Archive News


It has been a long time since the news section has been updated though this does not reflect the activity at the Archive.

A new addition was made to the Games Computing section - December 1984 was scanned and uploaded. There are now only three issues left to collect.

A number of issues of Computing Today from 1980, 1981 and 1984 were scanned and uploaded to the website. Grateful thanks are due to Paul Daniels for his sterling work scanning the new April and September 1984 issues.

A Projects section was added to the website in which various projects (completed or otherwise) will be added. Since the start of September a variable voltage power supply for thermionic valve projects was built and documented and added to this section.

Stardot member, FordP, has sent the Archive a number of floppy discs from the London Borough of Ealing. These discs were unprotected but had a lot of dirt on the reading surfaces and this had to be laboriously cleaned from each disk before archiving. Although some of the titles were already held by the Archive these compilations were different from those previously met and are therefore worthy of inclusion. Uploads from this collection include;

  • Music LOGO - a commercial add-on to Logotron LOGO to allow the programming of the BBC sound system via LOGO,
  • MicroFax - an emulation of the Teletext system; originally released by Acornsoft and later re-released by Ealing,
  • Intro Tray - an amended version of the original Developing Tray program distributed by MESU,
  • Our Facts - a MESU release of the Anita Straker software,
  • Data Handling - a MESU release of Noticeboard and Datashow by Anita Straker,
  • Information Handling - A MESU release of Branch and Sort Game,
  • My Maths - a custom middle school maths compilation



The last week has been a little quiet on the archiving front.

The latest update has been for RESOURCE software. The documentation for Fairy Tales has been added as well as another version of the disc software. The huge Cateby Manor package was archived along with a database for young children, First Facts.



Two more titles from RESOURCE were added today. These were Weather Studies and Place Names.

Although the titles were unprotected and would therefore archive easily their documentation needed extensive restoration as a result of the poor quality ink used by the printers.


The latest update today is Henderson's A Computer Simulation from RESOURCE. This was a major undertaking. The disk was unprotected, which was good, but the documentation was in a dire state and took a good few days to rescue and restore.

A description of the restoration process can be found here.


The latest update today includes a number of titles;

  • Pic Pop from Addison-Wesley which is a cross between a mathematics and a drawing program,
  • From PAVIC Publications two titles, Fun Phonics 6B: To the Rescue and Fun Phonics 8: 2,000AD; thanks to  billcarr2005 from the StarDot forum for the archive of the latter title, since the copy owned by the Educational Archive was damaged.



Updated the Wilt package by adding the documentation, the full version of the software and amending the date of publication and programmer.


A few minor upgrades were added today;

  • Vegetation and Climate from Cambridge Micro Software, which was in a box of about 10 copies of this disc sold as blank discs,
  • A BBCSoft title, Educational Demonstration Disc, sent to the archive by billcarr2005 of the StarDot forums,
  • A title from FormatPC Ltd, Top Class Curriculum; this was a massive title spanning two double-sided 80T floppy discs, that is 800K of software.


This has been a busy time for the Archive. A large number of missing items were supplied by Stardot Forum member, Break, and these form most of the latest update.

The Archive was also contacted by Andy Pickford, one of the founders of Selective Software, who was able to provide insight into their operation as a software company as well as some images of their software.

New items added include;

