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Computers invaded British homes for the first time in the early 1980s, with a wave of cheap, futuristic microcomputers that allowed millions of people to discover for themselves the world of computing. In those heady early days of computing, Britannia very much ruled the digital waves.
Electronic Dreams looks back at how Britain embraced the home computer, and at the people who drove the boom: entrepreneurs such as Clive Sinclair and Alan Sugar seeking new markets; politicians proclaiming economic miracles; bedroom programmers with an unhealthy fascination with technology; and millions of everyday folk who bought into the electronic dream and let the computer into their lives. It is a history of home computers such as the Commodore VIC20, BBC Micro, and ZX Spectrum; classic computer games like Manic Miner and Elite; the early information networks that first put the home online; and the transformation of the computer into an everyday object in the British home.
Based on interviews with key individuals, archive sources, and study of vintage hardware and software, and with a particular focus on the computer's place in social history, Electronic Dreams is a nostalgic look at how a depressed 1980s Britain got over its fear of microchips and embraced the computer as a “passport to the future.”