Discussion Forum for all things Microbee
G'day from WA - Printable Version

+- Discussion Forum for all things Microbee (https://microbeetechnology.com.au/forum)
+-- Forum: Microbee Forum (https://microbeetechnology.com.au/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=1)
+--- Forum: Introductions (https://microbeetechnology.com.au/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=4)
+--- Thread: G'day from WA (/showthread.php?tid=187)

G'day from WA - MikeCornflake - 26-08-2020


To everyone here involved in the creation of the 'bee, and to those involved in helping keeping it alive, many thanks.  I keep visiting the online shop here on the hopes a kit is reissued :-)

My 'Bee was a CIAB.  It was my third computer, coming after a TRS80, then VIC20. 

I can honestly say that CIAB helped define my life, that and an amazing computer studies teacher.  I programmed on the 'bee through uni using Turbo Pascal, then spent half of my professional career as a Delphi Programmer.  When I stopped programming professionally, I kept programming as a hobby, this time using freepascal/lazarus.  Professional programming largely means database works, and I'd cut my teeth on relational db's with DBASE II.  All because of Turbo Pascal & DBase II running in a CP/M environment.

A couple of years ago the monitor and power supply died on my CIAB, so I ditched all the hardware (?!??!!).  Kept the manuals and books.  Have a large collection of Microbee Online magazines as well.  Been meaning to scan those.  Also kept a collection of disks.  By the time by CIAB had died, so had half my disks.  I'd used ZMODEM to get a few of the disks across to PC, not enough though :-(

Currently on a nostalgia kick.  Trying to get various environments up and running.  Two goals - I want a portable CP/M environment so I can resume TP programming and I want a Raspberry Pi running uBee512 simulating as much of the CIAB experience as possible.  Good progress with the CP/M environment - with both 22NICE and RunCPM working well and portablly.  Neither seem to run all programs, but between them everything is running so far. 

Don't suppose anyone here offers a 'bee disk recovery service?  Getting access to my remaining disks means acquiring a disk drive, configuring 22disk etc...  More time than I have available....

Stumbled across WinWorldPC, that's helped with some missing disks/files (Wordstar and Multiplan were both corrupted and somehow I'd manually overwritten DBASEII help file, and I was able to restore a copy of that), and I already had Turbo Pascal (of course those were the disks I saved).   So it's only really the data files and 'Bee games that I'm trying to get access to.

Can't see any impending issues with uBee512, just need time :-)   There's a swedish forum that have an emulator environment that sounds like it's runs portably and I see the developer of uBee512 has worked with them ensuring uBee runs on it.

And on the off-chance you're here, many thanks Mr Van Dyken - you and your computer studies class were inspirational :-)

So yeah, thanks to all :-)



RE: G'day from WA - ChickenMan - 26-08-2020

Hi Mike and welcome to the forum Smile

The programs such as Wordstar 3.3 & 4, Mutiplan, Turbo Pascal, etc are all in our Repository together with lots of games, so best is to apply for access there https://microbeetechnology.com.au/forum/showthread.php?tid=15

As for recovering your existing disk, I'm able to do that for you, assuming that they are not completely dead.  I'm in Victoria and can email you my postal address if you don't get any local offers Smile

ubee512 is a great emulator, I use it almost daily in checking disk images, preparing new ones, etc.  It supports most Microbee formats.  I'm not aware of a Swedish based emulator, do you have a link ?

RE: G'day from WA - CheshireNoir - 26-08-2020

Hi Mike
Good to see another Sandgroper in the forums :-)

RE: G'day from WA - MikeCornflake - 26-08-2020

(26-08-2020, 01:24 PM)ChickenMan Wrote: I'm not aware of a Swedish based emulator, do you have a link ?

I don't think it's an emulator, I think it's an environment emulators can be run from.  Haven't tried it, or uBee yet, was just looking for options.

Here's the conversation I stumbled across.  


And thanks for the offer for disk recovery. I'll send you a pm if I don't get local options...

RE: G'day from WA - ChickenMan - 26-08-2020

Thanks for that Mike, thats such an old post indeed and ecc hasnt been updated for years.

Stick with MAME, Nanowasp or ubee512 for emulation, they all work well Smile

RE: G'day from WA - someone - 27-08-2020

Welcome aboard.

The microbee worked well with Turbo Pascal.
It compiled quickly to run with its runtime library files (unlike HiTech-C which could take an age to compile but produced fantastically quick and tight binary files).

Delphi still exists with Embarcadero and is used for writing portable programs across multiple platforms but unlike Turbo Pascal which was about $100, Delphi now costs between $2,500-$9,200.
Altium(Protel) designer for Windows was written in Delphi for quite a while until recently.

RE: G'day from WA - MikeCornflake - 27-08-2020

(27-08-2020, 12:32 PM)someone Wrote: Delphi still exists with Embarcadero and is used for writing portable programs across multiple platforms but unlike Turbo Pascal which was about $100, Delphi now costs between $2,500-$9,200.

Someone :-)  Awesome name, I've been reading your posts with amusement :-)

And someone has hit my evangelical trigger :-)  Yes, the cost of Delphi is jaw-dropping.  Worse, at least around the time I stopped using it, the quality had dropped significantly.  Can't comment on anything released in the last decade though.  Lazarus, on the other hand, is completely free.  freepascal is an amazing compiler that supports multiple modes, including Turbo Pascal and Delphi.  Lazarus started out life as a D7 clone.  But while both freepascal and lazarus started life as homages to Turbo Pascal/Delphi, they have both become their own thing.  Fully modern cross platform compiler and IDE.  The Lazarus LCL is close enough to the VCL that porting applications is do-able, though I'll admit it's a pain.  For all my own toys, I've re-created the front end in Lazarus, and only ported the back-end code.

What Delphi brings to the party is a rich collection of third party, commercial, libraries.  While I love and still contribute to Lazarus, I desperately miss the DevEx database controls.  The company behind them has gone on record stating they'll not be converting them to LCL...  I also suspect Delphi has a better take on Android/iPhone development, but that's an area I'm only vaguely aware of.

RE: G'day from WA - someone - 29-08-2020

Apparently Delphi is having a resurgence of interest and popularity.
Do you know anything about it?

Also in your travels did you ever use Modula-2?

In the early 1980's Pascal was the language taught at Sydney Uni and NSWIT for introductory programming courses.
C was used for more advanced courses.

But someone being someone used assembly language to write microbee drivers for C and Pascal.

Someone would write drivers in assembly code and then unit test them quickly and easily using Turbo Pascal.
The speed of the Turbo Pascal was incredibly fast and productive for its time.

RE: G'day from WA - cfbsoftware - 01-09-2020

There is now a free community edition of Delphi available. 

"If you're an individual you may use Delphi Community Edition to create apps for your own use and apps that you can sell until your revenue reaches $5,000 per year.

If you're a small company or organization without revenue (or up to $5,000 per year in revenue), you can also use the Delphi Community Edition." 


RE: G'day from WA - someone - 01-09-2020

Many thanks!