Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Your Chance to Build a New Sinclair ZX81

Sinclair ZX81I bought a Sinclair ZX80 computer by mail order when they were first advertised in BYTE magazine, unable to resist the bargain-basement price. These machines were cheap for a reason: The keyboard was printed on a large flat membrane, much like you'd see on a microwave oven. They had 1K of program memory and displayed B&W text on a TV set. Only crude character-based graphics, no sound.

The follow-up ZX81 featured an even simpler design with only four integrated circuits (some had an extra RAM chip, for a total of five), an RF modulator, and some discrete components. Because of its simplicity, Sinclair offered it as a kit for $99.95, or fully assembled for $149.95. Hundreds of thousands were sold, and I remember seeing it discounted to as little as $50.

Zebra Systems in New York still has a few original ZX81 kits for $99.95. They have thermal tape printers for $30, too. I'm not sure how many they have left in stock, but this is a great opportunity to build a seriously Retro piece of computing history.

New Sinclair ZX81 Computer kit
(Zebra Systems)


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