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In an attempt to prolong the life of the BBC Micro, Acorn repackaged, upgraded and expanded the design with a slightly faster processor, more memory, and a wide variety of configurations, all under the 'Master' brand.
In play from 1986 to 1993 — not bad for an 8-bit computer — the Master line included versions that ran videodisc software, which were at the heart of the Domesday project. Other versions had 80186 co-processors that could run the GEM operating environment.
The last one to make any sort of an impact was the Master Compact, which had a 3.5-inch disk drive, a mouse and Acorn's first GUI. This was sufficiently different from the BBC Micro to exclude it from almost all existing software, and by this point nobody was much interested in developing new software for such an archaic architecture.
Photo credit: Rupert Goodwins
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