BBC ROM Compatibility

By Derek Walker

Originally published in EUG #03


Over the years many people have written to professional magazines to enquire about the suitability of BBC ROM software when used on any Electron - and have not always got the right answers. Below is a list of BBC ROMs I have tried on an Electron with various hardware options. Included in the list are two Electron ROMs which have serious limitations.

BBC - Compatible

View 2.1
View 3.0
Wordwise Plus
Graphics Extension

BBC - Not Compatible



A Few Points

A few points about the software:

  1. View 2.1 has scroll problems when used with a second processor. This can be solved with a software patch which can be found in Clive Williamson's book Mastering Viewsheet And Viewstore. View 3.0 gives 48K free space for text when used with a second processor.
  2. When using Jafa Systems' Mode 7 Mk 2 ROM, there is an option which allows the function keys to work in a similar way to those on the BBC. This means the functions are laid out in almost the same order as the BBC function key definitions strip and lets you use "SHIFT-cursor" and "CTRL-cursor" to move around the text.
  3. Intersheet comes as a two ROM set, one labelled Intersheet and the other Sheet. The Intersheet ROM is not compatible. However SHEET used on its own will work in any system configuration.
  4. AP2 v1.17 - I encountered problems with abbreviated commands such as *D. etc. A great deal of software is written this way and will crash if the AP2 is installed.
  5. Starword. Although a very good word processor, it lacks one fundamental feature. There is no paging facility and a great many trees will be lost when working with this piece of software.

Hardware Configurations

Electron with Plus 1 and ROM cartridge, AP3/4, Master RAM Board, Jafa Systems Second Processor and Mode 7 Adaptor.

Derek Walker