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Sir Clive Sinclair has passed away – creator of the legendary Spectrum and pioneer of home computing

This Thursday morning Sir Clive Sinclair ha fallecido at home at 81 years of age. He has done it after a long illness that has accompanied him in recent times. The British inventor and entrepreneur is known in the tech world for great achievements like the ZX Spectrum, although he also invented an impressive pocket calculator and other products to popularize home computing.


Early in his professional career, Sir Clive Sinclair worked as a journalist to raise funds and create Sinclair Radionics. With the company founded, invented different pocket calculators in the 1970s. This is how he started his effort to create relatively cheap and accessible products for everyone.

The first computer to be launched on the market was the ZX80 in 1980. It stood out for having a relatively low price, about five times less than home computers of the time. Then came the ZX81 and in 1982 the popular ZX Spectrum 48K. The different ZX computers achieved bringing computing to the home more than any other computer of the time.

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Beyond the Spectrum

While the ZX computers were his great success, Sir Clive Sinclair didn’t stop there. One of the most controversial products he put on sale was the Sinclair C5 in 1985. The C5 was a battery-powered electric tricycle that wasn’t selling as well as he estimated. In fact, it was so bad that it nearly bankrupted him. In the end, he ended up selling the business to Amstrad.

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Another interesting product was el Sinclair TV80. In his endeavor to miniaturize and popularize technology, he scaled down the TV to create a pocket TV as he did with the calculator at the time. The product, however, did not convince in the same way.

Finally, it is worth highlighting the folding bike A-bike, which was released in July 2006. It was a collaboration with an agency in Hong Kong, although it maintains the “Sinclair essence” of miniaturizing everything possible. Weighing less than 6kg, the bike folds down to a mere 67x30x16 centimeters. In 2015 an electric version arrived.

For what else going to be remembered Sir Clive Sinclair is certainly for the Spectrum. The impact it had on an entire generation and the future of computing has made the Specturm go down in history. Now it is indeed making a comeback, albeit in the form of new products to revive the success of the past.

Via | The Guardian
Image | @harry_nl