Hello from the Netherlands..

Introduce yourself to your fellow forum members - what was your journey into the Sinclair world?
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redhawk668
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:15 pm

Hello from the Netherlands..

Post by redhawk668 »

I remember I was about 9 years old when I got my first computer, a Timex Sinclair 1000 with a 16K RAMpack, which turned out to be really dodgy. I taught myself Basic by typing in programs from books and listings from magazines. I enjoyed playing games on it, getting really annoyed when the RAMpack wobbled….. :(

It was in 1984, I think when I got the chance to play “Horace goes skiing” on a ZX Spectrum 48K. I remember being impressed with the color graphics and the beeper sound, that was the moment I wanted a Spectrum. I knew my birthday was coming real soon, so I asked for a Spectrum, and I got one. It was a 16K rubber key model, I was happy :D. Not for long, though. 16K turned out to be too little, I wanted the 48K model, so the 16K was sold to a classmate and a brand spanking new 48K Spectrum Plus was bought. I spent many hours playing games, programming, etc. until my father bought an Atari 800XL. This machine was quite impressive, it had several graphics modes, a 256 color palette, hardware scrolling, sprites and 4 channel sound which came through the TV speaker. Suddenly, my Spectrum looked very primitive compared to this. Especially the sound through the TV speaker, I wanted that too for the Spectrum, so we tried to perform this modification, it was almost succesful… Unfortunately, something went wrong and I blew up the ULA :oops:. My Spectrum only displayed black and white, I/O was gone and the sound was gone too :cry:

At that time the 128K was released and a store called ‘Kwantum’, sold them for really cheap. So, off to ‘Kwantum’ I went, and came home with a brand new 128K toastrack with 3 voiced AY chip and sound through the TV speaker. I liked this machine, but had it for a short time. I sold the 128K and ended up with an Atari 130XE with the XF551 diskdrive.

I went from Atari 8 bit to the ST series and eventually to the PC when I bought my first 386DX40 in 1994. I still like those machines, but I feel the most nostalgia for the ZX81, as this was my first computer. I’ve built some Spectrum clones, and I enjoy refurbishing these little machines. I also taught myself electronics and designed some hardware. For the ZX Spectrum 16/48K I designed an s-video board to replace the modulator, to provide dotcrawl free video output. For the ZX81 I designed a little board to upgrade the RAM internally to 16K.

Sometimes it’s just refreshing to power on a ZX81 and just be greeted with the well known K cursor :D.
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XavSnap
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 4:23 pm
Location: 'Zx81 France' Fb group.

Re: Hello from the Netherlands..

Post by XavSnap »

Welcome RedHawk,

Yes, ‘Kwantum’ … "kwantumsprong" in Netherlands…
"Quantensprung" in Deutch…
"Saut Quantique" in french…
"Salto Quantico" in Italian…

May be the Sinclair "Quantum Leap" (QL) in England.

this was Sinclair's biggest mistake… build a Motorola 68000 processors, after a Zilogs !

the customers were' nt prepared to change all usual compatible z80 codes.
No games, professionals purposes and far away from Sinclair's cheap computers...
:evil:

A little jump for Sinclair, but a big jump to the end of the product brand.
Xavier
dr beep
Posts: 1448
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:35 am
Location: Boxmeer

Re: Hello from the Netherlands..

Post by dr beep »

Hello redhawk668,

if you power up your ZX81 try my 1K hires games. No problems with rampackwobble and ready to play within 30 sec.

And I am willing to give you dutch instructions.
redhawk668
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:15 pm

Re: Hello from the Netherlands..

Post by redhawk668 »

XavSnap wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:08 am Welcome RedHawk,

Yes, ‘Kwantum’ … "kwantumsprong" in Netherlands…
"Quantensprung" in Deutch…
"Saut Quantique" in french…
"Salto Quantico" in Italian…

May be the Sinclair "Quantum Leap" (QL) in England.

this was Sinclair's biggest mistake… build a Motorola 68000 processors, after a Zilogs !

the customers were' nt prepared to change all usual compatible z80 codes.
No games, professionals purposes and far away from Sinclair's cheap computers...
:evil:

A little jump for Sinclair, but a big jump to the end of the product brand.
LOL, Kwantum still exists in the Netherlands. Nowadays, they sell household and home decoration stuff. Back in the 80's they also sold computers and other electronic stuff for really low prices. Selling brands like Yoko, AudioSonic, etc. (who remembers that stuff?).

