Jump to content
Mirage

Timex-Sinclair 1000/ZX-81 vs. 3M Post-It Note

  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is better? Timex-Sinclair/ZX-81 or 3M Post-It Note?

    • The TS-1000/ZX-81 is superior in every way, poopyhead.
    • To anyone but a total doo-doo for brains, the Post-It is the better platform.


Recommended Posts

We (well, my brother, that is) had a ZX80 and later a ZX81. It's what he could afford at the time. It changed both of our lives, and if the computers had any failings/deficiencies, those only made us wiser, and smarter... there always seemed to be a way around or through them... we learned a lot, and not just about programming.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, bluejay said:

The Post it Note made a lot of people's lives easier, but all the TS did was frustrate people with it's tiny RAM and cheap keyboard.

However 35 years later, I think far more people have a career and job thanks to the ZX81 and TS1000 than thanks to playing with PostIt Notes in the youth.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it was my first computer too, when I was around 16/17. I wrote my first game on it - was a 'Lunar Lander' game with an M as the ship and the little pipe character as thrust :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I can't believe this thread is still (sort of) going a decade later. 

 

I was unemployed at the time (I was hired into my current job about 2 weeks after this post). I was REALLY REALLY bored 🤪

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/17/2020 at 8:25 AM, carlsson said:

However 35 years later, I think far more people have a career and job thanks to the ZX81 and TS1000 than thanks to playing with PostIt Notes in the youth.

I think a lot of people also gave up on using computers thanks to the ZX81 and TS1000, but I hardly think anyone went, "Shit, I can't figure out how to use a pencil to write 'Hello' on a piece of Post It!"

The Post It has a far better input interface than the TS1000 that won't drive you mad every 3 seconds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate the Sinclair BASIC keyword entry. 
If you are a kid that can't touch type, it probably seems brilliant, but it you are a touch typist, you have learned to type what you think without giving what keys you are pressing any thought at all.
You can't think BASIC keywords, you have to think custom keystrokes even if the machine has a real keyboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but to be honest after just a little while many of the commonly used keywords come naturally. I don't know about the ZX81 but the ZX Spectrum has a little bit of logic to the placement of keywords:

 

B = BORDER

C = CONT

D = DIM

F = FOR

G = GOTO

I = INPUT

L = LET (though I probably would've put J = LOAD there)

N = NEXT

P = PRINT

R = RUN

S = SAVE

 

Many of the other keywords are grouped in categories on location and/or shift mode, i.e. you have PLOT and DRAW next to eachother, you have SIN, COS, TAN in a row, you have PEEK on a shifted POKE, all of the <= <> >= < > in a group, TO on a shifted FOR (but unfortunately not THEN on a shifted IF), all the colour keywords INK, PAPER, BORDER, BRIGHT, OVER, INVERSE on the bottom row in different combinations of shifts. If you're really interested and anyway spent those £99 and upwards to get a computer, I think after just a little while you have learned most of the keystrokes and have the keyboard guide for the rest.

 

Of course it all was about cost cutting, as Sinclair could leave out a big portion of the syntax checker and tokenizer in ROM. Every time you press a key, an already tokenized keyword will be inserted into your program.

Edited by carlsson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, carlsson said:

True, but to be honest after just a little while many of the commonly used keywords come naturally. I don't know about the ZX81 but the ZX Spectrum has a little bit of logic to the placement of keywords:

...

I can type 70-85 WPM on a decent keyboard.  I just don't see having any chance of typing as fast using that method.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that also 70+ valid BASIC keywords per minute? I think when it comes to programming it isn't the fastest one wins, though of course you shouldn't completely slouch around. As for using the Speccy with a dedicated word processor, perhaps it is not ideal but again if your wallet determines what to buy, you could do far worse, like a CoCo...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, carlsson said:

Is that also 70+ valid BASIC keywords per minute? I think when it comes to programming it isn't the fastest one wins, though of course you shouldn't completely slouch around. As for using the Speccy with a dedicated word processor, perhaps it is not ideal but again if your wallet determines what to buy, you could do far worse, like a CoCo...

I can type that fast if I'm typing plain text like for word processing, but not that fast while thinking up the code as I go. 
If you are typing in a program from a magazine, then you can type a lot faster. 
A friend of mine would read off the code from the magazine, and I'd type it.  I could type as fast as he could read it.

