New Acorn machines

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Christopher John Taylor

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Apr 11, 1994, 1:21:03 PM4/11/94
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I have just bought a copy of the May issue of Archimedes World, and they have a review of the new Acorn machines.
For those of you who can't get hold of a copy yet, highlights are
as follows:

Sadly, they _will_ be called RISC PCs. (Marginally preferable to Medusa, I suppose).

It's a modular, highly upgradable design with a plug-in processor
card (an ARM610 on the machines which are about to be released).
ARM700 upgrades will follow by the end of the year.
Performance in 24 bit screen modes is around twice that of a 25MHz A500.

The design includes provision for a second processor, 486 or Pentium by September, others are possible.

The case appears to be pale grey, but it looks a lot like the
concept case at Acorn World. The pics are of a tower system; it looks as though this is optional.

Launch machine memory is between 2 and 8 Mb, maximum 128Mb. Memory expansion via industry-standard SIMMs.

Video spec is as may be expected with the new VIDC20 inside. Dedicated video RAM is an option on two of the three launch
machines. Sound mostly unchanged.

Internal IDE hard disc is standard, minimum spec. 210Mb.

Operating system: RISC OS 3.5, New Look and outline fonts as
standard, Apps are still on the icon bar but have been moved
onto the internal IDE drive.

The whole thing looks very tasty, an enthusiast's dream, but Acorn aren't releasing any prices yet. AW think they will be comparable with current A5000s, so around £1500.

Chris (C.Ta...@ucl.ac.uk)

Bob Voisey

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Apr 12, 1994, 5:53:27 AM4/12/94
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Christopher John Taylor (zcb...@ucl.ac.uk) wrote:
: I have just bought a copy of the May issue of Archimedes World, and they have a review of
: the new Acorn machines.

Oh, wonderful. Archimedes World readers get to find out the ins and outs of the new
machine even before dealers have been told! Thanks, Acorn, for enforcing your news
embargo so carefully..

: Sadly, they _will_ be called RISC PCs.

It may sound naff, but I think that's a very sensible marketing move..

: It's a modular, highly upgradable design with a plug-in processor


: card (an ARM610 on the machines which are about to be released).

Does it mention whether they're using the 40Mhz version?

: ARM700 upgrades will follow by the end of the year.

Hopefully with a cheap, guaranteed upgrade price..

: Performance in 24 bit screen modes is around twice that of a 25MHz A500.

Hopefully somewhat faster in 4 or 8bpp..

: The design includes provision for a second processor, 486 or Pentium by
: September, others are possible.

Another good marketing move, provided the price is kept way below the cost
of the software emulator for the PowerPC (about 300 quid + 16Mb RAM minimum).

: The case appears to be pale grey, but it looks a lot like the


: concept case at Acorn World.

.. which I still maintain was heavily inspired by the old Acorn Filestore ;-)

: The pics are of a tower system; it looks as though this is optional.

Tower as in tower, or tower as in modular?

: Launch machine memory is between 2 and 8 Mb, maximum 128Mb.

They're launching a 2Mb machine.. I don't know why they bother, sometimes.

: Memory expansion via industry-standard SIMMs.

Shame 32-bit SIMMs are so expensive in high capacities. Still, that situation
is no different to the Power Mac.

: Dedicated video RAM is an option on two of the three launch
: machines. Sound mostly unchanged.

So on one of the machines it isn't even an option? What have they done,
not bothered to fit the SIMM socket?!

: Internal IDE hard disc is standard, minimum spec. 210Mb.

Ho hum. At least there's still going to be a market for 3rd party SCSI
cards..

: Operating system: RISC OS 3.5, New Look and outline fonts as

: standard, Apps are still on the icon bar but have been moved
: onto the internal IDE drive.

Shame, but necessary I guess. The machine will probably be much
easier to sell with a pretty 3D desktop (this is an important
criteria for some people)!

: The whole thing looks very tasty, an enthusiast's dream,

I hope not.. the R140 and the A540 were both enthusiasts dreams, and look
what happened to them! :-)

: but Acorn aren't releasing any prices yet.

At least they witheld that much for the dealers..

: AW think they will be comparable with current A5000s, so around 1500.

Around 1500 including VAT would make them quite saleable.. these things
are definately going to be competing head-on with PowerMacs, so Acorn
are going to have to improve on Apple's prices given that they haven't
improved on the specification.

PowerMac 6100/60 is 1350+Monitor+Kbd which is about 1600+VAT, or about
1500+VAT from a box shifter. If Acorn match Apple's ex-VAT price with
an inc-VAT price (for a machine with 8Mb RAM) they could really shift
some boxes.

Cheers

Bob
--
Bob Voisey Tel +44 479 670058 Fax +44 749 670809 Mobile +44 831 628566

Jim Noble

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Apr 12, 1994, 10:02:38 AM4/12/94
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b...@cryton.demon.co.uk (Bob Voisey) writes in article <Co54t...@cryton.demon.co.uk>

>Oh, wonderful. Archimedes World readers get to find out the ins and outs
>of the new machine even before dealers have been told! Thanks, Acorn,
>for enforcing your news embargo so carefully..

I haven't been able to find one in the shops yet... WHSmith don't seem to
think it will be in 'til later in the week...

>: Sadly, they _will_ be called RISC PCs.
>It may sound naff, but I think that's a very sensible marketing move..

Yes, personally I think it's a *very* good idea. What with all the hype
surrounding 'RISC' at the moment. 'RISC' seems to have taken over from 'OO'
just recently (RISC is fast. X is fast. Thus x is RISC :*)...

One question though; is it RISC-PC, RISC/PC, RiscPC or RISC PC? How is it
pronounced? "RISC Peee Sea"? or "RISC Pkkk"? :*) :*)

>: It's a modular, highly upgradable design with a plug-in processor
>: card (an ARM610 on the machines which are about to be released).
>Does it mention whether they're using the 40Mhz version?

I thought it was an ARM600 that ran at 40MHz (the recently annoucned VLSI
part)? It's a shame the launch machines are only ARM610, and thus not
usable with the FPA...

>: Performance in 24 bit screen modes is around twice that of a 25MHz A500.
>Hopefully somewhat faster in 4 or 8bpp..

