Timex Sinclair 2068

Last updated
Timex Sinclair 2068
Timex Sinclair 2068 Manipulated.jpg
Type Home computer
Release dateNovember 1983;39 years ago (1983-11)
Discontinued1989 (1989)
Operating system T/S 2000 BASIC (based on Sinclair BASIC)
CPU Zilog Z80A @ 3.5 MHz
Memory48 KB
DisplayNTSC TV or video monitor; text: 32×24 lines, 16 colours; graphics: 256×192, 16 colours or 512×192 pixels, two colours; attributes: 32x24 or 32x192, two colours per area.
GraphicsTimex SCLD
SoundBeeper, AY-3-8912
Predecessor Timex Sinclair 1500
Successor Timex Computer 2048
TS 2068 with open ROM cartridge port and a cartridge Timex sinclair 2068 (2).jpg
TS 2068 with open ROM cartridge port and a cartridge

The Timex Sinclair 2068 (T/S 2068), released in November 1983, was Timex Sinclair's third and last home computer for the United States market. It was also marketed in Canada, Argentina, Portugal and Poland, as Timex Computer 2068 (TC 2068).



Following Timex's ZX81-based T/S 1000 and T/S 1500, a new series of ZX Spectrum-based machines was created. Initially named T/S 2000 (as reflected on the user manual [1] ), the machine evolved into the T/S 2048 prototype, and was eventually released as T/S 2068, with the name chosen mainly for marketing reasons.

Advertisements described the T/S 2068 as offering 72K of memory, color, and sound for a price under $200. [2] Like the T/S 1500 was announced as a 40K memory machine (16K RAM + 24K ROM), so the 2068 was announced as a 72K machine (48K RAM + 24K ROM).

Although Timex Computer Corporation folded in February 1984, the independent Portuguese division continued to sell the machine in Portugal as the Timex Computer 2068, and Poland until 1989, as the Unipolbrit Komputer 2086. Although the Portuguese-made TC 2068 was also sold in Poland, only the Komputer 2086 was actually made there.

Timex of Portugal sold 2 versions of TC 2068: the silver TC 2068 version came with a ZX Spectrum emulator cartridge and a black TC 2068 version sold with TimeWord word processing cartridge plus the Timex RS232 Interface to use TimeWord with a RS232 printer. Strangely the black version came with a silver keyboard template with TimeWord commands to be used with the program. It can be removed because it is not glued to the black keyboard template. [3]

Although the T/S 2068's main improvements over the original Spectrum were in areas that had come in for widespread criticism (graphics, sound, keyboard and—to a lesser extent—the lack of joystick ports and cartridge support), it was not used as the basis for the Spectrum's successors. The ZX Spectrum+ (1984) changed the keyboard only, and even the ZX Spectrum+ 128K (announced in May 1985, but not released in the UK until February 1986) retained the original machine's graphical capabilities. However, unlike the UK models, the T/S 2068 was not burdened by the requirement of compatibility with previous models.

Timex Sinclair 2048

A cut-down version of the T/S 2068, based on the T/S 2048 prototype named T/S 2048, was cancelled before entering intended production in 1984. This was due to the commercial failure of the T/S 1500. According to an early Timex Sinclair 2000 computer flyer, it would have 16 KB of RAM, add a Kempston-compatible joystick interface and a two color high resolution mode for 80 column text. [4]

The 2048 model number was the intended model number for what finally got named Timex Sinclair 2068. In an interview with Lou Galie, senior vice president of technology at Timex, he tells what he claims to be the real story. Danny Ross, Timex Computer Corporation president, was giving a speech. Lou points: "When Danny announced what was supposed to be the 2048, he mis-spoke and called it the 2068. When I called him on it, he laughed and said: - Rename it. 2068 is better than 2048.". [5]

Although the T/S 2048 was cancelled, the Timex Computer 2048 , based on the T/S 2048 prototype and released in 1984, was sold in Portugal and Poland.

Timex Computer 2068

For the TC 2068, Timex of Portugal made some changes the original T/S 2068 hardware, in order to improve compatibility with the original ZX Spectrum. It also created a Spectrum emulator cartridge that would auto-boot. This cartridge was larger, so the TC 2068 casing was changed to accommodate it.

Main hardware changes:

Unipolbrit Komputer 2086

A variant of the T/S 2068 was sold in Poland after 1986 under the name Unipolbrit Komputer 2086 (or UK 2086). [3] [8]

The machine was based on the TC 2068, with further changes introduced by that company:

Technical specifications

The T/S 2068 was a more sophisticated device, compared to its UK ancestor, the ZX Spectrum. Arguably one of the first Sinclair clones to significantly improve on the original design, it added a number of new features:

However, these changes made the machine incompatible with most Spectrum machine-code software, which is to say virtually all commercial titles; less than 10% would run successfully. In an attempt to remedy this, many TS users built a cartridge with a Spectrum ROM for emulation.

