What's New 2024


Please see below for 2024 updates to BeebMaster


1st May 2024 Twenty-one years online today for me, and continuing the A305 theme established earlier this year, beginning with a look at fitting the hard disc to my A305.
The next problem to contend with is the curious jumbling of data when using Econet. This set shows the formatting of the Kyocera hard disc I installed inside my A305 in November 2021.
If at first you don't verify, try, try again with a different disc - so now I have removed the Kyocera drive and replaced it with a Miniscribe 8425. Having successfully fitted, formatted and tested the Miniscribe hard drive in my Archimedes 305, it was time to fill it up with some goodies.
Now to add some games to my A305 hard disc. And now, as I have often said before, the game which was apparently written using this very machine.
Here's a look at using SpellMaster to check the spelling in a Wordwise document. Here's a quick look at how BASIC is stored in memory, and the "overhead" that is required to store even the shortest programs, which can be quite significant when trying to write the shortest possible code.
Regular listeners will not be surprised to know that the BeebBirthday update traditionally ends with an appeal for you all to have a rummage round the whole environs on this domain. My Tea pages have been specially updated for you:
This is my Paragon china tea set, photographed in October 2021. My Queen Anne china tea service, taken in October 2021.
1st April 2024 Following on from last month, I have started a new section on my A420/1, which you can find here with new picture sets:
In September 2021, I brought my A420/1 out of storage so I could test its PSU in the ailing A305. At the same time I gave the A420/1 a workout. Here's some more on the A420/1 in action, from October 2021.
The hard drive in my A420/1 has been playing up since I brought the machine out of storage in September 2021. In October 2021, I took a new set of pictures of my A420/1 whilst I was using it and investigating the hard drive.
Now the beginnings of a disc imager I made using the A420/1. Here's a further look at my ADFS imager on the A420/1, after I had made some improvements.
And now some of the latest developments with my RISC PC 700:
In October 2021, I finally solved my RISC PC disappearing RAM problem by replacing the memory module. For reasons unexplained, it had downgraded itself from a 128MB module to 64MB. In October 2021, I made some very welcome progress with NetSurf on my RISC PC.
To finish today's exclusively 32-bit update, some more sets on my A305:
Another look at repairing my A305, which I had revived from being apparently dead the previous month. Here's the start of the A305 re-assembly.
With the podules restored to my A305, we can have a look at what RISC OS makes of them. In October 2021, just when I thought it was safe to think my A305 was in full working order, it exhibited an Econet fault.
1st March 2024 For March's update, I bring a special feature on my Archimedes 305, which now has its own section here:
In September 2021, I took apart my A305 keyboard to give it a bit of a clean. This set shows existing, and potential future, upgrades for my Archimedes 305.
From its arrival at BM Towers in May 2005, until August 2021, the A305 was officially dead. The fan came on, but nothing else ever happened. Here's a look in detail at the A305 being brought back to life. For reasons as yet unexplained, the A305 sometimes crashes inexplicably. It's usually accompanied by screen corruption and some white noise - which sounds frighteningly like pre-explosive crackling - and sometimes ends with the A305 re-starting itself.
Now to try to understand - and hopefully fix - these curious "data abort" errors the A305 generates nearly every time it's turned on. This set shows how the A305 would have been in its original RAM configuration, with just the entry-level count of 512 kilobytes.
Here I've reinstated the RAM expansion board so we can take a look at the A305 in 2MB mode. When the recordings came out and I started making up the picture sets showing the progress I had been making with my A305, they all looked pink! This set looks at this curious problem further.
I didn't want to make any more changes to my A305 having got it working and started to re-assemble it. But the pinkness of the picture called for the application of a couple of modifications set out in Acorn field change orders. Here's what I did next. Now a look at the result of applying the Acorn FCO modifications to my A305.
Continuing the 32-bit theme for March, here are some sets about my Acorn A4:
One of the main features of the A4 is its re-chargeable battery pack. Here's a look at it in detail. This is a look at the PSU for my Acorn A4.
Here's a home-made Econet tester lead, which arrived many years ago and was always regarded as defunct until I repaired it in October 2021. A little look at reading the EPROMs from the two Watford Electronics podules in my A305.
New year, new venue for the latest ABug gathering at a Manchester Travelodge.
1st February 2024 Second month of 2024 looks like this:
In June 2021, Blue Peter Makes... it 6 still needed! A few weeks after the earlier part, the next stage of the BeebRoom came into effect.
This is my first Econet lead, home made and fashioned from the wire off a mouse. This is another early Econet lead I made.
The BeebMaster Econet module may be no more, but fortunately there are alternatives! Here are 6 blank boards designed and manufactured by Ken Lowe, which I bought in August 2021. The Kenda DMFS is one of the more unusual disc interface upgrades for the BBC Micro, and relatively little is known about it.
In August 2021, I brought back my Acorn A305 after 10 years in storage to make another attempt at repairing it. Here's a quick look at using my newly-repaired Archimedes 305 from August 2021.
Another one down in August 2021 with the arrival of Play School. By 2021, probably even a year or two earlier, my JVC DVD recorder was playing up and eating DVDs during almost every recording. After a final attempt to fix it in August 2021, I scrapped it when I bought a replacement - the Sony RDR-HXD770.
This is the first of my two Acorn A4 Econet interfaces, from my Red Tigress machine. Here's the second of my two Acorn A4 Econet interfaces, currently without an A4 to fit to.
1st January 2024 A multitude of picture sets for this 2024 new year update:
My A3010, which was last seen looking like a very sorry old thing, was repaired and returned to me in July 2021. Here's a SCSI enclosure with a Tandberg tape drive.
In July 2021, I started to help with testing a new use for the Raspberry Pi - this time an Econet Bridge and file server! An early look at the Pi Econet Bridge in operation.
At last, it's coming together. You may have seen my temporary setup, but now the permanent arrangement is beginning to take shape from July 2021. This item arrived in June 2021 after I was offered it by a school having a clear-out.
Another addition to my BBC Video laserdisc collection in May 2021. Two "silent" short features starring the Two Ronnies on this "By the Sea and the Picnic" laserdisc.
By tradition at this time of year, I invite you to take a look around my non-Acorn pages, including today's update to my Tea Pages. This set is in fact the last set left over from the previous decade, having been made in August 2019, so it's a nice bit of unfinished business to end this new year update.
Before you go, don't forget to take a look at the BeebShop for all your Econet and Beebing needs. And remember, I've held the price for as long as I can - since before the pandemic in fact - so something is going to have to give very soon! When you've finished buying, please come back in early February for more BeebUpdates!


For previous updates, please see here.