Tag Archives: zx81

Programming a game on the ZX81

This took me back as it was my first ever computer and I had no games so I had to program it. I would recommend that David buys a RAMPACK.

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ZX81 is 30 years old today

The computer that started it all for me:

Long informative article in the Register. Wikipedia article.

Update: BBC News article.

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Your Computer (80s computer magazine) scans

yc8208

World of Spectrum have scanned and made available [HTTP mirror – see below – dead link] many classic issues of 80s British magazine Your Computer.

The magazine started in 1981 and had a strong hobbyist attitude, covering many of the forgotten and not-so-forgotten computers at that time, such as the Oric, ZX-81, Dragon 32, MSXes, and more popular ones. It had a column called “Fingertips” devoted to programmable calculators, and a regular type-in column called “Software File”.

The golden age was 1982-1985. In 1987 it abandoned all of its hobbyist readers, got rid of type-ins, and started to exclusively cover the PC and Mac. Within a year it had gone out of business.

I had one listing in “Software File”! Sadly despite searching many issues today I couldn’t find it, so probably it’s in one of the missing issues. The program did a recursive descent listing (basically “ls -lR”) of a RODOS-formatted floppy disk, so you could say it was niche even for an 80s hobbyist program.

World of Spectrum unfortunately prevent people from mirroring their FTP archive, even if you use a nice FTP program and limit your requests. Although I appreciate that they spent a lot of time scanning in these magazines and collecting thousands of Spectrum tapes, they don’t hold permission to more than a tiny fraction of this stuff, and they should make torrents available so that collectors can mirror this important library so it never disappears, as has happened to most of the original cassette tapes and magazines. This stuff is far too important to leave the whims of a single site owner in a world of stupid DMCA notices.

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