Electronic Dreams: How 1980s Britain Learned to Love the Computer

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9781472918338: Electronic Dreams: How 1980s Britain Learned to Love the Computer

Computers invaded British homes for the first time in the early 1980s, with a wave of cheap, futuristic microcomputers that allowed millions of people to discover for themselves the world of computing. In those heady early days of computing, Britannia very much ruled the digital waves.
Electronic Dreams looks back at how Britain embraced the home computer, and at the people who drove the boom: entrepreneurs such as Clive Sinclair and Alan Sugar seeking new markets; politicians proclaiming economic miracles; bedroom programmers with an unhealthy fascination with technology; and millions of everyday folk who bought into the electronic dream and let the computer into their lives. It is a history of home computers such as the Commodore VIC20, BBC Micro, and ZX Spectrum; classic computer games like Manic Miner and Elite; the early information networks that first put the home online; and the transformation of the computer into an everyday object in the British home.
Based on interviews with key individuals, archive sources, and study of vintage hardware and software, and with a particular focus on the computer's place in social history, Electronic Dreams is a nostalgic look at how a depressed 1980s Britain got over its fear of microchips and embraced the computer as a “passport to the future.”

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About the Author:

Tom Lean is a historian of science currently based at the British Library, where he works on Oral History of British Science, a major project concerned with collecting and archiving life-story interviews with 200 figures from the recent history of science and technology. His fascination with computer technology is long-standing, culminating in his doctorate at the University of Manchester on popular computing in 1980s Britain. He lives in Manchester, England.

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"Tom Lean's excellent book gives a historian's perspective on this formative era." - ZDNET

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How did computers invade the homes and cultural life of 1980s Britain? Remember the ZX Spectrum? Ever have a go at programming with its stretchy rubber keys? How about the BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, or Commodore 64? Did you marvel at the immense galaxies of Elite, master digital kung-fu in Way of the Exploding Fist or lose yourself in the surreal caverns of Manic Miner? For anyone who was a kid in the 1980s, these iconic computer brands are the stuff of legend. In Electronic Dreams, Tom Lean tells the story of how computers invaded British homes for the first time, as people set aside their worries of electronic brains and Big Brother and embraced the wonder-technology of the 1980s. This book charts the history of the rise and fall of the home computer, the family of futuristic and quirky machines that took computing from the realm of science and science fiction to being a user-friendly domestic technology. It is a tale of unexpected consequences, when the machines that parents bought to help their kids with homework ended up giving birth to the video games industry, and of unrealised ambitions, like the ahead-of-its-time Prestel network that first put the British home online but failed to change the world. Ultimately, it s the story of the people who made the boom happen, the inventors and entrepreneurs like Clive Sinclair and Alan Sugar seeking new markets, bedroom programmers and computer hackers, and the millions of everyday folk who bought in to the electronic dream and let the computer into their lives. Bookseller Inventory # AA79781472918338

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How did computers invade the homes and cultural life of 1980s Britain? Remember the ZX Spectrum? Ever have a go at programming with its stretchy rubber keys? How about the BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, or Commodore 64? Did you marvel at the immense galaxies of Elite, master digital kung-fu in Way of the Exploding Fist or lose yourself in the surreal caverns of Manic Miner? For anyone who was a kid in the 1980s, these iconic computer brands are the stuff of legend. In Electronic Dreams, Tom Lean tells the story of how computers invaded British homes for the first time, as people set aside their worries of electronic brains and Big Brother and embraced the wonder-technology of the 1980s. This book charts the history of the rise and fall of the home computer, the family of futuristic and quirky machines that took computing from the realm of science and science fiction to being a user-friendly domestic technology. It is a tale of unexpected consequences, when the machines that parents bought to help their kids with homework ended up giving birth to the video games industry, and of unrealised ambitions, like the ahead-of-its-time Prestel network that first put the British home online but failed to change the world. Ultimately, it s the story of the people who made the boom happen, the inventors and entrepreneurs like Clive Sinclair and Alan Sugar seeking new markets, bedroom programmers and computer hackers, and the millions of everyday folk who bought in to the electronic dream and let the computer into their lives. Bookseller Inventory # AA79781472918338

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