Sir Clive Sinclair, the inventor of the world’s first slimline pocket calculator and founder of the groundbreaking consumer electronics company Sinclair Research, has died. A report in The Guardian says Sinclair’s death occurred at home, following a long illness.
Sinclair invented the pocket calculator but was best known for popularising the home computer, bringing it to British high-street stores at relatively affordable prices.
Many modern-day titans of the games industry got their start on one of his ZX models. For a certain generation of gamer, the computer of choice was either the ZX Spectrum 48K or its rival, the Commodore 64.
Sir Clive left school when he was 17 before becoming a technical journalist for four years to make enough money to start Sinclair Radionics.
One of his first creations, in the 1970s, were a number of compact calculators that could fit into people’s pockets – at a time when most were the size of a shop till.
The inventor’s made his first home computer in 1980, called the ZX80, which transformed the market.
It cost just £79.95 and undercut its competitors in the rest of the market by about one-fifth, selling 50,000.
But he pushed down the price again with his next model, the ZX81, which was priced at just £69.95, selling 250,000.