Hail to the Acorn Atom, the Pi Pico predecessor from 1980

If the Raspberry Pi is the BBC Micro de nos jours then the Pi Pico is perhaps the spiritual successor to that earlier Acorn micro: the Atom. So in homage to that ground-breaking pre-Beeb cased computer, here’s the latest offering from Smittytone’s Retro T-Shirt Store.

Atomic apparel

Available in a variety of colours, and a snip at less than the price of three pints of premium larger, by wearing one of these tees with their loving re-creation the Atom logo, you too can show your appreciation of Blighty’s microcomputer heritage. It says here.

While the Atom looked like a typical keyboard-based computer of the time, its internals were built from the Acorn Microcomputer, a 6502-based single-board computer that later became known as the System 1, when Acorn expanded the range. The System 1 was aimed not at home users but at companies keen to integrate the then new microprocessor technology into existing and new industrial products — Compute Module, anyone? — but Acorn co-founder Chris Curry wanted a machine to appeal to amateurs too, and so the System 1-based Atom was born.

Next year is the forty-second anniversary of the Atom’s launch, but I couldn’t wait. So here it is.

1 thought on “Hail to the Acorn Atom, the Pi Pico predecessor from 1980

  1. Alun Morris

    I learnt BASIC and assembler on an Atom. I still have it. It wasn’t based on the System 1 though. The only thing in common is the 6502 CPU. System 1 is extremely primitive – no alphanumeric keys, no video. no BASIC, no assembler.

    Reply

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