The original CoCo keyboard was a mixed bag.  The keys were spaced okay, and you could type pretty fast on it once you got used to it, but nothing like 70 WPM.
The keycaps weren't shaped right, they could wedge slightly so they would either stick a little, and you couldn't use a light touch.
The later keyboards were pretty good.  The melted keyboard is like typing on some modern laptop keyboards, and the final keyboard (Deluxe CoCo & CoCo 3) works really well.
I replaced the keyboard on my CoCo 1 with an HJL keyboard which felt a lot like an electric typewriter. 
That's what I used through several years of college.
It worked about as well as anything I used on other machines till I got to use one of the clicky IBM keyboards.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I feel like the CoCo 2 (apparently) that I briefly owned must've been very badly worn out, and I didn't realize it wasn't how it was supposed to be because the keyboard on that one, whether you call it melted or whatever, still today is the worst one I've tried to use including touch keyboards like the ZX81, Odyssey^2 and others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had one of the "melted" keyboards on a white CoCo 1 that I owned for a few years, and my brother had a CoCo 2 with one. 
Never had any problems.
Maybe it depends on how yours had been stored, or it just had gunk in it.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/24/2020 at 4:08 PM, JamesD said:

The original CoCo keyboard was a mixed bag.  The keys were spaced okay, and you could type pretty fast on it once you got used to it, but nothing like 70 WPM.
The keycaps weren't shaped right, they could wedge slightly so they would either stick a little, and you couldn't use a light touch.

 

My typing speed has definitely improved in the past few decades, but I was painfully slow on the Coco keyboard.

 

I remember that as a benchmark, it would take me 1 hour to type-in a standard printed page of BASIC code. I had to decide if a game was going to be sufficiently entertaining to justify the time required to type it in.  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the ZX80 and ZX81, but I will admit that if you're trying to write a book, then those are not really the best choices... but neither is a Post-It Note. ;)

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/24/2020 at 8:31 PM, JamesD said:

I had one of the "melted" keyboards on a white CoCo 1 that I owned for a few years, and my brother had a CoCo 2 with one. 
Never had any problems.
Maybe it depends on how yours had been stored, or it just had gunk in it.
 

I have a CoCo 2 with a full travel keyboard, and to be honest, it's a bit to mushy. Typing words is a bit awkward, but it's good for games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, bluejay said:

I have a CoCo 2 with a full travel keyboard, and to be honest, it's a bit to mushy. Typing words is a bit awkward, but it's good for games.

I know this is hijacking the topic a bit, but what's your (or anyone else's) favorite 8 bit keyboard?
I usually prefer keyboards with a lighter touch because you can type faster.  But that can go too far.

My personal favorite from 8 bits is the TRS-80 Model III keyboard.  I could type really fast on that.
Apple II desktop machines were always good.  I can type pretty fast on them.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, JamesD said:

I know this is hijacking the topic a bit, but what's your (or anyone else's) favorite 8 bit keyboard?
I usually prefer keyboards with a lighter touch because you can type faster.  But that can go too far.

My personal favorite from 8 bits is the TRS-80 Model III keyboard.  I could type really fast on that.
Apple II desktop machines were always good.  I can type pretty fast on them.
 

Yeah, I like light keyboards too, but one instance that has gone too far is the TRS-80 model 100. Too light, too clunky. My favorite is the Apple //e keyboard, light and somewhat clicky. It's nice. The Tandy 102/200 comes in as a close second. It's like the A//e's keyboard, except a bit mushier.

Also:

 

Edited by bluejay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/22/2020 at 11:10 PM, bluejay said:

I think a lot of people also gave up on using computers thanks to the ZX81 and TS1000, but I hardly think anyone went, "Shit, I can't figure out how to use a pencil to write 'Hello' on a piece of Post It!"

The Post It has a far better input interface than the TS1000 that won't drive you mad every 3 seconds.

Well, I never got that sense of amazing possibility from a post-it note that I did from my Sinclair. Anything seemed possible with the little computer, on the post it note I could...uh,  write some stuff...like a grocery list or something. With the ZX I could explore vast reaches of space-time using only my brain and that horrible f'ing keyboard. A reasonable price to pay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say the ZX for me, like several posters, the ZX was my first computer, I wanted a C-64 (oddly, not many VIC-20's were available in my area, but the 64 was a big deal) I never really got into it, though I did buy a memory expansion for it. The keyboard was a little off-putting.

 

As for Post-it notes, I like to draw, so I prefer the original model without lines. 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...