By Fred Watson,2014-05-19 19:36
8 views 0

    Part I Background Information

    I. More information about Sir Clive Sinclair

    Sir Clive Sinclair (born in July 30, 1940) is a well-known British entrepreneur and inventor of the world's first 'slim-line' electronic pocket calculator in 1972 and the

    ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum computers in the late 1970s and early 1980s, amongst

    many other things.

    The ZX80 was the UK's first mass market home computer to be sold for under

    ?100. Sinclair was fascinated by electronics and miniaturization from his teenage

    years. In 1961 he started his own company, Sinclair Radionics Ltd, after spending several years as assistant editor for Practical Wireless and Instrument Practice to raise


    In recent years Sinclair has become a keen poker player and appeared in the first

    three seasons of the Late Night Poker TV series. He won the first season final of the

    Celebrity Poker Club spin-off, defeating Keith Allen

    His most recent invention is the A-bike, an ingenious folding bicycle for

    commuters that weighs only 5.5 kilograms (12 pounds) and folds to a very small size

    for easy carrying on a train or bus.

    Early life, family and education.

    Sinclair's father and grandfather were engineers; both had been apprentices at Vickers

    the shipbuilders. His grandfather George Sinclair was an innovative naval architect

    who got the paravane, a mine sweeping device, to work. George Sinclair's son Bill

    Sinclair attempted to break the family tradition of engineering by expressing a

    preference for going into the church - or perhaps becoming a journalist. His father suggested he train as an engineer first; Bill became a mechanical engineer and has

    been in the field ever since. At the outbreak of World War II in 1939 he was running his own machine tools business in London and later worked for the Ministry of Supply.

    Clive Sinclair was born in 1940 near Richmond. He and his mother left London to stay with an aunt for safety in Devon, where they eventually travelled to

    Teignmouth. A telegram arrived shortly after bringing the news that their home in

    Richmond had been bombed. Clive's father, Bill Sinclair, found a house in Bracknell

    in Berkshire. Sinclair's brother Ian was born in 1943 and his sister Fiona in 1947.

    Clive enjoyed the freedom of the holidays and had interests in swimming and

    boating. At an early age he designed a submarine, possibly being influenced by his grandfather George. During the holidays he could pursue his own ideas and teach himself what he wanted to know. Sinclair had little interest in sports and found

    himself out of place with others at school. He preferred the company of adults, this

    type of companionship he only got from his family.

    Sinclair attended Box Grove preparatory school. At school, he excelled in

    mathematics. By the time Clive was ten, his father Bill Sinclair had financial

    problems. He had branched out from machine tools and planned to import miniature

    tractors from the US; however, he eventually had to give up the business. Because of

    his father's financial problems, Sinclair had to move school several times. Sinclair

    took his O-levels at Highgate School in London in 1955 and S-levels in physics, and

pure applied maths at St. George's College, Weybridge.

    During his early years, Sinclair earned money mowing lawns and washing up,

    and earned 6d (old pence) more than permanent staff in the cafe. Later he went for

    holiday jobs at electronic companies. At Solatron he started to enquire his mentors

    about the possibility of electrically propelled personal vehicles. Sinclair applied for a

    holiday job at Mullard and took along one of his circuit designs; he was rejected for

    the theoretical precociousness. While still at school he wrote the first article for Practical Wireless.

     Sinclair did not want to go to university when he left school just before his 18th

    birthday. By this time, he knew that he wanted to sell miniature electronic kits by mail order to the hobbyist market.


     Advertisement for the Sinclair Micrometric radio. Sinclair's Micro Kit was formalized in an exercise book dated 19 June 1958 three weeks before the start of his A-levels. In the book, Sinclair drew a radio circuit,

    Model Mark I, with a components list, cost/set 9:11d (49?p) + colored wire & solder nuts & bolts + celluloid chassis (drilled) = 9/- (45p). Also in the book are the

    advertisement rates for Radio Constructor (9d (3?p)/word, minimum 6/- (30p)) and Practical Wireless (5/6 (27?p) per line or part line).

    Sinclair estimated to produce at the rate of 1,000 a month, orders placed with the

    companies supplying the components for 10,000 of each to be delivered at a call off

    rate of 1,000 per month.

    Sinclair wrote a book for Bernard's Publishing, Practical transistor receivers Book 1, appeared in January 1959. It was re-printed late that year, and nine times

    subsequently. His practical stereo handbook was first published in June 1959; and

    reprinted seven times over a period of 14 years. The last book Sinclair wrote as an employee of Bernard's was Modern Transistor Circuits for Beginners, first published in May 1962. During the period he was employed by Bernard Babani, he had

    produced 13 constructors books.

    Sinclair decided to start his own business. In 1961 he registered his company as Sinclair Radionics Ltd. His original choice, Sinclair Electronics, was already taken; Sinclair Radio was available but didn't sound right to Sinclair. Eventually Sinclair

    Radionics was formed on 25 July 1961.

