Silicon Village > Introduction
Image "villagelogo.gif"


The Silicon Village was an ambitious project set up in the wake of the closure of Micronet 800 by some of the same staff to cater for the domestic Prestel users whom were perceived as having nowhere specific to go.  By linking up with John Clarke Computing, whom provided viewdata services for commercial operators, and using the new Mercury 5000 network, they were able to offer local call access to the service, a distinct advantage over the various local services already available, even if it did mean charging users for their time online.

Many of the contributors to Micronet moved over to continue to publish on The Silicon Village, but it would appear not to have been the commercial success that it could have been.  The home market was moving towards Windows PCs, and the Internet was starting to make an impact.  Many of the contributors found it easier to publish on the "World Wide Web", where they also found a larger audience.

Today, The Silicon Village still exists on the Internet, although the site is unmaintained and in a state of disrepair. The translation of the original viewdata pages to web pages seems to have lost all the graphics, and there are many broken links and missing pages.  It would seem to be a very sad end to a promising service.

In 1993, a demonstration disc was made for users of the Acorn Archimedes that included a sample of the service and access an subscription details.  A single copy of !SVRead_Arc was found on the Internet, which turned out to be a !Sparkplug archive file that, as well as the browser, included the pages in an easily translatable form.  So, for the first time, by the wonders of modern technology, anybody with a web browser can now access the The Silicon Village demonstration right here on You don't need an Acorn Archimedes any longer!

Enter the Silicon Village Demonstration 1993
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New Residents Guide
download pdf - view online
The Silicon Village New Residents Guide.  Actually, it's more of a brochure type of thing, as it promotes the demo on every page!

Join Now and Save £5
download pdf - view online
Leaflet from 1993 promoting various shows they will be featured at.

Looking for Somewhere New to Go
download pdf - view online
Colour leaflet with reply paid card for your free demo account!



Sophie Hamilton
02 Jul 2011, 00:20
I'm not sure if you'd be interested in this or not, but I have another, more cut-down version of !SVReader which was distributed on the BBC Acorn User subscriber cover disc for July 1993.

If you're interested, I can send you a Spark file with it; let me know where I should send it to if you want it. :)
Val Dickson
27 Jun 2013, 08:06
I used to write occasional bits for SV under the pen name of Valkyrie. Bet they would sound really dated now
16 Aug 2014, 13:06
Well !SVReader was a chopped down version of my !ArcStn which was a full viewdata editor for the Archimedes, which allowed uploads to SV using Prestel Bulk Update format, and an enhanced version developed by myself and John Stabler of JCC to support all the additional features of the JCC host platform.

If I could get my RiscPC to boot after an attempt to add a network card, then I would have a full copy of the whole SV database. Nice to see the old pages again.

My last viewdata screen was designed about 2 years ago, and is still vaguely live on a system, but will be switched off soon I am very glad to say - much as I loved the system, it is a technology which has been a long time in dying in certain circles.
11 Mar 2017, 17:54
If I could get the hard drive booted I still have the full Silicon Village Workmate Server software.

I did some work with JCC to enhance the mailbox facilities.

The old hard drive I have is an original IDE drive needing a BIOS configured for a specific number of cylinders and heads to boot SCO Unix.
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