The Sinclair Spectrum is 25 years old!

*-* Corrected after a comment from deKay 

Just saw this article on the BBC News site that reports on the 25 anniversary of the launch of the ZX Spectrum!

The first computer that i could actually call my own was the ZX Spectrum +3

It has 128K of RAM and a built-in 3in floppy disk drive! At the time most software was on tape as the  ZX Spectrum +2 was so popular so my dad hooked up a tape drive for it which had us spending many hours trying to get the volume and tone just right so we could play Jetpac, Robocop, Rainbow Islands and the like!

The +3 was also the first computer i took apart. My brother and i were off school and the tape drive stopped working. We knew that the audio port had a dodgy connection as we had seen my dad re-solder it a few times. My mom was asleep downstairs so i made the decision to go into my dad’s shed and find his soldering iron, screwdrivers and solder.

I was so nervous as i knew my dad wouldn’t be best pleased if it had all gone wrong! Fortunately i managed to get it working and we never had a problem with it again (looking back it was probably the three tons of solder!)

I was about eight or nine years old…….

The spectrum series also gave me my first foray into programming with BASIC and i guarded my floppies with my saved work as if my life depended on it!

Happy Birthday Spectrum!

*-* Here’s the update!

I originally commented on the ZX81 having rubber keys and 48k

deKay quite rightly pointed out i must be remembering it wrong

I had a chat with my dad this morning and our Spectrum history was as follows:

My dad originally got a Spectrum 48k (with rubber keys!)

after this he got a Spectrum 128

This was then followed by the Spectrum +2A (the black one!) I quite liked the light gun that we got for it!

It was after this that i got my +3 and sometime after i somehow aquired another +2!

We never actually owned a ZX81 as my dad (and i quote) “couldn’t afford it”

Thanks again to deKay for pointing it out. You can read his article on the birthday of the speccy here

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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3 thoughts on “The Sinclair Spectrum is 25 years old!

  • Sadly, you remember the ZX81 incorrectly 🙂

    The ZX81 neither had 48K (it had 1K, expandable to 16K) nor rubber keys (it had flat, zero-travel “pads” instead).

    The ZX81 was released in, as the name suggests, 1981. It was 1982 when the Spectrum came out, hence the 25 year anniversary.

    Where were you for last year’s party, eh? 🙂

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