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Sir Clive Sinclair

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Sandyn

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Was very sad to hear of the death of Clive Sinclair. He was way ahead of his time. I had a QL, could never afford any of his earlier computers. It was a brilliant machine. Still got it somewhere in the house. The clicky calculator, his watch and of course the C5 Electric vehicle, all well ahead of their time. The C5 was a bit of a flop, but it was 35 years ago and look what we have flying about the streets and pavements now.
 

J-G

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I had a QL
I'd actually forgotten the QL - yes good but 'quirky' - tape drive ???

When I left a management post in the late 60's my staff bought me the Sinclair Scientific Calculator - just over £50's worth :(
 

DIYTinkerer

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I'd actually forgotten the QL - yes good but 'quirky' - tape drive ???
It was a 'microdrive' I had a Spectrum, Specky 128+ and a quirky 'Merlin Tonto', it had an integrated microdrives, phone and modem - I think it even had a ROM cartridge with productivity software on it, it was based on the QL. '
 

Sandyn

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It was a 'microdrive'
yes, the microdrive. If I remember correctly it used video quality tape to get the recording density higher than audio tape. The microdrive was actually very reliable. The QL came with an excellent office suite done by Psion. I was an expert Lotus 123 user at the time, but the QL spreadsheet had some really good features. I wrote a printer driver for the QL so I could print graphics. It worked, but not what you would say high resolution, lol.
 

sploo

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Started with a 48k+. Many good memories of "Lego" like low resolution graphics, colour clash, and terrible sound :)

Barring a bit of time on a school RM Link 380Z, that Speccy basically started my career in software engineering.
 

dzj

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I had a Spectrum 48K. The year I was discharged from National Service.
Spent the whole summer playing pirated games on cassettes .
J, Shift PP. That's how you load a game. :)
 

Sandyn

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When I left a management post in the late 60's my staff bought me the Sinclair Scientific Calculator - just over £50's worth :(
click, click click, click click click, click, click click click, click click click, click
sinclair.JPG
 

Droogs

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My first computer was a ZX80. Mum (she being a computer programmer since the 60s) bought it for Christmas 1979, it came in a poly bag in bits and had a photo copy of hand written assembly instructions. My parents didn't see me again until around the 5th of Jan 1980. I loved that machine. the start of a very slippery slope that lead to a great life of adventure and excitement combining being a nerd, that Jones boy and Richard Sharpe all rolled into one. Fantastic. Hopefully my FIL (who died on Monday) isn't giving him a lot of earache wherever they are :censored:.
 

J-G

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It was a 'microdrive'
Yes, the Microdrive was an 'endless loop' tape system.

I remember selling ZX 80, 81 & Spectrums and having between 20 & 25% failure rate. The introduction of the Amstrad 464 was a revallation with less than 2% faulty. I didn't sell many QLs (less than 20) since at £399 they were 'expensive'.
 

JobandKnock

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I had a Sinclair digital watch when they came out. Ridiculously expensive and didn't keep time. Neither did the replacement one, nor the one after that, so I paid some more and got a Sinclair calculator, which also didn't last...
 

slavedata

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Sinclair, especially in his early days, was very good at buying cheap electronics and marketing it well. His early integrated circuit amplifiers were Plessey rejects hand tested as just about working and then sold on with a glossy Sinclair labels stuck over the Plessey type no and reject stamp. The early audio systems were hand soldered on kitchen tables by out workers all over the Cambridgeshire Fens.

His real legacy was getting so many youngsters to understand programming and assembler playing for hours on their affordable Speckys. They then went on to successful careers in the computer industry.
 

Keith Cocker

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I remember I had one with a membrane keyboard and then graduated to one with wobbly rubber keys. Sinclair seemed a much nicer man than Sugar.
 

Stuart Moffat

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I’m a fan of Sinclair, but I was living very close to Ally Pally when the C5 was launched there. Me and my mates all went for a go round the indoor track. It felt a bit like a fairground ride, say, dodgems but not allowed to crash. An obvious flop. None of us would have taken it onto the streets of north London.
 

J-G

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I remember I had one with a membrane keyboard and then graduated to one with wobbly rubber keys.
The most famous 'Wobbly' was the Ram-Pack !! Caused me all manner of 'after sales' problems when the customer had lost a whole evenings programming in a split second after 'nudging' it.
 

slavedata

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Alan Michael Sugar (Amstrad Trading) started off selling TV aerials out of a van on Romford market. He then cottoned on to Dixons (just down the road was the first shop) master plan of getting electronics built cheap in Hong Kong and bringing it in to the UK with his own brand on it. He was always a down the market sort of guy whilst Clive Sinclair was a highly intelligent man with an understanding of Electronics , branding and marketing.
 

slavedata

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The most famous 'Wobbly' was the Ram-Pack !! Caused me all manner of 'after sales' problems when the customer had lost a whole evenings programming in a split second after 'nudging' it.
We used to sell Specky accessories when I ran Byteshop Computerland in Nottingham. One of the best sellers was a stand bracket for the Ram pack to solve the crash problem.
 

J-G

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Alan Michael Sugar (Amstrad Trading) started off selling TV aerials out of a van on Romford market. He then cottoned on to Dixons (just down the road was the first shop) master plan of getting electronics built cheap in Hong Kong and bringing it in to the UK with his own brand on it. He was always a down the market sort of guy whilst Clive Sinclair was a highly intelligent man with an understanding of Electronics , branding and marketing.
I would argue that Sugar is vastly superior at branding & marketing and employed vastly more capable 'Electronics' engineers who developed his (and their) ideas - notably, Roland Perry - in the UK but naturally getting the product mass produced in the far east - mostly Malaysia.

AMSTRAD is a contraction of Alan Michael Sugar Trading - not Amstrad Trading - and he initially sold various electrical parts including Car Radios & Hi-Fi as well as TV aerials.
 

ian33a

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I had my name down for a black watch but delays and more delays, if I remember correctly, caused me to cancel it. I bought an LED watch on the high street in the end.

I never went down the ZX route, instead, BBC Micro. It paved my way into electronics and my degree project used one as the central controller and processor, mathematical ability laughable by today's standard, but it was 1983. A career in the semiconductor industry followed.

Things were so different back then, electronic innovation was really simple and relatively inexpensive. These days you either need a few million in the bank as seed money or an angel investor/venture capitalist in the wings to play at even the medium sized tables.
 

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