As we all know the beloved Sinclair Spectrum turned 30 this year and in celebration of this rather scary, yet awesome fact, Cambridge ARU played host to a two day event celebrating the rubber keyed technological marvel. I grabbed myself a ticket as soon as I heard about it and headed down their last weekend. It was well worth the £23 to pay homage to the little black box. I actually got to see the inside of the original Sinclair building and walked up the famous spiral stair case that Clive himself would have walked up and down on a daily basis back in the eighties. The highlight of the entire event was a Q&A session with Rick Dickinson; Sinclair's Industrial Designer and the man responsible for the look and feel for many of Sinclair's products including the Spectrum.
It was a fascinating talk from a man who played a significant part in Sinclair's history. It also seemed as if there was a fair amount of comparatives between Rick and Jonathan Ive and indeed Apple and Sinclair in general. Though the success of each company differs wildly. Both put out minimalist design driven products based on the vision of a charismatic leader that wouldn't take no for an answer. It's also interesting to think that both companies rejected compatibility with the IBM PC along with various other standards though with completely different consequences.