Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

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BigEd
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Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by BigEd » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:13 am

Here's a bit of fun, not a competition and no prizes: improve on the Beeb's boot screen, preferably without spending too many bytes. I'm thinking a bit of colour would help. Maybe a computer-literacy Owl. Maybe a mode 7 screen, maybe some vector graphics.

If you get this right, you can boost sales of the Beeb from WHSmiths, Dixons, and other fine retail outlets.

Here's what you have to beat, the boot display of the Beeb as shipped:

Image

Which is to say, mode 7, white text on black background, "BBC Computer 32k", announcements from each ROM, then usually "BASIC" and the prompt ">" - I'm thinking the ROM list and the BASIC and the prompt are all good, but the preamble lacks a certain something.

Deadline is December 1981.

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BigEd
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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by BigEd » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:15 am

(Idea for this is from AndyF's thread "Bit of fun - One change only")

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by Commie_User » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:23 am

For my money, the C64 already did it. Call me biased anyway but ut had the coolest screen of the contemporary micros. It was colourful, easy on the eye, rich and with the right serif for that setting.

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by tricky » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:47 am

Just change the 32K to 64K (including the ROM).
:)
Actually, maybe a built in mode 7 game like snake.

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BigEd
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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by BigEd » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:07 am

Hee hee. Here's something from ten years later, showing the great rate of progress:

Image

(A great feature of the ZXSpectrum is the colour-stripes flash on the case.)

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by Commie_User » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:42 am

I prefer that screen of the chick !! (Click screenshot.)

The BBC had the best for what it was - simple, businesslike with prettily designed font.

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dv8
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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by dv8 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:00 pm

A simple colourful owl logo boot screen...

bbc_boot_screen.png

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BigEd
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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by BigEd » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:05 pm

That's great!

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by Pernod » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:45 pm

These are genuine startup screens from the Oak Mentor, basically a Master re-housed by Oak Computers.
0001.png
0000.png
- Nigel

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

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by tricky » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:04 pm

dv8 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:00 pm
A simple colourful owl logo boot screen...
I wonder if there is room to include that in the OS/BASIC/DFS ROM?

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BigEd
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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by BigEd » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:29 pm

If I suggested the Rom filing system is optional, would I have missed something obvious?

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dv8
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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by dv8 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:40 pm

tricky wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:04 pm
I wonder if there is room to include that in the OS/BASIC/DFS ROM?
Something would probably have to be removed from the OS ROM to be able to fit this in.

Here it is as a stand-alone service ROM, it clocks in at a whopping 174 bytes!

OwlBoot.txt
(rename the file to OwlBoot.rom)
(174 Bytes) Downloaded 34 times

No doubt it could be shoehorned into a utility or filing system ROM if there was a bit of free space.

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by RobC » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:47 pm

I like the owl and Oak logos.

The C65 boot screen is good but I feel it probably has too many technical details (ROM checksum?!) and I suspect the (c) 1977 message wouldn't have been a great selling point!
Commie_User wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:23 am
For my money, the C64 already did it. Call me biased anyway but ut had the coolest screen of the contemporary micros. It was colourful, easy on the eye, rich and with the right serif for that setting.
Really? I've always thought it had one of the uglier boot screens - the Einstein's is similar but probably worse. I quite like the CPC as the font is good and the colours have just the right amount of contrast.

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by BigEd » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:29 pm

I like the dash of colour in the C65 screenshot (yes, I too could do without the rest), and for the same reason the owl appeals to me a lot more than the oak - and another advantage with dv8's idea is keeping the excellent mode 7 font, and leaving maximum space for Basic in case a potential customer thinks to

Code: Select all

PRINT HIMEM-TOP
So, Mode 7 looks good, and leaves maximum space for Basic, and has colours - all we need to do is demonstrate that! Perhaps losing speech and phrom support would leave room for dv8's logo?

(The default character set takes up 768 bytes and feels to me to be begging for some compression, but then the decompressing code has to go somewhere, and OSBYTE &87 would, at best, be difficult.)

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by trixster » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:14 pm

That colourful owl looks absolutely superb!
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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by BigEd » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:18 pm

A little early, though, Superb Owl this year is 3 February. (Sorry, I'll get my coat.)
Last edited by BigEd on Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by marcusjambler » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:44 pm

=D>

Love it.....
IMG_5517a.jpg
I've given it a corner of my boobip EEPROM module......

