My BBC Master 128

I recently bought a new refurbished BBC Master computer supplied by the lovely people at

The BBC Master is a thirty-year-old microcomputer from Acorn that was popular in school and homes throughout the late eighties. Use of the BBC computers is as synonymous with the eighties as with hoola-hoops, denim jackets, He-man, Saved by the Bell and Margret Thatcher.  This computer truly is a relic of the cold war.

The Master was an improvement on the original BBC model 'B' in that it provided a mighty 128KiB of RAM, enough to power the high-resolution graphics modes available on both hardware and still have available space for your program.

My BBC Master (running Acornsoft Elite) with disc drive, Raspberry Pi and modern PC.
The computer arrived in excellent condition.  Retroclinic have done a wonderful job in refurbishing the machine.

And so, with social life cancelled, I have spent the weekend exploring what my 'beeb' can do.

The package included a dozen or so games on disc, including Repton, Elite and (possible the greatest of all...) Baron.

The murderous 8-bit skeleton army from Baron.

The internals of the machine also contain a couple of games: Acorn's own 'Pac Man' clone 'Snapper' and 'Chuckie Egg'.  They never made 'Chuckie Egg' the movie, which is a shame, as the late, great, David Bowie would have made an excellent killer-duck boss.

ROMS include among others:

  • VIEW (Acorn's word-processor)
  • ViewSheet (Acorn's spreadsheet program)
  • EDIT (Text and programming-code editor)
  • CMOS RAM (battery powered Y2K-fixed settings and internal clock)
My projects

If the BBC Master is going to earn it's position as pride of place on my desk, then I want to turn the computer into an everyday productivity machine.  Playing old games for nostalgia's sake is fun, however I can do that using emulation.

So I intend to write a suite of programs for everyday use.

First of all a note-taking/list app.  Then a calculator program and finally an alarm clock/calendar app.

The BBC Master has no access to the network and only a 200K disc for storage.  Also I don't have access to a library of program code - everything has to be coded in the original beeb BASIC.

Let's go!

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