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Acorn founder gets a gong

As usual, the pop singers and sporting folks headed those getting New Year’s Honours today – not to mention a royal family member (there’s something not right about the Queen handing out an MBE to her granddaughter).  Tucked away down the list, you’ll find the influential Professor Andrew Hopper.  For those saying ‘Who?’ and ‘What do I care?’, here’s three reasons:

  1. Hopper founded Acorn Computers, makers of the BBC Micro computer that many of the current leading UK geeks cut their teeth on. 
  2. He went on to create Advanced RISC Machines, whose chip designs went into cutting edge PDAs like Apple Newtons.
  3. Not content with those contributions, he later pioneered a good number of the wireless technologies we now rely on in our daily ‘connected’ lives.

Professor Andy Hopper’s web site at Cambridge University includes a great cockpit video of landing his Cessna at the Courchevel snowfield airstrip in France.

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