Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 11:01 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
Hardware, Embedded Systems "The ZX Spectrum is 30 years old. The successor to Sir Clive Sinclair's ZX81 - at the time the world's best selling consumer computer - it introduced colour 'high resolution' graphics and sound. It also offered an extended version of Sinclair Basic, a computer language with which hundreds of thousands of users were already familiar."
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RE: my first computer
by zima on Sat 28th Apr 2012 15:36 UTC in reply to "my first computer"
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

the colours

Personally I actually didn't like colours of 8bit computers all that much, in the end. I had a C64, usually hooked up to a small B&W TV - but, for large part of the day, I could just as well use a bigger colour TV.
The thing is... experiencing the difference, so often, somehow pushed me to the conclusion that 16 shades of gray looked kinda more refined, more aesthetic than the palette of only 16 colours.
(but maybe it was partly also a rationalisation for not bothering to move the computer & learning to live with that small Soviet b&w TV)

however really appreciate growing up during the ZX spectrum days as the computers were so raw and open with a great attitude of "theres the computer do what you can with it" computers today seem a little more of a sealed unit and not to be changed, with the exception of the fresh modern takes like Rasberry Pi.

Maybe also they weren't so fragile, no need to be careful with configuration or the web (this one is broader than ~security, also an easy distraction, like OSNews :/ - 8bit times had fewer of those).
Well, they WERE fragile, but in different ways - a reset restored clean state for example; that might ease tinkering, I suppose.

Though OTOH, in practice they were also sort of closed, in a way: how you were expected to be careful with quite expensive toy, and particularly how in many places it was very hard to kickstart other activities than gaming (a problem I described in the last big section of http://www.osnews.com/permalink?497874 ...which, I guess, was much less severe in the UK).
The web helps with that, and I suspect the times are very much better after all.

Because generally, most people just weren't and aren't interested in tinkering (but now the computers are much more useful to the general public, which makes tinkerers less visible - even though, I think, the number of tinkerers is bigger now). And we probably remember the effects of 80s micros through rose-coloured glasses.
I don't think it's about lack of availability, kits similar to R-Pi, in one form or another, were around for those interested. R-Pi won't do magic.

I loved the rubber keys

WHAT?! (I'm trying to ~say the following sentence with as British accent as I can) ARE YOU MAD?! ;)
For many people, that was the one major unfortunate thing with Speccy... why oh why it had rubber keyboard?

BTW, Jupiter Ace is a curious relative: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_Ace - but NVM also rubber keys, this one even had yoghurt case ...seriously, WTH the British were thinking in those days?! ;)

Fingers crossed more british designers and engineers come forward and try and balance out the US bias on technology and hopefully start pushing the UK next generation and indeed many other countries generations to think i don't need a computer from the states i can build my own.

Well you still have ARM... Plus there are benefits of standarisation.

And you know, maybe PCs aren't really that much "more US" relatively to the old days... there's typically the CPU and its supporting chipset (including GFX) but that was also the case in the times of ZX Spectrum (and its CPU). Design teams are still distributed throughout the globe (from memory, I know of Intel Israel and, IIRC, that R-Pi SoC is UK-designed; can we still count AMD chipsets and GFX as Canadian?). Though we mostly lost SiS or VIA... (and CPUs of the latter are US ex-Cyrix, anyway)

But have no fear, non-US is happening - at the least if you don't mind China, that is ;) (who have ambitions to be independent technologically - and with their sheer size it will spill over)

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