I need to learn

discuss both original and modern hardware for the bbc micro/electron
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Colday
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I need to learn

Post by Colday » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:47 pm

Good evening all.

Ok, I've been reading (a dangerous exercise) and I find that I need to learn... stuff.

I want to understand this... https://tobylobster.github.io/mos/index.html

And I do understand lots of it, but it's the jargon that gets me (as it does with most specific directly oriented subjects (I could totally bamboozle you with acronyms and jargon from my workplace for instance))

So I started reading, and could understand it, but then it started using words like 'stack' and using memory addresses. I'm not thick (depends who you ask of course) but jargon will confuse the best of you.

I don't necessarily want you lovely lot to explain the above, they are merely examples of my knowledge level (or lack of it).

So, can anyone suggest a list of learning resources for this 8 bit (or otherwise) jargon.

I appreciate that quite a lot of the explanation is on the document above (256bytes is a page, who knew?) but I think I need even more basic info.

Now whether this is online resources/reading, or a course I can sign up for, I'm not necessarily looking for a quick fix but I need to learn, and this seems like the next new topic for me to get a grasp of, it will also hopefully mean that I can understand what some of you are saying in the forums.

So, anyone got any suggestions?
BBC B's... I now have 6!
I also have 1 boxed with manuals, unmolested model A.
And also an unmolested model B. (but not boxed sadly)
12x floppy drives (only 1x currently works I think)...
Learning to repair and refurb keyboards next! No more sticky keys!

RobC
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Re: I need to learn

Post by RobC » Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:30 pm

I had this back in the day.

From memory, it doesn't go into every aspect of 6502 assembly language (possibly ignoring some addressing modes) but it was a good introduction and can be downloaded from here.

If you can get hold of it, "Assembly Programming made easy for the BBC Micro" by Ian Murray was always highly recommended but it's a while since I've looked at a copy.

Colday
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Re: I need to learn

Post by Colday » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:48 pm

RobC wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:30 pm
I had this back in the day.

From memory, it doesn't go into every aspect of 6502 assembly language (possibly ignoring some addressing modes) but it was a good introduction and can be downloaded from here.

If you can get hold of it, "Assembly Programming made easy for the BBC Micro" by Ian Murray was always highly recommended but it's a while since I've looked at a copy.
Thanks Rob, I'll give it a look for sure.

Ideally, are there any online type courses for this level of stuff?

I'd imagine there would be a market for it.

I have a shed load of of adult education and elearning qualifications as well as instructional design etc including a shed load of experience. If anyone is interested in a collaboration for this type of learning I would likely be up for the design, development and production of it...
BBC B's... I now have 6!
I also have 1 boxed with manuals, unmolested model A.
And also an unmolested model B. (but not boxed sadly)
12x floppy drives (only 1x currently works I think)...
Learning to repair and refurb keyboards next! No more sticky keys!

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Diminished
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Re: I need to learn

Post by Diminished » Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:11 pm

I've obviously no idea what you know already, but just off the top of my head I guess you'd probably need to learn more or less the following things (in approximately this order):

- bitwise boolean logic
- how numbers are represented in binary, including negative numbers and two's complement, maybe floating-point too?
- RAM, addressing, pointers, possibly linked lists?
- stacks
- basic microprocessor structure and operation (registers, flags, instructions, addressing modes, jumps, branches)
- arrays, and how microprocessors handle them
- subroutine calls and how they use the stack
- interrupts

... anything else?

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BigEd
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Re: I need to learn

Post by BigEd » Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:27 pm

The manual for the program "The Visible Computer: 6502" is a pretty good introduction:
https://archive.org/details/The_Visible ... 3/mode/1up
[also available as PDF]

You can run the program itself in-browser here (with some unfortunate colour fringing.) Some tips for running it on an emulator here. (It's for an Apple, but that matters not at all.)

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BeebMaster
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Re: I need to learn

Post by BeebMaster » Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:28 pm

That looks like a good book for a bedtime read, so I had one of my bright ideas. I can't read anything on screen, so I always end up printing manuals but I do it as economically as possible, usually 4 pages to a side. After I'd printed it, I thought it would make a nice A6 pocket book so I got the guillotine out and sliced each sheet nice and neatly into 4...

Except that page 2 isn't behind page 1 is it? It's page 5. And behind page 2 is page 6. And page 3 is ....well, you know what I mean!

I couldn't find a printing option in Adobe reader to let me print it like that, so trusty old BBC BASIC came to the rescue!
capture289.png
Adobe wouldn't accept more than 24 pages at a time in the print range, so if I do it again, I'll put in a line break after every multiple of 24. I'll also see if I can find a way to do it so that I only have to cut the pages in half horizontally and then fold the two sets of halves like a booklet.

Looks nice though! I'll have to see if the big stapler will go through it.
IMG_7653.JPG
Image

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SimonSideburns
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Re: I need to learn

Post by SimonSideburns » Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:25 pm

What you are looking for (hopefully) is an option in the print dialog for printing a document in booklet format. That will get the pages into the right ranges so no guillotine will be required.

Fingers crossed you find that option, as it will save you time and effort for the future.
Just remember kids, Beeb spelled backwards is Beeb!

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BeebMaster
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Re: I need to learn

Post by BeebMaster » Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:32 pm

I do use booklet printing which is very handy for reducing books to to A5 size, but in this case I was doing 4 pages per sheet, ie. at A6 size, and there wasn't a printing option that let me do "top half" and "bottom half" booklet printing on the same A4 page if you see what I mean. BASIC came to the rescue very nicely though!
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