30 years ago today the original Sinclair ZX Spectrum was released and helped spawn a generation of programmers (and gamers). The 16k version was launched at a price of £125 and the 48k version £175 and with hundreds of games available for it immensely popular in UK homes. It wasn’t all about games either, it came with Sinclair Basic and I spent many an hour programming on the little rubber keyboard when I wasn’t playing Manic Minor, Match Day or Atic Attac.
In 1984 Sinclair introduced the Spectrum+ a standard Spectrum in a new case and then a 128k version in 1985 which is was to the be the last Sinclair Spectrum as the later +2, +2A, +2B,+ 3 where built by Amstrad after they purchased the Sinclair Spectrum brand in 1986.
My own 48k Spectrum lasted from 1982 till into the 90’s as I added things like the Microdrive (a tape drive), speech interface, drum machine and the little ZX Printer that used a spark to print on to thermal paper (I remember handing in homework on it with my teacher looking disgustingly at foil roll). I still use a +2 to play about with Basic programming with my kids as it’s such an easy way to get in to programming something sadly lacking today.
There is a vibrant Spectrum community out on the web with emulators and many of the original games playable, try worldofspectrum.org as a starting point plus we should have a selection of Spectrums at our user group day in November.
I have no doubt with out Sir Clive and the Spectrum sparking my interest in computing I wouldn’t be doing today what I do, so happy birthday Speccy!
My Spectrum along side a ZX81 and a Spectrum +2b