Spectrum

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Note: This article is about the microcomputer. For other uses, see Spectrum (disambiguation).

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was the most popular 8-bit microcomputer in Europe during the 80s. Released in 1982, the Spectrum was remarkable for its low cost, though this was reflected in limited sound and graphics capabilities and a much-criticised "dead flesh" rubber keyboard. Spectrum programs were stored on conventional audio tapes, taking around 2 to 3 minutes to load; disk and cartridge systems later became available but saw limited uptake among home users.

Besides all its limitations, the Spectrum was a commercial success and enjoyed a large scene in Europe. The basic Spectrum model was followed by the Spectrum+, which featured a better keyboard, the Spectrum 128, with 128KB of memory, the Spectrum +2, with an integrated tape unit and in 1988, the Spectrum +3, that featured a 3" disk unit. The SAM Coupé was largely backward-compatible with the Spectrum and could run much of its software.

Among the significant publishers of interactive fiction on the Spectrum were:

Adventure creation tools included GAC (Graphic Adventure Creator), PAW (Professional Adventure Writer), and The Quill.

Other popular 8-bit microcomputers in Europe were the BBC Micro, the Commodore 64 and the Amstrad CPC.

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