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'[OT] Sinclair ZX81'
2005\05\02@020810 by Chetan Bhargava

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Recently I acquired ad Timex Sinclair 1000 personal computer. The box says:

"The Timex Sinclair 1000 is the first personal computer featuring our
new microchip design. The design utilizes four powerful chips,
including unique Master Chip that replaces as many as 18 chips on the
other personal computers. The Timex Sinclair 1000, with the optional
16K RAM Pack accessory is a concept computer with the power and
high-performance capacity you are likely to need for personal use."

The last phrase really amuses me :-) Why do we need a P4 when we have a Z81 :-)

Regards,

--
Chetan Bhargava
Web: http://www.bhargavaz.net
Blog: http://microz.blogspot.com

2005\05\02@024002 by Ake Hedman

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Chetan Bhargava wrote:

>Recently I acquired ad Timex Sinclair 1000 personal computer. The box says:
>
>"The Timex Sinclair 1000 is the first personal computer featuring our
>new microchip design. The design utilizes four powerful chips,
>including unique Master Chip that replaces as many as 18 chips on the
>other personal computers. The Timex Sinclair 1000, with the optional
>16K RAM Pack accessory is a concept computer with the power and
>high-performance capacity you are likely to need for personal use."
>
>The last phrase really amuses me :-) Why do we need a P4 when we have a Z81 :-)
>
>Regards,
>
>  
>
That was a wonderful thing. Clive Sinclair the genius designed it. Sold as a kit also IIRC. Keyboard scanning, graphics generation etc done by the CPU to keep the production cost down.

Makes me remember....   :-)

/Ake

--  ---
Ake Hedman (YAP - Yet Another Programmer)
eurosource, Brattbergavägen 17, 820 50 LOS, Sweden
Phone: (46) 657 413430 Cellular: (46) 73 84 84 102
Company home: http://www.eurosource.se      Kryddor/Te/Kaffe: http://www.brattberg.com
Personal homepage: http://www.eurosource.se/akhe
Automated home: http://www.vscp.org

2005\05\02@024208 by ThePicMan

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At 23.08 2005.05.01 -0700, you wrote:
>Recently I acquired ad Timex Sinclair 1000 personal computer. The box says:
>
>"The Timex Sinclair 1000 is the first personal computer featuring our
>new microchip design. The design utilizes four powerful chips,
>including unique Master Chip that replaces as many as 18 chips on the
>other personal computers. The Timex Sinclair 1000, with the optional
>16K RAM Pack accessory is a concept computer with the power and
>high-performance capacity you are likely to need for personal use."
>
>The last phrase really amuses me :-) Why do we need a P4 when we have a Z81 :-)

Those were the really good times.. *sigh* :~I

>
>Regards,
>
>--
>Chetan Bhargava
>Web: http://www.bhargavaz.net
>Blog: http://microz.blogspot.com
>
>-

2005\05\02@025913 by Russell McMahon

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> The Timex Sinclair 1000, with the optional
> 16K RAM Pack accessory is a concept computer with the power and
> high-performance capacity you are likely to need for personal use."

> The last phrase really amuses me :-) Why do we need a P4 when we
> have a Z81 :-)

The operative word is "need".
All the rest is window dressing.

FWIW, for most office (small o) applications a 16 MHz '286 managed
very nicely indeed. Anything that needed substantial iteration
(including perhaps some spreadsheet goal seeking) or truly vast
database indexing (DBase rulze!) took a trifle long, but for most
things it was fine. Even worked OK as a file server. Even with many
hundreds of MB of hard disk!!!!



       RM

2005\05\02@032937 by Russell McMahon

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>>"The Timex Sinclair 1000 ...

>>The last phrase really amuses me :-) Why do we need a P4 when we
>>have a Z81 :-)

> Those were the really good times.. *sigh* :~I

I don't remember them as being good times.
I remember them as being good times at the time.

But we were all looking forwards to the Xerox Dynabook.

   http://www.honco.net/os/kay.html

AFAIK it never happened as a product, but sometimes when I use my
super-super-super-set of what they had in mind I remember their vision
and how unbelievably advanced it seemed at the time.


