The A to Z of the ZX Spectrum

Remembering Sir Clive Sinclair and his wonder machine

The 1980s was a very grim time for many people. There was high unemployment and high inflation. The Labour Party – who should have been hitting the right notes in attacking the Thatcher-led government – was split between its left and right wing factions of the party. If you substituted Thatcher for Johnson, you could be forgiven for thinking ‘deja vu’.

Continue reading “The A to Z of the ZX Spectrum”

The Duffers’ Guide to 8-Bit Computing #2: Cartridge Games

The second part of a new Duffers’ Guide, celebrating the joys of 8-bit computing

Back in the 1980s, there was two main storage media for software and documents: cassette tape or floppy disc. At the start of the decade, our floppies were 8″ and 5.25″ in width. By the end of the decade, 3″, 3.5″ and 5.25″ discs. For many people, floppy discs were too expensive – especially in the UK when floppy disc drives costed almost as much as the computer itself. (Unless you had an Amstrad CPC 664 or 6128 which also came with a monitor).

Continue reading “The Duffers’ Guide to 8-Bit Computing #2: Cartridge Games”
RadioShack Tape Recorder, J. Smith, 2006

The Duffers’ Guide to 8-Bit Computing #1: Software on Tape

The first of a new Duffers’ Guide, celebrating the joys of 8-bit computing

I have recently found a YouTube channel that celebrates the wonder of audio tape. It is headed by a fellow from Lancashire who knows his TDKs from his Maxells, and his chrome tapes from his ferric tapes. What has amazed me is how no two audio cassettes are the same in terms of quality.

Continue reading “The Duffers’ Guide to 8-Bit Computing #1: Software on Tape”