Steven's ZX81 Computer

Introduction | Information | Programs | Links


[Photo Of My ZX81]

Welcome to my ZX81 Computer page. Yes, my first computer was this small, 4 chip wonder that I spent almost three years learning to program on. In fact, I programmed so much on it, I destroyed the original membrane keyboard! My ZX81 is now safely housed in a Timex/Sinclair 1000 case. I know, sacrilege. But at least the keyboard works now!

I recently tried to get my ZX81 working again. Sadly, I can't get it to power on any longer. I'm afraid that all the moves, sitting in hot attics, and the like have finally taken there toll on this 25 year old machine. This is a bit unfortunate as I have some programs still sitting on tapes. I really need to put in an effort to preserve the rest of my programs. The printer paper I used is slowly fading and I eventually won't be able to restore any of them.


The ZX81 was released in 1981, hence the name. The thing that always amazed me was that it used only four chips: A Z80A CPU (control and arithmetic), 8K ROM (operating system, in this case SINCLAIR BASIC), the SCL (Sinclair Computer Logic, the workhorse), and 1K of RAM (note pad). It used a standard cassette recorder and black and white television. Among the most popular, and as equally required, accessories were the 16K RAM pack and a printer. In my case, I had a T/S 2040 thermal printer. To prevent the infamous white outs that the ZX81 was prone to, I placed mine in a plastic tray with Blue-Tac. Later, I built a tilted tray with an on/off toggle switch. This was nice since the only way to turn off the ZX81 was to unplug it!

Here is a list of the ZX81 books I still own: (Although they all have T/S 1000 or 1500 in the title, many are reprints of ZX81 books.)

  • 51 Game Programs for the Timex Sinclair 1000 and 1500, Tim Hartnell, 1983
  • BASICS: A Guide to the TIMEX/SINCLAIR 1000, Henry Mullish, 1984
  • The Elementary Timex/Sinclair 1000, William B. Sanders, Ph.D., 1983
  • The Essential Guide to Timex/Sinclair Home Computers, Peter Morse, Ian Adamson, Ben Anrep and Brian Hancock, 1983
  • Games for Your Timex-Sinclair 1000, Mark Charlton, 1983
  • Mastering Your Timex Sinclair 1000 Personal Computer, Tim Hartnell and Dilwyn Jones, 1983
  • The Timex Personal Computer Made Simple, Joe Campbell, Jonathan D. Siminoff, and Jean Yates, 1982
  • ZX81 Basic Programming, Second Edition, Steven Vickers, 1982


In an attempt to preserve my ever fading printouts, I've begun to type in my old programs. Unfortunately, I keep seeing mistakes or ways to improve the original programs, so I keep getting side tracked. Oh, well!

The programs listed here are of four categories: animations, graphic games, text games, and home/office. Each program includes a synopsis, a link to an archived P file, an HTML listing, a description of the program's operation or history, pictures of the program's output using the COPY or LPRINT command, and a listing using the LLIST command.

The archive includes all pictures and HTML files as well. However, you'll probably want the ZX81 images and rules to use with the HTML. Also included is a bitmap version of the ZX81 image. Rename it's extension to .ico to use it as a Windows icon.

If you are writing your own ZX81 programs and have access to PERL, you might want to use my ZX81 to HTML converter. Although not as fast as some of the other C versions, it's relatively easy to adjust to your taste! Please, let me know if you find it useful!


I'm trying to keep these updated. Please send me an email or update my guest book if you have one to add, or if find one is no longer working.

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Copyright © 1998 - by Steven L. Reid