Thank you, Uncle Clive

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Richard Bos
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Thank you, Uncle Clive

#1 Post by Richard Bos » Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:33 pm

Uncle Clive Sinclair died yesterday.

I'm not going to demean him by calling him Sir Clive. To us, in the Speccy community, he was always Uncle Clive. He was Sir Clive because of what he sold; but he was Uncle Clive because of what he gave us.

To begin with, Uncle Clive gave me a career. Not personally - never met the man - but the Sinclair ZX Spectrum made me realise that computer were more than mere toys. This wasn't a games console, this was something you could use, and something you could base a career on. And I did. I still make my living as a computer programmer, and it all started on those rubber keys.

I speak, and write, English the way I do mostly thanks to reading computer magazines dedicated to Sinclair machines. ZX Computing was my favourite - because it was more focused on programming your own than most other mags - and when that folded, Crash. YS and SU were always a bit too schoolboyish for me, but they did give me a lot of insight into British culture. No formal school English for me, I got my vocab from the letters to Ed.

And then, of course, I'm here thanks to Uncle Clive's machine. The Hobbit; Mordon's Quest; a couple of Adams adventures; type-ins from all sorts of magazines and books; and the PAW! Oh, yes, the PAW, which gave me even more incentive to write my own programs; gave me a taste of a very different programming system, too, which was useful in my career, adapting to other programming languages and paradigms; and made me realise how much a good manual is worth! (As, indeed, did the Spectrum's own manual.)

Oh, and The Hobbit? I wasn't a great reader in school. But I read that, to begin with because of the game. And several years later, that made me pick up another book. And another. Now I've read everything: Saki, H.H. Munro, Shaw, Joyce, Pratchett, Chaucer, Wodehouse. The Rubaiyat. Dorothy Sayers, Buson, and Coleridge.

It is not an overstatement to say that I am what I am thanks to Uncle Clive Sinclair. My love for Bach and for chess don't stem ultimately from the day my father brought home a big box with a 48k ZX Spectrum in it - rubber keys and all - but most of the rest of my cultural and professional life, in some way or another, does.

Thank you, Uncle Clive. Thank you for all you brought us. We will remember you.
Richard Bos
The Netherlands
Spectrum nut and T/SAL "expert". And very amateur chess player.

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Re: Thank you, Uncle Clive

#2 Post by Exemptus » Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:24 pm

You can't thank Uncle Clive enough.

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