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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 Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Thread started on: Mar 27th, 2016, 4:11pm »

My exhorting of members to obtain an Android (x86) smartphone has, to say the least, met with little success. Indeed I don't know of anybody - except me - who currently has one, which is a significant dampener on my enthusiasm for continuing development of BBC BASIC for that platform (albeit that the current version is quite functional).

From feedback I have received I know that one reason has been an unwillingness to invest in 'old technology', i.e. in a phone which (whilst brand new and in the manufacturer's original packaging) isn't the latest model and doesn't run an up-to-date version of Android.

I'm pleased to be able to draw your attention to the Asus Zenfone Zoom which is a recently-released Intel smartphone running Android 5.0 (Lollipop). This phone's Unique Selling Point is its high-spec camera with a 3:1 optical zoom lens, but from the perspective of this group it means that you can have a phone which will run BBC BASIC whilst still impressing your friends!

So I would encourage anybody who hasn't yet got a smartphone (a situation I was in until recently and nothing to be ashamed about), or thinking about replacing their current model, to give serious consideration to purchasing one of these modestly-priced Intel phones.

Richard.
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michaelgallup
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #1 on: Mar 27th, 2016, 4:23pm »

It looks impressive.
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JohnAlfred
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #2 on: Mar 28th, 2016, 11:19am »

Market size for Android phones?

Richard, your enthusiasm and efforts are much appreciated !

Just to try and quantify the potential market size for Android Apps....

1. Anyone able to put a figure on the number of the Android phones being sold anually?

2. What % of the smart-phone market is this?

Cheers

John Alfred
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #3 on: Mar 28th, 2016, 2:10pm »

on Mar 28th, 2016, 11:19am, JohnAlfred wrote:
1. Anyone able to put a figure on the number of the Android phones being sold anually?
2. What % of the smart-phone market is this?

Around a billion (1,000,000,000) Android phones were shipped in 2014 which amounts to something over 80% of the market. Of course once you factor in the Intel CPU, which is a requirement for BBC BASIC to run, the numbers will be much smaller but still huge in absolute terms (Intel phones are relatively more popular in some regions, for example the Lenovo K900 I have was big in China).

The sheer scale of the number of mobile phones sold, which eclipses the number of Windows PCs, means that the market is large even when you take into account factors like the Intel CPU. Having said that the size of the market isn't really the issue - BBC BASIC has never been about chasing commercial objectives.

Richard.
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #4 on: Mar 28th, 2016, 5:28pm »

on Mar 28th, 2016, 11:19am, JohnAlfred wrote:
Richard, your enthusiasm and efforts are much appreciated !

Enthusiasm? I think you must be confusing me with somebody else (seriously!).

Richard.
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michaelgallup
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #5 on: Apr 1st, 2016, 01:38am »

Here is Microsofts link for a device that may have compatibility since it is Windows 10 based.

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msca/en_CA/list/Microsoft-Lumia/categoryID.65144600?icid=en_CA_CNavDevices_windowsPhone_MicrosoftLumia_V1

Richard, you would have the expertise to know if this device was up to par.

*** I haven't tried the new product you mentioned from ASUS. ***

Many people love their ASUS products..

And android is definitely something to pursue, as a decent programming platform for them seems elusive.

ASUS has not been the most reliable product for me.. and maybe I have had some extremely bad luck with it.

My ASUS ROG gaming laptop had to have the entire operating system replaced, and it has been acting very unstable stable at times.. (perhaps its just my power settings.)

And my ASUS pad ended up eventually just failing and didn't perform well. (it was a reward for points on my purchases.. so what do you expect.)

I could wish for an alternative brand and well, there is after all the Microsoft Surface. Laptops are evolving in that direction.
A few really bad experiences have made me overly cautious.
I would see how the longevity and durability tests go with this.
My ASUS ROG cost me A LOT of money and its working but it also cost me a lot of down time and expense from running around even if the warranty covered it..

