!!


Seafax....
viewtopic.php?t=686#p2880
https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/the-ruskin/ ... 2004--2007 ....open "Volumes 13-14 (2017 - 2018)", then look at volume 13, Alan Davis' A Seafax in Sheffield .....some bloke did a presentation on it apparently!

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