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A > ACORN COMPUTER  > A4   


Acorn Computer
A4

The Acorn A4 was the laptop version of the Acorn Archimedes and was one of the first RISC laptops (and by the way, one of the most powerful - five times faster than a 50 MHz 486 for some operations).

The operating system (RISC OS 3.10) was located in the 2 MB ROM. The 9'' LCD screen could only display 14 shades of grey, but used a clever dithering system to make more shades apparent.

The A4 could be used for about 3 hours with its internal batteries.

Rob Kendrick sent us more info :
The case is actually an Olivetti laptop case, with an A5000 in it. Olivetti owned large chunks of Acorn at the time. The main difference between an A5000 (a desktop machine) and a A4 is that the A5000 had a 16MHz memory bus and a 33MHz ARM3.

It had an advanced battery management unit that allows fine-grained control of the clock rate of the CPU (it can drop as low as 2MHz when the computer is idle and go back up to 24MHz when its busy) and the turning off of most of the hardware independently (such as the serial ports, floppy drive, hard drive etc)

The filing system doesn't fragment. At all.


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If you want to buy one!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/182075342752?ssPageName$STRK:MESELX:IT$_trksid$p3984.m1555.l2649

          
Friday 1st April 2016
Nick Broomfield (United Kingdom)

I think it can do word processing, I had emulated RISC OS 3.x once, it
had a built-in text editor, which is of course in the ROM.

          
Friday 31st December 2010
JHrn (USA)

I own two of these :)

          
Tuesday 11th May 2010
Luca (Italy)

 

NAME  A4
MANUFACTURER  Acorn Computer
TYPE  Portable
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  1991
KEYBOARD  84 keys with arrow keys
CPU  ARM 3 (with 4 KB of internal RAM cache)
SPEED  24 mHz (internal CPU) and 12 mHz (bus)
RAM  4MB
ROM  2 MB
TEXT MODES  Max : 132 x 30
GRAPHIC MODES  47 graphic modes, maximum 640 x 480 with LCD screen and up to 1152 x 896 with VGA screen
COLORS  14 shades of grey (LCD screen)
SOUND  8 voices (stereo 8 bit)
I/O PORTS  VGA, Centronics, RS232 C, stereo sound, Mouse, Keyboard
BUILT IN MEDIA  one 3.5'' disk-drive
OS  RISC OS 3.10
POWER SUPPLY  External PSU
PRICE  £1395 (2Mb floppy version) up to £1895 (4Mb HD120 version)


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