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  • Rob

ON THIS DAY, 1940...

On 30th July 1940, Sir Clive Sinclair (1940-2021) was born. Sinclair was a British entrepreneur, inventor, and visionary known for his pioneering work in the fields of home computing and consumer electronics. He was born in Richmond, Surrey, England, and passed away on September 16, 2021.


Sinclair founded Sinclair Radionics Ltd in 1961, initially focusing on electronic products such as calculators and miniature radios. However, he became widely known for contributing to the early home computing revolution in the 1980s.


Some of his most notable inventions and products include:

  1. Sinclair ZX80: Introduced in 1980, the ZX80 was one of the first affordable home computers available to the general public. It was a simple machine with a black-and-white display and a membrane keyboard. Despite its limitations, the ZX80 helped bring home computing to a broader audience.

  2. Sinclair ZX81: Released in 1981, the ZX81 was an improved version of the ZX80. It became even more popular and is considered one of the early successes in the home computer market due to its low cost and accessibility.

  3. Sinclair ZX Spectrum: Launched in 1982, the ZX Spectrum was Sinclair's most successful computer. It had colour graphics, a better keyboard, and a wide range of software available, making it a significant competitor in the home computer market of the time.

  4. Sinclair QL (Quantum Leap): Introduced in 1984, the QL was an ambitious venture intended to be a more sophisticated personal computer for business users. However, due to various technical issues and marketing problems, it did not achieve the same level of success as Sinclair's previous computers.

  5. Sinclair C5: In 1985, Sinclair introduced the C5, an innovative but ultimately unsuccessful electrically-assisted tricycle. It was designed as an eco-friendly and cost-effective personal transport solution, but poor sales and safety concerns led to its discontinuation.

Throughout his career, Clive Sinclair was known for his innovative ideas and willingness to take risks in bringing new technologies to the market. He received numerous awards and honours for his contributions to computing and technology.


Clive Sinclair's work significantly impacted the early days of home computing, and his legacy continues to influence the technology industry. He will be remembered as one of the pioneers who helped make computers accessible to a broader audience and played a crucial role in shaping the digital world we live in today.

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