YoreComputer - examining 1980s popular computer culture


There's a lovely Twitter feed called Yore Computer - run by Rob Manuel, it randomly tweets out scans of 1980s computer magazines. A wonderful mix of nostalgia, dated references, primitive graphics, incompatible file formats, and unrealistic promises by advertisers.

Here are a few of my favourites that I've spotted.

Behold! The comment section - hasn't changed much!

And you get the usual idiot blokes arguing that what women really want is computer games set in kitchens...

Arguments over copyright? You wouldn't steal a car...!

"I'd like to run a magazine which publishes the names, addresses, and hobbies of 12-14 year old."
"Hmm... Sounds a bit dodgy?"
"No, it's 1987. A simpler time, with less concern for child welfare and data protection."
"Fair enough! But add some photos too!"

Today, online magazine quite often present code samples - but I struggle to image that anyone would have typed in all this machine code. Let alone done so correctly!

You can read the full listing on the Internet Archive.

Machine Code.

Over-hyped technology on the front page.

StackOverflow - but on paper!

And, as a bonus, there is this incredibly accurate prediction.

Let me zoom in for you:
'What's going to happen' asks Professor David Zett- zer, 'when we have (computer) animation of photographic quality?' The prospect of the 43rd, computer-generated, series of Terry and June being made long after the two stars have retired is a prospect that could make us rue the day computers were ever allowed into television But also imagine all of the repercussions if a false computer generated image was broadcast showing Neil Kinnock being punched by Margaret Thatcher, the thought may be amusing but the consequences more than a little troublesome. You'll never know what is genuine television untess you're told. Could you ever believe news aqain?

Anyway, you can follow along at https://twitter.com/yorecomputer

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One thought on “YoreComputer - examining 1980s popular computer culture

  1. "Today, online magazine quite often present code samples - but I struggle to image that anyone would have typed in all this machine code. Let alone done so correctly!"

    That would have been one of the longer listings to type in, but I probably did similar, back in the day.

    One of the nice things about the YS hex loader and associated listings is that it included a checksum (the part after the =) on every line. So if you made a mistake, you'd know about it quickly enough.

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