Today ZAP museum received....

on-topic Acorn-related news and discussions not covered by the other forums
Zarchos
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby Zarchos » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:40 am

Much received this week but won t show everything, who cares about an Amiga600 with a Vampire 1 anyway ?
In use the WB is still atrociously slow and unfriendly compared to an 8 Mhz Archie running RO3
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Pravetz 8D is a Bulgarian clone of the Tangerine Oric Atmos

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Play Speccy games at the office ...

Brought back from the vault of my teen years at my parents' Have to 'seller refurbish' them and sell them on Ebay.
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daveejhitchins
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby daveejhitchins » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:57 am

Zarchos, I hope you go running every day? To combat all those pastries I've seen in your photos :lol:

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

Zarchos
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby Zarchos » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:10 am

daveejhitchins wrote:Zarchos, I hope you go running every day? To combat all those pastries I've seen in your photos :lol:

Dave H :D


Bought yesterday evening after one hour biking with my neighbour's son, in the town and the surroundings (Check TransOise with Google). I still wonder why I haven't fled Paris many years earlier than I did.
I don't drink Coca or Pepsi for obvious and less obvious, political, reasons, but I treat myself well with cheese and pastries. No wine as I cannot afford really good wine anymore and I don't trust the quality of cheap or average priced bottles.
I have much more confidence in beer or white alcohols.

Zarchos
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby Zarchos » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:11 pm

Some Tilt magazines where there is an article about the Archimedes :
- April 1989 about DTP :
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Say hello to Ashiv, the official Acorn dealer :
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- December 1990 :
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There is an article about tanks games and of course Conqueror is in the list of reviewed games, but not the Archie version, and there isn't even a sentence to remind the readers it exists for the Acorn or it originates in the Archies, but
in the article ST, Amiga versus PC... or Mac there is a mention about the Archimedes, excellent but too expensive, not wide spread, badly distributed, which can only attract mad programmers.

Zarchos
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby Zarchos » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:29 pm

A book which I believe I will love reading because at last a link is made between promoting some people, and political propaganda, and media manipluation.
Read the back cover.
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Wouter Scholten
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby Wouter Scholten » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:35 pm

Zarchos wrote:A book which I believe I will love reading because at last a link is made between promoting some people, and political propaganda, and media manipluation.
Read the back cover.
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The text of "Sinclair and the ‘Sunrise’ Technology" can be found here too:

https://retropdfs.wordpress.com/current ... llections/

(see below the main table)

where the guy who made that page says: "a “classic” hatchet job on Uncle Clive and his harebrained schemes. It’s a fantastic history of the man and his machines, as long as you can ignore the tabliod-esque sarcastic tone running through the text."

There is a possibly too-critical attitude as most businesses are not looking for excellence, just making money. The corner cutting and re-use of not-up-to-specification components is something in Sinclair's designs from the start, and though using stuff if it works is good, it can lead to the attitude "it's good enough" when it's not, and that is clearly seen in his products. An example of a critical point in the book that is ludicrous is about RPN on page 27 of the epub, calling it 'this perversity". It could well be that Sinclair used RPN just because it was easier to implement, but it existed long before he used it and of course was used in most HP calculators...

I've not read further yet, but the criticism of Sinclair who thinks he's oh so smart, and the politicians and media who think this is the type of man who makes the economy go round and grow, is of course completely valid. Political propaganda and media manipulation, I could tell you stories about that, and I will but not here...

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1024MAK
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby 1024MAK » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:32 pm

I have not read any of that book.

But, it sounds like the author of the book is biased.

There are ALWAYS compromises in all forms of engineering. The trick is to produce a product that works and at a price that means people will buy it.

Although some of Sinclairs products flopped, the ZX80, ZX81, ZX Spectrum and Z88 were successful.

Mark
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Wouter Scholten
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby Wouter Scholten » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:09 pm

1024MAK wrote:I have not read any of that book.

But, it sounds like the author of the book is biased.

There are ALWAYS compromises in all forms of engineering. The trick is to produce a product that works and at a price that means people will buy it.

