8 Oct 2009

Micro Men on BBC4

Just a quickie.
I just finished watching a drama/documentary on BBC4 called 'Micro Men'. It was basically about the rise of Home computers. I won't go into to much detail just in case you want to watch it but I thought it was actually really good. The way they combined old footage of adverts and news broadcasts with the actors portraying. Martin Freeman played Chris Curry, the man that created 'Acorn computers' and the 'BBC Micro'. Alexander Armstrong plays 'Sir Clive Sinclair', The man that fundamentally pioneered home computer use around the world. He also created the Legendary 'ZX Spectrum'.
I thought the way the story was told was excellent as well as telling you the real story. I never really knew that Britain was at the front of the computer and, surprisingly brought the Games industry to the main stream.
I also found it ironic that Curry made a system with the BBC that was serious. For schools and offices. While Sinclair made a system that turned into a games console and that seen as entertainment. The ironic thing is, Sinclair wanted to be taken seriously, while Curry saw that money was in the games/entertainment industry.
Two scenes keep standing out in my mind: When Chris Curry sees half of WHSmith filled with 'Spectrum' games and realises the future (which is now real).
And the other was at the very end. Sinclair is driving in away in his C5 electric Car. To me this symbolised that Clive Sinclair was at the forefront of the computer engineering in the 80s. Then HUGE Microsoft and HP trucks overtake his little car. This, to me, symbolised two things. Sinclair and his company being left in the dust by these massive American Figures. And how Corporate America has overtaken little ol' Britain.

It seems to be a forgotten page in history. How Britain created the Home computer and gave the Games Industry meaning outside the Arcades. And BBC get no recognition for there huge part.

In the end a great watch. Try finding it on BBC Iplayer. Especially if you like games and computers in general.


Alan Postings said...

I agree. A very well produced and written show.

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