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Microbee System Software

Microbee System Software provides an operating environment and platform on which other General Software can run. This includes ROM based software that is permanently resident within the machine as well as Disk based operating systems.
 

Microworld Basic

Microworld Basic is the Microbee's very own variant of the Basic programming language. It was supplied in both ROM and Disk editions to suit different Microbee models. Most ROM based Microbees automatically boot into Microworld Basic on power up, whereas Disk based machines have it available to run as a CP/M ".COM" file. It was actively developed during the 1980s, with a number of different versions being released for both ROM and Disk based editions.


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Microworld Basic v5.10
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Microworld Basic v6.35e

ROM Editions

VersionRelease DateMicrobee ModelNew Features and ChangesNew CommandsNotes
5.00Feb 1982Kit  First version available and soon replaced with v5.10. No known copy.
5.101982Kit, 16/32K & 16/32K Plus MEM, NET, EDASMReplaced v5.00 for Kit Microbee and came in the first pre-assembled Microbees in the new 2 tone case. MEM, NET and EDASM used to call other roms.
5.21e1982ICLIST in Uppercase or Lowercase.LISTU & LISTL, COLOUR & COLOR 
5.22e1983IC, Experimenter, Educator, PC PAK (replacing MEM), COLOUR, COLOR 
5.22d1983Danish IC  Known Danish variety.
5.24e1985PC85 MENU (replacing EDASM)Short life and quickly replaced with 5.25e.
5.24s1985Swedish PC85  Known Swedish variety.
5.25e1985PC85b   
5.26e1985PC85b and Swedish PC85Supports the Australian & Swedish keyboard. Runs on both Australian & Swedish PC85's
5.29e1986Prem PC85No longer runs out of PCG graphics in 64x16 mode.HIRES2 

 

Disk Editions

VersionRelease DateMicrobee ModelNew Features and ChangesNew CommandsNotes
5.22e198364K, 64K Plus, APC, CIAB  Same as ROM version 5.22e but able to be run from floppy, called TBASICC.COM
6.22e198364K, 64K Plus, APC, CIABDisk commands introduced. SAVE&LOAD now save/load to disk, CSAVE&CLOAD to/from tape.EOF (replacing PAK), SAVE, LOAD, CSAVE, CLOAD, DIR, GRSAVE, GRLOAD, OPEN, CLOSE, NAME, KILL, AS, SYSTEM, DISKRESETSee Beeline v3#06
6.23e - Type11983CIABAccepts command line parameter from CP/M to auto load/run programMENU (replacing EDASM)CP/M commands such as "BASIC GAME" can now be used to run Basic and then automatically load and run GAME.MWB. Runs okay on CIAB, will not run under Prem128 PJB v1.2 nor Std 128k Microbee system.
6.23e - Type21983128KAccepts command line parameter from CP/M to auto load/run programEDASM (replacing MENU)CP/M commands such as "BASIC GAME" can now be used to run Basic and then automatically load and run GAME.MWB. Runs okay under Prem128k PJB v1.2 and Std 128k Microbee system , will not run under CIAB.
6.23s1983Swedish 128k  CP/M commands such as "BASIC GAME" can now be used to run Basic and then automatically load and run GAME.MWB. Runs okay under Prem128k PJB v1.2 and Std 128k Microbee system , will not run under CIAB.
6.26e1985Prem 128kNo longer runs out of PCG graphics in 64x16 mode.HIRES2GRSAVE files are 20kb in size with HIRES2 on, with HIRES, they are 8kb in size. COLOUR & COLOR commands produce different colours than previous models.
6.28e1986Prem 128k  Replaced 6.26e quickly.
6.28n1986Prem 128k  Network version.
6.30e1986Prem 128k Overdrive(?)   
6.31e1987256TCAdds programming the function key and program caching. Mentioned in Catcher v5 #8 p8 - Caches the program, for examle: NEW the program, LIST shows its gone, then LOAD brings it back instanly with no disk activity.
6.32e1987Prem 128k & 256TCAdded ability to workout what type of Microbee its running from and load in appropriate form of Basic. HIRES2 line plotting now uses the faster Bresenham's Algorithm - Catcher v6 #4a p10
6.33e1987Prem 128k & 256TC  Network version known to be used for Swedish Premium 128k.
6.34e1987Prem 128k & 256TC   
6.35e1988Prem 128K, 256TC & Matilda  Final released version of Microworld Basic.
6.22z1988APC, CIAB, 128k, Prem 128k, 256TCFrom Owen Hill - Will enable practically all programs running under Basic to operate on all machines. Catcher v6 #10 Has problems with PJB system.

 

Boot/Monitor ROM

This ROM is installed into Disk based machines to provide a bootstrap BIOS with the ability to then load CP/M from disk. A machine language monitor is also included which provides an alternative low-level operating environment. The monitor can be invoked by holding down the "M" key during power up or reset. or from the Menu selection on later models.


