It was 30 years ago that this little wonder came on to the UK market. I never had one but I do remember Clive Sinclair appearing everywhere and being hailed a genius.
He went on to design and manufacture a ‘revolutionary’ electric tricycle I think it was. This was an awful failure as a) the battery was puny and lasted no time and b) the vehicle was so low to the ground that motorists could barely see it in their mirror.
Anyhow, hail to Sir Clive and hail the ZX81. The article (see below) also demonstrates how resourceful the Brits can be when challenged.
Follow this link to the BBC article.