After the girls discuss recent tech-art exhibitions they've seen in New York and London, Camila introduces Ana to some stories about the history of computer eduction in Australian schools. This months episode is a two-for-one! Firstly, we learn about a government plan to develop an especially Australian computer for use in schools with options for networking and for portable 'laptop-style' use. Then we hear about the rise and fall of the 'Microbee' computer—Australia's first home-grown personal computer. This computer, which was designed and manufactured in Australia, controlled a large portion of the primary school computer market not just in Australia but also Scandinavia and Russia, winning contracts over Apple!
Follow us on Twitter @OurFriendComp
And Instagram @ourfriendthecomputer
Main research for the episode was done by Camila. Ana audio edited.
Music by Nelson Guay (SoundCloud: fluxlinkages)
OFtC is a sister project of the Media Archaeology Lab at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
- Jones, Gemma. “BYTE CLUB - First computer museum for Gosford.” The Daily Telegraph, Jul 30, 2003
- Laing, Gordon. “Microbee.” Personal Computer World, October 2005.
- Laing, Gordon. “Secret of Project Granny Smith.” The Sydney Morning Herald, July 12, 2005.
- “MicroBee - A conversation with Owen Hill.” Youtube, uploaded by State of Electronics, Feb 9, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYNRcn9gg5A
- “Microbee - The Australian Educational Computer of the 80s.” Youtube, uploaded by The Centre for Computing History, Oct 26, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Mp52Gb3aDs
- Tatnall, Arthur and Leonard, Ralph. “Purpose-Built Educational Computers in the 1980s: The Australian Experience.” IFIP WG 9.7 International Conference on History of Computing (HC) / Held as Part of World Computer Congress (WCC), Sep 2010, Brisbane, Australia. pp.101-111
- Tatnall, Arthur. “The Australian Educational Computer That Never Was.” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Volume 35, Number 1, January–March 2013, pp. 35-47
- Tatnall, Arthur. “The Beginnings of Government Support for Computers in Schools – The State Computer Education Centre of Victoria in the 1980s.” 12th IFIP International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (HCC), Sep 2016, Salford, United Kingdom. pp.291-302