English Amiga Board


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Main > Retrogaming General Discussion

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 18 September 2021, 11:29   #41
TEG
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: France
Posts: 116
R.I.P

I started with a ZX81 too and I was able to did it because it was the first very affordable computer. The ZX81 and especially the Spectrum had so cool design. The C64 was ugly in comparison. Genius to take on a brilliant industrial products designer and made machines with a soul.
TEG is offline  
Old 18 September 2021, 16:21   #42
Foebane
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Cardiff, UK
Age: 49
Posts: 2,871
A reminder of what the very limited ZX Spectrum graphics system is capable of, given extremely talented hands - ENJOY!

[ Show youtube player ]

I'd go so far as to say that these graphics are much better than the Commodore 64!
Foebane is offline  
Old 18 September 2021, 16:38   #43
TEG
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: France
Posts: 116
I would not say that. Graphics of both have their strong personality. Much vivid for the Spectrum, much sharper for the C64.

Playing a game on the Spectrum was a real experience on its on. Blessed times.

For the record, C64 graphics: https://mingos-commodorepage.tumblr.com/ A site I like to visit each day.
TEG is offline  
Old 18 September 2021, 18:16   #44
dreadnought
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Ur, Atlantis
Posts: 996
C'mon, let's not start with the "vs" stuff. So many other threads dedicated to that All these machines had their weak and strong points, and Clive's genius was to offer so much for so little money.

(some great shots on this Mingos page thou)
dreadnought is offline  
Old 19 September 2021, 07:11   #45
Bruce Abbott
Registered User

Bruce Abbott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Hastings, New Zealand
Posts: 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foebane View Post
I'd go so far as to say that these graphics are much better than the Commodore 64!
I used to think Spectrum graphics was too limited by color clash and those garish primary colors, but that was before I saw some of this amazing artwork.

I ported some of those pictures to the Mattel Aquarius, using a programmable character set upgrade that I designed (normally the Aquarius has a fixed character set that is severely limiting). Now I see there is a lot more Spectrum artwork out there that I didn't know about!
Bruce Abbott is offline  
Old 19 September 2021, 10:13   #46
Bruce Abbott
Registered User

Bruce Abbott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Hastings, New Zealand
Posts: 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEG View Post
I started with a ZX81 too and I was able to did it because it was the first very affordable computer.
It was the same for me. Previously I had designed and built my own computer with a 6800 and 6847, but I didn't have the skill to develop a 'proper' OS for it. Then the ZX81's price dropped to $100 so I jumped on it.

My first experience of the ZX81 was rather disappointing, quickly discovering that 1K of RAM was not enough to do anything useful. So I got a 16K RAM pack, then made a backplane bus to plug other cards into, and put the whole thing inside a steel-cased monochrome monitor. I reconfigured the self-made keyboard from my old computer to suit the ZX81, producing a nice portable system that looked a bit like a classic Mac.

But it didn't have a disk drive, and the tape interface was slow and iffy. I couldn't afford the stuff to add a floppy drive to it, but I got an IBM 5444 'Dolphin' hard drive from a mainframe computer that I helped dismantle. I don't know how heavy it was but the sticker said 'warning: over 25kg' and I almost broke my back moving it. I also got a few 10" disc cartridges for it, and the technical manual with circuit diagram and explanation of operation. From this I was able to design a board for the ZX81 that could read and write sectors on the hard drive at over 100kB/s!

Before getting around to developing a proper DOS for the ZX81 hard drive I picked up a second hand 16k ZX Spectrum for $250. Unfortunately it had a fault, which turned out to just be a bad RAM chip. After fixing that I quickly discovered that most games needed 48k, so I added some 64kx1 RAM chips and had an 80k Speccy! (with a small circuit to switch 32k banks via an I/O port.).

The Spectrum's tape loading was so much more reliable and faster than the ZX81 that I forgot about hard drives and the Spectrum became my main computer. It had practically everything else I wished the ZX81 had too, like color and bitmap graphics, a full speed CPU and usable keyboard. I made a parallel interface for it to connect a joystick and printer, and later got an MGT 'DISCiPLE' interface with 3.5" floppy drive. Then Amstrad released the CPC664, so...

