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Dust off your old computers

PUBLISHED: 18:19 03 November 2004 | UPDATED: 15:25 22 October 2010

COMPUTER buffs from across the UK will descend on Norwich this weekend for a road show showcasing retro 1980s' PCs. The ORSAM Sinclair and Clones Show 2004 is taking place in Norwich on Saturday.

COMPUTER buffs from across the UK will descend on Norwich this weekend for a road show showcasing retro 1980s' PCs.

The ORSAM Sinclair and Clones Show 2004 is taking place in the Alec Bussey Scout Centre, Rowington Road, Norwich on Saturday.

Computer fans will travel from as far afield as Holland and Italy to join their counterparts in the UK to look at, play with and buy the 1980s Sinclair computers and software.

Sinclair is a computer manufacturer which made a variety of computers in the 1980s, including the Spectrum, the QL and the ZX81.

The machines were extremely popular at the time and have since experienced a retro revival — but they are now difficult to get hold of.

The UK stopped manufacturing them in 1993 and the only country still making them is Russia. But the second-hand market and amateur clones market is growing.

This is the second annual ORSAM show to be held in the city.

Organiser, 30-year-old Tarquin Mills, of Rowington Road, said: "I am hoping hundreds of people will turn up as it's free admission and free prize draws.

"I have part funded it out of my own pocket because I love Sinclair so much and want the market to grow."

He added: "One of the reasons we are doing this is to contact the people that may not have used their Spectrum for years. When I was younger and growing up the Spectrum was like a ray of hope to me.

"They had great games and you'll find that whereas modern games emphasise wonderful graphics, Spectrums emphasised the quality and originality of the game. And being computers rather than consoles they could do a lot more."

He said one of their key attractions of Sinclair machines was their text-based adventures such as The Hobbitt.

Mr Mills, the chairman of the Anglia Classic Computer Users Society (ACCCUS), added they were also easy to program and cheap and bred whole generations of computer programmers like himself.

"One of the things about a Spectrum is you can get down a lot deeper than with other machines — you can access the operating systems and even assembly of the computer," he said.

At the event fans will be able to snap up second-hand machines, PCs cloned by amateur manufacturers and even some new machines still being manufactured Russia.

Second-hand retro software, new software and games will also be on sale.

"It's chance to actually meet the traders who sell these sorts of things rather than just buying them through the internet," Mr Mills said.

He added: "I will be buying some new computers at the show."

He has launched a petition calling for Sinclair manufacturer to make their machines again.

The event takes place from 10am to 4pm. For more information call (01603) 470399.


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