It all depends on whether you have VRAM or not, surely?

>: Dedicated video RAM is an option on two of the three launch
>: machines. Sound mostly unchanged.

>So on one of the machines it isn't even an option? What have they done,
>not bothered to fit the SIMM socket?!

Err, surely it means "an option, [fitted] on two of the three launch
machines"?

>: Internal IDE hard disc is standard, minimum spec. 210Mb.
>Ho hum. At least there's still going to be a market for 3rd party SCSI
>cards..

Why does the phrase; "vested interest" spring to mind, Bob? :*)

Jim
--
Jim Noble. 3rd year Computer Systems Engineering. University of Kent.

What I just said is probably wrong.
Heck! Everybody knows I only open my mouth to change feet. :-)

Ollie Cornes

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Apr 12, 1994, 12:50:22 PM4/12/94
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Christopher John Taylor (zcb...@ucl.ac.uk) wrote:
: Sadly, they _will_ be called RISC PCs. (Marginally preferable to
: Medusa, I suppose).

Personally I like this name, I shan't bother to copy all that Nicko posted
the other day, but I totally agree, it is a very positive marketing name.
The Acorn RISC PC, has a nice ring to it...
Apart from anything else it means you know it's a RISC machine without
having to read the small print in the machine description.
Ner, ner, ner, ner, ner to Apple.

: It's a modular, highly upgradable design with a plug-in processor


: card (an ARM610 on the machines which are about to be released).
: ARM700 upgrades will follow by the end of the year.
: Performance in 24 bit screen modes is around twice that of a 25MHz A500.

: The case appears to be pale grey, but it looks a lot like the


: concept case at Acorn World. The pics are of a tower system; it
: looks as though this is optional.

The case is optional, ot the tower is optional?
A tower case arch, loverly loverly.

: Launch machine memory is between 2 and 8 Mb, maximum 128Mb.

: Memory expansion via industry-standard SIMMs.

What, no single floppy 1mb version?

: Video spec is as may be expected with the new VIDC20 inside. Dedicated

: video RAM is an option on two of the three launch machines. Sound
: mostly unchanged.

Now the thing is, does it have support for VIDC20's I-squared-C interface. OK
so I haven't got a DAC but you never know...

: Internal IDE hard disc is standard, minimum spec. 210Mb.
Wahay!! No more of this 40Mb rubbish.

: The whole thing looks very tasty, an enthusiast's dream, but Acorn aren't


: releasing any prices yet. AW think they will be comparable with current
: A5000s, so around £1500.

1500 quid? I hope this is not true.
As the machine doesn't have anything exceedingly expensive in it, it could
very easily be sold at this price, i.e. the same as an A5k, but it does
seem a shame that it's being beaten on price by the PowerMacs. OK so the
RISC PC will do MS stuff in hardware at a proper speed (and work too..)
so maybe people will pay the extra, but even so, a price on a par with
a PPC would
have been nice...

Ollie
--

Ollie Cornes St. Cuthbert's Society, Durham University
Oliver...@durham.ac.uk (or sometimes ol...@cconcepts.co.uk)
Bow Cottage, Potters Bank, Durham DH1 3RR, UK.
All opinions are mine Keep Britain Moist

Dingbat

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Apr 12, 1994, 1:36:46 PM4/12/94
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In article <Co54t...@cryton.demon.co.uk>
b...@cryton.demon.co.uk (Bob Voisey) writes:

> Christopher John Taylor (zcb...@ucl.ac.uk) wrote:
> : I have just bought a copy of the May issue of Archimedes World, and they have a review of
> : the new Acorn machines.
>
> Oh, wonderful. Archimedes World readers get to find out the ins and outs of the new
> machine even before dealers have been told! Thanks, Acorn, for enforcing your news
> embargo so carefully..
>
> : Sadly, they _will_ be called RISC PCs.
>
> It may sound naff, but I think that's a very sensible marketing move..
>
> : It's a modular, highly upgradable design with a plug-in processor
> : card (an ARM610 on the machines which are about to be released).
>
> Does it mention whether they're using the 40Mhz version?

No, they're not... but you'll be able to upgrade soon...

>
> : ARM700 upgrades will follow by the end of the year.
>
> Hopefully with a cheap, guaranteed upgrade price..

Yep, tho they were a bit vague on price... upgrade to ARM 700-800 less than 150.. (for both?).

>
> : Performance in 24 bit screen modes is around twice that of a 25MHz A500.
>
> Hopefully somewhat faster in 4 or 8bpp..

One would hope so! The processor card is easily removed/replaced..
New processors can just be plugged in..!

>
> : The design includes provision for a second processor, 486 or Pentium by
> : September, others are possible.

Yep, and the ARM handles video for the 486/Pentium... so it should be
pretty fast.

> Tower as in tower, or tower as in modular?

Tower as in, you bung some clip-on feet on the side and turn it sideways..
Modular as in each slice fits onto the next.. stack if horizontal..
side-by-side towers if vertical!

>
> : Launch machine memory is between 2 and 8 Mb, maximum 128Mb.

256Mb in the future...

>
> They're launching a 2Mb machine.. I don't know why they bother, sometimes.

I think the idea is to allow people to take advantage of cheap PC memory.

>
> : Memory expansion via industry-standard SIMMs.
>
> Shame 32-bit SIMMs are so expensive in high capacities. Still, that
> situation is no different to the Power Mac.
>

Each podule can have 16MB addressable ram on board and +
It will run all the current Podules!!!

> : Dedicated video RAM is an option on two of the three launch
> : machines. Sound mostly unchanged.
>
> So on one of the machines it isn't even an option? What have they done,
> not bothered to fit the SIMM socket?!

No, it's just not fitted on one option.
But they are producing a sound blaster compatible card.


>
> : Internal IDE hard disc is standard, minimum spec. 210Mb.
>
> Ho hum. At least there's still going to be a market for 3rd party SCSI
> cards..
>

There is space for second hard drive and cd-rom.. and flopticals..
You can build up system with more modules..(i.e. more cases. so external stuff should be a thing of the past(ish).
The whole thing is designed so that you can take it apart in a few seconds..
Everything is plug in..

> : Operating system: RISC OS 3.5, New Look and outline fonts as
> : standard, Apps are still on the icon bar but have been moved
> : onto the internal IDE drive.

