Certainly not from my father Nathan. By 11, supplementing my pocket money was of prime importance to me. Some kids would have a paper round or milk round. Naturally, I did those things too — for two shillings a day. Life was hard and the thought of not being able to put food on the table used to worry the hell out of my father.
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Amstrad entered the market in the field of consumer electronics. During the s they were at the forefront of low-priced hi-fi, TV and car stereo cassette technologies. Lower prices were achieved by injection moulding plastic hi-fi turntable covers, undercutting competitors who used the vacuum forming process. Amstrad expanded to the marketing of low cost, amplifiers and tuners , imported from the Far East and badged with the Amstrad name for the UK market. Their first electrical product was the Amstrad amplifier.
Amstrad began marketing its own home computers in an attempt to capture the market from Commodore and Sinclair , with the Amstrad CPC range in Later "Plus" variants of the and , launched in , increased their functionality slightly. Amstrad PCW word processor In , the popular Amstrad PCW range was introduced, which were principally word processors , complete with printer, running the LocoScript word processing program.
The Amsoft division of Amstrad was set up to provide in-house software and consumables. This was the first new Spectrum model released by Amstrad after their purchase of the range.
In Amstrad attempted to make the first affordable portable personal computer with the PPC and models, introduced a year before the Macintosh Portable. However, due to a problem with the Seagate STR hard disk shipped with the PC model, these had to be recalled and fitted with Western Digital controllers. Amstrad later successfully sued Seagate, but following bad press over the hard disk problems, Amstrad lost its lead in the European PC market.
In , Amstrad tried to enter the video game console market with the Amstrad GX , similar to what Commodore did at the same time with the C64 GS. The console, based on the Amstrad Plus hardware, was a commercial failure, because it used outdated technology, and most games available for it were straight ports of CPC games that could be purchased for much less in their original format.
In , Amstrad was licensed by Sega to produce a system which was similar to the Sega TeraDrive , going by the name of the Amstrad Mega PC , to try to regain their image in the gaming market.
It was a commercial failure, and had several technical and usability problems. As Amstrad began to concentrate less on computers and more in communication, they purchased several telecommunications businesses including Betacom , Dancall Telecom , Viglen Computers and Dataflex Design Communications during the early s.
Amstrad has been a major supplier of set top boxes to UK satellite TV provider Sky since its launch in Amstrad was key to the introduction of Sky, as the company was responsible for finding methods to produce the requisite equipment at an attractive price for the consumer - Alan Sugar famously approached "someone who bashes out dustbin lids", to manufacture satellite dishes cheaply.
The same year, Amstrad supplied set top boxes to Australian broadcaster Foxtel , and in to Italian broadcaster Sky Italia.
After [ edit ] In , Amstrad released the first of its combined telephony and e-mail devices, called the E-m iler. This was followed by the E-m iler Plus in , and the E3 Videophone in Amstrad has also produced a variety of home entertainment products over their history, including hi-fi, televisions, VCRs , and DVD players. Having supplied BSkyB with hardware since its inception in , market analysts had noted the two companies becoming increasingly close. Sugar commented that he wished to play a part in the business, saying: "I turn 60 this year and I have had 40 years of hustling in the business, but now I have to start thinking about my team of loyal staff, many of whom have been with me for many years.
Amstrad was taken off the Stock Exchange on 9 October
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