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Cross-platform BBC BASIC (Win32, Linux x86, Android, Mac OS-X, Raspberry Pi)

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Richard Russell
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xx Screenshot
« Thread started on: Jan 3rd, 2016, 10:26pm »

It doesn't do very much, but it's still pretty amazing. A genuine screenshot from my Tesco Hudl 2 Android (86) tablet:

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roy
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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #1 on: Jan 4th, 2016, 05:36am »

Looks good Richard

Can we download the app.

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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #2 on: Jan 4th, 2016, 08:19am »

on Jan 4th, 2016, 05:36am, roy wrote:
Can we download the app.

There's a long way to go before it's usable. Anyway, do you have an x86 Android device? They are rare, and becoming rarer since Intel withdrew their subsidy.

I asked for the Hudl2 as a Christmas present precisely because it has an Atom processor, but sadly Tesco have now discontinued it. sad

I have this uneasy feeling that, despite my repeated clarification, there are going to be people who - when they see the word 'Android' - will think that it can work on their ARM devices. rolleyes

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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #3 on: Jan 4th, 2016, 11:40am »

Hello Richard,

This screenshot reminds me of Z88 BBC basic!

Happy newyear,

Manuel
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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #4 on: Jan 4th, 2016, 1:32pm »

Hi Richard

Yes. I saw the word 'Android' and thought great BBC Basic for Android
My tablet is a Lenono Android version 4.2.2
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #5 on: Jan 4th, 2016, 1:34pm »

on Jan 4th, 2016, 11:40am, Acexbe wrote:
This screenshot reminds me of Z88 BBC basic!

SDL 2.0 does not have any built-in support for high-quality (anti-aliased) text, in fact it has no native support for textual output of any kind! I've even had to create the flashing caret (text cursor) using my own code.

So BBC BASIC by default uses a traditional 8x8 bitmapped font and, yes, that does mean it has a rather 'retro' look. However the *FONT command is supported (via the SDL_ttf extension) so you can output relatively high quality text if a TrueType file is available.

I've explained before that using SDL has both pros and cons. The advantage is its simplicity: in a period of only a month or so I've created a working Linux (86) version of BBC BASIC and am well on the way to creating a working Android (86) version too.

But the (big) disadvantage of SDL is that it is a relatively primitive platform that doesn't provide the rich selection of OS features (including high-quality textual output) that would be expected of a modern Operating System.

There was no likelihood of me (or frankly anybody else) creating a native Linux or Android version of BBC BASIC in the foreseeable future, if ever, so I feel the limitations of SDL are a price worth paying.

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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #6 on: Jan 4th, 2016, 1:47pm »

on Jan 4th, 2016, 1:32pm, roy wrote:
My tablet is a Lenono Android version 4.2.

I take it that should read "Lenovo". They do make one Android tablet which has an Intel Atom processor, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 3 Pro. It's an expensive device with a built-in projector so is unlikely to be the one you have, but it ought to be able to run BBC BASIC.

I can only encourage potential purchasers of Android tablets to look out for those which have Atom (x86) processors. As I said before (very much tongue-in-cheek) perhaps the purchasing power of BBC BASIC users can stem the tide of ARM-based products! grin

Richard.
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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #7 on: Jan 4th, 2016, 2:01pm »

Thanks Richard

I can't find what the Processor is in my table, but it was 100 at Tesco about 14 months ago, so it wasn't expensive for a 10in table.

Roy
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #8 on: Jan 4th, 2016, 4:31pm »

on Jan 4th, 2016, 2:01pm, roy wrote:
I can't find what the Processor is in my table, but it was 100 at Tesco about 14 months ago

What a shame you didn't opt for the Hudl2 instead. It was probably available then, at about the same price (much cheaper with Tesco Clubcard points), rated very highly by Which? and with an x86 CPU!

There are a few Hudl2s on eBay so anybody who fancies running BBC BASIC on a small, cheap, tablet might want to consider snapping them up.

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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #9 on: Jan 5th, 2016, 08:29am »

I have a little refurbished Android OS 7 inch tablet I am very pleased with being such a change from Windows. So I too would be very interested in learning how to adapt BBC4W code to hopefully run on my Tablet one day. I did try to install Android OS on a couple of old PCs from a CD I bought. Though it worked OK in RAM as an option, even with a non Touch Screen Monitor I had no luck getting it to work allowing it to reformat and install on the hard drive. It also offered all sorts of confusing options when fully installing such as GRUB I have never seen when successfully installing Ubuntu or Mint.

I see now the CD no longer appears to be available on EBay bit instead there are CDs available for such as claiming to allow you to run Apps for Android.
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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #10 on: Jan 5th, 2016, 11:04am »

on Jan 5th, 2016, 08:29am, GordonS wrote:
I have a little refurbished Android OS 7 inch tablet

With the necessary Intel Atom (x86) CPU? As discussed, that is unusual.

Quote:
I did try to install Android OS on a couple of old PCs from a CD I bought.

In the instructions I have been following to port the SDL version of BBC BASIC to Android (86) it says that the Android emulator for the PC is not reliable enough to be of much use. So I'm connecting the Hudl2 to the PC via a USB cable and testing in the real target environment. You might find that to be the best method too.

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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #11 on: Jan 5th, 2016, 12:42pm »

I should had perhaps explained my 7 inch Android Tablet is an Asus Nexus 7 and unlike Windows it has updated its OS automatically for free. So I find it amusing for advertisers to boast about whatever OS is in their product as I assume if you leave any online long enough they will update themselves along with all the Apps.
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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #12 on: Jan 5th, 2016, 4:12pm »

on Jan 5th, 2016, 12:42pm, GordonS wrote:
I should had perhaps explained my 7 inch Android Tablet is an Asus Nexus 7.

Asus do make quite a lot of Intel Android devices, but I'm sorry to say the Nexus 7 isn't one of them, so you're out of luck.

Nevertheless, at the moment, Asus is definitely worth a look if you are in the market for an Android (86) device capable of running (my) BBC BASIC. If their website can be believed the following products are suitable:
  • ASUS ZenPad (7", 8" & 10")
  • ASUS MeMO Pad (7", 8" & 10")
  • ASUS FonePad (6", 7" & 8")
Notably this list includes phablets so if you're desperate to have a phone capable of running BBC BASIC this is a unique option as far as I know.

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« Reply #13 on: Jan 5th, 2016, 4:38pm »

That is strange Richard because the back of the Tablet clearly has ASUS embossed on it.

But being mean Nexus 7 is an old model with only one camera and no slot to insert a SIM card for a phone. Argos had some hand in refurbishing it for EBay.
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xx Re: Screenshot
« Reply #14 on: Jan 5th, 2016, 6:38pm »

The original Nexus 7 tablet was indeed manufactured by Asus.
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