Image: Pixel8

Sir Clive Sinclair, the inventor of the ZX Spectrum mini computer, died at the age of 81 on September 16. He was well known for miniaturizing electronics and making them affordable to the masses at a time when most were high priced. His daughter Belinda said that he passed at their home in London following a long battle with illness.

Often considered the inventor of the pocket calculator, he had used a pre-existing Texas Instruments chip and redesigned the device in 1972, scaling its size down for true portability. He began designing circuit boards in high school and dropped out at 17 to become a technical journalist while creating and funding his company, Sinclair Radionics. His quest to create small and affordable devices knew no bounds. From a wide range of calculators to a mini TV and the famous ZX Spectrum, he managed to show the world how modern electronics could be made available to almost anyone, anywhere. Well done sir, and thank you.

Born in 1940, Clive became intensely interested in mathematics and electronics at school, and designed his own electronic circuits.  While at school he wrote his first article for the magazine Practical Wireless which was published, and he went for holiday jobs in electronic companies.

Sources: The Guardian (1, 2), CNET, Vintage Calculators Web Museum

Don’t Miss Out on More FPS Review Content!

Our weekly newsletter includes a recap of our reviews and a run down of the most popular tech news that we published.

Peter Brosdahl

As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my...

Join the Conversation


  1. I was a Commodore 64 kid, personally. The spectrums I saw at Sears (back in the day) looked like vic-20’s compared to the mighty C64. I know it was widely loved in UK for some reason. Cheap I guess?

  2. [QUOTE=”DrezKill, post: 41631, member: 230″]
    If I’m not mistaken, didn’t Rareware get their start on the ZX Spectrum?
    I’ll be damned, your right. Good history lesson. I didn’t know anything about Rare from before Battletoads.

  3. My first computer was a Timex Sinclair 1000, the US version of the ZX. Spent many a week programming simple programs, recorded to tape, only to have them not work due to one misplaced letter. I was like 6. Then we built an apple 2.

    My entire life of computers started with that Sinclair though.

Leave a comment