Microsoft open sources GWBASIC

Peter Corlett abuse at
Sat May 23 17:52:59 CDT 2020

On Sat, May 23, 2020 at 01:24:01PM -0700, Fred Cisin via cctalk wrote:
> On Sat, 23 May 2020, Liam Proven via cctalk wrote:
>> • the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, which was cheaper & had a crappy keyboard,
> That was a keyboard??
> I thought that it was just a picture of a keyboard glued on, as a suggestion
> of a possible accessory to purchase.   :-)
> Besides, the bottom of the door scrapes it.

Sinclair's keyboards *were* glued-on :)

You perhaps forget that the UK was on the skids in the early 1980s and
working-class families had no chance of affording one of those fancy imported
American C64s. Around that time, my parents bought their house for £8,000. They
were hardly going to spend 5% of that on my Christmas present. I got a ZX81 and
would bloody well like it or lump it.

Uncle Clive had been making dubiously-cheap electronics using equal measures of
ingenious design and cutting one corner too many since the 1970s, so he was
well-placed to clean up in the more tight-fisted end of the UK computer market.

The posh kids got a BBC Micro because of a government push to put computers
into schools, which is why the C64 didn't really sell to the affluent either.
There were also some other weird British machines such as the Dragon 32 which
still seemed to be more common than the C64 yet barely merit a footnote in
history today.

The C64 was reasonably popular in (as-then) West Germany, because they still
had an economy unlike the UK; hence "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet". Further east, they
were doing cheap knock-offs of Sinclair machines because even those were far
too expensive when all you had were Ostmarks or worse.

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