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Acorn Atom

The Acorn Atom was a home computer made by Acorn Computers Ltd from 1981 to 1983 when it was replaced by the Acorn Electron.

The Atom was a progession of the 6502-based machines that the company had been making from 1978. The Atom was a cut-down Acorn System 3[?] without a disk drive but with an integral keyboard and cassette tape interface, sold in either kit or complete form. It was priced at around 175.

It had a MC6847 VDU video chip, allowing for text or two-colour graphics modes. It could be connected to a TV or modified to output to a video monitor. Basic video memory was 1 kbyte but could be expanded to 6 kbyte. A PAL colour card was also available.

It had built-in BASIC, although in an idiosyncratic version.

The Acorn LAN, Econet[?], was first configured on the Atom.


  • CPU: MOS Technologies 6502 on a Eurocard
  • Speed: 1 MHz
  • RAM: 2 kB, expandable to 12 kB
  • ROM: 8 kB
  • Sound: 1 channel, integral loudspeaker
  • Size: 381 x 241 x 64 mm
  • I/O Ports: Computer Users Tape Standard (CUTS) interface, TV connector, Centronics parallel printer
  • Storage: Kansas City standard audio cassette interface
  • Power: 8 volts DC, providing 5 volts stabilised

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