Great article this week on BBC on the Sinclair ZX81 computer. It all rings true – this computer basically changed my life. I have my father to thank for that, he bought a second hand ZX81 for the family from a car-boot sale.
Up until then I was looking to become a chef, had studied Home Economics (the only boy to do so at my school), even spending a week in a hotel in France to learn about their cooking, and was in the process on deciding on a catering college. Out of nowhere really came this this small black box; the ZX81.
The fact it came with no software meant I had to write a program for it to do anything. I got a basic game of Frogger running in a few days, but with initially no way of storing the program I had to write the game each time me or my brothers wanted to play it (I got cassette player for back up later, though it was never very reliable).
So then it was back to college for Computer Science A level followed by Univeristy for a BSc in Computer Science and, well, onwards and upwards really.
Computers are so friendly these days, an iPad is so far removed from utilitarian hardware and software of back then. That’s a good thing, but I’m glad to have been able to see both.
A nostalgia search, has just found someone elses version of Frogger is available on ZX81 emulator here.