T/S 2000 BASIC

T/S 2000 BASIC [1] was an extended version of Sinclair BASIC, adding the following six keywords to the ordinary Sinclair BASIC ones:

Software List

Timex Computer Corp published 7 cartridges and 37 cassettes along with the launch of T/S 2068. Some titles were released both on cartridge and tape. The software ranged from utilities and personal accounting programs to educational titles and games. Based on the original software catalog, 4 cartridges and 22 of the planned tapes were never released..

Timex of Portugal released cartridges (including the "ZX Spectrum Emulator" and "TimeWord", that came with the TC 2068), tapes and software on disks (ex: Tasword for Timex FDD).


Popular Mechanics in February 1984 called the Timex Sinclair 2068's keyboard a "mixed blessing" and reported a flaw in the video signal, but liked its BASIC and concluded that "for $200, the 2068 is a nice package". [11]

Magazines dedicated to Timex Sinclair machines were published in the US, like SYNC (from 1981 to 1984) [12] and Timex Sinclair User (1983), [13] and dozens of fanzines and group newsletters also exist. [14]

See also


  1. ^ The "2086" in the name was not a corruption of "2068". The "86" derived from the year the computer was first made. [3]

Related Research Articles

The Sinclair QL is a personal computer launched by Sinclair Research in 1984, as an upper-end counterpart to the ZX Spectrum.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ZX Spectrum</span> 1982 series of home computers

The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit home computer that was developed by Sinclair Research. It was released in the United Kingdom on 23 April 1982, and became Britain's best-selling microcomputer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ZX81</span> Inexpensive home computer by Sinclair Research, 1981

The ZX81 is a home computer that was produced by Sinclair Research and manufactured in Dundee, Scotland, by Timex Corporation. It was launched in the United Kingdom in March 1981 as the successor to Sinclair's ZX80 and designed to be a low-cost introduction to home computing for the general public. It was hugely successful; more than 1.5 million units were sold. In the United States it was initially sold as the ZX-81 under licence by Timex. Timex later produced its own versions of the ZX81: the Timex Sinclair 1000 and Timex Sinclair 1500. Unauthorized ZX81 clones were produced in several countries.

Sinclair BASIC is a dialect of the programming language BASIC used in the 8-bit home computers from Sinclair Research and Timex Sinclair. The Sinclair BASIC interpreter was made by Nine Tiles Networks Ltd.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timex Sinclair 1000</span> Home computer launched in 1982

The Timex Sinclair 1000 was the first computer produced by Timex Sinclair, a joint venture between Timex Corporation and Sinclair Research. It was launched in July 1982, with a US sales price of US$99.95, making it the cheapest home computer at the time; it was advertised as "the first computer under $100". The computer was aimed at regular home users. As purchased, the T/S 1000 was fully assembled and ready to be plugged into home televisions, which served as a video monitor. The T/S 1000 was a slightly modified version of the Sinclair ZX81 with an NTSC RF modulator, for use with North American TVs, instead of PAL for European TVs. The T/S 1000 doubled the onboard RAM from 1 KB to 2 KB; further expandable by 16 KB through the cartridge port. The T/S 1000's casing had slightly more internal shielding but remained the same as Sinclair's, including the membrane keyboard. Just like the ZX81, the T/S 1000 had black-and-white graphics and no sound.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">VTech Laser 200</span>

The VTech Laser 200 is an 8-bit home computer from 1983, also sold as the Salora Fellow, the Seltron 200 in Hungary and Italy, the Smart-Alec Jr. by Dynasty Computer Corporation in Dallas, Texas for the USA, the Texet TX8000A, and the Dick Smith VZ 200 and the VTech VZ 200.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ZX Interface 1</span>

A peripheral from Sinclair Research for its ZX Spectrum home computer, the ZX Interface 1 was launched in 1983. Originally intended as a local area network interface for use in school classrooms, it was revised before launch to also act as the controller for up to eight ZX Microdrive high-speed tape-loop cartridge drives. It also included a DE-9 RS-232 interface capable of operating at up to 19.2 kbit/s. At hardware level it was fundamentally a voltage adaptor, the serial protocol being implemented in software by bit-banging. This led to problems when receiving data, but not when transmitting.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Enterprise (computer)</span> Zilog Z80-based home computer

The Enterprise is a Zilog Z80-based home computer announced in 1983, but through a series of delays, not commercially available until 1985. It was developed by British company Intelligent Software and marketed by Enterprise Computers.

Sinclair Research Ltd is a former British consumer electronics company founded by Clive Sinclair in Cambridge. It was originally incorporated in 1973 as Westminster Mail Order Ltd, renamed Sinclair Instrument Ltd, then Science of Cambridge Ltd, then Sinclair Computers Ltd, and finally Sinclair Research Ltd. It remained dormant until 1976, when it was activated with the intention of continuing Sinclair's commercial work from his earlier company Sinclair Radionics, and adopted the name Sinclair Research in 1981.

