ZX81

The ZX81 is a home computer produced by Sinclair Research and manufactured in Scotland by Timex Corporation. It was launched in the United Kingdom in March 1981 as the successor to Sinclair's ZX80 and was designed to be a low-cost introduction to home computing for the general public. It was hugely successful and more than 1.5 million units were sold before it was eventually discontinued. The ZX81 found commercial success in many other countries, notably the United States, where it was initially sold as the ZX-81. Timex manufactured and distributed it under licence and enjoyed a substantial but brief boom in sales. Timex later produced its own versions of the ZX81 for the US market – the Timex Sinclair 1000 and Timex Sinclair 1500. Unauthorised clones of the ZX81 were produced in a number of countries.

The ZX81 was designed to be small, simple, and above all cheap, using as few components as possible to keep the cost down. Video output was to a television set rather than a dedicated monitor. Programs and data were loaded and saved onto audio tape cassettes. It had only four silicon chips on board and a mere 1 KB of memory. The ZX81's limitations prompted the emergence of a flourishing market in third-party peripherals to improve its capabilities. Such limitations, however, achieved Sinclair's objective of keeping the cost of the machine as low as possible. Its distinctive design brought its designer, Rick Dickinson, a Design Council award.

ZX81, TESLA SP90D, CGI and Dennis Muren - a few of the influences and interests of Andrew Cameron.

Our Nutshell this week is Andrew Cameron of Lockheed Martin. Andrew, like so many of our Nutshells cut his computing teeth on a Sinclair ZX81. He is another Tesla aficionado. One of Andrew's biggest interests is technology and film and he would love to meet Dennis Muren.  Dennis Muren is a...

Andrew, like so many of our Nutshells cut his computing teeth on a Sinclair ZX81. He is another Tesla aficionado. One of Andrew's biggest interests is technology and film and he would love to meet Dennis Muren.  Dennis Muren is a legendary special effects supervisor and has worked with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and...... James Cameron. Do you think Andrew could be related to James?

Photograph of Andrew Cameron Project Manager at Lockheed Martin

Read S. Claus (honest I am handsome) in a Nutshell. Yet another Sinclair ZX81 aficionado. He would exchange reindeer for a Bugatti Veyron or a Lamborghini Murcielago any day.

Christmas blog from Company Connecting: In a Nutshell with S. Claus of North Pole Enterprises

Read about Martin Slowey of Kingman Lennox, along with his take on what a Sinclair ZX81 and Kylie Minogue have in common!

Kylie Minogue - One of the people Martin Slowey would like to meet

Scott Petrie started his journey in IT with the school computing society where he had the opportunity to tinker with a number of early computers e.g. ZX81 and the Apple II. Through his company Analysis Logic, he now provides a variety of services.

Scott Petrie of Analysis Logic was hooked on Computing by a ZX81,