4 of 9Image
The computer which made Acorn famous and Clive Sinclair mad.
Originally called the Proton, this 2MHz 6502, 16 to 32KB BBC Micro computer (pictured) was designed to be sold alongside a BBC TV programme and was thus specified to include lots of interfaces, be very durable and be accessible and powerful to program. Although the higher-specified Model B cost £399, that version outsold the Model A — in total, some 1.5 million were sold.
The system was extremely expandable, with room for extra application or language ROMs, a Tube interface for second processors and general purpose parallel, serial and analogue I/O. It also had Econet networking options and a speech synthesiser that used phonemes recorded by BBC newsreader Kenneth Kendall.
Many BBC Micros are still in use today as process and industrial controllers, thirty years after the design was launched.
Photo credit: Rupert Goodwins
See more photo galleries on ZDNet UK.