The things it could do were almost beyond imagination. It could justify type (this may not sound much but for some of my publications I used to do this manually by typing a piece, counting how many extra spaces would need to be added to each line to make the right-hand edge straight, and then re-typing the piece with the spaces in). It could construct crude pictures by putting together a complex pattern of the letter "x". It could play music, and - with the addition of a little programme - it could talk. It could play wondrous games such as "Elite", "Space Invaders" and the glorious "Mr Ed" (which I still occasionally dream about). You could programme it (actually you had to programme it because it could do nothing by itself). Within a few hours of it coming into my life I had taught it to type "Good Morning Alan" when I switched it on. The book said that you could teach it to use "morning", "afternoon" or "evening" as appropriate, but I never progressed that far.
My Beeb and I lived together for two or three years until I fell for an Amstrad 1512. This was newer, more powerful, more serious ....... but it wasn't the same. If you asked me to was lyrical over an Amstrad I couldn't. These thoughts and memories were brought into focus this morning by a leader in the Guardian entitled "in praise of the BBC Micro". It came as a bit of a shock to discover that others had experienced love affairs with the same Beeb. But I am not jealous. I am reminded of those lines from Cohen's "Sisters of Mercy"
My Beeb is packed away in the loft space. I have not visited it for many years. But I will search it out and boot it up again. As they say, "first loves never die".