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VectraMan
5th March 2011, 08:26
5 March 2011, marks the 30th anniversary of the arrival of the machine that did more to awaken ordinary Britons to the possibilities offered by home computing: the Sinclair ZX81.

While its successor, the Sinclair Spectrum, got the nation playing computer games, the ZX81 was the tipping point that turned the home computer from nerd hobby into something anyone could buy and use.

Sir Clive Sinclair would later say his Science of Cambridge company - later Sinclair Research - developed its first computers to make the money needed to fund other projects closer to his heart: the portable TV and what would become the infamous C5 electric car.

Sinclair ZX81: 30 years old tomorrow ? reghardware (http://www.reghardware.com/2011/03/04/sinclair_zx81_anniversary/)

I never had one. Or a Spectrum. Or a C5.

DimPrawn
5th March 2011, 09:12
ZX81.

Pah, new fangled fashion gadget.

I built a ZX80 from a kit when I was 14.

:smokin

Cliphead
5th March 2011, 09:37
I did buy one along with the 16k rampack thingie. Lots of fun :eyes

amcdonald
5th March 2011, 10:47
Any true geek had a 128k ram pack

Then had a speccie

The QL seemed a bit of a damb squib at the time, but looking back it wasn't that bad. I just never bought one

OrangeHopper
5th March 2011, 12:07
Any true geek had a 128k ram pack


RAM pack, printer and, wait for it, a Memotech keyboard. All in the loft in their original packaging.

thunderlizard
5th March 2011, 18:44
Happy birthday! :wave:
A shame that there are no longer any computers whose keys you can press just by blowing hard on them.

Paddy
5th March 2011, 21:37
Sinclair ZX81: 30 years old tomorrow ? reghardware (http://www.reghardware.com/2011/03/04/sinclair_zx81_anniversary/)

I never had one. Or a Spectrum. Or a C5.

ZX81 Download Page (http://www.zx81.nl/)

For your PC, ZX81 emulator and games etc

amcdonald
6th March 2011, 00:51
ZX81 Download Page (http://www.zx81.nl/)

For your PC, ZX81 emulator and games etc

3D Monster Maze, ah nostalgia isn't what it used to be

NickFitz
6th March 2011, 04:01
3D Monster Maze, ah nostalgia isn't what it used to be

3D Monster Maze (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_Monster_Maze) was the killer app for the ZX81 :yay:

I was an Acorn chap myself, but I remember looking at the screenshots in the computer mags and thinking that there was nothing of that kind for the Atom. Ah well, we got Elite first on the Beeb a few years down the line ;)

As the Wikipedia article I link to above points out, the canonical way of distributing a machine code program for the ZX81 was to embed it in line 0 of a BASIC program as the content of a REM statement that caused the BASIC interpreter to treat the Z80 code as a comment; the rest of the BASIC program took care of any startup housekeeping, and the system wouldn't allow you to edit line 0 as 0 was an illegal line number in BASIC. Upon such recondite hackery was the entire "computer revolution" founded :)

Cliphead
6th March 2011, 07:12
3D Monster Maze (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_Monster_Maze) was the killer app for the ZX81 :yay:

I was an Acorn chap myself, but I remember looking at the screenshots in the computer mags and thinking that there was nothing of that kind for the Atom. Ah well, we got Elite first on the Beeb a few years down the line ;)


I bought a Commodore 64 just to play Elite and all these years later I still get the urge sometimes (http://www.oolite.org/).

amcdonald
6th March 2011, 09:21
3D Monster Maze, ah nostalgia isn't what it used to be

3D Monster Maze is Dooms grandad

Elite was another special moment, but I must have been the only person who hated manual docking

3D Ant Attack on the speccie was another

TimberWolf
6th March 2011, 09:36
3D Monster Maze is Dooms grandad

Elite was another special moment, but I must have been the only person who hated manual docking

3D Ant Attack on the speccie was another

And his dad was Wolfenstein. I downloaded Wolfenstein on my iPod, but it must have been rubbish as I've since deleted it and don't even recall what it was like now. I'm off to see whether Doom is [freely] available for the iPod...

escapeUK
6th March 2011, 09:39
Sinclair ZX81: 30 years old tomorrow ? reghardware (http://www.reghardware.com/2011/03/04/sinclair_zx81_anniversary/)

I never had one. Or a Spectrum. Or a C5.

Neither did I, but I had a Commodore Vic 20 which started me off as a programmer all those years ago. Thanks Commodore :smile

Interesting stats, a vic 20 had:-

CPU: MOS 6502, 1MHz
RAM: 5K (3.5K for the user)

http://oldcomputers.net/pics/vic20.jpg

Just imagine where things will be in another 30 years. Computers better be like Star Trek or I wont be happy :)

amcdonald
6th March 2011, 10:15
And his dad was Wolfenstein. I downloaded Wolfenstein on my iPod, but it must have been rubbish as I've since deleted it and don't even recall what it was like now. I'm off to see whether Doom is [freely] available for the iPod...

3D Monster Maze was years before Wolfenstein that's the point, I can't think of an original before that

Iron Condor
6th March 2011, 10:23
And Z80 Assembler, those were the days

PUSH BC
POP DE
LDIR
DJNZ
..


Fond memories of a wasted youth

OwlHoot
6th March 2011, 10:33
3D Monster Maze was years before Wolfenstein that's the point, I can't think of an original before that

Wolfenstein was released in 1992; but before that, in 1991, the legendary John Carmack of Id Software had written an EGA first person shooter (the first ever, I think) called Catacomb 3-D (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catacomb_3-D) I should know, as I had a thumping headache the first time I played it for a couple of hours. :sick

DaveB
6th March 2011, 12:25
ZX81, with the RAM Pack that talked to you when the house was quiet and lost everything you had done if you wiggled it even slightly.

BBC Model B.
Sharp MZ-80k. You had to load the OS from tape every time you switched it on.
Apple IIc.

Then off to Uni where I got to play with Sun 150 Worksations, A PDP-11 of some vintage and a VAX 11/750 as well as seeing a PC for the first time, learning 68000 asembley code on a Mac Plus and developing a serious Nethack habit.

VectraMan
6th March 2011, 13:46
I had one of these:

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/photos/oric_oric1_right-side_1s.jpg

Then later an Atmos:

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/photos/Oric_Atmos_System_s1.jpg

Which at least had a proper keyboard.

amcdonald
6th March 2011, 23:10
Wolfenstein was released in 1992; but before that, in 1991, the legendary John Carmack of Id Software had written an EGA first person shooter (the first ever, I think) called Catacomb 3-D (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catacomb_3-D) I should know, as I had a thumping headache the first time I played it for a couple of hours. :sick

3D Monster Maze was released in 1981, a full decade before Catacomb or Wolfenstein.

So whilst it's primitive it should get some credit for what followed really...3D for 1981 was a big thing!

For its time it was impressive and required a whopping 16k of Ram which for a ZX81 was like the Doom of its time

MarillionFan
7th March 2011, 07:23
I did buy one along with the 16k rampack thingie. Lots of fun :eyes

Did someone say 16k!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts96J7HhO28

Churchill
7th March 2011, 07:34
Manic Miner

On a ZX81 :eek
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjA-qlDv5Xw&feature=related

amcdonald
7th March 2011, 09:50
Neither did anyone else.

There were bits of the QL (One Per Desk) being sold in electronics remainder shops for donkey's years.

Not to mention bits of the C5.

Wish I'd bought some now.

It's because he foolishly marketed them as business machines rather than accepting that most people had bought the Speccie to play games