No, I’m not talking about me (although I do wear rather nifty rimless specs and did celebrate a birthday a few days ago.) I’m talking about my beloved old Sinclair Spectrum. According to the good old Beeb, the Sinclair Spectrum is 25 years old this month (younger than me – makes me feel old) Turns out we share the same Birthday, which is VERY cool.
We got a spectrum when I was really young. We had a ZX81 before that, with 1kb of memory, bur I was too young for that, and anyway – it didn’t have the rainbow stripe! I learned some basic programming with the Spectrum. MY favourite program, which I typed into spectrum computers in countless 80s electrical shops was:
10 PRINT “Brian Rules!!”
20 GOTO 10
See! Programming Genius! It would just print “Brian Rules!!” all the way down the screen. If I’d been smarter I’d have put in colours and automatic scrolling, but that would have taken ages and I wasn’t interested.
I learned to programme by retyping programmes from books, but don’t really remember writing may programmes of my own – not beyond 20 lines or so anyway. We got a microdrive for it, which was a mini tapedrive and loaded things much more quickly.
The only real way to load games was through a tape player – I well remember the tw0-part loading cycle. The low hum then the screech, then the low hum and the screech again, which could go on for minutes, depending on how quickly the game loaded.
Aaah – heady days!