No more upgrades to RISCOS3.1 !!!!!

>
> Shame, but necessary I guess. The machine will probably be much
> easier to sell with a pretty 3D desktop (this is an important
> criteria for some people)!

Looks nice to me... !!! I'd like to kknow how fast the 700/800 stuff is tho!

E-mail:--> din...@original.demon.co.uk

Robert Orwin

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Apr 12, 1994, 1:57:38 PM4/12/94
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In article <Co54t...@cryton.demon.co.uk>
b...@cryton.demon.co.uk (Bob Voisey) writes:

>
>: Dedicated video RAM is an option on two of the three launch
>: machines. Sound mostly unchanged.
>
>So on one of the machines it isn't even an option? What have they done,
>not bothered to fit the SIMM socket?!

Perhaps it comes as standard on the high end machines?

--
Robert Orwin
r...@wong.demon.co.uk

... Anything not nailed down is a cat's toy

Andy Howell

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Apr 12, 1994, 6:17:23 PM4/12/94
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> They're launching a 2Mb machine.. I don't know why they
> bother, sometimes.

Agreed. The Arc has been a 4 meg machine for a while now and anyone who is
wanting the new screen modes will almost certainly be demanding 8 megs. I
don't know much about the price of SIMMS, how much would we be expecting to
pay per megabyte?

Andy in Brum

Bob Voisey

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Apr 12, 1994, 7:01:48 PM4/12/94
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Jim Noble (j...@ukc.ac.uk) wrote:

: I thought it was an ARM600 that ran at 40MHz (the recently annoucned VLSI


: part)? It's a shame the launch machines are only ARM610, and thus not
: usable with the FPA...

The tickets to the Friday event clearly show a 30Mhz device from GPS.. late
prototype, maybe - I hope so!

: Err, surely it means "an option, [fitted] on two of the three launch
: machines"?

That's what I'd of thought, but that's not how the original poster
phrased it.

: Why does the phrase; "vested interest" spring to mind, Bob? :*)

I would much prefer to see onboard SCSI than not.. it would make the
machine easier to sell to check-list punters.

Simon Glass

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Apr 12, 1994, 7:05:59 PM4/12/94
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In article <Co54t...@cryton.demon.co.uk> b...@cryton.demon.co.uk (Bob Voisey) writes:

> PowerMac 6100/60 is 1350+Monitor+Kbd which is about 1600+VAT, or about
> 1500+VAT from a box shifter. If Acorn match Apple's ex-VAT price with
> an inc-VAT price (for a machine with 8Mb RAM) they could really shift
> some boxes.

Er isn't that the one with only one slot, no vram, etc...? I don't think
Acorn will have any trouble beating that...:-)

--
Simon

Sig line trunca

Bob Voisey

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Apr 12, 1994, 7:09:13 PM4/12/94
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Dingbat (din...@original.demon.co.uk) wrote:
: No, they're not... but you'll be able to upgrade soon...
: Yep, tho they were a bit vague on price... upgrade to ARM 700-800 less than 150.. (for both?).
: One would hope so! The processor card is easily removed/replaced..

: New processors can just be plugged in..!
: Yep, and the ARM handles video for the 486/Pentium... so it should be
: Tower as in, you bung some clip-on feet on the side and turn it sideways..

: Modular as in each slice fits onto the next.. stack if horizontal..
: side-by-side towers if vertical!
: 256Mb in the future...
: Each podule can have 16MB addressable ram on board and +

: It will run all the current Podules!!!
: No, it's just not fitted on one option.

: But they are producing a sound blaster compatible card.
: There is space for second hard drive and cd-rom.. and flopticals..

: You can build up system with more modules..(i.e. more cases. so external stuff should
: be a thing of the past(ish).
: The whole thing is designed so that you can take it apart in a few seconds..
: Everything is plug in..

All this was in the Archimedes World article? I've been trying to take care over
what I say, since the above information (taken directly from the press release by
the look of it) is still covered by NDA until the official announcement - but if
AW have published all that I think it's time to put up a poster and start exciting
our customers ;-)

Jim Noble

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Apr 12, 1994, 7:46:34 PM4/12/94
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b...@cryton.demon.co.uk (Bob Voisey) writes in article <Co65...@cryton.demon.co.uk>

>I would much prefer to see onboard SCSI than not.. it would make the
>machine easier to sell to check-list punters.

Agreed. Maybe a future high-high-end model?

Dingbat

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Apr 13, 1994, 3:42:37 AM4/13/94
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In article <73iq3...@sglass.demon.co.uk>
sgl...@sglass.demon.co.uk (Simon Glass) writes:

Except that they really should have been able to offer the 486/Pentium
option on launch don't you think? ow they're going tp haveto launch that
aspect of the box again in September (or whenever it arrives!)


Dingbat 'Only the foolish quote
"On the Hill' anothers wisdom.'
London, UK
E-mail:--> din...@original.demon.co.uk 'Dingbat'

Dingbat

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Apr 13, 1994, 4:19:20 AM4/13/94
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In article <Co65...@cryton.demon.co.uk>
b...@cryton.demon.co.uk (Bob Voisey) writes:

> All this was in the Archimedes World article? I've been trying to take care over
> what I say, since the above information (taken directly from the press release by
> the look of it) is still covered by NDA until the official announcement - but if
> AW have published all that I think it's time to put up a poster and start exciting
> our customers ;-)

Exicte me, excite me!

Ian Palmer

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Apr 13, 1994, 5:05:54 AM4/13/94
to
Bob Voisey (b...@cryton.demon.co.uk) wrote:

: Christopher John Taylor (zcb...@ucl.ac.uk) wrote:
: : I have just bought a copy of the May issue of Archimedes World, and they have a review of
: : the new Acorn machines.

: Oh, wonderful. Archimedes World readers get to find out the ins and outs of the new
: machine even before dealers have been told! Thanks, Acorn, for enforcing your news
: embargo so carefully..

Given the trouble Archive (NCS) got into when they let people know a
couple of hours before the official release of the A5000, I wonder how
bad AW are doing in Acorn's bad books :-)

: Does it mention whether they're using the 40Mhz version?

