Yesterday was the 25th birthday of one of the greatest modern inventions, a device that revolutionised many young teenage bedrooms, and managed to create an add-on microindustry out of standard tape recorders. Yes, yesterday was the birth of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum (23rd April 1982). I got one for my birthday that year. I had finally entered a space-age future! it was a 16K model (which I had upgraded the following year to a blistering 48K….ZZZOOOMMMM!). I still remember clearly running home from primary school every evening, hooking up my speccy to a 14″ TV, putting the cassette of Jet Set Willy in the tape player, and typing LOAD “”. Then the blaze of machine code colours and wierd sounds for at least 5-10mins before you could even tell if it had loaded correctly. THIS BEHAVIOUR WAS REPEATED EVERY DAY, FOR ABOUT 3 YEARS. I loved my speccy, and I think it loved me too.
Sadly, the fun wore off after some time. The speccy was relegated to a cupboard, the TV was switched off, and I never touched another computer until I was 15. That computer was a Mac Plus, and kickstarted the next level of obsession that is still ongoing. But it was really the little speccy that was responsible for my intro into computing. And it will always be remembered fondly.