Celestial Weasel (celestialweasel) wrote,
Celestial Weasel

Books with a potential readership of 0

I have bought a book from Blackwells about the financial meltdown in Argentina, sensibly reduced from 21 quid to 3 since I cannot imagine the audience for it will be great.
I have probably mentioned that I did once try to bargain with the late lamented remainder bookshop near the Westgate Centre over a copy of Dished, the book about BSB and the collapse thereof on the basis that I was the only person likely to buy the book and I thought it was too expensive... this failed but many years later I managed to get a copy via Abebooks (from Australia of all places).

This leads me to the subject of one of the books I will never get round to writing, '20 Goto 10', the story of the UK microcomputer industry. Possibly it should be '20 Goto 10: the rise and fall of the British Micro'.
It is a book that I feel should be written, but having done some searching on teh web I am no longer sure I want to read it, never mind write it.
The period I am thinking of is really from about 1977 to 1985. The start point would be the creation of the MK14 and the Acorn Series 1, but one of the things that has emerged from my searching is that the end-point is not as clear as I had thought.
Essentially around 1985 is the point at which the companies went bust and were bailed out by overseas companies and/or started to produce PC clones, but there is some overlap and Acorn did, after all, produce the Archimedes after it was bought by Olivetti [see - I have written a couple of paragraphs, and have already starting boring you to death, what chance for a whole book].

The problem is that I suspect the story is not really that good a one... people did various stuff, over-reached themselves and/or overestimated the market for computers that kind of didn't really do that much, then were kind of rendered obsolete by the rise of something mediocre but more business friendly and with a huge name behind it. The end. Not really up there with Accidental Empires or Hackers (although there is a sex change which might help with the human interest angle, I suppose, said the weasel cynically).

What I did find that was interesting, however, was that weird mutant Spectrum clones were made until recently in Russia (possibly still are, though the site looks like it hasn't been updated for a couple of years), with hard drives and 4MB of RAM

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