Office 2.0

We were still working from my living room. Not unusual in the IT sector during the 1980s. The headquarters of a ‘major’ home computing peripheral supplier was actually a terraced house. Our camera supplier, Josh Caplin, also operated from home. There were PDP 11s and even flow solder machines set up in lounges across Britain. My house was based on an upside-down design, with the living room on the first floor to take advantage of the view across open countryside. This meant customers had to walk through the house, negotiating children’s toys spread across the hall, and up the stairs. Then they arrived in Digithurst’s reception, which was also the main office and demonstration room.

Agricultural researchers used our equipment to monitor crop damage. A company called Skye Instruments asked us to produce a software package for the BBC Model B, which would measure mould and insect damage on leaf crops. As Stephen was fully occupied working on Sirius-based image processing applications, I wrote a stripped-down version of MicroScale for the BBC Model B. When complete, this software was resold exclusively by Skye Instruments. Although sales to the agricultural sector dried up following Skye’s launch of its leaf and root measuring system, revenue from the first of our many OEMs more than made up for it. Luckily, our pricing structure supported a distribution and dealer network – something competitors, stuck with those with sub £100 products, missed out on ...


... (An extract from The Ghost in the Labyrinth by Peter Kruger)


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