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Sinclair Zx81 Turned Into Pc [Retro Casemod]

by Paul Strauss

Remember the old Sinclair ZX81 computer? You know, the tiny, little 8-bit machine with a huge following, and a horrible flat keyboard?

Sinclair ZX81 PC Casemod EPIA Pico ITX

Thanks to miracle of modern miniaturization, you can now fit a fully-functional Windows or Linux PC inside of one of these. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it – as the ZX81 only measures in at about 6.6″ wide x 6.9″ deep x 1.6″ tall.

Sinclair ZX81 PC Casemod EPIA Pico ITX

Modder Unravelled managed to cram the entire system – including a tiny hard drive – inside the diminutive ZX81 case by using a newfangled VIA EPIA Pico-ITX motherboard. (As small as the Pico-ITX is, I defy anyone to cram a complete system into the even smaller ZX Spectrum).

Sinclair ZX81 PC Casemod EPIA Pico ITX

Pretty impressive, eh? Now all Unravelled needs to do is install a copy of EightyOne or XTender on there to play original ZX81 applications inside of a modern OS, and he’ll be all set.

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Comments are closed for posts older than 90 days.

Comments (10):

  1. nemo says:

    I wonder whether it emulates ram pack wobble? ;-)

  2. Eno says:

    Err… the ZX Spectrum is actually bigger than the ZX81…

  3. technabob says:

    I thought the ZX Spectrum was quite a bit wider, but not nearly as deep. I really don’t think you could fit the MOBO and hard drive in there.

  4. Pipo says:

    It would be especially great with a fully functional original keyboard and TV-out.

  5. technabob says:

    Yeah – it’s a pity there wasn’t a way to use to original crappy membrane keyboard (at least as an option).

    • erzero says:

      I think it would be possible to get the membrane keyboard working, you would have to figure out the keyboard matrix – which row and column make which letter and then wire them into the chip from a usb keyboard – which you had also mapped.

  6. Xavier says:

    Brilliant(Genial), this in sale, we can contact

  7. Valkkeri Stiyul says:

    I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that one of the game companies that developed for the Sinclair called Elite are bringing those games out on the iPhone.


  8. Techno Dave says:

    Excellent piece of kit. I’m looking for parts on eBay!

  9. Htiek says:

    They need one of these at: http://www.ZX81Museum.net

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