Acorn machines in the movies / TV

on-topic Acorn-related news and discussions not covered by the other forums
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MrZeroPage
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Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by MrZeroPage » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:12 pm

Hi all,

I was watching the film "Electric Dreams" recently (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087197) and there's a scene where the main character (Miles Harding) goes into a store to enquire about a computer. Lo and behold, not only do I see a CUB monitor (not in the picture I have included though), but also a BBC micro in the background! The saleswoman also appears to be holding a copy of the WELCOME guide.
ED.jpg
Of course there's the excellent BBC Docudrama "Micro Men" where the BBC is a main feature :)
Anyone else noticed any more?
Last edited by MrZeroPage on Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by geraldholdsworth » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:22 pm

I seem to remember an episode, or at least a sketch, of French and Saunders where they had a load of Electrons.
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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by dgrubb » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:00 pm

I have a hazy recollection that a couple of Doctor Who stories in the 80s used a Beeb in the TARDIS console. I thought Logopolis and Attack of The Cybermen off the top of my head, but I don't think the dates for the former work out.

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by Commie_User » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:01 pm

CLOCKWISE, with John Cleese: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/9368663/c ... hn_cleese/

Perhaps the ultimately authentic example already, on camera from 3.30 in. Beeb, CUB, disks and all filmed in maybe a real headmaster's office on location. 1986. Perfect.

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by Commie_User » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:25 pm

And the BBC's own ELECTRIC DREAMS programme, with the BBC from this time point: https://youtu.be/PFZpK0oRiYQ?t=602


A family was televised living with technology from three decades in turn. The kids had a mocked-up micro sales display and plumped for the BBC Micro to play with, despite the Spectrum.

This link takes us to the BBC Micro tryout: https://youtu.be/1KTyVVVxc9A?t=372

For a family normally surrounded by mobiles and Blackberries, the scene of the BBC setup beating them is arguably pathetic.
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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by RobC » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:26 pm

There are some Arcs in the fairly recent Paddington film. (Although my kids were not impressed when I pointed this out :D)

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by Commie_User » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:32 pm

Thinking about that Electric Dreams thing again. By the end of the mock-80s, Adam says the gear was great to revisit but tough to operate. I don't think so, so much.

VCRs and coding aside, the only teething troubles I recall with tech were when you were yet to take to the gear as second nature. Just like anything. Look how people whinge when Windows changes.

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by Multiwizard » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:50 pm

Commie_User wrote:CLOCKWISE, with John Cleese: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/9368663/c ... hn_cleese/

Perhaps the ultimately authentic example already, on camera from 3.30 in. Beeb, CUB, disks and all filmed in maybe a real headmaster's office on location. 1986. Perfect.
Yep that's also the one I remembered... 8)


Greetings, Wim... :-)
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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by Commie_User » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:56 pm

I notice the 3-inch floppies above the 5-inch drive. I know the average props guy may not care of the difference but how, then, did they get the BBC running?

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by danielj » Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:34 am

They fit. Takes a bit of wiggling.

However, those are 5.25s with two labels on them.

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by tricky » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:52 am

The Adventure Game often used one for the "contestants", here Johnny Ball and I don't know the other two.
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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by Commie_User » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:48 am

danielj wrote: However, those are 5.25s with two labels on them.
Hmm. I'd always put my b-side labels on the back.

Seems I'm always just too hard to control around the BBC! :lol:

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by 1024MAK » Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:27 pm

With 3.5" disks, the label is on the front and back :lol:

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by Gwil » Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:08 pm

The Demon Headmaster (of CBBC infamy) favoured the Archimedes as his computing platform of choice, using it -as he did- as a conduit through which to channel his insidious mind-control powers. (Infact, I seem to recall someone selling the exact same unit from the show on eBay a couple of years back).

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by beebdidi » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:24 pm

Hi,
Watched again "Electric dreams" today and did screen captures of the beebs :
I also noticed what looks like a "Welcome" flyer..
cheers
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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by dp11 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:28 pm

For anyone who hasn't seen paddington the movie it is on the weekend on Channel 4, with Acorn kit.

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by VincentVega » Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:22 pm

I remember seeing an Archimedes of some description (A300/A400 series) on one of the great Tony Hart's shows, where he pressed a few keys/used the mouse and it drew something. Looking at Wikipedia, it would probably have been Hartbeat, which ran from 1984 to 1993.

"Going Live" once had an A3000 as the prize on one of its competitions. Alas, I didn't win. You had to write in and tell them what "RISC" stood for.

