Thursday, November 01, 2007

ZX Spectrum (not Atari, but.. :)

The ZX Spectrum is a small personal computer on the market in the United Kingdom in 1982. Based on the processor Zilog Z80 running at 3.5 MHz, the Spectrum was sold with either 16 or 48 kilobytes of memory (an extension was also available to increase from 16 to 48 kilobytes). Sold for 125 pound sterling (GBP) for the model 16 Kio and 175 GBP for the model 48 Kio, the Spectrum was the first personal computer the general public in Britain, similar in importance to the Commodore 64 in the United States (who was also Spectrum of a rival in Europe).

A slightly modified version of the Spectrum, in a silver body with hard plastic keys, was sold in the United States by Timex as the TS2068. He had an extension ROM 8 Kio additional cartridges for a port, two ports for joysticks and a microprocessor audio AY-3-8912; BASIC commands and additional order this material (STICK, SOUND). In the following models are the ZX Spectrum +, with an improved keyboard, and the ZX Spectrum 128, with better sound and 128 Kio RAM. After the purchase by Amstrad Sinclair Research in 1986, two additional versions were created: the ZX Spectrum +2 with a tape recorder included in the machine, and the ZX Spectrum +3 with a floppy 3 inches included.

A number of major game developers today began their careers on the ZX Spectrum, as Ultimate Play The game (today Rare, Inc.), Peter Molyneux (ex-Bullfrog Games), and Shiny Entertainment. Several clones were produced, particularly in Eastern Europe (Elwro, HC85), and South America. Some are still in production, such as the Sprinter Didaktik and Peters Ltd Plus. The video output was on a television with a color display. A keyboard with rubber above the membrane (similar to a calculator) inscription recalling keywords in the BASIC. Thus, in programming mode, pressing the 'G', for example, inserts the command BASIC GOTO. The programs were recorded on a tape recorder classic. Particularly in light of slow current technologies, it was not uncommon to load a program for 20 minutes before you can use, which prompted the manufacturer to develop its own system backup. The video display of Spectrum, although rudimentary compared to current standards, was perfect at the time for viewing on television and laptops has not been a hindrance to the development of video games. The text mode is 32 columns on 23 lines with a choice of eight colors in a normal mode is either brilliant, giving sixteen shades.

The graphic resolution is 256 × 192 with the same limitations of colors. The Spectrum has an interesting approach to color management; Attributes colors are in a grid of 32 by 24, separate data graphics and text, with a limitation to only two colors per cell. This led to what was called color attribute clash or clash (collision of colors or attributes) that caused strange effects in the arcade-style games. Regarding sound, a simple beeper managed more or less to emit sounds rudimentary. For information, the command BEEP accepted that 2 parameters: the frequency and duration of the beep. No envelope or volume, the ZX Spectrum leaving such sophistications to competition.

However the shooting was later corrected on the ZX Spectrum 128 by the addition of a Yamaha AY-3-8912 (identical to MSX, Amstrad CPC, etc.).


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