Happy 25th Birthday ZX Spectrum

Ok, I’m a day late, but Monday 23rd was the 25th Anniversary of Sir Clive Sinclair’s revolutionary ZX Spectrum computer. If you’re in the US you’re probably thinking “the what?” but in the UK it was phenomenally successful. It was also responsible for many school yard fights over which was better: Spectrum or C64. (answer: speccy was better for RPGs, C64 was better for fast-action games) The Spectrum was also host for two of the best games ever: Manic Miner, and Chaos. You can find just about the entire games back catalog and play them using a javascript emulator here.

Here we had the American influence and the C64 and the more local influence, the Speccy.
As you said, fights broke out. Predating the Atari ST vs. Amiga battles, the IBM PC vs. Amiga/everything and the Pc vs. Mac - but taking over from the great Philips G7000 vs. Atari 2600 fights of the early 80s.

Just like the people considering the consoles inferior to a real computer, us C64 owners didn’t like the Spectrum because of its 16 colours, inferior sound and laughable eraser-style keyboard.
And no “real” gamer played those stupid British platformers anyway.

Great times.

Damn straight. ‘Monty on the Run’ or ‘Way of the Exploding Fist’? How is that even a contest?

The eventual fall of Commodore was a bitter pill to swallow, though.

Oh fuck another reminder how old i am…

 Predating the Atari ST vs. Amiga battles 

There was no battle. Atari ST guys were fags and got beaten up by the AMIGA crowd on a daily basis… ;)

Commodore forever! :)

pah. the spectrum was modern. I learned to code on a ZX81. You’re all CHILDREN.

My first computer was the American version of the ZX81 the Timex Sinclair 1000. I had the hardest time getting a good signal from the computer to the tv. Tinfoil on the cable anyone?

haha… I use to do that with my Vic 20.

Awww. The Amiga was awesome, but I loved my ST. I loved the massive 30meg HDD that was bigger than the Win NT/AS 400 terminal I use today. I loved my Falcon even more. God that was an awesome computer. For nealy a year all my PC/DOS friends were jealous. Then they all got Pentiums and modems and had access to the World Wide Web, while I was still on Toronto S.T.U.P.I.D. BBS.

Funny story. Originally the Falcon was to be housed in a microbox, a first for Atari, but they scrapped the idea to spend more money and time on the Jaguar. Here is what the microbox was to look like. Familiar?

Ah, memories.

I was so close to buying a Falcon. Then it got delayed and I spend the money on a 486 instead.

Oh yeah? I used a ZX80…

(In school, and it was already an antique…)

Say what you will about Atari, their industrial design group was world-class.

Engineers were pretty impressive too.

And the programmers.

Okay, so pretty much everyone there was awesome except for the incompetent management.

Typing in the hex BY HAND UPHILL BOTH WAYS!

Actually, I did type in the hex by hand. I also got started on a ZX81, and I was moderately competent at Z80 machine code by the time I moved up to a C64. God, I remember how hard I worked to persuade my parents to get the ZX81, and then the anticipation when they finally said yes. 28-day delivery? Hah, that was a bad joke…

Woot! Best system ever!

C=64 4 LYFE

And death too!

I learned to program in BASIC on my junior high school’s mainframe in ‘74 or so. I didn’t buy my brand-spankin’ new Timex/Sinclair ZX81 ($50.00!) until the early '80’s, after I was out of high school.

I miss basic. The only time I felt I was a programmer.

yes, yes. fuck the C64. it might have had more colours but the graphics were terribly blocky and it got so hot after extended use that it was liable to burn your house down. all the middle class bores had c64s, all the upstart intelligent kids had speccys.

plus we had the best games magazine ever. your sinclair or die!

the ZX81 defined ‘temperamental’ when it came to loading software. No hard disk, and maybe 15 minutes to load a game? and sneeze too near the keyboard and the whole game is lost. And to think kids these days whine if they can’t save anywhere. pah!
I swear I had a game that would only load if I took the box upstairs. Must have been due to atmospheric pressure.

Ahhhh the memories. Good old Clive.