A UK computer manufacturer, part of the Acorn Computer Group
plc. Acorn was founded on 1978-12-05, on a kitchen table in a back room. Their first creation was an electronic slot machine. After the Acorn System 1
, 2 and 3, Acorn launched the first commercial microcomputer
- the ATOM
in March 1980. In April 1981, Acorn won a contract from the BBC
to provide the PROTON
. In January 1982 Acorn launched the BBC Microcomputer
System. At one time, 70% of microcomputers bought for UK schools were BBC Micros.
The Acorn Computer Group went public on the Unlisted Securities Market in September 1983. In April 1984 Acorn won the Queen's Award for Technology for the BBC Micro and in September 1985 Olivetti
took a controlling interest in Acorn. The Master
128 Series computers were launched in January 1986 and the BBC Domesday
System in November 1986.
In 1983 Acorn began to design the Acorn RISC Machine (ARM), the first low-cost, high volume RISC
processor chip (later renamed the Advanced RISC Machine
). In June 1987 they launched the Archimedes
range - the first 32-bit RISC
- which sold for under UKP 1000. In February 1989 the R140 was launched. This was the first Unix workstation
under UKP 4000. In May 1989 the A3000 (the new BBC Microcomputer
) was launched.
In 1990 Acorn formed Advanced RISC Machines
Ltd. (ARM) in partnership with Apple Computer, Inc.
to develop the ARM processor. Acorn has continued to develop RISC
With 1992 revenues of 48.2 million pounds, Acorn Computers was the premier supplier of Information Technology
products to UK education and had been the leading provider of 32-bit RISC based personal computers
Acorn finally folded in the late 1990s. Their operating system, RISC OS
was further developed by a consortium of suppliers. Usenet
Acorn's FTP server (ftp://ftp.acorn.co.uk/).
HENSA software archive (http://micros.hensa.ac.uk/micros/arch.html). Richard Birkby's Acorn page (http://csv.warwick.ac.uk/~phudv/). RiscMan's Acorn page (http://geko.com.au/riscman/). Acorn On The Net (http://stir.ac.uk/~rhh01/Main.html). "The Jungle" by Simon Truss (http://csc.liv.ac.uk/users/u1smt/u1smt.html)