Chock-A-Block: early retrocomputing nostalgia from the UK

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I actually remember this, even though I would have been a toddler. Or maybe they re-ran it? Anyway it’s interesting because I’m pretty sure that my tiny kinderbrain didn’t register this as having anything to do with computers.

I mean, it has flashing lights and electronically modulated sound, but so did everything at that time. This is the kind of onscreen “computer” we got before anyone knew what it was like to interact with a computer: specifically, in a dramatic sense, they’re more like places than characters.

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Infinitely better when Fred Harris presented… Not because he was a man but because he could say “Chocabloke checking in” You know, IT’S ALMOST THE NAME OF THE PROGRAMME. While I was definitely too old for it, if I was off from school through illness, I always made a point of watching - any old computer in a storm.

If you want to further freak out the non-UK Boing Boing readers, “The Adventure Game” would be a good place.


Retro? There were thousands of installations with refrigerator-size reel tape drives back in 1981. I was working on a small mainframe system that used cassettes of 10 8" floppies for the nightly backup. Generally, companies didn’t dump their equipment for latest model, until they had gotten back their investment, and then some. So the computer equipment in general use, was easily 3 - 5 years behind whatever was the latest and greatest.

If you watched Mad Men, practically none of the cars, furniture, TVs, etc were from the year they were portraying,

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Reminds me of this internet classic!


I used to love Chock-A-Block! Happy times…

I definitely watched it mid- to late-80s so yeah, but then most kids’ shows are re-run.

Speaking of retrocomputing, the 11th East coast Vintage Computer Festival will be this coming weekend:

I remember it too (and I would’ve been 1 in '81) but hadn’t thought about it in over 30 years before seeing this video.

Those were some very dusty neurons firing into life there.

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