You never forget your first…

It’s true, isn’t it? Those life defining moments, parked permanently in your memory, when you did something for the first time you will never forget. They generally make you smile, hopefully make you happy and instantly transport you back through a portal to be right there… so much so that you can even smell the moment.

That, my dear friends, is why I own 16 Sinclair ZX81’s!

ZX81 logo No16 25012013

Yes 16 of that wedge shaped, sleek, shiny and sexy little black 1K beauty. This week added that 16th to the collection. I can’t help it, I see them on eBay and if I have a spare £20 in my pocket then I just buy it. Mad? Obsessed? I admit to being a little bit of both.

It takes me back to the days before I even owned a PC. I remember the Summer of 1981 like it was yesterday. My local W.H.Smith had a new display, a black and white TV and a Sinclair ZX81. Everyone could play on it, create on it, announce to the World that they were alive. Of course, the first thing we all had to learn was quite simply the 1st real program every created.

10 PRINT “HELLO WORLD”;
20 GOTO 10
 

We simply substituted “HELLO WORLD” for our name and suddenly you had full control of this little black and white TV and this little black, white and red miracle of technology. It was advertising our arrival to the PC generation. Parents gasped “Did you do that!” and proudly you would smile and nod. So simple, but everything was back then.

We had 1K of RAM to play with, far less than that digital watch you are wearing, and masterpieces were created. Gain the dizzy heights of 16K RAM and the World was your oyster.

zx81 tapes ebay 24012013

I received my 1st machine for Christmas 1981 and didn’t put it down for 14 days. I barely slept, hardly ate and toilet breaks were for wimps. The only thing stopping me was having to go back to school. Returning to school led to the inevitable “What did you get for Christmas?” conversations. Those of us  that received similar marvelous gifts rallied to tell the tales or our programming prowess: The geek was born, and long may we reign 🙂

ZX81_Sinclair_Research_advert

 

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About smuggsy

Life is Retro...
This entry was posted in gaming, old, retro and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to You never forget your first…

  1. stiggyworld says:

    The man sure loves his ’81’s. I bet with owning that many of them you can actual spell out ZX81 in some sorta retro art composition 🙂

    I’m curious about a game title on that third cassette – Lunar Landing. Is it like lunar lander or something completely different?

    • smuggsy says:

      hehe… Good idea mate, I might have a go at that some day 🙂
      I didn’t remember much about the game, and don’t have an hour trying to get it to load, so I cheated and just downloaded the emulator version.
      It wasn’t that sophisticated, more of a ‘simulator’, and that’s being generous 🙂
      You control a bunch on numbers of screen, controlling thrust, attitude etc… and try to get the spacecraft, a capital ‘S’, to the bottom of the screen in one piece. So very basic, but probably kept me entertained for hours 🙂

  2. rolyretro says:

    16 seems like a good number, 16k being the size of the expansion pack! I have 2 of these old machines, and it was the first computer I ever owned.

    30 years later and they still work!

    Roly

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