f



Acorn M4

Righty-ho, what the heck is an Acorn M4? There seems to be bugger-all info
on the 'net.

I have a *huge* board (about 44cm x 37cm) with very little ID on it,
except that it does say "M4 PCB" in the corner and the M4 does appear to
be a valid machine, even if according to what little info there is on the
'net Acorn only ever made two of them (this board is serial number 0001)

Curious beastie; main chip is an ARM and is flanked by two smaller chips
(possibly memory controllers, although why it would need two I don't
know). It seems to have on-board SCSI and floppy interface, as well as
two euro connectors for expansion. The SCSI circuitry appears to
have its own memory buffer. 

There's a couple of serial ports on the board, plus parallel, audio,
composite video, and what I assume to be a keyboard socket and a video
socket. 

The circuitry's pretty hacked about, in keeping with it apparently being
the first of its kind - there are a lot of mods to both sides of the
board.

ROM sockets are populated with four ROMs labelled "BRAZ 8MB", and
alongside the main ARM CPU and the couple of large chips flanking it,
there are a couple of other large ICs on board - one called Albion and
another called Arabella.

There seem to be 5 PSU lines - main GND and +5V, likely +12 and -12V for
the serial, chances are the other one is -5V, possibly for the RAM.
Anyway, I could work out what power it needed at some point and it's
not impossible for me to try powering it up; maybe it has sufficient
capability in ROM to do something even without any software. (All I have
is the board; no software, drive, PSU or anything else) 

Build date seems to be around April 1987.
Amazingly, it does have an Acorn part number - 0178,002

Can anyone tell me anything about it and where it fits into the Acorn
scheme of things? 

cheers

Jules
0
2/29/2004 7:30:25 PM
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In article <pan.2004.02.29.19.30.24.655160@remove.this.yahoo.co.uk>,
   Jules <julesrichardsonuk@remove.this.yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> ROM sockets are populated with four ROMs labelled "BRAZ 8MB", and
> alongside the main ARM CPU and the couple of large chips flanking it,
> there are a couple of other large ICs on board - one called Albion and
> another called Arabella.

> There seem to be 5 PSU lines - main GND and +5V, likely +12 and -12V for
> the serial, chances are the other one is -5V, possibly for the RAM.
> Anyway, I could work out what power it needed at some point and it's
> not impossible for me to try powering it up; maybe it has sufficient
> capability in ROM to do something even without any software. (All I have
> is the board; no software, drive, PSU or anything else) 

> Build date seems to be around April 1987.
> Amazingly, it does have an Acorn part number - 0178,002

> Can anyone tell me anything about it and where it fits into the Acorn
> scheme of things? 

Sounds vaguely like the description I once heard of the ARM based second
processor board for the BBC Micro, but I've never seen one in the flesh.
The ROMs would indicate the "Brazil" OS that was supplied for that
purpose. The two named ICs sound like the old names for the ARM support
chips which also appeared in the first Archimedes. The date sounds about
right, too.

-- 
 //\  // Chika <zvlhxv@penfuarg.bet.hx. - ROT13>
//  \//  The second ZFC coming <crashnet.org.uk/zedeffcee> 

.... Beam me up, Scotty, This planet sucks!
0
miyuki1 (1402)
2/29/2004 8:26:20 PM
On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 20:26:20 +0000, Chika wrote:
> 
> Sounds vaguely like the description I once heard of the ARM based second
> processor board for the BBC Micro, but I've never seen one in the flesh.

Ahh, I have one of those too. Those boards are less than a 1/4 the size of
this monster (and are just a typical BBC second processor - i.e. they are
essentially just a CPU and memory, using the host BBC for communication
with the outside world)

> The ROMs would indicate the "Brazil" OS that was supplied for that
> purpose. 

D'oh, yes I've seen mention of Brazil before - thanks for pointing that
one out!

> The two named ICs sound like the old names for the ARM support
> chips which also appeared in the first Archimedes. The date sounds about
> right, too.

This was the bit I found on the web about them, (from
http://www.geocities.com/~banksp/Archives/MachineLst.html#M4):

"M4 - another development machine for RISCiX. This is an A680 in a large
case about 8 times the volume of a standard A400 style Archimedes machine.
A very rare beast this one as apparently only two machines were ever
produced. It is rumoured that the first one has been destroyed, so as far
as I am aware there is only one of these machines in existance."

Whether the board I have is from that single survivor, or whether it's the
one rumoured as destroyed, I don't know.

Curiously, the same web page says the following about the A680:

"A680 - development machine for RISCiX. This is another development
machine and again was never sold commercialy, thus it is somewhat rare. It
was different from most Arcs in the respect that it does not have RiscOS
in ROM at all and can only use a high resolution monochrome monitor for
display. It came with a 67 Meg SCSI drive by default."

Maybe there are a few A680 machines running in the wild - in which case if
the implication that RiscOS is therefore not present on ROM in the M4 is
true, then I'm going to be tracking down owners for the relevant software
:-) It'd be nice to try and get this thing running.

Interesting what it says about it having mono video only - in which case I
wonder what the 9 pin female connector (which I assumed was for video) is
for...

cheers

Jules
0
2/29/2004 11:38:52 PM
In article <pan.2004.02.29.23.38.51.993779@remove.this.yahoo.co.uk>, 
Jules <julesrichardsonuk@remove.this.yahoo.co.uk> writes
>Interesting what it says about it having mono video only - in which case I
>wonder what the 9 pin female connector (which I assumed was for video) is
>for...