I think it says a 43MHz version (of something) will be available some
time, althout the whole article is a bit confused (as I read it), but
then that is AWs style after all. Put all the facts into a bag and
pull out randomly and piece an article together :-)

: : ARM700 upgrades will follow by the end of the year.

: Hopefully with a cheap, guaranteed upgrade price..

According to the article you will get three years worth of processor
upgrades (610 -> 700 (end of year) -> 800 (some time later) for under
150 pounds, and that pricing has been fixed (aparently). Processors
come on plug in cards. 486 and pentium options around September.

: : The design includes provision for a second processor, 486 or Pentium by
: : September, others are possible.

It does also say a second Arm is possible, etc. Also dedicated
processor/hardware for things like movie compression were (I think)
mentioned as possible whatnots for the second processor slot.

: Another good marketing move, provided the price is kept way below the cost


: of the software emulator for the PowerPC (about 300 quid + 16Mb RAM minimum).

: : The case appears to be pale grey, but it looks a lot like the
: : concept case at Acorn World.

I don't fully remember the case in the concept area, from memory
wasn't that a black tower. This isn't a tower (in the conventional
sense), it is a collection of modules that fit together and are placed
on their side (from the picture). The base machine will come in one
section (according to the AW article) and house the main stuff (IDE
drive, floppy, processor, memory, etc) then you add on up to 5 more
sections which contain other drives, cards (old style or 32bit wide
cards with 16Meg addressable space and fast transfer, if memory
serves), CDrom drives, extra power supplies (if needed), etc. The
article says that each section can support 2 expansion cards
(assumably the new style, don't know if they can support more old
style ones).

: .. which I still maintain was heavily inspired by the old Acorn Filestore ;-)

: : The pics are of a tower system; it looks as though this is optional.

: Tower as in tower, or tower as in modular?

As above, I wouldn't call it a tower. I'd call it a box on its side
which can get fatter. Also no screws hold it together, just clips you
insert and turn. Apparently getting in takes seconds.

: : Launch machine memory is between 2 and 8 Mb, maximum 128Mb.

: They're launching a 2Mb machine.. I don't know why they bother, sometimes.

Apparently they expect you to buy your memory elsewhere at competative
rates.

: : Dedicated video RAM is an option on two of the three launch
: : machines. Sound mostly unchanged.

: So on one of the machines it isn't even an option? What have they done,
: not bothered to fit the SIMM socket?!

I got the impression it just wasn't fitted, ie. you could add it
later. It would be stupid to limit the base machine from the start in
this respect. Aparently the memory controler can utilise any VRAM not
in use for applications, etc. Also the limit should rise to 256M at
some stage (RISC OS 3.5 can handle up ti this limit, although
individual applications are limited to (I think) 24 Meg (could be 16,
can't remember off hand).

: : Operating system: RISC OS 3.5, New Look and outline fonts as

: : standard, Apps are still on the icon bar but have been moved
: : onto the internal IDE drive.

: Shame, but necessary I guess. The machine will probably be much
: easier to sell with a pretty 3D desktop (this is an important
: criteria for some people)!

Well the RISC OS 2 style was a little dated, and is frankly now quite
ugly. (IMHO)

: : The whole thing looks very tasty, an enthusiast's dream,

: I hope not.. the R140 and the A540 were both enthusiasts dreams, and look
: what happened to them! :-)

: : AW think they will be comparable with current A5000s, so around 1500.

: Around 1500 including VAT would make them quite saleable.. these things
: are definately going to be competing head-on with PowerMacs, so Acorn
: are going to have to improve on Apple's prices given that they haven't
: improved on the specification.

: PowerMac 6100/60 is 1350+Monitor+Kbd which is about 1600+VAT, or about
: 1500+VAT from a box shifter. If Acorn match Apple's ex-VAT price with
: an inc-VAT price (for a machine with 8Mb RAM) they could really shift
: some boxes.

The article also states that monitors will be supplied with these (or
that's the imppression I got). There is an option for a Philips
17incher (I think), but in any case I hope it is possible to get a
machine sans monitor - Acorn should realise that with top end machines
like these some people will already have a fairly decent monitor and
don't need another kicking around, and certainly won't want to have to
pay for another monitor.


Ian
---
12 unsuitable topic of conversation e-mail: i...@doc.ic.ac.uk
at a dinner party : tel: +44 71 589 5111 (x7541)
- 1. Rigor mortis. fax: +44 71 581 8024
(The Book of Stupid Lists)
___ _ Ian Palmer, Department of Computing,
/ _ _ /_) _ / _ _ _ _ Imperial College, 180 Queen's Gate,
____/__(_|_| )__/ __(_|_(_| ) )_|/_) _______London SW7 2BZ. England.____________

Bob Voisey

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Apr 13, 1994, 5:39:53 AM4/13/94
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Simon Glass (sgl...@sglass.demon.co.uk) wrote:

: Er isn't that the one with only one slot, no vram, etc...? I don't think


: Acorn will have any trouble beating that...:-)

Only one slot, but it has as standard:

SCSI
Ethernet
Appletalk (like Econet)
16 bit Sound Out
16 bit Sound In
ADB Keyboard bus (for daisy chained kbds/mice/joysticks)
PowerPC 610 at 60Mhz (much, much faster than ARM610)
VRAM option, as with low end Acorn machine

What it lacks is RISC OS and a cheap PC emulation path - Acorn machines
may sell on those criteria alone.

Alex

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Apr 13, 1994, 6:52:05 AM4/13/94
to

>It's a modular, highly upgradable design with a plug-in processor
>card (an ARM610 on the machines which are about to be released).
>ARM700 upgrades will follow by the end of the year.

This does not make sense to me, as the ARM7 has what is effectively
the MEMC2 built into it which obviously the 610 does not. How are they going to
reconsile the differences without changing the OS or are they going to change
the OS. Smacks of being a bodg to me.

Performance of the 610 is looking very rusty compared to the PowerPC processor.

>The design includes provision for a second processor, 486 or Pentium by
>September, others are possible.

Sounds a good idea, but needs a lot of questions answering before we jump
for joy. ie Does it run asychronously?

If Acorn use non-intel parts, the 486/Pentium co pro could be kept to much less than the PowerMac SoftPC option esp. as this needs 16Mb ram to work. Remember
though that this will only run a few certified apps.

