Me, typing on something

What am I typing on? Is it a peripheral for the ZX81 in the back, or is it a computer in its own right?

  • 11
    Love the 70s wallpaper. :)
    – Jules
    Commented Sep 9, 2018 at 19:34
  • 5
    Not to mention the carpet! Also, in case you're curious, that's a ZX Printer on the right — printware.co.uk/images/news/ZX_Spectrum_Printer.jpg
    – Tommy
    Commented Sep 9, 2018 at 19:45
  • 1
    I think we had the same carpet in our den! IIRC, it was five colors of brown/tan/cream.
    – shoover
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 15:55
  • 1
    I can tell you that the "display device" is an Auritone 80T1 5" BW portatble TV, but you might have known that already.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 19:48
  • @JPhi1618 yep - if you look, I'm sat on the box it came in.
    – Simon
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 20:42

2 Answers 2


Most likely this one in a custom case. It was made/sold by now defunct Maplin as one of their early own computer products in 1981. It was available as PCB only, Kit or Assembled product. Its larger cousin, the 'Full Size Keyboard' was described in detail in their Maplin Projects Book Three of 1983 on p.28.

Excerpt from the Maplin price list of Nov/1982:

XH58N Keytop Print ZX81 25
XG17T ZX81 Keyboard Case £4.95
GA83E ZX81 Ext Kyboard PCB £2.95
LW72P ZX8I Keyboard Kit £19.95
XG22Y ZX81 Keyboard £29.95

According to the price list it was listed on page 243 of the catalogue (p.303 for the 1984 catalogue).

The Computer is most likely a genuine ZX81 with Sinclair's ZX 16K RAM 16 KiB RAM expansion and the ZX PRINTER. A configuration much like on this Wiki-picture - sans the keyboard of course.

  • 6
    Links rot, replace "this one" with the name of the item?
    – stannius
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 7:18
  • 4
    @stannius Good ida ... except, it didn't have one. It's just quoted as 'ZX81 Keyboard' in the catalogue. Unbelivaable today, but there was a time when people made things without comming up with clever names and marketing scheme before doing the real work :))
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 8:30
  • 1
    Given the propensity of ZX81s with 16K to crash if you typed too hard, using an external keyboard would seem to make a lot of sense! Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 10:39
  • 1
    RIP Maplin... :( Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 19:45
  • 1
    @Raffzahn you can still make the text "A Maplin ZX81 keyboard" :)
    – hobbs
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 17:40

It looks like a Timex Sinclair 1000 with a modded keyboard. Possibly by Memotech.

  • 1
    Yep, definitely an external keyboard ... you can see the ribbon cable that connects it to the ZX81 itself. Most of the ones I knew of at the time had the machine sit inside, but an external one is reasonable enough.
    – Jules
    Commented Sep 9, 2018 at 19:34
  • 3
    For one it's a ZX81, as the TS1000 had a silver sticker instead of the red tag. Next the Memotech keyboard had different keys and a unique much wider shape with a silver front - like most Memotech products of that time.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Sep 9, 2018 at 19:38
  • 1
    @Raffzahn, thanks for the clarification on the ZX81 v the TS1000. I'm up-voting your answer as it is probably way more accurate.
    – Geo...
    Commented Sep 9, 2018 at 22:22

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