ElectrEm Review

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ElectrEm is a freeware emulator of the Acorn Electron for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Older versions exist for Linux and MS-DOS. ElectrEm is designed to be cycle-perfect to the known operating parameters of the Acorn Electron.


ElectrEm was the first publically available emulator of the Acorn Electron for the PC. The first version was released in late-2000. That version was developed until 2002 and 9 releases were made in that time. Starting in 2003 a rewrite of the emulator occurred, focussing on improved emulation accuracy, ease of use improvements, decreased interdependence of code and so increased ease of maintenance. The rewrite went through a series of lowkey development releases until 2004 and 2005 as ElectrEm Future. As of 2006 this branch is the recommended version of the emulator.



ElectrEm emulates the Electron and optionally the Plus 1 and Plus 3 peripherals. It can also emulate an Electron with the Slogger Turbo and Master RAM Boards, the latter giving the Electron 64 kB of usable RAM. In the past emulation of the Jafa Mode 7 addon was supported.

BASIC support

ElectrEm has a tokeniser and detokeniser for BBC BASIC that allow a user to import or export BASIC in plaintext format.

Optional other features

ElectrEm can force quick loading of tapes using an OS ROM hack. It can also automatically detect the correct loading commands for tapes and automatically configure the emulated Electron to handle any media inserted into it.

Accepted file formats

ElectrEm can use media stored in the ADF/ADL/ADM, SSD/DSD/IMG and UEF file formats. The Windows version also supports the CSW file format. Previous versions have supported FDI.

External Links