madclarinet (madclarinet) wrote,

  • Location:
  • Music:

Old Computing

Years ago - in the early 1980's home computing in the UK started to take off - a lot of this is due to a project that the BBC started. The history of it is quite interesting (or boring depending on your take).

Needless to say - this project was centered around the 'BBC Microcomputer' built by a company called Acorn computers. Now, my parents bought for the family a 'baby BBC' called the 'Electron' which was a cut down version (ie we couldn't afford the BBC computer). Primary schools had at last 1 machine and often more, secondary schools often had a room or two which were all networked.

Why am I mentioning this - well, although Acorn now doesn't exist due to the popularity of PC's there are a few things that make me bring this up. Firstly - the original creators were bought together by 'Computer Conversation Society' in London and the BBC has a few stories about them.

Personally - I cut my teeth in playing/learning/programming on an Electron, then a BBC Model B that we got. I still have the (working) BBC B and its now has a BBC Master computer (rescued from a skip) with a few things. The next set of computers were the 'Archimedes' series which, I have a couple. These are 32bit machines and have a lovely GUI when most other machines were still 8bit and DOS type front ends. For the time they were way ahead - unfortunatly they didn't last as they were flattened by the Windows OS.

One thing that you may not know - the chips that were created directly to all this - the ARM series RISC chip is now the dominant chip in mobile devices. You probably have one in your cell phone, PDA, Blackberry etc etc etc. All due to a 'small' project in the 80's...

Some links to the BBC

'Beeb' creators reunite at museum
BBC Micro ignites memories of revolution (if you only read one of the links, this is the one)
Remembering the BBC Micro (BBC Blog)

Wikipedia Entry

Yes, a blast from the past - but probably the main reason why I like computing so much and why I have ended up in IT.

Tags: bbc computer
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.