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Global tributes pour in to Sir Clive Sinclair

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

“I was sad to learn of the death of Sir Clive Sinclair, a pioneering British entrepreneur who helped to change the face of personal computing. My very first experience of programming was on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum,” said Nigel Toon, co-founder and CEO of UK AI chip developer Graphcore.

“RIP, Sir Sinclair. I loved that computer” said Elon Musk, CEO of US electric car maker Tesla who grew up in South Africa.

“RIP Sir Clive Sinclair. Your innovations democratized computing and inspired so many, including myself. I vividly remember my first computer, a ZX80, and the sense of wonder and empowerment I felt. It was your device that sparked my passion for engineering,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft CEO who grew up in India.

“The first computer I ever owned was the Sinclair ZX-81. A short period after I thought I had bought a super computer when I received the Sinclair Spectrum. My watch now has 1000’s of times the processing power. RIP, you were a visionary…except the C5…” said Scott Bateman of aerospace consultancy 9-line Media.

“The tributes to Clive Sinclair promote me to dig out my first calculator,” said Peter Claydon, president of UK RISC-V chip designer Picocom. “I think I bought it in 1975 for about £14, which was a fortune to me at the time. I loved it.”

“It’s an incredibly sad day for the British computing industry. We’re always going to be very grateful to Sir Clive for being one of the founding fathers of the UK home computing boom that helped so many of us at Raspberry Pi get hooked on programming as kids,” said the Raspberry Pi Foundation. “He was someone from whom the business behind Raspberry Pi has drawn great inspiration. He’ll be very sadly missed.”

“We have lost a true visionary, disruptor and gentleman. He brought us the computers that for so many of us, would change our lives. Our thoughts are with Sir Clive Sinclair’s family. RIP Uncle Clive,” said the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge

“We are very sad to hear that Sir Clive Sinclair has passed away. From inventing the pocket calculator to revolutionising home computing and kickstarting the British computer industry; his innovation changed the world. Rest in peace,” said the UK’s Design Council

“So sad to hear about my good friend and competitor Sir Clive Sinclair,” said Alan, Lord Sugar, who at Amstrad bought the Sinclair business in 1988. “Good to see so many tributes to the late Sir Clive Sinclair, a pioneering innovator and national treasure. My dealings with him started in 1986. He kicked started consumer electronics in the UK with his amplifier kits then calculators, watches mini TV and of course the Sinclair ZX. Not to forget his quirky electric car. R.I.P Friend”

Chris Curry worked with Sinclair in the early days, using a single chip from Texas Instruments for a professional calculator (designed by Wally Rhines. later CEO of Mentor Graphics) . The bill of material was £11 and it sold for £79. Curry went on to set up Acorn Computer and develop the BBC Microcomputer, leading to chip design company ARM. He describes working with Sinclair in this video:

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