ScuzzBlog: Diaries November 2022

Entry 19th November 2022: Post 1: Sinclair - That Amstrad nail.

Sinclair - That Amstrad nail.

Say what you like about Alan Sugar but he generally knew what the
end user needed, wanted or desired. So when he bought out most of
Sinclair for five million his first ambition was to extract the
fundamental design features of the CPC and use the brand name of
the Spectrum to boost sales. So by Christmas we had the +2 which
was followed by the +3 sporting built in 3" drive and full size
keyboard. The Sinclair user base became his and they would now be
able to 'Spectrum' the Amstrad way.

I was very fortunate this last few weeks to obtain this April 1986
copy of Popular Computing. I did buy the magazine in the day but
in a fit of madness cleared them out having discovered a couple
of rodents had eaten through their boxes. The magazine discusses
the possible fall out from the deal and speculates the future of
the QL. Sugar had no interest in micro-drives or the basic format
of the machine and so an independent group emerged ready to buy
up the rights to the computer.

Interesting article on the same page as the Amstrad article about
Acorn and the RISC processor.

This magazine is littered with Amstrad articles and reviews. There
is even an advert for the Amstrad Show. Alan Sugar had pretty much
bulldozed his way onto the UK home computing scene and stolen the
crown jewels. Or so it seemed.

[Following on from my blog yesterday]. I got caught up in the fun 
and games of the day and did purchase a Spectrum+2. I had always 
felt that the Spectrum was in need of a full size keyboard and 
dedicated tape drive. For years I had struggled with dodgy third 
party cassette recorder/players and it really had been a crap 
shoot as to whether one would work with specific tapes.

I was not impressed with the +2. In truth it was simply a repackaged
Spectrum but still burdened with that 'under the TV' feel to it. 
What I wanted from Sugar was a serious computer. I needed better 
video and a disk drive that saved my stuff fast and gave me quick 
and easy access to data.

For me the +2 marked the end of the Spectrum road and Sugar had
basically stuck the last nail in the coffin. I had to finally give
up on my dream of a super Spectrum capable of staying ahead of the

I discussed yesterday all the reasons why I finally went with an
Amstrad product. I am generally loyal to companies when they try
to deliver quality products. I was with Sinclair from the ZX81 all
the way to the +2, albeit now an Amstrad product. And I was with
Amstrad from 1987 all the way to 1993 with the PCW9512 and 1512.
And so my eighties era of computing ended later than anticipated
in 1993 with the Amiga. By this time my dad and two sisters had
been using their own Amigas since 1987. My dad had two A500s set
up in his study. One for photographic video titling and another
for gaming. He did like to rub my nose in the attributes of the
Amiga, whilst we played Mean18. He was probably right..... but I
still had my Amiga adventure to come, and that little saga has 
any number of years still to run. I'm not done yet.

PS: I never considered the CPC range of machines cus of loyalty
to the Sinclair product. To me the Amstrad was a competitor and
to the Spectrum faithfull an inferior product, just like the rest.
I say this now knowing that I would have been better served with
a CPC6128, which in truth was way ahead of any Sinclair product
of the day. Ar hum ...

Sinclair - That Amstrad nail.

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Last updated 19th November 2022

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