  • Infant Maths Snap from Sherston, a program for 4-7 year olds,
  • Cuthbert Catches a Cold from Selective Software, a two disk title of adventure games, graphics and music for 6-9 year olds,
  • 3D-LOGO a series of LOGO programs and utilities provided by Homerton College; these require Logotron LOGO to be in the computer,
  • The BBC Buggy Software by Economatics; the manuals are included in the download courtesy of Stardot Forum member Simoni,
  • Emergency First Aid (CPR) a title produced by Birch Hill Hospital in Rochdale, probably for their own internal use,
  • A Gas Safety Quiz from British Gas, Thames Division; this was probably an internal training program for service engineers,
  • Grasshopper, a simple MODE 7 spreadsheet from Newman Software, the publishing department of Newman College, Birmingham,
  • Grass a MODE 7 data handling package from Newman Software; this also includes the data file The Orb of Zalibar,
  • From Paean Systems, Junior Spelling, a program to print spelling worksheets,
  • The Kingdom of Gold from Tressell Publications, a decision-making exercise based around the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs,
  • In Search of the New World also from Tressell Publications, a decision-making exercise based around the discovery of the Americas,
  • The LOGO Extensions disk which provides extensions to Logotron LOGO to operate their sprite board,
  • Lost on Mars an animated adventure game for young children by the Computer Aided Animated Arts Theatre based at Brighton Polytechnic,
  • Reading and Language Skills from MacMillan Software, a compilation of several literacy programs,
  • An amateur compilation of maths programs for young children entitled Maths with a Story,
  • An amateur compilation of programs for infants; this is Miscellaneous 1 in the archive,
  • An amateur Newspaper Program aimed at young children,
  • Two items from the Post Office, Post Office All Sorts and Lenny's Golden Rules,
  • SEMERC titles, Prompt 3, a simple word processor and a compilation from Redbridge SEMERC,
  • More amateur programs, Tables Expert, Wet Ones and Time Keeper,
  • The Designer Version of Developing Tray from MESU, which allows importing texts from other word processors.


A big update today adding the following titles;

  • From the Osmiroid 5-14 Maths series - Angles, Four Rules and Fractions, Measurement, Multiplication Tables, Number Bonds and Shapes. These are all designed to print out a range of customisable worksheets on an Epson-compatible printer. They all had a new and interesting method of protection.
  • An amateur compilation of programs to complement the Peak Maths series of books, published by Nelson Thornes Ltd.
  • An amateur title, Angle Turner aimed at teaching estimation of angle size in primary schools.
  • Beat the Clock fromanother amateur source, a suite of three programs designed to help read analogue and digital clock faces.
  • A version of Our Facts released by NCET.
  • A compilation of Anita Straker titles aimed at 9-13 year old students.
  • An adventure game from Norfolk LEA, Treasure Island.
  • From BBCSoft in conjunction with Longman-Logotron an environmental adventure, Earth Warp and an Ecological adventure Sky Hunter.
  • Timetables from the Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit in Bath.



Over the past couple of days a number of floppy disks were examined. Four missing titleswere discovered and added to the archive. These were;

  • Computer Concepts' LOGO 2 - a simple version of a LOGO graphics program. This was missing the documentation, which is needed to drive the program, unless one examines the program listing to work out the syntax.
  • Reversals from Chalksoft - a literacy program revolving around letter reversals frequently found in a young person's writing.
  • Profile Writer and Report Writer from S & GM Antczak - designed for teachers to profile and report on their students. This is missing documentation which would be needed to use these programs. The programs are notable for their close integration with View on the BBC Master series computers.
  • Image from Cambridge Micro Software - a complex drawing package using the cursor keys. The disks were clones of the original and quite ingeniously protected.


A number of items were added today. These include the original Starspell by Fisher-Marriott (found on a primary school compilation disc), First School Programs Set1 and Set 2, an amateur compilation of original and copied software and Plane Designer from Dudley LEA. Plane Designer is a complex package for Technology Departments in schools and is based around designing, making and testing model aeroplanes.


Added two more titles to the archive.

Firstly L: A Mathemagical Adventure from The Association of the Teachers of Mathematics
Secondly The Real You, a personality quiz from CollinsSoft, programmed by ASK.

The original package I had was the tape version and would only work on a BBC model B or B+. I later doscovered a copied disk. This, however, would not work on the model B or B+ as it required PAGE to still be at &E00 and with the facility of loading data files. It would not work on the Master either due to the user defined characters being used wrongly by the programmer.

This title was 'hacked' so that PAGE was moved down to &E00 for all modules and the character definitions were read from the definition file and used to define characters in the ranges 224 to 255 and 128 to 159 inclusive. The package now ran on a Master. It would not run on a model B.

Billcarr2005 from StarDot to the rescue! A disc-based version was provided which ran on the model B. It would not work properly on the Master. The Menu program was edited to redefine characters 128 to 159 inclusive if a BBC Master series machine was detected. The title appears to run on all variants of the BBC micro to hand.


