- How 1980s Britain Learned to Love the Computer
- Narrated by: Mark Meadows
- Length: 10 hrs
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 11-02-16
- Language: English
- Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury
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 unrealized 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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ash on 18-05-16
Full of nostalgic enthusiasm.
If you grew up through the personal computer revolution you'll get a lot of nostalgic kicks and some great information, if you're new to the history this book is written (and read) with such enthusiasm that you'll get a taste of what it was like it be there.
Truly an inspiring tale and the best thing is - it's all true!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Ulven on 15-05-18
Entertaining, Engaging, Enlightening
Very well written and narrated. It starts by showing the initial development of computing as a whole, and moves on to the background which fostered the boom in micro-computers in '80s Britain, starting with kit computers onward. Gives some interesting looks at not only the big hitters like Sinclair, Commodore, and Acorn (especially the influence of the BBC Micro and accompanying TV programmes) but other manufacturers and their machines.
Games get some great coverage from the early arcade-style ZX-81 titles which featured some creative use of ASCII characters, through to Ultimate Play The Game's isometric endeavours, and the galaxy in a casette/floppy, Elite.
While people with a light interest in reading about a very important age in computing will find this a great read, I reckon enthusiasts will lap up every word. An excellent look at not only the technology but the cultural impact which can still be felt today.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Johnny on 28-09-17
Awesome outline of electronic history
I love this book. The content is excellent, offering a very clean and easy to follow timeline of the development of computers both from a technological perspective and an economic one, without getting dry or boring at all. The narrator is easy to listen to and really lets you focus on the story without any distraction. I enjoy the history of computers as a subject and out of the books I've read and listened to this is my favorite one in both regards.