8-Bit Software

The BBC and Master Computer Public Domain Library

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Machine Memory Filing Systems Processor RAM speed OS size OS speed
MIPS
System 1 1k Cassette 6502 1 MHz 512 bytes 0.2
System 2, 3, 4 32k Disc Varies 1 MHz   0.2
System 5 32k Disc 6502 2 MHz   0.4
Atom 2k Cassette 6502 2 MHz 8k 0.4
Proton 16k Cassette 6502 4 MHz 16k 0.4
BBC Model A 16k Cassette 6502 4 MHz 16k 0.4
BBC Model B 32k Cassette 6502 2 MHz 16k 0.4
BBC Model B+ 64k DDFS 6502 4 MHz 16k 0.4
Reuters Board 64k   6502 4 MHz 16k 0.4
Acorn Business Computer PA 64k DFS 6502 4 MHz 32k 0.4
Acorn Business Computer Terminal 64k DFS 6502 4 MHz 32k 0.4
Acorn Business Computer 100 64k DFS Z80 - 32k 0.4
Acorn Business Computer 110 64k DFS 10 meg HD Z80 - 32k 0.4
Acorn Business Computer 200 512k DFS 32016 10 MHz 32k 0.4
Acorn Business Computer 210 4096k DFS 10 meg HD 32016 6 MHz 32k 0.4
Acorn Business Computer 300 1024k DFS 80286 - 32k 0.4
Acorn Business Computer 310 1024k DFS 10 meg HD 80286 - 32k 0.4
Electron 32k Cassette 6502 2 MHz 16k 0.2
British Telecom M2105 32y Cassette 6502 2 MHz 16k 0.2
Communicator 512k NFS 65816 2 MHz 256k -
Briefcase Communicator 512k NFS 65816 2 MHz 256k -
Master (Master & Compact) 128k DFS ADFS Cassette 65C02 4 MHz 16k + 0.4
Master 512 512k DOS 80186 10 MHz DOS 0.8
Master ET 128k NFS 65C02 2 MHz    
Master Scientific 512k   32016 4 MHz    
Master Turbo + 64k   65C02 4 MHz   0.8
M19 256k DOS 8088 -    

Acorn System 1 1979

Powered by a 6502 CPU it had 1024 bytes of static RAM memory and a 512 byte monitor program. Two eurocards, one for the CPU and the other a kepad and display. It was a DIY kit. A very good site by Mike Cowlishaw describing the System 1

Acorn System 2,3 & 4

 

Thanks to Brian (ebay ID brian_metrov) for these photos and information:

This is a complete Flex 9 DOS based computer using on the Motorola 6809. It uses components from Acorns System 4 range. The main frame houses:- Acorn 80x25 memory mapped VDU card with front panel video out connector for driving a TV video monitor (through a scart lead). Uses memory &F000-F7FF. Three Acorn Static RAM boards, these use 2114 chips to provide 8k x 8 bit Static ram per card, with two cards having additionally 2 x 8k chips to provide a further 32k. This makes a total of 56k of ram The Acorn 6809 CPU card, with 2k BIOS EPROM. Front panel connector to a 6522 VIA for parallel keyboard input. Also, parallel printer port output on a 15 pin D type. There is also a system reset button. A custom serial port providing RS232 data to drive a VT100 terminal ( this can directly drive a PC comms port through a null modem cable (supplied) using Hyperterminal. The Acorn Disk drive interface Tandon 40 track SS SD floppy disk drive, 390k byte capacity! There is also an uncased Tandon disk drive which is connected as the second drive Included are boot disks with the Flex 9 operating system, Text processor, Line editor, Extended basic and 6809 Assembler; a complete set of manuals for all software, plus additional disks with utilities and software patches etc. This is a programmers computer and there is full information about all the components including circuit diagrams for all items. In fact there is a vast amout of information in three files. Also included is a windrush Eprom programmer which has been used with this system. Even though this system has been in store for 15 years, it boots up and runs the programmes just as it always did.

