Sinclair ZX Spectrum  Page

A fresh new ZX Spectrum!

My ZX Spectrum comes fresh and new from the box. I use to say that my computers should be in good shape and working but this one is an exception - it is a virgin! It has never been connected, it just sitting there in the original box waiting to be used for the first time! I will let it stay that way for a while, a long while I think... All accessories are there, never used, the horizons cassette still has its plastic wrap unbroken.

This is a Swedish version of the computer modified by the Swedish importer (Beckman) to display the special Swedish characters , and . The Spectrum comes in a 16 k model and a 48 k model, this is the 48 k model.

I bought this computer on a flea market in Sweden for 30 . The seller purchased it from a Radio & TV shop who went bankrupt a couple of years ago. This was part of their remaining stock.

The Spectrum has eight colors, a built-in sound generator and loudspeaker, and the closest Sinclair Research has come to a "real" keyboard. Its specifications exceed those of the Model A BBC machine, and come close to the Model B in many areas. At just 125 for the 16K model, the Spectrum is the same price as a ZX-81 with 16K pack when first launched. Compared to the price of today's computers the Sinclair was a steal. If you were short on cash and wanted one you could get a Titlemax loan. Car title loans from Titlemax are quick and you could have the money for your new computer in no time. With 48K the Spectrum costs 175.

 The Spectrum uses a "superset" of ZX-81 Basic, and any ZX-81 program can be typed in with the minimum of changes; ZX-81 tapes cannot be loaded into the Spectrum. The new computer loads and saves much more quickly than does the ZX-81, at 1,500 baud as against around 250, and the upward compatibility of listings should mean a lot to organizations like Muse which are building up a library of educational ZX software. Publishers of ZX literature or ZX software breathed a sigh of relief on hearing that ZX-81 listings could be entered directly.

The Spectrum works in upper- and lower-case letters, and does so like a typewriter: capital letters appear only when you use the shift key. The computer does not differentiate between upper and lower case when naming variables - so A$ is the same as a$ - and will ignore spaces in variable names.

The range of characters is standard, and symbols such as ! and # are available on a ZX machine for the first time. There is a range of three different curly brackets and a cute little copyright sign.

The sign, and the words "Sinclair Research Ltd" appear on the screen in black letters on a white ground when you first turn it on. Pressing New LList or Copy produces some remarkable flashing-border displays, and in Save and Load you are treated to a lollypop-striped screen in reds, blues and yellows.

The error codes are fascinating, and in English rather than the odd little numbers and letters of the ZX-80 and ZX-81. If all goes well in a Load, a Save, a program execution or whatever, the computer prints "OK" at the bottom of the screen. If you manage to make it swallow an incorrect line or parameter - which is difficult to do, because all lines are checked for syntax before being accepted into the main body of the program - the computer prints the delightful line

Nonsense in BASIC.

Whoever wrote the ROM had a sense of humor.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum was replaced in 1984 by the Spectrum + and in 1985 by the Spectrum 128.

Technical Data
Model ZX Spectrum
Manufacturer Sinclair, United Kingdom
Year 1982 - 1984
CPU Z80 at 3.5 MHz
RAM/ROM 16 or 48k / 16 k
Keyboard Rubber keys
Characters 32 x 24
Graphic 256 x 192 (8 colors)
Mass storage Cassette recorder