Sinclair ZX81 computers back on sale

Timex/Sinclair ZX81 reappears on the personal computing scene

An obsolete British home computer, the Timex/Sinclair ZX81, has made an unexpected and daring reappearance onto the personal computing scene, thanks to a retro computer reseller in the US.

The unique piece of computer nostalgia, created by English computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair and first marketed in 1981, heralded the begining of a new era by establishing a place for computers in the home.

The ZX81 may have difficulties competing with the latest computer hardware, however. The machine features a modest Z80 processor running at 3.25MHz with just 1K of RAM and 8K ROM as standard.

New York firm Zebra Systems has a warehouse full of Timex/Sinclair ZX81s and claims that the computers are proving a hit not just with nostalgic gadget geeks. The computers apparently still have a practical purpose in the high-tech world of modern computing. The company's home page boasts an endorsement from one Nasa engineer: "Send me four more kits, I'm using them as controllers for a project."

The Sinclair ZX81 costs $99 (£68 -- roughly the same as they did in 1981) but are sadly not available outside the US.

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