8-Bit Software

The BBC and Master Computer Public Domain Library

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21/08/98

As good as emulators are, it is never like using the *REAL* thing. It just feels somehow *different*. Here are a few hints and tips to make the experience a bit more genuine.

First of all, the screen on a modern computer is *far* too sharp. The fact that you can resolve every individual pixel with the eye and even see what shape the pixels are is a BAD THING. My recommendations: Smear the screen with Vaseline, shake your head rapidly side to side, and drink plenty of ale (a bottle of Newcastle Broon works best)

Next, the sound. Modern computers can handle the bleeping quite nicely, and have the added benefit that you can use a pair of headphones without having to fit the socket yourself, thus avoiding your neighbours breaking into your house and throttling you when you loudly play Firetrack at 3.15AM. BUT, something is missing... Yes, those weird fuzzy buzzing and whistling noises which emanate from the BBC speaker, which start very quiet but get louder and louder as the computer warms up. To recreate these bizarre, low-pitched groaning noises, why not play any album from Radiohead or Oasis with the volume turned really low?
 

And how about the keyboard? Nowadays we have ergonomically designed keyboards designed to allow the input of data with the minimum of stress to the operator, as the keyboards are designed around the human body. However, as I grew up with the BBC, my body changed to suit the keyboard and my arms naturally sit perpendicular to my body in a fashion completely unlike anyone else I know. To authentically recreate past times, give consideration to the possibility of wearing oven gloves while typing. If you used to own a Spectrum 48K, then no matter how hard you try you will never forget the feel and texture of its keyboard - ugh. To recreate this experience, then simply place a dead fish between your fingers and the keyboard.

Finally, in the golden years of the BBC, we were all 10-15 years younger. Unfortunately, there is not much to be done about *this* difference...


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