Sinclair Spectrum designer Rick Dickinson dies in US

Rick Dickinson, the designer of Sinclair computer systems, has died within the US whereas receiving remedy for most cancers.

The British designer, considered in his 60s, labored in-house for Sinclair Analysis and oversaw the creation of its residence computer systems within the 1980s.

He was chargeable for the boxy look of the ZX80 and ZX81 and the Bauhaus-inspired look of the Spectrum.

Mr Dickinson additionally helped to develop the applied sciences for the UK firm’s touch-sensitive and rubber keyboards.

He was just lately linked to a crowd-funded venture by Retro Computer systems to show the Spectrum right into a handheld pc. A few of the early reference designs for the machine have been drawn up by him.


In an interview with the BBC in 2012, Mr Dickinson stated the event of the keyboards had been pushed by a need to chop prices. The touch-sensitive mats used within the Sinclair machines have been less expensive and less complicated than conventional keyboards fabricated from a whole lot of elements.

Within the interview, he stated he had had doubts that the primary machines would achieve success however the firm had been “overwhelmed” by curiosity and demand as soon as they’d launched.

He stated the machines had “spawned a era” of coders that had helped to determine the UK’s fame as a inventive, game-making powerhouse.

He added: “Sinclair merchandise have been born out of staggering innovation and intelligent shortcuts to get issues into ever smaller packages at decrease prices.”

The drafting board on which Mr Dickinson designed the Spectrum is now within the Science Museum.

A graduate in industrial design from Newcastle Polytechnic, he joined Sinclair in 1979.

After leaving the corporate, Mr Dickinson arrange an industrial design consultancy Dickinson Associates. By means of the Cambridgeshire-based agency, he was concerned with the design of the primary Amstrad moveable computer systems, early cellphones and sport consoles.

The primary information of Mr Dickinson’s demise got here through an e-mail despatched by his spouse, Elizabeth, to household and mates, asking that or not it’s despatched on to all these may wish to know of his passing.

A spokesman at Dickinson Associates confirmed he had died earlier this week.

The e-mail stated Mr Dickinson had been identified with most cancers in 2015, for which he had acquired profitable remedy. Nonetheless, it stated, the most cancers had returned final yr.

Mr Dickinson had then travelled to the US for specialist care however had died out of the blue between bouts of remedy.

Printed at Thu, 26 Apr 2018 15:24:51 +0000