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How did computers invade the homes and cultural life of 1980s Britain? Remember the ZX Spectrum? Ever have a go at programming with its stretchy rubber keys? How about the BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, or Commodore 64? Did you marvel at the immense galaxies of Elite, master digital kung-fu in Way of the Exploding Fist or lose yourself in the surreal caverns of Manic Miner? For anyone who was a kid in the 1980s, these iconic computer brands are the stuff of legend. In Electronic Dreams, Tom Lean tells the story of how computers invaded British homes for the first time, as people set aside their worries of electronic brains and Big Brother and embraced the wonder-technology of the 1980s. This book charts the history of the rise and fall of the home computer, the family of futuristic and quirky machines that took computing from the realm of science and science fiction to being a user-friendly domestic technology. It is a tale of unexpected consequences, when the machines that parents bought to help their kids with homework ended up giving birth to the video games industry, and of unrealised ambitions, like the ahead-of-its-time Prestel network that first put the British home online but failed to change the world. Ultimately, it's the story of the people who made the boom happen, the inventors and entrepreneurs like Clive Sinclair and Alan Sugar seeking new markets, bedroom programmers and computer hackers, and the millions of everyday folk who bought in to the electronic dream and let the computer into their lives.
Electric Dreams turns to the past to trace the cultural history of computers. Ted Friedman charts the struggles to define the meanings of these powerful machines over more than a century, from the failure of Charles Babbage’s “difference engine” in the nineteenth century to contemporary struggles over file swapping, open source software, and the future of online journalism. To reveal the hopes and fears inspired by computers, Electric Dreams examines a wide range of texts, including films, advertisements, novels, magazines, computer games, blogs, and even operating systems. Electric Dreams argues that the debates over computers are critically important because they are how Americans talk about the future. In a society that in so many ways has given up on imagining anything better than multinational capitalism, cyberculture offers room to dream of different kinds of tomorrow.
This critical examination of two dystopian television series--Black Mirror and Electric Dreams--focuses on pop culture depictions of technology and its impact on human existence. Representations of a wide range of modern and futuristic technologies are explored, from early portrayals of artificial intelligence (Rossum's Universal Robots, 1921) to digital consciousness transference as envisioned in Black Mirror's "San Junipero." These representations reflect societal anxieties about unfettered technological development and how a world infused with invasive artificial intelligence might redefine life and death, power and control. The impact of social media platforms is considered in the contexts of modern-day communication and political manipulation.
The acclaimed historian of modern Britain, Dominic Sandbrook, tells the story of the early 1980s: the most dramatic, colourful and controversial years in our recent history. Margaret Thatcher had come to power in 1979 with a daring plan to reverse Britain's decline into shabbiness and chaos. But as factories closed their doors, dole queues lengthened and the inner cities exploded in flames, would her radical medicine rescue the Sick Man of Europe - or kill it off? Vivid, surprising and gloriously entertaining, Dominic Sandbrook's new book recreates the decisive turning point in Britain's recent story. For some people this was an age of unparalleled opportunity, the heyday of computers and credit cards, snooker, Sloane Rangers and Spandau Ballet. Yet for others it was an era of shocking bitterness, as industries collapsed, working-class communities buckled and the Labour Party tore itself apart. And when Argentine forces seized the Falkland Islands, it seemed the final humiliation for a wounded, unhappy country, its fortunes now standing on a knife-edge. Here are the early 1980s in all their gaudy glory. This is the story of Tony Benn, Ian Botham and Princess Diana; Joy Division, Chariots of Fire, the Austin Metro and Juliet Bravo; wine bars, Cruise missiles, the ZX Spectrum and the battle for the Falklands. And towering above them all, the most divisive Prime Minister of modern times - the Iron Lady.
For many centuries, Germany has enjoyed a reputation as the ‘land of music’. But just how was this reputation established and transformed over time, and to what extent was it produced within or outside of Germany? Through case studies that range from Bruckner to the Beatles and from symphonies to dance-club music, this volume looks at how German musicians and their audiences responded to the most significant developments of the twentieth century, including mass media, technological advances, fascism, and war on an unprecedented scale.
An opportunity star is born. It gives anyone with a dream a chance to create a better life -- regardless of their background, education or experience. When the opportunity first began, there were no tools -- just people with enthusiasm, a plan and some products. Soon audiotapes of seminars were shared with others, to aid them in building their own independent businesses. Then, positive books were introduced for long-term personal growth. To help people succeed even more, a system and a pattern of success were developed for them to follow. It provides tools and a positive environment in which people can grow and help others do the same. You now have a new opportunity to use the Internet and participate in e-commerce. It's the latest approach to help you move more products than ever, and can serve you as a tremendous tool to help you realize your dreams. After laying a solid foundation of more than forty years of dynamic growth, the products, the tools and the opportunity for you to succeed are now better than ever. Book jacket.
Electric Dreams charts the seismic shifts that have transformed the monochrome product world of 1980s consumer electronics into a 21st-century landscape full of shape, colour and variety. It considers the economic and technological imperatives which brought design to the heart of electronic innovation and marketing culture. David Redhead focuses on key companies such as Apple, Nokia and Palm and examines how designers such as Jonathan Ive, Frank Nuovo and IDEO have given form to the innovative technologies that surround us. Based on interviews with designers and commentators and illustrated with a wealth of cutting-edge products, Electric Dreams is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary design, technology and fashion.

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