I've not been right at the forefront of new technology; I bought my A310 in 1988, maybe nine months after they went on sale, and I bought my RiscPC in 1994, five years and eleven months after the A310, and six months after they went on sale. The Beeb was bought while they were still quite expensive, but a couple of years after launch, and the 5mx was bought within a couple of months of launch.
Anyway, here is a list of the computers I still occasionally use, in purchase date order:
BBC Micro Model B - Christmas 1984
(Still working. See a fan page here.)
- Issue 7 model B
- Watford Solderless Sideways ROM board with 16k RAM and various ROMs
- Watford 8271 DFS and two 40/80trk 400k 5.25" drives
- Music 500
- Acorn speech upgrade
- A couple of own-built mods
Acorn Archimedes A310 - July 1988
(It still works, though is not in much use these days)
- Base spec: 1 meg of RAM and an 800k 3.5" drive! Wow!
- 4 meg upgrade with MEMC1a and large ROM sockets
- Arthur --> RISC OS 2 --> Risc OS 3.1 (I've had 'em all)
- Watford Electronics dodgy backplane
- Watford Electronics BW Handscanner
- IFEL 4-layer backplane
- ICS IDE interface and 120 meg drive
- Computer Concepts Laser Direct LBP4
- Vision digitiser
- US Robotics 14k4 modem (I lent it to a friend and it suffered a lightning strike...)
- Oak Sampler
Psion Series 3 256k
(Not an Acorn, but they did badged versions)
- 256k flash disc that seems to be half dead.
Acorn Risc PC 600 - June 1994
(My main computer now)
- Base spec: 200 meg HD, 4 meg DRAM, 1 meg VRAM, 1 slice
- 80486 SX 30 second processor - yuk.
- StrongARMed as of October 22nd 1996
- 2 meg VRAM
- 32 meg DRAM
- 1.6 gig HD
- Laser Direct (inherited from A310)
- Vision digitiser (inherited) - now upgraded
- 24 bit colour
- 508 scan lines
- 17" Philips Brilliance monitor
- Phonic Pro v90 56k modem. No, I'd never heard of them either, but since it's a bog standard Rockwell chipset that doesn't really matter. At my house it regularly connects at 49666k, at ma & pa's it usually manages 48000.
- Cumana "Indigo" 2x CD ROM
Psion Series 5mx - August 1999
Next on the purchase list in no order of priority (when money allows)
- 30Mb Compact Flash card (4 meg free!)
- Parallel printer cable
- USR Sportster Vi (which says it does 28k8, but it's claiming 33k6 after 'CONNECT'. It belongs to a friend.
- An ISDN TA - the idea is to upgrade to Home Highway when I move in with Sarah.
- Another slice (or two)
- or maybe instead of that, one of the new, fast RiscOS machines now coming off the production lines.
- RiscOS 4
- Flatbed scanner
- Some sort of optical drive / LS120 / CD RW or maybe a Zip drive.
- The last pair on a decent SCSI interface so that I can also get a big SCSI HDD.
- A 16-bit sound upgrade with sampler and ideally also a MIDI synth and ports.
- A faster printer - come on, the LBP4 is eight years old!
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Martin Angove: email@example.com