JohnB wrote>"I know that she [Pheobe] was nearly completed at the time that Acorn was broken up - but what happened to her after that ? What were the barriers that prevented the buying of the rights to the design and then completing and releasing the finished product"
The workstation division, responsible for Phoebe, the Risc PC, STB's etc., was sold to Pace - AFAIK for 200K GBP by Element-14 (the ghost of Acorn's past). Much of phoebe was lost - in the sense that multiple VIDC's and the like never made it into a production machine. Some other elements (e.g., PCI) did. To my knowledge some prototypes were made (I even seen one on TV once - the flourescent yellow case is quite distinctive). I suspect as Pace had the rights to the design some elements of it made it into their STB's and some may have been reused in the Iyonix - which was developed by ex-Pace engineers (under the Tematic company name) for Castle.