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1980s / Timex Sinclair 1000 Computer
Back in 1982 the Timex Corp. and Sinclair research (of Britain,) teamed up and produced the Timex Sinclair 1000. It was a low-priced introduction to home computers. It sported 2K of onboard RAM, (yes, 2K! 2 kilobytes of memory!) You could also purchase a 16K add-on memory module called a RAM Pack, (lower right in the picture,) which increased the memory to 18K. I believe there was also a 64K RAM Pack available later. The ones sold in Britain were known as the ZX 81. It had no display but you could hook it up to the VHF antenna connections on the back of your television set. It also didn't have any sound. The operating system was a modified version of the BASIC computer language and it gave a lot of people, including me, their first taste of computer programming. There were a number of programs that you could buy for it. They were all on cassette tapes. What you would do is connect the unit to your TV set, plug your cassette tape player into it and put whatever program you might have into the tape player. You had to turn the volume off on your cassette player because the programming code was just one continual screeching sound. I had a cassette tape that had a few different programs on it. All of the characters in the programs were block-headed type graphics, but they actually would walk across the screen and even jump up and down. Cool stuff back then. I remember this costing me $29, as the store I bought it at was getting rid of them. I believe the original selling price was $99. I also bought the 16K RAM Pack for $25. I've kept it all these years in good condition thinking that someday it would be worth something, and I was right. They're selling for about 10 bucks on eBay! Win a few, lose a few. Ironically, these things have somewhat of a cult following, and I've even heard of clubs dedicated to the TS-1000!