ZX81 killers (was: Microsoft open sources GWBASIC)

Bill Degnan billdegnan at gmail.com
Thu May 28 22:56:04 CDT 2020

On Thu, May 28, 2020 at 9:58 PM Jecel Assumpcao Jr via cctalk <
cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:

> Jim Brain wrote on Thu, 28 May 2020 18:15:19 -0500
> > On 5/28/2020 1:24 PM, Liam Proven via cctalk wrote:
> > >
> > >> .  Evidently, there exists a lower bound of functionality
> > >> of computing capability in the US, and the little wedge just didn't
> make
> > >> it.
> > > No no. It wasn't that. It was _money_.
> >
> > I think we're saying the same thing, but...
> >
> > I agree all things revolve around money, and US folks appreciate a good
> > value.  But, given all of the options in the US, the ZX81's lower cost
> > did not appear to provide enough value, so it was passed over in lieu of
> > slightly more expensive options that offered many more features.
> There were ZX81 ads in Byte magazine before the Timex thing. I bought
> one (Brazil is 60Hz so it had to be an American version) as a major
> upgrade to my MEK6800D2, but then replaced it with a TI99/4A.
> The threat of the ZX81 (and a bit more distantly the Spectrum) in the US
> lead to machines such as the TRS-80 MC10, TI99/2 and Commmodore C116 to
> try to compete with it.
I can attest to that, Mike Tomczak told me the story of the C116 and the
ZX81 when he came to visit our Sinclair exhibit, which has a C116 nearby
for comparison.  I have the good fortune to have Mike live nearby.  He's a
very friendly and knowledgeable guy about the business of the micro
business from 80's.


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