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April 2007 marks the 25th Anniversary of The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Home Computer Launch in the United Kingdom.


25 Years On..

Even today programmers are still writing software for the Sinclair Spectrum. The speccy spawned a generation of machine code programmers who can now be seen employed in some of the worlds biggest software houses. Even the software publishers can still be seen and are activly involved in consoles such as the Playstation - i.e Codemasters.

Of course a dedicated following has actively followed the speccy, and its presence on the Internet was a natural progression. www.zxspeccy.com is one such dedication to the finest computer ever (and will ever) be built. May all Gods watch over Sir Clive and protect his divine presence on earth.

Loading Your Games
The Spectrum was intended to work with almost any cassette tape player, and despite differences in audio reproduction fidelity, the software loading process was quite reliable; however all Spectrum users knew and dreaded the "R Tape loading error, 0:1" message. One common cause was the use of a cassette copy from a tape recorder with a different head alignment to the one being used. This could sometimes be fixed by pressing on the top of the player during loading, or wedging the cassette with pieces of folded paper, to physically shift the tape into the required alignment. A more reliable solution was to realign the head with a small (jeweller's) screwdriver which was easily accessible on a number of tape players.

Typical settings for loading were ¾ volume, 100% treble, 0% bass. Audio filters like loudness and Dolby Noise Reduction had to be disabled, and it was not recommended to use a Hi-Fi player to load programs. There were some tape recorders built specially for digital use, such as the Timex Computer 2010 Tape Recorder.

The 'Speccy'
1982 saw the launch of the more advanced colour ZX Spectrum than its predecessor - the ZX81.. Designed for a wide variety of home and educational applications, it was to break all previous sales records - and remained a market-leader ten years later. Subsequent developments in peripherals and interfaces, including the revolutionary ZX Microdrive storage facility - saw the ZX Spectrum become the centre of a complete home system. The computer range too extended with the January 1984 introduction of the £399 Sinclair QL - then the first computer for home and business applications to use the powerful Motorola 68000 'chip' family as its principal processor.

ZX Spectrum+ / +2
In 1986 the 48K Spectrum gets a much needed solid keyboard and reset button, retailing for £180.

ZX Spectrum +2
Shortly after Amstrad's buyout of Sinclair Research in 1986 came the ZX Spectrum +2 with an all-new keyboard, a built-in cassette recorder (like the Amstrad CPC 464) and dual joystick ports. Production cost cutting saw the retail price drop to £139-£149. Aside from the tape drive, revised keyboard and casing the +2 was essentially the same as the 128 model.

The initial version of the +2 departed from the traditional black plastics of other Spectrum models to favour grey. Subsequent models were in fact based on the +3 model with the unnecessary disk circuitry removed, easily distinguishable with the casing having returned to black (unofficially dubbed the +2A). A final revision purely for cost cutting saw the chip count reduced and manufacturing relocated for the final revision (unofficially dubbed the +2B).

ZX Microdrive
The ZX Microdrive system was released in July 1983 and quickly became quite popular with the Spectrum user base due to the low cost of the drives, however, the actual media was very expensive for software publishers to use for mass market releases (by a factor of 10× compared to tape duplication). Furthermore, the cartridges themselves acquired a reputation for unreliability, and publishers were reluctant to QA each and every item shipped.[12] Hence the main use became to complement tape releases, usually utilities and niche products like the Tasword word processing software and the aforementioned Trans Express.



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