>AW think they will be comparable with current A5000s, >so around #1500.

I do hope not. Far to close to the PowerMacs which means that they would get
directly compared and lose due to the larger user base, software base and bias
against a non pc. Should be priced agressively, anyway what is in
the thing that totals #1200 (allowing for #300 profit margin).
If past form is anything to go on, all the chips are < $50 of which there is
4? + PCB + hard disk + floppy + case + keyboard. I think to make a impact
rather than the damp squib Acorn usually spend loads to muster, around the 600
to 700 mark would make people sit up and take an interest from day 1.

Sadly can't see it happening though.....


Alex

--
| 'We have but one life and an | Al' in good ol' sunny |
| oppertunity lost is an eternity | Manchester |
| of regret.' | |

Peter Radcliffe

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Apr 13, 1994, 8:28:14 AM4/13/94
to
> Bob Voisey (b...@cryton.demon.co.uk) wrote:

> The article also states that monitors will be supplied with these (or
> that's the imppression I got). There is an option for a Philips
> 17incher (I think), but in any case I hope it is possible to get a
> machine sans monitor - Acorn should realise that with top end machines
> like these some people will already have a fairly decent monitor and
> don't need another kicking around, and certainly won't want to have to
> pay for another monitor.

Ditto ..... when I bought my A5000, it was fairly difficult to find somewhere that
would sell me one without a monitor, I didn't want one of the acorn monitors, I want a
17" one I can't afford _just_ yet (when I work this summer, hopefully) so didn't want
to waste money on a monitor to use for a couple of months when I have a perfectly naff
monitor I can use until then ;)

So, can dealers and Acorn take note, there are quite a few of us out here that don't
want monitors with higher end machines.

Peter.

Maurizio Ferrari

unread,
Apr 13, 1994, 8:41:43 AM4/13/94
to
(If anyone reads this message, please drop me a short note 'cause I have
posted some messages thru our news feeder and they seem to be regularly
swallowed somewhere. I'm posting this via cs.texas.edu mailer instead)

Any precise RISC OS 3.5 specs, look apart?

Maurizio

--

+------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Maurizio Ferrari | e-mail: fer...@bologna.maraut.it |
+------------------------------------------------------------------+

Torben AEgidius Mogensen

unread,
Apr 13, 1994, 10:45:26 AM4/13/94
to
i...@doc.ic.ac.uk (Ian Palmer) writes:

>Aparently the memory controler can utilise any VRAM not
>in use for applications, etc. Also the limit should rise to 256M at
>some stage (RISC OS 3.5 can handle up ti this limit, although
>individual applications are limited to (I think) 24 Meg (could be 16,
>can't remember off hand).

I hope this is true only for ARM2/3 compatible applications. ARM6xx
specific applications should be able to use full 32 bit addressing.

Torben Mogensen (tor...@diku.dk)

Mik Davis

unread,
Apr 13, 1994, 3:58:08 PM4/13/94
to
Ian Palmer (i...@doc.ic.ac.uk) wrote:

: As above, I wouldn't call it a tower. I'd call it a box on its side


: which can get fatter. Also no screws hold it together, just clips you
: insert and turn. Apparently getting in takes seconds.

This includes the kids in the classrooms eh? OOPS!!!

They stopped putting screw-in plates on the mice and the kids swipe the
mouse balls - if they stop putting screws in the case...

: : So on one of the machines it isn't even an option? What have they done,


: : not bothered to fit the SIMM socket?!

: I got the impression it just wasn't fitted, ie. you could add it
: later. It would be stupid to limit the base machine from the start in
: this respect.

Like the 3010 which has no IDE connector but presumably still has the chip
in it...

--
___________________________________________.
Mik Davis, Mexborough, South Yorkshire | . . __ .
| |\/| | \ _,_ _ _
E-Mail: m...@coyote.demon.co.uk | | |. |_/ |_| \/ |/_'

Adam Goodfellow

unread,
Apr 13, 1994, 6:41:59 PM4/13/94
to
i...@doc.ic.ac.uk (Ian Palmer) writes:

> The article also states that monitors will be supplied with these (or
> that's the imppression I got). There is an option for a Philips
> 17incher (I think), but in any case I hope it is possible to get a
> machine sans monitor - Acorn should realise that with top end machines
> like these some people will already have a fairly decent monitor and
> don't need another kicking around, and certainly won't want to have to
> pay for another monitor.
>

Erk! - oh well, will have some fun when we take it outside and start
throwing bricks at it :-)


Adam
--
======================================================================
| Computech Tel/Fax: 081 673 7817 email: ad...@comptech.demon.co.uk |
======================================================================

Ernest Ong

unread,
Apr 14, 1994, 1:07:57 AM4/14/94
to
Ian Palmer (i...@doc.ic.ac.uk) wrote:
: serves), CDrom drives, extra power supplies (if needed), etc. The

: article says that each section can support 2 expansion cards
: (assumably the new style, don't know if they can support more old
: style ones).

Did the article also explicit mention anything about a new, updated
expansion/IO system? Any details of this "new style"? 32bits? >8MHz?

Ta.

cheers,
ernie.

--
name: Ernie Ong
addr: er...@tartarus.uwa.edu.au
mesg: The Acorn Archimedes. It's worth RISCing your ARM for.

Mike Maguire

unread,
Apr 13, 1994, 8:56:19 PM4/13/94
to
What about the rumoured PCI bus....

Any hints on how we expand the new RISC PC

Mike
--
-----------------------------------------------------
Mike Maguire | Fisher & Paykel
maguirem@minor (inhouse or) | Group Information Systems
magu...@fp.co.nz (internet)| Private Bag 14917
Fax +64 9 273 0629 | Panmure
Ph +64 9 273 0519 | Auckland
or Ext 6040 | New Zealand
----------------------------------------------------

Ian Palmer

unread,
Apr 14, 1994, 8:46:42 AM4/14/94
to
Torben AEgidius Mogensen (tor...@diku.dk) wrote:
: i...@doc.ic.ac.uk (Ian Palmer) writes:

I would imagine the limit is a RISC OS one (you should be able to work
out the number by looking at the memory map of RISC OS (although that
isn't to say that the memory map hasn't been changed a little, or
can't be changed at a future time).


