The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

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MartinB
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The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by MartinB » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:37 pm

I came across this document the other day - quite an interesting read on many levels.....

https://vdocuments.site/enabling-stroke ... on-of.html


EDIT : Edited to a link rather than a forum-hosted download due to potential copyright issues.
Last edited by MartinB on Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by Commie_User » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:07 pm

The machine chosen was the
Acorn BBC model B. This machine has several advantages
over other machines in its price range. Most relevant
to this project it has comprehensive provision of input
and output facilities enabling the connection of most
types of device. Also the ‘BEEB’ is the dominant
machine in the education and therapy fields, and so there
are more input devices available for it than for any
comparable machine.
But the BBC was slowly on its way out by '87 and lacked a native GUI, so programs weren't adaptable to these special needs just by toggling a setting. And look at some of those clunky objects - I'd say I would be irritated using them awhile, too.

For an affordable, mass market machine to do your new stuff on, I doubt a salesman could have gone far wrong promoting the Atari ST in 1987. It had its own nice mouse, trackballs and whatnot were off the peg, it was supposedly quicker than the Mac (running its emulator) and was knocked out for £450 including screen (520 model, clearing the decks for the 1040).

That hits the target of doing it all on a grand.

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Re: The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by crj » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:05 pm

Ironically, the Atari ST was discontinued a year before the BBC Master. :-p

Also, the BBC I/O podule really did work. As did the card which replaced the CPU in an Acorn System and presented all its peripherals via JIM over the 1MHz bus. And by daisychaining the two you could attach 1970s peripherals to an A5000 purchased in the mid nineties. Laboratories genuinely did this, on occasion.

Forwards and backwards compatability were a big deal for Acorn, which did increase the longevity of their kit.

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Re: The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by crj » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:06 pm

(Did anybody ever make a single-width 1MHz bus podule which would fit in a Risc PC?)

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Re: The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by Commie_User » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:57 pm

crj wrote:Ironically, the Atari ST was discontinued a year before the BBC Master. :-p

Also, the BBC I/O podule really did work. As did the card which replaced the CPU in an Acorn System and presented all its peripherals via JIM over the 1MHz bus. And by daisychaining the two you could attach 1970s peripherals to an A5000 purchased in the mid nineties. Laboratories genuinely did this, on occasion.

Forwards and backwards compatability were a big deal for Acorn, which did increase the longevity of their kit.
So OK, let me try and understand this one. Going by this thread too (viewtopic.php?f=41&t=11381&p=141904#p141896), you are able to plug in many of your old BBC peripherals, yet it's more a question of access rather than working them to the full?

Though the Atari ST and Amiga 500 may have cleared their desks and wondered how the heck the Master was still kept on, even more compatible system formats yet were getting their feet. Accessibility had never been so good by the end of the 90s and stayed that way to today. With more people getting sick these days, I'd say it's all developed in time.

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Re: The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by crj » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:39 am

Stuff that's more demanding and/or hacky will have a greater degree of trouble.

But, for example, programs run in !65Host on an Archimedes will use the BBC IO podule if present, so existing software which isn't overly timing-dependent will work OK. Even better, if a program is designed to be compatible with a 6502 second processor, you can run it rather more efficiently under !65Tube. To a large extent, code which uses the official mechanisms for accessing peripherals will then work compatibly.

More than that, a lot of BBC BASIC programs which use ADVAL, OSBYTE, etc. to access peripherals can be run natively under the ARM version of BBC BASIC and still access those peripherals.

All this is far from perfect, and a huge amount of software breaks it horribly. But it's still rather better than you'd expect from most vendors if you moved from their 8-bit offering to their 32-bit one!

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Re: The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by Commie_User » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:21 pm

Yes, a marvelous bit of engineering and recycling. Making old stuff compatible yet still not a millstone to development. Even Sony couldn't pull that off with the Playstation 3 in regards running their older machines' software.

Total shame the Archimedes couldn't be competitively enough priced for a non-IBM standard. I've often thought the Archie could have rivalled Apple in Europe and even taken over from the Amiga. The range was man enough to. (Or person, if you like!)

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Re: The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by crj » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:57 pm

Initially, the pricing was competitive. Expensive, but competitive. Remember that when it was launched, only high-end PCs were using 12MHz 80386es; most were sitll using the 80286.

Early ARM3 machines were similarly competitive, but then Acorn fell rapidly behind the curve as ARM moved into the embedded market. StrongARM was a glimmer of hope, but too little too late.

(I do have to acknowledge, incidentally, that Intel has done an impressive job of retaining backwards compatability in successive generations of the x86. Given that we have emulators, I'm not sure that's anything like as useful as retaining physical interfacing backwards compatabilty, but it's still an achievement.)

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Re: The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by Commie_User » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:51 pm

Even though compared to the leading PCs, the Archie was competitively priced, it was meant for schools which had smaller budgets. I saw those - in retrospect - horrible little RM Nimbus semi-PCs proliferate because while a quantum leap's nice, schools started to need to afford a spread. And at home, parents pushed their bank accounts to buy their kids Atari STs or Amigas.

(Well maybe they're not so horrible. They had crude graphical capability and sound alright - though could wonderfully emulate a BBC B - but the PCs they was based on were even worse.)

I really think it was a pity that a specific set of standards for an education market was coming to an end as the Archimedes series truly spread its wings. The Nimbii soon enough fell by the wayside as ordinary normal multimedia PCs set the de-facto standard people wanted for all machines right through the 80s.

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Re: The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by paulv » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:58 pm

There are loads of papers about using the Beeb as part of rehab and I've gathered together quite a few that reference the Microvitec Touchtech 501 touchscreen for the CUB monitors and I've put them on my Touchtech page....

https://www.retro-kit.co.uk/page.cfm/co ... htech-501/

The paper you found looks like it refers to the Touchtech 501 too so I'll be adding that to the list :)

EDIT: Or maybe not... RightsLink are a permissions and copyright service which would enforce copyright on that paper... Really? :-(

Paul

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Re: The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by MartinB » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:24 pm

Hi Paul :)

Does that mean I should edit my original post to be a link rather than the pdf itself? The site where I found it does allow download of the file.

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Re: The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by paulv » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:11 pm

MartinB wrote:Hi Paul :)

Does that mean I should edit my original post to be a link rather than the pdf itself? The site where I found it does allow download of the file.
Probably?! Not sure really but to be safe that may be best.

Paul

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Re: The Beeb and Stroke victims - a 1987 paper

Post by MartinB » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:41 pm

Ok, done. Thanks Paul (I think.... :-k :lol: )

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