Small computing firm in Cambridge, England. Came up with the Atom, a very basic home system, and then scored a deal with the BBC to produce the BBC Micro. This was followed by the Electron, the Master and Compact series, the Archimedes (1987), the Axxxx series and the RiscPC (1994). The last machine released was the A7000+, and Acorn withdrew from the personal computer market in 1998, cancelling their Pheobe (RiscPC 2) project. They changed their name to Element 14, and Pace bought the microcomputer part of their business. RISCOS is still developed by RISCOS Ltd. and clone machines are manufactured in England. They now focus on NC and similar technologies.

One of Conway's Life patterns, also defined as a Methuselah. Discovered by Charles Cordermann. It lasts for 5026 ticks, finally stabilizing into an oak of 633 bits, not without releasing many gliders.


The successors of the old Acorns are now refered to as Risc OS machines and are alive and well and running a heck of a lot better than anything Microsoft churns out (those who disagree without seeing a modern Risc Machine look up FUD). The latest model, the Iyonix runs Risc OS 5 blindingly fast, instantly boots the OS from ROM and is almost silent.

Fans of the older Acorns can get a wave of nostalgia by trying out either the freeware Redsquirrel emulator (Ros 3.1 for Windows) or the comercial VirtualAcorn which emulates an A5000, good enough to run a few of your favorate games of yore on a 500Mhz PC. See

The acorn is often used symbolically. It is a small thing, inedible and of little value to people. But it grows into the largest of trees (the oak, which is not literally the largest but still awesome). Thus, the acorn suggests growth, patience, and hidden potential. It can be seen in this capacity in the logo for The College Board, the organization that administers the SAT. <EDITORIAL>Though some might say that a more appropriate picture would be a squirrel devouring an acorn.</EDITORIAL>

A"corn (#), n. [AS. aecern, fr. aecer field, acre; akin to D. aker acorn, Ger. ecker, Icel. akarn, Dan. agern, Goth. akran fruit, akrs field; -- orig. fruit of the field. See Acre.]


The fruit of the oak, being an oval nut growing in a woody cup or cupule.

2. Naut.

A cone-shaped piece of wood on the point of the spindle above the vane, on the mast-head.

3. Zool.

See Acorn-shell.


© Webster 1913.

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