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NAME  

MK-14

MANUFACTURER  

Science of Cambridge (Sinclair)

TYPE  

Home Computer

ORIGIN  

United Kingdom

YEAR  

1978

BUILT IN LANGUAGE 

Sinclair Basic

KEYBOARD  

Membrane keypad, 20 keys

CPU  

National Semiconductor SC/MP II

SPEED  

4.4 MHz

RAM  

256 bytes, expandable to 640 bytes

ROM  

512 bytes

TEXT MODES 

1 line, 8 digits

GRAPHIC MODES 

None

COLORS  

None

SOUND  

None

SIZE / WEIGHT 

225 x 115 mm / 350 gr

I/O PORTS 

External Keyboard

POWER SUPPLY 

5 VDC external power supply (was sold separatly)

PRICE  

Kit 39.99

 

Sinclair MK-14

The MK-14 was the first computer made by the Science of Cambridge company, which later became known as Sinclair.

The MK-14 was a training board sold in kit form for 39.99 and featuring a National Semiconductor SC/MP 8-bit processor, 256 bytes of RAM, 512 bytes of ROM holding a monitor, membrane 20-key calculator style keyboard, display, and some I/O ports.

The MK-14 project was managed by Chris Curry and produced by National Semiconductor. As the system was five times cheaper than its closest competitor, the Compukit UK-101, about 20,000 MK-14 boards were sold in the U.K. Chris Curry, who believed much more than Clive Sinclair in the future of such computers, left the company in 1978, founded Acorn Computers and built its fist computer kit, the System 1. A few months later, Clive Sinclair decided that computers were a good way to raise money and started a new project: a complete computer for less than 100, thus a Sinclair ZX-80 was born.

Meantime, the MK-14 grew into a modular system and several additional cards allowed expansion of the system: cassette interface, text and graphics video module and Eprom programmer. 128 and 256 bytes RAM expansion chips could also be added up to a total of 640 bytes. At least 5 different issues were sold. They differed by the kayboard, which was changed from membrane to mechanical to improve reliability, additional RAM and I/O chips.


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