Happy 30th Birthday, ZX81 Happy 30th Birthday, ZX81
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  1. #1

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    Default Happy 30th Birthday, ZX81

    5 March 2011, marks the 30th anniversary of the arrival of the machine that did more to awaken ordinary Britons to the possibilities offered by home computing: the Sinclair ZX81.

    While its successor, the Sinclair Spectrum, got the nation playing computer games, the ZX81 was the tipping point that turned the home computer from nerd hobby into something anyone could buy and use.

    Sir Clive Sinclair would later say his Science of Cambridge company - later Sinclair Research - developed its first computers to make the money needed to fund other projects closer to his heart: the portable TV and what would become the infamous C5 electric car.
    Sinclair ZX81: 30 years old tomorrow ? reghardware

    I never had one. Or a Spectrum. Or a C5.
    Will work inside IR35. Or for food.

  2. #2

    Richer than sasguru

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    ZX81.

    Pah, new fangled fashion gadget.

    I built a ZX80 from a kit when I was 14.

    SARS-CoV-2 - Finally something from China that still works as designed.

  3. #3

    Pilchard

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    I did buy one along with the 16k rampack thingie. Lots of fun

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    Any true geek had a 128k ram pack

    Then had a speccie

    The QL seemed a bit of a damb squib at the time, but looking back it wasn't that bad. I just never bought one
    Doing the needful since 1827

  5. #5

    Contractor Among Contractors

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    Quote Originally Posted by amcdonald View Post
    Any true geek had a 128k ram pack
    RAM pack, printer and, wait for it, a Memotech keyboard. All in the loft in their original packaging.

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    Prehistoric

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    Happy birthday!
    A shame that there are no longer any computers whose keys you can press just by blowing hard on them.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by VectraMan View Post
    Sinclair ZX81: 30 years old tomorrow ? reghardware

    I never had one. Or a Spectrum. Or a C5.
    ZX81 Download Page

    For your PC, ZX81 emulator and games etc
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity

    我们不是病毒

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
    ZX81 Download Page

    For your PC, ZX81 emulator and games etc
    3D Monster Maze, ah nostalgia isn't what it used to be
    Doing the needful since 1827

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by amcdonald View Post
    3D Monster Maze, ah nostalgia isn't what it used to be
    3D Monster Maze was the killer app for the ZX81

    I was an Acorn chap myself, but I remember looking at the screenshots in the computer mags and thinking that there was nothing of that kind for the Atom. Ah well, we got Elite first on the Beeb a few years down the line

    As the Wikipedia article I link to above points out, the canonical way of distributing a machine code program for the ZX81 was to embed it in line 0 of a BASIC program as the content of a REM statement that caused the BASIC interpreter to treat the Z80 code as a comment; the rest of the BASIC program took care of any startup housekeeping, and the system wouldn't allow you to edit line 0 as 0 was an illegal line number in BASIC. Upon such recondite hackery was the entire "computer revolution" founded

  10. #10

    Pilchard

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    3D Monster Maze was the killer app for the ZX81

    I was an Acorn chap myself, but I remember looking at the screenshots in the computer mags and thinking that there was nothing of that kind for the Atom. Ah well, we got Elite first on the Beeb a few years down the line
    I bought a Commodore 64 just to play Elite and all these years later I still get the urge sometimes.
    Last edited by Cliphead; 6th March 2011 at 09:56.

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