8-Bit Software Online Conversion

              A Brief History of Time! By Jon Ripley (8BS member D5B) In 8BS issue 53 Robert Sprowson (D6G) gave us a very brief look into the past world of BBC magazines. Here is my interpretation of the same. I have left out most of the dates involved as I am not sure about some of them. Indeed some magazines may be left out and some changeovers too. I have retold the story here as best I can. In the early days there were Micro User and BBC Acorn User. Robert Sprowson (D6G) said that he had heard the the BBC moaned about their name being used and the BBC was dropped to make Acorn User but since the magazine was starting to support the new Archimedes computers the BBC may have been dropped for that reason instead. Later on, Micro User started a pull out magazine for the new Electron computer, this pullout later became Electron User. Other magazines started up for the BBC and Electron; Disc User, BBC Programs (both available from the shops) and Beebug which was subscription only although the readership topped 10,000. Aside from the magazines, over 100 BBC specific user groups started, not including the several groups that started up overseas and some more international ones. In the early eighties many multi-format magazines supported the BBC A, BBC B and Electron among other computers. A + B Computing started up (I assume) when the BBC A computers were still around and it would have supported both of them. The name didn't change when the BBC A was discontinued and remained the same until the early 1990's when the magazine dropped the BBC range completely and became the first Archimedes only magazine, Archimedes World. This magazine is still available today. In July 1990 Electron User had a special pull out edition of Let's Compute. The new magazine started the next month and Electron User was no more. Let's Compute started out supporting Acorn computers only but due to a large number of complaints because of the misleading title the magazine started supporting most home computers. It only lasted a year. When the Micro User started to drop support for the BBC and Electron the name changed to Acron Computing, a BBC subcribers disc and a small portion of the magazine was dedicated to the BBC, after a number of months this stopped and only Archimedes computers were supported. A few years later, I believe due to lacking interest in Acorn Computing (although I may be wrong), the magazine merged with Acorn User and ceased to exist. Nowadays, no commercial shop or subscription magazines exist for the BBC or Electron and there is almost no support in the only magazine willing to acknowledge the existence of the BBC, Acorn User. Aside from the early user groups only two, to my knowledge, still exist; 8-Bit Software and Solinet. And of course, the most recent addition, BBC User Group, or BUG, run by myself - Jon Ripley!                   