Sir Clive Sinclair, the father of the ZX Spectrum, has died

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Sir Clive Sinclair, the inventor of the world’s first slimline pocket calculator and founder of the groundbreaking consumer electronics company Sinclair Research, has died. a report in Guardian It is said that Sinclair died at home after a long illness.

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Sinclair Research was founded in 1973, but did not come to prominence until 1980 with the release of the ZX80 home computer, which was available in a ready-to-use version and, for a slightly lower price, as a built-it-yourself. in kit. (This was the 1980s, remember.) It was a very popular machine, both because of its capabilities and its price—it was the first home computer to be available in the UK for less than £100.

There was even greater success a year later with the ZX81 and then in 1982 with the ZX Spectrum, which became the best-selling personal computer in the UK. Various official and unofficial clones and spinoffs followed over the years, and Sinclair was awarded a knighthood in 1983 for his contributions to British industry.

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Later ideas, including the Sinclair C5 electric trike and TV80 pocket television, didn’t catch on, but their core concepts—battery-powered vehicles, tiny entertainment screens—eventually did.

“It was the idea, the challenge, that he found exciting,” his daughter Belinda told The Guardian. “He would come up with an idea and say, ‘There’s no point in asking if someone wants it, because they can’t imagine it.'”

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(Image credit: David Levenson via Getty Images)

Ironically, Sinclair apparently didn’t use the technology he helped create: his daughter said he kept a slide rule with him instead of a calculator, and he claimed in several interviews that he used the Internet or email. not because he didn’t know how, he said in 2010, but because “I find them annoying

The ZX Spectrum was revived in 2015 as the Vega Miniature game console; A Vega+ arm followed, though that deal eventually fell through.

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