Sir Clive Sinclair, inventor of the world’s first slim pocket calculator and founder of revolutionary consumer electronics company Sinclair Research, has passed away. A report in The Guardian says Sinclair’s death occurred at home, following a long illness.
Sinclair Research was founded in 1973 but only rose to prominence in 1980 with the release of the ZX80 home computer, which was available in a plug-and-play version and, for a slightly lower price, in as a DIY computer. case. (That was in 1980, remember.) It was a very popular machine, due to both its capabilities and its price – it was the first home computer in the UK to be available for less than £ 100.
Even greater success followed a year later with the ZX81, then the ZX Spectrum in 1982, which became the best-selling personal computer in the UK. Various official and unofficial clones and spin-offs followed over the years, and Sinclair was made a knight in 1983 for his contributions to British industry.
Later ideas, including the Sinclair C5 electric trike and the TV80 pocket television, didn’t catch on, but their basic concepts behind them – battery-powered vehicles, tiny entertainment screens – l ‘finally did.
“It was the ideas, the challenge, that he found exciting,” his daughter Belinda told The Guardian. “He had an idea and said, ‘There’s no point in asking if somebody wants it, because he can’t imagine it.'”
Ironically, Sinclair apparently didn’t use the technology he helped create: his daughter said he carried a slide rule with him rather than a calculator, and he claimed in several interviews that he didn’t. didn’t use 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 resurrected in 2015 as a miniature Vega game console; a Vega + handheld followed, though that deal eventually fell apart.