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.
The Timex 1000 is the US equivalent to the ZX81. I was given it when in Canada last week and it looks like it’s in pretty good shape actually. I’m going to be very careful about firing it up though as I don’t want to get the power supply wrong in any way. When it’s all up and running I’ll post some stuff about what I’m doing with it.
But I have to ask why? It isn’t like there’s anything you can do with a ZX81 that I can’t do elsewhere, and so I constantly battle with myself, sometimes wanting to get one, and other times deciding that it really is a bad idea and I just wouldn’t use it, and that is really a lot closer to the truth as that happens with stuff I buy, I’m sorry to say.
I also sometimes think about some of the things I could do with one, and then try and use an emulator, and don’t really get into that and that also tells me that getting an actual ZX81 would be a bad idea. Even though I think they’re awesome.