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Electronics news

Building a cyberdeck based on the low-powered Sinclair ZX81

Manufacturer Dmitry assembled a cyberdeck based on the Sinclair ZX81/Timex Sinclair 1000 microcomputer based on one of the most underpowered cyberdecks.

A cyberdeck or deck is a tablet computer used to hack the Matrix. The ZX81 was released in 1981 and was a follow-up to the ZX80, equipped with an eight-bit Zilog Z80 processor. Despite its low power, this computer was popular and sold around 1.5 million worldwide.

The build uses the original ZX81, which has had its video modulator replaced with a composite output and a 3.5-inch display added. A ZXpand+ expansion board is also installed to add audio, a joystick port, a serial port, 32KB of RAM, and an SD Card interface for data storage.

The project owner uses the computer to play games, write programs, and work with the Tasword word processor. Replacing the keyboard with microswitches has improved the tactile feedback, but still leaves much to be desired. Information on Dmitry's blog: https://www.reddit.com/user/dimitrij/.