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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



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


  1. Nice! Here's a trailer:

    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

  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?


    73 de G4OMN _ Dave


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