Old computers

It's a fact that computers become obsolete faster than you can say Z80. However, many people, including myself, consider ourselves experts in these ancient machines, sometimes referred to as silicon antiques.

My interest started in the early 1980s, when I was introduced to a machine which I thought was quite fancy at the time. It was a Sinclair ZX81. OK, by today's standards, that does belong in a museum, but it did act as a worthwhile introduction to computing. Of course, the first proper computer I had was a Spectrum. I expanded it greatly, and still have one in working order now! However, I don't use it much, partly because I can emulate it on many systems.

Due to being able to try out various add-ons by way of emulation, I realised recently that, if I'd been able to afford to look after my Spectrum kit myself, I'd have chosen very differently. Instead of the Opus Discovery disc system, I'd have gone for Beta 128. I'd have added two Comcon joystick interfaces, probably with QuickShot 2+2 joysticks, and a suitable printer interface. I would, money permitting, have fitted four drives to the Beta interface. I'd have had a +2, and a 48K Spectrum kept in reserve for anything that needed it. My chosen software would have been The Last Word, Masterfile and Omnicalc 2, plus of course my selection of games and utilities, but the three I mentioned would be the most important. I will more than likely never get this setup now, but I am trying to build it up by emulation. See my page on Phil's ideal Spectrum setup to see where I am with it.

ZX Certified webmaster

Anyone with as much interest as me would surely have had opportunities to try out other machines. Well, I did. I don't think anything quite matched the Spectrum for speed of operation or simplicity of use. Even BBC micros appeared to have some strange programming quirks! I did briefly have a Commodore plus/4, although it was pretty useless with no storage device.

The Spectrum still has enough following to have a web site - World of Spectrum.