    Sinclair made two attempts to raise startup capital necessary to advertise his

inventions and buy components. He designed PCB kits and licensed some technology.

    Then he took his design for a miniature transistor pocket radio and spent some time seeking for a backer for its production in kit form. Eventually he found someone who

    agreed to buy 55% of his company for ?3,000; however, the deal didn’t go through.

    Sinclair, unable to find capital, joined United Trade Press (UTP), based at 9

    Gough Square, just off Fleet Street, as technical editors of the journal Instrument Practice. Sinclair's name first appeared in Instrument Practice as an assistant editor in

    March 1962. Sinclair described the method of making silicon planar transistors, their properties and applications and expressed a hope that they might be available by the

    end of 1962. Sinclair was obsessed with miniaturization, as became more and more obvious as his career progressed. Sinclair undertook a survey for Instrument Practice of Semiconductor devices, which appeared in four sections between September 1962

    and January 1963.

    His last appearance as assistant editor was in April 1969. Through UTP, Sinclair

    had access to thousands of devices from 36 manufacturers. He contacted

    Semiconductors Ltd and ordered rejects that he would repair. He produced a design

    for a miniature radio powered by a couple of hearing aid cells and made a deal with Semiconductor Ltd to buy their MATs at 6d (2?p) each in boxes of 10,000. He would

    then carry out his own quality control tests, and market his renamed MAT 100 and

    120 at 7/9d (38?p) and 101 and 121 at 8/6 (42?p).

    Sinclair Radionics lasted until 1979, with various products and company

    spin-offs. Beginning with a mini-amplifier, the company quickly earned a name for design, quality and pioneering ideas. The overall vision was to produce in bulk and to

    sell cheaply. This risky but potentially profitable 'stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap'

    approach has made fortunes before, but carries with it the risk of bankruptcy. In the early days one strategy essential to this policy for Sinclair Radionics was production

    in ket form.

    Sinclair Research Ltd (1978--present)

    ZX Spectrum (1982)

    In June 1978 Science of Cambridge launched a microcomputer kit, marketed as the

    MK14, based around the National SC/MP chip. By July 1978, a personal computer

    project was already underway. When Sinclair learnt that the NewBrain could not be sold at below the sub-?100 price that he envisaged, his thoughts turned to the ZX80

    instead. In May 1979 Jim Westwood started the ZX80 project at Science of

    Cambridge, it was launched in February 1980 at ?79.95 in kit form and ?99.95 ready-built. In November Science of Cambridge was renamed to “Sinclair computers


    In March 1981, the company was renamed again to Sinclair Research Ltd and the Sinclair ZX81 was launched at ?49.95 in kit form and ?69.95 ready-built, by mail order. In February 1982 Timex obtained a license to manufacture and market

    Sinclair's computers in the US under the name Timex Sinclair. In April the ZX Spectrum was launched, priced at ?125 for the 16 kB RAM version and ?175 for the

    48 KB version. In March 1982 the company made an ?8.55m profit on turnover of

    ?27.17m, including ?383,000 government grants for the TV80 flat screen portable


     In 1982 Clive Sinclair converted the Barker & Wadsworth mineral water bottling

    factory at 25 Willis Road, Cambridge into the Sinclair Building to use it as the

    company's new headquarters. (It was sold to Cambridge shire County Council in

    December 1985 due to Sinclair's immense debts and finance troubles.)

II. More information about Mensa.

What is Mensa?

    Mensa was founded in England in 1946 by Roland Berrill, a barrister, and Dr. Lance

    Ware, a scientist and lawyer. They had the idea of forming a society for bright people,

    the only qualification for membership of which was a high IQ. The original aims

    were, as they are today, to create a society that is non-political and free from all racial or religious distinctions. The society welcomes people from every walk of life whose

    IQ is in the top 2% of the population, with the objective of enjoying each other's

    company and participating in a wide range of social and cultural activities. What are Mensa’s goals?

    Mensa has three stated purposes:

    to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity

    to encourage research in the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence

    to provide a stimulating intellectual and social opportunities for its member. How many members does Mensa have?

    Today there are some 100,000 Mensans in 100 countries throughout the world. There

    are active Mensa organizations in over 40 countries on every continent except

    Antarctica. Membership numbers are also available for specific National Groups. What kind of people are Members of Mensa?

    There is simply no one prevailing characteristic of Mensa members other than high

    IQ. There are Mensans for whom Mensa provides a sense of family, and others for

    whom it is a casual social activity. There have been many marriages made in Mensa,

    but for many people, it is simply a stimulating opportunity for the mind. Most

    Mensans have a good sense of humor, and they like to talk. And, usually, they have a

    lot to say.

