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Mar 04 2012

WARNING: Computing is highly addictive

… is what Practical Electronics said about the launch of the Compukit UK101 back in August 1979.

While you’re reading their article, remember that it isn’t about the Raspberry Pi – instead, it’s about an 8MHz 6502, 4Kbyte computer with a UHF output to a black and white TV monitor and a 300 baud (very, very slow) cassette tape interface for backing up your programs and data.

Two highlights:

Imagine being able to run a program to help your child (or yourself) revise for exams. Animated diagrams are possible, such as an internal combustion engine shown reciprocating, with mathematical equations to match. Picture an automobile program designed to accept daily input from you on petrol and oil use, along with mileage, etc. The machine could accumulate information, and at any time give you the average m.p.g., plot performance versus time or some other parameter, and remind you when to check the tyres and drive to the Garage for a service.

and rather more presciently:

For the first time, anyone, technical or otherwise, can have an affordable easily programmable home-computer for domestic use – a much neglected area at the moment, but one which is about to take off.

The first page of the article on the UK101 from the August 1979 edition of Practical Electronics

The first page of the article on the UK101 from the August 1979 edition of Practical Electronics - click the image to enlarge

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