BBC Computer Literacy Archive released - TV Programmes & Software from a magical past — Oculus
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BBC Computer Literacy Archive released - TV Programmes & Software from a magical past

DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player

For anyone who lived through the home computer revolution of the 80s, particularly in the UK, you'll probably be like me and fondly remember programmes like Making the Most of the Micro & Micro Live etc.

Well all that computer literacy stuff has been made available, 267 TV programmes in total, along with BBC Micro programmes

….and you can run 166 BBC Micro software programs that appeared on the shows... in your browser! I'm transported back to my teens :)


https://computer-literacy-project.pilots.bbcconnectedstudio.co.uk/programmes

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Comments

  • LZoltowskiLZoltowski Posts: 6,738 Volunteer Moderator
    Wow, amazing .. thanks for the link.
    Edit: Moved it to Off-Topic
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  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player
    edited June 2018

    Yep, hopefully the TV programmes aren't region locked to the UK, somewhere in there are interviews with a certain Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak amongst others.


    They're full of optimism of what computers could and would be able to do... loved that stuff.

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  • TadinTadin Posts: 298
    Nexus 6
    Got my BBC Micro when i was 13. I think that more than anything else set the course for the rest of my computer nerdy life :smiley:

  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player

    Tadin said:
    Got my BBC Micro when i was 13. I think that more than anything else set the course for the rest of my computer nerdy life :smiley:


    I had a Speccy which I loved to bits, but I think I was secretly a bit jealous of the Beeb's proper keyboard.... so much easier for programming,  and of course Elite, jealous at least until it appeared in ZX form. Who knew it would have been reimagined from that BBC origin as one of the most popular VR experiences.
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  • lensmandavelensmandave Posts: 222
    Nexus 6
    Great heads up! Cheers. I remember clearly watching one episode on graphics and being boggled by a 3D wire frame image of a box spinning on the screen :)
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  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player
    Great heads up! Cheers. I remember clearly watching one episode on graphics and being boggled by a 3D wire frame image of a box spinning on the screen :)


    There's a wireframe rotating house under the software tab on that website... maybe it was that.


    Incidentally the browser emulator doesn't seem to work on IE but is ok in Edge, haven't checked Chrome.

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  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 13,866 Valuable Player
    Really love this stuff!

    Going to hijack the topic a bit,

    In the first video (The Silicon Factor) they demonstrate the emerging power of the computer as a tool that can be used to help Industry. They give a very simple and practical example with the beginnings of the Word Processor.

    A secretary simply types a letter and the computer looks up every employees data and automatically inserts their information, auto-creating the mailing label or salutation for each employee that these letters will go out to.

    After presenting this example - which illustrates how computers can make daily life easier - we have a quote from someone saying that, "The computer is going to become one of the most powerful pieces of technology on Earth."

    In hindsight we can see that they were correct. Word Processors and everything else related to Home Office Suite software (including Tax Software) is something that can be used globally and daily both for major industry and personal use. It's what makes computers "essential" as part of the Global Infrastructure.

    There's much more to the Global Infrastructure than mere Office Suite technology, but the point is that "Entertainment" isn't what drove the interest nor the global predictions. This is why I'm always harping on about how: VR is not just for video games; VR does not need a Killer App; Entertainment alone is not what is going to cause VR to thrive globally as a daily tool.

    The cellphone took the same approach. It made the daily act of communication so much easier (no different than how a Word Processor makes printing hundreds of thousands of individual mailing labels easy). It began with making Phone communication mobile, then it made it simple (i.e. Text Messaging).

    The interesting thing about these BBC vids is that they do stress how computer technology had already been around for years up to this point. But once their practical application grew to something that we can now see as the Global Infrastructure, suddenly the rise to power of the PC was born.

    Anywho, great stuff. I plan to watch them all over time. I love to have stuff like this going while writing code. Thanks for sharing this, DnD!

