Acorn co-founder talks early computers

Acorn co-founder Andy Hopper told silicon.com that he believes the BBC Micro - with its easy to grasp Basic programming language - offered an experience that is missing today.

Andy Hopper is co-founder of the iconic Acorn Computers and currently head of the computer laboratory at the University of Cambridge. silicon.com's Nick Heath talks to Hopper about the BBC Micro, Acorn's early days and sustainable IT.

Introduced in 1981, the BBC Micro was a runaway success for Cambridge-based Acorn Computers, which anticipated it would shift 12,000 but went on to sell 1.5 million, with a BBC being the machine of choice for UK schools.

Acorn co-founder Andy Hopper told silicon.com that he believes the BBC Micro - with its easy to grasp Basic programming language - offered an experience that is missing today.

"I love the BBC Micro because of its open architecture, the way it was like a Meccano kit in the digital world, where you could make it into many things," he said.

"In a way it's too bad that the world has moved on. There is not an equivalent open platform today where you can construct something Meccano-style, for example to interest kids."

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