Electronic Dreams How 1980s Britain Learned to Love the Computer

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 3/29/2016
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Sigma

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $27.00 Save up to $5.40
  • Rent Book $21.60
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Computers invaded British homes for the first time in the early 1980s, with a wave of cheap, futuristic microcomputers that allowed millions of people to discover for themselves the world of computing. In those heady early days of computing, Britannia very much ruled the digital waves.
Electronic Dreams looks back at how Britain embraced the home computer, and at the people who drove the boom: entrepreneurs such as Clive Sinclair and Alan Sugar seeking new markets; politicians proclaiming economic miracles; bedroom programmers with an unhealthy fascination with technology; and millions of everyday folk who bought into the electronic dream and let the computer into their lives. It is a history of home computers such as the Commodore VIC20, BBC Micro, and ZX Spectrum; classic computer games like Manic Miner and Elite; the early information networks that first put the home online; and the transformation of the computer into an everyday object in the British home.
Based on interviews with key individuals, archive sources, and study of vintage hardware and software, and with a particular focus on the computer's place in social history, Electronic Dreams is a nostalgic look at how a depressed 1980s Britain got over its fear of microchips and embraced the computer as a “passport to the future.”

Author Biography

Tom Lean is a historian of science currently based at the British Library, where he works on Oral History of British Science, a major project concerned with collecting and archiving life-story interviews with 200 figures from the recent history of science and technology. His fascination with computer technology is long-standing, culminating in his doctorate at the University of Manchester on popular computing in 1980s Britain. He lives in Manchester, England.

Table of Contents

1: Electronic Brains
2: Hobbyists Create Microcomputers
3: Computers for the Man in the Street
4: Computer Literacy
5: The Boom
6: Two Information Revolutions That Weren't
7: The Maturing of the Computer Game
8: The Unmaking of the Micro
Epilogue: Back to the Future?
Further Reading
Prices and Other Numbers

Rewards Program

Write a Review