Spectrum ZX celebrates 25th Birthday

The cult classic reaches its quarter of a century milestone this week.

This week marks the 25th birthday of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, which whetted our appetites for personal computers and got developers developing.

Even today, many gamers still spend many hours playing games like Chuckie Egg, Jet Set Willy and Manic Miner on their old machines or using emulators.

Back in 1982, users could get their hands on the device with 16KB of RAM for 125 or 48 KB for an extra 50. Sinclair subsequently reduced the price tags to 99 and 129.

The Spectrum entered the market previously dominated by the green screen BBC Micro, which many of us remember being huddled around during our school days.

Rick Dickinson, founder of Dickinson Associates, was one of the senior designers responsible for creating what was to become a cult classic.

"We started selling kit computers to hobbyists and thought we would sell 1,000 machines a month. We went on to sell 200,000 a month and ran into supply problems," he told the BBC.

He added: "Everything was cost driven. The design was the face of the machine. Form does tend to follow function. We wanted a thin, elegant form. All the Sinclair products have a very minimalist, very Bauhaus approach - there's no unnecessary detail, or superfluous featuring. They are very elegant."

Spectrum devotees, renowned for their loyalty, flocked to online communities to host a virtual birthday celebration.

World of Spectrum Forum

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