The ZX Spectrum was the second computer I owned.

I’d already cut my programming teeth on the ZX-81 but really got into it on the Spectrum. The BASIC was fast enough to be interesting and it had all the tech features a boy could want; colour, hi-res graphics, a beeper and a wipe-clean rubber keyboard.

My first Spectrum game was a vertical scroller that I developed with a school chum. I tried to sell it with no success. But it got me a job at Software Creations.

Anyway, enough of my life history. Here’s the computer itself in all its glory:

  1. Hardware
  2. Keyboard
  3. Memory Map
  4. Screen Memory Layout
  5. Interrupts
  6. Sound

If you want to get a feel for what owning a Spectrum was like, then click here to experience a full fat JavaScript emulator, the excellent JSSpeccy, along with some links to demos and games. I’ve recently upgraded this demo page from an earlier version that relied upon the Qaop Java Emulator written by Jan Bobrowski. The original demo page can be found here, but may not work as Java relies upon the NPAPI plugin interface, which has been ditched by modern browsers such as Microsoft Edge and Chrome.

If you are interested in Z80 assembly language, I’ve been making my source code available under an MIT license.

Finally, I was donated a faulty 48K ZX-Spectrum by my father-in-law. Read my attempts to revive this otherwise mint specimen in this series of posts.