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Sir Clive dies

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At our home, our first computer was a Timex Sinclair 1000, which was actually a ZX81. I loved it. I had a few programs on it, like Frogger. And a pretty cool book to type in games. Later we did win an Atari 800XL (which was the start of my Eternal atari addiction). I must say... I did forget the ZX81 pretty soon after winning that 800XL. The atari had sound... color... a real keyboard... much more memory and games... I loved it. A few years later, I refound the ZX81, and I loved the charm of the simplicity. So I started tinkering with it again. Eventually it died. Meanwhile the Atari was strong and cool. I am still with the atari... lucky me, I still love atari 8bit. 

 

I think, but I am not sure, that I would like to play a few more times again with the ZX81, but I can hardly imagine that I will become a heavy ZX81 user again. I am too much attached to the Atari.

 

Anyway. Long story short. I asked my dad when I was a kid several times who invented the computer. My dad always answered: that is not invented by one person, but one man who did a lot was Clive Sinclair. Sad that sir Clive is dead now. It is absolutely an end of an era. RIP sir Clive!

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18 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

Seconded.

 

Stayed up late last night watching this. Fun movie. I just have to say though, in spite of enjoying the movie, the guy who played Sinclair was kind of weird. On top of having a really poorly done hair/wig, they guy acted very stiff. It was like the actor was trying not to mess up his wig. Strange. 

It was a good movie, otherwise. Thanks to all who mentioned it.

 

I used to pick up the British computer magazines back in the Eighties in a book store a few towns away. I saw they had some Atari listings. I got hooked reading about the other computers and always wanted some of them but never did get one. I loved the look of the Spectrum graphics. Oh, that keyboard though. 

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6 minutes ago, Allan said:

I just have to say though, in spite of enjoying the movie, the guy who played Sinclair was kind of weird.

I felt differently about it; I thought Alexander Armstrong's performance was superb and made the whole thing, but then I never had any specific expectations about how he would portray Sir Clive. I just found it immensely entertaining. There are some good talks with the original Acorn team on YouTube where they discuss 'Micro Men' and the 'dramatic license' in certain parts. :)

 

Edited by flashjazzcat

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12 minutes ago, flashjazzcat said:

I felt differently about it; I thought Alexander Armstrong's performance was superb and made the whole thing, but then I never had any specific expectations about how he would portray Sir Clive. I just found it immensely entertaining. There are some good talks with the original Acorn team on YouTube where they discuss 'Micro Men' and the 'dramatic license' in certain parts. :)

 

Please understand I didn't have any reference to watching the real man before watching the movie. So I couldn't even say whether the actor seemed somewhat like Clive. He just seemed off as far as how an adult would move naturally. The rest of the movie seemed done very well, which is why it kept standing out to me while watching the movie. On rare occasions, people have eccentric aspects of themselves, so I just assumed it was something related to that. But that hair. Looking at real video footage of Sinclair, whose hair looks much more natural, naturally, I think the make-up artist did a poor job. 

 

Definitely enjoyable movie otherwise. Martin Freeman is always great in whoever he plays. I will definitely look up those talks.

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First had the watch and later learned first bits of BASIC on a borrowed ZX81. Always found the Speccy intriguing but never got one as I had an Atari by that time. England and the world were lucky to have had Sir Clive.

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6 minutes ago, Santyago said:

You are right... Sorry for that 😕

 

No big deal. I just didn't want it to be something someone was waiting on, or you waiting on a reply that might never come.

 

Cheers.

 

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My knowledge of the UK computer scene is somewhat limited, but I really did enjoy the movie.  The guy they got to be Clive reminded me of Tom Cruise's character in Tropic Thunder, but after seeing some picture of Clive in 1980 it wasn't too far off.  It's interesting that while Acorn won the the BBC contract that Clive may have ultimately won the war.  The BBC Micro kind of strikes me as the UK equivalent of the Apple II while the Spectrum was the UK equivalent of... well honestly I don't know.  I was going to say the C64, but honestly I don't know if the US had an equivalent of the Spectrum (well other than the actual equivalent the TS2068).  Very interesting stuff.

 

I also did not know that Acorn marketed anything in the US.  Does anyone know more about this?

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4 hours ago, Tempest said:

I also did not know that Acorn marketed anything in the US.  Does anyone know more about this?

Acorn shipped the BBC micro to the US, in many cases equipped with their excellent for the era Econet networking implementation and associated DOS, with the intention of capturing the US educational market - They also did the same with Australia and Tasmania.

 

Depending on how you view things as I actually experienced the BBC Micro and it's excellent Econet and DOS implementation first hand as we had them at high school here in Australia, sadly Apple, and from what I read (but struggle to believe could have been the case in around 1983 due to cost alone) apparently IBM, had already cornered the market. So any more machines destined for the US were repurposed as euro PAL machines and Acorn gave up in their pursuit of the US educational market.

 

They did gain widespread adoption throughout the 80s in the Australian and Tasmanian educational markets. With features such as remote viewing and even the ability to remote control individual terminals on the network as well as create user groups and individual user logins with privilege access control, Econet was quite remarkable for the era. It was great not having to rely on floppy drives for each individual machine.

