Talk:Acorn Computers

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Former featured articleAcorn Computers is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
April 11, 2005Peer reviewReviewed
October 12, 2005Featured article candidatePromoted
May 18, 2008Featured article reviewDemoted
Current status: Former featured article

Request for references[edit]

Today I added a lot of "Citationz Needed" to sections of the article. There are a lot of facts asserted without any ability to verify them.

--Flibble (talk) 13:45, 28 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Acorn World[edit]

I wonder if anyone else remembers the Acorn World shows I attended as a child (apologies if that makes any senior Wikipedians feel, well, more senior...). I know they ended in 1998 with the demise of the company and they were just fairly standard computer shows. Anyone think it would be worth including a paragraph about them? DarkWedge (talk) 16:33, 3 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

'Corporate affairs': possible new section[edit]

The addition of this heading could allow for coverage of (amongst other things):

  • Show organisation
  • Clan Acorn
  • Means of communication with developers
  • Manufacturing locations (I believe some BBC micros were subcontracted but perhaps later on Acorn did all their own manufacturing)
  • Overseas offices

There is such a section included at both Apple Inc.#Corporate affairs and Microsoft#Corporate affairs. Any objections? Any further subheadings? (It could be drafted in userspace first.) --Trevj (talk) 14:55, 10 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

List of Managing Directors? Investments in other companies? joint ventures?--Flibble (talk) 16:34, 11 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've now made a (slow) start on this. I've no objection to that draft being added to by others before it's copied to the main article. --Trevj (talk) 15:16, 7 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I spent a little time a while back looking up refs for the MD/CEO and Chairmam, here's what I have so far, User:Flibble/Acorn_Stuff#People--Flibble (talk) 18:13, 8 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm (kind of) still working on this. Will incorporate some time when it's properly cited, etc. (I'm now striking through my "add by others" suggestion above, because that will be problematic with licensing/attribution.) -- Trevj (talk) 10:23, 30 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ART[edit]

This edit removed the statement about ART working on Galileo. The statement was included because it's in the reference. Is anyone able to shed any further light on this, please (with refs)? Chrisbtoo, perhaps you have some first hand knowledge. Is Dick Pountain's article incorrect? Thanks. --Trevj (talk) 20:02, 13 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, I guess I missed this question all those years ago. The article was indeed incorrect. ART was focussed largely on projects that furthered RISC OS. Galileo was an ANC project, which initially targeted the SA-1500/1501. As you suggest, I had first-hand knowledge, having worked on Galileo. Chrisbtoo (talk) 21:49, 7 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Updated Byte article link. It would be interesting if any concrete information emerged about Galileo, even if it is just academic-style articles. At the time, cynical people like myself regarded it as mostly vapourware, but that may have been due to the public relations activities of Acorn, claims about Taos, and so on. PaulBoddie (talk) 21:24, 5 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just to expand on the topic of Galileo, any additional material would be useful to improve the Galileo (operating system) page, which I just reviewed and augmented with details from media and Acorn-related sources. --PaulBoddie (talk) 23:29, 15 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Network Computers[edit]

Would it be clearer to move some of the content in Acorn Computers#Network Computers to Acorn Network Computer? A brief summary could of course be retained at Acorn Computers#Network Computers, per WP:SPINOFF. If this is not done, the two sections may need harmonising, in which case {{Sync}} can be used until that's done. --Trevj (talk) 08:55, 9 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have reverted a recently added passage in this section which wasn't properly sourced, seems to put forward some original claims, and which also disrupted the flow of the text. See below for more information about Viewcall, which was mentioned in this edit.

  • The company is actually featured in a reference from the Internet in the United Kingdom page. Interestingly, there is also an Acorn NetSurfer reference in the referenced article (which is from November 1995).
  • The Viewcall press releases include one about the acquisition of Viewcall by NetChannel, which had been acquired by AOL previously.
  • A 1995 Acorn press release features an agreement between Online Media and Viewcall for a trial involving 1,000 terminals, with Viewcall employing "fractal compression software" on the devices. The author of the now-removed material from the wiki page is quoted in this press release.
  • In this article about Galileo (Internet Archive login required), there is a note that Acorn will "work with ViewCall America, Inc. to make products for the Internet television market", promoting a combination of Acorn's RISC OS with ViewCall's ON-TV service.
  • "The Viewcall Net-top box from Online Media, another Acorn offshoot, was announced and demonstrated as long ago as September 1995... The advent of the NC has all but replaced the Viewcall system."[1]
  • "Manitoba Telephone System (MTS) in Winnipeg, Canada, has announced an agreement with ViewCall America to provide customers with Internet services through standard telephone lines and home televisions using ViewCall's Acorn Online Media designed WEBSter(tm) Internet set top box (STB)."[2]
  • "Nevertheless, Acorn and its family of companies had to make some serious engineering commitments before landing the Oracle deal. Sun Microsystems' all-important Java Internet programming language would have to be ported to the underlying RISC OS operating system and ARM Limited would have to add a floating point maths co-processor to the already tightly integrated 7500 chip. By the end of 1996, work on the NC reference platform within Acorn was at full tilt."[3]

