@Retrochallenge – The Man From Auntie

BBC Master

The BBC Master that I recently snagged on Ebay has finally arrived, along with a Microvitec Cub monitor and an Opus dual disc drive unit.  It arrived in a pretty grim state, the Master was fairly thick with dust and the monitor seriously grimy.  I cleaned up the computer unit and will tackle the monitor tomorrow.


BBC Master Welcome Guide

I knew the sensible thing to do would be to open up the computer and give it an internal clean whilst also checking for leaked batteries and unseated chips.  However I instead plugged it all in and powered it up.

Fortunately everything worked, well almost.  I was greeted on the screen by the text:-

Acorn MOS

This is not a language


I made the assumption that this was down to a failed CMOS battery and restarted the machine with the ‘R’ key pressed to reset the CMOS configuration.  A quick search led me to the default configuration which I entered and following a CTRL/Break reset I was up and running.  My guess is that I will be presented with the same issue when I next power up and a battery replacement will be in order.

In Working Order

In Working Order

A fair pile of old and pretty tatty disks also came with the computer so I attempted to read a few them with no luck.  It seemed inevitable that some of them would have failed but I was surprised that I was unable to read any of them.  Another quick search led me to realise I needed to change from the ADFS to DFS filing system to read them.

I successfully formatted some new disks in both 40 and 80 track mode but have as yet had no luck copying files backwards and forwards between the dual drives.  I’m also having no luck using Omnidisk to transfer disk images onto floppy but I shall persevere.

Ideally I’d like to get the Yahtzee code transferred onto floppy so that I can continue development on the Master and relive the school computer studies class experience as closely as possible.

Formatting Disks

Formatting Disks

On the other hand I can imagine spending the last few days of the challenge cleaning up computer and monitor, replacing the battery pack and possibly installing some sort of solid state  disk drive.

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