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Acorn Computers Ltd. was a British computer company founded in Cambridge , England in 1978. The company produced a number of computers that were particularly popular in the UK , including the Acorn Electron and the Acorn Archimedes . The computer BBC Micro Acorn has dominated the educational computer market in the UK in the 80s. 

Although the company was split into several independent operations in 1998, its legacy includes the development of RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing ) personal computers . One of its operating systems , RISC OS , continues to be developed by RISC OS Open . Some of the former Acorn branches have survived: the technology ARM Holdings is dominant in the market of mobile phones and thepersonal digital assistant (PDA) microprocessors .

Acorn is sometimes referred to as the " British apple "  and has been likened to Fairchild Semiconductor for being a catalyst for start-ups.  In 2010, the company was listed by David Meyer on ZDNet as number nine in a top ten "Dead IT Giants" feature. Many British IT professionals gained their early experiences on Acorns, which were often technically more advanced than commercially successful US hardware. 

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