What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

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Commie_User
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What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by Commie_User » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:40 pm

Your magnum opus, your trademark Quant creation?


I can't say I did much past poncing about with BASIC and entertaining some mates during a wet playtime with very crude type-ins I somehow saved to the PC network. But this guy got his school's old BBC to something something, something about chemicals. (I'm not good with science but it maybe won't notice.)


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Impressive all the same: https://www.retro-kit.co.uk/page.cfm/co ... Education/

By the looks of this, he got a box of gubbins working and worked out, then the BBC programmed to process the data, so his school could actually use their investment from then on. Not bad.


Perhaps we could have a little collection of all we've done.

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flaxcottage
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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by flaxcottage » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:00 pm

No pictures I am afraid. :(

But ...

On the level 1 Econet managed to beat the 12K file limit so we could load Sphinx on all computers.

Wrote a Teletext server so that a *TELETEXT command typed on any user station logged the station into the server. *BBC1, *BBC2 etc could change channel. The server pushed live pages out to over 30 BBC micros over a 1.2Km network. If I remember correctly it was used most in the Summer for live updates during test matches. :lol:
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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by CMcDougall » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:15 pm

copying all the tapes from both my aunties primary schools & mine, so then my surrounding villages also had the same programs!

The days before disc drives /or too expensive 1981/2 for council budgets, but sure it was 1983 they did have one on the trolley for Grannys Garden :D
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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by paulv » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:50 pm

That photo is mine.... I hooked up a VELA to a pH meter and a Beeb to track the progress of a titration, running a strong acid into a strong alkali.

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As my Chemistry teacher at the time said in a rather amazed tone... You've produced a perfect titration curve.... She was amazed because I hated chemistry and never did well at it... Until I hooked up the computers to do the chemistry for me!

Paul

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paulv
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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by paulv » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:51 pm

vanpeebles wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:11 pm
Making Pod explode :lol:
Podd explodes? I never tried that! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Paul


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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by Kazzie » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:27 am

My "shining moment" was on an Archimedes rather than a Beeb (I was about six when the last Beeb was displaced in our school), but it could easily been on either as it involved Logo.

In Year 3 we were using procedures in Logo, and each day three kids would get ten minutes to type in and test their program. I'd been drawing triangles, rectangles, octagons, dodecagons and all sorts, and my teacher gave me the challenge of drawing a circle. The inspiration (repeat 360 [fd 1 rt 1]], or rather ailwneud 360 [ym 1 de 1], as we were using a Welsh version of Logo) came to me a few days after my "turn". Rather than wait a week, I slipped a copy of my program to a friend, who typed it in. I was overjoyed that it worked, but was also told off for jumping the queue. :)
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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by FourthStone » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:52 am

I was in charge for doing a weekly backup on our Eco-Net server, I had to load the backup 8" disk along side our current work disk and then type in the commands to perform the backup... only somehow I mixed up drive 0 with drive 2 and I backed up the blank disk over the work disk #-o

When the teacher checked the disks and saw that both were blank he asked me whether I might of gotten the source and destination mixed up... very understanding chap he was and he encouraged me rather than scolded me about how to make sure I did it right next time.

Amazing computer / math / science teacher and I wish I had spent more time learning from him. I remember the time when a computer tech visited the school with a case full of new games, rom upgrades, hardware fixes and mods, soldering iron out... me wild eyed and in awe...

Still, lunch time game challenges on Galaga, Snapper & Killer Gorilla were pretty hard to beat.

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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by SteveBagley » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:03 am

Again Archimedes related rather than BBC, but a friend and I wrote a patch for RiscOS that disabled the ability to change the the CMOS RAM settings (other pupils had a tendency to mess about without so the machines ended up unusable)… I wrote the main patch for OSByte (162 — was used to modify the CMOS) and OSWord (&14 possibly, the one used to change the date/time) in ARM assembler, keeping it down to three instructions iirc. Ended up running on most Acorn's in the school.

The same friend and I may also, cough, have been asked by teacher to hack the copy protection out of a risc is game, *cough*, which we also managed ;)

Steve

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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by davidb » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:28 am

(Not my shining moment, but rather paulb's, who is too modest to mention it.)

One of the maths teachers, who knew we could program for the Acorn 8-bits, asked if we could write a screen dumper for their Star printer so that the kids could print their graphs. It didn't matter if it took a few minutes to print because they could start printing and go to do something else while it printed. Printing from various software packages was quite slow, apparently.

