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Home Computer

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What They

Typically 8-bit and running at around 1MHz, home computers such as the Commodore 64 formed the first wave of computers intended for personal desktop use. With user-friendly examples first appearing around 1980 they were quickly adopted by the humble squaddie and his masters alike. Eager to have command of the wonderful world of tomorrow the intrepid futurist would spend months examining the deepest secrets of the unthinking and uncaring machine before finally achieving Nirvana:

  • 10 Print “wank ”;
  • 20 goto 10

After that a game was loaded. The world had changed forever.

These were not the modern fluffy computers we have now. Oh no. These were computers for real men. Real men with real acne. Many such men had a particular fondness for their 8-bit computers that bordered on deep lurve, but perhaps this isn’t as strange as it seems. Just like a woman a home computer could be turned on and poked, but unlike a woman it didn’t follow you around afterwards and the speaker could be turned off.

What Type They

The most popular models of home computers were:

  • BBC Models A and B
  • Vic 20 (which means something very rude in German)
  • Commodore 64
  • Dragon 32 (snigger)
  • Spectrum 16 and 48
  • Apple IIe (senior ranks and officers only)

If you bought anything else then you were had, mate. Sorry, but you were.

What Printers

Barrack blocks simply weren’t noisy enough and so dot-matrix printers were invented and available for every make of computer. Smudge, in a rare moment of lucidity and accuracy summed them up as “shite”.


If you’ve just found yourself whistling Video Killed the Radio Star or Halls of the Mountain King and still can’t accept that your youth ended a very long time ago then you can download a home computer emulator for your PC. Honestly though, I know what you’re like and you will play with it for 20 minutes before giving up and going back to hand coded HTML/Java/Frankie.