March 1980 - March 2001: 21 years SINCLAIR ZX80

ZX80 Manual online
In march 1980 Clive Sinclair launched his first Personal Computer ZX80 - yes, turn your ZX80 upside down and read the label! It was the first computer in the world to be sold for less than 100 UK pounds. 50 000 of them were sold in the first year worldwide.

In the 20th Anniversary Special of "Personal Computer World" (May98), I have found the following informations:

"1980 April issue of PCW: April was a momentous month. PCW looked at the Acorn Atom, predecessor to the BBC Micro.
But the sensation was Sinclair's ZX80 which cost just £79.95 in kit form. It had 1Kb of RAM and BASIC in 4Kb ROM and it got kids across Britain programming.

Mission impossible

In 1980 Clive Sinclair did what everyone said was impossible. With the Sinclair ZX80 he was the first man to make a computer that broke the psychological barrier of £100, finally making computing affordable for everyone who wanted to give it a go. If you were brave you could buy it in kit form for £79.95 and solder it together yourself, or you could save yourself £20 worth of heartache and get it ready-built for £99.95. It was based around an NEC Z80 processor running at 3.25 MHz, had 1Kb RAM (expandable to 16Kb), 4Kb ROM and used a TV and cassette drive to display and store programs. You could expand the memory to 16kB, but to buy the full amount would cost you £300.

It ran a form of BASIC that our first reviewer was a little scathing about:
"The software of the ZX80 comprises the BASIC interpreter, the editor and whatever else it is that does the rest of the work (Operating System seems too grand a title)", although he did go on to admit it was almost impossible to crash the system.

Are you sad now, that you didn't get one of these nice ZX80s???

Don't worry - be happy!

Here are some solutions to help you: