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Electronic Dreams Audiobook

Electronic Dreams: How 1980s Britain Learned to Love the Computer

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Publisher's Summary

Remember the ZX Spectrum? Ever have a go at programming with its stretchy rubber keys? Did you marvel at the immense galaxies of Elite on the BBC Micro or lose yourself in the surreal caverns of Manic Miner on the ZX Spectrum? For anyone who was a kid in the 1980s, these iconic computer brands are the stuff of legend.

In Electronic Dreams, Tom Lean tells the story of how computers invaded British homes for the first time, as people set aside their worries of electronic brains and Big Brother and embraced the wonder technology of the 1980s. This book charts the history of the rise and fall of the home computer, the family of futuristic and quirky machines that took computing from the realm of science and science fiction to being a user-friendly domestic technology. It is a tale of unexpected consequences, when the machines that parents bought to help their kids with homework ended up giving birth to the video games industry, and of unrealized ambitions, like the ahead-of-its-time Prestel network that first put the British home online but failed to change the world. Ultimately, it's the story of the people who made the boom happen, the inventors and entrepreneurs, like Clive Sinclair and Alan Sugar, seeking new markets, bedroom programmers and computer hackers and the millions of everyday folk who bought in to the electronic dream and let the computer into their lives.

©2016 Tom Lean (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

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Performance


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  • Ash
    Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
    5/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Full of nostalgic enthusiasm."

    If you grew up through the personal computer revolution you'll get a lot of nostalgic kicks and some great information, if you're new to the history this book is written (and read) with such enthusiasm that you'll get a taste of what it was like it be there.

    Truly an inspiring tale and the best thing is - it's all true!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A P Smith
    Bath, B&NES England
    2/24/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Comprehensive and enjoyable nostalgia trip"

    Incredibly thorough history of the home computer in Britain. While listening a couple of times I thought 'hold why hasn't he mentioned X'? Then the next chapter would cover that very topic in detail!

    Makes the point that whilst home computers were originally conceive primary as educational and 'tinkerers' devices it was gaming that proved to be the 'killer app'.

    Anyone who nostalgically remembers owning the mighty ZX Spectrum (or even one of its inferior competitors) will find this walk down memory lane a compelling listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • jdb
    1/11/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good history of the British Microcomputer revolution"

    The book is a good summary of the key events and people involved in the British Microcomputer revolution of the 70's and 80's. It is a must listen for anyone with nostalgia of the beginnings of personal computers and anyone who played Granny's Garden on a BBC at school.

    The performance is fairly dry and can be a little repetitive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. J. I. Mahoney
    home
    12/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow burner"

    The first half of the book is very slow but the second half really ramps up as it centres more on the sectors move to gaming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peter Jarrett
    Yorkshire, UK
    12/5/16
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    Performance
    Story
    "A great book, very well written, superbly read!"

    This book brought back a great number of fantastic memories of growing up with the BBC Micro in the 1980s - not to mention the war with Amiga and spectrum owners!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J Welch
    11/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If you grew up in the 80s"

    If like me you grew up in the 80s this was just bringing back memory after memory. Really fascinating to find out what was going on behind the scene

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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