Acorn Atom/Electron/BBC


History

A far more substantial machine than the ZX80 was the Atom launched at 150 by a small company called Acorn. This was the predecessor of the groundbreaking BBC Micro. It used its own version of BASIC and some of its features were similar to those of the ZX Spectrum. The BBC Micro initially came in two models: the A and the B, the A with 16k RAM the B 32k. It was developed in conjunction with a BBC TV programme Making The Most Of The Micro leading to contoversy over the BBC's involvement with something as commercial as making computers, but helped make Britain one of the most computer literate countries in the world. This was also helped by the fact that the government launched a scheme for schools whereby it paid half the cost of computers bought - providing the machine was a BBC, Research Machines 380Z or ZX Spectrum. At one time there were more computers per person in the UK than anywhere else. Acorn won the BBC contract over rivals Sinclair (who launched his Spectrum anyway) and Newbrain. Although launched in December 1981, the BBC micro was not available until Summer 1982 because of production difficulties. This did not affect its success.

 
 
 

Acorn Atom (1979)
Acorn Elekton
BBC Atom Model A/B/B+
(1982)
BBC Master Compact
With 128KB and
3.5" FDD (1986)

Technical Specs


Acorn Atom
Acorn Elekton BBC Atom Model A/B/B+
BBC Master Compact
CPU MOS 6502 @ 1Mhz MOS 6502 @ 1.8Mhz MOS 6502 @ 1.8Mhz MOS 65C102 @ 1.8MHZ
RAM 2KB
(expandable to 32K)
32KB Model A : 16KB
Model B : 32KB
Model B+ : 64KB
128KB
Devided in:
32K Main RAM,
64K Paged RAM,
20K Video RAM,
12K OS Workspace
ROM 8KB
32KB
32KB
32KB
VIDEOText:
32x24
16x12

Graphics:
256x192 monochrome
128x192 monochrome
64x192 with 4 colors
128x96 monochrome
64x96 with 4 colors
64x64 with 4 colors
Text:
80 x 32/25 with 2 colors
40 x 32/25 with 2 or 4 colors
20 x 32 with 16 colors
40 x 25 for
Teletext display

Graphics:
160 x 256 with 16 colors
320 x 256 with 4 colors
640 x 256 with 2 colors
Text:
80 x 32/25 with 2 colors
40 x 32/25 with 2 or 4 colors
20 x 32 with 16 colors
40 x 25 for
Teletext display

Graphics:
160 x 256 with 16 colors
320 x 256 with 4 colors
640 x 256 with 2 colors
Text:
80 x 32/25 with 2 colors
40 x 32/25 with 2 or 4 colors
20 x 32 with 16 colors
40 x 25 for
Teletext display

Graphics:
160 x 256 with 16 colors
320 x 256 with 4 colors
640 x 256 with 2 colors
AUDIO
1 Channel mono
(built-in beeper)
3 channels + 1 noise channel
7 octaves
3 channels + 1 noise channel
7 octaves
3 channels + 1 noise channel
7 octaves
EXTERNAL STORAGETape
Tape, FloppyTape, FloppyFloppy

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Mr. Robot (1984)



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