There’s a new book that’s in the crowdfunding stage that aims to tell the story of the golden age of old computers and retro games and consoles from the 1980s and 90s.

This is the era of the ZX Spectrum, the BBC Micro, the Vic 20, the Dragon, the Oric, the Sinclair QL, the Memotec MTX, to name just a handful of nostalgic names.

An era when computers came in a myriad of designs and styles, and each one was unique, whether it was the famous rubber keys of the Spectrum to the weird built-in joystick of the Enterprise Elan, to the cheese wedges of the Commodores and Memotecs.

This new book, 20 GOTO 10 is a book of numbers that describes the many facets of computing history, covering the hardware, software, and social history of the era showing how they’re linked through numbers, such as 48K, C90, and 35899.

It’s not a conventional page-turner of a book though.

Each entry in the book starts with a number, and by choosing a related number you’ll create a unique adventure through the book and into a web of forgotten geek lore and incredible facts. With luck, you’ll find a way to arrive at the number used to grant infinite lives in Jet Set Willy.

As a crowdfunded book, you can buy a copy in advance, and when the author hits the fundraising target, the book goes into print and you receive your copy.

It’s currently three-quarters funded, and you can order a signed copy here.

The book includes:

Linked entries let you choose-your-own path through computing history.

A computer personality Rorschach test, cunningly disguised as a dot-to-dot puzzle.

Infographics about computing history according to the facts (and the best machines, according to the readers).

Deep technical wizardry about cassette tapes, computer-generated sound, and how blu-tack saved the sanity of the Sinclair generation.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.


This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

Home >> News >> Books