Ian
---
10 Stupid things to run up behind e-mail: i...@doc.ic.ac.uk
your grandad and yell : tel: +44 71 589 5111 (x7541)
- 4. Grandad! Quick! Your buttocks fax: +44 71 581 8024
are on fire! (The Book of Stupid Lists)

C.N.Good

unread,
Apr 14, 1994, 5:23:13 PM4/14/94
to
Mik Davis (m...@coyote.demon.co.uk) wrote:
: Ian Palmer (i...@doc.ic.ac.uk) wrote:

: : As above, I wouldn't call it a tower. I'd call it a box on its side
: : which can get fatter. Also no screws hold it together, just clips you
: : insert and turn. Apparently getting in takes seconds.

: This includes the kids in the classrooms eh? OOPS!!!

Full locking and security devices are going to be available...but not for
the mouse AFAIK :-)

Chris


--
+-----------------------------------------------+------------------------+
| Chris Good (Undergraduate - Computer Science) | Intel => Fool |
| Keynes college, University Of Kent | Inside => Outside |
| Take no notice, I speak for no-one | ARM Powered |
+-----------------------------------------------+------------------------+

Maxton Carter

unread,
Apr 14, 1994, 5:37:49 PM4/14/94
to

> : As above, I wouldn't call it a tower. I'd call it a box on
> its side : which can get fatter. Also no screws hold it
> together, just clips you : insert and turn. Apparently
> getting in takes seconds.

> This includes the kids in the classrooms eh? OOPS!!!

> They stopped putting screw-in plates on the mice and the
> kids swipe the mouse balls - if they stop putting screws in
> the case...

No problem, just for teachers Acorn have drilled little holes to insert
those small padlocks - can you believe it :-)

Jim Noble

unread,
Apr 14, 1994, 7:46:39 PM4/14/94
to
mack...@p4.cs.man.ac.uk (Alex) writes in article <macklena....@p4.cs.man.ac.uk>

>This does not make sense to me, as the ARM7 has what is effectively
>the MEMC2 built into it which obviously the 610 does not. How are they
>going to reconsile the differences without changing the OS or are they going
>to change the OS. Smacks of being a bodg to me.

Wrong! Both the ARM610 and ARM700 have the same MMU. Note that the MMU is
*not* a MEMCII, it provides address translation and possibly some other
stuff. All the DRAM, ROM and DMA etc is done external to the processor...

Ernest Ong

unread,
Apr 14, 1994, 9:17:00 PM4/14/94
to
Can someone please post some RRP for the PowerMacs in the UK (without
keyboard and monitor I suppose :-) so that we may compare it with Acorn's
pricing? Do add the costs of the different keyboard and monitor
configurations too though.

While it is true that the PowerPC has more processing umph! RISC OS and
the Arc (I suppose RiscPC now :-( applications are ever so efficient
that we may just make up for it. For example, I have seen the native
Adobe Illustrator for the PowerMac. The redraw was excruciatingly slow.
But our Mac programmer said: "Wow - you should see how long that takes
on the Quadra. *This* is *fast*!". Most things on the Arc do _appear_
much faster (while we might not have the raw processing power). Apparent
user responsiveness is very important in computer usage IMMHO.

It would be interesting now that Acorn have finally launched a very nice
range of new machines, to see how their marketing dept. carry thru. The
name is a good start, as many have said.

cheers,
ernie.

P.S. Any chance of the 3010 dropping to UKP 199 (inc VAT)?

--
name: Ernie Ong
addr: er...@tartarus.uwa.edu.au

mesg: The Acorn Archimedes - it's worth RISCing your ARM for.
So, get smart and be ARM powered!

Nicko van Someren

unread,
Apr 14, 1994, 9:18:42 PM4/14/94
to
Alex (mack...@p4.cs.man.ac.uk) wrote:
> This does not make sense to me, as the ARM7 has what is effectively
> the MEMC2 built into it which obviously the 610 does not. How are they going to
> reconsile the differences without changing the OS or are they going to change
> the OS. Smacks of being a bodg to me.

The ARM7 is a processor core, it does not have an MMU in it. The
ARM610 chip does have an MMU on it and it is pretty much the same as
the MMU in the ARM700. There is no confilt in upgrading from an
ARM610 to anm ARM700.

Nicko
--
Nicko van Someren - ni...@aleph1.co.uk - Aleph One Ltd. Cambridge, England
Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are my own and are not necessarily
those of Aleph One Ltd.'s directors or employees.
"Corruption empowers, absolute corruption empowers absolutely."

Torben AEgidius Mogensen

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 5:44:08 AM4/15/94
to
mack...@p4.cs.man.ac.uk (Alex) writes:


>>It's a modular, highly upgradable design with a plug-in processor
>>card (an ARM610 on the machines which are about to be released).
>>ARM700 upgrades will follow by the end of the year.

>This does not make sense to me, as the ARM7 has what is effectively
>the MEMC2 built into it which obviously the 610 does not. How are they going to
>reconsile the differences without changing the OS or are they going to change
>the OS. Smacks of being a bodg to me.

The ARM610 and ARM700 have similar MMUs. There might be differences in
the size of the on-chip TLB's, but I doubt even that. The ARM700 has a
larger cache (with a different organization) and if the ARM7DM core is
used also faster integer multiplication.

>Performance of the 610 is looking very rusty compared to the PowerPC processor.

True. But apart from floating point performance this is mainly a
function of clock speed, so the ARM will probably play "catch up" with
ARM700 and ARM800 (while obviously the PPC gets faster too).

Torben Mogensen (tor...@diku.dk)

Bob Voisey

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 6:07:33 AM4/15/94
to
Alex (mack...@p4.cs.man.ac.uk) wrote:

: Performance of the 610 is looking very rusty compared to the PowerPC processor.

I guess it's just as well that Acorn's operating system isn't written
in Pascal then..

