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S > SINCLAIR  > ZX SPECTRUM   


Sinclair
ZX SPECTRUM

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was one of the most popular European computers of the 80's. Two models were launched: one with 16 kb RAM and one with 48 kb RAM.

One of its most "interesting" characteristics is its keyboard! Some keys have more than five (!) functions! It is impossible to type BASIC keywords letter by letter, instead you have to use function keys. A lot of peripherals and programs were developed for this computer. It seems that several models of this computers were launched (at least 3), but I've no technical details about them. It was replaced in 1984 by the Spectrum + and in 1985 by the Spectrum 128.

Alan Wilson reports to us :

The 16K version of the computer had only the 16K ram chips loaded, while the 48K version had both banks full.

To keep the prices down Sinclair used faulty 64K chips (internally 2 X 32K). All the chips in the 32K bank of RAM had to have the same half of the 64K chips working. A link was fitted on the pcb in order to choose the first half or the second half.

It was possible with a few logic chips for the experimenter to have access to the faulty 32K bank.



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I think the Spectrum really was the computer that sparked the revolution. The C64 was out of reach of most people, but almost anyone could afford a Spectrum. It had high ( 256x192 ) resolution graphics and enough memory to make some serious games. Because it was cheap enough, it drove the games market more than any other computer, and it''s only recently that the number of PC games has caught up with the number of Spectrum games. Back then, being a geek was very uncool, and programming computers was for nerds, and being a nerd meant being in the untouchable group socially. It''s amazing to see how much the world has moved on from there, and now everyone wants to think they are a geek. Working with the ZX Spectrum taught me to design Z80 based hardware, which got me my first job in a R$D factory designing computers to control video game payment systems.

          
Tuesday 10th August 2021
David (Australia)

Mon expérience sur ZX Spectrum https://riri-linventeur.wixsite.com/les-debrouillards/zx-spectrum

          
Friday 27th November 2020
Riri (France)
https://riri-linventeur.wixsite.com/les-debrouillards

Hi! I''ve stumbled across a couple of real beauties online, an Issue One 16K Spectrum which looks like its in a condition I''ve never seen as good as before. The same seller seems to have unearthed a couple of real gems in terms of collectability value, including original Sinclair literature which I''ve not come across before. Take a look , see wht you think :

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/223084601634?ssPageName$STRK:MESELX:IT$_trksid$p3984.m1558.l2649

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/223079077190

          
Wednesday 1st August 2018
mrfluffybrown (UK)

 

NAME  ZX SPECTRUM
MANUFACTURER  Sinclair
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  April 1982
END OF PRODUCTION  1984
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Sinclair Basic
KEYBOARD  QWERTY rubber keyboard (40 keys) with up to 6 functions by keys !
CPU  Zilog Z80 A
SPEED  3.5 MHz
RAM  16k or 48k (42k left for programming)
ROM  16k (Basic & OS)
TEXT MODES  32 x 24
GRAPHIC MODES  256 x 192
COLORS  8 with two tones each (normal and bright)
SOUND  1 voice / 10 octaves (Beeper)
SIZE / WEIGHT  23 x 14,4 x 3 cm / 550g
I/O PORTS  Expansion port, tape-recorder (1200 bauds), RF video out
POWER SUPPLY  External PSU, 9v DC, 1.4A (centre polarity = -ve)
PERIPHERALS  ZX printer, ZX microdrives
PRICE  16k: 282 (France, 1983) - 48k: 365 (France, 1983)
16k: £99 (U.K. 1984) - 48k: £125 (U.K. 1984)




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