Alex‘s post about his first home computer got me reminiscing about mine – a Sinclair ZX Spectrum+. Then I remembered having an emulator for one a few years ago but couldn’t find it anywhere until I stumbled across World of Spectrum, which features Spectrum emulators for a variety of platforms along with a stack of games and other resources. I downloaded SPIN, which seems great, and a few games that I haven’t seen for years like Manic Miner, Horace Goes Skiing and Jet Set Willy (unfortunately the copyright owners have denied distribution for my old favourite – JetPac). There are other emulators around on the ‘net (e.g. Speculator), but SPIN was free and seems pretty good to me.
I know exactly what Alex meant when he talked about playing on his Texas Instruments TI99/4A emulator “Whilst grinning like an idiot. And chuckling. Out loud. On my own”.
There are also emulators for the Spectrum which run on Windows CE and Symbian Series 60, so I could soon be having 1980s fun on my mobile devices too!
The Spectrum+ wasn’t my first computer though. We had Acorn/BBC Bs, a Commadore PET, Sinclair ZX81s and ZX Spectrums at my middle school and then I did most of my GCSE/A Level stuff (and early hacking) on Research Machines Nimbus PCs (the only PCs I’ve ever come across that used the Intel 80186 CPU rather than the 8086 or 80286 of the time).
As for my first laptop – I still have an Amstrad PPC 640 in the attic!
Oh, those were the days…