Yeah, it was of my father. In 1982..(or 1983), my father bought this machine, I was 9 or 10 years old, I didn`t know for what is it when that box cames to home. (My “personal computer” in that moment was an videogame console Atari 260o )
Well, I`m talking about the Sinclair ZX81:
My father used this small computer for make calculations about his business. I remember I thought “hmm..it`s a nice type writer machine”.
The machine it connects to a normal TV. The screen is white and the characters are black. For erase the things that you wrote in the screen, you must turn off the machine. Yeah, it`s true!
When the machine cames to my home, I did not had even not a little interest for the machine. “The machine is not for play videogames”. I remember the way to save data is recording on a audio cassette using a normal audio recorder with “Audio in” jacks. The programing language is “BASIC”. I didn`t understand “Basic” in the school, the computers in the school was a dozen of that Commodore 64
The special thing of the ZX81 it`s the keyboard. It has not a “normal keyboard”, it`s slim, that thing makes think…it`s witchcraft!!!!, you just slide your fingers over the little keyboard pad and it works!!. The software of the ZX81 is wrote in Audio Cassettes. When I played that software cassettes in the audio recorder, `cause I wanted to “hear it”, they had a sound like subtle beeps…and “hissess”. Sometimes you have to wait till 30 minutes for load a program, a calculator sheet, a word processing program, etc.The major problem of this device was the language, not available software in Spanish, so My father contracts a translator when he needs to make “something” on a computer.
Despite of living in a little third world asteroid like Colombia, since my first memories my family has involved with computers. My mom was one of the first persons that operate the first giant computers of the Policia Nacional de Colombia. (National police of Colombia), my father always was a FANATIC of technology. So this is a little example.
The following pictures shows the box and the incomprehensible Basic programing instructions book. The inventor of this machine and a large catalog of home computers was Clive Sinclair, he was kinda “Bill Gates” in the early 80’s.
This is the specifications of that futuristic machine: