rick at rs432.net
Thu Jun 25 02:02:33 BST 2009
This was originally going to be a tagline on my "malware" post to make
you smile after all that non-Beeb stuff, but it kinda grew... :-)
If you like this, feel free to cut'n'paste it whatever you like.
Rick's first, final, and only argument in support of the Beeb:
I still have a 32K Acorn BBC Micro. You wanna get in an advocacy war,
huh? Okay, show me your I/O and show me your BASIC interpreter.
Sod off and buy yourself a Beeb on eBay and discover how the '80s could
have gone if only your parents hadn't bought you that horrid machine
with an unimaginably grotty keyboard and a BASIC designed to actively
discourage any attempt at structured programming. Oh, and we won't even
mention the peeks and pokes required to be able to do anything out of
the scope of the built-in so-called BASIC...
What d'you mean you only have "text" or "color" display? What
d'you mean you have to press special key combinations to write
software because you can't type in the program? What d'you mean
you can't tell if you actually pressed that key? What d'you mean "TAPE
ERROR"? What d'you mean you can't install third-party ROMs to enhance
the machine right from switch-on. What d'you mean you can't add a
harddisc? What d'you mean it has no LAN capabilities? What d'you mean it
has a built-in joystick - wasn't that a hint as to how useful the thing
would really be?
That's not all. There's more. No, no, sit down and listen. This is good
for you. You have to know all of this. It will prevent years of therapy
when you hit your fifties... There are people nowadays who are making
IDE interfaces for their Beebs. Why? Partly "because they can" but
largely because the design and philosophy of the system encourages
things like that. If cheap IDE discs had been around in the early '80s,
they'd have been a hit on every Beeb in the land. But that's not enough.
Others have hacked the filing system to talk to an SD memory card
instead of any actual disc unit. Same philosophy at work.
Ever looked under a Beeb? You might see scary rows of connectors and a
few hundred shiny copper pins. I see potential. Potential that has not
been expressed, to my knowledge, in ANY computer aimed at the domestic
market in the two decades since.
THAT, my friend, is why the Beeb marches on while your Oric-1's are
rotting and the Speccy is landfill and we won't even discuss that Tandy
thing or any computer/company named after a fruit...
Rick Murray, irregular internet access at local library.
BBC B: DNFS, 2 x 5.25" floppies, EPROM prog, Acorn TTX
E01S FileStore, A3000/A5000/RiscPC/various PCs/blahblah...
More information about the bbc-micro