Home computer pioneer Clive Sinclair dies: the father of Linux was inspired by him, and Musk sent a message to mourn


Last month, the news of the death of a British old man "alarmed" the BBC.

This old man has a great influence on the world's computer development. Linus Torvald, the father of Linux, wrote Linux on his product QL. "Realistic Iron Man" Musk also posted a mourning for his invention and creation in the field of electric vehicles.

He is the pioneer of home computer-Clive Sinclair.

The legendary life of home computer pioneer Clive Sinclair

According to Wikipedia, the full name of the old man is Sir Clive Marles Sinclair (July 30, 1940-September 16, 2021), a British entrepreneur and inventor, 20 The founders of several companies that developed consumer electronics products in the 1970s and 1980s are well-known.

Clive Sinclair, who is well-known as a pioneer in the computer industry, his first job was actually a magazine editor.

From a magazine editor to a pioneer in the computer industry to a "pathfinder" in the field of electric vehicles, Clive's life is quite legendary.

Clive was born on July 30, 1940 in Richmond, Surrey, England. As a child, Clive was a bit introverted. Compared to his peers, he would prefer to stay with adults all day long.

Back then, the BBC had a children's series called "Toytown". Clive was attracted by an inventor named "The Inventor" in it. Since then, he has inspired his enthusiasm for creating some gadgets.

Later, Clive demonstrated a micro TV for the BBC, which was one of the products he developed during that time.

Later, Clive developed a communication system for his hideout in the woods and built a miniature radio and amplifier for it.

During the A-levels high school advanced exam, Clive also designed a circuit for the simple radio, and then commissioned a manufacturer to assemble it into a DIY kit. The kit is sold through magazines such as Practical Wireless, for which he has written many articles.

For the next 4 years, Clive worked as an assistant editor for instrument practice (Sinclair Radionics Ltd), and a few years later wrote a book on how to build various electronic devices, including radio receivers and transistor circuits.

Although his books are selling well, Clive still wants to quickly return to the field of invention.

By "recycling" transistors, Clive ushered in the "first pot of gold" in his entrepreneurial career

Finally in 1961, Clive established his own company-Clive Radionics Ltd (Sinclair Radionics Ltd).

Since then, he has produced many printed circuit boards and a miniature transistor radio. The business did not achieve the expected success because he failed to raise enough funds.

By chance, when Clive heard that Plessey was discarding new transistors that did not meet the standards, he finally found a business opportunity.

Because Clive found that these scraps (new transistors discarded by the Plessey company that did not meet the standards) were still usable, he bought them in bulk and resold them and manufactured them into their own products, earning the "first pot of gold".

Since then, Sinclair has launched a full set of high-fidelity components and micro TV design kits.

Like Apple founder Steve Jobs, Clive believes that design is everything and his products are considered modern and cutting-edge.

In 1972, Clive designed and released a calculator-Sinclair Executive (Sinclair Executive). This is the first real pocket calculator. Although it is not particularly advanced in technology, it looks good. The important thing is that the price is very cheap.

The Sinclair calculator also won the then Design Council awards and was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Britain’s first home computer ZX80 was born and created a "miracle"

Clive, who was passionate about creating and inventing, has since designed many new products, including an innovative quartz watch with a smooth black appearance, but this watch has never worked normally, and customers who bought it later returned it. Thousands of dollars.

Later, as Sinclair was taken over and spun off by the National Enterprise Committee of the British Labor Party, Clive also started the idea of commercializing creative inventions.

Clive collaborated with Chris Curry, owner of a small electronics company in the Cambridge Science "Science of Cambridge", and then continued to develop his own creative inventions and research.

In 1980, Clive designed and launched a small computer with a retail price of less than £100—Sinclair ZX80. This was the first popular home computer in the UK at that time, and it was also a series of inventions by the father. The most talked about.

Sinclair ZX80 is lightweight and powerful. The whole machine weighs only 11 ounces. It has built-in 1KB RAM and 4KB ROM, and uses BASIC programming language. At that time, enthusiasts could buy the Sinclair ZX80 suit for less than £20 (US$199.5), which instantly "swept" the computer market, with 70,000 units manufactured and sold.