As for computers, they mostly bought leftover stock and sold it for really cheap. That's how I got my ZX Spectrum 128K.
Lardo Boffin
Posts: 1487
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:42 am

Re: Hello from the Netherlands..

Post by Lardo Boffin »

redhawk668 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:01 pm
For the ZX Spectrum 16/48K I designed an s-video board to replace the modulator, to provide dotcrawl free video output.
Welcome on board. :D

The dot crawl free board sounds interesting.
ZX80
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
Toastrack
User avatar
TS1000 Library User
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 pm

Re: Hello from the Netherlands..

Post by TS1000 Library User »

redhawk668 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:01 pm I remember I was about 9 years old when I got my first computer, a Timex Sinclair 1000 with a 16K RAMpack, which turned out to be really dodgy. I taught myself Basic by typing in programs from books and listings from magazines. I enjoyed playing games on it, getting really annoyed when the RAMpack wobbled….. :(

It was in 1984, I think when I got the chance to play “Horace goes skiing” on a ZX Spectrum 48K. I remember being impressed with the color graphics and the beeper sound, that was the moment I wanted a Spectrum. I knew my birthday was coming real soon, so I asked for a Spectrum, and I got one. It was a 16K rubber key model, I was happy :D. Not for long, though. 16K turned out to be too little, I wanted the 48K model, so the 16K was sold to a classmate and a brand spanking new 48K Spectrum Plus was bought. I spent many hours playing games, programming, etc. until my father bought an Atari 800XL. This machine was quite impressive, it had several graphics modes, a 256 color palette, hardware scrolling, sprites and 4 channel sound which came through the TV speaker. Suddenly, my Spectrum looked very primitive compared to this. Especially the sound through the TV speaker, I wanted that too for the Spectrum, so we tried to perform this modification, it was almost succesful… Unfortunately, something went wrong and I blew up the ULA :oops:. My Spectrum only displayed black and white, I/O was gone and the sound was gone too :cry:

At that time the 128K was released and a store called ‘Kwantum’, sold them for really cheap. So, off to ‘Kwantum’ I went, and came home with a brand new 128K toastrack with 3 voiced AY chip and sound through the TV speaker. I liked this machine, but had it for a short time. I sold the 128K and ended up with an Atari 130XE with the XF551 diskdrive.

I went from Atari 8 bit to the ST series and eventually to the PC when I bought my first 386DX40 in 1994. I still like those machines, but I feel the most nostalgia for the ZX81, as this was my first computer. I’ve built some Spectrum clones, and I enjoy refurbishing these little machines. I also taught myself electronics and designed some hardware. For the ZX Spectrum 16/48K I designed an s-video board to replace the modulator, to provide dotcrawl free video output. For the ZX81 I designed a little board to upgrade the RAM internally to 16K.

Sometimes it’s just refreshing to power on a ZX81 and just be greeted with the well known K cursor :D.
Awesome story with great descriptions! :)

Reminds me as we got more and more powerful computers we miss the fun we from with the first systems limitations -
I remember going from a TRS-80 with 4K and Tiny BASIC similar to the ZX81 to expanded memory size and extended basic and Disk drives and missing some of the challenge and intrigue of solutions on limited systems.
redhawk668
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:15 pm

Re: Hello from the Netherlands..

Post by redhawk668 »

Lardo Boffin wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:02 pm
The dot crawl free board sounds interesting.

I am selling them too, the circuit uses the native video signal from the Spectrum and converts this to s-video. It works with standard s-video leads, 4 pin mini-DIN. The television has to support s-video input. It also works with RetroTink.
Ravenger
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue May 11, 2021 5:27 pm

Re: Hello from the Netherlands..

Post by Ravenger »

To be honest I like dot-crawl on the speccy from a nostalgia point of view, as all the speccys I used back in the day had that, so it feels like genuinely part of the experience. I also use my ZX81 and Speccy on old CRT TV, as I feel LCDs pictures can be too sharp and clean.

Nice to know there's a solution to fix it for those that don't like it though.
roganjosh
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:59 pm

Re: Hello from the Netherlands..

Post by roganjosh »

I've always thought that QL was partly a misnomer. It was initially a synonym for quantum jump which could be regarded as the smallest jump possible (not a major change) and therefore not quite the best advertising angle - especially at the price. The alternative meaning, but one infrequently used outside scientific circles, would be an abrupt transition so that aspect of the QL naming was arguably more accurate.

Anyway, the public have spoken, so major change it is.


Alan
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