Acorn BBC Master

This is the Acorn BBC Master, the sucessor to the famous Model B. The Master brought many improvements including more memory, 4 sound channels, twin cartridge sockets, and several built-in ROM software packages. The main problem with the Master was the fact that many B model software didn’t run correctly.

Because of that th model I bought is highly customized. It has a ROM selector switch that allows me to boot from OS 1.2, OS 2.0 and MOS 3.5. That way I can change the mode based on what software I want to run. My computer also came with a 500 MByte Compact Flash Hard Drive and best of all, a S-Video output connector while allows me to avoid all the weird SCART workarounds. I also got a regular 5.25″ floppy drive because a lot of older software does not run correctly from the hard disk – you have to burn it to floppies and boot from it.

The case and keyboard on this computer are in great shape. The thing looks like a tank and it was not easy to import from the UK. Luckly I found a guy in Manchester who worked with me on it. I do have to say that the games overall don’t look as good as some of the contemporary rivals (like MSX) but they are still lots of fun. The BBC Basic is very powerful though, much more than the usual MS Basic of that time. This is just an awesome addition to my collection.

Technical Specs:

NAME  BBC Master
MANUFACTURER  Acorn Computer
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  February 1986
END OF PRODUCTION  1993
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  BBC BASIC IV
interpreter
KEYBOARD  Full stroke 93 key with
numeric keypad and 10 function keys
CPU  65C102 (an evolution of the
6502)
SPEED  2 MHz.
RAM  128 KB
ROM  128 KB (Expandable)
TEXT MODES  40/80 x 25 lines, 20/40/80 x
32, Teletex mode (40 x 25 x 8 colours)
GRAPHIC MODES  160/320/640 x 256 dots in 2 to
8 colours
COLORS  8 among 16
SOUND  4 chanels, 8 octaves – SN76489
sound generator
SIZE  46.7 (W) x 34.5 (D) x 7.5 (H)
cm.
I/O PORTS  Tube expansion, BBC High Speed
Bus, FDD interface, User interface, RS423 serial, Analog, Econet network,
Parallel, tape recorder, TV/RF, RGB & Composite outputs, S-Video (custom for my machine)
BUILT IN MEDIA  Cassette & FDD
interfaces
OS  OS 1.2, OS 2.0 and MOS 3.5 (via custom ROM switch)
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in switching power
supply unit
PERIPHERALS  External FDD unit, processor
card, etc.
PRICE  £499
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