Celebrating 40 years of ZX Spectrum ❤️💛💚💙

Well make me an old color!The ZX Spectrum One of the best-selling microcomputers to date (lovingly known as “Speccy” or simply “Spectrum” by fans) was released today, 40 years ago. Can you believe that there is still a large and active community that creates new content, archives old content, and hacks all kinds of hardware?

Spectrum has always benefited from the large community that supports it. Especially early through print magazines such as Sinclair User and CRASH, which include game reviews, tips and hints, cheats, tutorials, programs, pork and more. I know that I and many of my colleagues started programming on such computers. 10 PRINT “I AM COOL” Or hack a hex for infinite life.

To celebrate Speccy’s 40th birthday, take a look at 10 projects that keep the magic of Spectrum alive. You won’t believe number 9!

Editor’s Note: We previously warned Lee about these cheesy Clickbait remarks, but that was this, or a terrible joke. Something about the spectrum being the horrifying name of a computer made of black plastic and gray rubber keys.

1. ZX Spectrum emulator written in Rust

Treasure Island Dizzy, the best video game and character nominations ever created, has been loaded onto Rutzx.

@PacmancoderAppropriate name for Rustzx A cross-platform ZX Spectrum emulator written in Rust that supports Rust. tap (tape), sna (snap shot), scr (Screenshot), and rom File. Yes, it is. This means you can play Spectrum games on macOS, Linux, Windows, and even populate older programs from the archive.

did you know? Internet Archive Spectrum gameAnd magazines like Sinclair User When crash..

2. Play the game and write the basics in your browser

Screenshot of Jetpac playing in a web browser.
The original ZX Spectrum version of Jetpac being played on the web. Gameplay is still holding up today!

Do you have time (or permissions) to install the emulator on your machine? There is something on the web called the Spectrum emulator JSSpeccy 3 It brings magic to life in your favorite browser. You can even embed it on your own website. As the name implies, this is the third version of JSSpeccy. The latest version uses new web technology to really pop the buzzer’s eight colors and sounds.

3. A cool tool for disassembling old-fashioned Spectrum software

What is decomposition? This is the process of taking an executable file and breaking it down into some form of assembler language representation that is human readable.

Animation showing the dismantling of No.5.
If you grew up in Spectrum, you’ll probably understand this reference / seemingly random animated GIF.

SkoolKit Provides a set of tools for disassembling spectrum software skool Format for further processing — organize and annotate the code so it can be viewed in HTML. Some examples: JetPac, Chucky egg, Great escapeWhen more..

Fun facts: Great Escape was also recently ported to C To @dpt..You can read more about Reverse engineering process The Great Escape In case you’re interested.

4. Power tools for tape

We talked tap, sna, scr, romWhen skool Previous files. It should cover all file types. no! Txtools A collection of command line tools for processing tzx Saves files, common file formats for saving ZX Spectrum computer tapes, as well as Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, and more.Also support tsx It’s a file, but I’m sure it has nothing to do with TypeScript.

You can use it to convert old tape recordings or wav File to tzx Generate and load files, emulators and tap files for ZX Spectrum Next (more on this later) tzx Add the file to the actual hardware.

Related, zxtap-to-wav Command line tools can be a surprise surprise, your conversion tap File to wav File. Why do you want it? For example, if your old MP3 player is lying down, iPod photo, iPod NanoAlso Old tablet / smartphone Then you can load all your favorite games. If you use one of those MP3 to cassette converters, they will all be on one tape 🤯

Image of cassette adapter.
You can actually recall when these were considered “state-of-the-art” technologies.

5. Write and debug Z80 assembly in VS code

Animation showing DeZog VS Code extension
Feel like you’re at home and easily step through your code with VS Code.

DeZog Is a VS Code extension that provides a development environment for Z80 assemblies. Debugging code today is instantly easier than it was decades ago.

The author Video series exploring Spectrum programming in C and Z80 assemblies Things you might find interesting.

6. It’s compile time!

If the old Spectrum isn’t just lying down, you can always use it. sjasmplusZ80 CPU assembly language cross-compiler for Linux, macOS, and Windows, packed with many features. In particular, it’s a Lua-based scripting engine.

What is the difference between a compiler and a cross-compiler? The compiler takes a high-level language and translates it into machine code, but the cross-compiler does the same, but on a machine other than the one on which it was written.

7. Assembly code testing 🔴❤️🟢🟢💚

Screenshots showing pass and fail of the test.
I affirm that this is cool.

If you created a Z80 assembly many years ago, it is likely that you did not create a test.Test Driven Development (TDD) wasn’t a problem And our code worked perfectly at first.. Thankfully @rhargreaves I gave a tool called zx-spec This helps by providing a framework for practicing TDD.

8. Create chiptune music

@ Utz82 Fluid core Is a 4-channel PCM wavetable player for Spectrum buzzers. Fans of hardcore, metalcore, and / or mathcore will not enjoy as fluid a core as fans of chiptune.this tutorial If you want to experiment, here’s an overview of the techniques used. Sure, it’s a little on my head, but it’s great! 🤘🏻

9. “Spectrify” the image

Screenshot showing a photo converted to the correct dimensions and colors for display in the spectrum.
My face is on the loading screen near you.

Looking for a nice retro avatar for your GitHub or social media account? How about 8-bit art hanging on the wall? @Jarikomppaof Image spectrum riser You can use the GUI or command line to convert any image to something more visible on the Spectrum screen. There are also many buttons and levers for fine-tuning the settings. This is Windows only, but I’m sorry.

10. A new adventure at Spectrum Next

ZX Spectrum Next Scapeghost Screenshot
ZX Spectrum Next’s Scape ghost.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign ZX Spectrum Next It was released in 2017. This is a newly updated version that is compatible with the original ZX Spectrum software and hardware and has additional features. For example, we are already starting to see new content arrive. Level 9 compilation We offer many new text adventure games.

Keep an eye on us #spectrum-next Topic page And see how the SpectrumNext ecosystem evolves.

Fun facts: Someone has already written A utility that allows the spectrum to communicate over HTTP.. It shouldn’t be long before the amazing 8-bit MMO roguelike or text adventure game comes out 🤞🏻

Well, that’s my 10 projects — thank you for reading. Until next time*!

* Next time, we will celebrate the 40th anniversary in August of this year. Commodore 64And the 40th anniversary of April 2024 Amstrad CPC464 of course.

Bonus Cover Tape: 40 new games for Spectrum, Spectrum Next, or emulators ❤️💛💚💙

On the loading screen of ZX Spectrum

Editing ZX Spectrum articles Cover tapeSo please allow me to draw your attention to this worthy cause, ZX Spectrum 40th Birthday Game Mixtape40 new game bundles for Spectrum (or emulator).

It’s not free, but you don’t have to remove the adhesive tape or ganks. Donations over US $ 10 Special effectsA charity that helps improve the quality of life of people with severe disabilities around the world through access to video games.

My personal favorite is Alien girl.. Try it.

Screenshots of the game included on the ZX Spectrum 40th birthday mixtape
Screenshots of the game included on the ZX Spectrum 40th birthday mixtape Celebrating 40 years of ZX Spectrum ❤️💛💚💙

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