Perhaps Samsung would be an option?
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Mally
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #6 on: Jul 2nd, 2016, 11:53am »

I have an Asus Zenfone 2 - a 'grey' import. It has an Intel CPU. Also, I have just bought an Asus Chromebook Flip, also has an Intel CPU and can run Android apps from Google Play store.

I got a BBC Model B on April 1st 1982, having ordered around September 1981 but have done no programming in over 20 years. I will try BBC BASIC on the Chromebook later today!
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #7 on: Jul 2nd, 2016, 1:01pm »

on Jul 2nd, 2016, 11:53am, Mally wrote:
...I will try BBC BASIC on the Chromebook later today!

BBC BASIC for Android (86) should work fine on both the phone and the Chromebook, although it is currently at a fairly early stage of development.

Since the Chromebook has a full keyboard you may find the supplied touch-optimised IDE/editor rather limiting, although you can drive it using the mouse/trackpad. In principle I could bundle Andy Parkes' IDE (which the Linux and MacOS versions use) with the Android version, but currently I don't do so.

Richard.
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Mally
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #8 on: Jul 2nd, 2016, 9:42pm »

I have tried using the Chromebook but there are issues. The Chromebook's keyboard does not work but the Chromebook does have a touch sensitive screen which appears to work OK, based on quick tests.

But there is a real problem with the display. The onscreen keyboard stretches outside the limits of the black screen it creates for itself and as I enter text it spills over onto the keyboard display.

Have not tried it on the Zenfone yet.
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #9 on: Jul 2nd, 2016, 10:56pm »

on Jul 2nd, 2016, 9:42pm, Mally wrote:
The Chromebook's keyboard does not work... The onscreen keyboard stretches outside the limits of the black screen it creates for itself and as I enter text it spills over onto the keyboard display.

BBC BASIC isn't responsible for either of those problems. Both features work correctly on my devices (using an external Bluetooth keyboard) and nobody else has reported similar symptoms. So either the fault is in the Chrome OS itself or it's in SDL, but either way it's outside my control I'm afraid.

Using SDL has made it possible to port BBC BASIC to Linux, MacOS and Android - something which I once thought would be impractical - but it does introduce an extra layer of code which may (and indeed certainly does) have its own bugs. sad

Richard.
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #10 on: Jul 3rd, 2016, 4:52pm »

Sorry, not an expert. I just noticed that the Asus Chromebook Flip has a Rockchip processor, not Intel as I originally thought.

I assume that means I must be using someone else's version of BBC BASIC!
« Last Edit: Jul 3rd, 2016, 5:04pm by Mally » User IP Logged

Richard Russell
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #11 on: Jul 3rd, 2016, 5:53pm »

on Jul 3rd, 2016, 4:52pm, Mally wrote:
I assume that means I must be using someone else's version of BBC BASIC!

I'm not aware that there are any other BBC BASIC apps for Android, so perhaps you could provide more details. It would, to say the least, be interesting if you have found one! laugh

To remind everybody, the BBC BASIC for Android (86) app can be downloaded from this URL:

http://www.rtr.myzen.co.uk/BBCBasic.apk

Depending on the version of Android, you may need to enable 'Allow installation of apps from unknown sources' in the device's Security settings.

Richard.
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #12 on: Jul 4th, 2016, 8:09pm »

There is another BBC BASIC available on on Google Play (which is the one I downloaded)...

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.littlefluffytoys.beebdroid&hl=en_GB

Also on GitHub...

https://github.com/littlefluffytoys/Beebdroid

Been out since 2011 apparently!
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Asus Zenfone Zoom
« Reply #13 on: Jul 4th, 2016, 8:40pm »

on Jul 4th, 2016, 8:09pm, Mally wrote:
There is another BBC BASIC available on on Google Play (which is the one I downloaded)...

No, that's a BBC Micro emulator, a completely different kettle of fish. The BASIC will be the original 6502 version from the 1980s, and only of historical interest here.

Richard.
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