11 Facts About Acornsoft


Acornsoft was the software arm of Acorn Computers, and a major publisher of software for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron.

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Acornsoft was formed in late 1980 by Acorn Computers directors Hermann Hauser and Chris Curry, and David Johnson-Davies, author of the first game for a UK personal computer and of the official Acorn Atom manual "Atomic Theory and Practice".

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The article's author, Guy Kewney, and the magazine's editor, Jane Bird, argued that printing a software routine showing how to save Acornsoft cassette software to disk was a service to the magazine's readers.

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Acornsoft became a subsidiary within Acorn Computer Group, distinct from Acorn Computers who were responsible for the development of Acorn's microcomputer systems, but Acornsoft ceased to operate as a separate company upon the departure of David Johnson-Davies in January 1986.

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Acornsoft titles extended their consistent branding to the software's loading screens.

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Acornsoft produced a wide range of educational titles aimed at many different age groups.

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Acornsoft published and distributed a range of educational software developed by ASK that were widely used in schools running BBC Micros.

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Acornsoft distributed other ranges of educational programs developed by companies such as ICL, Good Housekeeping and Bourne but they are not considered part of the official catalogue.

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Acornsoft produced a range of office software for home and business use.

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Acorn systems came with a version of the BBC BASIC programming language as standard but Acornsoft produced a wide range of other languages that could be loaded in by cassette or disc or in some cases, supplied in ROM form.

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Relative performance of some of Acornsoft's languages was evaluated using a benchmark based on the Takeuchi function, Tak by former Acornsoft managing director, David Johnson-Davies, noting that "it is difficult to imagine a language that performs badly on Tak being much use for anything", illustrating a diversity amongst these language implementations in terms of readability, speed and generated code size.

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