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128K Boot ROM Menu (BN60)
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256TC Boot ROM Menu

 

Boot ROM VersionRelease DateMicrobee ModelDisk TypeFeatures and Notes
?198264KSS40S, SS40, DS40S & DS40A 4kb boot rom with Monitor. Allows booting via the 50way expansion port to an External S100 system. This rom has not been seen or maybe the 56K rom.
56K198364K PlusSS40S, SS40, DS40S & DS40A 4kb boot rom with Monitor. Allows booting via the 50way expansion port to an External WD based floppy controller.
BN541984128K and CIABDS40 or SS80An 8kb boot rom with Monitor. Allows booting via its internal floppy controller on the Coreboard.
BN54 Swedish Swedish CIABDS40 or SS80As above but also handles the changed keyboard.
BN55 128K and CIABDS40 or SS80Allows booting via its internal floppy controller on the Coreboard.
BN561986Prem 128K & Prem CIABDS40 or SS80 & DS80Allows booting via its internal floppy controller on the Coreboard.
BN57/58/2.01-None-Never officially released. Known bugs were 1. In self test mode MEMORY BLOCK TEST does not test banks 1 and 3. 2. Does not test the RAM BANK switching. 3. The letter "E" on the keyboard not tested. 4. Some functions in the MONITOR leave bytes on the stack causing a crash. 5. The word KERNEL is spelt wrong on the self test menu. 6. Problems when typing in glass typewriter mode.
BN59/2.02-None-As above but has problem number 1 fixed.
BN60/2.03Dec 1987128K OverdriveSS80 & DS80All above bugs fixed. Menu comes to screen if no floppy in drive to allow selecting Boot Floppy, Monitor or Self Test. The network facility has been removed so cannot work on a Starnet.
HD181985128k & Prem 128K Hard Drive modelsDS40 and 10MB & 20MB Hard DriveFor Hard Drive models only for use with WD Hard Drive/Floppy external controller.
256TC 1.111987256TCSS80 & DS80A 16kb rom. Featured in the 256TC manuals but no copy actually seen. Allows booting via its internal floppy controller. Menu on screen if no floppy in drive, allows selection of Boot Disk, Network, Set Time & Set Test. Boots single or double sided 3.5" disks only.
256TC 1.151987256TCSS80 & DS80Menu as above.
256TC 1.201987256TCSS80 & DS80Menu on screen if no floppy in drive, allows selection of Boot Disk, Monitor, Self Test & Set Time. Monitor Icon changed.
Matilda 1.311990MatildaSS80 & DS80Works in Matilda to emulate the 256TC. Menu on screen if no floppy in drive, allows selection of only Boot Disk, Self Test & Set Time.

 
 

Z80 Editor/Assembler

A Z80 machine language Editor/Assembler, called EDASM, was available as a option for anyone wishing to venture into machine language programming. It was initially available as a ROM package, but later also became available on disk.
More details to be added here in future...
 

WordBee

Wordbee was the Microbee's first Word Processor. It was supplied in both ROM and Disk editions.


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WordBee v1.0
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WordBee v4.1

ROM Editions

VersionRelease DateMicrobee ModelNew Features and ChangesNew CommandsNotes
Wordbee 1.0198216/32K PlusSerial printer set as default. First version available. See Wordbee Instructions Manual for full operation.
Wordbee 1.21983IC & PCAllows you to change the keyboard and printer devices directly from the Menu.I and O See Wordbee Users Manual for full operation.
Wordbee 1.2 Swedish1983Swedish IC & PCMenu now in Swedish.  
Wordbee 1.31985PC85Parallel printer set as default. Status of the key is shown on the status line at the top of the screen. Printing italics mode has been added. Cursor movement in the Wordbee Monitor changed to Ctrl E, S, D, X. See the PC85 Users Manual for full list of changes, page 7-1.
Wordbee 1.3 Release 31985PC85   
Wordbee 2.0 Swedish1985Swedish PC85Menu now in Swedish.  

 

Disk Editions

VersionRelease DateMicrobee ModelNew Features and ChangesNew CommandsNotes
Wordbee 3.2198264K, 64K Plus and 128KSame as ROM 1.2 but now disk support. E Exits to CP/M and not Basic.L & S Loads and Saves to Disk, C Change Disk, D Disk Directory, A Append to file 
Wordbee 3.31984CIAB and 128KAuto-loads a file called WBEE.WBF  
Graphics Wordbee 4.11985Prem CIAB and Prem 128KGraphics addition and change of Font now included. Came complete with Font & Graphic Editors.G to load Graphics font file. Replaced by Simply Write wordprocessor on later Prem 128k. See Graphics Wordbee Users Manual for full operation.

 

Telcom

Telcom is a communications program for the Microbee IC and later ROM based models. It requires a 3.375MHz CPU clock so is not compatible with earlier 2MHz machines.


