The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'zx spectrum'
The Guardian reveals an all-but-forgotten fragment of the social history of 1980s Britain: a ZX Spectrum game named Hampstead, which codified the aspirational values of Thatcher-era Britain in the blocky, primary-coloured computer graphics of the period:
Hampstead was the ultimate 1980s adventure game, yet one of the few that broke from the traditional orcs and goblins fare. In it, you took the role of a down and out dreamer trapped in a grotty east London flat with ideals of leafy suburbs and affluence.
As aspirational games go, this text adventure was pretty high on the narcissistic scale. With the right clothes, the right education, the right muesli and the right girl (Pippa, of course), all that stood between your and your freehold was her Dad. And he was a pussycat. Hampstead taught a generation of future Brees and Tarquins how to climb the social ladder and how to look good while doing it.
During the 1980s, various musicians and bands put A gallery of 8-bit computer games on their 7" singles. The theory went that you'd play the 7" into a tape recorder, put the tape into your ZX Spectrum (and most of these were Speccy programs), load it and get some bonus content. The exact nature of this content varied from rather iffy-sounding branded video games (such as the Thompson Twins Adventure Game, or The Stranglers' "Aural Quest") to sometimes dubious games actually written by actual band members (Chris Sievey of The Freshies was a serial offender here), to Satanic messages with other messages hidden in the comments. (via bOING bOING)
The bizarre world of ZX Spectrum clones, from Russia, Eastern Europe, South America and Asia. Apparently there were dozens of the beasties, some straightforward knockoffs and some (particularly in the USSR) with bizarrely improvised keyboards and some specced up to run MS-DOS and such. (via the Horn)
Retrocomputing meets chindogu: Someone in the UK is designing an updated ZX Spectrum compatible, using only off-the-shelf parts. The SpeccyBOB, as he calls it, will be mostly Spectrum compatible, though will have 4Mb of RAM and an IDE hard disk interface. Watch the web site for circuit diagrams and such.