Sir Clive was a great man; for a start he invented the electronic calculator, that puts him amongst the true 'worthies'. He's up there alongside John Logie Baird and Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
My first experience of him came via the young daughter of a good friend. I was visiting him when she grabbed me, and insisted on showing me something. On her funny little machine (ZX Spectrum?) she had written 'Hello, what is your name?' I then had to type in 'Cro'. Then I pressed a button and the message came up 'Hello Cro, welcome to our house'. And that was it. High-Technology had arrived; even small children had begun to programme computers!
I soon noticed that most of Sinclair's genius was being used to keep kids in their bedrooms, playing games (they still do). I didn't really like this idea, so, when Wills (my youngest) asked me for something similar I refused, but bought an Amstrad PCW 8256 instead.
Rather than playing games, I encouraged him to design his own; it didn't take much encouragement. He'd always been an intelligent boy, and he saw the whole concept of learning a computer language as just another task. The above is a quick sketch of him hard at work; totally unaware that I was drawing him.
This was in about 1985/6 (maybe later?), when word-processors/computers were still at an early stage of development, the Amstrad was a classic example of this. Green screen, very slow, etc.
Wills set to, and created his first game 'Cavern Capers'. This very soon became outdated, and he created 'Cavern Capers 2'. Versions 3, 4, 5, and maybe even 6, soon followed and his friends used to turn-up regularly to play them.
I do know that Amstrad was Alan Sugar's Co, but the development of the PCW 8256 probably could not have happened without Sinclair. To this day I continue to use a hand held calculator, and am grateful to Sir Clive for all the innovations that followed in his footsteps.
So, farewell Sir Clive, and I promise not to talk about the C5.
In 1991 the first computer was here, and I too have such a memory of my son sitting at his computer from a very young age.ReplyDelete
He was fascinated by Computer Languages at an early age, and went on to be even more so. So much better than just playing games.Delete
Clever boy and smart Dad to point him in the right directionReplyDelete
He would have done it anyway, he was that sort of boy.Delete
He was just at the right age when it all started. A great opportunity for him.ReplyDelete
And like many others, he grasped it with both hands.Delete
Interesting reading his obit in the Times yesterday - certainly a one off.ReplyDelete
He certainly was, and a bit batty too.Delete
One of Britain's greats in invention who sold out to Sugar. A bit of an odd man but perhaps it was just the best way for him to do it. Sugar got a bargain.ReplyDelete
Sugar was a better businessman.Delete
How good was it to instantly do a square root using a calculator.ReplyDelete
I haven't forgotten green screens but I had forgotten the Amstrad name.
I like the drawing. There is a lot of detail when one looks carefully, and lordy, look at the size of the monitor, and that is how they were.
Nearly time for bed. I select Shut Down and wait until the screen to display 'It is safe to turn off your computer'.
When I look at the drawing I can remember exactly how they were. Monitor, keyboard, and printer, with silly floppy disks.Delete
I like your story about Wills. My elder son did his first programming on a ZX Spectrum and went on to do a doctorate in computer programming.ReplyDelete
There were those who just used them for playing games, and others who used them to further their careers.Delete
So many people learned programming on Sinclairs, BBCs, Commodores and so on, leading to successful software and games companies, even in the UK. Then along came the disaster when someone decided that kids in UK schools didn't need to learn coding any more because all they needed was to know how to use 'Information Technology', meaning Word and Excel.ReplyDelete
See my reply to Graham above. I'm sure many billions were later made by those who learned their trade on Sinclairs, etc.Delete
What a lovely sketch of Wills. That was an excellent idea to have him design his own games. I'm not familiar with Sir Clive's calculator but my Hewlett-Packard 12C university essential is still going strong, despite my only using it for mostly, ahem, mental arithmetic these days.ReplyDelete
As I mentioned above, he was so involved in what he was doing, that he didn't even know that I was drawing him. He's still the same today!Delete
That was some pretty good parenting all those years ago, Cro. You recognized your son's talents and gave him the opportunity to recognize them in himself.ReplyDelete
I think it was more that I didn't want him to become like so many others who did nothing, and were glued to their consoles all day. As, unfortunately, so many do today.Delete
Early interest in learning to program is a great start. Your support and encouragement is impressive. Gaming is far to popular and in my view should be limited.ReplyDelete
I've never liked to think of my children blindly following what their mates do. I prefer they were leaders than followers.Delete
That's all very well. What about him slouching over the comp as per your drawing? Well before all your narrative happened, if and when, my mother came across me slumped over doing my homework, in passing, she'd give me a slight nudge between my shoulder blades. "Sit up straight". Her grandson, the Angel, has taken over from her. "MAMA!" There is no ESCAPE.ReplyDelete
I can assure you that he is a fine upstanding figure of a man. No lasting damage from my drawing!Delete
What a charming sketch! And he's fortunate to have had a very good father pointing him in the right direction. Regards from Maine.ReplyDelete
Hello Regina. He's done very well for himself since those early days. He's a good boy.Delete