IRQ

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Diminished
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IRQ

Post by Diminished » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:13 pm

(That's Introduction ReQuest -- I wouldn't blame you for banning me right here and now.)

So, davidb suggested I introduce myself, although he might come to regret that.

I'm Alastair, known to practically everyone as Ali, and I owned a BBC micro many years ago. (Well, technically I own a BBC now also, and an Electron for that matter -- but that's not really how I got here, is it?)

BASIC on this machine was my introduction to programming, at age six. I desperately wanted to learn ASM too, but at the time I could never get my hands on any useful resources. The local library was fine if for some strange reason you wanted to read Jeffrey Archer, but not so great if you were an eight year old thirsty to understand how commercial games were able to run so much better and faster than your BASIC attempts did. I didn't conquer assembly language until I got to university to do electronic engineering ten years later, and I remember being almost annoyed by how simple it was. It felt a bit like I'd wasted a decade just because I didn't have the right books.

I live in Cambridge, appropriately enough, having moved here from Liverpool about seven years ago. Was a degree of romanticism over my childhood fondness for a Fen-designed beige box with a minority of red keys partially responsible for tempting me here? Yeah, probably.

The BBC my father bought for the family was one of the earliest Model A types. I wish I had kept it, purely for its serial number. They were probably the worst BBCs you could buy in the machine's history. The original linear PSU blew up, the video ULA was one of the trashy "bad yield" ones that Acorn quietly shoved in the Model A, the tape interface self-destructed, meaning I couldn't save any of my programs -- everything broke on that machine. Also, my dad was a tight-fisted so-and-so, and when he finally had the thing upgraded, he just got the dealer to stick another 16K of RAM in it (and upgrade OS 0.1 to 1.2, although I'm honestly surprised he was prepared to swallow the cost of that). As many will know, a lot of games needed IC69 too, usually for their copy protection systems. For years I had no idea why only half the games I tried on it actually functioned. Only when I loaded up an Acornsoft game that had actually been coded conscientiously enough to inform the player which piece of silicon they were missing did I finally understand the nature of this curse. I did spend a lot of time playing on other people's BBCs and Electrons though, so I still got to enjoy most of the titles of the era.

I never made the jump to the RiscOS machines, even though I was under no illusions over how powerful the ARM was for its time. I'd gone MS-DOS by then with one of Alan Sugar's awful but admittedly insanely cheap Amstrad 1512s, sometime around 1989.

It's difficult for me to provide too much background information about myself. So, unlike others, I can't list all the ways that Acorn's machines led me to a fruitful career in technology.

It wouldn't surprise me if one or two users here had happened to encounter me in real life, although it's fair to say I don't get out much, so perhaps not.

Anyway, hi, and I'd like to give thanks to all the emulator coders, digital archivists, and anyone else that has toiled to keep these old systems alive. They will always remind me of better times.

Cheers.

A
Last edited by Diminished on Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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CMcDougall
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Re: IRQ

Post by CMcDougall » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:33 pm

welcome Ali :)
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Multiwizard
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Re: IRQ

Post by Multiwizard » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:57 pm

Hi Ali,

welcome to this great Forum... :D


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

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davidb
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Re: IRQ

Post by davidb » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:05 pm

Diminished wrote:So, davidb suggested I introduce myself, although he might come to regret that.
I hope not! :) It's always good to get some idea of where people come from, though there's no obligation for anyone to share deep secrets or anything. :)

In any case, welcome to the forum! :D

Diminished
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Re: IRQ

Post by Diminished » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:12 pm

Don't worry. We all have our burdens. It's all good.

I've lurked this site a little bit in the past. The Kevin Edwards protection thread was one of the finest things I've ever read on the Internet.

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tricky
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Re: IRQ

Post by tricky » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:39 pm

Welcome, nice introduction.
I learnt 6502 from the AUG, but it a book on assembler programming would have helped. I have asked on a few occasions for assembly programming and D&D books at various libraries, never with any success.

Diminished
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Re: IRQ

Post by Diminished » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:43 am

Hi Tricky,

I never managed to get my hands on a copy of the AUG back in the day -- I don't think I realised how good it was until the Internet came along and I was able to download it.

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daveejhitchins
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Re: IRQ

Post by daveejhitchins » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:13 am

Welcome to the Forum, Ali . . . Enjoy . . .

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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tricky
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Re: IRQ

Post by tricky » Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:56 am

I was very lucky, dad took me to south Wales to collect my beeb, we had been ringing around everywhere trying to find someone with Beebs. I got a model B, cassette lead with resistors, but I can't remember if we got the AUG their or later.

Diminished
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Re: IRQ

Post by Diminished » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:30 pm

I remember the resistors in the cassette lead ... IIRC the tape recorder that Acorn (or the BBC?) themselves recommended (a Ferguson? the build quality on those things was excellent) couldn't cope with the voltage from the computer. Bit of a snafu, really.

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