Saturday, 5 March 2011

Technology: It's The Big Three-Oh!

On this date exactly 30 years ago affordable personal computing was born...

Yes, it's the big three-oh birthday of that beautiful little machine that was (and still is!) Sinclair ZX81. It sure wasn't the first affordable personal computer. It wasn't even the very first one available in build-it-yourself kit form. That honour probably goes to Altair 8800, also credited with actually sparking off the whole personal/affordable computer craze that is yet to end. Why, ZX81 wasn't even the first Sinclair sold in kit for. That particular honour goes to MK14 - even if most of us would think it'd have been the ZX80 (which used to blink as you typed - literally). On a more personal note, ZX81 wasn't even my first personal computer. That honour goes to the venerable, and still beloved by all and sundry, Spectrum (basic 48k version, if you have to ask). But, not being any of these things, the ZX81 still has a place in many a heart - including mine. Oh, the magic one could wield in that 1k of memory! And to think we now find it difficult to do some things in the gigabytes we have. Shame.

But, to cut the long story short (it is much better told elsewhere): Happy Birthday ZX81...