***************  LOOK AT THIS ****************
The Vision
"A Personal Computer for Children of All Ages"
Allan Kay. 1972.
33 years ago

       http://www.mprove.de/diplom/gui/Kay72a.pdf

Looks like a cross between a Sinclair Z88, A Speak & Spell and a
modern Tablet P.C.
2 years *before* the 8080 & the Altair.
3 years before the Apple I (yes, Gloria, there was an Apple I, but
only I).

Apple II and Commodore were King.

Apple fans will love this

       http://apple2history.org/history/ah01.html

***********************************************

The history

   http://thinkubator.ccsp.sfu.ca/Dynabook

Dropping a dynabook :-)

       http://wsmith.best.vwh.net/dynabook.html

But, somebody built A Dynabook (not quite)

       http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/laptops-pcs/dynabook-ss-sx-notebook-100322.php



               RM

2005\05\02@093826 by Howard Winter

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Ake,

ZX81...

On Mon, 02 May 2005 08:39:49 +0200, Ake Hedman wrote:

> That was a wonderful thing. Clive Sinclair the genius designed it. Sold
> as a kit also IIRC. Keyboard scanning, graphics generation etc done by
> the CPU to keep the production cost down.
>
> Makes me remember....   :-)

Indeed, and the ZX81 was the successor to the ZX80, which was a bit less capable.  I met "Uncle Clive" once
(later "Uncle Sir Clive") at a computer exhibition, and asked him about a portable television of his design,
because I had one that I wanted to use as a tiny computer monitor (text only of course - this was in the late
70's when there was no such thing as graphics!).  He thought about it for a moment, and decided it wasn't
really possible, because there was nowhere in the exposed circuitry where there was a straight "video" signal
- the chip that did most of the work produced the scanning and luminance signals directly, so it would have
been really hard to spoof it.  Nice bloke, very friendly and helpful, and very "ordinary" to talk to.  Shame
about the C5...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\05\02@095904 by Ake Hedman

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Howard Winter wrote:

{Quote hidden}

This was certainly a man I also would like to have met.
Is hi still alive and around?   Maby should by a C5 http://www.nvg.ntnu.no/sinclair/vehicles/c5.htm ;-)

/Ake

--  ---
Ake Hedman (YAP - Yet Another Programmer)
eurosource, Brattbergavägen 17, 820 50 LOS, Sweden
Phone: (46) 657 413430 Cellular: (46) 73 84 84 102
Company home: http://www.eurosource.se      Kryddor/Te/Kaffe: http://www.brattberg.com
Personal homepage: http://www.eurosource.se/akhe
Automated home: http://www.vscp.org

2005\05\02@101210 by Mike W

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On 2 May 2005 at 14:38, Howard Winter wrote:

> Ake,
>
> ZX81...
> Nice bloke,
> very friendly and helpful, and very "ordinary" to talk to.  Shame about the
> C5...
>
The C5 scooter thing was named after the Z80 cpu's op-code PUSH BC
( Push BiCycle)
which in hex was C5.
pointless trivia, but aparently true :-)

2005\05\02@143230 by Eric Jorgensen

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Damn you, RM! You caused me to waste my entire morning
following your links! Great stuff!

I didn't want to work anyway...

Eric

--- Russell McMahon <spam_OUTapptechTakeThisOuTspamparadise.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/laptops-pcs/dynabook-ss-sx-notebook-100322.php
>
>
>
>                 RM
>
> --

2005\05\02@205012 by William Chops Westfield

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On May 1, 2005, at 11:57 PM, Russell McMahon wrote:

>> The Timex Sinclair 1000, with the optional
>> 16K RAM Pack accessory is a concept computer with the power and
>> high-performance capacity you are likely to need for personal use."
>
>> The last phrase really amuses me :-) Why do we need a P4 when we have
>> a Z81 :-)
>
> The operative word is "need".  All the rest is window dressing.
>
I think the operative word is "computer"; the average personal computer
does
very little of what used to be considered 'computing' (and for which a
Z80
may indeed be plenty.)  Instead, it does communications, file
management of
vast amounts of data, display manipulation, text and document
processing, and
so on.  Arguably, by the definitions of THOSE time, todays average
computer does
NO "computing", since it tends to lack user-accessible programming
language.
In those days, special purpose devices (not CALLED computers) handled
"non-computing" tasks like word processings, music editing and
playback, video,
data archiving (microfiche, anyone), file management ("secretaries"
:-;), etc.

