Feeds

BBC Micro creators meet to TRACE machine's legacy

IF .. THEN .. ELSE

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Forgotten Tech The brains behind the must-have home computer of the early 1980s, the BBC Micro, will gather today to catch up and reminisce about a time when Britain led the way in the domestic computing revolution.

Acorn Computers co-founder Hermann Hauser and Acorn hardware designer Steve Furber - now ICL Professor of Computer Engineering at the School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester - will be joined by erstwhile BBC staffers John Radcliffe and David Allen at the Science Museum.

Furber was the BBC Micro's principal designer. Allen was Producer of the BBC TV show Micro Live, part of the Corporation's Computer Literacy Project, itself an attempt to get Britons up to speed with the silicon revolution and the raison d'etre of the BBC Micro itself. Radcliffe was Executive Producer overseeing the Project as a whole.

Acorn BBC Micro

Acorn's BBC Micro: 32KB memory lane

Acorn developed the machine that would become the BBC Micro as the successor to its Atom home computer. Dubbed the Proton, the prototype was show to Radcliffe and other BBC executives who were looking for a machine on which to found the Computer Literacy Project. They had approached other UK computer makers, including Sinclair Research and Dragon Data, but found the Proton more to their liking.

The BBC Micro made it to market in late 1981 in two forms the Model A and the Model B. The B was the most desirable but more expensive of the two, with 32KB of memory to the A's 16KB, and a wider range of graphics modes, making it better for games.

That cemented its popularity among hordes of schoolboys of the time, who quickly cottoned on to the pleasures of zapping aliens or accruing wealth in Elite in preference to programming. So while the BBC's Project may not have engendered computer literacy in the way the Corporation originally hoped, it nonetheless had the desired effect of creating a new generation of computer nerds.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause
'Outernet' project proposes satellite-fuelled 'Lantern' WiFi library for remote areas
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.