The ZX81 was the successor of the ZX80 and one of the cheapest home-computers.
One of the things that made the ZX81 so cheap was the touch-sensitive
membrane keyboard. There were only 4 chips (in some ZX81 5 chips)
working inside: The CPU, ULA (logic chip),
8 KByte rom and 1 KB ram. There was not a graphic chip so the CPU
had to do the job.
The ZX81 was also available as a DIY kit. In some countries the ZX81 was
sold as the TS1000.
The keys of the ZX81 had 5 different meanings e.g. if you press 'P' the
ZX81 will print 'P' or 'PRINT' depending on the situation the key is pressed.
There were two peripherals: A cassetterecorder (not a special one: you could
use every walkman) and a special ZX printer. It was necessary to find
the right volume for the cassetterecorder to save programs to cassette
(it was somewhere in the middle).
Today there are still many ZX81-enthusiasts around the world. In Germany
there is a user-club only for the ZX81 and its clones: The ZX-Team. They
are still developing new hardware extensions like an adapter for the
Commodore 1541-diskdrive, coulour graphic and sound.
The ZX81 is still far better than a PC for people who want to understand
how a computer works.
A ZX81 can be updated to the following configuration:
CPU/Clock speed:Z80A/3.58 MHz - 8-Bit
RAM:1 (32) KB
Operating system:compatibel with ZX80
Interfaces:Expansion, Cassette recorder, TV
Storage:Cassette, Disk (5.25"")
Size (in mm):167*175*40
|(C) 2001-2014 by Matthias Jaap. Last update: 31/12/2014.|