Rick Dickinson and Sinclair Research, 1981

  1. Originally available as a mail-order kit only, the Sinclair ZX81 and its predecessor, the ZX80, were Clive Sinclair’s attempts to bring computing to the masses. But the ZX81 was more than a kit computer. Its small size, sleek shape, and modern aesthetic combined with its low cost — it was the original “$100 computer” — to set design standards and price expectations for personal computing devices that influence to this day. Rick Dickinson comments: “Apart from Apple, the typical personal computer lacked true industrial design direction and I felt certain their correct identity was as yet undiscovered, but from where should a home computer take visual reference — a TV set, hi-fi, furniture, ...

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