The designer of the Sinclair Spectrum home computer, Rick Dickinson, has died in the US following a battle against cancer.
Dickinson was also behind the design of the other classic Sinclair home computers of the 1980s, including the ZX80 and ZX81 - some of the best-selling early home computers.
He joined the company after graduating in 1979 from Newcastle Polytechnic - now Northumbria University - with a First Class degree in Design for Industry. This was the first degree of its kind, formerly a three-year "Industrial Design" degree.
He was also part of the team responsible for the machines' boxy appearance and distinctive rubber keys, choices made in an effort to reduce costs, as the design required far fewer components than traditional keyboards - it wasn't possible back in the 1970s and 1980s to simply buy a keyboard to plug-in to a computer, and what was available was expensive.
Dickinson left Sinclair in 1986 following its acquisition by Amstrad.
More recently, Dickinson was said to be involved in a project from Retro Computers to release a modern handheld version of the Spectrum.
The ZX Spectrum, in particular, was a cornerstone of the 1980s revolution in home computing, spawning a generation of bedroom coders and kick-starting the UK's IT industry.
Many thousands of games were produced for the device, many of which are still remembered and played today by nostalgic fans.
Some of these have even been rearchitected to work on modern mobile devices, proving the appetite for certain of the classics still remains.
In 2016 Sir Clive Sinclair, the founder of Sinclair Research, the firm behind the computers, said that coding skills had regressed across UK schools, as a result of under-investment.
"In the 1980s, Britain was the world leader in coding for children, and the government should have put computing on the school syllabus then, not wait decades to do it," he told Computing at the time.
"I feel very sad that it happened that way. We could now still be a world leader, but many other countries have embraced coding and IT in their education systems considerably more than we have done."
The ZX80, ZX81 and Spectrum are currently on dispay at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge.
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