Released in 1981, the BBC Micro was developed as a series of computers developed as part of the BBC Computer Literacy Project by Acorn Computers.
This is the system that a generation first experienced computing on, usually at school.
Acorn’s BBC Micro is considered their first big success. This was an important milestone for Acorn, whose founder Chris Curry, once a Sinclair employee, found himself in direct competition with his old boss, Sir Clive Sinclair. They enjoyed a turbulent and competitive relationship throughout the 1980s which certainly helped drive the industry forward.
Its technical specification varies depending upon which variant you look at. The Model A and Model B variants are based around the MOS 6502. The Model B+ variants utilise the MOS 6512A CPU. In terms of RAM, this ranged from 16k to 128k from the base Model A to the Model B+ (128k version).
Many peripherals were developed for the BBC Micro, most with learning at their core. A large percentage of software was developed as more education focussed. This was not to suggest that games were not readily available, many classics found their way on the BBC Micro, such as Elite, Chuckie Egg, Tempest and Lode Runner.
BBC Micro Emulation
If you are looking to find out how to emulate the BBC Micro, check our best BBC Micro emulators article.
We recommend the best BBC Micro emulators for PC, Mac, Linux & Android, as well as some other really cool online BBC Micro Emulators.
A lifelong avid gamer and computing enthusiast, Matt has decades of experience in the field, so producing retro orientated content for How To Retro comes is second nature to him. Now over 40 years old, Matt now even considers himself retro, but fortunately, nobody has developed a Matt emulator (not yet at least!).