He Made The Most of the Micro

Another little piece of my childhood faded away this morning. According to the BBC News website, Ian McNaught-Davis (or “Mac” as he was often known), died recently, though I only saw it today.

It’s hard to understand, from this distance, just how much of a part he played in the lives of kids of the early 1980s, like me. He came to prominence first in The Computer Programme, then in its successors Making The Most of The Micro and Micro Live.. Here’s the first episode.

With first Chris Searle, then Fred Harris, Mac was pretty much the voice of the BBC’s computer literacy programmes. He was a fairly old school figure: a touch patrician and certainly a bit sniffy about gaming (as he showed in some later broadcasts). Superficially, he had the air of  the archetypical middle-aged, middle-class man in a suit, one would think. But in other ways he was rather surprising: he was rather more avuncular than he first appeared, with an occasionally dry (and sometimes mischievous) sense of humour. But above all, he was a communicator. And there many people now, like me and others of my age, whose formative experiences of computers and computing were forged by the work he did.

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