Friday, 19 September 2014

A 1980s childhood brought to life - A book review

GamesYouLoved synopsis: 
Diary of an 80s Computer Geek
By Steven J Howlett 
As a child growing up in the 80s you would have seen dramatic changes occuring in technology along with music, movies, toys and fashion.  

In the Diary of an 80s Computer geek, Steven J Howlett brings this to life through the eyes of a child and the world around him changing before him. 

The wonderment of change and a life dedicated to computers started early for our protagonist. From the longing for the simple ZX81 in 80s Britain, where the individual had a chance make something from new if they really wanted. To the idea that this could even be a job or career.  Could this 'hobby' of computers and gaming become something more?

From the playground where cassettes could be bought and sold on the black market, to programming line after line of code to create simple games Stephen was on a journey that no other generation had encountered. 

This diary takes you through the 1980s with how Steven dabbles in ventures which from a simple hobby using the ZX81 becomes more to him as the years go by. 

We won't spoil the overall plot and detail, but some of the highlights of the story are as follows:

- upgradings of one machine to the next and what this meant at the time!
- computers at school and the games you loved and played
- computer magazines and how we trusted and cared for them
- the evolution of computers from 8-bit to 16-bit, and the high and lows of this

In summary when reading this book - cast your own mind back and think about computers and video games in the 1980s - what kind of memories does it conjure up? 

It might be quite different depending where you are in the world but nevertheless it was a time of great innovation and ground breaking products.  There was also an air of mystery around gaming and computer companies in the very early 80s - with no internet we relied on magazines, newspapers and limited TV channels to serve up information and in some countries (including the UK!) it came much later than 
others such as the USA and Japan. 

Whatever memories you had - the Diary of an 80s Computer Geek is sure to unlock some happy thoughts and will having you looking on ebay or googliing after reading it!

Diary of an 80s Gomputer Geek is available in print format & digital format here:

You can also follow it's author Stephen on Twitter here: @sj_howlett  

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