Sinclair Spectrum engineer Rick Dickinson dies in US

Image copyright

Rick Dickinson, a engineer of a Sinclair computers, has died in a US while receiving diagnosis for cancer.

Mr Dickinson was a in-house engineer for Sinclair Research and oversaw a origination of a home computers.

He was obliged for a boxy demeanour of a ZX80 and ZX81 and a Bauhaus-inspired pattern of a Spectrum.

He also helped to rise a technologies for their touch-sensitive and rubber keyboards.

Mr Dickinson was also related to a crowd-funded plan by Retro Computers to spin a Spectrum into a handheld computer. Some of a early anxiety designs for a appurtenance were drawn adult by Mr Dickinson.


In an talk with a BBC in 2012, Mr Dickinson pronounced a growth of a keyboards had been driven by a enterprise to cut costs. The touch-sensitive mats used in a Sinclair machines were most cheaper and easier than normal keyboards done of hundreds of components.

In a interview, he pronounced he had had doubts that a initial machines would be successful though a association had been “overwhelmed” by seductiveness and direct once they had launched.

Image copyright

Image caption

The boxy demeanour of a ZX81 helped to cut a cost of producing a machine

He pronounced a machines had “spawned a generation” of coders that had helped to settle a UK’s repute as a creative, game-making powerhouse.

He added: “Sinclair products were innate out of towering creation and crafty shortcuts to get things into ever smaller packages during reduce costs.”

The sketch house on that Mr Dickinson designed a Spectrum is now in a Science Museum.

After withdrawal Sinclair, Mr Dickinson set adult an industrial pattern consultancy called Dickinson Associates. Through a company, he was concerned with a pattern of a initial Amstrad unstable computers, early mobile phones and diversion consoles.

The initial news of Mr Dickinson’s genocide came around an email sent by his wife, Elizabeth, to family and friends, seeking that it be sent on to all those competence wish to know of his passing.

A orator during Dickinson Associates reliable that Mr Dickinson had died progressing this week.

The email pronounced Mr Dickinson had been diagnosed with cancer in 2015, for that he had perceived successful treatment. However, it said, a cancer had returned final year.

Mr Dickinson had afterwards trafficked to a US for dilettante caring though had died unexpected between bouts of treatment.