Why was the UK so slow to adopt the Disk Drive

A place to discuss the ZX80's and ZX81's younger brother - the Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Crayon21
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Why was the UK so slow to adopt the Disk Drive

Post by Crayon21 »

Every game that i see on the internet for the spectrum is in tape format. why is this? Why not Disk, to allow for faster loading. Isn't that the whole point of video games, to play instantly? and i know some families were poor but what about the better off?
zx81: great yet flawed
Zx spectrum: masterpiece that keeps on giving

(wish it weren't so expensive) :o

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1024MAK
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Re: Why was the UK so slow to adopt the Disk Drive

Post by 1024MAK »

See this thread where a similar question was asked...

Mark

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Dim_75
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Re: Why was the UK so slow to adopt the Disk Drive

Post by Dim_75 »

Just one specific point to answer to Crayon21's, in addition -in my opinion- of the well explained thread given by 1024MAK :
the whole point of our machines was not only to play games. Learning was the main element, and also being the most affordable.
To "play instantly", Nintendo, Mattel or Atari VCS did the job.

Sinclairs-great
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Re: Why was the UK so slow to adopt the Disk Drive

Post by Sinclairs-great »

I think there was a spectrum disk drive, or was the picture of one in the +2A manual real

rune
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Re: Why was the UK so slow to adopt the Disk Drive

Post by rune »

I still have my Discovery double 3.5" drive for the Spectrum. There must have been half a dozen other alternatives...

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1024MAK
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Re: Why was the UK so slow to adopt the Disk Drive

Post by 1024MAK »

Sinclairs-great wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:41 pm
I think there was a spectrum disk drive, or was the picture of one in the +2A manual real
The +2A did not have a disk drive. It had a built in cassette deck (like the Amstrad CPC464).
But the ZX Spectrum +3 did have a built in disk drive. It had the same 3” drive that the Amstrad CPC6128 has.

The ZX Spectrum +3 was launched in 1987. Some but not all games were available on disk. Cassette tape was still king.

It was rumoured that Amstrad (who now owned the ZX Spectrum rights) we’re thinking of releasing a disk drive for the +2A. But they never did.

For the original rubber key ZX Spectrum, and the ZX Spectrum+ there were many different manufacturers that did make disk drive interfaces / disk drives or expansions that supported disk drives. But not many games were ever released that worked with any of these systems.

The interfaces that I can think of off the top of my head are:
  • Opus Discovery (complete system including built in disk drive(s))
  • Beta Disk / Beta 128 Disk Interface
  • DISCiPLE Interface
  • MGT Plus D
There were a fair number of other manufacturers that also produced interfaces. Some are listed here also this search brings up even more (enter “disk” in the ‘Search expression’ box and select ‘hardware’).

See also this forum post when I asked the question on which if any disk drive system people own and use.

But as you can see, there was no clear market leader. And cassette tape continued to be the main mass media system for the ZX Spectrum throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Mark

Sinclairs-great
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Re: Why was the UK so slow to adopt the Disk Drive

Post by Sinclairs-great »

So there was a disk drive for the spectrum . Where would I get one of those. Could not find any where on the net that sells them.

rune
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Re: Why was the UK so slow to adopt the Disk Drive

Post by rune »

Why dont you get one of the SD interfaces? These do the same thing and you dont need to have dozens of floppies taking up space.

Sinclairs-great
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Re: Why was the UK so slow to adopt the Disk Drive

Post by Sinclairs-great »

rune wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:00 pm
Why dont you get one of the SD interfaces? These do the same thing and you dont need to have dozens of floppies taking up space.
I'd really like one of the original spectrum diskdrives.I v been looking at a picture of one in a +2 A spectrum manual for years and really wanted one . Do you know the picture I'm talking about. I was just looking at it a minute ago I think it s a AMSTRAD FD-1. I tought it was a spectrum disk drive. Maybe I'll just get a spectrum monitor😃😃😃😃😃

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1024MAK
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Re: Why was the UK so slow to adopt the Disk Drive

Post by 1024MAK »

The easiest way to get a disk drive for a Spectrum is to buy a ZX Spectrum +3 but you will almost certainly need to fit a new rubber drive belt as the original belts will have degraded. The other snag is that working 3” disks are difficult to find and are expensive.

A lot of owners instead either use external 3½” drives, or fit them in place of the 3” drive. Although floppy drive emulators are becoming more popular now for use in place of the 3” drive.

For the disk drive interfaces for the earlier ZX Spectrum models, they occasionally come up on www.eBay.co.uk

The Beta Disk and Beta 128 Disk interface was more popular outside the U.K.

Mark

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