Goodbye Sir Clive Sinclair, the father of the ZX Spectrum has died

Sir Clive Sinclair died at the age of 70 years , after a long illness. British, belonged to that kind of visionary inventors and entrepreneurs who, close to the years’ 80 of the last century had intuited that computers had to reach consumers’ homes at an extremely low price . He therefore contributed to laying the foundations for the so-called home computing , the democratization of access to a computer tool that at the time was seen by the masses as a still futuristic and expensive object.

In 1979 concretely laid the foundations of the project by presenting the ZX 80 , with the aim of creating the cheapest desktop computer possible. In the assembled version it was marketed only 99 pounds (the kit version to assemble cost 20 pounds less. Lots of compromises – for example the keyboard was membrane, the screen chip and the compute chip were a whole – but the sales data testified to the success of the intuition: 70. 000 pieces sold in less than a year and beyond 100.000 at the end of August 1981 , when the computer went out of production to make way for its successor, the ZX 81.

But for many IT enthusiasts a, the name of Sinclair is linked to another iconic home computer, the ZX Spectrum, which also had a large following in our country. The diatribes between ZX Spectrum and Commodore users were epic at the time 64, his nemesis as well as another piece of computing history and another pillar of home computing. But decades later, the tension has dissolved and the memory of a pioneering era of consumer technology remains, which also owes a great deal to Sir Clive Sinclair.


If the ZX Spectrum is Sir Sinclair’s best-known creation – the title of knight was attributed to him in 1983 after the successes obtained in the IT market – it is right to mention other important ones products and insights. Before computers, in the early years’ 70 Sinclair devoted himself to creating a series of portable calculators , but in his career he explored – well in advance on timing – the possibility of marketing vehicles for electric mobility .

The project materialized in Sinclair C5 , a battery electric vehicle sold in the UK in the mid-1960s 80. It was a kind of pedal tricycle, assisted by an electric motor from 250 W. Too far ahead of its time – even from a design point of view – of the 12. 000 pieces produced were sold 8. . And to think that today electric mobility is the future of transport.

So many goals for Clive Sinclair who left school in 17 years, and then worked for four years as a journalist, with the aim of raising funds to found Sinclair Radionics in 1961, the company was dedicated to the production of Hi-Fi equipment. Now its name is inextricably linked to the history of computing and the 8-bit era.

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