What's New 2006


See below for the latest updates to BeebMaster


30th December 2006 For the final update of 2006, I have at long last completed all the Domesday anniversary updates. There are brand-new sections on using the National Disc and the Community Disc within VFS.

I have now decommissioned my Domesday Machine for a well-deserved rest. Just before doing so, I had a go at trying to communicate with the LV-ROM player via ADFS. I didn't get very far, but you can see my efforts here.

That's the end of the Domesday updates, a few weeks later than anticipated and not quite as extensive as I had hoped, but very worthwhile nonetheless, I think you'll agree! In the new year there will be a whole host of new items making an appearance, so please check back in 2007 for more!

Just before I go, I am very excited to announce that the BeebMaster Econet Clock will be available very soon. I received the prototype a short while ago and the first batch of clocks should be here and ready for dispatch by the end of January. You can have a sneak preview and place advance orders at the BeebShop.
24th December 2006 Today's update sees a brand-new set of screenshots of the fascinating Community Disc Essay plus replacement picture sets on the National Disc Help Text and the Community Disc Help Text.

That's the final update before Christmas, so I will say a very Merry Christmas to everyone, and I hope that you will pop back just before the New Year for the final Domesday update in this special extended anniversary celebration!

Just before I go, for anyone with Domesday fatigue, here's something completely different! It's the second entry in my "Christmas is a time for..." series. This year's theme is "Christmas is a time for buying yourself presents!" so I did and they are here!
19th December 2006 I've started to replace the old screenshots with new images produced using the new method I mentioned previously. I am sure you will notice the difference immediately. I have begun by replacing the picture sets on using the Videodisc Filing System, so you can see new screenshots on Using the VFS Filing System Commands, VFS configuration commands, and the VFS mouse commands.

I still have 130 other screenshots to upload, mainly of the Domesday Machine in action in situations where the laserdisc output is not used, so there will be another update before Christmas and probably a further update just before the New Year.

In the meantime, you may like to take a look at my updated section "About BeebMaster", taking into account the latest BeebMaster developments up to the end of 2006. So if you've ever wondered how I got into all this or what makes me tick, you may find some answers here. In view of the advances I have made recently in screenshot picture quality, I have updated my section on Picture Quality with a new section on adding colour to the Composite Video signal here.
13th December 2006 The more chronologically-conscious amongst you will not have failed to observe that it's getting on for the middle of December and I haven't yet completed all the Domesday anniversary updates I first mentioned at the beginning of November.

The bad news is that there has been an unavoidable delay, but let's get the good news out of the way first! I have completed my Domesday Rescue section, will full illustrated details of my activities over the last three months or so in preserving and rescuing the contents of the Domesday discs, and I hope you will take a look.

My intention, as would have been apparent from the ambitious promises of updates I made on 1st November, was to produce new picture sets of the Domesday System in action, replacing all the existing sets and quite a few new sets as well. Sadly this has proved impossible as I have been unable to find a way of making a high-quality recording of the screen output from the Domesday Machine. Videos and DVD recorders simply do not want to record the Domesday Machine's output combining the laserdisc picture and genlocked BBC overlay. All I get is the LV-ROM picture with the BBC bit coming out so faintly as to make it impossible to read. I am working on this and I will get it figured out eventually, but until then all my new picture sets of the Domesday System running will have to wait!

However, I have been made aware of an ingenious little procedure which has allowed me to make high-quality colour recordings of the BBC micro using the Composite Video socket. This has enabled me to make new picture sets of the Domesday Help text and some of the technical picture sets on using the Videodisc Filing System. At the moment I have 146 new pictures, so there will be at least one more Domesday update before Christmas, so I hope you will check back for more!
30th November 2006 BEEBMASTER CELEBRATES 20,000 HITS!!

I think all the exciting updates during this Domesday Month have certainly helped as I wasn't expecting to get to 20,000 until about Christmas! Let's see if we can notch up 25,000 by BeebMaster's birthday next May!

For today's update, you can see pictures of all the AIV laserdiscs released, with brand new pictures of the Volcanoes Disc, Countryside Disc, City Disc, and the North Polar Expedition Disc.

That's it for November. It's been one of the busiest months since BeebMaster began and reaching 20,000 hits has been a great bonus! I am grateful to everyone who has taken the trouble to look at my website, to those who have been in touch with stories, advice and helpful information and also to those who came and went without feeling the need to drop me a line! I hope you will pop back soon for more updates before the year is out!
25th November 2006 Today is Domesday Day! Or should that simply be Domes Day?! Either way, today is the exact twentieth anniversary of the BBC's publication of the Domesday Discs. There is a whole host of exciting updates today to coincide with the anniversary:

- I have finished the picture sets for the B side of the National Disc so you can now see all 293 pictures from Images of the 1980s.
- new pictures of my own set of Domesday Discs and Ecodisc.
- a revised and updated section on all the components of BeebMaster's Domesday Machine, including brand-new pictures of the 65C102 co-processor, VP-415 laserdisc player, High Resolution Monitor, Tracker Ball, Remote Control, SCSI Lead, and Video Leads.

