Gigantic Purple Slug

30 Years Of The Zx Spectrum

103 posts in this topic

[quote name='Gigantic Purple Slug' timestamp='1335258605' post='909020943']
Superb machine that many people probably cut their programming teeth on.
[/quote]

I was the only kid in the world with a Commodore +4. What a neglected bit of history that thing was.

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[quote name='eight' timestamp='1335259649' post='909020969']
I was the only kid in the world with a Commodore +4. What a neglected bit of history that thing was.
[/quote]

Well I can add it in there if you want.

But I suspect the number of votes it will get will be equal to the number of games you managed to trade with your mates (+1 Of course).

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[quote name='Gigantic Purple Slug' timestamp='1335260559' post='909020981']
Well I can add it in there if you want.

But I suspect the number of votes it will get will be equal to the number of games you managed to trade with your mates (+1 Of course).
[/quote]

It's alright. I didn't have any mates.

Background [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_Plus/4"]here[/url].

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From that list technically the C64 was streets ahead, the SID chip alone was the dogs b*llocks.

Jack Tramiel died recently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9C8xbbaRRA Edited by neil324

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I absolutely loved my Spectrum 16k although I was gutted it couldn't play spectrum 48k games

But the C64 has to have been my favourite 8-bit machine.

I started programming on the Spectrum - well, copying code in the magazine 'Input' at the age of 5!!

I'm a bit slow though because I'm now in my mid 30's and only now would I say I'm a competent C programmer.

30 years to learn - lol! What a thicko!! Edited by callaght

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[quote name='callaght' timestamp='1335261114' post='909020987']
I absolutely loved my Spectrum 16k although I was gutted it couldn't play spectrum 48k games

But the C64 has to have been my favourite 8-bit machine.

I started programming on the Spectrum - well, copying code in the magazine 'Input' at the age of 5!!

I'm a bit slow though because I'm now in my mid 30's and only now would I say I'm a competent C programmer.

30 years to learn - lol! What a thicko!!
[/quote]

I must have got quite good at programming because I remember I had somehow managed to create custom fonts(!) for the +4 (well as best you can in an 8x8 pixel block) which IIRC meant drawing them on graph paper, converting to some kind of hex code and then poking them to the relevant location, or maybe to RAM and then changing what for want of a better word I will call the "directory" to look them up somewhere else.

I had side scrolling going too.

Does this make me some kind of unfulfilled prodigy? As I have never programmed anything more complicated than a VCR since.

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[quote name='SpewLabour' timestamp='1335261377' post='909020990']
Here - where's the Atari 400 on that list?
[/quote]

Added, because it no doubt had pole position.

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[quote name='eight' timestamp='1335261687' post='909020996']
I must have got quite good at programming because I remember I had somehow managed to create custom fonts(!) for the +4 (well as best you can in an 8x8 pixel block) which IIRC meant drawing them on graph paper, converting to some kind of hex code and then poking them to the relevant location, or maybe to RAM and then changing what for want of a better word I will call the "directory" to look them up somewhere else.

I had side scrolling going too.

Does this make me some kind of unfulfilled prodigy? As I have never programmed anything more complicated than a VCR since.
[/quote]

Yes, it sounds like you would have made a very good programmer!

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I voted for the ZX81, simply because it was the first computer I owned, aged 9. It came with a massive 1k of memory, and I remember that it was considered a challenge among programmers to create as sophisticated software as they could within the 1K confines. Eventually I got a 16K memory add-on, which I remember had to be secured to the back of the computer with gaffer tape, or else it would fall off and the machine would crash. I was absolutely infatuated with [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_Monster_Maze"]3D Monster Maze[/url] - about the only computer game I ever spent any significant time playing.

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[quote name='Gigantic Purple Slug' timestamp='1335261731' post='909020997']
Added, because it no doubt had pole position.
[/quote]

Good games machine, apart from that it was a lump of junk! I loved it, though.

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Had to give the Jupiter Ace a vote. AFAIK, I was the only geek who was geeky enough to buy one, with its FORTH programming language, next to no commercial software and a case reminiscent of a yoghurt carton.

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Knew a kid with one of those penny-pinching frugal-in-a-crap-way Dads - not only he got a 'bargain' betamax VCR when they were all but dead but also secured a closeout deal on a Dragon 32. That kid was not happy.

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[quote name='snowflux' timestamp='1335262220' post='909021013']
Had to give the Jupiter Ace a vote. AFAIK, I was the only geek who was geeky enough to buy one, with its FORTH programming language, next to no commercial software and a case reminiscent of a yoghurt carton.
[/quote]

Be interesting to know what the enterprises behind these devices were like. Were they literally working out of sheds, or were they in shiny modern factories burning their way through venture capital like there was no tomorrow?

