Rick Dickinson, ZX Spectrum designer, RIP

Alexandre Souza alexandre.tabajara at gmail.com
Thu Apr 26 08:38:54 CDT 2018

Just to add some info to the excellent Liam's post, it was a revolution in
south america too. The first computers in Brazil were ZX80 clones (TK82C is
a ZX80 clone, not a ZX81...ZX81 were cloned just in the TK85 computer) and
it was a revolution! I was a very poor guy, my father was a Militar Police
soldier and he was able to afford (in 24 installments) a TK85 for me. It
was the only affordable computer for the poor for YEARS.

Another interesting thing is that the exterior designs of sinclair
computers were never completely copied in Brazil. TK82C had a case inspired
(but not directly cloned) from ZX80. TK83 was a complete innovative design.
TK85 was a clone of the externals of the ZX spectrum (being a ZX81 clone)
BUT had vents on top and the entire enclosure is taller. TK90X uses mostly
the same enclosure of the TK85 with the vents on diagonal, and TK95 cloned
the commodore Plus4 enclosure.

2018-04-26 9:47 GMT-03:00 Liam Proven via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org>:

> A lengthy interview with the later great Rick Dickinson, product designer
> of basically every Sinclair computer, who sadly died of cancer on Tuesday.
> https://medium.com/@ghalfacree/an-interview-with-
> rick-dickinson-3fea60537338
> He not only did the ZX 80, ZX 81, ZX Spectrum and the QL, but also the Z88,
> the Spectrum Next and others -- along with a lot of other stuff.
> I know this is a rather USA-centric list, so probably most of you started
> off with things like the Apple II, the first sub-$1000 home computer. But
> in Britain and Europe back then, we were a lot poorer, and $1000 was an
> impossibly large amount of money -- many months of pay in a good job.
> I think in my early home-computer days, I never saw a single Apple II --
> they were exotic, expensive foreign machines. I have only seen them in
> recent years, as collectible antiques.
> In the UK, the revolution was the first sub-£100 home computer, the ZX 81.
> I first used a Commodore PET. Later, a few of my richer friends had
> Commodore 64s. The super-wealthy might have a BBC Micro. In either case, a
> working setup with mass storage -- floppy drives -- was nearing £1000.
> Nobody owned a _monitor_ -- they were exotica for professionals.
> Whereas a Spectrum with a Microdrive was a quarter of that and a highly
> usable system, with tens of thousands of games, plus mutiple programming
> languages, word processors, databases and more.
> I think if you ask virtually any British person in their late 30s, 40s or
> 50s, in anything connected with IT, what their first computer was, the
> answer would be a ZX 81 or a ZX Spectrum. It was the single range of
> machines that drove the entire computer revolution over here, and also in
> the form of a myriad clones in the Communist Bloc.
> Later, imitators came along -- the Oric (6502) and Dragon (6809) ranges,
> for instance. And of course there were many machines that aspired to be
> better: Memotech. Camputers Lynx, Elan Enterprise, etc. All flopped to some
> degree.
> The only thing that displaced Sinclair was Amstrad, who made more expensive
> computers but with much better specifications -- an integrated tape drive,
> or floppies, even a printer, and a real monitor. They cost more but still
> less than Commodore or Acorn: you got a lot for your money. Amstrad
> eventually bought Sinclair's models and name, and later still, it launched
> the first _cheap_ PC clones and kick-started the IBM-compatible industry
> over here. But it did it standing on Sinclair's shoulders.
> Part of the joy of Sinclair machines (like Apple and Commodore) was their
> very distinctive look -- black, slablike, with tiny discrete bits of
> colour, unlike the grey or beige boxes of virtually all the competition.
> And that was down to Rick Dickinson, who only discovered years later how he
> had inspired whole generations of people.
> --
> Liam Proven • Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
> Email: lproven at cix.co.uk • Google Mail/Hangouts/Plus: lproven at gmail.com
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