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1.1) What is an Acorn machine?




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This article is from the comp.sys.acorn FAQ, by Paul Vigay with numerous contributions by others.

1.1) What is an Acorn machine?

Acorn computers are a British built line of computers that started with 6502 based machines and later became based upon ARM (Acorn Risc Machine) processors. Acorn computers were made by the Acorn Computer Group.

Section 1.2 details those machines currently in manufacture and how to fetch a full list of all machines known to have been made by Acorn. Acorn machines are known for their innovation, flexibility and reliability of hardware/software.

In January 1999 Acorn Computers Ltd., was renamed Element-14, focussing more on their Digital TV technology. Element-14 were later purchased by Broadcom Corporation on November 24 2000. More information can be found on their web site at http://www.broadcom.com

The remaining part of Acorn was later sold to Pace Micros, including the remains of their set-top box division. Thus Acorn the company, is technically no more - other than a brand name. Pace subsequently agreed to licence RISC OS, Acorn's powerful wimp-based operating system to a newly formed company called RISCOS Ltd.

RISC OS is now licenced to a number of third party hardware developers around the world, many of which continue to manufacture RISC OS based computers. Castle Technology took over the manufacture of the Acorn Risc PC and A7000 range, and now produce the Iyonix which is currently the fastest RISC OS computer available.

Reading through section 1 should give newcomers to the Acorn scene a reasonable appreciation of what the machines can do by default. They were very strong in education, which was Acorn's primary market. However, in later years, the Acorn group started to make moves into other markets such as the Digital TV market for the future. For those people who wish to see RISC OS in typical use then visiting http://www.geocities.com/~banksp/Power/Acorn/RISCOS.html will provide you with some images and text about usin g RISC OS.

www.riscos.org is also a good source of information and links to RISC OS software and resources.

 

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