Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Alan Sugar

I bought a copy of 'What you see is what you get' Alan Sugar's autobiography...

This is a fascinating read, especially if you worked as an electronic engineer with televisions, hi-fi and me!

He talks about shops like 'Lasky's' and other shops on the Edgeware Rd in London. Places that I ordered stuff from in the 1970's. His mate the TV engineer that mended and modified old TV's and sold them on as a business. (sound familiar!) The 'valve pusher' and later the 'panel pusher'...I never got into this routine...fault find down to the component was my way! (Alan would have been proud of me!) Later, the famous Amstrad hi-fi (pretend) stack unit that took over our workshop like faulty daleks! The Amstrad TV...OMG...I hated them...when they went faulty, they took most of the switched mode power supply and line output altogether...I wouldn't touch one of these with a bargepole unless I had to!

Now the Amstrad 464 computer was ahead of it's time, but also had to compete with Sinclair...the Amstrad was quite reliable, I don't remember having to fix one (apart from cleaning the audio heads in the tape player) It had a wonderful proper keyboard and colourful as well! Then came the dedicated office word processor machine, which I didn't understand...tooo complicated, had a dedicated operating system and not flexible at all.

Now this one was good...PC arcitecture, full colour and software. I remember playing with this in the late 80's drawing colour pictures on screen. Twin disc drives and software to go with it...but expensive. I fixed a few of these at the time, mainly hard drives that were not yet reliable!

It's fantastic thinking back at the growth of technology in the 80's with Alan Sugar, Clive Sinclair and a few other guys (aka Acorn)

Alan Sugar - a shrewd business man, not a technical genious, but insiring!

Clive Sinclair - a technical genious, but not a shrewd business man and a bit ahead of his time!

I wonder who would be The Apprentice... Alan or Clive?
What you see is what get!

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