This was the very first computer I ever bought, and that same machine
is still part of this collection. I spent many a hour with the little Timex-
Sinclair 1000, connected to a portable B/W television set for a monitor and
my home stereo equipment for the mass storage, honing my skills in BASIC
programming. This system is amazing in that it is very compact and it has
a total of four chips on it's mainboard! It used a Z80 cpu, and had 2k of
RAM standard, and included an odd version of BASIC in ROM, as well as having
a small 40-key membrane keyboard that automatically typed the BASIC statements and commands depending on which key was pressed. Due to it's
price, originally $99 at it's introduction in 1982, it is the system that
introduced a lot of people to computers in the United States. This system
was the U.S. release of the Sinclair ZX-81, with an additional 1k RAM.
The machine offered the following video modes (as taken from the ZX-81 FAQ):
- 32x24 Text.
- 64x48 'graphics'.
- 256x192 Hi-Res graphics
- Various overscan modes
Eventually, there were a lot of add-ons available for this system,
such as printers, expansion interfaces, RAM, and even keyboard upgrades which
gave you a real keyboard, from companies such as Gladstone Electronics. There
were also quite a few commercial applications, from games to financial management tools, available on cassette tape. Most of these required an expanded machine with 16k of RAM, though there were a few that would run on the standard 2k machine. There was a chess game released that would run in 1k of RAM. The system was eventually redesigned, including the 16k RAM
expansion as part of the system itself, and dubbed the T/S-1500.
Jeff's Computer Haven Home Page