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BBC BASIC (86) for DOS

STOP! If you are looking for BBC BASIC for Windows click here. In most respects it supersedes the MS-DOS version described below, but if you can't (or don't want to) run Windows™ read on....

BBC BASIC (86) Plus is an implementation of BBC BASIC for PC compatibles running MS-DOS™; it has been designed to be as compatible as possible with Version 4 of the 6502 BBC BASIC resident in the BBC Micro Master series. It is not a BBC Micro emulator (for example, the screen modes supported are VGA-compatible rather than mimicking the BBC Micro screens) but all statements, functions and commands specified for BBC BASIC are available.

Two variants of interpreter are supplied: BBCBASIC and BIGBASIC. BBCBASIC is the 'small memory model' version: the user's program and variable storage area cannot exceed 64 kbytes. BIGBASIC is the 'large memory model' version: with this, a BASIC program can store and manipulate, in memory, an amount of data up to a maximum of 640 kbytes. BIGBASIC runs slightly more slowly than BBCBASIC, and uses up more memory for the same BASIC program.

As well as the interpreters, two 'pseudo-compilers' are supplied: BBCRUN and BIGRUN (small and large memory models respectively). With these, you can combine a BBC BASIC program with a run-only version of the interpreter to create a single executable file which can be run directly from the DOS prompt, or from Windows, exactly like any other stand-alone program. BBC BASIC (86) Plus includes an unlimited licence to distribute such executables freely without any royalty for BBC BASIC being due.

BBC BASIC (86) incorporates an 80186 assembler, which allows you to include assembly-language code within a BASIC program. This is a very powerful feature: it enables speed-critical operations to be carried out much more quickly than would otherwise be possible in BASIC, and provides access to machine and operating-system features that would otherwise not be available. Example programs are supplied with BBC BASIC (86) which illustrate the use of embedded assembler to implement fast interrupt-driven serial input-output.

BBC BASIC (86) comes with a number of utility and example programs, including a software emulator of the BBC Micro's teletext-compatible display mode (MODE 7) which supports the full set of features such as coloured text and graphics (contiguous or separated), double-height, background colours, flashing text and 'held' graphics.

BBC BASIC (86) Plus is no longer sold separately, and is unsupported. It is supplied as the bonus file dosbasic.zip when you purchase BBC BASIC for Windows on CD-ROM, either directly from us or from Rakewell Limited. So to obtain your copy simply purchase BBC BASIC for Windows, specifying that you would like it delivered on CD-ROM. If you have already purchased BBC BASIC for Windows on CD-ROM but didn't receive dosbasic.zip please contact us and we will forward a copy.

A free demo version of BBC BASIC (86) is available, limited to 8K bytes of memory for program and variables. You can download it from here.

The full BBC BASIC (86) Manual and Edmund Burke's BBC BASIC Tutor are available online.

Latest software versions:
BBCBASIC.EXE4.82 31,952
BIGBASIC.EXE4.82 32,976
BBCRUN.EXE4.82 33,317
BIGRUN.EXE4.82 34,325
MODE7.COM1.30 1,304
MODE7B.COM1.30 1,314
UNLIST.COM1.2 2,048
CRUNCH.COM1.6 4,352
CONVERT.COM1.1 3,200

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