Reminiscing the Wonderful ZX Spectrum
CPU: Z80A @ 3.5 MHz and
Sound: 1 channel 10 octave beeper on 16K and 48K
128K models had 3 channel sound via an AY-3-8912 chip.
Display: 256 x 192. 7 colours with 2 levels of
brightness, plus black. Colour stored separately in a 32 x 24
Memory: 16K ROM & 16K, 48K or 128K RAM,
depending on the model.
Software Media: Cassette.
In the spring of 1982, one of the most popular 8-bit home
computers ever made was released to the UK market - the Sinclair ZX
Spectrum. The basic model with 16KB of RAM cost £125, and the 48KB RAM
model cost the princely sum of £175. Both came with a rubber keyboard.
Later models offered proper keyboards with built in floppy disk drives.
The home computer offered colour graphics and
sound at an affordable price. Yes, the limitations were stark. The
graphics suffered from attribute clash (often known as colour clash) as
only two colours could be displayed in any area of 8 x
8 pixels. The sound was also very limited, being
generated through a beeper with a single channel. Yet, innovative
programmers learned how to circumvent these issues, and this
quirky piece of plastic took over a huge chunk of the home computing
market selling more than 5 million units in the space of a decade. This
was primarily because of the computer's low cost. But it was
also because writing for the ZX Spectrum was more about
invention than design. Because there was so little space on
the computer, games had to be fiendishly difficult to stop gamers
completing them too quickly. The ZX Spectrum offered a lot both to
gamers and programmers. With its limitations, programmers had the
possibility of writing entire, innovative games on their own. It
generated a whole breed of eccentric bedroom programmers. Over 24,000
titles were released for the Spectrum family. The majority of the
titles were games, but office applications and other types of software
were also available.
There is a very interesting project underway to recreate the
ZX Spectrum and more. The Bluetooth ZX Spectrum has been successfully
crowdfunded, and it is due to go on sale in September 2014. If you want
to go back to the 1980s - to the wonderful era of 8-bit gaming, you can
instead try one of the many ZX Spectrum emulators. All of the emulators
featured in this article are free to download, with the majority
released under an open source license.
To provide an insight into the quality of software that is
available, we have compiled a list of 5 ZX Spectrum emulators.
there will be something of interest for anyone who wishes to have some
fun and reminisce about their misspent youth.
Now, let's explore the 5 emulators at hand. For each
title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description
with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with
links to relevant resources and reviews.
|ZX Spectrum Emulators
Spectrum emulator, using the
16K, 48K, 128K, +2, +2A and +3 emulation
||Portable emulator based on UnrealSpeccy
||Runs on many different platforms (not open source)
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Last Updated Sunday, February 23 2014 @ 06:08 AM EST