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  • R.I.P. Sir Clive Sinclair

    Posted on September 17th, 2021 admin No comments

    Another day of sadness to mark on the calendar, as someone has written on the World of Spectrum forum. He passed away on 2021.09.16 at the age of 81. I owe my interest and love in computers to him. Rest in peace Sir!

    The very first computer I came across in my life was the ZX Spectrum 48K. One day a friend of mine invited me to play a computer game on the Spectrum. I was wondering what this “computer game” could possibly mean. I burst out laughing when I saw this tiny computer on the desk, in front of a very small CRT TV. At that time we saw giant IBM computers with big magnetic tapes in scientific TV shows. I didn’t know there were such small computers. I even said it was more of a calculator than a computer. To be honest, it was adorable. The tiny colorful keyboard, the rainbow colors on the right, the shape, they all together formed a pretty, lovable little machine. Without further ado he loaded a game from tape. It was the Atic Atac. I fell in love immediately. The only electronic game I had seen before was a Pong clone. It was so much better than that. Sound effects, color graphics, gameplay, complexity. No one could resist. For a year, I begged my parents to buy me a computer like this. I can’t be thankful enough for them that they finally bought me one.

    I played a lot of good games in the first weeks, such as Jet Set Willy, Manic Miner, Cyclone, Penetrator, Aquaplane, Kokotoni Wilf, Pyjamarama, Wheelie, Scuba Dive to name a few. However, I soon became interested in how these games work. What’s inside the little box. First, I started typing Basic programs from the manual. It soon became clear that the games could not be written this way, the quality of the existing games could not be reached. A friend mentioned, games were written in the so called machine code. I spent a year figuring out what machine code is and learning from books to program the Zilog Z80 processor. It was not difficult to program the processor itself, but to learn how to use the features of the ZX Spectrum. I’m a little sad that all my work at the time was lost. It would be interesting to look at it from a 35-year perspective.

    There was a computer club in town where we went every Saturday. At first, we just copied games, but later we shared ideas with each other or showed what we were capable of. Somehow this is how the demo might have been born. It was there that I met and fell in love with the Commodore Amiga computer. But that’s another story.

    I can say for sure that the Sinclair ZX Spectrum started my career in computer science and programming.

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