With respect to the hardware involved, it is informative to consult the indispensible Chris's Acorns and its entry for Online Media STB1 which is effectively a Risc PC with Wild Vision network and video decompression cards. The Online Media STB20 is the product more familiar from press coverage, featuring an ARM7500 CPU. There are some articles covering the set-top box hardware:

  • "Online Media hardware is based on the same core Acorn computer technology and operating system used in the current Acorn computer line up... Acorn has involved familiar third-party names in the development of Online Media components, like Wild Vision who contributed the MPEG digital motion video decompressor."[4]
  • "STB2 is an enhanced production version of the original Online Media prototype, which was closely based on Risc PC parts... A special version of the STB2 without MPEG facilities but including a modem will be produced for the ViewCall project announced last month."[5]
  • "While the new A7000 uses the old Online Media case, the new Online Media STB2 has an entirely new slimline case which looks rather like a satellite decoder box. However, both the STB2 and the A7000 share one major component - the new ARM7500 integrated CPU chip."[6]

And there is a press release for the STB2 amongst Acorn's press releases.

I would not want to hazard a guess at the nature of the claims furthered by the reverted edit, but I would expect any modifications to the narrative to have sourcing at least as thorough as that provided above. --PaulBoddie (talk) 21:37, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The chairman's statement from Acorn in September 1995 provides useful references for the transition between set-top boxes and network computers. --PaulBoddie (talk) 22:04, 6 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"In a stock exchange announcement on 11 June 1996 Acorn announced that its subsidiary Acorn Computers Limited had entered into a distribution agreement with NChannel International Limited, a newly formed marketing, sales and distribution company."[7] --PaulBoddie (talk) 21:42, 2 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is some useful material about the adaptation of Acorn's Online Media activities to network computing, noting that after the Lightspan contract[8] for OM set-top boxes was cancelled,[9] the network computer offered a route to a new revenue source.[10] --PaulBoddie (talk) 22:37, 19 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One interesting remark about ViewCall appears in news coverage, noting that ViewCall America as the company making a deal with Acorn is "not to be confused with an entirely separate UK-based company".[11] --PaulBoddie (talk) 23:16, 10 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

SplitZ-apart[edit]

Splitting out some of the notable content could improve readability of the main article. Short summary style pieces would be included in the main article, based on the leads of the spinout articles.

  1. History of Acorn's 8-bit microcomputers
  2. History of the Advanced RISC Machine
  3. End of Acorn Computers

--Trevj (talk) 13:45, 6 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Or we could not spend our time just randomly moving the content about and improve it instead? Two of the sections you suggest splitting off are badly in need significant validation.--Flibble (talk) 16:11, 6 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My apologies, certain sections are now much better referenced, however given the historic nature of the company, I don't think splitting the article further is particulaly justified, it's certainly not a long article for a company that developed notable products for 20 years.--Flibble (talk) 16:15, 6 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree, I think it's best to keep the historical narrative in one place, given the reasonable size of the article. Letdorf (talk) 21:43, 6 July 2011 (UTC).Reply[reply]
We have some content forking with Acorn Computers#New RISC architecture / ARM architecture#History and Acorn Computers#Final restructuring and Element 14 Ltd (1998–2000) / History of RISC OS#Demise of Acorn Computers Ltd. The proposals would simplify maintenance of the aritcles and keep the historical narrative in one place as Letdorf says. I feel that it will be easier to (continue to) improve content if it's not forked. --Trevj (talk) 12:42, 18 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even with the content forking, I still don't agree with splitting these sections out into independent articles. In each case the content should reside in one of the articles in a section with the other article referencing it with a and having a summary of the bits relevant to that articles. E.g. Acorn Computers#Final restructuring and Element 14 Ltd (1998–2000) / History of RISC OS#Demise of Acorn Computers Ltd should keep the content in the Acorn Computers article, and let the RISC OS one summarise the impact that those events had on RISC OS. As for the ARM history split I'm less bothered about which way it goes, though it could well be that the acorn section would do as a 'pre 1990 spinout' section on the ARM page, or just reference to section in the Acorn.--Flibble (talk) 14:41, 19 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
{{Main}} doesn't talk about sections but the sub-article that has been (or will be) summarised. However, the link does work with sections. An advantage of sub-articles is that wikilinks from other articles (e.g. RISCOS Ltd, Castle Technology, Pace plc) can permanently link to a standalone article when the term is used. Without sub-articles, renaming of section headings breaks such links. IMO if a subject/event is notable it is a valid candidate to be spun out in its own article. --Trevj (talk) 15:06, 19 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we should spend a short while comparing how Good articles in various subject areas handle this, in order to further inform the discussion. Then perhaps we can point WT:COMP here for additional input. --Trevj (talk) 18:43, 19 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And dedicated article at WP:MOS#Main article link too. Anyway, will do a bit of research when I get the time. --Trevj (talk) 07:24, 20 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RIght, just had a quick look. Unfortunately the handful of articles I picked (criteria were GA of Top importance over various WikiProjects) didn't yield many with {{Main}} links. I'll have a further look when I've more time. For reference, the articles were:

