The Acorn Electron. The BBC Micro for the home; or at least, that's what it was intended to be. Released in 1983, it had a troublesome start with various manufacture issues and a huge shortfall in the face of demand. Ultimately these problems would seal the fate for this sturdy little machine, which feels pretty sad to me. This is a very quirky machine, which tries to hard to be the BBC Micro, but falls down due to tough design compromises required to keep the price point low. Designed mainly by Steve Furber and Sophie Wilson (then, Roger Wilson), it's design housed the most complex custom chip of it's era, with a whopping 2,400 logic gates. The Ferranti ULA chip is a monster, and it's the heart which drives this throbbing, if limited, beast. Join me as we chart the story of the early Acorn years, the BBC Micro, Chris Curry, Hermann Hauser, the Sinclair rivalry and really delve into the meat of what the Acorn Electron was and how it brought to the 8 bit table.
We also explore BBC Micro Games, Acorn Electron Games, the hardware, the people behind the hardware, the advertising, and everything else in-between. Excuse me whilst I go and take a lie down.
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Resources used for research:
Creative Commons material;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J80DROqUiSQ - Mode 0 Demo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnhHyMxt1S0 - Elite Acorn Electron
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptjLXK7QFlg - Killer Gorilla
Some images sourced from Wikimedia/Wikipedia under the CC 3.0 licence.
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