Sir Clive Sinclair is perhaps most notable for producing the popular range of “ZX” home computers such as the ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum. He inspired a whole generation of bedroom coders who could afford his home computers and could easily program them, spawning multiple industries in the UK and abroad. Perhaps there are some similarities between those early days of home computing and the emergence of Quantum Computers we are seeing right now.
Here are ten things that you might not know about the famous inventor and creator of some of the most popular selling computers in Britain:
- Clive didn’t have a formal degree and left school ages 18 and worked a variety of jobs before founding Sinclair Radionics.
- Sir Clive was a member of Mensa (the high IQ society).
- He used to live in Kings Cross in one of the largest loft apartments in London called York Place.
- In the early days before he could find capital for his company, Sir Clive worked as a journalist.
- The ZX80 and ZX81, the popular home computers were named after the year of launch. Later came the even more popular ZX Spectrum in 1982.
- Sinclair was an avid poker player and appeared on TV in the series of the Late Night Poker on British Channel 4.
- The ZX Spectrum was only discontinued in 1992 and shipped 5 million units.
- Sir Clive started by making electronics kits and calculators. he radically made it cheaper and brought technology to the masses, first with calculators and then home computing.
- Sir Clive was pretty much responsible for the UK hone grown computing industry. Cheap home machines launched many games companies and many careers.
- Sir Clive also brought the world the first electric micro transport, the Sinclair C5 and throughout his life Sir Clive was fascinated by electric motive power.