Bye Sir Clive Sinclair

The eccentric genius and brain behind my first computer (ZX Spectrum), Sir Clive Sinclair, has passed away. Home computers, digital calculators, television in pocket, electric vehicles — he pioneered many of these things.

Sir Clive Sinclair: Computing pioneer dies aged 81

Home computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged 81


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Reversing Sinclair’s amazing 1974 calculator hack – half the ROM of the HP-35

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Micro Men – 720p (2009)


    Affectionately comic drama about the British home computer boom of the early 1980s.

    Legendary inventor Clive Sinclair battles it out with ex-employee Chris Curry, founder of Acorn Computers, for dominance in the fledgling market.

    The rivalry comes to a head when the BBC announce their Computer Literacy Project, with the stated aim of putting a micro in every school in Britain. When Acorn wins the contract, Sinclair is furious, and determines to outsell the BBC Micro with his ZX Spectrum computer.

    Home computing arrives in Britain in a big way, but is the country big enough for both men?

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Farewell Sir Clive Sinclair; Inspired A Generation Of Engineers

    It is with sadness that we note the passing of the British writer, engineer, home computer pioneer, and entrepreneur, Sir Clive Sinclair, who died this morning at the age of 81 after a long illness. He is perhaps best known among Hackaday readers for his ZX series of home computers from the 1980s, but over a lifetime in the technology industry there are few corners of consumer electronics that he did not touch in some way.

    Sinclair’s first career in the 1950s was as a technical journalist and writer, before founding the electronics company Sinclair Radionics in the 1960s. His output in those early years was a mixture of miniature transistor radios and Hi-Fi components, setting the tone for decades of further tiny devices including an early LED digital watch at the beginning of the 1970s, miniature CRT TVs in the ’70s and ’80s, and another tiny in-ear FM radio which went on sale in the ’90s.

    At the start of the ’70s he took on the emerging mass-market calculator world with yet more miniaturisation by the use of button cells rather than bulky dry cells, and then with scientific calculators at a low price thanks to extremely clever reprogramming of a more mundane calculator chip.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sinclair C5 (original TV advert)

    The Sinclair C5 was a battery electric vehicle invented by Sir Clive Sinclair and launched in the United Kingdom on 10 January 1985. It was a battery-assisted tricycle steered by handles on each side of the driver’s seat. Powered operation was possible making it unnecessary for the driver to pedal. Its top speed of 15 miles per hour (24 km/h), was the fastest allowed in the UK without a driving licence. It sold for £399 plus £29 for delivery. It became an object of media and popular ridicule and was a commercial disaster, selling only around 12,000 units.

    #ElectronicsCreators #Sinclair #ElectricCar
    EEVblog 1419 – Sinclair C5 Restoration – Part 2

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Chris Curry talks about Clive Sinclair, Sinclair Radionics and Acorn Computers

    Jason Fitzpatrick talks to Chris Curry about his early days at Sinclair Radionics, working with Clive Sinclair, Acorn Computers and the development of the BBC Micro. Filmed in 2015.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What It’s Like to Drive Britain’s Biggest Motoring Failure | Jason Drives

    Jason drives the Tesla of the 1980s, if a Tesla was a nearly useless, slow, open electric three- wheeled plastic lump, made by the Steve Jobs of Britain.

    Viewer comments:

    The reason for YouTube. Right here.

    This has literally less power than my electric longboard

    You could probably vastly improve the power and range of a C5 today by substituting a modern motor and battery

    I own two of them, and they are only 250 watts of power to have them street legal without insurance. They are really fun, I converted lights to Led, made a more advanced dash, and it just keeps working.

    lotus engineers definitely bashed out that chassis design

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Clive Sinclair on Inside Out (East)

    Maggie Philbin talks about Clive Sinclair and some of his inventions, including his pocket calculator, the Spectrum, and the C5. Features Andy Kavanagh of comp.sys.sinclair “fame”.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Clive Sinclair on Inside Out (East)

    Maggie Philbin talks about Clive Sinclair and some of his inventions, including his pocket calculator, the Spectrum, and the C5. Features Andy Kavanagh of comp.sys.sinclair “fame”.

    Sir Clive should be remembered more for the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum and not the C5!

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Documentary – The SInclair ZX80, ZX81, and Timex Sinclair 1000

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Acorn vs Sinclair – An Epic ’80s Computer Rivalry | Nostalgia Nerd

    Although this video involves many companies such as Sinclair Radionics, Sinclair Instrument Ltd, Thandar Ltd and Cambridge Processor Unit, it boils down to the trading names of Acorn Computers and Sinclair Research and the rivalry between them during the early 1980s era of home computers. It’s a very British story of the early micro computer industry, with each company respectively owned by Chris Curry (and Herman Hauser) and Clive Sinclair. This video charts the whole story from the inception of Clive Sinclair’s first company, Sinclair Radionics, to when Chris Curry started working for him, to when he left and formed Acorn and when the rivalry of early ’80s micros set in with each company trying to compete against other in gaming, educational and professional markets. Join me starting some time in the early ’60s for a journey that doesn’t really finish until this very day, as we visit Sinclair’s Black Watch, the Newbury Newbrain (later it would become the Grundy Newbrain), the Sinclair ZX80, the ZX81, the Spectrum, Sinclair QL and the Spectrum 128k+…. and on Acorn’s side, the Acorn System 1, System 2, System 3, Acorn Atom, Acorn Proton, BBC Micro, BBC Micro B, Acorn Electron, BBC Master, Acorn Archimedes and finishing up with the RISC ARM processors developed by the Acorn team in the mid-late 1980s.


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