Sir Clive's genius was taking minimalism to the extreme. The ZX80 had 21 chips - mostly standard TTL logic - and a clever method of producing video using the CPU to read characters from RAM while it was executing NOPs. This greatly slowed the CPU down because it couldn't do anything else while reading the character lines, but used far fewer chips than a conventional design. Then for the ZX81 he put all that logic in a single ULA, using almost every gate in the chip. As a result the ZX81 only had 4 chips! The cost savings were enormous. But he didn't skimp on the OS or expansion bus, making the ZX81 extremely popular because it was very cheap but had a good BASIC and could easily be expanded.

The ZX Spectrum followed the same design philosophy. It was the first(?) machine to drop complicated text-based graphics modes and just have a single bitmap screen. Many other home computers were let down by poor tape interfaces - but not the Spectrum. Using the screen border to show the detected tape signal was pure genius - no more having to guess what level to set the recorder to!

There was something about the minimalism of that little slab that made it more appealing than physically larger machines, like it was pulling beyond its weight.

I don't remember what happened to mine, but a few years ago I decided to import a +3 (which was never released in New Zealand), thinking it would be even better. But it turned out to be disappointing. I found the 'improved' BASIC editor to be slow and the extra typing required a pain, then in 48k mode - with no labels to refer to - I couldn't remember which keys to press. The machine takes up a lot of room on the desk compared to the original Spectrum, and I still had to make a Kempston interface for it because the built-in joystick ports are non-standard (thanks Amstrad!).


Quote:
The C64 was ugly in comparison.
I agree. That big brown 'breadbin' didn't just look ugly, it was ugly to use too because the keyboard was too high off the desk. Then there was the ridiculously crippled floppy drive, the BASIC with no support for complex graphics and sound, and the low contrast blue text on a blue screen (done to reduce 'jail bars' caused by interference inside the VIC chip). In the right hands the C64 could do great things, but I found it frustrating and overly complicated.
Bruce Abbott is offline  
Old 19 September 2021, 12:22   #47
rare_j
Zone Friend

rare_j's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: London
Posts: 1,091
Great write up Bruce. Sinclair brought us workable computers at accessible prices. It didn't matter that they were a bit limited and rough around the edges. He got them into the hands of people who wouldn't have had them otherwise and great things were done.
The BBC got computers into classrooms, but Sinclair got them into bedrooms.
rare_j is offline  
Old 19 September 2021, 22:22   #48
TEG
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: France
Posts: 116
The ZX81 Basic Book was an incredible work of art. A gate for the imagination. I wonder who designed it. The best cover for a computer manual ever?

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	ZX81 BASIC book 800px.jpg
Views:	226
Size:	169.7 KB
ID:	73255  
TEG is offline  
Old 19 September 2021, 22:30   #49
Foebane
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Cardiff, UK
Age: 49
Posts: 2,871
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEG View Post
The ZX81 Basic Book was an incredible work of art. A gate for the imagination. I wonder who designed it. The best cover for a computer manual ever?

I agree, when I was a child, I thought that was a photo of a real model (even if miniature). Even if it is a painting, it looks amazing.

I hate to say it, but the ZX Spectrum BASIC book was a lot more disappointing.
Foebane is offline  
Old 24 September 2021, 22:26   #50
ZEUSDAZ
Registered User
ZEUSDAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: England
Posts: 541
What I want to know is how on Earth did Clive manage to pull that lapdancer and even marry her?
I can't imagine for a second that he would go to lap dancing clubs and let's face it he wasn't exactly an oil painting and there were far richer better looking younger guys out there, they really looked a total mismatch so what's the deal?! ??
Good for him either way.
ZEUSDAZ is offline  
Old 25 September 2021, 15:55   #51
rothers
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 231
I mean he was knighted... meaning she did get a title when she married him.

Not many other people wandering around with that.
rothers is offline  
Old 25 September 2021, 19:46   #52
Foebane
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Cardiff, UK
Age: 49
Posts: 2,871
Quote:
Originally Posted by rothers View Post
I mean he was knighted... meaning she did get a title when she married him.

Not many other people wandering around with that.
Errrrrrr, no.

To both sentences.
Foebane is offline  
Old 25 September 2021, 20:50   #53
Bruce Abbott
Registered User

Bruce Abbott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Hastings, New Zealand
Posts: 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZEUSDAZ View Post
What I want to know is how on Earth did Clive manage to pull that lapdancer and even marry her?
I can't imagine for a second that he would go to lap dancing clubs
You can't imagine?

