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In reply to Jwoody: "This discussion is about influence. If you don't influence the large IT firms then you can hardly claim to have major influence in the computer industry."

Yes, but numerous attempts have been made to show that this did happen in the case of Acorn and you just ignore them.

It's not as if us "Acorn bigots" are just repeating hearsay. These are tangible legacies. I could quote all kinds of more impressive rumours such as the ARM-based Apple prototype in 1986 called "Moebius" which can't be tracked down, or the RiscPC seen on Bill Gates' desk which noone has a picture of, or the Windows 95 desktop's RISC OS-like 3D icons and icon bar which could have come from anywhere, or the antialiasing font manager which noone else seems to have had before Acorn.

" I agree its often the small guys who make things happen. Also I would consider Xerox large, but did not exploit its technology very well if at all."

The point is, whether large or not, it wasn't an "IT company". It made photocopiers, and later invented the laser printer. It didn't sufficiently exploit its computer-related technology because it wasn't a computer company. The Xerox Star probably sold fewer units than the Archimedes, yet Xerox invented the mouse, ethernet, the bitmapped video display, the windowing GUI complete with proportionally spaced fonts... noone disputes this, yet how many units actually sold? By your measure it was a failure and noone should give them any credit because noone in the street has ever seen or heard of the Xerox Star.

Ultimately this is the killer: What innovation has Apple brought to the marketplace really? All its crowning achivements were embodied in the Xerox Alto & Star, yet Apple is always put forward as an innovator. You could ask the same of Microsoft, even Intel in many ways. Of the largest US computer companies, only IBM has really created anything new and it had somewhat of a head-start considering it existed before computers did. Not to mention the rise of the IBM compatible PC coming about without IBM even intending it.

"Personally I don't think Intel courted Acorn, if anything they courted ARM but in some ways that was an accident of aquisions."

Without Acorn, no ARM. And Intel stilll had to renegotiate the licence to sell StrongARMs, let alone develop XScale. Acorn was still a major shareholder in ARM in 1997. So Intel was essentially courting a spin-off of a still-trading Acorn.

"Apple again it was ARM for the Newton."

Well no. There was no ARM Ltd before Apple courted Acorn for the ARM. That's why ARM exists as a distinct entity. As Hermann Hauser said, maybe Acorn should have licensed more of its technology and sooner. Econet on the Amiga? Antialiased fonts in System 7? We'll never know.

"Oracle were trying to promote Network computers and Acorn brought into this. I think Oracle were happy with anybody that brought into their vision, I don't think that courted Acorn per say."

Acorn's NC was the reference design. Maybe it was just coincidence that Acorn had the right hardware at the right time to fulfill Oracle's vision, but minimalist though the design was, it was certainly out there and not merely as an also-ran.

 is a RISC OS UserCogs on 14/09/06 01:14AM
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