At the time, it was a miracle.

Later, Sinclair ZX80 has an upgraded version of ZX81. Although this computer is still primitive by modern standards, it can run simple applications and very basic games.

Later, as Clive and Chris Curry "parted ways", Clive developed the ZX Spectrum home computer. Its biggest attraction was the use of a color display. After the launch of this device, it sold 500 More than ten thousand units.

Because of Clive Sinclair's invention and contribution to the United Kingdom, he was recommended by the British Prime Minister Marles Thatcher in 1983 to be canonized as a knight (Sir Clive Marles Sinclair).

"Obsessed with personal transportation", the electric car "pioneer" has no choice but to "go down from the altar"

In the following years, due to financial problems, Clive invested energy and funds into the invention and creation of personal travel vehicles. But one of the more important inventions was considered a "disaster" at the time, and that was the Clive C5 electric car he launched in 1985.

At that time, buyers were disappointed by the limited battery life, slow speed, and inability to climb mountains of this Clive C5 electric car. Some critics claimed that it was "unsafe", and Clive firmly denied this.

But later, because Clive C5 failed to get the favor of the public, Clive himself admitted that this product really failed.

Clive stated that they did not realize that the battery should be packaged in freezing conditions on a snowy day, and the product was launched at the wrong time.

Affected by this incident, later, Clive also launched a new computer, although the design is novel, but the sales volume is not high. After a failed attempt to raise funds, Clive reluctantly sold the right to use the computer to Alan Sugar's Amstrad (Alan Sugar's Amstrad).

Since then, Sinclair Research has continued to operate as a small R&D company, marketing Sinclair's inventions, funded by himself.

In 1992, Clive was still obsessed with the idea of electric cars, and launched the lightweight electric bicycle Zike that year. Zike is a folding bicycle that can be put in the suitcase, but unfortunately, Zike, like the C5, could not be sold, because users said it was almost impossible to ride. Until 2011, Clive also announced that it was developing a new electric car called X1.

It is such an inventor who made millions of dollars by invention and won a series of awards, and was awarded the title of knight by Mrs. Thatcher. However, because of financial problems, he is trying to make electric cars for the masses. The above "finished" in failure.

But this does not affect Clive as one of the great innovators in the UK, nor does it hinder his innovative steps to turn dreams into reality.

The father of Linux was inspired by him, and Musk sent a message to mourn

As the most important invention of Mr. Clive, the appearance of the Sinclair ZX80 computer directly affected a generation of computer people.

Linus Torvald, the famous father of Linux, wrote Linux on his QL. Nowadays, many giants in the game field have also been inspired by the Sinclair ZX series of computer models by Mr. Clive, and began to create.

Although the C5 electric car created by the old man failed to succeed, it can be regarded as an "explorer" and "pioneer" in the field of electric vehicles. Therefore, Elon Musk, the "godfather" of contemporary electric vehicles, also expressed his condolences to Clive on social networks.

On September 17, Musk tweeted under Clive's death tweet:

"RIP, Sir Sinclair. I loved that computer."

From the tweet that everyone mourned for Mr. Clive Sinclair that day, we can see that many people expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the computer that used it back then, "My First Computer" comment. , And once again affirmed Clive's contribution and influence in the entire computer development process.

Written at the end:

Clive once said: "I am not born a businessman, but we all have to be like businessmen in our lives." He also said that "an inventor can come up with some wonderful ideas, and other people can achieve all of these ideas is Nonsense."

There is no doubt that he is a great inventor.

As the "first computer for young people" in the 1980s, whether children from ordinary families or children from poor families, their first exposure to computers and programming may have started on the cheap computers created by this inventor. .

Although, this computer may take 5 minutes or more to load the game; although, the cheap keyboard of this cheap computer feels like "dead meat"...

But in those days of waiting for the game to load, Clive and his computer did affect an entire generation.

Let us pay tribute to all the creators and inventors who promote the advancement of science and technology!

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