WATCH THIS SPACE
UNTIL SINCLAIR brings out its portable computer, Seiko has filled the gap by letting you take part of your Spectrum with you. The Seiko RC-1000 is a wrist terminal, a digital alarm watch which you can plug into Interface 1 and use to download a database from the Spectrum. It costs a mere £99.95, and is available from various high street chain stores.
Other functions allow you to set alarms daily, weekly, or yearly, each with a line of text to remind you of what you set the alarm for in the first place, and you can tell the time anywhere in the world. It certainly beats a knotted handkerchief.
I have never owned a digital watch, although I still think they are a pretty neat idea. Having the day, month, year - and the time - constantly available beats working out what time it is when the big hand is on the five and the little hand is on the six.
Under the 12 x 2 character display are six buttons which you use to set the time and daily alarm, download information, or scan through the database. Only if the time is being shown can the display be illuminated.
The database consists of 80 pages, each of which is given a specific meaning when the watch is programmed. They can be a menu page, from which other pages are accessed, a weekly or yearly alarm page with one line of text, a World Time page where the country is shown on the top line and the current time on the bottom one, or just two lines of text. Each of those is configured using the tape-based software supplied.
Once the database is filled, downloading to the watch via the cable supplied is straightforward. Accessing the database is, however, a little awkward. Two arrow buttons are used to scan forwards and backwards through the menu pages, and then through the pages on that menu.
How useful you will find the watch is debatable; if you remember to reprogram it, you would probably remember its contents. If you are forgetful you might not remember to wear it. If nothing else, it is a great conversation piece and you can impress the hell out of your friends (speak for yourself, Ed.)