Acorn Computer (System 1 as it’s known now) Review

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martinw
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Acorn Computer (System 1 as it’s known now) Review

Post by martinw » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:21 pm

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Martin

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BigEd
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Re: Acorn Computer (System 1 as it’s known now) Review

Post by BigEd » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:16 pm

Nice - thanks! I wonder if I might have read that back in the day.

There's an 80 page version of the UPPER CASE user manual here
http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org ... Manual.pdf
and the technical manual here
http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org ... Manual.pdf

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Re: Acorn Computer (System 1 as it’s known now) Review

Post by Commie_User » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:10 pm

Is that conclusion seriously proposing you expand it into a micro using any bits and bobs? I guffawed but my word, how times have changed.

The following year came the ZX80, which did that job, then the ZX81 - the next level up for a whole wider audience to grasp computers out in the wild - and finally the ZX Spectrum. That was the cheap micro to wait for if you wanted one at home to hobby with, ironically.

A fantastic bit of history there.

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Re: Acorn Computer (System 1 as it’s known now) Review

Post by Kazzie » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:59 pm

Commie_User wrote:Is that conclusion seriously proposing you expand it into a micro using any bits and bobs? I guffawed but my word, how times have changed.

The following year came the ZX80, which did that job, then the ZX81 - the next level up for a whole wider audience to grasp computers out in the wild - and finally the ZX Spectrum. That was the cheap micro to wait for if you wanted one at home to hobby with, ironically.
By contrast, the Acorn way (or "System") was to release something basic that was by design expandable (System 1), build all the expansions (which make the System 2-5) for the business market, then later distil the best bits into one board (Atom) when the home micro idea really started to take off.
BBC Model B 32k issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM (mid- restoration)
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

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Re: Acorn Computer (System 1 as it’s known now) Review

Post by Commie_User » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:03 pm

So it was a kind of market research and development computer which paid for itself?

Nice.

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Re: Acorn Computer (System 1 as it’s known now) Review

Post by BigEd » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:07 pm

If you can only think of a computer as being something like a vic-20, you're likely to reach some different conclusions compared to someone who doesn't think that way.

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Re: Acorn Computer (System 1 as it’s known now) Review

Post by Kazzie » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:46 pm

Commie_User wrote:So it was a kind of market research and development computer which paid for itself?

Nice.
Yeup. It arguably led to Acorn winning the BBC contract, as they had already designed a floppy drive interface, various processor cards (think Tube), Econet interface and more for their System line. (It also helps explain why they used the ancient 8271 Floppy Controller chip in the BBC: that's what they previously used on the System line, and they already had the code written for it.)

For a counterpart to the System 1, with a similar one-board-then-expand approach, see the Microtan 65.

Remember, these date from a time when you could choose whether to buy your computer in pre-assembled or kit form!
BBC Model B 32k issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM (mid- restoration)
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

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