my first computer

WH Smiths brought computing to the masses in the UK, there’s no denying it. With a branch in any medium sized town, it was the first place most people saw a real live computer. The device in question was the Sinclair ZX81, a small black plastic rectangle, hooked up to a TV set and glued to a display case. To my 10 year old self it was the future, a field of endless potential. I badgered my parents, and was rewarded on Christmas morning 1981.

The glorious device came equipped with 1k of RAM which would run out before you could actually fill the screen with text. Storage consisted of a tape deck [not included] with which to record cassettes full of screetching code which would take minutes to load. I had mine hooked up to a black and white portable sony tv, and I was as happy as a small boy could be.

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