Publisher: Shows
Compatibility: All 8Bit, 16Bit & Arcade Machine Lovers!
Reviewed by: Alan Richardson
Originally published in EUG #21

I arrived at the show slightly late and began setting up my equipment. I also supply the club with disks (my business) and the club had a selection of disks for sale at special prices. So I had to deliver all that was required for this as well. Then I was told I had forgotton something so this meant a quick sorty to get more stock. That done, I continued to set up my 'historial' section.

I have several Electrons but none very fully equipped like some members. One setup was an Elk, Plus 3 and Plus 1, which part of the time had the title for one of the EUG newsletters upon it. One other I set up with a Cumana drive and View in the front slot of the Plus 1. I used this to report the show as it happened (well almost). I found that there was so much going on it was not always easy to get to the keyboard.

You can probably imagine that I was surrounded by Archimedes and Risc PCs (Are they an Arc?). All sorts of demonstrations were going on at the same time. School halls are often not the best for acoustics and this was no exception. All the latest seems to require a fair amount of sound and the show was quite noisy a lot of the time.

Acorn Computers had a small stand with the latest machines on display plus an example of Interactive Multimedia. This is not on-line yet so we had a simulated showing. It used a Risc PC to provide the data. A couple of Acorn dealers were present and, believe it or not, one had several programs for the Electron at very good prices. I didn't hesitate to add them to my collection.

In New Zealand, Acorn's strength is in the educational market with some movement into specialised areas such as music with Sibelius and DTP. It has a dedicated band of supporters such as the user group but is not well known outside of these areas. A friend of mine was telling me me how his company had upgraded from PCs to MACs for inhouse publishing. The company had allocated several thousand dollars for the upgrade. I asked whether an Acorn setup had been considered. It was for a desktop publishing package (large). The answer was, "What's an Acorn?" There isn't a lot of media promotion. Although I believe this may change with the Interactive TV market.

The show maintained momentum throughout the afternoon and we packed up at 4.00pm.

Well, my Electron set-up will do me for a while yet, mainly because my main use of a computer is catered for by it. Next year may see me with another machine. A few people stopped by uttering expressions of nostalgia and one person said he had a box full of Elk and BBC software! Some of the youngsters played a game or two.

Alan Richardson, EUG #21