Author Topic: Please fill me in about the Spectrum  (Read 210 times)

Offline HDN

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Please fill me in about the Spectrum
« on: October 20, 2020, 23:01:00 PM »
I am a filthy American who knows absolutely nothing about the ZX Spectrum! HEEEELLLLLLLPPP!!!!!!

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Please fill me in about the Spectrum
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2020, 04:08:02 AM »
LOL  Don't feel bad.  I had no clue what it was either when I first joined RVG.  Oh, and make sure you pronounce it correctly too! 
Going to the final frontier, gaming...


Offline HDN

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Re: Please fill me in about the Spectrum
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2020, 04:21:06 AM »
Zed. Not Zee. You got to think of the pawn shop owner in Pulp Fiction instead of Moose's sidekick from Nickelodeon Junior.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Please fill me in about the Spectrum
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 12:08:43 PM »
Yep, that's right.  We should have a dedicated thread to the ZX Spectrum. 

Edit:  Here is one on the history of the system:  https://www.retrovideogamer.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=7986.0

Going to the final frontier, gaming...


Offline zapiy

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Re: Please fill me in about the Spectrum
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2020, 20:59:30 PM »
The Speccy is a wonderful machine, do you own one?
Own: Jaguar, Lynx, Dreamcast, Saturn, MegaDrive, MegaCD, 32X, GameGear, PS3, PS, PSP, Wii, GameCube, N64, DS, GBA, GBC, GBP, GB,  Xbox, 3DO, CDi,  WonderSwan, WonderSwan Colour NGPC

Offline DeadVoivod

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Re: Please fill me in about the Spectrum
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2020, 07:54:58 AM »
I got to see and use one first when I went to the UK for Easter 1982 to a soccer tournament. All of our team were allocated to different families, as we stayed for 5 days, and the 2 boys in "my" family had the ZX Spectrum. The game we always played was Atic Atac, absolutely loved it.

I got a C64 though 2 years later, as that one was more common here in Luxembourg, and obviously the best to have for game sharing. 

Offline davyk

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Re: Please fill me in about the Spectrum
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2020, 13:30:17 PM »
We in the UK didn't really experience the video game crash that folk in the US felt. As the 2600 aged there were viable new game playing machines in the form of a new wave of relatively cheap 8bit micro-computers that could be plugged into the TV via an RF hookup. Some came from the US - the venerable Apple IIe, Vic 20 , Commodore 64 and Atari 800/400 but they were in a very crowded market here in the UK.

Sir Clive Sinclair is an inventor and technologist in the UK. He developed very early electronic pocket calculators and digital watches. He also marketed the first home computer for under £100 - the ZX80 - that was bought either pre-assembled or in kit form for hobbyists to put together. It was a sensation - being an order of magnitude cheaper than the likes of the Commodore PET and Apple computers. It had a followup called the ZX81 that was also popular here. I think these were sold in the US under the Timex brand. They were black and white, had no sound and were pretty limited - but they were the spark that fired up a game industry here in the UK.

What really kicked it off though were the next gen - in addition to the C64 , Vic 20 and Atari machines we had Sir Clive's finest hour - the ZX Spectrum. Cheap, with a colour output and limited sound and an infamous cheap rubber keyed keyboard. It had good expandability that 3rd parties soon used to sell joysticks however and it sold really well and soon inspired other UK companies to produce rivals such as the Dragon 32, Jupiter Ace, BBC, Acorn, Oric-1/Atmos and the Amstrad CPC-464 - all with differing specs and prices.

This market proved to be a fertile nursery for coding talent - the likes of Dave Perry of Shiny entertainment cut his teeth in this market as did the Stampers - who formed a company called Imagine which went on to become RARE.

The library of games is huge and it can be emulated pretty easily.  Personally I'm not a great fan of that era of gaming - it very nearly put me off. I hated the tape format and its slow load, and the cheap hardware produced cheap video and sound. And the amateur games devs created interesting stuff but suffered from a lack of experience. For all that it remains a very interesting chapter in the history of gaming.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2020, 22:11:55 PM by davyk »

 

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