The Hammer Of Retribution Ogg-Cast
www.thorcast.co.uk

 

Program: OGG-CAST
Bytes: SPECTRUM

My computing history started - likely as not - on 25th December, 1983, when my now-long-departed parents thought it was an excellent idea to fire up my inner geek with a Sinclair ZX81. At a mere four years old my first programs were little more than PRINT and GOTO statements that made little sense, but how many pre-schoolers do you know today who can even do that? Four years later the venerable old silent, black-and-white machine was pensioned off in favour of a Spectrum +2 with colour, sound and a lot of games. These took up a fair bit of my time, obviously, but I kept on writing my own programs...
Starting a new school in 1989 I found the kids from more well-off families (which was most of them) had the more expensive (and more intentionally-educational) BBC Micro, so I was something of an outsider with my Speccy; but you know me, I didn't mind too much! The only way to equalise myself with them came when my dad bought us a shiny new Dell PC in 1993 (a 486, feel the power); he never lived to see it delivered, but did say to me in his final days that it must be possible, somehow, to get Spectrum programs to run on the PC...

He couldn't say how, but I found out accidentally in my first year at university in 1997; there was such a thing as emulation, and I have never looked back since then. It's been how the overwhelming majority of my Spectruming since then has been done. Very little survives from before that date, though I have discovered a few tapes full of programs I wrote (or typed in from a magazine) in the very early days; rest assured those are staying under wraps.

I had something of a revival of interest in the Spectrum scene during my PhD when I found the World Of Spectrum forums, signed up, started posting, and was a regular contributor between 2002 and (approximately) 2007. I've visited occasionally since then, when I've needed to.

If you want to run any programs I host here, WOS has a bewildering array of emulators available for more operating systems that most people know exist. If you're on Windows and want a paid-for emulator that is absolutely the best of them all, go for Spectaculator; if you want something free to try them out, choose ZX Spin. On a Mac, or on Linux, if you are able to compile from source code yourself (and the programmer insists you do because he's a very hardcore geek), choose FUSE. A pre-compiled Mac version is available, and I know because that's what I use.

Emulation of the older Sinclair machines is considerably sketchier but NO$ZX81 emulates both the ZX81 and ZX80 reasonably. Dig deep enough into the rabbit holes presented on this page and you'll need this!