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BBC to record film on Acorn versus Sinclair in the 1980s

Published: 20th Jun 2009, 23:35:40 | Permalink | Printable

A film to be called Syntax Era, that will document the rivalry between Clive Sinclair and Acorn co-founder Chris Curry, will be screened by the BBC with the help of The Centre of Computing History. The programme will star Martin Freeman, from The Office, alongside Alexander Armstrong, of Armstrong and Miller sketch show fame, who will play Sinclair. It is likely to be aired in the autumn on BBC4, we're told. Filming starts on Monday, June 22 in London. It was written by Tony Saint. More to follow later.

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Discussion

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Excellent news, I cannot wait to see this.

 is a RISC OS Userjonesd98 on 21/6/09 12:36PM
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Sinclair all the way ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userstevek on 22/6/09 7:13AM
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String him up!

 is a RISC OS UserStoppers on 22/6/09 7:26AM
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What by? Any econect cable!

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 22/6/09 1:32PM
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LOL! I'm lucky econet cables are hard to find these days...

 is a RISC OS Userstevek on 23/6/09 7:49AM
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I enjoyed playing games on the Sinclair Spectrum 48k. Lost count the on the number of times it went back to be repaired tho.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 22/6/09 1:33PM
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Sir Clive was my first hero at the tender age of nine. I learnt to program on a ZX81, and was really quite proficient by the time the Spectrum +3 (3" FDD) came out.

It should be an interesting program, it doesn't need to be a who's best thing. I have three spectrums and five Acorns, go figure :)

 is a RISC OS UserBecky on 25/6/09 7:58PM
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That's great news. So much impressive history was clouded over by Microsoft's dominance since the nineties. It should be interesting for many (mostly younger) viewers to get a glimpse of the British innovation going on in those days. By the way, the above description also reminds me quite strongly of the documentary film "Pirates of Silicon Valley" - see [link]

It'd be at least as interesting if the BBC decides to make a documentary about the evolution of ARM Ltd. From its inception in Acorn's R&D labs to being spun-off, the joint development with Apple and later on DEC, the current state of ARM technology and its huge worldwide use which is only set to increase the coming years.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/6/09 3:02PM
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I'm looking forward to this, although I wonder how much dramatic licence Tony Saint will employ to make the subject matter even more interesting. It's going to be a hard sell to a modern audience who are more taken up with Big Brother and Britain's Got Talent.

But then again, it's on BBC Four. Who watches that?!

 is a RISC OS Usersascott on 23/6/09 9:58AM
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Tony Saint has produced some impressive screen plays in the past. It's great that someone of this calibre is taking an interest in this aspect of Britain's computing history.

Looking back, it is slightly odd how passionate folks were about their chosen computer system in the 1980s but the fact is, they were, and where there's passion there's a story.

These days for the vast majority of people there seems much less loyalty to any particular brand - it's much more focussed on the actual functionality of the product. I suppose that in any given area we all have a clearer idea of what we want a computer to do, and we only tend to notice the actual computer when it doesn't do what we want it to do quickly, easily and intuitively.

I certainly have started hopping around quite freely between Windows, Macs and RISC OS depending on what I'm trying to do and have stop feeling guilty about doing so. I think it's actually quite good that in such a world there is still a place for RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 23/6/09 5:00PM
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And good that we do a choice. Well, those of us that know there is more to life than Windows. However, compared to the 8 bit days, three is VERY limited.

 is a RISC OS UserDrWhich on 25/6/09 7:56PM
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Three? three? what about the four, one of those being a more serious option to the bigger two than our beloved OS.

 is a RISC OS UserMikeCarter on 25/6/09 8:05PM
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Symbian ? :->

 is a RISC OS Userfreder on 26/6/09 5:46PM
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He's talking about CP/M, quite clearly.

 is a RISC OS UserMonty on 26/6/09 10:30PM
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