BeebMaster

What's New 2013


Please see below for this year's updates to BeebMaster


24th December 2013 And a Christmas update as well, you lucky lot! The 2013 BeebMaster festive offering is the latest entry in my occasional "Christmas is a time for..." series, and if you click here you'll find out what!
1st December 2013 Yes, there's a December update too, just a week after the Dr Who birthday celebration!

See my Dr Who birthday Dalek cake here, or have a look at my three new Domesday related picture sets with an updated version of my VFS Utilities ROM, my VP Communications library and a set about Remote Control and Acknowledgements.
23rd November 2013 50 years ago today, at 5.16.20pm, a new television programme was broadcast on the BBC, and it began the greatest science-fiction phenomenon the world has ever known - I hope you will visit my Doctor Who pages to learn all about my celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary!
1st November 2013 November is traditionally the time of year that I turn my attention to the Domesday System. 2013 isn't a major Domesday anniversary, but consulting the BeebMaster PhotoBank tells me that I have stored up 63 Domesday-related picture sets, comprising a total of 1,673 images totalling 133,510,052 bytes dating back to June 2010. I thought I'd better get a shift on, so today you can take a look at my new section on Domesday Quirks and Curiosities with 15 new picture sets.

I've also expanded my section on VFS, going into some of the more esoteric detail of working with the Videodisc Filing System, and you can see six new picture sets here.

There is a major anniversary I'm celebrating later this month involving something else I'm interested in which you may have read about elsewhere within this domain - so please call back slightly earlier than normal - say in about three weeks two days from now - for my next update!
1st October 2013 A selection of bits and bats for this October update: we're starting with an Acorn Midi 1MHz Bus Analogue User Port podule.

I've rearranged the section on My Beebs to make it flow in a more logical order and I've split up my Cheese Wedges section a bit. I've replaced the 2004 pictures of my Torch Z80 with new images from 2009 and I'm bringing you the first pictures of my Acorn Music 500.

If you'd like to know how to ruin an Acorn A4 by pulling it apart, then you might like to take a look at my Red Tigress A4 here.
1st September 2013 A networking theme today, beginning with another unusual 8-bit item, an Ethernet adapter that plugs into the Econet connectors of the Master 128, which you can see here.

I've also decided to start a bit of an overhaul of the section on My Econet, which has become rather out of date. The pages relating to each of my Econet stations haven't been updated since at least 2007, so I've put on the to-do-list a new set of photos and descriptions. Until these are ready - which, if the current rate of progress is my yardstick, may take a good while! - I've itemised some of the most significant changes in a revamped index page for my Econet, which now contains a timeline showing the development of the BeebMaster Econet, and current information about the layout and stations on my network. You can also see Station 114 being brought into service and my most recent network expansion in January 2012.

I'm also bringing you close-up pictures of my second A4 Econet module which shows the board in more detail than my earlier pages on my A4 with Econet board installed.

I've updated the BeebLinks section, which prompted me to finally finish remodelling all the section logos, so everything is looking consistent now.
1st August 2013 A focus on some unusual 8-bit items today, with a look at a Watford Electronics Disc Sharer, Solidisk Dual Floppy Disc Controller and a Keyboard Adapter.

The BeebShop Sale is still on, so don't forget to pop by for a bargain!
22nd July 2013 I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone that today the Royal Baby was born! In case you missed the news, you can see my special homepage announcement here.

And in case you were wondering, I couldn't let the occasion pass without a celebratory sale at the BeebShop! For a whole month, there's 22.0713% off everything!
1st July 2013 Some serious 32-bittiness today, with a very, very detailed look at working my Acorn NC.

If that leaves you cold, how about some original boxed Acornsoft titles from 1982 and 1983? I've added an Acornsoft section to my Special Features section which you can see here.
2nd June 2013 Today is Coronation Day, and that means it's exactly sixty years ago since the Coronation took place. I've got a very special set of updates today to my Monarchy Pages which I hope you'll take a look at.

