4 posts • joined Friday 4th March 2011 14:22 GMT
The ICL One Per Desk / Merlin Tonto / Computerphone were all great little machines - loved how they had a menu which stored the address book - find the person you were looking for and hit dial the phone would connect (or connect direct to their computer).
They are a cousin of the Sinclair QL Home computer, and share some of the same technology, although the microdrives on these were improved over the QL (so much so, that some QLers retro-fitted the ICL microdrives onto the QL).
You can still get a hold of Merlin Tontos - http://www.sellmyretro.com/search/naturalSearch?keyword=merlin+tonto
The ZX81 Lives On
It is great to see so many positive stories about the ZX81 and such enthusiasm for it in what were the very early days of home computing.
I had my first ZX81 at the age of 13 in 1982 - purchased from my brother, so he could buy a Spectrum. I too had everything screwed to a board, to stop the ram pack wobble - but then I needed something, as it had to be balanced (together with the TV) on top of my bed!
I eventually moved it into a case with a full sized keyboard, but then sold that and moved onto the Sinclair QL which was still my main machine until about 2002 when I bought my first PC!
I still support the old Sinclair computers and have daily contact with other users. Over the last few years, we have brought replacement keyboard membranes for the ZX81 to the market, and the 30th Anniversary will also see the launch of the ZXPander - a modern interface to provide both additional memory and the ability to LOAD / SAVE instantly from SD memory cards.
A lot of new software has been written over the past couple of years, much of it using hi-res graphics on the ZX81 (something that was not really achieved until about 1983/4) - see www.rwapsoftware.co.uk/zx81/zx81_software.html
The discussion forums at http://www.rwapservices.co.uk/ZX80_ZX81/forums/ are also very active, with plenty of ideas floating around and development occurring as a result.
I wonder how many people will be looking back at Windows based PCs and celebrating their 30th anniversary..... Bet no-one will be looking back in 2030 at the 30th anniversary of WIndows ME / 2000 - that's for certain!
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