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A Day at the Sci-Fi London Horizons Event to celebrate the Sinclair ZX Spectrum


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Over the Saturday and Sunday of this Bank Holiday weekend there was an event in London at the BFI to celebrate the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and we were there on the Sunday.

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This is how Imperica described the weekend’s events:

In April, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum will be 30 years old. Many people that hold creative, technical, and cultural positions now are, in some way or another, indebted to the little machine that plugged into the living room telly and caused pandemonium if someone stood on the space bar whilst a game was loading. Horizons is an event from Imperica, held at BFI Southbank on May 5 and 6 to celebrate the Spectrum’s 30th anniversary. Part of Sci-Fi London, the event will be a rich blend of fun, memories, and future-gazing. We use the word “celebrate” deliberately; it will be very much a celebration.

Unfortunately I couldn’t make the Saturday, but here is what happened on Sunday:


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We were welcomed by Leila Johnston and Paul Squires who set the relaxed mood for the day.

Rupert Goodwins: Sinclair memories

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Rupert talked about his time at Sinclair and his involvement with various Sinclair products.

He mentioned some very interesting Sinclair products that just never saw the light of day, including a flat screen TV, a mobile phone, a satellite receiver, the Mr Man computer (it had a vertical screen and looked a bit like a Mr Man), Loki (the games computer) and Pandora (which was a portable business computer based on the Spectrum).

What was interesting to hear was that the ZX81 was the only product to make any money for Sinclair. What was also amusing to hear was that 25% of ZX Spectrums were dead-on-arrival and needed replacing.

It was a very interesting talk!

Chris Smith: ZX Design

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Chris talked about the cutting edge technology that was, and went into, the ZX Spectrum, and revealed some of the hidden design features. He went on to show how an understanding of the machines quirks allowed the most creative programmers to produce the best games.

Chris talked about his Harlequin project and all that he went through to investigate how the Spectrum worked and was put together. Chris is one dedicated guy!!!!

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He also gave a quick demo of a game he has been working on called Where Eagles Dare, which is based on his love of the classic Spectrum game The Great Escape.

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Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.


  1. Very Fond memory of Sinclair! I had a Timex-Sinclair 2000, and yes you connect to the TV.
    I learn Simple Basic with the Timex-Sinclair 2000. In the Program Mode the Keyboard were an Simple Basic Word. Great Little Machine Learned a lot’

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