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Sir Clive Sinclair, one of the most influential people in bringing computers to the masses, has passed away on September 16th aged 81 Reported by the Guardian, his daughter Belinda came to the press announcing his death in his apartment in London. Cause of death is a long illness.
He was best known for the 8-bit computer he released in 1982, the ZX Spectrum. It was priced at 125-175 pounds at release in the UK, and sold over 5 million units worldwide. It was one of the first home computers in the UK, similar to what happened in the US with the Commodore 64. Powered by the Zilog Z80, a 3.5mhz CPU based off the NEC D780C1. Featuring a massive upgrade compared to the ZX81, it used a color screen instead of the black/white display of it’s predecessor. It had many variations including:
ZX Spectrum 16K/48K
ZX Spectrum 128
ZX Spectrum +2
ZX Spectrum +2A
ZX Spectrum +3
ZX Spectrum +2B/+3B
It was also cloned both officially and unofficially. The official clones included:
Timex Sinclair 2068 (TS2068)
Cambridge Computer Z88
Timex Computer 2048/2068
Unofficial clones of it also existed, mainly produced in countries like Romania and the USSR, examples of this are:
MGT Sam Coupé
Some of these did have differences like using CP/M or having a 5.25/3.5″ floppy disk, but can visually and technically be seen as clones.
Still Influential Today
The PC was revolutionary for it’s time, as it featured many things we consider standard. Ranging from databases, a word processor, spreadsheets, drawing, to even 3D modelling and games. It mainly used cassettes for software, using a simple recorder to play files with.
And this all is just one example of how Sir Clive Sinclair has brought PCs to the masses. Ironically he never used computers much himself, carrying a slide-rule with him instead of a pocket calculator.
We wish his family and everyone close to him our condolences.