Re: a question about Timex Sinclairs - Sinclair

This is a discussion on Re: a question about Timex Sinclairs - Sinclair ; A936@hotmail.com wrote: > All Timex machines contained licensed Spectrum ROMs or Spectrum > ROM derivatives but the major hurdle would have been that part of the > agreement between Timex and Sinclair was that Timex wouldn't sell > in Sinclair ...

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Re: a question about Timex Sinclairs

  1. Re: a question about Timex Sinclairs


    A936@hotmail.com wrote:
    > All Timex machines contained licensed Spectrum ROMs or Spectrum
    > ROM derivatives but the major hurdle would have been that part of the
    > agreement between Timex and Sinclair was that Timex wouldn't sell
    > in Sinclair markets. I read that article in one of the Sinclair mags
    > as
    > well where Timex Portugal was looking to export into the UK, but I
    > don't know how they could have done it legally unless that agreement
    > expired somehow.
    >
    > One of the former Timex Computer executives showed up at a local
    > user group meeting years ago and mentioned that Timex had tried
    > to interest Sinclair in some of the things it was doing but Sinclair
    > was apparently totally uninterested. The 128k machine could have
    > borrowed more advanced features for (almost) nothing but, of course,
    > didn't. Anyway I think the Spectrum was finished for Clive -- what he
    > really wanted for everyone was to buy a QL instead. After all, the
    > 128k idea came out of Spain, not out of Clive's head.


    Sinclair did take some of the TS2068 ideas later, though: the aborted
    Pandora portable Z80 computer duplicated the various extra video modes.
    I developed some of the screen driver software for Pandora at Sinclair,
    and used a TS2068 as my test machine (Pandora breadboards being rare
    and mutable beasts). I can't remember too many details at this remove,
    but I'm pretty sure that the memory layout and control ports were
    identical for the display. To be fair to all concerned, I also can't
    remember -- more likely, was never told -- whether the Timex-Sinclair
    modes were copied, or whether they were designed independently and the
    coincidence spotted later. Given that Pandora was also supposed to be
    Spectrum compatible, the designers were solving the same problems and
    may plausibly have arrived at the same sort of answers.

    The rest of the development system was a Z80 in-circuit emulator
    plugged into the TS2068 and, over RS232, to the Vax 11/780 running CP/M
    on specialist hardware (under VMS, of course), with M80 and L80 as
    assembler and linker.

    Rupert


  2. Re: a question about Timex Sinclairs

    Rupert Goodwins did eloquently scribble:
    > Sinclair did take some of the TS2068 ideas later, though: the aborted
    > Pandora portable Z80 computer duplicated the various extra video modes.
    > I developed some of the screen driver software for Pandora at Sinclair,
    > and used a TS2068 as my test machine (Pandora breadboards being rare
    > and mutable beasts). I can't remember too many details at this remove,
    > but I'm pretty sure that the memory layout and control ports were
    > identical for the display. To be fair to all concerned, I also can't
    > remember -- more likely, was never told -- whether the Timex-Sinclair
    > modes were copied, or whether they were designed independently and the
    > coincidence spotted later. Given that Pandora was also supposed to be
    > Spectrum compatible, the designers were solving the same problems and
    > may plausibly have arrived at the same sort of answers.


    Careful now, I think you can expect a lot of fawning and "WE'RE NOT WORTHY!
    WE'RE NOT WORTHY!" type stuff now.

    You've actually seen one?! (Thought the super spectrum was the Loki... Or
    was the pandora going to be a portable version of that?)
    --
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk | |
    |Andrew Halliwell BSc(hons)| "The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't |
    | in | suck is probably the day they start making |
    | Computer science | vacuum cleaners" - Ernst Jan Plugge |
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  3. Re: a question about Timex Sinclairs


    spike1@freenet.co.uk wrote:

    > You've actually seen one?! (Thought the super spectrum was the Loki... Or
    > was the pandora going to be a portable version of that?)
    > --


    Inasmuch as there was one to see! There were some industrial models,
    including a couple with the electronics and optics for the flat screen
    virtual display, but the main electronics never made it as far as board
    layout. Pandora was a portable 128K Spectrum with some extra video
    modes for business applications. Loki was the gamer's next-gen Spectrum
    (called Loki after the Norse prince of thieves, 'cos it nicked most of
    its ideas), with high res colour, sprites, genlock and the like. It
    wasn't developed as far as Pandora; I remember seeing some experimental
    video circuitry in the lab and some work being done on a multitasking
    OS (which was inherited from an earlier abandoned proposal, LC3 - Low
    Cost Colour Computer, that came between the ZX81 and the Speccy).

    That flat screen was a curse. The Pandora display was barking, and the
    QL's early design was compromised and made complicated by the notion
    that it too would have a built-in flat display. That and microdrives...
    what really rankled was that these things all ended up costing more
    than the mainstream alternatives _and_ worked worse. Even when Sugar
    pulled out the PCW8256, which really was a masterclass in how to do
    mass-market computing, we didn't get the idea.

    Anyway. I think I may know where one of the Pandora models ended up.
    It's been a while, but I'll see if I can find it and get some pix...
    why not.

    Rupert


    > __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    > | spike1@freenet.co.uk | |
    > |Andrew Halliwell BSc(hons)| "The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't |
    > | in | suck is probably the day they start making |
    > | Computer science | vacuum cleaners" - Ernst Jan Plugge |
    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------



  4. Re: a question about Timex Sinclairs

    Rupert Goodwins wrote:

    > Inasmuch as there was one to see! There were some industrial models,
    > including a couple with the electronics and optics for the flat screen
    > virtual display, but the main electronics never made it as far as board
    > layout. Pandora was a portable 128K Spectrum with some extra video
    > modes for business applications. Loki was the gamer's next-gen Spectrum
    > (called Loki after the Norse prince of thieves, 'cos it nicked most of
    > its ideas), with high res colour, sprites, genlock and the like. It
    > wasn't developed as far as Pandora; I remember seeing some experimental
    > video circuitry in the lab and some work being done on a multitasking
    > OS (which was inherited from an earlier abandoned proposal, LC3 - Low
    > Cost Colour Computer, that came between the ZX81 and the Speccy).


    Blimmin' 'eck! In a parallel universe somewhere, we Spec-chums are
    living like kings. Kings, I tells ya!

    > what really rankled was that these things all ended up costing more
    > than the mainstream alternatives _and_ worked worse. Even when Sugar
    > pulled out the PCW8256, which really was a masterclass in how to do
    > mass-market computing, we didn't get the idea.


    Ah, but that's why Sinclair fansites are a riot, while nobody gives a
    toss about Amstrad. Nobody with any sense of style and panache, at any rate.

    > Anyway. I think I may know where one of the Pandora models ended up.
    > It's been a while, but I'll see if I can find it and get some pix...
    > why not.


    Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

    --
    Duncan Snowden.

+ Reply to Thread