Although some of Sinclairs products flopped, the ZX80, ZX81, ZX Spectrum and Z88 were successful.

Mark


That some products were successful is not the point...

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jonb
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby jonb » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:15 pm

Sinclair C5.

It's easy to think that Clive was obsessed with the idea of a personal electric transport to the exclusion of all else (as dramatised in "Micro Men"). I owned a C5 for a while and it wasn't a viable alternative to a car or bicycle (despite me trying very hard to make a go of it). On the other hand, one might view the C5 as an attempt to realise an idea that was before its time.

As to the reuse of substandard components and the "good enough" approach to engineering.. well, I have a Spectrum, ZX81 and QL here and they are all still working after 35+ years. Not bad for "good enough". These machines (especially the Speccy) had to hit a certain price point - Sinclair knew this - and that's why they sold far more of them than Acorn sold BBCs. I used to work in a computer shop and I don't recall selling more than one BBC Micro - whereas the Spectrums flew right out of the door. You didn't actually need to "sell" them - you just took money from the people in the queue. There was a lot more software for the Spectrum, too. Admittedly, of the gaming variety, but that is what people (kids) mostly wanted to buy.

End of lecture - what's new, Zarchos?

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1024MAK
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby 1024MAK » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:49 pm

Jon - Zarchos is no longer on this forum.

Mark
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Wouter Scholten
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby Wouter Scholten » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:18 pm

jonb wrote:Sinclair C5.

It's easy to think that Clive was obsessed with the idea of a personal electric transport to the exclusion of all else (as dramatised in "Micro Men"). I owned a C5 for a while and it wasn't a viable alternative to a car or bicycle (despite me trying very hard to make a go of it). On the other hand, one might view the C5 as an attempt to realise an idea that was before its time.

As to the reuse of substandard components and the "good enough" approach to engineering.. well, I have a Spectrum, ZX81 and QL here and they are all still working after 35+ years. Not bad for "good enough". These machines (especially the Speccy) had to hit a certain price point - Sinclair knew this - and that's why they sold far more of them than Acorn sold BBCs. I used to work in a computer shop and I don't recall selling more than one BBC Micro - whereas the Spectrums flew right out of the door. You didn't actually need to "sell" them - you just took money from the people in the queue. There was a lot more software for the Spectrum, too. Admittedly, of the gaming variety, but that is what people (kids) mostly wanted to buy.

End of lecture - what's new, Zarchos?


If you want to lecture you should know what you are talking about and what is being talked about!

Not good enough refers to esp. loads of his products before the micro era (that were not up to spec), and a lot of his products from the micro era that were returned because of being defective. That electronics now still works is not due to Sinclair, this is so for all old electronics. It if works for a while (such as the then working ZX81s/Spectrums etc.), then likely for many years (except for stuff that gets hot). So your point is no point but just mind bogglingly irrelevant.

The price point is also irrelevant to what I mentioned and to what the book is about.

Mark wrote:

> There are ALWAYS compromises in all forms of engineering. The trick is to produce a product that works and at a price that means people will buy it.

So what? This is not the point! This is a fact that you don't need telling. The point is: If you cannot make a product at a certain price point that is good, then you should not make it trying to do so with substandard materials or make it such that the product has effectively useless specifications (i.e. it doesn't actually work as desired), and definitely one should not SELL such things! But Sinclair did that with loads of products...

As the BBC micro: Criticising Sinclair doesn't mean giving laud to Acorn! It's just amazing how people cannot differentiate between criticising one thing vs. praising another thing, they are quite distinct! I can and do criticise Acorn quite strongly, I mentioned some of it on my website. I can name many issues with the design of the BBC micro that is exactly the problem of why it sold in lesser numbers and other issues related to what they intended to make which all increased cost, and for no good reason. But I will leave it at that here, because as I said, cirticising one doesn't mean praising the other and I have no desire to write about Acorn at the moment. I was interested in telling a bit about this book and, I did :)

As to sales, again you do not see the points that I, and that the makers of the book in a different way, make (they started just to investigate but their tone in early writing is clearly influenced by seeing the entire picture), is that Sinclair was not what he was portrayed as. He cost the UK taxpayer loads of money, his business practices are deplorable, his obsessions (at first the mini TV) are clearly what he cares about and anything is done for that (to fund them), he care about nothing else. He was not a saviour of the economy, not a model entrepreneur, just a very flawed businessman who is not nearly as smart as he thinks he is. That is what this book is about.

