it’s very sad to hear that Clive Sinclair has died. He changed the many lives. And arguably, the digital age for us in the UK started with the Sinclair ZX80, when thousands of kids learnt to code using 1k of RAM. In the 80s the Spectrum was like a Rolls Royce with 48k. I mucked around with my mates machine … and then bought a Dragon 32!
Sir Clive Sinclair is widely considered the pioneer of home computing and other consumer electronics, as well as the bizarre Sinclair C5. Most have heard about the Sinclair ZX81 / ZX Spectrum, but his company also produced the TV80, a cathode ray tube-based portable mini television. Unfortunately, the Sinclair FTV1 (TV80) was a commercial flop, with only 15,000 units produced. Read more for two videos, including one on his quirky C5 battery-powered vehicle.
The Black Watch
In August 1975 Sinclair introduced the digital Black Watch at £17.95 in kit form and £24.95 ready-built, although this wasn’t available to buy until January 1976. Including a five-digit LED display, it suffered from technical flaws related with the design of the case, the chip, the battery and accuracy. Not only was the watch unreliable. Sinclair was not able to fulfil the orders it had taken. As a result, Sinclair made his first loss in the financial year April 1974-April 1975. The Black Watch fiasco had a devastating effect on Sinclair’s finances and the company would have gone bankrupt had not the Government, through the National Enterprise Board, stepped in to support it.