Added the Fernleaf package 'Games of Deduction'.

The documentation for the ITV Key package was updated and the system disk was re-imaged from the original since the previous version, a Teachers' Centre copy, was improperly copied back in the day. The Key data file 'Placenames' was also added to the archive.


Added the Quest database package from AUCBE. The archive includes the tape version, the disk-based version running in BASIC and the ROM-based version. There is a machine code, disk-based version but this is missing at the moment. Unfortunately there are no databases available for this database in the download.

The Archive was contacted by the programmer of the package, 'Chatter', Tim Kitchen, who is now retired from his post as IT Advisor for Walsall LEA. Tim kindly provided more information about the package and how it was intended to be used. The package details have been updated in the Archive.


Count with Oliver from Mirrorsoft and two titles from Storm Software, Ollie Octopus' Sketchpad and Amazing Ollie & Ollie Octopus' Sketchpad added today.

The compilation package appears to be a special version made for the Camberley Teachers' Centre in Surrey. The floppy disk had a hand-written label and was unprotected.

Also added a title, KinderComp, from Spinnaker Software Corporation, an American firm.


The RISCOS section has been updated to include the following titles from Computer Concepts;

  • Spellmaster plus documentation
  • Interword including the Iconbar version
  • Intersheet the Iconbar version
  • Interchart
  • Wordwise Plus including the Iconbar version

Acornsoft ISO-Pascal and the Graphics Extensions pack and PROLOG X have also been added


Nearly a month has gone by since the last news item but that does not mean that nothing has been happening.

A new section has been added to the website - Games Computing. This was a short-lived magazine of only 15 issues published during 1984 and 1985. The magazine contains numerous type-in games programs, many of which are for Acorn machines. Out of the 15 issues the archive has 11 issues preserved in PDF format.

The Calculators section has been updated to include the HP-15C scientific programmable calculator and some programming aids.

The Beebug Quick Calc package has been added to the educational software archive. This quirky little program was used in my school before the ROM-based Inter-Sheet made its appearance. The documentation for Linear Graphics' Plotmate A4 has had a revamp to include the ROM user guide and a guide for LOGO users.

Finally some behind-the-scenes changes were made to the look and feel of the website. A search function is now accessible from the archive page to help find that elusive title.


Added the Yorkshire Television title "How We Used To Live". The archive is grateful to StarDot member Boydie for the kind donation.


LOGOSOUNDS from AUCBE added today. This is another title from the Newman College BBC software library.


Added a couple of packages from the Newman College software library, a collection of about 100 or so educational titles. The titles are Concept a provisional copy of a MESU package to help adapt existing programs to work with a concept keyboard and Inform 1 from Nottinghamshire County Council Computer Centre.


Software and documentation for using concept keyboards has been added since the last update.

A new addition to the information provided by the archive is publisher's advertising material. This has been added to the individual publisher's page and can be viewed by following the publisher link from the package display page.

Acornsoft Chemical Structures was added today along with the June 1980 edition of Computing Today.


Added the Logotron PrintBox package today.

This is a comprehensive, single page DTP package for the BBC Master computer. It will also work on the Master Compact and the BBC Model B and B+.

To work on the BBC B/B+ the ROM must be loaded separately into a vacant sideways RAM bank and initialised before starting the program disk. To work on a Master Compact the images will need to be copied onto a 3.5" floppy disk.


The Walsall LOGO Project: Islamic Patterns package was uploaded today.

The package comprised a thick, A4 booklet intended to support teaching Art, Technology and Computer Science using the LOGO programming language. Included in the text were a number of sample LOGO programs. These were typed into the computer and saved on an 80T SSD image.

The package is just as relevant today as it was in 1987!


Added Computing Today scans for April and May 1980.

Updated the documentation for the standalone ASK/Acornsoft version of Podd. Thanks to CMcDougall from the Stardot Forum for providing the scans of the documentation.


The March 1980 edition of Computing Today was scanned and added to the website.

The Acornsoft title Algebraic Manipulation was added and the massive Library of Physical Chemistry Software from Oxford Electronic Publishing.