 

Sadly, I have never seen a Spectrum of any kind in real life here in Australia. Sir Clive was without a doubt a big influence on the affordable home computer market, RIP.

Edited by Mazzspeed
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19 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

I felt differently about it; I thought Alexander Armstrong's performance was superb and made the whole thing, but then I never had any specific expectations about how he would portray Sir Clive. I just found it immensely entertaining. There are some good talks with the original Acorn team on YouTube where they discuss 'Micro Men' and the 'dramatic license' in certain parts. :)

 

I had my reservations about Alexander playing him, I thought they might let him push for a far more comedic flair, but I have to say they got it spot on, was it the way it was, I didn't care, it was just very enjoyable..

 

Yes, he should have shaved his head for the part, but he's a busy actor and presenter, so continuity is needed..

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On 9/17/2021 at 12:34 AM, snicklin said:

This is terrible news. My first machine was the ZX81. RIP Clive.

 

 

I have two dead ones I want to bring back to life. Our first computer was a 16k Spectrum. Still have it. Hasn't worked since '83. Another on my to-do list.

 

Sir Clive was a guy ahead of his time in many ways.

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8 hours ago, Mazzspeed said:

Acorn shipped the BBC micro to the US

I seem to recall that they also tried this - in tiny numbers - with the Archimedes, and met with similar results.

8 hours ago, Mazzspeed said:

Sadly, I have never seen a Spectrum of any kind in real life here in Australia.

Wasn't one of the larger electronics retailers carrying them, or at least did for a time?  I may be thinking of the Timex-Sinclair machines, but have a vague recollection of Dick Smith or similar carrying the ZX Spectrum.  Could be mistaken, though; what I know of the Australian and New Zealand home computer markets of the time is fairly slim.

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4 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

I seem to recall that they also tried this - in tiny numbers - with the Archimedes, and met with similar results.

Wasn't one of the larger electronics retailers carrying them, or at least did for a time?  I may be thinking of the Timex-Sinclair machines, but have a vague recollection of Dick Smith or similar carrying the ZX Spectrum.  Could be mistaken, though; what I know of the Australian and New Zealand home computer markets of the time is fairly slim.

I know they carried the Exidy Sorcerer because most of the games for it came out of Australia for some reason.

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  1.  

According to Wiki, it was because of Paul Smiths chain in Oz.. Exclusive to him.

Edited by Mclaneinc
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8 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Wasn't one of the larger electronics retailers carrying them, or at least did for a time?  I may be thinking of the Timex-Sinclair machines, but have a vague recollection of Dick Smith or similar carrying the ZX Spectrum.  Could be mistaken, though; what I know of the Australian and New Zealand home computer markets of the time is fairly slim.

Someone else I was talking to on an Australian forum said the same thing, sadly I can have no recollection of this. The only cheap affordable computers I remember out of the Dick Smith chain were the VZ-200 and the VZ-300.

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In his honor, I hope to fix this bad baby soon.

 

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Edited by Mariano DM
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This is very sad news, my first computer was a ZX Spectrum with rubber keys, had so much fun on that thing and learned a little about programming too. His computers were affordable and brought IT to millions of people and many of them no doubt ended up working in the field (as I did) largely due to him and others like him. 

 

RIP, and my condolences to those that knew him.

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The first computer I had ever see and touch in my life in person was a ZX81 back in Chile probably 1986/1987 or so. One cousin got one, with a cable to connect it to a cassette player and a memory expansion (probably to get it to 1 or 2KB) and a cable for TV (B/W). I remember I typed some of the basic programs that came with the book and that you don't need to "type" the basic commands as they were assigned to the different keys.

Weeks later another cousin which was also part of the "gang" of cousins of similar age, got an Atari 800XL (my second experience with computers). I was unimpressed by the look of the computer because it looked too much like a typewriter. The ZX81 look a lot cooler and more futuristic than the Atari 800XL, which was too big... little I knew about the much, much better keyboard (probably type I), colors, sounds, graphics, memory, etc.

That how started, and now I am still here dealing with these 8 bits machines.... So I have a lot of fond memories about this ZX81 particular Sinclair model.

 

 

Edited by manterola
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My ZX80 was a wedding present to myself (yes, I took the plunge early), when we got back from Paris it was waiting for me and I had no clue what to do with it.. (the computer that is)

 

I was expecting it to do all those graph type stuff at the touch of a button, like it was built in....Programming it?....No way!

 

And then I started to learn :)

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Anyone who watched Micro Men might be interested to know that the "Newbury New Brain" that the BBC was originally going to use before it dropped out was initially developed by Sinclair Radionics before the NEB broke up the company and Sir Clive started Sinclair Research. The NEB kept the designs for the newbrain and moved the design work to Newbury Laboratories. The BBC spec for their computer was modelled after the newbrain specs as it was a government owned project. 

 

So even though the film showed Sir Clive as being uninterested in computers and indifferent to the design of the MK-14 kit that Chris Curry wanted to build, he was actually very interested in them had one in development to give Apple some competition in the UK and only changed tack to the ZX80 when it became obvious the newbarin couldn't be done for less than £100. 

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