Category: resources

A New PC

A New PC

Computer monitors
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Moving to a new PC can be a time consuming process. This is my 10th PC since 1989 and I’ve been accumulating files, old programs, websites, manuals etc. as I moved from PC to PC. My first PC had a 20 MB disk, the 2nd PC had a hard disk with 240 MB capacity. On my new PC it’s 10 TB and 1 TB SSD.

It’s another i7 but 11th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-11700K. Only 32 GB RAM for now as they didn’t have 64 GB in stock but the motherboard can go up to 128 GB.

I estimated that I had accumulated just over 2 TB of my stuff and once I got my new PC setup started the process of moving files across. 2 TB seems a lot but VMs under Hyper-V can easily eat up a few hundred GBs.

Both PCs had a gigabit network card and were plugged into a gigabit switch so what speed did it give me? 11 MB/S. That’s not gigabit speed which would be about 1000 MB/s but closer to 100 Mbs. Trouble was the switch was plugged into a router and I think that pulled things down. I borrowed a crossover cable. Setup both Pcs with static IP and connected them directly. That was much better and it was soon maxing out at 112 MBs.

Windows of course put its spoke in. If you are copying large files- anything over about 1 MB then it uses the full bandwidth but smaller files pull it down and I’d see as slow as KB/s speeds. So I’d have three or four files copying at the same time.

As well as just copying files to the new PC, I was cleaning up my old PC to sell it so I was either deleting stuff or moving it. Overall my total elapsed time was something like 28 hours over four days and evenings. Plus of course installing software (Visual Studio, VS Code, Android Studio, MS Office). It all takes time. Luckily I’ve been quite disciplined and kept all licences and serial numbers in an encrypted text file.

Then I discovered that my new PC’s video cards had different connectors. My old one had DVIs but this one I could only find an HDMI and 2 DisplayPorts. There was a DVI connector on the video card but the firm that did it put the card in the top slot and the DVI (2nd row) was covered up by a blanking plate! It’s a RTX 2060 card. I removed it and all was well.

RTX 2060

BBC Basic with SDL

BBC Basic with SDL

BBC Micro
From Wikipedia

Back in my games programming days I never had a BBC  micro, though I knew several people who did including one bloke who let people run their ROMs on his micro. Sneakily it made a copy of the ROM contents and saved it to disk. I remember wasting a lot of hours playing Elite on a Beeb back in 1984.

BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 is a cross-platform implementation of the BBC BASIC programming language for Windows, Linux (x86), MacOS, Raspbian (Raspberry Pi), Android, iOS and Emscripten / WebAssembly by developer R.T. Russell. If you ever fancied writing BASIC programs and running them on a BBC Micro then you now can with this.

It is programmed in C (and I’ve added a link into the C code library) and you’ll find the multi-platform source on GitHub. A visit to the Complete BBC Games archive might also be in order!


Where do I get a lot of my information from?

Where do I get a lot of my information from?

SubredditsI was asked this a few months ago. There are various sources including Hackers News and But reddit is just a collection of specialised sub communities (known as Subreddits) and even I wasn’t aware of quite how many there are.

I came across a link which lists 43 programming related subreddits. On the right hand bar there’ a list of a few Subreddits but at the bottom there’s a View More link to show all 43.

I’ve shown them here to give you an idea of what’s available. The member numbers will change and are often out of date anyway.

Very useful free resource website

Very useful free resource website

Texture Image by Eric Matyas.

Games need graphics, sound FX and music and Eric Matyas has an excellent website that provides them free.

It’s not just about sounds (apparently there are over 1,000 original sounds and music created by Eric) that you are allowed to use completely free in your games so long as you give him attribution but textures too. That’s a real bargain.

The texture shown was originally a 2048 x 2048 pixel graphic that I reduced in size for here. It came from, and there are a lot of other seamless metal textures on this page.

As I haven’t got a page setup for free resources, for now I’m adding this to the tips page.