Salute to the User Group Featuring the Timex Sinclair

Before the days of the modern WWW Internet, microcomputer owners would join specialized computer clubs, called SIG’s, to get product support. Many of these “Special Interest Groups” would meet in libraries or schools. SIGs also often had a monthly news letter or BBS site with articles, an event calendar, tip sheets, type-in programs and advertisements. From these groups members would discuss their computers, work to solve and share solutions to common hardware problems, swap software, and learn new tips and hacks. Sales Reps would visit meetings to demonstrate new hardware and software or provide user training. In the 1970s and 1980s practically every type of computer manufacturer had its own regional computer SIG club.

Pictured above is an example of Sinclair ZX81 / Timex 1000 SIG wares. The two computers are virtually identical. In the USA the ZX-81 was typically sold as a mail-order kit, and Timex 1000’s were sold fully-assembled in Hallmark gift shops or wherever Timex watches might be sold.

Most programs for the Sinclair 1000 / ZX-81 were stored on cassette tape.

The newsletters and many of the products pictured in the photos were produced by members of Sinclair SIGs not the Sinclair company. There were ZX81 fans in every region of the United States. No wonder, as these computers had a Z-80 CPU and sold for only $99.00. Most SIGS continued to support the 1000/ZX81 even after Sinclair stopped selling them.