I am Dr. Jim and I have just signed up to my fourth Sinclair-related forum (i.e. this one). Maybe one day I will reveal why I did it, though it's a near certainty that it's going to happen early next year.
I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of a ZX81 at Christmas 1983, at the grand old age of four, and it served me well as I wrote "programs" that were little more than PRINT and GOTO statements, while also playing games off a few Quicksilva tapes. That was, until my younger brother tore the 16K RAM pack off the back of the ZX81, some time round about mid-1985. The RAM pack was fried, the ZX81 survived, but with only 1K available and no way to replace the RAM pack, the ZX81 was pensioned off in favour of a Spectrum +2 at Christmas 1987.
Not all was lost, as once I'd discovered Spectrum emulation, it wasn't so long before I'd found some slightly cruder equivalents for the ZX81... and ZX80, which I'd never experienced before and took me by surprise when I found it had a different character set. These days, I can write some rather better programs for the pre-Spectrum machines than I ever did before, and by means of a proper introduction, I'll show the evidence:
Advanced Horseshoe Magnet Simulator - 16K ZX81 (CSSCGC 2004) - based on a running joke that was mentioned on World of Spectrum around that time.
Noughts and Crosses - 2(ish)K ZX80 (CSSCGC 2004) - as it turns out, the very first ZX80 entry to the CSSCGC ever (in its ninth year), and my first ever attempt to write a ZX80 program.
Complex Maths... WITH DRAGONS! - 4K ZX80 (CSSCGC 2020) - comes in a package with three 1K programs and the 4K Super Deluxe version that combines them all together with the extra graphics. Written in one afternoon while the internet was down.
Hexadecimal Fraction Converter - down-converted from a Spectrum program just to show it could be done, and it's almost as accurate.
Dozenal Fraction Converter - as above. Note that I made a mistake in the link so scroll down to the next post to see the real thing. Eventually I'll get these two converters added to ZXDB, along with a load of other Spectrum stuff I wrote.
So that's me - a former ZX81 user, though I've always intended to scour eBay for a good one (or at least one that isn't terminally ruined), along with a 16K RAM pack that also works. I should probably have done this when they were going for peanuts, but I wasn't thinking about that at the time.
I don't promise I'll be here much this year - although I have one project that's been on the backburner for a while that might be of interest - but if all goes to plan you'll be seeing a lot more of me in 2021.
ZX81 iss 1 (bugged ROM, kludge fix, normal, rebuilt)
Iss 3 ZXVid
TS 1000 iss 3, ZXPand AY, ZX8-CCB, ZX-KDLX & ChromaSCART
TS 1500 & 2000
Spectrum 16k (iss 1 s/n 862)
Spectrum 48ks plus a DIVMMC future and SPECTRA
For anyone wondering about the icon, it's what I imagine a high-res ZX81 version of Wibstars to look like, with the rival van spewing ZX81s out the back instead of Spectrums. Well, if Manic Miner could get that treatment, it must be possible, theoretically...
Also, about a week ago, I finally took my first steps into machine code on the Spectrum, and within a few days I'd written my first (very crude) routine that worked as intended and didn't crash. The thought occurs - if I can do it on a Spectrum, the instructions are the same for a ZX81 and ZX80, so I should be able to make the two earlier models do something useful in machine code, even at this stage when all I know about is the various LDs, ADD and simple arithmetic, INC and DEC, and a hint of CP. Most of my understanding of how I can see the Spectrum doing something is by LDing values to the display file... and I know it works differently on the ZX81 and ZX80, so there'll be a way to go yet. But I will get there, however slowly.
Also also, I had no idea what a ZX81 loading signal sounded like until around this time last year. When I was a nipper it had never occurred to me to unplug the EAR lead from the tape recorder, and I'd never thought it was possible to turn .P files into sound. But, what do you know, it is... and I wasn't quite prepared for how different it was to what I was used to on the Spectrum.
- Posts: 3162
- Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:56 am
- Location: Looking forward to summer in Somerset, UK...
So already on WoS forums, joined Spectrum Computing earlier in the year, and now you have joined Sinclair ZX World and The QL Forum!
I hope you enjoy this forum
For those unaware, I chose that original username on WOS because Electric Wizard were making up a large chunk of my playlist at the time (with Orange Goblin providing the rest). I've never actually smoked dope in my life... or anything stronger, for that matter.
It is (or it was a few minutes ago) Saturday evening and while everyone else is having a night on the tiles (or not, under the current conditions), or is watching Match Of The Day (after not being allowed in to watch it live), or is having a cuddle or more with the wife (or mistress), what am I doing? Taking a load of "selfies" (with a proper camera set to a 12-second timer) for a website I'm about to relaunch. It should happen tomorrow. And, of course, posting a few bits and pieces here.
The site should go live in its current state... later today, seeing as it's now Sunday. And yes, there will be bits and pieces related to the Spectrum's black-and-white-and-resolutely-silent older brothers. One of them might even get its own page...