The latter title ran to six floppy discs and a ring-bound manual of well over 100 pages. Archiving this was a mammoth task. All the disks had to be individually cleaned with IPA before they would read and the disk drive heads cleaned after each disk was archived. The floppy disk surface looked to be in good condition but was covered with a thin layer of grime and loose oxide.

The manual also proved to be tricky to scan. The print was very small and there were a lot of grey panels and computer screen dumps in the text causing bleed-through from behind. The normal archive scanner could not produce an acceptable image at any setting. The backup scanner, a Canon LiDE 25, was called into service and adjusted to give a clean image using a grey scale scan at 300dpi. The scanner software was very slow but did give accurate renderings by scanning direct into MS Word 2010. (Yes, I know Microsoft in their ineptitude removed access to 'scan-into' from MS Word 2007 onwards but they left the function still active via the hot-key sequence ALT-I ALT-P ALT-S, thank goodness.)


The February 1980 edition of Computing Today has been scanned and added to the website.

Also added were Adventure Playground from Widgit Software and Air Traffic control and Travel Agent, two more programs in the Granada Micros at Work series.


Another Computing Today issue added - January 1980

The Key database package from ITV Schools, Beebugsoft's Painter (Joystick only version) and Jigsaw and Sliding Puzzles from ESM were also added.



  • Graphito from Addison-Wesley: a complex programming graphics package,
  • Picture Builder from Hill MacGibbon: a simple drawing package using shapes,
  • Storyboard II from Wida Software: a full featured text reconstituting package similar to Developing Tray.


Added Acornsoft titles including;

  • ABC - a text based riddle program
  • Chemical Analysis: perform virtual tests to analyse substances
  • Jars - an estimation and logical problem solving title
  • Linkword - French: learn to speak and understand French

Also added Instant Recall by Supersoft, an index card based database package.

16/03/2019 Acornsoft Talkback and Acornsoft Workshop and documentation added.

Pip Goes to the Moon by Northern Micromedia was added today along with the November and December 1979 issues of Computing Today.


Added the following titles to the archive;

  • The Language of Functions and Graphs, a compilation of Shell Centre titles,
  • Instat, a comprehensive statistical package produced by the University of Reading statistics department
  • Probability Programs for the BBC Micro from Capital Media.
  • Hex - a drawing program from AUCBE.

The September and October 1979 issues of Computing Today were scanned and added to the Computing Today archive.


Added the August 1979 issue of Computing Today.

The following titles were added to the BBC Educational Software Archive;

  • Basic Music Composition by Helicon Press
  • Golden Eagle and Super Seed by Cambridge Micro Software

Added the following packages;

  • DVLC from Resource - a data handling package simulating some of the functions of the DVLC. This was one of the packages I actually used BITD.
  • Maths Topics 1 from Cambridge Micro Software - programs to help understanding of symmetry and vectors. The disk is courtesy of billcarr2005 from the Stardot forums. My package was missing the floppy disk.
  • Maths Topics 2 and 3 from Cambridge Micro Software - programs to help understanding of percentage.
  • Tessellations from Cambridge Micro Software - design tiles and tessellate them; thanks to billcarr2005 from Stardot for providing an archive of this title as my disk was found to have a single sector damaged in the middle of a critical program.

Made updates to;

  • Movaword by Chalksoft - also added a later version of the software to the download courtesy of billcarr2005 from Stardot


Updated the following packages;

  • Supergraph by Glentop: added the extensive documentation and disk scans
  • Zillion by Sherston: added the teacher guide and disk scans


  • Movaword by Chalksoft: This is a literacy program for young children. The original disk was physically damaged. However, a copy was found in a mixed box of disks obtained from a retiring teacher and was used to recover the programs.
  • Word Maze by Xavier Educational Software: another program targeting children with Dyslexia. This one has a Mech navigating a maze.


Updated Facemaker by ASK to include the manual. Also added the ESM version to the database.

4Mation Dinosaur Discovery was updated regarding the protection mechanism on the ADFS Compact version and the 4Mation title Tele-Book was added.