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Telcom v1.2
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Telcom v3.0

ROM Editions

VersionRelease DateMicrobee ModelNew Features and ChangesNew CommandsNotes
Comms1982Kit, 16K/32K & 16K/32K PlusSimple Communications from 110 to 4800 baud. Has built in Monitor and Test routine.MON and TESTDesigned for the 2khz Microbees. 4kb ROM.
Telcom 1.01982ICMonitor and Test routines removed. Baud rate from 50 to 19k. Clock and Alarm included. Screen Text can be saved to Wordbee. Screen print works from BASIC or Wordbee. First version with Telcom name. See the Telcom I Users Manual for full operation and capabilities.
Telcom 1.11982ICBug fix release. Telcom Clock was causing problems loading tapes via Worbee Monitor.
Dinamicro 1.11983Swedish ICSwedish version. Has SCREEN 40/80 option.SCREENCalled Dinamicro ApS - Communications
Telcom 1.21983ICBug fix release. Reliable tape loads with the Wordee monitor has been fixed in this version. Telcom Clock was interfering with tape loads.
Telcom 3.001984PCMonitor and Test routines re-appear with a calculator and format option.MON, TEST, CALC and FORMATNow an 8kb ROM. See the Microbee Series III and Telcom III User Manual for full operation.
Telcom 3.101984PC   
Telcom 3.21 Standard1985PC85Parallel printer set as default printer. Self test updated. Screen print facility accessed by ^P has been removed from Telcom and the screen prints are now sent to the shell ROM. See the PC85 Users Manual for full list of changes, page 8-1.
Telcom 3.21 Premium1985Premium PC85  See the Premium PC85 Users Manual for full operation and changes, page 12-1.
Telcom 3.21 Swedish1985Swedish PC85   
Telcom 4.071986TeletermCompete re-design. Uses drop down Menus. Self Test now includes the handpiece. See the Teleterm Reference Manual for full features, page 2-1.

 

Disk Editions

VersionRelease DateMicrobee ModelNew Features and ChangesNew CommandsNotes
Telcom 2.01984APC, CIAB & 128KHalf duplex with ECHO supported. See the Telcom II Users Manual for full operation.
Telcom 2.11984APC, CIAB & 128K   
Telcom 2.21985APC, CIAB, 128K,  Prem CIAB & Prem 128KMax Baud rate increased to 38k.38KSee the Telcom II ver 2.2 Users Manual for full operation.
Telcom 2.31986128k & Prem 128KSupports the SCC by selecting Port 2 on the Telcom menu. See Beeline v7 #4
Telcom 2.41987Prem 128k & 256TCThe REAL logged disk drive (and user number) now display on the screen.  See the 256TC Telcom Manual for full operation.
Telcom 2.411987Prem 128k & 256TC   
Telcom 3.001987Prem 128k & 256TCSupport for Hayes Modems included.BEE/HAYESOpening screen still shows Telcom II.

 

CP/M

Disk based Microbees run the CP/M Operating System.
More details to be added here in future...
 

CIAB Menu

The Microbee Computer in a Book (CIAB) features a graphical menu system that resembles an open book. The menu can be run automatically at boot time and provides user friendly access to the main system software components.


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CIAB Menu
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Premium CIAB Menu

VersionRelease DateMicrobee ModelNew Features and ChangesNotes
sh198464k & CIABHeading reads Computer-In-A-Book. Monochrome.Simple graphical menu to look like an open book.
sh-prem1985Prem CIABHeading reads microbee 64k SHELL. Option R - ROM Basic replaced with V - VIATEL. Now in Colour. 

 

Microbee Shell

An innovative CP/M Shell was available for Disk based Microbees. The Shell evolved over time both for compatibility with new models and also to introduce changes and new features.


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Microbee Shell (Early 1 version)
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Microbee Shell v3.01

Shell Versions

VersionRelease DateMicrobee ModelNew Features and ChangesNotes
Early 1?128kIcon 1- WS, 2- MP, 3- BasicCOM files and others not separated. Ctrl SDEX used for movement, Icon + number, monochrome.
Early 2?128kIcon 1- WS, 2- DB, 3- VTEXCOM files and others are separated, Ctrl SDEX or Arrow keys used for movement, Icon+Name+number.
Early 3?128kIcon 1-WS, 2-MP, 3 - DB 
2.341985Prem 128kIcon 1-WP, 2-Calc, 3 - VTEX, 0 - Backup (originally CCP) and now in Colour. 
2.36?Prem 128kTime & Date displayed at right hand side in line above Icons. Icon 0 - CCP.Only if a clock is fitted.
3.001987256TCTop bar introduced and includes Shell version & Copyright. Time & Date displayed in this bar. Icon 0 - Backup. 
3.01 t11987Prem 128kAs above.A HEX compare shows code is very different to ver 3.00.
3.01 t21987256TCTop bar has Shell version, no copyright, time & date and mouse control icons included for File, Disk & User area.Mouse needed to operate mouse control.
3.011988640TC/MatildaAs above.Works on the Matilda in Microbee CP/M mode.