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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Speccy Emulation
by Dave_K on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 13:50 UTC
Dave_K
Member since:
2005-11-16

As a smug BBC user back in the 80s I was dismissive of the Spectrum's rubber keyboard and lower resolution. To me the Speccy was a glorified toy while the Beeb was a real computer. Of course that was a bit unfair in hindsight.

I learned to love the Speccy through emulation a decade later. I went through college with a Psion 5 palmtop and the Spectrum was the one computer it could emulate perfectly with its 18Mhz ARM CPU. The Speccy's simple graphics were actually an advantage on the Psion's little low contrast greyscale screen.

What really shined through was the quality of so many classic Speccy games. It amazes me what programmers managed to pack into 48Kb of RAM. I don't think there were any native Psion 5 games that matched the best that the old Spectrum had to offer.

Thanks to its relative simplicity, the Spectrum is probably the most emulated 8 bit computer. Even 16 bit computers like Sinclair's own QL business computer could manage it. The hardware was cloned too, with numerous Spectrum compatible computers produced in the Eastern Bloc.

Definitely one of the most important home computers, one that's well worth commemorating.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Speccy Emulation
by Valhalla on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 19:00 in reply to "Speccy Emulation"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

As a smug BBC user back in the 80s I was dismissive of the Spectrum's rubber keyboard and lower resolution.

Heh, well I was a smug C64 user thinking the Spectrum was a seriously inferior machine with nothing to offer, and then I was invited over to a buddy and got to play Knight Lore and I wasn't cocky anymore (although I could still snicker at the poor sound). Later 'Ultimate' would start porting some of their games aswell as make some exclusives for the C64 (although sadly never Knight Lore) and the ports were faithful to their Spectrum counterparts except running slightly slower iirc.

Anyway, even to this day, whenever I see an isometric game I think of the Spectrum and it's plethora of great such titles like the aforementioned Knight Lore and others such as Head over Heels, Batman, Alien 8, and many others.

Yes, the Spectrum for it's meagre hardware capacity was a great little machine which was pushed to it's full capacity by a host of really capable programmers.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Speccy Emulation
by zima on Sat 28th Apr 2012 16:22 in reply to "Speccy Emulation"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

As a smug BBC user back in the 80s I was dismissive of the Spectrum's rubber keyboard and lower resolution.

I suppose somebody still smug like that wrote the "it introduced colour 'high resolution' graphics" ;) (but hey, this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/405-line_television_system was also HD once...)

Thanks to its relative simplicity, the Spectrum is probably the most emulated 8 bit computer.

Depends on what we would mean by "most emulated" I guess.
Largest number of emulators - yeah, possibly, if only because as you say easy to do (say, as first foray into emulator-writing).
But C64 was much more popular, so I suspect the practice of its emulation is more widespread.

BTW one fun host: http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/PluginZXBox ;) (too bad not on Sansa Clip , way too low res)

It amazes me what programmers managed [...] The hardware was cloned too, with numerous Spectrum compatible computers produced in the Eastern Bloc.

Low cost also certainly played a role (and, as you can see from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ZX_Spectrum_clones not strictly "Eastern Bloc" - also CIS, way into the 90s), plus I guess easy availability of locally-made Z80 clones.

Some real treasures hidden (lost to time?) there. In the late 90s I stumbled on a pack of suitable emulator + Russian demoscene productions for the ~Spectrum (Pentagon, I think), many of them (then) fairly recent.
What they managed, by then, to squeeze out of it was incredible (IIRC I was somewhat more impressed than with the late C64 demos), I can recommend hunting down such productions.

Reply Parent Score: 2