Hi from Dorset

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tim_programmer
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Hi from Dorset

Post by tim_programmer » Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:37 pm

Hi Guys,

So I've come into possession of a lovely model B along with a Watford Electronic dual 3.5in floppy drive and a petal MA20 daisy wheel printer (image attached for amusement). All in working order (I just had to recap the PSU).

I've not really been heavily into retro computing (aside from admiring) but this (along with a faulty mac classic, mac se30 a performa 6200) was destined for the tip unless i scooped them up (a house clearance of a distant family member)... I couldn't let that happen. This has also made me want to repair my old Amiga 600 (which I have fond memories of)

Until I saved this, I'd never realised that actually one of these (along with logo and the little turtle robot) was my first ever computer interaction... year 3 in my first school (so age 6ish) this would have been around '91 so it was also my last interaction with one as acorns were already common place by then.

I'm a computer programmer by trade and often tinker with hardware - so this little project suits me to the tee.

But the truth is I'm not sure where to start at the moment

First off I'd like to just be able to write games from bbcmicro.co.uk to a floppy to load up - I have a USB floppy drive (I probably have a computer somewhere with a 'proper' one) and computers running Windows (poss XP) 7, 10, Mac OSX, and Linux - but haven't seen an obvious method to do this (admittedly I haven't googled as hard as I should) - What's my best bet here?

I guess the gotek drive is the go to for avoiding to actually use real disks?

Aside from amusement, I'm looking for a 'good' use for it (not necessarily 100% practical mind you) any suggestions? My first thought was pop a pi inside and connect to bbc via serial and have it be able to act as a dumb terminal like a vt100 to the pi.. that way it looks the part but has a bit more use (I also see there's a few other interesting pi projects that this could then be leveraged for)

Final question - I've got a 4 year old daughter that i'd like to start introducing to games, I thought it'd also be fun to do it as a blitz through gaming history (and the beeb seems a great starting point) - can anyone suggest some simple beeb games where the mechanics are simple and either no game over (or if the character does die, doesn't reset the game far) that I can use to entice her in.

Thanks guys

Tim
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RetroBob
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Re: Hi from Dorset

Post by RetroBob » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:08 pm

tim_programmer wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:37 pm
Final question - I've got a 4 year old daughter that i'd like to start introducing to games, I thought it'd also be fun to do it as a blitz through gaming history (and the beeb seems a great starting point) - can anyone suggest some simple beeb games where the mechanics are simple and either no game over (or if the character does die, doesn't reset the game far) that I can use to entice her in.

Thanks guys

Tim
Hi Tim, welcome. Chuckie Egg is quite a nice intro to games, its basic mechanics are still very approachable today... collect all the eggs, go up and down ladders, avoid the blue birds.

Once she's a bit older you could set her off on Repton 3.

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jms2
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Re: Hi from Dorset

Post by jms2 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:41 pm

Hello Tim and welcome! I agree about Chuckie Egg, and Repton.

Your best option for the time being is to dig out a PC with a "real" floppy drive (not USB) and get hold of Omniflop (http://www.shlock.co.uk/Utils/OmniFlop/OmniFlop.htm). This is a piece of Windows software which allows you to write .SSD files onto real floppies. It works really well. It needs a licence, but on the page I have just linked to I see something about licenses being free now.

For the future, yes the Gotek drive is excellent and is a plug & play alternative to floppy drives.

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daveejhitchins
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Re: Hi from Dorset

Post by daveejhitchins » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:52 pm

Welcome to the Forum, Tim . . . Enjoy . . .

Hope your daughter enjoys the games - there's also lots of educational program here that she may enjoy.

Dave H :D
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Kazzie
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Re: Hi from Dorset

Post by Kazzie » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:56 pm

There are also two pieces of software that can be used to send files and/or disc images from a PC straight to the Beeb over a serial cable: UPURS and XFER. You can use them to write an ssd or dsd image from bbcmicro.net directly to a floppy disc with the Beeb. :)

XFER is the older program, and uses the Beeb's serial port. There was a bug in writing disc images that was recently fixed, but there are some old versions floating about. The version I attached to this post has the fix applied. Guidance on making a serial cable can be found from an online search, or ask if you need help.

UPURS is a newer program which uses the Beeb's user port instead, for faster transfer speeds. See the UPURS site for more details on this approach.
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janvb
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Re: Hi from Dorset

Post by janvb » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:27 pm

Welcome :D

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flaxcottage
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Re: Hi from Dorset

Post by flaxcottage » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:03 pm

Welcome, Tim. :D

For 3.5" floppy drives Omniflop is the way to go.

A Raspberry Pi inside a working BBC micro? As a second processor or as a storage device, great idea but don't mess with the Beeb. :evil:

A GOTEK drive as the second drive in that Watford Dual drive case would be an excellent way to go and add a changeover switch so that either the GOTEK or the floppy can be drive 0.

Games are OK but the Beeb was really an educational machine. Definitely check out the website in the signature below.

Have fun.
- John

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tim_programmer
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Re: Hi from Dorset

Post by tim_programmer » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:13 pm

Amazing - thanks all
flaxcottage wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:03 pm
A Raspberry Pi inside a working BBC micro? As a second processor or as a storage device, great idea but don't mess with the Beeb. :evil:
I would never harm a working machine - a reversible addition for fun and function is all I have in mind :)
(it's nice it has such a large case and IO ports to play with)

All the best

Tim

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Dave Footitt
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Re: Hi from Dorset

Post by Dave Footitt » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:20 pm

Welcome Tim.

Labyrinth is a nice steady game, my little un used to love that!

tim_programmer
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Re: Hi from Dorset

Post by tim_programmer » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:22 pm

I just looked over the education software archive - that looks like a fantastic starting point for my little one - thanks for the link!

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tricky
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Re: Hi from Dorset

Post by tricky » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:26 pm

Welcome,
If you want to keep the floppy, then I second the gotek. You can put the .SSDs on a USB stich and use the beeb to copy the files to a floppy.
She might like a quick blast of Podd, not really a game, but fun for a bit.
Quite a few of the younger ones (most over 4) that play on my Beeb's at shows like Frogger.

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davidb
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Re: Hi from Dorset

Post by davidb » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:19 am

Welcome! :D

There are some games that can be hacked to give the player infinite lives. Some versions of the games come preloaded with cheats like that. See this page for more information.

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