BBC Micro - was Re: Altair 8800 name Was: Re: Altair 680 Expansion Boards?

Tony Duell ard.p850ug1 at
Fri Dec 23 11:29:38 CST 2016

>> But I was mostly interested in programming, so I loved our BBC Micro Model B
>> to bits. A far superior machine to the Apple and Commodores.
> I agree that it was a far superior machine. It had its limitations --
> shortage of RAM, notably -- but it was a great design.

My personal view is that the BBC micro was very well deisgned, both
hardware and software, and that it was probably the best of the
8 bit home micros.

As for the shortage of RAM, yes, particularly if you used
MODE 0 (80 column mode) which took up 20K of the
available 32K for video RAM. Later machines (B+, Master)
got round this by having at least 64K of physical RAM and
bankswitching part of it (the part used for video) with the ROMs.

I was told by a chap at Acorn that the original intention was that
application software would be run from sideways (bankswitched)
ROMs (and thus wouldn't use much RAM). And it was expected
that serious programmers would buy the 6502 second processor,
giving at least 32K RAM for the user (and none taken up by video).
Of course hindsight tells us this wasn't what most users did.


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