Amstrads and Ataris
UK Home Computers in the 1980s
- Andrew Morten
15th August 2022
The 1980s was the era when affordable computers came to UK homes. They were known as microcomputers as their ‘brain’ was a microprocessor chip. Before then, computers were either found in the IT centres of big companies, taking up a whole room, or were large desktop machines with a price tag that put them out of reach for most people. But in February 1980, a company called Sinclair Computers launched their first home computer costing less than £100 – the ZX80. It began a very exciting time for all those with an interest in technology, and the UK home computer market was born. The first Sinclair ZX80s were soon joined by a host of competition in the early years of the 1980s as machines were released from companies such as Acorn, Dragon, Tangerine and Commodore. They all wanted a share of a market that would soon be worth millions of pounds.
This book explores the history of these companies and the entrepreneurs behind them such as Sir Clive Sinclair of Sinclair Computers and Chris Curry of Acorn Computers. The innovative machines they produced inspired a generation.