While the manuscript is with the editors...
Friday, 23 September 2022
...here's a short musical interlude!
It's a remix I created of the BBC Micro classic "Cold Tea."
Originally, it was an improvised piano piece performed on Hungarian TV by Andrew Robinson, but I first heard it in the computer room at school. It was on a disc of several tunes which got copied around everyone in the year. Imagine a room with 20…
At 85%, we are nearly there!
Monday, 17 January 2022
In 1982 the two titans of the school playground were released - the Commodore 64 and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum- along with, at least, 13 other machines. Although it was certainly the year in which the biggest sellers were released, it was not the peak for quantity. In 1983, at least 19 machines were put in front of the public for the first time. Or rather, of the 106 machines I've so far cataloged…
Happy holidays to you all!
Tuesday, 14 December 2021
As we close the year which gave us the 40th anniversary of the Sinclair ZX81, Acorn BBC Micro, TI-99/4A (and several others), we look forward to 2022 for the 40th anniversary of even more machines - the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Dragon 32, Oric, Jupiter Ace, and Vectrex, to name just a few off the top of my head!
What a iconic celebration it would be to also complete the crowdfunding campaign, and…
We're at 64% ! So here's a post about 64 but (surprisingly) is not about Commodore!
Friday, 29 October 2021
There are so many things connected with the number 64. The 64K address space of 16 bits (0 to 65535). The numeral on machines such as the Dragon, Pecom, and Oric Nova. And the year in which BASIC was created.
But it's also the threshold in a slightly obscure piece of Spanish legislation from September 1985. The law was that any imported computer with 64K (or less) memory, would be taxed at the…
256: 0 To 255
Sunday, 12 September 2021
From 0 supporters to 255 of them in less than two months - what an amazing thing you've all done to help raise the profile of retrocomputing even further!
As most of you will know 8-bit machines can stored 256 distinct values, usually numbered 0 to 255. (Although this range can also be interpreted as -128 to 127, but we'll cover that in the book.) For this update, I'll merely point out that an…
205.5 : It's not just about integers
Wednesday, 1 September 2021
This number is halfway between the number of supporters I had when I started to write this, and the number I had when finishing it! It is rather an amusing number, as it forms the foundation of the (in)famous Commodore 64 BASIC program:
10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1));
20 GOTO 10
This prints a random stream of and graphical characters which ultimately form a maze, scrolling up the screen.…
30% - This is the Future!
Thursday, 19 August 2021
When we hit 25% I started to make notes for an exclusive update about the number 30. Then I blinked. We hit a Dragon-roaring 32% almost overnight! You folk are epic!
Anyway, so what did I want to say about the number 30? Simply that many of us will know it primarily as an address in Bath. Specifically, 30 Monmouth Street. This is etched in my mind as being the place where Future Publishing were…
That's 100 (in decimal!)
Wednesday, 4 August 2021
We are now in triple digits - more than the number of dots on the Acorn owl logo from the BBC Micro!
Wow - thank you all so much.
Please pass on the link so others can join us -
#retro #80s #8bit #retrogaming #retrocomputing #20goto10
81 supporters - can we make 100?
Thursday, 29 July 2021
It's been a fantastic start to the campaign, so could anyone that hasn't posted/tweeted/shared or otherwise mentioned the book please do so, as I'd love to reach 100 supporters by Friday!
Even though this means I lose the magic number 81 from my supporter count!
It was the ZX81, after all, that got me my start in computing. Its name is a logical continuation of Sinclair's previous machine, the…
Tuesday, 27 July 2021
This number is probably the most recognisable integer in all of geekdom - all thanks to Douglas Adams.
But 42, as well as being the answer to the meaning of life is also the ASCII for '*' - which, aptly, is used as the wildcard symbol meaning 'everything'
(It's also 6 x 9 in base 13, XLII in roman numerals, and 101010 in binary, but all are less significant)
W00t! We hit double figures!
Monday, 26 July 2021
That's 10 people! 10. Not only the number '2' in binary (base 2), but the function key labelled as 'BREAK' on the Acorn BBC Micro which did a soft reset.
At school, we would re-program the break key to recover the previous program in memory, and re-run it. Like this:
*key10 OLD||M RUN||M
What did you do with the break key?