Author: Gordon Laing
HERE'S A HANDSOMELY presented and well written book which explores the history of personal computers and consoles.
There are some old friends in here - and some enemies too, ranging from the Altair 8800 to Steve Jobs' NeXT Cube, which he showed off to myself and assembled Brithacks at the Londinium Palladium too many years back to recall.
This beautifully illustrated book ranges through all those machines you either loved or hated, including the Sinclair ZX80 and ZX81, the Oric 1, the Dragon, the Osbourne, the Commodore Pets, the Amiga, the Amstrad 8256 and the Amstrad PCW, in order from 1975 up to 1988.
Let us not forget the Apple II, the Apple Mac and the Apple Lisa, nor Compaq portables, which gave you extreme back strain, the BBC Micro, and the Acorn Atom. We'd like to forget the Acorn Atom and the Acorn Electron personally, but Digital Retro has words and pictures about those machines too.
There are some omissions, and it would have been nice to see again those little Apricot machines that used to run CP/M, primarily because the now defunct Apricot knew how to run a jolly good party for journalists. Gordon Laing answers this question on the Ilex web page by saying some business machines were rejected because of space and the ability to find well preserved models.
Gordon does a very good job describing the history of the personal computer in this 192 page, full colour book. As he points out, long before Microsoft and Intel came to dominate the world of PCs, there were plenty of candidates to choose from.
Sheesh, last time we were at the world famous Harefield Hospital, one of the labs was still using a BBC Micro machine to monitor medical tests. We suspect these and other of the machines in Digital Retro are lurking in many a corporation and hospital to this day.
This is a great book for nerds of all ages who want to see machines long since consigned to the skip or the dustbin. It's well written, and Gordon doesn't scandalise the world+dog by talking about anal sex, like he did at an Intel dinner party in Palm Springs some years back. Highly recommended. µ
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