A new book on 1980s computers

There’s a new book that’s in the crowdfunding stage that aims to tell the story of the golden age of old computers and retro games and consoles from the 1980s and 90s.

This is the era of the ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, Vic 20, Dragon, Oric, Sinclair QL, Memotec MTX, to name a handful of nostalgic names.

A time when computers came in a myriad of designs and styles, and each one was unique, whether it was the famous rubber keys of the Spectrum, the weird built-in joystick of the Enterprise Elan, the corners of Commodores and Memotecs cheese. .

This new book 20 GO TO 10 is a number book that describes the many facets of computer history, covering hardware, software and social history of the time, showing how they are linked by numbers, such as 48K, C90 and 35899.

It’s not a conventional page-turner of a book though.

Each entry in the book begins with a number, and by choosing an associated number, you’ll create a unique adventure through the book and into a web of forgotten geek lore and incredible facts. With luck, you’ll find a way to arrive at the number used to grant infinite lives in Jet Set Willy.

As a crowdfunded book, you can purchase a copy in advance, and when the author reaches the fundraising goal, the book is printed and you receive your copy.

It is currently three quarters funded and you can order a signed copy here.

The book includes:

Linked entries allow you to choose your own path through the history of computing.

A Rorschach computer personality test, cleverly disguised as a dot-to-dot puzzle.

Infographics on the history of computing according to the facts (and the best machines, according to readers).

Deep technical magic about cassette tapes, computer generated sound and how blu-tack saved the sanity of the Sinclair generation.