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Veteran Acorn dealer Beebug is shutting down its retail arm on 13 November. Retail manager Jeremy Botterill, who joined the St Albans, Herts company in July, has been made redundant, along with three other staff. The retail business comprised a catalogue operation and a retail outlet in St. Albans. Founded in 1982, Beebug began life as an "independent user group for owners of the BBC Microcomputer". Describing itself as one of Britain's largest Acorn dealers, the fact that it has fewer than ten full-time employees, gives some indication of the size of the Acorn market. Following the reorganisation, Beebug will employ five people full time, providing networking and support for Acorn and PC platforms in the educational sector. The company also supports a range of Acorn software. Botterill blamed the company's decision to withdraw from the Acorn market on Acorn itself. The company retains Acorn Centre of Technology status -- but this is "moribund", he said, as "there is no Acorn hardware to sell". Acorn last month announced its decision to scrap future development of the Risc PC platform. "We are very disappointed -- every one in this company is Acornist - but sales had been slowly diminishing in schools and this was rubbing off here. Everyone has become very pessimistic," said Botterill. However, he remains committed to Acorn technology and retail. He is striking out on his own with a part-time venture called Digita Computers. You can contact him on 07775 960027. ® See also Acorn builds castles in the air Click for more stories

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