Apologies for the resurrection. Pre-Christmas reading of threads I don't normally read.
I must be a similar age to Aleister as when I was in the 6th Form our school had a single Commodore Pet that we had to book time on (Bristol School, not Brum, though). My schoolmate wanted to do serious stuff, I wanted to play Space Invaders. I often 'won'. The School also had a few Acorn Acorns, basically a 6502 attached to a hexadecimal display and a hexadecimal keypad. I learnt my machine code on there before buying a BBC Micro and moving onto Assembler and BASIC. Some of my mates were members of a Commodore User Group and for a while my BBC was an honourary Commodore as I was the only one with one.
Bought a Teletext Adaptor and reverse engineered it to download and save share prices from Ceefax (Prices updated every 20 minutes) which I could then display as a graph. That you have never heard of me outside this Forum shows you how impressive my investing skills were by use of these data.
At Uni I used my BBC in my Final Year project to design & build a Storage Oscilloscope so overall I don't think it owed me anything by the time I disposed of it. My Examiner said of the external board and Software "You could sell that for £200 a time". Not my first, not my last Business Opportunity missed.
1) I have downloaded and run Beebem, which is a very good BBC Micro emulator for the PC - http://www.mkw.me.uk/beebem/
Most ROMS are available from links on the website and I still blast meteors on a regular basis as well as trying to get somewhere in Philosopher's Quest.
2) I had reason to kill two days in London this week and 3 hours of that were spent in the Science Museum. The telephony and Computing history sections brought back so many memories for me with plenty of BBC MIcros, ZX80/81, TRS 80s and so on and I wallowed in nostalgia for a big chunk of those three hours. Well recommended.