Drobe :: The archives
About Drobe | Contact | RSS | Twitter | Tech docs | Downloads | BBC Micro

Prototype Acorn Unix-powered A680 lands on eBay

By Daniel Jones. Published: 16th Aug 2009, 15:11:46 | Permalink | Printable

A rare Acorn A680 running an ARM port of BSD 4.3 has hit online auction site eBay with a minimum opening bid of 100 quid. According to the seller, believed to be ROL's Paul Middleton, there are only a half a dozen of these pre-production systems left in existence. The A680 was developed by Acorn for Olivetti in 1988, and features an ARM2, 8MB of RAM, a 66MB hard drive and an early version of Acorn 4.3 BSD Unix kernel in ROM.

Click here to visit this news quickie

Previous: Dual-head DVI ViewFinder graphics card announced
Next: Prof Steve Furber joins Acorn World 2009 talks

Discussion

Viewing threaded comments | View comments unthreaded, listed by date | Skip to the end

Drools...

 is a RISC OS UserCharlie on 16/8/09 6:50PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Way more than 6 left, I bet. I know at least three people with A680s! (One of them has the M4.) Surely the "ARM port of BSD 4.3" is RISC iX? And I don't recall the UNIX kernel ever being in ROM; even the M4 which was purpose-built to run RISC iX boots RISC OS from ROM, and you then boot the UNIX kernel with !RISCiXFS.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 16/8/09 9:15PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

rjek, it would be good if you get some photos and technical details of the M4 machine, as as far as I know, there are no details/images out there!

 is a RISC OS Userjonesd98 on 17/8/09 4:10PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

I'll see what I can do. It's basically similar to an A680 except in a large rack case (or hernia inducement cabinet, as it was refered to) with space for loads of SCSI discs.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 17/8/09 8:07PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Great stuff, would be ace if you could. Sad as it may sound, but I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to old Acorn tech, hence my curiosity!

 is a RISC OS Userjonesd98 on 18/8/09 4:47PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

rjek's right. I've an R140 and RISC iX was supplied on the hard drive. There's a RISC OS !RISCiX application that will boot into RISC iX, replacing RISC OS. Given that the 50-oddMB Rodime ST506 hard drive the machine shipped with was nearly completely filled with RISC iX, with a tiny RISC OS partition, and using squashed binaries at that, it was never shipped in ROM instead.

A 66MB hard drive? Given ST506 only went up to 56MB I guess that's SCSI.

 is a RISC OS Userralph on 17/8/09 10:44AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

It is a Rodime RO3000S SCSI drive according to boot screen

 is a RISC OS Useregel on 17/8/09 11:41AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

I'm curious as to why anyone would want this now. What software will run on it? Or is it merely a toy for RISC OS fans who also happen to be unix geeks (like me!)?

 is a RISC OS Usercables on 18/8/09 12:02PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Yes. And also remember that its UNIX predates DNS. There's a patch available to RISC iX to add DNS support, but it's actually more hideous than doing all name resolution via YP and having a modern UNIX box do the DNS on its behalf.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 18/8/09 2:11PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

DNS predates both the Archimedes hardware and RISC iX, having been standardised by the IETF prior in 1983 and DNS software became available on numerous Unix systems in 1984, in 1985 it became BIND.

 is a RISC OS Usertialaramex on 20/8/09 4:15PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Sorry, DNS becoming common place. It really wasn't a standard feature everything should have in 87.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 20/8/09 9:19PM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Ended with no bids. Quelle surprise.

 is a RISC OS Userjymbob on 25/8/09 12:07AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Arf. It's rather niche, innit?

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 25/8/09 12:09AM
[ Reply | Permalink | Report ]

Please login before posting a comment. Use the form on the right to do so or create a free account.

Search the archives

Today's featured article

  • CDs Available
    Drobe Special Projects
     2 comments, latest by piemmm on 21/10/03 12:23PM. Published: 23 Jul 2003

  • Random article

  • ROS environment emulator in Java mulled
    Thinking outside of the box
     2 comments, latest by jess on 30/4/05 9:51AM. Published: 28 Apr 2005

  • Useful links

    News and media:
    IconbarMyRISCOSArcSiteRISCOScodeANSC.S.A.AnnounceArchiveQercusRiscWorldDrag'n'DropGAG-News

    Top developers:
    RISCOS LtdRISC OS OpenMW SoftwareR-CompAdvantage SixVirtualAcorn

    Dealers:
    CJE MicrosAPDLCastlea4X-AmpleLiquid SiliconWebmonster

    Usergroups:
    WROCCRONENKACCIRUGSASAUGROUGOLRONWUGMUGWAUGGAGRISCOS.be

    Useful:
    RISCOS.org.ukRISCOS.orgRISCOS.infoFilebaseChris Why's Acorn/RISC OS collectionNetSurf

    Non-RISC OS:
    The RegisterThe InquirerApple InsiderBBC NewsSky NewsGoogle Newsxkcddiodesign


    © 1999-2009 The Drobe Team. Some rights reserved, click here for more information
    Powered by MiniDrobeCMS, based on J4U | Statistics
    "I used RISC OS and all I got was this lousy emulator"
    Page generated in 0.0948 seconds.