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June 30, 2009

A Comedy About Clive Sinclair

It was Science Fiction before the eighties, but for many of us growing up then a home computer was science fact, thanks to Clive Sinclair and his revolutionary ZX home computers. Although I quickly graduated to a BBC Microcomputer, enter Chris Curry.

The BBC are currently filming a comedy about that period, called Syntax Era and featuring Alexander Armstrong as Clive Sinclair, and Martin Freeman as Chris Curry. Freeman was of course in the excellent Office and Hot Fuzz and the reputedly (still not seen it) not so excellent film version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Armstrong is best known from the very funny Armstrong and Miller comedy show.

Written by Tony Saint, this 90-minute drama uses archive footage to help illustrate the buzz around Sinclair and Curry's inventions. Classic clips from programmes including John Craven's Newsround showcase the likes of Sinclair's ZX Spectrum, the infamous Sinclair C5 and Curry's triumphant BBC Micro computer demonstrating the influence these men had on Eighties' life.

Sounds geeky and perfect.

[Photo by Bowdie AttributionNoncommercialSome rights reserved]


My first PC was a Timex/Sinclair 1000 (the US version)--2Kb of RAM, and I worked it. I later graduated to the TRS-80 Color Computer.

I looked up the BBC Microcomputer. Turns out I had experience with that, too. The were made by Acorn (whatever that was). My high school had Acorn computers, and I used them when I took the computer science class. I preferred the TRS-80, though.

And by the way, I expanded my Timex Sinclair to . . . 64Kb. (Oh yes.)