80-Bus News


July–August 1984 · Volume 3 · Issue 4

Page 7 of 43

80-BUS – BBC

Could someone please tell me (via the Newsletter) whether anyone has interfaced an 80-BUS system to a BBC B via the 1 MHz tube?

Yours truly, Paul Young, London, W2.

[Ed. – I wonder if Mr Young would like to contact another of our subscribers who also sounds like he’s from the group Band-Aid – he just happens to be called Phil Collins !!]


Having read Vol 3 Issue 1, I felt compelled to write regarding Dave Hunt’s Bits and especially his article “.. and BBC BASIC” which I found rather confusing.

After reading this several times I finally concluded that the article refers to BBC BASIC as found in BBC machines, Electrons, etc. Is Dave Hunt aware that there is a very good version of BBC BASIC available for Z80 based machines called BBC BASIC(Z80)?

I must admit I was unaware of this fact until May of this year.

In April of the previous year, I had saved hard and managed to put together a Multiboard system working under RP/M and using CCSOFT’s GBASIC with GRAPHPAC. Then I added a disk drive and purchased CP/M. Looking around for a suitable (and above all, cheap) BASIC language became the next priority.

There seemed to be nothing advertised under about £250 + VAT (MBASIC) and I was almost resolved to buy COMAL or Pascal instead, when a very helpful Mr Creutzberg at OFF RECORDS in Clapham told me of this BBC BASIC(Z80) which was retailing at £125 + VAT.

I purchased a copy and have been most satisfied. The program is marketed by M-Tec of Norwich and was written by RT Russell. It is supplied with many useful utility programs and HELP files with many example programs. It has its own Assembler too!

All the BBC BASIC commands are supported with the exception of the colour, graphics and sound commands, but I understand there are moves afoot to link these with the colour graphics boards eventually.

It would be interesting to hear from other Gemini users who have BBC BASIC(Z80) and to see a review of it in 80-BUS NEWS. I would write one myself but have no word processing facilities as yet.

It is interesting that there has never been an advertisement for BBC BASIC(Z80) in 80-BUS NEWS and indeed no mention of it. I do not read many computer mags, I have only ever seen it once advertised there and then only in a very small space.

I can only say that I would recommend this language to anyone and feel that Dave’s comments were a little derogatory. Speaking as someone who has only ever used BASIC, I found it easy to use, powerful and challenging. I agree with him that the actual BBC machine is next to useless. Having tried to write a useful program on one I found that with the DOS and Hi-Res mode in place, there was about 7K of free memory left and a 2-D array I had to use meant there was no room to run the program. The same program transferred to my Gemini ran perfectly well, giving the same screen image without Hi-Res just on the IVC and there was still 30K free memory left to play with!

Many thanks for an excellent publication even if it is often frustratingly late!

Yours truly, Chris Hellen, Colchester

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