Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Apr 2007 22:47 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "Clive Sinclair's ZX Spectrum is a quarter of a century old today. The machine that really launched the UK IT industry hit the streets of a depressed Britain on 23 April, 1982. Dark days, then. But lo, along came bespectacled Messiah Sir Clive Sinclair with the successor to his 1981 release, the black-and-white ZX-81. The ZX Spectrum boasted a visual cortex-melting eight colours at 256 x 192 resolution, blistering 3.5MHz CPU, and crucially, a crisp-repelling vulcanised rubber keyboard."
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Specrum in the lab
by Cutterman on Wed 25th Apr 2007 20:17 UTC
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22 years ago I used my Spectrum 48K to monitor a medical laser doppler flowmeter for measuring, displaying and monitoring skin blood flow. With a cheap little A/D converter it did beautifully.

'Course I had to program the whole megillah and stuff in a machine code routine to put a little graphics window in the middle of the screen to show the change of flow and reflectance graphically.

There was an alarm routine that would ring a bell if the flow or reflectance dropped too much. Periodically it would add the data to a file on Microdrive so you could analyse a whole 24hrs worth.

My introduction to serious programming. Taught me all about input validation, modular programming, error trapping and visual presentation.

Lots of fun doing things you theoretically couldn't do by pushing and popping the gosub stack and so forth. Even looked at today it's an elegant piece of work. It taught me more than I can say.

And in the evenings I took the Speccy home from the lab and wrote the paper that was eventually published about the technique using the same machine with a dandy little word-processer for the Spectrum whose name I can't remember.

Modern computing was never this fun, more's the pity.

A tip of the hat to you and thanks Sir Clive!

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