ZX Spectrum 48K

An article in Joker magazine made me take a trip down memory lane

The legendary “rubber”

ZX Spectrum was the first “microcomputer” which cost less than hundred pounds and my first computer ever was the version with a ludicrous amount of memory… 48 kilobytes. Yes… that is 48 kB… Just for comparison, the laptop I’m writing this post on has 1 GB of memory. That’s 2134-times more 🙂

ZX Spectrum, a.k.a. “The Rainbow” for the rainbowish stripes in the lower right-hand corner, a.k.a. “The Rubber” for its rubbery keyboard was my brush with the world of computers – which consisted mostly of playing Manic Miner. While I could never finish the game, my father actually made it, which made him the ultimate hero of our appartament building at the time 🙂

And in case you wondered: the price tag pf a Spectrum for us “Easterners” was 4.000 deutschmarks (say, 2.000 of today’s euros)… For a computer that has less memory than a lightbulb!!!! But, on the other hand, the one in the picture still works 😀

And if you want to relive the glory days of 8-bit graphics and a sound which consisted of only a varying pitch and lenght of a “beep”, visit www.worldofspectrum.org

UPDATE: Must be a computer day…. Michael M. posted some thoughts on Linux Ubuntu which apparently is not all that it could be

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

15 thoughts on “ZX Spectrum 48K”

  1. this really is a legend…you simply can’t believe on what kind of memory this thing worked. I remember how happy and proud I was when i had a 1 gb disk in my computer…I had all the space in the world, I was the man, the zen, the king for my school mates 🙂 technology will kill us (in co-operation with China) 🙂 now I have all together about 600 gb of memory in my computer, and still have problems with space 🙂

  2. I have spent some thoughts on my POCKET calculator recently 🙂 I got it… in the 80ies, because we needed them in Maths. Now I need it when writing Invoices: it is still working with the original battery cell…

  3. @rollo: yes… And the best part about it was that when we wanted to play a game, we just typed in ‘Symbol SHIFT + J’ and then double brackets (twice), which gave us LOAD “”, wheras the poor souls who had Commodores 64K had to type in the entire command, letter by letter 🙂

    @alcessa: I got one of those as well. I think it was made in 1983 :mrgreen:

  4. pengovsky, where did you get that INES cart?! I want one 🙂 I have a whole collection of old computers. Unfortunately I still haven’t found a host for my computer museum site…

    rollo, how can a person be “the zen” (noun)?

  5. Finally, someone noticed! 😀 My father got it for me from ZOTKS (the source for computer stuff back then)

    This particual interface (as it was called) was used to connect a joystick and a lightpen.

    I’m not sure that I want to part company with it… But if you were to put your collection on display, then we might have a deal 😀

  6. Well I’d love to but I still need decent hosting.. the web page is mostly finished. where do you host your blog?

  7. Nah nah nah, THIS is what a real Spectrum was 😛


    -The Spanish version. I still got it, along with a rubber one as well, lots of tapes, my first programs, an interface to control a self made robot… Now I need 2 GB to do the same… sigh!-

  8. @pengovsky “wheras the poor souls who had Commodores 64K had to type in the entire command, letter by letter”

    No no no, we were far from being poor souls. 😉 It’s been top secret, but C-64 has had abbreviations for most of its commands.
    For LOAD, you could just press L and then SHIFT+O — and that was “LOAD”. Even less keystrokes than ZX. 😉

  9. Try it out. 😀 If you don’t believe me, get an emulator (e.g. from http://www.viceteam.org), type lO and press RETURN. 😉 It’ll do the same as writing LOAD and pressing RETURN.
    Or lI (l plus SHIFT I) and RETURN. It’s short for LIST.
    Usually it’s the first letter, then SHIFT along with the second letter…

  10. I still have it! And the entrails are duck-taped together (with a duck tape (a tape made out of ducks)). The only thing missing is a cassette player. I should try it out again some time.

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