    Mensans range in age from 4 to 94, but most are between 20 and 60. In education

    they range from preschoolers to high school dropouts to people with multiple

    doctorates. There are Mensans on welfare and Mensans who are millionaires. As far

    as occupations, the range is staggering. Mensa has professors and truck drivers,

    scientists and firefighters, computer programmers and farmers, artists, military

    people, musicians, laborers, police officers, glassblowers--the diverse list goes on and on. There are famous Mensans and prize-winning Mensans, but there are many whose

    names you wouldn’t know.

    What does “Mensa” mean?

    The word "Mensa" means "table" in Latin. The name stands for a round-table society,

where race, color, creed, national origin, age, politics, educational or social

    background are irrelevant.

    What opinions does Mensa have?

    Mensa takes no stand on politics, religion or social issues. Mensa has members from

    so many different countries and cultures with differing points of view, that for Mensa

    to espouse a particular point of view would go against its role as a forum for all points

    of view. Of course, individual Mensa members often have strong opinions--and

    several of them. It is said that in a room with 12 mensans you will find at least 13

    differing opinions on any given subject.

    How do I qualify for Mensa?

    Membership in Mensa is open to persons who have attained a score within the upper two percent of the general population on an approved intelligence test that has been

    properly administered and supervised. There is no other qualification or

    disqualification for membership eligibility.

    The term "IQ score" is widely used but poorly defined. There are a large number

    of tests with different scales. The result on one test of 132 can be the same as a score

    148 on another test. Some intelligence tests don't use IQ scores at all. Mensa has set a

    percentile as cutoff to avoid this confusion. Candidates for membership in Mensa

    must achieve a score at or above the 98th percentile on a standard test of intelligence

    (a score that is greater than or equal to that achieved by 98 percent of the general

    population taking the test)

    Generally, there are two ways to prove that you qualify for Mensa: either take the

    Mensa test, or submit a qualifying test score from another test. There are a large

    number of intelligence tests that are "approved". More information on whether a test

    you have taken is approved, as well as information on the procedure for taking the

    Mensa test, can be obtained from the nearest Mensa office. There are no on-line tests

    that can be used for admission to Mensa. Feel free to contact Mensa for specific

    details about eligibility.

    Mensa has no other eligibility requirements other than IQ testing. However,

    many tests are not valid for people under the age of 16. You should contact the nearest

    Mensa office for more information.

    Is there a Mensa test?

    If you've never taken an IQ test, or don't want to bother with getting official copies of

    your test scores, then Mensa can test you. You will be put in contact with the local

    testing coordinator who will tell you about specific testing dates and places.

    In some countries, a pre-test is available which you can take in the privacy of

    your home. To find out whether such a test is available in your country, please see

    National Groups. When you've finished the pre-test, send it back to the address instructed. It will be scored, and you will be notified of the results. If your score is

    high enough, you'll be invited to take a qualifying supervised test. The pre-test is just

    for practice; you can't use it to qualify for Mensa even if you score at or above the

    98th percentile. Taking a pre-test is not required for admission, however, many people

    take it simply for the challenge.

    If you want to take a practice, on-line test, the Mensa Workout is an intelligence

quiz in which you have half an hour to answer 30 questions. When you submit your

    answers, your test is instantly scored, and you can see how your score measures up.

    The answers to the questions are provided along with discussion of the answers. The

    Workout is not an IQ test, and can't be used for qualification to join Mensa.

    Does Mensa Provide Intellectual Stimulation? Whatever your passion, there's almost certain to be a Special Interest Group (SIG)

    filled with other Mensans who share it! Mensa offers approximately 200 SIGs, in

    mind-boggling profusion from African Violets to zoology. Along the way you'll find

    microbiology, and systems analysis, but you'll also find Sherlock Holmes, chocolate

    and Star Trek. There are the expected: biochemistry, space science, economics -- and

    the unexpected: poker, roller-skating, scuba diving, UFOs and witchcraft. There are

    SIGs for breadmaking, winemaking, cartooning, silversmithing, and clowning.

    Heraldry, semantics and Egyptology co-exist with beekeeping, motorcycling and tap dancing. Sports SIGs cover the classics (baseball, basketball, and football) and the

    not-so-classic (skeet shooting, hang gliding, skydiving). And any Mensan who can’t

    find a SIG to join can easily start one.

    Does Mensa Provide Social Interaction?

    Mensa meetings are anything but dull! Local groups meet at least monthly. Often it's

    for dinner and drinks on a Friday night, or for get-togethers featuring a speaker or a lively, freewheeling discussion. All are with fellow members who share your

    intellectual interests. Some groups have special get-togethers or activities throughout the month. Others, especially the larger groups, have events nearly every day. Of

    course, participation in local group activities is always entirely at your option. There are also widely attended annual conventions offering workshops, seminars, and

    parties, plus numerous regional gatherings are held each year, offering social and

    intellectual excitement.

    What other Benefits Does Mensa offer?

    In some countries Mensa sponsors a members-only credit card and insurance program. There is also a program that aids traveling Mensans. III.
















































Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email