Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ZX Spectrum, Amstrad... remember those good old names? Where are they now?

My first experience in computers started back in the 80's with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, which packed a whopping 48Kb RAM!!
Back then you needed a tape drive to load up your games or software, and it took a good few minutes to get anything loaded. I was particularly chuffed at the time because my ZX had a huge adapter which allowed me to attach an awesome Quickshot joystick, allowing me super accuracy when dodging the enemy in "Rambo - First Blood Part II"!

Check out this beauty... ;)

Believe it or not, the company who produced the ZX Spectrum (Sinclair Research) are still around today.
You can visit their website here.
Today, however their focus is totally different. On their landing page you will see, for example the "A-Bike" - a light and compact bicycle that can be folded up and packed into a bag while you hop on and off public transport.

Pretty nifty!

Moving right along, one of the competitors to Sinclair back in the 80's was a company called Amstrad - they were the producers of the CPC464 - another take on the personal home computer.

What a stylish piece of engineering ;)

In 1986 Amstrad then obtained the manufacturing and selling rights to all existing and future Sinclair computers and computer products, but they lost market share into the late 80's, 90's and onwards.
Today they are a manufacturer and supplier of Telecoms, Audio, TV, Video and Digital Satellite products - visit their site here.

Now here is an interesting tidbit of info that I did not know until this week... do you ever watch The Apprentice UK on BBC?
That grumpy old man in the drivers seat - Sir Alan Sugar (or Baron Sugar of Clapton, as is his official title!), was in fact the founder of Amstrad back in 1968!

Sir Alan Sugar - then and now... quite a difference!

The name "Amstrad" is in fact a contraction of "Alan Michael Sugar Trading".

Fascinating stuff!


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