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November 22, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Commodore UK Ltd will soon be releasing the BBC-Emulator in an attempt to make the Amiga a more popular option than the BBC Micro in the education market. The emulator was commissioned from London-based Ariadne Ltd which was founded by two ex teachers and has an eight-year involvement with low-level programming. The software was developed by the two ex-teachers and took four months to reach its present 9.5 version, which is currently on beta test in educational sites. The software enables Amigas to be networked with BBC Micros, running the Acorn’s machine code slightly slower than the original through an emulation of the 6502 chip which has been written in 68000 assembler. At peak operation the emulator can run pure BBC Basic programs faster than the Micro by recording a new implementation of Basic in 68000 assembler, while another component of the emulator, Beebos, bridges the BBC operating system through to the Amiga libraries. Using the emulator the Amiga can run MS-DOS and BBC Micros within its multi-tasking world; however, as this product was primarily designed to poach BBC users it has not been developed to run Commodore’s own 64 machine code – the 64 of course uses the same 6502 microprocessor as the Acorn BBC machine, but Commodore thinks it a silly question to ask whether the company wants to enable the enormous base of Commodore 64 software to be run on the Amiga. The software is available only through mail order from the London-based company James Associates Ltd which has agreed to provide full support for the product. Selling for UKP50 retail and UKP40 for educational institutions, the BBC-Emulator is due to be available in the UK on January 16.

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