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Monday, 31 December, 2001, 00:30 GMT
Honours for Eighties tech heroes
BBC Microcomputer
The BBC Micro sold over a million units
Two technology innovators who made their names in the 1980s are in the list of New Year's honours.

The Austrian physicist Herman Hauser, who co-founded Acorn Computers, the company which sold over a million BBC Microcomputers between 1981 and 1986, receives an honorary CBE.

Dr Hauser, who is now a venture capitalist, has founded more than 20 technology companies and advised the UK Government on technology funding.

And Jeremy San, who as a teenager founded Argonaut Software, now the developers of a Harry Potter game for the Sony Playstation and a new game for the recently launched Microsoft Xbox, receives an OBE.

Computers for schools

Dr Hauser is one of the key figures behind the development of electronics and computing research and development around Cambridge in the UK.

His company Acorn Computers received a huge boost when its prototype Proton computer was selected to become the BBC Microcomputer, part of a computer literacy project at the BBC in the early 1980s.

The machine was hugely popular in British schools.

Acorn went on to design a series of innovative machines and part of the original company traded on as a chip design firm until it was bought out by Broadcom Corporation in the US in 2000.

The operating system developed to run on Acorn's later machines, RISCOS, still has a loyal following.

From bedroom to Xbox

Jeremy San was doing consulting work for companies as large as BT by the time he was 15 and has described Argonaut as a "smokescreen" then set up to obscure his obvious youth.

Argonaut Games logo
Argonaut Games went public in 2000
He wrote the computer game Starglider in his bedroom and made a fortune when it sold several hundred thousand copies.

On the proceeds he expanded the company, which went on to write Starfox for Super Nintendo, a piece of software which sold four million copies.

Argonaut also designed a chip which went into 10 million Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems.

The games section of the company was floated in 2000 and is about to release Malice: Kat's Tale for the Microsoft Xbox.

See also:

03 Apr 00 | Business
31 Dec 01 | Science/Nature
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