• The FidoGazette Vol 18 Issue 10 Page 3

    From Sean Dennis@1:18/200 to All on Sunday, April 24, 2022 23:54:24
    FGAZ 18-10 Page 3 25 Apr 2022

    having a foreground and background color. While static color images
    could work relatively well, the approach resulted in the infamous
    attribute clash. Rival machines, such as the Commodore 64, did not
    suffer from the same problem although used a lower multicolor
    resolution made for blockier graphics.

    Ah, the playground discussions that ensued over sprites, peeks, and
    pokes. Those were the days.

    The ZX Spectrum, replete with rubber keyboard, debuted at 125 pounds
    for the 16KB version and 175 pounds for the 48KB incarnation. A 32KB
    RAM pack could be plugged into the rear expansion slot of the former,
    and this writer well remembers the joy of an unexpected reset caused
    by a wobbly bit of hardware.

    Over five million of the Z80A-based devices were sold, and its impact
    cannot be understated. While over 1.5 million BBC Micros (made by
    Acorn) may have also been sold during its lifetime, it was the ZX
    Spectrum that found its way into far more homes across Europe, and its
    impact continues to resonate in the IT world of today.

    Raspberry Pi supremo Eben Upton was more on the Acorn side of things,
    but recalled the effect of the plastic slab: "As a much more
    affordable alternative to the Beeb, and with roughly 3x the lifetime
    sales, the Spectrum probably had a greater role in promoting the
    accidental route into engineering careers in the '80s and early '90s."

    "Lots of people here at Pi Towers had their first exposure to
    programming on Sinclair hardware," Upton said, "and I personally have
    a lot of respect for the Sinclair team's single-minded focus on
    engineering to a target cost."

    The original ZX Spectrum enjoyed a relatively short time in the sun,
    and was discontinued in favor of the functionally identical (but
    recased with an updated keyboard) ZX Spectrum+ in 1985. Later versions
    received more RAM and, with the Amstrad takeover, another keyboard
    update, built-in cassette recorder, and disk drive.

    Clones would also crop up from time to time, including the recent (and
    infamous) ZX Spectrum Vega+. A warm bath of nostalgia is also possible
    via a variety of on and offline emulators.

    Sadly, Sir Clive Sinclair and Rick Dickinson are no longer with us.
    However, hardware designer Richard Altwasser and Dr Steve Vickers will
    be on hand at The National Museum of Computing on April 23 for a live
    and virtual Q&A, preceded by the same with Sir Clive's son, Crispin.

    In the meantime, this seems as good a time as ever to indulge in a
    little bit of rose-tinted nostalgia. Music by MJ Hibbett and with
    animation by Rob Manuel. (R)


    --- MBSE BBS v1.0.8 (Linux-x86_64)
    * Origin: Outpost BBS * Johnson City, TN (1:18/200)