BillW

2005\05\02@232043 by William Chops Westfield

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On May 2, 2005, at 11:32 AM, Eric Jorgensen wrote:
>>
>> But we were all looking forwards to the Xerox Dynabook.

Looking back, it's a bit amazing how many times something very like
today's
web was ALMOST invented.  Plato, Dynabook, hypertext, assorted email
conferencing
systems.  I got my first computer in exchange for writing some software
that put
a "touch the icon" and etc sort-of-GUI interface on top of a truly
atrocious
HP conferencing and messaging system (circa 1983?)  SOOO close, SOOO
many times,
but it was never quite there, either technically or personally, or ...
something.

(as an interesting (?) side result, when HTTP/etc first started to
appear ~1994
or so, I dismissed it as yet another doomed UI for less technical
users.  Despite
being smack in the middle of the networking industry.  Sigh.)

Google's "Orkut" community is interesting in the way it seems to be
failing (to
me) as well.  The number of people signed up for any particular special
interest
group never seems to be big enough to maintain any significant level of
activity.
It's like a mailing list needs a thousand lurkers to succeed, even if
they never
actually do anything...

BillW


2005\05\03@101248 by Howard Winter

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Bill,

On Mon, 2 May 2005 20:20:40 -0700, William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

>...<
> Looking back, it's a bit amazing how many times something very like today's
> web was ALMOST invented.  Plato, Dynabook, hypertext, assorted email conferencing
> systems.

I set up a very simple hypertext system in 1987, because the whole programming department was being made
redundant and the operators who had to use my systems couldn't ask for help after we'd gone, so I wrote a
quick & dirty help system for them, using hypertext links (I'd just heard of the idea and it wasn't hard to
implement).  This was on Datapoint systems, text-only.  I'm not sure how useful they found it - time ran out
before much actual content was put into it.  Was it really another seven years before HTTP came along?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\05\03@102741 by Ake Hedman

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That was almost Sir Howard then if the damn users had understood how good it was.... ;-)

/Ake

Howard Winter wrote:

{Quote hidden}

--  ---
Ake Hedman (YAP - Yet Another Programmer)
eurosource, Brattbergavägen 17, 820 50 LOS, Sweden
Phone: (46) 657 413430 Cellular: (46) 73 84 84 102
Company home: http://www.eurosource.se      Kryddor/Te/Kaffe: http://www.brattberg.com
Personal homepage: http://www.eurosource.se/akhe
Automated home: http://www.vscp.org

2005\05\03@105434 by Howard Winter

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Ake,

On Tue, 03 May 2005 16:27:35 +0200, Ake Hedman wrote:

> That was almost Sir Howard then if the damn users had understood how good it was.... ;-)

LOL!  (Hmmm... "Sir Howard"... has a certain ring to it!  :-)

However, the users did understand how good it was - it was the management of the firm that axed the whole
department for internal political reasons.  I could have invented perpetual motion, discovered a clean, free,
unending supply of energy, and brokered World Peace, and they still would have shown me the door!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\05\03@112651 by Ake Hedman

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Howard,

Strangely IIRC hypertext was a big British thing.  I had a company that sold software from 1984-1992 and  I can't count how many hypertext application writers  from GB who approached us as a possible distributor. We sold some packages I now don't remember the name of.  In that light Sir Tim Berners-Lee's   <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berners-Lee> work is understandable and that it was destined to be someone British that would come up with this. I don't know if it was written by a Britt but I think that there was some hypertext application on the Apple machines that was quite successful at the time.


