More Power!! aka When the Master becomes a Master Turbo!

This is something that the geek in me has wanted for a long time now.

The exact origins of this desire are lost, even to me, in the mists of time. The only remaining hint to the initial pangs is the love I had as a kid for the game Elite.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…

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My BBC Master upgraded with an internal 6502 co-processor (or a 65C102 to be precise).

What is that? you ask.

Well, the original core prcessor of the BBC Master was a 65SC12 processor running at 2Mhz. This co-processor runs at a blisteringly fast 4Mhz and comes with 64K of onboard RAM. With this beauty added, software can run on the new, faster processor, whilst the slower core processor becomes dedicated to handling the comptuer’s IO. Communication between the co-processor and the rest of the system is done over the interface called the ‘Tube’.
The daughterboard that the coprocessor sits on fits rather snuggly inside the BBC Master.

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One of the best examples of the added capabilites that this adds to the machine is Elite. The ‘Tube’ enhanced version of Elite has less disk access during the game and presents the player with a greater variety of ships and ship behaviour in-game.

Whilst fitting this upgrade, it became necessary to replace my cheap and cheerfull DualOS upgrade I’d already made with a slightly more robust version that provided support for the co-processor.

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Again, I must say a big “Thank You!” to Mark from Retroclinic for being the source of these retro goodies.

I’m still planning on the USB upgrade that i’ve mentioned before… maybe next month!

Atom Power!

More 8-bit computing goodness!

OK, so illness leads to boredom, boredom leads to cupboard sorting, cupboard sorting leads to retro computing fun! (apparently).

Acorn Atom

This is an Acorn Atom, produced circa 1980.
It was the precursor to the Acorn Proton (Better known to you and me as the BBC Micro).

This was my very first computer, and after 20+ years of storage (most of that in my parents loft) – it still works!

Display problems

As you can see, resurrecting the beast wasn’t without hitch, however this problem turned out to be down to the portable TV I had it hooked up doesn’t seem to like the frequency the Atom uses for it’s UHF output.

This was worked around by plugging it into my Plasma TV instead!!

Plasma Power!

So there, we go! It works! Now all I got to do is decide what to do with it now it’s up and running…