There's still some to come, so check back before the end of the month for more!
15th November 2006 Ten days to go until the 20th anniversary of the publication of the BBC Domesday Discs, so I thought I had better be getting on with the anniversary updates!

Today there's more from the Images of the 1980s with 1981, 1982 and 1983.

You can also see brand new pictures of my 20th anniversary Domesday setup here.
10th November 2006 At long last the first of my proper Domesday updates!

I have reorganised my main Domesday section with a revised section About the Domesday Project and two new sections, one on my Domesday Rescue efforts and the other detailing the full set of AIV laserdiscs. Although the new structure is in place, I haven't finished all the new sections yet, so please keep checking back later this month for more updates!

I have used my new DVD recorder to help me produce some images of the B side of the National Disc. In all there will 293 pictures, so that's a lot to upload in one go! I've made a start with 1980 so please take a look here.
5th November 2006 Right, the MDFS update I promised at the beginning of the month is here. It's a bit later than I'd hoped but I've spent the weekend recording the video contents of the Domesday Discs onto DVD so that I can make the high quality screenshots I promised you last time!

That's all the housekeeping out of the way, so please come back soon for the first of this month's main Domesday updates!
1st November 2006 November is Domesday month here at BeebMaster!

It's hard to believe that a whole 20 years have elapsed since the launch of the Domesday Machine. The Domesday Discs were published on 25th November 1986 so this month is going to see a series of exciting Domesday updates to mark this special anniversary.

Please come back regularly over the next four weeks to see:

- my special 20th anniversary Domesday Machine setup, now almost complete with internal 65C102 co-processor and trackerball
- pictures of all the Advanced Interactive Video Discs ever produced!!
- new, high quality pictures of my Domesday Discs and Ecodisc
- new, high quality screenshots of the Community Disc and National Disc in action
- new, high quality screenshots of the fascinating "B" side of the National Disc
- new, high quality pictures of the component parts of the Domesday System, including the LV-ROM player and trackerball
- a redesigned and revamped Domesday section with updated information on the Domesday Project
- pictures of my own effort to preserve the contents of the Domesday Discs before they crumble to dust, using BBC Master, 16MB ARM Co-processor, Acorn A5000 with SCSI, Level 4 Econet and SJ Research MDFS!!!!!

But before all that...

There's a little bit of tidying up to do. I like to get things done in the right order, and a vital part of my little Domesday preservation exercise was my upgraded A5000 as well as a special configuration of my MDFS. So I need to show you these items before we go any further.

Today you can see the final two parts of my A5000 picture set here.

In a couple of days I will bring you pictures of how I set up my MDFS for its important Domesday duties. After that we can get on with the Domesday updates proper!
30th October 2006 Quite a big update today, with the first pictures of my new A5000. There are going to be 4 picture sets in all but for the moment I've only got round to the first two. Please click here to see more.
11th October 2006 Today you can take a look at one of the early 32-bit Acorns, my Archimedes A410/1.

For anyone toiling with deteriorating 5" disc drives or having trouble getting 3" drives working with your Beebs, I am now supplying correctly set-up 3" floppy disc drives at the BeebShop.
1st October 2006 Quite a while back - well, last Wednesday - I decided to use 1st October to launch my new BeebShop domain - www.BeebShop.co.uk.

If you haven't been to the BeebShop for a while, there are one or two new items to look at, and specially for the launch today, I have brought in a new express purchasing experience for your enjoyment! Oh yes! Just click on the "Buy Now" buttons next to some of my most popular items and you will be taken to a PayPal instant payment screen for your own convenience! I hope they work...

I am pleased to announce that the BeebMaster Econet clock is on the way! Hopefully the first batch will be here in time to fill your Christmas stockings. These brand-new units are being made to order and the price range is going to be 50-60.

There's more! Yes, truly! As promised last month, a rare and exciting item: my Acorn Reuters Board.
27th September 2006 Just a quick update today to fulfil my promise to bring you something very exciting - it's the new ARM Co-Processor which takes the memory capacity and processing power of the humble Beeb to an astronomical level!

A much bigger update on the ARM Co-Processor in action will be coming soon, but before I forget: I know there are quite a few pages floating about where I have mentioned further updates are on the way. I haven't always got round to these as quickly as I might hope and some of them have escaped my mind altogether. So if there's something I've promised which hasn't turned up yet then please get in touch!
5th September 2006 The much-awaited final part of my illustrated guide to Level 3 Econet is here.