Maybe that's what the P8 prototype Mouse I have is supposed to connect 
to, instead of my ACW :)

Richard
-- 
Acorn: B/B+, Master, AIV, ABC210+ACW, A3/4/540/3K/5K |\      _,,,---,,_
Apple: Mac+/Spectre/C/CII/CC040/G4/G5/PBG412"        /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,
Atari: 800/XEVGS/STE/Falcon030. Others: PET, Amiga  |,4-  ) )-,_. ,\ (  `'::.
http://www.dmc12.demon.co.uk/retrotech/           '----''(_/--'  `-'\_)Morticia
0
richard494 (267)
3/1/2004 12:59:10 PM
Reply:

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This group seems to have gone very quiet since the changeover. Is it still working? Michael Bell -- In article <18bd800f4f.michaelbell@michael.beaverbell.co.uk>, Michael Bell <michael@beaverbell.co.uk> wrote: > This group seems to have gone very quiet since the changeover. Is it > still working? > Michael Bell What changeover is that Michael? Dave S -- In message <4f0f8b27f2dfs@ukgateway.net> Dave Symes <dfs@ukgateway.net> wrote: > In article <18bd800f4f.michaelbell@michael.beaverbell.co.uk>, > Michael Bell <michael@beaverbel...

acorn = a corn ?
hahaa... a corn, anyone want some ? Cowly the Game player Please click on my links <a href=http://www.gamestotal.com>http://www.gamestotal.com</a> <a href=http://www.gamestotal.org>http://www.gamestotal.org</a> <a href=http://www.spacefederation.net>http://www.spacefederation.net</a> <a href=http://uc.gamestotal.com>http://uc.gamestotal.com</a> <a href=http://aw.gamestotal.com>http://aw.gamestotal.com</a> <a href=http://gc.gamestotal.com>http://gc.gamestotal.com</a> <a href=http://mmorpg.gamestotal.com>...

Acorn is crap!
They are dead now and that�s the proof that they are as crappy as ATARI and Commodore ! In message <6434f4fa.0309271436.483c56f6@posting.google.com> pellus_torr@yahoo.com (Peter Mollror) wrote: > They are dead now and that�s the proof that they are as crappy as > ATARI and Commodore ! I take it you mean the company and not the computer product? Shouldn't this be on comp.sys.acorn.advocacy ? -- Jess icq: 91353267 msn: phantasm_39@hotmail.com http://www.kentwebnet.com Hotmail is my spam trap - don't use for email mailto:nospam@itworkshop.uklinux.net RISC OS 4.37 kinetic 64+128+2M Castle Storm DMA + 17GB 586-133 I-3 ADSL -----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =----- http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! -----== Over 100,000 Newsgroups - 19 Different Servers! =----- Peter Mollror wrote: > They are dead now and that�s the proof that they are as crappy as > ATARI and Commodore ! oohhhh what an intelligent troll im sure we're all gonna bite on this one... oops i just did ;) -- nOmArch nomarch@nospam.lineone.ten ^^ ^ Remove net Surely the reason why Acorn is now dead, is because of poor marketing strategy and expensive products. Or is that too intelligent for you. "Peter Mollror" <pellus_torr@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:6434f4fa.0309271436.483c56f6@posting.google.com... >...

Web resources about - Acorn M4 - comp.sys.acorn.hardware

Acorn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Acorns from small to large of the Willow Oak, Quercus phellos (very small, at center); the Southern Red Oak, Quercus falcata ; the White Oak, ...

Acorns - Invest Spare Change in Index Fund Stocks via Bank, Credit & Debit Cards; Finance Retirement ...
Get Acorns - Invest Spare Change in Index Fund Stocks via Bank, Credit & Debit Cards; Finance Retirement Investments or Build Wealth Investing ...

Trading acorns - Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Federal Trade Commission Building, Washington, DC Used in mashup by The Consumerist ("Sweepstake Scammers Impersonate FTC" by Ben Popken - November ...

ACORN Prostitution Investigation - James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles - Part 1 - YouTube
Your tax dollars fund ACORN "members" thugs to allegedly develop an underage international prostitution ring. Call your congressmen and senator ...

Acorns turns your spare change into an investment portfolio
... funds on your behalf. I had coffee recently with George Lucas. No, not that George Lucas. My coffee was with the managing director of Acorns ...

ACORN website allows Canberrans to report growing instances of cybercrime
A new website to fight cybercrime is set to save police an enormous amount of time and money.

ACORN website allows Australians to report growing instances of cybercrime
A new website to fight cybercrime is set to save police an enormous amount of time and money.

Cost of internet access for low-income earners needs to be lowered: ACORN
Many Canadians take surfing the net for granted, but not everyone can afford internet.

ACORN Worker Fired After Appearance In Undercover Video - 10News.com KGTV ABC10 San Diego
An ACORN employee who appeared to give human-smuggling advice to a pimp and prostitute in an undercover video made by conservative filmmakers ...

Acorn version 4 brings revamped UI, speed enhancements, non-destructive filters & much more
Flying Meat, the developer behind the popular Photoshop-like image editing app called ‘Acorn’, today has released version 4.0 of the app bringing ...

Resources last updated: 3/23/2016 7:49:56 AM