“Hello World” on the BBC Micro

You too can create a simple “HELLO WORLD” loop on the BBC Micro by visiting the Virtualbeeb website.

You can also play a selection of games! I used to play Elite on the C64 and that’s where I got my demoscene handle from but I had never played it on the BBC.

On the C64 it’s a single load. The whole game fits into 64KB of memory. No loading from tape or disk once it loads, but I was shocked to hear the virtual disk drive start up when I launched out of the space station! Once into space the reassuring sight of the local planet loomed in front of me. S and X, < and > changes my direction of flight while A fires.

I can’t remember how to slow down so my attempts to fly back to the station and dock again didn’t work out so well!

My secondary school didn’t have this machine. We had a dozen or so Commodore 64s so this was probably my first time using one and it was fascinating. Even if it is only an 8 bit machine, I still think it’s amazing we can emulate it in a browser in JavaScript.

If you’re nostalgic for the BBC Micro you’ll love the Virtualbeeb!


Building the BBC Micro

I never used the BBC Micro much but it was a prominent feature of schools across Ireland the UK in the 80s and early 90s.

I love that Professor Steve Furber’s admitted they didn’t know why certain chips worked or the work arounds they needed to get other bits working!