Sinclair ZX80 8K Basic
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The Sinclair ZX80 was a home computer brought to market in 1980 by Sinclair Research of Cambridge, England. It was notable for being the first computer available in the UK for under a hundred pounds (a price tag of £99.95 for the ready-built model). It was available in kit form, where purchasers had to assemble and solder it together, and as a ready-built version at a slightly higher cost for those without the skill or inclination to build their own unit. The ZX80 was very popular straight away, and for some time there was a waiting list of several months for either version of the machine.
This machine is part of the Nine Tiles Collection, and has a keyboard we have not seen before. Despite having the usual blue keyboard, many of the commands are for the ZX81; the keys are a mixture of the ZX80 and ZX81 layout, and it is also labelled 'Sinclair ZX80 8K Basic'.
Inside the ROM slot has wires in every hole, and a large loose bundle of chips.
John Grant of Nine Tiles thinks the machine was probably used to develop the ZX81 Basic Rom, and is probably from 1980 before the hardware for the ZX81 was available, and before the marketing people got involved.
One of the main tasks with this machine was adding a floating point to the ZX80 without having to change anything else.
The 8K Rom was withdrawn in September 1980 to reprogram it to add printer support among other things. Before finally being incorporated in to the ZX81 ROM.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH54284. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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