Just a few home computers dominated the 8-bit market. The Commodore 64 sold about 17 million units, the ZX Spectrum had over 24,000 software titles released, about 80% of British schools had a BBC microcomputer, and the Amstrad CPC sold about 3 million units.
With the sheer number of units sold, it is easy to pick up a second hand machine so that you can relieve your misspent youth, or see what all the craze was about. There are also open source emulators available for these machines. However, there were so many other home computers released in the 1980s that, whilst not commercial successes, are just as intriguing, in particular because most of the generation did not experience what they had to offer.