Graham Willmott

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 10:07:36 AM4/15/94
to
Peter Radcliffe (ssur...@reading.ac.uk) wrote:

: Ditto ..... when I bought my A5000, it was fairly difficult to find somewhere that


: would sell me one without a monitor, I didn't want one of the acorn monitors, I want a
: 17" one I can't afford _just_ yet (when I work this summer, hopefully) so didn't want
: to waste money on a monitor to use for a couple of months when I have a perfectly naff
: monitor I can use until then ;)

: So, can dealers and Acorn take note, there are quite a few of us out here that don't
: want monitors with higher end machines.

Even more importantly, let us have them without keyboards!!! I never thought
I would ever agree with Apple's stupid policy of making people pay extra
for a keyboard, but having seen the horrible cheap and tacky PC style effort
Acorn are trying to make us buy, I'm beginning to think they may have got it
right after all. My personal preference would be to connect one of those
lovely HP Vectra jobs.

My main gripe with the new machines on the sales front, though, is this: why
oh why oh why did they decide that the low end machine will be supplied with
just 2Mb of DRAM. Apparently no-one in Acorn uses such a machine - if they
did, they would realise that with 2Mb, you probably won't be able to load
both ArtWorks and the printer driver (for example) at the same time, and
as for even 16-bit colour, well you can forget it. I think a better solution
would be to supply a HD of half the size, and use the money saved to provide
1Mb of VRAM (which can be used for applications if necessary). OK, so they
argue that you can pick up RAM cheaply on the open market, but the "plebs
at large" generally just want to go into a shop any buy a computer, without any
of that messing around - which is why I think the keyboardless Apple move
is still a bad one.

Graham
======

G.J. McCaughan

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 10:44:17 AM4/15/94
to
In article <CoB0K...@info.bris.ac.uk>,
Graham Willmott <se2...@mail.bris.ac.uk> wrote:

> My main gripe with the new machines on the sales front, though, is this: why
> oh why oh why did they decide that the low end machine will be supplied with
> just 2Mb of DRAM. Apparently no-one in Acorn uses such a machine - if they
> did, they would realise that with 2Mb, you probably won't be able to load
> both ArtWorks and the printer driver (for example) at the same time, and
> as for even 16-bit colour, well you can forget it. I think a better solution
> would be to supply a HD of half the size, and use the money saved to provide
> 1Mb of VRAM (which can be used for applications if necessary). OK, so they
> argue that you can pick up RAM cheaply on the open market, but the "plebs
> at large" generally just want to go into a shop any buy a computer, without
> any of that messing around - which is why I think the keyboardless Apple move
> is still a bad one.

I have for a year or so been using, quite happily, an A310 with 1Mb of RAM.
Of course there are plenty of things I can't do, but the machine is definitely
not useless. A 2Mb machine would be, for many purposes, perfectly adequate;
I don't see why people should be compelled to buy more.

Then again, I've been pretty happy with 50Mb of hard disc too, so perhaps
the tradeoff you suggest wouldn't be so bad. But how much cheaper is a
105Mb hard disc than a 210Mb hard disc, really? I suspect, less than the
difference between 2Mb of RAM and 4Mb of RAM.

--
Gareth McCaughan Dept. of Pure Mathematics & Mathematical Statistics,
gj...@cus.cam.ac.uk Cambridge University, England. [Research student]

Simon Burrows

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 11:20:24 AM4/15/94
to
In article <74...@merlin.ukc.ac.uk> cn...@ukc.ac.uk (C.N.Good) writes:
>: This includes the kids in the classrooms eh? OOPS!!!
>
> Full locking and security devices are going to be available...but not for
>the mouse AFAIK :-)

The physical security of the Risc PC takes the form of a pair of holes for
padlocks to be fitted.

--
Simon

Richard Ingram

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 11:51:52 AM4/15/94
to

Does anyone have any SpecInt92 and SpecFp92 marks for the ARM processors ?
The new 100MHz PowerPC 604 will be ~140 SpecInt92 (not sure what fp). How
do ARM compete on raw power ?

Rich.

C.J.Tribbeck

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 2:27:44 PM4/15/94
to
In article <940414...@mjec.demon.co.uk> m...@mjec.demon.co.uk writes:
> > They stopped putting screw-in plates on the mice and the
> > kids swipe the mouse balls - if they stop putting screws in
> > the case...
>
>No problem, just for teachers Acorn have drilled little holes to insert
>those small padlocks - can you believe it :-)
>

A friend of mine once 'phone me up to say that he couldn't come to the bar
until later, because he was gluing mice's balls down....

Chris T.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"L'histoire des asteroides ne m'impressionne pas. Je veux ce vaisseau,
pas d'excuses"
"Vous prenez le commandement, Amiral Piett...."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Robert Butler

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 3:17:30 PM4/15/94
to
m...@coyote.demon.co.uk (Mik Davis) writes:

: Ian Palmer (i...@doc.ic.ac.uk) wrote:
:
: : As above, I wouldn't call it a tower. I'd call it a box on its side
: : which can get fatter. Also no screws hold it together, just clips you
: : insert and turn. Apparently getting in takes seconds.
:
: This includes the kids in the classrooms eh? OOPS!!!
:
: They stopped putting screw-in plates on the mice and the kids swipe the
: mouse balls - if they stop putting screws in the case...
:

We superglue our mice, because we've had no many nicked in the past. Getting
replacements is just so damn inconvenient. God knows what they do with them
- does anyone else know? (Incidentally, the mice mats go missing as does
anything else that I'm stupid enough to leave lying around)

Cheers
Rob

[-----------------------------------------------------------------------]
| \|/ r...@pulsar.demon.co.uk |
| @ @ robert@2:2501/405.17@fidonet |
[---oOO-(_)-OOo---------------------------------------------------------]


Patrick Arnold

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 7:28:15 PM4/15/94
to
Simon Burrows (s...@cs.nott.ac.uk) wrote:

: In one breath people criticise Acorn for bundling a hard disc and monitor
: with the machine, and next minute criticise for not including enough RAM.
: Why should schools (for example) be forced to buy a machine with lots of
: RAM which they don't need? SIMM upgrades are very cheap to buy separately.

: 8Mb to use the new screen modes? Not true. A 4+1Mb is quite reasonable,
: 4+2Mb is even better (remembering that VRAM can be used by the system
: when not needed for video).

