One day I’ll do something musical with a ZX Spectrum


Currently I don’t even have a ZX Spectrum, but I did, a long while ago, and one day I’ll have one again. When I do I’ll be running this among a number of music programs that I used to use a long time ago. That’ll be fun.

Starting 2017 in retro mode

Timex 1000
Timex 1000

I’ve been a fan of all things ZX, especially the 81 since they first came out and I’ve always been drawn to them ever since. I realise that as a computing platform they are really ancient, retro, vintage even. But even so I think that these are somewhat lovely old computers. So when I saw this today I thought that it was something I’d love.

My ideal would be a ZX device that was portable. A bit like the retro gaming devices made with raspberry Pi, but I haven’t heard of anything like that. So the Minstrel ZX80 Clone is currently the nearest thing, and looks pretty spectacular too.

There is a ZX81 emulator on iOS, but that’s not the same at all. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t the same as having some hardware to play with. I’ll be keeping an eye on the ZX80 clone.

I’m not sure I can believe that Spectrum Next is a thing

It’ll be interesting to see what sort of pricing comes up for Spectrum Next when it arrives on whatever crowdfunding site they choose. I like the look of it, but what I’d really like is the same thing for a ZX81. I doubt very much that anyone is going to do that though.

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how this develops.

Watching Survivors, the original series, and comparing it against the newer versions


I really liked the BBC remake of Survivors and I can just remember the original 1970’s series, so it was interesting to go back and watching the original again after all these years. It’s quite interesting to see the difference between the 1970’s series and the remake.

But not only that, there are massive differences between the two TV series and the Big Finish audio story which was released last year. The fact that all of these things are based on the same basic story is quite amazing.

The 1970’s and 2000’s TV stories have quite substantial differences in their story arcs. In the original 1970’s version Abby Grant only lasts the first season (because the actress was actually sacked from the series). In the remake the she lasts the entire story. In fact the remake is quite different in terms of it’s overall approach. It is more concerned with what caused the disease and has a whole different story around the drug company who created the virus in the first place. This part of the story just doesn’t exist in the original which is much more about people finding ways to subsist and create communities and develop farming methods, and then eventually establish trading a communication between settlements.

If you didn’t know that these stories were based on the same original you’d be forgiven for thinking they had anything to do with one another. Even so, I’ve enjoyed them both. I think it might be time to have a listen to the big finish dramatisation again, and then possibly even read the book.

If I do all that it might just satisfy my obsession with survivors. For now anyway.

I always wanted to be Jim Rockford


I did. I mean, who didn’t? He was just so cool. Never really phased by anything. The Rockford files is still awesome to this day. I’m slowly making my way through season 1 and will then pick up season 2 immediately afterwards.

And I’m enjoying every episode too, especially the phone messages at the start of every episode!