This week marked the 30th year since the Sinclair ZX Spectrum was first launched. It was my first computer and I still have the original piece of hardware.

Yout can read a very nice article on "RegHardware" at The name "Spectrum" and the colors band came to underline the computer had color graphics (in fact, it could show 8 different colors at a 256x192 pixels resolution). It also had a Z80 processors (and I did learn its machine language), and a whopping 64KB addressable space, of which 16KB was the internal ROM (including a Basic interpreter with command associated with the various keys) and left you use the remaining 48KB for applications and data.

Of course, there was no floppy (only later the introduced an infinite micro-drive tape) so all storage was on regular audio tapes and you had to have a good quality recorded to be able to read back your data and saved programs. I never bought the micro-drive, but got the stronger keyboard with proper keys (as in the second image below). rather than the rubber one (as in the first image, which was the original version). I was hoping to try to turn it on and take a few pictures (it did start the last time I tried, a few years ago) but this week was quite busy.

I have fond memories of this first computer, I'm not sure younger generations can fully understand this. For us, it was quite a miracle. I learned BASIC, played too many games, produced animated physics experiments, learned assembly to make the programs be faster, bought dedicated computer magazines (and yes, they had source code to type in!). Time flyes!