BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

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PitfallJones
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BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

Postby PitfallJones » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:36 pm

Following on from an earlier thread about the date when the BBC Micro was born:

http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4542

The BBC Computer Literacy Project's contacted seven companies for bids to make the BBC micro, which Acorn eventually won. (As covered in the MicroMen TV show).

Six of these companies made a bid, the one that didn't probably being Newbury (ironically enough the BBC specs were based on Newburys Newbrain in the first place)

Anyhow - who were the seven companies?

1. Newbury
2. Acorn
3. Sinclair
4. Dragon
5. ??
6. ??
7. ??

RobC
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Re: BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

Postby RobC » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:36 pm

There's a scene in Micro Men where Clive Sinclair's secretary tells him that the BBC have called and have asked for a proposal (I think it's just after Chris Curry has found out that the NewBrain is out of the race and so drives to the BBC).

She then lists the other companies who've been asked to bid. I'm pretty sure she mentions Camputers and Oric but I can't remember the final one.

Cheers,

Rob

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nOmArch
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Re: BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

Postby nOmArch » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:07 pm

She mentions Oric, Dragon, Camputer and Acorn.
Alex

Back up to 1 Beeb again. \o/

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mga1103
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Re: BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

Postby mga1103 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:34 pm

RobC wrote:... I'm pretty sure she mentions Camputers and Oric but I can't remember the final one...

The only ones she mentions in that scene (apart from Sinclair) are:
Dragon, Oric, Camputer and Acorn. Including Newbury, that's only 6. Don't know who the 7th were... :?

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PitfallJones
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Re: BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

Postby PitfallJones » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:13 pm

Thanks the help on this.

I've discovered the 7th!

Research Machines

from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RM_plc

The company was offered the chance to manufacture the BBC microcomputer; this offer was refused[citation needed] on the basis that the BBC micro had already been designed without RM input, making it wholly incompatible with RM microcomputers which were already widespread throughout educational establishments across the UK[citation needed]. RM's philosophy was to make all its new machines backwardly compatible.


So that gives:

1. Research Machines (didn't bid)
2. Acorn (Proton)
3. Sinclair
4. Dragon
5. Camputer (Lynx)
6. Tangerine (Oric)
7. Newbury (Newbrain)

However I'm now wondering if Newbury should be on the list at all - as the BBC asked for bids after rejecting Newbury in the first place.

The only other non US computers around in 1980/1981 I can think of is:

Video Genie
DAI Computer

but I don't think any of these are UK companies.

Maybe the Compukit UK101?

- PJ

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retroclinic
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Re: BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

Postby retroclinic » Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:11 pm

Wasn't the Video Genie a clone of one of the TRS-80s? Or was it the other way round?

Mark.
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sirmorris
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Re: BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

Postby sirmorris » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:37 pm

The Genie was a clone of the trs. So much so that if you diff the ROMS the only change is an IO port address and the 'ready' string ;)

C

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1024MAK
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Re: BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

Postby 1024MAK » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:36 pm

There was also the "Genie I" and "Genie II"

The NASCOM 2 was around at the time, later there was the NASCOM 3
(Nasco / Nascom Limited / Lucas Logic / Lucas Nascom)

I have a book "Micro-computer Catalogue" from 1983 that lists "over 70" machines in the (then) price range £40 to £2000. Most of the £500 and above are designed for business use. The Beeb was listed at £300 for the "A" and £400 for the "B".

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

SarahWalker
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Re: BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

Postby SarahWalker » Sat May 26, 2012 10:12 am

This I found quite interesting :

http://www.nesta.org.uk/library/documents/LegacyofBBC_Micro.pdf

Among other things, it lists the seven companies as :

Acorn
Tangerine
Newbury
Research Machines
Sinclair
Transam
Nascom

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PitfallJones
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Re: BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

Postby PitfallJones » Mon May 28, 2012 12:46 pm

Thank for that - a really good document.
I like all the graphs as well - like what other micros were around and what happened to the key players.

It compliments the other Literacy doc really well
http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4542#p41569

PJ

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nOmArch
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Re: BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

Postby nOmArch » Mon May 28, 2012 1:05 pm

The PDF is no more :(
Alex

Back up to 1 Beeb again. \o/

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1024MAK
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Re: BBC Micro history - the seven companies ?

Postby 1024MAK » Mon May 28, 2012 1:42 pm

nOmArch wrote:The PDF is no more :(

Try this page :D

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...


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