Computing Today March, April, May, July 1979 have been scanned and added to the website.

The Calculators section has been added.

Several minor changes to the website were made.


The following packages have been added/updated;

  • Added several titles from Harmony Educational Software. This is a company run by a Physics teacher. Their range includes programs to aid understanding of waves and mechanics. It is likely that this software will be super rare. The discs were unprotected but were in a poor physical state and needed much cleaning before they were readable.
  • Added Griffin Fairshare, a tape-based package recovered from tape and put onto disk.
  • Added LCL Primary Maths Course - A massive title covering 4 floppy discs. The discs were flippy ones, 40T on side 1 and 80T on side 2. The only protection was to hide the catalogue.
  • Mr T's Shape Games - updated release date, price and documentation

There have also been several minor updates to the web pages such as adding a link to the individual protection method on the package display page.


Added January 1984 and June 1984 editions of Computing Today.

Updated the Acornsoft Linkword - Spanish, ASK Number Puzzler and ASK Table Adventures documentation to include the manuals.

Added the following Acornsoft/Acornsoft-ASK titles;

  • Hide and Seek
  • Hooked on Numbers
  • Linkword - Italian
  • Sentence Sequencing

An update involving several publishers was made over the weekend.

Pazazz by ASK was added including the documentation. This was the first title met which was a 40/80T title and which had the 40T version on side 0 of the disk and the 80T version on side 2. Software determined what type of floppy drive was being used and switched sides as appropriate.

Other updates made were due to kind donations by StarDot members;

  • Resource titles, Christmas Tales and Whispy Wood, were donated by klintworth
  • Heineman titles, Longitudinal Waves, Symbols to Moles, Transverse Waves and Vehicle Design, were hacked and donated by billcarr2005
  • Geedoh Educational Software Music Reader 2 was provided by Lurkio who also provided the Sulis Software title, The Grammar Tree: Nouns and Adjectives.

Finally worked out exactly how the Five Ways Software disk protection works for their Heineman titles!

Their method shows a clear evolution from the early days to their later packages. The method has now been hacked so that titles can be easily archived.

Two packages have been uploaded - Scales and Approximation, estimation and standard form.

A standard 8271 DFS BBC model B has now been set up for archiving those titles which cannot be handled by a BBC Master computer.


Added two packages today. Firstly The Tycoon Itch from Jacaranda Software. This is an international trading game, originally for a Master Compact running ADFS it will also run under DFS on a Master.

The second package is from NCET, the Information Handling Pack. This is a suite of five data handling programs. The software was on several compilations and as copies of the original discs in a collection obtained from a teacher's centre in Scotland. The manual was in a collection of material from a retiring primary school teacher. The software and manual have been combined now in this package.


Two updates today. Firstly Osprey! from Bourne Educational Software and secondly Advanced Folio from Tedimen Software.


Archived the Jacaranda title 'Maths Bingo'. This was an unprotected 3.5" version suitable for the Master Compact and Archimedes series of computers. It was easy to produce archive versions for BBC model B computers from this disk.

Two very early issues of Computing Today were added to the archive. Originally these were inserts in Electronics Today International.


Added the full Microtext package including the comprehensive manual and other documentation.


Made some minor updates to the archive.

Pirate Pedro is now connected and available for download.

Added a Letts title, "Key Facts: Biology", a revision title for O-Level and GCSE Biology, and a MacDonald title, "Bird Watch", a series of programs loosely to do with birds.


Added titles by publishers LCL and Mentor Educational Services.


Added several Golem Software titles, Suburban Fox by Ginn, a title by GTM Software called High Flyer, CESIL by Hexsoft, Find by HUMMEC, Lenses from Hutchinson, demonstrations of metallic crystal lattices from the Institute of Metals and the Kosmos suite of MFL software.

The April 1983 edition of Computing Today was added. This includes a version of Frogger for the BBC Micro, updates to the Valley adventure and a lower case addition for the UK101.


Scanned and uploaded the April 1982 Computing Today magazine, the one containing the code for The Valley.


Completed adding Chalksoft and Golem Software titles today. Also updated some original prices for their software.

