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Online auctions game for Elite

By Martin Hansen. Published: 4th Dec 2003, 23:42:39 | Permalink | Printable

Martin Hansen spies some expensive stocking fillers

Elite motifComment A pre-Christmas surge of interest in the nostalgic good-old days of the Acorn-era is pushing up the prices of aging 6502 powered kit on the online auction site, eBay. Particularly desirable items include the Electron, Beeb and Master models, but with an all important disc drive included; the fondness for times past does not, so it would seem, extend to the long time wait associated with loading cassette tapes.

Last Friday, an Electron with plus 3 disc drive, ROM-box and a collection of 50 games topped out at 103 quid. This is an incredible price for a piece of electronics that is around twenty years old, and presumably well past its design lifespan - even if it is Acorn built.

A recent article in the Observer Magazine, reminiscing the legendary space game, Elite, is perhaps partially responsible for a package going through on Tuesday night for a jaw-dropping 255 quid. This included a BBC Master with only partially working keyboard, a trusty BBC B microcomputer and twin five and a half inch disc drives. However, the Master included a built in 'Tube' co-processor and an Elite package optimised to work with this.

Extra smooth plus extra colour equals extra cash
The prices are all the more bizarre when one notes that an A4 laptop last week was sold at ebay auction for only 41 quid and RiscPC 600s are routinely available for under 40 quid. Already, the eBay stage is set for the next showdown. A similar version of Elite is up for grabs, this time mint and unopened, from an ex-Acorn employee.

Drobe readers can effortlessly access RISC OS and Acorn related eBay action by clicking on Auctions link in the left-hand sidebar. To locate this particular item do a search on "Elite for BBC micro".

eBay not yet exciting enough for you? Time to apply some Hollywood-worthy spin. Pull up a chair and grab some popcorn for an action replay of the closing moments of Tuesday night's deal: Camera zoom on eBay page showing two minutes to go with 105 quid on screen for Master with Tube, BBC B, Elite. Flashback to still slides of previous half hour of punter eating chocolate, in shower, hunched over computer.

Close ups of face with stage school perfected worried expression. Enlightenment scene as the frantic enthusiast becomes finally convinced that Elite really was at its best on the original BBC Model B, that there's more chance of Internet Explorer 6 being ported to RISC OS than Frontier Developments releasing Elite 4 this century, and that 156 quid is a clinching bid that borders on the insane.

Close up of distraught face as bid figures on screen blur. Ebay's digital hammer falls. Final figure in dripping red; 255 quid. Cut to scene of missile heading straight for Cobra craft.



Elite Wikipedia entry Article ideas? Screenplay jobs?

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Wakefield's charity stall is a better place to pick up old copies of Elite. Two or three years ago I got a BBC cassette version for 3, slightly battered box, but near mint condition manuals (especially when compared with my original BBC Elite manual, which lost its cover years ago, and is held together by Sellotape).

And I was more pleased with that than the other things I bought that year, and IIRC that was the year I got a StrongARM and RO4...

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 5/12/03 9:25AM
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Ebay is a great markeplace for keeping your Acorn kit going.

Drobe could ad '72 pin' to their list of Acorn keywords. It's quite often possible to find 2x 128MB SIMs for 20-40 quid.

 is a RISC OS UserJessFranco on 5/12/03 11:30AM
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I bought the Acornsoft Elite for Master 128 and 6503 Second Processor on ebay for 35 a few days ago. Don't know if it is the best version but I think it was the last Acornsoft release before being sold to Superior. Haven't tried it yet, got to set up my BBC & 6502 2nd processor first. I wonder if my reactions are still as good as they were 20 years ago..

 is a RISC OS Userchriswhy on 5/12/03 2:11PM
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I doubt the Master version works with a B and 2nd processor, or is it a Master and a second processor? I can't really recall what hardware went with what, to be honest.

Buying Elite is really about getting the box and its contents, since the game itself can be found easily enough online (Ian Bell's own site, for starters). Get hold of EliteA and try that. It does the impossible and improves the original game (BBC B version, not the Master). That has a second processor version that I wouldn't mind seeing, which is apparently a bit faster and has a greater variety of ships at any one time. Do any of the BBC emulators emulate a 2nd processor?

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 5/12/03 3:51PM
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There was a tube version and a master version, both similar to each other, lots of asteroids, faster, more colours

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 5/12/03 7:35PM
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Does anyone know if the old POD game for the bbc is still kicking about:

"Pod can run"

that game / fun thing always brings backl happy memories!

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 8/12/03 11:55AM
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em2ac: it is, I have a copy on my harddisc and scare people with it using a suitable Beeb emulator.

Pod can wink.

Chris. Just me.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 8/12/03 4:48PM
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Just use the RISC OS version of Pod

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 8/12/03 4:50PM
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didnt know there was one!


where abouts can I obtain it?

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 8/12/03 5:01PM
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 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 8/12/03 9:25PM
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