Article about collecting in Antique Trader.

From: <(>
Date: Tue Jul 6 12:13:59 1999

Tony wrote (in the discussion of ZX80s and PERQs):

> The other point is that many features of today's computers can be traced
> back to the PERQ/D-machines, etc. There aren't that many features that
> can be traced back to the ZX80.

Are you sure the PERQ was very influential. It was more of a commercial machine
than the Xeroxes, possibly, but I think the Xerox ideas would have had the same
influence on modern computing without the PERQ.

>> Sorry, Tony, I must agree with Glen here. Sinclair did not go to the trouble
>> that Apple and Microsoft have since expended to separate the user from the
>> nitty-gritty of how the machine works. The Sinclair is a far better machine
> Are you suggesting that PERQ systems did? Heck, you get a microcoding
> manual with the machine. The microcode assembler and placer are on the
> standard system distribution.

Not in the least.

> When you get into it, you'll learn a lot more from a PERQ than from a
> Sinclair....

Possibly. But you cannot assign more significance to the PERQ because it was a
better machine to learn on. Both the PERQ and the ZX80 were far better to learn
on than a PC clone. The ZX80 could teach you about microprocessor systems
(after a fashion), the PERQ about minicomputers and microcoding. The designers'
intentions were probably that the ZX80 was _meant_ to be educational, while the
PERQ was meant for experienced computer buffs to design specialist application
specific software and peripherals. The ZX80 is certainly more significant in
the amount of learning (people educated * some measure of knowledge gained, or
rather sum over people educated of amount of knowledge gained) that was done on

So in some sense the ZX80 is more significant. But In other ways, as Tony
pointed out, it is less significant. Swings and Roundabouts. But I agree that
the ZX80 does not deserve the inflated colletors' prices...

Received on Tue Jul 06 1999 - 12:13:59 BST

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