Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by callan, Sep 17, 2021.
So it's not just me. Come to think of it, I've never seen a ZX Spectrum in real life either...
I’ve seen and used the ZX80, ZX81 and Spectrum. They were quite popular as home computers back in the day.
The keyboards were as awful as they appear to be in photos. From memory, on the ZX80/81, you had to use all sorts of weird “shift and press key” combinations to enter BASIC key words - you didn’t simply type “PRINT”, like you would on any normal machine,
The membrane keyboards didn’t live long lives, so serious enthusiasts modded the machine to have a real keyboard. Both models came with a tiny amount of RAM - even by early 80s standards, so the 16K expansion pack was required. It was notorious for having a flaky connector, so any movement or vibration would cause the machine to crash.
Kudos to those inventors in the '70's & '80's!
I was faced with the "decision" of what to buy in the early "80's
It largely came to down to what people around me had.
These were a Tandy TRS80 (newsagent) or the ZX80 (friend).
I used to use the TRS80 to "record" the newspapers I sold on the street but a friend had the ZX80
I really liked the ZX80 & was going to go for it, but was SO put off by the keyboard, that I ended up choosing the new C64
I could not "dream" of an Apple or IBM.
Ironically due to timing & my 65 yr old grandmother, I actually ended up with an Apple II+ CLONE!
When I think of those "sliding door" moments, it makes me think of where I am now!
Interesting. I assume you lived in Australia at the time?
I can't recall even seeing Sinclair computers for sale in retail outlets.
Dick Smith sold both ZX80 and ZX81, both where very popular 1980-1982 before Vic20 and C64 came on the market. Yes the keyboards where ass and speed typing was not an option.
OK, I can't remember that. All I remember Dick Smith selling was the VZ-200 and the VZ-300.
Couldn't remember exactly but remember the vz-300 coming after zx81, but confirmed my suspicion in the article.
Both ZX and clones were extremely popular in the USSR where I was born and lived as a child. Fond memories of playing all the weird games at my friend's. Or should I say waiting for games to load? As that was what ate up most of the "screen time" allowance.
I remember we played these games:
BASIC (the funnest game of them all), Specter of Baghdad, Saboteur, Dizzy, Lazer Squad, Nether Earth
We played more, but I wouldn't remember any names or even what they were about.
Two of my friends had the Парус (Parus) variety, while my other friend had the actuall speccy.
Thank you Sir Clive. I never owned a machine, but I got interested in computing and programming after I was introduced to spectrum when I was merely 8 years old.
Hats off and mad respect to Clive Sinclair.
The ZX80 was a little bit before my time, but I can't deny the vital stepping stone his systems offered.
Would the Raspberry Pi and it's movement have ever have taken off if it wasn't for the inspiration of the Sinclair computers of the early 80's.
Hard rubbish gifted me one in North Balwyn years ago, a ZX80 Australian release which I never once heard or saw in the day, even after reading about them all the time in UK C64 magazines. Sold it and did alright if I can recall.
A lot more people had them than you think. But yes have used the Sinclair machines and have a 128k as well.
First computer I ever used was a Sinclair Spectrum.. we went back to the UK for a funeral and one of my cousins had one, with the rainbow logo on it. This was before I started typing BASIC programs on a mate's VIC-20 and before we got the Amiga 1000 at home. Clive Sinclair was a true pioneer.
The Raspberry Pi is honestly the only modern computer IMO that actually gives the same 'feels' of that early era of computing - Your own computer to do with as you like with absolutely no restrictions as the hobbyists we were at the time.
I'm liking some of these pics, I even see an Acorn Electron in one...Envious.
The VIC-20 was my first 'real' computer.
A local book shop sold the ZX80 and ZX81. Later on, the local Dick Smith reseller (not a DSE owned store) got into computers in a big way and sold the Spectrum alongside the BBC Model B, Atari and System 80.
I’ve never seen a QL though.
My attempted Mufflon rendering of the man himself on the C64. Later I might try and render a better image if possible:
I do know we had a reseller for the BBC series of computers as they were popular in education throughout Australia and Tasmania, we actually had a full Econet setup of 32k Model B's and Master 128's at high school.
I got a 48K Speccy back in 1983, my first computer. Still have it and it works, I powered it up when I heard Sir Clive had passed. I also have a second Speccy, a Spectrum + and 2 ZX81's as well as a Spectrum Next and all sorts of peripherals like the Microdrives.
Clive wasn't thrilled that his machines were used for frivilous things like games but they are still being written to this day and has a very large and active community. Here's part of my stash and they do get powered up every so often.