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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Micro Men on the BBC: Sinclairs, Acorns, and the Knack

Now these guys look like some proper British boffins!
Tony Fishpool, G4WIF, sent me this link to a wonderful new BBC program about the early days of home computing: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2009/oct/08/armstrong-freeman-micro-men-bbc

Tony also sent me his own story of computer derring-do in the early days. Here Tony once again marks himself as a true Knack victim, and a true wizard. Commenting on the BBC show, Tony wrote:

...I enjoyed a huge dose of nostalgia. I owned both Sinclair and Acorn computers back then and I suppose they launched me on a geek career that's put food on the table ever since.

One of the first Christmas's of my early married life tested my new bride's
patience with a knack victim for a husband.

A long awaited Acorn Atom kit computer finally arrived on Christmas Eve. All during Christmas day I was hunched over a steaming soldering iron installing every capacitor, resistor and semiconductor in the computer's printed circuit board.

That evening after the last component was installed I applied power and
there was a beep and the TV (which should have been showing Christmas
movies) displayed :-

Acorn Computers

Ready>

Wow!

How I managed to get that computer working first time still amazes me to
this day. How I am still married amazes me even more - but I was "in the
zone" and that computer just had to be built.

The TV show is called "Micro Men" so look out for it.

Kind regards
Tony G4WIF

2 comments:

  1. Nice! Here's a trailer:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGiGrf2YyZE

    The Sinclair was truly minimalist you know, pretty much just one chip. Software ran the display, it only actually computed during the vertical retrace. Clever.

    73 de KC7IT

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  2. Here is the link to BBC Iplayer to watch the whole episode. Available until 11:24pm Monday 19th October 2009 BST. Certainly viewable from within the UK but not sure if it works outside?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00n5b92/Micro_Men/

    73 de G4OMN _ Dave

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