After some initial work to make sure we could print a screen at home, paulb wrote the program in assembly language. Running it on the BBC Micro in the classroom, we found it could churn out a graph in under a minute. The teacher was quite surprised by this - I don't think he'd seen the printer head move so quickly before! :D

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tricky
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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by tricky » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:21 am

I had a shining computer moment at school, but it was on a Sharp MZ-80K, I had to wait until technical college to have a beeb moment (we didn't get them at school until after I left).
MZ-80K moment, well two really was when our maths teacher was trying to write a game where you had to direct an ' O:) ' around the screen, collecting all the '.'s and avoiding the '*'s. You pressed '/' or '\' to add the corresponding character to the screen where the O was and it would then bounce off, turning 90 degrees from its original path. His problem was that it was turn based as the version of BASIC we had didn't have an INKEY equivalent, only INPUT making it a very dull game. I had typed in a "type in" that had some assembler and managed to cut out the keyboard scan routine and help him with a few other bits of the game (reading the screen I think). As payment, he game me a bottle of his homemade wine, I was 14/15 :). The second part came when I noticed he had brought his game to the summer fair on the sea front and was collecting 10p a go for charity with a prize of another bottle of homemade wine for the best score of the day. I had already had some practice while working on the code, so it cost me 20p to win the second bottle ;)
My beeb moment, if you can call it that, was at tech when out teacher had given out a work sheet for out first computer science lesson. I finished it in about 1 minute, it was something like write a program to repeatedly print you name on screen, and was supposed to have taken the whole two hours. I asked if he had any more work sheets and he directed me to a folder on his desk. I took one of each for the rest of term and once I had finished them all, wrote a simple space invaders game and played it for what was left of the lesson. I noticed another guy also had a pile of papers and was working on a driving game, print a block for left and right of the tract, scroll the screen and move the track left or right. We became friends after that and he wrote a great millipede game with sine wave scrolling text, I don't have a copy and have never seen it since. I think he also wrote an interrupt routine to unlock the tape protection bit and log the load offsets for tape blocks so that he could copy games.

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trixster
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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by trixster » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:56 am

paulv wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:51 pm
vanpeebles wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:11 pm
Making Pod explode :lol:
Podd explodes? I never tried that! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Paul
Wasn’t he called Pob??!

Apparently not!! We definitely called him Pob at school
Last edited by trixster on Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by Lardo Boffin » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:24 pm

The closest I got was my O level computer studies project - a copy of pac man called Hippy Munch. Inspired by The Young Ones you played Neil the hippy and had to go round collecting the lentils to make the tea. You were chased by Vivian’s socks (which had escaped from the laundry at the centre of the screen) and the power pills were laundry tablets. It was a fairly reasonable game (for BASIC) but nothing special. The sprites were just user defined graphics although there was a tiny machine code routine to draw the screen.
Because I did not excel at any of the other subjects (not one of the ‘clever’ kids) no one believed I wrote it (except for my teacher) and I had to sign some offical paperwork for the exam board to say I had not copied it from a magazine. I was both impressed and insulted in equal measure. Actually, mostly just insulted. :evil:
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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by Kazzie » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:40 pm

trixster wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:56 am
paulv wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:51 pm
vanpeebles wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:11 pm
Making Pod explode :lol:
Podd explodes? I never tried that! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Paul
Wasn’t he called Pob??!

Apparently not!! We definitely called him Pob at school
He was certainly Pod to us in our class. In fact, it took me a long time to find him again online, as he was Podd to most people. (He had a different name in Welsh because 'dd' is a letter of it's own in Welsh, and everyone would think he was called "Poth".)
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paulv
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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by paulv » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:01 pm

trixster wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:56 am
paulv wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:51 pm
vanpeebles wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:11 pm
Making Pod explode :lol:
Podd explodes? I never tried that! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Paul
Wasn’t he called Pob??!

Apparently not!! We definitely called him Pob at school
Never mix Pob anbd Podd...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dqxZo_myyA <= Pob

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LYPsdBNTi8 <= Podd

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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by Andrew_Waite » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:55 pm

For AO-level computer science, I encapsulated a digital temperature sensor in epoxy and connected it to the BBC Micro's analogue port, and wrote code to control a 12V water heater through the BBC's printer port via a relay and Darlington driver. The computer could control the temperature of water in a beaker. I used the printer port instead of the user port so I could connect it to my Electron's PLUS1 at home. I still have the hardware somewhere.
Last edited by Andrew_Waite on Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by Commie_User » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:06 pm

I think we've our Star Winner tonight:
ZenEmu wrote: At Uni living in digs,one of my flat mates had a 29 gallon aquarium controlled mostly by a BBC B. He had the lights on a seasonal timer routine, a primitive C02 sensor attached for the plants (which triggered a valve on a fire extinguisher he stole from somewhere). He was even building a automatic feeder thingy for the fish. None of which worked - the thing was full of algae within a month and stank.