Cheers
/Ake

Howard Winter wrote:

{Quote hidden}

--  ---
Ake Hedman (YAP - Yet Another Programmer)
eurosource, Brattbergavägen 17, 820 50 LOS, Sweden
Phone: (46) 657 413430 Cellular: (46) 73 84 84 102
Company home: http://www.eurosource.se      Kryddor/Te/Kaffe: http://www.brattberg.com
Personal homepage: http://www.eurosource.se/akhe
Automated home: http://www.vscp.org

2005\05\03@114413 by William Chops Westfield

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On May 3, 2005, at 7:12 AM, Howard Winter wrote:

> I set up a very simple hypertext system in 1987, ...
>  Was it really another seven years before HTTP came along?
>
No, but it was longer than that before it "caught on."
http://www.w3.org/History.html says it was 1993 when CERN declared WWW
technology free, the Internet acceptable use policy was reinterpretted
to allow commercial traffic, and NCSA Mosaic was released on many
platforms.
That sounds like a pretty pivotal year...  It wasn't till after that
that
tcp stacks came "standard" with personal computer operating systems.

BillW

2005\05\03@131121 by Nigel Duckworth

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>I could have invented perpetual motion, discovered a clean, free,
>unending supply of energy, and brokered World Peace...

Howard... so near yet so far eh?

It was the same for me, Electronics wasn't my first love.
I always wanted to be a Chemist. While still at school I
developed an acid that would literally eat through
anything.

Trouble was... I couldn't find anything to keep it in! :)

(sorry)

Nigel



--{Original Message removed}

2005\05\04@070746 by Alan B. Pearce

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>LOL!  (Hmmm... "Sir Howard"... has a certain ring to it!  :-)

careful - you might get to wear a pink shirt and run along the street
putting campaign pamphlets in letter boxes ...

For those not up with the play, there is an election in the UK this Friday.

2005\05\04@072940 by Dan Smith

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On 5/4/05, Alan B. Pearce <.....A.B.PearceKILLspamspam@spam@rl.ac.uk> wrote:
> For those not up with the play, there is an election in the UK this Friday.

I think you mean Thursday - May 5th :-)

Dan

2005\05\04@122104 by Alan B. Pearce

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>> For those not up with the play, there is an election in the UK this
Friday.
>
>I think you mean Thursday - May 5th :-)

Yeah, I did

2005\05\04@143344 by Peter

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On Tue, 3 May 2005, Ake Hedman wrote:

> Strangely IIRC hypertext was a big British thing.  I had a company that sold
> software from 1984-1992 and  I can't count how many hypertext application
> writers  from GB who approached us as a possible distributor. We sold some
> packages I now don't remember the name of.  In that light Sir Tim
> Berners-Lee's   <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berners-Lee> work is
> understandable and that it was destined to be someone British that would come
> up with this. I don't know if it was written by a Britt but I think that
> there was some hypertext application on the Apple machines that was quite
> successful at the time.

Didn't the French already have the Minitel system by then ? And there
was something called something else in Britain ? Here is a relevant
link:

http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/carlson/history/TELETEL.HTM

(back up one directory in the url for more history)

Peter


2005\05\04@143456 by Peter

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Apparently the first time they used the idea was 1967:

http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/carlson/timeline.shtml

Peter

2005\05\04@150212 by Ake Hedman

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Peter wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Interesting page. Forgot all about it.

Yes they had. The Vidotext and CEPT system was very similar to Internet. In Sweden videotext was used for home banking system and other info. In 1986 I coded a settop box for TV called Infratex with a IR remote QWERTY keyboard. It was built using a 6305 (Hitachi but actually a Motorola part ) and a French chip for Graphics/VideoText.  It was used for banking and airline traffic information for end users and our company sold quite a lot of them.  The Videotex system was no big hit in Sweden like Minitel in France but then French people was sponsored with terminals IIRC.

As a subnote. Around this time IAR and other companies started to do C-compilers for small micro controllers. I did C programming on higher end systems at the time but was *very* much against C in low end devices. Losing control was one of the arguments. But in todays light I must admit was dead wrong.  I'm still suppriced however to hear people here on the list talking about coding in assembler on an 18F device with all that code memory.  Strange decision....

