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Thread: RIP Sir Clive Sinclair.

  1. #1

    RIP Sir Clive Sinclair.

    Sad news - sure a lot of us got into computers via a zx

  2. #2
    Master
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    An utter legend who game me many happy memories with a ZX and learning to programme with it. RIP & thanks for the years of fun you gave to so many kids.


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  3. #3
    I 'got' into pocket calculators by being awarded an Executive 1 by my first employer in my first year of employment, I couldn't imagine that any calculator could be more smaller or more cooler than that calculator!

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  4. #4
    RIP Sir Clive. I really wished if I had learnt programming on the Spectrum or the C64 in the 80s.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Very sad news. I was inseparable from my ZX-81 forty years ago. I used to spend long hours coding on it until I got my BBC Micro a year or two later. And without that early experience I doubt I'd have pursued a career as an IT specialist. I didn't even touch a computer at school.

    i used to read all the computer mags in the late '70s and early '80s and Sir Clive was a regular feature.

    About ten years ago the BBC made a dramatised account of the early days of the home computer, called The Micro Men. Sir Clive was played by Alexander Armstrong.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p004mzh5

  6. #6
    Master Rinaldo1711's Avatar
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    RIP - the ZX was my gateway many many years ago.

  7. #7
    Master Caruso's Avatar
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    A Spectrum was my first computer and I spent many happy hours playing and experimenting with it.

  8. #8
    Sad to hear this, never bothered with computers but bought a Grey Watch, created a lot of interest but really dreadful compared to a cheap mechanical watch. But, enjoyed it, while it lasted.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Really sad news, still remember getting my ZX81 at WH Smith. The world needs a whole lot more Clive Sinclair types. Way ahead of his time.

  10. #10
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    My first computer (ZX81) and my first self build LED watch.

    RIP Sir Clive.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  11. #11
    Master
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    Sad news-from another (former) ZX owner.

  12. #12
    Master W124's Avatar
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    I clearly recall receiving a Black Watch kit for christmas 1976 - as I teenager, I had a passion for taking electrical items to pieces, to see how they work.

    The Black Watch was so cool, the start of the January 1977 school term was divided in to those that had the Sinclair watch, and thiose that didn't.

    I think it's still in a shoebox, somewhere in the loft !

  13. #13
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    Ah, sad to hear this.
    Dave E

    Skating away on the thin ice of a new day

  14. #14
    RIP Sir CLive.
    I too enjoyed the ZX81, and every incarnation of the ZX Spectrum that followed.

    They don't make 'em like they used to.

  15. #15
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Sad news. A great British inventor.
    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  16. #16
    RIP Sir Clive. He had a fantastic colourful private life. Really wanted one of his mini TV's when I was young but couldn't afford one.

  17. #17
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    I met him a few times through Mensa (he was active in the organisation and President), he was without doubt a bit of a one-off, and he was always interesting to listen to. RIP.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  18. #18
    Craftsman
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    RIP indeed. Proper British Boffin with a pretty racy private life. Used a Sinclair Cambridge back in the day. Will raise a glass tonight in his memory.
    Last edited by tswatch66; 17th September 2021 at 09:15.

  19. #19
    Craftsman
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    Many happy hours in my youth were spent playing manic miner and atic atac on my ZX Spectrum. Loading games from tapes, I was trying to explain this to my kids recently and I was marvelling how things have advanced since my first computer. Much credit must go to sir Clive who was a visionary.

  20. #20
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    I'm not sure the ZX80/81 were really that great, but they certainly introduced a lot of people to computers.

    As a newly employed Trainee Programmer, I felt I should have one and programmed it with a skiing game of my own design, but other than that it has sat languishing unused for many decades.

    He was, undoubtedly, a bright chap, but some of his schemes (the C5?) seemed more madcap than practical or finanicially prudent.

    M
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  21. #21
    Journeyman
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    RIP Sir Clive, a true Brit tech pioneer. I am another one who was introduced to programming on the ZX81. Spent way too much time on Football manager on the Spectrum

  22. #22
    Master
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    Old programmers with a sentimental / nostalgic bent may find this of interest: an online ZX-81 simulator.

    http://www.zx81stuff.org.uk/zx81/jtyone.html

    Just knocked out a quick FOR loop. Works nicely.

  23. #23
    Master petethegeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogroover View Post
    Old programmers with a sentimental / nostalgic bent may find this of interest: an online ZX-81 simulator.
    Real (old) programmers on the other hand use a Science of Cambridge MK14.

    http://www.dougrice.plus.com/dev/seg_mk14.htm

  24. #24
    Master jimp's Avatar
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    Worked in Upton's department store when the zx came out, we couldn't get them quick enough, then the Quantum Leap, ohhh.

  25. #25
    What Quantum Leap?

  26. #26
    Master robcuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony-GB View Post
    RIP Sir Clive. He had a fantastic colourful private life. Really wanted one of his mini TV's when I was young but couldn't afford one.
    These were powered by the batteries in a Polaroid film pack!

