Micro Men

Clive Sinclair (Alexander Armstrong) pays for drinks (from an uncredited Sophie Wilson)

It was a cheesy time, the early 80s, but I’m stuck with it as my youth. Home computers were probably the largest part of my life for rather longer than I should admit.

My brother recommended Micro Men, a BBC 4 (what? they have more than two?) comedy drama about the fight between Acorn and Sinclair for the BBC educational contract. I went to my usual source for quality television, and it was on my computer an hour after hearing about it.

With a mix of vintage film and recreations, it caught the ’78-85 vibe perfectly. Whether all the anecdotes are historically correct, it doesn’t matter – the feeling of the frantic dash to develop new machines in ridiculously short times and then advertise them months before they were ready was there.

There were a bunch of good cameos, too. Nice to see Sophie Wilson (known to me as the author of Acorn’s BBC Basic, known to you as the designer of the ARM processor almost certainly used in your mobile phone) making an appearance.

So, though I was never a BBC B or ZX Spectrum owner, a fun programme, and one you might like.

I came late to the BBC Basic game, but used it on my Z88 to ace an Introduction to Numerical Methods course (yay EVAL!).

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