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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Tuesday, 24 April 2007 01:09

The ZX Spectrum turns 25

Written by Nermin Hajdarbegovic

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Spectrum's Silver Jubilee


While some
Fudzilla team members abuse unsuspecting quad cores, forcing them to run at 3,5 GHz tied to that black 680 thingy by pipes filled with steaming water, it's up to me to take care of history bits. The Sinclair Research Spectrum ZX is also black, works at 3,5 MHz, has a 16 kB ROM and 16 or 48 kB RAM and today celebrates its 25th birthday.

Yes, a quarter of a century has passed since this fine piece of British engineering hit the stores, becoming the most popular computer in Britain's homes during the crazy 1980s. It did not fare well in the US as Timex,  the company which was supposed to produce it under license, was just about to go under when they took the job.

But America's cold war rivals saw its potential, and thousands of clones were made in soviet Russia and Eastern Block nations, some even being ironically dubbed "Pentagon".

Spectrum's main rival, the Commodore 64, came a few months later. It looked a bit more serious, had better graphics, slower CPU and a hefty price tag. Not to mention the better keyboard on the C64, the ZX's rubber keyboard, with all due respect, was crap.

Back in 1982 the ZX was a lot cheaper, at a 125 quid a piece for the 16kB model, while true men spared no expense and went for the lavish 48kB version at £175. It was discontinued in 1990.

Rubber keys from hell, not to mention the positioning of the space key, yikes...

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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 09:18

Nermin Hajdarbegovic

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