I was a special projects
manager for Currys (the retail group before they joined Dixons), back in
My brief was to launch Atari Computers onto the high street. Our main
working partners were Geoff & Ann Brown (Centresoft), Mike at Calisto
Computers, Derek Moon (Marketing guru who put the proposal to Currys
main board) and Dave Clarke, who oversaw the operation from Birmingham's
One of the ways to get computer awareness to the masses was to hold
open evenings or weekends (to demonstrate the complexity of 1k of RAM
I proposed that we start a user group in the Birmingham area, and
looked around for suitable premises. I came across the pub in the Bull
Ring and rented the upstairs room (I think initially once or twice a
Our first main enthusiast was the programming manager from Sperry
Univac who was fascinated by the operation of the Atari 400. We then had
regulars coming in the Birmingham store - I think Steve Gould?,
Keith (beard & glasses), and a kid who looked like Jimmy Hendrix and
wore black contact lenses - and put up posters advertising the first
night, which had a massive turnout.
I then decided to start a newsletter/magazine for the Atari Users,
but due to being employed by Currys - and with the user group funded by
them also - it was deemed one sided to also be producing the magazine.
So, we formed a committee and Les said that he would like to do it, and
the rest is history.....