BBC Micros: pre-restoration discovery #VintageComputing @LinuxJedi

Andrew Hutchings is setting up a small class to teach local children how to program the same way he was taught back in the 80s, all on BBC computers. Picking up a BBC Micro 1 and a BBC Micro 2, the latter was rather interesting with some extra ROMs installed.

OK, this is a RAM FS ROM set, which is a way of storing BASIC programs in ROMs. Now that I have these ROM images, I can load them in an emulator to see what happens. They required a SPEECH! ROM as well to operate, so I used the image of that too. Once added, a menu pops up when the BBC boots.

This is actually quite professionally put together for something quite simple. The menu automatically rotated the highlighted option, and numbers could be used. The menu rotation made sense later.

I found that this machine used to belong to Thurrock Care Special Care Day Centre in Essex. The software was created by a Barrie Ellis, and it was designed to be used with accessibility switches. This is why the menu automatically rotates the highlighted option. Speech is used throughout the system, and this is probably why an external audio jack was added to the computer.

Check out more in digging into the history of this machine in the post here.


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