Grand old days of the ZX Spectrum February 24, 2009Posted by baldricman in General, Tech.
Tags: computer, emulator, jet set willy, old school, sinclair, spectrum, ZX
I was bumming around on the interwebs a little last night and this morning, and stumbled across yet another site selling old-school computer game-inspired t-shirts… one of which alluded to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. (I forget the site now, apologies)
Anyway, I started following the thread, as it were, and came across a few great sites that really got the memories flowing. I think I was about 6 or 7 (my brother can probably confirm) when my Dad brought home the amazing gift from his parents (the Spectrum had been released in ’82). Some of you may remember the beast: a small black keyboard with rubber buttons (which was actually the computer), a natty, totally non-gay rainbow over the corner, it plugged in to a portable TV set for its display and made use of a standard tape-recorder for storage (plain old RCA 3.5mm audio jacks nogal). The ZX Spectrum was the first in its range to boast colour-capable display (7 colours, x2 levels of brightness each, plus black, made it a “15-shade” machine!) Later on, the ZX had a contender in the Commodore 64.
(For some of the details on the Spectrum, check out this wikipedia page on it)
The ZX was where I first started playing with ‘puters, making use of it’s BASIC language (built into the 16K ROM) to write those silly adventure games (“You are in a room…etc…. Type ‘N’ to go North, ‘E’ to go East…….”) But of course the best were the truly inspiring games that we used to get on tape, such as 3d Tanks, Formula 1, and the memorable Jet Set Willy.
So anyway, after not much effort at all, I came across THIS, which has got to be the coolest site on the nets today. Its basically an online emulator for pretty much every ZX Spectrum game ever! So cool. I found actually using the old key setups to be quite tiring – remembering that most old games, pre-mouse era, were designed to use both hands on the keyboard. Therefore you didn’t always get the old “AWSD” setup for your 4 directions (partly because there usually weren’t that many directions) but instead you would have had something like “A”and “Z” for up/down and “O” and “P” for left/right.
Anyway, check it out, and let me know if you remember this fine old relic!