Acornsoft P-System

discussion of beeb/electron applications, languages, utils and educational s/w
Kevin Edwards
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Acornsoft P-System

Post by Kevin Edwards » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:20 pm

Did anyone ever use the Acornsoft P-System package?

I remember it was some kind of alternative OS for Beeb + 6502 2nd processor. It came with some extra languages and applications IIRC.

Has anyone actually used it and what did they think?

Cheers.

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danielj
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by danielj » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:22 pm

No, but do you have a copy of it?! It sounds very similar to what you could do with the 32016 in Panos (you can tie Fortran and Pascal together with those compilers).

d.

crj
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by crj » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:27 pm

I never used it, but I do seem to remember reading a review of it back in the day.

By my understanding it wasn't an OS, it was a language runtime and bytecode interpreter, which was targeted by a Pascal compiler (hence the 'P' in the name). They aspired to have other languages target it too, but I don't think it ever happened.

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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by paulb » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:29 pm

Obligatory Chris's Acorns link: P-System Acornsoft/TDI (APP14)

It is the UCSD p-System running on the Beeb with 6502 second processor providing Pascal and Fortran compilers and the p-code runtime, of course.

Kevin Edwards
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by Kevin Edwards » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:51 pm

Thanks everyone.

I never got around to looking at it myself, but had a 'backup' of the discs - not sure if I have them any more.

I can only guess this was fairly slow if it was running everything through a bytecde interpreter. Looks like it came along at the tail end of the beeb's life and disappeared very quickly.

Acorn managed to release a lot of alternative programming languages which is a credit to them. I remember learning Pascal ( compiler ) on my Nascom computer before I had a BBC Micro. A really good structured high-level language!

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danielj
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by danielj » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:57 pm

p-code running through the p-code system with ISO-Pascal is actually pretty fast?

d.

Kevin Edwards
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by Kevin Edwards » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:02 pm

Would be good to see it running on a Master Turbo. Must see if i have the discs. Not seen them anywhere else, so i do hope I can find them.

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danielj
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by danielj » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:04 pm

Definitely. I'll pop a query out on the bbc mailing list, some of the old-crowd on there might have a copy...

d.

Kevin Edwards
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by Kevin Edwards » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:13 pm

Awesome. Thank you!

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tricky
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by tricky » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:03 pm

I'm fairly sure one of the c compilers targeted it, but it may just have been their p-code. From my memories of a review, C's p-code was a little faster than basic, but the standalone c was a little faster still.
Please no flaming about benchmarks ;)

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BigEd
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by BigEd » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:00 pm

Any luck finding the disks for the Fortran? It would be amusing to see what kind of performance we get from p-code interpreted on the super-fast Pi-based 6502 second processor.

RobC
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by RobC » Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:57 pm

BigEd wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:00 pm
Any luck finding the disks for the Fortran?
Daniel posted a request for the software on the mailing list a while back and a couple of people believed they had copies. I'm happy to chase up if it hasn't already been done...

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ask_nz
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by ask_nz » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:39 am

Kevin Edwards wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:20 pm
Did anyone ever use the Acornsoft P-System package?

I remember it was some kind of alternative OS for Beeb + 6502 2nd processor. It came with some extra languages and applications IIRC.

Has anyone actually used it and what did they think?

Cheers.
I used it around 1985-6 (if I recall correctly) on a model B with 2nd Proc. I remember it being exceedingly slow (very memorable full stops "........." showing progress as it loaded or compiled Pascal. Fairly nice pascal though - but in comparison to lightspeed pascal on a Mac at the time it was very backward, so prob it was pushing a beeb well beyond the limits. Would have been much better with a hard drive I suspect.

Happy searching for it - I wish I had kept my copy. Nice packaging and manuals.

A.
Ade

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BigEd
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by BigEd » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:42 am

RobC wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:57 pm
BigEd wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:00 pm
Any luck finding the disks for the Fortran?
Daniel posted a request for the software on the mailing list a while back and a couple of people believed they had copies. I'm happy to chase up if it hasn't already been done...
Yes please! (For completeness, rather than any urgent need.)

