When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

for bbc micro/electron hardware, peripherals & programming issues (NOT emulators!)
Post Reply
User avatar
paulv
Posts: 3777
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:37 pm
Location: Leicestershire
Contact:

When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by paulv » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:04 pm

Wikipedia says the Beeb was launched in late '81 which is vague and I've seen other references to the 30th Sept 1981 which was a Wednesday which seems odd for a launch day..

Paul

User avatar
IanB
Posts: 337
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:28 pm
Location: South Wales
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by IanB » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:41 pm

I Don't know the specific answer but I was looking at a copy of OS0.10 recently and it contains this chunk of text which was probably from the source code:

(c) 1981 ACORN Computers Limited
:
:
: BBC Microcomputer Machine Operating System (MOS)
:
:
: Change record:
: 032 12-Aug-81 PB Swop '_'

So no earlier than 12th August I guess.

It took months to get mask ROMs made so if the code was released in August it would have been quite a while before they could ship ROMs.

Were the first machines shipped with the OS0.10 in EPROM?
27128s weren't available or were very expensive back then because when OS1.00 was released in EPROM for the first disk upgrades it was supplied on a "butterfly board" with two 2764 eproms.

IanB

User avatar
paulv
Posts: 3777
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:37 pm
Location: Leicestershire
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by paulv » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:29 pm

IanB wrote:Were the first machines shipped with the OS0.10 in EPROM?
I believe from everything I've read elsewhere that they did indeed ship OS 0.1 on 4 EPROMS with a free upgrade to 1 IC later when it became available.

Thanks for the info re the12th August as a date for OS 0.1 I guess it's sometime between then and December for when it went on sale to the general public... I guess for maximum pre-Xmas sales Acorn would have targeted late Sept/early Oct to get the Beeb into the shops in time.

Paul

User avatar
paulv
Posts: 3777
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:37 pm
Location: Leicestershire
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by paulv » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:33 pm

I should say that my original Beeb is 28 on the 31st of October according to the date sticker on the motherboard.

For some reason people that know me think that it's kinda apt that that is the case :lol:

Paul

User avatar
mga1103
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:00 pm
Location: Galway, Ireland
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by mga1103 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:49 am

So Paul, can we take it that your birthday falls on Halloween, perhaps sharing the same birthday as the Beeb?

Now, that would make for a good celebration! (I'm sure the invite is in the post! right?) :D

User avatar
paulv
Posts: 3777
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:37 pm
Location: Leicestershire
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by paulv » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:34 am

mga1103 wrote:So Paul, can we take it that your birthday falls on Halloween, perhaps sharing the same birthday as the Beeb?

Now, that would make for a good celebration! (I'm sure the invite is in the post! right?) :D
Sadly, no. It's not my birthday, but to have a computer that was "born" on Halloween with my predilection for all things Goth/Steam Punk is somewhat serendipitous :D

Getting way OT for a moment... Check out my boots :D
myboots.jpg
myboots.jpg (59.28 KiB) Viewed 2110 times
Paul

User avatar
flibble
Posts: 679
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:29 am
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by flibble » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:23 am

!Boots :shock:

User avatar
IanB
Posts: 337
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:28 pm
Location: South Wales
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by IanB » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:53 am

paulv wrote:I believe from everything I've read elsewhere that they did indeed ship OS 0.1 on 4 EPROMS with a free upgrade to 1 IC later when it became available.
Now you've mentioned it, I do remember that. There were links on the pcb that could be set so that the BASIC ROM fitted in the OS socket and four 4K OS EPROMs could be fitted in the sideways ROM sockets.

IanB

User avatar
msknight
Posts: 550
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:07 am
Location: IT support geek
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by msknight » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:48 pm

I was reading through Beebug 1/1 and they do write the following in April 1982....

"If you remove the lid of your machine you will be struck by the rather quaint heatsink on the ULA chip for the video. This is apparently not to prevent it sizzling, but to keep it ultra cool. Unfortunately the heatsink in the two versions that we have seen does not clip on very well. The other sight to behold is the four EPROMS (bottom right hand corner just under the cover). These contain the operating system - the 16k basic is in the 28-pin ROM to their left. This is of course only a temporary measure, a ROM replacement is due to be out in a month or two. A spokesman for Acorn says that the ROM will be supplied and fitted free because they want their EPROMs back. However, the replacement ROM will still only be version 0.1 of the operating system. There is, we hear, a version 1.0 at the development stage which will have an increased number of FX-type operating system calls, it will support the paged ROM system - when you plug in other ROMs such as Pascal or the word processor ROM into one of the 3 sockets vacated by the EPROMs. The 0.1 ROM will not do this and you will need a piggy-back system of sockets to achieve paging with the 0.1. Finally (though there's probably much more besides) the 1.0 ROM apparently runs at TWICE THE SPEED (the curent version already runs faster than most micros) In view of all this, it might be worthwhile waiting fro the 1.0 ROM to arrive before you give up your EPROMs; although the PSU (power supply unit) will run a bit hotter with them in."

