Acorn BBC Master Compact

The Master Compact was launched in September 1986. It is quite different from the rest of the Master series having a 2 box design (3 if you count the monitor) like a modern PC. However, what appears to be the system unit is, in reality, only the disc drive/monitor stand, while the motherboard is under the keyboard! The disc unit only contains a 3.5" drive and power supply.
 
Like the Acorn Electron Plus 3, the Master Compact has a 3.5" disc drive and ADFS as standard, with room for a second 3.5" drive in the disc unit. Unlike the rest of the Master series, the Master Compact does not have cartridge slots. Only the operating system, BASIC IV and ADFS are in ROM. Instead software like View was on the Welcome Disc disc. The Master Compact cost £451.25 (inc VAT).
 
Only the ADFS file system could be used, preventing backward compatibility with DFS disks (though it was possible to load a 1770 DFS ROM into sideways RAM, or to insert a ROM or EPROM containing it). The Master Compact also utilised a limited re-burn EEPROM, instead of the battery backed CMOS memory found in the other models. 
 
The unit under the monitor housed a 3.5 inch floppy disk drive and the system power supply. The remainder of the system was housed in the same unit as the keyboard, much like a conventional Master 128. The cartridge and cassette ports were removed as a space saving measure. The loss of the latter was a move Acorn later came to regret. Software for the Compact became very expensive (typically £20 for a game) due to the small user base.

The Compact included a copy of Acorn's first public GUI interface. No commercial software or utilities, others than those included on the Welcome disk were ever made available for the system.
 
Our unit was kindly donated By Philip Murray-Pearce

Manufacturer: Acorn
Date: September 1986

Magazines RELATED to Acorn BBC Master Compact in our Library

Item Manufacturer Date
The Micro User - October 1986 - Vol 4 No 8 Database Publications Ltd October 1986

Other Systems Related To Acorn BBC Master Compact:

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
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Acorn Archimedes 305 Acorn 1987
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Acorn R260 Acorn Computers 1990
Acorn Archimedes A5000 ALB12 Acorn 1991
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Acorn A4 Laptop Acorn 1992
Acorn A4 Laptop (Prototype 1 of 7) Acorn 1992
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Acorn Risc PC 600 ACB25 Acorn April 1994
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Acorn Risc PC 600 ACB60 Acorn July 1995
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Acorn Xemplar Matrix NC Acorn 1996
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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 CH2817. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

 

Acorn BBC Master Compact

  Games Archive   [45]
  Software Archive   [3]
  Peripherals   [4]

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