Chapter 2 - 1981
My first computer, the Transam Tuscan languished unused in the attic, my new toy the BBC Micro model B sat proudly on my dining room table.
Connected to small tv and a cassette player as the program loader and storage, I diligently entered list after list of code from magazines as I grappled with learning the Basic language.
After many nights, I was finally ready to code my own program, and that was to be “The Football Pools Predictor”, I was convinced I could predict the draw results in the Saturday football (Soccer) games, and at a stroke become rich.
I spent weeks coding, debugging and testing, it was based on giving each team a weighting factor for previous results, whether it was a home or away fixture, and if key players were injured.
I will never know if it would have ever worked because it took so long to enter all the results for each team in the four leagues I gave up, back in 1980 the BBC basic did not have a database I could store previous results in so they all had to be re-entered every time I wanted to run the program.
The process taught me a lot about programming in Basic and would prove to be invaluable in the future.
The BBC Micro was a great little computer, it had a good selection of peripheral add-ons
* Joysticks * Tape recorder * Floppy drives (single and double) * Econet networking upgrade * Winchester disk system (Hard Disk) * 6502 Second Processor * Z80 Second processor (with CP/M and business software suite) * 32016 Second processor * ARM Evaluation System * Teletext adapter * Prestel adapter * Speech synthesiser * Music 500 synthesiser * BBC Turtle (robot) * BBC Buggy * IEEE 488 Interface
The other great feature about the computer was a wide selection of games, my favorite, which I became quite addicted to, spending long hours into the night playing was Elite the space trading video game, which has been re-released for modern platforms called Elite Dangerous.
The Transam & then the BBC Micro were my introduction to personal computing, it was a revelation to me, as my day job was as a systems engineer for ICL (international Computers Ltd), I was used to mainframes in computer halls the size of a football pitch and you were constantly aware that dozens of users were logged onto the system.
But more of that on my next trip back to the future…………..