Do you like our owl?

TV The BBC's Computer Literacy Project wasn't something which really effected me at school. Although I would have been just in the right place chronologically for it, my Junior school didn't even own a computer, I don't think, and although the secondary school did have a BBC Micro in the physics lab, our computer room was first filled with Research Machines 380Z and when it finally had an upgrade and dozen Acorn Achemedes.

But at home, I didn't miss a programme, especially Micro Live which I remember vividly seeing amongst Play Chess and various Open University programmes (which I barely understood but liked the colours of the science experiments). It's Fred Harris voice which resonates now as he calmly explained how easy it was to use a computer and how we shouldn't be scared of them. Thinking back now, it's possible it was my interest in these which led my parents to give me an Acorn Electron, my first computer.

Now, as part of the Taster series, the BBC have uploaded an entire archive of programmes and related documents from across the projects ten year history, including the whole of Micro Live, Micro File and their earlier iterations. They've also included an emulated archive of the hundred and sixty on BBC Micro programmes featured across the programmes, which is something even viewers wouldn't have had easy access to thirty years ago. Yes, thirty years. My god.

Here's a very long press release explaining how the project happened and why its being resurrected and here's a blog post about designing the website. Hopefully it'll be online longer than the three month window its currently been given.

Here are some of my highlights:

Douglas Adams interview about the game version of Hitchhikers from Micro Live.

A visit to the EPCOT Centre.

John Humphries takes a word processing challenge.

Motion Control in Hollywood movies with behind the scenes material for 2010 and The Last Starfighter.  Features bonus Leslie Judd.

Brian Jacks reveals which micro he bought for himself and his family.

Paul Daniels explains his experiences with home computers and at programming.

Some software:

This animated Owl which was the symbol of the project. Few people remember just how difficult it was to do this kind of moving imagine on a machine with less memory than it takes to power one pixel on a smart phone.

Snapper which I was the first game I became addicted to, but not as much as my Dad who would be regularly up until two in the evening playing this and Chuckie Egg. Included with a box of titles in the original release of the Electron.

A really ambitious version of Space Invaders, with fast moving graphics and a steep difficultly curve.


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