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Old 22 November 2011, 23:29   #104
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Southampton, UK
Posts: 25
I'd like to share a little of my experience with the Acorn. Like most of the people in school in the UK alive in the 80's and early 90's the Acorn was the machine I grew up on in school. Ours were mostly 3010's iirc, quite distinctive machines with the green function keys and floppy switch.

They were all networked, unfortunately I don't recall which method but I'd assume it was BNC. A small group of us had a play around with this functionality by 'developing' a series of scripts and BASIC programs which would allow us to login to a single persons user area and leave each other mails and things. There were a few other features but I've forgotten the details, I do remember us taking it quite seriously, making up labelled disks proudly announcing the latest version or whatever.

There was something interesting about all the 3010's in our school, they all had the F12 key disabled by removing the membrane underneath so the key would always be depressed slightly (with nothing to hold it up underneath). The reason behind this was because the F12 key gave access to a kind of console. Actually, it was well known within the school that you could push down the key really hard and still access it. This console would shift the entire RISC OS screen up by a characters height and the prompt (again iirc) was a black '*' on a white background. You could type stuff in here and presumably they attempted to disable it to stop people messing around too much. All of this was actually negated, because you could put all that same stuff in a command file (unsure on what it's actual name was, but essentially like a batch file) which wasn't restricted at all.

There were a few 'games' going around on disks at the time, most of them were just BASIC demos really, I remember the names of a few, but I don't know if it's the names the original authors intended since I can't seem to find any information about them online. There was 'string' (and a few variations) which basically just let you move a mouse pointer around with some 'string' following it around. There was another called 'weirdo' which was a bit like one of those pointy bras that span around a bit in some odd colours. As for actual games, the only two I remember are Lander ( [ Show youtube player ]) and the wings-esque Chocks away ( [ Show youtube player ])

There were one or two higher powered machines, I believe a RISC PC and maybe an A4000, these had more colours and backgrounds and things on the OS but I don't remember anything more than that.

If anyone remembers anything about anything I've said I'd love to hear your opinions or elaborations, I enjoyed writing this but wish I could remember more of the specifics
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