Feeds

Sinclair ZX Spectrum: 25 today

The rubber keyboard that saved Britain

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Clive Sinclair's ZX Spectrum is a quarter of a century old today. The machine that really launched the UK IT industry hit the streets of a depressed Britain on 23 April, 1982.

Sinclair... er... Amstrad ZX Spectrum

The Falklands War was properly kicking off, skirt-bothering Europhiles Bucks Fizz were number one with their unforgettable hit My Camera Never Lies [no, us either], and new romantic coal miners were using yellowed ration books as makeshift lavatory paper while they waited in million-strong lines for their Giro - if they weren't being beaten up by skinheads.

Dark days, then. But lo, along came bespectacled Messiah Sir Clive Sinclair with the successor to his 1981 release, the black-and-white ZX-81 [see what he did there?]. The ZX Spectrum boasted a visual cortex-melting eight colours at 256 x 192 resolution, blistering 3.5MHz CPU, and crucially, a crisp-repelling vulcanised rubber keyboard.

It gave a nation of spods a good reason not to go outside, paving the way for a generation UK IT triumphs, like the National Programme for IT.

Unfortunately for Sir Clive, his subsequent adventures in personal transport, wristwatch radios, and professional poker didn't redefine paradigms in quite the same way.

For a trip down memory lane - or for those under 30, to laugh with youthful conceit at the pathetic puniness of early home computers - you could do worse than visit worldofspectrum for archives, forums and emulators.

Share your memories of wasted joyous youth below, in the comments section. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.