Thirty year’s ago the world of home computing changed massively. The ZX Spectrum, which launched on 23 April 1982 from Sinclair Research, was different from the rivals out there. In size-terms it was even smaller than a modern tablet and it probably had an even larger impact on consumer PC use.
The ‘Speccy’ went on to become one of the biggest selling models of all time and originals in perfect order now swap hands for 100s of time their original cost. It wasn’t the most powerful of the home computers around at the time either. Many a playground argument took place over whether the Commodore 64 or later the Atari ST were lacking the playability or accessibility of the much more affordable Spectrum.
At launch the 16KB model retailed at £125 and the ‘classic’ 48KB model for £175. The success of the machine made inventor Sir Clive Sinclair a household name and encouraged a whole new generation of computer programmers using the built-in BASIC language. Hundreds of thousands of teenagers squealed in excitement at their first experiment of programming that maybe only cycled the screen through a spectrum of colours, but opened up a whole world of potential.
Wind-forward thirty years and a new generation of programmers are hoping for exactly the same inspiration using the Raspberry Pi machine we previously reported on.
The world of computing is full of paradigm shifts but the impact of the Speccy is one that will probably be noted as one of the most influential in history and one to be respectfully remembered when we frustratingly re-tap our smartphones for not connecting quickly enough.