Tuesday 31st January 1984

Chairing a micro-computer industry BMMG breakfast meeting before meeting top level DTI micro policy makers and agreeing the goal of us proposing and then them financing standardisation for Local Area Networks before an afternoon off researching family history as the Times and GCHQ disputes drag on.

An exceptionally early start and to catch the 6.57 train from St Neots to London. By tube to The St Ermine’s Hotel and to chair a two hour breakfast meeting of the BMMG. A hectic agenda with much to review and decide. We agree to hold the exploratory talks with UKITO and much else besides. With haste and late to the DTI for a meeting with John Foote IT Technical Committee and Secretary of FOCUS, Di Davis IT Standards and Manager of the LAN Unit ( on secondment from BT), Andrew Gillee IT Technical Unit who works for John Foote, Bander Keep who works for Tony Keston and Keston’s Boss Andrew Dogood who has taken over from Bill Wigglesworth. A very senior and influential group. We talk long for two hours and agree the advisability and necessity of creating and standardising low cost Local Area Networks for Microcomputers. It seems that if the BMMG propose a standard and work on a specification, the DTI will provide a deal of finance.

Monday 30th January 1984

Between organising the EXPORT IT conference and re-organising the Comart Company Sales department, sometime this afternoon planning the defence of  a County Court Writ and late afternoon being briefed on the Byte Shop Review and planning the recruitment of an experienced company accountant before home to a domestic argument

On time to the office and straight to my full action list of items for today. A tough day as a result with much tension for the girls but a productive one nevertheless. First to telephone my speakers for the EXPORT IT Conference and secure their services, then to dictate a range of correspondence before reviewing the burgeoning Monday post as usual. By 11.00am to press for the sales department job specs to be typed and then to call up David Fear and review the new management structure and agree the changes.

Sunday 29th January 1984

Catching up day domestically and playing with Debbie and Daniel before I turn to planning the week ahead as Reagan seeks US Presidential re-election and The Times suffers from union action and Ireland simmers from Bloody Sunday commemorations

A slight lay in today and chance to read further The Economist and Sunday Times colour magazine (the paper not appearing today) before writing up yesterday’s journal. My customary Sunday breakfast of fried egg, bacon, mushrooms and bread which I thoroughly enjoyed. A morning cleaning out the ducks and then washing and vacuuming the car, removing straw from both! (I have been ferrying bales of straw in the boot recently). Then to watch television before lunch. The Weekend World had Len Murray, the Director General of the TUC, being interviewed about the future now that such events as the GCHQ ban had taken place. A good lunch and then after to make a start on my business work.

Saturday 28th January 1984

To Birmingham for a joint meeting with ACT directors, a Byte Shop supplier, and then back to the factory to review operations as The Times Newspaper group lose publications due to more union action and marches are banned in Ireland commemorating Bloody Sunday

A poor night with Diana snoring and the milder weather making me feel hot and sleepless. I awake to Di’s early morning tea when I could have used a lay in as well. No Times today as the NGA dispute continues so I scan The Economist before getting up. After breakfast, I make up my accounts and write Diana’s cheque. Then off by car to Birmingham to attend the Byte Shop/ACT ‘love in’ and lunch with the ACT Directors Peter Davies, David Hickman (ACT UK Ltd) David Tampey (ACT Computer Maintenance Ltd) and Brian Androlia, Barry Hughes and Peter Fornby (ACT Pulsar Ltd). Much discussion informally of future plans, standards and business news from which I learn that ACT is quite a close-coupled group with computer plans to introduce both low end and high end products. Also that their service policies are quite oriented to favour themselves and software distribution plans quite unsympathetic to Xitan. Nevertheless a good supplier to the Byte Shop for 1984 and a nice bunch of chaps who I shall undoubtedly cooperate with in future.

Friday 27th January 1984

Day writing up the Byte Shop Review Minutes and then an interview with the Informatics journalist before getting Rex White to stay with the company and the final DHSS tender preparation and then home for a an early night with the kids as river levels rise

Early to the office and much of the day attempting to write up the Byte Shop Review minutes from yesterday (I eventually succeeded in mid-afternoon). First this morning to the mail and then an interview with Informatics that lasted until nearly lunchtime. This afternoon a meeting with Rex White where at last I obtained his agreement to stay with us. Much ado at the office today as all the company secretaries were together on a wordstar/mail merge training course and also the final days preparation for the DHSS preliminary tender.