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  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player
    I remember when our design office started moving into the digital age... CAD software was regarded is absolute wizardry and we had a very early McDonnell Douglas GDS system.
    It wasnt until a few years after that we started getting PCs on our desks and there were a few of the older brigade who were quite resistant to having to do there own typing! How things have changed.
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  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 13,866 Valuable Player
    Love that example, DnD. Even though I don't see it talked about much in VR groups, last year I saw commercial developers (e.g. people who design and construct physical office buildings) demo'ing VR extensions to CAD software. I forgot which vendor it was, but anyone can Google "CAD VR" and see it as an already functional technology.

    Random example:

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  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 6,585 Valuable Player

    Tadin said:
    Got my BBC Micro when i was 13. I think that more than anything else set the course for the rest of my computer nerdy life :smiley:


    I had a Speccy which I loved to bits, but I think I was secretly a bit jealous of the Beeb's proper keyboard.... so much easier for programming,  and of course Elite, jealous at least until it appeared in ZX form. Who knew it would have been reimagined from that BBC origin as one of the most popular VR experiences.


    All the best people owned a Speccy back in the day! B)
    "This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

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  • TadinTadin Posts: 298
    Nexus 6
    edited June 2018
    Games were better on the Speccy but I always preferred BBC Basic for programming !!

    I then had a C64, followed by an AtariST, then on to a 386DX33, those were the days ...

    We used Commodore Pets, followed by RML 480Zs at school, my neighbor had a ZX80 and I had a friend with a Vic 20 .... all 3.5k on it :wink:

  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,718 Valuable Player

    I think I tended to miss out alternate computer generations when I upgraded... was probably a money limitation thing in my case! I missed the ZX80/81 and started with the Spectrum... ignored the C64 (although there was a bit more jealousy when I saw things like the Ghostbusters game running on that, side-by-side with the Speccy in the shop!). Then got an ST (loved that as much as the Spectrum).


    I was a very late getting into PCs, we'd been using 386s & 486s at work but I waited until 97 to get a Pentium 2 300 for home. I think I do the same thing with graphics cards and CPUs now, miss out on 1 or 2 generations but then then get the best available at the time.


    Started watching Make the Most of the Micro last night... better than I remember and still quite relevant. Great sequence in episode 1 showing a valve computer from around 1960 that was still in use and about to be replaced, it had an analogue meter showing Percentage Programme Efficiency.... I think I need one of those!

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  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 6,585 Valuable Player
    @Tadin We only had three 480Zs at my school, and one of those was used as a server, the rest were 380Zs. Our Physics teacher, Mr Barnaby, brought his PC into school for us all to look at in my last year of school. Can't remember if it was Windows 1.0 or Windows 2.0 but seeing the windows and screensaver and seeing the game Snake was amazing at the time! :D
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  • TadinTadin Posts: 298
    Nexus 6
    We even had a Honeywell mainframe donated to the school, 8 terminals i think it was, but someone ran off with the hard drive while they were moving it to another room, so that was the end of that ...... I do remember you could change to typing flashing characters, and if you saved a file with a flashing name, it could never be deleted :smiley:

    The 480Zs were great, i remember writing some Scramble type clone that we all loved to play.

    When i first started work i worked on a full cockpit flight simulator of the Harrier GR5 (Written in FORTRAN) and we were allowed to go play during our lunchtimes .... It was fun to sit outside on the console while someone was coming in to land and slowly increase the wind speed until, at full throttle, they were going backwards ..... fun fun fun :smile:

  • Hiro_Protag0nistHiro_Protag0nist Posts: 4,757 Valuable Player
    Never had a PC growing up (or a console) - parents couldn't afford one.  I bought my first in 2000/2001 - from Time Computers.  I remember asking a work colleague in 1999 or 2000 what the hell that www thing stood for that people on the telly kept saying - he looked at me in disgust.
  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 6,585 Valuable Player
    My parents couldn't afford one when they got Binatone Pong and later the Atari VCS 2600. One of my Dad's mates worked at a place that used to sell them so we got them both off the back of a lorry so to speak. :o :D

    And when I got my Speccy in the 80s I bought it off a mate for 20 quid I think, needless to say there was an HGV involved there too. :blush:
    "This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

    Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever
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