What nobody realized of course was that the joists in the floor (not helped by a slow leak from the tank) were not up to the job. Luckily nobody was hurt, but the whole lot ended up in the flat downstairs and we had to move out in a hurry. We didn’t bother asking the landlord for the deposit back.
https://www.lemon64.com/forum/viewtopic ... 161#852161

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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by mr-macrisc » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:44 pm

Realising the MUD the uber geeks played at lunchtime didn't take any notice of username if you typed in the 3 digit numeric code they had selected.

The MUD software was written in basic. So didn't take long to set up a wee routine to loop through logins and cause every player to kill themselves one after the other.

Was actually freeking hilarious listening to the language and total bamboozlement, then finger pointing and all sorts.

Never did admit to that one and as we were young, know nothing, newbies they never gave us a 2nd look 😂😂😂
Last edited by mr-macrisc on Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by tricky » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:27 am

Not at school, but at uni, I wrote space invaders for the text terminals on the sun Unix system. It ran as me in my scratch area (only globally visible area) and kept a permanent highscore (ran as me so no cheating). It was pretty popular as the only game on the system until i helped a friend write a version of snake.

DOH! Not even a beeb moment - sorry!
Last edited by tricky on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by Andy1979 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:50 am

My Information Systems coursework in 1995 involved using CommunITel to set up a teletext-style school message screen. Plotting out the school logo in 2x3 characters on graph paper also tested the limits of my artistic skills! I edited the source code to allow for shortcut buttons connected via the user port.

I was given an Acorn Filestore, Master Compact and CommunITel on 5.25inch DFS floppies, so just getting the software running was the first challenge.

The final coursework included a VHS video of the system in action, and a demonstration of what it could have looked like if they'd given me an Archimedes instead (which they eventually did).

Giving a 15yr old sole access to the system also led to a few hijinx once the exams were over :lol:

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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by BigEd » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:08 pm

I'm just a bit too old to have met a Beeb at school, but I do remember two early programs I wrote and was quite happy with:
- a 3D wireframe dodecahedron, which rotated at some fraction of one frame per second. Computer animation! Not even hidden-line removed, if I remember correctly. And in Basic.
- a random-dots autostereogram program. I think the object shown was just a square, in relief against the background. Again, Basic. True 3D!

(I also remember a clock-face display, but it's possible that was a type-in. And then my friend and I had a great triumph capturing a Gosper Breeder pattern from some multiple-times enlarged photocopies of a Scientific American, and running it in his Conway's Life program on his 6502 Second Processor. But my part in this was data, not program!)

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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by z0m8ied0g » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:53 am

I remember at secondary school me and a mate were moving a BBC to another classroom.
It was setup on one of those movable trolleys that had wheels and a monitor stand above the BBC.
We went racing down one of the corridors and turned a corner to go down another, unfortuantly the CUB monitor on the top kept going straight and departed the desk and bounced about 6 times along the corridor.
Being a CUB we just picked it back up put it back on the trolley it worked fine and had zero damage on it.

Another time we helped run the suite of A5000s in the art department, I came in one morning and turned them all on. One of the monitors just displayed a white line across it, then flames started to leap out of the top.
We ended up having to put it out with a CO2 extinguisher.
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Re: What was your most shining BBC moment at school?

Post by richardtoohey » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:53 am

Never did much useful at school (and nothing much has changed!) but for A level computer science (or was it computer studies?) I wanted to use one of the BBC Bs the school had.

But no, had to use a RM 480Z ... the BASIC wasn't as good.

Wrote a magazine subscription database system (exciting, I know!) and spent AGES making it work ... only to discover that the code was a small percentage of the marks and all the associated paper work counted towards a higher percentage of the marks.

Ending up with a C instead of my expected B so ended up in Polytechnic rather than University etc. but life hasn't turned out too bad. :D

Some whiz kid at the school had written a machine code scrolling-in-all-directions game where you had to run away from the teachers and if one of the old lady teachers (Mrs Murphy? IIRC?) got too close then she [CENSORED] you to death and it was life lost. Definitely remember the game and the story ... but whether it was REALLY a pupil who created it ... dunno.

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