History of computers and games
History of computers and games
Clive Sinclair founded Sinclair Radionics on July 25, 1961. The company was engaged in the development of scientific equipment, calculators, radios, amplifiers and speakers. Sinclair Radionics also produced kits for assembling radios and audio amplifiers. The company rapidly grew its reputation as a pioneer in consumer electronics.
Since 1972, the company has been engaged in the production of electronic watches, portable televisions and tools.
In September 1973, Sinclair bought Ablesdeal Ltd. to avoid delays when his own projects had to be spun off from Sinclair Radionics. The soundness of this decision was confirmed when the delays associated with the Black Watch project led Sinclair Radionics to seek additional funds to complete the mini-TV project, which had been in the works for ten years.
In February 1975, Sinclair changed the name of Ablesdeal to Westminster Mail Order Ltd, which was then changed in August 1975 to Sinclair Instrument Ltd.
The National Enterprise Board bought 43% of Sinclair Radionics in August 1976 for £650,000. Seeing it inappropriate to share control of "his" company with anyone, Sinclair persuaded Chris Curry, who had worked for Radionics since 1966, to leave the company and develop a new company, Sinclair Instrument.
Sinclair Instruments hastily developed the portable Wrist Calculator to improve its financial condition, which sold surprisingly well. In July 1977, Sinclair Instruments Ltd was renamed Science of Cambridge Ltd. Around this time, Ian Williamson showed Curry a prototype computer built around a National Semiconductor SC/MP microprocessor and some parts taken from a Cambridge Sinclair calculator. Curry was impressed and persuaded Sinclair to adapt this development as his own product; an agreement was reached with Williamson, but the contract was not signed - National Semiconductor offered to redesign the project to use only its own components and produce printed circuit boards.
Curry accepted the offer and in June 1978 Science of Cambridge released the MK14 microcomputer based on the SC/MP microprocessor.
Sinclair Radionics started the first computer project in July 1978. When Sinclair realized that Grundy NewBrain couldn't sell for hundreds of pounds, his mind turned to the ZX80. Jim Westwood developed the ZX80 at Science of Cambridge.
The Sinclair ZX80 was released in February 1980 and cost £79.95 as a kit and £99.95 as a finished product. It was the world's first sub-£100 computer in dimensions (218x170x50mm) and weighed 340 grams.
In November, Science of Cambridge was renamed Sinclair Computers Ltd. In March 1981, Sinclair Computers was renamed Sinclair Research Ltd, and the ZX81 was released to the market at a price of £49.95 as a kit and £69.95 as a finished product.
In February 1982, Timex acquired the rights to manufacture and sell Sinclair products in the United States. In April, Sinclair Research released the ZX Spectrum ZX82, priced at £125 for the 16K RAM version and £175 for the 48K RAM version.
In two years, more than a million of these devices were produced. This computer broke all sales records for decades to come. "© 1982 Sinclair Research Ltd." It was this inscription that served as a splash screen when turning on the Spectrum, a computer that Sinclair developed and began to produce.
In July, Timex released the TS1000 - a variant of the ZX81 - in the US. In January 1983, the Spectrum was presented at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In September, Sinclair released a pocket flat screen TV.
The Sinclair QL was released in 1984. In May, Sinclair Research Ltd received 13,000 orders but completed only a few hundred. Fully functioning versions of the QL were not available until the end of the summer. Sinclair was criticized by the advertisers' association.
The Spectrum+ was released in October and went straight to the shelves in anticipation of good Christmas sales. However, it did not sell as well as planned; a large number of machines continued to remain on the shelves of resellers, and Sinclair Research's income plummeted.
The Sinclair C5 was released on January 10, 1985. Its sales did not meet expectations and production was stopped on August 13th. The C5 and issues with the QL and flat-panel TV wrecked investor confidence in Sinclair Research. On May 28, 1985, Sinclair announced his desire to restructure the company, which required an additional 10-15 million pounds.
Given the loss of confidence on the part of investors, this proved to be an impossible task. In 1986, Sinclair sold the rights to the entire line of computers to Amstrad (this deal did not concern the company itself, but only the rights to manufacture the ZX Spectrum).
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