Zooming in on the Micro Men

A couple of days ago, in my post about Sir Clive Sinclair, I mentioned the entertaining BBC drama “Micro Men“, which covered the exhilarating race between Sinclair, Acorn and others to corner the home computing market in the early 80s. Any Cambridge friends who are interested in computing and haven’t seen it should certainly take a look!

Those who know any of the people (or machines) concerned, or who enjoy watching the ‘Special features’ section of DVDs, may want to take it a bit further. I’ve discovered that, 10 years after the film came out, the Centre for Computing History got together Steve Furber, Hermann Hauser and Chris Curry for a viewing of the film, to get their take on how it recorded the events.

And also a revealing discussion which followed the film:

If, like me, you wondered why, for example, the Acorn Electron was not the commercial success it should have been, given its technical merits, this informal chat will tell you.

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Dear Quentin,

I always enjoy reading your blog —it’s witty and thought provoking — the latest entry made me wonder what people will be looking back at in 30 or 40 years time.

Is there any chance of giving your thoughts and visions on the practicality of quantum computing ??

Thanks !

    Hi Antony – thanks for the comments.

    Quantum computing is really not my area of expertise! It clearly can be done, but it seems to me that the timescales for being able to use it for anything practical are likely to be really quite long. If I had to place a bet on whether we’d get a useful quantum computer before a useful fusion reactor, I’d have to think quite hard! But that doesn’t mean they aren’t both very worthwhile areas of endeavour!


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