(Redirected from ZX Spectrum)
- 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:
- 16/48, a tape magazine.
- 8th Day Software.
- Adventure International.
- Adventure Probe.
- Artic Computing.
- Delbert the Hamster Software.
- Delta 4.
- FSF Adventures.
- Gilsoft International.
- Incentive Software.
- Level 9.
- Melbourne House (best known for 1982's The Hobbit, a revolutionary program at the time).
- Zenobi Software (who continued to release adventures by mail order for some time after the commercial death of the Spectrum).
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.
- World of Spectrum - a popular site devoted to the Spectrum
- Spectrum at Wikipedia.
- The PAW Reservoir by Nacho A. Llorente.