[BBC-Micro] MOS6 - Any programmers want to see a free BBC Microfirmware?

famrowland famrowland at freeuk.com
Sat Oct 2 13:14:38 BST 2010

Wouldn't it be a heck of a lot easier, and less of a waste of time, to
simply track down whoever owns the Acorn copyright now and ask nicely?


-----Original Message-----
From: bbc-micro-bounces+famrowland=freeuk.com at lists.cloud9.co.uk
[mailto:bbc-micro-bounces+famrowland=freeuk.com at lists.cloud9.co.uk] On
Behalf Of Farlie A
Sent: 26 September 2010 21:35
To: bbc-micro at lists.cloud9.co.uk
Subject: [BBC-Micro] MOS6 - Any programmers want to see a free BBC

As this list is presumably aware,  there are BBC Micro emulators,  some of
which are even under GPL.

However, even a nominally GPL BBC Micro Emulator can't go into Debian,
because the ROM firmware needed is 'grey-ware'(i.e Still copyright and not
under a copyleft license.) .

I'm therefore going to ask if there are any experienced (65x02) programmers
(I'm not) that would be capable of providing an alternative but compatible
firmware developed from 'clean-room' tactics (which I'd nominally called MOS
6 )? (Namely the combined documentation of the various chip datasheets,
Advanced User Guide and TAU, TMU back issues.

The inital firmware that would need to be reimiplemented is OS 2.0, BASIC
and the 6502 tube code (on both sides), which should suffice in respect of
code that was written to be 'legal'. Later software that uses 'clever'
techniques would also somehow have to be accomodated.  In time a sutiable
DFS implementation would also be a useful addition.

In time more obscure co-pro BIOS, PHROMS and so on could be replaced with

This is partly in response to what happened in respect of the Spectrum's
firmware, for which a replacement ROM for emulators was developed.

(There is of course a reason why there isn't a 'free' C64 ROM, but then why
would anyone bother?? XD )

Of course such a free firmware could also be used with FPGA implementations
of the BBC style hardware... (in that I've definitly seen  FPGA
implementations of some chips used in a BBC Micro - Although not as yet an
8271 :( )

It may take many years, but I think it's worth at least floating the idea...

Alex Farlie

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