I know some companies like Advanced Memory Systems designed mice for the BBC Micro like the AMX mouse so I was wondering if the original BBC micro came with its own mouse. I'm trying to compile a list of compatible mice for my "AMX Mouse To USB Converter".

  • 7
    I never ever saw a BBC with a mouse attached. What would be the point, unless it shipped with a graphical program that could use it? Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 15:44
  • I think the Master Compact came with a WIMP GUI on the welcome disk. But that's 1986, just a year before the Archimedes and at the far opposite end of the release spectrum from the original BBC Micro, and even then I don't think it came with a mouse.
    – Tommy
    Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 16:15
  • 1
    I think the BBC Master 512 came with an Acorn mouse for use with the GEM Desktop GUI.
    – Brian H
    Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 17:12
  • 1
    I know that the BBC Master 512 came with a two button mouse.
    – hugseirvak
    Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 1:04

3 Answers 3


No, the original BBC Micro came with no peripherals at all. It came in a box with room for the computer itself:

BBC Micro in its polystyrene insert

and a cable and introductory material:

introductory material in polystyrene

The cut-out in the lower part that seems to be unused above is intended for the power cord, which you can see hanging from the computer. (Image source.)

As Brian H pointed out, the BBC Master 512 shipped in 1987 with an Acorn mouse, for use with the GEM desktop.

  • I guess there was no need for a mouse during its realease.
    – hugseirvak
    Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 14:43
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    It was released in 1981; that's two years ahead of the Lisa and three ahead of the Macintosh, which were the first two serious attempts to sell the mouse to home users. Furthermore, it boots up in a pure text mode (unless you've modified some jumpers, anyway).
    – Tommy
    Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 14:48
  • I think the BBC Master 512 came with an Acorn mouse for use with the GEM Desktop GUI.
    – Brian H
    Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 17:12
  • 2
    The BBC Micro also made it to the USA, it just didn't sell very well. I had an Electron so I have a lot of positive heavily-subjective sentiment towards Acorn but objectively the BBC came off as very expensive because it packed in a lot of what much of the home computer market wasn't looking for — ports, expandability and solid industrial design — while skimping on what it was — a big RAM number to put on the box. So no big surprise. But see e.g. web.archive.org/web/20110723023206/http://wouter.bbcmicro.net/… for photographic proof of a US BBC Micro.
    – Tommy
    Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 20:33
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    @hugseirvak I'd just like to stress that "no peripherals" included no way of loading and saving programs - you had to plug your own tape player in via an audio lead. A mouse was a long way down the list of peripherals you needed to do anything with it.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 18:01

No, almost no "home computers" of that era came with a mouse as standard. Booting to a BASIC interpreter with a command line from ROM was the standard back then.

In fact - the first input device most people added was a joystick, to play games, not a mouse.

The first popular computer that had a mouse as standard was the Apple Macintosh in 1984. However, it was also, at the time, a VERY expensive machine compared to the average home computer people were buying - the Sinclairs, Commodores, Tandys, Acorns and Amstrads that found their way into peoples homes were a fraction of the price.

Remember, at the time the IBM PC was only just establishing itself as the standard for business applications, on the strength that it had 80x25 text mode and the MS-DOS operating system was close enough to the then standard CP/M that porting apps over wasn't too difficult. It too, definitely did NOT have a mouse as standard!

That said, it was obvious by the mid to late 80s that GUIs and mice were the way to go. A lot of 8 bit machines had a mouse you could buy as a (usually 3rd party) option, but they never became that popular.


There was a mouse available, I used it late, into the night, with MirrorSoft’s Fleet Street Editor. Imagine desk top publishing on bbc micro. Think I was lucky enough to be able to use twin 80 track 5 1/2 floppy drive. I only ever produced one school magazine with my primary school students, took all night to print with my citizen c120d dot matrix (with the ribbon out) onto a Banda sheet, or possibly a gestetner skin. Happy, carefree days before NCurr.

  • The question itself mentions a mouse, so the existence of a mouse for the BBC Micro wasn’t in doubt ;-). Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 16:19

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