As so much technology is forgotten once it is superseded, this is a celebration of machines, industrial design and techno-utopianism of an era in the not-so-distant past. Conceived as a visual sourcebook of the most popular, most powerful and most idiosyncratic computers to grace our workspaces, this timely publication offers a reflection on how far we’ve come and a nostalgic look at a time when digital worlds could be contained in a box and turned off, rather than ever-present in our lives.
Home Computers opens with a scene-setting retrospective by computer and gaming writer Alex Wiltshire. The book’s heart is a series of specially commissioned photographs that capture details of switches and early user-interface design, letterforms and logos, and the quirks that set one computer off from another. Images are complemented by a potted history of each device, the inventors or personalities behind it, and its innovations and influences.