Sir Clive Sinclair is a British inventor whose list of achievements include making some of the worlds most popular personal computers during the 1980s. His ZX80 (1980) ZX81 (1981) and ZX Spectrum (1982) were wildly popular in the UK, parts of Europe and here in New Zealand, due largely to their low price.
In 1986, having poured millions of pounds into the development of the C5 electric vehicle, Sinclair Reaserch was in a dire financial struggle. Sir Clive sold the Sinclair trademark and all computer designs and licenses to Amstrad. He then founded Cambridge Computer Ltd and in 1988 released the Z88 portable computer to a somewhat flaccid reception.
The Z88 was similar to older computers, such as the very successful Tandy 100 from 1983, but had several impressive features.
- It used entirely solid-state storage. File and programs were stored on EPROM cartridges which could be read and written by the Z88 itself.
- I had incredible battery life, lasting for up to 20 hours usage or 1 year standby on four AA batteries
- Three expansion slots allowed expansion of both memory, and removable EPROM cartridges
- The built-in PipeDream software was a word processor, spreadsheet and simple database all rolled into one.
- It also included BBC BASIC, one of the most advanced BASICs of its time.
Well, we're at the end of the Retro Challenge Summer Challenge for 2011 and I've done sod all. It would be perhaps overly charitable to say I've done anything at all. Thinking back over the month I have:
It was another weekend busy with family and friends, and very little time for retro computing endeavours. I finally had an hour or so yesterday afternoon so I cleared my wife's partially disassembled tricycle awaty from the workbench and got to work.
First order of effort was to tidy up and put away an Apple IIe Platinum I had aquired a month or two ago that has been sitting on the workbench ever since. The exterior was dirty and the interior even more so. While giving the once over I noticed that the 5.25" drive had a cracked and damaged facia on the top front corners where the face plate joins with the drive body. I don't remember there being any damage when I bought it. Huh.
After packing away the IIe Platinum on a shelf with it's older siblings, a IIe and IIe Enhanced, I turned my attention to my MAc 512Ke. If you've been following my blog you may remember my repair effort on this machine a few months ago. I hadn't screwecd the case together after the repair as I'd intended to clean and retr0bright it first, but winter has not been kind and the retr0brighting will have to wait. I screwed it back togther and returned it to the shelf alongside the Mac Plus and Mac SE.
After two weeks of failing to do anything other than talk about old computers and pimp the Viva Amiga Documentary I pulled out the stops - the wallet stops that is - and have bought an Apple IIe card and an LC III to put it in. They're not going to arrive by the weekend, so here are the pictures the seller put up:
The peripherals with the LC III look like they'll go nicely with my IIGS, and I already have a fairly full assortment of Macintosh keyboards and mice, so the next steps are Apple monitors to go with the IIGS and LC III.