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Tweet to the BBC Micro Bot, get a video of your code running! #BBCMicro #VintageComputing @DominicPajak

8bitkick.cc hosts a marvelous BBC Micro Model B emulator named BBC Micro Bot. Using it could not be easier: Send a tweet to @bbcmicrobot and it will run it on a 1980s 8-bit computer emulator!

This bot runs a full emulation of the BBC Micro Model B – a computer standard in schools in the UK during the 1980s. There is a lot more you can do with it!

BBC BASIC

The BBC Micro Model B emulator used by the bot is running BBC BASIC II (1982). If you’ve never tried BBC BASIC checking out the examples on the @bbcmicrobot Twitter account is a good place to start.

The program graphic above is by Neil and uses abbreviated (minification) commands. so the actual code looks like:

0a=1305:DIMX(35),Y(35):F.I=0TO35:A=I*PI/18:X(I)=375*SINA:Y(I)=300*COSA:
N.:MO.2:V.29,640;512;23,0,8202;0;0;0;:REP.U.FNA(FNA(FNA(1))) 
1DEFFNA(N):F.I=0TO11:F.O=0TON:V.18,3,1-(N-1)*(I 
MOD7),1049;X(I);Y(I);a;X(I+12);Y(I+12);a;X(I+24);Y(I+24);a;X(I);Y(I);:N.,:=0

But you can get started by tweeting:

10 MODE 2
20 COLOUR RND(7)
30 PRINT "HELLO WORLD"
40 GOTO 20

The bot generates a 3 second, 50fps mp4 after 30 seconds of emulated execution time. If you’re curious you might have noticed the Acornsoft Graphics Extension ROM is installed on the emulated machine. The bot also has a pretty strict filter for bad words and blocks offenders immediately, because printing rude words in infinite loops looks a lot like spam to Twitter!

Check the bot out by tweeting to @bbcmicrobot and see the web page here.

If you’d like to get up to speed on BBC BASIC, check out:

  • Learn to write games for the BBC Micro with Eben | blog
  • BBC Micro User Guide html | PDF
  • 8BS.com’s huge collection of BBC BASIC books


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