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1024MAK
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby 1024MAK » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:03 am

Yeah, the problem is, a lot of people have character flaws just as bad as Sinclair. Sinclair did indeed have some dubious business practices. But as with any area of life, people need to read more than just one text on a subject. Because you should never rely on a single source.

As to products that are not very good quality, or which may not perform as advertised, well, go on eBay, there are thousands of "new" products on there now.

Mark
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jonb
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby jonb » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:12 pm

Wouter Scholten wrote:
If you want to lecture you should know what you are talking about and what is being talked about!

Not good enough refers to esp. loads of his products before the micro era (that were not up to spec), and a lot of his products from the micro era that were returned because of being defective. That electronics now still works is not due to Sinclair, this is so for all old electronics. It if works for a while (such as the then working ZX81s/Spectrums etc.), then likely for many years (except for stuff that gets hot). So your point is no point but just mind bogglingly irrelevant.

The price point is also irrelevant to what I mentioned and to what the book is about.



Better to be "irrelevant" (I disagree with you there!) than rude and obnoxious. The are better ways to make your point without being offensive.

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vanpeebles
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby vanpeebles » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:45 pm

I don't think Sir Clive ever claimed to be a businessman, he was always an inventor first and foremost. A total legend, we should have a statue built for him. That book has always had a reputation of being a tabloid style hatchet job.

I wouldn't wipe my arse with the pages from it. :lol:

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danielj
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby danielj » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:09 pm

Before it gets too hot in here, just a general reminder that vociferous discussion of computer related history and Clive's inability to make something that doesn't have an air of "bodge" about it is absolutely fine, but challenge the idea, not the person. There's absolutely no need. :)
d.

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Lardo Boffin
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby Lardo Boffin » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:58 pm

Regardless of anything else being discussed I owe Sinclair a debt of gratitude. Thanks to their low cost computers I managed to pursuade my Mom to get me a Spectrum having spent so much time on someone else's ZX81.

Thanks to all the time I spent on the spectrum (way too much to be healthy apparently) I eventually got a Beeb as it was obvious it would not be a waste of money.

Thanks to getting a Beeb (and the spectrum obviously) I managed to learn a lot about programming and this gave me the confidence (sometimes misplaced :D ) to tackle any job involving computers I could get close to.

This lead me to a pretty successful career in IT. As well as a life long passion for boxes that go beep! Or not in the case of the ZX81 (add-ons aside).

Yes it could have been any company that made computers cheap enough for my Mom to afford but it was Sinclair who actually did it. =D>
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1024MAK
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby 1024MAK » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:08 am

Exactly, and I believe that was his aim. To sell computers that ordinary people could afford. And to include as many features as possible within the price range he set. Often his aspirations exceeded what people including his employees at first thought possible.

This was I believe, a continuation of his earlier concepts of finding ways to bring ground breaking products to the market at a price that did not break the bank.

Please do tell me that there was another computer that had a TV output and a BASIC interpreter and which was available for under £70 in 1981.
Name me another computer that had 48k of RAM, could display a colour TV picture and which sold at a reasonable price in 1982 or 1983.

And Sinclair and the shops which sold his computers did repair or replace units that had faults. I know this as a fact, because we had a Spectrum repaired under warrantee. And I know why it failed. The the locating key for the edge-connector on a joystick interface must have become dislodged. So when plugged in, it must not have been correctly aligned, and hence caused short circuits. After repair it worked fine (and still works fine).

Mark
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Re: Today ZAP museum received....

Postby BigEd » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:56 am

If you like reading histories of that period, I very much recommend "The Amstrad Story."


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