Recreating History

Here is the original famous picture, Chris Curry and the original team from Acorn Computers show off the Acorn Atom – the precursor to the BBC Micro computer.


And here is the recreation 30 years later. Stephen Furber (far left) stood in for David Johnson-Davies.

CDW - The Beeb @ 30 Event 202

And here is the BBC version used in Micro Men:

Micro Men version

And the people involved in the BBC Micro project.

CDW - The Beeb @ 30 Event 213

Props from Micro Men

Upstairs was a small display of props that were used in the BBC production Micro Men. These props included scripts, photos, computers and even a copy of Computer Weekly!

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The End of a Great Day

This has to have been one of the most enjoyable days out I have had (from a geek perspective). There were lots to see and touch, and it was amazing to meet all the people behind the BBC Micro and the Computer Literacy Project.

What surprised me was just how approachable and friendly everyone was. Everyone involved took the time to speak to you and it felt like you had known them for years.


I honestly believe that if it had not have been for the BBC Micro initially getting me interesting in computers and computing, I don’t think I would be doing what I do now!

So thank you again to Jason Fitzpatrick, Simon Hewitt and the Centre for Computing History for putting on such a great event. I really look forward to seeing them in their new home in Cambridge soon.

And thank you again to all the people who signed my Beeb @ 30 event program.

CDW - The Beeb @ 30 Event programme

I’m off to play with my BBC Micro B and reminisce about my childhood.

Did you have a BBC Micro when you were younger or do you have any memories you wish to share? Let us know.

  • John Zajdler

    An excellent blog post Andrew. Well Done. It’s interesting how we get nostalgic in our lifetime. Thanks for sharing.

  • I like the portable telly with the built in tape deck… you can use it to load AND run your programs!

  • Rosalie

    It has me thinking of my first Amstrad with the disk drives at the side of the screen. One for the OS and the other for saving files, etc. Nostalgia, eh? And now that we have all singing and dancing, what do we want to do? – obtain a Raspberry Pi, and start all over again. A perfect world!

  • My Beeb is still in storage right next to my A310.

  • Dennis

    I love the beeb, got my first networking experience at school, sending “new” commands to unsuspecting students! Reserving storage for private use on the network with my first recursive algo. Getting kicked out of class for programming a game and teaching my buddies how to REALLY program comuters while in computer class 😉 Learning how to cover my tracks and overwhelm the log, from someone elses’ computer of course… hahhaha Those were some seriously GOOD times!

  • Oli

    Thanks for sharing, Andrew. Gutted to have not known this event was happening, but one consolation is that you documented it so well. Oli (former MVP)

  • Thank you so much for sharing this. For me the buh-beep of a BBC Micro being switched on is as powerful as Proust’s madeleine. I can still remember rushing out to buy Acorn User and Micro User, Beebug et al and slaving away in front of a hot 6502 second processor as I tried to become Elite. They’re hugely fond memories and this helped bring them flooding back. I wish I could have been there – the team behind the BBC machine gave me more pleasure than any group bar the Beatles.

    • It really was a great day – and I have my Beeb sitting next to me at the moment – I know exactly what you mean about the buh-beep J

  • Pluppie

    ahhhh the good old times , yes i remember , i had ( still have ) one at home , a friend of mine showed me the potential of the bbc , soon after i enrolled at a school that had a bbc network , there was no stopping me then , the teacher pulled out his hairs 😉 when i had a computer lesson ( logo ) no logo for me (*i am ????) it was to easy when i recall corectly it was *exec !boot you should find the i am in reverse , to take over the network , got an A+++ and frenzy was my faforite , have a bbc micro b with sideways and dual drive 80 tracks and a recompiled drive system ( my friend ) , * i am dutch so please ignore typos

    • Thanks Pluppie – it has a lot of fond memories for a lot of people!

  • John C

    What a great article, so once again, thanks for sharing. I can remember being the envy of my work colleagues when my Model B eventually turned up (they were still using ZX80 and ZX81’s). My other vivid memory of the time was struggling over some de-bugging to the strains of Echo and the Bunnymen … and they say nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

    • Thanks John J

      I cant believe it’s been 30 years!!!!

  • Roger

    Greetings. Great work still going on! Though it does remind me of my age (62), I have a Computer Science MSc. and taught many TEC and other ‘Computing’ courses but everywhere I worked the science people were soon dominated by business studies who wanted IT, applications only. I took early retirement and now just ‘tinker’ with small computers, still have a working 8060 breadboard and an 8080 running FORTH.