The other day I received another nice wad of computer mags through my door and Your Computer was always my fave read, back in the day.
As I browsed through the interview that the magazine covered in September 1982, the thought struck me of how some of the content was clearly used in the Micro Men 2009 drama based on the incredible cut-throat battle for market place supremacy that raged between Sinclair and Acorn back then. If you haven't already watched this program then I wholeheartedly recommend that you do if you like your 1980s retro technology and enjoy a bit of drama thrown in - you'll have to look far and wide to beat it as the acting is extremely convincing and of course based on many events which allegedly did occur. When it comes to personal computing, boy, the competition for sales and sound-bites indeed became very "personal"...
ABOVE: Hauser makes a lot of claims about Acorn and Sinclair... and promises there will be no delay with the forthcoming launch of the Electron... right!
ABOVE: A clip from Micro Men showing the actor playing the part of Acorn's Hermann Hauser.
Carrying on this thread, let us examine Hauser's cautious promise, right at the end of the article:
ABOVE: READ ALL ABOUT IT - ELECTRON TO APPEAR BY END OF THE YEAR! Aha, but which year, Hermann?!
The Acorn Electron would have been the "upgrade" computer of choice over my old ZX81 in early 1984 - I distinctly remember going into WH Smiths trying to get hold of one - but supplies seemed to be thin on the ground or non-existent in Hull then, hence my choice of the new Oric Atmos!
The official launch date of the Electron, in the end, was:
25th AUGUST 1983.
A delay, due to "problems with the ULA" of almost a year, Mr Hauser.
...and did Sinclair take all this Acorn action with the Beeb lying down?
Of course not!
ABOVE: In Sinclair User's Jan 84 edition, they are keen to talk up 'fighting talk' from Sir Clive and here he is 'caught in the act' (Sinclair seen secretly creating a mock-up of how a BBC-backed Spectrum machine might look like) in the dramatic recreation of the tumultuous events which saw the contract not awarded to Newbrain; not even awarded to Sinclair with all his production and innovative experience but awarded instead to the 'progressive' team which somehow managed to get the Beeb's sky-high specs into the £399 Acorn Beeb Model B's (an extremely 'top end' price for the home user back in the day) price tag.
...and if you wind on to 52:13 in Micro Men - you get the Sinclair 'calm and controlled' response to the 'wonderful' news that Acorn have indeed landed the lucrative Beeb contract:
(WARNING - not for members of a nervous disposition!)