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The BBC and Master Computer Public Domain Library

Emulation of the BBC on an Acorn Machine

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Hi Chris

Still trying to help keep up the interest in BBC emulation  on the Acorn / RISC OS machines as
alternatives to the Wintel PCs. Herewith an update on my previous communications on this subject, with particular reference to using the 8BS and other Internet resources on Acorns, despite such resources being generally geared towards Wintel users.

As previously noted, there are many disc images available on the internet for use with BBC emulators.
These can not be used directly with !65Host or !65092Em. If you have !ImageDFS you can use the single sided disc images, with the extension .SSD available from the 8BS library. However you can only use one at a time.

However, now we have Beebit from Michael Foot in New Zealand. This is free, and downloadable from him at  <https://mjfoot.netlify.app/bbc.htm>. All he asks is that you drop him an email to say you got it. Incidentally it does run on a Strong Arm, and RISC OS 4.

BEEBIT, in version 0.10, is now a pretty good emulation of the BBC B. It will only use SSD disc images, but will use two at a time. Hence you can load sides 0 and 2 of a double sided disc and use both together.
It does a fine job of running the 8BS magazine disc images, which were a pain when using !ImageDFS
with !6502Em. It will not read interleaved double sided disc images (DSD) yet, nor plain raw DFS or ADFS files. Beebit requires the BASIC and OS roms from a BBC, and a DFS rom image. These all go into a ROMS directory within Beebit, along with any other roms you may want to run, such as Wordwise or View.

You also, of course, need some single sided SSD disc images to run. Apart from the 8BS library etc, you can also create disc images of your own BBC discs. To do this you need a utility called !Partition. This came with Richard Averill's ArcDFS (now on the Internet as !DFS, with !Partition inside it - see Michael's links from his web site) when I bought it many years ago from Dabs Press. When this is run it creates an empty disc image with any drive number you choose from 0 to 7. Placing this inside the !DFS directory makes it automatically available to ArcDFS. When ArcDFS is run the disc image appears on your icon bar with a 'v' to indicate a 'virtual' drive. Files can now be copied to and from this disc in the RISC OS desktop as normal.

Alternatively, !ImageDFS will read one side of a DFS disc and create an SSD image of that disc. This can be read using !ImageDFS, but it can not be further written to.

 On a separate point, when using !BeebArc to re-create BBC files from, those Wintel Internet libraries
which supply an 'INF' file containing the load / exec / length file data, !BeebArc sometimes fails to properly set the extracted files' attributes. This seems to happen when unexpected addresses are encountered, which !BeebArc rejects as being nonsense. Protected games sometimes give this problem. On a real Beeb there are several utilities allowing one to set any file attributes one may wish. On RISC OS we have 'SetAttrib' from 8BS's own Mr. Sprowson, on his web site www.sprow.co.uk) and 8BS. This runs in any environment, BBC, Emulator, or in the RISC OS desktop. This allows one to correct the file attributes.


Martin Hodgson   (D7X)

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