Acorn Briefcase Communicator

The Acorn Communicator is a business computer developed by Acorn Computers in 1985. The system sold in very low numbers to companies requiring a computer with a built-in modem. As a dedicated Prestel terminal with built-in word processing and spreadsheet capabilities, the Communicator found a niche market amongst travel agents in the United Kingdom and Italy, who used Prestel (and similar networks) as probably the earliest online booking service.

The machine used the Ferranti-manufactured "Aberdeen" gate array developed for the Electron, which was the largest ULA ever developed at that time.

The system used a 16-bit Western Design Center 65816 chip rather than the 8-bit MOS Technology 6502, which was used by all of Acorn's previous offerings. It boasted 512 kB of memory, which was expandable to 1024 kB.

The Communicator contained a full office software suite, including View (word processor), ViewSheet (spreadsheet), and a fully-featured Prestel terminal, plus (of course) Econet and many of the interfaces found on the BBC series of computers. The system software that bound the packages together was a mixture of BBC Basic and assembler.
 
Our unit is in immaculate condition, mounted in a carry case.

Manufacturer:
Date: 1985

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH1327. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

 

Acorn Briefcase Communicator

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