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by SteveBagley » Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:35 pm

VincentVega wrote:I remember seeing an Archimedes of some description (A300/A400 series) on one of the great Tony Hart's shows, where he pressed a few keys/used the mouse and it drew something. Looking at Wikipedia, it would probably have been Hartbeat, which ran from 1984 to 1993.


Some of the earlier episodes also featured an Apple II.

Around the mid-80s there was also a three-part Childrens BBC drama called 'Dead Entry' which involved some lads using a BBC Micro to hack (or they were hacked -- I can remember which).
"Going Live" once had an A3000 as the prize on one of its competitions. Alas, I didn't win. You had to write in and tell them what "RISC" stood for.
I remember that -- and the fact they managed to get the meaning of RISC wrong (I think they listed it as Reduced Instruction Chip Computer).

Steve

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by poink » Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:37 pm

I remember one featuring Phoebe (...or at least the case) IIRC in the role of a field video editing workstation. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the (rather short lived) programme.

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by jgharston » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:18 pm

VincentVega wrote:"Going Live" once had an A3000 as the prize on one of its competitions. Alas, I didn't win. You had to write in and tell them what "RISC" stood for.
I think that was when I was working at W*****d E*********s. One morning every single telephone call was asking "what does RISC stand for?"

I think that was also when somebody also asked "how many meg does a BBC have", and after bit of fast mental arithmetic I told them "0.03125"

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by guesser » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:45 am

The Rajah 1200

Image

:D
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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by jms2 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:40 am

But what exactly is the Rajah 1200 (From Only Fools & Horses)? Look closely... at first it's obviously a Master Compact. But actually it's nothing like one. The front edge of the case and the keyboard are identical to a Master 128, and not the same as a Compact at all. The back part of the case is certainly not the same as a Compact, as the latter has grooves on it whereas this is smooth. It's not like a 128 either though, as the latter is angled upwards.

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by VincentVega » Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:47 am

It looks like the keyboard unit from the Viglen case for the Master, with a natty "Rajah 1200" sticker over the Viglen logo:

Image

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by jms2 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:56 pm

So it is! Well spotted. It looks like a very professional case.

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by poink » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:53 am

Commie_User wrote:I notice the 3-inch floppies above the 5-inch drive. I know the average props guy may not care of the difference but how, then, did they get the BBC running?
Other than the obvious inability to buy commercial software on them, 3" floppies as used on Amstrad's 8 bit machines work fine on the Beeb...there were even adverts for them in the pages of Acorn User.

90mm (aka 3.5" floppies) floppies were used by Acorn on the Master Compact, and in a number of commercial solutions. They're actually a great alternative to 5.25" floppies, especially on machines with 1770/1772 disc controllers (newer drives may require a small modification on the older 8271 controller).

As far as the Beeb's concerned 3", 90mm and 5.25" discs all look much the same. The newer formats were designed to be compatible after all.

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by tricky » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:09 am

I remember being at an acorn show where 3", 3.5" and 5.25" drives were all for sale, along with various controllers, the official ones being out of stock.
I wasn't sure about these new fangled drives, so went for the 5.25", along with a double density controller and 32k sideways ram. I had been saving for a while.

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by jonb » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:51 pm

RobC wrote:There are some Arcs in the fairly recent Paddington film. (Although my kids were not impressed when I pointed this out :D)
I spotted them (it was on Film4 on Sunday).. but like you no one seemed interested when I pointed them out. :lol:

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by Commie_User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:57 pm

guesser wrote:The Rajah 1200

Image

:D

I've seen that Fools And Horses episode maybe dozens of times and I never noticed it was a BBC! The keyboard is just so obvious!

I was curious of the machines in other episodes and found Rodney had an Amstrad CPC in Yuppy Love. Though the one in From Prussia With Love is only a shot of the VDU from behind.




A great database is called STARRING THE COMPUTER: http://starringthecomputer.com/

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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by Commie_User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:21 pm

Also, the 'NATO encryption algorithm' from Deutschland 83 works fine on the BBC Micro. I'm sure that's GW BASIC.

I typed it in. The East Germans very kindly LISTed the program for the camera. Now it's yours when you load the attachment!


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Re: Acorn machines in the movies / TV

Post by mez » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:31 pm

From my rusty memory: There was a series in the 1980s with Richard Griffiths (possibly "Bird Of Prey" 1 or 2) where he needed to crack a wall-safe or something. He was shown going to a local shop, buying an Electron, and then proceeded to write some code which then displayed some shifting numbers for a bit and eventually opened the lock.

Can't find anything other than the titles on youtube though. :(

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72BeosFHRbI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY9eo3fECl8

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