For those of us growing up in the UK back in the 80’s, the humble BBC Micro was to be seen in classrooms across the country. They boasted many educational games and applications and for many of us, represented our first experience with computers.
Who can forget the legendary ‘Granny’s Garden’, or the ‘Logo Turtle’?!
I was lucky enough that my school had around 20 of these machines all linked up in a computer room, giving me my first taste of networking.
The idea that I could write an insult about my teacher on one computer, and have it appear on another computer at the other side of the room was incredibly exciting!
While other home computers existed at the time, the BBC Micro was unique in that it was a joint project between the BBC and Acorn Computers, to develop a machine that could be implemented in the classroom – known as the BBC Computer Literacy Project.
|Granny’s Garden on the BBC Micro|
Today, the London Science Museum brings together the original team responsible for the BBC Micro, John Radcliffe and David Allen, from the BBC, and Hermann Hauser and Andy Hopper, from Acorn, in a special meeting of the Computer Conservation Society.
This will be the first time the team has been together since they worked on the project in 1981.
Dr Tilly Blyth, Curator of Computing and Information at the Science Museum, said: “This is a rare opportunity to hear about the remarkable impact and legacy of the BBC Micro and the Computer Literacy Project. The BBC Micro helped stimulate the imaginations of a generation of children, and inspired them to see computer programming as a career. This period of intense creativity is a major reason why the UK is now the fourth largest producer of computer games in the world and a major player in the global interactive market.”
David Braben, the co-writer of the groundbreaking game ‘Elite’ – written first for the BBC Micro – has also released an article on BBC News about the BBC Micro computer, and it’s role in UK computing.