If you wish to transfer the BBC programs found on these pages to your BBC, or if you wish to transfer files from your BBC disks to your PC in order to run them using an emulator, you have only two problems:
This page helps you deal with both problems.
Some computers have the ability to read and write both BBC disks and PC disks natively (software built-in in the OS), or with some some simple additional software. Computers I know of that have this ability are the BBC Master with a PC board, the Acorn Archimedes with a PC board, and the RiscPC.
I can provide little information on how to transfer files, as I don't have any of these computers. However, if you have such a computer, you probably already know how to read/write BBC and PC disks, and if you don't, the information is of little use to you.
The following programs can read and/or write BBC disks:
All of these programs are subject to the following limitations:
Therefore: try the programs, but if they don't work for you, please don't mail me. (I tried the programs on at least 10 different PCs and they didn't work a single time.)
BeebDos is a program to read double density BBC disks on a PC. It was once sold commercially. I have, however, no idea of its current status. Some instructuctions are included in the BeebDos package
FDC is another program to read double density BBC disks on a PC. It was written by Wouter Scholten. It is an improved version of FDCDemo, a program for reading and writing uncommon disk formats. Instructions are included in the FDC package.
Anadisk is a program similar to FDC. I suggest you use FDC, as there are less commands to type in, but you may try any of them. General instructions are included in the Anadisk package. In order to read (double density) BBC disks using Anadisk, you have to enter the following commands:
There is a program, DOSFs, that can read and write PC disks on a BBC. It is subject to the following limitations:
Some instructions are included in the DOSFs package
By connecting a BBC and a PC with a serial cable, you can transfer files from the BBC to the PC and vice versa. You can use programs like Kermit or Commstar to transfer the files. If you do so, one problem is that the BBC's file attributes do not get transferred.
BBCXFer is a program that was specially written for BBC <-> PC file transfer that does transfer the BBC's file attributes. (It makes use of Wouter Scholten's standard format for storing BBC files on other computers.) In addition it contains a terminal emulator that allows you to control your BBC from your PC. Instructions for use are included in the BBCXFer package. The package also contains instructions for making a serial cable and a lengthy explanation of the standard format.
(Note: The above BBCXFer is by Mark de Weger. There's also a BBCXFer by Tom Seddon, which is a little less advanced. Mark was so stupid to chose the same name for his program as Tom did.)
After transferring your BBC files to a PC, they are in either of the following formats:
The three current BBC emulators for the PC also use different formats:
This section deals with conversion between the different formats. We use Wouter Scholten's standard format as the basis; it is explained how each format can be translated to and from this standard format (though some other conversions are explained as well).
The following conversion issues are dealt with:
The utility BBCIm can be used to manipulate disk images. Instructions are included in the package, but the main disk manipulation commands are:
Note: you first need to convert your disk images to single-sided single-density images in order for most BBCIm commands to work.
Other BBCIm commands related to manipulation of disk images:
BBCIm also has commands to convert (single-sided, single-density) disk images to and from files in the standard format.
First the conversion from standard format to disk image format:
Then the conversion from disk image format to standard format:
BBCIm has a number of other options for extraction of files. (These are not needed
if you are just interested in conversion to the standard format.)
The basic command for extraction of files from a disk image is BBCIm -e <diskimage>. This extracts files from the diskimage; a file gets the name <diskimage>.<dir>.<file>, where <file> is the file name of the file and <dir> the directory the file is in (e.g. diskimage.$.ELITE). It also produces the catalogue file.
Other options can be obtained by adding the following characters to the -e option (e.g. -ed#):
The format used by XBeeb is very similar to the standard format: instead of using .INF file for each BBC file to store the file's attributes, it uses a single catalogue file to store the attributes of all files in a directory (an XBeeb "disk"). Such a catalogue is already produced by BBCIm if you use it with the option -e.
Therefore you can convert a disk image to XBeeb format using the command:
The conversion of XBeeb format to standard format requires the splitting of the XBeeb catalogue file into multiple .INF files. This is done using the command:
The conversion of standard format to XBeeb format requires the concatenation of the multiple .INF files into a single catalogue file (and some minor modifications to this file). This is done using the command:
Tom Seddon's BBC emulator Model-B uses a proprietary disk image format (different from the above mentioned disk image formats), which is called DFFS. No utilities currently exist for conversion from the DFFS format to other formats. However, Tom wrote a number of utilities to convert files and disks to the DFFS format. These are, with instructions, included in the Model-B package. The utilities:
The emulator BeebEm uses normal single-density DFS disk images. As standard it uses the single-sided 80-track disk image "beebfile/elite" as the mounted disk. You can change this, however, by setting the environment variable BeebDiscLoad. This should have the syntax <sides>:<tracks>:<diskimage>, where:
In order to simplify the job of setting the value of BeebDiscLoad, you can write batch files like the one below:
@echo off SET BeebDiscLoad=S:80:%1 BeebWin
If you call the batch file SSD.BAT, the command SSD <diskimage> will start BeebEm with the 80-track single-sided disk image <diskimage> mounted. You could make additional batch files for double-sided disk images or 40-track images.