    Back in the late 80s We used to take passport photos with a special Polaroid camera , we would have several gents who would come in every week or so asking for the empty film cartridges so they could take the battery pack out

  27. #27
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventura View Post
    What Quantum Leap?
    Sinclair QL was a higher end machine aimed more at the business user. It didn’t sell very well though.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  28. #28
    Ah, I see. I think I went to the Commodore 128. Should've waited and got an Amiga :)

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by petethegeek View Post
    Real (old) programmers on the other hand use a Science of Cambridge MK14.

    http://www.dougrice.plus.com/dev/seg_mk14.htm
    Real programmers of any age don't eat quiche.

  30. #30
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    I mostly went the Commodore route 64, then 128, then Amiga.

    The Amiga was just a fabulous machine.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  31. #31
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    My first computer was a Spectrum +3 (I think it was called) it had proprietary 3 inch disks.
    I remember my entire family all sitting in my bedroom (grandparents included) on Christmas Day (the day I got it) playing ‘sport of kings’ actually taking real bets based on the odds the game gave.
    Weekends were spend going to WH Smith buying games with my pocket money.

    He always sounded like a true English boffin in the press, a bit before my time but actually before everyone else’s as well.

  32. #32
    Craftsman
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    RIP Sir Clive Sinclair.

    Remember in the 80s getting the ZX81 for Christmas and spending many an HR programming. Upgraded to a spectrum with the inbuilt tap!

    Still got a ZX81 in the loft with games, think I will dig it out this weekend.

  33. #33
    Craftsman Barry's Avatar
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    RIP

    A man of many firsts, and introduced many to something that was so new and interesting, they came with 1k of memory and you could extend to 16k (it wobbled in the port and you would lose all your work)🙂

  34. #34
    Craftsman
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    I think one of his more impressive and genuinely useful machines was the excellent Z88 laptop computer. One of the very few (if any) computers that would still be useful today.

  35. #35
    Master
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    I dug an old copy of Personal Computer World out from a bookcase earlier; there's an interview with Sir Clive, from October 1990. He talks about his forthcoming bicycle product, which sadly didn't do much better than the C5.

    "Bicycles are not particularly light and not particularly easy to fold. The lightest bike today weighs about 20lbs (9kg). No portable computer is as light as that and it's an interesting point that the lightest bikes have weighed 20lbs for a hundred years. The reason is that they are fundamentally metal"

    Of his own design he says:

    "The fact that it's Green is purely incidental. When I thought of it I thought of it as something to do, but I'm influenced by the Green movement rather than an influencer of it."

    "The interest in electric cars? Really, it's hard to know. I mean, one knows how one rationalises things. I suppose now, looking back, I see electric cars as imperative because you can't go on pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."

    Quite prescient for 31 years ago.

    In the same edition of the magazine: PC compatibles with 2MB RAM and a 40MB hard drive - yours for only £2000.

  36. #36
    From this week's popbitch....
    >> Grand theft <<
    How Dundee got the edge

    Clive Sinclair was credited with revolutionising home computing in the UK and kick-starting the British video games industry with the ZX Spectrum in the 1980s. But his influence was especially pronounced in Dundee, where Sinclair sub-contracted the Spectrum's manufacture to the city's watchmaking factory, Timex.

    At its peak, Timex was producing a new computer every four seconds – but not all of them made it to market. Some happened to find their way into the hands of light-fingered staff, who then moved them on cheap to their pals. This meant that, even with rampant unemployment elsewhere in the city, Dundee homes were still awash with Spectrums.

    With nothing much else to do during the dole-dependent early 80s, coding games really caught on and the city consequently became a massive video game development hub. One that would later give the world a multi-billion dollar crime-flavoured franchise in the form of... Grand Theft Auto.

  37. #37
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macdaddymac View Post
    Clive Sinclair was credited with revolutionising home computing in the UK and kick-starting the British video games industry with the ZX Spectrum in the 1980s. But his influence was especially pronounced in Dundee, where Sinclair sub-contracted the Spectrum's manufacture to the city's watchmaking factory, Timex.
    Timex also manufactured Sinclair products in the US, I clocked a Timex Sinclair 1000 at TNMOC at the weekend.




    They have a large collection of Sinclair exhibits to browse through, it's a great place for a reminisce about wobbly RAM packs, self-build calculator kits and some of the less well known innovations.

    Inform - Educate - Entertain

  38. #38
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curta View Post
    it's a great place for a reminisce about wobbly RAM packs
    I had a Memotech RAM pack for my ZX81. The Memotech RAM pack was an improvement over the Sinclair one since it was wider and came with a velcro sticker to help stabilise it against the XZ81 case.

    Despite this, RAM pack wobble was still a problem. On one occasion, I remember that my friend came over and touched the RAM pack, wiping out a massive program I had typed in. I was not happy with him. Bloody furious, actually.

    I never fully apologised to him for getting so cross. I regret that now. He died very suddenly a couple of years ago due an undiagnosed heart defect. I don't suppose he was overly fussed about my childhood temper from 30+ years ago but I do regret never really apologising to him.
    Last edited by markrlondon; 24th September 2021 at 03:30.

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