I explained the other day how I had failed to acquire a VIC20
and eventually bought the ZX81. Whilst the Sinclair machine was
no Commodore she did serve me well. After a year though I moved
to the Spectrum 16K which needed the expansion pack to do any
useful stuff. This machine bit the dust and was replaced with
a 48K Spectrum which for all its limitations proved very good.
Lots happened during the eighties. I qualified as an architect
and moved down south and set up home in the New Forest. This
was a busy hectic time and my work activities also started to
draw upon computers, like the MacII, Intergraph 2700 Workstation,
the Apricot Xi and 1640 Amstrad. My aspirations and desires for
what I needed a computor for changed dramatically by using
these computers at work..
So when I had finally settled in the new house and given over a
room as a study I decided to upgrade the Spectrum and got the
new Amstrad ZX Spectrum+2. Sadly the thing was junk. Not only
was the keyboard an odd version of a QWERTY, it had lost all
the key locations for commands of the Spectrum 48K. It still
had no power on switch and now I was lumbering around this
large brick of a PSU. The killer was the video bleed using the
TV. The image was just not crisp. I needed a dedicated monitor.
Tape was just about done and disks were the thing. This computer
just wasn't going to fulfil my needs.
Back home my dad had purchased not one but two Amiga 500s. He
adored the Amiga. My elder sister had bought an A500 for the
family to use. My younger sister who I had sneaked into her
bedroom to play on her Woody was keen on the PCW range of the
Amstrad machines. Interestingly she never got one and instead
years later purchased an Amiga 600.
And so being keen not to follow in the steps of my dad and
wanting a computer with a disk drive, dedicated monitor and
printer and which could handle all my office typing needs I
obtained the PCW9512... which was hammered to death for close
on five years. She was a real treasure. With that machine I
wrote books, ran a business, learnt how to use CP/M, Mallard
BASIC. I also built a massive resource data base. She was a
real help and made the late eighties and early nineties less
troublesome than they truly were.
As for the Spectrum, I believe that Clive SInclair may have
been a genius in some eyes, but having worked with a similar
pompous 'know-it-all' I appreciate what it is to try and keep
guys like these's feet on the floor. Clive needed a strong
technical hand to keep his ideas practical. Mr Sugar on the
other hand just wanted the name and resource to make money.
Consequently the Sinclair range died with the +2/+3 range. The
product had well and truthfully run it's course. It was a big
mistake to have bought the +2, and I should have listened to
my dad. If I had I would have been using the Amiga a lot
longer. Amazingly the CPC464 was staring me in the face and
that already had the DDI drive and dedicated monitor.
Anyhoo... hind sight is a great thing.I don't blame Clive
Sinclair. I blame the weak minded individuals that didn't have
the balls to tell him the car, TV, QL and crappy Microdrive were
junk ideas. Had he developed an advanced Spectrum earlier that
was not cash strapped but had proper drive, monitor and keyboard
he could have dragged dedicated users like me along with him.
Sadly I had to learn the hard way... so I guess I do blame Sir
Clive Sinclair.... Never mind.
My era with Sinclair that started with the ZX81 with so much
optimism finally fizzled away with the Spectrum+2. As for Alan
Sugar, I'm not sure if he actually knew what he was doing but
the computers his company did go on to create were bloody good.
But not the ZX Spectrum+2. That was truly crap. My most short
lived of all my computers.
Spectrum ... No bloody ON/OFF switch !!!!
[ Amstrad didn't make a computer in 1982 ]