Oh God, I feel so old!

Quite a few things have happened this year that have reminded me I’m in my mid 30s.

The latest is this article on the BBC News website: How the Spectrum began a revolution

…yep, it’s 25 years ago today since Sir Clive Sinclair unleashed the follow up to the ZX81!

I can clearly remember the day I first saw a ZX Spectrum — it was at Alex Mitchell’s house and he’d got “Escape” from New Generation Software:

At the time I still had a ZX81, but somewhere around the end of 1982 I’d sold that and had enough money to buy a 48K ZX Spectrum. I think it took me nearly 30 minutes to decide which game I should buy first — eventually I chose the fantastic “Atic Atac” from Ultimate 🙂

Pretty soon I’d taught myself Sinclair BASIC, and then Z80A assembly language (now that’s hardcore!). I’m sure all of those hours staring at a black & white portable TV didn’t do my eyes any good, but my love of coding and programming can definitely be traced back to those many evenings spent prodding away at the “dead flesh” keyboard.

I think I’ve still got my Spectrum somewhere, but these days it’s much easier just to fire up an emulator.

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3 comments
  1. Mike said:

    We used to have a zx81 at the british school I attended in germany…iirc, you could save/load your programs using an audio cassette?

  2. Yes indeed!

    You know those statistics which say things like “you spend 25 years of your life asleep”? Well, I’m sure I spent at least one whole year of my life waiting for Spectrum programs to load from cassettes and listening to that godawful screeching sound!

    I think everyone who ever owned a Spectrum can vividly recognise the sound of a loading screen — in fact, someone used it to create a song! 😀

  3. Rob Smith said:

    You’re in your Mid 30s? Aaaagh. 🙂

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