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The inventor of the ZX Spectrum computer, Clive Sinclair, dies at the age of 81

The inventor of the ZX Spectrum computer, Clive Sinclair, dies at the age of 81

“He was a wonderful person. Of course, he was very smart and always had an interest in everything. My daughter and her husband are engineers, and he was talking to them about engineering,” said Belinda Sinclair.

Clive Sinclair invented the pocket calculator, but became famous for promoting the home computer, taking it to more affordable stores.

Many of the big gamers in the video game industry started with the ZX model, knowing that a generation of gamers chose the ZX Spectrum 48K or its competitor, the Commodore 64.

The president of ZX Spectrum left school at age 17 and worked for four years as an expert journalist to raise money for the founding of Sinclair Radionics.

In the early 1970s, Sinclair created a series of calculators designed to be small and light enough to fit in a pocket, at a time when most current models were room-sized.

“He wanted to make things small and cheap so people could have them,” Belinda Sinclair said.

His first home computer, the ZX80, named after the year it appeared, revolutionized the computer market, although far from the current one.

The parts cost 79.95 pounds (about 94 euros) and 99.95 pounds (about 117.12 euros), about a fifth of the prices of other home computers at the time.

At the time, it sold 50,000 units, while its success, the ZX81, which it replaced, cost 69.95 pounds (about 82.02 euros) and sold 250,000 computers.

The ZX80 and ZX81 made Clive Sinclair very rich.

In 2010, Sinclair told the Guardian that in “two or three years” he made “a profit of £14m (€16.41m) in one year”.

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In 1982, the ZX Spectrum 48K was launched. The rubber keys, weird visuals and metallic sound didn’t stop him from being an essential in the development of the video game industry.

At the end of last year, the Load ZX Spectrum Museum was born in Cantanhead, in the province of Coimbra.

The space is kind of an exercise in nostalgia, but it’s also a homage to the creator of those 80s computers and his “unknown” connection to Portugal.