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Due to not having enough space at home, I'm sticking a most of my earlier computers and things that are quite interesting in my loft space.

Since they won't be seen for a while, I decided I'll take some photos of some of the more obscure items in the collection:

Network computers

The Surfboard

This is one that very few people would have seen.


Manufacturer:I'm not allowed to give details out!
CPU:ARM7500FE, 48 to 64MHz
RAM:4M on-board
72-pin DIMM
128K battery backed up RAM drive
Other features:Single +5v supply
On-board modem
SCART output cable
Integrated keyboard (designed for use on lap, rather than as STB)

I believe that about 100 of these were made; I have two of them (one of them I removed all the modem chips from it to see how much current it consumed (0.3A)

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The modem circuitry is to the left, and the CPU to the right

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NCOS upgrade

Bit of an odd inclusion here - it's a PCMCIA card that was used to upgrade NCOS 1.03 to 1.06 in the Acorn NC

Click to download

Shark (I think that's what they're called)

DEC were going to make these, but when they got split into Intel and Compaq, the project was dropped, and these were given away. I ended up with 4 of them, with two going to a couple of friends of mine.


CPU:StrongARM 202MHz (from memory)
OS:None supplied (we used NetBSD)
Browser:None supplied
RAM:PC100 memory
Other features:Single +5v supply
On-board network card
PS/2 keyboard & mouse
Can put hard drive in
PCI slots (although not the normal standard!)

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In case you're wondering what the red and black leads are for, I had a hard drive in mine and it was prone to overheating, so I stuck a fan to cool it down.


If you know anything about Acorn, then this is what you would normally associate with their Network Computer. I've got a few of these, but these two are a bit more special than most - they've got network cards in.

Manufacturer:Acorn / NetProducts
CPU:ARM7500FE, 48MHz (I think)
RAM:72-pin DIMM
Other features:Single +12v supply
Removeable connectivity card (Modem and Ethernet options were available)
Composite video and DB-15

Click to download Click to download Click to download Click to download

Proton NC

This was architectually similar to the Acorn Netstation (used the same reference design), but the connectivity cards were different.

CPU:ARM7500FE, unknown speed
Browser:Either Oregano or NCFresco
RAM:I cannot remember
Other features:Single +12v supply
Removeable connectivity card (Modem and Ethernet options were available)
Composite video, S-Video and DB-15
Bad spelling on case

Click to download Click to download Click to download


NetProducts NC keyboard

This is an OEM unit that was re-badged by NetProducts. It's an infra-red keyboard and trackball. Unfortunately, I've lost the receiver.

Click to download

Netstation modem card

Most Netstaions will have one of these.

Click to download

ARM250 chip (and case)

This probably shouldn't be here, but it's better than nowhere!

The ARM250 was used in most A3010, A3020 and A4000 machines. It has a combined ARM2, VIDC, MEMC and IOD. Note that the release of this device was late, and Acorn was forced to create a mezzanine board with the 4 chips on for early machines.

I got two of these for a project at University (and soldered by hand). Unfortunately, one got destroyed in a "got 5v and 12v confused" accident (two weeks before the project was due to be handed in), and this one has been bashed around a bit.

Someone asked for the chip number, so I thought I'd take a photo of it. It was in the original case the GPS sent me, so I thought it would be nice to include that too.

Click to download

Updated: 2013-03-24 10:34:51 | Comments: 0 | Show comments | Add comment
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