The snag being that the SIMM slots are 32 bits wide, and there are only two
of them. This means, in practice, that the minimum upgrade size will be 2MB,
more likely 4MB, as these are the smallest readily available sizes of 32
bit SIMM. Looking in a catalogue I have here, prices for 32 bit SIMM (SUN
workstation type) are 320 for an 8MB one, 770 for 16MB, 1630 for 32MB, and
3990 for 64MB. I would expect the Acorn type prices to be vaguely similar.
The only problem is that when you have filled both slots, you will have to
remove the existing memory to upgrade to more. This may create a thriving
market in second-hand SIMMs, but is still a pain. However, it's nice to
finally have the option.

Patrick.


--
The shortest distance between two points has not yet been built.

email pc...@cryton.demon.co.uk
voice +44 (373) 464957 or +44 (749) 670058 fax +44 (749) 670809

Roland Cleaver

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 1:16:12 PM4/15/94
to
In article <Co54t...@cryton.demon.co.uk>

b...@cryton.demon.co.uk (Bob Voisey) writes:
> Oh, wonderful. Archimedes World readers get to find out
> the ins and outs of the new machine even before dealers
> have been told! Thanks, Acorn, for enforcing your news
> embargo so carefully..
Rumour has it, the shit has hit the fan on this one!
No more NDAs for AW? How are they going to maintain their
rigorous journalistic standards?
Roland, personally speaking

Hugo Fiennes

unread,
Apr 16, 1994, 5:57:09 AM4/16/94
to
Graham Willmott (se2...@mail.bris.ac.uk) wrote:
: as for even 16-bit colour, well you can forget it. I think a better solution

: would be to supply a HD of half the size, and use the money saved to provide
: 1Mb of VRAM (which can be used for applications if necessary). OK, so they
: argue that you can pick up RAM cheaply on the open market, but the "plebs
: at large" generally just want to go into a shop any buy a computer, without any
: of that messing around - which is why I think the keyboardless Apple move
: is still a bad one.

Yes, but you can hardly get 170Mb hard disks nowadays: 210Mb is about
the smallest easily available now. Seeing as people found A5000s useful
with 2Mb, why not this machine?

Hugo

--
YOU are GOD and I claim my five pounds!

Michael Williams

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 3:37:48 PM4/15/94
to
In article <macklena....@p4.cs.man.ac.uk> mack...@p4.cs.man.ac.uk (Alex) writes:
>
>>It's a modular, highly upgradable design with a plug-in processor
>>card (an ARM610 on the machines which are about to be released).
>>ARM700 upgrades will follow by the end of the year.
>
>This does not make sense to me, as the ARM7 has what is effectively
>the MEMC2 built into it which obviously the 610 does not. How are they going to
>reconsile the differences without changing the OS or are they going to change
>the OS. Smacks of being a bodg to me.

Actually this is precisely wrong. The ARM7, being just a processor core, has
no MMU facilites, where as the ARM610 has a full two-level translation system,
with a 32 entry TLB. The ARM700, however, will also be a full-blown processor,
and has a 64 entry TLB.

Mike.
____________________________________________________________________________
\ ^ / Michael Williams N.S.I.C.T. Global Headquarters
|\/|\/\ mi...@nsict.org Milton, Cambridge
| |(__)Cymdeithas Genedlaethol Traddodiad Troi Teigrod Mwythus Ben I Waered

Adam Goodfellow

unread,
Apr 16, 1994, 8:15:39 AM4/16/94
to
r...@inmos.co.uk (Richard Ingram) writes:

I gather that the Processor in the PowerMac is faster, however someone who
had been using some native apps on the PowerMac thought the Risc PC felt
alot faster - Even with the anti-aliased fonts on the desktop and marbled
windows etc.

Adam Goodfellow

unread,
Apr 16, 1994, 8:30:39 AM4/16/94
to
m...@mjec.demon.co.uk (Maxton Carter) writes:

Probably just as well the cases are made from riot shield material as these
thing are going into schools :)

Simon Burrows

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 11:24:53 AM4/15/94
to
In article <940412...@ecotrend.demon.co.uk> An...@ecotrend.demon.co.uk writes:
> > They're launching a 2Mb machine.. I don't know why they
> > bother, sometimes.
>
>Agreed. The Arc has been a 4 meg machine for a while now and anyone who is
>wanting the new screen modes will almost certainly be demanding 8 megs.

In one breath people criticise Acorn for bundling a hard disc and monitor
with the machine, and next minute criticise for not including enough RAM.
Why should schools (for example) be forced to buy a machine with lots of
RAM which they don't need? SIMM upgrades are very cheap to buy separately.

8Mb to use the new screen modes? Not true. A 4+1Mb is quite reasonable,
4+2Mb is even better (remembering that VRAM can be used by the system
when not needed for video).

--
Simon

Timothy G Roddis

unread,
Apr 15, 1994, 11:42:04 AM4/15/94
to

>Ian Palmer (i...@doc.ic.ac.uk) wrote:
>
>: As above, I wouldn't call it a tower. I'd call it a box on its side
>: which can get fatter. Also no screws hold it together, just clips you
>: insert and turn. Apparently getting in takes seconds.
>
> This includes the kids in the classrooms eh? OOPS!!!
>
> They stopped putting screw-in plates on the mice and the kids swipe the
>mouse balls - if they stop putting screws in the case...
>

But what if you're provides with the option to padlock it instead? How about
if it can be made harder to foul up the CMOS configuration at the same
time... ?


. /---------------------------------------------------------------\
. o . | Timothy G Roddis [Tim the Tiger] tro...@acorn.co.uk |
o _ o +---------------------------------------------------------------+
( ) | What I say and what Acorn thinks may be two distinct objects. |
\---------------------------------------------------------------/

Jim Noble

unread,
Apr 16, 1994, 8:24:57 PM4/16/94
to
pc...@cryton.demon.co.uk (Patrick Arnold) writes in article <CoBq...@cryton.demon.co.uk>

>The only problem is that when you have filled both slots, you will have to
>remove the existing memory to upgrade to more. This may create a thriving
>market in second-hand SIMMs, but is still a pain. However, it's nice to
>finally have the option.

Look at the flip side of the coin; when you want to upgrade, second hand
SIMMS will be widely available :*)

James Woodman

unread,
Apr 16, 1994, 9:11:53 PM4/16/94