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Computer Inventor Finds Computers "Annoying"

In a recent interview with the UK newspaper The Observer, computer inventor Sir Clive Sinclair said that he finds computers annoying. In fact, Sinclair said that he doesn't use a computer at all. Emails are read aloud by his assistant, as he finds emails just as annoying.

"I'd much prefer someone would telephone me if they want to communicate," he said. "No, it's not sheer laziness – I just don't want to be distracted by the whole process. Nightmare."

That's surprising given that he co-created the Sinclair ZX80 back in 1980, opening the door to personal mass-market computing in the home like the TSR-80 and the Commodore 64. He admits that the computer-- along with the follow-up ZX81-- made him loads of money. The former computer sold around 50,000 units whereas that newer ZX81, released in 1981, sold around 250,000 units.

Given today's hardware standards, both machines are primitive. The ZX80 had a membrane keyboard, 1K of memory, and used a cassette player to load programs. The ZX81 had a bit more to offer, allowing peripherals such as daughterboards for added memory and external keyboards.

With that said, it would seem that Sinclair would actually embrace the simplicity that today's technology provides. That's not in case. In fact, he blasted the designs of today.

"Our machines were lean and efficient," he said. "The sad thing is that today's computers totally abuse their memory--totally wasteful, you have to wait for the damn things to boot up, just appalling designs. Absolute mess! So dreadful it's heartbreaking."

It's no wonder he avoids the PC. Perhaps he should re-invent today's PC.

  • foody
    He could use Asus' Express Gate. It doesn't take hardly any time to boot up and he could still read his emails.
    Reply
  • The computer is useless, I don;t know why whould any one use a computer
    Reply
  • ktasley
    I am down for the re-invention!

    Maybe we should pool a grant and let him go to town.
    Reply
  • Very few people use computers to gain - 00 for most people it's just a waste of time like for 99% of us. ha ha
    Reply
  • ktasley
    ^whoa this is not to say in anyway that computers are useless, I can't believe I just read that.

    I think a little re-invention anywhere isn't a bad thing. (or at least a good attempt)
    Reply
  • redplanet_returns
    homelesssThe computer is useless, I don;t know why whould any one use a computer
    how did u post this article again? :)
    Reply
  • That's why ARM based computers are the future of mass computing. It's basically 'back to the roots', when Smarbooks gonna hit the market and hopefully succeed we will see the raise of different form factors maybe also oldschool computer within a keyboard. System on a Chip is a way to go!
    Reply
  • dogofwars
    It's perfectly understandable. The guy paved the way for some standard but it did not go as he foresaw. It's just like if you have have a really good company that work on solid a solid foundation but then get sold into pieces and they all go with different design. With all the licensing crap that goes on, the computer industry should be way beyond what it is today and we should not have to deal with the crap like SLI licensing and such.
    Reply
  • agnickolov
    Quite misleading title. At first I thought the article was about John Atanasoff, and he's been deceased for 15 years...
    Reply
  • wbogart
    "I'd much prefer someone would telephone me if they want to communicate," he said. "No, it's not sheer laziness – I just don't want to be distracted by the whole process. Nightmare."

    I find it funny that he finds emails themselves distracting yet he uses his assisstant to read them outloud... because thats not distracting or time consuming in the least...

    Though if he made another PC I'd be more than happy to read about it and possibly try it.
    Reply