Page 1 of 2

Does anyone know where I can obtain MetaComCo BCPL?

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 3:44 am
by ahw
I am quite interested in writing software for the QL and, in particular, am interested in using BCPL. I am aware of the modern distribution, but it is, of course, not for the QL.

I've done some digging and the best I can find is someone on a mailing list offering digital versions of both it and the dongle ROM to someone in 2002, a full 19 years ago. I'm sure that it's out there somewhere. I'm just struggling to find it.

Thanks in advance!

Re: Does anyone know where I can obtain MetaComCo BCPL?

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:15 am
by NormanDunbar
I eas looking for BCPL too, some time back. The best I found was the designer's own downloads at https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mr10/BCPL.html (Martin Richards designed BCPL) where there is an OS independant version which might be usable?

He's created a Raspberry Pi version too.

Cheers,
Norm.

Re: Does anyone know where I can obtain MetaComCo BCPL?

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:42 am
by ahw
Yeah, I'm aware of that version, but it's been updated quite a bit and is really meant for modern systems. The distribution exclusively builds 32-bit and 64-bit executables. At this point, building a compiler for QL in BCPL using the distribution is probably an easier task than retooling it.

Re: Does anyone know where I can obtain MetaComCo BCPL?

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:50 am
by NormanDunbar
Bummer! Still, it was worth a try.

Cheers,
Norm.

Re: Does anyone know where I can obtain MetaComCo BCPL?

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:52 am
by Derek_Stewart
Hi,

I used to have a copy of BCPL on floppy disk, which did not require a ROM, back in the 1990s, when all we have were slow QLs....

I will have a look on my old floppy disks, which I thought I had made a copy.

I have a very badly scanned copy of the manual, I am in the process of cleaning up.

Re: Does anyone know where I can obtain MetaComCo BCPL?

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:52 am
by ahw
Derek_Stewart wrote:I used to have a copy of BCPL on floppy disk, which did not require a ROM, back in the 1990s, when all we have were slow QLs....

I will have a look on my old floppy disks, which I thought I had made a copy.

That would be awesome! Let me know if you do find it.

Derek_Stewart wrote:I have a very badly scanned copy of the manual, I am in the process of cleaning up.

I actually did manage to find a copy of the manual here ( https://sinclairql.speccy.org/archivo/docs/docs.htm ), albeit it is also a rough scan.

Re: Does anyone know where I can obtain MetaComCo BCPL?

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:31 am
by Andrew
ahw wrote:I am quite interested in writing software for the QL and, in particular, am interested in using BCPL. I am aware of the modern distribution, but it is, of course, not for the QL.

I've done some digging and the best I can find is someone on a mailing list offering digital versions of both it and the dongle ROM to someone in 2002, a full 19 years ago. I'm sure that it's out there somewhere. I'm just struggling to find it.

Thanks in advance!

I found an archive of Metacomco BCPL - I have no ROM so I have no idea if it works or not (the zip file is windows zip)

Re: Does anyone know where I can obtain MetaComCo BCPL?

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:41 am
by ahw
Andrew wrote:I found an archive of Metacomco BCPL - I have no ROM so I have no idea if it works or not (the zip file is windows zip)

Thanks! I'll try it out as soon as I get a chance and report back about whether it works. I think I read that other MetaComCo compilers only require the ROM during compilation, so I assume it would be the same case here, granted this is not similar to the version that Derek_Stewart described, which was said to not require a ROM.

Re: Does anyone know where I can obtain MetaComCo BCPL?

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:10 am
by Derek_Stewart
Hi,

I still have not found my BCPL floppy disk or Microdrive.

I think there was a image of the ROM, with a modifed boot programme to load the rom and link it into the operating system.

I will keep on searching, as I used to like BCPL.

I also have about 60% of the manual cleaned up, just have to OCR with Tesseract to produce a good manual,

Re: Does anyone know where I can obtain MetaComCo BCPL?

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:48 am
by Andrew
ahw wrote:Thanks! I'll try it out as soon as I get a chance and report back about whether it works. I think I read that other MetaComCo compilers only require the ROM during compilation, so I assume it would be the same case here, granted this is not similar to the version that Derek_Stewart described, which was said to not require a ROM.

I have no idea if the version from the zip requires a ROM or not :( I tried to look into the files and guess, but it was 3AM here when I found it and I was too sleepy to understand anything. I noticed that there is no boot file, which is strange.

LATER EDIT: It seems that the version from my zip file is the same as described in the manual found here: https://sinclairql.speccy.org/archivo/docs/docs.htm