The Lamo-Lem Manual and Inserts

Archiving the original information of the “ZX80 Home Computer Package”

Leo Ferres
May 25, 2017 · 3 min read

This is my original ZX80 computer (by the way, the TV is also from the 1980s, a Sanyo, Portable Deluxe… I like the orange color very much):

Image for post
Image for post

I bought this a few years ago on Ebay, and it’s probably one of my most prized possessions. It featured a whopping 1KB of RAM, no sound, and it was black and white.

The original ZX80 came with a single “demo” cassette, produced by Lamo-Lem Laboratories in La Jolla, California, and an accompanying manual. The combo looked like this:

Image for post
Image for post
The original 1980 cassette tape and manual accompanying the Sinclair ZX80 home computer.

I have scanned the booklet and all the inserts in high resolution and made it available on the web in case someone else, like me, is interested in these technologies and the “early history” of home computing, Sinclair in particular.

I have uploaded five PDF files to my github account:

  1. The Lamo-Lem manual covers (1 page): This is a high-definition (1200 dpi, 17,347,913 bytes or about 17MB) photographic scan of both sides of the manual’s (very) soft cover (like the one in the picture above). You might have to rotate the pdf.
  2. The Lamo-Lem manual’s content pages (7 pages): This is a high-definition (1200 dpi, 10,833,875 bytes or about 10MB) text scan of the contents of the manual. The darker pages in the scan are in fact a darker beige in the original. This content explains how to use the different programs in the package.
  3. The Lamo-Lem inserts (1 page): This is a high-definition (1200 dpi, 9,279,479 bytes or about 9MB) photographic scan of the keyboard overlay that came with the manual. The yellow one (on top) is for the Composer, the blue one (bottom) is for the Checkbook Balancer. They may have been attached, given that the right margin shows a “Contents (r) by Lamo-Lem” message. Looks like it may just be a simple careless cutting by the original owner, but then again, maybe not, we know that these things were really very cheap!
  4. The Lamo-Lem manual’s content pages (1 page): This is a high-definition (1200 dpi, 2,276,034 bytes or about 2MB) text scan of the reference cards that came with the manual. The one on the left is the one for the Composer program and the one on the right is for the Etch-A-Screen program. There’s some annotation by the previous owner, I assume. Interesting that the character encoding was not ASCII.
  5. The Lamo-Lem ZX80 program design pages (2 pages): This is a high-definition (1200 dpi, 3,433,445 bytes or about 2MB) text scan of a helper for program design, archiving and maybe debugging. This is my favorite. It has sections for describing “named” variables, “one-letter” variables, arrays (with their parenthesis, A(), B(), …, Z()) and strings (A$, B$, …, Z$) and the coding itself. It’s like a paper comment section of a program. Notice that this was also intended for the ZX81.

I hope this is helpful to somone else.

: I’m not sure who owns the copyright for this, and I’d be grateful if anyone could tell me whether I’m violating any copyright laws. If so, I will take this information down asap. Still, I’d very much appreciate if the copyright holders would grant me their permission to post this online. This belongs to a museum! I’ve done due diligence in finding people related to Lamo-Lem Labs in La Jolla, California but have so far had no success.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store