One of the best things about the internet is that you’ll occasionally stumble across a site that feels like it was tailor-made to make you happy.
In the past I have bemoaned the fact that the Sinclair Spectrum, Britain’s first popular home computer, never made it big here in the States. This is only natural, really, since it wasn’t released here until after the Apple II and Commodore 64 had already asserted their dominance, and by that time the Spectrum seemed like “too little too late” even though it was cheaper than either of those models.
So finding a website that allows me to vicariously live through the heyday of the Spectrum was wonderful. This website is devoted to the now sadly defunct Your Sinclair magazine, which was to the Sinclair was The Rainbow was to the Color Computer and Run was to the C-64. It was chock-full of reviews, editorials, and hardware and software projects, and eventually started shipping with a cassette full of demos with every issue.
And as if that weren’t enough, the site’s maintainer is also in the process of creating retrospective videos for every year of Your Sinclair‘s existence, and many of these are already online.
Speccy was a nice little computer.. and pretty much forced its user to learn programming. In that it was brilliant. If compared to c64, I’d say speccy had more sophisticated software, but c64’s hardware was way better. You only need to compare c64 and spectrum screenshots to see which one had better visuals.. and as for audio, c64 is truly unique. Speccy had a piezo speaker, roughly equivalent of the pc speaker.
Browsing through the last few entries on that site made me sad, but on the other hand I’m surprised they survived that long.
I’m not sure if I would have gotten into programming as early as I did if I had had c64 instead of spectrum.. =)
Me loved my C64. My favorite thing I did with is was to rewrite the BASIC it used. I could do that because it had this neat thing where you could switch some of the ROM memory banks to use a RAM bank instead; thus one could load code into the ‘operating system’, as it were, and then switch to that bank of memory and be using your own tokenized BASIC… it was whizzo keen. Of course, I was my not-so-entrepreneurial self, and didn’t think to do more than play with it for fun. Then something called Merlins BASIC (IIRC) came out that did the same thing, so someone else made money with the same idea I had had. Sigh.
Did I mention that as a charter member of AOL (I had signed up for Q-Link originally), I had a chance to get in on the IPO for AOL? And I decided that my money would be better spent on reducing credit card debt instead because my brain told me “This will only be something geeks like me will ever want, and where’s the money in THAT?!?”. The $1000 dollars I didn’t invest was worth over a half a million at one point. And of the course, the credit card reduction was unreduced as soon as my wife could spend it. My at-the-time-wife delighted in reminding me of that for YEARS. My only defense is that … um … um … well, consumer modems at the time were roughly 300 baud!
Um…. sorry for the side track!! 🙂 Maybe I should get some sleep!