Thursday, March 14, 2013

ZX Spectrum in America

As a kid, I always had this strange fascination for the ZX Spectrum. It was not the most popular machine in France, but you could see it in many places, and I could Spectrum game sin magazines because of the funky color palette that the machine uses. There is a tech reason why colors have to clash like they do, and boy to they clash.

I remember the first time I heard about this computer, my mom was telling me how this cool new thing "like a typewriter but you can connect to a tv and do more" that she was discussing at work. I never got one as I choose the TI 99/4A as a first machine, another one with not so super color palette.
The problem with these is that (at least the first version of it, the iconic one, connects to a PAL tv set via the antenna, and that it is almost impossible to find a PAL compatible TV set in the US. So using one in the US is challenging, and very rare. I got this modified machine off ebay UK, with a composite TV modification  so I could plug it easily  But even with this it is not great, because out of the 3 screen I tried, I was not able to get any color, just plain B/W. And what good is this when you want to see the funky colors ??
So not so good experience so far, I will stick to emulator, but a great little machine, and cool toy nonetheless.
Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Cool close up on Sinclair ZX Spectrum keyboard. 6 instructions per key ftw

Sinclair ZX Spectrum rainbow

9V DC, aka use your Megadrive / Genesis adapter

TV out, the problem to use a Sinclair ZX Spectrum in the US

48K the most common version, I guess

Sinclair ZX Spectrum badge