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      BBC BASIC remains a remarkable learning tool, and now it’s available everywhere

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 29 November - 18:42 · 1 minute

    BBC Micro system, at medium distance, with full keyboard and case showing.

    Enlarge / A vintage 1981 BBC Micro computer. Fun fact: it was rather tricky to determine which version of BBC Basic a Micro was actually running. (credit: Getty Images)

    BBC Basic did a lot of things, and often quite well. During the early 1980s, it extended the BASIC languages with easier loop structures, like IF/THEN/ELSE, and ran faster than Microsoft's version. It taught an entire generation of Brits how to code, both in BASIC and, through an inline interpreter, assembly language. And it's still around to teach newcomers and anybody else—except it's now on far, far more platforms than a mail-order computer from the telly.

    BBCSDL , or BBC Basic for SDL 2.0 , uses Simple DirectMedia Layer's OS abstraction to make itself available on Windows, x86 Linux, macOS, Raspberry Pi's OS, Android, iOS, and inside browsers through WebAssembly. Version 1.38a arrived in mid-November with quite a few fixes and niceties (as first noticed by Hackaday and its readers). On the project's website, you can see BBCSDL running on all these devices, along with a note that on iOS and in browsers, an assembler and a few other functions are not available, due to arbitrary code-execution restrictions.

    BBCSDL, or BBC Basic for SDL 2.0, running on iOS devices, in graphical mode.

    BBCSDL, or BBC Basic for SDL 2.0, running on iOS devices, in graphical mode. (credit: Richard Russell / R.T. Russell )

    Richard Russell has been working on ports, interpreters, and other variations of BBC BASIC since 1983 , starting with interpreters for Z80 and Intel processors. By 2001, BBC BASIC for Windows was available with a graphical interface and was still compatible with the BBC Micro and Acorn computers from whence it came. BBCSDL has been in development since 2015, providing wider platform offerings while still retaining decent compatibility with BBC BASIC for Windows.

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      A history of ARM, part 3: Coming full circle

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 17 January, 2023 - 12:30

    A history of ARM, part 3: Coming full circle

    Enlarge (credit: Jeremy Reimer/Waldemar Brandt/NASA)

    The story so far: As the 20th century came to a close, ARM was on the precipice of massive change. Under its first CEO, Robin Saxby, the company had grown from 12 engineers in a barn to hundreds of employees and was the preferred choice in RISC chips for the rapidly expanding mobile market. But the mobile and computer worlds were starting to merge, and the titans of the latter industry were not planning to surrender to the upstarts of the former. (This is the final article in a three-part series. Read part 1 and part 2 .)

    It started, as did many things in the ARM story, with Apple.

    Steve Jobs had returned, triumphantly, to the company he had co-founded. The release of the colorful gumdrop iMacs in 1998, an agreement with Microsoft, and the sale of Apple’s ARM stock had brought the company from near-bankruptcy to a solid financial footing. But Apple’s “iCEO” was still searching for the next big thing.

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      A history of ARM, part 1: Building the first chip

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 23 September, 2022 - 15:47

    A history of ARM, part 1: Building the first chip

    Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

    It was 1983, and Acorn Computers was on top of the world. Unfortunately, trouble was just around the corner.

    The small UK company was famous for winning a contract with the British Broadcasting Corporation to produce a computer for a national television show. Sales of its BBC Micro were skyrocketing and on pace to exceed 1.2 million units.

    But the world of personal computers was changing. The market for cheap 8-bit micros that parents would buy to help kids with their homework was becoming saturated. And new machines from across the pond, like the IBM PC and the upcoming Apple Macintosh, promised significantly more power and ease of use. Acorn needed a way to compete, but it didn’t have much money for research and development.

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      New Linux 5.11 Released, This is What’s New

      pubsub.do.nohost.me / OMG Ubuntu · Monday, 15 February, 2021 - 14:59

    A brand new Linux kernel is now available to download. In this post we recap the core changes and new features you'll find tucked up inside Linux 5.11.

    This post, New Linux 5.11 Released, This is What’s New is from OMG! Ubuntu! . Do not reproduce elsewhere without permission.