Discovered an ESM release of Podd as a single title. Added this to the archive.


Chalksoft's Puncman series added to the archive. Puncman 1 & 2 are included as tape versions. The SSD files are simply copies of the tape files on disc.

Puncman 5, 6 & 7 was also released by Chalksoft. This is missing from the archive.


A big expansion to the website was introduced today.

As well as updating the educational archive, sections for RISCOS software, UK101 information and software and the Computing Today magazine were added.

These sections will be developed as time and inclination permit.


Virtually all packages with documentation have been added to the archive.

I am now ploughing through the vast number of image only archives I have, testing which are working and checking that they have been correctly attributed to the right publisher.


Today was a huge milestone with the addition of Cranky from ASK/Acornsoft. 1000 programs catalogued, tested and uploaded!


Added a number of Cambridge Micro Software titles and updated their catalogue.

Thanks to Kenelm from STH forums for providing the images.


Several titles for Heineman Educational Books Ltd. were added today. Thanks are extended to Stardot Forum members Lardoboffin for the Primary Mathematics Programs documentation and billcarr2005 for cracking the protection on those discs and providing the disc images.


Note Invaders from Chalksoft is the 700th program tested and uploaded to the archive.


Completed uploading all the working software for Longman. There are quite a number of titles in the archive for this publisher now.

There are still a couple to check out and prepare for uploading.

Thanks to the stardot members who sent me a lot of the missing titles.


A big update today. A set of programs by Xavier Educational Software was added. These are specialist programs aimed at children with dyslexia.

Thanks are due to Xavier Educational Software for permission to host these titles and to the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge for the loan of the software discs.


Visited the ABUG meeting at the Centre for Computing History over the weekend and had the opportuity to archive loads of packages and to receive from ABUG members a mass of titles missing from the archive.

The titles will be uploaded over the coming week or so.

A big vote of thanks to ABUG for organising the meeting and to the museum staff for hosting us.

Added Termulator for the BBC model B and B+ complete with all documentation and a number of Longman titles complete with extensive documentation.


Several more packages have been added to the Archive.

The News page now shows the latest package added and gives various statistics about the Archive.

A new browse all publishers facility has been added to the Archive page.


With the latest update there are now over 500 programs listed in the archive and available for download.


Another large update including a number of Fun School programs from Database Publications and ASK the Best Four Maths,


Another big update today.

Titles include the DLM Arcademic Maths series, Cheshire Cat Maths, Ebury Mr T and more


Made some more additions today;

  • The Anita Straker collection,
  • Some MAPE titles,
  • Began a section for Shell Publications.

Some AVP titles were added;

  • First Steps - a primary maths package
  • Hydrostatics and Statistics - a Geography package dealing with river basins
  • Puzzle Palace - A mathematical adventure game.

Several minor upgrades to web pages.

Updated publisher catalogues.


Added titles by Arnold and DESC (Derbyshire Educational Software Centre).

Made updates to the catalogue, some dates of issue and some prices.


Extended the Sherston Software collection to include all titles held by the archive.

Updated the archive browser to include a browse by publisher facility.


Several more packages added today;

  • Best Four Language by ASK.
  • Context by BBCsoft.
  • Introducing Map Skills 1 by Cambridge Micro Software.
  • Introducing Map Skills 2 by Cambridge Micro Software.
  • Music Master by AB European Marketing
  • Tree of Knowledge by Acornsoft

The web site goes live!

The initial prototype containing about 20 educational packages was uploaded today.

 Information Handling
 Microelectronics Education Support Unit (MESU)
  1490 programs
  632 packages
  157 publishers
 Administration 3
 Adventure 63
 Art 22
 Biology 80
 Business 10
 Chemistry 104
 Classics 1
 Computer Science 49
 Design and Technology 6
 Economics 3
 English 37
 Gardening 1
 General Purpose 41
 Geography 43
 German 6
 History 27
 Literacy 169
 Mathematics 544
 Modern Foreign Languages 13
 Music 15
 Office Skills 2
 Personal and Social Education 4
 Physical Education 1
 Physics 27
 Problem solving 97
 Special Needs 109
 Training 1

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