Monday, April 23, 2007
25 years of the Sinclair Spectrum
I just read that the Sinclair Spectrum turned 25 today. Most of you probably don't know what it was. It was a tiny computer, which connected to a TV for output, had a Zilog ZX-80 microprocessor, 48k of RAM (yes that is a K, as in kilobytes), no hard disk, and loaded (and saved) programs from a cassette tape connected through an audio cable. You could actually hear the programs, they sounded like a modem. The keyboard was made of rubber, and each key represented 3 different things: a letter, a symbol (or number), and a BASIC instruction.
As you can guess, it was my first computer. I bought it in London for about 300 USD.
I read the complete manual on my flight back home (it included a BASIC tutorial, as well as the famous PEEK and POKE instructions, which let you write directly into the memory).
Back home I went on to learn about microprocessors, programming, etc., and since then I simply never stopped.