About BBC Basic (run on all the platforms)

In this thread on mastodon:

we see Clive Sinclair’s Cambridge Z88, an A4-sized, battery powered computer with 8 line LCD, and sporting not ZX Basic but BBC Basic for the Z80.

By this time - 1987 - Sinclair had sold off his rights to use his name for computers, in the deal with Amstrad, but this machine is commonly thought of as the Sinclair Z88.

BBC Basic has the merit of having some support for structured programming, somewhat device-independent graphics, and a platform-specific assembler built in. Although Acorn were the first to offer a BBC Basic - Sophie Wilson coded the original 6502 version - Richard T Russell wrote the port to the Z80, which he did first for Acorn’s Z80 second processor, a peripheral for the BBC Micro which could run CP/M as well as Acorn-native programs. Acorn later offered a BBC Basic on their 32016 second processor, a banked memory BAS128 which offered 64 of user space, HIBASIC which offered extra user space on the 6502 second processor, and a Basic for their ARM second processor and subsequent ARM-based Archimedes line.

You can still run a BBC Basic if you fire up RISC OS on your Raspberry Pi, but also you can run in the native desktop environment of Windows, Linux, MacOS, or Raspbian - Richard T Russell continues to maintain his version, offers an SDL version for all of those platforms, and has open-sourced the code too.

His BBC Basic for SDL has more features and capability compared to the originals, as you might hope and expect.

You can also run BBC Basic on your PDP-11 or your 6809 system or indeed many others:

There was even an implementation “inspired by” BBC Basic, but not bearing the name, for the Atari ST: from Computer Concepts, the Fast ST Basic cartridge.


The BBC BASIC on Z88 does not support graphics. There is a path for that but I did not tried it, yet: https://www.bbcbasic.co.uk/bbcbasic/z88patch.html

And yes, on the first picture is my Z88. :slight_smile: