Kevin Taylor, Managing Director of Gravytrain Ltd discusses the features of his very first computer, the Sinclair ZX81. This was one of the first home computers, launched in the 1980’s; it was a low cost introduction to home computing for users of all ages. It was designed to use as few components as possible to remain small, simple and cost effective.
‘The Sinclair ZX81 was my first computer! When I read an article about it on BBC news it brought back a few memories! I remember being about 12 years old, at school about 30 years ago we had a Sinclair ZX81; it was my first experience of technology. I liked it so much I persuaded my Dad to buy me one!
It didn’t have sound or a colour screen; it was a small black box with 1k of memory. Everything was loaded and saved onto a cassette tape; it didn’t even have a power switch! I couldn’t get enough of it; I used it to write simple games to amuse myself.
The ZX81 went on to inspire a community of computer enthusiasts. I could never have imagined what was to come, the advent of the home PC, the games console, the mobile phone, the laptop, the smart phone and now all of this connected via the internet and very often with no wires!
It’s hard to believe 30 years ago the ZX81 was a pioneering machine, it kick started the rise of home computing. Whilst I have my slippers on, smoking my pipe and stroking my cat on the way to retirement, I am glad I was there at the very start of this computing phenomenon’.