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BBC Micro Bot

March 26, 2020.

BBC Micro.

BBC Micro. Marcin Wichary, CC BY 2.0.

BBC Micro Bot is a Twitter account that waits for people to tweet code to it (@bbcmicrobot). Then the bot takes the tweet (maximum 280 characters), runs it through an emulator of the classic BBC Microcomputer (co-developed in the 1980s by BBC and Acorn Computer) and tweets back an animated gif of three seconds of the emulator’s output. Folks have been using it to demonstrate some amazing feats of programming, including Ebon Upton, creator of the Raspberry Pi, with an implementation of Game of Life in a single tweet. Upton did this by writing machine code for the BBC Microcomputer’s original CPU, the 6502, which the emulator behind the BBC Micro Bot is comprehensive enough to handle. Happily, you too can play even if you don’t know the 6502 machine language. There is a simpler, though less concise way: coding in Basic.


IEEE Spectrum, Stephen Cass, “Show the world you can write a cool program inside a single tweet.”