Review of Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16K

Posted by Conor O'Neill on Monday, April 23, 2007

A brilliant machine that is much better than Commodore 64 or Vic 20 rubbish

    Review of <span class="type">product</span>: <span class="item"><span class="fn">[Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16K](</span></span></div> 

Rated as 5/5 on Apr 23 2007 by Conor O’Neill

This review originally conceived November 1982:

My Dad contacted a workmate of his in the UK to see if they could get me one of the new ZX Spectrum home computers. I’ve wanted one of these since I saw the announcement but they are very expensive (over £100) so we went with the 16K model instead of the 48K.

It was finally purchased in WH Smiths and we met the guy up in Portlaoise on his way home.

I’ve never owned anything so complicated and was very excited opening the box and taking out the computer, the power supply, the manuals and the tapes. I hooked it up to our TV and to the power and then started twisting the tuning knob for that station.

But no matter what I did, I couldn’t get a picture on the screen. I didn’t know if it was the TV or the Spectrum. Cunningly I found the “beep” command in the manual but that didn’t seem to do anything either.

Our neighbour is a TV repair man and he came around a few days later. It turns out that our Ferguson’s tuner couldn’t tune that low. So he replaced it and I couldn’t believe it when he tuned in the Spectrum and I saw “Copyright 1982 Sinclair Research”.

The Horizons tape that came with it got boring pretty quickly but the couple of Psion games are good. I have just started learning BASIC from the manual and it is really easy.

I have also just begun buying magazines that are all about Sinclairs and I’m learning about all the games that are available and how the computer works inside.

Some of my friends have Speccys too and one of them realised that we could buy a cable to connect our two tape recorders together and copy games onto blank tapes. Sometimes we have to spend a long time adjusting the tape heads to make it work well. But the games are incredible even if they take ages to load.

I love the games from Quicksilva and Ultimate Play the Game but recently I discovered that most games are now written for the 48K Spectrum. A bunch of people in the magazines advertise memory upgrade chips and I ordered one of them using a sterling bank draft.

It was scary opening up the Spectrum but cool to see the processor and ULA. The socket for the memory chip was obvious and I pushed it in. It worked perfectly!

I hope to learn how to write games and maybe some day I’ll be as famous as Matthew Smith who wrote the incredible Manic Miner. I read that he is creating something even better. But what is “Monty Python”?

The Spectrum is miles better than anything by Commodore or Atari and has many more games than the BBC. It’s the best present I ever got.

LouderVoice Tags: [1980s](, [computer](, [home computer](, [nostalgia](, [sinclair](, [speccy](, [spectrum](
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