BBC Micro

series of microcomputers by Acorn

The BBC Micro or the Beeb was an 8-bit home computer from 1981. Acorn Computers developed and built the BBC Micro. Over 1.5 million units were sold during its lifespan. For many children in the UK, the BBC Micro was their first exposure to computers because many were in schools. An estimated 80% of schools in the UK had a BBC Micro computer.

BBC Micro
BBC Micro Front Restored.jpg
BBC Micro Model A/B (standard configuration)
ManufacturerAcorn Computers
Type8-bit home computer
Release date1 December 1981; 39 years ago (1981-12-01)
Introductory price£235 Model A, £335 Model B (in 1981)
Discontinued1994; 27 years ago (1994)
Units soldOver 1.5 million
MediaCassette tape, floppy disk (optional) – 5.25″ (common) (SS/SD, SS/DD, DS/SD, DS/DD), 3.5″ (rare) (SS/DD, DS/DD), hard disk also known as 'Winchester' (rare), Laserdisc (BBC Domesday Project)
Operating systemAcorn MOS
CPU2 MHz MOS Technology 6502/6512
Memory16–32 KiB (Model A/B)

64–128 KiB (Model B+)
128 KiB (Master)

Plus 32–128 KB ROM, expandable to 272 KiB
Storage100–800 KB (DFS)

160–1280 KB (ADFS floppy disks)

20 MB (ADFS hard disk)
Graphics640×256, 8 colours (various framebuffer modes)
78×75, 8 colours (Teletext)
SoundTexas Instruments SN76489, 4 channels, mono
TMS5220 speech synthesiser with phrase ROM (optional)
InputKeyboard, twin analogue joysticks with fire buttons, lightpen
ConnectivityPrinter parallel, RS-423 serial, user parallel, Econet (optional), 1 MHz bus, Tube second processor interface
Power50 W
PredecessorAcorn Atom
SuccessorAcorn Archimedes
Related articlesAcorn Electron

Nine models of the BBC Micro were produced, and the Model B was the most common, the BBC Master series with an upgraded 128KB of RAM and other refinements and various other models such as RAM upgraded Model B's and a version for North America that outputted an NTSC video signal.

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