This just blew my mind


Go have a look. Seriously.

All that on a Z80.

Where would the world be had we gone this route instead of the Wintel route?


A way to emulate an Z80-based PC on your Wintel PC… so going to try it soon…


Wow. That’s pretty impressive.


That’s excellent!


Woah… That’s just incredible.


I always think that about Acorn. If Olivetti hadn’t pulled the plug on the Phoebe weeks before its shipping date, one the UK’s largest computer companies might have survived into the 21st Century…


There’s a name I haven’t heard in a looong time. I didn’t know they made computers, but I remember their crappy typewriters. I always thought they were Italian, though.


They did, some crap-awful AT or XT clones (back when a '286 was a super computer).

They sucked soooo badly…


This… but they also made their own line of multi-user minicomputer systems that ran Z8000 CPUs and BCOS.


T’was this very division that was also put in charge of financing Acorn as a subsidiary, more or less. This was after the dark days of Sinclair’s dominance when 250,000 Acorn Electrons sat in a warehouse after massively failing to hit a good initial price point. Olivetti were there to pick up the pieces and offer some liquidity so they could release the Master System which pretty much cemented their place in computing history, alongside the BBC Model B. This is where Acorn’s curious repeat attempts to promote Z80-based co-procesors so the micros could run CP/M started up, for obvious reasons. Oh, and the i186 cheese wedge¹ which allowed you to run DOS if you really, really wanted to.


¹ the most common housing for BBC Micro and Master external coprocessors was shaped (and coloured) like a large slab of pale cheddar cheese. It plugged into a TUBE port on the computer, an IO slot so versatile that modern enthusiasts are plugging in Raspberry Pi’s to emulate all kinds of processors, vintage and modern, and the computer has no problem with running 1980s hardware at one-and-a-bit gigahertz…


Now that was some forward thinking!