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ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on
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Old 23-04-2012, 01:34   #1
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ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

Quote:
Originally Posted by The BBC
The ZX Spectrum is 30 years old. The successor to Sir Clive Sinclair's ZX81 - at the time the world's best selling consumer computer - it introduced colour "high resolution" graphics and sound.

It also offered an extended version of Sinclair Basic, a computer language with which hundreds of thousands of users were already familiar.

The thin Bauhaus-inspired design was sleeker than anything else on the market, but what was more impressive was its price: £125 for the basic model with 16 kilobytes of RAM, or £175 for the 48k model.
Amazing at the time...
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Old 23-04-2012, 01:38   #2
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

Gawd now i feel old LOL......
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Old 23-04-2012, 09:43   #3
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

Sad that Sinclair didn't take part in the programme.
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Old 23-04-2012, 09:45   #4
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

Didn't that use those funny little endless tape cartridge thingy's? I seem to remember that they streched with use and you had to re-format them regularly. Stole a march on the BBC computer by being so much cheaper at the time.
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Old 23-04-2012, 10:05   #5
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

My 48K Speccie's still in the loft. I'll never forget the kids spending ages loading a game from cassette tape, then immediately deciding they wanted something different.

And my (now) wife playing Wriggler for hours and days, and never getting quite to the end.

Also puts me in mind of arguably the best Spectrum emulator, Warajevo, which was written in wartime Sarajevo between bombing raids and power cuts. Quite an achievement. http://www.worldofspectrum.org/warajevo/Story.html
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Old 23-04-2012, 10:12   #6
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

http://www.sinclairzx.com/about-us.html#21

Have a look and see which gadgets you can remember.
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Old 23-04-2012, 10:26   #7
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

Thanks for that link, Osem.

My first contact with Sinclair was when I bought a couple of their photo-transistors. I believe they were reject standard transistors repackaged with a transparent case.

I sent off for the Cambridge calculator kit and they sent me an Oxford. When I contacted them they sent the Cambridge and let me keep the Oxford. With some guidance, my then girlfriend was able to assemble one of them. She (and everybody else) was well impressed with her achievement.

My dad bought a ZX81 and spent many an hour programming it.

Always thought the QL should have been more popular than it turned out. Seemed like a pretty good machine for the price.
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Old 23-04-2012, 10:27   #8
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

They were interviewing the designers on R4 (Today) this morning and it was interesting that they were pushed to squeeze every last bit of cost out of the product. They particularly highlighted the rubber keyboard being made of only 4 or 5 parts in it's entireity whereas conventional keybaords of the time used 6-8 parts for each individual key.

It also introduced many kids to actual programming, rather like the Pi is trying to do today.
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Old 23-04-2012, 10:44   #9
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

are those prices in todays money or actual prices of the time because £32.95 for a calculator was a big amount of money in '75
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Old 24-04-2012, 10:27   #10
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

I bought several calculators in the mid 70's and early 80's costing from around £30 to well over £100.

According to this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_Cambridge

Quote:
The Cambridge was extremely small for a calculator of the time:[3] it weighed less than 3.5 ounces (99 g) and its size was 50x111x28mm.

A major factor in the Cambridge's success was its low price; the Cambridge was launched in August 1973, selling initially for GB£43.95.[1] In January 1974 the Cambridge was priced at £32.95 (£29.95 + VAT) fully assembled or £27.45 (£24.95 +VAT) as a kit..

Which sounds about right to me and given that my 5 1/2 day pw summer holiday job only paid me £11, that was a lot of money.
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Old 24-04-2012, 10:54   #11
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Osem View Post
I bought several calculators in the mid 70's and early 80's costing from around £30 to well over £100.

According to this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_Cambridge




Which sounds about right to me and given that my 5 1/2 day pw summer holiday job only paid me £11, that was a lot of money.

It's hard to imagine spending that much on a calculator .I remember them becoming widely available in the mid 70's but they where frowned on by my parents as being for the lazy good old fashioned log tables and times tables was all that where needed
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Old 24-04-2012, 11:12   #12
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

lol I did my 'O' level maths exams using log tables - it was only when I went on to study 'A' level Maths and later that I had the benefit of scientific calculators.
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Old 24-04-2012, 11:19   #13
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

My father had an old Texas Instruments LED calculator for his work back in the 70's, used to remember that the screen went blank sometimes for several seconds whilst it calculated the answer

It was one of these
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Old 24-04-2012, 11:24   #14
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kymmy View Post
My father had an old Texas Instruments LED calculator for his work back in the 70's, used to remember that the screen went blank sometimes for several seconds whilst it calculated the answer

It was one of these
and if you type 0553 and turn it upside down it says ESSO don't you know
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Old 24-04-2012, 13:36   #15
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Re: ZX Spectrum's chief designers reunited 30 years on

I had a Texas TI58 for a while:

http://www.vintagecalculators.com/ht...nts_ti_58.html

Later got a Casio FX602p which had an alphanumeric LCD display which ended all our silly games creating words on upside down LED displays....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casio_FX-602P_series

Cost me £80 IIRC
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