On Sat, 17 Apr 2021 18:24:23 -0700
Post by Peter Flass
I recall at one point, maybe in the ‘60s there was a lot of noise about
“Silicon Glen”, and the Transputer seemed to be a coming thing, but, after
It was a bit later than that, back end of the 70s and early 80s we
had Silicon Glen (Edinburgh) and Silicon Fen (Cambridge) - there was a
great deal of activity resulting in a lot of forgotten 8 bit micros
(steamrollered by the IBM PC), the Transputer (promising but dead ended,
nobody really liked Occam) and of course the great survivor ARM - once
Acorn Risc Machine and heart of the Archimedes (perhaps the most impressive
of that era's home computers) and now the heart of all things mobile.
As for the decline - I'd say it was mostly typical of British
industry long on ideas and quality (at least until the reality of
production costs hits) short on execution and marketing nounce. Notable
exception being Sinclair who triumphed by reversing those typical aspects.
 Great example, on PPOE had a chess machine on the market around 1980
with real pieces on a real board that moved on their own with no visible
mechanism and responded to you making moves in pretty much normal fashion.
There was an X-Y mechanism and electromagnet under the board and a tuned
circuit in each piece for identification.
We had the prototype in the window playing itself continuously - the
wooden pieces slid across the board in eery silence pulled by the hidden
brass geared mechanism.
Pity about the production model with the plastic pieces, nylon gears and
the irritating squeak - for some reason it didn't sell.
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