Their emphasis ... my spelling mistakes.

User avatar
BeebMaster
Posts: 2679
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:59 pm
Location: Lost in the BeebVault!
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by BeebMaster » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:55 pm

I've always had in mind that it was October 1981. A lot of people seem to think the Beeb was launched in 1982, but I think there were that many distribution problems that people who'd ordered one in autumn 1981 didn't actually receive anything for 6 months or more!

I think you had to get them through mail-order, I don't think you could nip down to Dixons and come home with one.
Image

User avatar
AndyF
Posts: 1173
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:16 pm
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by AndyF » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:47 pm

flibble wrote:!Boots :shock:
:o :lol:
BeebMaster wrote:I've always had in mind that it was October 1981. A lot of people seem to think the Beeb was launched in 1982, but I think there were that many distribution problems that people who'd ordered one in autumn 1981 didn't actually receive anything for 6 months or more!

I think you had to get them through mail-order, I don't think you could nip down to Dixons and come home with one.
Yes I think I recall that too :) , I do remember reading the early (very?) ones had four eproms instead of a single OS. There's something about this in the disc upgrade guide I think saying you need to replace them if that's the case, or its in the A to B upgrade. I don't have any documentation to hand at the moment to check.
Andy

* NEW * The Jetset Willy and Manic Miner community :)

Adventure games ported across to the BBC (in progress) as soon as I can find some time!

User avatar
paulv
Posts: 3777
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:37 pm
Location: Leicestershire
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by paulv » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:51 pm

flibble wrote:!Boots :shock:
You like them? :lol: I've got three pairs. Those pictured, some traditional English clog boots and a set of foundry/bikers clogs with steels that resemble horse shoes on the sole of the woods :D

On the Beeb front I guess what we're saying is that the Beeb's birthday is vaguely around about now but no-one knows an exact date :?

Paul

User avatar
Arcadian
Site Admin
Posts: 2957
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2000 12:16 pm
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by Arcadian » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:19 pm

I did quite a lot of reading up on this earlier in the year, and most sources I found pointed to November '81.

Though I remember reading in a couple of places that it was only Model A's that went out in November, with the first B's being dispatched the following month.
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

User avatar
jgharston
Posts: 3451
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:22 am
Location: Whitby/Sheffield
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by jgharston » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:33 pm

paulv wrote:Wikipedia says the Beeb was launched in late '81 which is vague and I've seen other references to the 30th Sept 1981 which was a Wednesday which seems odd for a launch day..
http://www.bbcbasic.co.uk/bbcbasic/birthday/

"The code was sent for ROMming in mid-September and the ROMs returned in mid-November".

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

User avatar
PitfallJones
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by PitfallJones » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:52 pm

I've been doing some research into this and discovered these strings inside the welcome disk:

[0000107C] version 5 - october 1981
[00002B74] version 5 - october 1981
[0000686C] version 1 - october 1981
[0000737D] version 5 - october 1981
[00009884] version 5 - october 1981
[0000BB36] version 3 - october 1981
[0000CC8A] version 3 - october 1981
[00011E77] version 1.5 - 15th october 1981

Which puts the birth date after 15th October 1981.

But then yesterday I came upon a fantastic document about the BBC Computer Literacy Project by John Radcliffe which outlines all the early history!

To cut a long story short the BBC micro was supposed to be in peoples hands before the first episode of 'The Computer Programme' on Jan 11 1982.
The original target being 3000 micros.

However in the first week of December Acorn discovered an high failure rate on one of the chips which had to be redesigned so only a few hundred schools had received their micros by Jan 11.

Also the BBC Micro was first reviewed in January magazines like Your Computer so must have been available in December.

This doc is full of fascinating facts about the whole BBC Computer Literacy Project from its genesis in 1979 - great stuff !

- PJ
Attachments
Towards Computer Literacy.zip
(4.88 MiB) Downloaded 143 times

semtex
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 8:17 am
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Contact:

Re: When exactly is the Beebs 30th b'day

Post by semtex » Sun May 27, 2012 1:50 am

In Canada magazines from the UK arrive a month after they are published in the UK. I recently saw a 30th birthday "magbook" that celebrated the 30th birthday of both the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64. Does anyone know if there was (or will be) a 30th birthday BBC magbook?


FYI, my parents ordered my BBC Model A in October 1981 (issue 2, serial #000732). It was supposed to be a Christmas present but didn't arrive until February 1982. When it arrived it didn't work! The heatsink and a motherboard screw were floating lose inside the case and the connectors on the UHF cable hadn't been soldered on!! I was 14 years old then.... but 30 minutes later I had it working... much to my Dad's amazement!! And yes it came with OS 0.1 on 4 EPROMS which were later replaced for free with an OS 1.0 ROM and finally OS 1.2.

Post Reply