Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Show 'n Tell

I know first post in a while, well it was the holidays and well no excuses I didn't have anything to say.

Anyway since the academic year has started again, the initial chaos of inductions over, and teaching well under way I thought it was about time I returned to blogging.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been hitting ebay to build up a collection of the old home computer manuals I used to have. Why would I do this? Apart from reliving my beginning days of learning to program! I wanted to put together something to take in my new level 3 students to show how I got started. To show them what my first computer was like, that we had manuals! The manuals taught you how to code. To give them a glimpse of learning to program before the age of the Internet.

These three basic games books are mine from back in the day.

Sadly no power supply or cables but a ZX81 with a 16KB RAM pack.

I'm going to spend the weekend evaluating some emulators - especially the ZX81 and BBC micro ones. If they look promising I'll get them installed and run a "retro" programming session with the students too. Which reminds me the Computer Museum in Cambridge (well worth a visit) runs a BBC micro programming session I wonder if they will share their resources. Must ask when I'm there tomorrow night.

Hopefully the students will find this interesting. I think it will add a bit more colour and reality to the "when I was a lad" or "you youngsters don't know you're born" stories about the "golden" days of home computing in the UK.