/Ake

--  ---
Ake Hedman (YAP - Yet Another Programmer)
eurosource, Brattbergavägen 17, 820 50 LOS, Sweden
Phone: (46) 657 413430 Cellular: (46) 73 84 84 102
Company home: http://www.eurosource.se      Kryddor/Te/Kaffe: http://www.brattberg.com
Personal homepage: http://www.eurosource.se/akhe
Automated home: http://www.vscp.org

2005\05\04@151729 by Ake Hedman

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Peter wrote:

>
> Apparently the first time they used the idea was 1967:
>
> http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/carlson/timeline.shtml
>
> Peter
>
Enjoyed this link very much. This is the best chronicle pages about the development/progress of Internet I have ever seen.  At least I tend to loose track of when things happened. I remember my first mailsystem  (apart from FidoNet anyone remember Frontdoor and the like? ;-) )  I had a Compuserve account and had to call a New York number and download my mail. Fast typing as phone costs was *very* high. Later they got a Stockholm based modem pool and things got better.

/Ake

--  ---
Ake Hedman (YAP - Yet Another Programmer)
eurosource, Brattbergavägen 17, 820 50 LOS, Sweden
Phone: (46) 657 413430 Cellular: (46) 73 84 84 102
Company home: http://www.eurosource.se      Kryddor/Te/Kaffe: http://www.brattberg.com
Personal homepage: http://www.eurosource.se/akhe
Automated home: http://www.vscp.org

2005\05\04@203617 by Russell McMahon

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>> For those not up with the play, there is an election in the UK this
>> Friday.

> I think you mean Thursday - May 5th :-)

His brain yearned to be antipodean again.
It will be Friday May 6th here when the UK election is on.


       RM

2005\05\06@060355 by Howard Winter

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Nigel,

On Sat, 30 Apr 2005 17:32:34 +0100 (GMT Daylight Time), Nigel Duckworth wrote:

> >I could have invented perpetual motion, discovered a clean, free,
> >unending supply of energy, and brokered World Peace...
>
> Howard... so near yet so far eh?

:-)

> It was the same for me, Electronics wasn't my first love.
> I always wanted to be a Chemist. While still at school I
> developed an acid that would literally eat through
> anything.
>
> Trouble was... I couldn't find anything to keep it in! :)

LOL!

I wanted to be a Lumberjack - at least according to the careers advice I got when I was a student!  In fact I
always wanted to be an Inventor, but it turns out there isn't any such job unless you're Uncle Sir Clive,
Trevor Baylis or James Dyson.  But at least as a computer person I could invent solutions to problems, and I
always design my systems as if they were machines, even if they are software-only.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\05\06@060935 by Howard Winter

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Peter,

On Wed, 4 May 2005 21:34:03 +0300 (IDT), Peter wrote:

> On Tue, 3 May 2005, Ake Hedman wrote:
>
> > Strangely IIRC hypertext was a big British thing.  I
had a company that sold
> > software from 1984-1992 and  I can't count how many
hypertext application
> > writers  from GB who approached us as a possible
distributor. We sold some
> > packages I now don't remember the name of.  In that
light Sir Tim
> > Berners-Lee's  
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berners-Lee> work is
> > understandable and that it was destined to be
someone British that would come
> > up with this. I don't know if it was written by a
Britt but I think that
> > there was some hypertext application on the Apple
machines that was quite
> > successful at the time.
>
> Didn't the French already have the Minitel system by
then ? And there
> was something called something else in Britain ? Here
is a relevant
> link:
>
> http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/carlson/history/TELETEL.HTM

Funny you should mention that - we did a "Viewdata"
front-end to the order processing system that we had in
the '80s, so that customers could dial in (via Prestel)
and place new orders and check on the progress of
existing ones.  It was crude but it had some success,
and it really annoyed some of our competitors because we
didn't charge the customers for the privilege, which the
others wanted to do.

Ah, those were the days - we did a lot of pioneering
then, including installing LANs (ARC, later renames
Acrnet) about 25 years ago.

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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