Retro Computers – Weren’t They Great?

Remember the C64 or the Spectrum 48k or the BBC? Take a trip down memory lane.

Read about some of the great old 8-Bit computers that were all the rage. We will add a new one each day so stay tuned and keep coming back for more.

  1. 1 Commordore C64

    The Commodore 64,  was introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. Also known as the C64, it dominated the low-end computer market for most of the 1980s. 

    The C64  was first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, January 7–10, 1982.

    The C64 took its name from it's 64kb of RAM (memory ). Compared with other computers of the time the C64 supported multicolor sprites and a custom sound chip, capable of waveform generation. The C64 had the best graphics and sound compared ti similar models and did this without custom hardware.

    The Commodore  64 has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time.

    In the UK , the C64 faced strong competition from the Sinclair ZX Spectrum however the C64 was still a very popular model.

  2. 2 ZX Spectrum

    Released in 1982 by Sinclair Research The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit personal home computer. Initially the ZX spectrum was refered to as the ZX81 colour and ZX82, it was eventually launched as the ZX Spectrum.

    The famous coulor ribbon was intended to highlight the computers colour display, the previous ZX81 was black & white only. 

    The two most popular models were arguably the Spectrum 16KB with 16KB of memory and the most famous of which has to be the 48K version, both the models are also well known for thier unique rubber keyboards. 

    Other models included the + and the famous 128k Spectrum.  The Spectrum required games and programs to be loaded via an external cassette unit. Joysticks required an interface to be plugged into the back of the unit. A lot of machines were damaged after vigorous gaming sessions as it was easy to pull out the interface whilst playing games.

    Later, Amstrad took over the Sincliar brand and released new models which included the +2, +2A  which had a built in cassette unit and the Spectrum +3 with 128 KB RAM and built in 3 inch Floppy Disk drive. The Amstrad built models also had the interface for the joysticks built in to the machine.

    The Spectrum was among the first mainstream-audience home computers in the UK. 

    The ZX Spectrum was not short of companies producing software and hardware for the machine. The inventor Clive Sinclair recieved a knighthood for "services to British industry". The impact that the Spectrum had is still visible today with many emulators, Spectrum clones and games been repackaged and sold today.

    Demand for the original Spectrum computers is high and they often sell for £100+ on auction sites such as Ebay.

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