On the BeebFront, I should say a thank-you to all those who took the opportunity to cop for a BeebShop bargain during the birthday sale, and commiserations to everyone who missed out!

With all the birthday celebrations over, I'm returning to the point I'd reached just before decamania took over, continuing the theme on my Acorn Atoms. Today you can have a look at the first part of a set I made back in December 2009 showing the Atom in use.
1st May 2013 10 years of BeebMaster!

Well, today's the day I notch up a decade online! It's become rather a tradition in these annual birthday updates for me to thank everyone who has been in touch over the last year. I feel I must extend a very special thank-you to all those who - since 2003 - have sent in pictures or information, sold me something, given me something, bought something, repaired something, given me positive encouragement, come to see me at a show, and even to those who write in every week hoping I can help them with replacement keytops or keyswitches for Beebs.

If you haven't had a look at my 10th anniversary site yet, please go here.

Last time, I promised that my 1st May update would have a further set on using my new US BBC Model B. Well, I've excelled myself with six new sets. These concentrate on the American version of the BBC micro operating system which would have been used when these machines were originally shipped to the USA. Please click here to learn all about how I managed to properly record the NTSC output of the US OS, the different screen modes in the NTSC version, the upsetting absence of a start-up RAM message, trying to display Teletext pages, using the UK version of the Welcome Suite, trying out some games, and finally, a look at Elite.

Since I last checked in with you, I've been to the annual Wakefield RISC-OS show. I thought the attendance at this year's show was up on the last few years, which is a positive sign which I hope is going to be repeated in future years. My own BeebMaster anniversary stall proved to be very popular, partly due to free cake! I hope you will click here to see my pictures from the show, from preparations a few days before, to setting up and the day of the show itself, plus several bonus sets showing the publicity displays I produced for the show, and a look at some of the bounty I brought back!

To thank you all for your support over the past ten years, I'm announcing a month-long sale at the BeebShop so I hope you'll pop along for 10 per cent off everything till 1st June!

I'm having a rest now after all this Birthday exhilaration - but I'll be back early next month; hope to see you again soon!
9th April 2013 Here we go, the suspense is over! I've updated my section on my new US Beeb with 8 new picture sets - click here to be taken to my 2013 US Beeb site to see all the pictures, from arrival to first use, to US OS, to OS ROMs, to making the German OS, to testing the US OS, to testing the German OS, to using the German OS, to using the German OS with DFS, to using the German OS with Econet, to cleaning my new Beeb to make it look a bit more presentable, to using DFS, to using the Speech interface!

Fairly comprehensive, I hope you'll agree - but there is still one more picture set I'm going to do - but you'll have to hang on just a little bit longer to see it!

This update also sees the publication of two official BeebMaster 10th birthday photographs - showing my 2013 US Beeb of course! Take a look here to see the new replica of my original 1990s BBC setup.

It's under two weeks till the Wakefield Show - I hope you will be able to come and see my at the BeebMaster stall on 20th April - for more information about this year's show, have a look at my Wakefield pages.
1st April 2013 I've spent the last two weeks playing with my new "US Beeb" and making picture sets showing it from all angles and in operation. Owning and using a US BBC Model B for the first time since the early 1990s has brought back so many memories. Quite a few things weren't exactly as I remembered though, and hardly anything went to plan in my efforts to replicate the famous start-up message of my 1990s Beeb - I hope you will visit my anniversary pages given over to my First Beeb and its 2013 counterpart.

I've left things on a bit of a cliff-hanger for you, but there is plenty more to come! I'm not going to make you wait a whole month to find out how things turn out - so please check back in a few days for more!
1st March 2013 My 10th anniversary site is now open here, and as promised, you can see my first-ever online effort, BeebSales as well as a pre-launch edition of BeebMaster from 20th April 2003 here.

