BBC finalizes Micro:bit computer design

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It’s a cute little thing; but, um, don’t knock me out with all those extra I/O lines… I agree that ‘I/O you can actually connect to’ is better than ‘I/O that exists; but on a handy high-density connector!’; but they may have taken that sound principle a little far.

The fact it has an ARM processor shows an actual heritage back to the BBC Micro and so it’s a bit more than just “spritual sequel” at least for me, but then I always have a fond soft spot for everything Acorn computers.


There’s still an Electron in my parent’s loft somewhere…

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They removed the ability to attach a coin cell for safety reasons, thus compromising the wearability of the board, which was one of the initial main selling points. The safetycrats and the ass-covering lawyers won again.

…they could’ve added a Li-ion battery charger chip, though. A salvaged cellphone battery then could do, and charge from the USB.

Will there be a schematics? What are the GPIOs available? Is the line of the fingers on the bottom functional, or just cosmetic? (Apparently functional, the higher-res image here shows traces going from them.) What is their pitch? Can 0.1" headers be soldered to them, or will a connector with a finer pitch (possibly a salvaged PCI slot) be necessary?

The original 1981 BBC Micro PC could output video graphics at a resoluton of up to 640x256, or 480x500 in another display mode. They hope to top this in 2015 with -no- video output? Is this what progress looks like? It seems as if the only innovation here is that the British government will foot the bill and hand these out like party favors to schoolkids, but with $25-and-under Raspberry Pi offering HDMI output, seems like this new hardware offering is so limited that kids will shrug at this videoless throwback to extremely primitive microcomputers of the mid-1970s and go back to their ubiquitous smartphones and tablet computers and RPi/etc alternatives… You need a full-sized PC to program this? Why wouldn’t you just at that point use the full size PC, etc?

If it can’t play video games, it’s less likely to worm its way into many childrens’ interests/lives or become a legend or a fixture in many households, like the original did.


My uncle brought an original BBC computer to the house when I was seven had more fun ejecting the massive magnetic floppy disc but otherwise didn’t have a clue how to make it do anything regret not trying to use it or learn programming big time now,

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