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[quote name='The Ayatollah Buggeri' timestamp='1335261942' post='909021004']
I voted for the ZX81, simply because it was the first computer I owned, aged 9. It came with a massive 1k of memory, and I remember that it was considered a challenge among programmers to create as sophisticated software as they could within the 1K confines. Eventually I got a 16K memory add-on, which I remember had to be secured to the back of the computer with gaffer tape, or else it would fall off and the machine would crash. I was absolutely infatuated with [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_Monster_Maze"]3D Monster Maze[/url] - about the only computer game I ever spent any significant time playing.
[/quote]

My mate had one of those, and the thermal printer. He later became the first kid I knew with a modem in the house - a huge thing with the receiver handset stuck to it like in Wargames. God knows what the baud rate was and what you were actually dialling up, I was never lucky enough to see it in action. This would have been about 1983.

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[quote name='CrashedOutAndBurned' timestamp='1335261775' post='909020999']
We had an Amstrad CPC in our house but always wanted a BBC with a disk drive so Chuckie Egg and Arcadians would load nice and fast.
[/quote]

my first foray in to computers was a CPC464 - i loved that, i did a fair bit of my own programming for it (copying out of mags etc) but i edited the code to put swear words in etc. got in trouble with my mum for that.

i was then given a toshiba something spectrum clone , it was crap.

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The Spectrum was my first computer, it was love at first key press! :D
Sinclair BASIC was far superior to C64 Basic and the Z80 machine code was a lot more 'elegant' than the 6502 machine code.

I had a 16K rubber keys one, that I upgraded to 48K not long after I got it. I actually still have it and I believe it still works (haven't turned it on in ages).

--- Edited by awake_eagle

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[quote name='Monkey' timestamp='1335263419' post='909021038']
my first foray in to computers was a CPC464 - i loved that, i did a fair bit of my own programming for it (copying out of mags etc) but i edited the code to put swear words in etc. got in trouble with my mum for that.

i was then given a toshiba something spectrum clone , it was crap.
[/quote]

Added due to popular demand.

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[quote name='eight' timestamp='1335263047' post='909021028']
My mate had one of those, and the thermal printer. He later became the first kid I knew with a modem in the house - a huge thing with the receiver handset stuck to it like in Wargames. God knows what the baud rate was and what you were actually dialling up, I was never lucky enough to see it in action. This would have been about 1983.
[/quote]

bloody hell!!!

kids now-a-days complain about loading time of games and download speed. they would have killed people bad in the day.

i remember a game called NOMAD,which was the logest game to load that i ever had - im sure it was about 30mins to load, but i was 7 at the time.

and there was only a 30% chance that it WOULD actually load correctly and not crash. those were the days

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BTW, you forgot the superb [b]Sam Coupe'[/b] in that list!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAM_Coup%C3%A9

Made in Swansea :)

I upgraded to one of those from my Spectrum.


--- Edited by awake_eagle

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[quote name='eight' timestamp='1335262914' post='909021024']
Be interesting to know what the enterprises behind these devices were like. Were they literally working out of sheds, or were they in shiny modern factories burning their way through venture capital like there was no tomorrow?
[/quote]
I don't know how they were financed, but I do know that the company, Jupiter Cantab, was founded by a couple of engineers who had worked for Sinclair on the ZX81 and Spectrum and decided they wanted to do their own thing. Part of my motivation for buying a Jupiter Ace was simple annoyance with Sinclair; I'd previously ordered a Spectrum to replace my failing ZX81, but gave up waiting for it after 8 weeks and demanded my money back.

The Jupiter Ace was a machine designed by geeks for geeks and, with no obvious marketing talent (edit: and probably not much financial backing), the company quickly went bust. Edited by snowflux

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I had a Dragon 32, which came with a sort of exclusivity, because only 3 kids in my year at school had one. The rich kids had BBC-Bs, but the most popular were the Spectrum and Commodore 64. Even the "Lads" had Spectrums, but they didn't know how to program them.

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[quote name='awake_eagle' timestamp='1335263435' post='909021039']
The Spectrum was my first computer, it was love at first key press! :D
Sinclair BASIC was far superior to C64 Basic and the Z80 machine code was a lot more 'elegant' than the 6502 machine code.

I had a 16K rubber keys one, that I upgraded to 48K not long after I got it. I actually still have it and I believe it still works (haven't turned it on in ages).

---
[/quote]

Then obviously you never used the index registers properly on the 6502. The Z80 was pants by comparison, more registers, but none of the flexibilty. The 6502 was a sort of cut-down PDP11 machine language.

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