Acorn BBC Master Compact Prototype

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.

This unit was Mark Jenkin's one for field testing.

Manufacturer: Acorn Computers
Date: September 1986



Comment on This Page

Acorn BBC Master Compact Prototype Articles:

Item Manufacturer Date
BBC Master Compact Companion Unknown

Magazines RELATED to Acorn BBC Master Compact Prototype in our Library

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

Other Systems Related To Acorn BBC Master Compact Prototype:

Item Manufacturer Date
Acorn 6502 Microcomputer Board Acorn Computers Ltd 1979
Acorn System 1 Acorn Computers March 1979
Acorn System 1 Acorn Computers Ltd March 1979
Acorn BBC Micro Model A (Issue 2 Board) Acorn Computers Ltd 1981
Busicomputers Prophet 3 Acorn Computers Ltd 1982
Acorn System 4 Acorn Computers Ltd 1982
Acorn Business Computer (ABC) (Prototype) Acorn Computers 1983
Acorn System 5 Acorn Computers Ltd 1983
Acorn Electron (Trial ROM) Acorn Computers Ltd July 1983
Acorn Econet Terminal Acorn Computers Ltd 1986
BBC Master Used on Microlive Acorn Computers 1986
Acorn BBC Domesday System Acorn Computers Limited 1986
Acorn - BT Merlin M2105 Acorn Computers / British Telecom 13th May 1986
Acorn AEH02 Archimedes NSM Acorn Computers Ltd 1987
Acorn Archimedes 440 Acorn Computers July 1987
Acorn Archimedes A440/1 Acorn Computers May 1989
Acorn R260 Acorn Computers 1990
Acorn A4 Laptop (Prototype 1 of 7) Acorn Computers 1992
Acorn Risc PC 600 Prototype Motherboard Acorn Computers 1994
Acorn RISC PC 600 - Prototype Acorn Computers 1995
Acorn Stork Notebook Acorn Computers Ltd 1996
Acorn Fast NC - Serial Number 1 Acorn Computers Ltd 1996
Acorn Phoebe Acorn Computers 1998
Acorn DeskLite Prototype Acorn Computers June 1998

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH49512. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

 

Acorn BBC Master Compact Prototype

  Games Archive   [47]
  Software Archive   [10]
  Peripherals   [5]

Click on the Image(s) For Detail


User Submitted Articles


Add Your Article >>>

Help support the museum by buying from the museum shop

View all items

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