For those who follow my occasional „blog“ already know that I have a soft spot for everything that feature a Sinclair label on it’s case. Maybe I’m a „fashion victim“ in this regard – like people who nowadays have a similar relation to another innovative tech company called Apple. 😉
While I’m still a littlebit wary with everything that were done by Amstrad („not really Sinclair!“) I still did not hesitate to re-arrange their (in)famous SJS series of joysticks back to be Atari-/Kempston compatible – so I can use them with a real Sinclair hardware like the ZX Interface 2. Hey, they really fit optically to the rest of my Sinclair outfit (espcially the SJS-1 joystick).
Another company that was „not really Sinclair!“ was the American licensee/joint venture partner TIMEX Corporation, who sold Sinclair hard- and software under their joint brand name Timex/Sinclair.
In contrast to their British sibling Timex/Sinclair (and their Portuguese subsidiary) did something Sinclair Research never did:
They licensed usefull products and sold them under their own label as add-ons. So my Timex/Sinclair 2040 Personal Printer is a rebadged Alphacom 32 printer. Which is btw. a much better product than the original Sinclair ZX Printer. Another useful product is the fine and very reliable Timex/Sinclair 2020 Computer Program Recorder.
While the printer and the data recorder are easy to find at the usual retro hardware selling places, this one is really rare:
The Timex/Sinclair 2090 Command Stick. By pure chance (and some…erm…money) I were able to get hold of two of them.
They were another rebadged product – and due to their rareness I suppose they did not sell well. Even the original device manufacturer did not seem to have any deeper impact to the 80’s gaming scene.
Nevertheless – they really work and better than expected. I played some Jetpac and used The Artist with it and after a while it felt rather „natural“ to steer the Jetman (or the brush) with it. Interesting piece of retro hardware.