My name is Ian and I like tinkering with computers in my shed. Although I'm currently in the spare room as it's warmer there.
My first computer was a Sinclair ZX81, which I bought in March 1982 for £80 from WH Smiths. I'd saved up for some time, after seeing an ad for the ZX81 in an electronics hobby magazine. I didn't really know what I was going to do with the ZX81, but I knew I really wanted one.
I spent many happy months learning to program in Basic from the excellent manual that came with the ZX81, and trying to write my own programs.
It was a while before I even realised I could play games on it - I was flicking through the magazines in my local newsagent, saw "ZX81 1K games" on the cover of Computer & Video Games magazine, and bought that and typed them in. "Earth vs Flying Saucers" was a favourite! (The magazine is in the Internet Archive, the listings are herehttps://archive.org/details/computer-vi ... 7/mode/2up )
I had just the 1K ZX81 for around 7 months before I'd saved enough money to buy a 16K RAM pack, which wasn't the official Sinclair one as the shop didn't have any, but a 3rd party one. I forget who it was made by but it wasn't one of the classic Memotech ones. I also bought my first game cassette at this time, the first of many.
I've had many other 8 bit micros since, and a career in computing, but the ZX81 remained in a box for several decades since.
I moved house recently, and rediscovered the ZX81 in the attic. I didn't have a TV to connect it to, and although I was aware of various mods, I felt I wanted it connected at least to a CRT TV for the classic experience.
Last month I found a portable CRT colour television dumped by the roadside, took it home and repaired it, and this was the reason I've now finally started to set things up again. I'm still hoping to find a B&W portable set for the ultimate 81 setup and to avoid the backporch problem!
Over the past few decades I'd picked up two further ZX81s and a ZX Printer. I remember paying £1 for one at a boot fair circa 1990! It'd be nice to get all of this going again.
So far I've got one of the ZX81s (my original) to work with a back-porch-fixed ULA from another 81. I've loaded a few 1K games from .p files via the audio out of a laptop. I'm delighted with the result so far, but am keen to fix the other two ZX81s that don't work (no cursor) and upgrade some of them with things I've been reading about on these forums.
Thanks for such a great resource!
you have a lot of games to pick up after you left....
did you try some of my 1K hires games?
(available in the new games section)
You might like them.
Johan "dr beep" Koelman
I have heard of your amazing hi-res games, I saw a few being demonstrated on YouTube, but I have not yet had the chance to try them. So far I have just been trying to get the ZX81 to work and to test that it was working OK. For example, one of the boards seemed OK, but reported error code 4 when loading 1k game, and the RAMTOP peek gave me a stupidly low number, suggesting that there was almost no working RAM available.
But I am getting one of the ZX81s working reliably, and some parts have already arrived, so I hope to try your games very soon
- Posts: 3245
- Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:56 am
- Location: Looking forward to summer in Somerset, UK...
I hope you enjoy this forum
Your first handful of posts will need to be approved, also if you edit a post. So please be patient.