BBC Micro Owlet IDE – My first BASIC program

Hi there,
After my dad invested in a real BBC Micro model B to play with, I decided to learn some BBC basic. I found this online IDE called the Owlet Editor (BBC Micro Editor Beta) with thousands of code examples posted by twitter users and recorded from a twitter bot (BBC Micro Bot). Some demos are incredibly impressive! Have a look at the link below.


While figuring out BASIC, I found it was very similar to python, in some ways. I like how functions are in CAPITALS and stuff. You know what, I won’t bore you with the BASICS (pun intended, you’re welcome), but some of these smart tricks are seen all around game dev. These very techniques were used a lot in 90’s programming, and the YouTube channel Coding Secrets show some of the smart programming used in popular video games from Mickey Mania on the Sega Genesis and Sonic R on the Sega Saturn.
This video about 3D parallax scrolling in Mickey Mania is seen a lot in these Beeb demos.

If I had to choose 3 best videos of his, it’d be these:

(The BBC micro B model, which was and is the most popular model, only has 32k of memory. What’s more is twitter’s character limit, so all of these really blow my mind!)

Here’s my first BBC Basic program. It doesn’t do much, but it shouldn’t:


REM Draw your own cuboid
REM using dimensions in pixels

REM use GCOL for graphic colours
MOVE 640, 512
GCOL 0,7

REM start x and y co-ordinates (bottom left of cube)

REM these measurements make a cube... even though it hardly looks like one
length = SQR(lengthx^2 + lengthy^2)

MOVE startx, starty
DRAW startx+width, starty
DRAW startx+width+lengthx, starty+lengthy
DRAW startx+width+lengthx, starty+lengthy+height
DRAW startx+width, starty+height
DRAW startx, starty+height
DRAW startx, starty
MOVE startx+width, starty
DRAW startx+width, starty+height
MOVE startx+width+lengthx, starty+lengthy+height
DRAW startx+lengthx, starty+lengthy+height
DRAW startx, starty+height
PRINT "Cube of"INT(length+0.5)"x"width"x"height"x"

Anyway, thanks for spending your time to read this blog, and if your reading from the future, leave a comment, and like a video of mine (It’s really appreciated!)

And by the way, if you ever have any issues about or with this blog or project, or just want to share your results from it, create a thread in the website Forum. Thanks!

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