back to article BBC Micro:bit delayed by power supply SNAFU

The BBC has admitted that the Micro:bit, the computer it plans to give to up to one million children, is not going to arrive on time due to quality problems. The Micro:bit was announced in March as a "get kids coding" initiative. Delivery was anticipated to occur in September, so that every 11 or 12 year-old in the UK could be …


      1. Sykobee

        The micro-bit is based around a 16MHz ARM Cortex M0 core (+256KB flash memory, and 16KB SRAM).

        I don't think it can emulate the original BBC Micro (not even the Model A) entirely, but it should be able to emulate the 2MHz 6502 just about.

        Interestingly, the micro:bit's USB interface chip has a 48MHz ARM Cortex M0+ core driving the USB stack...

        I wonder if we'll see interesting projects using, e.g., or running simple games, etc?

    1. John Savard Silver badge

      Not Really

      An actual BBC micro would be hugely expensive for its computing power.

      I am enough of an old fogey to think that if you really want the kids to write programs, you should give them something with an actual keyboard. But I'm not sure how that could be managed at a low cost, despite some keyboards being cheap.

      Of course, the telly tax hobbled the computer era in Britain, as elsewhere people used old TV sets they didn't watch any more but hadn't thrown away as monitors for their computers, essentially free.

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope it's better than "Girls Can Code"

    Having cringed while watching the superficial and patronising "Girls Can Code" on BBC3 this week, I don't have high hopes for any programming initiatives from the BBC. They don't appear to have a clue what "coding" means.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hope it's better than "Girls Can Code"

      Indeed, I'm sure Ian McNaught-Davis would have been very disappointed if he could have seen the rubbish the BBC is spewing out these days under the guise of educating the masses about computers.

      The BBC Micro created a whole generation of IT enthusiasts, the current stuff is buried in politically correct "isn't this clever" crap.

      1. LeeV

        Re: I hope it's better than "Girls Can Code"

        @AC "Indeed, I'm sure Ian McNaught-Davis would have been very disappointed if he could have seen the rubbish the BBC is spewing out these days under the guise of educating the masses about computers."

        Yes, I think Mac would have been very upset about the current situation...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hope it's better than "Girls Can Code"

      Absolutely. I watched with a mixture of hope, disbelief and cynicism, hoping that at least it would be entertaining. Unfortunately it couldn't even manage that. 20 minutes later I was on another channel and that series is a write-off.

  2. 27escape

    By the time they are ready

    The year of code will be over and another opportunity missed

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Girls can code - from the BBC

    "Hey girls! I'm Professor Fumbles McByte and me and my pet peripheral Dongle (he's right in here ladies) are going to teach you how to code. Ooh! I've painted your computers pink so you love them more, (don't want to use a boring beige boy's machine, now do we?). Ok, sit comfortably ladies, as me and Dongle (woof!) start lesson 1.

    Lesson 1 - click here and type the following into this box: w w w . f a c e b o o k . c o m

    Never mind what it all means, ladies, it's boys' magic. Cool!

    You've all passed the exam with 120%. That's wowtastic ladies! What do you think, Dongle? (Woof!)"

    There is no lesson 2.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Girls can code - from the BBC

      Please tell me this is not real.

      going to teach you

      I detect a brutally paternalistic action expression. Can't this be be rewritten?

  4. heyrick Silver badge

    Lesson number one, kiddies...

    Mumble mumble specified by management and not engineers mumble mumble cheapest bidder mumble mumble.

  5. Captain DaFt

    Why do they keep calling it 80s programming?

    The 80s had the Micro, the Spectrum, C64 and TI 99/4a. (among others)

    This little device smacks of 70s style computing.

  6. SMabille

    TV programs?

    While the BBC 80's version was an amazing initiative that generate a generation of IT serfs/engineers, the 2016 version seems far more pointless: Why bother having TV programs about coding??? Since the 80's we now have a fantastic source of alternative tailored content available on demand... Yes: The "Internet"!

    Is it really the role of the BBC to finance public education when it can't float channels and programmes with shrinking funding (thanks to a Murdoch affiliated government)?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TV programs?

      Arguably yes, it really is, according to the last charter renewal in 2006, if is correct. "Promoting education and learning;". You could interpret that as the BBC doesn't actually need to educate, just promote education by others? :)

  7. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    On the contrary...

    ...An issue with the device's power supply is the reason for the delay. Which is fair enough as it's all very well to teach kids to hack, but not if they learn what it's like to cop a jolt from the device's batteries along the way....

    'Copping a jolt' is an essential part of every electrical engineer's learning experience... and used to be part of every kid's learning experience in the days when science labs still had van de Graff generators...


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