In 1979 Clive Sinclair, British inventor of the pocket calculator, frustrated by the lack of home investment in his project,the electric car, also opposes former assistant Chris Curry's ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Curry
Hermann Hauser
Steve Furber
Stefan Butler ...
Roger Wilson
Colin Michael Carmichael ...
Jim Westwood
Nigel Searle
Ann Sinclair
Anthony Smee ...
Norman Hewett
Michael Keating ...
Derek Holley
Bank Manager
Jon Glover ...
John Radcliffe
Sinclair Journalist


In 1979 Clive Sinclair, British inventor of the pocket calculator, frustrated by the lack of home investment in his project,the electric car, also opposes former assistant Chris Curry's belief that he can successfully market a micro-chip for a home computer. A parting of the ways sees Curry, in partnership with the Austrian Hermann Hauser and using whizz kid Cambridge students, set up his own, rival firm to Sinclair Radionics, Acorn. Acorn beat Sinclair to a lucrative contract supplying the BBC with machines for a computer series. From here on it is a battle for supremacy to gain the upper hand in the domestic market. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Biography | Drama

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Release Date:

8 October 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Syntax Era  »

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Did You Know?


Sophie Wilson has a cameo role as the landlady of the pub. See more »


After Clive Sinclair storms off in anger that he will only be remembered for "Jet Set f***ing Willy", Nigel Searle tells his colleague "My lad's on level 7". Jet Set Willy does not have levels - it takes place on a single game map. (And Nigel Searle did not have a "lad.") See more »


[after the Enterprise Board have withdrawn funding for his latest project, Clive Sinclair is ranting and raving, and swearing at anyone in range. An engineer leaves his office, clutching a circuit board, after being ordered to "Just get it working". Sinclair continues to rant]
Chris Curry: [to the engineer] I'll have a word with him.
[in the background, Clive Sinclair throws his telephone through his office window, scattering glass everywhere]
Chris Curry: Ah. Maybe later...
See more »


References Micro Live (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining Brit-Centric Fantasy
18 June 2014 | by See all my reviews

Micro Men is an interesting look at this early British microcomputer industry, but the viewer must always keep in mind that these events occurred in Britain's isolated, self-important microcosm, and had virtually no relevance to the real microcomputer industry as a whole. As with all British-produced programs dealing with computer history, Micro Men is hilariously Brit-centric, to the point of being fantasy. This self-delusion can even be seen in the IMDb summary for Micro Men, which refers to "Clive Sinclair, British inventor of the pocket calculator". Not only did Sinclair not invent the pocket calculator, but he didn't even invent his *own* pocket calculator, which used an American-made Texas Instruments single-chip calculator, similar to the chips used in many early TI hand-held and desktop calculators. Sinclair literally only invented the box that held the TI chip. This of course will set the tone for Britain's entire microcomputer industry -- inferior repackaging of technology from the United States and claiming it as their own, and then further exacerbating the delusion by making false claims of being 'first', 'best', 'most important', etc. Britain has an extensive history of grotesquely overstating their relevance in the computer industry, which stretches all the way back to World War II, and Micro Men is no exception to this behavior.

After watching Micro Men, you're left with the utterly erroneous impression that Sinclair and Acorn were on the verge of dominating the home computer industry, yet somehow let it slip through their fingers. Of course, the movie never really tells you *what* they did wrong, as that would require a direct confrontation of the fact that they were five years late to the party, and showed up with hardware which was vastly inferior to what was being produced in the United States and other countries. As England slowly escaped the early 1980s economic recession, Sinclair's $99 doorstops became progressively less appealing. Meanwhile, the computer and video game crash in the United States dragged American offerings down into the price range of Acorn's products, stripping Acorn of their only significant advantage.

When Sinclair and Acorn attempted to escape the economically protective confines of Great Britain, they were met with much-deserved scorn and ridicule. Quite simply, neither company ever had a chance of survival in an environment of global competition.

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