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Thursday, November 9

Beeb Fun

I have been known to Google myself. On a few occasions I've noticed this page which lists some old music programs I wrote on the BBC Micro back in the day when I used to do that sort of thing. After downloading this emulator, I have actually been able to listen to some of the music. Wow... Why!?

Anyway, here are some quick tips for how to copy what I've done.
  1. Run the emulator and set its hardware to the BBC Master 128.
  2. Download one of the music discs from the Acorn archive - in DFS format
  3. Unzip the file you get
  4. Use the "Load Disc 0" command on the emulator to "put the disc in"
  5. Type CHAIN "MENU" and the menu of songs will appear
  6. Use the arrow keys to find the song you want and then it will play
It's taken a great deal of powers of memory to get me this far. I don't remember much about the Beeb... except that it was a trusty friend for far too much of my childhood.

I may save you the bother and stick some screenshots on at some point. Believe me, the poorly drawn visuals are the best part of these music programs, whose sole purpose was to play a tune within the limited confines of this home computer's 4 channel music chip.

As a slight aside. I threw away my old BBC micro stuff in February. I reasoned (probably accurately) that I would never want to give it house space or even turn it on again, so it went in the skip. It's slightly weird to find my own work (albeit childish pointless work) lives on on the internet. Using my work PC as a 32 year old man, I'm able to experience a fairly good reproduction of something I made when I was maybe 13 or 14 on a completely different computer before the web was even born. It was only because I was using a pre-cursor to the web back then that what I made was syndicated and found its way onto whatever pirated disks have now been made available.

It's not immortality, but it's preservation beyond its time... and I like it.

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