Rick Dickinson, ZX Spectrum designer, RIP

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Thu Apr 26 16:15:51 CDT 2018

On Thu, 26 Apr 2018 at 23:04, Fred Cisin via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org>

> Neither "first", nor "sub-$1000"
> Apple][ was $1298, and discounts were very rare.
> TRS-80 at $599 was less than half the price.
> Pet at $795 was barely more than half the price.

The TRS-80 line barely sold over here, so I tend to forget them.

But perhaps I have incorrectly remembered what the Apple II was marketed as.

> Not all americans are nor were idly wealthy.
> The day before I bought my TRS80 was a typical 14 hour work day, with rice
> and beans for dinner.
> I had to choose between buying not skimping on groceries V a Mini-Cooper-S
> (needed a little work) V Honda 600 V TRS80.  Did I make the right choice?

I'd go for a bike over a car any day. Well, when I was young, anyway. Now,
I'm getting kinda stiff and creaky... Because of all the bike crashes and
the scar tissue.

> But, exchange rate in those days was about 2:1!
> You dealt with extreme markups, with many machines selling there for the
> same number of pounds as their dollar price in USA!
> ~$500 GBP for TRS80, >1000 GBP for Apple
> are twice what the MSRP should have been.

Oh yes.

There was a Mac dealer who undercut Apple UK by literally sending an
employee to New York, walk on fare, who bought the Mac of your choice at
retail, flew back with it, and delivered it to you.

Not kidding.

> Timex/Sinclair was $100, in keeping with the same industry specific
> exchange rate that was gouging y'all.
> It was amazing how much they accomplished with so little.


> It had a picture of a keyboard on top, (as a suggested expansion?)


It worked. Not well, but it worked. No worse than an Atari 400 keyboard --
the same design.

> I got my assistant ("VP Of Marketing") a Timex.


> Later, I bought a used Yamaha MSX (from Mitchell Waite) for him.
> Then he bought a Mindset.

I never got into MSX. They ended up very impressive by the MSX2+ era.


> Here, also, Sinclair was a popular first computer for people who didn't
> want to spend a significant part of their income for a computer, (and for
> kids without wealthy parents)


> Some Macs have been made into aquariums.
> PCs can have individual parts upgraded for decades.
> But, the Sinclair needed no work to be repurposed as an elegant doorstop.

Harsh, but not new...
Liam Proven • Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
Email: lproven at cix.co.uk • Google Mail/Hangouts/Plus: lproven at gmail.com
Twitter/Facebook/Flickr: lproven • Skype/LinkedIn: liamproven
UK: +44 7939-087884 • ČR (+ WhatsApp/Telegram/Signal): +420 702 829 053

More information about the cctalk mailing list