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  • Updated 2014-03-12 (v16)
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    Microbee hardware is now available from Microbee Technology!

    About

    NanoWasp is an emulator for the MicroBee computer. The MicroBee was popular in Australia in the mid 1980s. NanoWasp requires a relatively recent browser with JavaScript enabled.

    Quick Start

    1. Select a tape from the "Tape:" menu.
    2. Type "load" and press Return.
    3. Type "run" and press Return.

    Keyboard Modes

    Natural keyboard

    The layout of the MicroBee keyboard differs from that of modern keyboards. For ease of use, NanoWasp defaults to using a "Natural keyboard" mapping. In this mode, characters entered are automatically translated to the appropriate MicroBee key presses and releases. To enter an asterisk, e.g., simply enter it as you would in any other program. You can also paste text when in this mode (Chrome only). The natural keyboard mode works well for most programs, so use it if you can.

    Strict keyboard

    Some programs, however, care about the physical key presses and releases rather than the logical character. For these programs, use the "Settings" menu to select the "Strict keyboard" mapping. In the strict mode, each key on the keyboard is mapped one-to-one to a key on the MicroBee keyboard. When a key is pressed, the corresponding emulated MicroBee key will be pressed. Ditto for when keys are released. Most characters can still be entered using the usual key; however, punctuation characters are laid out differently on a MicroBee keyboard. The following table shows the mapping for these characters when in strict mode:

    CharacterKey Sequence
    !Shift-1
    "Shift-2
    #Shift-3
    $Shift-4
    %Shift-5
    &Shift-6
    'Shift-7
    (Shift-8
    )Shift-9
    Line FeedPageDown
    CharacterKey Sequence
    :;
    *Shift-;
    =Shift--
    ^`
    ~Shift-`
    ;=
    +Shift-=
    @'
    `Shift-'
    BreakEnd

    Acknowledgements

    The Z80 CPU emulation code comes from Matt Westcott's JSSpeccy project, a ZX Spectrum emulator written in JavaScript. It was ported from the Fuse project. Some ideas have also been incorporated from Stewart Kay's uBee512 emulator. Resources and feedback from the people at both the MicroBee Software Preservation Project and the Bee Board have been invaluable over the course of developing earlier versions of NanoWasp and the current JavaScript incarnation.

    Original Software

    The MicroWorld Basic V5.22e ROM and the MicroBee Font ROM are used on this site with kind permission from Ewan J. Wordsworth of Microbee Technology.

    Depth Charge, Laser Blaster, Space Lanes, and Robot Fire are used with kind permission from Brad Robinson of Topten Software.

    Bounce, Break Out, Catack, Catter, Earth, Isbok Adventure, Mazes!, Othello, and Pucker are used with kind permission from Richard Larkin.

    Some other original MicroBee software is also accessible through this site. This software is believed to be in the public domain or otherwise distributable. It is made available here non-commercially and solely to preserve this piece of Australian computing history. If you have any queries regarding the original software accessible though this site please contact me at the email address below.

    Source Code

    The NanoWasp source code is released under the GPLv3 license. The main Git repository can be found here. You may also be interested in the old standalone version and its SourceForge project page.

    Contact

    NanoWasp was written by Dave Churchill. Please send any feedback to nanowasp@ninthcuriosity.com.

    Privacy

    No personally identifiable information is collected by this site. However, cookies are used to gather anonymous usage statistics via Google Analytics. Information about privacy with regard to Google Analytics can be found here. Additionally, like most websites, the IP address of the device you use to access the site may be recorded.