BeebMaster

What's New 2010


See below for the latest updates to BeebMaster


24th December 2010 'Twas the night before BeebMas and all through the house...well, yu'le (!) have to have a look at this year's festive page to find out what!

That's me signing off for 2010, and I hope you'll come back early in the new year to see the next bit of my Domesday extravaganza. I can't promise to be back on 1/1/11 but do please call round during the first week in January!
15th December 2010 A slight detour, first, today before getting back to that business of working with the VP415 Domesday Player. The BeebMaster E-Bay account has been a-buzz with life of late, and this allows me to bring you even more additions to my Domesday collection than I mentioned on 25th November. First is a second Laserdisc Player Remote Control in absolutely tip-top condition, and a second set of Domesday Discs which at long last includes the Domesday Video Disc User Guide.

I've finished the Computer Control section of my VP415 area, adding the remaining 5 picture sets covering two more utilities I have written for working with the VP415 using the BBC micro, called Domesday Control and LVStatus.

With the excitement of the new arrivals, I haven't got round to the video mixing section yet, which I'm afraid is going to have to wait until next year, but I'll make it a priority for January, I promise!

Just before then, there will be one final update before the year is out, so please pop along again just before tucking into the turk!
1st December 2010 Well, the snow hasn't stopped me from operating the BeebMaster Ubuntu box, so I'm back with more! Today's update focuses on using and controlling the Domesday LV-ROM player, from operating the VP415 via Remote Control with 2 picture sets showing how CAV and CLV discs can be used with the remote, to using Computer Control, with 8 new picture sets about SCSI Communications, baud rates, methods of sending F-Codes, using F-Codes with CAV and CLV discs, player F-Code acknowledgements, and my "LVInfo" utility running in CAV and CLV mode.

I'm still nowhere near finished with Domesday 2010, but I wanted to check in today to continue with the monthly updates I've been doing lately and hope to be able to continue in 2011. My computations tell me that there are still another 5 picture sets in the Computer Control heading, and 6 for the new Video Mixing section which I haven't even started yet!

I'm not proposing to keep you waiting till January, so once you've been all the way through today's update, come and have another look in a week or so and I'll try to be back in time!
25th November 2010 Twenty-four years ago today, the Domesday Discs were published, heralding the launch of the world's first multimedia computer. If you think a 24th is an odd anniversary to be commemorating, then perhaps I should say that there are three pretty compelling reasons why!

Firstly, I eventually found time during the summer of 2010 to have a look at my first two laserdisc players, my VP410 and the spare VP415 with the broken drive door, so I thought the anniversary was a good time to bring you a flavour of a summer's worth of tinkering.

Secondly, it became increasingly clear during the summer that having left all my Domesday kit in a heap since I disassembled it in February 2007 hadn't done it any good at all during the intervening three years. I thought I should get as much done now in readiness for the 25th anniversary in case it refuses to work at all in 2011!

Thirdly, and most speciously, I thought that Domesday 2010 had a good ring to it, and so I put together yet another incarnation of the BeebMaster Domesday Machine, which I'm calling "Domesday 2010", which is slightly different to what you might be used to, and is very exciting!

So, allow me to direct you to my Domesday Section where you can discover all about my 2010 Domesday activities. I've revamped the logos a bit, scaling them down slightly so you can see a little bit more of the page before having to start scrolling down, as well as revising the general information in the About Domesday section. I've also fully updated the information relating to all the Required Components as well as adding three new items to my set of Domesday Manuals.

The focus of today's new Domesday 2010 section is all about the the way the BBC AIV computer interacts with the Domesday laserdisc player, and not about the Domesday Discs themselves, so if you were expecting to see some or all of the 639 new screenshots I've made using the Community and National Discs, you'll have to wait quite a bit longer. Instead you can see 9 new picture sets showing the Domesday 2010 setup, recording with Domesday 2010, using Domesday 2010, serial connection, using serial communications, using Terminal, communications mode selection, VFS Utilities ROM and the Blob.

I've also opened up a new section focusing on the VP415 LV-ROM Player showing my original pictures taken when each of my VP415s arrived, plus 7 new picture sets showing a full disassembly of my "dead" LV-ROM player, diagnostics and repair of the dead VP415, various explosions and disasters involving the good VP415, pictures of my VP400 series players' power supplies, and my attempts to repair the one which kept exploding over the summer of 2010.

You'll see that there are also a couple of new sections which haven't surfaced yet: there's still plenty more to come, so please come back shortly, I'm hoping to be back sooner rather than later!

