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Hey Hey 16K
What does that get you today?
You need more than that for a letter
Old skool ram packs are much better...

Cult flash video/geek anthem/indie pop song/meme-virus created by Rob Manuel and the band MJ Hibbett & The Validators, celebrating the early days of personal computing when 64K was more than you'd ever need and programs came on sheets of paper instead of CDs.

http://www2.b3ta.com/heyhey16k/

Geeky lo-fi pub songs may well be MJ Hibbett's signature style. The video's not great, but I love the song. It has a sweet, pick-me-up tune that reminds me of Simon & Garfunkel's Mrs. Robinson and nostalgic, it's funny cuz it's true lyrics like the opening refrain "We bought it to help with your homework! And the household accounts... if your dad ever works it all out" and "The games you get today well they might be very flash, but they'll never beat the thrill of getting through Jetpac". (Never mind that that doesn't really rhyme. It's a catchy little song.)

Here are the full lyrics to it: (posted with expressed permission)

       We bought it to help with your homework
       We bought it to help with your homework
       And the household accounts
       If your dad ever works it all out

       lunchtimes in the library
       writing down the pokes and peeks
       copying an access code,
       get a taste for home taping
       Fetishists of map-making

       Rotten leads and rubber keys,
       rand and run and loading screens
       Then five minutes fingers crossed
       hoping not to witness the terror
       of R: Tape Loading Error

       We bought it to help with your homework
       We bought it to help with your homework
       And the household accounts
       If your dad ever works it all out

       ZX Spectrum 81!
       Dragon Vic and Oric-1!
       Commodore 64!
       Amstrad and
       an Acorn Electron
       cheaper BBC Micro

       Jet Set Willy! Sabre Wulf!
       Lords of Midnight! Underwurlde!
       Dark Star, Transam, Ant Attack!
       and of course, Manic Miner
       The Hobbit and Knight Lore and Elite

       It made a generation who can code
       A bubble before proper consoles,
       who all know
       That the games you get today
       well they might be very flash
       But there'll never beat the thrill
       of getting through Jetpac

       Hey Hey 16K!
       What does that get you today?
       You need more than that for a letter
       Old skool rampaks are much better.

       Personal Computer Games,
       Your Sinclair, 16K,
       Kempston Competition Pro,
       Crash and Cursor keys and GOTO Dixons
       and bother Saturday staff with loops that don't end 1

       We bought it to help with your homework
       We bought it to help with your homework
       And the household accounts
       If your dad ever works it all out

       Hey Hey 16K!
       What does that get you today?
       You need more than that for a letter
       Old skool rampaks are much better. (x2)

       For n=0 to 2
       those were the days
       next n

       (c) MJ Hibbett/Wipe Out Music 2003

(I'm a little amazed at how many of these hardlinks lead to quality nodes. I'm guessing there's more than a few Speccy and C64 kids among your fellow noders...)

All told, the video doesn't seem to have made such a wide splash as other cult Flash films such as the notorious All Your Base Are Belong To Us, or badgers badgers badgers... or The Terrible Secret of Space, &c., probably because it lacks quite the same "production values" (if you can call it that). It mostly features a still-photo family portrait (plus, at one point, the disembodied head of Clive Sinclair!) animated so that the jaws move up and down like marionettes, intercut with screens from the classic games in action.

Personally I recommend the mp3, at: http://www.mjhibbett.net/h16k.mp3 2. Revel in the irony of listening to a 3MB song about the 16K era on your 40GB mp3 player. Super-rad Hey Hey 16K tee shirts emblazoned with the full lyrics of the song are also available from the British e-zine NTK, at: http://www.ntkmart.co.uk/ntkmart.cgi

* * *

Afterthought: Wow does this ever sound like a paid advertisement. Shite. This song has infected my brain.


1 - note: this verse was not included in the flash film version of the song.

2 - this is the "internet single" version. There is a second version of the song (minus the nostalgicly significant, but rather annoying ZX81 loading noise at the beginning) hosted at: http://www.daveg.dial.pipex.com/HeyHey16K.mp3

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