A notable death (17 Sep, 2021)

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A notable death (17 Sep, 2021)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:10 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2021/0917.shtml

As Bones from Star Trek would say "he's dead Jim"!

Does the death of Sir Clive Sinclair really mark the end of the era where one man could single-handedly develop products that change the world?

The Cambridge Scientific Calculator along with the ZX80 and 81 computers really were world-changing devices for millions. Can you think of a modern-day equivalent, where a single man actually built the hardware and cut the code to make a device that has the same effect today?

Or are we now in the era of Musk and Bezos, where it takes an entire corporation to produce anything as earth-shattering?

And what were your experiences of Sir Clive's products? Are you still using your C5 to nip down the shops on Sunday and grab a loaf of bread?
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Re: A notable death (17 Sep, 2021)

Postby Hiro Protagonist » Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:23 am

I had one of these: http://www.vintagecalculators.com/html/wrist_calculator.html

Unfortunately the rather flimsy case, coupled with the stack of button cells for power and the membrane keyboard meant it was rather unreliable.

Big bux now if you still have one.
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Re: A notable death (17 Sep, 2021)

Postby GSVNoFixedAbode » Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:00 am

I remember drooling over the ZX80 then 81 when they were first advertised many years ago - but they were in the UK, and the thought of trying to buy & ship to NZ was way too high a barrier. Then came the ZX Spectrum - probably Sinclair's most successful micro. By the time I was ready to plonk down the mega$ for a unit the BBC B was available locally as a better choice, but the Spectrum did tempt me for a while.
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Re: A notable death (17 Sep, 2021)

Postby namartinnz » Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:10 am

I owned a Sinclair Spectrum for a number of years, what an awesome little machine. I had the 16KB version, eventually plonking down $400 (about $1300 in today's money) to upgrade to the full 48KB. Eventually the membrane under the rubber keypad failed and I went to an IBM PC clone when doing my Electrical Engineering degree in the 80s. I remember buying an addon joystick interface to use a joystick, the amount of 3rd party addons was amazing.

RIP Clive Sinclair
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