Computer book acquired

Some 8 years ago I asked the Internet for help finding a computing book I bought at the beginning of the nineteen eighties – over forty years ago. (I’m spelling those numbers longhand because it’s an age ago and that needs appropriate emphasis). Now I’ll always regret letting it go because it set a foundation of understanding, of a love of things of computing that continues to this day. This weekend, after a chance conversation on Mastodon’s instance, I found it again.

It’s ‘The Good Computing Book for Beginners‘ by Dennis Jarrett, the link goes to the second edition – available for loan from The Internet Archive. Not only that but there’s a copy of the second first! edition of the book available on eBay UK. Or there was, I bought it!

From the preface of that second edition it turns out that I bought one of the 30,000 copies of the first edition. It’s pleasing to recall my memories of the book are relatively accurate: it has a predominantly orange cover, a computer keyboard on the front, and a longer version of the most important thing I remember, mentioned in the 2014 blog post, a key phrase something like “computers are fast rule following idiots”. It’s not quite as US-centric as I recall but maybe that’s because it’s been updated to reflect the start of the UK’s early-eighties home computing boom.

Thanks @mdhughes, your tip proved absolutely invaluable!