RM Nimbus Basic revival (64 bits)

Nearby, @timadams introduces his project:

…and this seems quite interesting to me, although I’ve never used a Research Machines machine. (I have seen one or two!)

(Edit: I reposted over on stardot to broaden the audience.)


Thanks for reposting @EdS . I’ll be posting updates here as the project develops!


Quick update:

  1. A preliminary release is available now with a very limited set of features. I got stuck writing the evaluator and - horror of horrors - had to read a book and learn stuff, then refactor. Paid off in the end and it’s just hilarious to see RM Basic evaluating trig functions to 16 decimal places!
  2. For the history buffs I was lucky enough to speak to some people from RM, in particular Tim Pearson and Tim Nuttal who is the “Tim” referred to in the string, and put together a brief history of the original RM Basic.
  3. I’m knackered, so parking this up until autumn then I’ll get to work on the graphics and text commands.

If anyone has a go please drop me a line. It’s a very long way from a full implementation but after all the work done getting this far I thought it’d be good to let anyone who might be interested have a play while I recover some energy/motivation! Cheers folks!

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Thanks for that history write-up, @timadams, very interesting.

And thanks for sharing your work so far, as you take a break. It’s certainly worth avoiding exhaustion.

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Well - I’m still here chipping away at this!

As of the current version (0.23) I reckon over half the language is implemented. Graphics emulation is almost complete, sound emulation too (3-channels of glorious square-wave, just like the original Nimbus), and it can import and dump screen memory as JPG or PNG files. RM Basic 2.00 had an extension for loading and dumping paintSPA files, but with Tim N’s blessing this now imports full colour JPGs/PNGs and downsamples them to either 16 colours or 4 colours depending on screen mode - customer satisfaction may vary on that one… It can render quite a nice Mandelbrot set too.

There’s also a new website with an improved Windows installer here: RM BASICx64 | A cross-platform 64-bit RM Basic interpreter.

In the next set of releases I’m keen to include original RM Basic programs if anyone has old print-outs to share - already got one beast of a program written in 1987 for an A-Level project complete with mouse-driven menus!


Congrats for the dedicated website! This looks defenitely interesting!

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Just seen this - many thanks!

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hi. i know this isnt relevant but im having trouble using writeblock in mame rm nimbus emulator with rm basic. when i do this, the image comes up with vertical lines in it. ive tried changing the bit depth of the pcx file and obtaining the pcx files from different sources. i.e paintspa, google, gimp, paint.net (with plugin) and it does the same. ive also tried uncompressed pcx but this wont work either. any ideas?

is there something wrong with this mame rom? i know hdd, save and mouse doesnt work…