8-Bit Software Online Conversion

The Archimedes BBC Emulator *************************** Acorn realised that if the Archimedes had a level of compatibility with the earlier BBC machines it would help continue the tradition of Acorn computers in schools. However technically the Archimedes is very different to the BBC. The only real similarity is that the original BBC graphics modes have been provided in addition to the enhanced Archimedes modes. Arm BBC Basic is also provided with the Archimedes and thats merely an update on the original BBC Basic. Still what the Archimedes needed was a full blown emulator so that actual BBC software could be run. The Arm chip has practically nothing in common with the 6502 and therefore software emulation was required. A 32bit Arm chip would surely be capable of emulating a 6502 at some speed. In fact it's fair to say that the emulation is running at speeds equal to the BBC in many areas. However Mode 7 is not one of them. This is definitely the weakest part of the emulator speed wise. Its too slow and text ripples as it scrolls. However at least it has Mode 7. The Electron although broadly similar to the BBC has a total absence of Mode 7 and therefore it could be said that the Archimedes' BBC emulator is superior to the Electron when it comes to BBC compatibility. Which is rather an insult to the Electron when you think about it. Of course the most important question of all is actual software compatibility. 1.Games. The more sophisticated the games the less likely they are to work. The higher the percentage of the game that is written in Basic the more likely they are to work. I'd make a guess and say generally about one in ten games work. Thats of course the games I have which are unprotected and on ADFS disks which may not represent the level of compatibility fairly. 2.Educational programs. In my experience there is a very high level of compatibility as most of the educational titles I have are written in almost total Basic. In fact some run in the Archimedes native Arm Basic. 3.8-Bit Software issues. All the ADFS issues I have run without problems apart from one or two programs. As mentioned above Mode 7 is slow but acceptable. 4.Rom images. The emulator does provide for ROM images but I must admit I haven't tried loading them. So it would be wrong to comment. The manual states that many ROM images will work so I'll take their word for it. You can even create launchable conversions. You can design a View icon for example and once double clicked will load the emulator and rom image and start them automatically. 5.Application and utils. Better compatibility than games. Applications tend to be more flexible with memory and filing systems. So a lot of stuff does work. Best of all the emulator is free and supplied with the computer. Well my A3010 came with it. Theres also a tube emulator which uses the Archimedes for input/output tasks etc and the tube emulator for 6502 code etc. It works but just like connecting a 2nd processor to a normal BBC compatibility is reduced and therefore you double your compatibility problems with normal BBC software.