ollowing on from the Sinclair Spectrum, the other machine I got to play with a lot as a kid was the Acorn BBC Micro. In mid-to-late 80s UK there were several of these in every primary school (unless mine was unusually affluent). Secondary schools had them by the roomful at least until the mid-nineties, when they were finally supplanted by the might of the PC.
For many of my generation this was probably their first experience of computing without the agonising wait for programs to load from tape; the Beeb of course supported a tape interface, but most were installed with a 5 1/4” (very) floppy disk drive. Graphically, the ubiquitous Microvitec Cub monitor was a big step up from the usual re-purposed TV.
There were several versions of the BBC, each in a similarly styled beige box with integral keyboard. The originals, Models A and B, were pretty similar with the A having half as much memory. The Model A could be upgraded later to match the Model B specification, but the B proved more popular anyway. Later came the memory-enhanced Model B+, with subsequent revisions becoming the Master series. The most obvious additions in the Masters were the cartridge slots and numeric keypad, as well as even more RAM.
With fond memories of educational titles like “Granny’s Garden”, and less educational ones like “Pole Position” and “Boffin”, the BBC B seemed like a worthy machine to bring back to life inside an FPGA.
As 2022 starts, let’s take some time to share our goals for CircuitPython in 2022. Just like past years (full summary 2019, 2020, and 2021), we’d like everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet. Here are a few ways to post: a video on YouTub, a post on the CircuitPython forum, a blog post on your site, a series of Tweets, a Gist on GitHub. We want to hear from you. When you post, please add #CircuitPython2022 and email email@example.com to let us know about your post so we can blog it up here.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
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Electronics — Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your semiconductor is DOA
Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Raspberry Pi Pico turns one and more! #Python #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF
Adafruit IoT Monthly — 2021 in Recap!
Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!
EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey
New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — NEW PRODUCT – ESP32-S3-DevKitC-1 – ESP32-S3-WROOM-2 – 32MB Flash 8MB PSRAM
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