FACES IN THE CROWD: Clive Sinclair, left, and Nigel Searle, head of Sinclair Research computer division, in the crowd of runners at the start of the Cambridge Festival half marathon. The men's race was won by Ian Thompson with Carol Gould coming first in the women's section.
THE PRICE of the ZX-81 has been reduced to £49.95. It is believed that the move was prompted by the need to keep sales moving in Britain, since there has been a big fall in the number of orders since the announcement of the Spectrum.
It was felt that the gap between the prices of the ZX-81 and the Spectrum was not big enough. Sinclair Research has always maintained that there was a market for both machines.
It is also thought it is a reaction to the announcement by Binatone that it will be selling a micro costing less than £50. The machine is being imported from the Far East and the launch date depends on tests of the machine proving satisfactory. It is hoped to have it on sale before Christmas.
The ZX-81 will soon be available through more retail outlets. This follows the signing of an agreement with Prism Microproducts for sole distribution rights for the machine in Britain to small retail organisations with fewer than 20 outlets.
Prism is a sister company to ECC Publications which publishes Sinclair User. Its future plans include increasing its distribution of hardware and software items in the Sinclair market.
ANYONE attaching add-ons to their Sinclair machines which require opening the case or removing the keyboard automatically invalidates the guarantee.
That means that Sinclair is not obliged to repair the machine should anything go wrong. A spokesman for Sinclair Research said that once the case had been opened the guarantee no longer obtains but in some cases where nothing had been disturbed inside, the repairs might still be free.
That came to light after a reader wrote to Sinclair User of his experience. PJ Shaw of Reading wrote that, like many other ZX-81 owners, he had bought a full-size keyboard. The model required the removal of the computer board from its casing and fixing it into the new keyboard. It was a great improvement and Shaw was very happy with his machine.
"Then, one day, my ZX-81 developed a fault. Not to worry, it was fully guaranteed, or so I thought.
"According to Sinclair Research I had invalidated my guarantee by opening and removing the computer board from its casing," he said.
The necessary repair work will cost him a minimum of £20.
ENTRIES for mathematics and science applications dominated the educational software awards organised by Muse, the educational computing association. There were more than 100 entries but the science bias resulted in prizes being awarded in only five of the six categories.
Many of the entries have now been accepted into the ZX-81 section of the Muse library which, with nearly 50 programs, is now the biggest section.
Prizes of Sinclair printers went to Dave Fisher of Coventry in the primary maths/science section for Bomber; to Charles Rowbotham of Manchester under other primary for Forensic; under secondary maths/science to John McMullan of Stechford for Forensic; under other secondary to Richard Mariot of Kenilworth for Bigspell; and under other to Ian Souter of Tunbridge Wells for TLOG.
No award was made in the administration category.
THE WINNER of the Spectrum and printer we offered in our June competition is S J Churchman of Dorset. From a high-quality entry the judges decided that his version of an EPROM blower was the best.
We will print an outline of the hardware and a review of its capabilities in our next issue.