Sadly, I don't have a copy of the site as it looked on the launch date of 1st May 2003 - if you've got it stored somewhere, please let me know!

If you were also anticipating a surprise extra bit to today's update in addition to what I announced last time, then read on! The first part of the surprise is in fact a bit of a surprise to me, because just over a week ago, I had an offer of a lift down to the RISC-OS South West Show near Weston-super-Mare. I jumped at the chance, and today I can bring you pictures from my first computer show appearance of 2013 here.

The second part of the surprise is that I've been tinkering with the logo again. I still wasn't happy with the "M", far too many artefacts remained in the image I had been using all this time, a scan from April 2003, so I have re-drawn it completely. I've also changed the text colour back to the original shade of blue used previously. The owl still needs a going over, but not yet!

You know what's coming on 1st April, so it won't be an April fool. There may also be a surprise, or there may not, but the only way to find out is to call back in a month's time!
12th February 2013 Hello again! I couldn't wait till March, I just had to tell you what is going to be happening between now and May! Get a load of this:

1st March 2013 update: a few days ago, I found archive copies of some of my earliest online activities - you will be able to see the original "BeebSales" pages from January 2003 and a pre-release edition of "BeebMaster" dating from April 2003!

1st April 2013 update: my first ever BBC micro setup, from about 1990, was a second-hand Model B, which turned out to be a US version, plus a single 40/80 track Viglen floppy disc drive with utilities disc. It was all given away in the mid 1990s, but in 2011, I tracked down an original of the Viglen utilities disc I used to use, after about ten years of searching, in a haul rescued from a former Yorkshire TV engineer! Just a few days ago, a replacement US BBC Model B arrived at BeebMaster Towers. I haven't even opened it yet, but by the April update, I will be able to bring you pictures of the replica of my first-ever Beeb setup!

20th April 2013:

Save this date, it is the 2013 Wakefield Show, and I'm having my own little exhibition stand to celebrate ten years of BeebMaster! There will be a pictoral potted history of BeebMaster, one or two display items representing crucial developments over the last decade and, if I can get it working, a natty little bit of software which will do something that's never been attempted before!

1st May 2013 update: the anniversary date itself will see my usual monthly update focus on pictures and reports from the Wakefield show. If I enjoy myself enough, I might even do it all over again in the autumn!

I'm sure you will have spotted that I've had another go at the main logo. The 2008 logo was an improvement on the 2003 original but I've never been totally happy with it. This time, I've made the background out of solid colour instead of a scanned pattern, I've completely re-drawn the Acorn and cleaned up the Owl and the M. I've also re-set the overlay text, increased the image DPI and changed the size to 512 pixels across. I'm not totally happy yet, but I'd say I'm fairly happy, and as with everything else on this website, it's a work-in-progress and I'm gradually getting there!

I think the 2013 logo looks sharper and more vibrant, and fit to take me into my second decade! Don't forget to come back on 1st March to get a glimpse of how it all began!
2nd February 2013 My 10th birthday plans are well under way, and I'm hoping to be able to announce more in my March update, or if I can't contain my excitement till then, possibly I may be back later this month with details!

To fend off the tenterhooks till then, you can see new pictures of all four of my Acorn Atoms in my newly-extended Atom pages here.
1st January 2013 Well, what will 2013 bring? Apart from the sixtieth anniversary of the Coronation and 50 years of Doctor Who, it's going to be 10 years of BeebMaster.

If reading these pages over the last decade hasn't given you the Econet bug, let's hope that today's update will spur you on: if you've ever wondered how you can use a modern compact flash drive with the Acorn Level 3 Econet file server, then this set here is for you; plus here's a set all about using the FileStore File Server, and if that wasn't enough, an introduction to programming with Econet is here. Finally in this early 2013 Econetfest, I've updated my Acorn Econet Bridge pages with new photographs and revised text, which can be found here.


For previous updates, please see here.