BBC computer: Software packages and related materials

Click on the thumbnails for full size pictures which are mostly 1600x1200 pixels / ca. 350 KB.

Elite badges

The Elite badge that Acornsoft sent to people who sent in their 'order of the Elite' postcard with the code they got at Elite level (even outside the UK, at least to the Netherlands as I know someone here who has one; So I should just have sent in my registration card!):


I've seen this badge just 4 times (webimages/real) in the last 4 years... (Update: I saw this offered about 4 times on ebay in 2009, so I've seen it about 8 times in total on the web or in real life)

Another Elite badge, also from Acornsoft. This is the only one of this kind I've ever seen (Update: I saw another on ebay in 2009). I'm not sure which of these two came first, but I think this one is a later one, from end of 1985:

They're both pretty cool!

Finally a third pin (which looks to be gold plated). Although first advertised as a badge for/from the Acornsoft/Superior version of Elite by the seller, I don't think this is the case. I bought this from someone who worked as a PR consultant for Firebird, and he now thinks he got it from them. This sounds plausible as the Elite figure is gold (yellow) on the Elite boxes of games produced by Firebird; I've seen a number of pictures of such boxes, e.g. for the ZX spectrum and PC.

Dave Moore found the following web page which confirms this: http://www.birdsanctuary.co.uk/sanct/s_mem.php which says: "The Elite badge was a very exclusive badge only given to people who reached Elite status, and a few others who worked or did work for Firebird. It has to be said that the Firebird produced badge is not as detailed as the badge originally created by Acorn, but it's still a very nice badge!". I disagree with the "not as detailed" bit, as you can see for yourself above, it's just as good (some parts are a bit less detailed, others a bit more; overall it looks a bit more refined than the Acornsoft badges to me).

I've seen this badge twice: on the above page and the one I have...

Here are all three of them in natural light:

Note: See my Elite page on some persistant claims about numbers sold vs. numbers of BBC micro's.


3deep space, with the 3d glasses (which are usually missing, one of those things that tend to get lost...):


I found it very hard to see the 3D effect btw. I kept seeing either the red or the blue image. Maybe it's because of the Eizo monitor I use with my BBC micro? Perhaps I should have tried longer than a few minutes but I had no problems for example seeing the 3D effects in a recent episode of a TV series that had 3D sections, without having to try hard.


Illegal copies of software

The tape on the left from ECD (in delft), on the right from unknown supplier:

The right one cost fl. 55,- for 2 games that would cost ca. fl. 80,- for originals.

See also scans of photocopies that were distributed by ECD, with the prices of those copied cassettes and disks. I.e. fl. 18,- per cassette, and fl.14,- for each additional cassette in case you had bought a BBC computer from them. Otherwise: double the price!

ECD made commercial software for the Atom (AXR 1 and AXR 2 toolboxes, possibly more) and for the BBC computer (Beebtel). I wonder what they thought of others pirating their software...


Programming languages

Interface: Ruston Basic compiler

The Basic compiler is rather restricted (16 bit unsigned integers only for example), and although simple programs worked fine, a bigger less trivial program gave a compile time error which did not make clear what the real problem was, so I gave up on it.

Level: 9 RQ FORTH:


Altra ROMs

Hard to find, so here are a few images to show what their packages look like:

Altra Probe 2:

Altra Basic editor, tube version:

Altra Editor, tube version:


Acornsoft ROMs

Acornsoft 6502 development package: a macro assembler, disassembler, editor etc. to develop assembler software using the 6502 2nd processor. Already shown in the autumn 1983 catalogue, this package was finally released at the end of 1985:

Acornsoft BCPL, BCPL calculations package, BCPL standalone generator:


Bitstik 2 upgrade kit

The real difference between a bitstik and a a bitstik2 is the software (in particular the plotter software is now included). This box upgrades a standard Acorn bitstik to the later version.

[ All images from subdirs, unsorted. ]


Acornsoft disc types

Acornsoft discs were produced in 40 track format and later in 40/80 dual format. Many different labels were used, 4 types for the 40 track format. If you're a collector, this is bad news! :->

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