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Clive Sinclair

Sir Clive Marles Sinclair (born July 30, 1940), British entrepreneur and inventor.


Sir Clive Sinclair meets young inventors in Bristol (England) in 1992.
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Born near Richmond upon Thames, he was fascinated from his teenage years by electronics, and started his own company, Sinclair Radionics, Ltd. in 1961 after spending several years as assistant editor for Practical Wireless and Instrument Practice. Sinclair Radionics moved to Cambridge in 1967. Their most successful products were the Sinclair Microvision, a miniature television set launched in 1966, and a series of electronic calculators launched during the 1970s. The competition from the far east in this market segment was too strong, though, and Sinclair Radionics was dissolved in 1979.

By then, Sinclair had already founded a new company, Sinclair Research. With it, he came to public attention in the early 1980s, first with the ZX80, the world's smallest and cheapest home computer at the time it was launched (January 1980). This successful design, based on the Zilog Z80 microprocessor, was followed in March 1981 by the ZX81, and in April 1982 by the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, a cheap home computer which seemed for a time ubiquitous. Less than two years later, Sinclair unveiled a new computer, the Sinclair QL, based on a 32-bit Motorola 68000 microprocessor. The Sinclair QL was aimed at the business market, where it was received coldly.

A year later, Sinclair surprised the world with the Sinclair C5, a three-wheel electric vehicle selling for 399 GBP. A financial failure, it forced Sinclair Research to sell its microcomputer division to Amstrad.

In 1988, Sinclair launched a portable Cambridge Z88, an A4-sized microcompuer again based on the Z80, featuring a full-sized rubber-key keyboard and a large adjustable LCD display. It was marketed by Sinclair's new company, Cambridge Computers.

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