Acorn 6809 computer frame and uncased Tandon 40 track disk drive
Acorn 6809 computer rear view of frame showing
A collection of items related to the 6809
Acorn 8k memory card modified with additional two HM6264 chips providing a further 16k memory.jpg
Acorn 8k memory card modified with additional two HM6264 chips
Acorn 80 x 25 memory mapped video card (Slot 1)
Acorn 6809 card
custom acia card for comms
From the left a VIA card, a 40x20 teletext VDU card, a ram card ( one 2114 missing)
Windrush Eprom programmer and manual and original disk

A eurocard rack system with a combination of cards including 6502 cpu, 6809 cpu, 32k static RAM, 32k battery backed CMOS RAM, disc interface, versatile interface adaptor, lab interface, econet, analogue interface, VDU interface and a 6502 ICE (In Circuit Emulation). Functionally it was a System 1 CPU card with extensions.

Acorn System 5

Similar to the Systems 2,3 & 4 except that it had a 2 MHz 6502 and was the first Acorn machine to be supplied with DRAM rather than static RAM

Atom 1980


With a 6502 and 2k of memory with total expansion of 12k. It had an integer only BASIC supplied in ROM as well as the OS. An extension ROM added floating point operations to the BASIC. Econet became available for the machine in late 1980 and a floppy drive plus DFS could be added. It was available in DIY kit form

Proton

Prototype version of the BBC Model A. It was never released commercially under the Proton name and all prototypes became BBC prototypes when the BBC contract was won

BBC Model A


Cut down version of the very BBC B. 16k of memory. Released November 1981

BBC Model B


6502 processor and 32k of memory. Expandable to 4-16 sideways ROMs

Released November 1981 - early 1982. Also released was an American/Canadian version of the Model B that had several differences. Econet and Speech were included and the machine was set up for American monitors by default requiring a *UK to enable it to run most software.

BBC Model B+ 1984


64k of memory and DDFS. Released to fill the gap while the Master was produced

Reuters board

A BBC Model B+ on a eurocard for rack mounting. Information taken from: Chris Why's website

The Reuters APM Board has been described as a BBC B+ on a Eurocard. Because of the name, I assume that it was made for Reuters by Acorn. The connector panel says "Application Processor Module" and is clearly desinged for vertical mounting in a rack. The Reuters APM board is designed with levers on the back end to help remove it from a rack and what appear to be solder contact pads for power (+5v and 0v) supply as there is no obvious power connection. There is no Disc Interface, but there is an Econet port on the connector panel, jumpers on the APM board to set the Econet address and a ROM label NFS 3.65. There are 3 ROMs on the APM board labelled:

R0.3 NFS 3.65
APM F148 24-Oct 
SYSROM V6 4BC8

 

Acorn Business Computer 1984

Acorn's first attempt at entering the business market. A BBC Model B+ with a selection of second processors all packaged in a new case with an integral monitor and seperate keyboard. Second processors included a 32016 running Panos, 80186 running DOS and a Z80 running CPM. There are 8 models:

Acorn Business Computer Model PA (Personal Assistant)
64k RAM Memory
640k Disc Filing System by default.
6502 processor. (2 MHz)
4 MHz RAM.
32k of OS in ROM with ViewSheet.
~0.4 MIPS.
Green phosphor monochrome monitor


Acorn Business Computer Model Terminal.
64k Memory
No filing system by default.
6502 processor. (2 MHz)
4 MHz RAM.
32k of OS in ROM with a VT100 emulator in ROM.
~0.4 MIPS.
Green phosphor monochrome monitor

Acorn Business Computer Model 100.
64k Memory
Twin 720k Disc Filing system by default.
Z80 processor. (6502 processor acting as host for parasite Z80)
CP/M 2.2 OS
32k of OS in ROM. Largely unused being replaced with CP\M.
~0.4 MIPS.
Green phosphor monochrome monitor

Acorn Business Computer Model 110.
64k Memory
Disc Filing system by default. (10 Megabyte hard drive)
Z80 processor. (6502 processor acting as host for parasite Z80)
Unknown
32k of OS in ROM. Largely unused being replaced with CP\M.
~0.4 MIPS.
Colour monitor

Acorn Business Computer Model 200.
512k Memory (Unknown exactly)
Twin 720k Disc Filing system by default.
32016 processor. (6502 processor acting as host for parasite 32016)
10 MHz and 8 MHz RAM versions made.
32k of OS in ROM. Largely unused being replaced with Xenix.
~0.4 MIPS.
Monochrome monitor