Marcus

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by dv8 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:46 pm

Thanks for all the kind words about the owl. :-)
BigEd wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:29 pm
Perhaps losing speech and phrom support would leave room for dv8's logo?
Thinking about it, there isn't really any feature of the OS that I would be willing to sacrifice for the sake of a prettier startup screen. I like speech and RFS and use them both a lot.

One possibility is the large unrolled loop used to clear the screen. There's about 240 bytes of code that could be replaced by a shorter routine to make some more room, at the expense of a slower VDU 12.

Personally, I'd be okay with it being part of a separate ROM. It's not unprecedented, the startup banner on the B+ for example defers to the SRAM utilities in the DFS to show the amount of available RAM.
and wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:18 pm
A little early, though, Superb Owl this year is 3 February. (Sorry, I'll get my coat.)
That pun made me feel a touch down.

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by BigEd » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:58 pm

Hee hee.

Another thought: when running a second processor system, the startup message comes from the other side. So a pitubedirect second processor could have a tweaked ROM which writes an owl as a very long startup message. Perhaps.

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by Rich Talbot-Watkins » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:20 pm

One way it could've been done is to put the code and data into the I/O memory mapped area and only activate it as I/O on the first data access. Would require hardware mods of course.

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by BigEd » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:03 pm

I like that - 768 extra bytes! Could block move that into RAM then toggle the mapping on the first SYNC in low memory.

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by tom_seddon » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:30 am

That owl is great :D - but it looks like it's 7 lines long, so isn't it going to go weird if you keep pressing SPACE and overwrite the control codes?

My suggestion: same idea, but draw the owl, then do a VDU28 while doing the ROM bootup, so it doesn't get overwritten. Then just before entering the language ROM (but only while in this initial bootup state of course!), after printing its name, do a VDU26, then a VDU31 to put the cursor in the right place, and there you go.
Rich Talbot-Watkins wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:20 pm
One way it could've been done is to put the code and data into the I/O memory mapped area and only activate it as I/O on the first data access. Would require hardware mods of course.
Shame the BBC didn't have any analogue of the Master's ACCCON TST bit. You only get write-only access to the I/O area while active, but for code that doesn't access the hardware, or only uses the 6845/video ULA/ROMSEL, that's no real restriction...

--Tom
Last edited by tom_seddon on Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:37 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by trixster » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:44 pm

Tremendous
32A5AD5B-3C54-4A73-8C1A-5C1D5A525E65.jpeg
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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by BigEd » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:51 pm

Wonderful! The smallest ROM with the finest feature!

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by MartinB » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:25 pm

In 1981, Ed wrote:If you get this right, you can boost sales of the Beeb from WHSmiths, Dixons, and other fine retail outlets.

Start-Up Beeb.jpg

Seems like a no-brainer to me..... :D

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by lurkio » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:03 am

dv8 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:40 pm
Here it is as a stand-alone service ROM, it clocks in at a whopping 174 bytes!
Why wasn’t this the official boot screen?!

32F1E7B6-D9B8-4336-9305-A545EB82C088.jpeg

=D> =D> =D>

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by flibble » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:03 am

Reading the 'Acorn MOS' wiki article today jogged my memory, isn't there 768 bytes where the 'credits' are in the rom that could be used?

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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by helpful » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:10 am

flibble wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:03 am
Reading the 'Acorn MOS' wiki article today jogged my memory, isn't there 768 bytes where the 'credits' are in the rom that could be used?
Yeah, but you can only read them by taking the MOS ROM out and putting it into a spare socket in another machine, because those bytes are under the I/O space. Fred, Jim and Sheila are standing in the way :lol:
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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by sweh » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:11 am

flibble wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:03 am
Reading the 'Acorn MOS' wiki article today jogged my memory, isn't there 768 bytes where the 'credits' are in the rom that could be used?
Pages FC, FD, FE... but on the A and B Beebs these are hard-mapped to Tom, Dick and Harry... err, Fred, Jim and Shiela, so can't be used for data or code.
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Re: Ideas please for BBC Micro splash screen

Post by flibble » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:14 am

curse you, you memory map quirks

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