Sinclair ZX80 and the Dawn of ‘Surreal’ U.K. Game Industry

The Sinclair ZX80 home computer was creation of British inventor Clive Sinclair. Affectionately nicknamed “Uncle Clive” by his fans, Sinclair was the living embodiment of a British boffin with his thin spectacles, balding scalp and ginger beard.

He built his reputation during the 1960s and 1970s by making super-cheap versions of the latest cutting-edge consumer electronics, from cut-price hi-fis and portable TVs to digital wristwatches and pocket calculators. The low price was sometimes reflected in unreliability, most notably the digital Black Watch that didn’t work and almost bankrupted his company due to the volume of returns, but items such as his pocket calculators brought expensive electronics to the mass market.

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