21 Facts About ZX Spectrum


ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit personal home computer developed by Sinclair Research.

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ZX Spectrum was among the first home computers in the United Kingdom aimed at a mainstream audience, similar in significance to the Commodore 64 in the US or the MO5 in France.

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The introduction of the ZX Spectrum led to a boom in companies producing software and hardware for the machine, the effects of which are still seen.

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The ZX Spectrum character set was expanded from that of the ZX81, which did not feature lower-case letters.

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ZX Spectrum BASIC included extra keywords for the more advanced display and sound, and supported multi-statement lines.

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The cassette interface was much more advanced, saving and loading around five times faster than the ZX81, and unlike the ZX81, the ZX Spectrum could maintain the TV display during tape storage and retrieval operations.

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The ZX Spectrum reused a number of design elements of the ZX81: The ROM code for things such as floating point calculations and expression parsing were very similar.

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Original ZX Spectrum is remembered for its rubber chiclet keyboard, diminutive size and distinctive rainbow motif.

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An "Issue 1" ZX Spectrum can be distinguished from later models by the colour of the keys – light grey for Issue 1, blue-grey for later machines.

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Original ZX Spectrum model experienced numerous changes to its motherboard design; mainly to improve manufacturing efficiencies, but to correct bugs from previous boards.

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Appearance of the ZX Spectrum 128 was similar to the ZX Spectrum+, with the exception of a large external heatsink for the internal 7805 voltage regulator added to the right hand end of the case, replacing the internal heatsink in previous versions.

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ZX Spectrum 128 had no internal speaker, unlike its predecessors.

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ZX Spectrum +2 was Amstrad's first Spectrum, coming shortly after their purchase of the Spectrum range and "Sinclair" brand in 1986.

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ZX Spectrum +2 power supply was a grey version of the ZX Spectrum+ and 128 power supply.

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ZX Spectrum +2A was a variant of the Spectrum +3, released in 1987, and housed inside a black case.

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ZX Spectrum +3, released in 1987, looked similar to the +2A but featured a built-in 3-inch floppy disk drive instead of the tape drive, and was in a black case.

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ZX Spectrum used a crowdfunding campaign to fund the Recreated ZX Spectrum, which would be compatible with games the company had already released on iTunes and Google Play.

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ZX Spectrum Next is an expanded and updated version of the ZX Spectrum computer implemented with FPGA technology funded by a Kickstarter campaign in April 2017, with the board-only computer delivered to backers later that year.

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The ZX Spectrum was intended to work with a normal domestic cassette recorder.

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ZX Spectrum is affectionately known as the Speccy by elements of its fan following.

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Since 2020, there has been a museum, LOAD ZX Spectrum, dedicated to the ZX Spectrum and other Sinclair products, located in Cantanhede, Portugal.

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