22 April 2012

The ZX Spectrum - 30th Anniversary...

 Advertisement from Personal Computer World, November 1982.

It is thirty years since the ZX Spectrum was released. It had a massive impact, helping to bring personal computing into our lives to a tremendous agree, and is still fondly remembered by many. 

And me? Nah, mate, back in 1982 I thought that computers were for boffins and the ZX Spectrum would just be a fad confined to brainy wallies!

Just how wrong can a geezer be?

 Happy birthday, Speccy!

Below is the blurb from the ad pictured at the top of the post.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16K or 48K RAM... full-size moving-key keyboard colour and sound... high-resolution graphics... From only £125! 

First there was the world-beating Sinclair ZX80. The first personal computer for under £100. Then the ZX81. With up to 16K RAM available, and the ZX Printer. Giving more power and more flexibility. Together, they've sold over 500,000 so far, to make Sinclair world leaders in personal computing. 

And the ZX81 remains the ideal low-cost introduction to computing. 

Now there's the ZX Spectrum! With up to 48K of RAM. A full-size moving key keyboard. Vivid colour and sound. High resolution graphics. And a low price that's unrivalled. Professional power - personal computer price! 

The ZX Spectrum incorporates all the proven features of the ZX81. But its new 16K BASIC ROM dramatically increases your computing power. You have access to a range of 8 colours for foreground, background and border, together with a sound generator and high-resolution graphics. You have the facility to support separate data files. You have a choice of storage capacities (governed by the amount of RAM). 16K of RAM (which you can uprate later to 48K of RAM) or a massive 48K of RAM. Yet the price of the Spectrum 16K is an amazing £125! Even the popular 48K version costs only £175! 

You may decide to begin with the 16K version. If so, you can still return it later for an upgrade. The cost? Around £60. 

Ready to use today, easy to expand tomorrow .

Your ZX Spectrum comes with a mains adaptor and all the necessary leads to connect to most cassette recorders and TVs (colour or black and white). 

Employing Sinclair BASIC (now used in over 500,000 computers worldwide) the ZX Spectrum comes complete with two manuals which together represent a detailed course in BASIC programming. Whether you're a beginner or a competent programmer, you'll find them both of immense help. 

Depending on your computer, you'll quickly be moving into the colourful world of ZX Spectrum professional-level computing. There's no need to stop there. The ZX Printer - available now - is fully compatible with the ZX Spectrum. 

And later this year there will be Microdrives for massive amounts of extra on-line storage, plus an RS232/network interface board.

1982 was also the year of the Falklands War, the year that the Queen woke up to find a strange man in her bedroom, Prince William was born, deelyboppers arrived, body-popping was first demonstrated on Top Of The Pops (see a newspaper article from 1983 here), Channel 4 was launched, CB radio, legalised in November 1981, was a huge craze, Madness sang "Welcome To The House Of Fun", and a young woman solved the Rubik's Cube whilst free falling from a plane...

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