The Raspberry Pi has been heavily influenced by the legacy of the BBC Micro — right from being an educational computing platform, all the way to having a B version that has twice the memory of the A-version, plus networking! So the first thing I wanted to do when I got hold of one was to see how it would run a BBC Micro emulator, load up some retro games, all plugged into the TV for the full retro effect.

Raspbian is a port of Debian which shares a common architecture with Ubuntu, so the instructions for compiling Beebem for Ubuntu from Stuart Coleville worked exactly the same for Raspian on the Raspberry Pi. I did also try compiling Beebem on the Arch Linux Arm image, but I was unable to build it because I was getting 404 errors in pacman when downloading gcc.

In Raspian:

    <code style="float:none;" class="block">  sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2-dev libgtk2.0-dev build-essential<br>
    mkdir beebem<br></br>
    cd beebem<br></br>
    wget http://beebem-unix.bbcmicro.com/download/beebem-0.0.13{.tar.gz,_64bit.patch,-keys.patch,_menu_crash.patch}<br></br>
    tar -xzf beebem-0.0.13.tar.gz<br></br>
    for file in *.patch; do patch -p0 < $file; done<br></br>
    cd beebem-0.0.13/<br></br>
    ./configure --enable-econet<br></br>
    make<br></br>
    sudo make install-strip

While Beebem does work on the Raspberry Pi, it is worth pointing out that it’s not actually worth the wait to build. As discussed in this forum thread, Beebem is very CPU intensive; so the refresh rate is painfully slow and practically unusable. Although there has been some discussion on how to improve that.

On the plus side however, the combination of the BBC Micro owl logo and the Raspberry Pi foundation’s is quite fun…

Raspberry Pi Foundation Logo + BBC_owl becomes:

RPi logo in the style of the BBC Micro logo RPi logo in the style of the BBC Micro logo


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