Background to this site
A quick history lesson for those of you (most i guess) about the 1980's
and the spread of home computers (HC) in the UK.
In 1980 Clive Sinclair released the first home computer with 1K of
memory and embedded basic operating system to a market that was really
unaware of its implications.
This ZX80 machine was extremely basic with only a touch keyboard and an
output to a TV, and could only process or display on the TV (but not
both at once). This HC was just the start but it allowed a number of
developers including myself to learn computing and develop software and
system skills that I have used ever since.
After the ZX80 came the much better ZX81 the BBC Micro and the Sinclair
Spectrum, the first affordable colour computer. In quick succession a
number of other suppliers started to get on the bandwagon Acorn Atom,
Commodore VIC 20, TRS 80, Dragon 32/64, BBC B, Jupiter ACE, Lynx, Oric1,
Amstrad CPC and a host of more advanced machines such as the Atari ST,
and the Commodore Amiga.
The era was one of great change with all suppliers vying to take the
major sales, but the side effect was that some people who bought them
started to program them, and then less technical people started wanting
software for their HC's so the programmers started to sell throughout
This was a time when International Trade was nowhere near as advanced as
now, and with no Internet distribution, sales of these programs was
through shops such as W H Smiths and Computer shops.
In the mid 1980's the business market started to catch up
with the home market when initially Amstrad released a dedicated word
processor, then the PC512 a Microsoft Personal Computer (PC) which
started the trend to make Microsoft into the giant it now is.
By the early 1990's most businesses started using PC's
and this reduced their production costs hence making PC's and their
software cheaper and more available to the general public. This together
with the trend for families to buy PC's for some business applications
meant that PC's started to become Home Computers, and so the trend has
become more and more Microsoft PC orientated.
The Raspberry Pi computer
is hopefully going to regenerate the innovation and dynamism of the
1980's Home Computing era in 2012, by providing very cheap
hardware with low power consumption. This will provide anyone with a few
pounds/$ to spare, to create new innovative systems, whether embedded
systems, home systems, or possibly the ultimate in shared processing
such as "Peer to Peer Processing (P2PP)".