Timex Sinclair was a joint venture established in December 1982 between the British company Sinclair Research and Timex Corporation in an effort to gain an entry into the rapidly growing early-1980s home computer market in North America.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ZX Interface 2</span>

The ZX Interface 2 is a peripheral from Sinclair Research for its ZX Spectrum home computer released in September 1983. It has two joystick ports and a ROM cartridge slot, which offers instant loading times. The joystick ports are not compatible with the popular Kempston interface, and thus do not work with most Spectrum games released prior to the launch of the ZX Interface 2. In addition, the pass-through expansion bus provided was stripped, only allowing a ZX Printer to be attached.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ATM (computer)</span> ZX Spectrum clone developed in Moscow in 1991 by two firms, MicroArt and ATM.

The ATM Turbo, also known simply as ATM is a ZX Spectrum clone, developed in Moscow in 1991, by two firms, MicroArt and ATM.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ZX Spectrum graphic modes</span> Graphic modes of the ZX Spectrum computer

The original ZX Spectrum computer outputs video through an RF modulator and was designed for use with contemporary 1980s television sets, for a simple colour graphic display.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timex Computer 2048</span> 1984 computer developed by Timex Portugal

The Timex Computer 2048 or TC 2048 is a 1984 computer developed by Timex Portugal, at the time part of Timex Sinclair. It was based on the Timex Sinclair 2048 prototype, with a similar redesign case, composite video output, Kempston joystick interface, and additional video modes, while being highly compatible with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timex FDD3000</span> Disk drive peripheral for Timex Sinclair machines and CP/M computer.

The Timex FDD 3000 in 1982 was a nearly complete computer by Timex of Portugal. It began its development at Timex Computer Corporation in the U.S., but it was at Timex of Portugal that the work was finished.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lambda 8300</span> Sinclair ZX81 clone from Lambda Electronics Limited of Hong Kong

The Lambda 8300 was a Sinclair ZX81 clone from Lambda Electronics Limited of Hong Kong. It had a modified ROM and extra hardware, making it not fully compatible. Total compatibility could be achieved by installing a ZX81 ROM.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Komputer 2086</span>

The Unipolbrit Komputer 2086 was a Polish version of the home computer Timex Sinclair 2068, produced by a joint venture of the Polish state-owned Unimor and foreign company Polbrit International. Introduced in 1986, the computer had a cost of roughly 190000 zł.

The TC 3256 or Timex Computer 3256 was a 1987 computer created by Timex of Portugal, a branch of Timex Corporation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ZX Spectrum Next</span> Remake of a popular microcomputer

ZX Spectrum Next is an 8-bit home computer, initially released in 2017, which is compatible with software and hardware for the 1982 ZX Spectrum. It also has enhanced capabilities. It is intended to appeal to retrocomputing enthusiasts and to "encourage a new generation of bedroom coders", according to project member Jim Bagley.


  1. 1 2 Timex Sinclair 2068 PERSONAL COLOR COMPUTER USER MANUAL. Timex Computer Corporation. 1983.
  2. 1 2 Advertisement (December 1983). "Now from Timex...a powerful new computer". BYTE. p. 281. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 Walgenbach, Stefan. "Unipolbrit: Komputer 2086". HCM: East-European Home-Computer ... Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  4. Owen, Chris (2003). "Computers: Timex/Sinclair: TS 2048". Planet Sinclair.
  5. 1 2 Florindo, Bruno. "CIRCE - AMERICAN COUSINS" (PDF). Byte High No Limit (22): 64.
  6. "Spectrum Emulator at Spectrum Computing - Sinclair ZX Spectrum games, software and hardware". Spectrum Computing.
  7. "Time Word at Spectrum Computing - Sinclair ZX Spectrum games, software and hardware". Spectrum Computing.
  8. "Timex in Polish Export Triumph". Timelinez. July 1986. Archived from the original on 2019-12-30.
  9. "SCLD Chip". Timex/Sinclair - The Authoritative Website for Timex/Sinclair Computers. Retrieved 2023-01-27.
  10. "Scld in spectrusty::chip::scld - Rust". docs.rs. Retrieved 2023-01-27.
  11. Shapiro, Neil (February 1984). "Big Bytes for Little Bucks". Popular Mechanics. pp. 98–99, 139–142.
  12. "SYNC". www.timexsinclair.com. 2023-05-11. Retrieved 2023-06-05.
  13. "Timex Sinclair User". www.timexsinclair.com. 2023-05-11. Retrieved 2023-06-05.
  14. "Periodicals". www.timexsinclair.com. 2023-05-11. Retrieved 2023-06-05.