10 PRINT TAB(10,5); "WELCOME!"
20 REM For me, it began with the Acorn Electron, released
on the 25th of August, 1983. The Electron is an 8-bit home computer produced by Acorn Computers Ltd., formerly of Cambridge, England.
30 REM This site is dedicated to the life & times of 06-ALA01-000618, right back to Christmas 1983
when it arrived to now, and all the changes in between! The journey continues with 01-AMB15-0102625; my BBC Master 128 and my PC. You can grab my dabbles in games and artNsoundz from all three.
TAB(15,10); "Please choose a place to go:"
I have put together this little website to record the life and times of my Acorn computers and the ways in which
they have grown over the years and the journey into PCs.
You can find some of the art and music i've created too (like this cover artwork for one of my tracks below).
The site has now also incorporated the ArtBeSassy activist art public domain archive.
The name of the site has evolved over the years too; it began as 'myAcornElectron', then 'Acorn Electron Today', and now 'Electrons From Acorns'.
This new site name reflects the way things have developed from that Acorn seed with the foundation in the Electron upto the M128 & PC today. Also there's a psychedelic twist with some
electrons in space based sounds and the freeware released from here in download and floppy disk (-:
Here's some stuff that's going on:
Part of the site also covers the Acorn scene of today, as this little computer is still very popular! I have mentioned some other sites and
given a few details of some of the hardware and software that is still being produced today.
I hope you enjoy your time here; perhaps even rekindle enough of an old flame for you to dig that Acorn
out that is up in your loft in storage ;) This site is very much a work in progress and has a lot of content yet to be filled in! Please check back soon....
|Check out the art'n'tunez' from the PC too
||Really proud to have my Electron appear as the cover to the single 'Where Is Matthew Smith?' from The Britsh IBM!
The Scene Today...
Check out this memorabila that is kicking about!
The retro-computing scene is a strong one, very much alive today. This is true for all 8- and 16-bit home computers and the Electron,
being one of the first amongst these, is no exception. From these early machines through to the PCs of today the music and art out there is astounding. Check out the sites of groups like
mistigris to see a real mix.
A good starting place for anything Acorn related is the large and friendly StarDot forum. Members here are very welcoming and happy to help
out folks who are struggling to get old Acorn hardware or software working. The forum is a good place to keep up to date with what is happening
in the Acorn hardware scene too!
The amazing EUP interface with UPURS transfer suite
was designed by Martin Barr from the forum. Retro Hardware is also to be found within StarDot, with none other than Dave Hitchins, formerly of PRES
back in the day!
John Kortink's site is a good source of modern hardware and
there is also RetroClinic to keep an eye on. Robert McMordie's site
is a very comprehensive Acorn information resource.
It's not just hardware that is still being produced though; the massive back catalogue from the heyday is being added to even
today by the likes of Retro Software, who release titles under both
Freeware and Commercial labels, not just as images for use in emulation
but on actual disks and cassettes too.
The incredible Acorn Electron World DVD contains not only most of what was originally available but also the Public Domain software from the EUG disk
based magazine (1991-2002), etc. Visit AEW and the sister site Every Game Going today!
Public Domain software was a big thing once, with new material appearing regularly often within disk-based magazines. These days, new PD is found
within forums such as StarDot and throughout the expanse of the internet, podcasts and social media.
A lot of people continue to work hard to produce software and hardware that we can use on the original machines and also to help modern machines work
with the older tech. The BBC Micro Image Converter at the DFS Studios site is also a must-have!
Keep a watchful eye on websites such as Retro-Kit, Chris's Acorns,
the Acorn Electron lives!, and make use of the excellent resources of sites such as
BeebWiki, mdfs.net and 8-Bit Software (though this is mainly aimed at the BBC B & Master, there is some cross-compatibility
with the Electron). The Centre for Computing History in Cambridge, UK is a vintage computing hub... I finally got to visit in 2018!
Naturally, there is eBay if you are looking for an Electron; enough Elk hardware comes and goes there that you won't have to wait to find a machine
that is guaranteed to be working for a good price. Watch out for the chancers who put bundles up for crazy money in the hope that someone will come along
nostalgia-fuelled and spend more than they need to ;-) If you are looking for a more specialised vendor then CJE Micro's are well worth a look.
If you don't have an actual Electron (and you don't have time to download an emulator), why not go and have a look at ElkJs - a browser based emulator that
you can use straight away. Another good java emulator is JSBeeb, which also allows for emulation of floppies.
Of course, don't forget the musical aspects of the retro-scene!
Still not convinced about the changes Acorn Computers Ltd made to the world?
Without them, your mobile phone would be quite different; technology that comes from them - ARM processors (ARM Holdings PLC) - are in the
majority of mobile phones today. The Raspberry Pi draws a lot from Acorn; the educational and schools concepts of the BBC B have been a strong influence I think.
"It was while leaving the branch of WH Smiths that something cream coloured and shiny caught my eye... I looked at this wonderful thing with the eyes of a child at Christmas.
It was an Acorn Electron home computer, complete with three free boxed games...."