- 20 Mar 08, 08:48 GMT
Anyone over 30 is sure to feel a nostalgic glow whenever the BBC Micro is mentioned.
For almost the whole of the 1980s the Beeb, as it was known, was one of the main ways people in the UK accessed computer technology.
It seems incredible now that the BBC, a broadcaster, partnered with a technology company and put its name on the machine at a time when computers were such an unknown entity.
I can't imagine that happening today - but then again, the BBC's involvement with Freeview, picking up the pieces from ITV Digital, has been arguably as forward thinking.
At the start of the 1980s the microchip revolution was beginning to crank into gear. But to most people a computer was something to be found in the office, in a factory, not in a home.
And an even greater number of people had no idea what to do with a computer.
But a handful of people in the BBC, among them producers John Criwaczekm, David Allen, and John Radcliffe felt differently.
She told me: "There was a doc that had been put together by Ed Goldwyn, who made Now the Chips are Down, and that caused quite major repercussions in government; questions were asked in parliament about what Britain was doing in the electronics industry."
The BBC drew up a set of specifications for a computer that could help introduce people to the power of the microchip and the corporation decided on Acorn after visiting companies like Dragon and Sinclair.
But the BBC Micro was more than just a piece of hardware, it was a network.
Dr Blyth explained: "It was about education and it ran through networks of people interested in programming - teachers in colleges, through training programmes on the BBC.
"There were a lot of workshops set up to understand the BBC Micro."
It's an exaggeration to say the whole nation was programming in BBC Basic but thousands of people got their first experience of computer programming because of the Beeb.
My personal memories of the BBC Micro are strong
I can remember being taught to programme using Logo, and sending messages back and forth between machines because the BBC Micro was fully networkable.
In fact, it was simply to "take over" a BBC Micro by using the REMOTE command.
One of my abiding memories is playing Elite on the machine. Written by two university students, David Braben and Ian Bell, it re-wrote the rules for what was possible on a home computer.
A friend of mine was lucky enough to have a BBC Micro and we would spend days trying to improve our rank - Right On Commander! - climbing our way up from Harmless to Elite.
David Braben has kindly written a column for us, in which he highlights the impact the BBC Micro had in its day.
He also issues a rallying cry: calling on the spirit of the BBC Micro to live on and entice more students into computer science, maths and physics.
And that's an interesting point. What can be done by the private sector, by IT, and perhaps even by the BBC to once again drive people's understanding of the computer revolution?
Is it laughable to suggest that the BBC once again partner with a computer company? Could more be done online, where the BBC enjoys a giant presence?
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