UNCLE SINCLAIR

by
Dr. Anoop Sahal


History
Sinclair Cambridge MemorySir Clive Sinclair is a household name in the UK. He is a businessman of international repute.

Sir Clive harnessed high technology in the interests of the small business using a management technique in the style of David- the one that slayed Goliath.

For a time Sinclair was Thatcher’s favourite entrepreneur in part because he had the flair and vision to challenge the Japanese domination of the consumer electronics market.

But Sir Clive has that other oh-so British trait of eccentricity. Through managerial mistakes he dimmed his shining glory.

Uncle Clive....... to call him an inventor is perhaps a little inaccurate. Innovator is a closer description. As an example look at the fact that his success floundered particularly in the inventing of the pocket TV. Yet it was at its height after the introduction of the innovative ZX81 & Spectrum personal computers. These followed the introduction of other expensive home computers by larger companies.

Uncle Clive flies in the shadow of the likes of Steve Jobs & Bill Gates but because of this his title of Uncle is more of affection than of a domineering giant that can be used for others.

Nevertheless, Sir Clive was as opportunistic as any large company. The elite responsible for the development  of his products were drawn from and worked in the affluence of the Cambridge environment. Whilst the manufacturing was delegated to the impoverished areas of Wales & Scotland.

Sinclair Scientific RPNHaving said all that Uncle Clive gave me trophies of supremacy in school environs. I was last in the 1500 meters race, so what! I got a Sinclair Scientific Calculator for my birthday. They turned green with envy.

Uncle Clive peppered my adolescence with these gadgets, the calculators of course - until he failed to produce LCD models. Then the ZX81 followed by the Spectrum colour computer with 48 K RAM (less than my Dads data watch today!).

Then came the pocket TV. Never in my price range and soon walloped for 6 by the Casio COLOUR LCD models. OK, so these melted batteries but we Sinclair devotees are used to a battery-life measured like those of exotic particles in quantum physics.

Now that I have some disposable income I still cannot resist the under-dog. I regularly buy Apple Macs. I am guilty though of running with the Hare and the Hounds - I have the Microsoft impregnated Sony Vaio note book too.

My most modern Sinclair acquisition is a ear piece sized FM radio. Its great except that the aerial is so long that it trails on the ground- that is just so Sinclair!

I have several Sinclairs in my collection of calculators. You take look at the pictures. They are beautiful, sleek, sexy, somewhat caddish (cf cad) & all mouth and trousers.

You would, for sure, consider these little darlings-even today.

The Album section contains a set of Sinclair calculator pictures taken from the author's collection.
  Copyright   1999  Annov Sahal

Updated May 29, 2006

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