Hope Dolphin

 Home > Browse Our Collection > Computers > Hope > Hope Dolphin

Possibly one of only 2,500 machines, the Hope Dolphin was a licensed BBC Micro from India made by Hindustan Office Products Limited (HOPE).

There is a whole story to be told about this computer, it was purchased by Dilip Roy. His son, Sandeep Roy who arranged the travel for the computer to the UK had this to say.

"Our father was a Visionary. 80s India was a socialist country, some states like mine were banning computerisation for loss of jobs. He basically smuggled this in from another state, during his professional travel. We were 16 and 12 then and the machine got us prepared. This computer speaks about the start of India as an IT hub for the world"

"I still remember it vividly. We had no idea what a computer was. He came home from the office one day and dropped it like a stone, saying I think this is the future."

"Then, I remember, with my brother, when we first programmed a word processor ourselves (Wordstar ruled). We were stumped on how to word-wrap, and once we worked it out, late one night, we brothers were dancing a jig, much to the chagrin of our parents!"

Technology wise, the machine contains Rockwell chips from America, and unlike the BBC B, there is a single chip for the 32K RAM, and the OS and Basic are also on one chip. Thanks to the hard work of a volunteer, we have managed to read the code off the OS/BASIC chip, the legs were extremely rusty, and seven had to be reconstructed before attempts were made to read it.

After several painstaking weeks of work, the code was obtained in its entirety, and found to be identical to what is in the European machines, with the exception of a different name on startup, as seen below through an emulator.

The board in this one has been extensively damaged by moisture, with components rusted off. The power supply is dated 21/08/1990.

The Hope Dolphin was India's second attempt at selling the BBC Micro to the country, that we know of. In 1985, the state-owned Semi Conductor Complex LTD hoped to have 250,000 BBC Bs in Indian schools by 1990, firstly using Acorn supplied kits, but would eventually hope to be using locally sourced parts even down to the 6502 processor, which would be licensed from American Company Rockwell. The custom ULA chips would continue to come from Acorn.

The commitment to have that many computers into schools was part of the Indian governments five year development plan, influenced by Queen Elizabeth II gifting 30 BBC machines to Indian schools. Similar plans to expand the computer into South America and China were also mooted at this time.

Hope seemed to pick up the baton in 1989, and started producing machines the year after. They only produced around 2.500 machines, and production stopped in 1992. The company were by then producing laptops and desktop computers for the home market.

We will have more information on the computer in due course.


Donated with the kind generosity of Sandeep Roy, and is held in memory of his father Dilip Kumar Roy

Manufacturer: Hope
Date: 1989

Related Topics:

Comment on This Page

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH69901. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


Hope Dolphin

Click on the Image(s) For Detail


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