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A (fairly) low-cost computer from Acorn that allowed people on a budget to get a taste of the mighty BBC Micro. Only a taste, mind, as some annoying omissions made it difficult for Electron users to do the things that Beeb owners took for granted.

Users frustrated by the Electron’s cut-down feature set could add extra ports and functions to their computer by purchasing add-on expansion units. The official Plus 1 expander provided a couple of ROM slots and a printer interface and the Plus 3 added a 3.5-inch floppy drive.

The Games

Cut-down versions of lots of BBC games were converted for the Electron, including a black and white version of Elite.

People

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Links

Stairway to Hell
Comprehensive archive of BBC and Electron games, as well as scans of cover art, instructions magazine reviews and other goodies.

The Acorn Electron Lives!
Dedicated to the Electron, featuring games for download, magazine scans and documentation.

Binary Dinosaurs’ Acorn section
The Acorn pages on Binary Dinosaurs features a history of the company as well as photos of many Acorn bits and bobs.

Major events

1983
Acorn Electron released

Emulators

Mac OS X

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iOS

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OUYA/Android

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Features

Cut-down version of the BBC Micro
1.79 MHz 6502A processor
32K RAM, 32K ROM
Full-travel ‘real’ keyboard
Built-in Acorn Electron BASIC (pretty much the same as BBC BASIC)