Alan Turing, Constitution of Virginia and Shiva. --Trevj (talk) 18:40, 29 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


It looks like this discussion has stalled and not reached consensus. I'm removing the split tag from ARM architecture. --Salix (talk): 12:34, 9 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks - it was looking a little untidy there. I guess the discussion here may pick up again in the future, especially if split no.2 (History of the Advanced RISC Machine) proceeds: there seems little opposition to this (although there is some ambiguity in Letdorf's comment). --Trevj (talk) 14:12, 9 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Re: History of the Advanced RISC Machine, there's a recent interview with John Biggs. -- Trevj (talk) 16:50, 23 December 2011 (UTC) Also The History of The ARM Architecture: From Inception to IPO (PDF requiring registration for download). -- Trevj (talk) 12:59, 2 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tablet PC / eNewspaper - Prototypes[edit]

Is it worth adding a few words on Acorn's early 1990's work on an ARM based Tablet PC's / eNewspaper?

109.144.208.14 (talk) 20:42, 11 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The NewsPAD and Stork? The former has a ref at cnet.com but a reliable source is still needed for the latter. Please feel free to contribute! Thanks. --Trevj (talk) 05:39, 12 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Added a few words and ref's — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.104.51.74 (talk) 19:09, 16 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Great stuff! I've put just included a bit of info from the above CNET piece too. Here are some further refs about the overall project which I've found but haven't got time to include content from now.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] And do you think this is a trademark registration? -- Trevj (talk) 09:25, 17 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Acorn-Netstation.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]

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Image isn't going to be deleted anymore.--Flibble (talk) 11:41, 31 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Vintage Ads[edit]

I've just found A History of the Early Computer Industry in Advertising Form, which may be of some interest here. -- Trevj (talk) 14:58, 28 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

History section is very confusing[edit]

I find this very confusing, but don't want to fix what look like obviously confusing names and references since company names can change quickly and in confusing ways:

Early history On 25 July 1961, Clive Sinclair founded Sinclair Radionics to develop and sell electronic devices such as calculators. The failure of the Black Watch wristwatch and the calculator market's move from LEDs to LCDs led to financial problems, and Sinclair approached the National Enterprise Board (NEB) for help. After losing control of the company to the NEB, Sinclair encouraged Chris Curry to leave Radionics and get Science of Cambridge (SoC) up and running. In June 1978, SoC launched a microcomputer kit, the Mk 14, that Curry wanted to develop further, but Sinclair could not be persuaded so Curry resigned. During the development of the Mk 14, Hermann Hauser, a friend of Curry's, had been visiting SoC's offices and had grown interested in the product

Who lost control of the company - the person Clive Sinclair? Or the company Sinclair lost control of itself (taken over by NEB)? Was Clive starting SoC up himself? Did Curry actually indeed get SoC up and running? What did Curry resign from and why is that related to the MK 14? ★NealMcB★ (talk) 22:01, 21 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Acorn Tubes[edit]

There is no relation whatsoever between Acorn radio valves (founded about 1936) and Acorn computers Ltd? --91.36.254.225 (talk) 20:35, 23 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hauser was born in 1948 so it is unlikely. Also I was in contact with Hauser at the time and know that the reasoning behind the name was 'from little acorns great big oak trees grow', which certainly was a good prediction since most mobiles nowadays use ARM chips (ARM = Acorn Risc Machines and that is the same Acorn) and now Apple is going to use them as well! --Brian Josephson (talk) 15:42, 21 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Net's Big Thing". T3 Magazine. No. 1. November 1996. pp. 72–77. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Acorn goes online in Canada". Acorn User. August 1996. p. 10. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  3. ^ Burley, Ian (August 1996). "Heading for unchartered territories". Acorn User. pp. 45–47. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  4. ^ "What's in it for Acorn users?". Acorn User. September 1994. p. 9. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Big month for Online Media". Acorn User. May 1995. p. 9. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  6. ^ Burley, Ian (December 1995). "Online Media technology". Acorn User. pp. 36–37. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  7. ^ Peach, Karen (October 1996). "Coming to a living room near you". Acorn User. pp. 43–44. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  8. ^ "Two-page Acorn update". Acorn User. August 1995. p. 9. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  9. ^ "Interactive TV market waking up". Acorn User. May 1996. p. 9. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  10. ^ Ford, Simon; Garnsey, Elizabeth (2007). "Failing to disrupt: the case of the Network Computer". Int. J. Technology Intelligence and Planning. 3 (1).
  11. ^ "Internet TV deal for Acorn". Acorn User. April 1997. p. 7. Retrieved 11 October 2021.