Cambridge Z88 - 1988

After selling to Amstrad, Clive Sinclair was in the awkward position of not being able to use his own name to sell under. Going back to his roots, the solution was obvious and the new computer was sold under the Cambridge label. Unusually, the computer was a portable. This was also the first time that he had not had a version of BASIC written for him, instead the computer offered a Z80 version of BBC BASIC. Another unusual point was that the computer did not start in BASIC, instead, it went into a menu scheme which offered Pipedream, a, office software module. This offered a word processor, spreadsheet and database as well as a clock/alarm and a file manager program. It came with 128KB of ROM and 32KB RAM which could be expanded by filling up to two of its expansion ports. It had a small screen offering 104 characters by 8 lines with 80 of the characters used for the program, the rest was used for the menu system. It ran on AA batteries, had a good battery life (20 hours of use or 365 days on standby) and, when switched off, simply hibernated instantly so, when woken, was raring to go again. It was a computer which deserved more recognition than it received. It was not MS-DOS compatible (in 1988, this was seen as a problem) but had an interface lead to upload data into PC programs such as Supercalc and Wordstar.