Happy Birthday ZX Spectrum!

The ZX Spectrum, the smash hit home computer of the 1980s, is 30 years old today.

The 1982 release of the ZX Spectrum dazzled home computer users with its high specification:

  • 4 colour graphics
  • High resolution 256 × 192 graphics
  • 3.5 MHz Z80 processor
  • 16KB or 48KB RAM

Priced at £125 ($200) for the 16KB version, it was an overnight hit, selling 30,000 units in three months. It remains Britain’s biggest selling computer model. Many modern games programmers learnt programming on the Spectrum’s inbuilt BASIC language.

Luckily there are many emulators available for the Spectrum, and sites like World of Spectrum have hundreds if not thousands of games for download, so you can still enjoy classics such as:

The Falklands War inspired Harrier Attack:

The delights of Dizzy the egg:

And the fun of being a naughty school boy, firing catapults at your friends and writing rude words on the board in Skool Daze (perhaps one of gaming’s earliest “controversial games”?).

If you weren’t alive in the 80s, you sure missed out.

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