33 year old ZX81 1K ZX Chess world record broken
Jan28

33 year old ZX81 1K ZX Chess world record broken

Wirtten by David Horne in 1983 1K ZX Chess was a masterpiece of elegant programming The unassuming looking record holder Who would have thought that this small, cheap and unassuming piece of hardware could have been the catalyst for a world record that has stood for 33 years? The feat in question was one achieved by Artic Computing’s ZX81 title – 1K ZX Chess, a game that amazed all by only taking up 672 bytes of memory when it was released and has held the record for being the smallest game of chess on any format for the last three decades. That long standing record has now been finally broken by the demoscene group Red Sector Inc. who have programmed a fully-playable version of chess called BootChess using just 487 bytes. Our congratulations go out to Red Sector but we are still in awe of David Horne for that amazing achievement way back in the early days of home computing.     EDIT: I originally posted this with the title of “32 year old ZX81… etc.”. My mistake. I took a look at the cassette and it is copyrighted 1982. 33 years old it is...

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Spotted! Rare Sinclair prototypes up for auction
Jan02

Spotted! Rare Sinclair prototypes up for auction

ZX80 design prototype ZX80 design prototype ZX81 design prototype ZX90 Sinclair Computer Base Module ZX Spectrum design prototype Unknown prototype Sinclair 9200 Microvision 2700 Pocket TV design prototype Pocket TV design prototype Up for auction on ebay UK is this very interesting collection of rare Sinclair prototypes which were given to the seller’s father in an office clear out by Sir Clive himself. These prototypes are all non-working design-stage models of the ZX80, ZX81 and Spectrum plus some models of unreleased computers. These prototypes shed some light on the design process at Sinclair Research back in the 80s. I don’t have to tell Sinclair collectors how exciting these protos are. Probably a once in a lifetime chance of adding a unique and personal piece of Sinclair history to your collection. Only one day left at time of writing so get your skates on! Ebay auction...

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Early Sinclair ZX81 software adverts
May12

Early Sinclair ZX81 software adverts

Way before full colour ads were the norm and just before the emergence of it’s colourful sibling; the ZX Spectrum, ZX81 software adverts in computer magazines were often a very crude affair. Still very much in the time of the ‘bedroom coder’ much of the software in this early period was still produced at home using rudimentary tape to tape copying machines and photocopied inlays and labels. A few of the software houses had been around for a number of years, Automata for instance (headed by Mel Croucher) had been around since 1977 and as such was the UKs first video games company. The Automata ad below is for a rather smutty range of titles and purports to be ‘for jaded minds, bad taste is our speciality’, as many of you know they went on to produce Pimania and the poor-selling but brilliant Deus Ex Machina in the Spectrum years that followed. Others though were just getting to their feet. Software Farm, famous for their later hi-res releases were joining many others in releasing home versions of Asteroids and Pac-Man (Gobblers). Sadly a good proportion of the software producers you see below were destined to fail, selling maybe a few hundred copies and disappearing like many others into obscurity. Feel free to comment below if you remember owning any of the software in the ads, or indeed if you were one of the early microcomputer entrepreneurs that placed one of these ads in those early computer magazines.   Click images to enlarge. Ads taken from: Popular Computing Weekly, Sinclair Programs, Sinclair User, ZX Projects, Your...

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Sinclair ZX81 Software Catalogues
Mar30

Sinclair ZX81 Software Catalogues

Sinclair ZX81 Software catalogues listed all Sinclair branded software available at the time of publishing. The software was produced by Psion and ICL and covered everything from educational software to business and games. Check out the order form pages for game prices. Click here to see ZX Spectrum Software and Peripheral Catalogues. Browse the pages by clicking the arrows in the toolbar or dragging the page edges. To enlarge just double click a page. To go full screen just click the icon bottom left of the toolbars. Please note: the flipping books will only work in Flash enabled browsers currently. We are working on getting universal versions as replacements soon. Sinclair ZX81 Software Catalogue May 1982 Edition Get Adobe Flash Player WordPress Gallery Plugin   Sinclair ZX81 Software Catalogue (undated) Get Adobe Flash Player WordPress Gallery...

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Sinclair ZX Spectrum Software and Peripheral Catalogues
Mar04

Sinclair ZX Spectrum Software and Peripheral Catalogues

Sinclair Software and Peripheral Catalogues described the whole range of Sinclair branded software (at that particular time). As time went on the catalogues grew and also later included Sinclair branded peripherals such as Microdrives, the ZX Printer, Interface 1 and Interface 2. Most early ZX Spectrums (rubber keyed 16K and 48K) came boxed with a catalogue. I have scanned a few of these and added them in Flipping Book format below. More catalogues will be added to this article as they come to light. And for those of you who prefer your ZX computers without colour or sound, check out these Sinclair ZX81 Software Catalogues. Browse the pages by clicking the arrows in the toolbar or dragging the page edges. To enlarge just double click a page. To go full screen just click the icon bottom left of the toolbars. Please note: the flipping books will only work in Flash enabled browsers currently. We are working on getting universal versions as replacements soon. Sinclair ZX Spectrum Software Catalogue December 1982 Edition Get Adobe Flash Player WordPress Gallery Plugin   Sinclair ZX Spectrum Software and Peripherals Catalogue June 1983 Edition Get Adobe Flash Player WordPress Gallery Plugin   Sinclair ZX Spectrum Software and Peripherals Catalogue January 1984 Get Adobe Flash Player WordPress Gallery...

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Flappy Bird for the Sinclair ZX81?
Feb18

Flappy Bird for the Sinclair ZX81?

What could be better than Flappy Bird on the VCS? Flappy Bird on the ZX81, that’s what! The little black wedge gets it’s own version of the gaming phenomenon courtesy of Bob’s Stuff. This version is called Quack and uses the immense power of the Zeddy to show off this amazing game’s really deep and immersive gameplay. Ahem. Download the ROM here (.p...

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