The London Science Museum’s to hold an exhibition dedicated to the BBC Micro next year, according to this. If you’re too young to remember the machine, it was released by the BBC in 1981 as part of a Department of Trade and Industry computer literacy programme in the UK.
In case you missed that, whippersnappers, the government actually funded a computer hardware release – the first games machine for many Britons – in the 80s in the name of “educating” people. It was all tree-hugging do-gooders back then, you see.
The BBC sold more than 1.5 million units, and was home to titles such as Elite. Acorn made the box, which was the first computer we ever actually used.
“The story of the BBC Micro is one of British innovation; it’s about how one machine inspired a generation of youngsters to use computers,” said Dr Tilly Blyth, author of a book detailing the history of the project and curator of computing and information at the Science Museum. “It created some of the industries we are strong in today – the new media industry, the computer games industry.”
Blyth added: “It was a very ambitious project. At the heart of it was education and bettering Britain; and helping us to understand what the computer could do and what you could with a computer.”
Try to imagine that last sentence applied to the current British government. Funny, isn’t it?