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 Research was founded in 1973 but didn’t come to prominence until 1980 with the release of the ZX80 home computer, which was available in a ready-to-use version and, for a slightly lower price, as a built-it-yourself kit. (This was 1980, remember.) It was a very popular machine, due to both its capabilities and its price—it was the first home computer in the UK to be available for under £100.
Even bigger success followed a year later with the ZX81, and then the ZX Spectrum in 1982, which became the best-selling personal computer in the UK. Various official and unofficial clones and spinoffs followed over the years, and Sinclair was granted a knighthood in 1983 for his contributions to British industry.