Acorn website back.. kindaBy Chris Williams. Published: 11th Jun 2003, 14:51:22 | Permalink | Printable
Hello? No, I'm in 2003. With an XScale. Hello?Provided you don't subscribe to the "Castle is the new Acorn" school of RISC OS, it's true to say that Acorn is very much in the past. However, while active RISC OS users have been following the various changes to the platform's landscape since late 1998, there's still a lot of people who associate RISC OS with things like the BBC B and the Acorn A3010 that they may have used at school. The curious trying to visit Acorn's previously used acorn.co.uk address (as pointed to by many old sites) ends in frustration as the domain is no longer used.
Which explains why Roy Johnson set up acorncomputers.co.uk. For the weary web traveller looking online for information about Acorn, Roy's site guides them into 2003 with links to Castle, RISCOS Ltd., ITC (for spares) and other companies.
"I started it a few years ago (few months after Acorn went) as I realised that with no www.acorn.co.uk, people who were not on the 'Acorn Scene' would just think Acorn had gone bust and there were no new machines, OS or support", Roy told us. Having contacted Acorn/Broadcom (who own element-14, one of the few remaining shards of Acorn that formed after the corporate breakup), Roy asked if the acorn.co.uk domain was available but sadly, it had been sold on.
"Been fairly successful", Roy continued to comment about his website, "in that have had a few thousand visitors that I have been able to re-direct to get help, either from their local dealer, RISC OS Limited or Castle and the other makers. Answered some myself and put others in touch with people that could help them. Few bizarre requests like a company wanting Herman Hausser [Acorn founder] to do an interview etc, gave them his company's press office web address. People wanting BBC Micro's, Atoms etc. for exhibitions, tv etc. Also seems to be fairly highly listed on Google and others when searching for Acorn Computers."
Nothing like the present
Around the time that Acorn were touting their Clan membership scheme and trying to roll out web related stuff whilst trying to concentrate on internet kit like the NetStation, Chris Cox was quoted as saying he wanted as many Acorn users online as possible so they could make lots of noise about their favourite platform. The idea was to increase awareness and perhaps invite users to the platform and this still goes on today with sites like IconBar, riscos.org and (ahem) us. The big difference now is that there's no central website to point to. Back in 1997, when Acorn was the centre of the market, users would link back to acorn.co.uk; however, given the de-centeralisation of the market, we have now have various websites and companies to link to.
And while we're not calling for a central RISC OS website, we are instead rather fond of sites like acorncomputers.co.uk that seek to spread awareness and platform information to anyone interested. Acorn may be in the past, but it's a good thing to remind everyone that in 2003, we're still here.
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