The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

on-topic Acorn-related news and discussions not covered by the other forums
Post Reply
User avatar
BigEd
Posts: 2099
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:24 am
Location: West
Contact:

The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by BigEd » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:18 pm

I think I might have found not one but two appearances of the 16032 (or 32016) second processor on TV... here, for example, in the middle of a segment about the genesis of ARM and the launch of Archimedes, in a compendium of 1987 Acorn clips:
16032-Acorn.png
That "16032 Acorn" is part of a rolling slideshow which comes free with the NatSemi 32016 disks, as circulating these days on MMB files.

(As a bonus, lots of shots of Acorn's labs and the Beeb production lines in there.)

(That segment also found here)

And secondly, slightly dubious, this TV ad featuring Stanley Baxter in several roles has a Beeb with 3 cheese wedge expansion boxes, and mentions "Prestel" and "Teletext Adapter" and "Unearthly scientific potential" - which can surely only mean the 32016 with FPU, running Fortran:
Three-wedges-Beeb.png

RobC
Posts: 2300
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:41 pm
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by RobC » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:15 am

Great clips Ed.
BigEd wrote:"Unearthly scientific potential" - which can surely only mean the 32016 with FPU, running Fortran
I guess the other cheese wedge possibility could be the IEEE488 - I think it was available before the 32016 but am not absolutely sure.

User avatar
BigEd
Posts: 2099
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:24 am
Location: West
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by BigEd » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:11 am

Cheers Rob!

The most obvious guess for the third cheese wedge in the advert is the bigger faster 6502, and the second guess is the Z80 - I did wonder if the business user was supposed to be using Z80 software - but the "scientific" reference, and my own preference, steered me towards suggesting it's a NatSemi... as well as it being a coy reference and so perhaps for something not quite on sale yet.

I think you're probably right though, the IEEE488 would have been early. And it would have been for lab work, which is scientific... so maybe!

I don't think we know the date of this TV ad - it must be early, as it's for a Beeb, not a Master or Electron. And I don't seem to know when the 32016 cheese wedge came out - certainly by 1986. I see the ANC05 here has RAMs dated mid-85 and other chips, including the CPU, with 1984 date.

But hang on, this suggests December 1984. Does that help at all?

Commie_User
Posts: 1135
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by Commie_User » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:26 pm

How much must that fictional family have been earning to buy all those cheese wedges? Mum and Dad Stanley Baxter must have really loved little girl Stanley to buy all that, especially when computer bits went unusable way faster then than today.

RobC
Posts: 2300
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:41 pm
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by RobC » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:21 pm

I've found another upload of that Stanley Baxter "Daphne" advert on Youtube which claims it's from December 1984. This would certainly be late enough for the Teletext, Prestel, 6502, Z80 and IEEE488 wedges.

It is *just* late enough for the 32016 which Acorn User says was released in December 84 (but only readily available in 1985). This could explain the vagueness of the "unearthly scientific potential" line.

User avatar
BigEd
Posts: 2099
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:24 am
Location: West
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by BigEd » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:30 pm

Yes, I've a feeling the Advertising Standards Authority were on the lookout in those days for adverts selling things which didn't exist. Didn't Sinclair get in trouble once or twice?

User avatar
BigEd
Posts: 2099
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:24 am
Location: West
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by BigEd » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:31 pm

Oh, another thought: the 32016 appearing prominently in a 1987 feature about the genesis of ARM is a reminder that it would have been a good machine to run circuit simulations for the new CPU. The 32016 was not just a product, but a useful tool.

RobC
Posts: 2300
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:41 pm
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by RobC » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:04 pm

BigEd wrote:Oh, another thought: the 32016 appearing prominently in a 1987 feature about the genesis of ARM is a reminder that it would have been a good machine to run circuit simulations for the new CPU.
Acorn certainly had SPICE running on the 32016 by then as they offered it on their July 1986 product list. Unfortunately, the Acorn version has never turned up but I built it from source a while back.

User avatar
BigEd
Posts: 2099
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:24 am
Location: West
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by BigEd » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:10 pm

It's good that you were able to do that! I did use SPICE in the not too distant past to simulate the first few cycles in the life of a 6502, using the netlist from the visual6502 project. I was quite pleased with that, but it's an absurd thing to do, really one wants to be careful to simulate only a few dozens of transistors abstracted from the design.

Commie_User
Posts: 1135
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by Commie_User » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:45 pm

More Stanley Baxter. Wasn't there the same co-pro for the Elk?
stan.jpg

RobC
Posts: 2300
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:41 pm
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by RobC » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:27 pm

Commie_User wrote:More Stanley Baxter. Wasn't there the same co-pro for the Elk?
Yes - I've had my 32016 running on the Elk via Dave H's ATI.

User avatar
BigEd
Posts: 2099
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:24 am
Location: West
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by BigEd » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:44 pm

Am I right in thinking the Elk only got Tube capability in recent years?

User avatar
hoglet
Posts: 7518
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Bristol
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by hoglet » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:05 pm

BigEd wrote:Am I right in thinking the Elk only got Tube capability in recent years?
The original AP5 (1986) supported the Tube.

Here's a review from Mike Cook:
https://archive.org/stream/ElectronUser ... 6/mode/1up

Dave

User avatar
BigEd
Posts: 2099
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:24 am
Location: West
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by BigEd » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:07 pm

Ah good - something I'm happy to be wrong about! Thanks Dave.

User avatar
hoglet
Posts: 7518
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Bristol
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by hoglet » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:19 pm

BigEd wrote:Ah good - something I'm happy to be wrong about! Thanks Dave.
And even before the AP5 there was Acorn's Electron Tube Interface:
product-82430.jpg
(not sure this ever went into production)

You might enjoy reading DaveH's memoirs:
http://www.acornelectrontoday.com/dave- ... 4594087785

Dave

User avatar
BigEd
Posts: 2099
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:24 am
Location: West
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by BigEd » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:38 pm

I did - good read - thanks!

User avatar
daveejhitchins
Posts: 4424
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:23 pm
Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
Contact:

Re: The Beeb's (first) 32-bit second processor on TV

Post by daveejhitchins » Tue May 01, 2018 7:40 am

hoglet wrote:(not sure this ever went into production)
No, it was a prototype and I think we were lucky to have been given it - right palace at the right time, I believe.

I never understood why, even as a prototype, they made it so big?

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

Post Reply