Monday, April 23, 2012

Past & Present: ZX Spectrum hits 30, Pi ships

Many of you older gamers out there may remember the day you first played about with the rubberised keyboard of arguably one of the most important hardware launches ever... Well, today, that keyboard - and the computer that it was attached to reaches a milestone. It's the 30th anniversary of the ZX Spectrum.

This wasn't just any old home computer; this was the machine that encouraged droves of spotty youngsters to learn how to program and pursue a career developing games and creating software. Today's 250GB hard disks and HDMI ports are something we all take for granted... us ageing gamers were pleased if we could see the display in colour! Just like the 360s and PS3s of today, back then a couple of options were available - although the 16K and 48K versions do sound slightly underwhelming nowadays. Nevertheless, it didn't deter us buying them and making this one of the iconic computers of the 1980s.

It seems almost poetic then, that three decades after that little black machine surfaced, the first batch of Raspberry Pi computers has been shipped. The tiny device uses a chip like those used in mobile phones, a memory card for memory and is the LINUX operating system - but comes in at a very respectible £16. The aim? To get people programming! Some things never change.

Check out articles on the BBC website, commemorating the ZX Spectrum's 30 years and the advent of the Strawberry Pi.