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SINCLAIR MK-14 (JULY 1978)   

In 1978 was born the MK-14, the first computer made by the Sinclair company (called at the time Science of Cambridge because Sinclair name was used by another company).

The MK-14 was a training board sold in kit form costing around £40 and featuring a National Semiconductor SC/MP 8-bit processor, 256 bytes of RAM, 512 bytes of ROM holding a monitor, calculator keyboard and display, and some I/O ports.

In fact, Clive Sinclair was not very enthusiastic about a personal computer project. The MK-14 project was thus managed by Chris Curry and produced by National Semiconductor. As the system was five times cheaper than its closest competitor, the Compukit UK-101, about 20,000 MK-14 boards were sold in the U.K.

Chris Curry, who believed much more than Clive Sinclair in the future of such computers, left the company in 1978, founded Acorn Computers with Herman Hauser and built its fist computer kit, the System 1. A few months later, Sir Sinclair decided that computers were a good way to raise money and started a new project: a complete computer for less than £100.

Meantime, the MK-14 grew into a modular system and several additional cards allowed to expand the system: cassette interface, text and graphics video module and Eprom programmer. 128 and 256 bytes RAM expansion modules could also be added up to a total of 640 bytes, Yes...640 BYTES...

If the MK-14 had not been launched, Clive Sinclair wouldn't probably think so soon of its ZX-80 and the world personal computer scene would have been very different.

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