Just an update on the Econet Starter Kit - I've begun to look at new ways of providing Econet cabling and socket boxes, and the initial tests I have done have been very impressive. I am making some progress in getting some new Econet clock boxes made and I have at long last been able to get hold of a new supply of 68B54 chips for the Econet upgrade kits, so the Econet Starter Kit is looking promising but I can't yet say when it will be available!

I've noticed that it's been a bit of an Econet frenzy with the updates lately, so I am going to have a bit of change with the next couple of updates to bring you some very exciting and very rare Acorn items!
14th August 2006 I've finally got around to the second part of my illustrated guide to Level 3 Econet, which you can see here. Come back soon for part 3!
8th July 2006 I said it wouldn't be long before I started my illustrated guide to Level 3 Econet. It is in 3 parts, and the first part can be seen here.
30th June 2006 I want to start by thanking everyone who took advantage of the BeebShop's Queen's Birthday Sale, which has helped me shift some excess gear and raised some very welcome funds for the BeebMaster coffers. Every penny raised by the BeebShop gets re-invested into BeebMaster and the BeebShop, so grateful thanks to all of my most recent customers!

I have been giving some thought to putting together an Econet Starter Kit, containing Econet interfaces, socket boxes, DIN leads, cable, terminators and the all-important Econet clock. If there is any interest in taking this idea forward, please let me know.

In the meantime, I have finally put together my section on Level 3 Econet for today's update, with the illustrated guide to follow very shortly!
10th June 2006 For today's update, there is the second of my illustrated Econet guides, this time instructions on how to set up the Level 2 File Server.

There's only a week left in the BeebShop Queen's Birthday Sale, so get a bargain now while you can!
1st May 2006 BEEBMASTER'S THIRD BIRTHDAY!

It's been another successful year for BeebMaster with my Acorn collection expanding like never before. I have obtained some pretty rare items over the last twelve months, some of which I have already published and some I am saving for a rainy day (but not today!)

In the meantime, as a quick reference guide, you can have a look at my Beeb Inventory.

For today's birthday updates, please take a look at the first picture set of my spare Master 512. I have also fulfilled a promise I made some time ago by putting together the first illustrated Econet guide, starting with Level 1 Econet.

Please don't forget to take a look at my Non-BBC pages and take advantage of the very special Queen's 80th Birthday Sale at the BeebShop!
21st April 2006 BEEBMASTER SAYS HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MA'AM

A momentous day of national celebration as Her Most Excellent Majesty The Queen reaches 80. I have taken this joyous occasion to launch my Monarchy Pages so I do hope you will take a look.

There is a celebratory special offer at the BeebShop with all items at 80% of their marked prices!!!!
7th April 2006 BEEBMASTER CELEBRATES 15,000 HITS!!

Another milestone for BeebMaster today, and so close to the BeebMaster anniversary next month! There is another little surprise coming before then, so pop back in a couple of weeks to find out what!

In the meantime, I should like to extend my customary thanks to all those who have visited BeebMaster since last August, allowing me to notch up another 5,000 hits. Thanks also to all those who have been in touch with tales of Beebs of old, enquiries about things going wrong, lists of Acorn serial numbers or even orders for the BeebShop! If you want to say anything about anything Acorn-related then please do get in touch!

An Econet related update today, MDFS-related to be exact: using the
MDFS tape drive.
6th March 2006 I am pleased to announce pictures of my Master ET, but with a few additions making it sort of half-way between an ET and a Master 128. You can see it here.
20th February 2006 For today's update, you can see the RH Electronics Video Digitiser, the only third-party Cheese Wedge I have ever seen.

This is my first update since BeebMaster finally went broadband earlier this month. For the time being, I am sticking to the existing picture quality rules, keeping the images under 100K as far as possible with a maximum horizontal size of 800 pixels. Now that I can upload larger files more easily, there is a possibility that I could make available higher quality images of existing pictures. I have kept all 1,601,032,215 bytes of the 1,207 original images taken with my digital cameras since November 2003 so I will consider all requests to publish higher quality images of pictures already on BeebMaster.
16th January 2006 Shortly before the festivities of 2005, I was ordered to tidy up the BeebMaster Workshop (a.k.a. Dining Room). I think I made a good job of it and you can see the result here. Take a close look for some previously unseen BeebMaster items!
1st January 2006 Happy New Year, and what a year 2006 promises to be! It is a momentous year of anniversaries for 8-bit Acorns. Can you believe it is now 25 years since the BBC Microcomputer was launched, and 20 years since the Master series came out! November will see the twentieth anniversary of the Domesday Project and I am planning a big update to my Domesday Section to coincide with this later in the year.

I thought I would start the new year with a close look at one of my recent acquisitions, a BBC Model B+ with 1770 disc interface.


For previous updates, please see here.