Paul Trafford and His Sinclair ZX81

We were lucky enough to meet Paul Trafford at the Museums and the Web 2013 conference in Portland, OR earlier this year. We were also lucky enough to find his story, posted by him.

“Like many of my generation, I owe my first steps to Sir Clive Sincliar: initially, I started with a Sinclair ZX81, which my parents kindly bought for me for Christmas. With 1K of RAM, I was limited in what I could develop, though I was able to validate UK VAT registration numbers! Nevertheless, it was enough to introduce me to a new world and I could write my first programs – in Sinclair’s implementation of BASIC.”

It is amazing what a person can do, and learn, with 1K of RAM – if it is the right person.


One thought on “Paul Trafford and His Sinclair ZX81

  1. My first computer was a Bendix G-15 at Michigan College of Mining and Technology. My first programming bug was assuming that memory would be zeroed when my program started. It wasn’t.

    That’s the moment that I learned that garbage was the normal state of things, even in the tightly controlled interior of the computer. Perhaps it was a deep appreciation of the unsatisfactory status of the real world that pushed me into living in the improved world of what could be true in the future, if only we made a better future happen.

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