Reply to post: Ah the good old days

Beware the trainee with time on his hands and an Acorn manual on his desk

Kevin Lomax

Ah the good old days

We had a school network of Beebs running over EcoNet. Basically each machine on the network had a number to identify it.

Being nerds we decided to RTFM to see what it was possible to do over said network. We quickly discovered the *REMOTE command - this allowed you to specify the machine you wanted to control. So just work out which machine your mate was on and then *REMOTE him...usually followed by the "NEW" command (for those that don't remember Beeb BASIC, this would clear the program you were working on...)

So you quickly learned to save often to the 5 1/4 floppy on the "server".

And then we discovered the *PROT command - this would protect you from *REMOTE. However, in someone's infinite wisdom there was also a *UNPROT command that you could run to remotely unprotect another machine. Thus began an arms war of who could type *PROT followed by *UNPROT on their mate's machine, followed quickly by *REMOTE and NEW.

And *then* we discovered that the "F" keys were programmable with macros. Now we could program a single key to carry out our attacks! The poor old teacher was some maths guy who knew less than some of us in the class, so he probably had no idea why we were furiously hammering away and glaring at each other across the room!

Incidentally - the "ESC" key on a Beeb could also be programmed with a macro. And pressing the "ESC" key generated an error code. So it used to be fun on a Saturday to go into the local WH Smiths branch, program something that flashed "hello" or similar whilst beeping. Then set up the ESC key with a macro that included "ON ERROR RUN". So hitting escape would just restart the program. Then you would just type "RUN" and skedaddle.

On the plus side, this sort of thing that my annoying 12 year old self did was a good precursor for a career in ICT!

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