If I can keep you a moment longer, and you're not full to bursting with Laservision, check out my update from a couple of days ago to my Dr. Who pages, which has a laserdisc-related theme!
1st November 2010 There's only one new picture set for today's update, but it's a big one - 63 new images for you to digest - and it's also very significant, because it happens to be the final instalment (for the time being) in my Master 512 section. Today, you can learn all about adding a Winchester disc to the Master 512 here. It's not the end of my Master 512 section; there are still plenty of new things I want to do with the machine, but it could well be a good few years before I get round to doing them, so you'll probably have a long wait if you're a 512 enthusiast!

And just in case you were thinking I've been bone idle for the last month, trying to fob everyone off with a measly single picture set which has been hanging around waiting to be uploaded since 2007, let me say that since about May of this year, I've been heavily involved in some very exciting work involving a particular machine of mine. Anyone following my travails over at the STH forums will know it's not been an easy ride! This particular machine (without giving too much away!) celebrates another anniversary later in the month, so please come back in about 24 days' time to find out what I've been up to for the last six months!
1st October 2010 Today sees a look at some old floppy drives I've had for a while - an early BBC Micro Drive and a Midwich Dual Drive.

You can also have a look round a 128K BBC B+ here and don't forget to take a look at the BeebShop as the Net kits are now back, after I finally found them. They're in limited supply, though, as I'm unlikely to be able to get more parts when the present batch runs out, so if you need to upgrade a BBC B to Econet, please don't delay! You will also find the newest BeebMaster product on sale at the BeebShop - the 32K Sideways RAM module!
1st September 2010 Three and a bit years ago, I had a go at adding a few bits and pieces to an old PC so I could try to use it with 5" discs, ST506 Winchesters and SCSI drives. The idea was to dissolve all my BBC-to-PC file transfer headaches although it didn't quite go to plan - have a look at the Ultimate PC Downgrade here.

Another little bit from the archives too, the last time I did any playing around inside my MDFS - this time to try to fix the Tape Drive.

Finally, it's another instalment in my series all about the Master 512, all about the FastBoot ROM.
1st August 2010 Continuing the theme started last time, you can see a new set on formatting the FileStore E20 here.

I've been allowed out into the community since we last met, and I hope you will take a look at my activites at the Bletchley Park Vintage Computer Festival.
1st June 2010 I should start by thanking everyone who spent a bob or two at the BeebShop, which has gone a long way to helping to pay for my excursion to Bletchley later this month - more of that for the next update!

For the moment, I'm beginning today's update with my oldest unused picture set. These go all the way back to March 2006, getting the light of day for the first time today. It's a set on using my RH Electronics Video Digitiser.

I also found a couple of picture sets I made back in January 2007 about using the FileStore formatter first to verify and then to format and initialise a FileStore Winchester disc. I've added the first set to my pages on Econet Station 254 which you can see here.

Come back soon for more!
1st May 2010 BEEBMASTER'S SEVENTH BIRTHDAY

It's a dual celebration this May day, not only the BeebMaster birthday, but the anniversary also very handily coincides with reaching a new milestone of SIXTY THOUSAND HITS!

I couldn't let the occasion pass without a bit of a sale at the BeebShop - so you can now buy anything you like free of postage & packing charges till 1st June! Please take a look here!

A week ago, I was in Wakefield for the annual RISC-OS show. I took plenty of photos for you all, and I also came back with an exciting bonanza of items - see the whole lot here!

I have also continued in my extensive series on the Master 512 with an update concerning Essential Software's CPFS.

For the first time since 2006, I have updated my linklist which you can see here.

Whilst you're here, please have a rummage round some of my other pages, including my Non-Acorn pages, in particular my Monarchy Pages where you will be able to see a close encounter with a Royal Duke!

And with only a few days till the moment of truth, please have a look at the impartial and authoritative voice of sanity in my General Election Diary.
6th April 2010 Beebing has been temporarily suspended as I focus my attention on the General Election, due on 6th May 2010. I hope you will take a look at my Election Diary, which I am hoping to update as often as I can during the campaign. The updates won't be notified here, so you'll have to go straight to the election homepage for the latest!
15th March 2010 Just when I thought my Econet Clocks page was settled for life, I discovered some pictures of the early SJ Clock which I took back in July 2007, so I've added these and you can see them here.

I have added two new sets to my Master 512 section, on using the Miscellaneous Disc and the Help Utility and I hope you will take a look.
10th January 2010 Happy New Year, and welcome back!

I enjoyed the Superform business just before Christmas so much that I've added a new picture set - using Dircopy.

I have also fully updated my page on Econet Clocks which you can see here.

While you are here, please have a look at my Non-Acorn pages and some of my other main sections, which have been updated for the new year.

If you've got any money left after Christmas, the BeebShop remains your source for all things Beebs, so please take a look if you can.


For previous updates, please see here.