Death of Sinclair Spectrum Designer - Ships Nostalgia
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Death of Sinclair Spectrum Designer

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  #1  
Old 30th April 2018, 09:37
Binnacle1 Binnacle1 is offline
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Death of Sinclair Spectrum Designer

Rick Dickinson, the designer of Sinclair computers, has died in the US while receiving treatment for cancer.
The British designer, thought to be in his 60s, worked in-house for Sinclair Research and oversaw the creation of its home computers in the 1980s.
He was responsible for the boxy look of the ZX80 and ZX81 and the Bauhaus-inspired appearance of the Spectrum.
Mr Dickinson also helped to develop the technologies for the UK company's touch-sensitive and rubber keyboards.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-43907248
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  #2  
Old 30th April 2018, 17:26
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Farmer John Farmer John is offline  
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I owe the Spectrum a lot, it got me started with programming and computers in general. Visually it was exciting, technically it was a real thrill. I moved on, but in memory I love my Speccy.
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Old 1st May 2018, 10:59
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I remember building a ZX81 from a kit at sea. Had the dreaded 16k RAM back on the wobbly socket at the back.

When I got home I gave it to a kid who went onto to become a techno-music pop star in a group called Altern 8. Although I doubt the ZX81 featured in that, although it could have got him started.
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Old 1st May 2018, 16:30
Bill.B Bill.B is offline  
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The Spectrum was a great help to me in finding a job when I came ashore after CP. Bought a book in the States on machine code programming and used my Spectrum to try and read its code. Had a small stereo with 4" screen which I lugged around. Still have it in pristine condition plus printer. Not sure what to do with it now though. Biggest benefit of working in the computer industry was when I came back as a shore tech, and everyone was afraid of microcomputer marine equipment that was appearing daily, it made my work easy.
RIP.
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Old 1st May 2018, 17:56
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Bill.B, you explain that quite well, so many people were just afraid. I was at one College where all the computers were locked in a cupboard, never unpacked. If you were prepared to go for it, you could become the expert.
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Old 1st May 2018, 19:47
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It's our generation who have seen the move from no computers, or at least computers that were large boxes filled with spinning things that filled huge rooms, to what they are today. The closest I got to a vision of a modern computer (not a bad one as it turned out) was a fictional sinister machine that kept calling you 'Dave' and 'made bad decisions.'

I distinctly remember in 1968 there occurring in a City and Guilds exam a question asking for the decimal equivalent of a binary number. One of those early quickfire questions on the paper. This was the concession to the fact that there was something other than analogue out there.

Sinclair's products, and others like Oric, Commodore, Acorn came along in the 70's heralding the dawn of a revolution. And we've seen it all …

You have to take you hat off to those pioneers who made science fiction into science fact.
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Old 1st May 2018, 21:03
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I was very fortunate to have 'fallen' into computing by accident at just the right time. I left the sea in 1965 after have passed my Master's in December 1964. I believed I was leaving temporarily as my Dad was seriously ill. P&O gave me a year's leave (without pay) so I looked for something to pay the bar bills. Some company I had never heard of then called IBM advertised for MN Deck Officers below 30 with 1st Mate's or Master's. Two of us who applied were accepted (out of 140!) following an all day interview.
IBM's UK Head Office then had a 1401 computer with a mighty 16kb memory. No screens or keyboards; input was by punched card, output was either punched card or printed. Printing was in one type face and always upper case. Data storage was on 12" reels of magnetic tape. Quite the best feature of the employment was the preponderance of attractive young ladies everywhere, including the Computer Librarian (whom I married 2yrs later) and with whom I recently celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary.

Data Processing as it was then termed kept me gainfully employed until retirement, and then as a voluntary job with a charity. I suspect our washing machine has more memory than that old 1401.
Ian
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Old 1st May 2018, 21:44
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I remember when the company I worked for bought a pocket calculator, very expensive and no more cranking the old Odhner machines.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 17:32
Aberdonian Aberdonian is offline  
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Before decimalisation and the calculator, a trusty Ready Reckoner was invaluable when working on ships accounts - particularly with Running Agreement.

Keith
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