The desperately frail millionaire, his jealous ex and a VERY unladlylike war that left Sir Clive Sinclair's pole-dancer wife pole-axed
Quote:
the septuagenarian inventor and entrepreneur decide to marry a former beauty queen 36 years his junior. Angie Bowness had even for a brief period worked as a pole-dancer in a gentleman's club.

For all the doubters, however – and there were many – the unlikely couple soon settled down to a contented, rather low-key life together, spending their time on nothing more controversial than dining out, visiting luxury spas and taking holidays in America...

Sir Clive – who reportedly boasts an IQ of 159 – decided to marry for a second time at the age of 70.

The news was met with surprise. Sir Clive, after all, had seemed to relish his bachelor existence and could frequently be seen dancing at a variety of West End nightclubs surrounded by an ever-changing roster of young female companions.

Sir Clive had divorced his first wife, Ann Trevor-Briscoe, with whom he had three children, in 1985.

Her divorce settlement was said to have been one of the highest at the time and went to her three children after she died of breast cancer.

Yet for all the freedom he enjoyed, (including alleged dalliances with a string of society beauties, including Sally Farmiloe) the truth was that there was another woman in his life...
One of the comments to that story says "IQ 156 but no common sense", which shows a deep misunderstanding of what is important in Life. What good is being the smartest person in the room if you can't pull the birds?
Bruce Abbott is offline  
Old 25 September 2021, 22:57   #54
ZEUSDAZ
Registered User
ZEUSDAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: England
Posts: 541

Wow lol, I'm actually quite shocked after reading that and at the same time thinking "Yeah Zeus, actually I'm not surprised and feel a bit silly asking" lol.


Those pics of him groovying on down at clubs made me laugh, just a nerdy looking bloke with a big wad,...money I mean sheesh , and where there are rich men women will be sniffing regardless of the age or looks of the bloke,...I mean look at Mick Jagger,...one ugly dude


Also I know that tv film Micro Men made Clive come across as a rather nasty bullish bloke but when you watch that and then look at that news link it really is a vast difference between the 2 versions of Clive, I think that's what shocked me when I first heard he married a much younger lapdancer, I just couldn't imagine the Micro Men version of him getting up to all that
ZEUSDAZ is offline  
Old 25 September 2021, 23:54   #55
Bruce Abbott
Registered User

Bruce Abbott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Hastings, New Zealand
Posts: 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZEUSDAZ View Post
Those pics of him groovying on down at clubs made me laugh, just a nerdy looking bloke with a big wad,...money I mean sheesh , and where there are rich men women will be sniffing regardless of the age or looks of the bloke,...I mean look at Mick Jagger,...one ugly dude
Women aren't just attracted to men who are rich or good looking, personality and intelligence can also be a big factor (same can also apply to women - for some men). We shouldn't denigrate women for finding these things attractive - after all fundamentally it's all about propagating the species so a rich, physically and mentally superior man (or woman) is more desirable because they are more likely to produce superior children. All of us do that. Also you might be surprised by what look some women (and men) find attractive in a man...

Quote:
Also I know that tv film Micro Men made Clive come across as a rather nasty bullish bloke but when you watch that and then look at that news link it really is a vast difference between the 2 versions of Clive
These days I am less shocked to discover that people are different from the public image we are familiar with. Many of us based our impressions of Sir Clive from the very narrow viewpoint of home computing. We were nerds and he appeared to be a nerd, so we don't think of him as a 'rather nasty bullish bloke', but the business he was in requires a certain amount of nasty bullishness to be a success. We can be relieved that he didn't turn out to be a monster like some others I won't mention.
Bruce Abbott is offline  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Clive Townsend of Saboteur looking for Amiga coders Spec-Chum Coders. General 12 30 October 2019 16:54
Sir Fred: The legend Hache support.Games 2 06 January 2013 14:50
La Puerta de Sinclair / Sinclair's Gate Shoonay Retrogaming General Discussion 0 09 November 2007 16:09
Trainer for Sir Fred? Old Fool support.Games 3 24 January 2007 22:34
Sir Fred AliZafri Retrogaming General Discussion 2 31 December 2004 02:26

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 07:29.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Page generated in 0.09511 seconds with 16 queries