Sinclair

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Found some interesting videos about my first home computer on YouTube 🙂 It was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K. My mother bought it for me around 1983 in England and smuggled it in her handbag to Poland – through the airport control – LOL – impossible today but seems it has not been a problem in 1983. Maybe the customs officials back then in Poland didn’t know how a home computer looks like and thought it’s a toy or something. Not sure. 😀

General overview & history – really worth watching:

An improved version of the Spectrum came out later. To be frankly I liked the rubber keyboard but every other computer had a plastic keyboard so everyone thought that the Spectrum also had to get one. The TV-ad for it rocks FTW.

Of course people from the demo scene (kind of underground computer-art scene – http://demoscene.info/index.en.html) are doing crazy things on this old ZX Spectrum hardware! Just watch! They use partly the Russian Spectrum clones Pentagon and Scorpion for the demos (see images below).

pentback

pentfront

Source: http://www.interface1.net/zx/clones/pentagon128.html

Documentary about Spectrum nostalgia in Russia where the computer was very popular as well:

After the phenomenal success of the Spectrum home computer Sinclair lost the lead in the market. Commodore, Atari & Amstrad started to rule the market and Sinclair never really recovered.  The company tried the “turnaround” on the semi-professional computer market with the QL and failed. Other companies like Amstrad took that segment with the CPC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amstrad_CPC). In 1986 the company sold its entire computer product range and the “Sinclair” brand name to Amstrad. Quite a sad story and every company today should be warned not to go a similar way. Sinclair never released the Amiga-Killer codenamed Loki.

Loki: this project was an enhanced ZX Spectrum intended to rival the Commodore Amiga. Loki was to have a 7 MHz Z80H CPU, 128 KiB of RAM and two custom chips providing much enhanced graphics and audio capabilities. After the Amstrad buy-out in 1986, two engineers who had worked on the project, John Mathieson and Martin Brennan, founded Flare Technology to continue their work.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_Research_Ltd

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ZX Spectrum 48K photo by Martin O’Connell

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