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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by RobC » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:05 pm

I've had a response from someone who has the disks but isn't sure how to image them.

What's the simplest way to get an image off a floppy without spending lots of money on hardware? Serial cable?

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Pernod
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by Pernod » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:26 pm

RobC wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:05 pm
I've had a response from someone who has the disks but isn't sure how to image them.

What's the simplest way to get an image off a floppy without spending lots of money on hardware? Serial cable?
If they are standard DFS then UPURS and serial to PC is the easiest and cheapest method.
- Nigel

BBC Model B: ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, BeebZIF, etc.

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BigEd
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by BigEd » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:50 pm

If the disks are not copy protected (and there are not too many files) you could *dump each file, and capture it over serial. But UPURS is good, if you can get the cable and ROM sorted.

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danielj
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by danielj » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:31 pm

If they're willing to post, I'm willing to kryoflux them. I'd pay postage (insured) both ways.

d.

RobC
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by RobC » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:45 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions.
danielj wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:31 pm
If they're willing to post, I'm willing to kryoflux them. I'd pay postage (insured) both ways.
Thanks Daniel - I've already offered to do this (and pay postage) but I think he'd like to do it himself.

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danielj
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by danielj » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:00 pm

UPURS it is then :)

RobC
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by RobC » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:42 pm

With many thanks to Johan who kindly imaged this, here's the Acornsoft P-System disk.

I haven't tried it on real hardware yet (as it's hot off the press) but it seems to boot okay in BeebEm - as long as you remember to turn the 6502 co-pro on :oops:

I don't have any instructions but will have a play using a 300MHz Pi 6502 and GoSDC asap. Hopefully, they'll sort out any speed problems :D

Enjoy!
Attachments
Acornsoft P-System.zip
(92.93 KiB) Downloaded 31 times

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Pernod
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by Pernod » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:39 pm

This is a great find =D> Apart from the application note posted earlier I can't find any other reference to this, no adverts, prices, reviews, etc. Does the owner have the original disc, and if so could we also get some photos of the disc and packaging? I'm really looking for a release year and product code.
- Nigel

BBC Model B: ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, BeebZIF, etc.

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kjendal
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by kjendal » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:19 pm

IMG_7923.jpg
IMG_7924.jpg
IMG_7925.jpg
IMG_7899.jpg
Hi!

I have the complete package!

Here are some pictures of it!

Thinking about selling it/trading. Too special thing for my collection.

Per Stian

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danielj
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by danielj » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:27 pm

Needs scanning! Would you be happy to lend it to someone in order to do that?

d.

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kjendal
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by kjendal » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:33 pm

This is in Norway, and I am actually thinking of selling it.
The books are paperback, and if you scan them, you make a lot of wear on them.
These are mint.

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Pernod
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by Pernod » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:36 pm

kjendal wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:19 pm
Here are some pictures of it!

Thinking about selling it/trading. Too special thing for my collection.

Per Stian
Thanks. Looks like we're missing a disc image.
- Nigel

BBC Model B: ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, BeebZIF, etc.

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kjendal
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by kjendal » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:37 pm

The discs I can copy with my datasenter!

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kjendal
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by kjendal » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:40 pm

I also have more language packs!
4D4D97C4-F90F-4923-99D4-5551663C61E2.jpeg

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Lardo Boffin
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by Lardo Boffin » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:40 pm

Have you had any thoughts about how much you want for this?
Edit - the P system as a post appeared as I posted!
Last edited by Lardo Boffin on Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Atom, issue 5
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Acorn 6502 coproc
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc
USA Model B
BBC Master, Datacentre + HDD, pi co-proc, econet, NULA

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danielj
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Re: Acornsoft P-System

Post by danielj » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:43 pm

Just consulting with the preservation gang...

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