Acorn A680

The A680 Technical Publishing System was developed by Acorn for Olivetti in 1988. Although it runs RISCiX, it seems to have been the original development machine as it's architecture differs from the Archimedes (e.g. there is no RISC OS component and the maximum RAM is 8MB). 

This machine was built by Acorn in 1988 as one of the prototypes for a desktop publishing system to be sold by Olivetti. The system was never put into production so the remaining prototypes are very hard to find.

The A680 runs a variant of BSD 4.3 Unix called RISCiX : although the A680 was the first machine built to run RISCiX, it was used to develop versions later released on machines similar to the Archimedes series - the R140, R260 and R225. However, the A680 had substantially different (and more expensive) hardware than those machines with many built-in features that were options on the later models. It was therefore in use at Acorn long after the R140 was complete and didn't become obsolete until spare R260s were available.

The information above and further details can be found at http://acorn.chriswhy.co.uk/RISCiXComputers.html#A680

The A680 contained an ARM2 processor, 8 MiB RAM (dual MEMCs) and a 67 MB hard drive running from an onboard SCSI controller (no other machine from Acorn Computers included integrated SCSI). It is rumoured that overheating from the SCSI controller was one reason for the machine to never be released.

Our model has serial number of: 01-A680B-0000156 and is complete with the Archimedes keyboard and the very comprehensive Acorn UNIX A680 Evaluation System User Guide and Technical Reference Manual which also contains wiring and circuit diagrams.

We are extremely grateful to Ian & Paul Levy for this very kind donation.

Manufacturer: Acorn
Date: 1988

Other Systems Related To Acorn A680:

Item Manufacturer Date
Acorn BBC Micro Model A (Issue 2 Board) Acorn Computers Ltd Unknown
Acorn AEH02 Archimedes NSM Acorn Computers Ltd Unknown
Busicomputers Prophet 3 Acorn Computers Ltd Unknown
Acorn 6502 Microcomputer Board Acorn Computers Ltd 1979
Acorn System 1 Acorn Computers March 1979
Acorn System 3 Acorn 1980
Acorn Atom Acorn 1980
Black Acorn Atom Acorn January 1980
Acorn BBC Micro Model A - Issue 1 Acorn 1981
Acorn BBC Micro Model A Acorn 1st December 1981
Acorn BBC Micro Model B Acorn 2nd December 1981
German BBC Micro (GNB09) Acorn 1982
Acorn Business Computer (ABC) Acorn 1983
Acorn Cambridge Workstation Acorn 1983
Busicomputers Prophet 2 Acorn 1983
Acorn Electron Acorn July 1983
Acorn Electron (German) Acorn July 1983
Acorn Electron with Turbo Board Acorn July 1983
BBC Micro B+ 128K + 48K ROM Acorn 1984
US BBC Micro (UNB09) Acorn October 1984
Acorn BBC Micro Model B+ (64K) Acorn July 1985
Acorn BBC Master 512 Acorn 1986
Acorn BBC Master 128 Acorn 1986
Acorn BBC Domesday System Acorn Computers Limited 1986
Acorn Communicator Acorn 1986
Acorn Econet Terminal Acorn Computers Ltd 1986
Acorn - BT Merlin M2105 Acorn Computers / British Telecom 13th May 1986
Acorn BBC Master Compact Acorn September 1986
Acorn Archimedes 310 Acorn 1987
Acorn Archimedes 305 Acorn 1987
Acorn Archimedes A410/1 Acorn 1987
Acorn Archimedes 440 Acorn Computers July 1987
Acorn Archimedes A500 Acorn 1988
Acorn Archimedes A500 Acorn 1988
Acorn A3000 Acorn 1989
Acorn Archimedes A440/1 Acorn Computers May 1989
Acorn R140 Acorn June 1989
Acorn R260 Acorn Computers 1990
Acorn Archimedes A5000 ALB12 Acorn 1991
Acorn A5000 ALB53 Acorn 1991
Acorn A5000 ALB22 Acorn 1991
Acorn A4 Laptop Acorn 1992
Acorn A3020 Acorn January 1992
Acorn A4 WLP-530N7 Acorn Rev. B Acorn June 1992
Acorn A3010 Acorn September 1992
Acorn A4000 Acorn September 1992
Acorn Risc PC 600 Acorn January 1994
Acorn Risc PC 600 ACB25 Acorn April 1994
Acorn Risc PC 600 ACB45 Acorn April 1994
Acorn A7000 Acorn 1995
Acorn RISC PC 600 - Prototype Acorn 1995
Acorn A7000+ Acorn 1995
Acorn SchoolServer Acorn Ltd 1995
Acorn Risc PC 600 ACB60 Acorn July 1995
Acorn RISC PC700 System Acorn July 1995
Acorn Xemplar Matrix NC Acorn 1996
Acorn StrongARM RiscPC Acorn 1996
Acorn Stork Notebook Acorn Computers Ltd 1996
Acorn Fast NC - Serial Number 1 Acorn Computers Ltd 1997
Acorn Phoebe Acorn 1998
Acorn DeskLite Prototype Acorn June 1998

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH16155. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

 

Acorn A680

  Software Archive   [1]

Click on the Image(s) For Detail


User Submitted Articles


Add Your Article >>>

Founding Sponsors
redgate Google ARM Real VNC Microsoft Research
Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Fund