Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Is it a keyboard, is it a plane? No... Its... new acquisition.  I picked up this old ZX Spectrum from our national online auction site, trademe for NZ$10 4 days back, and received it today.  Its got its faults (the keyboard membrane needs replacing) and I'm yet to dig out an old Sinclair power supply to test it runs.

However, I love having this classic machine here.  Its the second computer I ever owned, the first being the ZX81.  Its how I got acquainted with computer programming, where my direction in life changed and I headed off on my dream to become a commercial computer programmer.  I made it a couple of times into jobs as a programmer, but have settled for the last 20 or so with the more creative side of 3D CG...  That said, I'm a sucker for developing the odd plugin and script in my spare time as well.

Its a new one, but its not the only one

While its a new acquisition, I still have my 31 year old original under my house - yes, the very same one I got as a kid back in 1982. Everywhere I would move to (rental after rental, and now own home) I lugged it with me, along with the 400+ magazines, 250+ cassettes and collection of peripherals.  And yes, I still have everything...  Hoarder?  Maybe...

I bought this one purely on the fact it was both cheap (not hyped up with "retro collectible" over-pricing) and that it could be a spare one in case my original just doesn't work any longer (its been stored in many a damp location).

Seems not everybody lived through that 8-bit era

Today I found myself explaining to co-workers that this was a complete computer, and not just some wierd keyboard.  Some couldn't believe that it had so little memory (48kb) as most emails and JPG images are almost triple that in size.

Times have definitely moved on since then.  Technology is now at that "this was all science fiction when I was a kid" stage.  Who would have guessed we would finally be able to "video phone" people around the world?

Man...  Its enough to make me feel old. lol!

1 comment :

  1. As a follow up on this article, the Spectrum didn't work. Actually, neither did the other one... A sad day...

    At the moment I've been honing up my non-existant electronics skills and going slowly through common repair steps to see if I can revive these two lost souls.

    Once I'm happy with the result, I'll write up a new blog article about how I did it (and how much pain was inflicted on my finger tips while operating a soldering iron...)