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Acorn DeskLite

[NCs, STBs & Prototypes]     [Computers] 


Probably Acorns very last product, it was launched in June 1998 as a very thin client which as specificaly designed to support Citrix Systems WinFrame and MetaFrame (see for more details of Citrix ). The idea was a sub $200 client which could provide access to the full range of Microsoft applications. Acorn produced a refernce design to license to other manufactures. The design is based on the ARM7500FE.

In November 2005 I bought a prototype from William Turner in an ebay auction. Here is his description:

 This has to be one of the rarest pieces of late Acorn kit - Rarer still than the FactNC recently auctioned - From 1998, it's the Acorn Desklite (no, I couldn't find any pictures on the web either)!
 Promoted as a Citrix ICA client, it was heralded as a sub-$199 thin client
(See Cirrus logic Press Release)
 It appears to be a cut down NC-type design, with a 7500FE processor, on-board ethernet and A7000-style connectors. It even has (on the reverse side of the PCB) an NC-style flashrom connector, though I don't think it takes the same images.
When connected to a network, it obtains an IP address and NT/LanManFS boot mount via bootp, and then looks for !Boot on that mount. Setting !Boot to contain "*desktop" brings up a plain grey screen, which I guess means it's missing some of the WIMP modules. Whether they can be softloaded, I don't remember. No !Boot or mount, and it drops to the supervisor prompt.
On the front are a green led, an orange led and a headphone socket. On the rear are: Ethernet, keyboard, mouse, VGA and power.
To power this item, you will need a >5v DC power supply - I booted and tested this item OK with a 7.5v DC supply.

Manuals and documentation

Here is an article from Computergram International on 16 June 1998 titled "Acorn Desklite "


Acorn Desklite front

 DeskLite (front)

The front of the Acorn DeskLite has a blue on/off button, a green power on LED, an orange LED and a headphone socket.

Acorn Desklite left 

DeskLite (left)

Acorn Desklite back

DeskLite (back)

The back of the Acorn DeskLite has the I/O ports, from top to bottom: Ethernet, Keyboard, mouse, monitor and power, with the serial number (?) at the bottom.

Acorn Desklite open

DeskLite with right cover removed

The DeskLite with the case open, not much in there really.

Here is a HiRes picture of the Desklite with the right cover removed .

Desklite open left

DeskLite with left cover removed

The Desklite with the left hand case removed showing the back of the motherboard with the MAC address and the serial number (?). In the middle at the top is a PMCIA type card socket, not sure what it was for as you have to dismantle the deskLite to install a card.

Desklite circuit board top

DeskLite circuit board (top)

This miust be the smallest motherboard since the System 1, with not many more components.

Here is a HiRes picture of the Acorn Desklite circuit board  .


Serial No.009
Unique identityn/a
MotherboardAcorn DeskLite
Motherboard part no.2108,300 Issue A
CPU ModelCirrus Logic CL-PS7500FE-QC-A
CPU ClockN/A
Memory ControllerIOMD (ARM7500FE)
Memory ClockN/A
Video ControllerVIDC20 (ARM7500FE
OS DateN/A
SICK v1.22
ARMSi v4.0