You may remember Clive Sinclair as the inventor of the pocket calculator, but you may not realize that his company still exists. In fact, Sinclair released a super-compact, folding “A-Bike” only a few years ago. It still lives! 🙂

Little Biography: –

Sir Clive Marles Sinclair (born 30 July 1940) is a British entrepreneur and inventor of the slim-line electronic pocket calculator in 1972 (Sinclair Executive) and the ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum computers in the late 1970s and early 1980s, among many other things. The ZX80 was the UK’s first mass-market home computer for less than £100. Sinclair has been fascinated by electronics and miniaturization since his teenage years. In 1961 he founded Sinclair Radionics after spending several years as assistant editor of Practical Wireless and Instrument Practice to raise funds.

What exactly Pocket Calculator is ?:-

Adler 81S pocket calculator with vacuum fluorescent display from the mid 1970s.
The CASIO CM-602 Mini Electronic Calculator provided basic functions in the 1970sBy 1970, a calculator could be made using just a few chips of low power consumption, allowing portable models powered from rechargeable batteries. The first portable calculators appeared in Japan in 1970, and were soon marketed around the world.


 Truth be told, seeing an image of the Sinclair Sovereign on Boing Boing Gadgets this morning sparked a wave of nostalgia among those of us here who are old enough to remember the nutty little company. For those of you who are unfamiliar, allow me get you up to speed.

Clive Sinclair is one of those obsessive tinkerers that has his hand in various and seemingly unrelated kinds of gadgetry. Kind of like a predecessor of the James Dyson types we hear a lot about today. As mentioned earlier, Sinclair developed the first pocket calculators starting with the Executive model in 1972, but he also single-handedly launched the personal computer industry in England with his ZX Spectrum ten years later. The Spectrum ran on a 3.5 MHz Zilog Z80A CPU, with 16K-49KB of RAM and eye popping 256×192 resolution. Not powerful by any stretch of the imagination, but it was affordable and easy to operate which made it attractive to a mass audience. Eventually, it earned Sinclair a fortune and a knighthood from the Queen for his service to British industry.

Sinclair’s obsession with making gadgets smaller extended to several other product categories including mini TVs like the MTV-1, radios and, most recently, electric vehicles like the underwater SeaScooter for divers and the ill-fated cross between a Segway and a scooter that was the C5.

Perhaps the only thing more interesting than his inventions is Clive Sinclair the man. Not surprisingly, he is a brilliant mathematician who has spent part of his later years using this skill to become a champion poker player. Sinclair is also a member of the British chapter of Mensa, serving as chairman of directors for the organization from 1980 to 1997. His Wikipedia article even claims that he doesn’t use the internet despite being a major figure in the history of computing. I suppose that means he probably wont read this, but I still want to acknowledge him and his [ongoing] work.