New Risc OS Portable from IMS

Finally, after many years since the original A4 portable from Acorn it looks very likely that a new Risc OS portable will finally be available on general sale - but not from Acorn themselves.

Instead, IMS (Innovative Media Solutions) have collaborated with Interconnnex UK Ltd, using licensed Risc OS technology from Acorn and built their own portable around it.

The machine, shown for the first time to the general public, was unveiled at the recent Wakefield Acorn show on Saturday 16th May.

The heart of the system is the ARM 7500FE processor, as used in the A7000+, also, as with the A7000+ the operating system is Risc OS 3.71.

Some facts and figures...

Internal Storage 2Gb hard disk, although the final release may see a 3.2Gb disk used
  20 speed CD ROM
  3.5" 2Mb Floppy Disk Drive
Display 12.1" TFT Screen
  800 x 600 in 256 colours
Memory 4Mb page mode ROM
  16Mb or 32Mb EDO RAM
  240b battery backed up CMOS RAM
  Unique ID Chip
Data Input 88 key keyboard
  Touch sensitive 2 button Glidepoint mouse
Software Risc OS 3.71
  Internal battery management
Connectors Parallel port
  Serial port
  VGA output
  External keyboard and mouse
  Headphones (3.5m jack)
Audio CD Quality 16 bit sound
  CD Audio
Dimensions 297mm x 236mm x 47mm
Weight 3.5kg
Power Supply External mains transformer
  NiMH battery
Price £1500 (approx)

Here's a small picture of the prototype Peanut, taken from the display model shown on the IMS stand at Wakefield.

Picture of the Peanut Portable, taken at Wakefield '98

It is hoped that the Peanut will be available to buy at Acorn World 1998, although this date may slip if further technical problems are encountered.

For further information, check out the IMS web site at

Stuart Marshall (17-05-1998)

   Acorn goes on tour!

The strength of the Acorn Network Computer is now fully established with a series of cyber cafes running in six major shopping centres throughout the next six weeks. The Cyber Cafes, organised and operated by the Ideal Home Roadshow, will be visiting Bracknell, Thurrock Lakeside, Luton, Guildford, Maidstone and Cambridge from May 27th until July 5th.

The roadshow is designed to allow shoppers the chance to browse the Internet under expert tuition and guidance from several Cyber Guide staff. All visitors will be invited to sit down with a free soft drink and be introduced to the Acorn Network Computer and the world wide web.

Each Cafe will be set up for a week at a time and is equipped with 24 Acorn Network Computers. In addition, for consumers who want to understand more about the concept of the network computer, a seminar section is run twice a day at 11am and 1pm.

A list of cyber cafe dates are as follows:-

May 26th - May 31st Princess Square, Bracknell
June 2nd - June 7th The Friary Centre, Guildford
June 9th - June 14th The Chequers centre, Maidstone
June 16th - June 21st Lakeside Shopping Centre
June 23rd - June 28th The Arndale Centre, Luton
June 30th - July 5th The Grafton Centre, Cambridge

For further information, please contact Kerri Davies at Acorn Group Limited on 01223 725267.

   ART announce second generation Risc PC

At Acorn World 1996 (Saturday 2nd November), Peter Bondar announced there would be a second generation Risc PC. This new unit is scheduled for release towards the end of 1997, although nothing is set in stone yet.

Obviously at this early stage it is unsure what specifications the new machine would have, but it is believed that the machine would contain between 2 and 4 high end StrongARM processors. (It is likely that Digital will have a 300Mhz versions available by then).

A new VIDC controller is being developed, and it is likely there would be multiple VIDC controllers on the new board. Getting the screen refresh rate up would enable the clock rate to be increased dramatically, this would in turn also allow for additional VRAM to be introduced - which obviously means higher resolutions and even more colours.

The case which will house the new machine has yet to be designed, however Peter Bondar has assured the Acorn community that it will NOT be a PC style case. As to whether the present Risc PC case will be used - that is also undecided. An obvious advantage of using the existing case is that ART would perhaps be able to make a new motherboard available, enabling existing Risc PC users to simply switch boards, rather than their whole machine.

Stuart Marshall (17-11-1996)

   ART begins shipping StrongARM cards

On the 23rd September 1996, the first StrongARM cards were shipped to Clan members as promised many months earlier by ART.

ART expected to ship the first 2,000 units of the new super chip by the end of October 1996 - meaning all backlogs would be cleared in time for Acorn World. A huge promotion of the processor would take place at Acorn World and beyond with special StrongARM roadshows planned.

Stuart Marshall (22-09-1996)