Acorn Business Computer Model 210. (Later known as the Cambridge Workstation)
4096k Memory
Disc Filing system by default. (10 Megabyte Hard Drive)
32016 processor. (6502 processor acting as host for parasite 32016)
6 MHz RAM.
32k of OS in ROM which was a boot loader for PANOS. Largely unused being replaced with Xenix.
~0.4 MIPS.
Colour monitor

Acorn Business Computer Model 300.
1024k Memory
Twin 720K Disc Filing system by default.
80286 processor. (6502 processor acting as host for parasite 80286)
Unknown.
32k of OS in ROM. Largely unused being replaced with CP/M,MS-DOS or PC-DOS.
~0.4 MIPS.
DOS 3.1 GEM GUI
Monochrome monitor

Acorn Business Computer Model 310.
1024k Memory
Disc Filing system by default. (10 Megabyte Hard Drive)
80286 processor. (6502 processor acting as host for parasite 80286)
Unknown.
32k of OS in ROM. Largely unused being replaced with CP/M,MS-DOS or PC-DOS.
~0.4 MIPS.
DOS 3.1 GEM GUI
Colour Monitor

Acorn Electron August 1983

A cut down BBC B. Designed to be a cheap alternative to the model B, it had alot of design trade offs in order to keep it cheap. It had expansion options that offered upgrades to the same as those of a BBC B (the image here is an electron with plus one and plus 3). In high demand initially, that demand could not be met due to supply problems.
32k Memory
Tape filing system by default.
6502 processor.
2 MHz RAM.
16k of OS in ROM.
~0.2 MIPS.

British Telecom M2105 (Merlin)

Images courtesy Chris Why
An Electron with an expansion box containg a speech synthesier and modem. Designed as a `smart` comms terminal.
32k Memory
Tape filing system by default.
6502 processor.
2 MHz RAM.
16k of OS in ROM.
~0.2 MIPS.

Communicator

A comms machine based on a 65816 processor with an on board modem, comms software and featured 32k of CMOS RAM.
512k (32k battery backed CMOS ram extra) Memory. (Expandable to 1024k)
CMOS RAM and NET filing systems by default.
65816 processor.
2 MHz RAM.
256k of OS and bundled software in ROM.
Unknown.

Briefcase Communicator

Basically the same hardware as the communicator repackaged in a briefcase with an added ramcard interface

BBC Master range 1986


The successor to the Model B range. It was 4 different machines. The Master 128, Turbo, Scientific and 512. It came by default with a new and greatly improved Disc Filing System called ADFS (Advanced Disc Filing System) as well as 128k of memory as standard.
128k Memory
ADFS filing system by default. (Also came with DFS and tape)
65C02 processor. (2 MHz)
4 MHz RAM.
16k of OS in ROM. (bundled with 48k more other ROM material)
~0.4 MIPS.

Released late January 1986 for the Master 128 and September 1986 Master Compact.

BBC Master Turbo, Scientific and 512

80186 (512)
Master 512
512k Memory.
80186 processor. (8 MHz)
8 MHz RAM.
DOS softloaded from disc.
Unknown


80186 with 1 meg upgrade (512). The 512 requires the GEM discs to run DOS+


65C02 (Turbo)
Master Turbo
64k Memory.
65C02 processor. (4 MHz)
4 MHz RAM.
Minimal OS softloaded from the host computer.
~0.8 MIPS.

32016 (Scientific) These were Master 128s with internal second processors and sold as a complete package although a Master 128 can be upgraded very easily by plugging in the co-processor

ET (Econet Terminal) The Master ET was an Econet Terminal. It is missing most of the ports on a Master 128. It only has Econet, RGB and Comp Video ports at the back and no connectors underneath. Unlike the other Masters, the Master ET does not have any applications in ROM (i.e. View, ViewSheet, Edit and Terminal). These omissions reduced the cost of the Master ET to 399 (inc VAT).

Acorn M19

Re-badged Olivetti M19 PC-clone. Based on an 8088 processor it also came with it's own monitor
256k Memory.
DOS filing system.
8088 processor.
Unknown.
Unknown.
Unknown.

The Acorn list does continue on from here but there are no more 8 bit machines in it so I stop here


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